Solar Power and Batteries

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bidgeeeman
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Post by bidgeeeman »

Hi all.
I know this might be a little off topic but wondering if anyone can offer some advice as the tehnologies seem to me to be similar.

We are looking at putting in a small Solar Power system to offset household power useage during the day and I got to wondering.....would it be possible to run a seperate solar charging system similar to an EV bank of lead batteries that would charge off seperate solar panels during the day and then be switched over to the mains Solar Power system to run the household at night to offset nightime power useage like TV, Lights, Fridge?

Cheers
Bidge
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Post by weber »

bidgeeeman wrote:...would it be possible to run a seperate solar charging system similar to an EV bank of lead batteries that would charge off seperate solar panels during the day and then be switched over to the mains Solar Power system to run the household at night to offset nightime power useage like TV, Lights, Fridge?

Yes. And you don't need two separate PV arrays if you use a Latronics PVEdge inverter. See
viewtopic.php?p=37070&t=3080#p37070
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Post by bladecar »

I think you will find that this is relevant to your question Image

Even though we still get the local major newspaper, I've stopped reading it and rarely do more than note what's on the front page due to the question of whether they are reporting the news, or making it.

I bought the Financial Review yesterday because its front page said "Power market in danger of 'death spiral' - (poor old 'middle-income' (not low income, mind)) families.

I think most genuinely middle-income families could have at least got the most crappy small solar panel system, if they had shown just a little interest. Yes, it may have been a very ordinary system, but then they would be entitled to complain.

The Financial Review puts the root of the problem down to the cost of improving power infrastructure to cover the highest demands per year, largely due to ever-increasing installation of airconditioning systems.

A headline in the Review is 'Fall in demand distorts industry'

Just like Water, where Brisbane residents greatly reduced their usage when the dams were down to 18% and hardly increased it again after flood times, electricity usage is down (due to panels, but also to people turning things off). So the previous income is down anyway. Except, for electricity, less demand should mean less carbon going into the atmosphere, which is what it's supposed to be about.

So, out of order, I say, why should ev owners have to pay more to cover the cost of infrastructure built especially to cover air conditioning users?

Remember, ev owners are quite capable of charging their cars when there will not be a high demand, excluding the concurrent failure of complete power stations.

It also appears likely that the commercial-style ev chargers are going to be used for data to tax ev owners when they charge their cars. It has always been more and more likely that there will be a transference of taxes to include electricity usage along with petrol, diesel, etc. as it is now seen inevitable that ev's will play a large part in future transport (heck, even the first 2 finishers in this year's le mans 24 hour race were hybrids).

The Review says that AGL Energy want the "state and federal governments to consider controversial measures to help the energy market become 'more efficient', including charging more for electricity during high demand periods, houshold smart meters, and monthly bills'"

As an aside, did I see where the Victorian companies, using smart meters, were varying the price as they saw fit? Efficiently varying it, I mean. "Who killed the Electric Car" reported on how Californian Power Companies" or those companies which owned them, were shutting down power stations intentionally, for their own purposes, efficiently shutting them down, no doubt.

I admit to having a pool, because it was there, but we are using a low-power pump (honest). I had it running on the low-tariff supply but was so annoyed at how random and how often the power was cut (because I have a pump which does not do a hard restart after each power loss, and I could not ignore what was going on) that I long ago moved it back to standard tariff.   What I'm getting at here is that it seems likely that ev's will NOT get a good run in a so-called non-peak time because the 'efficient' managers at the top of the power companies will find a schedule that is hard to keep.

So, I will be on-the-case to find a way to use 'my power' to power my components to the 'n'th degree (considering the reduction in payment to panel owners from 50c/kwh to 8c IN ONE HIT). Think of how much our systems cost us, and the fact that the main outcome was a tendency to trend power usage down, and co2 production down - the main aim.

Except for those on lower incomes, or should that be low incomes, we can all aim to do this, and should. If you have air-conditioning, you're not going to make it, and neither should you, because under most circumstances, it is not essential.

So, I'm also aiming to look into ways to distribute some of our solar power to possibly lithium cells in order to have control over our own power.

The final outcome will most probably be a base supply cost for all power (just as you can't avoid water charges by using tanks, if you are in a suppliable area) and that will be the cost that will rise to take care of peak supply costs.   Just my thousands of dollars worth.

Edited for typing errors




Last edited by bladecar on Sat, 07 Jul 2012, 19:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by lithbattboss »

We are launching our new product in the next few weeks (as soon as I have the first unit finished).

This product is our new “lithium self contained off grid solar/wind power battery cabinet”. This is the first unit which has been made and is the prototype unit. We will be manufacturing these for off grid solar powered houses primarily though there has been some interest from owners of large motor homes also. This battery cabinet uses a battery bank made in different voltages and capacities using the LESS 200Ah large format solar energy storage cell.

I have attached a couple of photos. There are two battery shelves as you can see in the photos. For size comparison there are two 200Ah LiFePO4 cells on the middle shelf. The very top shelf will contain all the electronics such as battery monitor, battery protection circuit breaker, computer diagnostics data box, solar charger and sine wave inverter. There is a gap at the back of each shelf so as to be able to run the power cables between shelves at the back of the cabinet.

This is a small compact cabinet and has been custom designed and manufactured to house a total of 32x 200Ah cells on both shelves (2 rows of 16 cells per shelf) so this cabinet can be configured as either 12V 1600Ah or 24V 800Ah or 48V 400Ah. So this capacity would basically run a small energy efficient house.

The battery cabinet can also be supplied in a lead acid battery version. The battery storage cabinet itself is made from heavy gauge 2mm thick zincalume / galvanized steel which is powder coated so is extremely corrosion resistant. The cabinet may be quite small but is extremely solid and I can barely lift it by myself. This cabinet is suitable for use in coastal areas exposed to salt air but for serious marine and boating applications the cabinet can also be manufactured in grade 316 stainless steel.

The idea is you simply plug in your solar panels or wind generator to the cabinet and out comes 240V to run a remote off grid / independent power supply house.


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Last edited by lithbattboss on Sat, 07 Jul 2012, 18:36, edited 1 time in total.
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bidgeeeman
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Post by bidgeeeman »

Is this just a cabinet or does it come with everythinng in it ready to plug in?

What is the cost?

Cheers
Bidge
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Post by lithbattboss »

It is a custom made product made to the requirements of the end user.
We will supply it in component form since some people may not require all of the components that make up the entire system. For example some people may decide to use lead acid batteries to start with and upgrade to lithium at a later time. Also some people may already own a sine wave inverter and / or a solar MPPT charger so we would only supply the components that are required.
There are so many variations and everyone will have different needs.
As soon as we have finished the prototype unit we will have a list of prices of all the individual components that make up the system.
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Post by bladecar »

Hi lithbattboss,

If your product becomes a convenient product for what I have been talking about (and if certain people here praise it for its performance and usefulness :)), then it will always be in the running for a sale :)
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Post by bidgeeeman »

Hi lithbattboss.
If you don't mind posting a copy of the details in this thread to bump it back up when you are ready would be much appreciated.

Cheers
Bidge
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Post by jonescg »

I used to think that Edison batteries (NiFe/KOH) were the best option for longevity but they do take up lots of room and you can't drag much more than 0.2 C out of them before they sag. Fine for a really big setup, but for most households, you don't have room for 2 cubic metres worth of batteries. So I guess LiFePO4 will work, but it is just as expensive as NiFe and doesn't last as long (changing batteries every 10 years is not an attractive option). The more I think of it, the more I reckon a car to house option might be a goer.
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Post by bga »

NiFe and also flooded NiCd are really robust 25 to 50 year prospects, so possibly good value over a lifetime.

2 cubic metres is about right for a lead acid set.

I dream of a battery room, maybe next renovation...

One issuse with LiFePo vs PbSO4 is the working depth of discharge and reserve capacity.

While LiFePo can be repeatedly deeply discharged, this is not so useful for an SPS, where reserve capacity for several cloudy days is also needed.

Eg:
For LiFePo, probably about 2x the daily load in capacity, but this will fail early in a run of cloudy days.

For PbSO4, capacity of about 5x the daily load is needed to keep the DOD to 20% or so, allowing the battery to reach it's lifespan potential. This also keeps the discharge rate really low, so the battery is more efficient.
About 4 days running on no sun is likely.

Allowing for this additional AH capacity makes lead-acid about the same price as LifePo, but with a greater occasional reserve capacity.

I would agree with the Latronics comment. Their best product for an SPS would be a stand alone inverter with a transfer switch to allow it to override the incoming mains and feed some or all of the household circuits.
They have an offering up to 7000 watts (20kw intermittent), but the cost..

I am thinking of using a contactor to hold the (PV) generator output on as long as the inverter generator is operating, with an automatic fail over to the mains if the PV inverter fails. This should keep the fridge running.
One issue is to isolate it from the house so the constant buzzing of it's coil isn't annoying.

I have noticed that switching off inductive loads like larger fans cause my inverter to occasionally panic and shut down until it is manually reset. It will also do this on an undervolts, but this hasn't happened yet.

Cheers


Now to kill off the alt-backspace key that causes lost edits in this forum.
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Post by bga »

bga wrote:Now to kill off the alt-backspace key that causes lost edits in this forum.
That was a bit of a lose!

I downloaded a utility called SharpKeys from RandyRants.

It is good at turning off some of the navigation keys like the 'web page back' key that's immediately next to the left arrow key. One touch of that and the browser jumps out to the previous page, forgetting the current posting edit.

There is another deadly key in that cluster, it looks like it should be called 'web page home' and it's alt-left_arrow (backspace from above) on the lenovo T520. SharpKeys doesn't seem to know what to do with the alt key, so I was only able to map the left arrow out. Not very useful.

The same utility was able to kill the cursed 'windows' key by mapping it to a no-op. Much prettier than wrenching the key out of the keyboard.
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Post by jackhyq »

that's good shell.

How about these module 12V100Ah to be 24V100Ah,24V200Ah,48V100Ah and so on ... ?

Image



Last edited by jackhyq on Thu, 08 Nov 2012, 13:38, edited 1 time in total.
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