PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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Post by weber » Tue, 03 Feb 2015, 04:10

T1 Terry wrote: The fuse in the pack linking cables is probably the best solution, even if it's 500 amp mega fuse as it's only intended to protect against a catastrophe, not as service protection device.
Blueseas make a fused terminal contact that would suit such a purpose as well https://www.12volt.com.au/redirect.html?a=/General Htmls/webcat2003/breakers.html about 1/3 way down the page.

Good point. It should have a higher rating than the others. But that URL doesn't work for me.
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Post by T1 Terry » Tue, 03 Feb 2015, 17:26

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Post by offgridQLD » Tue, 03 Feb 2015, 17:45

No that fuse would be useless

Specifications
Amperage     300A
Maximum Voltage     58V DC
Interrupt Capacity      
10000A @ 14V DC
5000A @ 32V DC
2000A @ 58V DC
Weight     0.06lb (0.03 kg)

Notice how the interrupt capacity gets smaller as the voltage is increased.

That's the kind of fuse that guy on u tube ( Who isn't open to constructive criticism) keeps recommending without knowing if the specifications meet his application.

This is the kind of fuse you want to interrupt the battery. Notice how high the voltage rating is 500V at 120ka and 660v 50ka !

At $7 you cant go wrong.
http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=SF4172

Kurt
Last edited by offgridQLD on Tue, 03 Feb 2015, 07:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by weber » Tue, 03 Feb 2015, 19:08

No. But these do.
https://www.outbackmarine.com.au/Fuse-B ... a-5191.667
https://www.12volt.com.au/redirect.html ... akers.html

I think what you're doing wrong is putting an equals sign (but no url) after the word "URL" inside the square brackets.

See faq.php?mode=bbcode for usage examples of the two BBCodes [ URL ] and [ URL= ].

Thanks for the suggestion, but Kurt's right. That's another reason we need to know the short-circuit current of our LiFePO4 cells -- to ensure we get fuses with sufficient breaking capacity (interrupting capacity or interrupt rating).

But that Jaycar fuse is no good as a mid-pack fuse for the monolith either, as it needs a huge $129 3-pole fuse holder.

I could bolt one of these inline
http://www.evworks.com.au/bussmann-fwh- ... -acting-se
The much higher price of the next size up ($73 vs $42) is a good reason to stick with 100 A for this even though it gives no discrimination relative to the two 100 A 22x58 mm fuses in the battery switchboard.
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Post by T1 Terry » Tue, 03 Feb 2015, 19:19

Fair enough, the holders for the HRC fuses in the link you supplied are a tad on the expensive side, maybe a mega fuse and holder would be a better deal http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=SF1986 and a holder
The ANL fuses tend to smoke when running close to capacity as the fuse section glows red and starts to melt the casing. I had a cloud of smoke and associated stink from a 300 amp ANL fuse running at 340 amps or so, a switch to a 500 amp mega fuse and holder seems to have solved the problem. With inverters, it's not an over load protection you need, it's the short circuit protection if something goes pear shaped

T1 Terry

EDIT: Fixed the link, when the URL button is used and the link pasted between the bracket the forum software adds an = something something 20% nofollow inside the first url bracket, but that doesn't appear until after it's posted but appears in the edit version. Once I deleted that bit the link works http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=SF1980

Edited by admin to fix links
Last edited by rhills on Thu, 06 Jul 2017, 00:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by offgridQLD » Tue, 03 Feb 2015, 19:27

"But that Jaycar fuse is no good as a mid-pack fuse for the monolith either, as it needs a huge $129 3-pole fuse holder."

The isolator/enclosure in the Jcar catalog is overpriced you can get brand name ones for a lot less. You can get 2 gand and single gange enclosures.

I agree the fuse you linked to is ideal but a question for my own use...

Any reason if you don't need the pull down isolation feature. Why you can't just drill two 10mm holes in the bars On the NT1 at each end? I was considering this as I have a stack of NT1 fuses laying around. The bar is about 5mm thick and 25mm wide. Other than insuring the terminals are not exposed.

Kurt
Last edited by offgridQLD on Tue, 03 Feb 2015, 08:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by weber » Tue, 03 Feb 2015, 20:49

T1 Terry wrote: ... maybe a mega fuse and holder would be a better dealhttp://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=SF1986and a holder
But Terry, the datasheet linked from that Jaycar item clearly says these are only good for 32 V and 2 kA interrupt!
The ANL fuses tend to smoke when running close to capacity as the fuse section glows red and starts to melt the casing. I had a cloud of smoke and associated stink from a 300 amp ANL fuse running at 340 amps or so, a switch to a 500 amp mega fuse and holder seems to have solved the problem. With inverters, it's not an over load protection you need, it's the short circuit protection if something goes pear shaped

Fuses are to protect cable too, and stop it causing fires. You can't guarantee the inverter wont fail in a cable-overloading state rather than a short-circuit state. So I hope you upgraded the cables to take 500 amps continuous when you upgraded the fuse -- say two parallel 95 mm^2.

As I wrote 5 months back
viewtopic.php?title=new-to-the-forum-ne ... 714#p52787
I personally think that, for domestic power systems and EVs, if you need more than a 250 amp fuse, and therefore more than 2 x 50 mm^2 (2 x 0 gauge) cables, then your voltage is too low. It's a tradeoff between the cost of the conductors (copper and silicon) versus the cost of the insulation/isolation/protection. But also the difficulty of bending the cable.

Kurt, I agree, drilling the blades of the NT1 fuses should be OK.
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Post by weber » Wed, 04 Feb 2015, 04:05

There were a couple of things about the PIP-4048MS that I didn't realise until David Chaplin and I actually tested it on site, with a generator.

It became obvious, first to David Chaplin, and then to me, that I'd been thinking the wrong way about parameter 01, the AC output source priority. This parameter supposedly determines which of three sources, solar, battery or "utility" (i.e. AC input, either grid or generator) are used, when more than one is available.

One of the three options displayed is "SbU" which stands for Solar then Battery then Utility. The mixture of upper and lower case is because it's only a seven-segment display. So you might think there would be six options, SbU, bUS, USb, UbS, bSU, SUb.

But you can't feed solar energy to the loads if the battery is not available (is low voltage), so "S" and "b" aren't really independent. In effect, whenever you have both S and b, S will feed the loads before b, so you really have a fixed priority pair (Sb). So then you'd think there would only be two options, (Sb)U and U(Sb).

Well there are those two, but they are called SbU and UtI (utility first), and for some dumb reason I had it in my head that when the utility isn't normally present (off-grid) you'd want to give solar/battery the priority and so set it to SbU, but as David Chaplin soon made me realise, it's the other way 'round. When you're off-grid you want to give the "utility" priority, because if someone goes to the trouble of starting the generator, the system had damn well better make full use of it. So UtI mode is what you want when you're off grid.

Whereas, when you're on the grid, and "utility" is always present, you want to give solar and battery the priority, so you only use the grid when the battery gets low. So SbU mode is what you want when you're on grid.

Probably seems obvious, right? My confusion must have been because I was short on sleep. Yeah, that's it. Image

But what still isn't obvious is what the hell the third option is about. It's called "SOL" (solar first). As far as I can tell it behaves exactly the same as SbU mode except in the case where you have no solar input but you have both utility and battery. In that case it will use utility where SbU would use battery.

So SOL is SUb priority, right? Well, not really. Because that would imply that if the battery was low and the choice was between solar and utility, it would use solar. But it doesn't. It uses utility. So "SOL" mode can't be described as a priority ordering of the three sources at all!

One can also say that SOL is the same as UtI except in the case where all three sources are available. SOL chooses solar instead of utility in that case, as you might expect from its name.
Avail.  | Source, in mode:
U  S  b | UtI SOL SbU
--------|-------------
0  0  1 |  b   b   b
0  1  0 |  S   S   S
1  0  0 |  U   U   U
0  1  1 |  S   S   S
1  1  0 |  U   U   U
1  0  1 |  U  [U   b]
1  1  1 | [U   S]  S
You really needed to know that, right? Well, it was driving me nuts that I didn't understand what SOL mode was. And you don't really understand something until you can explain it to someone else.

But I still don't know why you'd want to use SOL mode.

Now what about the other thing? That's a lot easier to describe. We set it to UtI mode and started the generator and, ... nothing happened. The PIP displayed the voltage and frequency of the generator, which were somewhat variable -- not surprising since it was completely unloaded -- but easily within the specified range for the PIP. But the PIP acted as though there was no generator there. It refused to feed it to the loads or charge the battery from it, but just kept running the inverter off the battery. I could only exchange stunned and mystified looks with David.

It was dark by this time and I couldn't think with the noise of the generator. So I walked around to the side of the house opposite the generator. Then I came back and stepped thru the PIP's parameters. Only one seemed like it could possibly have any bearing on the matter.

Parameter 03 is described as "AC input voltage range". The two options are APL (appliances, the default, 90-280 Vac) and UPS (uninterruptible power supply, 170-280 Vac).

I had set it to UPS, thinking I didn't want the PIP dragging the voltage of the poor generator down below 170 V if an underpowered generator was connected. But now I set it to APL, and it immediately switched the generator thru to the loads, and then it started ramping up the charge current. The generator stopped "hunting" and stabilised. Beautiful!

So apparently the UPS setting is not just about the allowed AC input voltage range, but also makes the PIP far more fussy about the frequency and voltage stability of the AC input.
Last edited by weber on Tue, 03 Feb 2015, 17:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by T1 Terry » Wed, 04 Feb 2015, 04:21

weber wrote:
T1 Terry wrote: ... maybe a mega fuse and holder would be a better dealhttp://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=SF1986and a holder
But Terry, the datasheet linked from that Jaycar item clearly says these are only good for 32 V and 2 kA interrupt!
The ANL fuses tend to smoke when running close to capacity as the fuse section glows red and starts to melt the casing. I had a cloud of smoke and associated stink from a 300 amp ANL fuse running at 340 amps or so, a switch to a 500 amp mega fuse and holder seems to have solved the problem. With inverters, it's not an over load protection you need, it's the short circuit protection if something goes pear shaped

Fuses are to protect cable too, and stop it causing fires. You can't guarantee the inverter wont fail in a cable-overloading state rather than a short-circuit state. So I hope you upgraded the cables to take 500 amps continuous when you upgraded the fuse -- say two parallel 95 mm^2.

As I wrote 5 months back
viewtopic.php?title=new-to-the-forum-ne ... 714#p52787
I personally think that, for domestic power systems and EVs, if you need more than a 250 amp fuse, and therefore more than 2 x 50 mm^2 (2 x 0 gauge) cables, then your voltage is too low. It's a tradeoff between the cost of the conductors (copper and silicon) versus the cost of the insulation/isolation/protection. But also the difficulty of bending the cable.

Kurt, I agree, drilling the blades of the NT1 fuses should be OK.
Sorry, forgot you were using a 48v pack, my bad. I can't see an instance where an inverter could fail to a constant 500 amp load without the internal safety fuses failing well before that, but interesting that you brought that up.

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Post by offgridQLD » Wed, 04 Feb 2015, 04:22

Yes all the prioritizing modes had my head spinning a little and although I didn't intend to use a generator with my unit I was thinking it worked just as you did until you proved it wasn't so.

I was able to start the pip with a battery and PV connected then run a AC load (TV) then while running I remove the battery and the unit ran the TV for 30min with no battery. Then I connected a variable speed polisher to it and slowly ramped up the load. As expect as soon as the load exceeded the two 200w panels I was testing with it shut down.

Not that it's a feature just interesting that it ran the ac load with no battery connected.



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Post by weber » Wed, 04 Feb 2015, 04:28

offgridQLD wrote:I was able to start the pip with a battery and PV connected then run a AC load (TV) then while running I remove the battery and the unit ran the TV for 30min with no battery. Then I connected a variable speed polisher to it and slowly ramped up the load. As expect as soon as the load exceeded the two 200w panels I was testing with it shut down.

Cool experiment. Thanks for proving part of my theory wrong.
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Post by offgridQLD » Wed, 04 Feb 2015, 04:35

I made a small video showing part of that experiment a while ago when I first got the PIP.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW2V8AbVco0

Kurt
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Post by DavidC » Wed, 04 Feb 2015, 12:54

The sol setting is not to do with changing from grid to solar when the battery is full . A setting for when the inverter is used as a ups ( ensure battery is full then feed loads instead of wasting solar input to nothing ) may be a useful setting when used in a grid feed home.
Last edited by DavidC on Wed, 04 Feb 2015, 01:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by weber » Wed, 04 Feb 2015, 20:28

DavidC wrote: The sol setting is not to do with changing from grid to solar when the battery is full.
Right. Because both SbU and SOL modes will do that. Compare the last and third-last lines of my table below.
A setting for when the inverter is used as a ups ( ensure battery is full then feed loads instead of wasting solar input to nothing ) may be a useful setting when used in a grid feed home.

Aha! Thanks.

I didn't really explain my table, so I've annotated each line below.
Avail.  | Source, in mode:
U  S  b | UtI SOL SbU
--------|-------------
      b |  b   b   b    These three lines are unnecessary because
   S    |  S   S   S    of course, if you only have one source,
U       |  U   U   U    that's the one you will use, in any mode.
   S  b |  S   S   S    If no utility, then solar before battery, in any mode.
U  S    |  U   U   U    If battery low, then utility before solar, in any mode.
U     b |  U   U   b    If no solar, then utility before battery, except in SbU mode. 
U  S  b |  U   S   S    If all available, then solar before utility, except in UtI mode.
So now, with what David has pointed out, I can summarise:

UtI mode is for off-grid use because it will make use of the generator whenever it is going.

SOL mode is for on-grid use as a solar UPS. It will not use the battery at all*, keeping it fully charged, until you lose both solar and grid at the same time. It will reduce but not minimise grid usage. It will maximise the life of a lead-acid battery. Not so good for Lithium.

[* Correction Jan 2019: SOL mode will use the battery whenever the solar is not sufficient to cover the loads, provided the solar is not zero. This will typically occur briefly in the early morning and late afternoon. But as soon as the sun is gone, it will top the battery up to 100% SoC using the utility, provided the charge source priority [16] is not set to only-solar (OSO). Thanks to @Coulomb for pointing this out and conducting experiments to prove it.]

SbU mode is for on-grid use where you want to minimise grid usage. It will use the battery whenever solar is not available. It will only use the grid when the battery gets low.

[Edit: On the input side of the table, changed zeros and ones to blanks and U, S or b as appropriate, to make the table more readable. Corrected some grammar.]
Last edited by weber on Mon, 21 Jan 2019, 14:24, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by weber » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 00:14

I had a question by email about the load sourcing priority matrix. I thought others might benefit.
In the case where the battery is low, but you have utility and solar, then it will use utility? Surely that's not what you want for on-grid.
I agree it seems wrong at first thought.

But the manual makes it clear that (in all modes) if the battery is low and the utility is present, then the loads will be supplied from the utility. There's no mention of varying that depending if solar is available or not.

And when you think about it a bit more: If you have solar and yet the battery has fallen below the low threshold, then clearly that solar has been inadequate -- unable to keep up with the loads for quite some time -- so it's time to use the utility to feed the loads, until the battery gets back above the high threshold.

I note that the low threshold can be set in one volt steps from 44 V to 51 V and the high threshold from 48 V to 58 V (or "FUL" which means "gone to float mode").

With a LiFePO4 battery, the only usable low threshold is the highest value, 51 V. And that's really a bit too low as it corresponds to about 3.19 V per cell, which corresponds to about 10% SoC at low loads. You're really relying on a steady heavy load coming along (like boiling a kettle) so it trips off at more like 25% SoC. You're also relying on your cells being balanced at the bottom (which means equal in capacity, if you have top-balanced), so you don't have one going below 0% SoC while the others are at (51-2.8)/15 = 3.21 V (20% SoC for low loads).

Here's the paper Johny found, with the best SoC vs voltage curves.
www-personal.umich.edu/~hpeng/DSCC2013_Weng.pdf

So to minimise grid use, you could set the low threshold to 51 V (3.19 Vpc) and the high threshold to 52 V (3.25 Vpc). If this resulted in too much switching, you could bump the high threshold up to 53 V (3.31 Vpc).

There is also another parameter (16, Charge source priority) with which you can disallow charging of the battery by the utility (by setting it to "OSO", Only SOlar). So if the battery goes low, the PIP will feed the loads from the utility while charging the battery only from solar. Of course if it's night time, the battery will stay below the low threshold until the sun comes up the next morning. When the battery gets enough solar to get above the high threshold, the PIP will switch the loads back to solar plus battery.

A very flexible system. Just not designed for Lithium cells or battery monitoring systems.
Last edited by weber on Wed, 04 Feb 2015, 13:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by lopezjm2001 » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 00:29

Hello All,

I have just joined this forum after reading this great thread. I bought this PIP4048MS two weeks ago and have asked Maximum Solar the following.

Dear maximum_solar,

You need to improve the design of this item to be used with Lifepo4. To function properly with Lifepo4 battery bank the inverter/charger needs two digital inputs that can be connected to a BMS relay output.

1. One input for LVD (low voltage disconnect to make inverter go into LINE MODE).

2. the other digital input for HVD (high voltage disconnect to turn off charging).

At the moment the user has to use a 200 amp DC contactor to isolate the DC battery input to inverter/charger which turns everything off leaving the user without a 240Vac output.

I hope you improve design. Thanks.


Thanks for the effort you guys are putting in. I am not a fan of using serial comms to do this. Image
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Post by lopezjm2001 » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 01:30

I just got a reply from Maximum Solar:


Hi John
thanks for your feedback. that's right as you already know the challenge is that inverters run on DC so disconnecting battery will inevitably trigger a fault and possibly lead to shut down of inverter. I don't know how difficult it is to implement the features you proposed but I'll forward your suggestion to the engineering team of the manufacturer so they can evaluate it.
thanks again and take care
Shao


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Post by weber » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 01:32

Great to hear from you, lopezjm2001. Thanks for the kind words. Good on you for encouraging them to better support LiFePO4 and BMS. I note that Maximum Solar are only the authorised reseller. The manufacturer is MPP Solar Inc, Taiwan. [Edit: Wrong. It's Voltronic Power, Taiwan]
lopezjm2001 wrote:I am not a fan of using serial comms to do this.

Can you explain why?

Because if you ask the question, "What is the easiest (and therefore most likely to happen soon) way for MPP Solar to implement this?", it would have to be by changes or additions to the serial commands, since that's purely a software change.

But it's also worth asking, "What would be the best implementation, to be able to make optimum use of all the many different BMS out there?"

I can't help still thinking that the answer is serial commands. If you need two digital lines (some BMS only have one digital line, and some have full max and min voltage and temperature information) then you only need someone to program up a $10 TI-Launchpad with Energia (or an Arduino if you want to slum it with an 8-bit processor on a board that costs more Image) to convert between whatever you've got and the serial comms.
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Post by lopezjm2001 » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 01:52

Hi Weber,

Simply because my BMS (brand is miniBMS) does not have serial comms. The other reason is that at the moment the unit is losing and restoring communications between my PC and PIP4048MS, I would not want a HVC event occur whilst it keeps charging/cooking my Lifepo4 cells because it lost communications. Image.
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Post by lopezjm2001 » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 02:13

Weber wrote: I note that Maximum Solar are only the authorised reseller. The manufacturer is MPP Solar Inc, Taiwan.
I found a reseller in Australia on Ebay. The same unit is painted red and brand name is "GIANT".

GIANT Inverter

This guy imports them from Taiwan and claims to keep them in a warehouse in Queensland and he lives in Kellyville, Sydney. He even has a phone number listed on Ebay and I called him up and spoke to him.
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Post by weber » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 05:56

I want to collect and record the final design of the monolith here before scraps of paper start to get lost. I'll start with the framing. It is MetalMate brand 32 x 32 x 1.5 mm black slotted steel angle available from many hardware stores including Bunnings.

It's nice that it really is metric, when so many items sold in Australian hardware stores are not, 38 years after metric conversion. But just because it's metric doesn't mean it's accurate. Image The distance between slot centres is usually constant on any given piece, but it can vary between pieces, from 49.8 mm to 50.2 mm. This makes a repeatable design challenging, as there are of course only certain distances between bolts that are possible (using the slots) and the variation in slot spacing means the ranges that can be guaranteed to work get smaller as the distances get bigger.

Add to that my aesthetic (or obsessive) requirement that the outer dimensions be in the ratio 1:4:9, and that the shelves fit LiFePO4 cells of a useful capacity without needing any actual shelving, and that its width allow it to fit in the back of a Prius when fully assembled. Then the possibilities are fairly well constrained.

I allowed for 10 mm thick cladding on the top and three sides, and 5 mm thick cladding on the back (fibro against the wall). I also allowed 2.5 mm for bolt cup-heads, 1 mm margin for error between cladding and bolt-heads and 1 mm of height for the plastic feet.

I settled on overall dimensions of 225 x 900 x 2025 mm between outer faces of the cladding.

This resulted in cut lengths for the slotted angle of
2013 mm for the 4 long verticals,
863 mm for the 10 long horizontals,
194 mm for the 11 short horizontals, and
568 mm for the 2 short verticals either side of the PIP-4048MS.
There were also a few short pieces that completed the mounting of the PIP and the smaller of the 3 switchboards, whose precise lengths I did not record, but they were approximately 180, 100 and 100 mm. The two shortest required one side to be cut away so they are not angles but flats.

Because of the aforementioned variation in slot spacing, and the need for pieces to be symmetrical, all but the four long verticals should be measured by starting from their centre and measuring half their length in each direction. Their centre must be placed midway between two slots in all cases (not in the middle of a slot).

The long verticals should not have an open slot near the floor as this would be too weak and put too much pressure on the plastic feet, so these are just measured from their factory cut end, which results in an open slot at the top end.

You need two Starter Packs to get the 16 corner braces that are required, and one Add-on Pack to have sufficient additional nuts and bolts. http://www.rcr.com.au/metalmate/metal-m ... eel-system

Here's a view of the whole frame (with Coulomb working hard on software).

Image

Here's a closeup of the bottom of the PIP mounting, with a cutaway to clear cables and a flat horizontal for the lower PIP mounting bolt. Ignore the fly screen with casement-window portal in the background.

Image

The gap between steel angle and cladding was filled with black self-adhesive (one side only) 15 x 2.5 mm foam tape, to take up the thickness of bolt-heads and margin for error. I can't find this foam tape on the Bunnings website although that's where I bought it, along with the polycarbonate sheets. The label says "SUNTUF BACKING FOAM 20m For Single Use with Suntuf SUNLITE". The 20 m roll was just enough.

The cladding was cut from 2 sheets of 2400 x 980 x 10 mm Suntuf Sunlite solar grey twinwall polycarbonate. Don't bother trying to cut it with a knife (wanders like crazy) or a panel saw (jams like crazy). Use a jigsaw or sabre saw with a fine toothed blade.

Cut sizes of cladding were:
Front 2020 x 890 mm
Back (fibro) 2020 x 890 mm
Top 890 x 195 mm
Two Sides 2010 x 195 mm
[Edit: I think in future the two smaller dimension should be bumped up by 5 mm, to 200 mm and 895 mm given that more accurate cutting implements will be used.]

Vents were described and shown in photos in a previous post.

Corners were dressed with mitred 40 x 40 x 1.6 mm aluminium angle screwed to the steel angle, screwed only on the sides and top, by 6 gauge x 25 mm 316-stainless countersunk self-tappers. Photos in previous posts.
[Edit: The screws need 4 mm clearance holes in the aluminium and 3.17 mm (1/8") pilot holes in the steel for self-tapping. The holes in the aluminium were 10 mm from the edge, but should be 15 mm in future. They are spaced 450 mm or 500 mm apart.]
Last edited by weber on Sat, 07 Feb 2015, 10:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by T1 Terry » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 19:26

A question going back to the suitability of the mega fuse, at half pack in your system (the intended position for this application)it would be 28v max, so well inside the 32v limit. That leaves the 2kA rating, would that be @ 32v or any voltage?

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Post by weber » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 19:32

This photo shows the detail of the two short pieces of slotted angle used to mount the 8-pole PV array switchboard above the 12-pole battery switchboard. The vertical piece (~180 mm) stops just short of the lower switchboard. The horizontal piece (~100 mm) is cut away to become a slotted flat.

Image



The way these Hager 12-pole surface enclosures (VS112) fit perfectly within the monolith, either side of the PIP, is the purest serendipity. As is the fact that they fit perfectly in the vertical gap between inlet and outlet vents in the side of the PIP. That's why the upper switchboard could only be 8-pole (VS108). It would otherwise block a PIP outlet vent.

The mounting holes for the switchboards do not align with the slots in the steel angle. In fact they only just overlap the edge of the steel. So their "holes" are merely 7 mm high by 7 mm wide [Edit: not "4 mm wide" as I first wrote] rectangular notches cut in the edge of the steel with an angle grinder, so the square collars on the cup-head bolts (of the slotted-angle system) engage with them and do not rotate.

It is important that any screws which penetrate the enclosure be doubly (or reinforcedly) insulated on the inside of the enclosure. The nuts and bolts mounting the EV200 contactor are covered with heatshrink which is filled with silicone. The screws mounting the circuit boards are arranged not to emerge out the back of the enclosure by self-tapping them into 3 mm polycarbonate blocks which are solvent welded to the inside of the thin PVC enclosure backing.

The mounting bolts for the enclosures themselves are a little too long, and the nuts too large, to allow the oval insulating caps to plug into their slots. So the nuts and bolts are covered in neutral-cure silicone, and the caps filled with more silicone and pushed onto them.

Earthing of exposed metal parts is an issue. There weren't meant to be any exposed metal parts in the original design, except perhaps a couple of screws or a padlock hasp on the top of the unit, out of reach of casual contact. Now we have the aluminium edge trim which is screwed to the inner steel skeleton. The inner steel skeleton is presently earthed only by virtue of being bolted to the PIP case which is connected to the incoming earth wire. But is this sufficient, given that the steel is painted? Perhaps it would be better to use the bare galvanised slotted angle in future.
[Edit: However that has different dimensions and would be more visible through the smoked polycarbonate. http://www.rcr.com.au/metalmate/metal-m ... eel-system]
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Post by weber » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 20:16

T1 Terry wrote: A question going back to the suitability of the mega fuse, at half pack in your system (the intended position for this application)it would be 28v max, so well inside the 32v limit.
Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. If there was a short across the whole battery, say between the outermost terminals, then that fuse, in order to break the circuit, would have to break at the full battery voltage of 50-something volts. One way to look at it is to ask what voltage would be measured across the fuse under that worst-case fault condition, if the fuse was already an open circuit.

So even if the prospective short-circuit current was only 2000 A (instead of possibly 6900 A based on Damien Maguire's experiment) then with a short across the 55 V terminals, that fuse would continue to arc, doing lots of damage, long after its fusible element had vaporised. In fact it would arc until the battery went flat or the fault was removed by other means (like a fireman's axe), or the arc was extinguished by other means (dumping dry sand on it is the only way I know).
That leaves the 2kA rating, would that be @ 32v or any voltage
Unless the manufacturer specifically gives higher interrupt ratings at lower voltages, one must assume it applies at all voltages (not greater than 32 V).
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Post by offgridQLD » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 20:19

"
A question going back to the suitability of the mega fuse, at half pack in your system (the intended position for this application)it would be 28v max, so well inside the 32v limit. That leaves the 2kA rating, would that be @ 32v or any voltage?"

More than likely it would be a little more at slightly lower voltage but given its only 2ka at 32v I'm sure it would come up well short of the potential 6ka that might be needed.

I would think the ceramic style fuses that are filled with sand that melts around the Arc and snuffs it out would do A much better job of controlling several thousand amps flash and keeping it that way than a fuse marketed toward the low voltage smaller battery bank marine / Automotive industry.

I think its always best to look at what is being used commercially in industrial applications.


Back to the monolith......

Boy that sure sounds like a lot of restrictions based on movie themes and delivery transportation choice....if you do a monolith V2 your welcome to borrow my ute/trailer to open up more size optionsImage

Kurt



Last edited by offgridQLD on Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 09:23, edited 1 time in total.

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