Solar charging

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John Coulter
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Solar charging

Post by John Coulter » Mon, 21 Sep 2015, 22:13

We have had a 3kW solar PV system on our house for many years so we are on the higher buy-back rate but cannot change this system without jeopardising this buy-back rate. 18 months ago we bought a Mitsubishi Outlander. This we charge at night so as to put the maximum solar electricty into the grid during the day. I would like to build a dedicated stand-alone solar PV system exclusively for car charging.
I would appreciate comments on the following proposal:
3kW solar panels - charging say 3kWh battery pack* - inverter capable of producing 15A, 240V - to standard car charging circuit.
* The battery pack would have switching so that it would only deliver power between a preset maximum and minimum state of charge. Below the minimum SOC the unit would simply shut down. Thus during a sunny day car charging would be on perhaps two thirds of the time and the day would end with the car fully charged as well as the battery pack. On an overcast day one might get about a half charge during the day and have to top it up from the grid at night.I'd appreciate any comments and advice especially from anyone who has arranged such a charging system.
John
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4Springs
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Solar charging

Post by 4Springs » Mon, 21 Sep 2015, 23:23

Hi John, does your Outlander have the DC charging socket (CHAdeMO)?
Seems a shame to have an inverter when it sounds like this will be dedicated to charging a DC battery. Would be nice if the system could be designed to be the correct voltage to charge using DC.

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Post by John Coulter » Mon, 21 Sep 2015, 23:32

I agree. It would be far more energy efficient just to be able to use the batteries in the car but ours takes 240V AC in at the charging plug and has the conversion to 300V DC on board
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Post by Gazza » Tue, 22 Sep 2015, 02:19

Hi John, your situation and the specs which you describe sounds quite similar to what we are currently having installed here in Brisbane. Something which clearly falls under the category of being the right thing to do rather than than finding an economic basis. If you wish to wait for a couple of days for the instal to be completed and then PM me we can exchange phone numbers as I expect it will be much easier to discuss aspects on the phone.

Regards Gazza

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Post by T1 Terry » Tue, 22 Sep 2015, 04:14

A Victron 700BMV will do the SOC% control via a mini relay driving a Gigavac contactor for the inverter on/off rather than switching the standby switch off as the inverter still uses some power in this mode. An inverter with a constant 3600w output will not be cheap unless you go for a 48v system, then you may as well use a larger battery pack and run a few appliances in the house as well.

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Post by John Coulter » Tue, 22 Sep 2015, 14:54

Thank you Terry. This is just the sort of information I seek so that when I approach a solar supplier I can specify the least cost and best options.
John
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Post by John Coulter » Tue, 22 Sep 2015, 15:02

Thank you Gazza. That would be most helpful. There may be a difference in the two states in that we were early installers of our solar system and we are on a 52 cents/kWh buy back rate which has been legislated in S.A. This only holds if we make no changes to the existing system.
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Post by T1 Terry » Tue, 22 Sep 2015, 21:26

John Coulter wrote: Thank you Terry. This is just the sort of information I seek so that when I approach a solar supplier I can specify the least cost and best options.
John

I would be interested in hearing what they quote. We will quite probably be moving to Mannum SA around Christmas and plan to have a stand alone system for both the workshop and house. It would be good to see the price range and determine if it's worth doing myself or just pay someone to do it.

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Post by reecho » Wed, 23 Sep 2015, 00:31

4Springs wrote: Hi John, does your Outlander have the DC charging socket (CHAdeMO)?
Seems a shame to have an inverter when it sounds like this will be dedicated to charging a DC battery. Would be nice if the system could be designed to be the correct voltage to charge using DC.


No ChaDeMo port on MY15 Outlander PHEV's in Oz. Unconfirmed for MY16 updated models...

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Post by John Coulter » Wed, 23 Sep 2015, 00:45

Yes, I agree. With the on-board battery taking the juice straight from the panels (arranged to provide the right voltage) that would be a much cheaper option. But the only input socket on our car takes the 240V AC from a standard power outlet. The charging system is built into the car.
It has been suggested that I go for a larger external battery and inverter and run some of the things in the house from that battery when we have a sunny day thus not wasting/spilling available power and allowing the existing solar system to pump more into the grid.
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Post by 4Springs » Wed, 23 Sep 2015, 03:30

reecho wrote: No ChaDeMo port on MY15 Outlander PHEV's in Oz. Unconfirmed for MY16 updated models...

Perhaps I'm using the incorrect term? I've seen two Outlanders - one had just one port and the other had two. Or at least that's what my memory says I saw. So what is the second port for?

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Post by John Coulter » Wed, 23 Sep 2015, 03:50

If you look at the UK Mitsubishi site it appears as though at least some of the Outlanders sold there have two ports.
Approaching Mitsubishi Australia did not produce any mention of an alternative way of charging.
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Post by EmpowerRepower » Wed, 23 Sep 2015, 04:45

Hi John,

You may have your heart set on more solar, and I'm in the same situation of having a 3 KwH system on a good feedback tariff, that doesn't make enough kWh for my Leaf.

The alternative I've gone for is to buy certified GreenPower from C3 to cover the number of kWh that I use for the car. It works out much cheaper and simpler (about 1c per km for my car), and I know that extra wind-power sourced electricity is being added to the grid on my behalf beyond that guaranteed by the RET. As a bonus,C3 GreenPower is tax deductible and supports green charities.

GreenPower Image
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EV/Sustainability blog at www.EmpowerRepower.com

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Post by John Coulter » Wed, 23 Sep 2015, 15:58

Thank you Greenpower. That is certainly an option. I am yet to decide which way to go and to then see exactly what the costs are. At the moment I am rather taken with the idea of a larger stand alone system and then running some of the house items off that as well as charging the car. For example the fridge could be run from the stand alone system.
BTW I think you meant that your system is 3kW not 3 kWh?
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Post by EmpowerRepower » Wed, 23 Sep 2015, 19:24

Yes, I often get the kW and kWh mixed up, even though I do know the difference in meaning. I'm EmpowerRepower, not GreenPower - that was a link to their website. Hope that your research goes well.
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Post by djsharpe » Sat, 09 Jan 2016, 13:02

We have a standalone system PV powered system in Melb and a farm 100ks away. The latter has grid power & a standalone system that runs all refrigeration and a HWS heat pump. It has a 5kW inverter/charger & around 2 kW of PV 48V LA bat bank 1000Ahrs. I have 4kW more PV to install. This will charge my Tes due at end of the month. There is a switch to connect off pk grid power if reqd in winter. The 5 kW "Giant" branded inverter (retail cost around $1500) might be suitable for you but I think a direct connection to the EV bat might be better. I wouldnt do this with the Tes as the bat voltage is around 400.

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Post by John Coulter » Sat, 09 Jan 2016, 14:50

Thanks for your information. I have had to give up on the notion of a separate charging system for the car. As a long time user of solar I started when the buy back rate was high and locked in for 20 years by legislation. Any change in my setup is likely to abrogate this arrangement and drop me way back down to a very low buy back rate. If I had known how the cost of solar panels was going to fall I should have installed more panels all those years ago.
Thanks again
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Post by evric » Sat, 09 Jan 2016, 17:17

John Coulter wrote: Thanks for your information. I have had to give up on the notion of a separate charging system for the car. As a long time user of solar I started when the buy back rate was high and locked in for 20 years by legislation. Any change in my setup is likely to abrogate this arrangement and drop me way back down to a very low buy back rate. If I had known how the cost of solar panels was going to fall I should have installed more panels all those years ago.
Thanks again


A standalone system won't upset the current arrangement at all. There will be no connection to the grid.
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Post by John Coulter » Sun, 10 Jan 2016, 21:59

My advice is that it would, that the utilities in S.A. that pay this high buy back rate (52 cents/kWh)will remove this rate if there is any other solar system on the same title of land, whether or not it is connected to the grid.
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Post by djsharpe » Sun, 10 Jan 2016, 22:06

If that is the case (seems doubtful) put the PV on a rels friends or n'bours property.

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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 11 Jan 2016, 13:02

"
My advice is that it would, that the utilities in S.A. that pay this high buy back rate (52 cents/kWh)will remove this rate if there is any other solar system on the same title of land, whether or not it is connected to the grid. "


I don't think so. It's your house you can do as you like with it. How on earth could your own private independent offgrid system that has nothing to do with the utility's. Impact your contract for a rebate for your grid connected system.

How about if I had a solar garden light in the front yard or some PV on a caravan. What a joke!

This country has way to much scare mongering to a bunch of people that have lost there back bone.

Kurt


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Post by russ_drinkwater » Mon, 13 Jun 2016, 00:30

It is the threat and bluff!
To attempt to control people for the benefit of those whom perceive they have
"the power"!
We have a larger grid tie system here and also a smaller standalone system
that we use to power the house during the day.
What we have on out own private buildings to supply ourselves is our business
and being out in the bush same goes for water tanks!
As ergon linesmen stated to me was that ergon has no interest in the grid-tie systems as they are our own private property!
Standalone is even further removed from the power supplying company as well.
Saying that the standalone system would negate your contract is the same as saying getting rid of perhaps 2 freezers and a washing machine would do the same!
As this of course would reduce the amount of power you use from the grid system.

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