off grid solar tutorial

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webber offgrid
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:25 pm
My RE system: 7.2 kW off grid array
Radian 8048A,FM80 CC, Mate3 & Hub, 8 Outback 200NC batteries, B & S generator
Location: MI. Thumb USA

off grid solar tutorial

Post by webber offgrid » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:50 am

We are fairly new to off grid solar with little electrical knowledge and would like to find a "Solar for Dummies" book or some equivalent thereof to help understand what the heck I is going on. I'm finding this forum to be helpful but get lost is some of the terminology, etc. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Oh yeah, still getting a "off grid" error message on Optic's that seems to resolve itself every day??

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IanMcCluskey
OutBack Product Management
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: off grid solar tutorial

Post by IanMcCluskey » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:23 pm

The way your system is configured, it will show the "off grid" message when the generator drops out. The off grid message is no reason to be concerned in itself, it just means the Radian lost its AC input and switched over to the batteries. We are considering how to change that message in systems like yours to say something like "generator disconnected".

That said, is your generator connected to the AC IN of the Radian? A quick glance at your event history shows voltages as low as 160 VAC and frequencies in the low 40 Hz range on that input, which means coming from the generator. Those are concerning, and may be causing the Radian to disconnect from the generator.
Ian McCluskey
Product Manager


Alpha Technologies Inc. / OutBack Power Technologies
3767 Alpha Way Bellingham WA 98226 USA
http://www.alpha.com

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
SimpliPhi 48-3.8 (6 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: off grid solar tutorial

Post by raysun » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:14 pm

There's online sites that cover basic off-grid solar power systems. The content many of the online vendors have can be a useful starting point.

https://www.altestore.com/store/solar-p ... tems-c567/

For Outback specific, this is the site.

It's hard to know what it is you don't know, but folks here are helpful and have good practical experience. We all started out sometime.

Is your system on Optics RE?

Find the parameter pages, and double check the charging parameters for your 200NCs. Both FM80, and the Radian have battery charger configurations.

That 7.2kW PV array is hella huge for a single FM80 controller. (Its over spec, and voids the warranty if damage results.) Is there some external protection to assure a controller overload event doesn't damage the battery? Some input protection (automatic PV panel disconnect) to prevent an array overload from damaging the charge controller?

Max PV Input for FM80 = 48V x 80A = 3840W.

What kind of panels are being used? What is the array wiring configuration?

webber offgrid
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:25 pm
My RE system: 7.2 kW off grid array
Radian 8048A,FM80 CC, Mate3 & Hub, 8 Outback 200NC batteries, B & S generator
Location: MI. Thumb USA

Re: off grid solar tutorial

Post by webber offgrid » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:09 am

Thanks to both of you for your response. When I get back home I will try to answer some of the questions about my situation.Unfortunately I will have to do some research on some of the questions asked.

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
SimpliPhi 48-3.8 (6 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: off grid solar tutorial

Post by raysun » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:00 am

webber offgrid wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:09 am
Thanks to both of you for your response. When I get back home I will try to answer some of the questions about my situation.Unfortunately I will have to do some research on some of the questions asked.
Welcome to Off-Grid U. A home-schooling program where a passing grade rewards you with years of reliable power, and a failure to learn the lessons in a timely manner results in joining the fraternity to which many of us belong. Its motto is: You will ruin your first set of batteries.

The winter time in Northern North America is usually low solar irradiance, so I expect the solar panel array is producing at safe levels. However, that part of the system is worrisome.

JRHill
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Posts: 927
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: VFX 3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3, FNDC (retired), 8ea L16 mixed. Wonderful wife.

Re: off grid solar tutorial

Post by JRHill » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:51 pm

webber offgrid wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:50 am
"Solar for Dummies"
I relate. Like totally, totally dude (sorry, wink). Years ago I posted a request for a sub-forum where tidbits could be offered for OB specific systems for a OB for Dummies basic info source. This was also before the software for the forum was updated and the search tool at the time was terrible - it is much better now. Also in the time since I have realized that our collective knowledge is very specific to each of our deployments, usage and maintenance and this new sub forum could add much consternation/confusion. Know also that there is very likely someone out there with a system and in an area very much like yours. Detail your profile as it will help others if and when replying.

So the best thing I can suggest is that you keep notes on your system. Date, what happened, what you did and how it worked (or not) - however it works best for you and your memory. Then also factor in that this data may not work this year like it did last year or will next year. Cycles do repeat and you need to remember them. From Churchill: “We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us.” Anyone relate with that quote?b Maybe a bit out of context but it fits for me.

Best,
Jim

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