13 year old 5.4kW Battery Backup System

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dean0
Forum Whiz
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:21 pm
My RE system: 30-180 watt Evergreen Panels, 2 GVFX 3648 Inverters, 2-MX-60 Charge Controllers, Hub10, Mate and 16 Concorde Sun-Xtender PVX-3050T batteries.
MySolarApp Monitoring Software: http://dean0.mysolarlog.com/?template=flash
Location: Florida

13 year old 5.4kW Battery Backup System

Post by dean0 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:33 pm

Installed a 5.4 kW Grid-Tie battery backup system in 2006 which has 16-6 volt, 305 A.H batteries which no longer hold a charge. I went battery backup since we went over a week without power due to 3 Florida hurricanes in 2004. To replace these batteries is about $500 each plus shipping and installation/ It could cost me over $10,000 just to replace the batteries. Today, the internal fan on one of my 2 GVFX3648 inverters quit working forcing me to bypass that inverter so only 1/2 my system is working now. Now for the question only I can probably answer but I am looking for advice since photovoltaic systems have advanced significantly since i purchased my system 13 years ago.
Instead of replacing the batteries and spending $10,000, I am thinking of spending the $10,000 to change my system to a just grid-tie system without batteries which means new inverters. My 30-180W Evergreen solar panels are no longer under warranty because Evergreen went bankrupt and the Chinese company that bought Evergreen is not honoring the w 25 year warranty.
Should I upgrade my 13 year old panels, with more efficient panels?
Should I go with microinverters or 2 string inverters? If I go string inverters, should I invest in optimizer?
Any advice is appreciated as I have someone (salesman) coming to house Tuesday to research my current system and trying to do my homework before he arrives.

Thanks from sunny Florida
Dean
Dean in Florida

30-ES-180 watt Evergreen Panels (5.4KW)
2 GVFX 3648 Inverters
2-MX-60 Charge Controllers
Hub10
Mate
16 Concorde Sun-Xtender PVX-3050T batteries
MySolarApp Monitoring Software: http://dean0.mysolarlog.com/?template=flash

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1089
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one MX60 (2007)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied.

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: 13 year old 5.4kW Battery Backup System

Post by Mike Curran » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:41 pm

Hi Dean - I have both a battery backup system (Outback string inverters like yours) and a grid-tie only system (Enphase microinverters) and my advice is you should look at OB's Skybox, which would allow you to go grid-tie with either AC modules like my Enphase units and/or a string of DC panels, while giving you the flexibility to add batteries later, without having to add any other equipment - the Skybox will work with or without batteries. Not cheap but if you're doing the work yourself, your $10K will pay for a Skybox plus a sizeable addition of PV modules. And I would keep your Evergreen modules, connect them to the new Skybox.

Hopefully you'll get a range of other opinions on this, I'm by no means the last word.

FWIW - Mike

Edit: PS - With a Skybox you won't need your 2 MX60's, Hub10 or Mate. Maybe you can sell them to help pay for it.
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

dean0
Forum Whiz
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:21 pm
My RE system: 30-180 watt Evergreen Panels, 2 GVFX 3648 Inverters, 2-MX-60 Charge Controllers, Hub10, Mate and 16 Concorde Sun-Xtender PVX-3050T batteries.
MySolarApp Monitoring Software: http://dean0.mysolarlog.com/?template=flash
Location: Florida

Re: 13 year old 5.4kW Battery Backup System

Post by dean0 » Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:43 am

Mike, thanks for the information, this is exactly the type of information I was looking for. I was not aware of the Outback SBX5048 but it looks interesting although pricey and I like the clean look of the product. I think I might need 2 Outback SBX5048 since my current system is 5.4 kW and the Outback SBX5048 is rated for 5.0 kW which will put me over my $10,000 budget. But by having 2, I could also add a few additional panels to possibly bring my power bill to zero every month instead of a zero power bill 2-3 times a year. Thanks again and hope I get a few more options.
Dean
Dean in Florida

30-ES-180 watt Evergreen Panels (5.4KW)
2 GVFX 3648 Inverters
2-MX-60 Charge Controllers
Hub10
Mate
16 Concorde Sun-Xtender PVX-3050T batteries
MySolarApp Monitoring Software: http://dean0.mysolarlog.com/?template=flash

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1089
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one MX60 (2007)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied.

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: 13 year old 5.4kW Battery Backup System

Post by Mike Curran » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:29 pm

dean0 wrote:I think I might need 2 Outback SBX5048 since my current system is 5.4 kW and the Outback SBX5048 is rated for 5.0 kW which will put me over my $10,000 budget. But by having 2, I could also add a few additional panels to possibly bring my power bill to zero every month instead of a zero power bill 2-3 times a year.
I think you can AC couple over 5000 watts of PV (using AC modules or another string inverter's AC output - maybe your remaining GVFX?) to the Skybox AC output side, so adding that to your existing array might get you the additional capacity you want without needing a second Skybox. Note that (AFAIK) the AC coupling function is not yet available but will be in a future firmware update. This from the Skybox overview guide:

"The SkyBox uses an inverting function to convert battery (DC) power to AC output. It can run loads in the absence of an AC source. If an AC source is present (utility grid or generator), the SkyBox can switch to run loads directly from the AC source. The inverting function can also work with the utility grid. It can add PV and battery power to support loads (self-supply) if the AC supply is not large enough. It performs similar activity for the grid-interactive (sell-back) and GridZero functions. It can also ÔÇ£AC coupleÔÇØ power from another grid-tied inverter to the grid."

http://outbackpower.com/downloads/docum ... vg_web.pdf
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

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