DIY Solar panel setup on a budget

Discussion in 'Hobby Engineering' started by Mathuisella, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. aXis

    aXis Member

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    I'd say no on the Nickel Iron. Maybe 3 years ago they were looking attractive but the lithium market has changed massively. I have a family member that "eats his own dogfood" - he runs a solar / battery company and has Nickel Iron installed at his off-grid home, he doesn't like them anymore (poor charge efficiency) and would go Lithium now, typically LiFePO4.

    There is a great market at the moment for modular rack mounted 48V (or 56V) lithium batteries, usually 2 - 2.5kWh each module with a BMS included. You stack them in a cabinet to 10kWh or more. If you put panels on both east and west sides of your house you shouldn't need much more than 10kWh anyway for overnight usage, then for extended cloudy days use either grid-tie or a genset.

    The wholesale prices can be down as low as A$400 per kWh, not sure what you'll get retail though. Some examples are:
    https://solarbatteriesonline.com.au/product/alpha-storian-ess-system-eco-s5/
    https://www.alibaba.com/product-det...pm=a2700.7724857.normalList.47.1cd023daofumHh
    Edit: more examples here. https://www.solarquotes.com.au/battery-storage/comparison-table/

    Personally I would be looking seriously at the BYD B-Box units, eg: https://www.queenslandsolarandlighting.com/product/byd-b-box-lv-10-24kwh-battery-module/
    They are Chinese and only recently available in Australia, but are a massive company with a good reputation abroad.

    The LTO's have great potential but I haven't seen them in a modular consumer format yet. Found one: https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/zenaji-aeon-battery/
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
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  2. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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  3. aXis

    aXis Member

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    I've built something similar for my EPEver.

    The protocol is just regular RS485 modbus (RTU I think) and there are some resources around what the registers are. From there I programmed an ESP8266 to read the serial modbus data (via a RS485 module) then send it via wifi to a Mosquito MQTT server. From there NodeRed does a simple job of pulling data from MQTT and charting it like this guy has done.

    I was able to tweak the ESP operation so that it stays below an average 50mA and can run self-powered from the EPEver RS485 port.

    Happy to send people the circuit board design and arduino code if they are interested.
     
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  4. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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    so way back last year, (and on this thread) commbank offered a $500 rebate for solar installations, I filed my paperwork the day after it was mentioned in this thread.. still waiting,
    I've been in Branch 4 times now, once a month, and just got off the phone with their home loan call center, who tried to tell me the second time I submitted the same paperwork demonstrating the size of the system (because some fool can't read) was after the cut off date... I (very) calmly explained it was the same paperwork and in internal error had occurred and I highlighted the system size.
    so magically all his managers are in a meeting and someone will try to call me later... like they haven't done a single time yet...
    if nothing by Friday next week, I'm just calling the ombudsman's office and submitting a complaint.

    shitting banks...

    edit update, got a call back from a guy in the local branch (who's a temp apparently) asking for conformation of details and what happened, so that's a first...
    and I explained it all, yet again.
    see what, if anything, happens.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
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  5. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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  6. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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    https://mypolice.qld.gov.au/news/20...XtqKCgO7Je2zLqFfo065c-UvXnWoVNRhxYzxwyk2_jcrk

    just in case you see these for sale anywhere.

     
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  7. vk2fro

    vk2fro Member

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    Who'd want to steal lead acid anyway. Regardless, thats one huge bank those thieves have. 61 batteries!
     
  8. Hive

    Hive Member

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    It's ipswich, this answers itself
     
  9. ShadowBurger

    ShadowBurger Member

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    hey lads.

    I'm getting my home solar installed next thurs and have also been offered a stack of lead acid batteries pulled out of a solar install

    I'm not getting a hybrid inverter and messing with an AC coupled battery inverter sounds like a headache so I'm thinking of doing a DIY thing where I charge my lead acids from a wall socket during the day then switch my fridge and some other appliances over to run from a good old fashioned 24V pure sine inverter

    How are you guys automating the charging / switching to inverter?

    Is there a legal 'relay' equivalent for mains that will let me safely switch over (based on a timer / state of charge) from house mains to the inverter so there's no interruption to the loads I want to run?
     
  10. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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    just leave it running through the inverter all the time and have a charger on a timer that cycles day night, easiest way and no issues.
     
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  11. vk2fro

    vk2fro Member

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    Yes its called an Automatic Transfer Switch. Its normally used in Vans and Boats to switch from the solar inverter to the shore power, and vice versa :)
     
  12. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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  13. vk2fro

    vk2fro Member

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    thats the input side Recharge, he wants to switch the output side.
     
  14. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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    ahh so he does, I don't know how I missed that.. stupid fibro fog retardation..
    yea,, expensive. not worth it IMO. not on the ROI side of things.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  15. vk2fro

    vk2fro Member

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    hehe all good mate :)
     
  16. aXis

    aXis Member

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    Just saw this in my inbox for anyone who's interested. I'd probably go a few panels, maybe even 10, but cant imagine freight to Kalgoorlie will be appealing.

     
  17. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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  18. vk2fro

    vk2fro Member

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    I'm surprised the nbn cabinets havent been hit yet, they contain the same type of deep cycle batteries.
     
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  19. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    many of the telco huts have 30~40+ of these in them. Some way way more.
    the telco huts are old the security systems are very old and poor/failed PIR and a door magnet/reed switch.
    the controllers have a delay to stop suss alarms.
    in the voda and optus huts, it's really easy to jump in and hit the main breaker and get out before the door alarms or PIR are triggered.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  20. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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