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
    ShadowBurger likes this.
  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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