my new project

dali1972

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
29
Hi All

Ive started my new build project to build my "off grid as much as possible" project. I thought i would share as much as i can with you all.

I started with the design of the system, the schematic of the system, the BMS, and a way to mount the solar panels.


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As you can see from the schematic, im using Victron equipment, a BMS by Bpath, and 40x 340w Solar panels.

Specs for the Victron Equipment (inverter/charge controller etc.)

Victron Quattro Sine wave Inverter/Charger. 48 volt 15000va
Victron Cerbo GX
GX Touch 50 display
Victron BlueSolar 250/100 SMART CHARGE Controller.
Victron Smart Shunt - 500A 50mV
Lynx Distributor Board - 4way - 1000A capacity
Canadian Solar 340W Super High Power Poly panel
Weatherproof enclosure to combine 6 PV strings


BMS - Its a new plug and play BMS for the Tesla battery that i was lucky enough to get hold of from a dismantled Tesla P85D.

Progress is being made, and i will give updates as and when i can.
 

dali1972

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
29
Update on the solar panel mount.

I designed my solar panel mount out of scaffold tubing and scaffold clamps. At my place i get serious winds, as its open farm fields behind the property, and so wanted to make it sturdy.After8 revisions of the design, I had all the measurements and design to buy the tube and clamps.

I was able to buy the scaffold poles for 1 per foot, and got the clamps online and shipped.

The first job was to clear the land of weeds, it used to have pigs kept on it, and the soil is VERY fertile, due to all the smelly stuff :)


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Scaffolding arrived, and a double-check that the plans and measurements worked.


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I have a small tractor and a grader. I did the calculations and knowing the mount sizes...and how many, flattened what i needed.


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Then placed the weed control down, and started the trial of the mounts.


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Dolly our pet pig, got curious with all the noise....


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Another minor amendment to the mount plans. Had designed to have 3 legs, but after the trial decided it only needed two.


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After the first mount, we found just getting the leg positions correct was a nightmare.... so made a simple jig, the simple wooden squareyou will see in the pics.

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In this pic, it shows the post knocker on the back of the tractor.... cut the legs to 1.2m, leave 400mm out of ground.... these legs are not going anywhere !!!


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a slightly better view of the mounts.


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Finally got all the mounts completed

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Now trial fitting the first solar panel...

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Will try and get an update on the next part very soon.
 

dali1972

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
29
ajw22 said:
Would appreciate a closeup photo of how the panels are attached to the pipes
Hi ajw22


Ive not done it yet so cant take any pics, but have made a quick pic in sketchup to try and show you what im trying.

Im using standard mesh clips, for holding fencing to scaffold poles.


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what im trying is to use them with 60mm m6 bolts, and nylon washers, and nylon spacers, and using the pre drilled holes in the back of the panel frame to thread the M6 bolt through.
Hopefully this pic explains it better than i can :)


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dali1972 said:
ajw22 said:
Would appreciate a closeup photo of how the panels are attached to the pipes
Hi ajw22


Ive not done it yet so cant take any pics, but have made a quick pic in sketchup to try and show you what im trying.

Im using standard mesh clips, for holding fencing to scaffold poles.


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what im trying is to use them with 60mm m6 bolts, and nylon washers, and nylon spacers, and using the pre drilled holes in the back of the panel frame to thread the M6 bolt through.
Hopefully this pic explains it better than i can :)


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side view of mesh clip, bolt, washer, spacer....


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ajw22

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
587
Thanks, but one issue with your plan: Pretty sure that you won't get a M6x60 that way through the holes in the panel due to the limited space and angles. You'll probably have to screw the bolt from the clamp up into the panel, and have the nuts inside the PV frame. But then 60mm would probably be too long.


...or use a M6x40 your way - that should fit.
Don't forget to include a spring washer to prevent loosening of the nuts over time.
 

dali1972

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
29
ajw22 said:
Thanks, but one issue with your plan: Pretty sure that you won't get a M6x60 that way through the holes in the panel due to the limited space and angles. You'll probably have to screw the bolt from the clamp up into the panel, and have the nuts inside the PV frame. But then 60mm would probably be too long.


...or use a M6x40 your way - that should fit.
Don't forget to include a spring washer to prevent loosening of the nuts over time.



mmmm... hadn't thought of that...doh !!! Will see how it works out, as you say may just turn them around, use shorter bolts.... will let you know....
 

dali1972

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
29
Plant Room and battery store update.

Wanted to get this room prepared and ready to store thebatteries, it nice and dry so perfect to store them once i take it apart.
So been busy with the paintbrushes...

The store is a room at the end of an old barn,

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Found some old garage floor paint... and some magnolia emulsion.... and slapped it on the walls.


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Decided to mount the inverter on the wall, and studded it out, and insulated it, and the roof had some leftover insulation from other building work on the place...

I mounted some 12mm ply onto the studs filled between them with some leftover insulations,and then covered it all with pink Fire Resistant Plasterboard, which should help if anything ever gets hot.


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Then gave that a coat of white emulsion.... just looks nice a clean and ready to start mounting all the equipment.


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Next job will be to start the disassembly of the battery pack


Tesla battery strip down.

Before i start....I did use gloves !!!!


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OK... so long day to get this stuff stripped down... and was totally knacker after.

My P85 battery, I was rather lucky to get this for a snip... 4500 total...yep 52.94 per KW, it was out of a salvaged 2015 P85D, i have no idea if this had done 1 mile or 20 billion miles.... but at that price it was a gamble i was willing to take.


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Onto the good stuff....

Found the fuse panel.... major ball ache...was on the other side, screws were weird, nothing i had. The gloves i had were rated to 1000v, Guessed that removing the fuse would just cut the voltage to 200v,so took a risk and decided to plowahead, by taking off the covers and make the first removal in the middle to cut the voltage down,but an absolute nightmare. Was it the right decision....maybe not, but im typing this, so im still alive to tell the tale !!!!


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Removed the stumpy ends cover first


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Then peeled back the edge to allow me to get in with thehammer and chisel.


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About 20 to 30 mins later, i managed to peel the top cover off, and revealed the main battery compartment for the first time.... now i started to smile..... far too bloody early :( now the heavy work started.


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Started to take out the batteries from the middle first


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and worked my way out from there..


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Until i got to this lovely point.....


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A lovely EMPTY case :D

As you can now see.... my store room, which was close came in handy to store the batteries.


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Next job will be to get the multi meter out and start the process of confirming they are all ok... as i said, it was a cheap battery. Crossing fingers. They all looked ok, but i was flat out so didnt realy take any time to examine them in detail.

Will update you all on the progress soon.
 

dali1972

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
29
Update on solar panels mounts.


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These ones are for AJW.... close ups of the mounting straps to the poles.


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The 60mm bolts did fit "Just", but the bolts i had were partially threaded, so i exchanged them, and got 40mm fully threaded bolts, that worked perfectly.

A new minor amendment added a support brace to the main leg instead at the end of the mount.


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The mounts are changeable to vary the inclination during the year.

It just takes to loosen a couple of bolts, and the whole mount is able to be lowered/raised. Only managed to get one set up today, as i was testing it all out... and it works really well. You can adjust it on your own....its just alot easier and quicker with 2 people.


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**** if anyone wants to make similar mounts, i have cad drawings that show all the poles, couplings, and pole sizes. I could also make up instructions once im complete and would be happy to send out to anyone, free of charge. *****


Cost breakdown for seasonal adjustablesolar mounts - my mounts were to hold 5 panels measuring1765mm x 1048mm

wood to make feet template - free using spare wood

49 ft of scaffolding pole 49.00 (got from a local scaffolder - who buys in bulk)
short tee clamp 2.85 x2 05.70
3 way through corner tube clamp 4.2 x2 08.40
single swivel tube clamp 4.95 5 24.75
single mesh panel clip 0.88 x13 11.44
m6 x40mm per bolt x 13 00.44
m6 washer x13 00.50
Timco Rubber Sela Washer 28mm x10 01.40
CARBON STEEL & NYLON EPDM WASHERS x 20 01.01


TOTAL102.64
 

Overmind

Active member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
422
Congrats on the project, looks good so far.

I intent to do something very similar, but as simple as possible:

- solar pannels
- LiFePo4 100Ah "bricks" (16s) to get 48V and BMS for them
- inverter
 

dali1972

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
29
Solar panels nearing completion.

I have 8 banks of 5 panels, and now only have 3 left to complete...when its not pissing down with rain.


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Reckon i have another half day ish to get the rest installed... but im happy with my progress. All the panels are mounted in the winter position at the moment,which gives 53 degrees. This can be improved slightly but will need to adjust the ground level to allow the posts to fully extend, hopefully giving an angle nearer to the desiredwinter 68.5


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The tested summer mount angle is almost perfect at 22degrees.


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Hoping to get on with the battery testing and mounting equipment in the next week aswell....
 

dali1972

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
29
Hi All

Been a few weeks since my last update, have got some but not all that I wanted do complete.

Solar Panel install - Completed.

who can spot the minor mistake made with the placement of mounts??

The panels have been left disconnected while i finish off in what i call the power room.... next pics

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dali1972

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
29
My Power room install updates
!
Planned the layout, battery layout/position, and position and layout of the equipment.

Decided to install the DC side first... PS - OMFG the inverter!!! needed help to get it onto the wall and then needed time to recover from the Hernia i had just given myself.

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Then it was onto smaller and MUCH lighter stuff.

Solar controllers/Distributor/Cerbo GX (the brains behind the operation) and a touch control pad for it.

And last but not least...the Bpath battery management system.

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dali1972

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
29
My Power room install update 3 - ACside...not finsihed this part yet.

Plan is to pop in the data cable, and connection to consumer units, install manaul switch overs...

Then connect up solar panels, and lastly hook up the batteries.... and viola my new powerwall

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Roland W

Active member
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
121
Nice job!

Now, in your winter configuration, aren't those panels casting shadow onto each other during most of the day? The mounts seem to be to close to each other. Remember, just a single cell of a panel in shadow, will drop the current down to 1/5 of normal. Shadow of let say a cable going over a panel, will only reduce current a little, as it would not cover a whole cell.
As you have half-cells, probably only the lower part will be affected. So its a bit better. But you still might lose 1/3 of your output per string there.
If you cannot move the arrays away from each other, you might consider to raise the rows in the back a bit.
 
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dali1972

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
29
Nice job!

Now, in your winter configuration, aren't those panels casting shadow onto each other during most of the day? The mounts seem to be to close to each other. Remember, just a single cell of a panel in shadow, will drop the current down to 1/5 of normal. Shadow of let say a cable going over a panel, will only reduce current a little, as it would not cover a whole cell.
As you have half-cells, probably only the lower part will be affected. So its a bit better. But you still might lose 1/3 of your output per string there.
If you cannot move the arrays away from each other, you might consider to raise the rows in the back a bit.

TY.

who can spot the minor mistake made with the placement of mounts?? Prize goes to Roland :)

Yep, another possible one is to lower front panels slightly and have a spring/summer config on those ones only. Im gonna try and make some adjustments to them, but the main aim at the moment is to get the whole system up and working...then i can potter and make the adjustments to get it better. This project would be a lot quicker if i didn't have to work for a living and it didnt rain...i shrink in the rain :)
 

dali1972

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
29
Battery and BMS all wired up. Im just a little excited now...so close to powering it all up.

The first two are of all the leads connecting the complete battery up, and all the BMS wires plugged into the TESLA Battery management board.
The BMS wires are messy..... dont do messy !!!
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Picture of the BMS, will let you know how well it works soon !

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And couldn't handle the messy wires...so used sellotape the make them neater...and tapped them up to the battery modules.

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