My plan and looking for suggestions

Dr. Dickie

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My plan is to get the Batrium Watchmon 4 with 500 amp shuntmod to handle a 14s160P (18650 battery~20.5 Kwh) with a 2.1 Kw solar array.
What I am looking for help with is the other particulars. That is:
What solar charge controller? I am looking at the Victron Energy SmartSolar MPPT MC4 150V 60 amp 12/24/36/48-Volt Solar Charge Controller (Bluetooth).
It is not listed as working with Batrium, but they do not list any charge controllers. This one is certainly not cheap, but I like the bluetooth and Victron has good reputation. Is it just too much? Is there something just as good by cheaper?
Is there a suggested breaker that will work with the Batrium (shut off inverter at low battery). Batrum lists Schnieder, but the link on their site is broken and I am sure that what they list is very, very expensive. I would guess about a 50 amp breaker--Do not expect more than

An inverter (3-4 Kwatt). I know it will not be compatible with the Batrium, but what they list is all $3-5 K, and I hope it doesn't have to be that expensive.
Thanks for any suggestions
 

OffGridInTheCity

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Do you have a specific reason you want your charge controllers to be able to talk to the WM4? If not, then this might free you to think about a wider selection. I'm not writing this to be discouraging, and its OK if you do want this, but I thought I'd just pose the question.

In my system, I don't need my charge controllers to communicate with Batrium and I don't feel like I'm missing anything.
 

Dr. Dickie

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Do you have a specific reason you want your charge controllers to be able to talk to the WM4? If not, then this might free you to think about a wider selection. I'm not writing this to be discouraging, and its OK if you do want this, but I thought I'd just pose the question.

In my system, I don't need my charge controllers to communicate with Batrium and I don't feel like I'm missing anything.
Sorry, I guess I gave the wrong impression.
As far as I know there are no controllers who communicate with the Batrium--at least I don't think they list any. They list some inverters, but they are all very expensive ones.
I was just asking how the Victron was--over priced, or worth the cost?
The only thing I was interested in being compatible with the Batrium was the breaker. Since the breaker will be controlled by the Batrium output, I wanted to make sure that what I got was compatible.
The inverters they list as compatible are $3-5k. I don't want to spend that much just to be able to communicate. So I was looking for suggestions of a good 3 to 3.5 Kw inverter. No need for it to be compatible, as the breaker more or less covers that.
 

floydR

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split phase? limited choices might have to talk to Aims/ growatt/sunrino they all make 4kw split phase units or talk to an inporter
Just 120v? There a lots out there if you can afford it get a UL listed or ETL listed
I just bought a new Growatt 6KW SPF 6000T DVM INVERTER/CHARGER Off-Grid 48v (split phase) it was buy it now or be kicking myself when I was ready to buy. It should be here tomorrow.

Later floyd
 

OffGridInTheCity

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If you do WM4+Expansion, you'll have relays you can use to fire a wide variety of shun-trips. Here's a recent discussion on shunt-trips - https://secondlifestorage.com/index...-shunt-trip-recommendations.10541/#post-72894
Here's an excellent youtube on WM4+Expansion -> ABB shunt-trip by @LithiumSolar -
This will give you some context to think about. I implemented this for my own setup :)

Charge Controllers - there are many in the 60a range but you also talk about inverters. Maybe you want to consider a MPP Solar? It has combined charge controller (in your range) + inverter (in your range) in cost-effective price range and they make grid-tie and off-grid variations and there's pretty good info on them :) @floydR was posting as I was writing - I consider Growatt in the same vien of 'all in one' as MPP Solar - so yes, @floydR's suggestion is good as well.
 

Dr. Dickie

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split phase? limited choices might have to talk to Aims/ growatt/sunrino they all make 4kw split phase units or talk to an inporter
Just 120v? There a lots out there if you can afford it get a UL listed or ETL listed
I just bought a new Growatt 6KW SPF 6000T DVM INVERTER/CHARGER Off-Grid 48v (split phase) it was buy it now or be kicking myself when I was ready to buy. It should be here tomorrow.

Later floyd
Yeah, sorry, just 120V, not split phase.
Growatt, I just heard about them looking into this. So Growatt is a good name.
I found this:
48V 3000W 120 Solar Inverter Growatt SPF LVM 4KW-80A
and only $679.00 that is a great price.
Only thing is, I do not need AC in. Also, if I shut the inverter in with a shunt trip will that also shut off the solar charge controller?
I think I would be more comfortable with separate units.
 
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Dr. Dickie

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If you do WM4+Expansion, you'll have relays you can use to fire a wide variety of shun-trips. Here's a recent discussion on shunt-trips - https://secondlifestorage.com/index...-shunt-trip-recommendations.10541/#post-72894
Here's an excellent youtube on WM4+Expansion -> ABB shunt-trip by @LithiumSolar -
This will give you some context to think about. I implemented this for my own setup :)

Charge Controllers - there are many in the 60a range but you also talk about inverters. Maybe you want to consider a MPP Solar? It has combined charge controller (in your range) + inverter (in your range) in cost-effective price range and they make grid-tie and off-grid variations and there's pretty good info on them :) @floydR was posting as I was writing - I consider Growatt in the same vien of 'all in one' as MPP Solar - so yes, @floydR's suggestion is good as well.
MPP, I thought that was a type of charge controller. Is is a brand name? I am split on whether to do a combined controller and inverter. I am not going to do grid tied, I am putting in a sub-panel that will run select circuits in the house (hopefully 24/7). I will look at LithiumSolar's vid.

Mmm, I am getting bit out of my comfort zone with this shunt trip, I will have to do a lot more reading. I thought that the shunt trip would be if the battery level got too low, and you wanted to shut off power to the inverter, but not shut off solar charger comming it (which would chanrge the battery), but just starting to see LithiumSolar's vid, he wants to shut off both? I definitely have to understand better. But I guess that ABB shunt trip breaker is the way to go, and under $150 is decent price.
Thanks.


Thanks for the suggestion of the MMP solar charge controller! They look nice and are very reasonably priced!! Not sure their input and output lugs look very beefy. That is one of the problems I have with Renogy (have a couple of their charge controllers), I don't like the hookups and don't like the menu system they have.
 
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floydR

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Yeah, sorry, just 120V, not split phase.
Growatt, I just heard about them looking into this. So Growatt is a good name.
I found this:
48V 3000W 120 Solar Inverter Growatt SPF LVM 4KW-80A
and only $679.00 that is a great price.
Only thing is, I do not need AC in. Also, if I shut the inverter in with a shunt trip will that also shut off the solar charge controller?
I think I would be more comfortable with separate units.
you don't have to use the solar charge controller that is in an inverter that is battery based. but i am not sure if the shunt trip shuts off the inverter if it shuts off the solar charge controller inside. Good question. I have a separate 60A solar charge controller myself Not a cheap one but no where in the same league as Midnite, Outback Etc I think The one in the inverter I am getting is 80A.which I probably don't have room for the panels it would take.
Later floyd
 

Roland W

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Also, if I shut the inverter in with a shunt trip will that also shut off the solar charge controller?

Isn't the shunt trip switching the main battery breaker, thus there to protect the battery? I mean, the main battery breaker will be put right after the output of the battery, right? So it should actually cut the power to every device, including the charge controller. Otherwise I would not call it a main breaker, if another device can still go around it.

If you have a all in one Inverter/Charger, you will only need one breaker between that and the battery. If you go for individual devices, you need to feed each of this lines through a separate breaker.

Or what is the idea of that shunt trip. Just stop an inverter to over-discharge the pack? That can be set in the inverter anyways.
You could have a cell failure, the BMS notices low cell voltage, trips the breaker, but your charger can still happily pump energy into the pack.
Or cells getting overcharged due to charger fault, BMS tries to disconnect the pack, trips the breaker, but unfortunately charger is bypassing.


Quoting Batrium website:

" What it does is disconnect the battery pack to prevent:

  • Over charging
  • Over discharge
Control Logic

  • the first level of control is the remote logic. This is only in place with a connected inverter or charger. It uses overall pack voltage. These are the narrowest limits.
  • The second level of control is using the charging and discharging control logic. This aims to pick up issues such as if a cell was high or low but overall pack voltage is still within limits. It would stop charging or go into Limited mode so that cell isn't overcharged or depleted. Expansion settings allow you to trigger a contactor or similar if you don't have a CANbus connection to gain this control level. These limits are a bit wider than the remote settings but narrower than critical settings.
  • The circuit breaker is the last level. It uses Critical settings. These are the widest limits when you need to just cut the charging or load if the narrower limits haven't worked. "
 
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daromer

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As said BMS and the shunt trip/breaker is the last defence. Like if the inverter blows up and overcharges or discharges to much. It sites between the battery and EVERY other device. (Except the bms since it should still run so you can retrieve logs and continue to do its job)
 

Dr. Dickie

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Isn't the shunt trip switching the main battery breaker, thus there to protect the battery? I mean, the main battery breaker will be put right after the output of the battery, right? So it should actually cut the power to every device, including the charge controller. Otherwise I would not call it a main breaker, if another device can still go around it.

If you have a all in one Inverter/Charger, you will only need one breaker between that and the battery. If you go for individual devices, you need to feed each of this lines through a separate breaker.

Or what is the idea of that shunt trip. Just stop an inverter to over-discharge the pack? That can be set in the inverter anyways.
You could have a cell failure, the BMS notices low cell voltage, trips the breaker, but your charger can still happily pump energy into the pack.
Or cells getting overcharged due to charger fault, BMS tries to disconnect the pack, trips the breaker, but unfortunately charger is bypassing.


Quoting Batrium website:

" What it does is disconnect the battery pack to prevent:

  • Over charging
  • Over discharge
Control Logic

  • the first level of control is the remote logic. This is only in place with a connected inverter or charger. It uses overall pack voltage. These are the narrowest limits.
  • The second level of control is using the charging and discharging control logic. This aims to pick up issues such as if a cell was high or low but overall pack voltage is still within limits. It would stop charging or go into Limited mode so that cell isn't overcharged or depleted. Expansion settings allow you to trigger a contactor or similar if you don't have a CANbus connection to gain this control level. These limits are a bit wider than the remote settings but narrower than critical settings.
  • The circuit breaker is the last level. It uses Critical settings. These are the widest limits when you need to just cut the charging or load if the narrower limits haven't worked. "
Okay, yeah after thinking about it I figured it was to protect from over-discharge and over-charge. That makes sense.
 

Dr. Dickie

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As said BMS and the shunt trip/breaker is the last defence. Like if the inverter blows up and overcharges or discharges to much. It sites between the battery and EVERY other device. (Except the bms since it should still run so you can retrieve logs and continue to do its job)
I am watching your video right now for hooking up the Watchmon. Still got some stuff to learn. I guess I will need a transformer to get the proper 24V for the ABB shunt trip.
Thanks
 
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daromer

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Just hook the shunt om half of the battery :) it will onlly use Power when it trips and for a fraction of a second
 

Dr. Dickie

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Just hook the shunt om half of the battery :) it will onlly use Power when it trips and for a fraction of a second
Yeah, but it is tripped by the Watchmon. Does that have input and output for the shunt trip?
 

daromer

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With an relay or expansionboard yes.
 

OffGridInTheCity

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MPP, I thought that was a type of charge controller. Is is a brand name?
Just to follow thru on this - "MPP Solar" is a brand name. "PIP" and/or "LV" in the model number is a variation that is off-grid (as apposed to grid-tie). Here's an example link - https://watts247.com/product/pip-3048lv-mk/ Notice in the product description it has "NO GRID FEEDBACK!! – Does and can not feed excess solar energy back to the grid, only the Hybrid LV2424 has this feature...". You want to be specific about grid-tie vs off-grid when you purchase - and this is nicely described as off-grid!

I am split on whether to do a combined controller and inverter. I am not going to do grid tied
I have individual components for my home DIY powerwall.... but bought an MPP-Solar PIP 3048 for my cargo trailer - to simplify things.

Components vs All-in-one....

One consideration is size/growth. In my home powerwall - I started with 1 x charge controller (as an individual component) because I knew I was going to add 2 or 3 or 4 more. And I did - add 3 more so now I have 3 individual charge controllers as I grew my PV array larger and larger. This let me simply add some PV + Charge Controller without changing the rest of the system.

Some all-in-one's let you parallel them... I believe MPP Solar and Growwatt both allow this... so you could also grow this way but you have to grow both input and output wiring at the same time you grow PV input - its all-in-one. This is not bad, just different.

Components might require more knowledge to buy/hook together and all-in-ones may be easier to get up/running with less interconnect knowledge... but if you're like me and find all this fascinating - the learning about things is part of the fun.


In any case - the short answer is - I believe there is any 'right-way' except find a way that makes sense for you :)
 
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Dr. Dickie

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Just to follow thru on this - "MPP Solar" is a brand name. "PIP" and/or "LV" in the model number is a variation that is off-grid (as apposed to grid-tie). Here's an example link - https://watts247.com/product/pip-3048lv-mk/ Notice in the product description it has "NO GRID FEEDBACK!! – Does and can not feed excess solar energy back to the grid, only the Hybrid LV2424 has this feature...". You want to be specific about grid-tie vs off-grid when you purchase - and this is nicely described as off-grid!


I have individual components for my home DIY powerwall.... but bought an MPP-Solar PIP 3048 for my cargo trailer - to simplify things.

Components vs All-in-one....

One consideration is size/growth. In my home powerwall - I started with 1 x charge controller (as an individual component) because I knew I was going to add 2 or 3 or 4 more. And I did - add 3 more so now I have 3 individual charge controllers as I grew my PV array larger and larger. This let me simply add some PV + Charge Controller without changing the rest of the system.

Some all-in-one's let you parallel them... I believe MPP Solar and Growwatt both allow this... so you could also grow this way but you have to grow both input and output wiring at the same time you grow PV input - its all-in-one. This is not bad, just different.

Components might require more knowledge to buy/hook together and all-in-ones may be easier to get up/running with less interconnect knowledge... but if you're like me and find all this fascinating - the learning about things is part of the fun.


In any case - the short answer is - I believe there is any 'right-way' except find a way that makes sense for you :)
Thanks,
As of right now, I will not be expanding things, as I plan to retire in about 3.5 years, and the wife and I plan to move out west (I wanna get somewhere where everything I own does not rust within 10 minutes of getting it!!:eek:). That was actually the reason I upgraded my lead acid batteries about 2 years ago, did not want to invest in LiFePO4 because I wasn't going to be here long enough to justify the expense. I likely will put together a LiFePO4 system when we move to our new place. Of course I will likely bring along the 18650 battery, as I can't justify the liability of allowing the new owner to use it--I will leave the solar system--I think.
I am considering an Outback solar charge controller, not too expensive and more versatile than most others. I have an XYZ inverter that I have had for about 3 years (1Kw), it works well, so I may go that way again (3 Kw version).
I am doing this for the experience, so yeah I like learning how to wire in everything.:p
 
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OffGridInTheCity

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>I am considering an Outback solar charge controller,
Yes - I went Midnite Classic because... it has an actual internet connection + PC software + relays to control external things and it comes with everything - don't need extra to access all functions such as the Mate 3 needed for Outback. PHP modbus software was easy to get running to retrieve (and even set) the internal data over the internet connection.

As far as I know - Outback is a fine inverter and on par with Midnite Classics.

If you go Classic, I can help with details. For example, here's a snap of Midnites native PC app showing the section where I use battery voltage to turn the external inverter on/off via the "Aux1" relay.
1614893271248.png
 

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Dr. Dickie

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>I am considering an Outback solar charge controller,
Yes - I went Midnite Classic because... it has an actual internet connection + PC software + relays to control external things and it comes with everything - don't need extra to access all functions such as the Mate 3 needed for Outback. PHP modbus software was easy to get running to retrieve (and even set) the internal data over the internet connection.

As far as I know - Outback is a fine inverter and on par with Midnite Classics.

If you go Classic, I can help with details. For example, here's a snap of Midnites native PC app showing the section where I use battery voltage to turn the external inverter on/off via the "Aux1" relay.
View attachment 24083
WOW, that is quite a bit step up from Outback. The Outback I was looking at was $375 (60 amp--with 6 panels and 2S3P, should be around 30 amps coming in), that Midnight is close to $1K!!
I don't want to go cheap and regret it, but for my little system I don't think I can justify that.
I figure if I am biting the bullet for a grand on the Batrium BMS, it will really be controlling most stuff.
 
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