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Home Data Center Powerwall Build
#21
(01-29-2018, 12:37 AM)gregoinc Wrote:
(01-26-2018, 02:52 PM)daromer Wrote: Check regulations where you need.

Minium is generally fuses + disconnect switch. Then you add upp lightning protection on many installs. Also beware that you need hardware approved for the current/voltage in the system. You can even buy prebuilt boxes like this one

Thanks for the update. Question... when isolation on the roof is required, do you use a breaker or an isolation switch? Seems to me a breaker would be better because it combines overload protection with a switch, whereas an isolator switch is just that a switch. Would be interested in advice, and what would be minimum to comply with Australian standards.
This is the type of switch that's widely used in Australia as a disconnect at the panels on the roof

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=...2227044491

energymattersforums is another great place to ask Australia specific solar install qusetions. There are some installers who post there regularly
Korishan and gregoinc like this post
                                                Choose LiFe  Wink

                      May all your batteries be fully charged and perfectly balanced  Cool
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#22
(01-29-2018, 09:03 AM)Wattsup Wrote:
(01-29-2018, 12:37 AM)gregoinc Wrote:
(01-26-2018, 02:52 PM)daromer Wrote: Check regulations where you need.

Minium is generally fuses + disconnect switch. Then you add upp lightning protection on many installs. Also beware that you need hardware approved for the current/voltage in the system. You can even buy prebuilt boxes like this one

Thanks for the update. Question... when isolation on the roof is required, do you use a breaker or an isolation switch? Seems to me a breaker would be better because it combines overload protection with a switch, whereas an isolator switch is just that a switch. Would be interested in advice, and what would be minimum to comply with Australian standards.
This is the type of switch that's widely used in Australia as a disconnect at the panels on the roof

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=...2227044491

energymattersforums is another great place to ask Australia specific solar install qusetions. There are some installers who post there regularly

Hi Phil, apology for the delay in replying, have been spending my time digging trenches for the grid power feed to the HDC/ManCave/Shed. Nothing better than digging basalt rocks and clay in 30+ degrees. 



I've also spent the last week or so on the Energy Matters Forum, which has been useful, more so for me deciding the direction I will take. 

Thanks to your valued input and the EM Forum I have decided to start small, develop my skills, and then grow the system if needed. So next week I will purchase the additional pieces I needed to build the Radiant PV panel mount, and I have also found some bargains for the PV isolation switches etc. I am also on the look out for LifePO4 batteries, so if anyone spots any bargains I'd be interested. Will probably start with 100Ah batteries and grow from there.

Will share updates here as things develop, thanks again for everyone's help, and for your advice Phil. Photo below showing the external cladding as pretty much complete...

Wattsup likes this post
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#23
Hey Mark,
It has been very hot and that looks like hard digging!

Glad I could help mate. Your build is looking awesome. Nice work.

Sounds like you're on the right track with the LiFe cells. If i hear of anything i'll definitely let you know.
                                                Choose LiFe  Wink

                      May all your batteries be fully charged and perfectly balanced  Cool
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#24
(02-06-2018, 10:45 AM)Wattsup Wrote: Hey Mark,
It has been very hot and that looks like hard digging!

Glad I could help mate. Your build is looking awesome. Nice work.

Sounds like you're on the right track with the LiFe cells. If i hear of anything i'll definitely let you know.

Hi Phil, thanks again. Unfortunately finding LifePO4 batteries is proving challenging, so I am also looking at EV batteries like out of the Nissan Leaf etc. I'm guessing EV batteries may not be that straight forward, or am I wrong?
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#25
(02-07-2018, 02:27 AM)gregoinc Wrote:
(02-06-2018, 10:45 AM)Wattsup Wrote: Hey Mark,
It has been very hot and that looks like hard digging!

Glad I could help mate. Your build is looking awesome. Nice work.

Sounds like you're on the right track with the LiFe cells. If i hear of anything i'll definitely let you know.

Hi Phil, thanks again. Unfortunately finding LifePO4 batteries is proving challenging, so I am also looking at EV batteries like out of the Nissan Leaf etc. I'm guessing EV batteries may not be that straight forward, or am I wrong?

Heaps of people are using them, next best thing to LiFe cells I would say. Heaps of youtube vids on it.

There's a guy on gumtree selling them, not sure if you've seen that
                                                Choose LiFe  Wink

                      May all your batteries be fully charged and perfectly balanced  Cool
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#26
(02-07-2018, 06:16 AM)Wattsup Wrote: Heaps of people are using them, next best thing to LiFe cells I would say. Heaps of youtube vids on it.

There's a guy on gumtree selling them, not sure if you've seen that

Yes, noticed the guy on ebay but his prices are higher than purchasing brand new LifePO4 cells of equivalent capacity. I'll keep looking and see what I find.
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#27
(02-06-2018, 08:22 AM)gregoinc Wrote: [...]

I have decided to start small, develop my skills, and then grow the system if needed. So next week I will purchase the additional pieces I needed to build the Radiant PV panel mount, and I have also found some bargains for the PV isolation switches etc. I am also on the look out for LifePO4 batteries, so if anyone spots any bargains I'd be interested. Will probably start with 100Ah batteries and grow from there.

[...]


have you decided on 24V or 48V yet?  this seems to be a pretty core decision, which will set you on a path of spending $$.

personally, although I too have done as you decided, IE start small, hone skills etc ... I jumped straight into 48V and am very glad I did.  smaller wiring, and lots of headroom for painless upgrades etc.  It is a nice feeling knowing that its just a matter of adding more strings to have more storage.  no rewiring batteries or upgrading inverters etc.  I got my used APC UPS from a local IT recycler -- bargain price.

with the amount of solar you are getting, you could be charging a very decent battery bank.  it seems to me that 48V would be a good option for you.

great thread, nice photos, great to follow your progress.  thanks for sharing.
highlights: 13s44p (washing machine).  4s72p + 4s40p (workbench).  10s12p (esk8).  13s72p (building NOW).
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#28
(02-08-2018, 09:03 AM)sil5er Wrote: have you decided on 24V or 48V yet?  this seems to be a pretty core decision, which will set you on a path of spending $$.

personally, although I too have done as you decided, IE start small, hone skills etc ... I jumped straight into 48V and am very glad I did.  smaller wiring, and lots of headroom for painless upgrades etc.  It is a nice feeling knowing that its just a matter of adding more strings to have more storage.  no rewiring batteries or upgrading inverters etc.  I got my used APC UPS from a local IT recycler -- bargain price.

with the amount of solar you are getting, you could be charging a very decent battery bank.  it seems to me that 48V would be a good option for you.

great thread, nice photos, great to follow your progress.  thanks for sharing.

Have thought about 48 volts, but being a complete newby to all this I could not find answers to some questions I felt were probably important. Here goes...

I figure to create a 48 volt system I would require a charge controller / inverter that was 48 volts, which shouldn't be too much trouble. Something like the Victron MultiPlus 48-volt 3000-VA would probably do the job.

Next solar panels, if my solar panels are the average type and put out 31 - 32 volts DC (I am looking at the Canadian CS6K-275M) and I am planning to have 2 rows of three, how do I connect them up? I am assuming in series?

Next batteries, if it takes 8 cells to do 24 volts, then I am assuming I would need to buy double that to do 48 volts, which right now is more than I am willing to spend to get started.

Apology if these are dumb questions... perhaps you could share a circuit diagram of your setup? Your reference to UPS sounds intriguing, perhaps you could explain more?
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#29
7 cells for 24V, so you'd go with 14s for 48V (this is for Lithium Cobalt and other 18650 variants) (LiFePo/LiFePo4 are different as they have a different nominal voltage)

Is the 31V for the panels open voltage or load voltage. If that's open voltage, then they are probably nominal (load voltage) 24V. So you'd connect 2 in series. You can look at the FAQ for more details about the solar panels (note: I just collected the data and posted into a central location, I didn't compile/compose most the data in the FAQ)

There are no dumb questions. All questions will lead to answers. If they make you smarter, that's great! The only ones that are actually dumb are the ones where people ask the same ones over and over and never learn from them.
Proceed with caution. Knowledge is Power! Literally! Cool 
Knowledge is Power; Absolute Knowledge is Absolutely Shocking!
Dollar Shave Club. Best Razor I've ever used
Certified 18650 Cell Reclamation Technician
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#30
(02-08-2018, 08:39 PM)gregoinc Wrote: [...]

Next solar panels, if my solar panels are the average type and put out 31 - 32 volts DC (I am looking at the Canadian CS6K-275M) and I am planning to have 2 rows of three, how do I connect them up? I am assuming in series?

Next batteries, if it takes 8 cells to do 24 volts, then I am assuming I would need to buy double that to do 48 volts, which right now is more than I am willing to spend to get started.

Apology if these are dumb questions... perhaps you could share a circuit diagram of your setup? Your reference to UPS sounds intriguing, perhaps you could explain more?

like Korishan rightly noted -- these are FAR from dumb questions, don't stop asking.  In fact, I would have thought they were fundamental to designing your build.

ok, in order... my panels' Vmpp is ~ 20.7V ----> so I connect three in series, then parallel these strings of three.  sounds like you might get away with strings of two, IFF this is not just open circuit voltage... I'm not an expert in this aspect though.  Heck I'm not even running a charge controller (just a voltage sensitive relay with hysterysis).

for 48V, 14s is the go, general consensus says... BUT although you have twice as many 'packs' of cells each pack only need to have half the cells (half the 'p') in each pack.  IE there is ZERO extra spend on batteries.  in fact, you can then use smaller gauge wiring and/or have less losses in cabling, which is $$ for nothing.  Wink

as for the UPS, I just got an 'old' (corporate surplus) server grade UPS -- same as AveRageJoe has -- left the lead acid with the recyclers, and plugged in my own 18650 battery.  perhaps if I had lots of spare $$ I would have purchased a brand new inverter, but I don't, so ... only caveat is that output is 'limited' to 3000VA.  but this is heaps for my usage, so I'm happy.  to run a big AC or similar you might want to consider a large PIP inverter etc.
highlights: 13s44p (washing machine).  4s72p + 4s40p (workbench).  10s12p (esk8).  13s72p (building NOW).
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