The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:

iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Forestry Forum
Sponsored by:


TimberKing Sawmills



Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Norwood Industries Inc.




Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

Michigan Firewood, your BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

Baker Products

ECHO-Bearcat

iDRY Wood Lumber Vacuum Drying for everyon

Nyle Kiln Dry Systems

Chainsawr, The Worlds Largest Inventory of Chainsaw Parts

Smith Sawmill Service



Author Topic: Solar and batteries, my .02  (Read 3394 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Klunker

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 161
  • Location: SE Wisconsin
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new!
    • Share Post
Re: Solar and batteries, my .02
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2020, 12:11:25 PM »
Mapleflats, we just had another power outage last week. 3 hours without power.
Not a big deal, if we didn't have the batteries not much would of been different.

Happened at night. Our grid supply alarm went off to advise us.

I think we get about 2-3 power outages/year. Usually a couple of hours only.

We had issues with our solar system. I noticed that when our panels were partially covered by snow we would get zero output. We had approx 40% open and clear but still no power generation.

Turns out the system was setup improperly in the beginning. Grounding issues. While working on it the Tech was on the phone with the mfg. The Tech changed the way it was grounded as advised by the Mfg. When he turned the power back on the wiring from the panels started to melt the insulation which quickly tuned to smoke and fire. At this point the Tech was smart enough to run to the disconnect for the solar panels and shut them off. Ended up replacing the Breaker box that is fed from the panels and a big chunk of wiring.

Now we have more production, looks like our power from the grid will be about 1/3 less.

We still have maybe 6 years or more on our existing lead acid batteries before replacement. I'm hoping there is something much better out there then.

Offline nativewolf

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3024
  • Location: Delaplane, VA
  • Forester
    • Share Post
Re: Solar and batteries, my .02
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2020, 04:59:40 AM »
1 or even 2 powerwalls would do wonders for you, sorry to hear about the install issues.
Liking Walnut

Offline maple flats

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Oneida, NY
  • Gender: Male
  • Life is what you make it!
    • Share Post
    • Dave and Joan's sugarhouse web site
Re: Solar and batteries, my .02
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2020, 11:52:08 AM »
Klunker, I can tell you one thing from experience. LiFePo4 batteries are a great choice but only with a few must haves. 1st, the battery management system (BMS) must have a shut down capability to prevent trying to charge the batteries when below freezing. My big mistake was believing a Chinese manufacturer and not testing it. I complained with no success (China). Or the battery bank must be in a space that does not freeze. In my case my battery bank was in my unheated sugarhouse and I did not go to the sugarhouse for 6 days in which time the solar panels were covered with snow and I had a heat pad to keep the batteries warm. The batteries were in an insulated box. My problem turned out to be stupidity, I connected the 65 watt heat pad directly to the battery bank and thus it did not shut down when the bank got to the low voltage setting. Hind sight is 20/20. I should have built a shelf and placed the battery bank in my tiny heated room (2.5' x 5.5' x6' with 3" foam insulation), but that would have required running the heavy battery cables about 45' and being that long I'd have needed bigger cable, instead of 4/0 they would have needed to be 350MCL to minimize voltage drop. I now know two things, placing the battery bank in the heated space and paying the cost for the heavier cable would have been cheaper than wasting $2500 on what ended up being scrap batteries.
I'm still thinking about how to start up that portion of my electric system. I have a XW6048 inverter (6000 watts @ 48V) which when purchased 12 yrs ago cost $3400. It's a good inverter for battery only or battery+ grid tie net metered, but will not grid tie without a 48V battery bank. As I see it now I have to decide, do I want to go back to a Trojan 48V 240 AH lead acid bank and have the monthly servicing (my last bank worked for 10.5 years) or do I want to buy a different inverter and sell the XW6048 one? Inverters are less expensive now and being that array is only 1480 rated watts, I could get a 2000 watt or maybe even a 1500 watt grid tie inverter and forget the battery back up, since that was only a back up for a propane heater to keep my reverse osmosis machine from freezing and since I use a propane wall furnace to heat it which needs no electric and the fact that in the 8 years since I added the grid connection I have never had a power outage. I need to make a decision in the next month or 2.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline scsmith42

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 5442
  • Age: 61
  • Location: New Hill, NC
  • Gender: Male
  • He who dies with the most toys... WINS!!!
    • Share Post
    • Whispering Pines Farm
Re: Solar and batteries, my .02
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2020, 03:00:52 PM »
Klunker, it seems to me that if you simply add a generator / battery charger combination to your existing setup, you can minimize additional cost yet extend your time off grid.

Run the generator in the late afternoons to fully charge up the battery bank before bed, and then run off the batteries overnight, and part of the next day until you need to fire up the generator and recharge.

If you're able to buy a propane generator, you will have the most maintenance free system possible.  The problem with gasoline and diesel generators (I have ten here on the farm) is that the fuel will go bad in you don't keep it somewhat fresh, and the filters on the diesel units will clog up in the winter time.
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline maple flats

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Oneida, NY
  • Gender: Male
  • Life is what you make it!
    • Share Post
    • Dave and Joan's sugarhouse web site
Re: Solar and batteries, my .02
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2021, 11:29:03 AM »
At my sugarhouse I had a diesel generator to supplement my solar. I used that for 3 years, I never had any filter clogging or starting issues. I do use a product called Power Service year round, it gets added to my large tank at every fuel delivery. For the first year using that generator I used Stanadyne diesel fuel additive, no issue then either, but I switched to the Power Service only because it was easier to get locally.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via pinterest Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via tumblr Share via twitter

xx
Aluminum can solar heater or thermal mass storage? Solar klin

Started by Doug_D on Drying and Processing

6 Replies
3571 Views
Last post May 12, 2010, 10:06:57 AM
by Den Socling
xx
Mental Exercise! Hybrid kiln design (solar drying concept w/o solar heat)

Started by scsmith42 on Drying and Processing

11 Replies
2058 Views
Last post March 31, 2016, 10:51:46 PM
by GeneWengert-WoodDoc
xx
batteries

Started by woodmills1 on General Board

9 Replies
748 Views
Last post February 04, 2013, 10:49:55 PM
by Brucer
xx
Batteries

Started by Magicman on General Board

31 Replies
3040 Views
Last post November 13, 2014, 10:05:42 PM
by beenthere
 


Powered by EzPortal