Discussion:
Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
(too old to reply)
Antony Tersol
2002-06-12 18:35:07 UTC
Permalink
I have a question regarding possible configurations for a large
residential power system. Following is description of situation and my
analysis thus far. Any comments, feedback, experience with such a
system, generator/inverter recommendations?

Thanks, Antony

We have a residential client interested in a PV system who already
decided on having generator backup as well. They have critical loads
that they want always provided, and power occasionally is out for days
when trees take out the lines (they are also concerned about possible
longer-term outages - earthquake or other disasters taking out regional
power). It seems logical to use batteries with a generator to buffer
the demand. If the batteries run low, the engine generator runs at full
power?its most cost- and fuel-efficient mode of operation?until they are
charged. Without batteries, the generator will be running continuously
at night even if the only load is extremely small (that blinking 12:00
on the vcr clock that no one ever set).

1. If we go with straight grid-tie batteryless PV, we would need a
transfer switch downstream, so that the PV wouldn't be running in outage
situation when generator is on.

grid------panel------transfer switch--------------main panel-----load
| |
inverter inverter
| | |
PV battery generator



advantages: a. relative simplicity
b. generator can power the entire main panel
c. PV doesn't take efficiency hit from batteries
disadvantages: a. PV useless when power is out
b. redundant inverters?


2. If we use PV with battery, and multiple small inverters (~5kw):

grid--------------main panel---------inverter-------sub panel------load
| | |
| battery generator
| |
| PV
|
|------------inverter-------sub panel------load
| | |
| battery generator
| |
| PV
|
etc.

advantages: a. PV functional during outages, minimizing generator needs
b. redundancy, so that even if one inverter fails, still have power
c. using same inverters as likely in other smaller systems, so our
technical knowledge better leveraged (better for us and the client)
disadvantages: a. increased complexity - need sub-panels and need to
feed generator into each inverter
b. loss of efficiency because of battery losses

3. If we use PV with battery, and one large inverter (10 to 20 kw):

grid--------------main panel---------inverter-------sub panel-----load
| | |
| battery generator
sub panels |
PV


advantages: a. PV functional during outages, minimizing generator needs

disadvantages: a. loss of efficiency because of battery losses
b. no redundancy, if inverter fails, no power
c. large inverter unique to large systems, so our experience and
knowledge limited.
d. only sub panel connected to inverter has backup power


Parameters:

House will have 400 amp service
Typical load expected to be 40-70 amps (@ 120v), 80-100 amps max
PV system 10-20 kwp

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Brad Bassett
2002-06-12 19:53:23 UTC
Permalink
Antony,

The window of operation for a grid tied inverter is so tight now that
the chances of one synchronizing with a generator is about nil. I saw an
attempt to get a 20 kW trace tech inverter to synch with a new 100 kW
Kohler top of the line generator, and it never even came close. The
longest I saw it try before an error on voltage (high and low) or
frequency was about 3 seconds, and it takes 5 minutes of good power to
synch.

With a smaller generator such as would be used for a residence the
chances would be even smaller. Still it might not be a bad idea to
disconnect the inverter while on generator power to prevent any possible
backfeed of dirty power from the generator into the inverter (JB could
this be an issue with SMA?).

Another option is to use a battery based backup system for critical
loads, and grid tie inverters for the solar. I wonder if you could get
them to synchonize with each other!? (Put the grid tie on utility side
of backup inverter). Or a combination of battery based and straight grid
tie systems. With some musical relays you could transfer the solar aray
from the grid tie to the batteries during an outage. I'll let someone
else do that science project!

You also mentioned using a larger inverter, let me know if you find one
that's not a scince project in itself.

Brad
Post by Antony Tersol
1. If we go with straight grid-tie batteryless PV, we would need a
transfer switch downstream, so that the PV wouldn't be running in outage
situation when generator is on.
Brad Bassett
Schott Applied Power
Tumwater, WA office
bsbassett at earthlink.net

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Kent Sheldon
2002-06-12 20:15:13 UTC
Permalink
Brad, I know of a handful of installations that have tied SMA Sunny Boy
inverters to generators. We haven't had any follow up phone calls saying
they didn't work. The SB inverters rectify the AC voltage sense to DC,
so this will normalize any error caused by ripple or harmonic
distortion, assuming it isn't bad enough to skew the true RMS value
greater than +/- 10%. One thing to watch out for: The SB inverter will
attempt to deliver current up to the limit of the inverter(s) tied to
the generator. If the load is not large enough to consume the current,
the excess will backfeed the generator, causing it to trip offline on an
over-voltage, or reverse current fault. This generally means that
grid-tied inverters are only tied to very large generators where the
load is known never to dip below the output of the available PV power.
In general, the larger the generator, the better its voltage fidelity.

Regards,

____________________________________________
Kent Sheldon
Manager, Industrial Power Systems
SMA America
ksheldon at sma-america.com
925 513 8813 Brentwood Office (Primary)
530 273 4848 Grass Valley Office




-----Original Message-----
From: Brad Bassett [mailto:bsbassett at earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 12:53 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]

Antony,

The window of operation for a grid tied inverter is so tight now that
the chances of one synchronizing with a generator is about nil. I saw an

attempt to get a 20 kW trace tech inverter to synch with a new 100 kW
Kohler top of the line generator, and it never even came close. The
longest I saw it try before an error on voltage (high and low) or
frequency was about 3 seconds, and it takes 5 minutes of good power to
synch.

With a smaller generator such as would be used for a residence the
chances would be even smaller. Still it might not be a bad idea to
disconnect the inverter while on generator power to prevent any possible

backfeed of dirty power from the generator into the inverter (JB could
this be an issue with SMA?).

Another option is to use a battery based backup system for critical
loads, and grid tie inverters for the solar. I wonder if you could get
them to synchonize with each other!? (Put the grid tie on utility side
of backup inverter). Or a combination of battery based and straight grid

tie systems. With some musical relays you could transfer the solar aray
from the grid tie to the batteries during an outage. I'll let someone
else do that science project!

You also mentioned using a larger inverter, let me know if you find one
that's not a scince project in itself.

Brad
Post by Antony Tersol
1. If we go with straight grid-tie batteryless PV, we would need a
transfer switch downstream, so that the PV wouldn't be running in
outage
Post by Antony Tersol
situation when generator is on.
Brad Bassett
Schott Applied Power
Tumwater, WA office
bsbassett at earthlink.net

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Joel Davidson
2002-06-12 21:25:47 UTC
Permalink
If the purpose of the PV system is to offset utility power consumption, then
use a battery-less PV system. I'm not saying this because John Berdner is right
(he is). I have lived with an older SW4048 inverter on my grid tie PV system
with battery backup for 4 years. The system works fine (that's installer lingo
for no callbacks).

Define your UPS needs and serve them separately. I am still a strong believer
in separating zero-time power needs (computer, security, life support, phasers,
etc.) from other needs (lights, refrigerator, well pump, TV unless something
good is on, etc.)

I don't like combustion generators automatically turning on and off. We've all
heard stories about generators running without oil, cars with auto-start warmup
in Minnesota starting up in gear and driving through the wall, etc. The test of
a good UPS is that the least technical adults (or precocious pre-teens) should
be able to turn on lights, heat, water and communications during a power outage
in the dark without hurting themselves. A few well-marked switches are
appreciated.
Switch #1 - Turn this swith on first.
Switch #2 - Turn this switch on after turning on Switch #1.
Etc.
Post by Antony Tersol
I have a question regarding possible configurations for a large
residential power system. Following is description of situation and my
analysis thus far. Any comments, feedback, experience with such a
system, generator/inverter recommendations?
Thanks, Antony
We have a residential client interested in a PV system who already
decided on having generator backup as well. They have critical loads
that they want always provided, and power occasionally is out for days
when trees take out the lines (they are also concerned about possible
longer-term outages - earthquake or other disasters taking out regional
power). It seems logical to use batteries with a generator to buffer
the demand. If the batteries run low, the engine generator runs at full
power?its most cost- and fuel-efficient mode of operation?until they are
charged. Without batteries, the generator will be running continuously
at night even if the only load is extremely small (that blinking 12:00
on the vcr clock that no one ever set).
1. If we go with straight grid-tie batteryless PV, we would need a
transfer switch downstream, so that the PV wouldn't be running in outage
situation when generator is on.
grid------panel------transfer switch--------------main panel-----load
| |
inverter inverter
| | |
PV battery generator
advantages: a. relative simplicity
b. generator can power the entire main panel
c. PV doesn't take efficiency hit from batteries
disadvantages: a. PV useless when power is out
b. redundant inverters?
grid--------------main panel---------inverter-------sub panel------load
| | |
| battery generator
| |
| PV
|
|------------inverter-------sub panel------load
| | |
| battery generator
| |
| PV
|
etc.
advantages: a. PV functional during outages, minimizing generator needs
b. redundancy, so that even if one inverter fails, still have power
c. using same inverters as likely in other smaller systems, so our
technical knowledge better leveraged (better for us and the client)
disadvantages: a. increased complexity - need sub-panels and need to
feed generator into each inverter
b. loss of efficiency because of battery losses
grid--------------main panel---------inverter-------sub panel-----load
| | |
| battery generator
sub panels |
PV
advantages: a. PV functional during outages, minimizing generator needs
disadvantages: a. loss of efficiency because of battery losses
b. no redundancy, if inverter fails, no power
c. large inverter unique to large systems, so our experience and
knowledge limited.
d. only sub panel connected to inverter has backup power
House will have 400 amp service
PV system 10-20 kwp
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Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
2002-06-12 21:50:07 UTC
Permalink
I'd be curious to know how a batteryless inverter would act with one of the
new "inverter" generators. The ones that I've seen were all under 3kW. I
almost suspect that a batteryless inverter would not trip off line until it
overloaded the generator. My crude testing showed that they output some
really nice voltage and frequency. I don't know about the waveform though.
Testing my 2800 watt Yamaha unit under various loads my Fluke 87 never saw
anything other than 60.0 Hz and never got outside of 118 to 122 volts.
Those measurements were taken continuously as I changed loads. Very
impressive little units.

Travis Creswell
Ozark Energy Services
----------
From: Kent Sheldon <kentsheldon at sbcglobal.net>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, Jun 12, 2002, 3:15 PM
Brad, I know of a handful of installations that have tied SMA Sunny Boy
inverters to generators. We haven't had any follow up phone calls saying
they didn't work. The SB inverters rectify the AC voltage sense to DC,
so this will normalize any error caused by ripple or harmonic
distortion, assuming it isn't bad enough to skew the true RMS value
greater than +/- 10%. One thing to watch out for: The SB inverter will
attempt to deliver current up to the limit of the inverter(s) tied to
the generator. If the load is not large enough to consume the current,
the excess will backfeed the generator, causing it to trip offline on an
over-voltage, or reverse current fault. This generally means that
grid-tied inverters are only tied to very large generators where the
load is known never to dip below the output of the available PV power.
In general, the larger the generator, the better its voltage fidelity.
Regards,
____________________________________________
Kent Sheldon
Manager, Industrial Power Systems
SMA America
ksheldon at sma-america.com
925 513 8813 Brentwood Office (Primary)
530 273 4848 Grass Valley Office
-----Original Message-----
From: Brad Bassett [mailto:bsbassett at earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 12:53 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Antony,
The window of operation for a grid tied inverter is so tight now that
the chances of one synchronizing with a generator is about nil. I saw an
attempt to get a 20 kW trace tech inverter to synch with a new 100 kW
Kohler top of the line generator, and it never even came close. The
longest I saw it try before an error on voltage (high and low) or
frequency was about 3 seconds, and it takes 5 minutes of good power to
synch.
With a smaller generator such as would be used for a residence the
chances would be even smaller. Still it might not be a bad idea to
disconnect the inverter while on generator power to prevent any possible
backfeed of dirty power from the generator into the inverter (JB could
this be an issue with SMA?).
Another option is to use a battery based backup system for critical
loads, and grid tie inverters for the solar. I wonder if you could get
them to synchonize with each other!? (Put the grid tie on utility side
of backup inverter). Or a combination of battery based and straight grid
tie systems. With some musical relays you could transfer the solar aray
from the grid tie to the batteries during an outage. I'll let someone
else do that science project!
You also mentioned using a larger inverter, let me know if you find one
that's not a scince project in itself.
Brad
Post by Antony Tersol
1. If we go with straight grid-tie batteryless PV, we would need a
transfer switch downstream, so that the PV wouldn't be running in
outage
Post by Antony Tersol
situation when generator is on.
Brad Bassett
Schott Applied Power
Tumwater, WA office
bsbassett at earthlink.net
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David Blecker
2002-06-13 14:14:53 UTC
Permalink
Wrenches,

Does anyone know of a good (translation = cheap) CAD software program for generating simple one line RE system diagrams? Illustrating system designs for clients and utilities on the back of napkins is getting a little old. Thanks!

-Dave

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Phil Undercuffler, Positive Energy
2002-06-14 14:14:00 UTC
Permalink
Here's another vote for TurboCad--I've used it for years and find it very
powerful. It can open and save to AutoCad format, which allows us to work
with Architect's drawings. Fairly steep learning curve, but it can be worth
it. I've also messed around with some of the "house plan" programs
available, and found them far too limited to be useful.

I'd be glad to share samples of some of our one-lines if it would be
helpful. Request off-list to phil at positiveenergysolar.com (with desired
file type).

You can download a demo version at www.turbocad.com


Enjoy the Sun!

Phil Undercuffler
Positive Energy

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious....
the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art
and true science" --Albert Einstein


----- Original Message -----
From: "David Blecker" <blecker at earthsys.org>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 9:14 AM
Subject: CAD software anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Post by David Blecker
Wrenches,
Does anyone know of a good (translation = cheap) CAD software program for
generating simple one line RE system diagrams? Illustrating system designs
for clients and utilities on the back of napkins is getting a little old.
Thanks!
Post by David Blecker
-Dave
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David Henry
2002-06-15 00:32:40 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Dave,

I've been using VectorWorks, it used to be called MiniCad, for about
12 years. It's available in Mac or PC and the files are cross
platform compatible. I find it pretty intuitive to use since it came
from the Mac side originally. Way cheaper than Auto-Cad but not
cheap. Here's the website http://www.nemetschek.net/vectorworks/.
Call me or email off list if you want to discuss it.

David Henry
Harmony Farm Supply
3244 Hwy 116 N.
Sebastopol, Ca 95472
voice 707-823-9125 X14
fax 707-823-1734
david at harmonyfarm.com
www.harmonyfarm.com
Post by David Blecker
Wrenches,
Does anyone know of a good (translation = cheap) CAD software
program for generating simple one line RE system diagrams?
Illustrating system designs for clients and utilities on the back of
napkins is getting a little old. Thanks!
-Dave
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--
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</x-flowed>
Baran Galocy
2002-06-15 05:58:36 UTC
Permalink
David,

I still stand behind SmartDraw. Go to www.smartdraw.com and download a free
30-day trial. It comes with thousands of graphics in several price ranges.
The company also makes a photo editor/organizer that works seamlessly with
their drawing program. I would be happy to send some sample files if you
download the trial program. It is VERY fast and intuitive and has served me
well for local building dept. drawings, customer bids, and overall graphics.

Regards - Baran

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William Miller
2002-06-18 03:21:39 UTC
Permalink
Ditto on the Visio recommendation for schematic drawings. See the
"Downloads" page of my website (URL below) for a JPG sample version of a
Visio drawing of a system block diagram (titled: "JPG drawing...")

I can post Visio templates on my website for energy systems if there is a
request. If this is requested, it takes a few days to clean one of these
up for posting.

There is no need to buy any version newer than 4.1 Technical. Newer
versions are STUPIDLY not backward compatible, so boot leg a newer version
for translations.

Visio is not good for scale drawings (drawings representing a real object
or objects). I used to use Autosketch for 2D scaled drawings and it was
not too bad. For 3D, I use Microstation, but it is pretty expensive.

Any CAD program has it's learning curve. I recommend you request a drawing
from this group that matches your new software and practice on the existing
drawing.

William
Post by EH Roy
David,
Try Visio.
E. H. Roy
Solar Works, Inc.
64 Main Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
1-800-339-7804 ext. 306
ehroy at solar-works.com
-----Original Message-----
From: David Blecker [mailto:blecker at earthsys.org]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 10:15 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: CAD software anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Wrenches,
Does anyone know of a good (translation = cheap) CAD software program for
generating simple one line RE system diagrams? Illustrating system designs
for clients and utilities on the back of napkins is getting a little old.
Thanks!
-Dave
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__________________________________________________________________
William Miller
Miller Power and Communications
PO Box 50, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Voice :805-438-5600 Fax: 805-438-4607 VMail: 805-546-4875
email: wrmiller at slonet.org
http://millerpowerandcomm.com
License No. C-10-773985
_____________________________________________________________
Compatibility:
Word processor: WP7
Spreadsheet: Quatro Pro 7
CAD: Microstation 95, DXF, Visio 4.1T
_____________________________________________________________
"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."
H. L. Mencken
__________________________________________________________________

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Phil Undercuffler, Positive Energy
2002-06-14 14:14:00 UTC
Permalink
Here's another vote for TurboCad--I've used it for years and find it very
powerful. It can open and save to AutoCad format, which allows us to work
with Architect's drawings. Fairly steep learning curve, but it can be worth
it. I've also messed around with some of the "house plan" programs
available, and found them far too limited to be useful.

I'd be glad to share samples of some of our one-lines if it would be
helpful. Request off-list to phil at positiveenergysolar.com (with desired
file type).

You can download a demo version at www.turbocad.com


Enjoy the Sun!

Phil Undercuffler
Positive Energy

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious....
the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art
and true science" --Albert Einstein


----- Original Message -----
From: "David Blecker" <blecker at earthsys.org>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 9:14 AM
Subject: CAD software anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Post by David Blecker
Wrenches,
Does anyone know of a good (translation = cheap) CAD software program for
generating simple one line RE system diagrams? Illustrating system designs
for clients and utilities on the back of napkins is getting a little old.
Thanks!
Post by David Blecker
-Dave
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David Henry
2002-06-15 00:32:40 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Dave,

I've been using VectorWorks, it used to be called MiniCad, for about
12 years. It's available in Mac or PC and the files are cross
platform compatible. I find it pretty intuitive to use since it came
from the Mac side originally. Way cheaper than Auto-Cad but not
cheap. Here's the website http://www.nemetschek.net/vectorworks/.
Call me or email off list if you want to discuss it.

David Henry
Harmony Farm Supply
3244 Hwy 116 N.
Sebastopol, Ca 95472
voice 707-823-9125 X14
fax 707-823-1734
david at harmonyfarm.com
www.harmonyfarm.com
Post by David Blecker
Wrenches,
Does anyone know of a good (translation = cheap) CAD software
program for generating simple one line RE system diagrams?
Illustrating system designs for clients and utilities on the back of
napkins is getting a little old. Thanks!
-Dave
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--
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</x-flowed>
Baran Galocy
2002-06-15 05:58:36 UTC
Permalink
David,

I still stand behind SmartDraw. Go to www.smartdraw.com and download a free
30-day trial. It comes with thousands of graphics in several price ranges.
The company also makes a photo editor/organizer that works seamlessly with
their drawing program. I would be happy to send some sample files if you
download the trial program. It is VERY fast and intuitive and has served me
well for local building dept. drawings, customer bids, and overall graphics.

Regards - Baran

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William Miller
2002-06-18 03:21:39 UTC
Permalink
Ditto on the Visio recommendation for schematic drawings. See the
"Downloads" page of my website (URL below) for a JPG sample version of a
Visio drawing of a system block diagram (titled: "JPG drawing...")

I can post Visio templates on my website for energy systems if there is a
request. If this is requested, it takes a few days to clean one of these
up for posting.

There is no need to buy any version newer than 4.1 Technical. Newer
versions are STUPIDLY not backward compatible, so boot leg a newer version
for translations.

Visio is not good for scale drawings (drawings representing a real object
or objects). I used to use Autosketch for 2D scaled drawings and it was
not too bad. For 3D, I use Microstation, but it is pretty expensive.

Any CAD program has it's learning curve. I recommend you request a drawing
from this group that matches your new software and practice on the existing
drawing.

William
Post by EH Roy
David,
Try Visio.
E. H. Roy
Solar Works, Inc.
64 Main Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
1-800-339-7804 ext. 306
ehroy at solar-works.com
-----Original Message-----
From: David Blecker [mailto:blecker at earthsys.org]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 10:15 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: CAD software anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Wrenches,
Does anyone know of a good (translation = cheap) CAD software program for
generating simple one line RE system diagrams? Illustrating system designs
for clients and utilities on the back of napkins is getting a little old.
Thanks!
-Dave
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To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com
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__________________________________________________________________
William Miller
Miller Power and Communications
PO Box 50, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Voice :805-438-5600 Fax: 805-438-4607 VMail: 805-546-4875
email: wrmiller at slonet.org
http://millerpowerandcomm.com
License No. C-10-773985
_____________________________________________________________
Compatibility:
Word processor: WP7
Spreadsheet: Quatro Pro 7
CAD: Microstation 95, DXF, Visio 4.1T
_____________________________________________________________
"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."
H. L. Mencken
__________________________________________________________________

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Graham Owen
2002-06-13 18:07:29 UTC
Permalink
Check out this website http://www.acpropulsion.com
They are developing electric cars that charge up at night with grid
power, then sell the power back to the grid during peak demand. From
what I have been told, the founder Allan Cocconi, is a genious when it
comes to inverter technology. I know this dosn't help with solar
projects in the works now, but there is some intersting stuff on the
site.

Graham
GO Solar

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Mangelsdorf, Marco
2002-06-13 18:38:19 UTC
Permalink
Dave,

You might want to check out TurboCad. It's pretty cheap, if I remember correctly--less than $50. And fairly easy to use...after some practice.

marco
proVision technologies, inc.
hilo, hawai'i

Wrenches,

Does anyone know of a good (translation = cheap) CAD software program for generating simple one line RE system diagrams? Illustrating system designs for clients and utilities on the back of napkins is getting a little old. Thanks!

-Dave

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EH Roy
2002-06-13 19:39:08 UTC
Permalink
David,

Try Visio.

E. H. Roy
Solar Works, Inc.
64 Main Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
1-800-339-7804 ext. 306
ehroy at solar-works.com

-----Original Message-----
From: David Blecker [mailto:blecker at earthsys.org]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 10:15 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: CAD software anyone? [RE-wrenches]

Wrenches,

Does anyone know of a good (translation = cheap) CAD software program for
generating simple one line RE system diagrams? Illustrating system designs
for clients and utilities on the back of napkins is getting a little old.
Thanks!

-Dave

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Windy Dankoff, Dankoff Solar
2002-06-14 02:26:09 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Turbo CAD? Visio? Anything for Mac-heads?

Windy

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</x-flowed>
Jeff Clearwater, Ecovillage Design
2002-06-15 09:03:47 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Hey Windy,

For the MAC I'm using DenebaCAD which I like a whole lot. Much more
robust than CADintosh, but you do have to pay for it. They let you
use it for a month free then it's on the order of $300. It imports
and saves in about 15 different formats so I can save for PC/AutoCAD
users. (.dwg,.dxf, jpg, etc. etc) A colleague sent me a oneline he
did on his PC in .dwg and it imported it perfectly. Only drawback
I've found is it seemed to strip the embedded jpegs out of files when
saving as .dxf. Otherwise it's sweet.

Just search for DenebaCAD and then download it off the site. Nicely
done program.

Jeff
Post by Windy Dankoff, Dankoff Solar
Turbo CAD? Visio? Anything for Mac-heads?
Windy
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jeff Clearwater
Ecovillage Design Associates
Home, Community and Village Scale Renewable Energy Systems

2525 Arapahoe Ave, Suite E4, #280
Boulder, CO 80302
1-800-440-2523 PIN7071
Fax: 720-528-7813
clrwater at earthlink.net
jeffc at ic.org

Council Member - Ecovillage Network of the Americas - http://www.ecovillage.org
Founder: Ecovillage Research, Development, and Demonstration Program:
http://www.home.earthlink.net/~clrwater/RDD/rdd.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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</x-flowed>
Jeff Clearwater, Ecovillage Design
2002-06-15 09:03:47 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Hey Windy,

For the MAC I'm using DenebaCAD which I like a whole lot. Much more
robust than CADintosh, but you do have to pay for it. They let you
use it for a month free then it's on the order of $300. It imports
and saves in about 15 different formats so I can save for PC/AutoCAD
users. (.dwg,.dxf, jpg, etc. etc) A colleague sent me a oneline he
did on his PC in .dwg and it imported it perfectly. Only drawback
I've found is it seemed to strip the embedded jpegs out of files when
saving as .dxf. Otherwise it's sweet.

Just search for DenebaCAD and then download it off the site. Nicely
done program.

Jeff
Post by Windy Dankoff, Dankoff Solar
Turbo CAD? Visio? Anything for Mac-heads?
Windy
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jeff Clearwater
Ecovillage Design Associates
Home, Community and Village Scale Renewable Energy Systems

2525 Arapahoe Ave, Suite E4, #280
Boulder, CO 80302
1-800-440-2523 PIN7071
Fax: 720-528-7813
clrwater at earthlink.net
jeffc at ic.org

Council Member - Ecovillage Network of the Americas - http://www.ecovillage.org
Founder: Ecovillage Research, Development, and Demonstration Program:
http://www.home.earthlink.net/~clrwater/RDD/rdd.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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</x-flowed>
Windy Dankoff, Dankoff Solar
2002-06-14 02:26:09 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Turbo CAD? Visio? Anything for Mac-heads?

Windy

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</x-flowed>
Ken Hulet, Engineering Services Co.
2002-06-13 19:57:47 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
We're bidding a job and one option will be to spec a Sunny Boy, our first
exposure to one. The customer wants to collect data, probably as much data
as possible. What's the best way to do this? What does the SMA display do?
Any advise or suggestions are appreciated.

Ken & Chris Hulet
Engineering Services Co.
P.O. Box 4
Blanchardville, WI 53516

608.523.3726

http://www.revolutionearth.com

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</x-flowed>
Jeff Clearwater, Ecovillage Design
2002-06-15 09:09:18 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Hi Ken,

The SunnyBoy Control will collect data (from one or many SBs) and
store it for download to a PC or to a modem or fax. The Sunny Boy
Control Plus adds to that many digital channels for collecting inputs
from other digital sensors (insolation, wind, temp, etc). At $700
the Control is all you probably need. The Control Plus is about
twice that. You also save about $60 on not needing the display in
the sunny boy itself but then you have to buy a comm unit for the SB.
You can connect the SBControl via RS 485 cable or use Powerline
communication wherein you use a radio signal sent on the line itself.
Recommend the 485 cable.

Hope that helps!

jc
Post by Ken Hulet, Engineering Services Co.
We're bidding a job and one option will be to spec a Sunny Boy, our
first exposure to one. The customer wants to collect data, probably
as much data as possible. What's the best way to do this? What does
the SMA display do?
Any advise or suggestions are appreciated.
Ken & Chris Hulet
Engineering Services Co.
P.O. Box 4
Blanchardville, WI 53516
608.523.3726
http://www.revolutionearth.com
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--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jeff Clearwater
Ecovillage Design Associates
Home, Community and Village Scale Renewable Energy Systems

2525 Arapahoe Ave, Suite E4, #280
Boulder, CO 80302
1-800-440-2523 PIN7071
Fax: 720-528-7813
clrwater at earthlink.net
jeffc at ic.org

Council Member - Ecovillage Network of the Americas - http://www.ecovillage.org
Founder: Ecovillage Research, Development, and Demonstration Program:
http://www.home.earthlink.net/~clrwater/RDD/rdd.html
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</x-flowed>
Jeff Clearwater, Ecovillage Design
2002-06-15 09:09:18 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Hi Ken,

The SunnyBoy Control will collect data (from one or many SBs) and
store it for download to a PC or to a modem or fax. The Sunny Boy
Control Plus adds to that many digital channels for collecting inputs
from other digital sensors (insolation, wind, temp, etc). At $700
the Control is all you probably need. The Control Plus is about
twice that. You also save about $60 on not needing the display in
the sunny boy itself but then you have to buy a comm unit for the SB.
You can connect the SBControl via RS 485 cable or use Powerline
communication wherein you use a radio signal sent on the line itself.
Recommend the 485 cable.

Hope that helps!

jc
Post by Ken Hulet, Engineering Services Co.
We're bidding a job and one option will be to spec a Sunny Boy, our
first exposure to one. The customer wants to collect data, probably
as much data as possible. What's the best way to do this? What does
the SMA display do?
Any advise or suggestions are appreciated.
Ken & Chris Hulet
Engineering Services Co.
P.O. Box 4
Blanchardville, WI 53516
608.523.3726
http://www.revolutionearth.com
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--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jeff Clearwater
Ecovillage Design Associates
Home, Community and Village Scale Renewable Energy Systems

2525 Arapahoe Ave, Suite E4, #280
Boulder, CO 80302
1-800-440-2523 PIN7071
Fax: 720-528-7813
clrwater at earthlink.net
jeffc at ic.org

Council Member - Ecovillage Network of the Americas - http://www.ecovillage.org
Founder: Ecovillage Research, Development, and Demonstration Program:
http://www.home.earthlink.net/~clrwater/RDD/rdd.html
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</x-flowed>
Kent Sheldon
2002-06-13 20:16:23 UTC
Permalink
Ken, there are numerous data collection options available with the Sunny
Boy inverters. They can be as simple as an LCD display, or as
complicated as a full blown integrated DAS with weather station. First
you need to decide what you want to do with the data. Then we can figure
out what hardware you will need as well as the cost. I'll send you an
email offline to further discuss this.

____________________________________________
Kent Sheldon
Manager, Industrial Power Systems
SMA America
ksheldon at sma-america.com
925 513 8813 Brentwood Office (Primary)
530 273 4848 Grass Valley Office




-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Hulet, Engineering Services Co.
[mailto:esco at revolutionearth.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 12:58 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Sunny Boy data collection [RE-wrenches]

We're bidding a job and one option will be to spec a Sunny Boy, our
first
exposure to one. The customer wants to collect data, probably as much
data
as possible. What's the best way to do this? What does the SMA display
do?
Any advise or suggestions are appreciated.

Ken & Chris Hulet
Engineering Services Co.
P.O. Box 4
Blanchardville, WI 53516

608.523.3726

http://www.revolutionearth.com

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jberdner
2002-06-13 20:41:21 UTC
Permalink
Graham:

Interesting idea but...
Check out some of Tom Hund's (Sandia) work on this subject.
As I recall, his conclusion was that the round trip cost for the energy
was about $0.35 per kWh.
Not quite enough to make it worthwhile even with time of day net
metering.
Perhaps the economics will be a bit better with the advanced batteries
in EV's.

Best Regards,

John Berdner

SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)


-----Original Message-----
From: Graham Owen [mailto:graham at solarexpert.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 11:07 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]

Check out this website http://www.acpropulsion.com
They are developing electric cars that charge up at night with grid
power, then sell the power back to the grid during peak demand. From
what I have been told, the founder Allan Cocconi, is a genious when it
comes to inverter technology. I know this dosn't help with solar
projects in the works now, but there is some intersting stuff on the
site.

Graham
GO Solar

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Joel Davidson
2002-06-13 22:34:12 UTC
Permalink
John, Don't be too quick to dismiss this concept. The guys at AC Propulsion
are pretty sharp. I wish my Prius' 17 kWh (38 each 7.2V, 6.5 amp-hour)
nickel metal hydride battery bank had the bi-directional connection AC
Propulsion is developing. Picture this. Your house has a PV roof feeding
into an inverter and your service panel with a TOU meter. You pull your EV
or hybrid into the driveway and plug it in. Grid or solar power charges the
vehicle battery bank if needed. If the grid needs power during peak
periods, the utility signals all the plugged in vehicles and draws from
their batteries. If the grid goes down, your vehicle battery bank powers
your home. Too far out? So were solar roofs a few decades ago. Imagine the
future and then make it so.
Post by jberdner
Interesting idea but...
Check out some of Tom Hund's (Sandia) work on this subject.
As I recall, his conclusion was that the round trip cost for the energy
was about $0.35 per kWh.
Not quite enough to make it worthwhile even with time of day net
metering.
Perhaps the economics will be a bit better with the advanced batteries
in EV's.
Best Regards,
John Berdner
SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)
-----Original Message-----
From: Graham Owen [mailto:graham at solarexpert.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 11:07 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Check out this website http://www.acpropulsion.com
They are developing electric cars that charge up at night with grid
power, then sell the power back to the grid during peak demand. From
what I have been told, the founder Allan Cocconi, is a genious when it
comes to inverter technology. I know this dosn't help with solar
projects in the works now, but there is some intersting stuff on the
site.
Graham
GO Solar
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Joel Davidson
2002-06-13 22:34:12 UTC
Permalink
John, Don't be too quick to dismiss this concept. The guys at AC Propulsion
are pretty sharp. I wish my Prius' 17 kWh (38 each 7.2V, 6.5 amp-hour)
nickel metal hydride battery bank had the bi-directional connection AC
Propulsion is developing. Picture this. Your house has a PV roof feeding
into an inverter and your service panel with a TOU meter. You pull your EV
or hybrid into the driveway and plug it in. Grid or solar power charges the
vehicle battery bank if needed. If the grid needs power during peak
periods, the utility signals all the plugged in vehicles and draws from
their batteries. If the grid goes down, your vehicle battery bank powers
your home. Too far out? So were solar roofs a few decades ago. Imagine the
future and then make it so.
Post by jberdner
Interesting idea but...
Check out some of Tom Hund's (Sandia) work on this subject.
As I recall, his conclusion was that the round trip cost for the energy
was about $0.35 per kWh.
Not quite enough to make it worthwhile even with time of day net
metering.
Perhaps the economics will be a bit better with the advanced batteries
in EV's.
Best Regards,
John Berdner
SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)
-----Original Message-----
From: Graham Owen [mailto:graham at solarexpert.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 11:07 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Check out this website http://www.acpropulsion.com
They are developing electric cars that charge up at night with grid
power, then sell the power back to the grid during peak demand. From
what I have been told, the founder Allan Cocconi, is a genious when it
comes to inverter technology. I know this dosn't help with solar
projects in the works now, but there is some intersting stuff on the
site.
Graham
GO Solar
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Ken Hulet, Engineering Services Co.
2002-06-14 03:22:10 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Windy,

CADintosh, $32.00 shareware from Lemke the maker of Graphic Converter.
Post by Windy Dankoff, Dankoff Solar
Turbo CAD? Visio? Anything for Mac-heads?
Ken & Chris Hulet
Engineering Services Co.
P.O. Box 4
Blanchardville, WI 53516

608.523.3726

http://www.revolutionearth.com

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</x-flowed>
Ray Walters
2002-06-14 04:23:20 UTC
Permalink
Hi Travis;

Have you tried the fast peak feature on your Fluke 87? You can catch the
voltage peak of the waveform, which gives you a fair idea if its squaring
off or holding a sinewave. Its not as good as an O-scope, but its another
parameter to look at. My old Honda was peaking at 135 under load even
though the rms voltage was still at 115. I beleive the the ratio for a pure
sinewave is rms volts = .707 peak volts. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong,
but that would put peak volts at about 170 for an rms voltage of 120.

Ray
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
I'd be curious to know how a batteryless inverter would act with one of the
new "inverter" generators. The ones that I've seen were all under 3kW. I
almost suspect that a batteryless inverter would not trip off line until it
overloaded the generator. My crude testing showed that they output some
really nice voltage and frequency. I don't know about the waveform though.
Testing my 2800 watt Yamaha unit under various loads my Fluke 87 never saw
anything other than 60.0 Hz and never got outside of 118 to 122 volts.
Those measurements were taken continuously as I changed loads. Very
impressive little units.
Travis Creswell
Ozark Energy Services
----------
From: Kent Sheldon <kentsheldon at sbcglobal.net>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, Jun 12, 2002, 3:15 PM
Brad, I know of a handful of installations that have tied SMA Sunny Boy
inverters to generators. We haven't had any follow up phone calls saying
they didn't work. The SB inverters rectify the AC voltage sense to DC,
so this will normalize any error caused by ripple or harmonic
distortion, assuming it isn't bad enough to skew the true RMS value
greater than +/- 10%. One thing to watch out for: The SB inverter will
attempt to deliver current up to the limit of the inverter(s) tied to
the generator. If the load is not large enough to consume the current,
the excess will backfeed the generator, causing it to trip offline on an
over-voltage, or reverse current fault. This generally means that
grid-tied inverters are only tied to very large generators where the
load is known never to dip below the output of the available PV power.
In general, the larger the generator, the better its voltage fidelity.
Regards,
____________________________________________
Kent Sheldon
Manager, Industrial Power Systems
SMA America
ksheldon at sma-america.com
925 513 8813 Brentwood Office (Primary)
530 273 4848 Grass Valley Office
-----Original Message-----
From: Brad Bassett [mailto:bsbassett at earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 12:53 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Antony,
The window of operation for a grid tied inverter is so tight now that
the chances of one synchronizing with a generator is about nil. I saw an
attempt to get a 20 kW trace tech inverter to synch with a new 100 kW
Kohler top of the line generator, and it never even came close. The
longest I saw it try before an error on voltage (high and low) or
frequency was about 3 seconds, and it takes 5 minutes of good power to
synch.
With a smaller generator such as would be used for a residence the
chances would be even smaller. Still it might not be a bad idea to
disconnect the inverter while on generator power to prevent any possible
backfeed of dirty power from the generator into the inverter (JB could
this be an issue with SMA?).
Another option is to use a battery based backup system for critical
loads, and grid tie inverters for the solar. I wonder if you could get
them to synchonize with each other!? (Put the grid tie on utility side
of backup inverter). Or a combination of battery based and straight grid
tie systems. With some musical relays you could transfer the solar aray
from the grid tie to the batteries during an outage. I'll let someone
else do that science project!
You also mentioned using a larger inverter, let me know if you find one
that's not a scince project in itself.
Brad
Post by Antony Tersol
1. If we go with straight grid-tie batteryless PV, we would need a
transfer switch downstream, so that the PV wouldn't be running in
outage
Post by Antony Tersol
situation when generator is on.
Brad Bassett
Schott Applied Power
Tumwater, WA office
bsbassett at earthlink.net
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Allan Sindelar
2002-06-14 04:40:55 UTC
Permalink
Ray,
I think you are correct about RMS-peak ratio. It also correlates with
Trace's inverter manuals from the late 80's on, that to get full DC output
from the charger you needed to maintain 164V peak under load. The inverter
used the peak of the waveform, so a small drop in peak V meant a large drop
in DC A.
Allan at Pos E

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Walters" <remotech at taosnm.com>
I beleive the the ratio for a pure
Post by Ray Walters
sinewave is rms volts = .707 peak volts. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong,
but that would put peak volts at about 170 for an rms voltage of 120.
Ray
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Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
2002-06-14 14:47:35 UTC
Permalink
Hi Allan,

Some folks are using buck/boost Tformers to increase this peak volts for
battery charging. Makes sense.

jay

peltz power
Post by Allan Sindelar
Ray,
I think you are correct about RMS-peak ratio. It also correlates with
Trace's inverter manuals from the late 80's on, that to get full DC output
from the charger you needed to maintain 164V peak under load. The inverter
used the peak of the waveform, so a small drop in peak V meant a large drop
in DC A.
Allan at Pos E
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Walters" <remotech at taosnm.com>
I beleive the the ratio for a pure
Post by Ray Walters
sinewave is rms volts = .707 peak volts. Somebody correct me if I'm
wrong,
Post by Ray Walters
but that would put peak volts at about 170 for an rms voltage of 120.
Ray
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==^================================================================
Bob-O Schultze, Electron Connection
2002-06-14 17:48:11 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Ray,
Yep. Allan has it right. I believe it's because transformers work
with the P to P rather than the RMS voltage. If the genny P to P
under load is low you run out of headroom to push amps into the
battery as the battery voltage rises. That's also why HF
switcher-type chargers are far less sensitive to low P to P.
Bob-O
Post by Allan Sindelar
Ray,
I think you are correct about RMS-peak ratio. It also correlates with
Trace's inverter manuals from the late 80's on, that to get full DC output
from the charger you needed to maintain 164V peak under load. The inverter
used the peak of the waveform, so a small drop in peak V meant a large drop
in DC A.
Allan at Pos E
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Walters" <remotech at taosnm.com>
I beleive the the ratio for a pure
Post by Ray Walters
sinewave is rms volts = .707 peak volts. Somebody correct me if I'm
wrong,
Post by Ray Walters
but that would put peak volts at about 170 for an rms voltage of 120.
Ray
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</x-flowed>
Ray Walters
2002-06-15 08:47:32 UTC
Permalink
Travis:

Is your fine Yamaha inverter/generator holding that 170 v peak at full load?

and Bob-O:

I'm not familiar with HF chargers, what do the cost? I'm also considering
the booster transformer option to get better fuel efficiency when mating
inferior generators with the DR series charger/ inverters.



Ray

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Bob-O Schultze, Electron Connection
2002-06-15 19:25:04 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Ray,
I was referring to the Todd type of charger, which is, unfortunately,
out of biz. Statpower (ok, Xantrex) makes one but it's pretty spendy.
Best, bob-O
Post by Ray Walters
Is your fine Yamaha inverter/generator holding that 170 v peak at full load?
I'm not familiar with HF chargers, what do the cost? I'm also considering
the booster transformer option to get better fuel efficiency when mating
inferior generators with the DR series charger/ inverters.
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</x-flowed>
Bob-O Schultze, Electron Connection
2002-06-15 19:25:04 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Ray,
I was referring to the Todd type of charger, which is, unfortunately,
out of biz. Statpower (ok, Xantrex) makes one but it's pretty spendy.
Best, bob-O
Post by Ray Walters
Is your fine Yamaha inverter/generator holding that 170 v peak at full load?
I'm not familiar with HF chargers, what do the cost? I'm also considering
the booster transformer option to get better fuel efficiency when mating
inferior generators with the DR series charger/ inverters.
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</x-flowed>
Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
2002-06-14 14:47:35 UTC
Permalink
Hi Allan,

Some folks are using buck/boost Tformers to increase this peak volts for
battery charging. Makes sense.

jay

peltz power
Post by Allan Sindelar
Ray,
I think you are correct about RMS-peak ratio. It also correlates with
Trace's inverter manuals from the late 80's on, that to get full DC output
from the charger you needed to maintain 164V peak under load. The inverter
used the peak of the waveform, so a small drop in peak V meant a large drop
in DC A.
Allan at Pos E
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Walters" <remotech at taosnm.com>
I beleive the the ratio for a pure
Post by Ray Walters
sinewave is rms volts = .707 peak volts. Somebody correct me if I'm
wrong,
Post by Ray Walters
but that would put peak volts at about 170 for an rms voltage of 120.
Ray
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Bob-O Schultze, Electron Connection
2002-06-14 17:48:11 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Ray,
Yep. Allan has it right. I believe it's because transformers work
with the P to P rather than the RMS voltage. If the genny P to P
under load is low you run out of headroom to push amps into the
battery as the battery voltage rises. That's also why HF
switcher-type chargers are far less sensitive to low P to P.
Bob-O
Post by Allan Sindelar
Ray,
I think you are correct about RMS-peak ratio. It also correlates with
Trace's inverter manuals from the late 80's on, that to get full DC output
from the charger you needed to maintain 164V peak under load. The inverter
used the peak of the waveform, so a small drop in peak V meant a large drop
in DC A.
Allan at Pos E
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Walters" <remotech at taosnm.com>
I beleive the the ratio for a pure
Post by Ray Walters
sinewave is rms volts = .707 peak volts. Somebody correct me if I'm
wrong,
Post by Ray Walters
but that would put peak volts at about 170 for an rms voltage of 120.
Ray
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</x-flowed>
Ray Walters
2002-06-15 08:47:32 UTC
Permalink
Travis:

Is your fine Yamaha inverter/generator holding that 170 v peak at full load?

and Bob-O:

I'm not familiar with HF chargers, what do the cost? I'm also considering
the booster transformer option to get better fuel efficiency when mating
inferior generators with the DR series charger/ inverters.



Ray

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Allan Sindelar
2002-06-14 04:40:55 UTC
Permalink
Ray,
I think you are correct about RMS-peak ratio. It also correlates with
Trace's inverter manuals from the late 80's on, that to get full DC output
from the charger you needed to maintain 164V peak under load. The inverter
used the peak of the waveform, so a small drop in peak V meant a large drop
in DC A.
Allan at Pos E

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Walters" <remotech at taosnm.com>
I beleive the the ratio for a pure
Post by Ray Walters
sinewave is rms volts = .707 peak volts. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong,
but that would put peak volts at about 170 for an rms voltage of 120.
Ray
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mrousso
2002-06-14 04:23:57 UTC
Permalink
I personally like Visio 2000. I've made a number of
stencils with objects that look like the actual PV
modules, inverters, discos, etc (looks like the Home
Power Magazine drawings). I now can drag and drop
components on a blank page and quickly build 1-lines,
etc.

The best way to get Visio is thru eBay. Bid on one
with an educator's copy (lots cheaper and they don't
care if you actually teach, although I would say most
of us do on a daily basis). Expext to pay a little
over $100.

If you do get Visio, I would be happy to share my
template with you.

If Visio is too expensive, you can download a free
trial version of SmartDraw (www.smartdraw.com). I
think the full blown version (also available via
download) is around $50-$75. I like Visio better.

=====
Mo Rousso
Urban Refuge, Inc.
760.451.9374 (v) 760.451.9784 (f)
mrousso at urbanrefuge.com
www.urbanrefuge.com

__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! - Official partner of 2002 FIFA World Cup
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Kent Sheldon
2002-06-14 04:56:47 UTC
Permalink
If you have a Fluke 87 you can trust the RMS reading, as this Fluke is a
true RMS meter. Cheap meters assume sinusoidal, and calculate RMS from
.707 (root 2 / 2) of peak. These cannot be trusted. Also, using the peak
value to guess at RMS is not a good idea. If you've ever looked at a six
step waveform you will understand.

____________________________________________
Kent Sheldon
Manager, Industrial Power Systems
SMA America
ksheldon at sma-america.com
925 513 8813 Brentwood Office (Primary)
530 273 4848 Grass Valley Office




-----Original Message-----
From: Ray Walters [mailto:remotech at taosnm.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 9:23 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]

Hi Travis;

Have you tried the fast peak feature on your Fluke 87? You can catch the
voltage peak of the waveform, which gives you a fair idea if its
squaring
off or holding a sinewave. Its not as good as an O-scope, but its
another
parameter to look at. My old Honda was peaking at 135 under load even
though the rms voltage was still at 115. I beleive the the ratio for a
pure
sinewave is rms volts = .707 peak volts. Somebody correct me if I'm
wrong,
but that would put peak volts at about 170 for an rms voltage of 120.

Ray
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
I'd be curious to know how a batteryless inverter would act with one of
the
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
new "inverter" generators. The ones that I've seen were all under 3kW.
I
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
almost suspect that a batteryless inverter would not trip off line
until it
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
overloaded the generator. My crude testing showed that they output
some
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
really nice voltage and frequency. I don't know about the waveform
though.
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
Testing my 2800 watt Yamaha unit under various loads my Fluke 87 never
saw
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
anything other than 60.0 Hz and never got outside of 118 to 122 volts.
Those measurements were taken continuously as I changed loads. Very
impressive little units.
Travis Creswell
Ozark Energy Services
----------
From: Kent Sheldon <kentsheldon at sbcglobal.net>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, Jun 12, 2002, 3:15 PM
Brad, I know of a handful of installations that have tied SMA Sunny
Boy
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
inverters to generators. We haven't had any follow up phone calls
saying
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
they didn't work. The SB inverters rectify the AC voltage sense to DC,
so this will normalize any error caused by ripple or harmonic
distortion, assuming it isn't bad enough to skew the true RMS value
greater than +/- 10%. One thing to watch out for: The SB inverter will
attempt to deliver current up to the limit of the inverter(s) tied to
the generator. If the load is not large enough to consume the current,
the excess will backfeed the generator, causing it to trip offline on
an
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
over-voltage, or reverse current fault. This generally means that
grid-tied inverters are only tied to very large generators where the
load is known never to dip below the output of the available PV power.
In general, the larger the generator, the better its voltage fidelity.
Regards,
____________________________________________
Kent Sheldon
Manager, Industrial Power Systems
SMA America
ksheldon at sma-america.com
925 513 8813 Brentwood Office (Primary)
530 273 4848 Grass Valley Office
-----Original Message-----
From: Brad Bassett [mailto:bsbassett at earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 12:53 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Antony,
The window of operation for a grid tied inverter is so tight now that
the chances of one synchronizing with a generator is about nil. I saw
an
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
attempt to get a 20 kW trace tech inverter to synch with a new 100 kW
Kohler top of the line generator, and it never even came close. The
longest I saw it try before an error on voltage (high and low) or
frequency was about 3 seconds, and it takes 5 minutes of good power to
synch.
With a smaller generator such as would be used for a residence the
chances would be even smaller. Still it might not be a bad idea to
disconnect the inverter while on generator power to prevent any
possible
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
backfeed of dirty power from the generator into the inverter (JB could
this be an issue with SMA?).
Another option is to use a battery based backup system for critical
loads, and grid tie inverters for the solar. I wonder if you could get
them to synchonize with each other!? (Put the grid tie on utility side
of backup inverter). Or a combination of battery based and straight
grid
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
tie systems. With some musical relays you could transfer the solar
aray
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
from the grid tie to the batteries during an outage. I'll let someone
else do that science project!
You also mentioned using a larger inverter, let me know if you find
one
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
that's not a scince project in itself.
Brad
Post by Antony Tersol
1. If we go with straight grid-tie batteryless PV, we would need a
transfer switch downstream, so that the PV wouldn't be running in
outage
Post by Antony Tersol
situation when generator is on.
Brad Bassett
Schott Applied Power
Tumwater, WA office
bsbassett at earthlink.net
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Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
2002-06-14 12:52:23 UTC
Permalink
MacDraft is what I use. I think it several hundred dollars now a days.
Supposedly the newer versions lets you save as JPG which I believe would let
you email diagrams.

Travis
----------
From: "Windy Dankoff, Dankoff Solar" <windy at dankoffsolar.com>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: CAD software anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Date: Thu, Jun 13, 2002, 9:26 PM
Turbo CAD? Visio? Anything for Mac-heads?
Windy
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Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
2002-06-14 13:06:51 UTC
Permalink
Hi Ray,

Thanks for tip and I just did try the Peak Min/Max feature. I can't find a
reference in on the quick reference card for "Fast Peak" feature. My meter
is an older 87. I was wondering if you could look at peaks with an 87 and
never had a chance to figure it out yet.

Looks like it's peaking at 170.0 while recording at 1ms.

Travis
----------
From: Ray Walters <remotech at taosnm.com>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Date: Thu, Jun 13, 2002, 11:23 PM
Hi Travis;
Have you tried the fast peak feature on your Fluke 87? You can catch the
voltage peak of the waveform, which gives you a fair idea if its squaring
off or holding a sinewave. Its not as good as an O-scope, but its another
parameter to look at. My old Honda was peaking at 135 under load even
though the rms voltage was still at 115. I beleive the the ratio for a pure
sinewave is rms volts = .707 peak volts. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong,
but that would put peak volts at about 170 for an rms voltage of 120.
Ray
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
I'd be curious to know how a batteryless inverter would act with one of the
new "inverter" generators. The ones that I've seen were all under 3kW. I
almost suspect that a batteryless inverter would not trip off line until it
overloaded the generator. My crude testing showed that they output some
really nice voltage and frequency. I don't know about the waveform though.
Testing my 2800 watt Yamaha unit under various loads my Fluke 87 never saw
anything other than 60.0 Hz and never got outside of 118 to 122 volts.
Those measurements were taken continuously as I changed loads. Very
impressive little units.
Travis Creswell
Ozark Energy Services
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Jeff Yago
2002-06-14 14:54:47 UTC
Permalink
I know we have had some past discussion in past threads about advantages of
power point tracking charge controllers with some systems, but I just
replaced 4 "fried" almost new MPPT controllers with C-40's on same four
arrays and battery banks and have had no more problems. We did re-circuit
all module strings to get voltage down to 48 volts for the C-40's from the
higher voltage string circuits recommended by controller manufacturer.
Battery stayed 48 volts.

Most of my systems are on grid solar battery charging backup systems or off
grid solar w/generator assist systems in the 4 to 6 kW range.

I know many are sold on these for no battery solar system selling to grid,
but I do not think the added cost is worth the headaches we are seeing when
trying to use them on the type of systems we install. What say yea?


Jeff Yago
Dunimis Technology Inc.

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Steve Bell, Sunwize Technologies
2002-06-14 16:04:03 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jeff,
I have been running a grid-tied (sell-back) SW/battery system using a Solar
Boost 3048 controller. It has been working fine for several years now. I
typically see a 20%-30% increase in input amps during the cooler months and
a 5% to 10% increase during the summer months. I have SB3048 set in Bulk at
56 volts, the SW is set to Sell at 53.6 volts. The PV array wired for a
nominal 48-volts. I'm located in Stelle, IL (about 90 miles south of
Chicago).

What MPPT controller were you using and why did they have you increase the
nominal array voltage?

Sincerely,
Steve Bell
SunWize Technologies
sebpv at stelle.net

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeff Yago" <jryago at earthlink.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Friday, June 14, 2002 9:54 AM
Subject: RE: Power Point Tracking Controllers [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jeff Yago
I know we have had some past discussion in past threads about advantages of
power point tracking charge controllers with some systems, but I just
replaced 4 "fried" almost new MPPT controllers with C-40's on same four
arrays and battery banks and have had no more problems. We did re-circuit
all module strings to get voltage down to 48 volts for the C-40's from the
higher voltage string circuits recommended by controller manufacturer.
Battery stayed 48 volts.
I know many are sold on these for no battery solar system selling to grid,
but I do not think the added cost is worth the headaches we are seeing when
trying to use them on the type of systems we install. What say yea?
Jeff Yago
Dunimis Technology Inc.
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Steve Bell, Sunwize Technologies
2002-06-14 16:04:03 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jeff,
I have been running a grid-tied (sell-back) SW/battery system using a Solar
Boost 3048 controller. It has been working fine for several years now. I
typically see a 20%-30% increase in input amps during the cooler months and
a 5% to 10% increase during the summer months. I have SB3048 set in Bulk at
56 volts, the SW is set to Sell at 53.6 volts. The PV array wired for a
nominal 48-volts. I'm located in Stelle, IL (about 90 miles south of
Chicago).

What MPPT controller were you using and why did they have you increase the
nominal array voltage?

Sincerely,
Steve Bell
SunWize Technologies
sebpv at stelle.net

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeff Yago" <jryago at earthlink.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Friday, June 14, 2002 9:54 AM
Subject: RE: Power Point Tracking Controllers [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jeff Yago
I know we have had some past discussion in past threads about advantages of
power point tracking charge controllers with some systems, but I just
replaced 4 "fried" almost new MPPT controllers with C-40's on same four
arrays and battery banks and have had no more problems. We did re-circuit
all module strings to get voltage down to 48 volts for the C-40's from the
higher voltage string circuits recommended by controller manufacturer.
Battery stayed 48 volts.
I know many are sold on these for no battery solar system selling to grid,
but I do not think the added cost is worth the headaches we are seeing when
trying to use them on the type of systems we install. What say yea?
Jeff Yago
Dunimis Technology Inc.
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jberdner
2002-06-14 16:02:30 UTC
Permalink
Joel:

Please don't misunderstand me, I think it is a great concept for backup
power. Why have a big battery bank and inverter sitting around doing
nothing for 99% of the time when you have perfectly good power system in
your EV ?

For now load shifting with lead acid isn't cost effective even at
California rates but it is getting close. Hopefully the EV driven
battery revolution will give us high cycling batteries at a reasonable
price.

Has anyone tried load shifting this with NiFe (Edison cell) batteries ?
Are new ones even available any more ?
Given the incredible cycling performance of NiFe, I wonder if they could
drop the round trip energy cost into the cost effective range ( < 20
/kWh with CA TOU net metering). The main drawback of NiFe is the high
self discharge but in a daily load shifting application this probably
wouldn't matter too much.

Best Regards,

John Berdner

SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)


-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Davidson [mailto:joeldavidson at earthlink.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 3:34 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]

John, Don't be too quick to dismiss this concept. The guys at AC
Propulsion
are pretty sharp. I wish my Prius' 17 kWh (38 each 7.2V, 6.5 amp-hour)
nickel metal hydride battery bank had the bi-directional connection AC
Propulsion is developing. Picture this. Your house has a PV roof feeding
into an inverter and your service panel with a TOU meter. You pull your
EV
or hybrid into the driveway and plug it in. Grid or solar power charges
the
vehicle battery bank if needed. If the grid needs power during peak
periods, the utility signals all the plugged in vehicles and draws from
their batteries. If the grid goes down, your vehicle battery bank powers
your home. Too far out? So were solar roofs a few decades ago. Imagine
the
future and then make it so.
Post by jberdner
Interesting idea but...
Check out some of Tom Hund's (Sandia) work on this subject.
As I recall, his conclusion was that the round trip cost for the
energy
Post by jberdner
was about $0.35 per kWh.
Not quite enough to make it worthwhile even with time of day net
metering.
Perhaps the economics will be a bit better with the advanced batteries
in EV's.
Best Regards,
John Berdner
SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)
-----Original Message-----
From: Graham Owen [mailto:graham at solarexpert.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 11:07 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Check out this website http://www.acpropulsion.com
They are developing electric cars that charge up at night with grid
power, then sell the power back to the grid during peak demand. From
what I have been told, the founder Allan Cocconi, is a genious when it
comes to inverter technology. I know this dosn't help with solar
projects in the works now, but there is some intersting stuff on the
site.
Graham
GO Solar
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Joel Davidson
2002-06-14 17:46:28 UTC
Permalink
I thought it was SOP for PV people to misunderstand each other :-)
Bucky Fuller use to say, "It's not so important that you understand me, just
so you don't misunderstand me."
Post by jberdner
Please don't misunderstand me, I think it is a great concept for backup
power. Why have a big battery bank and inverter sitting around doing
nothing for 99% of the time when you have perfectly good power system in
your EV ?
For now load shifting with lead acid isn't cost effective even at
California rates but it is getting close. Hopefully the EV driven
battery revolution will give us high cycling batteries at a reasonable
price.
Has anyone tried load shifting this with NiFe (Edison cell) batteries ?
Are new ones even available any more ?
Given the incredible cycling performance of NiFe, I wonder if they could
drop the round trip energy cost into the cost effective range ( < 20
/kWh with CA TOU net metering). The main drawback of NiFe is the high
self discharge but in a daily load shifting application this probably
wouldn't matter too much.
Best Regards,
John Berdner
SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)
-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Davidson [mailto:joeldavidson at earthlink.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 3:34 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
John, Don't be too quick to dismiss this concept. The guys at AC
Propulsion
are pretty sharp. I wish my Prius' 17 kWh (38 each 7.2V, 6.5 amp-hour)
nickel metal hydride battery bank had the bi-directional connection AC
Propulsion is developing. Picture this. Your house has a PV roof feeding
into an inverter and your service panel with a TOU meter. You pull your
EV
or hybrid into the driveway and plug it in. Grid or solar power charges
the
vehicle battery bank if needed. If the grid needs power during peak
periods, the utility signals all the plugged in vehicles and draws from
their batteries. If the grid goes down, your vehicle battery bank powers
your home. Too far out? So were solar roofs a few decades ago. Imagine
the
future and then make it so.
Post by jberdner
Interesting idea but...
Check out some of Tom Hund's (Sandia) work on this subject.
As I recall, his conclusion was that the round trip cost for the
energy
Post by jberdner
was about $0.35 per kWh.
Not quite enough to make it worthwhile even with time of day net
metering.
Perhaps the economics will be a bit better with the advanced batteries
in EV's.
Best Regards,
John Berdner
SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)
-----Original Message-----
From: Graham Owen [mailto:graham at solarexpert.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 11:07 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Check out this website http://www.acpropulsion.com
They are developing electric cars that charge up at night with grid
power, then sell the power back to the grid during peak demand. From
what I have been told, the founder Allan Cocconi, is a genious when it
comes to inverter technology. I know this dosn't help with solar
projects in the works now, but there is some intersting stuff on the
site.
Graham
GO Solar
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Joel Davidson
2002-06-14 17:46:28 UTC
Permalink
I thought it was SOP for PV people to misunderstand each other :-)
Bucky Fuller use to say, "It's not so important that you understand me, just
so you don't misunderstand me."
Post by jberdner
Please don't misunderstand me, I think it is a great concept for backup
power. Why have a big battery bank and inverter sitting around doing
nothing for 99% of the time when you have perfectly good power system in
your EV ?
For now load shifting with lead acid isn't cost effective even at
California rates but it is getting close. Hopefully the EV driven
battery revolution will give us high cycling batteries at a reasonable
price.
Has anyone tried load shifting this with NiFe (Edison cell) batteries ?
Are new ones even available any more ?
Given the incredible cycling performance of NiFe, I wonder if they could
drop the round trip energy cost into the cost effective range ( < 20
/kWh with CA TOU net metering). The main drawback of NiFe is the high
self discharge but in a daily load shifting application this probably
wouldn't matter too much.
Best Regards,
John Berdner
SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)
-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Davidson [mailto:joeldavidson at earthlink.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 3:34 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
John, Don't be too quick to dismiss this concept. The guys at AC
Propulsion
are pretty sharp. I wish my Prius' 17 kWh (38 each 7.2V, 6.5 amp-hour)
nickel metal hydride battery bank had the bi-directional connection AC
Propulsion is developing. Picture this. Your house has a PV roof feeding
into an inverter and your service panel with a TOU meter. You pull your
EV
or hybrid into the driveway and plug it in. Grid or solar power charges
the
vehicle battery bank if needed. If the grid needs power during peak
periods, the utility signals all the plugged in vehicles and draws from
their batteries. If the grid goes down, your vehicle battery bank powers
your home. Too far out? So were solar roofs a few decades ago. Imagine
the
future and then make it so.
Post by jberdner
Interesting idea but...
Check out some of Tom Hund's (Sandia) work on this subject.
As I recall, his conclusion was that the round trip cost for the
energy
Post by jberdner
was about $0.35 per kWh.
Not quite enough to make it worthwhile even with time of day net
metering.
Perhaps the economics will be a bit better with the advanced batteries
in EV's.
Best Regards,
John Berdner
SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)
-----Original Message-----
From: Graham Owen [mailto:graham at solarexpert.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 11:07 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Check out this website http://www.acpropulsion.com
They are developing electric cars that charge up at night with grid
power, then sell the power back to the grid during peak demand. From
what I have been told, the founder Allan Cocconi, is a genious when it
comes to inverter technology. I know this dosn't help with solar
projects in the works now, but there is some intersting stuff on the
site.
Graham
GO Solar
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Mangelsdorf, Marco
2002-06-14 18:58:18 UTC
Permalink
Jeff,

What caused these MPPT controllers to fry?

marco


I just replaced 4 "fried" almost new MPPT controllers with C-40's on same four
arrays and battery banks and have had no more problems.

Jeff Yago
Dunimis Technology Inc.

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Christopher Freitas - OutBack Power
2002-06-14 21:48:43 UTC
Permalink
I would recommend Auto-Lite. It pretty cheap and it does almost
everything the full autocad version does except isometrics (3D-ish
drawings).

The important thing is that the program allows for importing and
exporting DXF and DWG files which are autocad's file types. We recently
started posting on our WebSite all of the OutBack Autocad drawings used
in our manuals - you can modify them to suit your needs. Check under
"documentation"

BTW - the best file type to insert into a word document from autocad has
been "WMF" type - windows meta files.


Christopher Freitas
OutBack Power Systems, Inc.
cfreitas at outbackpower.com www.outbackpower.com
Tel 360 435 6030 Arlington WA USA

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starpower4u
2002-06-14 23:37:57 UTC
Permalink
My research agrees with John B. and SANDIA, depending on the battery life
cycle cost I see anywhere from $0.20 - $0.40/kWh. This does not include
the costs of replacing your EV battery pack which will be seeing a
premature (for the EV) death. I also seem to recall something in PG&E's
rules that prohibits this activity, for the non-guerrilla PG&E users
anyway.
Jeff Oldham
Potter Valley, CA

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Joel Davidson
2002-06-15 01:35:54 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jeff,
Commuting in portable power plants is still sci-fi, but so was a lot of stuff
we do nowadays.
1) I sat in on utility management discussions about cooperating with
combustion generator owners (hospitals, etc.) when wholesale electricity went
over $0.75/kWh in the summer of 2000. Splitting 50/50 where the generator got
$0.35 from the local utility and $0.35 from the ISO started to sound good to
everyone. We may be in that situation again.
2) April 2001, I listened to Stan Ovshinski (founder of ECD) and Bob Stemple
(ECD chairman and former General Motors CEO) talk about splitting the cost of
nickel metal hydride vehicle batteries 50/50 with the 1st user (EV owner) and
the 2nd user (stationary PV user) to reduce battery costs to each. Too bad
the younger generation is not as visionary.
3) You and I have watched PG&E get knocked off its high horse a few times.
That will happen again.
Hang in there. The future is what you make it.
From one solar powered office to another via the world wide web. Now that's
sci-fi.
Joel Davidson
Culver City, CA
My research agrees with John B. and SANDIA, depending on the battery life
cycle cost I see anywhere from $0.20 - $0.40/kWh. This does not include
the costs of replacing your EV battery pack which will be seeing a
premature (for the EV) death. I also seem to recall something in PG&E's
rules that prohibits this activity, for the non-guerrilla PG&E users
anyway.
Jeff Oldham
Potter Valley, CA
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Joel Davidson
2002-06-15 01:35:54 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jeff,
Commuting in portable power plants is still sci-fi, but so was a lot of stuff
we do nowadays.
1) I sat in on utility management discussions about cooperating with
combustion generator owners (hospitals, etc.) when wholesale electricity went
over $0.75/kWh in the summer of 2000. Splitting 50/50 where the generator got
$0.35 from the local utility and $0.35 from the ISO started to sound good to
everyone. We may be in that situation again.
2) April 2001, I listened to Stan Ovshinski (founder of ECD) and Bob Stemple
(ECD chairman and former General Motors CEO) talk about splitting the cost of
nickel metal hydride vehicle batteries 50/50 with the 1st user (EV owner) and
the 2nd user (stationary PV user) to reduce battery costs to each. Too bad
the younger generation is not as visionary.
3) You and I have watched PG&E get knocked off its high horse a few times.
That will happen again.
Hang in there. The future is what you make it.
From one solar powered office to another via the world wide web. Now that's
sci-fi.
Joel Davidson
Culver City, CA
My research agrees with John B. and SANDIA, depending on the battery life
cycle cost I see anywhere from $0.20 - $0.40/kWh. This does not include
the costs of replacing your EV battery pack which will be seeing a
premature (for the EV) death. I also seem to recall something in PG&E's
rules that prohibits this activity, for the non-guerrilla PG&E users
anyway.
Jeff Oldham
Potter Valley, CA
________________________________________________________________
GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO!
Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
http://dl.www.juno.com/get/web/.
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Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
2002-06-15 19:21:41 UTC
Permalink
Hi Ray,

It's holding 170 peak volts and then some. I did some testing just a few
minutes ago. Using a spare SW4048 in my shop. I set up small battery bank
that needed charged. Below are the results.

Watts and Power Factor came from a Brand 20-1850
HZ from a Fluke 79III (true RMS)
Volts and Peak Volts from a Fluke 87

After 2200 watts I took the Brand out of the loop as it's rated to measure
up to 1850 watts. I also had to take the power strip out of the loop as it
sorta had a little meltdown (oops).
The wattage increments come from starting with MAX CHARGE AMPS on the SW4048
at 1 amp then increasing to 5 amps and going up in 5 amp increments each
time after that. The last line of data is with the SW4048 MAX CHARGE AMPS
set to 25 amps plus 355 watts of incandescent lights. So running at over
3200 watts which 115% of it's rating my Yamaha generator never dropped below
110 volts and it sine wave peak was 172.4. The wattage numbers are the
middle of the road as the SW's charger is all the time up and down. The
voltage stayed very constant, never varied more than .5 volts no matter what
the SW was doing. The HZ never changed from 60.00.

Hopefully the data stays on the same lines. If you like I can forward and
Excel spreadsheet the data is entered into.


Max
Charge
Setting
Amps Watts Volts PF HZ Peak Volts
0 0 119.8-121.1 0 60.00 168.8
1 110 120.7 .4 60.00 166.8
5 540 120.0 .88 60.00 169.2
10 1150 119.0 .95 60.00 172.0
15 1750 119.3 .97 60.00 168.8
20 2200 117.8 .99 60.00 168.8
25 ? 110-118 ? 60.00 172.4


Travis Creswell
Ozark Energy Services




----------
From: Ray Walters <remotech at taosnm.com>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Peak Voltage Sine Wave [RE-wrenches]
Date: Sat, Jun 15, 2002, 3:47 AM
Is your fine Yamaha inverter/generator holding that 170 v peak at full load?
I'm not familiar with HF chargers, what do the cost? I'm also considering
the booster transformer option to get better fuel efficiency when mating
inferior generators with the DR series charger/ inverters.
Ray
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Doug Pratt
2002-06-16 00:33:47 UTC
Permalink
Bob-O, the sucessor to Todd seems to be the Iota line of HF chargers/DC
power supplies. Very similar design, performance, and pricing to the old
Todd. I think by some strange coincidence a large number of the Todd
engineering staff ended up at Iota when Todd went belly up. We've been
selling Iota chargers for over a year now with no problems to speak of.

Cheers,
Doug Pratt
(the Doug at Real Goods you *haven't* chewed off at the knees yet :-)

From: Bob-O Schultze, Electron Connection

Ray,
I was referring to the Todd type of charger, which is, unfortunately,
out of biz. Statpower (ok, Xantrex) makes one but it's pretty spendy.
Best, bob-O
Post by Ray Walters
Is your fine Yamaha inverter/generator holding that 170 v peak at full
load?
Post by Ray Walters
I'm not familiar with HF chargers, what do the cost? I'm also
considering
Post by Ray Walters
the booster transformer option to get better fuel efficiency when
mating
Post by Ray Walters
inferior generators with the DR series charger/ inverters.
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Bob-O Schultze, Electron Connection
2002-06-17 02:57:26 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Post by Doug Pratt
Cheers,
Doug Pratt
(the Doug at Real Goods you *haven't* chewed off at the knees yet :-)
Just keep your nose clean, pal... ;-)
Thanks for the Iota data.
Bestest, Bob-O

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</x-flowed>
Bob-O Schultze, Electron Connection
2002-06-17 02:57:26 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Post by Doug Pratt
Cheers,
Doug Pratt
(the Doug at Real Goods you *haven't* chewed off at the knees yet :-)
Just keep your nose clean, pal... ;-)
Thanks for the Iota data.
Bestest, Bob-O

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</x-flowed>
Doug Pratt
2002-06-16 00:53:21 UTC
Permalink
Jeff, Joel,
It isn't sci-fi, I've been commuting in my portable back-up power
plant for the last three years. When the utility power goes out I can
run everything that matters in my house off the EV's battery pack via an
Exeltech 120vdc input 1,100-watt inverter.
The piece that's really missing is the high-power, bi-directional,
hi-voltage charger/inverter. And that's only because there aren't enough
potential customers yet. The technology is readily available. There's a
22kW 3-phase inverter under the hood of my Prius...it just isn't
designed to talk to the grid...yet. The possibility of using an
automotive hybrid power plant to deliver back-up AC household power has
not escaped automotive engineers. I would expect to see it happen within
the next 5 years.

Cheers,
Doug Pratt

-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Davidson [mailto:joeldavidson at earthlink.net]

Hi Jeff,
Commuting in portable power plants is still sci-fi, but so was a lot of
stuff
we do nowadays.
1) I sat in on utility management discussions about cooperating with
combustion generator owners (hospitals, etc.) when wholesale electricity
went
over $0.75/kWh in the summer of 2000. Splitting 50/50 where the
generator got
$0.35 from the local utility and $0.35 from the ISO started to sound
good to
everyone. We may be in that situation again.
2) April 2001, I listened to Stan Ovshinski (founder of ECD) and Bob
Stemple
(ECD chairman and former General Motors CEO) talk about splitting the
cost of
nickel metal hydride vehicle batteries 50/50 with the 1st user (EV
owner) and
the 2nd user (stationary PV user) to reduce battery costs to each. Too
bad
the younger generation is not as visionary.
3) You and I have watched PG&E get knocked off its high horse a few
times.
That will happen again.
Hang in there. The future is what you make it.
From one solar powered office to another via the world wide web. Now
that's
sci-fi.
Joel Davidson
Culver City, CA
My research agrees with John B. and SANDIA, depending on the battery
life
cycle cost I see anywhere from $0.20 - $0.40/kWh. This does not
include
the costs of replacing your EV battery pack which will be seeing a
premature (for the EV) death. I also seem to recall something in
PG&E's
rules that prohibits this activity, for the non-guerrilla PG&E users
anyway.
Jeff Oldham
Potter Valley, CA
________________________________________________________________
GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO!
Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
http://dl.www.juno.com/get/web/.
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David Palumbo, Independent Power &amp; Light
2002-06-17 01:35:47 UTC
Permalink
We've observed higher charging rates with the Iota 75 amp chargers than we
ever saw from the 75 amp Todd's. With Todd's we would see 70 amps for a few
seconds and get 55 amps after 15 minutes of charging into a 700 AH battery
bank, charging current would be down to 20 amps at max voltage. The Iota
starts charging into the same battery bank at 78 amps an stays at 75 amps
until it reaches its max volts setting.

Dave

-----Original Message-----
From: Doug Pratt [mailto:dpratt at pacific.net]
Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2002 8:34 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Peak Voltage Sine Wave [RE-wrenches]


Bob-O, the sucessor to Todd seems to be the Iota line of HF chargers/DC
power supplies. Very similar design, performance, and pricing to the old
Todd. I think by some strange coincidence a large number of the Todd
engineering staff ended up at Iota when Todd went belly up. We've been
selling Iota chargers for over a year now with no problems to speak of.

Cheers,
Doug Pratt
(the Doug at Real Goods you *haven't* chewed off at the knees yet :-)

From: Bob-O Schultze, Electron Connection

Ray,
I was referring to the Todd type of charger, which is, unfortunately,
out of biz. Statpower (ok, Xantrex) makes one but it's pretty spendy.
Best, bob-O

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Rob Wills
2002-06-17 03:33:40 UTC
Permalink
Hi Marco.
We have had quite a lot of experience with buck type controllers for PV MPPT
and fuel cell power conversion. There are several areas where buck
converter designers can get in to trouble - the circuit looks simple, but
there are quite a few traps.

The main ones are voltage stress on the input switch (FET) and free-wheel
diode.
We use a 160V part in our MM front end, and have had few problems with PV
open circuit up to 120V dc. We also have pretty heavy duty surge
suppression on the input.

It is tempting to use lower voltage rated parts as the ON resistance is much
lower, but the converter then is more fragile..

Best Regards

Rob Wills

-----Original Message-----
From: Mangelsdorf, Marco [mailto:mmangelsdorf at hei.com]
Sent: Friday, June 14, 2002 2:58 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Power Point Tracking Controllers [RE-wrenches]


Jeff,

What caused these MPPT controllers to fry?

marco


I just replaced 4 "fried" almost new MPPT controllers with C-40's on same
four
arrays and battery banks and have had no more problems.

Jeff Yago
Dunimis Technology Inc.

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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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Ray Walters
2002-06-18 06:04:39 UTC
Permalink
Hi Travis;

Thanks for the high quality data collection. I think everyone can see now
that the inverter/ generators (especially your Yamaha) are really a break
through for off grid system backup. (Yea, I know most of you on the coasts
are snoozing through this thread, since your so worn out from doing grid
intertie.)
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
Hi Ray,
It's holding 170 peak volts and then some. I did some testing just a few
minutes ago. Using a spare SW4048 in my shop. I set up small battery bank
that needed charged. Below are the results.
Watts and Power Factor came from a Brand 20-1850
HZ from a Fluke 79III (true RMS)
Volts and Peak Volts from a Fluke 87
Max
Charge
Setting
Amps Watts Volts PF HZ Peak Volts
0 0 119.8-121.1 0 60.00 168.8
1 110 120.7 .4 60.00 166.8
5 540 120.0 .88 60.00 169.2
10 1150 119.0 .95 60.00 172.0
15 1750 119.3 .97 60.00 168.8
20 2200 117.8 .99 60.00 168.8
25 ? 110-118 ? 60.00 172.4
Travis Creswell
Ozark Energy Services
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Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
2002-06-20 13:19:53 UTC
Permalink
Hi Ray,

What do you make of the SW's power factor? I always thought it had a
terrible power factor. Once it was charging above a 1000 watts it's PF was
above .95. Should I question the accuracy of the Brand Meter?

Travis
----------
From: Ray Walters <remotech at taosnm.com>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Peak Voltage Sine Wave [RE-wrenches]
Date: Tue, Jun 18, 2002, 1:04 AM
Hi Travis;
Thanks for the high quality data collection. I think everyone can see now
that the inverter/ generators (especially your Yamaha) are really a break
through for off grid system backup. (Yea, I know most of you on the coasts
are snoozing through this thread, since your so worn out from doing grid
intertie.)
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Ray Walters
2002-06-20 19:20:53 UTC
Permalink
Hi Travis;

I can't comment on the Brand's accuracy of power factor, since I have no other equipment to compare measurements with. Santa Claus still hasn't brought me a Fluke 43. My understanding of PF is that it is representative of the lag between the peak of the voltage wave with respect to the current wave. If both current and voltage peak at the same time, PF = 1. If voltage peaks when current is at zero, PF = 0.If voltage peaks positive when current is at max. neg, PF =-1, and the phase angle (the measurement in degrees between the two sine waves) is 180 degrees. My understanding is also that PF is dependent on the load. Because a power source could be called to provide more current (apparent power)than the actual watts would indicate, you can overload a power source without actually exceeding its watt rating. That (again my understanding) is why many generators and inverters are rated in VA (volts x amps) not watts. Anybody feel free to rip my explanation to shreds, I won't take!
offen
se.

Ray
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
What do you make of the SW's power factor? I always thought it had a
terrible power factor. Once it was charging above a 1000 watts it's PF was
above .95. Should I question the accuracy of the Brand Meter?
Travis
----------
From: Ray Walters <remotech at taosnm.com>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Peak Voltage Sine Wave [RE-wrenches]
Date: Tue, Jun 18, 2002, 1:04 AM
Hi Travis;
Thanks for the high quality data collection. I think everyone can see now
that the inverter/ generators (especially your Yamaha) are really a break
through for off grid system backup. (Yea, I know most of you on the coasts
are snoozing through this thread, since your so worn out from doing grid
intertie.)
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Hugh Piggott
2002-06-21 06:42:34 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
As I understand it, Power factor is the ratio between the actual
power delivered to the load and the apparent power which is the
product of (rms) volts and amps.
Post by Ray Walters
My understanding of PF is that it is representative of the lag
between the peak of the voltage wave with respect to the current
wave. If both current and voltage peak at the same time, PF = 1.
That is true if the current is sinusoidal. Power factor is then
cos(phase angle between current and voltage). Your explanation fits
this case, but there are other cases where apparent power or 'VA' is
greater than real power (watts).

If the current is not sinusoidal (e.g. where it consists of pulses
with high peaks), then you can have a very high rms current without
achieving a high power output, so the power factor can be poor for
this reason rather than due to a leading or lagging phase angle.

For example pwm devices will have poor power factor when using narrow
pulses. Brief high peaks of current will have much higher rms value
than smooth current.

The usual comment about being ripped to shreds apply here. Enlighten
me further.
--
Hugh

http://www.scoraigwind.co.uk/

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</x-flowed>
Hugh Piggott
2002-06-21 06:42:34 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
As I understand it, Power factor is the ratio between the actual
power delivered to the load and the apparent power which is the
product of (rms) volts and amps.
Post by Ray Walters
My understanding of PF is that it is representative of the lag
between the peak of the voltage wave with respect to the current
wave. If both current and voltage peak at the same time, PF = 1.
That is true if the current is sinusoidal. Power factor is then
cos(phase angle between current and voltage). Your explanation fits
this case, but there are other cases where apparent power or 'VA' is
greater than real power (watts).

If the current is not sinusoidal (e.g. where it consists of pulses
with high peaks), then you can have a very high rms current without
achieving a high power output, so the power factor can be poor for
this reason rather than due to a leading or lagging phase angle.

For example pwm devices will have poor power factor when using narrow
pulses. Brief high peaks of current will have much higher rms value
than smooth current.

The usual comment about being ripped to shreds apply here. Enlighten
me further.
--
Hugh

http://www.scoraigwind.co.uk/

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</x-flowed>
Antony Tersol
2002-06-12 18:35:07 UTC
Permalink
I have a question regarding possible configurations for a large
residential power system. Following is description of situation and my
analysis thus far. Any comments, feedback, experience with such a
system, generator/inverter recommendations?

Thanks, Antony

We have a residential client interested in a PV system who already
decided on having generator backup as well. They have critical loads
that they want always provided, and power occasionally is out for days
when trees take out the lines (they are also concerned about possible
longer-term outages - earthquake or other disasters taking out regional
power). It seems logical to use batteries with a generator to buffer
the demand. If the batteries run low, the engine generator runs at full
power?its most cost- and fuel-efficient mode of operation?until they are
charged. Without batteries, the generator will be running continuously
at night even if the only load is extremely small (that blinking 12:00
on the vcr clock that no one ever set).

1. If we go with straight grid-tie batteryless PV, we would need a
transfer switch downstream, so that the PV wouldn't be running in outage
situation when generator is on.

grid------panel------transfer switch--------------main panel-----load
| |
inverter inverter
| | |
PV battery generator



advantages: a. relative simplicity
b. generator can power the entire main panel
c. PV doesn't take efficiency hit from batteries
disadvantages: a. PV useless when power is out
b. redundant inverters?


2. If we use PV with battery, and multiple small inverters (~5kw):

grid--------------main panel---------inverter-------sub panel------load
| | |
| battery generator
| |
| PV
|
|------------inverter-------sub panel------load
| | |
| battery generator
| |
| PV
|
etc.

advantages: a. PV functional during outages, minimizing generator needs
b. redundancy, so that even if one inverter fails, still have power
c. using same inverters as likely in other smaller systems, so our
technical knowledge better leveraged (better for us and the client)
disadvantages: a. increased complexity - need sub-panels and need to
feed generator into each inverter
b. loss of efficiency because of battery losses

3. If we use PV with battery, and one large inverter (10 to 20 kw):

grid--------------main panel---------inverter-------sub panel-----load
| | |
| battery generator
sub panels |
PV


advantages: a. PV functional during outages, minimizing generator needs

disadvantages: a. loss of efficiency because of battery losses
b. no redundancy, if inverter fails, no power
c. large inverter unique to large systems, so our experience and
knowledge limited.
d. only sub panel connected to inverter has backup power


Parameters:

House will have 400 amp service
Typical load expected to be 40-70 amps (@ 120v), 80-100 amps max
PV system 10-20 kwp

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Brad Bassett
2002-06-12 19:53:23 UTC
Permalink
Antony,

The window of operation for a grid tied inverter is so tight now that
the chances of one synchronizing with a generator is about nil. I saw an
attempt to get a 20 kW trace tech inverter to synch with a new 100 kW
Kohler top of the line generator, and it never even came close. The
longest I saw it try before an error on voltage (high and low) or
frequency was about 3 seconds, and it takes 5 minutes of good power to
synch.

With a smaller generator such as would be used for a residence the
chances would be even smaller. Still it might not be a bad idea to
disconnect the inverter while on generator power to prevent any possible
backfeed of dirty power from the generator into the inverter (JB could
this be an issue with SMA?).

Another option is to use a battery based backup system for critical
loads, and grid tie inverters for the solar. I wonder if you could get
them to synchonize with each other!? (Put the grid tie on utility side
of backup inverter). Or a combination of battery based and straight grid
tie systems. With some musical relays you could transfer the solar aray
from the grid tie to the batteries during an outage. I'll let someone
else do that science project!

You also mentioned using a larger inverter, let me know if you find one
that's not a scince project in itself.

Brad
Post by Antony Tersol
1. If we go with straight grid-tie batteryless PV, we would need a
transfer switch downstream, so that the PV wouldn't be running in outage
situation when generator is on.
Brad Bassett
Schott Applied Power
Tumwater, WA office
bsbassett at earthlink.net

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Kent Sheldon
2002-06-12 20:15:13 UTC
Permalink
Brad, I know of a handful of installations that have tied SMA Sunny Boy
inverters to generators. We haven't had any follow up phone calls saying
they didn't work. The SB inverters rectify the AC voltage sense to DC,
so this will normalize any error caused by ripple or harmonic
distortion, assuming it isn't bad enough to skew the true RMS value
greater than +/- 10%. One thing to watch out for: The SB inverter will
attempt to deliver current up to the limit of the inverter(s) tied to
the generator. If the load is not large enough to consume the current,
the excess will backfeed the generator, causing it to trip offline on an
over-voltage, or reverse current fault. This generally means that
grid-tied inverters are only tied to very large generators where the
load is known never to dip below the output of the available PV power.
In general, the larger the generator, the better its voltage fidelity.

Regards,

____________________________________________
Kent Sheldon
Manager, Industrial Power Systems
SMA America
ksheldon at sma-america.com
925 513 8813 Brentwood Office (Primary)
530 273 4848 Grass Valley Office




-----Original Message-----
From: Brad Bassett [mailto:bsbassett at earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 12:53 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]

Antony,

The window of operation for a grid tied inverter is so tight now that
the chances of one synchronizing with a generator is about nil. I saw an

attempt to get a 20 kW trace tech inverter to synch with a new 100 kW
Kohler top of the line generator, and it never even came close. The
longest I saw it try before an error on voltage (high and low) or
frequency was about 3 seconds, and it takes 5 minutes of good power to
synch.

With a smaller generator such as would be used for a residence the
chances would be even smaller. Still it might not be a bad idea to
disconnect the inverter while on generator power to prevent any possible

backfeed of dirty power from the generator into the inverter (JB could
this be an issue with SMA?).

Another option is to use a battery based backup system for critical
loads, and grid tie inverters for the solar. I wonder if you could get
them to synchonize with each other!? (Put the grid tie on utility side
of backup inverter). Or a combination of battery based and straight grid

tie systems. With some musical relays you could transfer the solar aray
from the grid tie to the batteries during an outage. I'll let someone
else do that science project!

You also mentioned using a larger inverter, let me know if you find one
that's not a scince project in itself.

Brad
Post by Antony Tersol
1. If we go with straight grid-tie batteryless PV, we would need a
transfer switch downstream, so that the PV wouldn't be running in
outage
Post by Antony Tersol
situation when generator is on.
Brad Bassett
Schott Applied Power
Tumwater, WA office
bsbassett at earthlink.net

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Joel Davidson
2002-06-12 21:25:47 UTC
Permalink
If the purpose of the PV system is to offset utility power consumption, then
use a battery-less PV system. I'm not saying this because John Berdner is right
(he is). I have lived with an older SW4048 inverter on my grid tie PV system
with battery backup for 4 years. The system works fine (that's installer lingo
for no callbacks).

Define your UPS needs and serve them separately. I am still a strong believer
in separating zero-time power needs (computer, security, life support, phasers,
etc.) from other needs (lights, refrigerator, well pump, TV unless something
good is on, etc.)

I don't like combustion generators automatically turning on and off. We've all
heard stories about generators running without oil, cars with auto-start warmup
in Minnesota starting up in gear and driving through the wall, etc. The test of
a good UPS is that the least technical adults (or precocious pre-teens) should
be able to turn on lights, heat, water and communications during a power outage
in the dark without hurting themselves. A few well-marked switches are
appreciated.
Switch #1 - Turn this swith on first.
Switch #2 - Turn this switch on after turning on Switch #1.
Etc.
Post by Antony Tersol
I have a question regarding possible configurations for a large
residential power system. Following is description of situation and my
analysis thus far. Any comments, feedback, experience with such a
system, generator/inverter recommendations?
Thanks, Antony
We have a residential client interested in a PV system who already
decided on having generator backup as well. They have critical loads
that they want always provided, and power occasionally is out for days
when trees take out the lines (they are also concerned about possible
longer-term outages - earthquake or other disasters taking out regional
power). It seems logical to use batteries with a generator to buffer
the demand. If the batteries run low, the engine generator runs at full
power?its most cost- and fuel-efficient mode of operation?until they are
charged. Without batteries, the generator will be running continuously
at night even if the only load is extremely small (that blinking 12:00
on the vcr clock that no one ever set).
1. If we go with straight grid-tie batteryless PV, we would need a
transfer switch downstream, so that the PV wouldn't be running in outage
situation when generator is on.
grid------panel------transfer switch--------------main panel-----load
| |
inverter inverter
| | |
PV battery generator
advantages: a. relative simplicity
b. generator can power the entire main panel
c. PV doesn't take efficiency hit from batteries
disadvantages: a. PV useless when power is out
b. redundant inverters?
grid--------------main panel---------inverter-------sub panel------load
| | |
| battery generator
| |
| PV
|
|------------inverter-------sub panel------load
| | |
| battery generator
| |
| PV
|
etc.
advantages: a. PV functional during outages, minimizing generator needs
b. redundancy, so that even if one inverter fails, still have power
c. using same inverters as likely in other smaller systems, so our
technical knowledge better leveraged (better for us and the client)
disadvantages: a. increased complexity - need sub-panels and need to
feed generator into each inverter
b. loss of efficiency because of battery losses
grid--------------main panel---------inverter-------sub panel-----load
| | |
| battery generator
sub panels |
PV
advantages: a. PV functional during outages, minimizing generator needs
disadvantages: a. loss of efficiency because of battery losses
b. no redundancy, if inverter fails, no power
c. large inverter unique to large systems, so our experience and
knowledge limited.
d. only sub panel connected to inverter has backup power
House will have 400 amp service
PV system 10-20 kwp
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Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
2002-06-12 21:50:07 UTC
Permalink
I'd be curious to know how a batteryless inverter would act with one of the
new "inverter" generators. The ones that I've seen were all under 3kW. I
almost suspect that a batteryless inverter would not trip off line until it
overloaded the generator. My crude testing showed that they output some
really nice voltage and frequency. I don't know about the waveform though.
Testing my 2800 watt Yamaha unit under various loads my Fluke 87 never saw
anything other than 60.0 Hz and never got outside of 118 to 122 volts.
Those measurements were taken continuously as I changed loads. Very
impressive little units.

Travis Creswell
Ozark Energy Services
----------
From: Kent Sheldon <kentsheldon at sbcglobal.net>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, Jun 12, 2002, 3:15 PM
Brad, I know of a handful of installations that have tied SMA Sunny Boy
inverters to generators. We haven't had any follow up phone calls saying
they didn't work. The SB inverters rectify the AC voltage sense to DC,
so this will normalize any error caused by ripple or harmonic
distortion, assuming it isn't bad enough to skew the true RMS value
greater than +/- 10%. One thing to watch out for: The SB inverter will
attempt to deliver current up to the limit of the inverter(s) tied to
the generator. If the load is not large enough to consume the current,
the excess will backfeed the generator, causing it to trip offline on an
over-voltage, or reverse current fault. This generally means that
grid-tied inverters are only tied to very large generators where the
load is known never to dip below the output of the available PV power.
In general, the larger the generator, the better its voltage fidelity.
Regards,
____________________________________________
Kent Sheldon
Manager, Industrial Power Systems
SMA America
ksheldon at sma-america.com
925 513 8813 Brentwood Office (Primary)
530 273 4848 Grass Valley Office
-----Original Message-----
From: Brad Bassett [mailto:bsbassett at earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 12:53 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Antony,
The window of operation for a grid tied inverter is so tight now that
the chances of one synchronizing with a generator is about nil. I saw an
attempt to get a 20 kW trace tech inverter to synch with a new 100 kW
Kohler top of the line generator, and it never even came close. The
longest I saw it try before an error on voltage (high and low) or
frequency was about 3 seconds, and it takes 5 minutes of good power to
synch.
With a smaller generator such as would be used for a residence the
chances would be even smaller. Still it might not be a bad idea to
disconnect the inverter while on generator power to prevent any possible
backfeed of dirty power from the generator into the inverter (JB could
this be an issue with SMA?).
Another option is to use a battery based backup system for critical
loads, and grid tie inverters for the solar. I wonder if you could get
them to synchonize with each other!? (Put the grid tie on utility side
of backup inverter). Or a combination of battery based and straight grid
tie systems. With some musical relays you could transfer the solar aray
from the grid tie to the batteries during an outage. I'll let someone
else do that science project!
You also mentioned using a larger inverter, let me know if you find one
that's not a scince project in itself.
Brad
Post by Antony Tersol
1. If we go with straight grid-tie batteryless PV, we would need a
transfer switch downstream, so that the PV wouldn't be running in
outage
Post by Antony Tersol
situation when generator is on.
Brad Bassett
Schott Applied Power
Tumwater, WA office
bsbassett at earthlink.net
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David Blecker
2002-06-13 14:14:53 UTC
Permalink
Wrenches,

Does anyone know of a good (translation = cheap) CAD software program for generating simple one line RE system diagrams? Illustrating system designs for clients and utilities on the back of napkins is getting a little old. Thanks!

-Dave

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Graham Owen
2002-06-13 18:07:29 UTC
Permalink
Check out this website http://www.acpropulsion.com
They are developing electric cars that charge up at night with grid
power, then sell the power back to the grid during peak demand. From
what I have been told, the founder Allan Cocconi, is a genious when it
comes to inverter technology. I know this dosn't help with solar
projects in the works now, but there is some intersting stuff on the
site.

Graham
GO Solar

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Mangelsdorf, Marco
2002-06-13 18:38:19 UTC
Permalink
Dave,

You might want to check out TurboCad. It's pretty cheap, if I remember correctly--less than $50. And fairly easy to use...after some practice.

marco
proVision technologies, inc.
hilo, hawai'i

Wrenches,

Does anyone know of a good (translation = cheap) CAD software program for generating simple one line RE system diagrams? Illustrating system designs for clients and utilities on the back of napkins is getting a little old. Thanks!

-Dave

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EH Roy
2002-06-13 19:39:08 UTC
Permalink
David,

Try Visio.

E. H. Roy
Solar Works, Inc.
64 Main Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
1-800-339-7804 ext. 306
ehroy at solar-works.com

-----Original Message-----
From: David Blecker [mailto:blecker at earthsys.org]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 10:15 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: CAD software anyone? [RE-wrenches]

Wrenches,

Does anyone know of a good (translation = cheap) CAD software program for
generating simple one line RE system diagrams? Illustrating system designs
for clients and utilities on the back of napkins is getting a little old.
Thanks!

-Dave

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Ken Hulet, Engineering Services Co.
2002-06-13 19:57:47 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
We're bidding a job and one option will be to spec a Sunny Boy, our first
exposure to one. The customer wants to collect data, probably as much data
as possible. What's the best way to do this? What does the SMA display do?
Any advise or suggestions are appreciated.

Ken & Chris Hulet
Engineering Services Co.
P.O. Box 4
Blanchardville, WI 53516

608.523.3726

http://www.revolutionearth.com

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</x-flowed>
Kent Sheldon
2002-06-13 20:16:23 UTC
Permalink
Ken, there are numerous data collection options available with the Sunny
Boy inverters. They can be as simple as an LCD display, or as
complicated as a full blown integrated DAS with weather station. First
you need to decide what you want to do with the data. Then we can figure
out what hardware you will need as well as the cost. I'll send you an
email offline to further discuss this.

____________________________________________
Kent Sheldon
Manager, Industrial Power Systems
SMA America
ksheldon at sma-america.com
925 513 8813 Brentwood Office (Primary)
530 273 4848 Grass Valley Office




-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Hulet, Engineering Services Co.
[mailto:esco at revolutionearth.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 12:58 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Sunny Boy data collection [RE-wrenches]

We're bidding a job and one option will be to spec a Sunny Boy, our
first
exposure to one. The customer wants to collect data, probably as much
data
as possible. What's the best way to do this? What does the SMA display
do?
Any advise or suggestions are appreciated.

Ken & Chris Hulet
Engineering Services Co.
P.O. Box 4
Blanchardville, WI 53516

608.523.3726

http://www.revolutionearth.com

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jberdner
2002-06-13 20:41:21 UTC
Permalink
Graham:

Interesting idea but...
Check out some of Tom Hund's (Sandia) work on this subject.
As I recall, his conclusion was that the round trip cost for the energy
was about $0.35 per kWh.
Not quite enough to make it worthwhile even with time of day net
metering.
Perhaps the economics will be a bit better with the advanced batteries
in EV's.

Best Regards,

John Berdner

SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)


-----Original Message-----
From: Graham Owen [mailto:graham at solarexpert.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 11:07 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]

Check out this website http://www.acpropulsion.com
They are developing electric cars that charge up at night with grid
power, then sell the power back to the grid during peak demand. From
what I have been told, the founder Allan Cocconi, is a genious when it
comes to inverter technology. I know this dosn't help with solar
projects in the works now, but there is some intersting stuff on the
site.

Graham
GO Solar

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Ken Hulet, Engineering Services Co.
2002-06-14 03:22:10 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Windy,

CADintosh, $32.00 shareware from Lemke the maker of Graphic Converter.
Post by Windy Dankoff, Dankoff Solar
Turbo CAD? Visio? Anything for Mac-heads?
Ken & Chris Hulet
Engineering Services Co.
P.O. Box 4
Blanchardville, WI 53516

608.523.3726

http://www.revolutionearth.com

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</x-flowed>
Ray Walters
2002-06-14 04:23:20 UTC
Permalink
Hi Travis;

Have you tried the fast peak feature on your Fluke 87? You can catch the
voltage peak of the waveform, which gives you a fair idea if its squaring
off or holding a sinewave. Its not as good as an O-scope, but its another
parameter to look at. My old Honda was peaking at 135 under load even
though the rms voltage was still at 115. I beleive the the ratio for a pure
sinewave is rms volts = .707 peak volts. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong,
but that would put peak volts at about 170 for an rms voltage of 120.

Ray
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
I'd be curious to know how a batteryless inverter would act with one of the
new "inverter" generators. The ones that I've seen were all under 3kW. I
almost suspect that a batteryless inverter would not trip off line until it
overloaded the generator. My crude testing showed that they output some
really nice voltage and frequency. I don't know about the waveform though.
Testing my 2800 watt Yamaha unit under various loads my Fluke 87 never saw
anything other than 60.0 Hz and never got outside of 118 to 122 volts.
Those measurements were taken continuously as I changed loads. Very
impressive little units.
Travis Creswell
Ozark Energy Services
----------
From: Kent Sheldon <kentsheldon at sbcglobal.net>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, Jun 12, 2002, 3:15 PM
Brad, I know of a handful of installations that have tied SMA Sunny Boy
inverters to generators. We haven't had any follow up phone calls saying
they didn't work. The SB inverters rectify the AC voltage sense to DC,
so this will normalize any error caused by ripple or harmonic
distortion, assuming it isn't bad enough to skew the true RMS value
greater than +/- 10%. One thing to watch out for: The SB inverter will
attempt to deliver current up to the limit of the inverter(s) tied to
the generator. If the load is not large enough to consume the current,
the excess will backfeed the generator, causing it to trip offline on an
over-voltage, or reverse current fault. This generally means that
grid-tied inverters are only tied to very large generators where the
load is known never to dip below the output of the available PV power.
In general, the larger the generator, the better its voltage fidelity.
Regards,
____________________________________________
Kent Sheldon
Manager, Industrial Power Systems
SMA America
ksheldon at sma-america.com
925 513 8813 Brentwood Office (Primary)
530 273 4848 Grass Valley Office
-----Original Message-----
From: Brad Bassett [mailto:bsbassett at earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 12:53 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Antony,
The window of operation for a grid tied inverter is so tight now that
the chances of one synchronizing with a generator is about nil. I saw an
attempt to get a 20 kW trace tech inverter to synch with a new 100 kW
Kohler top of the line generator, and it never even came close. The
longest I saw it try before an error on voltage (high and low) or
frequency was about 3 seconds, and it takes 5 minutes of good power to
synch.
With a smaller generator such as would be used for a residence the
chances would be even smaller. Still it might not be a bad idea to
disconnect the inverter while on generator power to prevent any possible
backfeed of dirty power from the generator into the inverter (JB could
this be an issue with SMA?).
Another option is to use a battery based backup system for critical
loads, and grid tie inverters for the solar. I wonder if you could get
them to synchonize with each other!? (Put the grid tie on utility side
of backup inverter). Or a combination of battery based and straight grid
tie systems. With some musical relays you could transfer the solar aray
from the grid tie to the batteries during an outage. I'll let someone
else do that science project!
You also mentioned using a larger inverter, let me know if you find one
that's not a scince project in itself.
Brad
Post by Antony Tersol
1. If we go with straight grid-tie batteryless PV, we would need a
transfer switch downstream, so that the PV wouldn't be running in
outage
Post by Antony Tersol
situation when generator is on.
Brad Bassett
Schott Applied Power
Tumwater, WA office
bsbassett at earthlink.net
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mrousso
2002-06-14 04:23:57 UTC
Permalink
I personally like Visio 2000. I've made a number of
stencils with objects that look like the actual PV
modules, inverters, discos, etc (looks like the Home
Power Magazine drawings). I now can drag and drop
components on a blank page and quickly build 1-lines,
etc.

The best way to get Visio is thru eBay. Bid on one
with an educator's copy (lots cheaper and they don't
care if you actually teach, although I would say most
of us do on a daily basis). Expext to pay a little
over $100.

If you do get Visio, I would be happy to share my
template with you.

If Visio is too expensive, you can download a free
trial version of SmartDraw (www.smartdraw.com). I
think the full blown version (also available via
download) is around $50-$75. I like Visio better.

=====
Mo Rousso
Urban Refuge, Inc.
760.451.9374 (v) 760.451.9784 (f)
mrousso at urbanrefuge.com
www.urbanrefuge.com

__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! - Official partner of 2002 FIFA World Cup
http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com

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Kent Sheldon
2002-06-14 04:56:47 UTC
Permalink
If you have a Fluke 87 you can trust the RMS reading, as this Fluke is a
true RMS meter. Cheap meters assume sinusoidal, and calculate RMS from
.707 (root 2 / 2) of peak. These cannot be trusted. Also, using the peak
value to guess at RMS is not a good idea. If you've ever looked at a six
step waveform you will understand.

____________________________________________
Kent Sheldon
Manager, Industrial Power Systems
SMA America
ksheldon at sma-america.com
925 513 8813 Brentwood Office (Primary)
530 273 4848 Grass Valley Office




-----Original Message-----
From: Ray Walters [mailto:remotech at taosnm.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 9:23 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]

Hi Travis;

Have you tried the fast peak feature on your Fluke 87? You can catch the
voltage peak of the waveform, which gives you a fair idea if its
squaring
off or holding a sinewave. Its not as good as an O-scope, but its
another
parameter to look at. My old Honda was peaking at 135 under load even
though the rms voltage was still at 115. I beleive the the ratio for a
pure
sinewave is rms volts = .707 peak volts. Somebody correct me if I'm
wrong,
but that would put peak volts at about 170 for an rms voltage of 120.

Ray
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
I'd be curious to know how a batteryless inverter would act with one of
the
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
new "inverter" generators. The ones that I've seen were all under 3kW.
I
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
almost suspect that a batteryless inverter would not trip off line
until it
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
overloaded the generator. My crude testing showed that they output
some
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
really nice voltage and frequency. I don't know about the waveform
though.
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
Testing my 2800 watt Yamaha unit under various loads my Fluke 87 never
saw
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
anything other than 60.0 Hz and never got outside of 118 to 122 volts.
Those measurements were taken continuously as I changed loads. Very
impressive little units.
Travis Creswell
Ozark Energy Services
----------
From: Kent Sheldon <kentsheldon at sbcglobal.net>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, Jun 12, 2002, 3:15 PM
Brad, I know of a handful of installations that have tied SMA Sunny
Boy
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
inverters to generators. We haven't had any follow up phone calls
saying
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
they didn't work. The SB inverters rectify the AC voltage sense to DC,
so this will normalize any error caused by ripple or harmonic
distortion, assuming it isn't bad enough to skew the true RMS value
greater than +/- 10%. One thing to watch out for: The SB inverter will
attempt to deliver current up to the limit of the inverter(s) tied to
the generator. If the load is not large enough to consume the current,
the excess will backfeed the generator, causing it to trip offline on
an
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
over-voltage, or reverse current fault. This generally means that
grid-tied inverters are only tied to very large generators where the
load is known never to dip below the output of the available PV power.
In general, the larger the generator, the better its voltage fidelity.
Regards,
____________________________________________
Kent Sheldon
Manager, Industrial Power Systems
SMA America
ksheldon at sma-america.com
925 513 8813 Brentwood Office (Primary)
530 273 4848 Grass Valley Office
-----Original Message-----
From: Brad Bassett [mailto:bsbassett at earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 12:53 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Antony,
The window of operation for a grid tied inverter is so tight now that
the chances of one synchronizing with a generator is about nil. I saw
an
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
attempt to get a 20 kW trace tech inverter to synch with a new 100 kW
Kohler top of the line generator, and it never even came close. The
longest I saw it try before an error on voltage (high and low) or
frequency was about 3 seconds, and it takes 5 minutes of good power to
synch.
With a smaller generator such as would be used for a residence the
chances would be even smaller. Still it might not be a bad idea to
disconnect the inverter while on generator power to prevent any
possible
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
backfeed of dirty power from the generator into the inverter (JB could
this be an issue with SMA?).
Another option is to use a battery based backup system for critical
loads, and grid tie inverters for the solar. I wonder if you could get
them to synchonize with each other!? (Put the grid tie on utility side
of backup inverter). Or a combination of battery based and straight
grid
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
tie systems. With some musical relays you could transfer the solar
aray
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
from the grid tie to the batteries during an outage. I'll let someone
else do that science project!
You also mentioned using a larger inverter, let me know if you find
one
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
that's not a scince project in itself.
Brad
Post by Antony Tersol
1. If we go with straight grid-tie batteryless PV, we would need a
transfer switch downstream, so that the PV wouldn't be running in
outage
Post by Antony Tersol
situation when generator is on.
Brad Bassett
Schott Applied Power
Tumwater, WA office
bsbassett at earthlink.net
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Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
2002-06-14 12:52:23 UTC
Permalink
MacDraft is what I use. I think it several hundred dollars now a days.
Supposedly the newer versions lets you save as JPG which I believe would let
you email diagrams.

Travis
----------
From: "Windy Dankoff, Dankoff Solar" <windy at dankoffsolar.com>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: CAD software anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Date: Thu, Jun 13, 2002, 9:26 PM
Turbo CAD? Visio? Anything for Mac-heads?
Windy
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Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
2002-06-14 13:06:51 UTC
Permalink
Hi Ray,

Thanks for tip and I just did try the Peak Min/Max feature. I can't find a
reference in on the quick reference card for "Fast Peak" feature. My meter
is an older 87. I was wondering if you could look at peaks with an 87 and
never had a chance to figure it out yet.

Looks like it's peaking at 170.0 while recording at 1ms.

Travis
----------
From: Ray Walters <remotech at taosnm.com>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Date: Thu, Jun 13, 2002, 11:23 PM
Hi Travis;
Have you tried the fast peak feature on your Fluke 87? You can catch the
voltage peak of the waveform, which gives you a fair idea if its squaring
off or holding a sinewave. Its not as good as an O-scope, but its another
parameter to look at. My old Honda was peaking at 135 under load even
though the rms voltage was still at 115. I beleive the the ratio for a pure
sinewave is rms volts = .707 peak volts. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong,
but that would put peak volts at about 170 for an rms voltage of 120.
Ray
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
I'd be curious to know how a batteryless inverter would act with one of the
new "inverter" generators. The ones that I've seen were all under 3kW. I
almost suspect that a batteryless inverter would not trip off line until it
overloaded the generator. My crude testing showed that they output some
really nice voltage and frequency. I don't know about the waveform though.
Testing my 2800 watt Yamaha unit under various loads my Fluke 87 never saw
anything other than 60.0 Hz and never got outside of 118 to 122 volts.
Those measurements were taken continuously as I changed loads. Very
impressive little units.
Travis Creswell
Ozark Energy Services
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Jeff Yago
2002-06-14 14:54:47 UTC
Permalink
I know we have had some past discussion in past threads about advantages of
power point tracking charge controllers with some systems, but I just
replaced 4 "fried" almost new MPPT controllers with C-40's on same four
arrays and battery banks and have had no more problems. We did re-circuit
all module strings to get voltage down to 48 volts for the C-40's from the
higher voltage string circuits recommended by controller manufacturer.
Battery stayed 48 volts.

Most of my systems are on grid solar battery charging backup systems or off
grid solar w/generator assist systems in the 4 to 6 kW range.

I know many are sold on these for no battery solar system selling to grid,
but I do not think the added cost is worth the headaches we are seeing when
trying to use them on the type of systems we install. What say yea?


Jeff Yago
Dunimis Technology Inc.

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jberdner
2002-06-14 16:02:30 UTC
Permalink
Joel:

Please don't misunderstand me, I think it is a great concept for backup
power. Why have a big battery bank and inverter sitting around doing
nothing for 99% of the time when you have perfectly good power system in
your EV ?

For now load shifting with lead acid isn't cost effective even at
California rates but it is getting close. Hopefully the EV driven
battery revolution will give us high cycling batteries at a reasonable
price.

Has anyone tried load shifting this with NiFe (Edison cell) batteries ?
Are new ones even available any more ?
Given the incredible cycling performance of NiFe, I wonder if they could
drop the round trip energy cost into the cost effective range ( < 20
/kWh with CA TOU net metering). The main drawback of NiFe is the high
self discharge but in a daily load shifting application this probably
wouldn't matter too much.

Best Regards,

John Berdner

SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)


-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Davidson [mailto:joeldavidson at earthlink.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 3:34 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]

John, Don't be too quick to dismiss this concept. The guys at AC
Propulsion
are pretty sharp. I wish my Prius' 17 kWh (38 each 7.2V, 6.5 amp-hour)
nickel metal hydride battery bank had the bi-directional connection AC
Propulsion is developing. Picture this. Your house has a PV roof feeding
into an inverter and your service panel with a TOU meter. You pull your
EV
or hybrid into the driveway and plug it in. Grid or solar power charges
the
vehicle battery bank if needed. If the grid needs power during peak
periods, the utility signals all the plugged in vehicles and draws from
their batteries. If the grid goes down, your vehicle battery bank powers
your home. Too far out? So were solar roofs a few decades ago. Imagine
the
future and then make it so.
Post by jberdner
Interesting idea but...
Check out some of Tom Hund's (Sandia) work on this subject.
As I recall, his conclusion was that the round trip cost for the
energy
Post by jberdner
was about $0.35 per kWh.
Not quite enough to make it worthwhile even with time of day net
metering.
Perhaps the economics will be a bit better with the advanced batteries
in EV's.
Best Regards,
John Berdner
SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)
-----Original Message-----
From: Graham Owen [mailto:graham at solarexpert.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 11:07 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Hybrid PV/Battery/Generator [RE-wrenches]
Check out this website http://www.acpropulsion.com
They are developing electric cars that charge up at night with grid
power, then sell the power back to the grid during peak demand. From
what I have been told, the founder Allan Cocconi, is a genious when it
comes to inverter technology. I know this dosn't help with solar
projects in the works now, but there is some intersting stuff on the
site.
Graham
GO Solar
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Mangelsdorf, Marco
2002-06-14 18:58:18 UTC
Permalink
Jeff,

What caused these MPPT controllers to fry?

marco


I just replaced 4 "fried" almost new MPPT controllers with C-40's on same four
arrays and battery banks and have had no more problems.

Jeff Yago
Dunimis Technology Inc.

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Christopher Freitas - OutBack Power
2002-06-14 21:48:43 UTC
Permalink
I would recommend Auto-Lite. It pretty cheap and it does almost
everything the full autocad version does except isometrics (3D-ish
drawings).

The important thing is that the program allows for importing and
exporting DXF and DWG files which are autocad's file types. We recently
started posting on our WebSite all of the OutBack Autocad drawings used
in our manuals - you can modify them to suit your needs. Check under
"documentation"

BTW - the best file type to insert into a word document from autocad has
been "WMF" type - windows meta files.


Christopher Freitas
OutBack Power Systems, Inc.
cfreitas at outbackpower.com www.outbackpower.com
Tel 360 435 6030 Arlington WA USA

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starpower4u
2002-06-14 23:37:57 UTC
Permalink
My research agrees with John B. and SANDIA, depending on the battery life
cycle cost I see anywhere from $0.20 - $0.40/kWh. This does not include
the costs of replacing your EV battery pack which will be seeing a
premature (for the EV) death. I also seem to recall something in PG&E's
rules that prohibits this activity, for the non-guerrilla PG&E users
anyway.
Jeff Oldham
Potter Valley, CA

________________________________________________________________
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Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
2002-06-15 19:21:41 UTC
Permalink
Hi Ray,

It's holding 170 peak volts and then some. I did some testing just a few
minutes ago. Using a spare SW4048 in my shop. I set up small battery bank
that needed charged. Below are the results.

Watts and Power Factor came from a Brand 20-1850
HZ from a Fluke 79III (true RMS)
Volts and Peak Volts from a Fluke 87

After 2200 watts I took the Brand out of the loop as it's rated to measure
up to 1850 watts. I also had to take the power strip out of the loop as it
sorta had a little meltdown (oops).
The wattage increments come from starting with MAX CHARGE AMPS on the SW4048
at 1 amp then increasing to 5 amps and going up in 5 amp increments each
time after that. The last line of data is with the SW4048 MAX CHARGE AMPS
set to 25 amps plus 355 watts of incandescent lights. So running at over
3200 watts which 115% of it's rating my Yamaha generator never dropped below
110 volts and it sine wave peak was 172.4. The wattage numbers are the
middle of the road as the SW's charger is all the time up and down. The
voltage stayed very constant, never varied more than .5 volts no matter what
the SW was doing. The HZ never changed from 60.00.

Hopefully the data stays on the same lines. If you like I can forward and
Excel spreadsheet the data is entered into.


Max
Charge
Setting
Amps Watts Volts PF HZ Peak Volts
0 0 119.8-121.1 0 60.00 168.8
1 110 120.7 .4 60.00 166.8
5 540 120.0 .88 60.00 169.2
10 1150 119.0 .95 60.00 172.0
15 1750 119.3 .97 60.00 168.8
20 2200 117.8 .99 60.00 168.8
25 ? 110-118 ? 60.00 172.4


Travis Creswell
Ozark Energy Services




----------
From: Ray Walters <remotech at taosnm.com>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Peak Voltage Sine Wave [RE-wrenches]
Date: Sat, Jun 15, 2002, 3:47 AM
Is your fine Yamaha inverter/generator holding that 170 v peak at full load?
I'm not familiar with HF chargers, what do the cost? I'm also considering
the booster transformer option to get better fuel efficiency when mating
inferior generators with the DR series charger/ inverters.
Ray
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Doug Pratt
2002-06-16 00:33:47 UTC
Permalink
Bob-O, the sucessor to Todd seems to be the Iota line of HF chargers/DC
power supplies. Very similar design, performance, and pricing to the old
Todd. I think by some strange coincidence a large number of the Todd
engineering staff ended up at Iota when Todd went belly up. We've been
selling Iota chargers for over a year now with no problems to speak of.

Cheers,
Doug Pratt
(the Doug at Real Goods you *haven't* chewed off at the knees yet :-)

From: Bob-O Schultze, Electron Connection

Ray,
I was referring to the Todd type of charger, which is, unfortunately,
out of biz. Statpower (ok, Xantrex) makes one but it's pretty spendy.
Best, bob-O
Post by Ray Walters
Is your fine Yamaha inverter/generator holding that 170 v peak at full
load?
Post by Ray Walters
I'm not familiar with HF chargers, what do the cost? I'm also
considering
Post by Ray Walters
the booster transformer option to get better fuel efficiency when
mating
Post by Ray Walters
inferior generators with the DR series charger/ inverters.
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Doug Pratt
2002-06-16 00:53:21 UTC
Permalink
Jeff, Joel,
It isn't sci-fi, I've been commuting in my portable back-up power
plant for the last three years. When the utility power goes out I can
run everything that matters in my house off the EV's battery pack via an
Exeltech 120vdc input 1,100-watt inverter.
The piece that's really missing is the high-power, bi-directional,
hi-voltage charger/inverter. And that's only because there aren't enough
potential customers yet. The technology is readily available. There's a
22kW 3-phase inverter under the hood of my Prius...it just isn't
designed to talk to the grid...yet. The possibility of using an
automotive hybrid power plant to deliver back-up AC household power has
not escaped automotive engineers. I would expect to see it happen within
the next 5 years.

Cheers,
Doug Pratt

-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Davidson [mailto:joeldavidson at earthlink.net]

Hi Jeff,
Commuting in portable power plants is still sci-fi, but so was a lot of
stuff
we do nowadays.
1) I sat in on utility management discussions about cooperating with
combustion generator owners (hospitals, etc.) when wholesale electricity
went
over $0.75/kWh in the summer of 2000. Splitting 50/50 where the
generator got
$0.35 from the local utility and $0.35 from the ISO started to sound
good to
everyone. We may be in that situation again.
2) April 2001, I listened to Stan Ovshinski (founder of ECD) and Bob
Stemple
(ECD chairman and former General Motors CEO) talk about splitting the
cost of
nickel metal hydride vehicle batteries 50/50 with the 1st user (EV
owner) and
the 2nd user (stationary PV user) to reduce battery costs to each. Too
bad
the younger generation is not as visionary.
3) You and I have watched PG&E get knocked off its high horse a few
times.
That will happen again.
Hang in there. The future is what you make it.
From one solar powered office to another via the world wide web. Now
that's
sci-fi.
Joel Davidson
Culver City, CA
My research agrees with John B. and SANDIA, depending on the battery
life
cycle cost I see anywhere from $0.20 - $0.40/kWh. This does not
include
the costs of replacing your EV battery pack which will be seeing a
premature (for the EV) death. I also seem to recall something in
PG&E's
rules that prohibits this activity, for the non-guerrilla PG&E users
anyway.
Jeff Oldham
Potter Valley, CA
________________________________________________________________
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David Palumbo, Independent Power &amp; Light
2002-06-17 01:35:47 UTC
Permalink
We've observed higher charging rates with the Iota 75 amp chargers than we
ever saw from the 75 amp Todd's. With Todd's we would see 70 amps for a few
seconds and get 55 amps after 15 minutes of charging into a 700 AH battery
bank, charging current would be down to 20 amps at max voltage. The Iota
starts charging into the same battery bank at 78 amps an stays at 75 amps
until it reaches its max volts setting.

Dave

-----Original Message-----
From: Doug Pratt [mailto:dpratt at pacific.net]
Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2002 8:34 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Peak Voltage Sine Wave [RE-wrenches]


Bob-O, the sucessor to Todd seems to be the Iota line of HF chargers/DC
power supplies. Very similar design, performance, and pricing to the old
Todd. I think by some strange coincidence a large number of the Todd
engineering staff ended up at Iota when Todd went belly up. We've been
selling Iota chargers for over a year now with no problems to speak of.

Cheers,
Doug Pratt
(the Doug at Real Goods you *haven't* chewed off at the knees yet :-)

From: Bob-O Schultze, Electron Connection

Ray,
I was referring to the Todd type of charger, which is, unfortunately,
out of biz. Statpower (ok, Xantrex) makes one but it's pretty spendy.
Best, bob-O

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Rob Wills
2002-06-17 03:33:40 UTC
Permalink
Hi Marco.
We have had quite a lot of experience with buck type controllers for PV MPPT
and fuel cell power conversion. There are several areas where buck
converter designers can get in to trouble - the circuit looks simple, but
there are quite a few traps.

The main ones are voltage stress on the input switch (FET) and free-wheel
diode.
We use a 160V part in our MM front end, and have had few problems with PV
open circuit up to 120V dc. We also have pretty heavy duty surge
suppression on the input.

It is tempting to use lower voltage rated parts as the ON resistance is much
lower, but the converter then is more fragile..

Best Regards

Rob Wills

-----Original Message-----
From: Mangelsdorf, Marco [mailto:mmangelsdorf at hei.com]
Sent: Friday, June 14, 2002 2:58 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Power Point Tracking Controllers [RE-wrenches]


Jeff,

What caused these MPPT controllers to fry?

marco


I just replaced 4 "fried" almost new MPPT controllers with C-40's on same
four
arrays and battery banks and have had no more problems.

Jeff Yago
Dunimis Technology Inc.

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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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Ray Walters
2002-06-18 06:04:39 UTC
Permalink
Hi Travis;

Thanks for the high quality data collection. I think everyone can see now
that the inverter/ generators (especially your Yamaha) are really a break
through for off grid system backup. (Yea, I know most of you on the coasts
are snoozing through this thread, since your so worn out from doing grid
intertie.)
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
Hi Ray,
It's holding 170 peak volts and then some. I did some testing just a few
minutes ago. Using a spare SW4048 in my shop. I set up small battery bank
that needed charged. Below are the results.
Watts and Power Factor came from a Brand 20-1850
HZ from a Fluke 79III (true RMS)
Volts and Peak Volts from a Fluke 87
Max
Charge
Setting
Amps Watts Volts PF HZ Peak Volts
0 0 119.8-121.1 0 60.00 168.8
1 110 120.7 .4 60.00 166.8
5 540 120.0 .88 60.00 169.2
10 1150 119.0 .95 60.00 172.0
15 1750 119.3 .97 60.00 168.8
20 2200 117.8 .99 60.00 168.8
25 ? 110-118 ? 60.00 172.4
Travis Creswell
Ozark Energy Services
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Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
2002-06-20 13:19:53 UTC
Permalink
Hi Ray,

What do you make of the SW's power factor? I always thought it had a
terrible power factor. Once it was charging above a 1000 watts it's PF was
above .95. Should I question the accuracy of the Brand Meter?

Travis
----------
From: Ray Walters <remotech at taosnm.com>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Peak Voltage Sine Wave [RE-wrenches]
Date: Tue, Jun 18, 2002, 1:04 AM
Hi Travis;
Thanks for the high quality data collection. I think everyone can see now
that the inverter/ generators (especially your Yamaha) are really a break
through for off grid system backup. (Yea, I know most of you on the coasts
are snoozing through this thread, since your so worn out from doing grid
intertie.)
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Ray Walters
2002-06-20 19:20:53 UTC
Permalink
Hi Travis;

I can't comment on the Brand's accuracy of power factor, since I have no other equipment to compare measurements with. Santa Claus still hasn't brought me a Fluke 43. My understanding of PF is that it is representative of the lag between the peak of the voltage wave with respect to the current wave. If both current and voltage peak at the same time, PF = 1. If voltage peaks when current is at zero, PF = 0.If voltage peaks positive when current is at max. neg, PF =-1, and the phase angle (the measurement in degrees between the two sine waves) is 180 degrees. My understanding is also that PF is dependent on the load. Because a power source could be called to provide more current (apparent power)than the actual watts would indicate, you can overload a power source without actually exceeding its watt rating. That (again my understanding) is why many generators and inverters are rated in VA (volts x amps) not watts. Anybody feel free to rip my explanation to shreds, I won't take!
offen
se.

Ray
Post by Travis Creswell, Ozark Solar
What do you make of the SW's power factor? I always thought it had a
terrible power factor. Once it was charging above a 1000 watts it's PF was
above .95. Should I question the accuracy of the Brand Meter?
Travis
----------
From: Ray Walters <remotech at taosnm.com>
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Peak Voltage Sine Wave [RE-wrenches]
Date: Tue, Jun 18, 2002, 1:04 AM
Hi Travis;
Thanks for the high quality data collection. I think everyone can see now
that the inverter/ generators (especially your Yamaha) are really a break
through for off grid system backup. (Yea, I know most of you on the coasts
are snoozing through this thread, since your so worn out from doing grid
intertie.)
- - - -
To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Archive of previous messages: http://www.topica.com/lists/RE-wrenches/
List rules & etiquette: http://www.mrsharkey.com/wrenches/etiquete.htm
Check out participant bios: www.mrsharkey.com/wrenches/index.html
Hosted by Home Power magazine
Moderator: michael.welch at homepower.com
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