Startup Procedure voltage drop

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Dnnap
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by Dnnap »

sbrownian wrote: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:02 am
Dnnap wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:58 pm
sbrownian wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:13 am

Did you ever get this going?
Yes, it turns out the BMS was preventing adequate current flow at power-up. The high or low voltage cut out must have occurred prior to me purchasing the battery. Following a reset of the bms all seems to be working fine other than a low power input from my solar array. I have (6) 315w panels 3s2p, but only pulling in 40w on a cloudy day and around 300w on a partial sunny day. I’m hoping it’s due to the sun angle in January for southern Ontario.
So, what was the reset procedure for the BMS? (Just curious...)
The first option to reset the BMS was to apply a charge current to the battery, which in my case wasn’t an option since the only chargers I have for 16s Lifepo4 batteries are within the FXR3048. The second option was to remove the balance connector, B- and P- from the BMS. Once disconnected short the B- and P- then reconnect the balance connector only and test B- and P- until continuity is reached before reconnecting the B- and P- to the battery.
After resetting the BMS adequate current could then be pulled from the battery.
Last edited by Dnnap on Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dnnap
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by Dnnap »

sbrownian wrote: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:03 am
sbrownian wrote: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:02 am
Dnnap wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:58 pm

Yes, it turns out the BMS was preventing adequate current flow at power-up. The high or low voltage cut out must have occurred prior to me purchasing the battery. Following a reset of the bms all seems to be working fine other than a low power input from my solar array. I have (6) 315w panels 3s2p, but only pulling in 40w on a cloudy day and around 300w on a partial sunny day. I’m hoping it’s due to the sun angle in January for southern Ontario.
So, what was the reset procedure for the BMS? (Just curious...)
And make sure your panels don't have any shadowing...
I do have slight shading on a few of the panels early in the morning sun light and later in the evening sun light. Even during full noon sunlight the most power observed was 370w from 1890w of PV array.
raysun
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by raysun »

Dnnap wrote: Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:14 pm
sbrownian wrote: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:03 am
sbrownian wrote: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:02 am
So, what was the reset procedure for the BMS? (Just curious...)
And make sure your panels don't have any shadowing...
I do have slight shading on a few of the panels early in the morning sun light and later in the evening sun light. Even during full noon sunlight the most power observed was 370w from 1890w of PV array.
Ontario is pretty far north for the track of the sun this time of year, and I'd think the highest elevation of the sun must be in the low 20° range. Unless the panels are facing due south and tilted to around 70-80° from horizontal, they wouldn't be collecting much.

My numbers may be off, I didn't check them, but they illustrate the general notion of solar harvest in the northern latitudes this time of year.
sbrownian
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by sbrownian »

Check for an irradiance chart for your latitude, and compare summer / winter numbers. Your panels may be performing just fine with the limited energy available.

Like raysun indicated, panel tilt can make a significant difference in output in higher latitudes with low illumination levels.
Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
Dnnap
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by Dnnap »

My current test location (Detroit/Windsor region) the sun angle from the horizon (panel tilt from vertical) = 29° for January. My panels are approximately 15° from vertical.
The irradiance value for my current location for January with the current panel tilt is approximately 2.22 kWh/m2/day. This should yield much higher energy than my test results are showing. My maximum daily energy harvest with 1890w PV array was 900wh with sun for the full day.
I will recalculate these angles once I move the system to their final destination, which will by much worst since the move is almost 800 miles north.
raysun
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by raysun »

Dnnap wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:16 am My current test location (Detroit/Windsor region) the sun angle from the horizon (panel tilt from vertical) = 29° for January. My panels are approximately 15° from vertical.
The irradiance value for my current location for January with the current panel tilt is approximately 2.22 kWh/m2/day. This should yield much higher energy than my test results are showing. My maximum daily energy harvest with 1890w PV array was 900wh with sun for the full day.
I will recalculate these angles once I move the system to their final destination, which will by much worst since the move is almost 800 miles north.
That seems too low a tilt angle for the latitude at this time of year.

Perhaps these values would help: http://solarific.co/cities/us-mi-detroit
Dnnap
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by Dnnap »

raysun wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:40 am
Dnnap wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:16 am My current test location (Detroit/Windsor region) the sun angle from the horizon (panel tilt from vertical) = 29° for January. My panels are approximately 15° from vertical.
The irradiance value for my current location for January with the current panel tilt is approximately 2.22 kWh/m2/day. This should yield much higher energy than my test results are showing. My maximum daily energy harvest with 1890w PV array was 900wh with sun for the full day.
I will recalculate these angles once I move the system to their final destination, which will by much worst since the move is almost 800 miles north.
That seems too low a tilt angle for the latitude at this time of year.

Perhaps these values would help: http://solarific.co/cities/us-mi-detroit
The source you listed is specifying 61.7° for winter months, which is 28.3° from vertical. This is close to my value of 29° for Detriot.

Below are my sources:
solar angle calculator - http://www.solarelectricityhandbook.com ... lator.html
solar irradiance calculator - http://www.solarelectricityhandbook.com ... iance.html
raysun
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by raysun »

I'll confess to having slept through geometry class, so all this easily confuses me.

If vertical is 90° (from horizontal), are the panels mounted 90° - 15° = 75° (angle from horizontal)?
Dnnap
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by Dnnap »

raysun wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:31 am I'll confess to having slept through geometry class, so all this easily confuses me.

If vertical is 90° (from horizontal), are the panels mounted 90° - 15° = 75° (angle from horizontal)?
You are correct. My panels are currently hinged on a wall with the bottom of the panels pulled from the wall to obtain a 15° angle from vertical.

I will adjust my panel tilt to 40° and test.
My current panel tilt of 15° is off by approximately 25°. This deviation could result in as much as 25-30% reduction in energy production if panel angle is based on a linear relationship in reduction.
I will post my results after adjusting panel tilt assuming I get another full day of sun before I have to re-adjust for March. :sad:
Dnnap
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by Dnnap »

Before I begin my solar energy production test with a panel tilt of 40°, below are my current test results.

Angle Tilt:
- solar panel recommended tilt for location and time of year = 40°
- current panel tilt = 15°
- percent deviation = 27.8% possible reduction in energy production due to inadequate panel tilt, based on a linear relationship.

Irradiance adjustment (based on full sun hours in one day of energy production):
- PV array = 1890w
- adjustment for irradiance value of 2.22, 1890w x 2.22 = 4158wh
- actual energy production at 15° panel tilt = 900wh
- percent of expected energy production = 900wh/4158wh = 21.6% energy production. This is a result of 78.4% reduction in energy than expected based on irradiance value for my location.

Results:
If the energy reduction is caused by the error in panel tilt I should expect to see an energy reduction of only 27.8% not 78.4%. This is over a 50% more reduction than expected.
sbrownian
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by sbrownian »

Kinda being a smart_ass here, but..

Are they all hooked up?
(You're seeing about half of what you expect..)

Maybe an open breaker?

Can you get a voltmeter in on the individual panel leads? (Or a DC clamp-on ammeter on the string output of the series connected ones..)
Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by fcwlp »

Dnnap wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:53 am Results:
If the energy reduction is caused by the error in panel tilt I should expect to see an energy reduction of only 27.8% not 78.4%. This is over a 50% more reduction than expected.
Your current tilt is not the issue. Modern solar panels include an ARC (Anti Reflection Coating) that reduces the sensitivity to tilt.
Dnnap
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by Dnnap »

sbrownian wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:30 am Kinda being a smart_ass here, but..

Are they all hooked up?
(You're seeing about half of what you expect..)

Maybe an open breaker?

Can you get a voltmeter in on the individual panel leads? (Or a DC clamp-on ammeter on the string output of the series connected ones..)
Yes, I tested both array series strings at the combiner with a Fluke 23 for voltage with a VOC result of 123v prior to connection to breakers. The Mate3s indicates a max VOC of 122.8v.
I haven't tested current as my fluke isn't a clamp on type.
I'm using 40 feet of 6awg from combiner box to FXR.
Dnnap
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by Dnnap »

Below is the Flexnet DC Dialog input values since Jan.11.2021.

Jan.11 = 0.120 kwh (cloud cover)
Jan.12 = 0.220 kwh (cloud cover)
Jan.13 = 0.900 kwh (full day of sun)
Jan.14 = 0.800 kwh (partial day of sun)
Jan.15 = 0.200 kwh (cloud cover)
Jan.16 = 0.330 kwh (cloud cover)
Jan.17 = 0.280 kwh (cloud cover)
Jan.18 = 0.350 kwh (cloud cover)
Jan.19 = 0.280 kwh (cloud cover)
Jan.20 = 0.740 kwh (partial day of sun)
Jan.21 = 0.490 kwh (partial day of sun)
sbrownian
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by sbrownian »

Well, nuts.

Just because you have 'normal' VOC doesn't necessarily mean you have POWER available, you need to find out what the current is coming out of each string as well. (And see if it is roughly equal.)

A DC clamp-on would be really handy to see if you are getting equal amounts of current from each string.

The 23 is rated at 10 amps, so that would be really close to the maximum current for a string.. I suppose you could put it across a combiner breaker, and then open that breaker and see what you get, but 120v is nothing to mess with, and can easily be lethal. (Why I prefer using a DC clamp on..)
Last edited by sbrownian on Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by fcwlp »

Makes me appreciate 5,500 feet in AZ. My current 5.4 kW array (one 900 W string is down) produces ~25 kWh in winter and 40+ in summer.
Dnnap
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by Dnnap »

sbrownian wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:25 am The 23 is rated at 10 amps, so that would be really close to the maximum current for a string.. I suppose you could put it across a combiner breaker, and then open that breaker and see what you get, but 120v is nothing to mess with, and can easily be lethal. (Why I prefer using a DC clamp on..)
Yes, this is why I haven't attempted to jump across the breaker to test the current. The Fluke 23 is rated for 10amps, but indicates a max of 20amps.
I need to find a clamp on to borrow because the flukes are over $200 here in Canada for their cheapest model.
sbrownian
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Had 1200 Ahr FLA Locomotive batts
Just replaced with
2 x 300 Ah ReLion Lithium packs
MUCH more efficient!!
Location: Central Washington State

Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by sbrownian »

While I really like Fluke gear, (I finally gave my 77 to my son after using it for 20 years,) unless you are planning on using it 'semi-professionally.' I would look into a cheapie like I found on Amazon - ACM91 Clamp Multimeter Digital AC DC Current Clamp $46 US... ~60 CAD.


Don't know how much shipping is or an actual Canadian price or availability, but for basic troubleshooting, it (or something like it,) should work.
Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
Dnnap
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by Dnnap »

sbrownian wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:50 am While I really like Fluke gear, (I finally gave my 77 to my son after using it for 20 years,) unless you are planning on using it 'semi-professionally.' I would look into a cheapie like I found on Amazon - ACM91 Clamp Multimeter Digital AC DC Current Clamp $46 US... ~60 CAD.


Don't know how much shipping is or an actual Canadian price or availability, but for basic troubleshooting, it (or something like it,) should work.
The ACM91 on amazon.ca (Canada) is about $92 after tax and shipping. Most things in Canada are almost twice the price than in the U.S. after currency conversion.
You don't want to know what my FXR3048, (6) panels and (1) 100ah Lifepo4 cost here :mad: , which is why I'd like to get this system figured out before moving it to the homestead. Once at the cabin I won't have internet for support from forums like this one.
sbrownian
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Had 1200 Ahr FLA Locomotive batts
Just replaced with
2 x 300 Ah ReLion Lithium packs
MUCH more efficient!!
Location: Central Washington State

Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by sbrownian »

Dnnap wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:00 pm
sbrownian wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:50 am While I really like Fluke gear, (I finally gave my 77 to my son after using it for 20 years,) unless you are planning on using it 'semi-professionally.' I would look into a cheapie like I found on Amazon - ACM91 Clamp Multimeter Digital AC DC Current Clamp $46 US... ~60 CAD.


Don't know how much shipping is or an actual Canadian price or availability, but for basic troubleshooting, it (or something like it,) should work.
The ACM91 on amazon.ca (Canada) is about $92 after tax and shipping. Most things in Canada are almost twice the price than in the U.S. after currency conversion.
You don't want to know what my FXR3048, (6) panels and (1) 100ah Lifepo4 cost here :mad: , which is why I'd like to get this system figured out before moving it to the homestead. Once at the cabin I won't have internet for support from forums like this one.
Musk may have N. America pretty well covered in the next 6 months. They've already gone from Beta to "Limited Availability" in my area. I had been offered a Beta, but it didn't make much sense as it was $500 for the gear and $100 a month, and I have fiber to the house..

I was really hoping the guy that has the system I help with could get it. He is up in the mountains about 25 miles west of me with no cell and only a satellite terminal for internet and phone. He's tried the new link that is supposed to let you know if you can get the service, but I haven't heard back. They may not want to mess with him due to the topology. (My place has a good view of the sky.)

Before you head to North Doug McKenzie country, poke around on the Starlink site. You might get lucky..
Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
Dnnap
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by Dnnap »

Yes, we were considering Starlink and we’re planning on inquiring about availability at our location, but the $830 for the setup gear and $147/month (Canadian $) it’s not an option.
sbrownian
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Posts: 540
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My RE system: GS8048 FM80 FNDC Mate3
4kw solar
7kw Kubota propane gen
Had 1200 Ahr FLA Locomotive batts
Just replaced with
2 x 300 Ah ReLion Lithium packs
MUCH more efficient!!
Location: Central Washington State

Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by sbrownian »

$147? OW!


You need to get a different bank..
Rates are about 1.27 to 1.30 CAD for $1 USD around here...
Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
Dnnap
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Posts: 48
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Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by Dnnap »

sbrownian wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:56 pm $147? OW!


You need to get a different bank..
Rates are about 1.27 to 1.30 CAD for $1 USD around here...
Exchange rates at banks are best case scenario when exchanging money, but are not what governs pricing of imported products and goods in Canada.
For example, if there is a (new) motorcycle sold at a dealership in Ohio for say $4500 USD, one would assume the cost of that exact model of motorcycle in Canada would be the USD value multiplied by the exchange rate.
So, we would expect to spend 1.3 (exchange rate) x $4500 USD = $5850 CAD plus applicable taxes in Ohio. This is not the case as that same bike in Canada could have a MSRP of $9500 CAD. If fact, in this case and for many other items it's prohibited by the US dealer for a Canadian to cross the border, purchase that item and return it to Canada even with paying all applicable duties and taxes.

I apologize for getting off topic.
sbrownian
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Posts: 540
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My RE system: GS8048 FM80 FNDC Mate3
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Had 1200 Ahr FLA Locomotive batts
Just replaced with
2 x 300 Ah ReLion Lithium packs
MUCH more efficient!!
Location: Central Washington State

Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by sbrownian »

VAT and sales tax..
Ain't socialism grand?
(Getting further off topic..)

Bailiff, whack his ....
OW! OW!

Ok, ok....
Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
sbrownian
Forum Czar
Posts: 540
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:23 am
My RE system: GS8048 FM80 FNDC Mate3
4kw solar
7kw Kubota propane gen
Had 1200 Ahr FLA Locomotive batts
Just replaced with
2 x 300 Ah ReLion Lithium packs
MUCH more efficient!!
Location: Central Washington State

Re: Startup Procedure voltage drop

Post by sbrownian »

Dnnap wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:16 am My current test location (Detroit/Windsor region) the sun angle from the horizon (panel tilt from vertical) = 29° for January. My panels are approximately 15° from vertical.
The irradiance value for my current location for January with the current panel tilt is approximately 2.22 kWh/m2/day. This should yield much higher energy than my test results are showing. My maximum daily energy harvest with 1890w PV array was 900wh with sun for the full day.
I will recalculate these angles once I move the system to their final destination, which will by much worst since the move is almost 800 miles north.
Ok, just for grins, (and the weather in the PNW is GORGEOUS today,) I dug out a camping panel set I bought last year.

It is sold as a 100w, foldable unit with built in USB charger ports, and a set of the plugs for daisy chaining panels together.

The manual that comes with it says the MPP is around 18 volts or so. Open VOC today at 40 F was 24volts.

I didn't get to start testing until 1345 PST (the BOSS had other plans for a bit,) but still the results are interesting.

I drug out the lawn tractor to use its battery for a test load, and it also worked for a place to park the metering gear on.

Ok, set the panels up, put down some plywood and used a foldable table to make sure the panels are all at about the same angle.

Time 1345 PST
Latitude is 48.54 North.

Bright, clear, not a cloud in the sky.

Initial Panel Angle 60 deg (90 = vertical, 0= flat on the ground.)

Panels are aimed DIRECTLY at the sun, and slight adjustments are made as the sun moves west.

Inital current from the panel, and voltage across the tractor battery:
4.82a 12.15v with the tractor key on so the two 10 watt headlights pull some power from the battery.

Time 1400 4.8a 12.48v

Turned the key off to see what the voltage would do, and it shot up to 16.5v but the panels maintained 4.7 amps.

That works out to about 77 watts.

Whups! Turned key back on and went in search of something for a test load...

400 watt 12v pseudo sine inverter, 75 watt light bulb.

Ok, voltages back in the 'normal' zone.

Ran the inverter until the battery voltage seemed to level out somewhat.

Panels were outputting 4.9 amps, and 12.14 across the battery with the 75 watt light on.

Started messing with the angle of the panel.

At about 1410 hours, the current peaked at 68 degrees, 4.9 amps.

Dropped them flat. 1.1 amp.

Raised them back to 37 degrees, current came back up to 3.8 amps, battery now down to 12.1v.

Turned the 75 watt bulb off, and the voltage came up to 15v but the current only dropped by 0.1 amp.

Time, 1420. Tipped them vertical to 90, current back to 4.7 amps.

Rechecked for peak, got 4.8 amps at about 70 degrees.

To summarize, within about 25 degrees of optimum, the current only dropped from 4.7 to 3.7 amps.
Panel output at 16.5 volts (1.5v less than Maximum Power Point,) was 77 watts.

Soooo.... Near the end of January, at almost six degrees north of your position, at two hours PAST noon, I am seeing 77 percent of the rated output of the panels.

I'd say you have a wiring error, or bad panels.
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