Solar Roof

On Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 8:09:29 PM UTC-4, Diesel wrote:

They are also pretty much useless for storing energy to solve the passing cloud problem too. It would take one hell of a cap to supply typical power to a house for even a few seconds and why bother when battery banks are available? Show us a solar install that relies on caps for storage.

The problem here is that the system we're discussing keeps morphing. We were talking about solar, it's viability for the country. When you started on this case study, there was no mention of it having unusual gear, eg propane powered AC, very limited loads. Funny how the details keep getting added.

You said he had a grid tied solar with no battery bank. And so far, you say it works by virtue of this miracle "mod box" that emulates a battery. Why would anyone want to or need to emulate a battery when batteries are readily available? What is the source and specs for the storage in this "mod box"? Those are really simple questions.
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alt.home.repair, wrote:

I find your added condition to be very amusing. Previously, you stated (and quoted several outdated sites as your sources) that without grid power, the system didn't work. So, I asked you what you thought the battery bank(s) were for, and heard crickets as a response. it's no surprise, why, either.
I brought up the usage of battery banks along with what I call the 'modbox' to provide power when the grid is down. You further commented (and again used outdated sites for reference) that the inverter isn't allowed to supply power if it's grid tied while the grid is down, and again, you were wrong. I asked you for the second time when you mentioned that what you thought the battery banks were for. Crickets, again. As expected.
You have no first hand knowledge of this subject, and, evidently, you don't even understand what my modbox is doing, despite devices VERY CLOSE TO IT already on the market, right now! Have you seen the extremely small portable jump starter kits that will fit in your glovebox? They typically run on a 5000MA lithium battery pack producing less than 12volts usually, and, are somehow able (as if it were magic) to provide 12volts DC at 400amps (or more) to jump start your car. Obviously the battery pack they're using doesn't have 400AMPS on it to help you out, but, with some electronics in a very small physical package, it's able to come up with it.
My modbox is very close to one of those in design principle, except that it outputs 48volts DC (under load!) at 120+amps with variable input power from approx 800 to 1200 volts, DC (with approx 3amps!) In other words, it's emulating a small battery bank.
Obviously the more voltage you can feed it, the more amps it can deliver. Anything less than 800 or so volts though will cause it to go into a shutdown condition and it'll provide nothing. It will do it's best to keep the voltage at 48volts, under LOAD. So, it has to have a minimum of 800 volts at approx 3 amps or it will not be able to do it's job, and, rather than risk undervolting, it'll shutdown.
Anything over 1200volts will also cause a shutdown condition, so that it doesn't get fried. Lightning strikes, etc being the exception. Situations like that will cause it's internals to sacrifice themselves, but, no guarantee is made that the inrush current will be stopped as it does so.
Externally, you MUST connect two! 600volt DC PV strings, and, internally it sets them up for series to provide it power. So, at no time, is more than 600volts coming on any lines going to it, or out of it.
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On Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 6:29:07 AM UTC-4, Diesel wrote:

Again, you fail in the concept of CONTEXT. Before I made my remarks, before Mike made his YOU posted this:
"He has no battery bank, so, during the nighttime, and on very cloudy days, he'd require the grid to make up the difference. If he elects to install a large enough battery bank, he wouldn't require the grid during the evenings or when it's cloudy outside. "
Capiche? I was talking about YOUR case, where you said he has no battery bank.
Diesel: I have a car with no engine.
Others: Well then the car can't be driven.
Diesel: You're wrong, you just said that cars can't be driven.
Typical.
So, I asked you what you

No crickets. I immediately showed you that your own link to the supplier of that hybrid converter only shows it being used with batteries. I went further, I supplied the install manual, where it specifically says it must be used with batteries.

Good grief, you're a weasel. You specifically said the system you were talking about HAD NO BATTERIES.

I can read the install manual, read what the supplier of that hybrid inverter says. I can also see that no solar install companies, no suppliers are hawking grid tied systems that power the house with the grid down and no batteries. ABSOLUTELY consistent with what I've been saying.
and, evidently, you

Sure, we all believe you built a "mod box" to emulate a small battery bank instead of just using a battery bank.

Again demonstrating that you're in way over your head here. You don't understand electricity 101.
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You're making a guess and extrapolating it and it still doesn't make the argument.
If your car is in good shape and the battery is good, it will start in a second or two. If you left your lights on and ran the battery down slightly, the jump starter can replenish the surface charge in a few seconds to the point that much of the starting current is will still coming from the car battery, not the jump starter.
If your battery is DEAD, you probably won't start most cars from the handheld battery.
No, there aren't electronics that manufacture 400Amps out of thin air.
But that's irrelevant. It's a battery; it's storage. Your system doesn't use either.

48V x 120A = 5760W out 1200V x 3A = 3600W in
My math disagrees. And when a cloud goes by, the system will crash as soon as the output power required exceeds the input power available from the panels because you have no storage.
Your box adds cost, losses and does nothing to fix the power problem. System reliability goes down as the voltages go up. You are NOT emulating a battery bank because you have no storage. You have a presumably regulated power supply at 48V output that still has all the issues that comes with unreliable solar. You have gained cost and complexity. You may have reduced wiring losses, but that's a whole different argument that doesn't address the unreliability of solar without storage.
There is no free lunch.
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On Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 2:35:54 PM UTC-4, mike wrote:

First problem there is it doesn't take anywhere near 400A to start a car. Typical car starter is ~1000 watts, so less than 100A will do. These new jump starters, AFAIK, are relying on lithium batteries, which pack a lot of power into a small size. You only need to supply 1000W for a second to start a car with no other issues. If a lithium battery pack can power a handheld shop tool for it's job over a long period, what's so special about providing 1000W for a second or two?

+1
Looks like it doesn't use 600V either.

+1 It doesn't add up. Funny coming from the guy who made the alleged "mod box".
And something converting power from one source to another is very different than a BATTERY. A battery stores power, what's described above does not.

+1

+1
But a battery bank would. Why would some install company screw around with a "mod box", instead of just using some batteries? He did claim that he installed this working for a company for a client, didn't he?
System reliability goes down as the voltages go up.

Bingo.

+1

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May 2017 18:34:23 GMT in alt.home.repair, wrote:

Nope. I'm going by first hand experience testing several of them on the market. I don't work for any of those companies, either. Despite occasionally getting free gear to test and report back on. While I'm not paid in money, I do get to keep the gear, even if the report is a terrible one.

Actually, you can disconnect your cars battery and run the jumper cable clamps to your wires, directly. It will start your car if the car can be started on the amps it can provide.

See above. The reason it may not (I noticed you used the word probably) if connected to a dead battery is because a dead battery is like a black hole to incoming electricity. It's a heavy load while dead/very low. Little electricity will be passed along so long as it remains connected in those cases.

I didn't say it did it out of thin air.

Caps are storage (not for long term in this case), unless I was taught incorrectly. And, It certainly does use some.

Well, no, it won't. It possibly could have if left in it's original configuration, but, as I wrote, a few days back now, he's on an actual battery bank. The modbox is no longer wired into the system.

My box is designed to keep the inverter going via PV array (if PV array permits it) in the event of temporary grid failure. I didn't say it would do anything more than that.

I have no longterm storage options in the modbox, correct. However, as long as the PV array is up and going, It is as far as the inverter is concerned, a small battery bank. If the grid temporarily goes down, the inverter won't care, it can use the power provided by the modbox to keep the client going. Which was the intention behind it.

Complexity, slightly, cost increase? No. The modbox cost me, but, not the client. And, no there's no free lunch. Be it solar, wind, nuclear, whatever you prefer. Nothings for free.
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On Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 8:09:30 PM UTC-4, Diesel wrote:

It will probably start the car, but I sure wouldn't do it on a modern car with all the electronic gear in it.

Bingo. And I'd like to see an instruction sheet from one of those car starting battery packs that tell you it's OK, a good idea, to disconnect the car battery and just use it

ROFL. Uses "some"? Just tell us the size of those caps, that's an easy question.

Good grief. Now we've morphed to that it will have the problems from passing clouds that Mike and I said from the beginning, except that now it has a battery bank? That's exactly what I said in my first reply, to make this work, you need a battery bank.

Now, you said or implied that he had the house powered with solar without the grid and without a battery bank. Since then, you've finally told us that the "house" has propane AC, no loads except some LED lighting, some limited entertainment gear (probably a radio), and some tablets that typically aren't charging. Again, context is everything. We were talking about the viability of solar for the country, for people tied to the grid, ie the typical scenario. If you redefine a house to be something that can run off of just 200 watts, well it sure makes powering it with an array of panels but little sun possible. Possible, but not viable for a solution for the country. And again, who would screw around with a "mod box", developing one, building it, (BTW, is it UL listed?), instead of just following the install instructions that say the hybrid inverter needs a BATTERY BANK? Don't they have storage batteries in TN?

Why did this "mod box" cost you, but not the client? What solar install company puts in gear that one of it's employees hacks together for free, that emulates a battery, instead of just using a battery? No batteries in TN? What did the electrical inspector say when he saw your "mod box"?
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Fri, 19 May 2017 19:31:40 GMT in alt.home.repair, wrote:

Ok.

we haven't morphed into anything...

Yep. His household appliances are gas, not electric. The house itself requires little power by comparison to a house that has electric appliances. So, with the modbox OR a real battery bank, he can run without the grid.

Yep. You and mike made assumptions that weren't correct. You both assumed everyone has the same setup as yourself or someone else you know, and, you both rolled with it.
Neither of you have actually installed the hardware to one of these, or, wired them for that matter. You both just assume you know more than you actually do on the subject and the conditions with which this setup is running.

Because I didn't sell it to them?!? It's mine. It was on loan to them.

More assumptions on your part. I don't work for a 'solar install company' - We do a hell of a lot more than solar installs, thanks. Residential/commercial and industrial wiring is our thing, primarily. As I told you, before, we were asked by a contractor to setup and install the solar equipment on a new house that was just built. So, the company said yes and some of us were assigned to do it. And, we did. Passed inspection, it's all good.

paraphrasing "Oh cool a regulated power supply. Neat" What else would he have said? I'm surprised it's taken all this time and you still didn't know what the modbox was. So, what aspect of electrical engineering do you specialize in?
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On Friday, May 19, 2017 at 6:04:12 PM UTC-4, Diesel wrote:

Yes, we did and you did the morphing. The CONTEXT was the viability of solar, for the country, the economics of it. You brought up a case you say you were involved with, but didn't tell us at the outset that, if true, it's a pathological case. It takes days for it to morph into that the house allegedly now has propane running the AC, propane running the refrigerator, very limited loads, eg just LED lighting, tablets that are typically charged and running off batteries, etc. Clearly that isn't the homes that 99% of the US is living in. It sounds more like an RV. And to not disclose that at the outset when making your case is just fraudulent and dishonest.

No, our only mistake was giving you credit for being honest.

Which is why I asked you some simple questions, that so far you refuse to answer:
1 - Give us the specs for the caps that you say are used as part of your design to "emulate" a battery bank. How large are they?
2 - Why would anyone design a "mod box" using caps instead of just using a battery bank? No batteries in TN? And why would any real, reputable solar company have one of it's employees hacking around, building special gear to install at a customer site instead of just using a very simple battery bank, which the Conext install manual clearly says must be used? And note that the battery bank could also provide power when there is no sun too.

BS detection.
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Tue, 16

I'll clarify this for you, since you seem to be ignoring things, and, I suspect you're doing so intentionally at this point. The PV array consists of TWO strings. When tested together, in series, they generate a little over 1000+ volts, DC, yes, they most certainly do. The voltage drops by half and doubles the amperage inside the combiner box on the lines which feed the inverter (parallel)
So, it's well within NEC specifications. The other line that comes out of the combiner box keeps them in series to feed my 'modbox'. It's not concerned with high amperage output, it needs the higher voltage, instead. It all passed electrical inspection too. We didn't pull any 'hide the shit' until the inspector leaves and continue wiring.

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wrote:

I am curious, which make and model of panel was used in this array? How many panels?
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On Wed, 17 May 2017 02:00:59 +0000, Stormin' Norman

I would want to see what conductors he was using.
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Wed, 17 May 2017 02:00:59 GMT in alt.home.repair, wrote:

https://us.sunpower.com/solar-panels-technology/e-series-solar-panels/

18 panels, total. Two strings, 9 per.
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wrote:

Thanks, that is interesting.
Have you wired all panels in series to get your approximate 1kv? Does your step down transformer then bring it down to 220-240v?
What is the length of your run at 1kv? What size conductors? Are you using a Teflon insulated cable?
Is the array roof or ground mounted?
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Wed, 17 May 2017

Thanks

Yes, to run my modbox. Otherwise, they are parallel for the controller that runs the inverter. 1kv is too much for the controller or the inverter. But, my modbox needs that additional voltage to be able to emulate a small battery bank. It reduces and converts the 1kv to 48volts dc with a higher amperage than the PV array can provide. It was tied into the battery bank terminals.
http://solar.schneider-electric.com/product/conext-mppt-80-600/
You have your choice of the control panel...
http://solar.schneider-electric.com/product/conext-system-control-panel-scp/
Or this version of the control panel that requires either a laptop or Android device.
http://solar.schneider-electric.com/product/conext-combox/
They're sold seperately.

The inverter does, yes. It's transformerless, though. And, a controller board keeps the PV array from overloading it. I figured you might ask about that, so here's the board specifics. [g] It also maintaines the battery bank (formally my modbox)

Less than 50ft total run per string. #10, the cable is rated specifically for this work. This is one of the suppliers we used, for the cabling...
http://www.windynation.com/Solar-Cable-Wire/WindyNation/1-Pair-Black-Red-Solar-Panel-Extension-Cable-Wire-MC4-Connector-8-Gauge-AWG-10-Gauge-AWG-or-12-Gauge-AWG/-/1369?p=YzE9Mjc We opted for #10 because our strings exceeded 7 by 2. :)
http://www.windynation.com/products/z_1369_1_0.jpg

roof mounted. And the metal support structure is grounded for safety.
I do not work for either company, I'm just one of several people very pleased with the products they sell.
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nS8u4 Thu, 18 May 2017 00:19:33 GMT in alt.home.repair, wrote:

It's #12, my apologies. Confused this one for another job I was looking at.
Amperage is well within limits:

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wrote:

Thanks very much for taking the time to put all this information together, tomorrow morning when I have more energy, I will scour all of it.
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On 5/17/2017 6:12 PM, Stormin' Norman wrote:

That wouldn't happen if you had battery backup! Classic! ROTFL ;-)
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2017 04:10:42 GMT in alt.home.repair, wrote:

Which is ironic on the face of it, as Trader initially said grid tie can't run without the grid. :) So that would make a battery bank (emulated or real) rather pointless. ROFL, yet, they exist along with the inverters able to run on them, when the grid is down. Without backfeeding into the dead grid. As I wrote, initially.
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On Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 6:29:08 AM UTC-4, Diesel wrote:

Now you're lying. YOU first gave us the specific example you were talking about:
"He has no battery bank, so, during the nighttime, and on very cloudy days, he'd require the grid to make up the difference. If he elects to install a large enough battery bank, he wouldn't require the grid during the evenings or when it's cloudy outside. "
I replied to that, IN CONTEXT. You ruled out batteries and I replied to that. Still waiting for you to show us all the install app notes, all the eqpt suppliers, all the solar install companies offering grid tied solar with no batteries, where the house is powered when the grid is down. It would be one great selling point. Where oh where are they all? Instead, I gave you exactly the opposite, half a dozen explaining why it won't work.
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