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Thread: Saturday at home, installing an inverter

  1. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverNodashi View Post
    sadly those inverters were cheaply built (though you paid a lot for it due to 3-5 middle men) and generally don't have a decent charging circuit.
    I have to agree with you on this...i have had a lot of problems with these units "frying" the batteries...people are "dumping" them. The little scare we had recently with load shedding has surfaced a lots of these old units, which are now dead.

    I plan to strip one and see if i cant salvage parts from them and make a DIY power bank, using lithium batteries and a better charge unit. I do realize it is going to cost a little more however in the long run it might be a way better option. Add in a solar panel and we will be onto something.

    I have been following a DIY fella who converts cars into battery powered ones. My son is building and modify old V8's. I am gona chat to him about doing a DIY conversion to an old cheap body. Your computer will share more info than you need, if you ask the right questions. Sometime its shares more than i would like to see

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    Hi Andy. My Apologies. My son interfered with my setup and plugged my lounge(load) into another source so I thought it was still running on battery. Redid the test and by charging the batteries on an intelligent charger separately, it only added an additional 20min. I have 1 x 110a/h and 1 x 60a/h lead acid battery in parallel. Ellies FBI1000W 600W/1000VA

  3. #223
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    Andy...how is your sytem holding up...4 years since installed...they must be due for replacement?

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    My system is working without problems but the batteries are now only delivering about 60% of their original capacity. Because I originally oversized the battery bank it means they still run all my, PC's, servers printers, router, phones and back-up lights for around 3 hours but unfortunately the coffee machine and a few other luxuries we had plugged in are a no go. We also have to disciplined about which lights are on otherwise back-up time would be under 3 hours.

    When the time comes I'll be looking at maybe upgrading to Lithium Ion batteries rather than like for like lead acid replacements but I'm not sure if the inverter built-in charger is compatible.

    A couple of the 12VDC LED tape lights I used for emergency lights in some places have a few failed LED modules along their length but they seem to be hanging in there for now.
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  6. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyD View Post
    My system is working without problems but the batteries are now only delivering about 60% of their original capacity. Because I originally oversized the battery bank it means they still run all my, PC's, servers printers, router, phones and back-up lights for around 3 hours but unfortunately the coffee machine and a few other luxuries we had plugged in are a no go. We also have to disciplined about which lights are on otherwise back-up time would be under 3 hours.

    When the time comes I'll be looking at maybe upgrading to Lithium Ion batteries rather than like for like lead acid replacements but I'm not sure if the inverter built-in charger is compatible.

    A couple of the 12VDC LED tape lights I used for emergency lights in some places have a few failed LED modules along their length but they seem to be hanging in there for now.
    Lithium is the way to go ...but man the price is still a little off the mark.

  7. #226
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Well we recently went through Stage 6 load shedding....thanks Eskom. In a 48 hour period we had 19 hours without power, six outages in total. Two of the outages were 4.5 hours long and four of the outages were 2.5 hours long.

    The inverter managed to handle but the batteries were almost hitting their depth of cycle limit on the second day, it was so close I got a battery safety alarm sounding for the first time ever. The problem wasn't the capacity of the batteries as such, it was that they weren't getting fully charged between load shedding events. If stage 6 shedding had continued for a third day the system would have shut down completely on it's battery protection depth of cycle settings.

    Unfortunately adding batteries won't help for this scenario because charge rate was the limiting factor so I'm just going to have to hope we don't get more than 2 days of stage 6 load shedding in future. I guess trying to look on the bright side I now have a better understanding of my back-up system limitations.
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  8. #227
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    Hi Andy

    The only suggestion would be solar panels to assist in the charing.

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    The cost of Lithium is dropping.
    A supplier of mine has brought in a in a number of cells to make up battery packs.
    He is currently offering me a 72A Lithium at a very reasonable cost, probably double the cost of an equivalent 100A Lead Acid, don't want to say here as it may be a special price to me
    You may be/should give him a call Mark @ SJ Andrews, not sure if he is still open due to the holiday season.

    Please note that Lithium batteries are not direct replacement for Lead Acid batteries. For safety and prevention of fires, Chargers must match the battery specifications
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

  10. #229
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

    Unfortunately solar panels won't help decrease the battery charging times with my inverter. It can't use a mix of both solar and eskom power simultaneously, only one or the other. The Axpert inverter also has very specific PV string voltage requirements. A few panels might assist by supplying some power during the actual load shedding period if it was in daylight hours but for me they're not a finantially viable option with this system as it stands, installing solar panels would only be viable if I replaced my inverter with a better one with a view to feeding surplus back in for the FIT.

    Thanks also for the contact but same problem with lithium batteries... compatibility issues.

    When I installed this system I was under no illusions about it's capabilities or lack thereof. It was a very low budget system and at that price point I accepted the limitations it had when it came to possibilities for future expansion or redesign. I resigned myself from day one that it was going to do the job I needed it to but it was never going to be a stepping stone toward anything more extensive such as going completely or even partially off-grid with PV and it wasn't going to be very scaleable if my requirements changed much outside the original design brief.

    I'm not stressed and I'm by no means disappointed, to be honest I'm actually very impressed it worked flawlessly through the 2 days of stage 6 shedding with surrounding days of stage 4 and stage 2, especially as it's almost 4 years old now. I'll probably like for like replace the deep cycle lead acid batteries when they reach their end of life but apart from that I'm just going to use it as it was originally intended and not over-spend or throw good money at it by trying to make it something it was never intended to be.
    _______________________________________________
    I am special and so is Vanash.
    _______________________________________________

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    Dave A (19-Dec-19)

  12. #230
    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyD View Post
    Unfortunately solar panels won't help decrease the battery charging times with my inverter. It can't use a mix of both solar and eskom power simultaneously, only one or the other. The Axpert inverter also has very specific PV string voltage requirements. A few panels might assist by supplying some power during the actual load shedding period if it was in daylight hours but for me they're not a finantially viable option with this system as it stands, installing solar panels would only be viable if I replaced my inverter with a better one with a view to feeding surplus back in for the FIT.
    You can still have solar panels into a MPPT charger connected to the batteries, separate from the AXPERT, and charge your batteries during the day, with out affecting the current connection. The AXPERT would think that the batteries are charged because it would not draw current from the AXPERT, and the Voltage would be higher than what the AXPERT is expecting, and would not use ESKOM power during the day. If the batteries require charging at night, and ESKOM is available, then it would use mains to charge.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyD View Post
    Thanks also for the contact but same problem with lithium batteries... compatibility issues.
    I have had an idea in my mind for some time now, and wondering if there is a market for it.
    What if I supplied you a battery which is Lithium, but would behave as a Lead acid battery, which means that you could replace current lead acid battery pack with a Lithium pack which would appear to the AXPERT inverter as lead acid, but have the characteristics of Lithium?
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

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