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Thread: Micro-Solar Setup : My First Experience w/Off-Grid Electricity

  1. #161
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    Here's another segment of Will building a battery array, this time, going four wide. I'm very tempted now to do this with a 3rd set of 280ah cells... may have to wait a bit on that due to finances but maybe over this winter or spring it will be do-able.

    The three-wide (12 cell) array would have 840 amp hours of capacity - a comfortable number for emergency use, considering my Trojan T105RE 4 battery array only produces 450 ah of power... nearly double! Actually, more than double when you consider lead acid batteries only produce 60% the USABLE amp hours as LiFePO4.

    Last edited by bruss01; 10-25-2020 at 03:20 PM.
    "The thing about smart people is they seem like crazy people to dumb people" - Stephen Hawking

  2. #162
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    The LiFePO4 Batteries. They arrived well-packed. The outer box was somewhat worse for wear after having traveled half the globe, but the thick foam appears to have protected the batteries from any dings, dents or other damage. And of course when we get a shipment of *anything* it goes into the sanitizer bin before coming into the house - especially when it's from China.

    LiFePO4 Batteries - Sanitized.jpg
    LiFePO4 Batteries - Side.jpg
    LiFePO4 Batteries - Packed.jpg
    Last edited by bruss01; 10-26-2020 at 06:45 PM.
    "The thing about smart people is they seem like crazy people to dumb people" - Stephen Hawking

  3. #163
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    Very nice. Good set up your building
    Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for a friend.
    John 15:13

  4. #164
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    Second set of batteries is inbound, supposedly arriving here sometime between today and December 2nd.

    I did eventually go ahead and order a third set as well (in for a penny, in for a pound). It just made sense as long as I'm building the enclosure and all the other hardware to maximize the setup.

    Getting together with a friend who has a better saw than mine over the weekend to finish cutting panels for the enclosure. I can mount the batteries in stages, as they arrive, assuming I have the box already built. I've worked out what I think will be a good setup for heating and cooling the batteries as needed, and I've acquired the extruded aluminum to put that together. They shouldn't need it often, I don't think, but when they do, I'll be glad I thought ahead.

    Just about all the parts needed to build this are here at this point... it's time to start putting stuff together!
    "The thing about smart people is they seem like crazy people to dumb people" - Stephen Hawking

  5. #165
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    Jan 2011
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    Well get after it
    Don't bring skittles to a gun fight.

  6. #166
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    I got after it Flock!

    With the help of my friend Dylan and his amazing table saw (huge, professional grade), we made quick work Saturday of cutting out the 3/4" plywood slabs for the enclosure, which from here on out, I'm going to refer to the whole shebang as the "Power Box".

    Sunday I got the thing nailed and glued together.

    Monday I got the support rails for the shelf installed and test-fit some of the components (BMS and battery charger). The test-fit brought to light the best place to mount the battery pass-through terminals (1" holes were a perfect fit). I'm going to need an additional nut as a spacer for inside the battery compartment. The box is vertical in the pics, but that was simply for the purpose of test fitting. Those components are going to be vertical when the box is laid bottom-down. That will help with passive air-flow cooling, which is why I didn't want them in the compartment alongside the batteries. There'll be a grate or mesh of some kind covering them for general bump/dent protection when it's all done, as well as a couple of aluminum spacer rails for the BMS to improve air circulation on the back side.

    Power Box 2.jpg

    Power Box 1.jpg

    Bits & Pieces in this segment:

    Fastronix 3/8" Black Remote Battery Terminal Feed Thru
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    3/8" Red Remote Battery Terminal Feed Thru
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    AIMS Power CON120AC1224DC AC Converter & Battery 12V or 24V Smart Charger 75 amps Listed to UL 458 & CSA
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Daly 18650 smart LiFePO4 4S BMS 12V 150A 200A 250A Bluetooth 485 to USB device CAN NTC UART togther Lion LiFePO4 LTO Batteries
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001...177e4c4d1gWxo8

    Elmer's Wood Glue
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...KIKX0DER&psc=1

    #10 - 3/4" pan head screws (4)

    Fistfull of small nails

    3/4" plywood in the following dimensions:
    14 x 37 (2)
    32 x 12.5
    12.5 x 13 (2)
    18 x 37 (2)

    5/8" square rails:
    32" (2)
    11"
    5"
    Last edited by bruss01; 11-18-2020 at 01:26 PM.
    "The thing about smart people is they seem like crazy people to dumb people" - Stephen Hawking

  7. #167
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    Awesome! You have some great components in there too so it should last for a long time!! I have a couple of Daly BMS modules and so far they are doing great.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  8. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by 91CavGT View Post
    Awesome! You have some great components in there too so it should last for a long time!! I have a couple of Daly BMS modules and so far they are doing great.
    Hope so, Cav - they came highly recommended, even if they can be a pain in some respects. I actually am kicking myself a bit for getting the 250 amp model instead of the 300... the terminals I could find are all rated for 250 amps (and I didn't want to double up on terminals & cables) so that's what I went with. Turns out the 2000 watt inverter can actually pull up to 300 amps when cranked up to 11. So, I'll have to put a 250 amp fuse on the battery to protect this unit, while putting a 300 amp fuse on the inverter - which is actually a plausible scenario where the solar is providing 50 amps and the battery is chipping in it's 250. I'll just have to take this all into consideration when putting a heavy load on the inverter.
    Last edited by bruss01; 11-18-2020 at 05:04 PM.
    "The thing about smart people is they seem like crazy people to dumb people" - Stephen Hawking

  9. #169
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    One thing that will help to keep amp draw to a minimum is, if at all possible, donít put a big load on the inverter when the battery bank voltage is low. Since you have a 4S(4 batteries in series is what that means) BMS then you have the battery bank wired for a 12 volt system. So try to avoid large loads if the battery voltage is at or below 12 volts. Then you wonít have to worry about exceeding 250 amps.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  10. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by 91CavGT View Post
    One thing that will help to keep amp draw to a minimum is, if at all possible, donít put a big load on the inverter when the battery bank voltage is low. Since you have a 4S(4 batteries in series is what that means) BMS then you have the battery bank wired for a 12 volt system. So try to avoid large loads if the battery voltage is at or below 12 volts. Then you wonít have to worry about exceeding 250 amps.
    Thanks for the tip! I will have to tape this word of wisdom inside the lid as a reminder.
    "The thing about smart people is they seem like crazy people to dumb people" - Stephen Hawking

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