Author Topic: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane  (Read 592 times)

RWS

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2019, 01:19:40 PM »
The parts came in yesterday evening so this morning I installed the 4th rail and grounded one rail of each set.  Now all I have to do is put the panels on the roof, plug them in and bolt them down.  The wife informed me that  it won't be tomorrow.  It seems there is a quilt show in Tifton tomorrow and she will be in attendance.  I will not try to do it alone as it is much easier with 2 or three.  It is a sight to see.  I am 72 and the wife is 70, so it's kind of funny to see us putting solar panels on a 30 Degree roof. 



The wires going down thru the weather head terminate in a "Combiner Box".  There are two strings of 285 watt solar panels.  Each string of 3 panels requires a series fuse or circuit breaker.  The combiner box is where this happens.  The old panels were 110 watts and used a 10 amp circuit breaker.  I will have to change out the circuit breakers to 15 Amp because the new panels put out 9.2 amps (see spec sheet) file:///C:/Users/Paul/Downloads/sunmodule-plus-285-mono-01-7172US%20(1).pdf   and you can only load the circuit breaker 80% because solar DC is considered continuous.  So I will end up with new 15 Amp circuit breakers and #6 wires into the charge controller instead of the current #8.  Although #8 would work as the distance is less than 2 ft.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 07:15:07 AM by RWS »

RWS

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2019, 07:26:59 PM »
Well I decided it is a 3 person job to put those solar panels on a 30 Deg roof.  I will need someone else on the roof to hold the panel while I plug it in, tie up the wires and bolt the panel in place.  I was planning on using my neighbor from the mini farm.  He just had a medical procedure Monday and is out of service for several weeks.  I called a young electrician from the next county over.  He just got married and was out of town.  I called my son in Atlanta (Decatur).  He is going backpacking this weekend, next weekend he has an organized rock climbing trip.  I have him set up tentative for 3 weeks away.  So there is no big hurry.  It's not like it is going somewhere.

RWS

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2019, 03:23:18 PM »
Well I finally got some help today.  My son came home from Atlanta to help me put up solar panels.  The wife bribed him.  She cooked a standing rib roast for lunch.  The boy has a couple dogs.  The smallest one is fearless.  When they go rock climbing the dog finds a way to beat him to the top.  The dog likes to lick him in the face when he sticks his head over the top.  Since daddy is on top of the pump house roof, the challenge is to find a way up.

You can tell daddy is over 40 cause he is wearing glasses.

Now all that is left to do today is get up the ladders & scaffold.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2019, 02:02:47 PM by RWS »

RWS

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2019, 07:44:01 PM »
I was pricing an inverter for my pumphouse.  The last one I bought was about $3500 so I was quite surprised to find it on WindSun web site for less money.  It seems they are using a different web address and have moved to a larger building.  They have a special sale to celebrate their move.  Use code MOVE10 at checkout.  SO, I ordered one of these.

https://www.solar-electric.com/schneider-electric-xw-6848-inverter.html

Then I checked their price on the Power distribution panel.  I paid $1200 and $1500 for this panel in the past and was surprised at the price.

https://www.solar-electric.com/schneider-electric-xw-plus-pdp.html

Then at checkout I got a 10% discount which more than covered the freight,
All I lack now is batteries.

RWS

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2019, 07:08:01 PM »
I better get some wiring done before the equipment arrives.  So far I have not received notification of shipment.  Today I wired the combiner box to the charge controller.  It is just 3ea #6 wires that are about 18 inches long since the charge controller is on the inside of the building and a short pipe nipple connects them directly.  Red is plus DC, Black in negative DC and Green is ground.  The terminals on the charge controller are marked PV+ and PV- with a ground lug bolted to the metal chassis.

RWS

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2019, 04:02:42 PM »
This is the first day in a long while it is cool enough to work outside after lunch.  This morning the wife & I canned 9 pints of spaghetti sauce.  I took the cool temp to mount my inverter and PDP (Power Distribution Panel).  The manual said if I mounted the bottom of the mounting bracket at 60" then the display would be at 65". 

 I went up overhead and mounted a 2x2 with lag bolts and hooked a comealong to it.

If you are going to use a PDP then now is a good time to mount it's mounting bracket.  Notice the mounting brackets have conduit holes.  If you wish to have your wire enter from behind, then take the bracket off and use a hole saw to make a hole larger than marked.  Then reinstall the mounting bracket.

  Then I hooked up a tie wire to the two holes intended for screws to hold the inverter to the mounting bracket.

Then I drug the inverter up the wall to the mounting bracket.  Once the inverter was sitting on the mounting bracket I used vise grips to hold it in place until I was able to fish out the tie wire and put the hold down screws in. 
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 04:41:58 PM by RWS »

RWS

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2019, 04:47:22 PM »
Next I mounted the PDP.  First I removed the door to lessen the weight and also have a better place to get a hand hold.  The unit came pre-wired.  Notice the wires have terminations and labels so the wire is easy to hook up to the correct terminal.

There is a box that mounts on the bottom of the inverter which makes it the same height as the PDP.  The bottom circuit breaker mounting bar is the DC circuit breaker area.  The circuit breaker on the right is a 250Amp circuit breaker for the inverter.  It doubles as a disconnect switch to disconnect power from the inverter.  The top circuit breaker mounting bar is the AC circuit breaker mounting area.  The AC breakers are Left = grid input, middle grid output, and on the right inverter output.  There is a mechanical bar arrangement that prevents grid and inverter output breakers to be on at the same time.  It is a built in power transfer switch.  That allows you to bypass power to the solar lighting panel while shutting down the inverter for maintenance.  Remove covers, vacuum out dirt & wash & reinstall the air filter once a year all while maintaining power on the loads.

If I wanted to use a generator with this inverter, then I would install a double pole circuit breaker to the right of the three already there.  The breaker would be sized for the generator Amps and labeled Inv2 in Generator.  Then enable the charger.  Then when the generator runs it will charge the battery and supply the load panel at the same time.  If you wanted to get real fancy you could install an auto start control box and run the generator off battery voltage.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 07:34:02 AM by RWS »

John Galt 1

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2019, 09:46:19 PM »
Is the inverter just to run the well pump and a few lights?      If I remember correctly your house is already mostly solar powered and you are running a low surge pump.

Asking because a Conext 6848 is a huge inverter for just a well pump.

second  thought...    My 6848 flashes "low DC voltage" when the well pump kicks on after the sun goes down.       Any suggestions as to why?      I've got good cables and a 893 amp/hr 48v battery bank with strong batteries but am beginning to wonder if the 3 year old 1.5hp pump has problems.

RWS

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2019, 07:01:41 AM »
Is the inverter just to run the well pump and a few lights?      If I remember correctly your house is already mostly solar powered and you are running a low surge pump.

Asking because a Conext 6848 is a huge inverter for just a well pump.

second  thought...    My 6848 flashes "low DC voltage" when the well pump kicks on after the sun goes down.       Any suggestions as to why?      I've got good cables and a 893 amp/hr 48v battery bank with strong batteries but am beginning to wonder if the 3 year old 1.5hp pump has problems.
The inverter is for the well pump, the out house & shower and construction power for the rest of the compound and any emergency camping that might be needed.  It is OK to oversize as future loads are planned.
Wire size between battery and inverter is a minimum of 2/0 for under 5 ft else you should use 4/0 fine wire MTW  although I usually use parallel 2/0 as I run parallel batteries.  Those submersible well pump draw huge startup currents.  If you ever have to get a new pump use the Grunfos with the built in electronics.  No control box.  When the pressure switch closes you can count to about 9 before  the pump starts up.  I think it charges up a starting capacitor first.

PS:  It may be better to store a spare control box in the Faraday cage than worry if the Grunfos will work post EMP.

       Another thought.  If you use liquid lead acid batteries then you have terminal corrosion due to the fumes.  This also will cause that problem.  I did not think of it earlier because I use AGM batteries, no fumes & no corrosion problems.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 11:46:36 AM by RWS »

RWS

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2019, 10:36:33 AM »
I installed the conduit box onto the bottom of the inverter.  I first removed a panel to allow wiring to pass from the PDP.  Then I hooked up the ground wires.  There are two ground bus bars in the PDP.  Technically I think one is for a power ground (Top one) and the other is equipment ground.  To me all grounds are common. (The same potential, tied together)  The wires are labeled and the terminals are labeled.  It is a matter of matching them up.
 
The terminal block is in the bottom left of the inverter.  Cover panel is removed with two screws. 
 
Stepping back you can see where everything is and how easy to hook up.
   
The inverter power wires (battery) were pre terminated in the PDP so I hooked them up to the bottom of the inverter Red to + and black to minus with the supplied hardware.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 11:07:18 AM by RWS »

RWS

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2019, 08:09:20 PM »
Today I finished up the wiring all except the batteries.  Since I don't have any batteries, I guess it will have to wait until I do.  The charge controller was wired thru a 60 Amp DC circuit breaker to the battery side of the inverter breaker.  You can see two brass bolts for battery + wires and five terminals for charge controllers on the plate on the bottom of the inverter circuit breaker.

The AC line goes out from the bottom of the double circuit breaker (only one on at a time)  It is hard to see the connection as the wire leaves from behind and out of the box at the top.

  Then it is a short 5ft of wire into the lighting panel.  Since the lighting panel already existed it already has loads wired.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 08:39:02 PM by RWS »

John Galt 1

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2019, 08:54:53 PM »
Wire size between battery and inverter is a minimum of 2/0 for under 5 ft else you should use 4/0 fine wire MTW  although I usually use parallel 2/0 as I run parallel batteries.  Those submersible well pump draw huge startup currents.  If you ever have to get a new pump use the Grunfos with the built in electronics.  No control box.  When the pressure switch closes you can count to about 9 before  the pump starts up.  I think it charges up a starting capacitor first.

       Another thought.  If you use liquid lead acid batteries then you have terminal corrosion due to the fumes.  This also will cause that problem.  I did not think of it earlier because I use AGM batteries, no fumes & no corrosion problems.

I'm using 4/0 ga fine wire with spotless terminals on 1 year old Rolls 5000 series FLA batteries.      Cable lugs were tightened using a torque wrench to factory specs.

I've spoken to both  Rolls and Conext tech departments.      The guys at Schneider said to reduce my LBCO but I've already got it down to about 25% SOC voltage with a 300 second delay.       My POS battery cable is a little long at 9': I guess that may be the problem but the wire is only 4 years old with no signs of corosion.


RWS

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2019, 05:55:16 AM »
Wire size between battery and inverter is a minimum of 2/0 for under 5 ft else you should use 4/0 fine wire MTW  although I usually use parallel 2/0 as I run parallel batteries.  Those submersible well pump draw huge startup currents.  If you ever have to get a new pump use the Grunfos with the built in electronics.  No control box.  When the pressure switch closes you can count to about 9 before  the pump starts up.  I think it charges up a starting capacitor first.

       Another thought.  If you use liquid lead acid batteries then you have terminal corrosion due to the fumes.  This also will cause that problem.  I did not think of it earlier because I use AGM batteries, no fumes & no corrosion problems.
I will have this one up and running in a couple days and see if I have any issues.   
I'm using 4/0 ga fine wire with spotless terminals on 1 year old Rolls 5000 series FLA batteries.      Cable lugs were tightened using a torque wrench to factory specs.

I've spoken to both  Rolls and Conext tech departments.      The guys at Schneider said to reduce my LBCO but I've already got it down to about 25% SOC voltage with a 300 second delay.       My POS battery cable is a little long at 9': I guess that may be the problem but the wire is only 4 years old with no signs of corosion.

RWS

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2019, 08:46:54 PM »
John Gault 1,  That doesn't leave much else left to be the problem.  That now makes me suspect that one of your fairly new batteries has a bad cell in it.  Load testing each battery is a hassle but I don't know of anything else.
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Today I went and got 4 batteries.  They are 8G8D @ 225AH @ 20 hrs.  I think the inverter manual says 400 AH minimum.  This will be fun.  I should have them wired up by next week and see if I get that lo volt alarm when I crank up that 1hp submersible well pump.

RWS

Re: Re-working my pump house after the hurricane
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2019, 08:15:57 PM »
Well at least I got the batteries unloaded with the help of the come along.  I already had battery carts for two each of the 8D battery since there used to be a 24 VDC system here years ago.  I usually put all four batteries side by side for a 48 VDC installation.  With two batteries on the bottom cart I started to wire them up, putting a jumper between the two batteries.  The jumper is made of copper tubing flattened on each end, hole drilled and tinned.  This is as far as I can go now because the 2/o wire I thought I ordered turned out to be #2 which is much too small.  I can use it on the 12 volt portable inverters.