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Solar Hot Water

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Wind Turbine






May 2008  Back to Journal Index  On To June  Home  We now have a suitable battery bank and are operating mostly off grid. We look forward to the return of our repaired wind turbine this month. As well as the addition to our batteries, eight more making 16 for 900 Ah 10 h rate 48 volt, and the instillation of the solar hydronic domestic hot water system. If it was not for the inevitable air conditioning, we have sufficient system to operate the house fully.  Also have heard of a hydronic heater for running heat into the clothes dryer. Less propane to buy, more wood to cut. Still no cooperation from the power company to allow us to connect grid tie without one million dollars of liability exposure and exposed to any possible charge of fault at their choosing, plus all court and attorney fees beyond one million.

5/1 The wind turbine will be missed today. Cloudy and windy. Tomorrow also. I don't expect the PV to keep up with house demand today. Switch to grid at 7:15. PV production 2.5 KWh. BB was 68.6% when I switched and at 18:48 79.2%. 12% of storage equals 2.5 KWh usable, right now. That is usually what we use from midnight to 6 am.

5/2 On grid 28 hours 45 minutes, (5/1-5/2). Switched to RE at 12:00. PV production 9.6 KWh.   Plenty of battery soc to get through the night and plenty of RE electrically heated water.

5/3 6:04 BB has 58% and it's a clear morning. I can't help mentioning again how powerful the trackers and 24 130W panels are, and how important large capacity batteries are to the off grid system. Clouds moved in and I had to switch to grid for hot water at 7:20. Plenty of wind if our turbine was up. Switched back to RE at 9:00, (just 1 hour 40 minutes). PV production 13 KWh.

5/4 Made it thru the night no problem. Sunny day. PV production 22.6 KWh. 91.1% in the battery soc.

5/5 4:21, 70.4% in the battery soc after my coffee was made. With 4 additional batteries in the bank we would have 77%. With 8 additional we would have 81%, and with 16 additional we would have 84.1% remaining. PV production 17.2 KWh. Battery soc at evening equilibrium, 94.1%, ( In the evening when generation equals demand and no more energy is going into the batteries for the day, and soon the house will run on batteries.)

5/6 6:19 Battery soc 66.5%. Switched to grid at 9:00 due to cloudy conditions. Switched to RE for one hour at lunch. PV production 7 KWh. Battery soc 87.8%.

5/7 6:33 Battery soc 86.6%. Still on grid power with heavy rain expected. Windy. To bad the turbine is still down. Switch to RE at 7:22, sunny with clouds rolling by. Switch to grid at 13:00. PV production 2.8 KWh. Batt. Soc 75.2% Got notice our turbine is shipping back, due in 5/13.

5/8 Battery soc 74.7% at 6:00. Switch to RE at 11:47, Battery soc 79.7%, overcast but generating up to 900 watts. Switched to grid at 15:21. At 17:00 hours the sun came out full but the trackers had it directly to the back and did not swing around. Still generated 200-300 watts. PV production 4.2 KWh. 21:00 hours, battery soc 80.6%.

5/9 6:05, Battery soc 79.6% Another day of rain and clouds. Switched to RE from 8:00 to 12:33. PV production 3.6 KWh. Battery soc 70%. Switch to RE at 19:00.

5/10 6:12, Battery soc 49.5% Switch to grid at 6:12 until the sun burns through the thick fog. Back on RE at 6:51. Clouds came in thick at 13:30. PV production 14.5KWh. Switch to grid at 20:28.

5/11 6:42, Battery soc 62.7%. 20+ mph wind. Two more days till the turbine arrives back. Maybe some sun today. PV production 4 KWh. Battery soc 78% Wind, Wind, Windy today. Had to stay on grid all day.

5/12 4:54, battery soc 76.8%. Switch to RE at 5:10. PV production 20.7 KWh. Interesting tracker 2 did not follow the sun. It seemed to ride over the top and the tracker never turned to follow the evening sun as it dropped behind. Tracker 1 did fine. Four KWh difference between trackers. The battery topped off anyway. Maybe I should alter the zenith higher. It is middle of May. Ok, I'll do it right now! 22:55 and tracker 2 has been tilted to the next bolt hole and tracker 1 is still the same. Battery soc 82%

5/13 6:01 Switched to grid to heat water. Battery soc at 63%. Changed both trackers to high zenith. Stayed on grid all day. Heavy clouds so trackers didn't move. PV production 6 KWh. Battery soc 90.8% at 18:43.

5/14 Switched to RE at 11:00, cloudy but the batteries are full. PV production 6 KWh. Switched to grid at 19:00 for hot water to do a batch of bloody laundry from butchering a wild hog. Best wild meat in Missouri!! The wind turbine stator arrived today with two deeply shattered magnets and SWWP is sending a new magnet can immediately. Thanks Ross!!! Disappointing but great service makes it easier.  Tracker 1 swung around when evening sun appeared, but tracker 2 still did not. That's 2. PV panels on the high zenith seem to make more electricity with cloudy conditions. 20:23, switch to RE for the evening and battery soc at 92.8%. The refrigerator may use extra energy tonight cooling down that wild hog meat.

5/15 5:33, 69.5% Switched to grid at 8:02 and 63.2% due to very dark clouds. 15:00 switched to RE due to grid power outage. 17:00 and grid power back. PV production 3.5 KWh.

5/16 6:36 Switch to RE. PV production 20.4 KWh. Trackers tracked perfectly all day. Heavy on the water heating today, 18:39 battery soc 85.8%.

5/17 On Re all night and day. PV production 13.4 KWh. At 20:28 battery soc 92.8%.

5/18 5:32 Battery soc 71.2%. Evening equilibrium at 17:50, battery soc 94.5%. PV production 21.6KWh.

5/19 6:05 Battery soc 66.6%. Fourth day without needing grid power. Ready to mount solar hydronic panels on house. Parts should be here today to reassemble turbine and get it back on line! Trackers tracking perfectly after tilting to appropriate zenith. Problem with web box.  PV production 17.5 KWh. 20:58 Finally have the turbine back on line. Battery soc 81%.

5/20 5:18 Battery soc only dropped to 75%. Wind turbine generating up to 2300 watts this morning, sometimes. No wind at the house. There is now a bug in my web box communication system. I will have no PV totals today. The system is running fine. The turbine is running fine. Just the web box quit. A wire broke and it must be re soldered to operate. Twisted together doesn't work for the com wire connection, I hope that's it. Turbine production 7.66 KWh.  

5/21 Sixth day without grid power needed. And we are ready to install the solar hot water panels today after work. That will save several KWh per day when finished. Battery soc at 5:05 66%, no wind last night. No word on the next four batteries ordered yet. No, the soldering did not help the web box, something else wrong. It lost one of the Sunny Islands and the other three devices are found but have no statistics or data and show 'off' even when they are working properly. Turbine production .29 KWh. No data for PV production again. Battery soc at 20:55 85%. Solar water heater panels are mounted. Eight batteries were ordered by Ellis Battery and we are going to take all eight when they get here. Went on grid at 21:30 to heat water. We are expecting clouds and storms tomorrow so I will stay on grid overnight.

5/22 Checked all communication connections and changed spare comm module around and no change in the web box. It lost communication with the slave SI on 5/19, and then lost all but basic contact with the rest of the system, no data at all. Switch to RE at 6:20. Found the problem with the Web Box and its solved. I will resume PV production figures tomorrow. It compiled only part of today's production, 6.2 KWh. Turbine's spinning power into the batteries and it is dark out. Went on grid to heat water at 20:50. 21:18, turbine production 2.4 KWh. Back on RE at 21:22.

5/23 On Re all day. Heated plenty of water without going on grid. PV production 17.9 KWh. Turbine production 2.07 KWh. Even in good wind the turbine does not generate during a sunny day as the PV panels keep the voltage over turbine regulation, but now in the evening it's starting to crank up production. That is the difference between grid tied and off grid as the SI 5048's would pump off extra energy keeping the turbine on line to also generate into the grid. Now with our system the batteries can only hold so much and the PV panels drop production so the battery bank doesn't over charge, and the turbine stays off regulation unless the water heater or some other demand keeps the voltage below 54 volts. Battery soc at 21:20 is 76.5%. At the rate the turbine is charging now we will have full batteries in the morning.

5/24 Battery soc 78% at 4:30. The turbine added 3.6 KWh before the winds died down. Peak amperage was 101A. Peak wattage was 3478W. I had to further restrict the on reg setting on the turbine charge controller to 55.2V to try to restrict over voltage charging of our AGM battery bank. The forty second delay on the SWWP controller was allowing the bank to go up to 64 volts and shutting down the Sunny Islands for a few seconds, stopping power into the house when the turbine was peak charging. The addition of eight more batteries may stop this also. At least it is going over voltage for a very short time. I will set it back up to 56.7 volts, (4X14.4v=57.2vmaxcharge for AGM batteries) when the new batteries are added. PV production 6.8 KWh. Turbine production 5.16 KWh. Switched to grid at 14:30, when the storms were over, wind quit a second time and cloudy.

5/25 The turbine put in .5 KWh over night. Battery soc at 5:54, 65%. Switched to RE at 8:05. I had to turn off the Sunny Island inverters as they seem to be malfunctioning. It may be linked to the communication failure in the SI Master. SMA is sending a warranty replacement unit and I decided that with the new problems that have shown up, I am turning off the system and letting the turbine charge up the batteries, then turning off that too. So to date...The Sunny Island slave failed upon first turning it on, a factory fault and replaced, which contributed to the Sunny Island master now failing. And the turbine failed two weeks after turning it on, which was factory fault and was replaced.

5/31/08 12:00 HOURS. Eight new batteries added to battery bank for a total of 16. 900 Ah at 10 hour rate. The turbine is on and ready to charge when the wind decides to cooperate, but the Sunny Island inverters are off until the replacement Master arrives to replace the original that is malfunctioning. The turbine charges independently of the Sunny Island equipment. I could re-commission the slave SI to Master and charge the batteries with Tracker 2. It would be good fun and practice. 12:40 hours and the SI is commissioned M1PV and now charging the batteries to equalize all 16. Still can't turn on the RE into the house.


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