A combined Energy Solution - Alfons Container
GWL/Power supplied the Winston Battery cells for the integrated hybrid energy solution called “Container Alfons”. This solution integrates the energy from three sources - solar, wind and a backup diesel generator.
Be sure to contact GWL/Power for more details and for the reference to this and similar projects.
The GridFree inverters for the energy solutions
The 1000W and 2000W GridFree Smart inverters for energy self-generation.
Please note you have to always connect the batteries first to the solar regulator then the solar panels and load.
The solar regulator should be demaged If you connect the solar panels before the bateries.
Switch off the solar panels first, Load after and the batteries as last if you need to disconnect the solar regulator from the whole system.
Raspberry Pi (RPI) is a successful piece of hardware and it is often used in industrial applications. But what to do if you need to use it in a place without a connection to the power source?
The solution is the possibility to power it by solar panel RPI!
RPI is powered via 5V microUSB, which is in many cases advantageous. But there is a problem with smaller solar panels because of their typical nominal voltage of 12V. To change the voltage with a DC-DC convertor is not a suitable solution either because of power loss. There are small solar panels, but their performance is obviously too small.
RPI has to be powered at least with a source of 700 mA 5V ie with some reserves it is possible to count with the consumption of 5W without other associated peripherals. The connection of the 5Wp solar panel is not sufficient, since it is its maximum performance in ideal conditions and with a cloudy sky the panel powered like this will have output only 0.5W. You must also have enough power to recharge the battery during the day to cover consumption overnight....more >>
Question: I want to make a simple off grid system. I plan to use the 250 or 260Wp panel, a simple 10Amp PWM regulator and a 12V battery. Will this work?
Answer: this configuration will work, but it will not be effective and you will not gain the full solar power from the panel.
The PWM regulator is designed to work with solar panels that have the „maximal power point“ (MPP) close to the battery voltage – typically around 15V. This regulator is not designed to work with large panels that have the MPP voltage much higher. The 250Wp panel has the MPPT around 30V.
The PWM regulator connects the battery directly to the panel. This means thevoltage of the panel will be pushed down to the voltage of the battery. As a result the panel will provide only part of the energy.
The 250 to 260Wp panel works best at some 30V, and it is able to provide around 8.5A of energy. This makes the maximal of 250 to 255 Watts (all numbers rounded)....more >>
Updated photos of the ViewStar PCM series
The ViewStar PCM series of solar charge controllers allow charging of the 12V, 24V, 36V and 48V batteries with rich settings.
The ViewStar charge controllers give good results for reasonable money.
The LCD display allows full range of settings of the voltage levels and modes of operation. (The screen shows the setting for the 36V battery level - auto detected on power-up.)...more >>
ViewStar PWM Solar Charge Controllers
Check the updated specifications and parameters for the ViewStar PWM controllers.
Three key advantages of these PWM controllers
Additionally these PWM controllers support the charging of the LFP cells and battery pack.
ViewStar PWM Specification
Micro Energy Storage Setup
NOTE: this is a grid-tied system setup with a energy backup to the batteries. This system is grid-tied only. The micro-inverter works only when the grid is present. If the grid is down, the system does not work. It is NOT an off-grid system.
A practical realization of a small size energy storage solution with 3.2 kWh of energy capacity with 230V/230W AC grid-tied power output. The basic concept of the energy storage with easy expansion.
Components description of the complete setup
* Lithium Battery Pack 36V
Battery pack 36V 90Ah made of 3 finely balanced 12V/90AH LP batteries. The nominal capacity is 3.2 KWh of energy. There can be more batteries easily added to increase the capacity of the storage.
http://www.ev-power.eu/_d1873.html (USD430 per unit, total USD 1290 for 3 pcs)
PWM solar charge controllers (regulators)
Support multiple voltage levels 12V, 24V, 36V and 48V. The work directly at the battery level. No MPPT function present.
They are available in 20A, 40A and 60A versions.
These regulators are suitable for installations with a sufficiant sunshine when there is no or little need for MPPT function.
Setting for the Tracer Series
We suggest to use the “GEL” battery setting for the usage of the LiFePO4 cells. For LFP cells there no need for the equalization voltage.
The Manuals for the Tracer Series Products
Simple solar charge PWM regulators - REG12/3P and REG1224/10
Check our offer for new simple and good priced solar charge regulators.
The 134 kWh energy storage island system with integration to SMA invertors
Large capacity bank of the LiFeYPO4 cells is providing 134kWh storage system that works with a string of SMA invertors to give 80kW peak power.
Please contact us for details about this project.
Testing solar panels for performance
We are testing a variety of solar panels to see their performance. You can check our offer for these panels here.
PV panels for every roof! Become GridFree!
The small PV installations and off-grid solutions and hybrid-grid solutions are getting more and more popular. The LFP batteries are proving as long-term energy power backup solutions. We are getting ready to launch some new and exciting products. Wait for more to come!...more >>
Solar charging test data - October 2011...more >>
Harvesting the power of the sun
We have set up a new configuration to test the solar charging of LFP batteries. Two solar panels (217Wp each) are in a serial string to charge a 48V/90Ah battery pack made of 4 pcs of LP12V 90AH batteries.
During a sunny day in October, we are able to gain more than 2 kWh of energy from the 2 panels. (38Ah at 53V = 2kWh)
Our tests have a multiple purpose: to test the solar charging, to examine different solar controllers, to study the charging of the LFP batteries and finally to make a working solution to disconnect from the grid for ever....more >>
Using solar chargers to harvest solar power
We are testing different solar chargers to see their performance with the LFP battery packs. Here is the summary of our tests:
Figure 1 - shows the initial charging of a completely empty 48V/20AH LFP battery pack. We were able to charge 25Ah of power. We are using two 217Wp solar panels in series. They provide the peak of 350W.
Figure 2 - shows the discharge of the 48V/20AH LFP battery pack until the low voltage level of 44.4V is reached. The discharge with is a resistive load, so the current changes at the beginning and decreases as the heat spiral warms up.
Figure 3 - shows the charging mixed with periods of discharging....more >>
Simple solar solution for off-grid applications
This is our demonstration panel for simple solar solutions based on the 12V LP batteries. Check with us if you need such solutions.
Testing Solar-charge controllers with LP batteries
Sample 1: STECA SOLARIX MPPT 2010
This is a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) solar charge controller. It works perfectly. It gets the maximal power from the solar panel. The ideal peak reached was 200W of power input from 217Wp solar panel. The average solar input was 130W to 150W (from 217Wp panel during a sunny day in Prague, Czech).
Sample 2: PHOCOS CIS20
This is a Pulse-width modulation (PWM) solar charge controller. This controller will limit solar panel output voltage according to the battery voltage. It is not suitable to be used with the high voltage FV panels (e.g. our 217Wp panel with max 36V). It is designed to be used with the so called “12V” solar panels.
The ideal peak reached was 140W of power input from 217Wp solar panel. The average solar input was 80W to 90W (from 217Wp panel during a sunny day in Prague, Czech)....more >>
Another installation diagram for the off-grid solutions