HELP ! solar regulator info. required urgently.

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 19:20
ThreadID: 129337 Views:2637 Replies:9 FollowUps:11
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G'day,

I have had 320 ah lithium batteries installed and all went well until a few sunny days out in Sandstone WA has made the voltage on the cells go to high. One of the cells hit 3.61 yesterday.

I have the Bushtracker installed solar regulator which I think handles 60 amps (not sure about this, but BT upgraded it from the 30amp model).

When the cells alarm went off, the one reading 3.61 one was flshing and beeping.

Is there some adjustment I can make on the regulator to stop it charging, or is there anything else I can do rather than disconnect the battery during half of the day.

The batteries cost me a heap, so I am very worried. I will have a Plasmatronics unit installed when I get back to Perth.

Thanks a lot,

Willie
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Reply By: AroundAustralia - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 19:40

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 19:40
Without more details, I would say the Solar Regulator has not been set with the correct charging profile for lithium. Be careful here, over voltage with Lithium cells is a no no,

I'm guessing a bit here, but if you have the reg. I suspect you have, it needs to be loaded with a custom profile for Lithium. The Custom a Profile can only be loaded with a PC & appropriate software.

If you are familiar with a Plasmatronics Controller that may be a good idea. Plasmatronics told me not so long ago that the PL series can be setup in programme 4 to suit Lithium.

Get good advice, just changing Controllers may not be as simple as it seems.


Hope this is a start.
Wendy & Michael

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Follow Up By: AroundAustralia - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 19:53

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 19:53
For now Willie isolate Solar input and apply some load to the battery to get the voltage down.
Wendy & Michael

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Reply By: braggy - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 22:35

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 22:35
Hi Willie.

I don't know your brand of battery, but 3.61V per cell (14.4V), that is OK with mine, in fact mine are set to charge at that through a Plasmtronic.

What have they been charging at, absorbtion and float ?
Do you have a hi\low voltage cutout ?

Even though your batteries may be different, they will be similar.

This may help, but check with your supplier.

Site Link

Odd way to link but only way I could do itSite Link

Cheers Ken
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Reply By: AroundAustralia - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 23:13

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 23:13
Ken, Willie,

Getting out of my depth here but the Enerdrive Lithium system BMS spec is as follows:

Bypass Voltage: 3.60V (Bypass shunt will switch on)

I reckon there's only two possibilities - faulty cell or over charge.

Cheers
Wendy & Michael

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Reply By: Willie - Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 04:17

Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 04:17
Thank you all for your advice.

I ran the microwave for 10 minutes to get the battery down a bit.
I left all the lights and two fans on all day.
I covered up two of the solar panels.

The result at 4.15pm was :
Battery reading 13.2v and all four cells reading 3.31v

I think I will have to keep blanking out two panels until I get back to Perth at the end of the month. Then I will have the cells checked and a Plasmatronic Dingo 40/40 regulator installed.

Willie
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Follow Up By: AroundAustralia - Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 04:42

Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 04:42
Good luck with all of that. Whatever the problem is, just make sure cell/s don't over volt again.

Kens point is not wrong either, it's just that two similar voltage set points may not behave the same way in separate systems. Your regulator may and I say may need only be lowered by .1 or .2 of a volt to solve your problem.

The Dingo is a good reg. and I can't speak highly enough of the Guys at Plasmatronics.

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Wendy & Michael

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Reply By: Willie - Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 05:53

Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 05:53
Can anybody recommend a Plasmatronics installer in Perth ?

I went to their website and they have a number of re-sellers there.

Willie.
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Follow Up By: AroundAustralia - Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 07:11

Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 07:11
Willie,

Before you lash out on a Dingo, talk to Plasmatronics first. It sounds like you need a 60Amp unit, but the Dingo 40 Amp is a positive ground device and the largest Dingo they make.

If it were me and if your Controller is a Morningstar, I would be talking to Enerdrive in Brisbane to see if it can be re programmed for Lithium.

Just a thought.!
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Follow Up By: Willie - Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 07:24

Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 07:24
I emailed the chap in Wollongong who installed it and asked him if he was sure the Dingo 40/40 would handle my 4 x 135 kyocera panels. He said yes, so I think I am safe.

I will ring Plasmatronics tomorrow and make sure though.

Thanks a lot,

Willie
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Follow Up By: braggy - Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 18:17

Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 18:17
Willie.
When you talk to the supplier, get him to give you all the settings for the Plasmtronic custom program, for your LiFeP04.(download from Plasmtronic settings needed, pg 22 gives settings you will need ).Site Link
Ensure equalization is disabled.

If he cann't give you the figures (you know the type Pty secret), go to the manufacturer for them.
or I think Rod at EV Power may supplier your battery type and will have those settings for Plasmatronic, he may even fit it and set it for you.

OR Absolute Caravan Care at Balcatta the owner is an electrician and in the know

Good luck Ken
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Follow Up By: Willie - Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 19:30

Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 19:30
Ken,

Your a legend. Thanks for all that great advice. I will ring up Absolute Caravan Care and book it in.

My batteries are from a guy in Queensland. I will get the contact details so that the installer can ring him for battery details.

I downloaded the Dingo manual.

I have 4 x 135 Kyocera panels. Do you think the Dingo will handle that ?

Thanks again,

Willie.
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Follow Up By: Willie - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 03:36

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 03:36
Ken,

I spoke to Dean at Absolute Caravans and he knows absolutely zilch about Lithium set-ups.
In fact he told me that there was no solar regulator except a CTec which could be programmed to do it.

But I have ordered a Dingo and it is being sent to Absolute Caravans as he said he would put it in and program it as per the instructions at the site link you gave me.

That's about the best I can organise in Perth.

What do you reckon ?

Willie
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Reply By: Willie - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 03:19

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 03:19
A couple of people have suggested that it is not the solar regulator which would shut shut off the feed to the cells at a certain voltage.

They say it should be done by a monitor at the battery which is called a DMS (I think that's what it was).

Can anybody comment on that ?

Thanks,

Willie.
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Reply By: AroundAustralia - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 03:54

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 03:54
What did Plasmatronics say??

I'm sorry guys, take it or leave it, but I think this is going the wrong way. Anyone who publicly says they know zilch about Lithium should tell you to find someone who does.

Cheers.
Wendy & Michael

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Follow Up By: braggy - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 04:10

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 04:10
I agree with that AA. and C tek don't have a suitable controller nor do Redarc.
Plasmatronic is fully programmable and can do the job

Willie the BMS is in that first link from EV Power, they would maybe a better contact.
The alarm you got for the cell over voltage, what triggered that.?

Those figure in that plasmtronic site are not the figures you need to use, get YOUR figures from the supplier, but its a list for the settings you will need.
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Follow Up By: Willie - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 08:13

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 08:13
When the cells alarm went off, the one reading 3.61 one was flashing and beeping.!
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Follow Up By: braggy - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 17:14

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 17:14
So the separate cells have a monitor.?

They give you an alarm, but are they not connected to a relay to disconnect for hi\low voltage.

Did your installer mention that maybe one is out of balance ?

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Reply By: Toyman - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 19:34

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 19:34
Challange Batteries (Chris) at Osborne Park have installed several lithium Systems.
Suggest a phone call might help

Cheers
John
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Follow Up By: Willie - Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 05:07

Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 05:07
Hi John
I have committed to Absolute Caravan at Balcatta. He will be installing the Dingo with the help ofTerry who installed the batteries originally.
Thanks for your help,
Willie
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Reply By: Willie - Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 08:14

Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 08:14
Four days ago, Dean at Absolute Caravan Balcatta was talked through the set up of my new Plasmatronics Dingo by Terry, my installer in Wollongong.

I have not had a non cloudy day since, but hopefully when I do, it will all work OK.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed in this post.

Willie
AnswerID: 587506

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