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Old 09-09-2017, 06:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Moving house again and a new project!

I'm moving to a new property in Hull and so will be out of action for Insight project work for a few months as it needs a fair bit of work.

I'll still help on the forum, with postal orders for items, and urgent IMA work in the UK.

However I do have a project in mind for this new property.....

It has a 4kw leased solar array on the roof.
It exports excess energy to the national grid.
The solar panel company get paid per kwh actually generated (not exported).
The house owner gets to use the full amount of the generated energy for free.

So I'll have to make sure i'm using or storing the full output of the array on a daily basis. Presently excess power just goes to the grid and I get no benefit.
You can't get that power back again from the grid without paying...

You can see where this is going
I'm going to store every watt of excess power the solar generates over my domestic load.
I'm going to build a massive (expandable) power bank using the 200 or so old sticks I currently have in stock. I'll use a solar inverter to put the stored energy back into the house to avoid importing power from the grid.

I won't be able to tap the panels directly (most efficient) or that would reduce the kwh on the leased solar generation meter and the company would notice. I'll have to extract the power from the mains once it has been inverted by their own solar inverter.

So it will be Leased Solar panels > Leased Solar Inverter > My House AC. > My battery bank charger > My Battery bank > My solar inverter > My House AC..

Looking at the solar power records it looks like it is generating about 13kwh a day in August.

Since it was installed in August 2014 it has generated 12845 kwh.
At a cost of say 0.16p per unit that equates to 2055 worth..
Over the three years since install it appears to be doing around 10+kwh a day average.

I'll try and get the kwh import consumption records for the property for the same period.

Anyway as far as the battery bank is concerned.

It will be made of stacked long lengths of 1'1/4" plastic tube.
Into these will be slotted 10 or 20 sticks in series joined by a short length of 6mm stud.
So imagine a long sausage of sticks 25ft in length.
Each tube will hold about 600wh or something.

Each sausage will have 2 x 400V 10A diode in the + feed charge input and power output circuits to stop the sausages discharging into each other. Don't want any runaway nimh..

Adding further sausages (20 sticks) as I get packs in from customers should be a doddle and not require pack reconfiguration. just add the sausage to the stack and connect it to the power bus.

See pic you get the idea..
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Last edited by retepsnikrep; 09-09-2017 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 09-09-2017, 02:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Good luck with the move.

Looking forward to more pics.
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Old 09-09-2017, 03:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Moving house again and a new project!

Are you selling the mill? That is a great property by the sea. Where is your new one? [edit...I see: Hull]
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Old 09-09-2017, 03:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Unfortunately the Mill did not work out so my new place will be a bachelor pad.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This is quite ambitious. Why not just buy the solar panels on the roof?
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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An older guy on youtube has done this with 5 HCH2 packs. Search old time engineer. I think he picks the packs up for $75-150 each from local salvage yards.
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Some progress.

Whilst waiting for the civic bms board to arrive i have started work on the hardware and software for this project.

I'm going to use three of these to monitor the power in my house.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Digital-A...4AAOSwy1NaaEao

I have three circuits connected together before the distribution box in my house. .

1) Power in/out from Grid. (Power can flow either way)
2) Power out from solar panels. (Power can only from the solar panels)
3) Power being consumed by house. (Power can only flow into the house)

If my solar panels are generating more than I am using then the excess goes to the grid. (I don't get paid)

So by monitoring the watts flowing in each of the above circuits (direction doesn't matter) an algorithm can work out if I am exporting or importing at any given moment.

If I am exporting to the grid any more than a few watts the system will divert that energy into my nimh power bank.

If I am importing more than a few watts the nimh power bank will discharge back into an inverter to try and balance the load.

So I need something to manage this.
You can guess what I'll be using initially.
Yep a hacked OBDIIC&C

I've written some basic software to talk to three of the PZEM-004T power monitors.
I will try and test it on the bench tomorrow.

Getting the data will be the easy bit..
Controlling the power bank sounds more tricky.
I'll also probably need another inverter..
Although i'm tempted to back feed the solar inverter but that means the company will get paid twice for the electricity. lol
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Old 01-29-2018, 03:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Bench testing..


I can talk to them at least.....
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Power bank planning..

Initially I'm planning on a 6kwh nimh battery bank.
I'm going to use a 4kva 48V input sinewave inverter to keep the battery bank voltage down to a safer level.

I will use 7 x 7.2v sticks in series for a nominal 50v module.
I've bought enough plastic 40mm x 3m white waste pipe to make 20 modules.
This will use 140 sticks.

Assuming a 6ah capacity at lowish currents each stick provides about 43wh
140 x 43wh = 6020 wh.

Each 50v module will be connected in parallel with all the others at the negative end into a common bus bar. .

At the positive end each 50v module will feed through a 20A schottky 200v diode into a common parallel positive bus bar.

The diode is to prevent current flowing backwards from higher voltage charged modules into lower ones.

Each module will have a independent cheap led 300ma CC 60v charger driver..
Each led charger will probably be independently controlled by a miniature relay/triac.
Each module may be voltage monitored by some sort of multiplexing pic adc system.

I might add a higher current charge capability later depending on my solar energy excess data?

When the bank is charged I will divert power into my water immersion heater.
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Old 02-05-2018, 01:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I had plans to use my old BB pack that had 3 leaking cells to make a power bank for this 24v APC UPS 1500 I have. Using the remaining 17 sticks, build a 4S4P setup, but then read somewhere on IC that the NiMH cells don't work well in parallel? Anyways interested to see how this works for you, and if I could duplicate it on a smaller scale setup.

Right now I have the original lead acid batteries that came in it and it's currently being used to power my sump pump (360w) in case of a power outage. Just trying to find a good reason to use these otherwise worthless sticks.
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