Tuesday, December 14, 2010

PV Installers

In a recent article in a local paper, Biscayne Times, several homeowners were upset with a particular company not finishing the solar energy installation they had pre-paid for. With solar energy credits expiring many people felt the need to rush into buying solar energy systems without doing all the necessary research. Not only do customers have to do research on the products being used in the system; but they need to look up information on the experience of the PV installer and the company. The availability of information on the web is unbelieveable. You can often find satisfied and unsatisfied customers on chat forums and newspaper articles.  Always remember...BUYER BEWARE!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Connecting batteries together in Series, Parallel, or Series/Parallel

We often get phone calls with questions like these: How do I hook up my batteries in series? or How do I hook up my batteries in parallel. Well, I thought I would address this in this weeks blog. If you have any questions or need additional information on connecting your batteries together in series, parallel, or series/parallel, give us a call and we can help. The diagrams and information below are to be used only as a guide. It is recommended that you speak with a photovoltaic engineer or electrical engineer for more detailed information.

There are several possible configurations you can create when connecting batteries together. There are three things to keep in mind.
1. When connecting batteries in series, you will increase the voltage and the amp-hour capacity will remain the same.
2. When connecting in parallel, you will increase the amp-hour capacity and the voltage will remain the same.
3. To increase both numbers, connect multiple sets in series/parallel.

Connecting Batteries in Series - Picture 1 is the connection of two matched batteries used to double the voltage at the same amp-hour capacity, e,g, two 6 volt batteries to give 12 volts or two 12 volt batteries to give 24 volts. Picture 2 is the connection of four matched batteries to quadruple the voltage, e.g. 4 X 6V = 24V or 4 X 12V = 48V. Often used in golf car, sweeper / scrubber machines, and smal EV and marine deep cycle applications. Also seen in large trucks, RV's, and buses for engine cranking applications.

Picture 1

 Picture 2
Connecting Batteries in Parallel - Picture 3 is the connection of two matched batteries to double the capacity at the same voltage. Used when additional engine cranking or deep cycle capacity is needed at the same voltage, e.g. truck, bus, and marine engine cranking and trolling motor, RV, and small EV and sweeper/scrubber applications. Examples: 2 X 6V batteries at 200 AH = 6V battery pack @ 400 AH or 2 X 12V batteries @ 100 AH = 12V battery back @ 200 AH. Both of these examples would provide the same energy content at 2400 watt-hours.)

Picture 3

Connecting Batteries in Parallel continued... Picture 4 is the connection of three matched batteries to triple the capacity at the same voltage. Used when eve more engine cranking or deep cycle capacity is needed at the same voltage beyond Picture 3. (Note: Fore engine cranking applications, cranking amps CCA, are multiplied by the number of parallel connections as with amp-hour capacity in deep cycle applications)

Picture 4

Connecting Batteries in Series / Parallel - Picture 5 is the connection of four matched batteries used to double both the voltage and the capacity. Often used in trucks, buses, marine, RV, Solar Energy Battery Back-up applications, and Wind energy back-up applications.

Picture 5

Connecting Batteries in Series / Parallel continued - Picture 6 is the connection of eight matched batteries to quadruple the voltage at double the capacity. Often used in larger golf cars, sweeper / scrubber machines, large electric vehicles, and solar energy battery back-up systems

Picture 6

Friday, November 12, 2010

The New Mini Magnum Panel (MMP)

The new Mini Magnum Panel MMP is an inclusive, easy-to-install panel designed to work with one Magnum MS-AE, MS-PAE, MS, RD or other non-Magnum inverter/charger.
  • Small footprint: only 12.5" wide X 18" tall X 8" deep
  • Money-saving design: not only is the MMP less expensive, but it is pre-wired for fast installation, saving labor costs
  • Easy access: front-mounted breakers and remote (optional)
  • Choices: can be wired for 120 VAC or 120/240 VAC output
  • One DC breaker - 175A or 250A
  • One AC bypass breaker - 30A dual pole or 60A single pole
  • 500A/50mv DC shunt
  • DC busbars for battery positive and negative
  • Din rail for optional DC mini breakers - will hold up to six batteries

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Solar On the White House

Solar panels and solar hot water heater on the roof of the White House. Its an excellent idea and we agree with most people who think it sends a powerful message about renewable energy in the U.S. However, if congress doesn't pass new legislation and states hold back on providing more incentives for those of us interested in providing Solar Energy and using Solar Energy, then the country is not practicing what its preaching and a little hypocritical.

The database for renewable energy incentives is always being update and a good go-to source to find incentives in your area.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dry Battery Activation (Lead Acid)

Activating a Dry Charged Battery
Special order Rolls Batteries can be shipped dry (acid shipped separately or bought locally). To activate these batteries, start by removing the vent caps. Using approved battery grade electrolyte (1.265), fill each cell half way between the plates and the bottom of the vent well tube. It is important not to over fill the cells as the acid will expand upon charging. If the cells are too full, the acid will spill out of the top of the cells. Allow electrolyte to saturate into the plates and separators for at least 90 minutes. The temperature of the electrolyte will rise and the specific gravity will drop. Once this is complete, place the batteries on charge at the finishing rate (5% of the 8 or 20 hour rate). The rate may be increased if the battery does not begin to gas. Do not let the cell temperature exceed 115F (46C). If the temperature becomes excessive or the cells begin to gas vigorously, reduce the rate of charge. Continue charging until the cell (or cells) reaches within .005 points of the specific gravity of the filling electrolyte corrected for 77F (25C). We recommend to continue charging for an additional 60 minutes to insure no further rise in specific gravity.

Top up or remove electrolyte as necessary for proper level. Never add electrolyte (only approved water) after activation. Replace vent caps and remove any spillage of electrolyte. If necessary, clean with bicarbonate of baking soda and water (100 grams of soda to one litre of water). Rinse with water and wipe dry. Ensure that the soda solution does not get into cells.

** Do not place batteries on charge until electrolyte temperature is below 35C

Friday, October 29, 2010

Batteries & Multiple Parallel Strings

A customer asked me about the number of parallel strings that can be used in a battery back up system, so I thought I would address this in today's blog.

Battery failures in a battery bank are rarely the fault of the batteries themselves. It usually has to do with how they are maintained, connected, and if they are sized correctly for your particular system. A good rule of thumb to follow is to keep the battery bank as simple as possible and limit to a single series of cells. Limit the number of strings of batteries to 3 or 4. The more strings you have, the harder it is to equalize the batteries.

When wiring batteries in series-parallel, you want to keep all the batteries at an equal state of charge. Batteries that receive less charge than others are more likely to fail prematurely taking years off your battery life. Any additional resistance added to a string can reduce the life of the entire string. So to minimize resistence keep the same wire size and wire lengths the same throughout the battery bank to help distribute current evenly throughout.

If battereis are not charged properly it will affect the life of the battery. If batteries are discharged too far, its harder to bring those batteries back up to full charge again due to build up of sulfation (crystals formed on battery plates during the discharge cycle of a battery). If the crystals are not broken down all the way during the re-charging cycles the crystals will eventually become sort of like cement, preventing the battery from charging to 100%, thus affecting the life of the battery.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Solar World's 25-year linear performance guarantee

Solar World Solar Modules have a 25-year linear performance guarantee.
This means that the actual power of a new module cannot deviate from the specified rated power by more than 3% during the first year; and afterward, the power will not decrease by more than 0.7% of the rated power per year. So at year 10, the capacity is gauaranteed to be at least 90% of the nameplate as opposed to the industry standard guarantee of 80%. Solar Sales Inc is committed to supplying quality solar energy components at an affordable price.

Monday, October 25, 2010

RE Dealer for Magnum Energy in Florida

Great News...Solar Sales Inc is now the only Renewable Energy Dealer/Distributor of Magnum Energy Inverter Chargers in the state of Florida!

Here is a little information about Magnum Energy...
Magnum Energy is a leading manufacturer of premium inverter/chargers for Mobile, RV, Marine, Off-grid and Solar applications. With over 150 years of combined inverter design and manufacturing experience, Magnum Energy has incorporated new design and manufacturing techniques to build some of the industry's most reliable and advanced inverter/chargers. State of the art battery charger design using power factor correction techniques, an innovative first in modified sine wave platforms. Magnum's unique die-cast aluminum base allows full ratings up to 45C for superior high temperature operation.

Power Factor Corrected (PFC)Charger: The PFC charger is built into all Magnum inverter/chargers. It uses less energy from a generator than a standard charger – using only 15 amps AC per 100 amps versus 23 amps used by standard chargers.

Made in the USA. All Magnum inverter products are manufactured in their facility in Everett, WA. Data sheets and User Manuals are on our website at http://www.solarsalesinc.com/magnum-inverters.cfm. If you would like a quote, please call or send us an email. Retail, Wholesale, & Export Inquires are always welcome! We carry all Magnum inverter products including export versions for Latin American and Caribbean markets.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Solar Sales Inc new Blog

Solar Sales Inc has started a blog! As solar energy news and updates become available we will post it to the blog and on our facebook account. As we continue to grow we will post relevant technical and product information to help you in your decision to use the sun as your energy source. If you need help or would like to contact us we can be reached at sales@solarsalesinc.com and by phone at 305-891-8355. We appreciate your support!