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Old 02-03-2015, 08:51   #16
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

So, Maine? Am I the only misinformed fool out here, who thinks that a dual breaker IS simply two separate breakers, with the handles tied together so they trip together? By, literally, the one tripping the other?


I can see their point, that they want a sequential shutdown rather than a random one, but sequential shutdowns are the province of control circuits and good design, not leaving things up to the often unreliable wetware.
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Old 02-03-2015, 13:13   #17
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

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Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
I contacted Morningstar about Mainesail's dual pole shutoff requirement, and this is the response I got:

You do not need a two-pole breaker with the TS-MPPT-60. In fact, two single breakers is a better idea.

It is recommended that you turn the battery power on first and the solar input on second. If it is necessary to shut the system down, it is recommended that you disconnect the solar input first and the battery power second. It is not a requirement to connect and disconnect in this order, but it will provide the most stable transition from Off to On and On to Off.

The TS-MPPT requires battery power in order to operate. The logic circuits are powered from the battery voltage. You can disconnect the solar array and leave the battery connected. But, If you disconnect the battery and leave the solar connected, you will not damage anything, but the controller will not operate properly, if at all (until the battery is reconnected). And voltage readings and LED indications may by inaccurate or misleading.
I contacted MS again this afternoon because installing a double pole relay is kind of a pain. Took a little bit to get to engineering and it was confirmed that simultaneously is what I was told for the time frame when I asked my question originally and that yes the manual still says simultaneously. He made a note to address this in the manual. I was told that MS now says simultaneously OR PV first. This is good because PV first is much easier.

I also pressed harder on the LFP front (programming & such) and was then told an easier way for an LFP HVC is to use the volt sense circuit and use a single pole relay to open one wire of v-sense. I was told they have been working on ways to better integrate with LFP and this is what they now suggest for an LFP HVC break...

Course this is not what they told you this morning so the right hand still does not know what the left is doing and the snowball still rolls.....

The nice thing about breaking the v-sense is that it carries no current which means small inexpensive relays can be used.

Would be nice if the manuals included such wisdom, I mean why keep this stuff secret......??
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Old 02-03-2015, 13:40   #18
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

I'm not sure about the volt sense circuit interrupt. I know on ours, a failure there will show an alarm, but I am not sure that the charging stops. The controller runs just fine without a battery voltage sense wire connected - it just reverts to using the battery wire for voltage.

If I recall correctly, the only things that actually disconnect the controller are high PV voltage, high battery voltage and high temperature.

Hope I'm wrong on that, because using the voltage sense circuit for cutout would be much easier.

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Old 02-03-2015, 18:34   #19
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

Well, I pulled the trigger... so now I have to get started on the moon pool so I can jettison it if it catches fire.
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Old 03-03-2015, 13:36   #20
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

Since MS say in their installation instructions connect the PV before the BAT how can they possibly suggest you need an instantaneous synchronised disconnect for a HVC event. The mind boggles.

When doing maint or pre and post layup we try and cover the PV panels but so I dont get a wee tingle. BUT we have connected and disconnected our four panels many times and the MS MPPT Controller still functions.
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Old 03-03-2015, 14:21   #21
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

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I'm not sure about the volt sense circuit interrupt. I know on ours, a failure there will show an alarm, but I am not sure that the charging stops. The controller runs just fine without a battery voltage sense wire connected - it just reverts to using the battery wire for voltage.

If I recall correctly, the only things that actually disconnect the controller are high PV voltage, high battery voltage and high temperature.

Hope I'm wrong on that, because using the voltage sense circuit for cutout would be much easier.

Mark
Mark,

They said that so long at the v-sense is connected before the battery, then it registers that you are using v-sense. If you lose v-sense it is supposed to stop charging. This also could have been a software change but I did not press them on whether this has always been true or is only true with the current software..

I really can't confirm this without physically testing it, and have no boats within range with operable arrays using MS ProStar MPPT's to test this on.

Based on Morningstars poorly written and arguably contradictory manual, plus multiple different answers, based on one simple question, it is hard to say if this will work or not??

Perhaps you could just pull the fuse from your + v-sense wire and see what happens??
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Old 03-03-2015, 16:32   #22
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

"you need an instantaneous synchronised disconnect"
You know, we tried many ways to accomplish that but found the only real way to get it all done at the exact same moment, was to use an explosive shell wired with those klystron triggers that are used in H-bombs for the same "simultaneous" purpose.
And then, wouldn't you know it, Homeland Security got ALL bent out of shape, they insisted there was no reason we could really need that many klystron triggers in the same day, each and every day.
I keep telling 'em, hey, this stuff has been around since WW2, how the hell can you call it classified?
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:18   #23
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Perhaps you could just pull the fuse from your + v-sense wire and see what happens??
Aw geez, I'm sitting over the fuse, which means I have to stand up and remove a cushion to get to it. And I'm not an electrical engineer, so this is a difficult process for me. And us cruisers aren't made of time, you know… sheesh.

OK, I did it.

The TriStar 60 flashes a warning and goes on merrily charging like nothing happened. As soon as it is reconnected, the warning goes away. It gets logged as an alarm and not a fault.

Are you sure you are talking to engineers at Morningstar, or are they having a run with you?

Software version 12 - circa 2012.

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Old 04-03-2015, 08:36   #24
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Aw geez, I'm sitting over the fuse, which means I have to stand up and remove a cushion to get to it. And I'm not an electrical engineer, so this is a difficult process for me. And us cruisers aren't made of time, you know… sheesh.

OK, I did it.

The TriStar 60 flashes a warning and goes on merrily charging like nothing happened. As soon as it is reconnected, the warning goes away. It gets logged as an alarm and not a fault.

Are you sure you are talking to engineers at Morningstar, or are they having a run with you?

Software version 12 - circa 2012.

Mark
Wow!!
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Old 09-03-2015, 20:55   #25
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

I went by the Balqon factory today. They were still waiting on a part that was on a UPS truck, but I got to check out my battery and we talked for a long time, he answered all of my questions. Very cool. They're going to deliver it tomorrow.

The plan now is to keep the AGM for the engine and charge it with the existing echo charger.
Battery A will be the LifePO4 and battery B will be the 8 year old 8D Lifeline AGM.
I've got a pathfinder (programmable solenoid) and a battery combiner, I'm going to see what kind of design I can come up with that will separate the battery banks but let me charge them all and take care of the alternator and solar channel 12v side in the event of a shutdown. My goal is to just use the LifePO4 and have the 8D as a spare since it's already paid for.
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Old 10-03-2015, 06:29   #26
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
I went by the Balqon factory today. They were still waiting on a part that was on a UPS truck, but I got to check out my battery and we talked for a long time, he answered all of my questions. Very cool. They're going to deliver it tomorrow.

The plan now is to keep the AGM for the engine and charge it with the existing echo charger.
Battery A will be the LifePO4 and battery B will be the 8 year old 8D Lifeline AGM.
I've got a pathfinder (programmable solenoid) and a battery combiner, I'm going to see what kind of design I can come up with that will separate the battery banks but let me charge them all and take care of the alternator and solar channel 12v side in the event of a shutdown. My goal is to just use the LifePO4 and have the 8D as a spare since it's already paid for.
If you can't adjust the turn on set point above 13.5V it will always be bleeding off your LFP bank. The Echo charger turns on at 13.0V and your LFP will usually be well above 13.0V.......
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Old 18-03-2015, 16:58   #27
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

After mapping it out on paper, here's what I've come up with. Any comments appreciated.

Battery banks:
1 AGM (Engine 68ah)
1 AGM (Emergency Backup 225ah)
1 LifePO4 (House 400ah)

Charging sources:
Shore power - Configure for LifePO4 (13.8V)
Bank 1 - House
Bank 2 - Emergency Backup
Bank 3 - Engine

Main Engine - Balmar Alternator with regulator
Connect to Lewmar Battery Isolator (-0.7VDC @ 50%, -0.9 VDC @ 100%)
I need to find out if I need to reconfigure the regulator, will the voltage loss from the isolator be enough to keep the engine from overcharging the lifepo4?
Bat 1 - House
Bat 2 - Emergency
Bat 3 - Engine

Solar - Custom Config
eg V=14
Temp Comp=0
Abs Time=2:30
Abs Ext V=12.5
Abs Ext T=3:00
Float=disabled
Eq=disabled
HVD=14.5
HVDR=13.2
Max Reg Lim=14.2
Max Bat Cur=60
Connect to House only
Any suggestions on that config? Are the absorption settings right?

I own all this stuff plus:
Xantrex/Heart PathMaker, which has a LVD range of 12.8V-13.2V, Connect Voltage range of 13.1V-13.5V, and a HVD range of 14-16V.
Echo Charger
I didn't see a need for either of these two items, but am I missing something?
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Old 18-03-2015, 17:51   #28
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

Here's some drawings if this helps... thanks for looking!
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Old 18-03-2015, 21:34   #29
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

I downloaded the manual for my regulator (612)
Looks like I can just change the program to Gel, although I'm not sure if I need to with the isolator in there.
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Old 19-03-2015, 05:50   #30
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Re: AGM to Balqon LifePO4 battery upgrade

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Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
After mapping it out on paper, here's what I've come up with. Any comments appreciated.

Battery banks:
1 AGM (Engine 68ah)
1 AGM (Emergency Backup 225ah)
1 LifePO4 (House 400ah)

In another thread, I've been effectively talked out of Li for our own application, but if you don't mind saying, can you mention cost of your 400 Ah LiFePo4 house bank?

-Chris
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