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Old 22-03-2014, 10:48   #1
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LiFeP04 custom charge settings for Morningstar MPPT-60

Hello,

I am 1600 miles away from my boat and thankfully so. It has been the worst, read that as, coldest longest winter in some 35 years in Montreal, Canada.

I have ordered/purchased ALL the equipment necessary to install my revised sized 1655 watt solar system, that will feed my 1260 amp hour LiFeP04 house bank.

This project will commence along with other projects sometime in May of 2014.

I will have 3 sets of solar panels, in different locations Set A )- 2 x 220 watt and 1 x 215 watt Kyocera.....Set B)- 2 x 250 watt Kyocera...Set C)- 2 x 250 watt Kyocera ..same as Set B

I have just received here my 3 only Tristar MPPT-60 solar controllers. ( also 3 only Tristar TS-RM-2 remote digital display/meters) A pair of each for each set A,B,and C. They are over sized a bit for set B and C with regards to redundancy and future expansion and overkill a bit for ease of panel set comparison...small extra cost versus total project.

I am wondering if anyone has the same MPPT-60 controller and is charging a LiFeP04 house bank with it/them.

MY QUESTION IS;

In the custom settings , where you can access the custom profiles for charging using MSView PC software, what settings are you using ?


I do not have a PC here with me, I have an older MAcBook so I cannot play with this in advance. A PC was also needed to custom set my Victron MultiPlus Inverter/Charger 12/3000/120V charging parameters.

I have emailed Morningstar tech support the following;

IN YOUR CUSTOM SETTINGS;
I WANT TO ELIMINATE FLOAT AND EQUALIZATION SETTINGS IN CUSTOM SETTINGS.
QUESTION 6A; CAN I DO THIS?
Yes
QUESTION 6B; I WANT HIGH VOLTAGE CUT OFF OF 13.7 VOLTS. THIS CAN BE DONE THROUGH THE #8 CUSTOM SETTINGS . IS THIS CORRECT? Yes "disable" Float in custom settings.
QUESTION 6C; I BELIEVE I CAN DO THIS WITH A REGULAR PC. BUT NOT WITH A MACBOOK PRO. IS THIS CORRECT? Must be Windows based PC
------------------------------------------------
WHAT CHARGING PARAMETERS DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR LiFeP04 batteries. My existing shore power cuts of at 3.55 volts ( total 14.2 vdc) per cell when top balancing and I can also do that with the gen set so I am happy to let the batteries live at 13.7 when on solar.


and this is the answer I got;

Morningstar controllers are designed for use with lead-acid batteries -- nickel cadmium can also be used. Lithium-ion battery and various BMS technologies have not been tested with Morningstar controllers, so compatibility cannot be guaranteed in all cases. That said, with modifications, some customers have reported successful use with Morningstar MPPT controllers (TriStar and SunSaver). The battery bank must have a built-in or connected battery management system to monitor cell voltages. Further, the battery management system must NOT have an automatic full charge disconnect feature that breaks the controller connection to the battery. The controller will not operate without a power source. Finally, the controller needs to be programmed / set to disable the float and equalization stages so that current to maintain absorption voltage will be available at all times.

I have found when dealing with large US suppliers in writing they are extremely cautious in replying...probably due to the amount of litigation they expose themselves to . Also I am not the smartest person so my questions perhaps are not specific enough, I did very much appreciate their quick reply and detail I got, but am looking for more info I may have to wait for..?

In the Morningstar Insallation/operation manual it clearly states I need to go on line and get the software....Just wondering if anyone has already don this with this model, and will share some results.

Thank you for your comments,
Pete



Reference from Morning Star Manual, Page #36;

Battery Charging Settings

The details of the TriStar MPPT battery charging settings are shown in tables 4-1 and 4-2 below. All voltage settings listed are for nominal 12 Volt batteries. Multiply the voltage settings by two (2) for 24 Volt batteries or by four (4) for 48 Volt systems.
............
............
............
The TriStar MPPT provides seven (7) standard battery charging settings that are selected with the settings switches (see Figure 4.1 above). These standard charging settings are suitable for lead-acid batteries ranging from sealed (gel, AGM, maintenance-free) to Flooded and L-16 cells. In addition, an 8th charging setting provides for custom set-points using MSViewTM PC software. Table 4-1 above summarizes the major parameters of the standard charging settings.
The shared settings in Table 4-2 are common to all battery types. The following charging profiles graphically explain the shared settings.


Complete MPPT-60 On line Manual for reference;
http://www.morningstarcorp.com/wp-co...60A_v05.11.pdf

On line Reference for solar pannels;
215 and 220 watt
http://www.kyocerasolar.com/assets/001/5515.pdf
250 watt
http://www.kyocerasolar.com/assets/001/5130.pdf
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Old 23-03-2014, 02:30   #2
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Re: LiFeP04 custom charge settings for Morningstar MPPT-60

What they told you is correct, there are no solar or mains chargers designed or built that can safely charge lithium batteries, anyone who claims they have, but do not monitor all the cell voltages, are telling big fat porkie pies.
I know you are not going to like the next bits of advice but it's free, read the LiFeP04 threads, make notes, decide whose advice seems to agree with those that have experience with these batteries and use that advice to measure the useability of any other advice you will receive along the way. You will need it as there is a lot of nonsense and totally false information out there.
There are plug and play systems on the market, some good, some garbage, you need the knowledge to know which is which or you will get your fingers burnt big time and a serious injury to your wallet.

I have set up a system using the Morningstar MPPT 60 and Kyocera panels, just to prove it could be done, no, I'm not handing the information to you on a plate, sorry if this offends but that's the way it is. Let me just say, if you want to set up 3 individual controllers to safely charge LiFeP04 cells, you have a crap load of work ahead of you.

On other threads we have had commercial interests boasting how they have set themselves up in business based on the free information they have received here, no doubt some will get burnt while they learn that they don't know it all yet but I don't intend to set any more of these people up in business for free, let them spend their own $$ and time finding out how it all works, properly.

T1 Terry
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Old 24-03-2014, 10:50   #3
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Re: LiFeP04 custom charge settings for Morningstar MPPT-60

Hello Terry,

Thanks for your reply, Perhaps no-one else is using this set up exactly,but I am sure many are using MPPT controllers to charge their LiFeP04 house banks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by T1 Terry View Post
What they told you is correct, there are no solar or mains chargers designed or built that can safely charge lithium batteries, anyone who claims they have, but do not monitor all the cell voltages, are telling big fat porkie pies.


Perhaps as the tech from Morningstar stated they are not designed for this purpose BUT there are those sucessfully using them. Plug them in and forget about it, I don't think so, not yet and if so at a big cost. With an onboard routine of constantly being aware of all the noises and the gauges related to living on your boat the extra monitoring for LiFeP04 versus my last batteries is well worth the divident I am getting and I enjoy it, I never said I was looking for an install and forget it.!

I know you are not going to like the next bits of advice but it's free, read the LiFeP04 threads,

I have, and continue to do so

make notes,

I did and ,continue to do so

decide whose advice seems to agree with those that have experience with these batteries and use that advice to measure the useability of any other advice you will receive along the way.

Good Advice, and it becomes clear as you study the various personalities who believes in what..... and how much you want to invest in their views.
I have come to think you do not believe in a BMS and do not support the use of and MPPT if not absolutly needed, and also question at best the use of balancing boards. I respect all your opinions I THINK you have about the above and understand you are passionate about them. BUT I went with a different design for me & MY application.


You will need it as there is a lot of nonsense and totally false information out there.


Absolutly 100% true.

There are plug and play systems on the market, some good, some garbage, you need the knowledge to know which is which or you will get your fingers burnt big time and a serious injury to your wallet.

Existing Plug and play is not ,I repeat ,not what I am looking at .Good or bad, I am commited to what I have and will make it work the DIY way.


I have set up a system using the Morningstar MPPT 60 and Kyocera panels, just to prove it could be done, no, I'm not handing the information to you on a plate, sorry if this offends but that's the way it is. Let me just say, if you want to set up 3 individual controllers to safely charge LiFeP04 cells, you have a crap load of work ahead of you.

Good for you, work never bothered me, and time I have. You do not offend me at all. Perhaps I am dissapointed at your view of my inquiry, but I am not offended.I have no commercial interest in this at all.

I was seeking in advance what I will get when I return home, get a PC, download the programming variables and study it. I am slow but at some time I will be ready to hook it all together and with help from smarter people than me have a great system, it is really not rocket science.

It would just be nice to hear from someone who's been there done that AND wants to share. You do not , that is fine.

I thank you for your previous posts and if you get a chance to read my first post # 2944 back in September of 2013 on the main LiFeP04 for house batteries thread , I signaled you out and said THANK YOU;


LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks



On other threads we have had commercial interests boasting how they have set themselves up in business based on the free information they have received here, no doubt some will get burnt while they learn that they don't know it all yet but I don't intend to set any more of these people up in business for free, let them spend their own $$ and time finding out how it all works, properly.

T1 Terry
Ok fine, and again I thank you as with your rather blunt reply , I have started reaching out to other forums.

Hopefully some one here on Cruisers forum will chime in, I am sure some one is using the custom settings for their charging parameters On a Morningstar MPPT-60.

Best Regards,
Pete
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Old 24-03-2014, 21:03   #4
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Re: LiFeP04 custom charge settings for Morningstar MPPT-60

Maybe that wasn't one of my better days, you get that sometimes. You can't program the controller to work with the batteries without some form of back up cell monitoring system with at least warning alarm. Cell run away occurs when the cell is full, depending how fast the current is going the end voltage will change, but at a trickle rate that solar controllers do in the end phase the full voltage is 3.45v in the cell. They won't all fill at exactly the same unless they are perfectly top balanced so if a cell becomes full before the others in a series string, it's voltage will climb rapidly. Don't hold any cell above full voltage for an extended period as this heats the cell and degrades the electrolyte, so holding cells at 3.7v and burning off current till they all reach 3.7v results in damaged cells, particularly the cells that filled the earliest.
Check through the other forums and see what the cycle life has been for cells with balance boards v those without. BMS is a completely different thing but has been taken over by the balance board sellers, BMS can mean, battery monitoring system, balance boards are not part of monitoring or management, they are a poor form of control to achieve a top balance. At there is no necessity to 100% charge Li batteries at any time the whole plan to charge all the cells till they are over full is flawed. But it is a quick and easy method and they don't care if it does damage your cells, you fitted it and knew what it was when you fitted it so it's not their problem.

T1 Terry
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Old 29-03-2014, 17:57   #5
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Morningstar MPPT-60 solar to LiFeP04 help

Hello All,

I have been busy and have had little time to search however in surfing the web found the below link..... I now realize there are lots of options available on the Morningstar MPPT - 60...and I will have to learn about them.

This fellow is using the same Mppt controller to charge LiFeP04 batteriesand I am sure he has advanced his knowledge since he made these videos.

I am sure since this was made many more are now using this Morningstar MPPT-60.

....ANY help from the boating world here??

I will post my findings eventually but probably not till Sept or Oct 2014 if anyone is interested.

It would be real nice to know specific parameters that work..from some one who has been there done that.

Anyone ??

Hopefully Tks,
Pete


for what its worth:

I chose the Morningstar MPPT-60 because ;

-It has custom charging abilities, allowing it to be adapted to charging LiFeP04 batteries
-It has no moving parts,
- It is silent...very important for me, a main issue as it will be near my Sleeping quarters.
- It is reported to have low interference, read it here somewhere, for my communication radios
-It is well made...I like the steel construction and simple case design, remember I am a steel fabrication person.
- It is oversized and I can expand my system adding solar if I want
-I liked it's price point $505.00 US delivery incl, no tax
- The company whom I bought it from held my hand as I got my mind arround A solar system. The sales person probably sent me 7 e-mails responding to my questions re the whole system.

[/SIZE]






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Old 05-04-2014, 18:33   #6
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Re: LiFeP04 custom charge settings for Morningstar MPPT-60

Current setup:
185w x 3 solar panels = 555watts
Morningstar MPPT 60 controller
4 105ah Sealed Lead Acid batteries

Proposed setup:
185w x 3 solar panels = 555watts
Morningstar MPPT 60 controller
4 200ah Balqon LifePO4 (each battery is ~3 volts, in series they = 12v)
1 House BMS to protect the group of lifePO4 from over and under charging
4 Mini Cell Modules to balance the lifePO4 cells

What I've learned so far:
Solar doesn't produce near as much as it seems.
555W solar = 166ah a day (100W panels produce about 33ah on a good day)

LifePO4 have more usable energy.
3 105ah house batteries = 315 ah / 2.2 efficiency multiple = 143 usable ah
200ah lithium / 1.2 efficiency multiple = 166 usable ah

House BMS:
" Warning levels are more conservative than Protection levels, HVC = 14.2V "
" Cell level protection disconnects the bank if overcharged to 15.0V "

Tristar Sealed Lead charge settings:
Absorption Stage: 14.15
Float Stage: 13.70
Equalize: 14.40
Equalize days: 28

From what I've read I would:

Set Morningstar to stop charging at 14.15V. At 14.2V alarm on House BMS will sound, at 15V House BMS shuts down connection (I don't know what this will do to controller). Theoretically this point should never be reached as the controller should have stopped charging at 14.15V.

On our boat we have a set of house batteries and a starter battery that are charged from solar. I don't yet understand if I can leave a lead battery connected in parallel to house batteries.

It seems every 28 days when the controller went to equalize (overcharge the lead battery to clear out the sulfides) the BMS controller would sound an alarm, but not shutdown unless the house batteries hit 15V.

Settings in Morningstar video above:
Tristar MPPT wizard
12v settings
regulation volatge 14
temp compaensation: 0
max compen temp: 80c
min compen temp: 25c
absorb temp: 10c
absorb exit volt: disabled
battery service reminder: disabled
float voltage: 13.4v
float timeout 12:00:00
float cancel volt: disabled
equalize volatge: disabled
HVD: 14.5
HVDR: 13.20
max regulation limit: 14.2
max battery current: 60

Also read these settings in another forum:
1. Set charge voltage to 13.85V.
2. Set temperature compensation off (-0.000V per degree C).
3. Set float voltage to 13.1V.
4. Have it enter float if the duty cycle is less than 96% for 5 minutes.
5. Have it exit float if the duty cycle is 100% for 10 minutes.
6. Disable equalize.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:23   #7
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Re: LiFeP04 custom charge settings for Morningstar MPPT-60

Watch out for http://powerjapanplus.com/battery/



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Old 26-11-2014, 19:06   #8
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Re: LiFeP04 custom charge settings for Morningstar MPPT-60

I'm mostly just a lurker here but I have read every post about LiFe on this forum and have hunted battery technology on the net for several hundred hours. My comment would be that if you charge at 14.15 you will be very close to the max. It would take very small "manufacturing tolerance " to put you at a higher than desired cell voltage. Unless you think you absolutely need every last amp your battery can give you 14.0 volts or even a little less makes more sense to me. I'll be using 13.8 for mine. Stay away from the upper knee and the cells should stay balanced a long time.

I do hope someone will comment on the difficulty of using more than one Morningstar TS - MPPT 60 on one battery bank. I was hoping to use a pair of them on one bank.
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Old 27-11-2014, 08:39   #9
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Re: LiFeP04 custom charge settings for Morningstar MPPT-60

Quote:
Originally Posted by darylat8750 View Post

I do hope someone will comment on the difficulty of using more than one Morningstar TS - MPPT 60 on one battery bank. I was hoping to use a pair of them on one bank.
Two TS mppt-60s can easily be "networked" together. Set one, set both at the same time. Easily programed though MSView.
Dwain
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Old 27-11-2014, 09:10   #10
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Re: LiFeP04 custom charge settings for Morningstar MPPT-60

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Originally Posted by dlentz View Post
Two TS mppt-60s can easily be "networked" together. Set one, set both at the same time. Easily programed though MSView.
Dwain
Thanks. That is what I thought but I was afraid I was missing something.
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