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  1. #101
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Panels are facing north. There is a tree next door, made a note tomorrow for 2pm to check if it is the culprit which I am suspecting as the dropoff was the same again today.

    Any update on what might be causing the sudden drop off in the afternoon?

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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Quote Originally Posted by MOSSIE.JHB View Post
    Any update on what might be causing the sudden drop off in the afternoon?
    Shadows cast by the tree next door. Our installation site was poorly chosen, but we will be adding 3 panels now, I was planning on adding 6 but forgot about the 4kw limitation of our inverter.

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  4. #103
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Dirk, what software are you using?
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Quote Originally Posted by Scalci View Post
    Dirk, what software are you using?
    https://iccsoftware.co.za/icc-pi/

    I am running it on a Raspberry Pi 3B+ connected to the inverter via usb.

    Connect to the PI via VNC, but it also outputs to pvoutput.org in realtime which is really nice.

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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Thx Dirk will take a look now..
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  7. #106
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Shadows cast by the tree next door. Our installation site was poorly chosen, but we will be adding 3 panels now, I was planning on adding 6 but forgot about the 4kw limitation of our inverter.
    3 panels seems the max you could add. The 4kW rating is based on the output from DC and bypass. The max for PV input is normally 3kW on the 4 and 5kW units.
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  8. #107
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Today was a mess! Combination of bad weather and load shedding dropped us properly in the dwang today

    Tonight's load shedding (which was 30mins short) ended at the same time that my battery bank SOC according to the ICC software reached 1%, 43v.

    I was hoping to get 5 years from the batteries but now it seems unrealistic, (well only when there is load shedding AND no sun).

    Main problem is that the Mecer cannot blend solar with grid, only solar with batteries, so today the first sunrays popped out at about 5am which triggered the inverter to switch to solar mode, but there was almost no solar energy until much later, so we used the batteries for a couple of hours (down to 49v then back to grid a few times).

    12pm load shedding started for 2.5 hours, less than 50% solar production than what we require, so back to batteries until 14:30. According to the inverter the batteries were full when the second shift of load shedding started, but I was monitoring it at the time, after the grid dropped the batteries SOC dropped to 60% within 10mins, two days ago it dropped to 80% within 20mins.

    The rate at which it was dropping was so rapid that I did not have time to drive to the office (which is 3km away) to switch lights etc off, but I did manage to shut down all the servers remotely. At 7.40pm it was on 19%, at 7.53pm 3%, so I suggest we have killed the batteries property during the past 33 months, but to put that in perspective, the batteries cost us about R500pm for the time period, during which we did not lose a single hour due to load shedding or power outages, that is the win in this story for me.

    Now is the time to decide the road forward, but cash is not king right now.

    The choices are
    • just add another bank using lithium (on the presumption that it is possible)
    • replace current bank with lithium - cost factor here is pretty big, min 25k to reach what we have right now.
    • replace the inverter with a unit that can work solar - grid battery and not solar - battery - grid like the Mecer.


    Thinking out loud, and to keep the thread updated.
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Dirk it seems you have identified the main problem being your batteries. What was interesting at the time you bought those Probes I bought a SMF100 Raylite calsium. While we both pulled about the same load I did see your batteries volts were dropping faster than my Raylite single battery that I ran my fridge on with only a single panel. This was after I deducted the contribution from my panel so we both had the same load from the battery.

    A possible solution would be to sell your current Mecer and replace it with a Mecer King. They can blend solar with grid to keep batteries full ready for LS. We did discuss it some time ago and Fluffy was pro this unit as it cannot export to trip pre-paid meters which is then a kind of grid tied unit to use the maximum from PV.

    Sorry to hear that those batteries need to be retired after only 33 months. They must have been too deeply discharged over this period.

  10. #109
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Today was a mess! Combination of bad weather and load shedding dropped us properly in the dwang today

    Tonight's load shedding (which was 30mins short) ended at the same time that my battery bank SOC according to the ICC software reached 1%, 43v.

    I was hoping to get 5 years from the batteries but now it seems unrealistic, (well only when there is load shedding AND no sun).

    Main problem is that the Mecer cannot blend solar with grid, only solar with batteries, so today the first sunrays popped out at about 5am which triggered the inverter to switch to solar mode, but there was almost no solar energy until much later, so we used the batteries for a couple of hours (down to 49v then back to grid a few times).

    12pm load shedding started for 2.5 hours, less than 50% solar production than what we require, so back to batteries until 14:30. According to the inverter the batteries were full when the second shift of load shedding started, but I was monitoring it at the time, after the grid dropped the batteries SOC dropped to 60% within 10mins, two days ago it dropped to 80% within 20mins.

    The rate at which it was dropping was so rapid that I did not have time to drive to the office (which is 3km away) to switch lights etc off, but I did manage to shut down all the servers remotely. At 7.40pm it was on 19%, at 7.53pm 3%, so I suggest we have killed the batteries property during the past 33 months, but to put that in perspective, the batteries cost us about R500pm for the time period, during which we did not lose a single hour due to load shedding or power outages, that is the win in this story for me.

    Now is the time to decide the road forward, but cash is not king right now.

    The choices are
    • just add another bank using lithium (on the presumption that it is possible)
    • replace current bank with lithium - cost factor here is pretty big, min 25k to reach what we have right now.
    • replace the inverter with a unit that can work solar - grid battery and not solar - battery - grid like the Mecer.


    Thinking out loud, and to keep the thread updated.
    Bump for me to investigate.
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  11. #110
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    HI Dirk. OK so there are a few things to consider here.

    1/. From what I can determine you are cycling those batteries all day, everyday when the sun is not sufficient to power your load 100%. You need to consider a different method, or do the same but change the parameters for when what happens.

    2/. It appears that you are also using the Solar as your primary charger. You need to set the Inverter to charge from Utility firs, especially during times of frequent load shedding. Right now at Stage 4 you need to get those batteries charged as fast as possible between load shedding outages.

    3/. Despite you Inverter reporting 100% SOC yesterday, I doubt it was 100%. The Axpert inverter uses voltage and current to determine 100%. It assumes a great many things and is highly inaccurate. It is especially inaccurate during short charge/discharge cycles. The longer the time between cycles the more accurate it is. I suspect your batteries, although reporting a high voltage because they were charging prior to the load shed, were in fact still flat from the earlier load shedding.

    4/. Keep in mind that ideally a flattened Lead Acid battery needs about 10 hours to stabiles properly at 100% SOC. Anything faster than this shortens its life or it just doesn't achieve a true 100%. Two approaches to solve this are changing to Lithium or using oversized Lead Acids that you can wack with a bigger charge current and not discharge too far.

    ----------------------------

    For now DISABLE your PV completely and set your AXPERT as a simple Mains/Utility driven UPS in Bypass Mode. (Try to always be in this mode in times like Stage 3/4 Load shedding) From this you can determine how your batteries are coping.

    Can you please publish here or send a PM with all your System Settings. I am particularly interested in 1 - 13.

    In the long run you can replace your Axpert (Mecer) with its bigger brother, the Axpert King, which will blend Mains and Solar, and not cycle your batteries unnecessarily.

    If you can install, or have somebody install ( It would be literally Plug and Play) I can get you one at dealer price delivered to you in PE.
    Last edited by Fluffy; 2021/10/29 at 09:44 AM.
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  12. #111
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Thanks very helpful!

    To answer the question yes the batteries were working daily, the back to grid cut-off was set to 49v, I have changed it to 51v, the is the max setting on this inverter.

    Currently charging was set to solar, I have options for 1) Solar 2) Utility and Solar 3) Utility, will be changing it to utility for now.

    I am hesitant to disable pv right now, the sun is back and at least today when there is load shedding we won't be using batteries and will be able to continue working.

    I will screen capture settings later and post them here.

  13. #112
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Thanks very helpful!

    To answer the question yes the batteries were working daily, the back to grid cut-off was set to 49v, I have changed it to 51v, the is the max setting on this inverter.

    Currently charging was set to solar, I have options for 1) Solar 2) Utility and Solar 3) Utility, will be changing it to utility for now.

    I am hesitant to disable pv right now, the sun is back and at least today when there is load shedding we won't be using batteries and will be able to continue working.

    I will screen capture settings later and post them here.
    You actually addressed the two parameters I was concerned about. Priority and back to grid cut-off.

    You are going to have to make a choice, use Solar every day and cycle batteries, saving on electricity but costing in batteries, or change to an Inverter that can mix Solar with Utility and save on electricity, that doesn't cycle the batteries unless there is no Utility and no Solar.

    During Stage 4 I would still enable Utility first for charging, as you are intend.
    Last edited by Fluffy; 2021/10/29 at 10:08 AM.
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  15. #113
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    As I was typing - poof - load shedding.

    Fortunately I have approx 40kWh of batteries, 6.8kW of PV, and a hybrid that blends everything.
    Cheers

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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Dirk my office run on a set of old lead acid batteries in parallel with a 2.4kWh lithium battery. The lithium do most of the work (16 cell), but the lead acid is still there should the amps required exceed that of the lithium BMS (50A I think) for those short bursts when too many loads run at the same time.

    I just set the charge parameters for the lead acid, the lithium BMS compensates.

    This way I still get some use out of the lead acid.

  17. #115
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Quote Originally Posted by faniedup View Post
    Dirk my office run on a set of old lead acid batteries in parallel with a 2.4kWh lithium battery. The lithium do most of the work (16 cell), but the lead acid is still there should the amps required exceed that of the lithium BMS (50A I think) for those short bursts when too many loads run at the same time.

    I just set the charge parameters for the lead acid, the lithium BMS compensates.

    This way I still get some use out of the lead acid.
    Feasibility of doing that is very dependant on the exact Lithium battery and its BMS.
    Cheers

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  18. #116
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Please publish here, I have set up 2 independent systems where I am working and needing as much info as possible please


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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Thanks very helpful!

    To answer the question yes the batteries were working daily, the back to grid cut-off was set to 49v, I have changed it to 51v, the is the max setting on this inverter.

    Currently charging was set to solar, I have options for 1) Solar 2) Utility and Solar 3) Utility, will be changing it to utility for now.

    I am hesitant to disable pv right now, the sun is back and at least today when there is load shedding we won't be using batteries and will be able to continue working.

    I will screen capture settings later and post them here.
    Is the low battery setting / back to grid setting going to only allow the batteries to go down to 51v whether eskom is there or not?
    So, if the inverter has eskom I woukd be happy to go back to eskom when reaching 51v but if there is no eskom I want it to run till there is nothing left rather.
    The cost of no production outlays the cost of replacing batteries for us. Especially as we are dairy and have limited time frames for everything we doing.


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  20. #118
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Quote Originally Posted by allandell View Post
    Is the low battery setting / back to grid setting going to only allow the batteries to go down to 51v whether eskom is there or not?
    So, if the inverter has eskom I woukd be happy to go back to eskom when reaching 51v but if there is no eskom I want it to run till there is nothing left rather.
    The cost of no production outlays the cost of replacing batteries for us. Especially as we are dairy and have limited time frames for everything we doing.
    I am answering based on my understanding which might not be 100%.....

    With the Mecer inverter it activates the solar feed the moment it detects incoming solar. So you might have running at 1kw, first sunrays pops up and generated 10w, the inverter sees there solar input and switches the grid off and move over to solar input.

    Next the inverter realises that the solar input is insufficient, and blends in battery power. It keeps using batteries to blend until the "back to grid" level is reached, mine was 49v, it is now on 51v, then is switches back to grid and charges the batteries.

    During a bad sun day like we had yesterday this can be a continuous process.

    I have now changed my settings to 51v back to grid, and charging only via grid and not solar.

  21. #119
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Quote Originally Posted by allandell View Post
    Is the low battery setting / back to grid setting going to only allow the batteries to go down to 51v whether eskom is there or not?
    No, that is for when the grid is available, but solar too.

  22. #120
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    Default Re: Mecer Inverter - 8 Batteries - Real World Figures

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    I am answering based on my understanding which might not be 100%.....

    With the Mecer inverter it activates the solar feed the moment it detects incoming solar. So you might have running at 1kw, first sunrays pops up and generated 10w, the inverter sees there solar input and switches the grid off and move over to solar input.

    Next the inverter realises that the solar input is insufficient, and blends in battery power. It keeps using batteries to blend until the "back to grid" level is reached, mine was 49v, it is now on 51v, then is switches back to grid and charges the batteries.

    During a bad sun day like we had yesterday this can be a continuous process.

    I have now changed my settings to 51v back to grid, and charging only via grid and not solar.
    So all my low battery settings and float setting etc I left as is from factory. I am using gel batteries, the 1 system has 100ah batteries and the other one has 200ah batteries. The system with the bigger batteries has a higher nominal load at all times but the other has times where it runs near to max and times running very little.
    I woukd like to get a few more hours out if both using solar as main input as much as possible to reduce eskom loads


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