Need help deciding which equipment I need

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kenpino
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:54 am
My RE system: Direct AC Hydro Electric Power Generation

Need help deciding which equipment I need

Post by kenpino » Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:03 pm

Hi, I am new to this forum. We are 100% off-grid. The grid is not physically available. Our power comes from a direct AC 120/240 split phase 60Hz hydro electric power plant. This system is durable and reliable. It has been providing 100% of our electric power needs for 26 years now. Power production varies seasonally with water availability. Minimum production is around 6 kW and maximum is about 11.5 kW. With the growth of our operation and partly due to climate change causing changes in water availability, this system is beginning to have difficulty meeting peak needs. I have begun to study the various Power Technologies, such as whose available from Out Back. It is a little daunting to figure out which technology would best serve our needs. Seems like some version of your Inverter products might fit our needs. What I see as the ultimate device for our system would be a unit that could connect to our Hydro Plant and use a portion of it's output to charge and maintain a battery bank. The device would need to simultaneously measure the output of the hydro plant and the sum total of user loads. When the user loads are less than the output, the hydro plant is allowed to service all of those loads while charging and maintaining the battery bank. When the user loads exceed the hydro output, the device would automatically supply the difference from the battery bank. Due to climate change we would also want to be able to integrate DC sources such as solar and wind in the future for additional battery charging when and if water availability drops below our average needs. Am I on the right track? Which, if any of Out Backs products would be the best choice to do this?

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
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My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Need help deciding which equipment I need

Post by Mike Curran » Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:40 pm

Hi Ken - I won't make a specific recommendation as to an inverter - Outback's will certainly work for you - but whatever you choose, for your setup I would use your hydro as the "grid" input to the inverter, which will pass through the hydro power to your loads connected to the output. Outback's inverters won't measure the hydro power - you'll need another device for that - but otherwise you'll be able to charge your batteries with your hydro, and connect solar to charge your batteries through an Outback charge controller. I don't think Outback's charge controllers are meant for wind turbine input but perhaps there are other forum users who have done this and can weigh in. You'll also be able to monitor your loads and overall system operation using Outback's free OpticsRE software. You can view a demo of the app here: https://www.opticsre.com

- Mike

PS Yes, you're on the right track!
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

SandyP
Forum Guru
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My RE system: 8 x 190W 24V Suntech panels (4 strings of 2) July 2011
4 x 325W 24V Suntech panels (2 strings of 2) added Sept2018
Mate2
Outback FM60 MPPT (max output lowered to 55amps)
12 x 2V Hoppecke GEL 660 Ah C100 - 24V System
Outback VFX3024 Inverter/Charger
Victron BMV-602s
Honda 5.5kW Genset
Location: Victoria, Australia

Re: Need help deciding which equipment I need

Post by SandyP » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:06 pm

Have a look at this post / topic : http://www.outbackpower.com/forum/viewt ... 872#p72993

Also do a forum search for "hydro" and see what other users with a hydro-solar system have in place.

raysun
Forum Emperor
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My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
SimpliPhi 48-3.8 (6 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Need help deciding which equipment I need

Post by raysun » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:14 pm

Adding to Mike's guidance.

The DC Hydropower as 240VAC split phase will tie in quite neatly as "Grid" AC IN for the Outback inverters that operate @ 240V.

When external AC IN is present to the inverters, the AC IN is passed seamlessly to AC OUT, via an internal transfer switch. The inverter switches to charger mode at the same time and will charge the battery in accordance with its programming and internal "smarts" which are well able to automatically accommodate interrupted AC supply and keep the battefy properly charged.

If AC IN is dropped, the inverter units seamlessly switch to battery inverting, servicing loads without disription.

The inverters have many operating modes, including "Support". This mode will supply AC loads via AC IN, until the loads exceed supply, at which time, the inverter draws battery power and supplies AC OUT, blended with the AC current from the AC IN source. This mode of hybrid AC "Grid" power and battery/inverter power is capable of delivering the combined maximum power of both sources should the load demand it.

The Outback inverter will not track precise metrics of power generated by the Hydro Turbine, but will track kVA, so an overall quantity of power is readable.

All outback inverters require a Mate3s system monitor for programming and tracking operations.

SandyP
Forum Guru
Posts: 423
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:44 am
My RE system: 8 x 190W 24V Suntech panels (4 strings of 2) July 2011
4 x 325W 24V Suntech panels (2 strings of 2) added Sept2018
Mate2
Outback FM60 MPPT (max output lowered to 55amps)
12 x 2V Hoppecke GEL 660 Ah C100 - 24V System
Outback VFX3024 Inverter/Charger
Victron BMV-602s
Honda 5.5kW Genset
Location: Victoria, Australia

Re: Need help deciding which equipment I need

Post by SandyP » Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:36 pm

kenpino wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:03 pm
../.. The device would need to simultaneously measure the output of the hydro plant and the sum total of user loads. When the user loads are less than the output, the hydro plant is allowed to service all of those loads while charging and maintaining the battery bank. When the user loads exceed the hydro output, the device would automatically supply the difference from the battery bank. ../..
As mentioned, the Outback inverters do have a grid or generator input that would be where your hydro AC in would integrate with a "hybrid" system.
Unfortunately, the Outback system will not know (be able to measure) what the AC output of the hydro is however, you can program a maximum kW taken from the AC in source and this will be passed through to the AC loads and if there is any excess may be used to charge a battery bank. If the maximum AC in is reached the inverter will then draw any extra power required from the battery bank.
So if you have a high/low seasonal variation in hydro output you would need to make changes to the max AC draw each seasonal change.

kenpino
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:54 am
My RE system: Direct AC Hydro Electric Power Generation

Re: Need help deciding which equipment I need

Post by kenpino » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:57 pm

Thanks for the help. The info provided has been helpful to get me started.

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