Jump to content

Father-in-law's solar system


Recommended Posts

Knowdafish

Yep, you are correct. That's my FIL's argument vs the service center & the fridge company. They can't get it out of their system that their fridge was powered by solar. The fridge runs okay using electric but the issue was there's a surge when the compressor switches on & it trips off his 1kw inverter, fridge was only 95 watts. Simply means that there's something wrong with the fridge but the company just won't admit it. We were willing to have them repair it if they need to but they argue that there's nothing wrong, my FIL won't accept their reasoning & excuses.... Awaiting decision....

 

Starting amperage (and wattage) is always higher (for an appliance that has a motor) than it is while running. How much higher? That is the question, but it can be answered with an amp meter. I saw a clamp on style one while in Handyman Hardware store today for "only" 4000p. Ask the refer tech if he has an amp meter. If he does ask him to use it and tell you what the amp draw is when the refers compressor starts. If he doesn't have one ask him "why not?". And "how are you stating that there is nothing wrong with the refer if you don't have an amp meter?" 

 

The other thing that can be tried is to turn off all other circuits that are being powered by the inverter with the exception of the refer and see if the inverter can handle just the refer or not. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 50
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • misty

    15

  • Paul

    15

  • Mikala

    4

  • Cipro

    4

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

^^ That's my in-law's roof with his 800 watts solar panels. His house is completely off grid and those panels are now close to 2 years operational.   The panels we bought it in local made in China

If you're asking about setting up a solar power system, I believe Paul had a thread on that somewhere.   For me, the hardest part was all the up-front work needed to ensure I had the right connector

Misty, can you post how many batteries on that system and possibly the voltage and amp hour rating of them, along with the controller and inverter size? If too much trouble, no worries. I am just happ

Posted Images

Mikala

Rule of thumb is that motor starting currents are 5-7 times higher than running currents on modern efficient motors. In the old days, it might be 10-13 times higher.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
tomaw

It's great you were able to instal it yourself. How technology savvy do have to be to do this? Can anybody do it?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
thebob

Sounds like you need a big capacitor or 3 to supply the inrush current and protect the inverter. Scrap microwave ovens here don't seem to be so sought after. They have big capacitors in them.

 

The transformers can be rewound into welders as well! Caution very dangerous.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Mikala
How technology savvy do have to be to do this? Can anybody do it?

 

If you're asking about setting up a solar power system, I believe Paul had a thread on that somewhere.

 

For me, the hardest part was all the up-front work needed to ensure I had the right connectors, wires, relays and everything else designed into the system. Tools were quite important too. Needing a crimping tool that's not in the bag is a pain in the butt.

 

As an electrical / electronics engineer and electrician, I would have loved to have someone help me setup my off-grid system, but I had my plans in-hand and did it all myself.

 

I'd recommend coming up with the design based on what you're interested in spending, then take the time to ensure you have all the details figured out. Doing that with the help of the experts on this forum would be best. Once you've got that figured out and have the equipment in hand, I'd invite over a couple of guys that have done it and get them to help you. Feed them food and drinks (beer AFTER the work is complete) and you'll save yourself a lot of headaches.

 

Edit: beer is more logical than beef in this sentence...

Edited by Mikala
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
tomaw

If you're asking about setting up a solar power system, I believe Paul had a thtread on that somewhere.

 

For me, the hardest part was all the up-front work needed to ensure I had the right connectors, wires, relays and everything else designed into the system. Tools were quite important too. Needing a crimping tool that's not in the bag is a pain in the butt.

 

As an electrical / electronics engineer and electrician, I would have loved to have someone help me setup my off-grid system, but I had my plans in-hand and did it all myself.

 

I'd recommend coming up with the design based on what you're interested in spending, then take the time to ensure you have all the details figured out. Doing that with the help of the experts on this forum would be best. Once you've got that figured out and have the equipment in hand, I'd invite over a couple of guys that have done it and get them to help you. Feed them food and drinks (beef AFTER the work is complete) and you'll save yourself a lot of headaches.

It will be a long time till I'm ready but thanks for the information.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Starting amperage (and wattage) is always higher (for an appliance that has a motor) than it is while running. How much higher? That is the question, but it can be answered with an amp meter. I saw a clamp on style one while in Handyman Hardware store today for "only" 4000p. Ask the refer tech if he has an amp meter. If he does ask him to use it and tell you what the amp draw is when the refers compressor starts. If he doesn't have one ask him "why not?". And "how are you stating that there is nothing wrong with the refer if you don't have an amp meter?"

 

The other thing that can be tried is to turn off all other circuits that are being powered by the inverter with the exception of the refer and see if the inverter can handle just the refer or not.

He did all that. :) He isolated all appliances one by one, until he has proven that it was the fridge tripping off the inverter. He even showed the guys from the service company that he has no problem turning on his electric toaster 750 watts or his 1/2hp water pump but when his 95 watts refrigerator turns on it trips off his 1kw inverter. The fridge has no issues whatsoever until last November.

 

The starting amp is supposed to be 0.7amps. When our electrician tested it, it was 36amps & told my FIL to back away from it. Later when the service center & fridge company's representative came, my FIL tested it for them using the amp meter he bought & the starting amps was 6.9. Recently the recorded amp stated by the fridge company done in their lab was 7amps, which proves that there's indeed a problem with the refrigerator.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're asking about setting up a solar power system, I believe Paul had a thread on that somewhere.

 

For me, the hardest part was all the up-front work needed to ensure I had the right connectors, wires, relays and everything else designed into the system. Tools were quite important too. Needing a crimping tool that's not in the bag is a pain in the butt.

 

As an electrical / electronics engineer and electrician, I would have loved to have someone help me setup my off-grid system, but I had my plans in-hand and did it all myself.

 

I'd recommend coming up with the design based on what you're interested in spending, then take the time to ensure you have all the details figured out. Doing that with the help of the experts on this forum would be best. Once you've got that figured out and have the equipment in hand, I'd invite over a couple of guys that have done it and get them to help you. Feed them food and drinks (beer AFTER the work is complete) and you'll save yourself a lot of headaches.

 

Edit: beer is more logical than beef in this sentence...

My FIL is a computer engineer, he wired and set up his solar system himself. He did have some help from me, by taking him to electrical store to buy his wirings & the local merchant selling solar panels. He also had help from our all around guy & his friend, by welding the frame, setting it up on the roof, hauling the panels up on the roof & connecting the panels up. Then we had our electrician connect the system up to the fuse box & provided a double throw switch. The rest of the stuffs like the inverter, charge controller & batteries he ordered them online from Cebu.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul

Starting amperage (and wattage) is always higher (for an appliance that has a motor) than it is while running. How much higher? That is the question, but it can be answered with an amp meter. I saw a clamp on style one while in Handyman Hardware store today for "only" 4000p. Ask the refer tech if he has an amp meter. If he does ask him to use it and tell you what the amp draw is when the refers compressor starts. If he doesn't have one ask him "why not?". And "how are you stating that there is nothing wrong with the refer if you don't have an amp meter?" 

 

The other thing that can be tried is to turn off all other circuits that are being powered by the inverter with the exception of the refer and see if the inverter can handle just the refer or not. 

 

Not just any ammeter. You will need one with a "Peak Hold" button that will hold the peak amperes that go through the meter when the appliance starts. Otherwise, you will not be able to determine what the maximum draw is of the appliance when it starts.

 

 

It's great you were able to instal it yourself. How technology savvy do have to be to do this? Can anybody do it?

 

You need basic knowledge of electricity, even if working with 12vdc, although that low of voltage would rarely be able to hurt anyone, shy of direct shorts across charged battery terminals. 

 

The installation of the entire system, actually, is the easy part. The difficult part is doing all the maths concerning the various appliances you want run, the hours they will run, etc., etc., etc. 

 

 

My FIL is a computer engineer, he wired and set up his solar system himself. He did have some help from me, by taking him to electrical store to buy his wirings & the local merchant selling solar panels. He also had help from our all around guy & his friend, by welding the frame, setting it up on the roof, hauling the panels up on the roof & connecting the panels up. Then we had our electrician connect the system up to the fuse box & provided a double throw switch. The rest of the stuffs like the inverter, charge controller & batteries he ordered them online from Cebu.

 

Is his house completely off grid, misty? That is, does he have mains power connected to the home too? Or, does he ONLY have solar power to provide for all power needs the home uses? Something tells me that he does have mains power connected as well.

It will be a long time till I'm ready but thanks for the information.

 

The following is a good thread to read: http://www.livingincebuforums.com/topic/66689-newb-solar-questions/

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Cipro

They can't get it out of their system that their fridge was powered by solar. The fridge runs okay using electric but the issue was there's a surge when the compressor switches on & it trips off his 1kw inverter, fridge was only 95 watts.

 

You probably just need a larger inverter to cover the (completely normal) compressor motor inrush on start. 

 

 

 

Sounds like you need a big capacitor or 3 to supply the inrush current and protect the inverter. Scrap microwave ovens here don't seem to be so sought after. They have big capacitors in them.

 

The transformers can be rewound into welders as well! Caution very dangerous.

 

I'm unclear how one would use a cap to solve an inrush issue on the AC line. 

 

 

 

He did all that. :) He isolated all appliances one by one, until he has proven that it was the fridge tripping off the inverter.

 

This is completely predictable and expected. Some more expensive appliances do have a built in "soft start" feature to ease the wear and tear on mechanical components and reduce the peak draw, but maybe this fridge isn't one of them. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul

 

 

You probably just need a larger inverter to cover the (completely normal) compressor motor inrush on start. 

 

If he has a 2 kilowatt pure sine wave inverter, and the ref only draws 95 watts running, it should be MORE than enough to run the refrigerator. The inverter should be good for 4 kilowatts, and may be a soft start inverter, itself?

 

I am still thinking he has (certainly should have) more than 800 watts of solar panels. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is his house completely off grid, misty? That is, does he have mains power connected to the home too? Or, does he ONLY have solar power to provide for all power needs the home uses? Something tells me that he does have mains power connected as well.

Initially the house is set up using mains power. Then he installed the solar system. So his house can either go off grid or use mains, hence the double throw switch. Like the past week when his inverter broke, he switched back using the mains power. Once he got the 2kw inverter, he switched it back to off grid. He runs everything using solar, the tv, player, lights, fans, kettle, water pump, toaster, rice cooker & the fridge before it was broken. He also got 1/2 hp aircon & shower heater, both he doesn't use using the solar, though the aircon works if he wants to use it powered by the solar.

 

When we have brown outs, our kids runs over next door to use his tv & dvd. lol Our house is partially solar, we have 80 watts panel to power up our lights & two 100 watts panel to continuously supply our wifi, laptops, house phone & chargers 24/7. hehe

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is completely predictable and expected. Some more expensive appliances do have a built in "soft start" feature to ease the wear and tear on mechanical components and reduce the peak draw, but maybe this fridge isn't one of them.

The fridge has no issue at all since it was purchased sometime in November 2011. It was just last December 2013 that it started acting up. We think the fridge manufacturer knows about this defect since they've been repeatedly requested to test that particular part but they just ignored it. Not only that we also have 2 older fridges one by that same manufacturer & the other one is Condura, the compressor used by Condura is from that manufacturer, too! Both was tested by my FIL using the amp meter & manifests the same issues he's having with his fridge. Also the representative from the fridge company bought over their company's fridge to test it on my FIL solar, and same thing happens, it trips off his system. Their fridge was maybe less than a year old but it's in even worse condition than my FIL's almost 2 years old fridge, which requires more starting amps & it runs on a higher wattage.

Edited by misty
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If he has a 2 kilowatt pure sine wave inverter, and the ref only draws 95 watts running, it should be MORE than enough to run the refrigerator. The inverter should be good for 4 kilowatts, and may be a soft start inverter, itself?

 

I am still thinking he has (certainly should have) more than 800 watts of solar panels.

His old inverter was just 1 kilowatt. He upgraded to 2 kilowatt as a replacement when his 1 kilowatt conked out. Actually he's planning to "expand" it someday when he has extra, the solar panels price is certainly a lot cheaper nowadays compared to when we bought ours. He also plans to add more batteries someday, currently he got 8 batteries.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul

Is power unreliable there, misty? Or, did your family just want to go off-grid? 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..