diy solar

diy solar

Portable Victron Power Station operational

Well I had a chance to borrow my mechanics high end torque wrench. Sadly its lowest setting was above 6 nm. Considering the stories of snapped screws on battery cells I elected to use a torque screwdriver that has been recommended by others. It is not digital but has a fairly easy scale for adjustments. I really liked that it came with a 1/4 to socket adapter. This made tightening up the screws on the terminals much easier. I went shy of 6 nm. They are still quite snug and should be fine.
Is there a page that shows the torque specs for the batteries?
 
So I have been careful not to drill into the dolly frame in case it somehow affected the structural integrity. To that end I have opted for these zip ties. Must say I am favorably impressed so far:


IMG_3839.jpeg
 
I believe that the one thing all members strive for in building their systems is to be as safe as possible. Sometimes one walks the path between need to have versus want to have. Then there are things like code and other considerations along the way.

I took a number of steps to try to ensure safety with this build. If I were to build this again in a couple of years I might choose a different path based upon experience and comfort levels with concepts. I wanted to share considerations that appealed to me with this build. This is by no means a recipe as there are multiple routes to arrive at the same conclusion.

Dolly: I liked this because it offered a variety of position options. Because I added a rear wood frame, I am only able to take advantage of two of the three position options. In the upright position it is rated at 800 pounds. At the 45 degree angle it will handle 500 pounds which far exceeds what I have installed. At the 45 degree position movement will also be far easier for me.

Battery wooden holder: This was a custom one of a kind. In putting this together I felt more comfortable applying a high quality wood glue prior to connecting the various pieces. This went through two revisions as I considered and improved on things. The timber lag bolts I applied at the rear of the box are designed for timber walls in outdoor applications so should very adequately handle the stresses.

The two aluminum angle pieces that secure this to the dolly were discussed in agonizing detail earlier. They work quite nicely for holding things together.

Fusing: The battery box has a breaker installed. I am utilizing this as an on off switch and am using a second fuse at the bus bar which actually has a lower rating so it would stops things first should they get out of hand. Perhaps a bit of OCD on my part but if I sleep better at night all the better.

Power distribution: There is a Square D distribution box with two 15 amp breakers. They each feed an outlet bar which has ETL rating and a 15 amp breaker switch. Redundant I know. I found them cool looking and the fact that they had safety features built in was an added plus for me.

Victron components: What can I say. I think they look cool. One of the key considerations for the Multiplus II is that it sips power in idle mode. I shared earlier how the Multiplus allows redundancy with my other build which for me is a plus.

Battery case: This thing is cool and well featured. Thank you again Amy for making this product available. I am looking at updating my other cases with this design in the near future.

AC input: This went through at least two versions. I opted for the junction box approach for personal reasons. I saw at least two benefits, first the wire clamp on the AC input helps prevent pulling a connection loose. Second I was able to get a better wire connection to the Multiplus II.

Future options? I am considering adding stainless steel support wires on each side of the box and attach them to the wooden frame. Too much? Perhaps. But then that is one of the benefits of being your own contractor.

Solar panel input. I already have one mobile panel discussed in another thread. I am considering another mobile design that I hope to build this spring which will be lower to the ground while still having the ability to adjust the angle. I want to have the ability to charge this build from a panel or two in the future which is why I added the charge controller.
 
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May need to consider this in the marketing brochure? LOL
Reliability wise I'm sure Victron doesn't want to be compared to Mercedes....apart from some select older diesels German cars out of warranty tend to be massive money pigs and often off the road and in the workshop/offline
 
Ok. Dongle has been attached. Readout screen for the shunt has been installed. Of course both are Bluetooth enabled.

IMG_3877.jpegIMG_3878.jpeg
 
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The first photo shows the position of the upper support bar positioned below the Multiplus exhaust port. The second shows the ambient temperature after the charge mode has been running for a while with the cooling fan running.

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temperature2.png
 
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I believe that the one thing all members strive for in building their systems is to be as safe as possible. Sometimes one walks the path between need to have versus want to have. Then there are things like code and other considerations along the way.

I took a number of steps to try to ensure safety with this build. If I were to build this again in a couple of years I might choose a different path based upon experience and comfort levels with concepts. I wanted to share considerations that appealed to me with this build. This is by no means a recipe as there are multiple routes to arrive at the same conclusion.

Dolly: I liked this because it offered a variety of position options. Because I added a rear wood frame, I am only able to take advantage of two of the three position options. In the upright position it is rated at 800 pounds. At the 45 degree angle it will handle 500 pounds which far exceeds what I have installed. At the 45 degree position movement will also be far easier for me.

Battery wooden holder: This was a custom one of a kind. In putting this together I felt more comfortable applying a high quality wood glue prior to connecting the various pieces. This went through two revisions as I considered and improved on things. The timber lag bolts I applied at the rear of the box are designed for timber walls in outdoor applications so should very adequately handle the stresses.

The two aluminum angle pieces that secure this to the dolly were discussed in agonizing detail earlier. They work quite nicely for holding things together.

Fusing: The battery box has a breaker installed. I am utilizing this as an on off switch and am using a second fuse at the bus bar which actually has a lower rating so it would stops things first should they get out of hand. Perhaps a bit of OCD on my part but if I sleep better at night all the better.

Power distribution: There is a Square D distribution box with two 15 amp breakers. They each feed an outlet bar which has ETL rating and a 15 amp breaker switch. Redundant I know. I found them cool looking and the fact that they had safety features built in was an added plus for me.

Victron components: What can I say. I think they look cool. One of the key considerations for the Multiplus II is that it sips power in idle mode. I shared earlier how the Multiplus allows redundancy with my other build which for me is a plus.

Battery case: This thing is cool and well featured. Thank you again Amy for making this product available. I am looking at updating my other cases with this design in the near future.

AC input: This went through at least two versions. I opted for the junction box approach for personal reasons. I saw at least two benefits, first the wire clamp on the AC input helps prevent pulling a connection loose. Second I was able to get a better wire connection to the Multiplus II.

Future options? I am considering adding stainless steel support wires on each side of the box and attach them to the wooden frame. Too much? Perhaps. But then that is one of the benefits of being your own contractor.

Solar panel input. I already have one mobile panel discussed in another thread. I am considering another mobile design that I hope to build this spring which will be lower to the ground while still having the ability to adjust the angle. I want to have the ability to charge this build from a panel or two in the future which is why I added the charge controller.
Can I ask how, if at all you are dealing with ground faults if this is used as a standalone device?
(Sorry if this question has been addressed before in this thread, but given this particular post is about safety I thought you may have addressed it here)
 
ground faults
Typically when I have seen this addressed on this forum it deals with solar panels. While this unit has the ability to take solar input it is designed to be on a temporary basis. I am currently planning on attaching a portable solar panel on an intermittent basis for charging purposes only and then it will be detached using proper breakers and such. The unit when done will have the battery case and Multiplus bonded to the frame which has ground contact. The Multiplus handles the neutral ground process automatically based on whether grid input is present or not.
 
Have you had a chance to really load test it yet? I'm looking at building a very similar setup and my primary goal is running a stand up 12kbtu emergency A/C unit. How does it do with the single battery?
 
Funny you should ask. Have a portable stand up air conditioner in the bedroom and was planning a load test when I get home tonight. Will post results.
That would be great! I've been searching for days for somebody who made a portable A/C run off a Victron to no avail. It's the one thing I want to confirm before I start ordering parts.
 
That would be great! I've been searching for days for somebody who made a portable A/C run off a Victron to no avail. It's the one thing I want to confirm before I start ordering parts.
I would be very surprised if a 3000VA multiplus couldn't start a 12,000 BTU A/C. Maybe if it's particularly rough on power factor?
 
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