This could be interesting

upnorthandpersonal

Administrator
So, instead of just doing the usual and buying some Victron and Batrium equipment and calling it a day, I went shopping on Alibaba and Aliexpress to see if I could build my entire 32x280Ah and 10kW solar panels system for under 10K Euro, keeping in mind the power and charge requirements - so not under sizing. This is what I'm getting, all including shipping and tax:

WhatWhereCost
20x 500W mono panelsYangtze Solar Power (Alibaba)€3733.56
32x 280Ah LiFePO4Shenzen Haomi Electronic (Alibaba)€3215.5
5kW pure sine inverterReliable Electric Power Store (Aliexpress)€517.91
BMS 16S 100A (x2)thanksforyou Store (aliexpress)€175
MUST PC18-10015F 100A MPPT SCC (x2)MUST Energy (Alibaba)€529.46

Total: €8171.43

Is this all going to work perfectly? Doubt it, but we'll see. If that BMS is any good I'll upgrade it to the 200A version which is 2.5 times as expensive, so that would become €368 for both together. It seems to be the upgraded version of the one Will finally found that had low temp cut-off. This is well under my target of €10K, and I'm especially looking forward to how that charge controller is going to be doing and what that inverter can actually handle. I'll test it all in-depth and I'll post an update once I know more.
 

Craig

Watts are Watts!
Staff member
Moderator
Keep us informed I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the results. You may have one or two items that need to be replaced but I bet you could find something of comparable price if something in your original list is not as advertised.


I really think we pay about 3x as much for solar as needed.
 

tictag

Off-Grid Enthusiast
Buying the cheapest possible components and shoving 10,000W of electrical energy through them. Never has that before been problematic! ;)

Good luck in your quest but please, don't install these components anywhere near things you might want to keep or otherwise protect!!
 

JosephBr108

New Member
I too am very interested to see how this turns out! The only thing I've purchased from China are eight 280Ah 3V batteries. I am considering purchasing the solar panels from China, too. Any thoughts?

The rest I think I'm purchasing from elsewhere, especially the charge controller, inverter and monitor. I of course also want to spend a little money as possible, but I'm hesitant to get the more involved gadgets from china.
 

upnorthandpersonal

Administrator
Solar panels are on the way and should be here in a week or two. The batteries all seem good; I'll post the results in this thread as soon as I have some time. The inverter arrived, and I must say, I'm very pleasantly surprised. It's rated at 5kW and it's been pulling 4.5kW for hours without issue in the first test. It also seems to have no problem with the inductive loads I've been feeding it.

My copper braid arrived, but I've not yet had the time to make proper bus-bars for the set-up. I'm also waiting for the charge controllers and the BMS. I'll build it up and write it all down once all the parts are here.
 

gnubie

Photon Sorcerer
Buying the cheapest possible components and shoving 10,000W of electrical energy through them. Never has that before been problematic! ;)
<insert comment here about NASA, rockets and astronauts>

OOOOOooh, I see they say they have JAS-ANZ certification (please stop laughing!), let's check.

1591212617551.png

1591212643545.png
 

upnorthandpersonal

Administrator
<insert comment here about NASA, rockets and astronauts>

OOOOOooh, I see they say they have JAS-ANZ certification (please stop laughing!), let's check.

View attachment 14577

View attachment 14578

Actually, they don't claim that. They have submitted their product through SAA Approvals and these guys are JAS-ANZ certified and print it on the certificate they issue. If you look up SAA152060 on saaapprovals.com.au you'll see the issued documents.
 
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Ryang

Solar Enthusiast
Solar panels are on the way and should be here in a week or two. The batteries all seem good; I'll post the results in this thread as soon as I have some time. The inverter arrived, and I must say, I'm very pleasantly surprised. It's rated at 5kW and it's been pulling 4.5kW for hours without issue in the first test. It also seems to have no problem with the inductive loads I've been feeding it.

My copper braid arrived, but I've not yet had the time to make proper bus-bars for the set-up. I'm also waiting for the charge controllers and the BMS. I'll build it up and write it all down once all the parts are here.

do you know if the inverter has a remote on/off switch or port for it? this looks pretty good for me but i need the remote :)
 

Will Prowse

Admin
Staff member
Moderator
Oh this should be fun! Looking forward to updates on this build :D

I would check the diodes on each panel. I have seen some pretty bad craftsmanship on the cheaper panels. I have found 2 bad diodes in all the panels I have installed. And the PCB solder joints in the inverter/SCC. I bet it will all work just fine :D
 
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gnubie

Photon Sorcerer
That is indeed true, but there's more to it than just making PCBs. A top quality PCB populated with junk grade, and even 'reclaimed' components controlled by a microcontroller with junk code running on it still makes a crappy product. Crack open a Victron and show me the junk grade components, or even 'reclaimed' components and then take a look at how reliably they operate WRT firmware etc and there's your difference.

Old clip, but this sort of stuff still goes on every single day in China, and other places too. Next time you pull a China designed and built thing apart and see 2nd hand component it in, don't just wonder how they were treated in operation, think about how they were treated when that guy knocked them off the board enmasse by holding them over an induction heater. :)

Don't misunderstand me here. China can produce high quality devices, if the manufacturer decides to and they will do exactly what it says on the box, won't be as cheap as people like, but work? Sure. The truth is China currently prefers to pump out cheap junk by the shipping container because people are willing to buy it.

 

ghostwriter66

"Here - Hold my Beer"
With that said - the biggest issues that I have is the counterfeit stuff even from the other Chinese companies ... ie - Chinese counterfeiting Chinese ..... You have to be damn sure that the stuff you think you are getting from a specific manufacturer which may be TOP NOTCH GREAT equipment is actually from that manufacturer and not someone just coping the outside and stuffing the inside with crap ..... and thats tough to do sometimes -- because I will often just look for the name of the equipment and not double check who is actually selling it ... and then when you plug it in and its suppose to take 80A and 10A's into it the factory smoke is released and 20A's into it everyone is looking for the fire extinguishers ...
 

gnubie

Photon Sorcerer
If anyone wants an example of China doing something properly, and I mean really proper high grade stuff, take a look inside Hauwei's own in house designed telecomms equipment. No one could describe that as anything but superb.
 

Ampster

Renewable Energy Hobbyist
Another example is the money they put into R&D for manufacturing solar panels while the USA invested in companies like Solyndra in the the early 2000's. It is not just cheap labor. Most of those factories are automated.
 

Ryang

Solar Enthusiast
If anyone wants an example of China doing something properly, and I mean really proper high grade stuff, take a look inside Hauwei's own in house designed telecomms equipment. No one could describe that as anything but superb.
Yet the aus government knocked back The 4th telco merge because they didn’t trust that Huawei equipment was ‘in Australia’s best interests’ due to perceived backdoors built into the code allowing remote exploits. Everything comes with a price tag, sometimes cheap is not what it seems.
 

AE4KR

Ham Radio Tinkerer
...the biggest issues that I have is the counterfeit stuff even from the other Chinese companies ... ie - Chinese counterfeiting Chinese...

I'm not sure you can even call it "counterfeiting." The Chinese have a whole different view of intellectual property. They are portrayed as bad actors for "stealing" intellectual property from other nations, but in their system it's considered fair game. Come up with a new idea? Great - better get it into production and make some money, not sit on it for 10 years waiting for the highest bidder, or use it for patent-trolling.

I play with electronics, and right now I'm working on a Chinese-made CB radio that's sold in the US as a ham transceiver. It's manufactured by Qixiang Electron Science & Technology Co., Ltd., and branded as Anytone, QYT, or BlueSkySea. In the US, it's sold under the Stryker brand. They all use the same PC board, stuffed with varying features by brand, but there's no guarantee the PC boards all come from the same place, or are stuffed with the same grade components. So far, the quality I'm seeing is much better than a few years ago, although some of the semiconductors are questionable counterfeits or mystery generics.

The scandals a few years ago concerning toxic drywall and baby formula seem to have awakened an understanding in China of the value of brands. The government is certainly sensitive to the damage done to the country's manufacturing image by bad products, and has prosecuted some company execs for the more egregious cases.

I believe that in the near term, the worst junk coming from China will have been manufactured to the specs of western importers looking for lowest cost, not driven by actual Chinese brands. They're trying to rise, but still have a long way to go. Chinese electronics quality is just catching up with what Japan was making in 1970, and in some product lines they're doing the same thing Japanese manufacturers used to do - pushing equipment with goofy, unwanted features poorly targeted to the needs of western markets.

SR-94 HPC 600.JPG
 
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