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jjackstone

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Reply with quote  #1 
While I am not currently building a PV system I had to make this purchase. Found some basically unused 2-year old Jinko 310 watt panels for a near steal. Got 10 of them for $500. That's 16 cents a watt. Best price I've ever seen. Right now though I'm concentrating on the air heaters and additionally have a project with my truck. Those two projects will likely keep me busy the rest of the summer. So maybe next year I build my little electric generator. Or this winter.
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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #2 
Nice find!

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Willie, Tampa Bay
jjackstone

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Reply with quote  #3 
Well I hadn't really planned this yet but sometimes things just fall into your lap.
Front to back.jpg 
Found this Chevy Volt battery pack through CL and although not as good a deal as the panels, it was reasonably priced so once again I couldn't pass it up.

Side.jpg

This one is out of a 2013 model with 49000 miles on it. So I guess later this fall I'll have to start working on the PV system so I can make use of all this stuff I have laying around taking up space.


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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yes that solar bug has a nasty bite!

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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
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gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #5 
What's the capacity? And what type of battery is it? 

Greg in MN
jjackstone

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Reply with quote  #6 
This one is rated at 16.5kwh. Nominally 360 volts. Lithium ion chemistry but it may also have a little manganese mixed in there for flavoring. So 96 cells in series at 3.7 volts per cell. However the cells charge to a maximum of 4.0 volts per cell so the voltage can be as high as the 380 volt range. The Volt cells have been holding up really well due to their active cooling and heating systems. Cooling is by liquid. I am not sure about heating in this model. I know that newer models have a 1500 watt resistive heater built into the battery pack much like an electric water heater but I don't know if the coil is actually submerged in the coolant. If what I have been reading is true, the cells are not allowed to charge to more than 80% of their maximum voltage which also helps extend their life.
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jjackstone

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Reply with quote  #7 
Finally pulled the cover off the pack. Voltage reading is 384 volts so I'm going to say the pack is ok.
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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #8 
Are you planning on breaking the pack down into lower-voltage modules?  Finding an off-grid type inverter in that voltage might be difficult.
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jjackstone

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Reply with quote  #9 
Most likely go to 48 volt modules like many other EV battery pack users seem to be doing. There are a couple of decent charge controllers out there that are able to handle my 3.1 kw of panels and charge at 48 volts without problem. Not sure what size inverter I'll attach to the system yet. 
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jjackstone

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Reply with quote  #10 
I'm back. Most of my summer projects are done so I get to play with solar electric now. I've separated the battery pack into its parts which in this case is seven 48 volt packs and two 24 volt packs. I series up the two 24 volt packs to make an eighth 48 volt pack. Already received my Victron 250/100 charge controller with programmable charge levels setup from the factory for lithium ion batteries. Still need to get a few electrical parts like breakers, wiring, grounding equipment, conduit, battery box etc. The plan for this winter is to build this into a small off grid system used specifically for heating. I'm still trying to make up my mind between a 3kw or 4kw inverter. The eight battery packs will be parallelled through eight individual breakers so that it is easy to remove any pack when I deem necessary. I'll start without a BMS and see how things work out. I've read a number of installs that have done this without problem. On the other hand there are some that have had issues. We'll see.

Sections Reassembled as 48V.jpg 
And here are the packs. Notice the pack in the lower right hand corner has two plus and minus symbols. That was the two 24 volt packs.
Each pack is 48 volts and approx. 45 Ahr. Around 2kwh. Doing a little research shows that the max output of the Chevy volt motor can be as high as 111hp. That's about 83 kw. If the pack is charged at 384 volts, then you could expect to see as high as 215 amps running through these things. In my system I don't expect to ever see more than 20 amps per pack to be pulled. More soon. Have to build a frame for the panels too.



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