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Author Topic: inverters  (Read 2555 times)

1969quartz0

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inverters
« on: April 28, 2010, 09:01:44 PM »
Inverter and Related Terms

Absorption Charge - The second stage of three-stage battery charging. Voltage remains constant and current tapers as internal battery resistance increases during charging. (Ensures complete charging.)

Alternating Current (AC) - The type of electrical power supplied by utilities or made when a generator is run. The unique characteristic of this form of electricity is that it reverses direction at regular intervals. For example, 120 Vac 60 Hz. power reverses flow 60 times a second, hence the rating 60 Hz. (cycles).

Amp - A measurement of the flow of electrical current. One amp is equal to the electric force of one volt acting across the resistance of one ohm.

Amp Hour - One amp of electrical current flowing for one hour. Expresses the relationship between current (amps) and time. (OHMS law I =V/R)

Array - A group of solar electric modules wired together.

Bulk Charge - The first stage of three-stage battery charging. Current is sent to batteries at the maximum rate they will accept while voltage rises to full charge level.

Current - The rate of flow of electrical charge. The flow of amps is often expressed as current.

Direct Current (DC) - The type of electricity stored in batteries and generated by solar electric devices. Current flows in a single direction.

Electrolyte - A conductive medium in which the flow of electricity takes place; this is the liquid found inside storage batteries.

Float Charge - The third stage of three-stage battery charging. After batteries reach full charge, charging voltage is reduced to a lower level to reduce gassing (boiling of electrolyte) and prolong battery life. This is often referred to as a maintenance charge, since rather than charging a battery, it keeps an already-charged battery from self-discharging.

Grid - When used in reference to utility power, it refers to a system of electrical transmission and distribution lines.

Grid Open - The inverter (Trace SW) can tell when there is no current being delivered to the grid and it will disconnect. This is used when a disconnected switch is opened or the power line which feeds the installation is cut. This protective system may require up to one second to respond.

Grid Shorted - Normally, when the utility power fails, the Trace SW inverter momentarily tries to power the entire neighborhood. This condition looks like a short circuit to the inverter and causes it to reach the over-current protection setting and shuts off. It then opens it internal relay and disconnects from the utility grid. This protective system operates instantly (under four milliseconds).

Ground Fault Protection (GFP) - A circuit protection device that prevents the flow of electrical current to earth if a short circuit is present. Usually required in wet locations-e.g. for outdoor, kitchen and bathroom circuits.

Hertz (Hz.) - The frequency, or number of times per second, that the flow of AC electricity reverses itself. Also referred to as cycles (see alternating current).

High Battery Protection - A control circuit that disconnects charge current flowing to a battery when voltage reaches a dangerously high threshold. Prevents damage created by excess gassing (or boiling) of electrolyte.

Hydrometer - A simple device that measures the specific gravity of battery electrolyte. Specific gravity readings express state of charge/discharge of battery.

Idle Current - The amount of electrical power required to keep an inverter ready to produce electricity on demand.

Islanding - This occurs when the grid has failed and the "neighborhood" that the Trace SW inverter is powering requires the same amount of power that the inverter can supply. This balanced condition is often called "islanding". The islanding detection circuit checks the grid condition on each cycle. The inverter watches the utility grid and waits for it to rise a couple of volts before it begins to invert again. This is done on each cycle when SELL mode is activated. Typically, disconnection is achieved in a few cycles after the utility has failed. If a large electric motor is connected, it may provide enough generator capacity that the inverter thinks the grid is still connected. This can fool this protective system. Two additional protective systems are provided to then handle this condition over/under frequency and over/under voltage detection.

Kilowatt (kW) - One thousand watts of electricity. Ten 100-watt light bulbs use one Kilowatt of electrical power.

Kilowatt hour (kWh) - One kW of electrical power used for one hour. The most common measurement of electrical consumption, most grid connected electrical meters measure kWh for billing purposes.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) - A device used to display various status functions.

Line Loss - A voltage drop caused by resistance in wire during transmission of electrical power over distance.

Line-tie - An electrical system that is connected to a utility distribution grid. For example, Trace SW line-tie inverters are designed to connect to and interact with utility power.

Load - Any device that consumes electricity in order to operate. Appliances, tools, and lights are examples of electrical loads.

Low Battery Protection - A control circuit that stops the flow of electricity from batteries to loads when battery voltage drops to dangerously low levels.

Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) - Every PV (solar electric) device has a point where maximum current is delivered. MPPT electronically adjusts the output PV-device output to the maximum power point.

Modified Sine Wave - An AC wave form (generated by many inverters) that is a pulse width modified square wave. It consists of a number of very small on/off steps rather than a fully smooth wave.

National Electric Code - A consistent set of electrical wiring and installation standards used in the United States.

Off Grid - An electrical system that is not connected to a utility distribution grid.

Oscilloscope - A device that displays the wave form created by an electrical generating device such as a generator, inverter, or utility.

Overload/Over-current Protection - A control circuit designed to protect an inverter or similar device from loads exceeding its output capacity. (A fuse, for example, is an over-current protection device.) All Trace inverters have internal circuitry to protect themselves from overload/over-current conditions.

Over/Under Frequency - Since the Trace SW inverter locked onto the frequency of the "Islanded" utility grid, the frequency of the system will drift out of regulation in a short amount of time during an islanding condition. This protective system may require up to one second to respond. The inverter will shut off and disconnect after the frequency exceeds +/- 1 hertz of the nominal frequency.

Over/Under Voltage - Since the Trace SW inverter does not regulate the voltage of the utility grid while selling power into it, the AC voltage will drift out of regulation in a short amount of time during an islanding condition. This protective system may require up to one second to respond. The inverter will shut off and disconnect after the voltage exceeds +/- 10% of the nominal AC voltage.

Parallel Wiring - A group of electrical devices, such as batteries or PV modules, wired together to increase ampacity, while voltage remains constant. (Two 100 amp hour 12 Vdc batteries wired in parallel will form a 200 amp-hour 12 Vdc battery bank.)

Photovoltaic System - The components that form a solar electric generating system, usually consisting of PV modules, charge controller, circuit protectors (fuses or breakers) and batteries.

Series Wiring - A group of electrical devices, such as batteries or PV modules, wired together to increase voltage, while ampacity remains constant. (Two 100 amp hour 12 Vdc batteries wired in series form a 100 amp hour 24 Vdc battery bank.)

Sine Wave - The output wave form of an electric generator or utility. A smooth wave going above and below zero is created. This wave form is also produced by sine wave inverters such as the Trace SW and CO-Sine series.

Surge Capacity - The amount of current an inverter can deliver for short periods of time. Most electric motors draw up to three times their rated current when starting. An inverter will "surge" to meet these motor-starting requirements. Most Trace inverters have surge capacities at least three times their continuous ratings.

Transfer Switch - A switch designed to transfer electricity being supplied to loads (appliances etc.) from one source of power to another. (A transfer switch may be used to designate whether power to a distribution panel will come from a generator or inverter.)

Volts - A unit of measure of the pressure in an electrical circuit. Volts are a measure of electric potential. Voltage is often explained using a liquid analogy-comparing water pressure to voltage: a high pressure hose would be considered high voltage, while a slow-moving stream could be compared to low voltage.

Watt(s) - A quantitative measurement of electrical power. Watts are calculated by multiplying volts times amps. Using a liquid analogy, watts are similar to liquid flow such as liters or gallons. (watts = volts x amps)

Watt Hour (wHr) - Electrical power measured in terms of time. One watt hour of electricity is equal to one watt of power being consumed for one hour. (A one-watt light operated for one hour would consume one watt hour of electricity.)

bittersweetorchards

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Re: inverters
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2011, 04:38:56 PM »
I've been living off-grid for 5 or 6 years now discovering what does or doesn't work or what's missing or what is not needed. Am using a 1500 watt inverter now but started with a 1000 watter (fried it). Use headlights (LED, 3 AAA) when needed but have candles and multiple fluid lamps (several years worth of fluid & wicks & candles & matches). It has been an interesting learning experience all around. Inverter is mounted in my '84 580E backhoe cab (2 X 12volt batteries) which I have put over 8000 hrs on -- all my power tools use 1500 watts or less --I have a new 60amp 240volt generator I will hook up soon to a diesel 20 hp watercooled engine plus lots of renewable lead_acid batteries around. When I need less than 1100 watts AC I use a gasoline (very quite & economical) generator (pure sine wave) such as right now for the computer equipment. All in all, I've made a lot of survival mistakes but figure on a few months to get it together, however, to use Marshall's terminology, i "got it" over 30 years ago. Regardless, never enuf info plus some of TPTB are just gonna be lookin for trouble in the after-times, most likely.

ASEEKERTOO

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Re: inverters
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2011, 05:40:42 AM »
I've been living off-grid for 5 or 6 years now discovering what does or doesn't work or what's missing or what is not needed. Am using a 1500 watt inverter now but started with a 1000 watter (fried it). Use headlights (LED, 3 AAA) when needed but have candles and multiple fluid lamps (several years worth of fluid & wicks & candles & matches). It has been an interesting learning experience all around. Inverter is mounted in my '84 580E backhoe cab (2 X 12volt batteries) which I have put over 8000 hrs on -- all my power tools use 1500 watts or less --I have a new 60amp 240volt generator I will hook up soon to a diesel 20 hp watercooled engine plus lots of renewable lead_acid batteries around. When I need less than 1100 watts AC I use a gasoline (very quite & economical) generator (pure sine wave) such as right now for the computer equipment. All in all, I've made a lot of survival mistakes but figure on a few months to get it together, however, to use Marshall's terminology, i "got it" over 30 years ago. Regardless, never enuf info plus some of TPTB are just gonna be lookin for trouble in the after-times, most likely.
  Well done Bitter ! Did you get information on how to electrically wire everything together or did you already
have the knowledge to do so ? Is there a Website that you depended on that shows the schematics for
wiring the equipment ? I rewired my house after Katrina and I used the Windows 'Paint' program to draw
out each circuit for the various rooms. 'Paint' is a great way to just use Black and White color to draw with.
More than one Paint application program can be utilized and it helps with the cut and paste aspect of
constructing diagrams. Draw something on one canvas and transfer a completed icon or symbol to the other
canvas......   Any circuits to share ? :) :)
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 05:42:25 AM by ASEEKERTOO »
Ancient Prophecy appears to be fulfilled in the Nightly News.

bittersweetorchards

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Re: inverters
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2011, 01:23:50 PM »
I keep electrical use simple as possible ... There probably are good websites out there for developing a working knowledge of current ... Simple to me includes the basic differences between AC, DC, watts, amps, pure sine wave, modified sine wave, and then correlating twixt AC and DC. Years of learning also means learning to live without many electrical gadgets mostly cause there will not be a grid, initially, after the PX flyby. Currently [indefinitely probably] I have a single 12/3 X 6' cord attached to my backhoe/modified-sine-wave 2000 watt DC to AC inverter for uses where pure-sine-wave AC is enuf [such as most items except digital equipment, etc ... NOTE: reliable info on sine wave uses seems limited especially as many AC items will function fine initially but have a greatly reduced lifespan] ... So, be fluid with proposed electrical usage, that is, willing to live without certain items in the long run ... Use of most storage batteries means you developing a working knowledge of DC storage capacity, i.e., watt/hours or amp/hours or CCA [cold cranking amps] plus throw in temperatures [most electricians have no real idea how it all fits together] > I like to think in terms of at least 1200 CCA for DC storage which goes really quick [re-charge!] anywhere near the 2000 watt Inverter usage. I have learned repeatedly the value of getting electrical items just big enuf but not oversized, Quality reigns! Extension cords? > bigger is better, multi-strand over solid wire, [that is 12-3 stead of 16-3 for AC size, etc and #1 over #3 for DC, etc]. If your extension cord is warm you are wasting current! OVERALL: hard to beat candles or handsaws

errrv

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Re: inverters
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2011, 05:23:47 PM »
I have a dc converter & small lights setup (led) for the house plus a brunton solar trickle charger for the batteries. My fallback is all manual (non-electric) equipment. Kerosene lamps, fireplace/insert, box stove, all manual tools/saws/drills, cast iron cookware, acoustic guitar. I know everybody wants free energy, but I think we would be better off without a bunch of non terra produced electromagnetic energy floating around everywhere. I grew up dirt poor, and we used to stay at my Granny's house up in the mountains. She didn't have electricity. It was wonderful.
Erv

 

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