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Founded 9 Years ago
Sep 26, 2012


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A Grid Assisted Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) that can use the power from a wall socket as it's alternative power supply.

Being able to produce our own electricity, allows us to reduce our power bill. The amount we save from this, can be used to expand our system. So the sooner we can start doing this, the faster we can become self-sufficient. Rather than wait until we can afford to install an Inverter to our Fusebox, what if we used a Grid-Assisted Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS), that could automatically switch to using power from a wall socket (The Grid). This is for when the Solar panels don't provide enough current and require an alternative power supply.

In other words, a system that uses batteries, charged by Solar panels, to power you're device through an Inverter. When the batteries are drained to a certain level, the power supply switches to the wall socket (Grid), while the batteries are being recharged again.
This way, even if the Solar panels don't produce enough power to run a device, they can still help reduce you're power bill.

When you're ready to make changes to the Fusebox, some of the equipment can still be used. In Australia, the cost of replacing a switchboard is about $700. New circuits and having to rewire cables could bring this up to $5,000 [00].

This is how I think it could work:

1. A Solar panel is connected to a Charge Controller (Or Solar Controller), which supplies the correct amount of current to a Battery.

2. A Shunt is placed in the middle of the cable, from the Batteries Negative Terminal, to the Combiner Box (Or, straight to the Inverter).
This allows a PentaMetric to measure the amount of charge coming from within the Battery on the Negative side.

What is a Shunt?

[00] [00] - This is also described in Section 2: Page 13 of this manual.
The Shunt requires two Lugs which are each half the length of the Positive one.

What is a Lug?

A Cable Lug is an electrical fitting used to connect a cable to mechanisms. The Lug is fastened to a matching terminal or connection point using a bolt, screw or spring clip. A Cable Lug is easy to install or remove (For repairs or maintenance) and can be used when a transfer of power is required from one location to another, across multiple devices [00].

3. A Relay Switch is placed in between the Combiner Box and and the Inverter on the Negative side. The PentaMetric can use this Relay Switch to allow or interrupt the current that flows between the Battery and Inverter. The Pentametric does this when it senses that there isn't enough charge left in the battery.

What is a Relay?

A relay is an electrical switch operated by a relatively smaller electric current, which can turn on or off a much larger electric current
[00]. Solid-state relays control power circuits with no moving parts, instead using a semiconductor device to perform switching
[00]. They can be used in the same way as a Circuit breaker, which interrupts the current in a circuit [00].

Devices switching more than 15 amperes or in circuits rated more than a few kilowatts are usually called Contactors.
Contactors can make loud sounds when they operate, so they may be unfit for use where noise is a chief concern [00].

4. The Inverter, which converts DC to AC, is then connected to the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS). These provide emergency power to a load when the first input fails. For this project, the battery is made into the primary source of power and the Wall Socket as it's alternative.

5. The Shunt connects to the PantaMetric, so that it can measure the State of Charge (SOC) within a battery.
The (SOC) is an indication of how much charge the Battery has left, which can be measured by observing the current [00] [00].

The PantaMetric can be made to turn on the Relay, when the Battery has the same Voltage as the one predetermined by the user.
On page 24 (P30 - P31) of the "PentaMetric Main Instruction Manual" by Bogart Engineering, it is explained that the Programs P30 and P31 will allow you to enter the two set Voltages, that will turn the Relay Off and On. The Voltage that turns the Relay on, needs to be equivalent to the battery being at no more than 85% of it's total charge. The Voltage that turns it off, needs to be the same Voltage that the Battery has when fully charged (The Float charge). However, this will decrease over time, so it may need to be lowered.

When the Relay is switched Off, the ATS will resume using the Battery as it's primary source of power. Even if the Solar output isn't enough to support you're load, it can still help to reduce you're power bill and you won't need to worry about the batteries going flat.

This set-up only works if the cost is less than what it would be if you were to install a Grid-Tied system to you're Fusebox.


The charging source needs to provide a Voltage that's greater than the batteries, so the current can effectively flow through it [00].

This type of set-up is best used for smaller applications (Bar Fridges, Air-conditioners) so that it can take the strain off you're power bill while allowing you to gradually expand. The cost and reliability of such a system could help make Solar more accessible than before.

There are also systems called 'Plug and Play Solar Panels', which can send power back to the grid from a wall socket.
A Grid-tied Inverter shuts itself off during a blackout, so as not to harm the workers fixing the power line.
I do not know how safe these systems are during this scenario, so I cannot recommend them myself yet.

A Solar Regulator is a Charge Controller designed for Solar systems.
The Auxiliary Output provides a direct connection to appliances, while continuing to recharge the batteries [00].

Batteries - How many do I need to run the pump at night time?

The Hailea HAP-120 Air-pump requires 132 Watt-Hours at 0.55 Amps per hour (Or 2,112 Wh for 16 hours).

There are only 8 hours of full sunlight (From 8 am to 4 pm), so there are 4 more hours that need to be accounted for.
24 h - 8 h = 16 hours (The Batteries need to last for 16 hours of night)

(120 Wh - 10% efficiency loss = 12 Wh) + (120 Wh) = 132 Watt-Hours
132 Wh x 16h = 2,112 Wh

But since Batteries are being used to supply the energy, the total number of Watts needed from the panels is actually 2,323.2 Watts.

This is because the Gel Batteries store energy at 95% efficiency, both when charging and discharging [00] [00].

95% of 2,112 Wh is 2,006.4 Watts
2,112 Wh - 2,006.4 Watts = 105.6 Wh
(105.6 Wh lost when charging + 105.6 Wh lost when discharging = 211.2 Wh) + 2,112 Wh = 2,323.2 Watts for 16 hours
210Ah Gel-Tech 12V GEL Deep Cycle Battery $1,019
Model: 8G4D (183Ah at a 20hr Discharge Rate)
The Air-pump will need 2,323.2 Watts worth of battery power for every 16/h (Night time).
This battery has a capacity of 183 Ah with a discharge rate of 20 hours, which means that it can supply 9.15 Amps per hour.
(183 Ah / 20 hours = 9.15 Ah)

This 12 Volt battery, with it's discharge rate of 9.15 Amps per hour, will supply 109.8 Wh (Watts per hour).
(12 Volts x 9.15 Amps = 109.8 Watts per hour)
More on converting Amps, Watts, and Volts

Voltage = The pressure of the current (The difference between two points)
Ampere = The rate of flow per meter (How much energy is passed through)
Wattage = How much energy (Given the Voltage and Ampere) that is used in an amount of time (W·s | W·min | Wh)
The Air-pump requires (132 Watts - 10% total Battery Charging and Discharging loss = 13.2 W) + (132 W) = 145.2 Watts per hour

How long can each Battery be used?

Each of these 12 Volt Batteries have a total capacity of 9.15 Amps per hour, for a maximum of 20 hours (183 Ah / 20 h = 9.15 Ah)
For my purposes, this Battery will not be drained of more than 85% of it's total capacity and 15% of this Battery would be 27.45 Amps.

(100% - 85% = 15%) of 183 Amps, is 27.45 Amps
27.45 Amps / 9.15 Amps per hour = 3 hours worth of 9.15 Amps per hour is 15% of one Battery

(12 Volts x 9.15 Amps = 109.8 Watts for 1 hour) x 3 hours = 329.4 Watts (15% of the 183 Amps at 109.8 Watts per hour)
16 hours / 3 hours = 5.33 (6 Batteries)

329.4 Watts (15% of total power) x 6 Batteries = 1,976.4 Watts for 16 hours
1,976.4 Watts - 2,323.2 Watts = Another 346.8 Watts are needed, so another Battery is needed.

329.4 Watts (Available from the 7th Battery) - 346.8 Watts required = 17.4 more Watts are still needed from an 8th Battery
8 Batteries are needed (Even though there is excess power) because each Battery will only provide 109.8 Watts per hour.
15% of 8 Batteries (Each providing 109.8 Watts per hour) is enough to supply the 2,323.2 Watts needed over the course of 16 hours.

The 312 Watts left over in the 8th Battery / 109.8 Wh = Will give (2 hours & 50 minutes of 109.8 Wh at 9.15 Ah) left of charge


8 x 12 Volt Batteries connected within a Series, make 96 Volts DC.
If two charge controllers are used, then these 8 Batteries can be made into 2 separate 48 Volt Battery Banks.
8 Batteries separated into 2 groups (96 Volts) is more preferable for two Schneider MPPT 80 600 Solar Charge Controllers.
Air pump: 2.32 kW for 16 hours = 8 x 210Ah Gel-Tech 12V GEL Deep Cycle Batteries ($8,152)

2 Schneider MPPT 80 600 Charge Controllers ($3,198)

2 groups of 8 x Solar panels (301.25 Volt | 260 Watt each) = $6,384

Solar Panels - Choosing the Type and Number of Solar Panels

The Air-pump needs 1,440 Watts every 8 hours of daytime and 2,323.2 Watts from the Batteries during the 16 hours of night.

(120 Watts - 10% efficiency = 12 W) + (120 Watts) = 132 Watt-Hours

If the air-pump is drawing power through the Batteries during the daytime (Because of the setup), then 132 Wh becomes 180 Wh
(24 W Discharging + 24 W Recharging = 48 W) + (132 W) = 180 Wh
Daytime: 1,440 Watts (180 Wh x 8h)

Night time: 2,323.2 Watts

1,440 Watts + 2,323.2 Watts = 3,763.2 W (24/h)
(Charge Controller 4%) of 3,763.2 W (24/h) is 150.52 W (24/h)

The efficiency is 96% if using (4 x 12 V Batteries in Series = 48 V).

150.52 W
(24/h) + 3,763.2 W = 3,913.72 W are needed per day, with 2 groups of 4 Batteries connected in a series (48 V)
260 Watt WINAICO WST-260P6 Polycrystalline Solar Panel: $399
$390 x (3,913.72 W per 24/h / 260 Watt Solar panels = 15.05) = (16 Solar Panels) $6,240

100% - 5% = 95% (Extra from the 16th Solar panel)
One 260 Watt Solar panel - (95% of 260 Watts) = 247 Watts per hour

Note: The 222.3 Wh / 109.8 Wh = Can supply 2 hours & 1 minute to the Batteries extra capacity of 2 hours & 50 minutes.

The specifications for the Solar panels need to be checked for their true Voltage. This needs to be increased by 25% for special conditions that cause the Solar panels receive more sunlight than normal [00].

At 25°C, the maximum Voltage at Peak performance is 31.25 Volts DC and their maximum Amperage (Current) is 8.33 Amps [00].
Increased by 25% for special conditions, this becomes 37.91 Volts DC and 8.66 Amps
(25% of 31.25 Volts = 7.81) | 31.25 Volts + 7.81 V = 39.06 Volts DC
(25% of 8.33 Amps = 2.08) | 8.33 Amps + 2.08 A = 10.41 Ampere

Note: The Solar panels will short circuit at 8.67 Ampere and have a No Load Voltage of 37.92 Volts
At 44.7°C, their maximum Voltage drops to 28.21 Volts DC and 6.74 Amps.
With an increase of 25%, this becomes 35.26 Volts DC and 8.42 Amps
(25% of 28.21 = 7.05) | 28.21 + 7.05 = 35.26 Volts
(25% of 6.74 = 1.68) | 6.74 + 1.68 = 8.42 Amps
According to the Data Sheet, the Solar panel will short circuit at 8.67 Ampere and should not be subjected to Voltages higher than 1,000 Volts.
Maximum System Voltage: 1,000 Volts DC
Maximum Load: 5,400 N/m2 = (1,000 Volts x 5.4 Amps = 5,400 W)
Connection Socket: MC4 Intermateable
No Load Voltage: 37.92 Volts
Specifications - Dimensions
Height: 1.6 m
Width: 99.9 cm
Depth: 3.3 cm
Weight: 19 kg

Choosing the right Charge Controller / Regulator

The Air-pump uses 0.52 Amps per hour, but each of the 260 Watt WINAICO Solar panels give out a max 8.66 Amps at 37.91 Volts DC.
The peak charging voltage for Gel batteries is 14.1 or 14.4 volts. Exceeding this voltage can cause permanent damage [00].

The three stages to charging a battery are called the Bulk (The charger will give the battery as much current as it will accept), Absorption (The remaining 20%), and the Float stages (Used to maintain a fully charged battery) [00].
Like Batteries, the Solar panels can be connected in either Series or Parallel formations. Which will either add Amperage or Voltage to the circuit, which will be the total of each Solar panel put together. The Charge Controller needs to be able to handle this multiplied output.

Parallel: A Parallel String refers to a group of batteries that are arranged so that each Cable is connected only to either the Negative or Positive terminals. This has the effect of increasing the Amperage (Flow of Current), though it’s best to keep the number of parallel strings of batteries to three or fewer [00].

Series: Another way of attaching the batteries together, called the Series string, is by having each terminal connected to the opposite charge, so that the Negative side is attached to the Positive, and vice-versa. This will have the effect of increasing the Voltage, where the Voltage will be the combined total of each battery that's connected [00] [00].
Schneider Electric MPPT 80 600 Solar Charge Controller: $1,599

Battery Voltage: 24 / 48 V (Default is 48 Volt)

Maximum PV array input Voltage: 550 Volts

Short circuit input current: 28 Amps

Maximum output (Charging) current: 80 Amps

Maximum output wattage: 2,560 W (24 Volts) | 4,800 (48 Volts)

Power consumption: 1 Watt (Nightime)

Maximum and Minimum wire sizes for conduit: 6# AWG (13.5 mm) | 14# AWG (2.5 mm)

Power conversion efficiency: 96% (48 V)
This charge controller has an input limit of 28 Amps and 550 Volts DC.
When connected in a Series, all 16 x 260 Watt WINAICO Solar panels may produce a maximum output of 606.56 Volts DC.

However, that Voltage can be halved to make 284.33 Volts DC
(606.56 Volts DC / 2 = 303.28 Volts DC)

This is achieved by having two Charge Controllers, each connected to their own separate group of Solar panels and Batteries.

2 x Schneider Electric MPPT 80 600 Solar Charge Controllers = $3,799.32
This is a Xanbus-enabled device which allows multiple Charge Controllers to communicate with each other to display the total system power [00]

Choosing the Correct Wire Sizes

For two groups of 8 Solar panels, a total of 18 MC4 connectors will be required, with both Female and Male end joints [00].
The Solar panels will be connected to one another by 2 meter long MC4 Connectors, which have a wire size of 4.0mm2 (AWG12)

The Solar panels will be separated into two groups (16 / 2 = 8) and each array will be connected by 7 x 2m MC4 connectors.
4 x 30m MC4 cables will then attach each group of panels to either one of the 2 x Schneider MPPT 80 600 Charge Controllers

14 x 2 meter MC4 Connector Cables /w Female and Male endpoints
4 x 30m MC4 Connector Cables /w Female and Male endpoints

Note: The Voltage from each Battery Bank can be combined through a DC breaker box, for the Inverter
The MC4 (AWG12) 4.0mm2 cable can transfer the potential of 303.28 Volts, 8.67 Ampere across 30m.
(At 1% Loss) | 303.28 Volts | 8.66 Amps + 30m = 4mm² (AWG13) Copper [00]
The MC4 plugs are able to fit in wire gauges of 2.5mm2 (AWG14), 4.0mm2 (AWG12), and 6.0mm2 (AWG10) [00].

The Maximum wire size that can be used in the Schneider Electric MPPT 80 600 Solar Charge Controller is #6 AWG (13.5mm).
The smallest being #14 (2.5mm² square) [00].
The 6 Batteries are separated into 2 groups, with 3 Batteries in each.

4 x 1m (4.0mm2) cable lugs will connect those 3 Batteries together in a Series (48 V) while 2 x 10m (4.0mm2) will connect the Terminals from one end of the Battery Bank to either of the 2 Charge Controllers.

Then, with a pair of 10m (4.0mm2) cables, the Terminals on the other end of the Battery Bank are connected to a DC Breaker Box, where their current will be combined with the other Battery Bank, which also has the same arrangement.

4 x 5m (4.0mm2) Lugs that connect the Batteries to the Charge Controllers
4 x 1m (4.0mm2) These connect the Batteries together in a series
2 x 5m (4.0mm2) The Positive Terminal of the last Battery in each group, connects straight to the Combiner Box
4 x 2.5m (4.0mm2) A Shunt is placed in between the last Battery of each group and the Combiner Box, on the Negative side
How to crimp a cable without a crimper
How to Make Battery Cables

DC Breaker Box for Combining The Output of Two Charge Controllers

Combiner Boxes combine the DC output from multiple Battery Banks or Solar arrays into one main bus or feed.
This is meant to combine many inputs to reduce wiring, but my intention is to combine the output from two Battery Banks to power an Inverter, which will provide power to an air-pump and Air-conditioner.
The 48 Volts from each Battery Bank combined, makes 96 Volts DC at 9.15 Amps.
The Inverter (Being the load) will need to be able to receive an input of 96 Volts DC | 9.15 Amps.

The Combiner Box will need 3 strings (Circuit Brakers)

Schneider Electric Solar Array Combiner Box

PV Array Disconnects - Combiner Boxes

Choosing an Inverter

Northan Arizona Wind & Sun: Inverter Basics and Selecting the Right Model

After the losses incurred by the Batteries and other equipment, 166.2 Watts becomes 132 Watts per hour.
The Inverter needs to provide 132 Watts at 240 Volts | 0.52 Amps per hour.

But the Inverter also needs to be able to handle a current of 878.4 Watts (96 Volts DC x 9.15 Amps = 878.4 Watts per hour)

In alternating current, the number of times a polarity charges (Cycles) for each second, is the frequency, which is measured in Hertz.
(50Hz = The AC current changes direction 50 times a second)
PowerBox Australia - PBSP 96Z - DC/AC Rolling Stock Inverter (Pure Sinewave?)

Input Voltage: 96 Volts DC

Min & Max input Voltage: 92 V & 122 V

Power Consumption: Standby 40mA

Power Conversion Efficiency: 92.5%

Maximum Output Wattage: 3,500 Wh

Maximum and Minimum wire sizes for input & output: ???

Latronics: IRM Industrial Rack-mount Inverter (Pure Sinewave)
Specifications of available Models

The Shunt and PentaMetric System


The PentaMetric Input Unit can connect to 3 Shunts.
The Display Unit will be needed to program in the two set Voltages, that will turn the Relay Off and On.
Plasmatronics SH100 Shunt (100 A | 50 mV) $64

Plasmatronics PL 200A Shunt Kit (200 A | 75 mV)$285

GIGAVAC GX14 (750 V | 350 A) Contactor $193


PentaMetric Battery Monitor System - Input Unit $187.14
PentaMetric Battery Monitor System - Display Unit $171.43

The Automatic Transfer Switch

The Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS), automatically transfers power from a preferred power source to another input, to maintain a continuous output without interruption. A UPS does the same thing, but uses draws power from its own internal Battery for a short period of time.

Generac Automatic Transfer Switches: (Model: RTG10EZA1 – 50 Amp, 10 Circuit Switch)

EATON - Transfer Switch-Controller (ATS-C): NZM-XATS-C96 (Manual)
AC input voltage: 100 Volts - 480 Volts
Wire Sizes: 4.0mm2 (AWG12) and 0.5mm2 (AWG20)

Latronics -High Speed Automatic AC Transfer Switch (ACTS40)

Smartgen Automatic Transfer Switch Control Module HAT220

How long until the system pays for itself?

Price per kW/h x Number of kW/h that the Solar panels produce = $???

The total cost for Batteries, Charge Controllers, Solar panels, and other equipment) / $??? (365 days) = Number of Years and Days
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Montjart Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
thanks for invitation :)
TheInvertedTower Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2015
Happy to have you on board.
ccornils Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014
Hi, what is this group about?
The name recalls a stock one.

Btw, thanks a lot for the invite.
TheInvertedTower Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2014
Raising awareness, but I also invite people as a talent scout.
TheInvertedTower Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013
Tenchu 3 - Ayame vol. 1.1  NO KILL - (Snowy Bamboo Forest) 似雪竹森
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Thank you kindly for the request! :heart:
TheInvertedTower Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013
Oh sure.
I like to think I have a good taste in art. Also, it's good to see other Aussie's on here.
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Thanks for the request :hug:
TheInvertedTower Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
That flower resembles a tree in "Mario & Luigi: Dream Team".
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team - Part 73: A Slippy Race Against Time (3:55)
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Thanks for request my work :)
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