Off grid system, nice big bank of batteries powered with a 6kW wind turbine and backup generator.
We've had a new lot of kit installed which is run by a Victron Quattro inverter/charger and colour control.
Our old system (Outback inverters) worked by feeding the power into our bank of batteries and then, when there was excess wind power, dumping that power to storage heaters which were hard wired into the system. It worked well. Power would only be dumped to heat when the house's needs were all met and the batteries were fully charged.
The new system dumps power whenever wind speeds are high which sounds ok, but in practice it's not working well for us. We've had several low-wind days and our batteries are therefore low, and now the wind speeds are picking up: so power is being dumped even though our batteries are still on a relatively low charge (last time I looked we were at about 58% according to the colour control) and with the washing machine running (nothing else) the level of charge in the batteries was actually dropping, despite the wind turbine belting round, because so much power is being dumped.
The batteries rarely get above 80% charge, and are frequently below 50%. We live in an area with very good wind speeds and relatively little turbulence, so the turbine is very efficient for us. Or at least, it was, before we had this new kit installed.
In addition we've realised that whenever our diesel generator is put on (the remote start no longer works since the new installation--we'll get round to that later) all the dump loads come on. We're paying for the generator to run, in order to dump 6kW of heat we do not need before our batteries are charged.
We've queried this all with our installer and he says the new system is working as it should. I am not convinced. I do not want to pay to run a generator to produce mostly heat--I don't want to dump any power when the generator is making it, because I want to minimise the hours the diesel generator runs. And I want to be able to run the washing machine, tumble dryer, and a few other things too, especially on high-wind days, but the dump loads mean I don't have the power to do that.
This can't be right, surely.