Backup failed to switch during outage

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Swampdog
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Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by Swampdog » Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:35 pm

So... after much forum discussion about settings changes, I was confident all was well. Batteries are at 98%/51.2v. Grid power out. No backup power. Mate3s indicater lights indicate source as Inventer. Can find no popped breakers.

My PC is working from a separate, PC backup battery.

Any assistance appreciated! I am at a loss!

S/D

Swampdog
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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by Swampdog » Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:16 pm

UPDATE:

Backup kicked in about 35 minutes after the outage occurred. I received an event notice "Inverter on port 1 has detected a Battery Voltage Sensor Failure", followed immediately by "Inverter on port 1, Battery Voltage Sensor error has cleared."

Backup did not kick in for about another 15 mins. Grid currently still down. Batteries powering fine.

Is this a component failure I should correct? Comments?

Thx!

S/D

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IanMcCluskey
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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by IanMcCluskey » Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:32 am

Attaching a screenshot of the events in question for reference.

*edit* I should note it is unlikely the "sensor failure" has anything to do with the delay in the delay you experienced, so we should probably separate those two questions for now.

1) Do you know at what minute the outage occurred?
2) Anything that may have caused a very brief spike or drop in voltage on the battery terminals at 18:39? If a large load or source kicked in, it could cause that momentary "sensor failure" notice. This is usually not a reason for concern.
Capture.JPG
Ian McCluskey
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Swampdog
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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by Swampdog » Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:14 pm

I didn't record the time of the outage, but the Gateway device went offline at 18:21, which is just about the time of the outage.

I doubt there was any load surge during the outage. Until back-up engaged, about 35 mins. later, nothing was powered, except that a few led lights on various devices and appliances were lit and our emergency back-up lights were flashing on and off. I am assuming this was due to the brown-out condition.

S/D

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IanMcCluskey
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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by IanMcCluskey » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:09 am

Hi S/D, I understand you got in touch with support and it appears a couple of setting changes allowed the system to transfer without a delay when simulating a grid outage?
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Swampdog
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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by Swampdog » Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:56 am

I received a response from a support ticket and a productive call from Lones Tuss.

Support ticket email: "You may want to refer to the Troubleshooting and Errors, Warnings and Notifications definitions in the back of the manual for future reference. Either your battery was too high or too low and shut off the inverter, or the battery sense circuit or some other internal circuit has failed. If this happens again, check the battery voltage with a voltmeter and see if it is outside the operation range. If battery voltage is within range but you keep getting the error, then you may need to replace the Radian PCB Stack module.

Battery Voltage Sense: Internal sensing has detected battery voltages below 32 Vdc or above 64 Vdc. If these readings are not correct, unit may be damaged and requires repair."

Telephone call: changed settings MATE3s>Global Charge: changed both Auto Grid-Tie and Charge Termination to Disabled. Did not successfully test a simulated outage, but my back and forth with the phone became cumbersome, so I will attempt again when I have some time. He described them as unnecessary w/AC Coupled and therefore possibly problematic with Inverter. That is all we changed, and he said he looked through all settings.

Although Lone wasn't sure it was the case, I am kinda thinking the delay and sensor failure resulted from the brown-out condition. Once that ceased and the back-up kicked in, all worked fine. I am thinking, if it happens again, manually disconnecting the grid, may resolve the delay problem. Although nothing was powered, my grid meter registered -8888, which I believe is a test display, but I think it should be blank during an outage, correct?

S/D

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IanMcCluskey
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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by IanMcCluskey » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:04 am

The brown-out condition is interesting. I guess you could look up the grid meter model and see what the -8888 error meant.

I agree the sensor failure was probably a false alarm side affect of whatever else happened, since it recovered immediately. I would try simulating a grid outage with the new settings and see if it transfers over.
Ian McCluskey
Product Manager


Alpha Technologies Inc. / OutBack Power Technologies
3767 Alpha Way Bellingham WA 98226 USA
http://www.alpha.com

Swampdog
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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by Swampdog » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:31 am

I did check, and the multiple 8's are a start-up test display. However, it appears there was enough power to produce that, runs some household device LED's but power no components... the brown-out must have been the culprit. I will run a test... but also gotta attend to my non-solar life sometimes, like paying bills.

I was surprised I did not info on brown-outs & solar on this forum, in documents or even on the internet.

Thx!

S/D

Swampdog
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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by Swampdog » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:59 am

Group;

Another outage a few days ago and system switched flawlessly and performed as expected.

Then... another outage this morning. Grid back up now. However, we experienced the same total failure to switch to backup, although no error this time. The last time this occurred, we received an event notice "Inverter on port 1 has detected a Battery Voltage Sensor Failure", followed immediately by "Inverter on port 1, Battery Voltage Sensor error has cleared."

Suspecting the "brown-out" condition might be the culprit, since again there appeared to be enough power to run some household device LED's, but not power their components. The grid meter was blank, whereas last time it read -8's. Following my hunch, I switched off grid power at the main panel resulting in instant backup power. Backup ran flawlessly and performed as expected... no errors noted. When the grid came back up, it also switched back with no issues.

So I have read nothing about this pattern, and have discovered a manual resolution, but am concerned about why this occurs, possible system damage and is there a resolution?

Thanks!

S/D

pss
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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by pss » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:54 pm

This is interesting. Do you have the capability to measure voltage during brown out at main panel?

Swampdog
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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by Swampdog » Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:29 pm

I reiterate... I am no electrician and more than a bit hesitant to stick my fingers in any panels.

S/D

Swampdog
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Briggs & Stratton Elite 5500w generator (8,500 surge; manual connect)

Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by Swampdog » Fri May 01, 2020 10:48 am

We experienced 6 outages in 30 days, including another brown-out. During the brown-out, backup did not switch on. Opening the main panel AC-grid breaker caused backup to immediately switch on (again). Backup performed perfectly during all other outages (non-brown-out).

Any comments appreciated... is this normal? If not, any resolution? Any issues with my manual solution (opening main panel AC breaker)?

Thanks!

S/D

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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by jnh » Sat May 02, 2020 8:17 pm

Just one possibility, but have you checked your Settings -> Inverter -> Grid AC Input Mode and Limits screen, specifically the Voltage Limit Lower and Upper settings?

I don't have a Radian or Mate3 on hand to check, but on my GVFX & Mate1 these default to 108Vac lower, 140Vac upper. I adjusted them to 110Vac lower, 130Vac upper, which is the tightest voltage window allowed, because this inverter serves also as a whole-house UPS to computer and electronic equipment across several rooms, and I wanted it to react as quickly as possible to grid anomalies. We've only had a few brownouts over the years, but it's responded to them promptly, switching to battery fast enough that no computers were disrupted; certain LED & fluroresecent lights do show a barely-perceptible blink, but none at all on switching back to grid power.

The *FX inverters, at least can be adjusted to pass through AC voltages as low as 70V, which very few devices would be able to properly run from. Motor-driven appliances, especially those with compressors like a fridge can even be damaged by low voltage, if it causes the motor to seize and overheat (newer models are probably protected against this, but I wouldn't rely on it). This is far below the default, and it would be unusual for yours to have ended up with such weird settings.

Also, check the Transfer Delay setting on that same page, and dial it down to a fraction of a second if possible. Older Outback equipment sets this interval in AC cycles (1 cycle = 1/60 sec), and I changed mine from the default 6-cycle (0.1 sec) delay to 2-cycles (0.03sec), again to avoid glitching computer equipment. Going any lower than 2 cycles causes the inverter's phantom load to significantly increase, since it never opens its relay between the transformer and AC line, staying in warm-standby mode constantly in order to react more quickly. But 2-cycles seems to be fast enough for most purposes.

No combination of these settings would seem to explain your battery-voltage sensor errors, though, so I suspect those might be something separate.

Swampdog
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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by Swampdog » Sun May 03, 2020 8:13 am

Thanks. I will look into those settings. Switch back to AC has been seamless and through a number if outages, have not seen the low-voltage error again.

When switch to backup occurrs, it seems quick but does cause several devices to restart.

S/D

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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by BruceS » Thu May 28, 2020 1:30 am

Yeah Lewis & watch the traffic when you cross the road!!!
Where did u come in?

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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by provo » Thu May 28, 2020 5:42 am

BruceS wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 1:30 am
Yeah Lewis & watch the traffic when you cross the road!!!
Where did u come in?
Read each of his posts one after the other. I think "he" is a bot.

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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by SandyP » Thu May 28, 2020 7:00 am

provo wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 5:42 am
Read each of his posts one after the other. I think "he" is a bot.
Yep, a poor attempt at "AI" but very Artificial and not Intelligent!

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Re: Backup failed to switch during outage

Post by Jdymesich » Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:01 pm

Swampdog wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:59 am
Group;

Another outage a few days ago and system switched flawlessly and performed as expected.

Then... another outage this morning. Grid back up now. However, we experienced the same total failure to switch to backup, although no error this time. The last time this occurred, we received an event notice "Inverter on port 1 has detected a Battery Voltage Sensor Failure", followed immediately by "Inverter on port 1, Battery Voltage Sensor error has cleared."

Suspecting the "brown-out" condition might be the culprit, since again there appeared to be enough power to run some household device LED's, but not power their components. The grid meter was blank, whereas last time it read -8's. Following my hunch, I switched off grid power at the main panel resulting in instant backup power. Backup ran flawlessly and performed as expected... no errors noted. When the grid came back up, it also switched back with no issues.

So I have read nothing about this pattern, and have discovered a manual resolution, but am concerned about why this occurs, possible system damage and is there a resolution?

Thanks!

S/D
I have also seen this happen a couple of times where there is conflicting settings in the inverter. My system status had a warning on the inverter and it would not switch until I resolved the error so the system status was "OK". I am still learning about all the settings and think it may be related to the inverter "high battery" setting may be set too close to the absorb voltage (in my case). There probably needs to be a minimum 1 to 2 volt offset so it will not overshoot and trigger a "false" over-voltage condition at charge termination???? I don't know and am still learning and it is a steep learning curve with all the settings and how they all interact with each other. (and then you add the Mate3s settings and how they impact the inverter....)
John
Last edited by Jdymesich on Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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