Where does the programming reside?

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AltPowerRob
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My RE system: DC-Coupled Grid-Tied w/ Battery Backup & Multiple Arrays: Outback Radian 8048A Grid-Interactive w/ (2) Discover LiFePO4 6.6KWH batteries. 6.4KW Total PV on (2) Arrays: (1) DC-coupled w/ (18) SW300s on (3) strings of (6 ea) via an FM100 CC & (1) w/ (3) SW300s w/ Enphase IQ6 Micros Grid-Tied direct. 7.5KW 30A 240V Portable Gas Gen manual inlet for occasional longer-term outage backup. Monitoring w/ Optics, AES Dashboard & Enlighten.
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Where does the programming reside?

Post by AltPowerRob » Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:15 am

I've been an Outback Systems integrator / designer / contractor full-time now for over 4 years.. We have deployed, maintained & monitor well-over 30 systems w/ about 10 projects in-play right now... Something came up the other day w/ a new client system that we were called to troubleshoot/fix, and when we arrived, there was simply an FX inverter, a couple of CC's and the typical ancillary batteries, load panel, etc.., but WHERE was the MATE?.. This sucked because we couldn't see or change anything.. through the process, it made us realize that we needed to have a "Spare MATE" on the shelf, just for situations like this (besides.. who would install a system like this and not provide a controller?... very controlling or just dumb IMHO! (no pun intended :))..

So my Q is.. Once all these hundreds of parameters are programmed into a system, using the MATE interface, where does the programming reside in memory? Is it in the MATE or on the board within the Inverter or each ancillary device or ? .. I am now intrigued as to whether a system would fully function, with all it's setpoints, once the MATE is removed?.. Can someone from OB please elaborate on this..

I can't believe I've gone all these years without even thinking-on this or knowing this? :-k

Rob
Rob Bennett
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Sglanger
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Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by Sglanger » Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:21 pm

Hi Rob;
I'm not the installer you are, but from running my own systems for 3 years this is what I think happens [OB will keep me honest]. I think of the MATExx as a getter/setter device. Meaning, the MATE lets me push settings to the CC's and Inverters. It also (in the case of Radians) lets me push firmware upgrades. Then, it also acts as the aggregator of info spit out by those systems and sends it up to OpticsRE. Once the CC's and INvertors are programmed, I think you can lose the MATExx and the system still will chug along, the settings stored in local non-volatile storage. But, you will not be able to collect telemetry w/out the MATE.

make sense?

AltPowerRob
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My RE system: DC-Coupled Grid-Tied w/ Battery Backup & Multiple Arrays: Outback Radian 8048A Grid-Interactive w/ (2) Discover LiFePO4 6.6KWH batteries. 6.4KW Total PV on (2) Arrays: (1) DC-coupled w/ (18) SW300s on (3) strings of (6 ea) via an FM100 CC & (1) w/ (3) SW300s w/ Enphase IQ6 Micros Grid-Tied direct. 7.5KW 30A 240V Portable Gas Gen manual inlet for occasional longer-term outage backup. Monitoring w/ Optics, AES Dashboard & Enlighten.
Location: CO Springs, CO
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Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by AltPowerRob » Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:31 pm

Oh yeah.. this is what I think goes on as well... but I've just never formally got this confirmation "from the horses mouth".. so waiting on an OB Engineer to chime in :) @OutbackTechSupport
Rob Bennett
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Alternative Power Solutions

AltPowerRob
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Posts: 71
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My RE system: DC-Coupled Grid-Tied w/ Battery Backup & Multiple Arrays: Outback Radian 8048A Grid-Interactive w/ (2) Discover LiFePO4 6.6KWH batteries. 6.4KW Total PV on (2) Arrays: (1) DC-coupled w/ (18) SW300s on (3) strings of (6 ea) via an FM100 CC & (1) w/ (3) SW300s w/ Enphase IQ6 Micros Grid-Tied direct. 7.5KW 30A 240V Portable Gas Gen manual inlet for occasional longer-term outage backup. Monitoring w/ Optics, AES Dashboard & Enlighten.
Location: CO Springs, CO
Contact:

Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by AltPowerRob » Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:08 pm

Rob Bennett
Principal, E.I.T.(CEM(EE)), Designer/Master Electrician
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AltPowerRob
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My RE system: DC-Coupled Grid-Tied w/ Battery Backup & Multiple Arrays: Outback Radian 8048A Grid-Interactive w/ (2) Discover LiFePO4 6.6KWH batteries. 6.4KW Total PV on (2) Arrays: (1) DC-coupled w/ (18) SW300s on (3) strings of (6 ea) via an FM100 CC & (1) w/ (3) SW300s w/ Enphase IQ6 Micros Grid-Tied direct. 7.5KW 30A 240V Portable Gas Gen manual inlet for occasional longer-term outage backup. Monitoring w/ Optics, AES Dashboard & Enlighten.
Location: CO Springs, CO
Contact:

Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by AltPowerRob » Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:09 pm

Rob Bennett
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Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by provo » Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:20 pm

AltPowerRob wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:08 pm
memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=6166 @KurtLundquist
Hmmmm, have we lost Kurt Lundquist? Last post in early Feb....

AltPowerRob
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Posts: 71
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My RE system: DC-Coupled Grid-Tied w/ Battery Backup & Multiple Arrays: Outback Radian 8048A Grid-Interactive w/ (2) Discover LiFePO4 6.6KWH batteries. 6.4KW Total PV on (2) Arrays: (1) DC-coupled w/ (18) SW300s on (3) strings of (6 ea) via an FM100 CC & (1) w/ (3) SW300s w/ Enphase IQ6 Micros Grid-Tied direct. 7.5KW 30A 240V Portable Gas Gen manual inlet for occasional longer-term outage backup. Monitoring w/ Optics, AES Dashboard & Enlighten.
Location: CO Springs, CO
Contact:

Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by AltPowerRob » Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:33 pm

Yeah... didn't realize, but it appears so :(.. He was one of the few Outbackers that would regularly get on & scan posts & make a great effort in helping through this forum!.. Ohh the support these days ??
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pss
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Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by pss » Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:00 pm

The Outback hub is not a "dumb" device and you cannot substitute any Ethernet switch or POE switch. It provides power to the outback devices and I believe also contains the onboard outback webserver with DHCP controller.

AltPowerRob
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My RE system: DC-Coupled Grid-Tied w/ Battery Backup & Multiple Arrays: Outback Radian 8048A Grid-Interactive w/ (2) Discover LiFePO4 6.6KWH batteries. 6.4KW Total PV on (2) Arrays: (1) DC-coupled w/ (18) SW300s on (3) strings of (6 ea) via an FM100 CC & (1) w/ (3) SW300s w/ Enphase IQ6 Micros Grid-Tied direct. 7.5KW 30A 240V Portable Gas Gen manual inlet for occasional longer-term outage backup. Monitoring w/ Optics, AES Dashboard & Enlighten.
Location: CO Springs, CO
Contact:

Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by AltPowerRob » Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:23 pm

pss wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:00 pm
The Outback hub is not a "dumb" device and you cannot substitute any Ethernet switch or POE switch. It provides power to the outback devices and I believe also contains the onboard outback webserver with DHCP controller.
Hey PSS... not sure if you understood My/Our Q?.. We didn't mention anything about the HUB, we're need to hear from an Outback Engineer / Expert on just "WHERE" the programmed memory is stored when we set everything through the MATEXX? .. at the end of the day, after all programming is done, and system is operational, can we take away the MATEXX, and the system still fully function?.. Oh Where is the memory "housed" that holds all the info?
Rob Bennett
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fcwlp
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My RE system: GS8048A, FM80 w/3,600 W PV Fixed, FM80 w/2,700W on Zomeworks tracker, Mate3, 24 Trojan 2V L16 1100AH @ C20, Grid-Tied with Kohler 14RESA LPG Generator and MEP-803 Diesel if needed
I also install and maintain grid-tied and off-grid systems, details will be given for these system if required
Location: 80 miles NE of Phoenix at 5500'

Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by fcwlp » Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:40 pm

Rob, where the programming resides, depends on the device and/or function being programmed. I think a pretty good guide is looking at the OpticsRE screens on system with a Mate3/3s.

1) For CCs all the programming done through a Mate is actually stored on the CC, the Mate3/3s is an interface that is slightly easier to use than the CC buttons.
2) For Inverters all parameters shown in OpticsRE are actually stored on the inverter, the Mate is an interface that is required to program the inverter.
3) Mate 3/3s screen in OpticsRE, shows all of the enhanced functionality that the Mate3/3s itself provides including things like: a)AGS, b)Grid Use Time, c) Load Grid Transfer, d) HBX mode, e) Global Charge, f) AC Input, g) Multi Phase and one of my favorites h) FLEXtime.

So bottom line you can have a dumb non-communicative system w/o a Mate3/3s that will function like an old Trace or Xantrex system or you can have a smart system that provides a higher level of control capabilities, communicates with you and may save you a service call.

AltPowerRob
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My RE system: DC-Coupled Grid-Tied w/ Battery Backup & Multiple Arrays: Outback Radian 8048A Grid-Interactive w/ (2) Discover LiFePO4 6.6KWH batteries. 6.4KW Total PV on (2) Arrays: (1) DC-coupled w/ (18) SW300s on (3) strings of (6 ea) via an FM100 CC & (1) w/ (3) SW300s w/ Enphase IQ6 Micros Grid-Tied direct. 7.5KW 30A 240V Portable Gas Gen manual inlet for occasional longer-term outage backup. Monitoring w/ Optics, AES Dashboard & Enlighten.
Location: CO Springs, CO
Contact:

Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by AltPowerRob » Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:50 pm

Very Good! ... so that's a pretty good explanation & I'll be satisfied, unless an OB Tech chimes-in differently.. It makes sense, as what spawned this inquiry, was that I walked into a system that was functioning w/ out a MATE present, but I had no idea what was happening w/ the system other than the FX's indicator LEDs ::)).. No MATE, No optics, No nothing.. and it was having issues.. I ended up stealing a MATE off another project & going back up to then find all kinds of crazy settings.. We eventually got her remodeled w/ an FNDC, HUB4, MATE, etc.. & all is good.. This inquiry was funny because we've installed a ton of these systems, and I now monitor & maintain over 30 systems and never would have imagined setting one up w/ out a "onsite permanent" Controller... The nerve of some people! :lol:

Thanks for your insight! fcwlp from Phoenix was it?
Rob Bennett
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fcwlp
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My RE system: GS8048A, FM80 w/3,600 W PV Fixed, FM80 w/2,700W on Zomeworks tracker, Mate3, 24 Trojan 2V L16 1100AH @ C20, Grid-Tied with Kohler 14RESA LPG Generator and MEP-803 Diesel if needed
I also install and maintain grid-tied and off-grid systems, details will be given for these system if required
Location: 80 miles NE of Phoenix at 5500'

Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by fcwlp » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:05 pm

AltPowerRob wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:50 pm
Thanks for your insight! fcwlp from Phoenix was it?
Your welcome. We are about 80 miles NE of Phoenix (but a 3+ hour drive) in the middle of the Tonto National Forest, in a little community of 600 called Young that is 60 miles from the nearest grocery store or Home Depot.

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My RE system: 40 heliene 360 watt panels, dual radians, 4 fm80 chargers, rapid shutdown, flexnet dc, 8 Discover AGM (390 Ah) battery, MATE3, grid tied with backup

Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by Sglanger » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:52 am

The Hub is not a normal Ethernet hub, but it does not host the DHCP client or the Webgui. The MATExxx does. How do we know this? What device has two NICs (one for the hub, and one for the LAN)? The Hub is not connected to the LAN. Also, we can interdependently verify that it is the CC's and inverters that hold the config settings, both from the OpticsRE gui, the MATExx gui (look at the SETUP screen) and the fact that we have to punch the relevant button on the MATExx to config that device. [The difference among the MATE GUI and Optics RE is that the webGUI on the MATE is READ only (setting is done via its buttons) while OpticsRE allows you to see and set. This is why I said in the post of 3:21 4 April that the MATExx is a getter/setter device.] Finally, we can unplug the MATE from the HUB (so it goes dark) and the CC's and inverters still chug along.

What is more interesting is how OB has positioned these products. The CC's with their front panel buttons can be configured on their own, and work along side other vendor's stuff. But you get a Radian and it is almost useless w/out the HUB, MATExx and FNDC
Last edited by Sglanger on Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by sparksalot » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:44 am

Pre (F)XR model inverter/chargers were not able to be field updated for FW, hence the "set-it and forget-it" of not requiring a permanet Mate after initial set-up...with a Mate the homeowners could fudge things up too easily and cause many unnecessary call backs. OPTICSre didn't exist yet either...

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IanMcCluskey
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Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by IanMcCluskey » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:45 am

Hi all, just chiming in that @fcwlp's posts are correct! :grin:
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AltPowerRob
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My RE system: DC-Coupled Grid-Tied w/ Battery Backup & Multiple Arrays: Outback Radian 8048A Grid-Interactive w/ (2) Discover LiFePO4 6.6KWH batteries. 6.4KW Total PV on (2) Arrays: (1) DC-coupled w/ (18) SW300s on (3) strings of (6 ea) via an FM100 CC & (1) w/ (3) SW300s w/ Enphase IQ6 Micros Grid-Tied direct. 7.5KW 30A 240V Portable Gas Gen manual inlet for occasional longer-term outage backup. Monitoring w/ Optics, AES Dashboard & Enlighten.
Location: CO Springs, CO
Contact:

Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by AltPowerRob » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:53 am

IanMcCluskey wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:45 am
Hi all, just chiming in that @fcwlp's posts are correct! :grin:
Excellent!.. Thanks for confirming this Ian!.. We just keep learning new things about these systems!.. Getting smarter by the system :grin:
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Greg T Fordan
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Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by Greg T Fordan » Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:12 pm

With no MATE3s in the system, of course there will no opticsre functionality and the other things that fwclp mentioned like ags, hbx, etc.
The FXRs and Radians can still utilize the various input modes, like Grid--Tied, Support, GridZero, etc, although flextime is not functional because it is a function of the MATE3s. You program what you want as input mode and you can remove the MATE3s after. Same thing with the Aux mode, pick what you want, vent fan, etc then you can remove the MATE3s.
For CC such as fm60 and fm80 they can function by independently of MATE3s because it has its own display and buttons,
For the FM100s, you can set them up initially via MATE3s, then you can remove the MATE3s.
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AltPowerRob
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My RE system: DC-Coupled Grid-Tied w/ Battery Backup & Multiple Arrays: Outback Radian 8048A Grid-Interactive w/ (2) Discover LiFePO4 6.6KWH batteries. 6.4KW Total PV on (2) Arrays: (1) DC-coupled w/ (18) SW300s on (3) strings of (6 ea) via an FM100 CC & (1) w/ (3) SW300s w/ Enphase IQ6 Micros Grid-Tied direct. 7.5KW 30A 240V Portable Gas Gen manual inlet for occasional longer-term outage backup. Monitoring w/ Optics, AES Dashboard & Enlighten.
Location: CO Springs, CO
Contact:

Re: Where does the programming reside?

Post by AltPowerRob » Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:16 pm

Great additional / professional input! Thanks Greg!
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Principal, E.I.T.(CEM(EE)), Designer/Master Electrician
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