Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

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Rob/Carla
Forum Whiz
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:07 pm
My RE system: Off-Grid,
12 REC TWINPEAK 2 REC285TP2 Solar Panels - 285w,
6 Surrette 4v Deep Cycle Solar Series 5000 Model 4KS25PS Batteries,
6 Surrette 4v Deep Cycle Solar Series 5000 Model 4KS27PS Batteries,
Mate Control Console,
2 Flexmax 60 Charge Controllers,
2 VFX3524 Inverters,
9kw Northern Lights Lugger Diesel Backup AC Generator with DynaGen GSC 300 Auto Start Engine Controller

Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by Rob/Carla » Fri May 15, 2020 3:18 pm

I recently doubled my off-grid battery bank, but am seeing no reduction in my generator run-time. It is running about 4 to 5 hours per 24 hour period with spring weather conditions. I have tried to adjust various settings and have gone down many rabbit holes into the user manuals, with no success. If I do a factory default reset with my Mate controller, will I have to re-program the inverters and charge controllers as well, or will the hub detect them as they were before the Mate re-set?

provo
Forum Guru
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:34 pm
My RE system: Sixteen Evergreen EC-120
(4 strings, total 1920W)
Eight Rolls S-550 (2 strings, total ~800Ah @ 24V)
One FM80
One VFXR3524A
Hub 10
Mate3s
FNDC and Trimetric
Location: Sierra foothills

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by provo » Fri May 15, 2020 3:54 pm

Let’s assume one MX60 charges the 1404Ah string, and the other MX60 charges the 1518Ah string. Hopefully those strings are kept separated to avoid imbalance, but we can ignore that for now. If each string has six 285W panels into the MX60, that’s 1710W, which exceeds the max 1500W for an MX60 at 24V, but not by much. However, even the smaller string would want to be charged at 140A x 25V, or 3500W, and your (half) array is only 1710W.

Did the system work for you before you doubled the battery? That would have been all 3420W of panels into one string, which is much closer to a good fit. Also, how do you keep track of your charging status? Do you have a battery monitor, and if so, what make and model?

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1554
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 repl'd MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied, no longer AC- coupled

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 modules

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by Mike Curran » Fri May 15, 2020 4:02 pm

If you are discharging energy from your newly doubled battery bank at the same amount (kwh) as you did before, then doesn't it make sense that your generator will still have to operate for the same duration to restore that energy, as it did before?

Looking at this another way, conversely, if you had doubled the output of your generator then it would take half the time to recharge your battery. But doubling your battery capacity will only double its capacity to support your loads, not decrease the time it takes to recharge it.
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

Rob/Carla
Forum Whiz
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:07 pm
My RE system: Off-Grid,
12 REC TWINPEAK 2 REC285TP2 Solar Panels - 285w,
6 Surrette 4v Deep Cycle Solar Series 5000 Model 4KS25PS Batteries,
6 Surrette 4v Deep Cycle Solar Series 5000 Model 4KS27PS Batteries,
Mate Control Console,
2 Flexmax 60 Charge Controllers,
2 VFX3524 Inverters,
9kw Northern Lights Lugger Diesel Backup AC Generator with DynaGen GSC 300 Auto Start Engine Controller

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by Rob/Carla » Fri May 15, 2020 6:01 pm

I was given to understand that the larger battery bank would handle the load better and thus not be suddenly drained by power surges from equipment such as the water pump on my household plumbing system for example. In any case, I am confused over the battery charging setpoints and want to know if the inverters will need to be re-programmed if I set the Mate to factory default settings. Can anyone clear up for me whether the Mate will simply need the clock and such re-set, or if I will also have to re-program the inverters as when they were first installed?

pss
Forum Guru
Posts: 499
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:40 am
My RE system: 8330 watts in three strings, Flexmax 60 x 3, Radian 8048A, GSLC load center, Mate 3S, Hub 10.3, FN-DC and 900 Amp, 48V Trojan T105-RE battery bank.

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by pss » Fri May 15, 2020 6:43 pm

This is the classic mistake of not understanding solar power, batteries, charge controllers and inverters. A battery system lives to charge batteries. Inverters live to suck amps from batteries. Loads live to suck power from the inverter. All must be balanced and sized accordingly. Too much PV output goes to waste with small battery banks and small loads. Too big a battery compared to the PV array sizes and the batteries cannot be charged by PV alone. Too big a load and the PV and batteries can't handle the load and a grid tie or generator is needed.
In your case, way, way, way too large a battery bank for your charging capacity and PV array size.
12 285 watt panels is rated at full laboratory sun at 77 degrees at Noon. Your rated PV is 3420 watts by face plate. Real world is about 80% of that, so about 2750 watts. Say now you are getting 2750 x 8 hours on a sunny day. That's 22,000 watts. Your batteries are 2922 amps at 25 volts. That's 73,050 watts of battery capacity. Now, think about a bright sunny day and 22,000 watts of output. That's a PV output of only 30.11% of your battery's 100% capacity. Translated, this means on a great 8 hour sunny day, if your battery SOC is 70% or lower, you can't power any loads at all to try at get the charge back to 100%! And your going to have to absorb essentially all day. As for your 2 Flexmax 60's , at 28 volts and 2750 watts of PV, you are getting up to 98.2 amps of their 120 amp capacity.

The Solution: If you want to keep this size battery bank, you will need to add panels and charge controllers. For a battery daily discharge of 25% (18,265 watts) coupled with say a load of 1.5 kW average over the 24 hour period (36 kW) means you need a PV output of 54.5 kW average daily. My 8300 watts of PV with 3 Flexmax 60's put out 49.1 kW today with sunny skies and ambient peak temperature of 81 degrees. Right there that tells you you need to go to 10 kW of PV panels. And this is summertime. More if you want any use in the winter. How much? I'd say 15 kW of panels.

Of course, you could just use an efficient generator to charge batteries like a fuel injected LP or gas Honda that is fuel injected. If your grid is not too costly, charge them up when the rates are low.

But now that you understand that all the fiddling with settings you can do will not solve your engineering and physics problems. But you have a path forward. Good luck.

Rob/Carla
Forum Whiz
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:07 pm
My RE system: Off-Grid,
12 REC TWINPEAK 2 REC285TP2 Solar Panels - 285w,
6 Surrette 4v Deep Cycle Solar Series 5000 Model 4KS25PS Batteries,
6 Surrette 4v Deep Cycle Solar Series 5000 Model 4KS27PS Batteries,
Mate Control Console,
2 Flexmax 60 Charge Controllers,
2 VFX3524 Inverters,
9kw Northern Lights Lugger Diesel Backup AC Generator with DynaGen GSC 300 Auto Start Engine Controller

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by Rob/Carla » Sat May 16, 2020 3:44 am

This is very discouraging and depressing, as I have been advised up to now that increasing battery storage would be effective. If /all/ of the advice that I have received over the last decade is inaccurate, then I will need to upgrade even further. I have 16 Sharp 175 w PV modules in storage, but buying another charge controller at the moment is just not possible. Also, the 'charge them up when rates are low' advice is confusing to me as I am off-grid and not sure how this applies to me.

If anyone has any advice on anything that I can actually do in real-time to improve eficiency, it would be much appreciated.

Also, can anyone please answer my original question? If I re-set the Mate to factory default, will I also then need to re-program the inverters?

pss
Forum Guru
Posts: 499
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:40 am
My RE system: 8330 watts in three strings, Flexmax 60 x 3, Radian 8048A, GSLC load center, Mate 3S, Hub 10.3, FN-DC and 900 Amp, 48V Trojan T105-RE battery bank.

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by pss » Sat May 16, 2020 6:50 am

The inverter has it's own memory and firmware. If you reset the mate, the settings currently programmed into the inverter will still be there and read by the Mate when it's back up.
As for increasing efficiency, adding old low power panels is not the way.
As for adding a charge controller, it is possible to find a used Flexmax and it is also possible to set up an array with a clone type charge controller until cash flow improves. Sorry, I didn't realize you were totally off grid.
In the meantime, your batteries need to be properly charged. A solution would be to break them up into smaller strings say around 400 amps each. Each string would go to a common buss bar to the inverter. But, here's the kicker, each string would have a marine style on/off switch like those from Blue Sea systems. This way you can have battery use, rotate their charging and use and keep them healthy.
Lastly, for all less experienced off grid keepers, any system of decent capacity should be configured from the start as a 48 volt system for efficiency.

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1554
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 repl'd MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied, no longer AC- coupled

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 modules

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by Mike Curran » Sat May 16, 2020 7:15 am

This is very discouraging and depressing, as I have been advised up to now that increasing battery storage would be effective. 
Think of your battery like it's a gas tank for your car. If you double the number of gallons it can hold then you can drive twice as far on a tankful. But you still have to put twice as much gas back into it when you fill it up.
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

raysun
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Posts: 2240
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by raysun » Sat May 16, 2020 7:16 am

"Also, can anyone please answer my original question? If I re-set the Mate to factory default, will I also then need to re-program the inverters?"

The Inverter programming is stored in non-volitile memory in the inverter itself. Resetting the Mate to factory defaults should not affect the Inverter settings. Several settings in the Mate do affect Inverter operation however, and those may need resetting.

The overall system configuration can be stored on a Compact Flash card prior to resetting the Mate. Also, every setting the Mate can affect can be seen from its configuration menus. It's a tedious process, but I'd suggest walking through the entire menu map and writing down each parameter so that the "as built" is documented.

It's not mentioned which model Mate is in the system, but the menu maps are laid out in their respective documentation and that can serve as a framework for logging the parameters.

What do you expect to accomplish by resetting the Mate?
Last edited by raysun on Sat May 16, 2020 7:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

pss
Forum Guru
Posts: 499
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:40 am
My RE system: 8330 watts in three strings, Flexmax 60 x 3, Radian 8048A, GSLC load center, Mate 3S, Hub 10.3, FN-DC and 900 Amp, 48V Trojan T105-RE battery bank.

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by pss » Sat May 16, 2020 7:21 am

Mike, I liked the gas tank analogy. If I'm right, that's a new one for you and a good one.

User avatar
EA6LE-ONE
Forum Guru
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue May 05, 2020 7:51 am
My RE system: System 1:
MATE3s, 3 x Radian GS8048A,
4 x FLEXmax 100, HUB10,
2 x EnergyCell 48V 2700RE,
1 x FLEXnet DC, 4 x FLEXware ICS Plus,
54 x PANASONIC VBHN325SA17 325W

System 2:
MATE3s, 2 x VFX3648,
2 x FLEXmax 100, HUB10
1 x EnergyCell 48V 2700RE,
1 x FLEXnet DC, 2 x FLEXware ICS
21 x PANASONIC VBHN325SA17 325W
Location: Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Isl.

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by EA6LE-ONE » Sat May 16, 2020 7:53 am

Rob/Carla wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 3:44 am
This is very discouraging and depressing, as I have been advised up to now that increasing battery storage would be effective. If /all/ of the advice that I have received over the last decade is inaccurate, then I will need to upgrade even further. I have 16 Sharp 175 w PV modules in storage, but buying another charge controller at the moment is just not possible. Also, the 'charge them up when rates are low' advice is confusing to me as I am off-grid and not sure how this applies to me.

If anyone has any advice on anything that I can actually do in real-time to improve eficiency, it would be much appreciated.

Also, can anyone please answer my original question? If I re-set the Mate to factory default, will I also then need to re-program the inverters?
In my opinion battery size: the bigger the better. more important is the charging capability to be able to have the batteries in absorb by the half of the charging cycle (at least for AGM as they need 2-3 hours absorb). Also very important for me is temperature of the batteries, try to keep them under 80F. Also, investing more in the solar panels will be advise, try to have the power produced at least 2 times the time of the daily load. In off-grid will be a lot of waste of extra power but for the cost of the batteries and the fact that the panels will lose about 20% efficiency in 10 to 15 years, is worth it.

I have one of my systems with a AGM battery of 4550A 48V with 17.5KW PV and 60-70KWH daily load, by noon I reach absorb and by 2pm full charge. That if I have a perfect solar day and the battery is at 85% SOC (the lowest daily with sunny days).

With flooded batteries you need longer absorb, need to check the with the manufacturer if you can slightly increase the absorb voltage for shorter time as long you have the right room temperature.
Last edited by EA6LE-ONE on Sat May 16, 2020 9:06 am, edited 4 times in total.

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1554
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 repl'd MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied, no longer AC- coupled

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 modules

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by Mike Curran » Sat May 16, 2020 7:55 am

pss wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 7:21 am
Mike, I liked the gas tank analogy. If I'm right, that's a new one for you and a good one.
Thanks!😁
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2240
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by raysun » Sat May 16, 2020 8:19 am

"I have one of my systems with a AGM battery of 4550A 48V with 17.5KW PV and 60-70KW load, by noon I reach absorb and by 2pm full charge. That if I have a perfect solar day and the battery is at 15% SOC (the daily lowest with sunny days)."

This doesn't make sense to me, can you elaborate?

A 70kW load is going to draw on the order of 1500A from a 48V battery feeding an inverter of roughly 95% efficiency - and that's provided it's a purely resistive load. Reactive loads are going to place an even higher instantaneous draw on the battery. These must be very short-duration loads (on the order of 5 seconds or less).

A lead-acid battery drawn to 15% SoC on a regular basis before recharging is going to have an exceptionally short service life. Replacing a 4550AH 48V battery bank after 300 cycles isn't in many budgets.

Do you mean 15% Depth of Discharge (DoD)?

User avatar
EA6LE-ONE
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Posts: 106
Joined: Tue May 05, 2020 7:51 am
My RE system: System 1:
MATE3s, 3 x Radian GS8048A,
4 x FLEXmax 100, HUB10,
2 x EnergyCell 48V 2700RE,
1 x FLEXnet DC, 4 x FLEXware ICS Plus,
54 x PANASONIC VBHN325SA17 325W

System 2:
MATE3s, 2 x VFX3648,
2 x FLEXmax 100, HUB10
1 x EnergyCell 48V 2700RE,
1 x FLEXnet DC, 2 x FLEXware ICS
21 x PANASONIC VBHN325SA17 325W
Location: Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Isl.

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by EA6LE-ONE » Sat May 16, 2020 8:33 am

raysun wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 8:19 am
"I have one of my systems with a AGM battery of 4550A 48V with 17.5KW PV and 60-70KW load, by noon I reach absorb and by 2pm full charge. That if I have a perfect solar day and the battery is at 15% SOC (the daily lowest with sunny days)."

This doesn't make sense to me, can you elaborate?

A 70kW load is going to draw on the order of 1500A from a 48V battery feeding an inverter of roughly 95% efficiency - and that's provided it's a purely resistive load. Reactive loads are going to place an even higher instantaneous draw on the battery. These must be very short-duration loads (on the order of 5 seconds or less).

A lead-acid battery drawn to 15% SoC on a regular basis before recharging is going to have an exceptionally short service life. Replacing a 4550AH 48V battery bank after 300 cycles isn't in many budgets.

Do you mean 15% Depth of Discharge (DoD)?
60-70KW daily load. yes 15% DoD, the SoC is at 85% on FNDC. wanted to say 85% SoC, been distracted a bit. :) the Solar charge is 70KW - 85KW

check the screen shot from 8th of may
optics.jpg
i just installed the FNDC on the main system

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2240
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by raysun » Sat May 16, 2020 8:44 am

EA6LE-ONE wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 8:33 am
raysun wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 8:19 am
"I have one of my systems with a AGM battery of 4550A 48V with 17.5KW PV and 60-70KW load, by noon I reach absorb and by 2pm full charge. That if I have a perfect solar day and the battery is at 15% SOC (the daily lowest with sunny days)."

This doesn't make sense to me, can you elaborate?

A 70kW load is going to draw on the order of 1500A from a 48V battery feeding an inverter of roughly 95% efficiency - and that's provided it's a purely resistive load. Reactive loads are going to place an even higher instantaneous draw on the battery. These must be very short-duration loads (on the order of 5 seconds or less).

A lead-acid battery drawn to 15% SoC on a regular basis before recharging is going to have an exceptionally short service life. Replacing a 4550AH 48V battery bank after 300 cycles isn't in many budgets.

Do you mean 15% Depth of Discharge (DoD)?
60-70KW daily load. yes 15% DoD, the SoC is at 85% on FNDC. wanted to say 85% SoC, been distracted a bit. :) the Solar charge is 70KW - 85KW

check the screen shot from 8th of may

optics.jpgi just installed the FNDC on the main system
OK. It's the literalist left-brain engineering in me.

kW (kilo-watt) is a measure of instantaneous power consumption.
Loads over time would be measured in kWH (kilo-watt hours).

User avatar
EA6LE-ONE
Forum Guru
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue May 05, 2020 7:51 am
My RE system: System 1:
MATE3s, 3 x Radian GS8048A,
4 x FLEXmax 100, HUB10,
2 x EnergyCell 48V 2700RE,
1 x FLEXnet DC, 4 x FLEXware ICS Plus,
54 x PANASONIC VBHN325SA17 325W

System 2:
MATE3s, 2 x VFX3648,
2 x FLEXmax 100, HUB10
1 x EnergyCell 48V 2700RE,
1 x FLEXnet DC, 2 x FLEXware ICS
21 x PANASONIC VBHN325SA17 325W
Location: Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Isl.

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by EA6LE-ONE » Sat May 16, 2020 9:18 am

raysun wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 8:44 am


OK. It's the literalist left-brain engineering in me.

kW (kilo-watt) is a measure of instantaneous power consumption.
Loads over time would be measured in kWH (kilo-watt hours).
You are right. edited the post again :)

Here is the screen shot for today. we had 3 to 4 days of rain, mostly clouded with some sun here there and still produced enough, the consumption was lower as was cooler and the ACs didn't work that much.
optics2.jpg

The secondary system is loaded with more constant load and went down to 62% SOC
optics3.jpg

Rob/Carla
Forum Whiz
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:07 pm
My RE system: Off-Grid,
12 REC TWINPEAK 2 REC285TP2 Solar Panels - 285w,
6 Surrette 4v Deep Cycle Solar Series 5000 Model 4KS25PS Batteries,
6 Surrette 4v Deep Cycle Solar Series 5000 Model 4KS27PS Batteries,
Mate Control Console,
2 Flexmax 60 Charge Controllers,
2 VFX3524 Inverters,
9kw Northern Lights Lugger Diesel Backup AC Generator with DynaGen GSC 300 Auto Start Engine Controller

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by Rob/Carla » Sat May 16, 2020 9:25 am

If I can budget towards up-grading the charge controllers from Flexmax 60 models to Flexmax 80, will that have a significant impact on my generator run-time?

User avatar
EA6LE-ONE
Forum Guru
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue May 05, 2020 7:51 am
My RE system: System 1:
MATE3s, 3 x Radian GS8048A,
4 x FLEXmax 100, HUB10,
2 x EnergyCell 48V 2700RE,
1 x FLEXnet DC, 4 x FLEXware ICS Plus,
54 x PANASONIC VBHN325SA17 325W

System 2:
MATE3s, 2 x VFX3648,
2 x FLEXmax 100, HUB10
1 x EnergyCell 48V 2700RE,
1 x FLEXnet DC, 2 x FLEXware ICS
21 x PANASONIC VBHN325SA17 325W
Location: Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Isl.

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by EA6LE-ONE » Sat May 16, 2020 9:31 am

Rob/Carla wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 9:25 am
If I can budget towards up-grading the charge controllers from Flexmax 60 models to Flexmax 80, will that have a significant impact on my generator run-time?
Is the generator not connected directly to the battery? the FM60 or FM80 are optimized for solar power.

If you increase the solar panels, and have the correct chargers for the size of the array, then you will have less power from generator needed.

Rob/Carla
Forum Whiz
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:07 pm
My RE system: Off-Grid,
12 REC TWINPEAK 2 REC285TP2 Solar Panels - 285w,
6 Surrette 4v Deep Cycle Solar Series 5000 Model 4KS25PS Batteries,
6 Surrette 4v Deep Cycle Solar Series 5000 Model 4KS27PS Batteries,
Mate Control Console,
2 Flexmax 60 Charge Controllers,
2 VFX3524 Inverters,
9kw Northern Lights Lugger Diesel Backup AC Generator with DynaGen GSC 300 Auto Start Engine Controller

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by Rob/Carla » Sat May 16, 2020 3:03 pm

The generator is connected to the system through a hub and shares the number one port with the master inverter.

provo
Forum Guru
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:34 pm
My RE system: Sixteen Evergreen EC-120
(4 strings, total 1920W)
Eight Rolls S-550 (2 strings, total ~800Ah @ 24V)
One FM80
One VFXR3524A
Hub 10
Mate3s
FNDC and Trimetric
Location: Sierra foothills

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by provo » Sat May 16, 2020 3:27 pm

Rob/Carla wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 3:03 pm
The generator is connected to the system through a hub and shares the number one port with the master inverter.
No....the generator output is connected to the AC IN of the inverter through a circuit breaker. (The inverter is connected to the hub.) When AC power is applied to the AC IN of the inverter, the inverter becomes a charger for the batteries, and also passes AC through the inverter to the loads. In that state it stops being able to invert DC to AC.

You might want to read the inverter manual and the charge controller manual cover to cover before making any more changes to the system. There are some basic concepts you should have "under your belt" before continuing.

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EA6LE-ONE
Forum Guru
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue May 05, 2020 7:51 am
My RE system: System 1:
MATE3s, 3 x Radian GS8048A,
4 x FLEXmax 100, HUB10,
2 x EnergyCell 48V 2700RE,
1 x FLEXnet DC, 4 x FLEXware ICS Plus,
54 x PANASONIC VBHN325SA17 325W

System 2:
MATE3s, 2 x VFX3648,
2 x FLEXmax 100, HUB10
1 x EnergyCell 48V 2700RE,
1 x FLEXnet DC, 2 x FLEXware ICS
21 x PANASONIC VBHN325SA17 325W
Location: Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Isl.

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by EA6LE-ONE » Sat May 16, 2020 7:13 pm

provo wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 3:27 pm
Rob/Carla wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 3:03 pm
The generator is connected to the system through a hub and shares the number one port with the master inverter.
No....the generator output is connected to the AC IN of the inverter through a circuit breaker. (The inverter is connected to the hub.) When AC power is applied to the AC IN of the inverter, the inverter becomes a charger for the batteries, and also passes AC through the inverter to the loads. In that state it stops being able to invert DC to AC.

You might want to read the inverter manual and the charge controller manual cover to cover before making any more changes to the system. There are some basic concepts you should have "under your belt" before continuing.
Provo,
The generator is DC. 0-30V. Should be turned on through one of the relay and the output should be connected directly to the battery.

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2240
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by raysun » Sat May 16, 2020 7:21 pm

EA6LE-ONE wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 7:13 pm
provo wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 3:27 pm
Rob/Carla wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 3:03 pm
The generator is connected to the system through a hub and shares the number one port with the master inverter.
No....the generator output is connected to the AC IN of the inverter through a circuit breaker. (The inverter is connected to the hub.) When AC power is applied to the AC IN of the inverter, the inverter becomes a charger for the batteries, and also passes AC through the inverter to the loads. In that state it stops being able to invert DC to AC.

You might want to read the inverter manual and the charge controller manual cover to cover before making any more changes to the system. There are some basic concepts you should have "under your belt" before continuing.
Provo,
The generator is DC. 0-30V. Should be turned on through one of the relay and the output should be connected directly to the battery.
Hmm... All the Northern Lights gensets I know about are AC. Do they make a line of DC gensets? OP doesn't mention a model on his profile, just output.

Rob/Carla
Forum Whiz
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:07 pm
My RE system: Off-Grid,
12 REC TWINPEAK 2 REC285TP2 Solar Panels - 285w,
6 Surrette 4v Deep Cycle Solar Series 5000 Model 4KS25PS Batteries,
6 Surrette 4v Deep Cycle Solar Series 5000 Model 4KS27PS Batteries,
Mate Control Console,
2 Flexmax 60 Charge Controllers,
2 VFX3524 Inverters,
9kw Northern Lights Lugger Diesel Backup AC Generator with DynaGen GSC 300 Auto Start Engine Controller

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by Rob/Carla » Sat May 16, 2020 7:46 pm

My generator is AC and it is controlled through the AGS system, which is operated by the Mate through the master inverter by way of the hub. It is a fairly basic outback layout in terms of how the equipment is connected, from what I understand. I have no experience with DC generators and my system was orginally installed by an incompetent contracter who sold me a system smaller than what I asked for and has since parted ways with outback so far as I know. As to what's 'under my belt', I actually /have/ read the manuals cover to cover, which is one of the reasons that it's been so very frustrating trying to figure out how to get the runtime down and what to do on a budget in terms of up-grading. Not everyone has an easy time reading and retaining details from technical manuals that are written for people with electrical engineering experience rather than for more average folks like myself with only a bit of university level chemistry and physics. That's why I came to a discussion forum to get help.

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2240
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by raysun » Sat May 16, 2020 8:07 pm

Rob/Carla wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 7:46 pm
My generator is AC and it is controlled through the AGS system, which is operated by the Mate through the master inverter by way of the hub. It is a fairly basic outback layout in terms of how the equipment is connected, from what I understand. I have no experience with DC generators and my system was orginally installed by an incompetent contracter who sold me a system smaller than what I asked for and has since parted ways with outback so far as I know. As to what's 'under my belt', I actually /have/ read the manuals cover to cover, which is one of the reasons that it's been so very frustrating trying to figure out how to get the runtime down and what to do on a budget in terms of up-grading. Not everyone has an easy time reading and retaining details from technical manuals that are written for people with electrical engineering experience rather than for more average folks like myself with only a bit of university level chemistry and physics. That's why I came to a discussion forum to get help.
Hang in there Rob. We'll help you get this all sorted.

You came at a time everybody is going stir-crazy from Stay at Home, so you're getting pig piled here. LOL!

In all the verbiage, there is a good deal of essential knowledge.

The original focus on reducing generator runtime has more to do with:
• How much energy is consumed on a daily basis.
• The time of day the energy is consumed.
• How much energy is produced by the solar panels on a daily basis.

I haven't studied all the posts, so don't know if those questions have been answered, but starting there will set the stage for everything that needs to be done to improve performance and reduce generator usage.

I'm completely off grid. I started knowing very little about this stuff, but managed to learn quite a bit.

My daily energy usage is right around 12kWH.
I use about 6kWH overnight (dictates battery size to a great extent.)
I average about 15kWH of solar production per day.
My generator usage provides 7% of my overall energy consumption.

Is your system on OpticsRE?

Rob/Carla
Forum Whiz
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:07 pm
My RE system: Off-Grid,
12 REC TWINPEAK 2 REC285TP2 Solar Panels - 285w,
6 Surrette 4v Deep Cycle Solar Series 5000 Model 4KS25PS Batteries,
6 Surrette 4v Deep Cycle Solar Series 5000 Model 4KS27PS Batteries,
Mate Control Console,
2 Flexmax 60 Charge Controllers,
2 VFX3524 Inverters,
9kw Northern Lights Lugger Diesel Backup AC Generator with DynaGen GSC 300 Auto Start Engine Controller

Re: Question, Battery Charge Settings/Defaults, Generator Run-Time Too long

Post by Rob/Carla » Sat May 16, 2020 9:03 pm

Thank you. I imagine that I may seem defensive, but I can most certainly do without the 'pig piling'/bullying. I'm sorry, but I don't know what 'OpticsRE' is.

The system was originally supposed to be more than large enough for our power usage, but was installed at roughly half the size that it should have been, so far as we can establish. We have been juggling power usage and charging routines for ten years and burning discouraging amounts of diesel on many sunny days while struggling to up-grade after having used what we had been led to believe from the vendor's calculations and estimates was an adequate bank loan for the build. This has been emotionally and mentally exhausting and financially crippling. We've had AC failures the last two winters in a row where the AC backup broke down in the coldest parts of the season while one of us was away for weeks at work. Our emergency AC welder/generator also broke down that first winter at almost the same time that the main unit died, and both winters we had to spend thousands of dollars that was ear-marked to go for up-grades to the system on an expensive rental unit instead, while the generator was being rebuilt for the second time. I'm no electrical engineer, obviously, but I had the impression at the time that I'd done sufficient research and thus was not prepared for this situation, or for the apathetic attitude and complete lack of technical support from our original vendor. We've managed to go through two generators, which Rob(I'm Carla), has now rebuilt into one unit, and we recently purchased a gasoline generator to replace the emergency welder unit in case of another AC failure. We've upgraded the solar panels once and upgraded from the first set of batteries, replaced and repaired at least two faulty inverters, dealt with various electrical failures, and then recently added another six batteries, thinking that this would solve the bulk of our problems. Next, from what I've gleaned from the posts so far, it seems that it might might be a good idea for us to budget for an up-grade to the charge controllers and perhaps add some more panels.

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