International Installations

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International Installations

Postby aerojeff on Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:03 pm

I do small solar installs in healthcare facilities in different parts of the world. I typically use Outback equipment, but have used other systems due to availability. The same issue comes up constantly, which is wide fluctuations in utility voltages. In most cases I'm using battery banks and would like to use the utility to charge the batteries when utility is available. The problem is that in countries where the voltage is 220-230 and 50Hz the utility fluctuates between 160 and 184V. Is there anyway to utilize these low utility voltages with the VFXR3048E Series Inverter/Chargers. What would be the best connection type via the MATE3 to these inverters. Grid-tie, Grid - Back-up or Off Grid.

Thanks
Jeff
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Re: International Installations

Postby SandyP on Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:52 pm

aerojeff wrote:.../...The problem is that in countries where the voltage is 220-230 and 50Hz the utility fluctuates between 160 and 184V. Is there anyway to utilize these low utility voltages with the VFXR3048E Series Inverter/Chargers. What would be the best connection type via the MATE3 to these inverters. Grid-tie, Grid - Back-up or Off Grid.

Thanks
Jeff


Looks like these inverters will accept an AC Input Voltage Range of 170 to 290 Vac when used in a non Grid Interactive mode. (page 65 of the operation manual).

The user manual indicates :
The Generator input mode is intended to accept irregular or unfiltered AC sources and is more likely to do
so than other modes. This should be considered before using this mode with sensitive loads. (See page 14.)

 If the utility grid is unstable or unreliable, Generator mode may allow the inverter to accept the power.

NOTES:
 Any AC fluctuations that are accepted by the inverter will be transferred to the output. The loads will be
exposed to these fluctuations. It may not be advisable to install sensitive loads under these conditions.

 The name of Generator mode does not mean that the inverter requires a generator input when using this
mode. The use of this mode does not require the use of the Gen input type; either selection can be used.
Conversely, the inverter is not required to be placed in this mode because a generator is installed.
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Re: International Installations

Postby aerojeff on Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:45 am

That sounds great and makes sense. I'm leaving for my project in rural India tomorrow and I will try this method. I had already tried setting the input voltage as low as it would go, which was 174V in the MATE3 and the utility kept bouncing in and out.

I'll let you and everyone with similar issues like this know when I return.
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Re: International Installations

Postby aerojeff on Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:35 am

The change worked for the utility feed. However I have two of the Inverters that won't start. I ha EA good voltage and tried pulling and replacing the jumper. Any other options I can try before pulling them and shipping them to Bangalore from Ranchi?
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Re: International Installations

Postby SandyP on Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:47 am

aerojeff wrote:The change worked for the utility feed. However I have two of the Inverters that won't start. I ha EA good voltage and tried pulling and replacing the jumper. Any other options I can try before pulling them and shipping them to Bangalore from Ranchi?


Good to hear you got utility feed in.
Are the two inverters that will not work each in single inverter installation or are they part of a multi inverter installation?
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Re: International Installations

Postby aerojeff on Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:53 pm

One was the master with the one that was working so I made the slave that is working the master. The other is a stand alone system
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Re: International Installations

Postby aerojeff on Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:23 am

Do I need to connect the FM 80 to a MATE3 in order to set absorb time?
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Re: International Installations

Postby blackswan555 on Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:08 am

Do I need to connect the FM 80 to a MATE3 in order to set absorb time?
No, You can set it all directly on FM
My comments are based on my experience and research, They are not endorsed or checked by Outback.I am an independent British electrician living in Spain, So please take this into account when reading /acting on my post`s.
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Re: International Installations

Postby aerojeff on Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:16 pm

I only find Float Time in the menu. Haven't found Absorb except when connected to a MATE3. Is it in Advance settings?
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Re: International Installations

Postby SandyP on Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:52 am

aerojeff wrote:...... Is it in Advance settings?


Yep, see page 49 of the online FM user manual.

"ADV / CC / Advanced" screen then press the button for "Down" multiple times to get to Absorb time.
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Outback VFX3024 Inverter/Charger
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Re: International Installations

Postby aerojeff on Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:07 am

Thank you. I actually originally did find it but was thinking Float and sent Absorb.

On another issue, I set up the utility feed to be recognized as a "generator", due to the fluctuation of the voltage coming in from the utility. This was working fine for two or three days. Then even though I set up the unit to connect when the voltage is 170 VAC to 240 VAC, it was switching back a forth during a period when the voltage was "bouncing" between 174 and 188 (this actually occurs just about every morning till about 10 AM and every evening from 5 - 7 if the power is available at all). Is this due to the voltage "bouncing", even though it's in the "range"?

I'm looking into a voltage stabilizer or regulator to control this issue. But this goes on everywhere I do a project like this. Most of the countries with intermittent power, have these fluctuations, so I may need to include stabilization in all these projects. Steve Green from "African Energy", who distributes Outback product to Africa, had told me that some of the contractors in that region do some type of stabilization on their installs.

Thank you for the help
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