FM100 misery again

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zozomike
Forum Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:53 pm
My RE system: Off-grid, all solar, passive and active ( winter wood heat supplements) solar DHW, no backup. Southern mountains New Mexico.

Array 1 3000w, 12 Sunpower 250s FM 100

Array 2 3000w, 12 Sunpower 250s FM 100

Well array 600w, 6 Kyocera 130 w with Grundfos sqflex11 and cu200 to elevated storage, ( 2- 330 g tanks,) no battery storage at well

Six Battle Born 50 AH 24 V Lithium

Outback VFX 3525a Flex Power 2, prewired with Flexnet DC SOC monitor and Mate3.

FM100 misery again

Post by zozomike » Thu May 21, 2020 10:42 am

See prior post " FM100 ground fault error" for context.
OK this is miserable. In order to handle additional voltages due to switching out panels I “ upgraded” to two Outback FM100s from the comparatively robust FM80s I had, and all breakers, combiners etc. All was fine for month, then one of the FM100s began throwing ground fault errors. We spent way too much time reworking the entire array in that controller. Call it array 1. After extensive testing my solar electrician determined the controller to be at fault. He began trying to obtain an RMA on 04/16/2020, after numerous promises and failures a replacement controller finally showed up 05/18/2020. Luckily, I discovered a stray screw ( of a size not used in the CC) laying on the circuit board before ever powering it up. Poor QC I suspect. It was promptly installed on array 1. But while the unaffected controller on array 2 was in bulk, it showed the battery as full and never got out of float. Battery sense wires were hooked to that new controller, and seemed to help that issue, but it still barely charged, then went silent. Yes, it’s fuse is removed per Outback manual and the fuse in the working CC is good.

This 10 am The array 2 was reading on the Mate 3s, IN V=151.2 A= 8, OUT 27.2V 46A ( 24 volt setup)

As a test at 11a I disconnected array 2 PV inputs from the working FM100 and ran the PV inputs from array 1 to the working FM 100. ( to see if the array 1 was the fault) Readings are IN=162.5V 15A, OUT= 27.7V 81.3A

Unless you can think of some other test, I am thinking they sent another bad FM100?

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2058
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: FM100 misery again

Post by raysun » Thu May 21, 2020 10:55 am

That, or there's a problem with the conductors, connections, grounds, or some other component in the Array 1 path.

Switch the two charge controllers physically and see what happens

zozomike
Forum Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:53 pm
My RE system: Off-grid, all solar, passive and active ( winter wood heat supplements) solar DHW, no backup. Southern mountains New Mexico.

Array 1 3000w, 12 Sunpower 250s FM 100

Array 2 3000w, 12 Sunpower 250s FM 100

Well array 600w, 6 Kyocera 130 w with Grundfos sqflex11 and cu200 to elevated storage, ( 2- 330 g tanks,) no battery storage at well

Six Battle Born 50 AH 24 V Lithium

Outback VFX 3525a Flex Power 2, prewired with Flexnet DC SOC monitor and Mate3.

Re: FM100 misery again

Post by zozomike » Thu May 21, 2020 4:48 pm

Thanks for the reply Raysun. I cannot visualize how physically switching the FM100s would make a difference. I had already wired the PV input wires across. But as my wits are at an end, I just did the physical switcheroo you suggested. It is late in the day however. So the results will show in about 14 hours.

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2058
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: FM100 misery again

Post by raysun » Thu May 21, 2020 5:52 pm

The biggest discovery may simply be: "the failed behavior follows the unit".

Best wishes for a quick and decisive resolution to the issue.

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IanMcCluskey
OutBack Product Management
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: FM100 misery again

Post by IanMcCluskey » Fri May 22, 2020 9:57 am

Hi Mike, none of this sounds like a bad controller to me. Also, the actual FM100 failure rate is well below 1%, so even if the first one had a problem, the chance of two in a row is <0.01%. Therefore, jumping to the conclusion of another warranty claim will probably keep you from resolving the actual root issue, whatever that may be.

Several things that would help us and the experts on this forum help you:
1) What guide are you using for setting the charge controllers to the Battle Born batteries' requirements? That is not a particularly common pairing, and as I mentioned on your last post, the Silent mode symptom is usually a configuration error
2) Complete test reports your technician used to characterize the last FM100 as "faulty"
3) Complete wiring diagrams and photos of the system
4) Configuration files for all devices downloaded from the MATE3S, or much better, a live OPTICS site to help us troubleshoot.

Thank you,
Ian
Ian McCluskey
Product Manager


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

zozomike
Forum Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:53 pm
My RE system: Off-grid, all solar, passive and active ( winter wood heat supplements) solar DHW, no backup. Southern mountains New Mexico.

Array 1 3000w, 12 Sunpower 250s FM 100

Array 2 3000w, 12 Sunpower 250s FM 100

Well array 600w, 6 Kyocera 130 w with Grundfos sqflex11 and cu200 to elevated storage, ( 2- 330 g tanks,) no battery storage at well

Six Battle Born 50 AH 24 V Lithium

Outback VFX 3525a Flex Power 2, prewired with Flexnet DC SOC monitor and Mate3.

Re: FM100 misery again

Post by zozomike » Fri May 22, 2020 12:15 pm

Thanks Ian, again. My current test does show the replacement FM 100 is working. But is a goofball test. First I physically switched the FM100s as suggested by Raysun above and the new FM100 performed fine on Array 2, the always working FM100 did not perform at all, went silent on Array 1. So I decided I had good controllers, and a dodgy array. Spent the morning checking the suspect array, to no result. So lacking the really expensive meters I again jumpered the PV inputs from array 1 over to the replacement CC, and received expected power. Being curious I jumpered the the PV inputs from array 2 to the always working FM100, and received expected power. This bewilders me. I am now receiving full power from both arrays and both FM100s by having interchanged the PV input wires.
Your comments about the battery set up has prompted me to again check the CC and battery monitor settings and they are as I mentioned in prior postings, identical through the mate3s, As I recall I used the settings suggested by the battery manufacturer. I never received the report my solar electrician sent to Outback CS, and he is on a big project elsewhere now.
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zozomike
Forum Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:53 pm
My RE system: Off-grid, all solar, passive and active ( winter wood heat supplements) solar DHW, no backup. Southern mountains New Mexico.

Array 1 3000w, 12 Sunpower 250s FM 100

Array 2 3000w, 12 Sunpower 250s FM 100

Well array 600w, 6 Kyocera 130 w with Grundfos sqflex11 and cu200 to elevated storage, ( 2- 330 g tanks,) no battery storage at well

Six Battle Born 50 AH 24 V Lithium

Outback VFX 3525a Flex Power 2, prewired with Flexnet DC SOC monitor and Mate3.

Re: FM100 misery again

Post by zozomike » Fri May 22, 2020 12:28 pm

And while it would be logical to suggest I had bad connections before and just happened to get them right this time, please note. I have done this pv input switch both as one way and two way several times over the last two days with consistent results. And also that I am receiving NO errors from the controllers or on the Mate3s. I can say the prior FM100 which will be shipped back today, was throwing out all kinds of errors, but mostly ground faults. None of which have occurred with the replacement controller.

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2058
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: FM100 misery again

Post by raysun » Fri May 22, 2020 12:29 pm

I was more suspecting the issue was between CC and battery, rather than between PV array and CC.

There's not much between the CC and the Battery, and I don't know the FM100, but it seems the arc fault protection circuit would be there (and they are touchy).

Perhaps the recent post about isolating the CC voltages from the common voltage bus might shed some light. It was posted in this past week.

zozomike
Forum Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:53 pm
My RE system: Off-grid, all solar, passive and active ( winter wood heat supplements) solar DHW, no backup. Southern mountains New Mexico.

Array 1 3000w, 12 Sunpower 250s FM 100

Array 2 3000w, 12 Sunpower 250s FM 100

Well array 600w, 6 Kyocera 130 w with Grundfos sqflex11 and cu200 to elevated storage, ( 2- 330 g tanks,) no battery storage at well

Six Battle Born 50 AH 24 V Lithium

Outback VFX 3525a Flex Power 2, prewired with Flexnet DC SOC monitor and Mate3.

Re: FM100 misery again

Post by zozomike » Fri May 22, 2020 12:52 pm

Raysun, The only thing between the each CC and the batteries is a breaker. The FM 100s have internal arc fault devices. (Which are VERY touchy) The manual advises to remove external arc fault devices in normal conditions. I did have an arc fault 150 vdc breaker setup in the Flex power 2, which I removed when converting all to 300 VDC. But I am having no such issues with the replacement FM100.
I am feeling quite bewildered.

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2058
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: FM100 misery again

Post by raysun » Fri May 22, 2020 1:46 pm

zozomike wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 12:52 pm
Raysun, The only thing between the each CC and the batteries is a breaker. The FM 100s have internal arc fault devices. (Which are VERY touchy) The manual advises to remove external arc fault devices in normal conditions. I did have an arc fault 150 vdc breaker setup in the Flex power 2, which I removed when converting all to 300 VDC. But I am having no such issues with the replacement FM100.
I am feeling quite bewildered.
The internal arc fault is as good as an external arc fault when it comes to touchiness, I'd imagine. ;)

I got nothing else to offer other than interest in the solution.

The post on isolating the FM100 to their own voltage bus was news to me though.

zozomike
Forum Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:53 pm
My RE system: Off-grid, all solar, passive and active ( winter wood heat supplements) solar DHW, no backup. Southern mountains New Mexico.

Array 1 3000w, 12 Sunpower 250s FM 100

Array 2 3000w, 12 Sunpower 250s FM 100

Well array 600w, 6 Kyocera 130 w with Grundfos sqflex11 and cu200 to elevated storage, ( 2- 330 g tanks,) no battery storage at well

Six Battle Born 50 AH 24 V Lithium

Outback VFX 3525a Flex Power 2, prewired with Flexnet DC SOC monitor and Mate3.

Re: FM100 misery again

Post by zozomike » Fri May 22, 2020 3:04 pm

Raysun, you pointing me to Ians Webinar about the AFCI may have put me onto something. As I had ordered these in Feb 2020 I received the FM100AFCI. With the sensor coil. But the manual I received was for the earlier generation. Nothing in that manual spoke to the coil. And it was zip tied to the ground buss. So that is where it remained. We had no idea of the meaning of this change. That may be why the infuriating and expensive ground fault shut downs occurred over and over and over, and I spent huge time reworking the PV and the path. The replacement FM100 sent by Outback for warranty is evidently the previous model. It finally looks like what is in my manual.
Perhaps Ian can now address this, and maybe that will explain why I now have full power with the goofy interchange of PV inputs. I do not have a rapid shutdown system. I do not believe one is required given the age of my system. But I now have one FM100 AFCI and one FM100. each on separate arrays and controllers.

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2058
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: FM100 misery again

Post by raysun » Fri May 22, 2020 4:08 pm

At least there's something identifiable to sort out. It may not be the destination, but it sounds like it may be in the neighborhood.

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