FNDC what if...

Discussion about OutBack Inverters in Off Grid Applications

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jbriant
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Six FlexMax charge controllers.

FNDC what if...

Post by jbriant » Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:55 am

What happens if you disconnect the FNDC from the hub. At the present time My batteries are at 80% but the FNDC says I’m at 100%.I need to get the batteries up to hundred percent So I need to disconnect the FNDC. So I believe that the parameters used to charge the battery will fall back on the charge controllers. Can anyone share some insight on that thank you
Brian and family somewhere in Vermont

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by raysun » Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:35 pm

The FNDC only monitors the current flow into and out of the battery, it does not control it in any way.

The FNDC data can be read by the Mate, and if the Mate is configured to do so, will use the FNDC data to terminate charge, or control maximum charge rate.

Except for charge termination, maximum charge rate, and float coordination (if set on the Mate), the charge controllers operate autonomously, using their internal parameters, and the battery voltage, as control mechanisms.

When the FNDC is unplugged (powered down) and then reconnected, it will read 100% SoC independently of the actual battery state of charge.

How is it being determined that the battery is at 80% SoC? What is occurring in the charge cycle that prevents the charge controllers from getting the battery fully charged?

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by jbriant » Sat Oct 10, 2020 4:10 am

Hi Ray. Thanks for the reply. I am using the SG's of the batteries to determine my SOC at 80%.
I have the mate3 setup and it is using the FNDC input as you describe. I believe the mate3 is
terminating my charge before my batteries are full. It thinks it is 100% charged as I have the mate3
controlling how the batteries are charged.
I have charge termination control enabled, float coordination disabled, and maximun battery charge set at 221.

My off grid setup is:
Off Grid 24V
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1kw Bergey
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Kohler 12RES backup generato
Solar One 24v battery bank SO-6-85-27/24 1375ah
Six FlexMax charge controllers.

I am on optics as well. See my profile but I am not sure how others can see that.
Brian and family somewhere in Vermont

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by raysun » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:14 am

OK.

Measuring SG is the most direct method to determine SoC.

As far as the FNDC and charging go, 100% SoC and batteries fully charged are two related, but different things. They, ideally, should correlate, but they are not interdependent. There is a 3rd factor as well, the FNDC "Charged Parameters Met" flag.

When the FNDC reaches 100% SoC, it thinks enough charge current has been added to the battery to "fill it up".

The Mate's Charge Termination Control takes its cue from FNDC Charged Parameters Met.

The charge controllers can work either independently, or under control of the Mate.

Since there is programming that affects charging in each type of unit, all must be set in a manner to properly charge the battery.

Let's start with the FlexMax charge controllers. What are the values set on the Battery Charging menu? (There's a list of values.) Also, check each controller and confirm each is set to the same values

Next, on the FNDC - what are the values on the Battery Charging menu?

Finally, the Mate - what are the values in the Global Charge menu?

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by jbriant » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:41 am

Hi Ray, Thanks for the reply.

According to FNDC the charge parameters met is at zero so it has met today already.

All of my FlexNets set the same.
eq 31.2 absorb 29.2 float 27.2 eq time 2hrs absorb time 2hrs, absorb end amps 0, rebulk 24, current limit 35, auto eq 0 days.
FNDC settings
battery ah 1370, charged voltage 29, charged time 1 minute, charged factor 94, charged return amps 30
mate3
global charger control: enabled, float coordination enabled: disabled auto grid tie control: disabled autocharge termination control:enabled.
Brian and family somewhere in Vermont

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by jbriant » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:48 am

oops omitted maximum battery charge on mate3 settings, it is set at 221a
Brian and family somewhere in Vermont

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by raysun » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:19 am

OK.

Let's start by simplifying the setup for testing purposes.

Let's make the FMs completely autonomous.
On the Mate:
Disable Autocharge Termination Control
Disable Float Coordination

Note: Global Charger Control only works if the charge controllers are set to Grid Tie mode. (The function uses some of the GT code to control the controllers.)

Force a new charging cycle. The charge controllers should go into Bulk, and then quickly transition to Absorb. They should run a two hour Absorb cycle, then switch to Float.

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by provo » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:40 am

raysun wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:19 am

Let's start by simplifying the setup for testing purposes.

Let's make the FMs completely autonomous.
On the Mate:
Disable Autocharge Termination Control
Disable Float Coordination

Force a new charging cycle. The charge controllers should go into Bulk, and then quickly transition to Absorb. They should run a two hour Absorb cycle, then switch to Float.
And at the end of absorb, every cell should be around 1.26 SG or higher. If not, higher absorb voltage and longer absorb time may be needed.

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by jbriant » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:49 am

Hi Ray, Thanks for the update.

I did the settings changes on the mate. I also disabled Global Charge Control since I'm nowhere near a grid.
I started a new charge cycle and the Charge controllers are in absorb now.

Ill let you know how it goes.

Thanks!
Brian and family somewhere in Vermont

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by raysun » Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:09 am

jbriant wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:49 am
Hi Ray, Thanks for the update.

I did the settings changes on the mate. I also disabled Global Charge Control since I'm nowhere near a grid.
I started a new charge cycle and the Charge controllers are in absorb now.

Ill let you know how it goes.

Thanks!
The Global Charge Control actually only works off-grid.

Though not connected to the grid, the chargers need to be in "Grid Tie" mode for Global Charge Control to work. Not that the chargers would be grid tied, but the code would be enabled that allows the Mate to modulate their output.

Confusing, isn't it? ;)

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by raysun » Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:54 am

provo wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:40 am

And at the end of absorb, every cell should be around 1.26 SG or higher. If not, higher absorb voltage and longer absorb time may be needed.
I'm guessing for a big lead boat anchor of a battery, the Absorb time may be longer than 2 hrs. Of course, the manufacturers specs are the best guide. The Charged Return Amps at the end of the Absorb phase should be 2-3% of the battery's C20 AH rating.

The charge current can be most easily monitored by clicking the Battery icon in OpticsRE. The net charging current is the difference between IN and OUT currents.

Also, the Mate has a built-in web server that gives near real-time data. Point a browser at its LAN address, and the home page is a useful status screen.

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by jbriant » Sat Oct 10, 2020 3:43 pm

Hi Ray, Thanks for the information and feedback.

Your suggestion has worked. All the SG's are at or above 1.26
1.265 1.260 1.265 1.266 1.260 1.265 1.269 1.265 1.268 1.265 1.260 1.265
Brian and family somewhere in Vermont

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Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by raysun » Sat Oct 10, 2020 3:48 pm

Excellent.

Now, you can work towards all those charge controllers being put back on unified control. (You really want to do this.)

I'd start by turning on Float Coordination. Let the charge controllers execute their charging cycle tomorrow, then with Float Coordination enabled, you should see all controllers enter Float when one achieves Float.

Let us know how that goes.

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by jbriant » Sat Oct 10, 2020 4:59 pm

The Global Charge Control actually only works off-grid.

Though not connected to the grid, the chargers need to be in "Grid Tie" mode for Global Charge Control to work. Not that the chargers would be grid tied, but the code would be enabled that allows the Mate to modulate their output.

Confusing, isn't it? ;)



Yes.Confusing
So I wont be setting my chargers to grid tie mode so I can just leave Global Charge Control disabled.
The setting for Auto Charge Termination Control is now disabled. I would want the mate to control the duration
of the charge. Probably not saying that right....I had that set to enabled for all this time and if we leave it disabled the charge cycle
would be continuous?

Excellent.

Now, you can work towards all those charge controllers being put back on unified control. (You really want to do this.)

I'd start by turning on Float Coordination. Let the charge controllers execute their charging cycle tomorrow, then with Float Coordination enabled, you should see all controllers enter Float when one achieves Float.

Let us know how that goes.


Float Coordination is now enabled. Auto Charge Termination control is disabled. Seems that one setting caused my absorb cycle to be so short.
Will that one stay disabled?

Thanks for your help!
Brian and family somewhere in Vermont

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by raysun » Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:36 pm

Auto Charge Termination Control is perhaps the most important of the multi-charger settings to get functioning. We will be enabling that next. Its purpose is to terminate the Absorb phase when the charging current declines to the Charged Return Amps value.

Not sure at this point why it wasn't working properly before, but we'll get it right before all is done and dusted.

Tomorrow, near the end of the (2 hour) Absorb phase, keep an eye on the battery net current. It should be somewhere between 40 - 25 Amps. When Absorb completes, measure SG (one or two cells is enough) to confirm full charge. Then force another charge cycle and watch the battery net current during the first 10 minutes of Absorb. The value at the end of that 10 minutes should be a good starting figure to use for Charged Return Amps.

Program in that value into the FNDC-Battery Charge-Charged Return Amps parameter.

Set Charged Voltage 0.4V lower than the Absorb Voltage.

Set Charged Time = 1 minute.

Double check that all FlexMax charge controllers have End Amps = 0.

Set Mate-Global Charge-Auto Charge Termination Control = Enabled.

The following day, keep an eye on Absorb phase. Unless the battery is deeply drawn down overnight, the Absorb phase is likely to terminate in less than 2 hours. Check SG to confirm 100% SoC.

Let us know the results.

The bonus round will be to set Global Charge Control. We will save that for last. (It will become less counter-intuitive after its set up.)
fndc_app_note.pdf
(155.8 KiB) Downloaded 12 times
Some extra-credit reading.

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by jbriant » Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:11 pm

Hi Ray, Hope you don't me calling you Ray...

Today I had a function that kept me away from the system till now.
Net current you said,
The charge current can be most easily monitored by clicking the Battery icon in OpticsRE. The net charging current is the difference between IN and OUT currents.

When I hover(or click) the Battery icon in OpticsRE I only see three columns of data, system name SOC and Shunt Current.
I have three shunts, shunt A is for my wind, shunt B is for solar, and Shunt C is for the inverters... What do you mean by the
IN and OUT currents. Is it (shunts) A+B-C? Or Just B-C since my A is for my wind machine and B is for solar.

Thanks for all this help with setup!

I added todays events log....
Attachments
Oct 11 events .doc
(5.18 KiB) Downloaded 13 times
Brian and family somewhere in Vermont

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by raysun » Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:41 pm

jbriant wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:11 pm
Hi Ray, Hope you don't me calling you Ray...

Today I had a function that kept me away from the system till now.
Net current you said,
The charge current can be most easily monitored by clicking the Battery icon in OpticsRE. The net charging current is the difference between IN and OUT currents.

When I hover(or click) the Battery icon in OpticsRE I only see three columns of data, system name SOC and Shunt Current.
I have three shunts, shunt A is for my wind, shunt B is for solar, and Shunt C is for the inverters... What do you mean by the
IN and OUT currents. Is it (shunts) A+B-C? Or Just B-C since my A is for my wind machine and B is for solar.

Thanks for all this help with setup!

I added todays events log....
I don't mind at all, I've been called much worse. ;)

With 3 shunts, it would be A+B+C. C in this case, being the Inverter, is a bidirectional source. When inverting, the value is negative (-), when charging, the value is positive. So, normally, net battery would be A+B+(-C).

Having the 3rd charging source (wind turbine) adds a twist to the tale. How much charging current is it capable of delivering? 20 or so amps? How is it's charge controller programmed?

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by jbriant » Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:27 pm

Its a 1kw Bergey so not a lot. When its windy it helps and at night when no sun it can boost. I'm
not in the habit of tracking the current so I'm not sure. Its max rated power is 1000 watts.

That homepage you suggested shows accumulated amperage and accumulated kilo-watt hours/
For Channel A wind (shunt) acc amps. 1AH for acc KWH, 0.04KWH

I believe that is for today only.
Brian and family somewhere in Vermont

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by raysun » Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:18 pm

jbriant wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:27 pm
Its a 1kw Bergey so not a lot. When its windy it helps and at night when no sun it can boost. I'm
not in the habit of tracking the current so I'm not sure. Its max rated power is 1000 watts.

That homepage you suggested shows accumulated amperage and accumulated kilo-watt hours/
For Channel A wind (shunt) acc amps. 1AH for acc KWH, 0.04KWH

I believe that is for today only.
OK, do you have the exact model of the wind turbine? Is the charge controller integrated into the turbine head, or a separate chassis? Is the controller programmable? What are it's settings?

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by jbriant » Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:07 pm

Its the Bergey XL1. Heres a link http://bergey.com/wp-content/uploads/ex ... l-v1-1.pdf

The control unit is separate. The manual gives lots of info and it shows a MidNight solar charge controller but mine does not have that unit.
Mine is different and there are some controls you can set but I will need to look at the unit before I can say for sure.
Brian and family somewhere in Vermont

raysun
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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by raysun » Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:29 pm

jbriant wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:07 pm
Its the Bergey XL1. Heres a link http://bergey.com/wp-content/uploads/ex ... l-v1-1.pdf

The control unit is separate. The manual gives lots of info and it shows a MidNight solar charge controller but mine does not have that unit.
Mine is different and there are some controls you can set but I will need to look at the unit before I can say for sure.
The wind turbine is unilaterally contributing to the total charging current. That current needs to be accomodated in a manner that permits the programmed charging profile be executed.

It will be useful to understand how it is behaving.

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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by jbriant » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:18 am

Hi Ray,

Some feed back now. Busy week but was able to get some of your suggested analysis completed.

Auto Charge Termination Control is perhaps the most important of the multi-charger settings to get functioning. We will be enabling that next. Its purpose is to terminate the Absorb phase when the charging current declines to the Charged Return Amps value.

Not sure at this point why it wasn't working properly before, but we'll get it right before all is done and dusted.

Tomorrow, near the end of the (2 hour) Absorb phase, keep an eye on the battery net current. It should be somewhere between 40 - 25 Amps. When Absorb completes, measure SG (one or two cells is enough) to confirm full charge. Then force another charge cycle and watch the battery net current during the first 10 minutes of Absorb. The value at the end of that 10 minutes should be a good starting figure to use for Charged Return Amps.


I checked the net current after 2hour absorb. Net current was around 12 amps. I checked SC's and they were 1.250 -1.255.
I did another absorb phase (another day) and set the time to 2.6hours. Again the SC's were 1.250 - 1.255.
I did another absorb phase (another day) and set the time to 3hours. Again the SC's were 1.250 - 1.255.

I have one Charge Controller that is pretty old at least in comparison to the other 5 for firmware. And I notice that it
seems to be out of sync with the others. The absorb time it records is usually less than the others. It says Float and the others are Silent.
I'm not sure if that is causing some issues with the charge phase. Its Port 8. Firmware for all ... I have an update for the Mate 3. Have not applied it.

Mate 3Firmware: 001.004.002
Port: 1FXR Firmware: 001.006.063
Port: 2FM60 Firmware: 003.003.000
Port: 3FM60/80 Firmware: 002.001.000
Port: 4FM60 Firmware: 003.003.000
Port: 5FM60 Firmware: 003.003.000
Port: 6FNDC Firmware: 001.001.071
Port: 7FXR Firmware: 001.006.063
Port: 8FM60/80 Firmware: 001.009.008
Port: 9FM60 Firmware: 003.003.000


Program in that value into the FNDC-Battery Charge-Charged Return Amps parameter.

Set Charged Voltage 0.4V lower than the Absorb Voltage.

Set Charged Time = 1 minute.

Double check that all FlexMax charge controllers have End Amps = 0.

Set Mate-Global Charge-Auto Charge Termination Control = Enabled.

The following day, keep an eye on Absorb phase. Unless the battery is deeply drawn down overnight, the Absorb phase is likely to terminate in less than 2 hours. Check SG to confirm 100% SoC.

Let us know the results.


I have done this today and will check results on the next good charge day.

The bonus round will be to set Global Charge Control. We will save that for last. (It will become less counter-intuitive after its set up.)

Sorry for not responding sooner and thanks for your help on these controls.
Brian and family somewhere in Vermont

raysun
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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: FNDC what if...

Post by raysun » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:32 am

Sounds like the battery charging is getting dialed in. I'll digest your data and respond with more detail later.

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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: FNDC what if...

Post by raysun » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:58 pm

"I checked the net current after 2hour absorb. Net current was around 12 amps. I checked SC's and they were 1.250 -1.255.
I did another absorb phase (another day) and set the time to 2.6hours. Again the SC's were 1.250 - 1.255.
I did another absorb phase (another day) and set the time to 3hours. Again the SC's were 1.250 - 1.255."

All of the SG readings are indicative of a fully charged battery. Net current = 12A sounds like the end state below which the charge current will not further decline. That's more charge than is generally impressed upon the battery in a normal Absorb cycle. The typical Absorb cutoff amperage is 2% - 3% of the battery C20 AH capacity. I'd pick 25A as the value to set for Charged Return Amps.

Run a few charge cycles with Auto Charge Termination Control enabled. Watch for charge termination at 25A. Check SG to confirm full charge is being achieved.
Last edited by raysun on Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

raysun
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Re: FNDC what if...

Post by raysun » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:06 pm

"
I have one Charge Controller that is pretty old at least in comparison to the other 5 for firmware. And I notice that it
seems to be out of sync with the others. The absorb time it records is usually less than the others. It says Float and the others are Silent.
I'm not sure if that is causing some issues with the charge phase. Its Port 8. Firmware for all ... I have an update for the Mate 3. Have not applied it.

Mate 3Firmware: 001.004.002
Port: 1FXR Firmware: 001.006.063
Port: 2FM60 Firmware: 003.003.000
Port: 3FM60/80 Firmware: 002.001.000
Port: 4FM60 Firmware: 003.003.000
Port: 5FM60 Firmware: 003.003.000
Port: 6FNDC Firmware: 001.001.071
Port: 7FXR Firmware: 001.006.063
Port: 8FM60/80 Firmware: 001.009.008
Port: 9FM60 Firmware: 003.003.000"

There's not much that's changed in battery charging during the past half century. There's not much in the firmware revisions that's going to affect the individual controllers' charge cycle.

If there are differences in the controllers' charging its likely due to difference in calibration. All charging events are predicated on battery voltage. If the controllers read a different voltage, they will behave differently.

For a quick check, compare the OUT voltage on each controller's front panel. That is the battery voltage, and should be identical on each controller.

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