Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

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offgridtod@gmail.com
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Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by offgridtod@gmail.com » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:22 am

So just upgraded to a Mate 3 for my VFX based system - fully automatic 24x7x365 uptime system. Yesterday on an AGS the generator charged the batteries to 58.4 and held it there for a couple hours and did not shut down, I stopped the gen manually. I can't leave a system that would drain the propane tank on AGS.

Where is the "Bulk" setting? I couldn't actually find a setting for that. The Mate 3 is installed at defaults and Absorb set to 57.6. There appears to be NO "Bulk" variable to set.

Please advise.
Tod duBois - Sangha Energy.org

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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by raysun » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:27 pm

Bulk doesn't have a setting as such. It's basically drive as much charge current into the battery (limited by the maximum charge current setting) until the terminal voltage rises to the Absorb set point. Once the Absorb voltage is reached, the charger logic will attempt to hold the battery at that voltage for a programmed length of time, or alternately, until the charging current drops to a programmed End Amps setting.

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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by JRHill » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:23 pm

Did you find the culprit that kept the genset from shutting down?

FYI, the settings for absorb and float are in the inverter menu.

best,
Jim

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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by David LeBow » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:40 pm

@OffGridTod - the e-mail address in your forum profile appears to be incorrect, so you're not likely to be receiving forum notifications:

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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by blackswan555 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:39 am

Make sure you have completely disabled your FNDC,, EG SOC start, stop both to "0" and disable FNDC, ( even if you do not have one)

Tim
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: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by JRHill » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:48 pm

JRHill wrote:Did you find the culprit that kept the genset from shutting down?
My occurrence of the genset not shutting down is chalked up to a "one-off." Everything has worked normally since.

offgridtod@gmail.com
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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by offgridtod@gmail.com » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:24 am

Why do I end up asking questions that nobody has the answer for? It would be funny except for the $851 propane bill I had last month.

So far nobody including support has a clue.

Is there a way to program the Mate 3 to have a Maximum Gen Run time? I sure miss my full GSCM that had a max run time. I mean seriously if the generator runs more than 4 hours to charge the batteries something is not right.
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offgridtod@gmail.com
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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by offgridtod@gmail.com » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:25 am

That said, Tim's thoughts will be checked Monday when I get back to the site - might be something there!
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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by Kurt Lundquist » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:59 am

Hi Tod,

There is not a max gen runtime setting. It sounds like a good idea/option to improve AGS options for customers.

Why did you get rid of the GSCM?

Thanks,

-Kurt
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offgridtod@gmail.com
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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by offgridtod@gmail.com » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:38 pm

Kurt,

My first generator was a lucky buy, propane air-cooled unit that did not have a two wire start. As an EE grad I used some old training to wire in an Atkinson GSCM (full module, not the light version) - that provided the ignition and crank, run etc to two wire start that old generator. I've since upgraded to big expensive water cooled propane units - that have their own control boards for two wire start but not a maximum run time.

That - GSCM: Generator Start Control Module (Rev. C 5.13) from Atkinson provided the max run time feature (hard set to 4 hrs) that I truly miss now.

The Mate 3 should be upgraded - hopefully with software to get the AGS to have that (max run time) as a variable. Plus add warning messages, even text messages that the generator has run over a certain time. That would keep Outback "Master of Offgrid"...lol

Fuel costs are high, propane was up close to $4 per gallon recently - having longer than a 4 hour runtime is likely going to cost the owner.
Tod duBois - Sangha Energy.org

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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by Kurt Lundquist » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:08 am

Hi Tod,

Do you see the Max Gen Runtime option as something that could apply to all of the AGS start options (Voltage, SoC, Load, Must Run, and DC Gen)? I can bug Mr. Lebow to see about adding this feature suggestion to the Mate3s software team.

I have a GSCM mini in my desk but I've never installed it or played around with it. I assume your new gen control board is looking for two-wire start signal for the remote start/stop. Can't you use the GSCM in place of whatever relay you are using to translate the OutBack 12V signal into a two-wire signal?

Thanks,

-Kurt
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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by JRHill » Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:50 am

For a few weeks now I have been battling an AGS issue that "popped up out of nowhere." It is that the "Warmup" time as set in the Advanced Generator Start menu is being skipped. Kurt, per your advice originally, I shut off all AGS functions except for Voltage Start and it worked great. Then, sometime in the first few weeks of January, when the AGS Voltage Start 2 Min setting of 48.8 triggered, the generator started and it was connected within a minute after the AC stabilized, NO WARMUP SINCE. I am trying to determine what happened and if it was me that changed something that started this change.

Going through the Mate3 Event log is painful. The event history in Optics is worse. The secret is probably in there but is buried somewhere in between all the "OutBack Set Time Zone" entries. After a knee replacement at the end of Jan, I actually look forward to the pain of the exercises rather than reviewing event logs. :p

I agree that the AGS stuff should be looked over. Although I don't use anything other than voltage start I think it is cool to have all the options available. But troubleshooting a malfunction is wild-crazy. I have at least one more idea to try, after that I'm stumped.

Best,
Jim

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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by David LeBow » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:30 pm

@OffGridTod - the e-mail address in your forum profile appears to be incorrect, so you're not likely to be receiving forum notifications:

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offgridtod@gmail.com
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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by offgridtod@gmail.com » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:40 am

Kurt,

Reasons a Max Run Time setting should be added to the AGS
1. Save fuel costs for all off grid users most of which do not have all their settings correct or anything close to optimized

2. Prevent longer than necessary runs of fossil fuel generators for multiple reasons
a. minimize global warming impact b. decrease generator maintenance cycles c. prevent overrun situation which could potentially damage equipment or start a fire

I would consider it a very high priority feature that would not only make customers happier but also sell more equipment. A full GSCM is like $400 and costs roughly $500 to install.

Tod
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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by Isfry » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:16 pm

I have a Mate3 with a VFX inverter and Flexmax charge controller. I had the same issue with the AGS no matter how I tweaked the settings. It would turn the generator on at the appropriate set point, but run it for HOURS no matter what. I gave up. I simply opted for the "must run schedule" and programmed the Mate to run my generator from 1am to 2 am no matter what. It's not as ideal as AGS in theory, but it served my purpose of giving the batteries a little boost overnight (especially in the winter) so that there was no loss of power due to voltage drop, since we are off-grid. It's sort of an analog solution, but it works.

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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by JRHill » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:48 am

JRHill wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:50 am
For a few weeks now I have been battling an AGS issue that "popped up out of nowhere." It is that the "Warmup" time as set in the Advanced Generator Start menu is being skipped.
BTW, I did figure out the skipped warm up time issue. I had "Grid" selected and obviously there is no warmup mode with that setting.

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Re: Mate 3 and Bulk settings, AGS run time issue?

Post by santacruzdave » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:11 am

You can add me to the list of customers that would benefit from a Max Run Time function for the AGS function. I have a FlexPowerTwo remote off grid system with a 6 mo. old Kohler 14 Kw propane generator. On 2 separate occasions the system has rejected the AC input and the gen ran until the propane tank was exhausted. On 2 other occasions the AGS stop did not happen, no entries in the log as to why, and again exhausted the propane. 4 times in one year 250 gallons of propane each time. I'm now using an external programmable logic controller to monitor the gen run time and shutting it down if it runs more than 4 hours in any 24 hour period. This has added complexity and cost to the system. How hard would it be to incorporate this function into the Mate controllers?

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