New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Discussion about OutBack Inverters in Off Grid Applications

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zozomike
Forum Whiz
Posts: 26
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 VFXR 3524A Flex Power 2, prewired with Flexnet DC SOC monitor and Mate3.

New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Post by zozomike » Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:45 pm

FLEXpowerTWO wiring.JPG
Hello, I have been off-grid with one VFX3524 and 2 FM 80s for 8-10 years, (self-assembled). When I started, there were no installers in my remote area, and now the few new ones are shy to come up here. Like many others, I needed to add a third?/fourth string. Anyway, so, Now in transition, and I found a used FLEXpowerTwo, ( 2-VFX3524s) and three FM80s, three years old, went to Arizona, picked the monster up and hung it on the wall. I feel pretty confident about everything until I get to the AC panel out. What seems to confuse me on this diagram below, is the two hot legs from what is called the AC distribution panel. I am hoping that is shown for a grid-tie application? I am hoping I can just bring my Honda EU3000is into AC leg in, and Neutral/ground, and the inverters will charge from that? ( 120/40 vac only from genny) Am I setting up some kind of weird com error? Does the system require 240 VAC for charging? ( say no please)


Current system:Off grid, all solar, passive and active ( winter wood heat supplements) solar DHW, no backup.

Array 1 1980w, 12 Solarworld 165 w panels - Outback Flex max 80

Array 2 1590 w, 6 Solarworld 265 w panels - Outback flex max 60

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

GB industrial 510 AH battery 24 V

Outback VFX 3525 inverter,

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Kurt Lundquist
Alpha Energy Engineering
Posts: 1447
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 7:23 am
My RE system: VFX3524, Mate3, 200Ah 24V AGM Battery Bank
Location: Arlington, WA

Re: New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Post by Kurt Lundquist » Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:46 am

If you do not have an AC distribution panel you can just wire the generator into the AC input in the FP2. Since you only have a 120V generator you should wire to L1, N, G. The master inverter can charge with just 120V input as long as the loads on L1 are less than the generator output. When the generator is running you will probably see a Phase Loss error on the second inverter but that isn't a big deal. The second inverter will continue to provide for L2 loads with power from the battery bank. Once the generator is shut off the Phase Loss error should go away. Keep in mind L1 and L2 loads have to be less than the 3.0kW from the generator or the battery bank will still be discharging.

-Kurt
Kurt Lundquist
Renewable Energy Project Engineer
http://alphaenergy.us/

jnh
Forum Guru
Posts: 392
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:56 am
My RE system: GVFX-3524, FM-80+FM-60, ~4.9kW PV in mixed panels on movable platforms, 415 Ah AGMs @ 24V, 350Ah @ 12V, Hub4, Mate, FNDC, Brultech GEM 32-ch AC datalogger, Midnite E-Panel, homebrew DC-DC crossfeed to 12V system, Honda EU-1000i, Iota DLS-27-25
Location: St. Augustine, FL, US

Re: New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Post by jnh » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:40 am

Do you have, or plan to have any actual 240V loads?

If not, it may be worth thinking about reconfiguring the system for parallel rather than series stacking, to get double the 120V amperage on a single, shared AC-Out bus, rather than each inverter producing half of a 120/240 split-phase output. One advantage is that you could then use the Power-save features to keep your slave/secondary inveter in Sleep mode when loads are small enough to run from the master alone, cutting standby losses considerably. If I remember correctly, Series-stacked 120/240 inverter pairs must always keep both inverters running, unless you have an X240 balancing transformer as part of the system.

This would require some wiring changes, and possibly breaker changes as well as changing the Stack configuration via your Mate, so be sure to check diagrams and details in the manuals. Hopefully some others can weigh in with any pitfalls or trade-offs to be aware of.

zozomike
Forum Whiz
Posts: 26
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 VFXR 3524A Flex Power 2, prewired with Flexnet DC SOC monitor and Mate3.

Re: New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Post by zozomike » Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:06 am

Thanks for the replies. Sorry for my late attention. I barely got the thing running before heading to south Asia for a month. Yes I wired as advised, and yes I get phase change errors. I was worried about that.
Since I have done with 120 for so long, all use is set up for that. But I really do wish to switch some shop tools over to 240. I do not have and do not plan any 240 vac for household needs.

zozomike
Forum Whiz
Posts: 26
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 VFXR 3524A Flex Power 2, prewired with Flexnet DC SOC monitor and Mate3.

Re: New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Post by zozomike » Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:23 am

So I'm working out plans for lightning, surge protection at the flexpower2. Adding whole house at the square d service panel. I think I am allowed to double tap a double pole for that?
Anyway the inverters have surge protectors factory installed. Good on Outback, but do these somehow protect the charge controllers also? I could crack it open and try to trace wires but I am on the other side of the planet right now. I have a few Delta arrestor left from original install, should I put those on the cc? Also where would you station something on the generator incoming ac?
THANKS IN ADVANCE.

jnh
Forum Guru
Posts: 392
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:56 am
My RE system: GVFX-3524, FM-80+FM-60, ~4.9kW PV in mixed panels on movable platforms, 415 Ah AGMs @ 24V, 350Ah @ 12V, Hub4, Mate, FNDC, Brultech GEM 32-ch AC datalogger, Midnite E-Panel, homebrew DC-DC crossfeed to 12V system, Honda EU-1000i, Iota DLS-27-25
Location: St. Augustine, FL, US

Re: New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Post by jnh » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:17 am

The standard Flexware surge protector module covers AC-In (from grid or generator), AC-Out, and the system DC bus, but not PV input circuits into the charge controller(s). So, it'd be good to add something on that side. I use a Midnite MNSPD-115 at the charge controllers (these can handle two circuits, either dual PV inputs or the input & output side of one controller, at 180V max DC operating voltage), and also an old Delta LA302DC out at the ground-mount array itself.

All of these types of devices are only as good as the grounding system they're attached to, so be sure your ground is up to spec. If unsure, it never hurts to add another rod or two, so long as they're all properly bonded together outside, to one another and to all existing ground conductors, panel frames, equipment cabinets & rods/electrodes.

Two wires into one breaker terminal is only allowed if the breaker is specificlaly "listed" for that, which most aren't. The concern is that the terminal may not clamp down tightly enough, or could be more prone to loosen over time when holding more than one wire, especially of different gauges. Dedicated breakers are best, but if there's no room, combining the protector and existing circuit using short pigtails and wire-nuts would be an option, though some inspectors frown on that.

zozomike
Forum Whiz
Posts: 26
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 VFXR 3524A Flex Power 2, prewired with Flexnet DC SOC monitor and Mate3.

Re: New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Post by zozomike » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:25 am

Thanks so much. So my read is to add Square D surge at ac distribution panel, by substituting breakers etc, not double tapping. Adding this would be to protect AC devices after the main, for strays coming in from 2 sub panels. Then protection at pv side of each FM80, and update grounds as needed. Am I on track?

jnh
Forum Guru
Posts: 392
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:56 am
My RE system: GVFX-3524, FM-80+FM-60, ~4.9kW PV in mixed panels on movable platforms, 415 Ah AGMs @ 24V, 350Ah @ 12V, Hub4, Mate, FNDC, Brultech GEM 32-ch AC datalogger, Midnite E-Panel, homebrew DC-DC crossfeed to 12V system, Honda EU-1000i, Iota DLS-27-25
Location: St. Augustine, FL, US

Re: New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Post by jnh » Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:05 am

Sounds like a good plan!

zozomike
Forum Whiz
Posts: 26
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 VFXR 3524A Flex Power 2, prewired with Flexnet DC SOC monitor and Mate3.

Re: New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Post by zozomike » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:52 pm

](*,) Again with questions! I have been away for a month, reconfigured the VFX3524 Flexpower2 for 120 vac, added some surge protection grounding as suggested, and ordered 2 FM100s to handle the pv upgrade from 3500 to 6000 w. The snowstorm we are having gave me the time to think about Optics RE. So I need help. our only internet here is Tmobile ( with expensive boosters to get that,) But they are great with data. So to try to connect to the mate, I have configured an Asus router to use the android as USB and I can verify that is broadcasting. I ran a cat 5 from the router to the mate. I can open the Optics website, and find the name, but of course, the address is already taken ( previous owner) I suspect Outback tech may be able to assign a new address if they are willing. I hate to sound stupid with them, well with anyone, but I think you folks forgive ignorance more easily. I can see things like reset to defaults, but nothing is active. I do not know where to go from here, attached pdf may explain?
Attachments
Untitled Document.pdf
(1 MiB) Downloaded 88 times

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IanMcCluskey
OutBack Product Management
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Post by IanMcCluskey » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:07 pm

Hey Mike, now that you have the MATE3S connected to the router, have you tried unplugging it from power and plugging it back in? Once it powers up with a live connection to the internet, and DHCP enabled (default), it should automatically connect to its old OPTICS site. You can check by pressing the PORT button and looking for OPTICSRE: Connected in the upper right corner.
Ian McCluskey
Product Manager


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

zozomike
Forum Whiz
Posts: 26
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 VFXR 3524A Flex Power 2, prewired with Flexnet DC SOC monitor and Mate3.

Re: New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Post by zozomike » Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:28 pm

Ian, yes tried your suggestion, actually I do not think the Mate 3 is recognizing the internet. The netmask just reads " connecting" Do I need to get a wifi adapter or some such?

User avatar
IanMcCluskey
OutBack Product Management
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Post by IanMcCluskey » Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:44 pm

Okay, if the MATE3S cannot connect, changing the MAC address would not help.

Your router is supplying a steady internet connection to your desktop computer?
And you have the MATE3S plugged into an identical port on the router?
And there is no firewall or other special securities on the network?
And the MATE3S is set to DHCP, NOT Static IP?
Ian McCluskey
Product Manager


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

zozomike
Forum Whiz
Posts: 26
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 VFXR 3524A Flex Power 2, prewired with Flexnet DC SOC monitor and Mate3.

Re: New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Post by zozomike » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:00 am

Ian... I reset the Mate 3 to factory defaults, and she connected! Woohoo, so now I have real-time monitoring. \:D/ Should I change the name? If so how?

User avatar
IanMcCluskey
OutBack Product Management
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: New to me FLEXpowerTWO

Post by IanMcCluskey » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:17 am

Nice! I believe you just need the OPTICS user name and password for that site from the seller to login and change the name and other settings.
Ian McCluskey
Product Manager


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

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