Recent poor performance

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Recent poor performance

Postby Donald P. Cox on Fri May 19, 2017 2:26 pm

I have a pretty normal Outback system from about 7 years ago. Until recently I have been pretty happy with it. But I was not good about tending to my batteries and hired a respected local installer to replace them with gel mats. He changed a few of my settings but gave me a list of them, so I thought everything was fine. But it isn't, even if I return the settings to those I had before. The system is a 48 volt grid tied inverter, FlexMax60, Hub, Mate, batteries.

It misbehaves differently under different conditions. When it first starts up in the morning the flexMax screen says it is MPPT bulk mode. All of the PV is going into the batteries, with no help from the Grid. So all of our loads are being supplied by the grid at that time. I feel like the AC should kick in and charge the batteries faster so we can start selling the pv sooner.

This is the second time I have tried to type this. Last time I tried to edit one letter and managed to lose my whole effort. Maybe that means I should hit "Save" now and then. Or should I avoid that until I've been through Preview first?

No, I'll just keep typing. The thing that bothers me the most is some strange cycling that comes around now and then. When the batteries are largely charged, the pv goes mainly to the loads or selling if there is more than needed. But when there is not quite enough, there is a contribution from the batteries to try to prevent buying. This tends to flip around, sometimes with some pv going to the batteries, the rest to the loads (with some from the AC if there isn't enough for everything). So far this sounds about right, no? The pv tries to keep the batteries at the sell voltage, sometimes charging, sometimes tapping the batts. But under some conditions, The system suddenly goes to sleep! So whatever pv there would have been is lost. Then it goes into Wakeup, then Tracking, then goes back to what it was doing before, yet after a discouraging short time it suddenly goes back to sleep.

OK, this thing has driven me enough nuts that my failing memory power is overwhelmed. The sky is too overcast for good experimenting so I'll just add one small annoyance: Why the power transfer from the FlexMax get so reduced as seen by the Mate as input? When the first says anything less than 100 watts, the Mate counts it as nothing. when it is higher, the Mate still claims it is getting much less, like half or so.

Probably enough for now, should sure use some help or at least a shoulder to cry on. Thanks, Don
Donald P. Cox
Junior Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:10 pm
My RE system: 48 V battery bank, GTFX inverter, FLEXmax60 charge controller, hub, Mate, Midnite E-panel, solar panels

Re: Recent poor performance

Postby 871Diesel on Sat May 20, 2017 9:51 am

I can't help you fix it but can offer a shoulder to empathize with failing memory power being overwelmed.
Stick with it, stay positive, and the solutions will come in time.
Seams like the falling asleep condition can be corrected.
If the grid provided watts to batteries earlier , wouldn't it be about the same watts you sell later?
871Diesel
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My RE system: 3.4Kw solarworld PV
Outback Flexpowe1 fxr 3048
8 Trojan FLA L16 48v 370Ah

Re: Recent poor performance

Postby urgyen on Sun May 21, 2017 10:40 pm

best thing to do would be list out all your equipment, settings and firmware, then give us system size. then people can suggest where to start making adjustments.

also, i would suggest breaking it down into subsystems to get a handle on things. for example, turn off the PV entirely, and charge the batteries just from the inverter/charger, when you get consistent reliable feedback that the batteries are charging, are healthy and everything is fine, then you can move onto the PV. inverter/charger is one system, the PV/charge controller is another system, the flexnetDC (if you have one) is yet another system.get one working and be sure then move on.

battery banks have to be worked out through response observation, it takes time to figure this stuff out. do yourself favor, reduce the complexity down to one system at a time, make sure it working and figure out the battery behavior, then move on from there.
urgyen
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My RE system: other peoples VFX, FM80, FlexNetDC, Mate3 systems.

Re: Recent poor performance

Postby blackswan555 on Mon May 22, 2017 9:05 pm

hired a respected local installer to replace them with gel mats. He changed a few of my settings but gave me a list of them

Firstly I would get him back to get it right ? or if that is not possible, As mentioned the more information you can give us the better we can answer, but for a start, What was the list of settings changed he gave you ?
so I thought everything was fine. But it isn't, even if I return the settings to those I had before.
Be careful restoring settings to "what you had before" Especially make sure no timed EQ is enabled, You new gels are a different animal to your old FLAs, Over voltage or temp them once and you may be looking at another new set,



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.
blackswan555
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Re: Recent poor performance

Postby Donald P. Cox on Thu May 25, 2017 9:43 am

I appreciate the replies thus far, will try to systematize the description of my system,
the settings list (past, after recent installer changes, after my further changes).
and be clearer about the behaviors that trouble me. I don't feel competent to explore
one system at a time, but will do what I can. When I complained about the startup
behavior being just using all PV to charge batteries, rather than getting this over quicker
by using the AC powered charger too, a reviewer responded to the effect that it didn't
seem to matter because the charging energy from the PV is recoverable later. I haven't
restated that quite right, nor my reason for wanting the batteries fully charged sooner.
I live in the Virgin Islands and the AC power is both very expensive and very erratic. If I
can get the batteries charged sooner, they are sooner ready to outlast any power outages
that we are hit with. My favorite thing about our system is that we are often unaware of
power outages that do not last too long. Anyway, I will try to respond to the further
requests for information in the days to come. (I can only stand to wrestle with this problem
for a few days at a stretch.) Thanks again, Don

PS __ I also apologize for having posted my topic in the wrong forum, should have been grid tied systems.
Donald P. Cox
Junior Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:10 pm
My RE system: 48 V battery bank, GTFX inverter, FLEXmax60 charge controller, hub, Mate, Midnite E-panel, solar panels


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