Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

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Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby Nomadness on Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:31 pm

Hi folks...

I'm writing from S/V Nomadness, a 44-foot steel pilothouse sailboat (Amazon 44), moored near my home base in Puget Sound. Actually, it is about to become my home base... I'll be moving aboard soon and installing a central Linux server, a dozen or so Arduino nodes, various networking tools, handlers for the Outback and NMEA2000 data streams, and so on. Arguably an excessively geeky project, but it's what I like to do (I pedaled 17,000 miles around the US ages ago on a "computerized recumbent bicycle," then spent a decade building an amphibian pedal/solar/sail micro-trimaran called the Microship). All that is at http://microship.com.

Anyway, I'm here as a newbie to Outback products, and have just recently extracted a chronically misbehaving Prosine 2.0 from my boat. (Among other things, it would respond to a brief shore-power glitch by coming back on but not charging. This was most pathological, and often dragged the old battery bank down to dangerous levels. Fortunately, it's now relegated to much less critical duty in a trailer.)

The FX2012 is now installed, along with 8 new Fullriver DC-115 AGMs (6 in a house bank and one each for generator and main engine starting). According to their datasheet, the bulk setpoint is 2.5 V/cell, absorbtion is 2.45 V/cell, and float is 2.275 V/cell.

I'm a little confused about how this maps to the FX setup. At the moment the MATE reveals the following voltages in STATUS/FX/BATT:

battery actual: 12.6
battery temp compensated: 12.3
absorb setpoint: 14.4
absorb time remain: .0
float setpoint: 13.7
float time remain: .0
refloat setpoint: 12.5
equalize setpoint: 14.4
equalize time remain: .0
batt temp (not deg): 164

I'm not yet familiar with the FX charge algorithm... I'm used to things floating all the time, and it appears this waits for the battery bank to sag a bit. Actually, while writing this, my AC fridge kicked in and the surge apparently triggered charging... we're up to 14.7 (14.4 temp compensated) on the bus in the past few minutes, with 1 hour absorb remaining. (Note from a few minutes later: it dropped to 13.7 and 13.4 with .8 remaining, cycled back up again, and repeated... presumably this is normal. I can hear the difference in my heat-exchanger water pump, which is a little disconcerting).

I haven't had a chance to live with this yet; I did the installation and then had to go out of town for 2 weeks. Naturally, I've been a bit nervous about the setup in my absence, but haven't been able to find any firm advice on the Fullriver setpoints and otherwise optimizing the configuration.

Please forgive the newbie question and point me to an online document if there is one. I'm installing the FNDC tomorrow, with the MX60 to follow as soon as the 480-watt PV array is installed. The 2012 is inside my boat's DC console, where the Prosine used to get so hot that it would shut itself down (came with the boat - no ventilation). I cut a big hole in the furniture and installed a couple of 24V fans along with an exit port (to run quietly at 12V), which will be on the AUX terminals.

Many thanks for any thoughts or advice... and fair winds from Nomadness.

Steve
Nomadness
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Posts: 12
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Location: Camano Island, WA
My RE system: FX2012, MX60, FNDC, Hub, MATE, and 8 Fullriver AGMs... in a 44-foot steel pilothouse sailboat.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby blackswan555 on Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:15 am

Not real sure of your question, but a few points,

Make sure you install the flexnet DC to the letter of the book, you MUST have your batteries fully charged before connecting it, You should also not let it take control before the batteries have done at least 1 ( more is better) discharge / charge cycle, (you have to calibrate SOC reading to batts) Also triple check you have the polarity correct FNDC > batteries before connecting, it makes a mess if you get it wrong, (wire colors can be confusing in different area`s of the world, whats + in the states is - in some countries)

Aux, Its MAX output is 800ma ( 200ma on the MX/FM) unless you fans draw less than that you need the AUX to be triggering a relay (12v automotive is fine for low voltages)

You do not mention shore / Gen / do you have ?

Have a good 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.
blackswan555
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My RE system: Other peoples, VFX "E" versions, FLA`s, Generators.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby Nomadness on Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:20 pm

Hello, Tim, and thank you for the reply!

My question was mostly to confirm the Fullriver AGM setpoints and general configuration... I'm not clear on whether I have them correct. In particular, the 1-hour absorb and float times are just the defaults. There's probably an appnote that I haven't found that better explains the general setup strategy.

I'm installing the Flexnet DC today, and will be cautious as you suggest. I have three shunts, the hub, and all wiring ready to deploy. And thanks for the comment on Aux current limit... should be safe, but will double-check!

The rest of my system is relevant to discussion. The propulsion engine is a Yanmar turbo with a hefty alternator and a Balmar ARS-4. There is also a 7.5 KW generator, which can charge the batteries as an alternative to shore power. Solar, when installed, is looking like 480 watts (360 if I simplify the design), via an MX60.

Cheers!
Steve

General overview of the boat: http://nomadness.com/nomadness-walkthrough
Nomadness
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Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Camano Island, WA
My RE system: FX2012, MX60, FNDC, Hub, MATE, and 8 Fullriver AGMs... in a 44-foot steel pilothouse sailboat.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby blackswan555 on Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:32 pm

Sorry I know nothing about AGM`s so all I would say is follow the manual and be a little careful of over voltage ( thats what seems to kill them from what I read) The FX/MX or any other makes/brands of chargers are not optimized for any battery in particular, use the bat spec`s, but in my opinion 1 hr ab is short,
Have a good 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.
blackswan555
OutBack Emperor
 
Posts: 2537
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:50 am
Location: Ibiza Spain,
My RE system: Other peoples, VFX "E" versions, FLA`s, Generators.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby Nomadness on Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:49 pm

Hi...

Just in the final stages of installing FNDC (replacing an old LINK, conveniently the same 50/500 shunt so I didn't have to revert to wiring by flashlight), and I found myself browsing here for quite a while just to confirm the counterintuitive color coding on the battery voltage sense (white to battery neg and black to plus). This got me thinking that a nice resource might be an archive of schematics of working systems... happy to contribute mine once it's properly CADified.

Cheers from a windy night aboard,
Steve
Nomadness
Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Camano Island, WA
My RE system: FX2012, MX60, FNDC, Hub, MATE, and 8 Fullriver AGMs... in a 44-foot steel pilothouse sailboat.

FX response to AC input glitches

Postby Nomadness on Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:36 pm

Ah, I may indeed have an issue with this new installation.

Now that it's buttoned up with Flexnet reporting from one shunt, I've been able to watch operation... and it all looked pretty reasonable until a few minutes ago, when my AC refrigeration system started automatically.

The AC LED on the MATE started blinking, and even more oddly, the Inverter LED came on even though I currently have inverting set to OFF. This suggests that the FX was not impressed with the level of the AC line during compressor startup, dropped the grid input, and started inverting instead. Does this sound right?

More to the point, is it self-correcting? This also triggered an absorption cycle, so I suspect there may be some need to relocate the AC source for the cold-plate refrigeration system.

I manually turned off inverting, told it to use the AC, and now it's charging again (even though the bank was at 99%). Suggestions?

Later note: it happened again. I lowered the grid lower limit to 100V from the default 108 and manually cycled it. Although it is now charging, the AC was not dropped. I'll post a follow-up when I've confirmed that this fixes it under identical conditions, but would love comments in the meantime.

Thanks,
Steve
Nomadness
Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Camano Island, WA
My RE system: FX2012, MX60, FNDC, Hub, MATE, and 8 Fullriver AGMs... in a 44-foot steel pilothouse sailboat.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby blackswan555 on Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:01 am

Do not rely on SOC indicated AT ALL at this point and do not let it take control of charging, set SOC Start & Stop % to 00 in AGS to disable and use normal AGS if you have to, You need to calibrate it to your batteries first by watching SOC > to what the batteries are actually doing, once set up, SOC is a very good indicator, But is only as accurate as it was set up, and will drift over time,

The numbers you are looking for in the FNDC setup are,
Bat AH (20hr rate)
End volts, set it to 0.2 (24v) 0,4 (48v) below your absorb voltage,
End amps, this is the one you need to get right right right, How many amps you batteries are drawing when they are fully charged, The best way to find that is by watching them, (I use watplott & record at least 10 cycles /new FLA batteries 70 ish) but keep in mind this number will creep depending on age/condition of batteries (RTS/ temp sensor is also a must for better accuracy and bat life)
End time, How long the above parameters have to be held for before the FNDC " decides the batteries are charged, turns aux off and resets SOC reading to 100%,
Discharge begins, SOC is counting th AH drawn/put into the battery when it reaches the SOC start you have set, gen charge cycle begins, above parameters get met, SOC resets to100% and on and on :grin:

Have a good 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.
blackswan555
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Posts: 2537
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:50 am
Location: Ibiza Spain,
My RE system: Other peoples, VFX "E" versions, FLA`s, Generators.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby Nomadness on Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:01 am

HI Tim...

Thanks for the thoughts. I'm not using the FNDC to control anything - no AGS (I like to schedule those times and would not trust my vintage marine generator unattended). All control is being handled by the FX2012MT - the Flexnet is just serving up information about SOC.

Update on the low-AC glitch: with the threshold lowered to 100V, it survives the startup surge of the refrigeration compressor without dropping the grid... so it looks like that was indeed the problem.

Cheers,
Steve
Nomadness
Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Camano Island, WA
My RE system: FX2012, MX60, FNDC, Hub, MATE, and 8 Fullriver AGMs... in a 44-foot steel pilothouse sailboat.

Length of Absorption Cycle?

Postby Nomadness on Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:45 am

Quick question:

Now that my FX2012MT has been aboard and in charge of my AGM bank for a couple of weeks, I have a bit of data. The attached photo shows a couple of the MATE status screens... does the "11 days since full" imply that my absorb time should be increased from the default 1 hour?

Thanks,
Steve
Attachments
mate-soc.jpg
Nomadness
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Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Camano Island, WA
My RE system: FX2012, MX60, FNDC, Hub, MATE, and 8 Fullriver AGMs... in a 44-foot steel pilothouse sailboat.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby blackswan555 on Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:52 am

it resets to zero when you reach the charge met parameters as I mentiond above ( end V, end A ,Time met)
In practice when you have a correctly (ish) sized system , the panels should keep the batts above shore/gen required charging, but sometimes are not enough to reach parameters met as above (or in a very small demand/seasonal system), it is good to charge them to full periodically,

Tim
Last edited by blackswan555 on Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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
OutBack Emperor
 
Posts: 2537
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:50 am
Location: Ibiza Spain,
My RE system: Other peoples, VFX "E" versions, FLA`s, Generators.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby Nomadness on Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:57 am

Great; thanks. Will fine-tune next time aboard.
-Steve
Nomadness
Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Camano Island, WA
My RE system: FX2012, MX60, FNDC, Hub, MATE, and 8 Fullriver AGMs... in a 44-foot steel pilothouse sailboat.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby tallgirl on Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:45 pm

Steve,

It could well mean that the values for "Parameters Met" aren't set correctly.

1). What do you have set for your battery bank size?
2). What do you have set for return amps?
3). What do you have set for the ending voltage?
4). What do you have set for the number of minutes that the parameters must be met?

If your system is making it to "Float" and still says 11 days (or 12 by tomorrow) the parameters are set incorrectly. And if you haven't set them yourself, they are almost certainly set incorrectly.
Julie in Texas

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Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby Nomadness on Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:36 pm

Julie - thanks so much for the reply! I'll be back at the boat in the next few days and will report. I did set the bank size to 690, but am not sure if the others were moved from defaults. There really should be a document that discusses setup strategy; has anyone written one?

I'll post as soon as I have the data...

Cheers!
Steve
Nomadness
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Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Camano Island, WA
My RE system: FX2012, MX60, FNDC, Hub, MATE, and 8 Fullriver AGMs... in a 44-foot steel pilothouse sailboat.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby tallgirl on Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:38 pm

Steve,

I've been working on an FN-DC white paper that will explain not only how to set one up, but also how to make it do tricks. My company's software (I don't work for Outback -- I'm an independent consultant / hardware OEM / software vendor) relies VERY heavily on having an FN-DC in the system and getting them set up correctly is an art form. You can find some of my discussions about configuring them around different threads.
Julie in Texas

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Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby Nomadness on Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:37 pm

Hi Julie...

Lots of things interfered with getting back to the boat, so it took 25 days, but now I'm here and can finally answer your question. I arrived to find the battery bank at 98%, showing 12.5 volts at the moment, with 33AH in and 29AH out in the past day. More alarming, "Days since full" now shows as 37, so clearly I need to twiddle a few knobs.

You asked:

1). What do you have set for your battery bank size?
2). What do you have set for return amps?
3). What do you have set for the ending voltage?
4). What do you have set for the number of minutes that the parameters must be met?

I don't know what you mean by return amps, but here is a run-down of the configuration in Status/FX/Batt and a few other places:

Actual voltage: 12.7
Temp-compensated: 12.3
Absorb setpoint: 14.4
Absorb remaining: .0
Float setpoint: 13.7
Float remaining: .0
Refloat setpoint: 13.7
Equalization setpoint: 14.4
EQ remaining: .0
Bat temp (not deg): 170

Absorb and float times in FX setup are 1.0 hours each

In FNDC advanced, I have the bank size at 690 (correct - it's 6 FullRiver AGMs that claim to be 115 each), and only shunt A (main) is enabled. If I understand correctly, this has no effect on actual charging, but only on reporting.

I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Cheers from S/V Nomadness,
Steve
Nomadness
Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Camano Island, WA
My RE system: FX2012, MX60, FNDC, Hub, MATE, and 8 Fullriver AGMs... in a 44-foot steel pilothouse sailboat.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby Nomadness on Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:47 pm

PS - I'm only on shore power at the moment, not using the boat's generator or solar array.
Nomadness
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Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Camano Island, WA
My RE system: FX2012, MX60, FNDC, Hub, MATE, and 8 Fullriver AGMs... in a 44-foot steel pilothouse sailboat.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby tallgirl on Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:04 pm

Steve,

The settings I was asking for are in the FN-DC setup. I don't remember where I hid that PDF file, but it's probably easier for you to find the FN-DC manual and read it than me trying to explain it in a posting!

What I've heard from several FN-DC owners is that the default 28V "ending voltage" is being left as-shipped. In your case, that means you are never getting to 100% charged. I sent in a request to OutBack to change that 28V default to 56 volts so that 48V system owners aren't misled, but that just makes 12 and 24 volt system owners miserable!
Julie in Texas

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Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby Nomadness on Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:34 pm

Ah, interesting... so the batteries may in fact be reaching full charge, but the FNDC, which is a passive observer, reports otherwise? Do I have that model right in my head?

Looking at ADV FNDC setup, I see "return amps" of 8.0 and, as you noted, battery voltage of 28.7. So... I halved that to 14.4... sound good?

It also show "parameters met time" of 1 minute, and charge factor of 94%

Thanks!
Steve
Nomadness
Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Camano Island, WA
My RE system: FX2012, MX60, FNDC, Hub, MATE, and 8 Fullriver AGMs... in a 44-foot steel pilothouse sailboat.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby tallgirl on Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:34 am

The 8 return amps on a 690 amp battery bank is a bit optimistic. The technique is described elsewhere around here, but the basic idea is --

1). Wait for weather forecast that says "clear blue skies tomorrow".
2). Charge the batteries all the way before the sun rises.
3). When the sun rises, see how many amps the batteries are taking when the charge controller reaches "Absorb".
4). Look at the "Net" amps for the batteries.
5). That's "Return amps".

More or less.

To do it more accurately requires that you either baby-sit the system or monitor it. You can get free monitoring software here.
Julie in Texas

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tallgirl
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Posts: 4329
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:59 am
Location: Austin, TX
My RE system: 16 Kyocera KC175GT (2,800 watts DC), MX-60, 2 OutBack GVFX3648, 24 GC2 batteries (6v @ 215AH), 14 Pantheon-based ACPV modules (3,200 watts DC), La Crosse Technologies WS2310 Weather Station, greenLogger Sensors environmental monitor, WattNode watt-hour meter, greenLogger Lite data logger.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby Nomadness on Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:13 pm

Hi...

I've seen the 2% guideline for return amps, which would be 13.8 - do you suggest I raise it? I made the ending-voltage change from the default 28.7 to 14.4 as noted 2 days ago, but the FNDC is now reporting 38.9 days since full. This can't be right.

I've been assuming that the FX just does its job, though the arbitrary 1-hour limit on absorb and float time does not really match my understanding of how battery charging works. Perhaps I have been chronically undercharging for the past month or so... basically, the boat has been mostly unattended with the only loads being DC refrigeration and the EVDO router. The mismatch between a report of 100% charge and the large number of days since full is starting to be confusing.

From this, and reading lots of other posts, I think this excellent equipment needs a corresponding book... or a whole family of white papers. Of course, I can see how this would be quite a challenge, given the huge range of applications involved. Julie, I'd love to see that FNDC PDF, if you have a link handy. Any other pointers to help getting a handle on the overall system behavior would be most appreciated.

The Linux board that is being groomed to run my boat will be inhaling and databasing the MATE serial feed, but that's still a few months off. Being able to see what's happening graphically will help considerably.

Cheers and thanks from Nomadness,
Steve
Nomadness
Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Camano Island, WA
My RE system: FX2012, MX60, FNDC, Hub, MATE, and 8 Fullriver AGMs... in a 44-foot steel pilothouse sailboat.

Re: Fullriver setpoints and general introduction

Postby tallgirl on Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:11 pm

Steve,

You can get the paper from here or contact OutBack Tech Support. They've been given a copy to distribute free to their customers.
Julie in Texas

greenMonitor(tm) for OutBack Power Technologies systems from greenHouse Gas and Electric. Learn more now!
User avatar
tallgirl
OutBack Emperor
 
Posts: 4329
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:59 am
Location: Austin, TX
My RE system: 16 Kyocera KC175GT (2,800 watts DC), MX-60, 2 OutBack GVFX3648, 24 GC2 batteries (6v @ 215AH), 14 Pantheon-based ACPV modules (3,200 watts DC), La Crosse Technologies WS2310 Weather Station, greenLogger Sensors environmental monitor, WattNode watt-hour meter, greenLogger Lite data logger.


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