New owner in Canada needs help!

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SteelhouseSolar
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:49 am
My RE system: Outback Radian Inverter
Mate3
3 x Outback FLEXmax charge controllers
34 panels
16 x Rolls 6v S6-460AGM batteries
10 kw Diesel Generator
Grid tied for backup and high demand items
Location: West Grey, Ontario

New owner in Canada needs help!

Post by SteelhouseSolar » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:24 am

Hi all,

My wife and I bought a wonderful weekend use country property earlier in 2018. The house is seven years old and has a pretty serious solar set up. 34 panels, 16 Rolls AGM 6 volt batteries, big Outback inverter, etc. House is still grid tied and certain things like the dryer and split ductless air conditioning run from a separate panel that uses grid electricity. Pretty much the rest of the house runs off the solar. No excess energy goes back to the grid, basically it runs the house, charges the batteries to 100% and excess is waste. Apparently the lines on our road are old school and cannot handle feeding back to the grid over and above what a neighbour feeds back (his solar system was installed before ours).

All summer this system worked perfectly. Batteries would drop to 90-94% overnight and then quickly be back to 100% before noon. Typical monthly electric bills showed usage of $13 to $18 a month in actual electric use (from the air conditioning and maybe 2-3 loads of laundry a month).

Now that the days are getting shorter I am noticing the batteries dropping as low as 85% and with a very rainy and cloudy October we had many days where the total kwh were under 10. Batteries only getting up to 92% by 3:00 pm and then starting to drop. I am wondering if 85% is set as the minimum charge and then grid electricity turns on to charge them? I would be happy if this is the case as I don't want to become and energy miser and be worrying about my battery health if they drop too low too often.

I have called a local solar company to get some help but they are not Outback experts. I would love to find someone who I could pay to come out and give me a tutorial, go through all my settings and make sure I am on the right track. Any help would be appreciated!

petertearai
Forum Guru
Posts: 397
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:35 pm
My RE system: 2220 watt pv, fm80, outback fxr 2000 watt inverter. Shoto 12 times 2 volt exc400 lead carbon batterys 24 volt system victron battery moniter. optics RE
Location: NewZealand North Island

Re: New owner in Canada needs help!

Post by petertearai » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:38 pm

cant help much from NZ ..... but you may want to add a bit more detail . what model outback inverter ? AH of batterys . Where in Canada are you .
Maybe find out who installed the system and commissioned it .
If that is the original batterys , they may be nearing end of life ?
2220 pv. fm80. 12 times 2 volt exc shoto lead carbon 450 AH 24 volts. victron battery monitor. outback fxr 2000 watt inverter

petertearai
Forum Guru
Posts: 397
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:35 pm
My RE system: 2220 watt pv, fm80, outback fxr 2000 watt inverter. Shoto 12 times 2 volt exc400 lead carbon batterys 24 volt system victron battery moniter. optics RE
Location: NewZealand North Island

Re: New owner in Canada needs help!

Post by petertearai » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:42 pm

you can addd details of your system in the user control panel
2220 pv. fm80. 12 times 2 volt exc shoto lead carbon 450 AH 24 volts. victron battery monitor. outback fxr 2000 watt inverter

SteelhouseSolar
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:49 am
My RE system: Outback Radian Inverter
Mate3
3 x Outback FLEXmax charge controllers
34 panels
16 x Rolls 6v S6-460AGM batteries
10 kw Diesel Generator
Grid tied for backup and high demand items
Location: West Grey, Ontario

Re: New owner in Canada needs help!

Post by SteelhouseSolar » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:34 am

Thanks I will post more info this weekend. Tried to post some pics of my equipment but they are too large (over the limit). The inverter is a Radian Series, the batteries say 415 AH @ 20 HR, 444 AH @ 72 HR, 460 AH @ 100 HR. S6-460 AGM.

I also want to learn how to connect system to the internet to monitor it remotely and look at performance over days, weeks or months.

jbakker
Forum Guru
Posts: 221
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:47 am
My RE system: 2 VFX3648 Inverters 2 FM60 150VDC Charge Controllers Mate3 3.4 KW of panels 15kw JC Onan NG Generator made in 1975 I love that generator almost as much as my wife.
7 banks of 14 cells each from a 2017 Chevy Volt. Parallel for the AMP Hour. 7 Chinese made BMS systems.
Location: Goderich Ontario Canada

Re: New owner in Canada needs help!

Post by jbakker » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:30 am

Hello

In order to connect to the internet with your system you will need a Mate3 or Mate3s.
Will need a reliable high speed internet connection as well.
Once you have that you will then setup a Optics RE account.
I gather that you have a Mate3 as you have a RADIAN inverter.

Once you give us more info we can help you out better.

This time of year and the fact that the last month and the next 2 months suck for solar I run my NG generator for at least 2 hours a day.

Welcome to the world of Off Grid.

SteelhouseSolar
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:49 am
My RE system: Outback Radian Inverter
Mate3
3 x Outback FLEXmax charge controllers
34 panels
16 x Rolls 6v S6-460AGM batteries
10 kw Diesel Generator
Grid tied for backup and high demand items
Location: West Grey, Ontario

Re: New owner in Canada needs help!

Post by SteelhouseSolar » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:50 am

Thanks I see you are in Goderich. I am near Chesley so very close! I do have a 10 kw diesel generator tied into the system but it hasn't been run much, just hit 100 hours at 7 years old (and some of that is the auto start it does monthly to run the fluids, etc). I think its more for power outages in snow storms sort of thing. I assume since we have grid power its set up that the batteries will charge with grid electricity when batteries get down to a certain level but I don't know how to check this.

I do have a Mate3 and there is already a cable coming out of it obviously meant to plug into my internet router. But again I would love some help setting it up.

Thanks for the comments and tips so far. I like to learn and be knowledgeable about things I own.

SteelhouseSolar
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:49 am
My RE system: Outback Radian Inverter
Mate3
3 x Outback FLEXmax charge controllers
34 panels
16 x Rolls 6v S6-460AGM batteries
10 kw Diesel Generator
Grid tied for backup and high demand items
Location: West Grey, Ontario

Re: New owner in Canada needs help!

Post by SteelhouseSolar » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:57 am

109274_35.jpg
A pic of my utility room and equipment set up

jbakker
Forum Guru
Posts: 221
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:47 am
My RE system: 2 VFX3648 Inverters 2 FM60 150VDC Charge Controllers Mate3 3.4 KW of panels 15kw JC Onan NG Generator made in 1975 I love that generator almost as much as my wife.
7 banks of 14 cells each from a 2017 Chevy Volt. Parallel for the AMP Hour. 7 Chinese made BMS systems.
Location: Goderich Ontario Canada

Re: New owner in Canada needs help!

Post by jbakker » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:08 am

Do you have the manuals for all your equipment?
If not they are available to download off OutbackÔÇÖs Site.
There are a lot of good videos on You Tube in regards to setting up your system.
How to program, how to update firmware, lots of good info for you to learn your equipment.
I would set your system up for HBX mode in the winter. HBX stands for High Battery Transfer.
This is a feature that will automatically transfer your inverters to grid when the battery voltage reaches a certain point. Once that battery voltage reaches a certain point once the panels have charged the battery bank back up to a voltage you set it will transfer back to battery.
It will not charge your battery back up from grid. There are other modes to do that.
You could also have the generator charge the battery as well. Depends on how your system is wired up.
You tube is your buddy :grin:
You donÔÇÖt live far away at all.
Mu buddy Chris Meier does solar installs and Wind Turbines as well.
He gets me to look after the outback side of things. I am not an expert and still learning this as well.
If you need assistance let us know

jbakker
Forum Guru
Posts: 221
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:47 am
My RE system: 2 VFX3648 Inverters 2 FM60 150VDC Charge Controllers Mate3 3.4 KW of panels 15kw JC Onan NG Generator made in 1975 I love that generator almost as much as my wife.
7 banks of 14 cells each from a 2017 Chevy Volt. Parallel for the AMP Hour. 7 Chinese made BMS systems.
Location: Goderich Ontario Canada

Re: New owner in Canada needs help!

Post by jbakker » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:13 am

Nice setup. My power shed is not so pretty.
But it works. My biggest issue is going to be keeping my battery above 0 this winter. Working on a plan for that.

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: New owner in Canada needs help!

Post by Mike Curran » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:36 pm

Here's a link to the Radian Inverter manual: http://outbackpower.com/downloads/docum ... erator.pdf
Note per the manual: "The FXR inverter has one set of input connections. Only one AC source can be physically wired to it at any time. However, two different AC sources can be used with an external transfer switch. It is common for backup or grid-interactive systems to use the utility grid as the primary source, but switch to a gas- or diesel-powered generator in emergencies."

It sounds like your system has the grid as normal AC input...maybe there's a transfer switch to enable use of the generator instead.
I would think it would be clearly marked :-k .

In addition to HBX, you might also want to consider mini grid mode. Again, per the manual: In Mini Grid mode, the FXR inverter automatically rejects an AC source and runs solely from battery (and renewable) energy. The inverter only connects to the AC source (usually the utility grid) when the batteries run too low. The FXR inverter runs on battery-supplied power for as long as the batteries can be sustained. It is expected that the batteries will also be charged from renewable sources such as PV. When the batteries become depleted, the system reconnects to the utility grid to operate the loads.

I'm no expert, though. Outback is offering a webinar on the Radian AC input modes on November 14. You might consider signing up http://www.outbackpower.com/forum/viewt ... 48&t=13545
Last edited by Mike Curran on Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

User avatar
David LeBow
OutBack Management
Posts: 581
Joined: Sun May 03, 2015 10:42 am
Location: Bellingham, WA

Re: New owner in Canada needs help!

Post by David LeBow » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:37 pm

At 831 posts... Mike is a Forum Czar!

Just wanted to chime in and thank you for your help and participation!
David LeBow
Sr. Director, Software Engineering


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

jbakker
Forum Guru
Posts: 221
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:47 am
My RE system: 2 VFX3648 Inverters 2 FM60 150VDC Charge Controllers Mate3 3.4 KW of panels 15kw JC Onan NG Generator made in 1975 I love that generator almost as much as my wife.
7 banks of 14 cells each from a 2017 Chevy Volt. Parallel for the AMP Hour. 7 Chinese made BMS systems.
Location: Goderich Ontario Canada

Re: New owner in Canada needs help!

Post by jbakker » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:01 am

Listen to Mike, he is way smarter then me............

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