Mate 3 questions

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Mate 3 questions

Postby TRooney on Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:08 pm

New user with questions about my system: Just installed Mate 3 (replaced Mate). I am new owner of this system and have read literature and understand basics of my system. But am curios about a few things. First my system info: 4) MX60 PV MPPT Charge Controller, 4) VFX 3648 Inverter/Charger, 48) 8D AGM (best guess or closest replacement to what we have) wired in series and parallel 48 volt system, 1) Stamford Newage AC Diesel Generator 20 KW, 1) Outback PSDC Breaker Box, 1) Outback PSAC Breaker Box, 3) Solar Panels (not sure of specs 3' x 6'), Mate 3, AGS, etc.

Now my questions: 1) Do the Inverter chargers and or the charge controllers have settings to auto start the generator? If so will these settings conflict with the AGS settings installed on the Mate 3? Will Mate 3 settings over-ride any other device settings? 2) What is the purpose of 4 each Inverters and charge controllers? I assume to expand a system if I add in more Solar panels. It appears only one Inverter and one charge controller are currently operating and the others are "sleeping".

3) I am off grid with no internet service currently but think I can get it with a satellite dish setup. For now though, can I save info to the SD card and bring it in to a computer with internet connection and provide that information to an Outback technician to evaluate in case of problems?

Thank you up front to whomever decides to contribute their thoughts. They are all appreciated. Tim
TRooney
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My RE system: 48 Trojan Battery Bank
4 VFX Inverter Chargers
4 Charge Controllers
Diesel AC Generator
3 PV panels

Re: Mate 3 questions

Postby blackswan555 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:23 pm

Do the Inverter chargers and or the charge controllers have settings to auto start the generator? If so will these settings conflict with the AGS settings installed on the Mate 3? Will Mate 3 settings over-ride any other device settings? 2
yes inverters also have ability to start gen, called gen alert, AGS overrides it (AGS is stored in mate gen alert is in inverter)
What is the purpose of 4 each Inverters and charge controllers?
Thats the basis of a reasonably large system with the possible addition of a LOT of panels, 14KW of inverter power and a possible 11.5kw of panels ,

What are your batteries ? 48 x 12v? total AH ?

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 questions

Postby TRooney on Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:35 pm

20170112_104030 (1024x576).jpg
Batteries are Trojan 8D AGM I think. Tops are visible but no Identifying numbers. I searched the Trojan site and the 8D 12 volt is what I think is the new version of what I have. Thanks, Tim
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My RE system: 48 Trojan Battery Bank
4 VFX Inverter Chargers
4 Charge Controllers
Diesel AC Generator
3 PV panels

Re: Mate 3 questions

Postby blackswan555 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:39 pm

Taking a guess at these ?http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/datasheets/8DAGM_Trojan_Data_Sheets.pdf if that is all of them, it is 4 banks at 48v / 230 ah each giving you a total of 920ah @ 20hr

Tim

To add, not sure how far your interest gos, But the wiring does not look too good, post a few more pics if you have them handy
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 questions

Postby blackswan555 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:07 pm

to add, That metal cup or whatever on top of your batteries is VERY dangerous, Knock it over and it will land on exposed battery poles causing,,,, Quite a mess :smile: Always keep everything away from your batteries anyway, I would also suggest you insulate your exposed metalwork
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 questions

Postby TRooney on Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:28 pm

Hi, yes I am aware of the coffee cup issue and we are very careful with the batteries. Batteries are12 banks of 4 each. 48 batteries. We plan on doing maintenance when weather warms up. Hopefully soon. Thanks for the data sheet, but already had it. I have a master electrician prepared to do the battery work. Already found numerous loose connections. Do you have any advise on my original question about the OpticsRE options without an Internet connection? Tim
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My RE system: 48 Trojan Battery Bank
4 VFX Inverter Chargers
4 Charge Controllers
Diesel AC Generator
3 PV panels

Re: Mate 3 questions

Postby Kurt Lundquist on Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:56 am

Hi Tim,

Welcome to the forum. I do not think that you can upload data from the Mate3 SD card to Optics directly from a computer. You can still use the data from the card on your computer. The logfiles can be cumbersome to work with so you might want to try something like the http://wattplot.com/ sumMate program to quickly turn the data into useful information.

-Kurt
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Re: Mate 3 questions

Postby TRooney on Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:38 pm

Ok, one more question. I have 48 Trojan 8D AGM BATTERIES. 12 banks of 4. I think wired in series and parallel. Mate settings indicate a bulk charge of 57.6 volts. I know it is not efficient as we only have 3 pv panels. My 20kw diesel generator just ran for 20 hours and batteries came up to 51.2 volts. Seems like that should happen quicker. I know we need to replace some of the batteries and clean up the cables, etc. What can I expect charge should come up to with new and all reasonably good batteries? 60+ volts, 70+ volts? I assume my immediate problem is having some bad batteries. Thanks for any input. Tim
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My RE system: 48 Trojan Battery Bank
4 VFX Inverter Chargers
4 Charge Controllers
Diesel AC Generator
3 PV panels

Re: Mate 3 questions

Postby bezalel on Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:05 am

Sorry to be the news bearer, but you are the new owner of a system with a design weakness.

When two or more parallel strings of batteries are charged at the same time, current will flow preferentially through the string with the least resistance. This will eventually lead to some strings being overcharged and others undercharged. Both conditions will shorten battery life and lessen performance. More strings means more variability in charging. If you have a low resistance string(s) then you won't easily reach absorb voltage for the entire bank. A string that is bubbling harder or hotter than the others is suspect. You have a can of worms there.

The best practice is having large capacity batteries in a single string. All batteries should be of the same age and type for consistent aging characteristics. You might want to consider selling off those batteries and replacing with larger cells in the preferred single string arrangement.

Good luck.
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Re: Mate 3 questions

Postby blackswan555 on Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:31 am

My 20kw diesel generator just ran for 20 hours and batteries came up to 51.2 volts. Seems like that should happen quicker. I know we need to replace some of the batteries and clean up the cables, etc. What can I expect charge should come up to with new and all reasonably good batteries? 60+ volts, 70+ volts?


It may not happen any quicker as you have a relatively low charge current vs battery bank size, Recommended is 5 to 15% of 20hr rate as a charge current but in practice 10% is about the minimum for a generator and you are a bit low there (you have about 170a if the inverters are on max, You may want to check they are on max, default is not)
What you would expect to see is the battery voltage climb to your absorb setpoint of 57.4v using all the amps available, When it hits that voltage point the charge current will taper off slowly to somewhere between 1 & 2% of the banks rated & eventually flatline, Thats them full,
At no point would you ever want to see 60v on those batteries,,, 70v would probably result in something very Dangerous, Messy and Expensive, VRLA/sealed batteries are very voltage critical & it is imperative you do not overvoltage them,

As mentioned (and why I asked twice) your battery setup is not good, 1 string is best, two strings,,, take a little more work and is not ideal, 3 is bordering on false economy, you will never get them all balanced,,, 12 strings,,,,,,, ](*,) What was the original purpose for this system ? Big house / farm/ hotel ? 4 inverters, 4 CCs, BIG battery bank, Panels never got added I presume but by the 4CCs, were intended ?

Tim





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: 2571
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:50 am
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My RE system: Other peoples, VFX "E" versions, FLA`s, Generators.

Re: Mate 3 questions

Postby TRooney on Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:39 am

Yes, I knew the man who put this together and he over built the system, leaning hard on the generator as the area lacks sunlight and gets a lot of snow this time of year. He wanted to be comfortable in the event he had to "survive" for 3 days on just the battery bank alone. Large shop, large log home, beautiful setting! We are contemplating a hydro system in the future in addition to more solar panels. As for the inverters, I believe (and may be wrong) that only the master inverter is currently "working". The other 3 are on, but only the master appears to be inverting. Tim
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Posts: 14
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My RE system: 48 Trojan Battery Bank
4 VFX Inverter Chargers
4 Charge Controllers
Diesel AC Generator
3 PV panels

Re: Mate 3 questions

Postby blackswan555 on Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:59 am

Do you think all 4 are working during charging ? ( the other 3 may be sleeping during normal use if stacking it set ?) Go through mate/fx/charger menu and make sure they are all enabled and set to max (you have to address each inverter individually , port 1, port 2 etc) About a min after the gen starts you should get a healthy "click" as their relays kick in & then the fans will run ? Also the mate should be showing somewhere around 12 to 14kw ( and on the gen if it has a meter) As if you are indeed only on one, You are only getting about 40amps of charge current which is way to little to make even a dent in charging them,

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: 2571
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:50 am
Location: Ibiza Spain,
My RE system: Other peoples, VFX "E" versions, FLA`s, Generators.

Re: Mate 3 questions

Postby TRooney on Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:21 pm

And in reply to bezalel. I have a schematic of the batteries attached. I think they are wired as he described in one long string. Please correct me if wrong. Sorry, am new to this and my other posts may have been using the wrong description. Tim
Attachments
BatteryDiagram.jpg
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My RE system: 48 Trojan Battery Bank
4 VFX Inverter Chargers
4 Charge Controllers
Diesel AC Generator
3 PV panels

Re: Mate 3 questions

Postby bezalel on Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:59 pm

That wiring depicts 6 strings of 4 batteries (assume 12V each). If batts are 230AH, then you have 6 x 230 = 1380AH @ 48VDC, of which only 40% is usable with a reasonable Depth of Discharge. You could replace all with a 1300 to 1900 AH single string set of Rolls batteries for better life and performance if you want to avoid future headaches. Add an Outback FNDC to monitor how much power is actually going in and out of the batteries. Use one of the three FNDC shunts for the overall battery in/out and another for total solar inputs.
Have used a large 48VDC battery charger before in parallel to inverters to speed bulk charging. Use the third FNDC shunt on that gen input to keep track of power delivered. May be unnecessary if all inverters are participating in charging from gen.
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Re: Mate 3 questions

Postby TRooney on Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:38 pm

Thanks for the help. I will check on these suggestions tomorrow. Thanks again. Tim
TRooney
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Posts: 14
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My RE system: 48 Trojan Battery Bank
4 VFX Inverter Chargers
4 Charge Controllers
Diesel AC Generator
3 PV panels

Re: Mate 3 questions

Postby TRooney on Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:34 pm

Well, went back and checked my system. A lot of the settings on mate 3 were different than my original settings . Is this a firmware issue? I read a different post that someone went back to a 3.11 firmware version and has had better luck with it. Anybody else have suggestions?
TRooney
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Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:11 pm
My RE system: 48 Trojan Battery Bank
4 VFX Inverter Chargers
4 Charge Controllers
Diesel AC Generator
3 PV panels

Re: what is ac output backfeed

Postby marc gauthier on Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:52 pm

TRooney wrote:New user with questions about my system: Just installed Mate 3 (replaced Mate). I am new owner of this system and have read literature and understand basics of my system. But am curios about a few things. First my system info: 4) MX60 PV MPPT Charge Controller, 4) VFX 3648 Inverter/Charger, 48) 8D AGM (best guess or closest replacement to what we have) wired in series and parallel 48 volt system, 1) Stamford Newage AC Diesel Generator 20 KW, 1) Outback PSDC Breaker Box, 1) Outback PSAC Breaker Box, 3) Solar Panels (not sure of specs 3' x 6'), Mate 3, AGS, etc.

Now my questions: 1) Do the Inverter chargers and or the charge controllers have settings to auto start the generator? If so will these settings conflict with the AGS settings installed on the Mate 3? Will Mate 3 settings over-ride any other device settings? 2) What is the purpose of 4 each Inverters and charge controllers? I assume to expand a system if I add in more Solar panels. It appears only one Inverter and one charge controller are currently operating and the others are "sleeping".

3) I am off grid with no internet service currently but think I can get it with a satellite dish setup. For now though, can I save info to the SD card and bring it in to a computer with internet connection and provide that information to an Outback technician to evaluate in case of problems?

Thank you up front to whomever decides to contribute their thoughts. They are all appreciated. Tim
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VFX3648 won't work with error message ac output backfeed

Postby marc gauthier on Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:56 pm

marc gauthier wrote:
TRooney wrote:New user with questions about my system: Just installed Mate 3 (replaced Mate). I am new owner of this system and have read literature and understand basics of my system. But am curios about a few things. First my system info: 4) MX60 PV MPPT Charge Controller, 4) VFX 3648 Inverter/Charger, 48) 8D AGM (best guess or closest replacement to what we have) wired in series and parallel 48 volt system, 1) Stamford Newage AC Diesel Generator 20 KW, 1) Outback PSDC Breaker Box, 1) Outback PSAC Breaker Box, 3) Solar Panels (not sure of specs 3' x 6'), Mate 3, AGS, etc.

Now my questions: 1) Do the Inverter chargers and or the charge controllers have settings to auto start the generator? If so will these settings conflict with the AGS settings installed on the Mate 3? Will Mate 3 settings over-ride any other device settings? 2) What is the purpose of 4 each Inverters and charge controllers? I assume to expand a system if I add in more Solar panels. It appears only one Inverter and one charge controller are currently operating and the others are "sleeping".

3) I am off grid with no internet service currently but think I can get it with a satellite dish setup. For now though, can I save info to the SD card and bring it in to a computer with internet connection and provide that information to an Outback technician to evaluate in case of problems?

Thank you up front to whomever decides to contribute their thoughts. They are all appreciated. Tim
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