Adding FlexNet with Simpliphi battery system

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Onfoot
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Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:48 pm
My RE system: 2 FX 3048T inverters in parallel.
1 Flexmax60 and 1 Flexmax80 Charge Controllers for solar array.
1 Midnite Solar 4000 Watt AC clipper for wind turbine
1 Midnite Solar Classic 250 Charge Controller for wind turbine
1 Hub 10.3,
1 Mate3s
1 FLEXnet DC
8 Simpliphi 3.5kW LiFePo batteries
18 Helio 255W solar panels on 3 racks--4590W feeding Flexmax 80
12 250 LG solar panels on 2 racks--3000W feeding Flexmax 60
2.5kW Proven Wind Turbine on 90' Tower feeding Midnite Sun clipper and Classic 250 charge controller
6kW, Single phase Newage Stamford generator on Kubota 905 Diesel
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Adding FlexNet with Simpliphi battery system

Post by Onfoot » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:57 pm

I am in the process of swapping out my 16 year old Surrette batteries with Simpliphi LiFePo batteries.

Outback folks said that I need to add a FlexNet to insure that all parameters for the LiFePo batteries are managed. (My old FX inverters might not, they say, be up to the challenge. Or so I understand from OB.

So... I have one shunt in my box, with batteries on one side and everything else (two FM CCs and my wind turbine CC) on the other side of the shunt. There is an old Trace monitor that has been able to reveal amps in and out. All has worked well up to now.

My question: Do I need to be concerned that I have only one shunt? I note the the FLEXnet is able to connect with up to three shunts.

Welcome advice. For the record, the LiFePo batteries are touchy about keeping charge within acceptable limits. That is the only reason for the FLEXnet being added to the system.

FYI, I will be adding a Midnite Solar CC with their Clipper box to manage input from my wind turbine. OB does not have anything to do with wind, and Simpliphi recommends the Midnite Sun CC and Clipper. I was presuming to have it connect to the shunt as does the current turbine CC (which is not able to adjust to LiFePo battery needs).

Again, thoughts? Advice?

Thank you!

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Gwendoly Espe
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Re: Adding FlexNet with Simpliphi battery system

Post by Gwendoly Espe » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:03 am

Hello,


From the application note :http://www.outbackpower.com/downloads/d ... p_note.pdf

it doesn't look like that the note doesn't say that the FNDC isn't 100% necessary. It's highly advised due to the Low Battery Cut-out delay of 5 min from the inverter. With Lithuim Ion batteries, if there is a large enough load at a lower SoC, the voltage can drop off faster than this delay. With the FNDC and the AUX on it, it can cutout the batteries much faster in situations like these. Below is the exact excerpt:

For fast discharge applications that donÔÇÖt have the
extended LBCO range, or where even the extended
LBCO range is not enough due to the five minute
delay, there is another solution. The FN-DC relay
can be used to detect the voltage drop-off with little
or no delay. The relay contacts can then be
connected to the INVERTER ON/OFF terminals to turn
the inverter off and prevent the batteries from being
completely discharged.
I hope this helps a little with the FNDC side of your question. Others may have opinions especially with the other option you mentioned.
Gwendoly Espe
Applications Engineer


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

Mike Curran
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My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
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- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
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* waiting for firmware update from OB

All self-designed and self-installed
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Re: Adding FlexNet with Simpliphi battery system

Post by Mike Curran » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:55 am

Hi - I have 2 shunts in my system, one for current to/from the battery from my FX's and the other for current to the battery from my charge controllers (MX60 & FM80). I could've hooked them all into one shunt like you but wanted to have a separate indication of charging amps from my solar panels, so I added the second shunt for that. If I were you, I'd add 2 shunts, one add'l for your solar and the 2nd add'l for your wind turbine. As long as you have the FNDC's capabilities to handle 3 shunts, it's not too much add'l expense for a great improvement in monitoring capability. Of course maybe you already have what you need in your Trace monitor...

Long story short, I don't think you need to be concerned about having just one shunt. Your system will work fine without but they do add some good info.

My 2 cents' worth, maybe others will give their input. - Mike

Edit: Good to see your Rolls battery lasted so long. I'll be going your route one of these days, let us know how it all works out.
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

Onfoot
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Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:48 pm
My RE system: 2 FX 3048T inverters in parallel.
1 Flexmax60 and 1 Flexmax80 Charge Controllers for solar array.
1 Midnite Solar 4000 Watt AC clipper for wind turbine
1 Midnite Solar Classic 250 Charge Controller for wind turbine
1 Hub 10.3,
1 Mate3s
1 FLEXnet DC
8 Simpliphi 3.5kW LiFePo batteries
18 Helio 255W solar panels on 3 racks--4590W feeding Flexmax 80
12 250 LG solar panels on 2 racks--3000W feeding Flexmax 60
2.5kW Proven Wind Turbine on 90' Tower feeding Midnite Sun clipper and Classic 250 charge controller
6kW, Single phase Newage Stamford generator on Kubota 905 Diesel
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Re: Adding FlexNet with Simpliphi battery system

Post by Onfoot » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:22 am

Thank you, Gwendoly and Mike. Much appreciate your input. Today I will install the DCFLEXnet--still with the old batteries. Want to make sure everything is working around the batteries before doing the battery swap.

Mauricio
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My RE system: 24 LG275, 275W panels, 2 FlexWare500, four VFX3648, series/parallel Quad system, two FlexMax80, X240 transformer, MATE3, FN-DC, 6 SimpliPhi 48V 3.5kWh Lithium Ferro Phosphate (LFP) batteries, Cummins Onan 20GGMA generator (20 kW, LP Vapor fueled), OpticsRe.
Note: 12 Surrette Rolls 4Ks25P Batteries ( 4V, 1350 AmpHr), were replaced by the 6 Simpliphi PHI 3.5 on June 21/19.
Location: Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Contact:

Re: Adding FlexNet with Simpliphi battery system

Post by Mauricio » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:11 am

Hello Onfoot, just saw your January posting. Did you do the switch to LiFePo? I just switched from Rolls to SimpliPhi myself and did a posting on the Off-Grid section about it and was interested in finding other Outback users that also did a similar switch and get their take/experience on it.
Thank you, Mauricio
Mauricio - Todos Santos, BCS
http://www.arribadelaroca.com

jbakker
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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: Adding FlexNet with Simpliphi battery system

Post by jbakker » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:14 am

I run the 2017 Chevy Volt Battery and its been working well.

Just hooked up the FNDC I bought a year ago. Its been working well so far.

I did have to adjust the trim pot inside for the voltage as it was reading 1.6 volts out from what the inverters, CC and the Midnite said. Same for my very expensive and very accurate Fluke.

I have 3 shunts in the system. One for the FM60 one for the Midinte Classic 150 and the 3rd one for the inverter in and out power.

Onfoot
Forum Guru
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:48 pm
My RE system: 2 FX 3048T inverters in parallel.
1 Flexmax60 and 1 Flexmax80 Charge Controllers for solar array.
1 Midnite Solar 4000 Watt AC clipper for wind turbine
1 Midnite Solar Classic 250 Charge Controller for wind turbine
1 Hub 10.3,
1 Mate3s
1 FLEXnet DC
8 Simpliphi 3.5kW LiFePo batteries
18 Helio 255W solar panels on 3 racks--4590W feeding Flexmax 80
12 250 LG solar panels on 2 racks--3000W feeding Flexmax 60
2.5kW Proven Wind Turbine on 90' Tower feeding Midnite Sun clipper and Classic 250 charge controller
6kW, Single phase Newage Stamford generator on Kubota 905 Diesel
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Re: Adding FlexNet with Simpliphi battery system

Post by Onfoot » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:34 am

Mauricio: Just saw your reply from July 13. I did switch to LiFePo and now am happily buzzing along with 10 3.5 Simpliphi batteries. So far extremely satisfied. Still waiting to see how transition works during the dark days of winter when the batteries start approaching 80% DoD and the genset needs to kick on. Has not happened yet. I do love being able to monitor and set parameters online via Outback's OpticsRE and my Mate3.

How are the Simpliphi batteries working for you?

jbakker
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Posts: 192
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:47 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: Adding FlexNet with Simpliphi battery system

Post by jbakker » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:55 am

I don't run the same batteries are you but I ran that volt battery last year over the winter. Winter sucks.
Got to the point in January and February that I just left the system on grid.
Would have to run the generator every night.

If it was a sunny day then I would be ok.

Winter just sucks for Solar.

Now if i could go with wind turbine in town that would help but that is not going to happen.

raysun
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Re: Adding FlexNet with Simpliphi battery system

Post by raysun » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:03 pm

How did I miss this gem before?

"it doesn't look like that the note doesn't say that the FNDC isn't 100% necessary"

David Copperfield got nothin' on you.

:lol:

My head hurts.

Mauricio
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Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:49 pm
My RE system: 24 LG275, 275W panels, 2 FlexWare500, four VFX3648, series/parallel Quad system, two FlexMax80, X240 transformer, MATE3, FN-DC, 6 SimpliPhi 48V 3.5kWh Lithium Ferro Phosphate (LFP) batteries, Cummins Onan 20GGMA generator (20 kW, LP Vapor fueled), OpticsRe.
Note: 12 Surrette Rolls 4Ks25P Batteries ( 4V, 1350 AmpHr), were replaced by the 6 Simpliphi PHI 3.5 on June 21/19.
Location: Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Contact:

Re: Adding FlexNet with Simpliphi battery system

Post by Mauricio » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:01 pm

Hello Onfoot, thanks for getting back. My system is running well and I’m very satisfy with the Phi 3.5. Having used flooded batteries for ten years, I still cannot believe the difference, is like being connected to an imaginary grid. They, (the batteries) have been working for almost six month now and my only concern is to go and see if they are still there. I am have the old inverters, so I am using the FLEXnet DC relay to control inverters ON/OFF in case of a fast discharging conditions, as detailed in Outback Application Note. One thing that is not working for me, is the battery SOC. FN-DC was designed for standard batteries, and the FN-DC Battery Ah setting is based on the battery’s Ah @ C20 discharge; PHI rated capacity are @ C/2 and their discharge curve is flat. I cannot correlate SOC reading from the MATE to the true SOC of the battery. The best example is this: Over an overnight 13 hrs. period, with no devices charging the batteries, my average total consumption is about 10 kWh. I start at sunset with a battery voltage of 54VDC, and MATE SOC at 100%. Just before sunrise battery voltage has dropped to 52.8 VDC with MATE SOG at 55%. Now the MATE calculations are correct according to my FN-DC battery Ah setting, 10 kWh consumption represent about 45% discharge, but battery voltage measures 52.8 VDC, and, according to PHI battery SOC voltages, my batteries are still at 100%. (Free energy???)
I have discussed the problem with Outback support, their answer: disregard SOC.
Mauricio - Todos Santos, BCS
http://www.arribadelaroca.com

raysun
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Posts: 1028
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My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
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Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 Strings @ 2 Series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings @ 2 series)

Re: Adding FlexNet with Simpliphi battery system

Post by raysun » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:35 pm

That is an interesting observation.

I wasn't aware battery voltage regulated the SOC display, or facrored in calculations. I thought SOC was derived from cumulative current flow into and out of the battery.

What is affected by the voltage issue? The 4 LED display? SOC on the Mate display? SOC shown in OpticsRE?

In a sense the 'Just ignore SOC' is practical advice. As mentioned, the charge/discharge is very flat, except at the ends. The two critical points are 'too charged' @100% SOC and 'too discharged' @0% SOC.

If the FNDC is accurately tracking current flow, then it should be easy to know when the battery is in it's useful charge zone.

Onfoot
Forum Guru
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:48 pm
My RE system: 2 FX 3048T inverters in parallel.
1 Flexmax60 and 1 Flexmax80 Charge Controllers for solar array.
1 Midnite Solar 4000 Watt AC clipper for wind turbine
1 Midnite Solar Classic 250 Charge Controller for wind turbine
1 Hub 10.3,
1 Mate3s
1 FLEXnet DC
8 Simpliphi 3.5kW LiFePo batteries
18 Helio 255W solar panels on 3 racks--4590W feeding Flexmax 80
12 250 LG solar panels on 2 racks--3000W feeding Flexmax 60
2.5kW Proven Wind Turbine on 90' Tower feeding Midnite Sun clipper and Classic 250 charge controller
6kW, Single phase Newage Stamford generator on Kubota 905 Diesel
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Re: Adding FlexNet with Simpliphi battery system

Post by Onfoot » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:28 pm

Now that winter has come, the generator needs to be called on from time to time. (Sunrise and sunset today at 09:20 and 16:13, respectively, so a bit less than 7 hours between.) So far the genset has been called upon 3 or 4 times in the past month. With total overcast conditions and no wind, I am getting between 30 and 40 hours of autonomy. When it cuts in, the genset needs to run a bit less than 10 hours to bring the batteries back to 100%. (The old inverters limit incoming charge to 3.4 kW.)

The SOC on the OPTICSRE is just about useless. The AGS turns the genset on at 50.4v s(2 min. start setting) and off at 55.6v. In terms of voltage, this is supposed to represent 20% and 100% SOC. But OPTICSRE shows SOC as 8% at 50.4v. The cutoff voltage shows at 100"%. SimpliPhi told me to ignore SOC. So I try to ignore.

Barrett

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Re: Adding FlexNet with Simpliphi battery system

Post by gtarolli » Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:38 am

I find SOC very useful with Simpliphi batteries although I would expect about 5% error. Remember the chart is voltage with a C/2 discharge. If your 50.4v reading was during a minimal load, it could easily drop a volt if you had a 14kw load getting much closer to 8%. Voltage varies significantly with load,so it is hard to get SOC from voltage without a chart for the exact load.

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