Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

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peteandsun
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Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by peteandsun » Wed May 06, 2020 2:17 pm

I'm wondering if it would work to use the existing shunt in a Flexpower One system to feed a different remote battery monitor?

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by provo » Wed May 06, 2020 5:05 pm

peteandsun wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 2:17 pm
I'm wondering if it would work to use the existing shunt in a Flexpower One system to feed a different remote battery monitor?
Here's a blurb from an FNDC App Note :

FNDC Shunt.jpeg

As long as the other battery monitor specifies that same ratio, it should work. There's some ambiguity in the docs as to how many shunts are used in the FP1. There may be different versions, so if your unit has, for example, the FM and the FXR coming together on one shunt, the other battery monitor would also need to work with that scheme.

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by Greg T Fordan » Wed May 06, 2020 5:46 pm

I am confused by the title "parallel hookup to flexnet shunt"

Are you saying there will be 2 FNDCs to be connected to a shunt. what are you trying to achieve by that connection?
This makes me think too that you have 2 separate battery banks?


If you mean 2 devices (example 2 charge controllers) hooked up to the shunt and going to one FNDC, that is perfectly ok, as amplified by provo's attachment.
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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by peteandsun » Wed May 06, 2020 6:05 pm

There is only one shunt. I'm assuming it's 500A/50mv, but don't know for sure. Hopefully it's set up to measure all incoming and outgoing current from the batteries (it's prewired by OB). The parallel hookup refers only to a parallel connection to the meter terminals on the shunt for another remote meter. The FlexNet DC is installed in the FP 1 assembly and is in a shed about 80' from the cabin/residence. I will be installing a Trimetric meter in the cabin/residence for convenience and would like to use the same shunt the FN DC is using.

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by raysun » Wed May 06, 2020 6:14 pm

peteandsun wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 6:05 pm
There is only one shunt. I'm assuming it's 500A/50mv, but don't know for sure. Hopefully it's set up to measure all incoming and outgoing current from the batteries (it's prewired by OB). The parallel hookup refers only to a parallel connection to the meter terminals on the shunt for another remote meter. The FlexNet DC is installed in the FP 1 assembly and is in a shed about 80' from the cabin/residence. I will be installing a Trimetric meter in the cabin/residence for convenience and would like to use the same shunt the FN DC is using.
The parallel connections might work, with some calibration, but an 80' run of a millivolt signal is going to be hard to keep integrity - both due to voltage drop and induced noise.

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by provo » Wed May 06, 2020 6:45 pm

peteandsun wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 6:05 pm

The FlexNet DC is installed in the FP 1 assembly and is in a shed about 80' from the cabin/residence. I will be installing a Trimetric meter in the cabin/residence for convenience and would like to use the same shunt the FN DC is using.
Do you have internet access? If you could read your FNDC on OpticsRE from the residence you might not need the Trimetric, but I'm no IT guy, so I'm not sure how to go the 80'. Someone on this forum knows, tho :grin: ...

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by raysun » Wed May 06, 2020 7:00 pm

provo wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 6:45 pm
peteandsun wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 6:05 pm

The FlexNet DC is installed in the FP 1 assembly and is in a shed about 80' from the cabin/residence. I will be installing a Trimetric meter in the cabin/residence for convenience and would like to use the same shunt the FN DC is using.
Do you have internet access? If you could read your FNDC on OpticsRE from the residence you might not need the Trimetric, but I'm no IT guy, so I'm not sure how to go the 80'. Someone on this forum knows, tho :grin: ...
The 80' run will be really problematic with such a small signal without some very special accommodations. A 500A/50mv shunt equates to 0.1mv/A. Thats one ten thousandth of a volt per amp. It wouldn't take too much of a voltage drop on the line to make the readings wildly inaccurate. Twisted pair wiring in EMI proof conduit would be required to keep induced voltages from plaguing the readings as well.

If the external meter can be mounted locally to the FP1 and signal sent remotely, adding the meter may work. It will require recalibration of the FNDC, most likely, due to the change in impedance across the shunts.

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by provo » Wed May 06, 2020 7:09 pm

raysun wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:00 pm

If the external meter can be mounted locally to the FP1 and signal sent remotely, adding the meter may work.
What I was imagining is the same thing I have in my basement, but 80' instead of 20'. The FNDC would talk to the Mate3s, and an ethernet-to-Wifi (or something) would send that information (not the actual shunt signal) to the residence. No second battery monitor needed.

If Wifi can't go that far, maybe an ethernet cable??

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by peteandsun » Wed May 06, 2020 9:53 pm

I very much appreciate everyone's contributions here. There is no wifi (yet) at this remote site. I've been using Trimetric meters in installations for a long time. I believe it's precisely because we are talking about so little current, the voltage drop for 80' with #18 4C cable is negligible. The cable will be shielded cable with twisted wire pairs. I just wasn't sure if the FNDC would affect the readings of a second meter on the shunt. I guess I'll find out and report back.

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by Greg T Fordan » Thu May 07, 2020 2:35 pm

peteandsun wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 6:05 pm
There is only one shunt. I'm assuming it's 500A/50mv, but don't know for sure. Hopefully it's set up to measure all incoming and outgoing current from the batteries (it's prewired by OB). The parallel hookup refers only to a parallel connection to the meter terminals on the shunt for another remote meter. The FlexNet DC is installed in the FP 1 assembly and is in a shed about 80' from the cabin/residence. I will be installing a Trimetric meter in the cabin/residence for convenience and would like to use the same shunt the FN DC is using.

Ok, I got you now. Yes, you can do that, although I'm with some responders that 80' might be too far for an optimum reading. By the way, as a tip, you do not need a trimetric to get a second "reader" for your shunt if you only want the current flowing through it. You can dedicate a spare voltmeter for that, if it has a DC mV setting. Just take into account that a 1 mVDC reading is equal to 10 ADC. 1mV =10A
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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by raysun » Thu May 07, 2020 3:15 pm

That makes 1A resolution tricky, as its 0.1mv

Somebody else will have to check this, I slept through math class.
20200507_121320.jpg
I do know in my Fun-with-RF days, it's pretty easy to mess with 1mv across an 80' metal conduit - I think they called it antennas. The wire was fine, encased in steel, but the cases and meters were exposed. All sorts of stuff had to be done before sensitive readings were to be believed.

A simple voltmeter is fine, and a trimetric head end is going to be a fine and simple voltmeter, but if one wants to be sure of the voltage, the line would need calibration and voltage measured with a 600mHz O-scope.

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by sodamo » Fri May 08, 2020 10:04 am

I have a common set of shunts feeding two FNDC, but much closer than 80ft, about 10. They stay pretty much in sync but sometimes not, usually as to achieving full charge on a less than robust day, but they self correct the next really good charging day. Details in my upgrade thread.
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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by peteandsun » Fri May 08, 2020 6:23 pm

The remote meter is to give the occupants an idea of the SOC of their battery bank. It's pretty much of an eye-opener for me that there is over a 10% voltage drop on the 80' run, but would that affect the SOC charge reading (amps in vs amps out) of the meter if the voltage reading of the trimetric meter was adjusted to account for the voltage drop?

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by raysun » Fri May 08, 2020 8:05 pm

peteandsun wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 6:23 pm
The remote meter is to give the occupants an idea of the SOC of their battery bank. It's pretty much of an eye-opener for me that there is over a 10% voltage drop on the 80' run, but would that affect the SOC charge reading (amps in vs amps out) of the meter if the voltage reading of the trimetric meter was adjusted to account for the voltage drop?
I guess one of us should RTFM for Trimetric Installation and operation before going too much further. There's two interesting tidbits in a quick skim of the TM 2030:

• The Trimetric can be located up to several hundred feet from the battery/shunt, and requires a 4 wire cable of Trimetric's specification.

• The hookup requires ALL load and charging source battery Negative leads to be terminated in a single location at the load side of the shunt.

The FP1 (at least every FP1 I've worked with) has two separate shunts, one between charge controllers and battery Negative, the other between battery Negative and everything else. The FNDC senses them separately. While the FNDC can be used with a single shunt, it loses the differential measurements the two-shunt system provides.

To hook in a Trimetric would be a gain something, lose something proposition.

I assume the system is not connected to OpticsRE, is that correct?

How about a WD40 and Duct Tape hack? Put in a web cam pointing at the Mate and a cheap Android tablet to display its output.

Less McGuyver and more rational may be to simply run a Cat5 cable 80' and relocate the Mate. It has all the info on its display. This would serve to keep an eye on SoC. If the system needed service in the equipment room using the Mate, it could be detached from the remote location and plugged in at the Hub as now.

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by jnh » Fri May 08, 2020 9:17 pm

raysun wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 8:05 pm
Less McGuyver and more rational may be to simply run a Cat5 cable 80' and relocate the Mate. It has all the info on its display. This would serve to keep an eye on SoC. If the system needed service in the equipment room using the Mate, it could be detached from the remote location and plugged in at the Hub as now.
This is what I went with. Using decent quality cable, the Hub-to-Mate link is supposed to be good for up to 1000ft, and being a low-bitrate (9600bps) and high-voltage-swing signal there should be no interference or integrity headaches as you might encounter trying to run millivolt analog shunt signals any fraction of that distance. It only needs two pairs, orange and green (pins 1,2,3,6 for power, ground, TX, RX), same as pre-1000M Ethernet, although signals on the wire are nothing like Ethernet. So, brown & blue pairs could be broken out for some other purpose in the future. Powering the Mate from a local 9->24V DC source, and borrowing signal-ground from another cable allows re-using the orange pair too.

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by peteandsun » Fri May 08, 2020 9:42 pm

This is my first install of a prewired FP1. I have built several in the past, but it's been awhile. I'm only seeing one shunt that's under the inverter cover, but I haven't started bringing external wiring into the DC & AC enclosures. If there's another shunt, where do they put it? Is it between the FM60 and the DC enclosure? If there are 2 shunts then I like the idea of moving the Mate3 to the cabin via cat5 cable.

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by raysun » Fri May 08, 2020 9:45 pm

jnh wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 9:17 pm
raysun wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 8:05 pm
Less McGuyver and more rational may be to simply run a Cat5 cable 80' and relocate the Mate. It has all the info on its display. This would serve to keep an eye on SoC. If the system needed service in the equipment room using the Mate, it could be detached from the remote location and plugged in at the Hub as now.
This is what I went with. Using decent quality cable, the Hub-to-Mate link is supposed to be good for up to 1000ft, and being a low-bitrate (9600bps) and high-voltage-swing signal there should be no interference or integrity headaches as you might encounter trying to run millivolt analog shunt signals any fraction of that distance. It only needs two pairs, orange and green (pins 1,2,3,6 for power, ground, TX, RX), same as pre-1000M Ethernet, although signals on the wire are nothing like Ethernet. So, brown & blue pairs could be broken out for some other purpose in the future. Powering the Mate from a local 9->24V DC source, and borrowing signal-ground from another cable allows re-using the orange pair too.
Nice analysis, and great treatise on "reduce, reuse, recycle" for twisted pair. 😀

Did copper go up to like a million dollars a pound while I was sleeping? For the time and effort, would it not be easier to run two cables? 😉

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by raysun » Fri May 08, 2020 9:49 pm

peteandsun wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 9:42 pm
This is my first install of a prewired FP1. I have built several in the past, but it's been awhile. I'm only seeing one shunt that's under the inverter cover, but I haven't started bringing external wiring into the DC & AC enclosures. If there's another shunt, where do they put it? Is it between the FM60 and the DC enclosure? If there are 2 shunts then I like the idea of moving the Mate3 to the cabin via cat5 cable.
Its going to take less time to move the Mate than it will to find the 2nd shunt. It's most likely in-line with the charge controller, however, so could be traced into that circuit.

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by jnh » Fri May 08, 2020 11:33 pm

raysun wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 9:45 pm
Nice analysis, and great treatise on "reduce, reuse, recycle" for twisted pair. 😀

Did copper go up to like a million dollars a pound while I was sleeping? For the time and effort, would it not be easier to run two cables? 😉
I have have plenty of spare cable spooled up, but it's more wanting to avoid the hassle of pulling another line ~80' through the tight attic, fishing it through wall cavities and junction boxes, moving heavy furniture and equipment out of the way to access the wall jacks at one end, etc. I ran two Cat5's originally (along with heavy 6/2 + ground for 24VDC power), which seemed like enough at the time, but kept finding more uses for extra wire pairs.

Currently those two cables carry the Mate data link, AUX outputs from a GVFX and one charge controller, RS-232 serial to the Brultech AC power monitor, six latching-relay control coils (arranged in a ring with resistors and driven by an Hbridge-like circuit), two CdS ambient light sensors, and two discrete magnetic door sensors, with a Dallas 1-wire bus (for temperature and humidity sensors, etc.) making use of an abandoned telephone circuit.

To add anything else I'll need to either finally pull the third cable, or drop in a little microcontroller board at the garage end to multiplex some of these discrete control lines onto RS-232 or RS-485 serial. Wireless could be an option, but I prefer hardwiring for sensing & automation when possible.

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by raysun » Fri May 08, 2020 11:40 pm

Yep. I expect if you ever need to wire in a control system for a nuclear power plant, you're gonna need to run another cable.

LOL!

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by jnh » Fri May 08, 2020 11:47 pm

Alas, the Mr. Fusion will have to wait. Knew I should have gone with 48 volts... :grin:

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by raysun » Sat May 09, 2020 12:01 am

jnh wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 11:47 pm
Alas, the Mr. Fusion will have to wait. Knew I should have gone with 48 volts... :grin:
:lol:

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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by Mike Curran » Sat May 09, 2020 3:59 pm

You could use an ethernet powerline adapter (like this: https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-AV1000-P ... _i=1194444) to transmit an ethernet signal over the 80' distance between house and shed.
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
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Re: Parallel Hookup to Flexnet Shunt?

Post by peteandsun » Thu May 21, 2020 5:24 pm

FYI for everyone, I'm going to run cat5 cable to the house/cabin and move the Mate3 there. The second shunt is a tiny affair that is located under the metal raceway between the FM60 and the GSLC on the FlexPowerOne assembly.

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