Need help setting up my controller

Discussion about the FM100, FM80, and FM60 Charge Controllers

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Nborton
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:32 pm
My RE system: 4x 380w solar panels
10x 130ah battery’s wired 24v
Fm 60 outback solar controller

Need help setting up my controller

Post by Nborton » Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:48 pm

Hey there I have an off grid solar system that consists of the following
-fm60 outback controller
-4x 380w solar panels
-10x 130AH agm batterys (Gsolar supernova 130)

I have a constant load of 1.8amps 365 days of the year. So far it’s been running ok but seems like it’s not charging as good as they could. The lowest I’ve seen the voltage drop to is 24.8v. Just wondering what I should have the fallowing set points at?
Absorption time?
Absorption end amps?
As well as any other important settings I should be aware of?
Thanks in advance

JRHill
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Re: Need help setting up my controller

Post by JRHill » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:10 pm

You've wired 5 strings of 2x12 batteries?

What inverter?

There are bunches of threads on this forum about pulling the FLA batteries down "heavily" and then recharging them likewise. That's good practice. But it's hard/difficult to do with 5 strings. Yup, probably worked great when they were new. But maybe now each string causes one to charge more than the other. That is not good. Maybe you now have 5 stings of some good batteries and some lagging. You won't know until you test them. Just because you have a bunch of batteries connected together doesn't mean they will charge the same as the interconnected barrels of water "seek the same level." Nope, not at all.

Nborton
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:32 pm
My RE system: 4x 380w solar panels
10x 130ah battery’s wired 24v
Fm 60 outback solar controller

Re: Need help setting up my controller

Post by Nborton » Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:32 pm

Yes there are 5-strings of battery’s
There is no inverter it’s off the grid system so solar only.

What kind of settings would you recommend?

raysun
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Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings @ 2 series)
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Re: Need help setting up my controller

Post by raysun » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:03 pm

5 parallel strings are difficult to keep in balance. AGM especially so because of limited tools to determine individual cells' states of charge. We're pretty much stuck with voltage at the (12V) block level, and voltage is a difficult measure to use to accurately gauge state of charge. Since it's what we have to work with, measure and note the voltages of the individual 12V blocks. They all should measure within a few tenths of a volt. Even that is a wide variation when it comes to charging/discharging.

Typical charging rates for AGM batteries is 10%-30% of the AH rating. In this case, at least 65A to possibly as much as 190A charging current. The FM60 can deliver 60A maximum, so is off the low end of recommended charge current rates. The battery would likely take a fairly long time to properly charge if the FM60 is the only charging source.

The battery is rated 650AH @ 24V = 15.6kWH. 50% Depth of Discharge (DoD) is considered maximum for a lead acid battery so usable capacity = 7.9kWH.

The 1.8A @ 24V load = 1kWH/day. The battery should be able to supply the load for just a bit less than 8 days before 50% DoD.

7.9kWH + a bit more would need to be returned to the battery to to fully recharge. The FM80 running a full 60A x 24V = 1440W charge would take 6 hours to recharge the battery. Since solar charging is rarely full capacity, charging would take somewhat longer. How much longer is a function of solar harvest and battery charging profile (charge current, absorb time, etc.)

I'm guessing here, but it seems the battery has been lightly loaded and lightly discharged daily, but the charging has also been light and the battery not fully recharged each cycle. The result is a regularly undercharged battery that has seen a slowly declining maximum state of charge at the end of each cycle.

Is there a battery monitor on the system? Can net Amp-hours in and Amp-hours out be tracked?

If there an external AC charging source available to help bring each 12V block up to full charge?

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1249
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 Strings @ 2 Series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings @ 2 series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Need help setting up my controller

Post by raysun » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:17 pm

Nborton wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:48 pm
Hey there I have an off grid solar system that consists of the following
-fm60 outback controller
-4x 380w solar panels
-10x 130AH agm batterys (Gsolar supernova 130)

I have a constant load of 1.8amps 365 days of the year. So far it’s been running ok but seems like it’s not charging as good as they could. The lowest I’ve seen the voltage drop to is 24.8v. Just wondering what I should have the fallowing set points at?
Absorption time?
Absorption end amps?
As well as any other important settings I should be aware of?
Thanks in advance
To address your original question. Absorb time may be specified by the manufacturer (best), or determined experimentally. A rule of thumb is to run Absorb until the input amperage is 1%-3% of battery Amp-hour capacity. (6.5A-19.5A in this case.) I'd run Absorb until the current gets to the 1-3% range, then terminate when it drops not further.

Is there a spec sheet or user guide for the battery blocks?

Maximum charging current is important to know, but with the battery size, its at least the maximum of the FM60.

It the FM60 set up to temperature compensate charging voltages?

Nborton
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:32 pm
My RE system: 4x 380w solar panels
10x 130ah battery’s wired 24v
Fm 60 outback solar controller

Re: Need help setting up my controller

Post by Nborton » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:46 pm

No it’s not setup for temperature compensation. I’m using a FM60 as a charge controller. Right now I have the absorption time set to 4 hours And the end current to 6amps
I haven’t been able to find any battery specific info. Beside that the want the float charge voltage at 13.5-13.8 . And the cyclic voltage is 14.5-14.9 volts
What do you recommend for setpoints.

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1249
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 Strings @ 2 Series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings @ 2 series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Need help setting up my controller

Post by raysun » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:58 pm

Temperature compensation is important to properly charging a battery. AGMs are sensitive to both overcharge and undercharge, and temperature compenstated charging will help minimize both.

I'd use a Float voltage of 27.2V, Absorb voltage of 29.2.

Absorb time of 4 hrs sounds about right.

6A is a bit low for end Amps, but the FM60 will execute Absorb for the time set in the Absorb Time parameter anyway.

Nborton
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:32 pm
My RE system: 4x 380w solar panels
10x 130ah battery’s wired 24v
Fm 60 outback solar controller

Re: Need help setting up my controller

Post by Nborton » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:05 pm

So what your saying it maybe I should drop my charge end amps back to zero? And get a tempature sensor? What is all to setup when you install tempature sensor

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1249
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 Strings @ 2 Series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings @ 2 series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Need help setting up my controller

Post by raysun » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:10 pm

The Remote Tenperarure Sensor is plugged into the FM60 and affixed mid-battery.

TC charging occurs automatically.

End Amps won't really be used in your setup. Zero is OK.
Last edited by raysun on Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nborton
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:32 pm
My RE system: 4x 380w solar panels
10x 130ah battery’s wired 24v
Fm 60 outback solar controller

Re: Need help setting up my controller

Post by Nborton » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:12 pm

Ok thanks. I will change them settings and go from there. Is there any other important settings that I should be changing?

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1249
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 Strings @ 2 Series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings @ 2 series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Need help setting up my controller

Post by raysun » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:18 pm

Nborton wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:12 pm
Ok thanks. I will change them settings and go from there. Is there any other important settings that I should be changing?
Float voltage and Float time.
EQ voltage and EQ time.

If the Mate has charger control and its enabled (I don't know about the Mate2) then make sure voltages that may be there agree with the charging profile in the FM60.

That's about everything that would affect battery charging.

No inverter, correct?

Any AC battery charger at all?

Nborton
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:32 pm
My RE system: 4x 380w solar panels
10x 130ah battery’s wired 24v
Fm 60 outback solar controller

Re: Need help setting up my controller

Post by Nborton » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:27 pm

Yes no inverter or ac power at all.
What do you think I should put them settings to?

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1249
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 Strings @ 2 Series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings @ 2 series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Need help setting up my controller

Post by raysun » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:43 am

Nborton wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:27 pm
Yes no inverter or ac power at all.
What do you think I should put them settings to?
Lacking specifics from the manufacturer, I'd set EQ voltage the same as Absorb, and EQ time to 6 hours.

Float voltage as mentioned above, and Float time to 24 hours.

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