New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion batt

Discussion about the FM100, FM80, and FM60 Charge Controllers

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Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby clarkef on Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:29 pm

gtarolli wrote:I see that in Optics RE you can start or stop BULK or EQ modes, but not for Silent. I recommend you download the FM100 manual (actually all the manuals) to a local computer/tablet where you can search through them.


I've done that. I perused the manuals time and again before reaching out for help. I just don't understand why with float and absorb in the 23v range, it was charging at 24+ with each controller putting out 90+ amps.

I might just factory reset everything if it happens again and start with completely fresh numbers.

Thank you for sharing your setup and for your insight and help.

Clarke
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Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby gtarolli on Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:12 pm

Once I had a similar issue and at the time I diagnosed it as the upper limit of the temp comp was errantly being used as the target voltage. I think I posted this in the forum. So I would be very interested in knowing if lowering your temp comp upper limit helps.
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Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby gtarolli on Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:34 pm

I found my old posts, it took a while as I am on my tablet and not a computer.
I think this link will work, I posted numerous times the last week of Dec. about my system charging beyond the absorb setting and the target voltage on the fm80 was the upper temp comp. limit, yikes because the app note said to set it to 57.6v

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=9056&p=53619&hilit=+limited+compensation#p53619
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Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby clarkef on Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:34 pm

gtarolli wrote:I found my old posts, it took a while as I am on my tablet and not a computer.
I think this link will work, I posted numerous times the last week of Dec. about my system charging beyond the absorb setting and the target voltage on the fm80 was the upper temp comp. limit, yikes because the app note said to set it to 57.6v

http://outbackpower.com/forum/viewtopic ... ion#p53619


I read your posts. It doesn't seem like that temp comp limit was ever explained by outback - and no mention of temp comp limit settings in the SimpliPhi app note? I assume you have a RTS sensor installed - or was it working off the temp comp numbers without a sensor installed. Outback support told me last week that Temp Comp should be disabled without a temp sensor installed? (seems that the temp comp screen/values should be disabled if no sensor is installed).

I've updated my temp comp values to match my new absorb of 23.9v. Float is at 23.8v. Let's see what happens. I can edge them up once I know that the charge controllers won't try and cook my expensive Li-Ion batteries because their programming internally is wacked.

Clarke
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Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby gtarolli on Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:33 pm

I have an RTS installed, but it must be inside the Radian as there's nothing coming out to the batteries. And when the inverter heats up due to a prolonged large load, the RTS reads high even though the batteries down below are normal air temp.

I agree the temp comp. is not explained well, and could very well have bugs in it based on my observations. I am fairly confident that setting upper limit to your absorb setting will help. Now if whatever is reading the temp ever goes way up and you find it lowers your absorb target down too low, then simply raise your absorb up .5 or .8v and leave the temp comp limit alone - and it will clamp things so that the target does not exceed that setting. In this manner, when temp comp does nothing, the upper limit keeps it at the desired absorb voltage (not the artificial high setting), and even when temp comp would want to lower the target voltage, the absorb voltage is .5 to .8 above the desired value so it can lower it by that amount and the desired absorb voltage will still be reached. I hope that was not too confusing.
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Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby clarkef on Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:19 am

Well this morning was different!

Both FM100's in bulk and then were silent next time I checked.
Showed Over Current Fault on CC on port four.
Opened PV disconnect and reset charge controller battery input breaker.
Closed PV disconnect.
No faults present.
No messages in event log other than the power cycles to the mate

Mate3s shows batteries at 23V and mode silent. Float and absorb values are 23.8 and 23.9v respectively.

Won't charge. Period.

Factory reset charge controller, reset charging values. cycled all the input breakers - nada.

I've pulled my old Schnider charge controller out and hooked that back up to my old panels to put something into the batteries.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

Clarke
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Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby Kurt Lundquist on Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:27 am

Hi Clarke,

If each of the FM100 has 5kW arrays I would not be surprised to see the over-current message. 3.0kW is the max recommended PV size for a 24V battery bank. When you move to a 48V system with the Radian GS8048A the 5.0kW arrays will not be a problem. Per the FM100 manual, the overcurrent message can happen when more than 125 amps flow to the battery bank (5000/24 = >200 Amps).

What LED activity do you see on the FM100s?

Did you try pressing the charger button on the Mate3 then press Bulk and Start?

Do you have a wiring diagram of the system?

How did you handle the GFDI for the controllers?

-Kurt
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Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby clarkef on Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:39 pm

Kurt Lundquist wrote:Hi Clarke,

If each of the FM100 has 5kW arrays I would not be surprised to see the over-current message. 3.0kW is the max recommended PV size for a 24V battery bank. When you move to a 48V system with the Radian GS8048A the 5.0kW arrays will not be a problem. Per the FM100 manual, the overcurrent message can happen when more than 125 amps flow to the battery bank (5000/24 = >200 Amps).


I did know about the limits, but I had assumed the system would throttle back the current to stick within its limits. I slightly oversized things for more performance during the winter when we get many days of cloudy weather. I’ll take a string or two off-line and run less total input until I get the Radian online.

Kurt Lundquist wrote:What LED activity do you see on the FM100s?


Just a single light for battery discharge.

[Did you try pressing the charger button on the Mate3 then press Bulk and Start?[/quote]

Yes i did. Along with a factory reset, start EQ button and everything else I could think of.... Pure silence!

Kurt Lundquist wrote:Do you have a wiring diagram of the system?


I hadn’t bothered. Pretty straight forward:

Six strings > Midnight 12-250 combiner> Split into two outputs with6ga to basement >40a breaker> cc> batteries.

Kurt Lundquist wrote:How did you handle the GFDI for the controllers?


GFDI is built into the FM100’s. New feature.
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Midnite Combiners, SPDs

Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby gtarolli on Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:56 pm

My understanding is that the FM80 and FM100 do NOT throttle back the current, so you have to be carefull about sizing the array :-( and can't really oversize it for winter :-(
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Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby clarkef on Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:44 am

gtarolli wrote:My understanding is that the FM80 and FM100 do NOT throttle back the current, so you have to be carefull about sizing the array :-( and can't really oversize it for winter :-(


Good to know! Seems pretty poor design since all they need to do it turn off the buck converters at X rate to limit flow.

I really need to clear the corner of the basement and get the wall board up and mounted so I can put together the 48V config... one problem at a time.
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Midnite Combiners, SPDs

Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby SandyP on Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:34 am

gtarolli wrote:My understanding is that the FM80 and FM100 do NOT throttle back the current, so you have to be carefull about sizing the array :-( and can't really oversize it for winter :-(


Not sure if the FM60 works the same as the 80 & 100 but I have successfully throttled mine back to ensure it does not overshoot the 60amps output (see my system specs --->).
Maybe if you leave it at the default / maximum it will not throttle back?

@clarkef, give it a try by reducing the max output of the FM100 to something like 90amps and see what happens?

My experience is it will still overshoot the max you set as it cannot react quickly enough but it is worth a try?
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Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby clarkef on Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:09 am

Out ack support is taking the charge controllers back with RMA’s. Basic tests to try and force bulk and when i”silent” was the response issued an RMA.

Very disappointed to hear of a 1 to 2 week turn around time for eval, repair and return. No option for paid cross-shipping of a replacement either which is frankly weird given the nature of their customer base and product. Of course warranty shipping is at my cost and it’s 2/3rds of the way across the country so a couple hundred more out of pocket for a product I’ve had running less than two weeks is annoying.

I clearly now need a third unit as a spare since no charge controller isn’t an option. That was ordered last night for overnight shipping to be me back online before I leave my wife behind for a business trip this weekend. P.s? Apparently outbacks “made in USA” doesn’t extend to all their components as I was hit with a tariff price increase for the new FM100 of lost to $100.

I will probably pick up a spare inverter power module and control board for the Radian since clearly I can’t afford to be offline for two weeks if the Radian fails and I need to send it in for repair. Not sure I’m still buying their hype about designed (and support) for people like me..... time will tell.

In the mean time, I’ve finally had to go to generator this morning what with waking up to my inverters low voltage cutoff warning beep. The good news is that with a little intermittent sun on my old 2KW array feeding the Schneider MPPT60-150 that I put back online Saturday I was able to limp along for almost a week due to the 2000AH depth of the Li-Ion battery bank. Today is supposed to be mostly sunny so I should be back on battery power tonight as the little generator covers the daily load just fine.
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Midnite Combiners, SPDs

Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby clarkef on Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:39 pm

Well I can’t say solved, since today’s experience was on a completely new FM100 while my other two units are sent in for eval and repair. BUT today, the new FM100 behaved exactly as it should with it hitting absorb and then float and then silent. I ran 2/3rd of my 5K array and throttled the output to 90A to keep from tripping the PNL-100-300VDC breaker (which while rated for 100A continuous duty, still trips at 100A exactly according to Mate and Fluke clamp meter - guess I’ll be upgrading those to the 125A-300V breakers I should have bought originally.

I did use set the temp comp to limited and sent the low and high limits around my absorb and float. I’ll play with those on the next sunny day and see if I can get the unit to charge on past absorb/float settings - even though Outback says they have no effect if a RTS is not plugged in.

I’ll update again when I get the FM100’s back from repair. Than’ you to those who chimed in and offered suggestions and support.

Clarke
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2000AH of Li-Ion modules @48v pending with BMS
Midnite Combiners, SPDs

Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby gtarolli on Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:49 pm

glad to hear that you have found something that seems to work. It would be interesting to do very controlled experiments , only changing one variable at a time.
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- 21 (7x3) SolarWorld 300w (6300w)
- 5 SimpliPhi 3.4 kWh LI batteries (335ah)
- 1 Honda 3000 generator + one spare

Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby clarkef on Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:30 pm

gtarolli wrote:glad to hear that you have found something that seems to work. It would be interesting to do very controlled experiments , only changing one variable at a time.



That’s my plan - change one thing at a time to see if I can replicate the behavior that started this thread. I’ll wait until I have my other charge controllers back - so a week or two - as I don’t want to be down again if something goes sideways.

Actually it’s a good time to work on getting the GSLC and Radian online with the fancy FlexNet DC stuff too.
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My RE system: Radian 8048A w/PV GSLC
FM100 CC x3
10KW of 72 cell panels (5S3P x2)
2000AH of Li-Ion modules @48v pending with BMS
Midnite Combiners, SPDs

Re: New FM100's exceeding set voltages when charging Li-Ion

Postby clarkef on Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:32 pm

Past time for an update.

I haven’t had the time to experiment with the temp comp voltage ranges to see if the overcharge behavior repeats itself. With @gtarolli’s suggested limited temp comp voltage ranges - the FM100’s work as expected and my BMS opens the RSI circuit if it were to continue charging.

Instead of messing with edge cases, I finally got my Radian 8048A hung and mostly wired up. Rebuild the Li-Ion battery bank as 44.2 (48V) nominal at the same 2000AH. Here is an in-process pic.

Waiting on a third FM100 to arrive so I can complete the conduit work. Didn’t want to mix in my old Schneider or a FM80 that works with my old 2K array as those combos are recommended against. This way I’ll have a spare FM100 if one fails again.
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Midnite Combiners, SPDs

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