Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

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Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by grunt » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:58 am

I ordered a prewired GS8048 and contacted OutBack about what I would need to add a third FM 80. They gave me the two part numbers to breakers. One of them is to replace one set of existing breakers and the other one is to add a breaker for the new FM80. Now I have not opened the load center up as of yet so there is a pretty good chance it might be self explanatory upon observation and with the wiring diagram as what to do but any further input you may have on this matter would be greatly appreciated. When I don't have a pre made and printed wiring diagram to look at, I get a wee bit nervous. Thanks in advance you guys have always been tons of help. I will continue to cruise the page and see if I can dig up my answer on my own but any input would be nice.
Thanks
John

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by grunt » Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:37 am

For example, and mind you I am only looking at the wiring schematic at this time so if it different inside the box then please let me know. It shows two negative common terminals, one for each CC and those two are tied to a DC negative plate. Now when I add the two new breakers will a third terminal be present and if not do I just stack it on one of the existing terminals since it all ties in to the same negative plate. I believe 5 and 6 are the two breakers I replace/add a new oneImage

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by pss » Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:40 am

This is how I did it:
You need to replace the installed breaker with one double pole double throw breaker which will expand capacity from 2 to 4 charge controllers, and add 1 or 2 80 amp DC breakers, one for each charge controller you are adding. I have 3 charge controllers installed.
Charge Controller Breakers 3-7-20.jpg
Three or 4 charge controllers in GSLC

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by grunt » Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:47 am

disregard this post
Last edited by grunt on Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

grunt
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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by grunt » Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:49 am

pss wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:40 am
This is how I did it:
You need to replace the installed breaker with one double pole double throw breaker which will expand capacity from 2 to 4 charge controllers, and add 1 or 2 80 amp DC breakers, one for each charge controller you are adding. I have 3 charge controllers installed.Charge Controller Breakers 3-7-20.jpg

I have those parts. I guess it will make more sense once I can see the back of them, they are still sitting in a box.

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by grunt » Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:55 am

you can see where the two fm80 (-) fall here. I don't see how adding a breaker expands this for a third terminal for the additonal fm 80 (-) to expand .


Image

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by pss » Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:09 am

My electrician wired my system, but I believe the negative bus bar is common for the charge controllers, it is the positive wiring going across the breakers which isolates each breaker from the others on the 80 amp breakers and the ground fault DPDT breaker trips them all.

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by grunt » Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:14 am

I think you are right. The positive lugs only show up in the schematics when it shows you how to wire it to the breaker. The only lug it shows on the negative is on the bar.

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by grunt » Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:52 am

just wondering where the third negative fm 80 lug should land? they seem to have the two in the schematic seperated.

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by raysun » Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:54 pm

grunt wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:52 am
just wondering where the third negative fm 80 lug should land? they seem to have the two in the schematic seperated.
Hard to tell from the diagram. Each B- might be landing on a separate lug on the bus bar. Or it may be shunts?

Is the FNDC treating them as separate current sources?

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by grunt » Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:24 pm

I know they can handle more then 3 CC with the hub and all but where do they land? I am sure some one will chime in. Also all of my runs back from my combiner boxes are 2/0 due to distance, I guess I need to put them in a box and reduce them down to 4awg before I try going in to the box as that seems to be the largest universal sizes for wiring.

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by raysun » Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:06 pm

grunt wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:24 pm
I know they can handle more then 3 CC with the hub and all but where do they land? I am sure some one will chime in. Also all of my runs back from my combiner boxes are 2/0 due to distance, I guess I need to put them in a box and reduce them down to 4awg before I try going in to the box as that seems to be the largest universal sizes for wiring.
Yes, all that heavy 2/0 ought to land in a box with lugs to bring it down to 4awg, feeding an 80A DC disconnect/breaker for PV disconnect before the FM80. Three disconnects for 3 arrays/FM80's.

The output from the FM80s' B+ lines would land on three of the four input lugs on the quad-ganged 80A GFDI. The three B- cables would need to land on three lugs on the B- bus bar, if there's room. If not, install a separate B- bus bar to take the three B-. (240A minimum capacity. Maybe plan for 320A service in case a 4th FM80 appears in the future.) B- bus bar output to shunt input for FNDC (wired to the existing B- landing points of the original wiring scheme. Make sure the cabling throughout has ampacity for 240A (and perhaps 320A.)

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by grunt » Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:18 pm

Raysun,

Thanks for the input, that is what I was thinking for the B -, electronically they are all the same point. Also thanks for the conformation on the reducer box! Have a great day!! \:D/

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by fcwlp » Sat Mar 07, 2020 4:58 pm

grunt wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:24 pm
Also all of my runs back from my combiner boxes are 2/0 due to distance, I guess I need to put them in a box and reduce them down to 4awg before I try going in to the box as that seems to be the largest universal sizes for wiring.
That must be a long long ways to your panels. An option I use to change wire sizes are Morris Splices (https://www.amazon.com/Morris-Products- ... r=8-6&th=1). There are a variety of sizes and the link is for one specified for splicing 2/0 to 6 AWG or anywhere in between. You will need one for each wire.

Also Southwire has some very useful iOS apps (not sure about Android) for calculating voltage drops and conduit fill.
raysun wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:06 pm
The three B- cables would need to land on three lugs on the B- bus bar, if there's room. If not, install a separate B- bus bar to take the three B-.
The FNDC can only read three current sources or loads. You will need to double up two of the CCs on one of the shunts, as the battery negative must be on one of the shunts.

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by grunt » Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:43 pm

Thanks for the shunt info.. yeah 500 feet of 2/0 is pricey but its what I wanted for the three combiner boxes, for the 6 pedestals.

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by raysun » Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:57 pm

"The FNDC can only read three current sources or loads. You will need to double up two of the CCs on one of the shunts, as the battery negative must be on one of the shunts."

I might suggest putting all three CCs on a single shunt. The OB provided units can handle the load.

OpticsRE has no problem tracking individual charging performance from each CC connected in this manner.
Screenshot_20200308-055520_Chrome.jpg
My system with two charge controllers on a single shunt.

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by grunt » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:23 pm

Raysun,

I think for a clean install that is what I will do, Thanks again your help has been greatly appreciated and I look forward to calling on you in the future.

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by raysun » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:36 pm

YW. Not just me, there's a ton of knowledge on this forum about every practical aspect of OB systems. I possess about 50 pounds of it. ;)

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by grunt » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:39 pm

I know, I just don't want to take any one for granted on this board.

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by sodamo » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:39 pm

My 4 FM80s combine with a Morris and go to a single shunt. Each CC still provides for individual data, but FNDC sees as a single for data. I don’t see any benefit of splitting CCs to more than a single shunt.
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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by ty.marbut » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:36 am

I'm sorry to be late to the party here, but I had to solve this same issue a couple months ago in my system.

The Outback rep told me to remove Shunt B, install it into my second load center, run the battery cable through both shunt B and shunt A in the second load center with the FlexNet DC measuring shunt B, and then move shunt C to the former position of shunt B in the main load center, and get a bus bar to install onto shunt C (in main load center) to which all 3 charge controllers could be connected. Yes, I, too, asked him 3 times if this is actually what he wanted me to do, and he said yes.

Of course, that made no sense - I wish I could say it was a miscommunication, but it wasn't. I didn't remove shunt C - there was already a 500A shunt (shunt A) in the second load center - I just put it on the formerly shunt B channel of the FlexNet DC.

Anyway, to your question: I got some copper (or copper-plated?) clamp-down-type terminal lug connectors from the ol' Lowe Depot and stacked them up on Shunt B, and ran my (somewhat oversided) wire into each of the 3 terminals. I had to play with the angles they came together at in order to make everything fit, but it fit fine with some careful planning. I can get you a photo of this if you haven't solved your issue already.

One thing I noticed (this is for FM100 CCs) is that the wire ports on the FM100 are only good for 2ga wire. If you're not sticking your charge controllers right on the side of your load center like they expect you to, 2ga cables introduce a lot of loss. As in, with about 5ft of run to the charge controllers, I calculated that I'd have 50% the amount of loss that I have in 180ft of trench between the panels and the house. Unacceptable. The best I was able to do was 0ga with the end necked down to a diameter that would fit in the 2ga port on the FM100. Either way, only being able to use 2ga wire on charge controllers that aren't mounted literally to the side of the load center is a problem.

So short answer: I ran all the CCs into Shunt B, gave up the ability to measure the CC outputs individually via the FlexNet DC (the data is still available from the charge controllers themselves), and it's working just fine after having to figure out a solution for terminating the wires that would work within the available space.

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by fcwlp » Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:23 am

ty.marbut wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:36 am
If you're not sticking your charge controllers right on the side of your load center like they expect you to, 2ga cables introduce a lot of loss. As in, with about 5ft of run to the charge controllers, I calculated that I'd have 50% the amount of loss that I have in 180ft of trench between the panels and the house. Unacceptable.
I would be interested in your definition of unacceptable power loss. The resistance of 2 AWG is 0.1563 ohms/1000' or 0.0007815 ohms for a 5' length. At a full 100A output the power loss is 7.82W (100^2 * 0.0007815) or 0.16% if FM100 output is 5,000W. Going to 0 AWG reduced your loss to 4.65W or ~1% of FM100 output at max current.

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by grunt » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:36 am

Another question for all my friendly gurus,, So both charger controllers have their own line as you can see in the pic. There is no rail for the third charger to land, as i am adding it after the pre-wired system is already configured. Now looking at it, it does not look like that big of a deal as the bars only server as a rail for the breaker and the panel to meet. So I guess I just need to deiced how I want the to do that, correct ? Also and I don't think it really matters but can I use any type of Cat 5 cable with j45 connectors to hook the third charger controller in to the hub or is their some type of propitiatory cord I have to use to hook the two together? Also, in the schematics it shows that the charger controllers cat5 cables are hooked up in the inputs at the top of the hub, with what I believe is the DNC, they take up ports 1,2, & 3, respectively.. buuuuut in the pre-wired system, those cables from those units are installed at the "bottom" side of the hub ports not at the top and occupy 8, 9, and 10. Does that matter, where they are located in the HUB ? if not I will use port 7 for the third C.C. than.
Thanks
Humbly
John
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pss
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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by pss » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:24 am

The Mate 3s plugs into the lowest numbered port on hub. There are ports for 2 mates.
After those ports, plug in master inverter, slave inverters, then charge controllers and lastly fndc.
Don't skip ports. Don't mess with the order.
The hub is not a plain old Ethernet switch.
I have only used outback Ethernet cables into outback devices. They may not be wired like standard Ethernet cables. Don't leave open unused ports between devices in the hub.

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Re: Integration of third charger controller. In to a pre-wired

Post by grunt » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:36 am

those are on the lowest number up at the top the CC and the DNC are plugged all the way in the bottom. It came that way pre wired from out back.

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