GS8048A Board failures

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pselaphid
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My RE system: 30x Silfab SLG-M 360W Solar Modules, 8kW Outback Power Radian Inverter, 2x Flexmax 80 Charge Controllers, Mate3 System Monitor, 16x Outback Nano Carbon 106NC Batteries

GS8048A Board failures

Post by pselaphid » Wed May 06, 2020 9:26 am

I have had two circuit boards on my GS8048A inverter fail since the new system was installed in Dec.2019. The first failed within about a month, the second two months later after the first failed board was replaced. My installer has been trying to get the issue resolved with Outback but has not been successful. I put in a work order directly with them last week, but have not had anything but an autoresponse.

I have been without power for about a month and the situation is becoming more urgent since I'll be moving in full time to the house soon. It is completely off grid, so I'll need to have the system up and reliable. Can anyone clue me in on what's going on with their warranty service and perhaps recommend a course of action?

Yes, everybody gets a break during the pandemic shutdowns, but responding to system failures can be easily done within our current restrictions.

Thanks,
Chris

raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
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Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by raysun » Wed May 06, 2020 10:08 am

What board failed and under what circumstances?

One board failing is rare, two failing in short order is rare^2.

Warranty issues aside for the moment, it may be helpful to eliminate external causes contributing to failure, as there are certainly conditions that can contribute.

I don't mean to deflect the issue of the OP, but looking at your profile, I see some other red flags with the system. Was this system professionally engineered? How is the design firm responding to the issue at hand?

pselaphid
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Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by pselaphid » Thu May 07, 2020 7:57 am

The folks at Outback are looking into it. I'll report back when we figure out what's happening.

sodamo
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36 Trina 280 & 16 Phono 250 in 48 volt array (fixed) 14080w
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4 FM 80 charge controllers
Hub 10.3
FNDC w/3 shunts
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Charging Only
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Honda EU7000i

Davis VantagePro2 Wx Station
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Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by sodamo » Fri May 08, 2020 11:09 pm

Looking forward to learning more about this.
10800 watts for 2 FM80’s?
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

pselaphid
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Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by pselaphid » Wed May 27, 2020 5:54 am

Update: The installer has been responsive and is in communication with Outback, though it still isn't fixed and I have not gotten an explanation about what may have caused the failures. Installation was done professionally by an authorized Outback service provider. I am not qualified to do anything with it, but please elaborate on anything that appears problematic about the way the system is configured. If there are obvious red flags, I would like to understand them better.

pss
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Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by pss » Wed May 27, 2020 8:53 am

IMO you need to add a 3rd Flexmax 80 to your system and IMO 10,800 rated watts of PV is not enough to reliably use your batteries (1600 amps at 20 hours) and say depend on them for a 25-40% use each day and recharge them with only 10,800 watts rated. Simply put, arrays are too small, charge controllers too weak and batteries too big. So either add more panels to fully charge your batteries, cut down on their use or reduce the number of batteries in your bank by 4.

raysun
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Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by raysun » Wed May 27, 2020 9:46 am

pselaphid wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 5:54 am
Update: The installer has been responsive and is in communication with Outback, though it still isn't fixed and I have not gotten an explanation about what may have caused the failures. Installation was done professionally by an authorized Outback service provider. I am not qualified to do anything with it, but please elaborate on anything that appears problematic about the way the system is configured. If there are obvious red flags, I would like to understand them better.
I have employed the 200NC battery blocks in an Outback IBR battery rack for 4 years, and appreciate the convenience of a sealed battery. Over time, I have learned a lot about their behavior. I have some observations to share.

• 16 monoblocks in 4 parallel strings will be difficult to keep in balance. The traditional "rule of thumb" is no more than 3 parallel strings. Very small variations in branch currents can end up causing large differences in battery monoblock charging and discharging characteristics, leading to shortened service life.

Unlike flooded lead acid (FLA) batteries, sealed batteries are very difficult to evaluate for uneven charge/discharge. VRLA batteries are very sensitive to "out of range" charging conditions, and the proper "range" can vary due to cell variances caused by unbalanced conditions.

I don't know what the daily draw is on this battery, but if it fits within 150AH, I'd seriously consider removing a string from service and maintain them in reserve. Another consideration for this is the NC series is no longer an active product in OB's inventory. 2 years from now spares are going to be hard to come by.

• The 400AH @ 48V VRLA battery will not be as hard to charge as an equivalent FLA battery, and the NC series have a 95% round trip efficiency, so charge fairly fast. I have a 350AH battery and 6kW of panels, and typically complete charging in 4 1/2 - 5 hours from 50% DoD. I never see full output from the panels, because by the time the sun is high enough in the sky, the batteries are in Absorb charging phase, and charge demand is declining. Also, my 3kW Inverter and energy draw is fairly modest. Depending on typical solar conditions in your area, along with daytime energy demands, the 10kW of panels may be enough, but they are over rated for the 2 FM80 by 20%. This voids the warranty and can put a hazardous condition on the system. Here, I'd hedge bets by considering adding a 3rd FM80 and plan on 2kW more panels if conditions prove to warrant it.

SandyP
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Location: Victoria, Australia

Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by SandyP » Wed May 27, 2020 7:31 pm

pselaphid wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 5:54 am
../..but please elaborate on anything that appears problematic about the way the system is configured. If there are obvious red flags, I would like to understand them better.
One assumes that your installer had some input into the design/configuration of your system - is that the case?

As has been mentioned, based on optimal conditions, your solar array is too large for the two FM80 controllers.
With 10,800W of panels at STC on a 48V system the array could produce 225A which is 65A more than the combined limit of the 2 FM80s - hence recommendations for installing another FM80.
However, solar panels rarely operate at STC and have another rating of NOCT which accounts for higher temperatures that occur during the normal operation of solar panels. The NOCT rating of your array is 8,160W which will still see 170A output, again exceeding the rating of the 2x FM80s.

So, the temperature is the critical issue here, and therefore it depends if your location sees low temperatures during the day - what is the lowest temp you expect to have when the sun is up?

Also, do you know if the solar panel array is optimally oriented or does it not face towards the noonday sun?

raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
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Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by raysun » Wed May 27, 2020 8:00 pm

SandyP wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 7:31 pm
pselaphid wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 5:54 am
../..but please elaborate on anything that appears problematic about the way the system is configured. If there are obvious red flags, I would like to understand them better.
One assumes that your installer had some input into the design/configuration of your system - is that the case?

As has been mentioned, based on optimal conditions, your solar array is too large for the two FM80 controllers.
With 10,800W of panels at STC on a 48V system the array could produce 225A which is 65A more than the combined limit of the 2 FM80s - hence recommendations for installing another FM80.
However, solar panels rarely operate at STC and have another rating of NOCT which accounts for higher temperatures that occur during the normal operation of solar panels. The NOCT rating of your array is 8,160W which will still see 170A output, again exceeding the rating of the 2x FM80s.

So, the temperature is the critical issue here, and therefore it depends if your location sees low temperatures during the day - what is the lowest temp you expect to have when the sun is up?

Also, do you know if the solar panel array is optimally oriented or does it not face towards the noonday sun?
Yes, one can "fudge" the numbers by making assumptions (often quite reasonable) about operating conditions.

For example, I live on Hawaii Island, at 2700' and an average annual temperature of 69°F. Daytime average would be somewhat higher, of course. For most any time my arrays are active, they are running a deficit from STC, due to being above 77°F. I could "get away" with having more than the approximately 4kW panels on my largest array. But not always. While we are never under cold, clear, full sun conditions that would drive panel output above STC, we do see frequent cloud-edge effects that do so. I've watched the 4kW array peak at nearly 5kW for long enough to make me nervous. Fortunately, no harm was done.

Assuming an overload won't ever happen is to practically invite Murphy's Law into the system design. ;)

One factor that probably can't be adjusted is the manufacturer's warranty on the charge controller. It's not stated around possible operational conditions, its stated as Total PV Panel watts at STC at nominal battery voltage and controller output current rating. For the FM80 in a 48V system, that's 3840 watts. I doubt if 4000 watts @ STC is going to raise an objection, but would think 5000 watts would in the event of controller failure.

SandyP
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My RE system: 8 x 190W 24V Suntech panels (4 strings of 2) July 2011
4 x 325W 24V Suntech panels (2 strings of 2) added Sept2018
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Outback FM60 MPPT (max output lowered to 55amps)
12 x 2V Hoppecke GEL 660 Ah C100 - 24V System
Outback VFX3024 Inverter/Charger
Victron BMV-602s
Honda 5.5kW Genset
Location: Victoria, Australia

Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by SandyP » Wed May 27, 2020 9:02 pm

raysun wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 8:00 pm
../..Assuming an overload won't ever happen is to practically invite Murphy's Law into the system design. ;)
../..
Hence, I stated that under both STC and NOCT the array exceeds the warranted capacity of the 2x FM80s and gave some background as to how this is calculated.

sodamo
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Posts: 779
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:55 am
My RE system: Totally off grid - Hamakua side, Big Island, Hi

36 Trina 280 & 16 Phono 250 in 48 volt array (fixed) 14080w
Radians GG8048/GS4048 w GSLCs
4 FM 80 charge controllers
Hub 10.3
FNDC w/3 shunts
Mate 3s
OpticsRE - MMKL - Ninole Hi
12 SimpliPhi 3.8
14Kw Kohler 14RESA Propane

Charging Only
2FX3048T
Hub
FNDC. - shared shunt feeds from Radian FNDC
Mate 3s
10Kw MEP 803a Military gen

Honda EU7000i

Davis VantagePro2 Wx Station
On line at: https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/KHININOL2
Location: Ninole, Hi

Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by sodamo » Wed May 27, 2020 9:07 pm

But I don’t think any of us are attributing the board failures to the CC/PV design issue. What is unknown because we cannot see the actual system is that if the installer allowed such a design error what else is lurking? Two inverter board failures does not seem purely random. I’m thinking the OP may need another set of knowledgeable eyes on his system to completely review the design and execution.
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

raysun
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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 of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by raysun » Wed May 27, 2020 9:24 pm

SandyP wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 9:02 pm
raysun wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 8:00 pm
../..Assuming an overload won't ever happen is to practically invite Murphy's Law into the system design. ;)
../..
Hence, I stated that under both STC and NOCT the array exceeds the warranted capacity of the 2x FM80s and gave some background as to how this is calculated.
Yes, it's just about our favorite pastime here. Next time we'll all have to schedule a chat with a pint at our elbows.

;)

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 779
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:55 am
My RE system: Totally off grid - Hamakua side, Big Island, Hi

36 Trina 280 & 16 Phono 250 in 48 volt array (fixed) 14080w
Radians GG8048/GS4048 w GSLCs
4 FM 80 charge controllers
Hub 10.3
FNDC w/3 shunts
Mate 3s
OpticsRE - MMKL - Ninole Hi
12 SimpliPhi 3.8
14Kw Kohler 14RESA Propane

Charging Only
2FX3048T
Hub
FNDC. - shared shunt feeds from Radian FNDC
Mate 3s
10Kw MEP 803a Military gen

Honda EU7000i

Davis VantagePro2 Wx Station
On line at: https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/KHININOL2
Location: Ninole, Hi

Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by sodamo » Wed May 27, 2020 9:26 pm

raysun wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 9:24 pm
SandyP wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 9:02 pm
raysun wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 8:00 pm
../..Assuming an overload won't ever happen is to practically invite Murphy's Law into the system design. ;)
../..
Hence, I stated that under both STC and NOCT the array exceeds the warranted capacity of the 2x FM80s and gave some background as to how this is calculated.
Yes, it's just about our favorite pastime here. Next time we'll all have to schedule a chat with a pint at our elbows.

;)
Ready. Just picked up 2 refills at Hilo Brewing today. Nice remodel they did.
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

pselaphid
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Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by pselaphid » Thu May 28, 2020 7:12 am

Thanks to everyone for these inputs. I am forwarding the information to the owner of the company and will insist that they get input from Outback and/or other qualified third party to look into the system configuration. They have been working with Outback systems for 15 years and have a good local reputation, so screwing something up badly is unexpected, but we shall see.

In answer to the questions about temp. and orientation, this is south Louisiana. A clear winter day at or below freezing when the sun is low would be rare event, and always above 60f the rest of the year, typically much higher. Orientation is SSE (edited) at about 40 degrees roof slant. So never direct sun overhead, but near direct mid/late mornings. Sounds like that still exceeds the rating for two ST80s.

linel
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Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by linel » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:41 am

I've had four power control board failures since 2012 on an original GS8048 and a replacement GS8048A and thats on an off-grid system being used only about three months a year.

I have three PCB spares now and suggest you do the same.

I do have a theory about what has caused the failures and have a couple questions for you ...

1. Can you specify exactly how your generator provides power to your house? Do you use a tranfer switch in any way?

2. Do you have a surge protector wired to your 120/240 VAC bus and does it protect the inverter AC OUT any time the AC OUT breaker is closed?
Off grid
5760 watts of panels in 2 arrays
2 - FM80
8 - NC200 batteries @ 48v with RTS in Outback 2-string rack
1 - GS8048 inverter
GSLC
FNDC
Mate3

JRHill
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Re: GS8048A Board failures

Post by JRHill » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:31 am

linel wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:41 am
I've had four power control board failures since 2012 on an original GS8048 and a replacement GS8048A and thats on an off-grid system being used only about three months a year.

I have three PCB spares now and suggest you do the same.

I do have a theory about what has caused the failures and have a couple questions for you ...

1. Can you specify exactly how your generator provides power to your house? Do you use a tranfer switch in any way?

2. Do you have a surge protector wired to your 120/240 VAC bus and does it protect the inverter AC OUT any time the AC OUT breaker is closed?
Yup - this is attention worthy. As has been mentioned there is too much PV for two little charge controller(s) for a big battery bank. But its the inverter having problems. Still unanswered is:
raysun wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 10:08 am
What board failed and under what circumstances?

One board failing is rare, two failing in short order is rare^2.

Warranty issues aside for the moment, it may be helpful to eliminate external causes contributing to failure, as there are certainly conditions that can contribute.
I can't begin to imaging what is causing the inverter failures. What bothers me is there is the possibility for charge controller problems AND as Raysun mentioned, the parallel battery banks' longevity. Added together it could become really frustrating. I hope the best for a speedy resolve.

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