My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

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muzikmakur
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My RE system: FlexPower One, FLEXmax, SimpliPhi 1.4kWh 24v

My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by muzikmakur » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:08 am

I am setting up and wiring and first encountered the problem that the schematic did not reflect the hardware. I called tech support and received clarification on these areas. I wired everything up checked the wiring several times to make sure it was correct. But, when I went through the startup procedure my charge controller started to smoke. I can only assume at this point that the factory wiring is wrong. One other thing that leads me to this conclusion is that the labels on all the breakers are upside down. If the labels went on first and then the person that was doing the wiring followed the labels then it would have gotten wired wrong. I haven't taken it apart to look and I don't think that is necessarily my job. But here are all my wirings in pictures (which I have sent to support with no response whatsoever). I'd like to get confirmation that my wiring is correct in the places where the schematic is wrong.

Looks like I am limited to 3 images per post so I will either reply to this and post the rest (if it lets me) or I'll have to create other posts.
Upside Down Labels-a.JPG
Here's the upside down labeling
Last edited by muzikmakur on Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:16 am, edited 5 times in total.

muzikmakur
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My RE system: FlexPower One, FLEXmax, SimpliPhi 1.4kWh 24v

Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by muzikmakur » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:50 am

There's no images here. Why?

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David LeBow
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Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by David LeBow » Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:19 am

Images seem to be working...

First I click the "Attachments" tab beneath the post edit box:
Attachment1.jpg
I then click Add Files. That causes a file browser window to pop up and I select the desired picture and click Open:
Attachment2.jpg
*I* usually place the pictures inline by first placing the insertion point in the post's edit box and clicking "Place Inline".
Attachment3.jpg
When you tried to add the files, did the "Status" check-box on the right side show green? Are your pictures particularly large? We have a size limit of 2MB on uploaded images.
David LeBow
Sr. Director, Software Engineering


Alpha Technologies Inc. / OutBack Power Technologies
3767 Alpha Way Bellingham WA 98226 USA
http://www.alpha.com

provo
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Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by provo » Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:24 am

muzikmakur wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:50 am
There's no images here. Why?
Are you using the secure site (a lock icon and https: in the URL), or the site that says "Not Secure" and http: before the URL?

The https: site will only accept images less than 50KB in size. The http: site allows much larger images.

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David LeBow
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Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by David LeBow » Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:28 am

provo wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:24 am

Are you using the secure site (a lock icon and https: in the URL), or the site that says "Not Secure" and http: before the URL?

The https: site will only accept images less than 50KB in size. The http: site allows much larger images.
Hmmph... the attachment size settings are only set once in the forum engine - I'm unclear on how they could be different. http should be redirecting to https and accessing the single set of settings.
David LeBow
Sr. Director, Software Engineering


Alpha Technologies Inc. / OutBack Power Technologies
3767 Alpha Way Bellingham WA 98226 USA
http://www.alpha.com

muzikmakur
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My RE system: FlexPower One, FLEXmax, SimpliPhi 1.4kWh 24v

Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by muzikmakur » Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:43 am

I see what the problem is. I had slashes in the file name

muzikmakur
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Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by muzikmakur » Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:49 am

Why is it I can only put 3 images in the past? Seems a little ridiculous.

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David LeBow
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Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by David LeBow » Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:56 am

muzikmakur wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:49 am
Why is it I can only put 3 images in the past? Seems a little ridiculous.
Well... we had to set a limit somewhere. We have 8000+ forum members, 67,000+ posts and many with large attachments, so on the one hand, it's a bit of a quota on storage but also an anti-spam measure. No need to let someone take down our server, say.
David LeBow
Sr. Director, Software Engineering


Alpha Technologies Inc. / OutBack Power Technologies
3767 Alpha Way Bellingham WA 98226 USA
http://www.alpha.com

muzikmakur
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My RE system: FlexPower One, FLEXmax, SimpliPhi 1.4kWh 24v

Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by muzikmakur » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:07 am

right. so I have to create a separate post for each wiring connection? Can I reply with more images?

muzikmakur
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Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by muzikmakur » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:08 am

also, this long unrelated conversation is now clogging up the post with unnecessary stuff. Can you delete this stuff?

muzikmakur
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Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by muzikmakur » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:18 am

Better yet, have tech support respond to my freakin email with all of the info and images instead of me have to post all of these separate posts. Are you tech support?

pss
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Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by pss » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:46 am

Folks on this forum read this: Outback Power equipment is not meant to be purchased and installed by the do it your selfer. They do not tell you how to design your system, what panels and other components you will need, what loads you will have or how to mount and connect your hardware. You are either to educate yourself as a solar engineer who can survey a site, design a mount, design the wiring schematic among the components and complete a professional drawing of the PV system to take to your local building department to be permitted, OR if you can't hire somebody!!!!
Next, if you cannot understand how to wire the components from the Outback supplied documents that will be used in your system, then HIRE A PV ELECTRICIAN!!!
It is not Outback's job to hold your hand and tell you what you blew up by not correctly wiring your system. They also do not configure your components for you. You need to understand how the components work and interact together and then apply the optimal settings for your system and goals.

When I installed my system in 2017, I first researched requirements for solar system permitting. I next hired a solar engineer who came to the property, surveyed where I wanted to install my arrays and where I would place my hardware and batteries. I then supplied him with a property survey. In return, I received a professional set of drawings containing the mounting structures and wind loads and the installation of the ground mounts into the ground with concrete. All of the mounts contained measurements to follow to build the mounts correctly. The other sets of drawings located the panels, wiring, combiner boxes, ground rods, DC disconnect switch locations, entry into the structure, wiring schematics of the charge controllers, battery bank, GSLC/Radian and load center. Included was the size of the conduit to use as well as the gauge of the wires to use and what the voltage drops would be. And, in my case, the engineer even when to the county building department and had the plans approved and my permit issued. All of this cost me a whopping $700.00!
Next, I hired an experienced master electrician who could read schematics and had worked on much, much larger projects than mine and who knew how to build out the electrical system and wire the components from the Outback drawings. I convinced him to "hire me and my adult son as his apprentices" which saved me about $45/hour. His charge was $85/hour and well worth it. It took him about 3 weeks to complete everything from scratch, meaning wiring the panels, combiner boxes, disconnects, and building the indoor structure to mount all of the Outback components and customize the wiring conduits as well as integrate everything into my main AV load panel and build out the secondary panel.
When he was done, he left. He did not power up the system and set up the software configurations. He simply said everything is wired and ready to turn on. I had to read the Outback manuals and further educate myself on the settings. Well, I finally got brave enough to begin turning on breakers and switches and guess what? It worked! No smoke. I called for my final inspection and passed with flying colors. Now, after over threes years of running, I have not had a single breaker trip, no smoke, no cut outs. What I have is a professionally installed, permitted system that looks great, is not a hodgepodge of wires and conduits, saves me money, doesn't occupy my sleeping hours and most importantly was approved in the end by my wife.

So what I am saying here is unless you are a pro, or a very experienced person who is somewhat technical in nature, knows something about electricity, can read and write a plan and are confident in your work skills, get some help. Do things right, check your work and ask questions. But don't expect Outback to act as a teacher to tell you how to install your system. If your property has any value to you, the last thing you want to do is to devalue it with a home brewed electrical mess.

Mike Curran
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Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by Mike Curran » Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:27 pm

Looking at the quick start guide for the flexpower 1, it appears the labeling on your equipment is upside down.
Screenshot_20200722-202638_Drive.jpg
You might want to pursue a warranty claim with Outback but judging from the ampere ratings on the breakers they may not forgive you for having wired it according to the labels... Good luck!
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

muzikmakur
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My RE system: FlexPower One, FLEXmax, SimpliPhi 1.4kWh 24v

Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by muzikmakur » Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:35 pm

@pss ,

Wow! Where did all of that come from?

I know electricity. I took it in college. It's not that complicated for me. I have installed my own mini splits and have added sub panels to my to may main box and various other electrical projects with no problems.

I don't need anyone to hold my hand. I just need an accurate schematic to attach AC and batteries and grounds. Outback didn't give me that. Outback also gave me a unit with upside down labels on the breakers. If there's upside down breaker labels then there may be incorrect wiring on this unit. The FlexpowerOne after all is a self contained unit with with all the components already wired together. The whole reason that i bought it and I believe the whole reason that Outback sells these is for do-it-yourselfers. There is very little to wire here. It's very basic as long as you have accurate instructions/schematic and you understand electricity.

And yes when you don't give me accurate instructions, have upside down labeling and when I am 99% sure I have it hooked up right, you do HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY to help figure out whether you sent me a faulty wired system or not!

muzikmakur
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My RE system: FlexPower One, FLEXmax, SimpliPhi 1.4kWh 24v

Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by muzikmakur » Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:39 pm

@Mike Curran

I did not wire anything according to the labels. The labels breakers are pre-wired. It's just if they were wired wrong then the locations that I wired are connected to the wrong breakers and who knows what else. As mentioned, there isn't that much wiring to do. It's just attaching the AC, Batteries, PVs and grounds....that's it.

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

Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by raysun » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:06 pm

A piece of the puzzle that's missing is the solar panel array configuration. What type of panels are being used, and how are they configured?

Also 1.3kW @ 24V SimlliPhi battery is listed. How many battery blocks are there?

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: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by raysun » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:07 pm

muzikmakur wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:07 am
right. so I have to create a separate post for each wiring connection? Can I reply with more images?
Yes, replies can have 3 more images.

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: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by raysun » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:14 pm

Mike Curran wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:27 pm
Looking at the quick start guide for the flexpower 1, it appears the labeling on your equipment is upside down. Screenshot_20200722-202638_Drive.jpg You might want to pursue a warranty claim with Outback but judging from the ampere ratings on the breakers they may not forgive you for having wired it according to the labels... Good luck!
The labels for the breakers are inverted, but the breakers themselves are in the same order as my FP1 in it's original configuration.

I'd be suprised if the person wiring the unit at the factory would have looked at the labels, if they were even in place at the time, and proceeded to miswire the breakers. It would have taken a good deal of effort to do so as some of the pre-made wires would not have fit.

A quick trace of the wiring on the breakers will tell the tale. Also, IIRC, the wires are labeled.

I added a second charge controller to my FP1 which required replacing the GFDI / Controller Disconnect with a dual unit, and adding a 2nd PV disconnect. The wiring diagrams in the documentation were all I had to work with, and I didn't find and discrepancies. Have you identified any?

muzikmakur
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Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by muzikmakur » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:29 am

Yes there are discrepancies. That's why I photographed the hardware connections and compared them to the documentation and sent them in an email to Outback. That's the whole issue, the documentation doesn't match the unit physically. All I want is to double check with someone that knows the FlexPowerOne well enough (or even better is in front of one) and has the documentation in their hand and the pictures I took, to verify that the connections in my pictures are definitely the same as the connections that are shown incorrectly or hidden on the documentation. Incorrectly by physical location or not pictured the same, but not necessarily incorrect electrically. Again, I wouldn't need the verification if the docs matched the unit. I'm just double checking to be absolutely sure, that's all. I'm having issues and as far as I can see I shouldn't be, so the next step is to verify connections that are not clear on documentation.

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: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by raysun » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:05 am

I see one picture - an inverted label.

Is this the sum total of the discrepancies found?

I have a Flexpower One panel and the documentation. The document agrees with the panel wiring. I know this because I added components to mine, and had to work within the existing wiring to do so.

BTW, this is a user forum. Some of the Outback folks moderate and occasionally participate here, but this is not a channel of OB Tech Support. That being said, the people who actively participate here have perhaps the largest body of practical knowlege and problem solving experience.

Also, I asked some questions about the system's configuration that will help deal with the issues, but they have as yet not been answered.

fcwlp
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I also install and maintain grid-tied and off-grid systems, details will be given for these system if required
Location: 80 miles NE of Phoenix at 5500'

Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by fcwlp » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:57 pm

muzikmakur wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:08 am
I am setting up and wiring and first encountered the problem that the schematic did not reflect the hardware. I called tech support and received clarification on these areas. I wired everything up checked the wiring several times to make sure it was correct. But, when I went through the startup procedure my charge controller started to smoke.
I have installed one FLEXPower One system and it was very straight forward following the Quick Start Guide. As you said there is not much to hookup. Do you have a markup of the schematic that you found to be wrong? Which model of FLEXpower did you get?

When you did your startup did you follow the steps in the Quick Start guide showing the numbers in the green boxes with yellow arrows pointing to the appropriate physical breakers. The sequence of startup is important. The number 1 is for supplying power to the CC and number 2 is for turning on the PV arrays. If you do these in reverse order there is a probability of smoking the CC.

For my customers I put additional labels on with the same number sequence shown in the Quick Start guides with the sequence of powering up and powering down. It may save me an upset customer sometime in the future.
muzikmakur wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:08 am
I can only assume at this point that the factory wiring is wrong. One other thing that leads me to this conclusion is that the labels on all the breakers are upside down. If the labels went on first and then the person that was doing the wiring followed the labels then it would have gotten wired wrong.
As @raysun said this is a low probability event due to the custom fabricated wires. I am sure their work instructions also do not say look at the label.

muzikmakur
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My RE system: FlexPower One, FLEXmax, SimpliPhi 1.4kWh 24v

Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by muzikmakur » Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:55 am

I have it on now and slowly but surely moving through the poor documentation. I get to setting up the wizard from this same doc that includes wiring, staring up, powering down and now setup and nowhere to be found is the main screen. I mean, it called THR MAIN SCREEN. There are screen for everything in the system, but no main screen. Pressed every button on the thing except lock cause at this stage last thing I want to do is accidentally lock the system. Low and behold it is under the lock button with the password. Now all it would have taken from the doc creator is a quick note to mention that this is where this screen is. I had also looked through the entire Mate 3s Overview Guide only to find the main screen discussed on the last few pages concerning updating the firm ware, again, no mention of how to get to the screen. Why is it that companies never give enough sh*t about the customers to write clear manuals and docs. The manual is I imagine always written by someone that knows the unit and so they always leave stuff out because they don’t know what it’s like to start from the beginning knowing nothing. All manuals and info docs should be tested with someone that doesn’t know the system. But I know they aren’t, otherwise this wouldn’t happen. It would actually save companies lots of money because they would need less tech support.

My other very serious gripe with manuals is creating one manual for all systems. It makes for a very difficult read when the instructions are constantly mentioning some
Version of the system or unit that I don’t have. Companies do this of course to save money with little care whether our sanity is saved. I mean how much would it cost to give us a manual that is just for our system? It Didn’t used to that way you know, back in the day, you would get a manual with just the info for the unit or system that you actually had. Today, we’re inundated with cost saving/profit making measures of companies that end up costing the customer more of his or her time and more stress. I’m tired of it. Let’s say it costs $25 per flexpowerone to create a manual particular to it. And I am sure that is really high. I don’t think anyone except Maybe those so familiar with the product that they barely need one, would mind paying that.

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: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by raysun » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:39 am

I'm just going to say this.

When I put in my system, alone, it went from a pile of gear I'd never seen before in my life to a functioning system producing power in less than three days. I'd never installed a solar power system previously, and never opened an Outback manual prior to that time. I spent a good deal of those three days reading through every bit of the documentation until I understood it. Perhaps a lifetime of RTFM prepared me for this, but TBH, it wasn't that difficult understand the system from the docs and install it right.

Since that time, I've used those same documents, my personal experience operating my system, and time learning from folks on this board to develop a fairly high level of expertise in solar power production in general and Outback power in particular.

People here are happy to help with your system problems. We can't do anything about your personal problems.

In this thread, I asked three straight-forward questions in three posts, to keep it simple. You didn't bother to answer them. At this point, I can only assume you are not looking for a solution to your system issues, but an audience to which to vent your spleen. I don't have an interest in recreational bitching or attending a pity party, so will sign off this thread unless you demonstrate you are actually looking for constructive input to correcting problems.

Before saying auf weidersehen, I will offer two bits of specific advice, take it or leave it.

#1 Get professional help. Installing a power generation system is no trivial task. Nobody wrote "Solar Power Installation and Configuration for Dummies" for very obvious reasons.

#2 The LiFePO4 battery selected for the system is sophisticated, expensive, and touchy. I have over 1000 hours into studying lithium battery technology and over 100 hours into SimpliPhi in particular as I intend on upgrading to their technology. Don't screw around trying to figure these out, only to find later you got it wrong. If you read the fine print in their warranty, you will find it's already rendered void. The best course is to make sure a claim never needs to be submitted, and that means installing, maintaining, and operating them scrupulously.

There is a rueful truism in storage-based power systems: "One will destroy one's first battery." Everyone here is going to silently nod, and pray: "There, but by the grace of God...". Put that day of destruction well into the future by getting this stuff right.

Good luck. If you have actionable questions about your system, as the guy on Jeopardy sez: "Be sure to put it in the form of a question."

provo
Forum Czar
Posts: 509
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:34 pm
My RE system: Sixteen Evergreen EC-120
(4 strings, total 1920W)
Eight Rolls S-550 (2 strings, total ~800Ah @ 24V)
One FM80
One VFXR3524A
Hub 10
Mate3s
FNDC and Trimetric
Location: Sierra foothills

Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by provo » Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:24 pm

raysun wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:39 am

Nobody wrote "Solar Power Installation and Configuration for Dummies" for very obvious reasons.
Hey, I'd buy that in a second :lol: !!

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2757
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 of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: My wiring appears to be correct and yet.....

Post by raysun » Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:54 pm

provo wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:24 pm
raysun wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:39 am

Nobody wrote "Solar Power Installation and Configuration for Dummies" for very obvious reasons.
Hey, I'd buy that in a second :lol: !!
I've been working on a manuscript. The publisher has approved it and its scheduled to go to press soon. Here's a pre-release copy:
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