Battery Test Procedures, RE800

Discussion about the OutBack Energy Cell Batteries
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Brad Cooke
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Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:01 pm
My RE system: FlexPower Two - Off Grid
Dual VFX3648
Dual FM80 Charge controllers
Mate 3s (upgraded 3/2019)
FlexWare AC & DC
Hub 10
24, 275 w PV's
Outback batteries: Model 800RE, 24, DDm85-15
Location: Murrieta, CA

Battery Test Procedures, RE800

Post by Brad Cooke » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:00 am

I have a battery life issue under Outback battery warranty (800RE) that requires specific testing that is unreasonable for the consumer to perform (Outback admits this too). They suggested I hire a professional for the testing required, but cannot seem to find anyone in So. CA do perform this. Even m,y local EnerSys dealer cannot recommend anyone.

They looked at my system on OpticsRC to confirm all setting are OK. We tested the system just after sunrise and after the generator just stopped for the 3rd time overnight. SOC was 98%, batteries were 56.7v and load was 100w. I added a 4000w load (kitchen stove) and in less than 30 seconds voltage crashed below 48v and the Gen came on again. They do not accept this as an acceptable load test under warranty. I have been fighting with Outback support for months over this issue and my warranty is up in 8 days. They started with absorb time being the issue, now they claim that is not it and the batteries are bad, but require the test listed below.

Sorry for the rant. Can anyone recommend a company that can provide the testing they require per the manual? See below.

This is what the want done.
11.2 TEST PROCEDURES
11.2.1 Procedure for Battery Capacity Tests
Use the following test procedure or use the test procedure described in IEEE std. 1188.
An equalizing charge, as described in Section 8.3, must have been given within the last 7
days. (Battery should be returned to float for 7 days before the test.)
1. Make sure all battery connections are clean, tight and free of corrosion.
2. While the battery is on float read and record voltage of each cell, temperature of at
least every tenth cell and battery terminal float voltage.
3. Disconnect the battery charger.
4. Select the discharge rate based upon the critical load and time period. The test
discharge current is equal to the rated discharge current divided by
the K Factor (see Table 11.1) for the initial battery temperature.
5. With the variable load bank having an ammeter in series and a voltmeter across the
battery terminals, connect the load, simultaneously starting the timing device.
Maintain the correct current while periodically reading and recording total
battery voltage. When the minimum total voltage has been reached, it is desirable to
read and record each cell voltage including an intercell connector.
6. Observe the battery for intercell connector heating.
7. Calculate the capacity using the following formula:
% Capacity at 77˚F (25˚C) =
Where Ta = test discharge time to specified voltage.
Where Ts = rated discharge time to specified voltage.
8. Recharge the battery, preferably using an equalizing charge (Section 8.3) to
minimize the recharge time.

EMCF
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My RE system: FX3048, 4 200a batteries, FM60. 3 kw array

Re: Battery Test Procedures, RE800

Post by EMCF » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:26 am

Who made this test recommendation? Outback Tech support?

Outback is selling batteries with removable cell caps?
Outback Fanboy at your service

EMCF
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Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:22 am
My RE system: FX3048, 4 200a batteries, FM60. 3 kw array

Re: Battery Test Procedures, RE800

Post by EMCF » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:04 pm

ok, I got it now, the batteries are 2v, and they call them cells.
Outback Fanboy at your service

Brad Cooke
Forum Whiz
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:01 pm
My RE system: FlexPower Two - Off Grid
Dual VFX3648
Dual FM80 Charge controllers
Mate 3s (upgraded 3/2019)
FlexWare AC & DC
Hub 10
24, 275 w PV's
Outback batteries: Model 800RE, 24, DDm85-15
Location: Murrieta, CA

Re: Battery Test Procedures, RE800

Post by Brad Cooke » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:26 pm

Yes, Outback support, the test I posted is right from the manual, but seems a bit ridiculous for the use to perform. They know the batteries are bad, at least some of them. Regardless of which or how many, it is not wise or advisable to introduce new batteries into a bank of old batteries. So I am not sure what they plan to do if I can provide the data they want.

EMCF
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Posts: 86
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My RE system: FX3048, 4 200a batteries, FM60. 3 kw array

Re: Battery Test Procedures, RE800

Post by EMCF » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:30 pm

With 4000w of DC load plus the initial 100W, that seems a lot to handle for your battery bank. It should draw 70+Amps and in no time will bring down the battery voltage from its initial 56.7V.
What is their total AH as per nameplate?
Outback Fanboy at your service

Brad Cooke
Forum Whiz
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:01 pm
My RE system: FlexPower Two - Off Grid
Dual VFX3648
Dual FM80 Charge controllers
Mate 3s (upgraded 3/2019)
FlexWare AC & DC
Hub 10
24, 275 w PV's
Outback batteries: Model 800RE, 24, DDm85-15
Location: Murrieta, CA

Re: Battery Test Procedures, RE800

Post by Brad Cooke » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:36 pm

670 Ah. Keep in mind the sun was up and PV's active.
In the past I have not had any problem drawing such a load. I have 220 power tools that at start up hit 5000 watts and then run at 3000. and no troubles.

I expect the voltage to drop a few volts and quickly recover, not just crash in 10-15 seconds.

Outback support has said the batteries are bad, but are forcing me to jump through hoops that are a bit much.

EMCF
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Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:22 am
My RE system: FX3048, 4 200a batteries, FM60. 3 kw array

Re: Battery Test Procedures, RE800

Post by EMCF » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:16 am

Brad Cooke wrote:670 Ah. Keep in mind the sun was up and PV's active.In the past I have not had any problem drawing such a load. I have 220 power tools that at start up hit 5000 watts and then run at 3000. and no troubles.
Oh ok. I re-read the post, it was after sunrise. So how long have you been using the battery bank?
Outback Fanboy at your service

Brad Cooke
Forum Whiz
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:01 pm
My RE system: FlexPower Two - Off Grid
Dual VFX3648
Dual FM80 Charge controllers
Mate 3s (upgraded 3/2019)
FlexWare AC & DC
Hub 10
24, 275 w PV's
Outback batteries: Model 800RE, 24, DDm85-15
Location: Murrieta, CA

Re: Battery Test Procedures, RE800

Post by Brad Cooke » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:39 am

They went into service March 29, 2017. To your comment below on 4000 watts, even my coffee pot @ 1500w will cause the voltage to drop enough to run the gen.
Outback support is pushing me back I assume because EnerSys is firm on their warranty testing, but it is a bit much, when it is obvious that the battery bank cannot sustain any voltage after dark and they have seen this via OpticsRE.

pss
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My RE system: 8330 watts in three strings, Flexmax 60 x 3, Radian 8048A, GSLC load center, Mate 3S, Hub 10.3, FN-DC and 900 Amp, 48V Trojan T105-RE battery bank.

Re: Battery Test Procedures, RE800

Post by pss » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:03 am

Just as an FYI, my battery bank can easily drop 9 volts in an hour with a load of 3 kWh on a 900 amp H battery bank and no PV or Radian charger. But, after this big drop, they then settle at about 50.8 to 50.4 and then drop only about 0.2-0.4V per hour powering the load (the SOC drops 4-5% each hour) and I usually don't go below 75% SOC in my setup. At 75% SOC the battery voltage is 49.7.

EMCF
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Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:22 am
My RE system: FX3048, 4 200a batteries, FM60. 3 kw array

Re: Battery Test Procedures, RE800

Post by EMCF » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:26 am

Brad Cooke wrote:They went into service March 29, 2017. To your comment below on 4000 watts, even my coffee pot @ 1500w will cause the voltage to drop enough to run the gen.
Not good, at 2 years, with a supposedly high capacity type battery bank. Even an ordinary, good conditioned 4-12V VRLA batteries can handle 1500W of load, for a reasonable amount of time, without a generator coming to the rescue.
Outback Fanboy at your service

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