Battery testing?

Discussion about the OutBack Energy Cell Batteries
Post Reply
Jts2010
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:55 pm
My RE system: Flexware 500 panel VFX3648 inverters, sw175 panels, MX 60 charge controller, 24 L16 batteries

Battery testing?

Post by Jts2010 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:23 pm

Hi all,

We have 16 - 175 watt solar panels, a PV charge controller, MX-60, 2 - VFX3648 inverters, and 24 - L16 batteries for a fully off the grid system on the ranch. Also the whole system is connected via the MATE to a Kohlr 12RES propane generator for backup power. Recently we've been having a problem where the generator will come on often overnight and we suspected failing batteries. The generator doesn't come on for very long and the voltage readings seem to increase rapidly when the generator is running but fall off quickly when it shuts off. Then we started seeing under frequency codes on the generator and it really loads down when it starts up the inverters. With the inverters off the gen runs fine. But it will shut down when it throws the under frequency code. Any thoughts of if I should be suspicious of batteries? How should I test them? Not familiar with doing equalization cycles. Would that help? The system is now 8 years old with regular maintainence on the batteries and connections. Any advice is much appreciated.

Thanks, jay

blackswan555
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2637
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:50 am
My RE system: Other peoples, VFX "E" versions, FLA`s, Generators.
Location: Ibiza Spain,

Re: Battery testing?

Post by blackswan555 » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:00 am

The system is now 8 years old with regular maintenance on the batteries and connections.
What are the SG's ?
I presume the above to mean battery topping up and cleaning ? (how much water do they use?)
EQ has never been done ? (Not just pressing the button, controlled overcharge untill all SG's stop rising)
By the sound of you generator "struggling" with the inverters & loads, You have something reasonable running in the background ? If it has been there a while, 8 years may not be bad out of L16's :-) There is a setting in the mate that will help there, Gen input limits the current drawn by the inverters for charging, It can not limit the house loads & is a little slow to react, So try it at about 90% of gen rated to start,

Tim
My comments are based on my experience and research, They are not endorsed or checked by Outback.I am an independent British electrician living in Spain, So please take this into account when reading /acting on my post`s.

Jts2010
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:55 pm
My RE system: Flexware 500 panel VFX3648 inverters, sw175 panels, MX 60 charge controller, 24 L16 batteries

Re: Battery testing?

Post by Jts2010 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:37 am

Never measured sg's don't currently have a hydrometer. Are they accurate enough to to tell absolute or just relative readings.

Yes maintenance has been just topping off and cleaning. Some batteries use up to a half a gal every 6 weeks (half gal split between 3 cells).

Constant loads on the inverters are mainly 3 refrigerators at different locations. Background loads as read thru the mate are often around 0.4kW. The generator is rated as 12kW. The charger limit is currently set to 20acc. I would think that would not load down the generator.

I was never clear on the eq procedure is one posted on this forum?

If we determine there is a battery problem is there a better battery to replace the l16's ? To test batteries will I need any more equipment than a hydrometer?

Post Reply