forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

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Megunticook
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Posts: 241
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My RE system: 6.4 kW solar array (21 QCell 305 panels in strings of 3)
GS8048A FLEXpower Radian (Radian 8048A, 2 FlexMax 80 cc's, Mate 3s, FlexNet DC, Hub)
8x6v Rolls-Surette 550 FLA batteries, 428AH
Location: Maine
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forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

Post by Megunticook » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:02 am

Is there a way to "force" my charge controllers into bulk mode remotely via OpticsRE? I see there's an "Auto Restart Mode" available that would force this every 90 minutes, but what if I just want to immediately kick off a bulk charge?

Thanks.
https://sunnypower.org

provo
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Posts: 330
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: forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

Post by provo » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:33 am

There is a Force Bulk (and a Force Float) function in the "Misc --> Next" screen. When I asked on the forum if I could Force Float recently, Ian McCluskey responded,

"You are correct it is not present in OPTICS, as the legacy gateway devices do not have a Sunspec register to support this function."

I'm betting the same is true of Force Bulk.

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Megunticook
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Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:08 am
My RE system: 6.4 kW solar array (21 QCell 305 panels in strings of 3)
GS8048A FLEXpower Radian (Radian 8048A, 2 FlexMax 80 cc's, Mate 3s, FlexNet DC, Hub)
8x6v Rolls-Surette 550 FLA batteries, 428AH
Location: Maine
Contact:

Re: forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

Post by Megunticook » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:31 am

OK, thanks. I saw your post about float earlier.

I guess the best I can do is enable the "Auto Restart Mode" and then in an hour and a half a new bulk phase would initiate.

Be nice if I could just trigger one immediately when I'm away from the system.

Maybe that can go on the "wishlist" for future upgrades.
https://sunnypower.org

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: forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

Post by raysun » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:53 am

Screenshot_20200128-054540_Chrome.jpg
There's the Bulk (or EQ) charge selection control in the System Tools (accessible from main OpticsRE menu by clicking the Gear icon.) It will start or stop a Bulk charge, or an EQ charge cycle.

IIRC, the RESTART function serves to force the controller to resweep the solar array to calculate MPPT.

User avatar
Megunticook
Forum Guru
Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:08 am
My RE system: 6.4 kW solar array (21 QCell 305 panels in strings of 3)
GS8048A FLEXpower Radian (Radian 8048A, 2 FlexMax 80 cc's, Mate 3s, FlexNet DC, Hub)
8x6v Rolls-Surette 550 FLA batteries, 428AH
Location: Maine
Contact:

Re: forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

Post by Megunticook » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:05 am

Bingo! Thanks Raysun, that's dirt simple.

Am going to be out of town next week, this is a good thing to have in my back pocket in case the system doesn't start selling in the morning after charge parameters are met. For some reason that has been an occasional issue for me over the two years since I installed the system. Every time I tweak the settings and think I have it licked, it pops up again. Right now everything seems to be working perfectly but I'll be checking in on it remotely.
https://sunnypower.org

provo
Forum Guru
Posts: 330
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: forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

Post by provo » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:33 am

Yes, that's good to know :grin: . Now, if they could just add Force Float to that same gear menu....

raysun
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Posts: 2101
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: forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

Post by raysun » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:38 am

provo wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:33 am
Yes, that's good to know :grin: . Now, if they could just add Force Float to that same gear menu....
Would tweaking the REFLOAT voltage setting force Float in those situations where there are photons to burn, and controller is online?

Also, what is FLOAT TIME set to? Perhaps setting it to 24H may keep it Floating for the duration of sunlight.

Once a charge cycle has been completed, forcing another Bulk charge often causes the CC to quickly go to Float. IME.

I'm offgrid so don't know about the behavior when Selling.

provo
Forum Guru
Posts: 330
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: forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

Post by provo » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:48 am

raysun wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:38 am

Would tweaking the REFLOAT voltage setting force Float in those situations where there are photons to burn, and controller is online?

Also, what is FLOAT TIME set to? Perhaps setting it to 24H may keep it Floating for the duration of sunlight.

Once a charge cycle has been completed, forcing another Bulk charge often causes the CC to quickly go to Float. IME.

I'm offgrid so don't know about the behavior when Selling.
Float Time is 24/7 on the inverter/charger. The most common situation where I use Force Float is after a night on the grid (holding float), and the sun comes out a bit and starts an absorb. I don't need a full 3h absorb (don't really need ANY) after a night in float, but I don't want to shorten my absorb time cuz I'll forget to put it back :roll: ... Force float lets me end the absorb after an hour or so, without changing any settings.

As for Refloat, I've never used it (I probably should look into it, but it never seemed relevant), and I don't Sell either.

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2101
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: forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

Post by raysun » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:09 am

provo wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:48 am
raysun wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:38 am

Would tweaking the REFLOAT voltage setting force Float in those situations where there are photons to burn, and controller is online?

Also, what is FLOAT TIME set to? Perhaps setting it to 24H may keep it Floating for the duration of sunlight.

Once a charge cycle has been completed, forcing another Bulk charge often causes the CC to quickly go to Float. IME.

I'm offgrid so don't know about the behavior when Selling.
Float Time is 24/7 on the inverter/charger. The most common situation where I use Force Float is after a night on the grid (holding float), and the sun comes out a bit and starts an absorb. I don't need a full 3h absorb (don't really need ANY) after a night in float, but I don't want to shorten my absorb time cuz I'll forget to put it back :roll: ... Force float lets me end the absorb after an hour or so, without changing any settings.

As for Refloat, I've never used it (I probably should look into it, but it never seemed relevant), and I don't Sell either.
I was wondering why manual intervention was needed.

The operating mode (grid float), combined with no Flexnet DC explains the necessity.

provo
Forum Guru
Posts: 330
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: forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

Post by provo » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:17 am

raysun wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:09 am
I was wondering why manual intervention was needed.
The operating mode (grid float), combined with no Flexnet DC explains the necessity.
Now you got me curious -- how would an FNDC solve my problem?

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2101
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: forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

Post by raysun » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:47 am

provo wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:17 am
raysun wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:09 am
I was wondering why manual intervention was needed.
The operating mode (grid float), combined with no Flexnet DC explains the necessity.
Now you got me curious -- how would an FNDC solve my problem?
Not saying it will as I don't know the full dynamics of grid-interactive, but the FNDC can monitor key aspects of the charge cycle, and set a Charge Complete flag that I expect is used by the Mate for Charge Termination and Float Coordination.

Some more research on the subject would be needed, but it would be worth pursuing.

In an unrelated example, there are occasions where my battery will reach the Charge Complete state without being at 100% SOC (usually 94-97%) and the system switches to Float for the duration, eventually bringing the battery to 100% SOC and remaining in Float until the Float Time has been reached.

I expect the behavior is related to Charged Return Amps being set a bit too high, or too low, though I haven't played with the setting to see what happens.

provo
Forum Guru
Posts: 330
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: forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

Post by provo » Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:02 am

raysun wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:47 am

...the FNDC can monitor key aspects of the charge cycle, and set a Charge Complete flag that I expect is used by the Mate for Charge Termination and Float Coordination. Some more research on the subject would be needed, but it would be worth pursuing.

In an unrelated example, there are occasions where my battery will reach the Charge Complete state without being at 100% SOC (usually 94-97%) and the system switches to Float for the duration, eventually bringing the battery to 100% SOC and remaining in Float until the Float Time has been reached.
Interesting....I'm sure I'll get an FNDC soon, and discover all kinds of wonderful uses for it :grin: . I'm just dreading having to delve into my DC Breaker Box and mess with that shunt :evil: .

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2101
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: forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

Post by raysun » Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:15 am

provo wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:02 am
raysun wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:47 am

...the FNDC can monitor key aspects of the charge cycle, and set a Charge Complete flag that I expect is used by the Mate for Charge Termination and Float Coordination. Some more research on the subject would be needed, but it would be worth pursuing.

In an unrelated example, there are occasions where my battery will reach the Charge Complete state without being at 100% SOC (usually 94-97%) and the system switches to Float for the duration, eventually bringing the battery to 100% SOC and remaining in Float until the Float Time has been reached.
Interesting....I'm sure I'll get an FNDC soon, and discover all kinds of wonderful uses for it :grin: . I'm just dreading having to delve into my DC Breaker Box and mess with that shunt :evil: .
Shunt shunning is a social media bullying tactic. Knock it off mate.

LOL!!!

provo
Forum Guru
Posts: 330
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: forcing charge controller into bulk remotely

Post by provo » Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:56 am

Oh, I know, I know....I just have to Suck It Up and Get It Done!
Maybe when the basement warms up a bit :grin: .

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