AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Discussion about adding energy storage to grid-dependent inverters using OutBack Power technology
pss
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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by pss » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:57 pm

Try logging into the Mate 3S using the 4 digit installer login rather than the 3 digit user login if you have been using the 3 digit login.

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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Swampdog » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:38 pm

I don't have a 4-digit installer login (I am not an installer, but a mere homeowner, layperson, non-electrician). Where do I get that?

S/D

pss
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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by pss » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:46 pm

Please see Mate 3 manual, page 80-87. The default installer password is (redacted). i believe it is the same for a Mate 3S. This will give you access to many more of the inverter settings than the user password and should allow you to locate the settings you are searching for.

It is very common for Outback to make some settings changeable with the user password and others with the installer password and the distinction is very easily overlooked unless you have come across this before.

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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Swampdog » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:56 pm

ok...Thx!

S/D

Swampdog
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Outback Radian 8048a
Outback MATE3s
Outback HUB
Outback FlexNet DC
SOLAREDGE SE6000A-US
Briggs & Stratton Elite 5500w generator (8,500 surge; manual connect)

Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Swampdog » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:28 pm

UPDATE:

You said "... it seems like the Radian shifted frequency up to protect the batteries based on the system settings. At some point
the Solaredge noticed the frequency was too high, and then disconnect. Then every time it automatically reconnected, the Radian
frequency shifted up to protect the batteries again, resulting in another fault. "

The outback document (http://www.outbackpower.com/downloads/d ... p_note.pdf)says "The GTI (SolarEdge SE6000-US)
connect time must greater than or equal to the Outback Radian connect time. If the GTI connect time is shorter, the battery bank
is full and grid power comes back, then the Radian will try to feather back the GTI charging current with a frequency shift that will
never allow the Radian to reconnect to the grid. The cycle will keep repeating until the GTI is no longer receiving power from the
PV array."

After reviewing repeatedly all my monitoring data, settings and support responses, it sounds exactly like what my system experienced. I plan to test the system, but am attempting to first check all settings (I now have installer MATE3s access). My
outstanding questions are:

1) I could not locate any setting entitled or near "Freq Response Shift Time" (and what should it be set at).

2) Not sure which time/delay setting the document refers to as "connect time". I found the following:
Radian:
-AGS-AC Reconnect Delay (3 minutes)
-AC Input-Grid connect Delay (.2 minutes)
-Aux Control-AUX ON Delay (.5 minutes)
MATE3s:
-Load Grid Transfer-Load Connect Delay (5 secs.)

The MATE3s Programming Guide refers to these settings: Grid AC Input Mode and Limits, Transfer Delay, Connect Delay and Connect to Grid-Delay.

So... which setting is the "connect time" the document refers to and what should it be set at?

SolarEdge support was no help as to "connect time". In their "Grid Protection Values" guide it refers to "Grid Monitoring Time (GRM)- The required number of milliseconds during which the voltage and frequency must be within the threshold range before the inverter can reconnect to to the grid." (60.0 s)

Might this be the referred to "connect time"?

My summary of outage events...
10/09/19:
-11:30PM, outage (PG&E planned safety outage); batteries at 100%/51.9v (high); successful switch to backup-ran all night.
Unknown to me, our well pump was short-cycling and cycling about every 10-20 mins.; I believe this resulted in rapid discharge of
batteries.
-Received multiple low-voltage error messages via Outback Events.
10/10/29:
-8:00AM, Low-battery cut-off, including tripping of L1/L2 breakers; batteries at 62%/47.5v (low)
Closed L1/L2 and system started began charging; remaining daylight only allowed for charging to 86%.
Shut down all non-critical elements in the home. I had discovered the well pump was short-cycling and shut it off overnight.
10/11/19:
-5:30AM, usage was at .2 kW, batteries at 53%
-8:00AM, system shut down; L1/L2 opened; batteries at 53%/42v (low)
-9:30AM, tried closing L1/L2 breakers would not stay closed although MATE3s reported batteries at 100%.
-11:30AM, power restored, system appears operable; batteries immediately report as 100% charge.
(I now understand a reset of the FNDC may result in reporting false 100% charge.)
-12:30PM, Statistics - usage is at 1.6kW, batteries at 100%, current power production at 3.89kW, 2.2kW selling to grid.
10/26/19:
-9:00PM, second outage (PG&E planned safety outage); batteries at 99%/51.9v (high)
10/27/19:
-10:00AM, connected and started generator; batteries at 73%/48.9v (low)
-9:00PM, shut down generator; batteries at 97%/59.1v (high)
10/28/19:
-SolarEdge SE6000A-US Firmware updated from 3.2221.0 to 3.2525 (thru SolarEdge).
-10:00AM, First SolarEdge fault "2x22 AC Frequency too high"; S/E inverter not allowing batteries to charge from array; could not
reset fault.
-11:00AM, started generator; batteries at 71%/47.5v (low); no S/E faults received (logged) between 11:18 & 13:19.
-2:23PM, Last S/E fault logged; batteries at 69%/50.8v.
-3:00PM, grid power up; shut down generator batteries at 72%/51.5v (high); S/E faults ceased; batteries charging from array.

No additional problems to date, no faults persisting, but also no outages.

S/D

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IanMcCluskey
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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by IanMcCluskey » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:31 pm

Hey 'Dog!

Well, we addressed some of these questions via email, but I would like to continue the conversation here for the benefit of the forum.

First, the AC Coupling settings are only available through the four-digit installer-level password. Glad you were able to access that. We recommend the minimum (0.02 seconds) Frequency Shift Response Time for lithium ion batteries only, and about 3 seconds for most lead-acid batteries. Lithium battery voltage targets are more sensitive, which is why they require a faster response time.

Second, the over-frequency fault is probably not related to any of these timing questions or settings. It is probably either caused by a) standard operation because the system reached its charging targets and increased the frequency to turn off the grid-dependent inverter, or b) one or more incorrect charging target settings are causing the Radian to increase frequency pre-maturely.

Please read through the following literature and make sure all of your settings are correct:
Documentation for your GH battery set points: http://www.outbackpower.com/products/di ... umentation
MATE3s documentation: http://www.outbackpower.com/resources/d ... umentation
The updated MATE3s manual with AC coupling will be published soon. In the meantime...
AC Coupling app note with programming instructions: http://www.outbackpower.com/downloads/d ... p_note.pdf
Page 8 shows the Frequency Shift Response Time, set that to 3 seconds for your GH batteries.

On another note, this part of the timeline seems to indicate the generator was on at the same time as the SolarEdge?
-11:00AM, started generator; batteries at 71%/47.5v (low); no S/E faults received (logged) between 11:18 & 13:19.
-2:23PM, Last S/E fault logged; batteries at 69%/50.8v.
-3:00PM, grid power up; shut down generator batteries at 72%/51.5v (high); S/E faults ceased; batteries charging from array.
Once you have adjusted all of your settings appropriately, I suggest you perform the following test during a sunny day.

- ensure the generator is off and cannot turn on automatically
- ensure the battery bank is well below the charging target so energy from the Solaredge has somewhere to go
- ensure there are electrical loads on for the battery to serve
- Turn on datalogging on your MATE3S

Then, disconnect the grid and observe and record the measured battery voltage and the Solaredge behavior.

With respect,
Ian
Ian McCluskey
Product Manager


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

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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Swampdog » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:40 am

Ian, et al;

I need a few days to go through the literature you listed and run the test.

In response to your comment: "On another note, this part of the timeline seems to indicate the generator was on at the same time as the SolarEdge? "

I never ran the generator with the SolarEdge connected, absolutely and without any doubt... not even for a moment, out of fear of system damage. I always followed the Outback generator connect instructions which include, shutting off the S/E safety switch and the Outback GSLC L1/L2 breakers.

On the date/times you cited, I took the S/E faults listed from their site monitoring software. The Outback monitoring I see is not to the minute, so not as precise.

On the 10/28 time frame you cited, events were as follows:
-9:00AM-11:00AM (approx): S/E connected to Outback. Array producing power but not charging batteries. Batteries were at 72%/49.1v (low) and not charging from array, so I opened S/E safety switch and OB L1/L2 breakers, connected generator, successfully charging batteries.
-10:21-10:55: S/E faults recorded (2x22 AC freq too high).
-10:21-11:01: S/E faults received, generator not running.
-11:00: S/E array production stopped recording.
-11:01-13:18: no S/E faults recorded.
-13:19-14:23: S/E recorded 11 faults; last fault received at 14:23 with no faults since.
-15:00 (approx): GRid power up; 1)shut down generator, 2) connected S/E.
-16:00: S/E recorded array producing and noth array and grid charging batteries.
No issues until next outage (10/27)

Also of note...
10/27/19, during outage...
-12:23-21:30: no S/E faults received, during outage, generator connected and charging.
10/28/19, during outage...
-10:21-11:01: S/E faults received, generator not running.

It seems to me then, that the generator is not the cause of the faults, or at least not directly. No faults since received and no outages.

Also, I reiterate, during our first outage 10/9-10, although Outback shut down due to low-voltage, and low-voltage errors were received from OpticsRE, no S/E faults were recorded at all. Also, I did not attempt to charge form the generator during that period. When grid came back up... system recovered and charged from array.

Continued thanks,

S/D

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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Swampdog » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:16 am

New query:

As pointed out by Bryce Millet in a Private Message, my FNDC reports "Days Since Parms Met: 19.9 Days", which would be since 10/25. Can you enlighten me as to how that might be related to current issues, if it is of importance, if I need to maks changes to address that status? Also. exactly what parameters are addressed in this statement?

AS always... thanks!

S/D

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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by IanMcCluskey » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:39 pm

Hi S/D,

First, glad to know you can confirm the generator did not run at the same time. Let's put that to rest.

Second, in general, the parameters (Parms) are charging targets. They very well may be related to the high frequency fault.

I go on vacation 11/23-12/9. Please do your best to read through those materials and adjust your settings appropriately. If we have time, I would be happy to review them for accuracy before you run the test(s) I suggested.
Ian McCluskey
Product Manager


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

Swampdog
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Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:23 pm
My RE system: 7.0 kw system
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12 x 220 GH Energycell
Outback GS load center GSLC175-PV-120/240
Outback Radian 8048a
Outback MATE3s
Outback HUB
Outback FlexNet DC
SOLAREDGE SE6000A-US
Briggs & Stratton Elite 5500w generator (8,500 surge; manual connect)

Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Swampdog » Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:07 pm

Ian, et al;

After weeks of layperson diagnosis and research, I have reached a conclusion regarding my issues (mostly). Although remaining solidly anchored in layperson ignorance, I have learned a lot more about how my system works and how to manage.

I discovered and had repaired a main water line leak under my concrete driveway (no water apparent above ground). I believe this was the source of all my problems, with the resulting continuous short-cycling of my well pump resulting in rapid draining of my batteries and a system low battery shutoff during an extended power outage.

Not understanding that and the restart processes, I was alarmed when the second extended outage also drained the batteries and resulted in a SolarEdge fault (2x22 AC Frequency too high). I now know this was a temporary fault resulting from low power and the Radian's increased frequency response.

All systems now seem to be running as expected, with increased efficiency, with the bonus of increased and constant water pressure.

I have entered the Installer menus and checked all settings against your conmments and the default settings from the Radian Operator's Manual, which all appear correct to me, except that...

1) I found no AC Coupled Control menu (see attached images).
2) I could locate no setting for Frequency Shift Response Time (see attached images).
3) There is no Reconnect Delay setting in the MATE3s Mains Loss menu, as is shown in the Programming Guide, only the Clearance Time setting (see attached images).
4) Discrepancies between documentation and the MATE3s display menus confused this issue further.

acc_freq_app_note.pdf: This document states: "Change AC Coupling from N to Y, and change the Freq Shift Response Time (0.02 to 5.0 seconds) if desired. This setting adds/subtracts delay in the frequency steps between 60.0 and 64.5 Hz."

You stated in an email communication: "We recommend the minimum (0.02 seconds) Frequency Shift Response Time for lithium ion batteries only, and about 3 seconds for most lead-acid batteries." (I have 220GH batteries).

MATE3s Prograimming Guide: Under the I-14. Grid Interface menu displays the following current settings, which I thought might be what I am looking for (see images attached)...

1) Grid Interface Protection - Mains Loss - Clearance Time: 2.0 S
2) Reconnect delay: 300 S

Can you clarify, instruct and/or confirm on the Frequency Response Time location/setting and the settings I cited above?

As always... thanks much!

S/D
Attachments
MATE3s settings.pdf
(330.83 KiB) Downloaded 133 times

Swampdog
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Outback Radian 8048a
Outback MATE3s
Outback HUB
Outback FlexNet DC
SOLAREDGE SE6000A-US
Briggs & Stratton Elite 5500w generator (8,500 surge; manual connect)

Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Swampdog » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:37 am

Two other "new" queries:

1) "Auto Grid-tie (currently N) seems to fit my preferences, that the batteries should be fully charged before selling. Am I correct?

MATE3s Programming Guide
M-8. FLEXnet DC Advanced Control
"Enable Auto Grid-Tie Control — if grid-interactive inverters are present on the system, this control allows their grid-interactive function to be turned off at midnight each night. This function allows the charge controllers to complete a charge cycle at the beginning of the next day before the system begins selling. It prevents the batteries from remaining at or below the Sell voltage for extended periods without receiving a full charge. If grid-interactive inverters are not present, this item is inoperative. Options are N (no) or Y (yes). When Y is selected, "grid-tie"mode will be enabled on grid-interactive inverters anytime the battery monitor signals that charge parameters have been met."

2) FNDC-Charge Parms Met: Although all settings seem to be correct, this item reports "Days Since Parms Met 32.8". If I don't resolve this issue, would it not effect "Auto Grid-tie"?

Thanks!

S/D

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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by IanMcCluskey » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:20 pm

Hi S/D!

I am travelling with very limited internet access until 12/9.

Your first question about the missing menu settings. It sounds to me like you are in the user-level menus (3 digit password), not the installer-level menus (4 digit password). The Installer-level contains all of the user-level settings and more, including the AC Coupling controls. I recommend calling your installer for the 4-digit installer-level password.

I will need to double check in regards to the Auto-Grid Tie setting.
Ian McCluskey
Product Manager


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

Swampdog
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Outback Radian 8048a
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Briggs & Stratton Elite 5500w generator (8,500 surge; manual connect)

Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Swampdog » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:34 pm

I am definitely using the Installer password which I successfully changed, and my installer remains unavailable and uncooperative (out of warranty). It is up to me now.

T

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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Greg T Fordan » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:54 pm

Hi SD,
If you have the installer password, you should be able to see the below screen. That's all there is to the AC Coupling Settings. Enabled Y and 0.02 s.
Installer password/Settings/Inverter/AC Coupling
AC_Coupled3.JPG
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My RE system: 7.0 kw system
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Outback Radian 8048a
Outback MATE3s
Outback HUB
Outback FlexNet DC
SOLAREDGE SE6000A-US
Briggs & Stratton Elite 5500w generator (8,500 surge; manual connect)

Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Swampdog » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:40 pm

Thanks... but no AC Coupling menu.

I am using the Installer password, changed as required, but see no AC Coupling options. I can see the Grid Protection settings, however, which I believe assures I am in the Installer menus. Regardless, I set the user account to Full Access, so it shoudn't matter which access level I use. I see the same menus in both levels (User & Installer)

I changed the installer password and reset the MATE3s. No change... still no AC Coupling settings option.

The MATES3s Menu Map shows the AC Coupling menu under the MATE3s menu. Attached is an image of the menus where it is supposed to be located, according to the MATE3s Menu Map, between the FLEXnet DC Advanced Control and the FLEXtime Schedule menus.

I also followed your direction, Installer Password/Inverter, but no AC Coupling menu (see attached image).

Ultimately, I am trying to see the Frequency Response Time setting, referenced in several documents and by Ian McCluskey, but nowhere to be found in my menus.

Any assistance appreciated!
20191126_161534.jpg

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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Greg T Fordan » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:50 pm

SD,
Did you scroll further down? Your Radian has a FW of 1.6.70, so you should have that screen.
Greg T Fordan
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Outback Radian 8048a
Outback MATE3s
Outback HUB
Outback FlexNet DC
SOLAREDGE SE6000A-US
Briggs & Stratton Elite 5500w generator (8,500 surge; manual connect)

Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Swampdog » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:17 pm

I have been through every menu and submenu to the end of each, several times, via User and Installer access (now the same)... no AC Coupling menu.

I rechecked both the Inverter (13) and the MATE3s (11) menu items and settings...no AC Coupling to be found.

However, my OpticsRE does report AC Coupled-Yes on my Radian device settings.

While you are at it, can you direct me to the elusive or non-existent "Frequency Response Time" setting referenced in several Outback documents?

S/D

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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by pss » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:48 pm

The AC coupling is an installer level menu option and thus only appears in the Mate 3S menu, not Optics RE.

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Outback Radian 8048a
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Outback HUB
Outback FlexNet DC
SOLAREDGE SE6000A-US
Briggs & Stratton Elite 5500w generator (8,500 surge; manual connect)

Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Swampdog » Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:25 pm

I am aware and am speaking on Installer access, although I set the User access to Full Access as well. I understand not all MATE3s menus and settings are not available via Optices RE.

I was sent an image of the AC Coupling settings under the Inverter menu. It is not there.

The MATE3s Programming Guide Menu Map shows it under the MATE3s menu, but it is not there either.

S/D

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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Greg T Fordan » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:45 am

I don't know why you are not seeing that AC Couple screen.
Try this:
1. Power cycle your MATE3s by disconnecting and reconnecting the power CAT5 cable on the back of MATE3s
2. Lock/Put in your 4 digit installer password/Settings/Inverter
3. On the Inverter screen, scroll down to the AC Coupling menu. It should be after the Grid Interface Protection and Model Select menu
AC_Coupled4.JPG
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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Greg T Fordan » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:49 am

In Optics, there is one window where it shown that you are Enabled for AC Coupling. It is under the Status tab of the Radian.
pal1.JPG
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Briggs & Stratton Elite 5500w generator (8,500 surge; manual connect)

Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Swampdog » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:34 am

Thanks. OpticsRE always showed as "AC Coupled-Yes". After resetting the MATE3s several more times, the AC Coupling menu finally now shows! Confusing that the MATE3s Programming Guide Menu Map shows it as under the MATE3s menu items rather than Inverter.

So, back to my original remaining issues:
1) Several Outback documents and tech responses referred me to the "Frequency Shift Response Time". I can locate no such setting. Can you direct me? Is it possibly under a different setting name, like Grid Interface Protection - Mains Loss - Clearance Time (2.0 S) and/or Reconnect delay (300 S)?

2) There is no "Reconnect Delay" setting in the MATE3s Mains Loss menu, as is shown in the MATE3s Programming Guide (pg. 17), only the Clearance Time setting (see attached image).
Mains Loss -20191125_083557.jpg
3) Although all settings seem to be correct (except those described in 1 & 2 above), my FNDC (have reset) reports not achieving charge parameters (Days Since Parms Met = 33.8). How can I correct this... is it in error or is there a setting or two needing adjustment?

4) FLEXnet DC Advanced Control-Auto Grid-Tie Control: Currently set to No. However, it seem this setting as a "Yes" would serve my preferences of batteries being charged by the array before selling begins. Am I understanding and can you advise?

Thx!

S/D

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Greg T Fordan
OutBack Technical Service
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My RE system: Radian, FM80, FNDC, 48V batt bank

Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Greg T Fordan » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:46 am

I do not think you have found the Ac Couple screen that you want. If you are seeing the below AC Coupled screen, that is NOT the one we are looking for.
AC_Coupled5.JPG


EDIT: With MATE3s FW 1.4.2, it is not actually possible to see this, even if your Radian has a FW of 1.6.70. It has been removed.
You are referencing this screen from an old documentation.
Greg T Fordan
EngTech
Outback Power Technologies

User avatar
Greg T Fordan
OutBack Technical Service
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:56 pm
My RE system: Radian, FM80, FNDC, 48V batt bank

Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Greg T Fordan » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:50 am

As in my previous post, below is what you want: That Battery Sample Time is actually the Frequency shift adjustment. Do not even venture into the Grid Interface Protection menu.
AC_Coupled3.JPG
Greg T Fordan
EngTech
Outback Power Technologies

Swampdog
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Re: AC coupled - batteries not charging from solar array during outage

Post by Swampdog » Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:00 am

PATH: Installer-Settings-Inverter-AC Coupling
Settings listed:
AC Coupling Enabled: Y
Battery Sample Time: 0.02 S
AC Coupling screen IMG_0010.jpg


S/D

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