Trying to help a friend.

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Trying to help a friend.

Postby TOSHA on Mon May 09, 2011 12:01 pm

Hello all. I am completely and idiot when it comes to any of this stuff BUT... We have some friends that have an outback system on their remote cabin here in Tennessee. The couple have had a terrible misfortune with the husband developing terminal brain cancer. They are not able to visit the cabin and we are keeping a check on things for them. I am completely confused about the solar system.. I need help. Please tell me what information to gather about the system in order to get the best responses from this forum. We were out there yesterday 5-8-2011 and the inside meter which says The Tri-metric 2020 was reading 51% charged. The codes flashing were chf, che and blo: The information I wrote down is The Tri-Metric 2020, Bogart Engineering, outback power system. There was also another type of controller but it was not on or showing any reading. it was an oval shaped deal with several buttons on it.

sorry for being so vague, just let me know what else I need to look for.

Also, when I checked the system outside, the inverters?? (2) had no lights on, blinking or otherwise and the breakers were all on except two...I think the two that were off were something like xj1260 and there is a panel that says bypass or normal and it was down or off I guess. Any help would be great, we are trying to save the batteries for them, do we just need to disconnect the entire system or try and keep it going? we are also not able to get there but every few weeks and it's difficult to monitor from afar.

thanks in advance..
Tosha
TOSHA
Junior Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 8:44 am
My RE system: outback power system

Re: Trying to help a friend.

Postby Paul54 on Wed May 18, 2011 7:48 am

Hi Tosha,
I am certainly not the best person to help you, but I hate to see you left hanging with no answers. Trying to preserve the batteries and making sure the system is safe is the first step. From what you described about the Trimetric, the batteries are not charged and are in a dangerous state of discharge if they do not get charged soon. For now the best thing to do is to try to figure out if the charging system is working, and to make sure any loads that would use the batteries are disconnected. Hopefully there are no critical loads attached to the system that must remain powered, things like freeze protection or something that would cause great harm if disconnected. Ideally there should be a flow chart or drawings of the whole system showing what components are used and how they are wired. Was an installer involved, or did the owners DIY the system? It will be tough to help you with out that info, but is certainly still doable. Baisically everything starts with the solar panels. I am assuming they have solar panels, but perhaps not. Do they use a generator, a wind turbine, small hydro generator, or solar panels? The batteries may be beyond help but maybe not. 50% is about as far as you want to discharge most types of batteries with out recharging. So getting them charged soon is very important. See if you can get any more info about what specific components are used in the system and how they are wired. Also try to find out what type, brand and size batteries are being used, and what voltage the battery bank is designed for. If it is an Outback charge controller hooked to solar panels there are many folks here who can help you.
Paul54
Junior Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:58 pm
My RE system: Flexmax 80
Canadian Solar 230's


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