Set-up

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Set-up

Postby Grizzly on Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:10 am

I'm still new and trying to make sure I have my system set up correctly. I have FLEXpoer ONE VFX3648 system with FLEXnet DC monitor and GFDI - FLEXmax 80 Charge Controller. I have 8 - 6 volt Trojan 225ah batteries set in series. I spoke the the battery manufacturer and they told me absorb should be 59.2 volt Float - 55.8 volt and EQ - 62.00 Volt. The retailer I got the system from told me absorb time should be 2 hours, and float time 7.7 hours. The system won't let me change the refloat volt setting and is set at 50.0 volts which I don't know but seems a little low. Is this too low? I am also wondering what the setting ought to be on the first Charger screen (ADV/FX/ CHARGER) what should the charger aac limit be? One other thing - I have had the system up for a couple weeks and still trying to get everything set - there have been times when the batteries appear to be fully charged and the FEXnet DC tells me the batteries are critically low (red light on) the the MATE is showing me the SOC is at something ridiculously low (as low as 5% - I sat and watched it one day drop all the way to 1% dropping a percent about every minute until it reached 0% and then it jumped back up to 100% Full Charge). But the MATE also shows the batteries to be at 50+ volts - as high as the 55.8 full reading.

Oh and the battery manufacturer also told me that since the batteries are set in series the Battery Amp-hour setting should be 225 - does this sound correct - and what would the return amp setting be??

Confused
thanks for any help.
Grizzly
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My RE system: FLEXpower ONE VFX3648 - FLEXnet DC monitor and GFDI - FLEXmax 80 Charge Controller. - 8 - 6 volt Trojan 225ah.

Re: Set-up

Postby timmartin on Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:48 pm

1) Your voltage set points are the Trojan published numbers, check. Many people recommend a lower absorb but I had mine at 59.2 and things seemed to work fine.

2) Absorb time is probably fine, at least to start with. If you’ll be using the FNDC charge termination you’ll want to set the absorb arbitrarily high so that it won’t trigger before the charge termination does. This means you want the FlexNet to decide when absorb is done by monitoring return amps rather than letting the timer do it’s thing.

3) Float time seems really long. I’m sure that’d be great to float for that long, but in reality how many sunny hours do you get in a day?

4) Refloat at 50? sure. I have never really seen this as being a very important setting

5) Charging aac limit: C/20 charge rate for your batteries would be 11.25 DC amps. I bet you’ll find most would recommend (trojan included) C/10. Trojan even has the 225Ah as an example on their site saying 22amps to 29amps would be good. 29 DC amps at 59.2 volts (absorb) is 1716.8 watts. Your 120 volt AC input would then need 14 amps. So seems like you could cap the charger at that level and be pretty well off I would expect.

6) Amps hours: yes, your total battery bank amp hours is the same as a single battery since you have them in series. 225 amp hours. That needs to be set in the FNDC settings.

7) Return amps: I think trojan recommends between 1% and 3%. That would be between 2.25 and 6.75 amps. Many recommend 2% but if the batteries are new (but broken in) you can go lower. Why not try 4 amps to start and you can always check the battery acid when they are charged and see if it’s working right.

Now, as for your crazy SOC numbers, i’m not sure. My first question would be, have you let it fully charge such that the FNDC registered “parameters met”. You can check this by looking at “days since full charge”. If you’ve never done that then I don’t know how it will behave. I’ve never heard of the numbers wrapping around, but i’ve also never heard of anyone letting them go down into the single digits. or past 50% even ;)

Why don’t you list all your FNDC settings for us, and how your shunts are set up? That might help.
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My RE system: ...
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(24 in 3 strings = 1110Ah at 48v)

Re: Set-up

Postby blackswan555 on Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:31 am

The retailer I got the system from told me absorb time should be 2 hours, and float time 7.7 hours.
Float time of 7.7 hours ( or longer than the day) is fine for the solar, Just keep and eye on bat water level`s, Do not use float for "engine powered" charging, Complete waste of fuel,

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.
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Re: Set-up

Postby Grizzly on Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:25 am

I live in New Mexico on a mountain and sun hours is good with few totally cloudy days. And panels are in a good location and get sun (although not direct) at least 7 hours a day - this time of year. The charge FNDC has shown full charge "parameters met" less then a day. The batteries are new I just got the whole system about a month ago. I am totally off grid and I do have a 5000 watt generator for backup - but it is a pull start and not permanently wired in. I feel a little stupid with some of this stuff - since I don't totally understand all the terminology. As for the shunt set up I don't really know what you mean - what I can tell you is I followed the installation manual to the letter, and had a qualified electrician double check the wiring before I turned everything on. At the time we didn't go through all the set-up set-points so that is why I am still working on getting these at least where they ought to be for now. And the guy I purchased from is hard to get in touch with by phone for some help. He is often talking with other customers or out on a call. I know as one gets familiar some of these could be tweaked depending on the usage etc., for now I am trying to get it where it will at least be close to where it ought to be.

I haven't done a EQ yet cause I am a little worried about the generator wiring. (Not have yet done an EQ - I guess might explain the crazy SOC numbers - don't know.) The Outback manual indicates there should be only one "ground to neutral" in the system and I have yet to pull the generator apart to find out if the generator has a G-to-N. And I am wondering is this a real concern - I periodically need to use that generator to run a 220 volt motor - so I don't want to permanently wire to the system. I have very little electrical need at the present time - I have been living on this mountain for 11 years - using oil lamps - funny - I now have electricity and very little to plug in - eventually I will be getting more panels but for now I have 3- 235 watt panels. During peak sun hours they are putting out about 90 to 100 Vdc - can I do an EQ off the panels alone?

Thanks Tim and Blackswan, your responses are very helpful - I will try to send all FNDC settings - from the information you just sent I see I will need to change the return amp setting.
Grizzly
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Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:16 am
My RE system: FLEXpower ONE VFX3648 - FLEXnet DC monitor and GFDI - FLEXmax 80 Charge Controller. - 8 - 6 volt Trojan 225ah.

Re: Set-up

Postby Grizzly on Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:10 pm

Okay I am getting that crazy SOC thing again today - The system did a bulk charge this morning and the MATE indicated it reached full charge 100% (also days since full 0.0) and then moved to float - reading was - 90 (average) volts in - and 56.2 out - and still is reading this now. not sure why it is floating at 56.2 cause I have it set to float 55.8. It is now doing that count down thing - I loose a percentage point every minute or so. It is showing SOC is at 83% the sun is shining - dropping I am sure as I write this - I don't understand this - why the hell is it telling me I am loosing SOC. The only load on the system right now is my lap-top. I checked batteries with a Volt meter and it shows 56.0 volts. I know that is probably not telling me the battery voltage since I am probably getting reading from the system - but the MATE shouldn't be telling me I am loosing battery V. Oh one more thing - the only way I have gotten this to reset in the past is to shut everything down (turn of PV, inverter everything) wait about 30 seconds and turn it all back on again - and guess what everything is fine - full SOC; or the only other time was to just let it hit 0% and then it went right back up to full 100%. Don't know if that is any help but I need help.


LATER: okay, I couldn't take the suspense so I shut everything down (SOC got to 80%) - waited about 15 seconds and turned everything back on - as before the system then showed 100% charge - the CC went to tracking - then bulk charge - and within only a couple minutes reached set parameters for full charge 59.2 volts - system switched to float and everything seemed to be working. This was just a little while ago so as to what will happen next - god only knows.

What's going on - please help.

Getting more confused by the day. ](*,)
Grizzly
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Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:16 am
My RE system: FLEXpower ONE VFX3648 - FLEXnet DC monitor and GFDI - FLEXmax 80 Charge Controller. - 8 - 6 volt Trojan 225ah.

Re: Set-up

Postby tallgirl on Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:40 pm

This is usually caused by mis-wired shunts and/or a disabled shunt that should be enabled.

You need to make sure that the current values being reported by the FLEXnet DC match what the system is supposed to be doing. The easiest way to do that is verify that with all the loads off, the shunt(s) that measure the charge controllers report approximately the value that the charge controller says it is producing, and with the charge controller off, and the loads back on, the shunt(s) that measure the inverters report approximately the NEGATIVE value of current the inverters are drawing.

Make those two checks, and tell us what you find.
Julie in Texas

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Re: Set-up

Postby Grizzly on Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:36 pm

I would gladly do this if I knew what you were talking about - (again feeling really stupid here) - please explain what a shunt is. As I said I wired this exactly as the installation instructions specified. The system came to me pre-wired for the most part. All the component parts were wired by Outback - all connected to a panel. All I had to do is wire in the ground, PV panels, and batteries - all to the service panel. I did have an electrician who has wired PV systems before check it to make sure I didn't wire anything incorrectly. I can't help think this has something more to do with the set-points - or one of the component parts is not in sync with one of the other; or the MATE is not reading the CC or.......... hell I don't know LOL - what do I know - I'm a newbie. I don't have "AC in" connected - as I indicated earlier I have not yet hooked up my generator - would this have anything to do with it - maybe something about the settings with the AC in. Just a dumb thought - wondering.
Grizzly
Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:16 am
My RE system: FLEXpower ONE VFX3648 - FLEXnet DC monitor and GFDI - FLEXmax 80 Charge Controller. - 8 - 6 volt Trojan 225ah.

Re: Set-up

Postby blackswan555 on Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:25 am

Every time you remove and re-power FNDC it "assumes" batteries are fully charged, They also take a little fiddling to get right,are only as good as they are set up and will drift over time, If you are not going to use auto start for the generator, I would not let it "take control" at the moment,
You need to get yourself a good hydrometer (glass, get 2 you will break one) and check the SG (Specific gravity) of the cells for an accurate indication of charge, then "dial in" FNDC to match bat`s

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.
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blackswan555
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Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:50 am
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My RE system: Other peoples, VFX "E" versions, FLA`s, Generators.

Re: Set-up

Postby timmartin on Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:44 pm

Grizzly wrote:I would gladly do this if I knew what you were talking about - (again feeling really stupid here) - please explain what a shunt is. As I said I wired this exactly as the installation instructions specified.


The shunts are an electrical component through which your main battery wires pass. There are also to very small wires connected to these shunts, which connect to the FlexNetDC. This allows the FNDC to measure the amount of current going through the shunt. FNDC can support up to three of them, you probably just have two. One measure the input and output from your charger/inverter. The other measures the input from your solar.

What Tallgirl is suggesting, is that you make sure they are both turned on and that the measurements from those shunts matches the other devices. This is a method to double-check things. Let’s say your FX is on shunt A and your solar is on shunt B. If the FX says its inverting 200 watts of power and shunt A is reading -4 amps of current then you’re on the right track! If the solar charge controller says it’s charging with 15 amps and shunt B is reading +15 amps, then again, things look good.

You can check these from your Mate by looking at STATUS > FNDC and comparing to the CC and FX numbers.
timmartin
OutBack Guru
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:31 am
My RE system: ...
Sharp 120W Panels (12)
SunPerfect 230W Panels (9)
Whisper 100 Wind Turbine
Outback MX60 charge controller
Outback FM60 charge controller
Outback VFX3648 inverter/chargers (2)
Outback FlexNet DC
Trojan L16RE-B 6V batteries
(24 in 3 strings = 1110Ah at 48v)


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