Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Mate3 and Mate3s communications devices for Outback Power
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Zip92
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My RE system: Canadian Remote Cabin - Solar + Diesel Gen
COMM: Mate3s
INV: x2 VFX3524
CC1: MX-60
CC2: Conext MPPT 80
SOLAR1: 6x 123w (Sharp ND-L3EJEA)
SOLAR2: 12x 250w
BATT: RollsSurrette 24v (2v x 12) S2-1275AGM
GEN: Cummins 10kw Deisel w/ Atkinson GSCM Mini D
Location: Ontario Canada

Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by Zip92 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:08 am

This is a new problem for me since about 6 months ago; and it’s happened about 6-7 times out of the 8-9 times I have visited the cabin.

My off-grid setup is up at a remote cabin 4hrs away, and the PV + Diesel Generator backup work perfect while away. With the short days in the winter, the generator comes on every few days to top up the batteries when the PV can’t keep up. While no one is using the cabin, the system draws approx 75w (internet, router, wifi cams).

The issue I seem to have is, every time I come up to use the cabin, on the first night, when the Mate3s/AGS (auto gen start) calls for the generator to come on, the generator will start, but not charge the batteries. In addition, instead of the gen running for its normal 4hr charge cycle, it will run infinitely. Sometimes the gen would come on at 8pm for example. I would go to bed at 10pm, and then wake up at 4am to hear the generator still running but not charging the batteries.

This happened last night. The Mate3s/AGS called for the gen to come on at 9pm. I woke up at 3am to it still running. Upon checking the Mate3s, I could see the batteries we’re at 24.2v and not being charged at all in this 6hr period (as it should since below 2min voltage start). I then rebooted the Mate3s, it shut the gen off, and then 2min later, it restarted the gen. At 7am, I checked it again and same thing, no charging!

This time, rebooting the Mate3s did nothing. The gen didn’t shut off. So I went into the GEN, screen, and I could see the Mate3s/AGS was reading AUTO OFF. I changed it to MANUAL ON, and within seconds the charging process started...

Completely stumped. Is my Mate3s pooched? Firmware is 1.4.2.

fcwlp
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My RE system: GS8048A, FM80 w/3,600 W PV Fixed, FM80 w/2,700W on Zomeworks tracker, Mate3, 24 Trojan 2V L16 1100AH @ C20, Grid-Tied with Kohler 14RESA LPG Generator and MEP-803 Diesel if needed
I also install and maintain grid-tied and off-grid systems, details will be given for these system if required
Location: 80 miles NE of Phoenix at 5500'

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by fcwlp » Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:48 am

Are you using OpticsRE to know that the generator is charging correctly while you are away?

If generator always charges correctly when you are not there, what is different when you are at the cabin, other than drawing more than 75W?

raysun
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Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by raysun » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:31 am

This sounds like the system may be tripping over the charging "smarts" built into the system.

One instance would be a fully (or nearly full) battery that hasn't been drawn down enough to reset the Absorb timer. In such a case, the charging system may start in Bulk, quickly achieve Absorb voltage, notes the Absorb timer is 0:00 and attempts to switch to Float. If the Float timer is also 0:00, the charger is in a sort of limbo.

I have seen several instances of this causing the inverter charger to go idle, leaving the generator running house loads indefinitely and sending zero current to the charger.

Pressing the Charger button on the Mate and manually starting a Bulk charge forces reset of the Absorb and Float timers. Not a solution, but something to help test the theory above.

The Absorb timer is modified in part by the REBULK voltage. For every minute below REBULK, a minute is added to the Absorb timer. For every minute above REBULK, a minute is subtracted from the Absorb timer.

As an experiment, you might try setting REBULK artificially high in order to force time into the Absorb timer.

There are status screens on the Mate that will tell state of charge, current charging parameters, etc., that can yield insight.

FWIW, I don't use AGS. I do run my generator on occasion, and have noticed the phenomenon you describe. Unfortunately, I have not found the perfect setpoints to keep the inverter generator from going idle while in use, so do not have a complete prescription for its solution.

Maybe your research will help us all.

Good luck!

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Zip92
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My RE system: Canadian Remote Cabin - Solar + Diesel Gen
COMM: Mate3s
INV: x2 VFX3524
CC1: MX-60
CC2: Conext MPPT 80
SOLAR1: 6x 123w (Sharp ND-L3EJEA)
SOLAR2: 12x 250w
BATT: RollsSurrette 24v (2v x 12) S2-1275AGM
GEN: Cummins 10kw Deisel w/ Atkinson GSCM Mini D
Location: Ontario Canada

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by Zip92 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:53 am

@fcwlp, yes I use OpticsRE to monitor while I’m away. There has been one instance where this happened while I was not there, but luckily I was headed there the following day. The gen ran for 20hrs straight that time.

@raysun, interesting theories. I’ll add that is use AGM batteries, and they do not need to be float charged; therefore float is 0:00. In my instances, the batteries are at their 2hr low voltage threshold as well. I also use the AUX trigger/output on the VFX to send signal to GSCM.

What do you mean by “set REBULK artificially high”? I don’t see such a parameter...

Additional information: looking through the event log, I am seeing this odd sequence of LOW AC INPUT FREQUENCY associated only with this whole conundrum.

I’ll try and explain, but screen shot of event log also attached.
In order, this all happens within the first minute:
____time: 22:46
1. AGS starts based on 2hr voltage start.
2. Inverter on port 1 (and 2) has detected AC Input Voltage is Too Low condition.
3. Inverter on port 1 (and 2) has detected AC Input Frequency Too Low condition.
4. AUX Status change from, off->on.
5. Inverter 1 charger operating mode change from, off->on.
6. Inverter on port 1 (and 2), Low AC Input Frequency warning has cleared.
7. Inverter 1: grid outage resolved (I’ve never seen this before, first time this weekend. I’m not on a grid).

____time: 22:48
8. AGS state change from, generator stopped->generator warmup.
9. Inverter on port 1 (and 2) Low AC Input Voltage warning has cleared.
10. AGS AC Input was Accepted.
11. AGS state change from, generator warmup->generator running.
12. Charger state change from, not charging->bulk charging.
13. Charger operating mode change from, on->off.
14. Charger state change from, bulk charging->not charging.

And that’s it. No more events. Under normal conditions, I will see events for absorb charging, charging finished, generator cool down, AGS off...

raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
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Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by raysun » Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:41 am

The events are typical of generator startup. IMO, they do not indicate the issue that is being addressed.

All lead-acid batteries, including AGM /VRLA formats require an Absorb phase. From the AGM/VRLA section of the Rolls user guide:
Screenshot_20200202-062241_Adobe Acrobat.jpg
I'd expect the battery is being under charged if the Absorb cycle is omitted.

Re-Bulk shows up (at least on my system) in the Battery Charging menu for the Inverter.

What are the Global Charge settings on the Mate?

What are the Battery Charging settings on the FNDC, if installed?

What are the Battery Charging settings on the Inverter?

What are the Battery Charging settings on the Charge Controllers?

fcwlp
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My RE system: GS8048A, FM80 w/3,600 W PV Fixed, FM80 w/2,700W on Zomeworks tracker, Mate3, 24 Trojan 2V L16 1100AH @ C20, Grid-Tied with Kohler 14RESA LPG Generator and MEP-803 Diesel if needed
I also install and maintain grid-tied and off-grid systems, details will be given for these system if required
Location: 80 miles NE of Phoenix at 5500'

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by fcwlp » Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:02 am

Zip92 wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:53 am
I’ll add that is use AGM batteries, and they do not need to be float charged; therefore float is 0:00.
raysun wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:41 am
All lead-acid batteries, including AGM /VRLA formats require an Absorb phase.
Zip92 stated that float time was 0 and did not mention absorb time or end amps. Did I miss something raysun or were you referring to float?

The page from the Rolls manual that raysun gives two options for float, "To maintain 100% SOC, the charger continues output to the battery bank at the programmed Float voltage and End Amps current indefinitely or until the charger is shut off or unplugged. The profile in Table 5: VRLA AGM Charge Voltage may be used with or without the Float stage. Without the Float stage, recharge may be terminated based on time. This will vary by depth of discharge and charge current, or percentage recharge (105-110%).

Since you are not floating and likely not terminating recharge based on time, you are most likely undercharging the battery as raysun said.

A 24V 1275AH battery bank with 3,700W of PV should be able to support a 1.8kWh daily draw even in winter in Ontario unless your panels are always covered by snow. Can you show a graph for a couple of different weeks from OpticsRE of solar kWh, load kWh and battery V?

raysun
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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: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by raysun » Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:17 am

I misread the post re : Charging float/absorb.

Coffee first, post second...

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-Well: Grundfos 11-SQF-2 pump, controller & AC switch (CU200, IO101), Tristar 45 Controller, 780w SunTech 195, Trojan golf cart batteries.
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Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by JRHill » Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:07 pm

raysun wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:17 am
I misread the post re : Charging float/absorb.

Coffee first, post second...
Macadamia nuts 3rd or are they 1.5? ;) Gosh I could eat myself sick on those.

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: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by raysun » Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:17 pm

I live smack dab in the middle of the largest Mac nut production area in the world. Driving for miles in either direction on the Mamalahoa highway passes continuous Mac nut orchards, tree preserves, and a national park. The orchards in turn extend for miles makai (toward the water) and mauka (toward the mountain.)

When the trees are in flower it smells like honey everywhere.

About 25% of the garden bed soil on my lava flow property is Mac nut husk compost.

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Zip92
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:14 pm
My RE system: Canadian Remote Cabin - Solar + Diesel Gen
COMM: Mate3s
INV: x2 VFX3524
CC1: MX-60
CC2: Conext MPPT 80
SOLAR1: 6x 123w (Sharp ND-L3EJEA)
SOLAR2: 12x 250w
BATT: RollsSurrette 24v (2v x 12) S2-1275AGM
GEN: Cummins 10kw Deisel w/ Atkinson GSCM Mini D
Location: Ontario Canada

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by Zip92 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:46 pm

@raysun, thanks for troubleshooting this with me. To answer your questions:

- Absorb time is set to 3hrs. Float is set to 0.
- REBULK doesn't appear within my inverter anywhere (VFX3524). I do however see REFLOAT however under Battery Charging.
- Global Charge settings:
Screen Shot 2020-02-02 at 9.18.31 PM.jpg
- No FNDC installed.
- Battery Charging settings:
Screen Shot 2020-02-02 at 9.15.21 PM.jpg
- Battery Charging settings on the charge controllers... is that the PV charge controllers? I cannot see those remotely (one is the MX80 and shows limited info on Optics. The other is a Schneider product that I was foced to used because of distance of PV array, and I can't see it remotely).

Anything jump out at you?

Even if the batteries were being undercharged sometimes, is there a correlation between undercharging and this type of behaviour (abandoning an AGS cycle essentially)? The AGS aborted the charging cycle it commanded in the first 3 minute and just left the gen running... at least it seems to me.
event log jan 31 2020.jpg

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: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by raysun » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:14 pm

Sorry about the confusion re: Re-bulk voltage. Is shows up under Battery Charging on my FM charge controllers. I assumed it impacts Absorb from all charging sources, but that would only be relevant in an all-Outback system.

At first glance, I see nothing that leaps out in the settings.

IMO, this isn't an AGS issue as much as it's an issue of how OB inverter chargers behave.

Here's a VERY LONG post on my experience with a similar issue. Kurt's investigative steps might be helpful in your situation.

http://outbackpower.com/forum/viewtopic ... 684#p65684

Here's another tangential discussion: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=14142

FWIW, I have not resolved my issue fully. I am thinking voltage calibration on the inverter and charge controllers may have a hand in it.

I'm keenly interested in what you find. Keep in touch.

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Zip92
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Posts: 48
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My RE system: Canadian Remote Cabin - Solar + Diesel Gen
COMM: Mate3s
INV: x2 VFX3524
CC1: MX-60
CC2: Conext MPPT 80
SOLAR1: 6x 123w (Sharp ND-L3EJEA)
SOLAR2: 12x 250w
BATT: RollsSurrette 24v (2v x 12) S2-1275AGM
GEN: Cummins 10kw Deisel w/ Atkinson GSCM Mini D
Location: Ontario Canada

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by Zip92 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:21 pm

@fcwip, to my knowledge, you cannot float an AGM battery type. Or, the absorb and the float are the same parameter. At least thats what I understood in speaking with Rolls.

There's two things I don't fully understand in what you quoted from the Rolls guide.
1. End Amps. I've never understood how to set this parameter within the Mate/Inverter/Optics...
2. Recharge terminated based on time... As far as I know I am terminating the recharge/charge cycle based on an absorb time of 3hrs. Am I not understanding this correctly? Without FLOAT, recharge (this is the gen charge cycle?) may be terminated based on time (I have set time to 3hrs).

Here's some some various weeks of solar graphed. August, Dec, Jan. Keep in mind that my 3000w Schneider PV array isn't recognized by Optics, so I multiply the value for PV by 4. (3000w/738w=4.06) to estimate the kWh of solar coming in.
PV 4 week sample.jpg
I really appreciate your time on this puzzle. Cheers.

raysun
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Posts: 1693
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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: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by raysun » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:54 pm

Zip92 wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:21 pm
@fcwip, to my knowledge, you cannot float an AGM battery type. Or, the absorb and the float are the same parameter. At least thats what I understood in speaking with Rolls.

There's two things I don't fully understand in what you quoted from the Rolls guide.
1. End Amps. I've never understood how to set this parameter within the Mate/Inverter/Optics...
2. Recharge terminated based on time... As far as I know I am terminating the recharge/charge cycle based on an absorb time of 3hrs. Am I not understanding this correctly? Without FLOAT, recharge (this is the gen charge cycle?) may be terminated based on time (I have set time to 3hrs).

Here's some some various weeks of solar graphed. August, Dec, Jan. Keep in mind that my 3000w Schneider PV array isn't recognized by Optics, so I multiply the value for PV by 4. (3000w/738w=4.06) to estimate the kWh of solar coming in.

PV 4 week sample.jpg

I really appreciate your time on this puzzle. Cheers.
I use AGM batteries (Outback's 200NC) and follow their recommended Float parameters. My float time is 2 hours.

The different charge termination schemes are a bit tricky. In an outback system Charge Termination is generally executed when the Battery Charge parameters are met: Charged Voltage, Charged Return Amps, and Charged Time. These are set in the FNDC which then evaluates and executes a Charge Termination command to all Outback chargers. Lacking an FNDC, and with non-Outback chargers, this isn't directly relevant.

The inverter charger should be capable of autonomously executing the multi-stage charge cycle. It would use Absorb Voltage and Absorb Time to set that phase of the cycle. I'm not sure Absorb End Amps ever comes into play in a meaningful way, as without a device to discern what's net charge to battery as opposed to net charge to load, End Amps becomes meaningless. Mostly it's set to zero.

During the Absorb cycle, the charging voltage remains constant, and the charging amperage declines steadily. Once the charging amperage reaches a minimum, generally 1% - 3% of the C20 Amp-Hour capacity, Absorb End Amps has been reached. There's a complex formula for determining the exact point, but the 1% - 3% C20 estimate is close enough. The only problem with End Amps, as implied above, is load messes with the measurement. It's not a useful metric in many systems.

Since there is a Mate in the system, check out the debugging steps Kurt sent me in that long post about generators and charge controllers. The smoking gun is likely hidden in them.

raysun
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Posts: 1693
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: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by raysun » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:58 pm

Zip92 wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:46 pm
@raysun, thanks for troubleshooting this with me. To answer your questions:

- Absorb time is set to 3hrs. Float is set to 0.
- REBULK doesn't appear within my inverter anywhere (VFX3524). I do however see REFLOAT however under Battery Charging.
- Global Charge settings:
Screen Shot 2020-02-02 at 9.18.31 PM.jpg
- No FNDC installed.
- Battery Charging settings:
Screen Shot 2020-02-02 at 9.15.21 PM.jpg
- Battery Charging settings on the charge controllers... is that the PV charge controllers? I cannot see those remotely (one is the MX80 and shows limited info on Optics. The other is a Schneider product that I was foced to used because of distance of PV array, and I can't see it remotely).

Anything jump out at you?

Even if the batteries were being undercharged sometimes, is there a correlation between undercharging and this type of behaviour (abandoning an AGS cycle essentially)? The AGS aborted the charging cycle it commanded in the first 3 minute and just left the gen running... at least it seems to me.
event log jan 31 2020.jpg
The Log is interesting. I don't use AGS so have no experience to add to the reading.

What happens if you start the generator manually, and manually start a charge cycle?

User avatar
Zip92
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Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:14 pm
My RE system: Canadian Remote Cabin - Solar + Diesel Gen
COMM: Mate3s
INV: x2 VFX3524
CC1: MX-60
CC2: Conext MPPT 80
SOLAR1: 6x 123w (Sharp ND-L3EJEA)
SOLAR2: 12x 250w
BATT: RollsSurrette 24v (2v x 12) S2-1275AGM
GEN: Cummins 10kw Deisel w/ Atkinson GSCM Mini D
Location: Ontario Canada

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by Zip92 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:08 am

@Raysun, thanks for that info and link to similar problem. I will dive in to it and see if I can find anything that relates to my issue. Like you, the issue it's sporadic and not easily recreated.
What happens if you start the generator manually, and manually start a charge cycle?
The systems behaves as it should. The gen warms up, and then starts the times charge cycle as it's programmed to do. No issues there.

Just to reiterate my issue for those following: 5%-10% of the time, the AGS abandons the generator charging cycle within the first 3 minutes and leaves the generator to run indefinitely. The gen AC runs the household load, but no charging occurs. The gen needs to be manually stopped if I'm lucky enough to catch it before it burns through the 200L fuel tank.

raysun
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Posts: 1693
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: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by raysun » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:34 am

Zip92 wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:08 am
@Raysun, thanks for that info and link to similar problem. I will dive in to it and see if I can find anything that relates to my issue. Like you, the issue it's sporadic and not easily recreated.
What happens if you start the generator manually, and manually start a charge cycle?
The systems behaves as it should. The gen warms up, and then starts the times charge cycle as it's programmed to do. No issues there.

Just to reiterate my issue for those following: 5%-10% of the time, the AGS abandons the generator charging cycle within the first 3 minutes and leaves the generator to run indefinitely. The gen AC runs the household load, but no charging occurs. The gen needs to be manually stopped if I'm lucky enough to catch it before it burns through the 200L fuel tank.
Since I don't use AGS I can only draw from similar experiences in manual geberator start, however, I find the symptom - charging dropped while generator continues to service house loads - a compelling similarity.

In my playing around with the phenomenon, I found I could recreate it in a manner not related to what you describe as the runtime environment. If charging from both Charge Controllers and Inverter Charger with the CCs having priority, under certain conditions, generally in the Absorb phase, the Inverter Charger would drop out (nothing to do, so would go idle), then if the CCs went idle, the Inverter Charger would not wake from its idle state. Very tangental, I know.

JRHill
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My RE system: -House: FM 80, VFX 3648, FlexnetDC, FlexWare xformer, Mate 3 / Hub, WattPlot/, 2925w SunTech 195, Trojan L16RE-B Batteries. Backup 1: Honda EU7000is w/2 wire auto start via VFX aux, backup 2: 11kw Miller Bobcat;
-Well: Grundfos 11-SQF-2 pump, controller & AC switch (CU200, IO101), Tristar 45 Controller, 780w SunTech 195, Trojan golf cart batteries.
-All running since July '11 with various upgrades and workarounds.
Location: South central WA
Contact:

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by JRHill » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:48 am

Zip92 wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:46 pm
Anything jump out at you?
Two things although these probably don't have anything to do with the AGS issue.

1) In the global charge settings "Auto Charge Termination Control" was a problem for me. At a time I was not able to get a full absorb cycle. It would regularly kick out of absorb prematurely and into float. I had the absorb time set for a reason and I could get a complete cycle. This setting was the problem. For my system with flooded batteries I have this Disabled. Also, this mainly related to the OB FM80 in the season of longer exposure. But even with a shortened absorb in the winter and charging via generator I want the setting for absorb time I have input to fully execute.

2) Low Battery Cutout voltage of 23.8 and Cut In just .2 higher. When your batteries are loaded and they hit the Cutout setting and your inverter shuts down, it probably doesn't take too long for the battery voltage to recover .2v and turn your inverter back on. And it wouldn't take long before hitting Cutout again. You may consider increasing the Cut In to a point were solar or the generator has brought the batteries back to a point were your inverter isn't cycling on and off.

Best,
Jim

fcwlp
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My RE system: GS8048A, FM80 w/3,600 W PV Fixed, FM80 w/2,700W on Zomeworks tracker, Mate3, 24 Trojan 2V L16 1100AH @ C20, Grid-Tied with Kohler 14RESA LPG Generator and MEP-803 Diesel if needed
I also install and maintain grid-tied and off-grid systems, details will be given for these system if required
Location: 80 miles NE of Phoenix at 5500'

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by fcwlp » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:16 am

Zip92 wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:21 pm
@fcwip, to my knowledge, you cannot float an AGM battery type. Or, the absorb and the float are the same parameter. At least thats what I understood in speaking with Rolls.

There's two things I don't fully understand in what you quoted from the Rolls guide.
1. End Amps. I've never understood how to set this parameter within the Mate/Inverter/Optics...
2. Recharge terminated based on time... As far as I know I am terminating the recharge/charge cycle based on an absorb time of 3hrs. Am I not understanding this correctly? Without FLOAT, recharge (this is the gen charge cycle?) may be terminated based on time (I have set time to 3hrs).
In the Rolls Battery Manual v6 (2019-07) for a 24V system the Float Voltage is 27.6V and the Charge (Absorb) Voltage is 29.4V. I also have v5 of this manual from 2017-03 and the text and table are identical.

The "end amps" setting is not applicable to you as raysun covered. Without an FNDC and with the Schneider CC the Mate3s cannot coordinate.

The "recharge terminated based on time" is your current 3 hour charge/absorb cycle. However as the Rolls manual states; "This will vary by depth of discharge and charge current, or percentage recharge (105-110%)." Since you do not accurately know the DOD or SOC after the 3 hours it is possible the 3 hours is not the correct amount of time. Also as the current is dropping throughout the absorb phase, running a generator for the full absorb cycle is an expensive way to get the last AH into the batteries.

The Rolls manual for absorption charging recommends a charging current that is 20% of C20 which for your batteries is 230ADC (1,150*0.2). Each VFXR3524 has a maximum DC charger output of 82ADC or 164ADC for your two VFXR3524s. The 82ADC requires 20AAC per leg which your 10kW generator should be capable of providing. Rolls provides an formula for Absorption Charge Time of 0.38 x C20 / Charge Current. Which for your system is 2.7 hours (0.38*1,150/164). However, in your current Mate3s settings on the Global Charge Screen you have "Maximum Battery Charge" at the default 80A which would be an 5.5 hour absorb/charge. Increase this value to the recommended maximum of 230ADC (20% of C20). Bottom-line is your current 3 hours was too short of an absorb cycle for the current delivered.

I would also set your float voltage to the recommended 27.6V on both charge controllers and inverter for at least 6 hours. Rolls says you can do it indefinitely or until the charger is shut-off, which in your case is when the sun goes down.

Now for the mystery based on your graphs and my original comments on why solar can not keep up with the little demand when you are not present at cabin.
__ Week of___Load (kWh)____MX60 Solar (kWh)__Gen (kWh)___PV Array 2 Potentially Available (kWh)
- 08/18/19____ 5.4____________21.2____________ 0.0_________________84.4
- 12/01/19_____1.4____________7.3_____________2.9_________________29.2
- 01/05/20_____0.1____________4.0____________13.8_________________16.0
- 01/19/20_____0.6____________6.3_____________0.5_________________25.2

(Maybe someone can educate me on how to make a table :smile: )

For the loads shown the MX60 output appears high. Are there other loads on the system besides the VFXRs. I label the PV Array 2 as being "potentially available" as there is no evidence from the loads that this array's kWh are needed.

A couple of questions/requests:
1) Is your reported 75W (12.6kWh/week) load supplied directly by the batteries? If so is it being taken at 12V or 24V?
2) Please show the charging parameters from both the MX60 and Schneider CC.
3) Do you have battery temp sensors attached to both CCs? During winter in Ontario your batteries are going to be cold and will require a higher absorption voltage, it no BTS this will lead to chronic undercharging. At 10C (50F) the charge/equalization voltage is 30.12V versus the 29.4V at 25C (77F).
4) Does the MX60 have a re-bulk V setting? I have only worked with later model Outback CCs which have this setting.
5) Please provide daily graphs for Wednesday 12/04/19, Thursday 01/09 and Friday 01/10.

Continue to follow raysun's guidance on generator stopping. Your goal is going to be that you never (or seldom) have to start the generator.
Last edited by fcwlp on Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by JRHill » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:59 pm

A 3rd item I thought of after posting. I had to go back to the beginning to see if it was addressed and didn't see it. This is an issue that I had previously and its so crazy simple one can overlook over it.

3) The AGS circuit itself. When the Aux port signals the genset run it does so by lighting up 12vdc at the aux port. When it's over the 12vdc goes away and the genset shuts off. It's that simple. The 12vdc, if a two wire AGS, goes to a (non OB component) 12vdc relay which when energized closes the relay which starts the generator. These relays are pretty inexpensive and, ya know, they can fail. So the next time your generator is running and shouldn't be look at the Aux port connector at the FX. There s/b a little indicator light if its active. If its inactive and the generator is running, is not the OB stuff. Try flicking/rapping the relay lightly. If it still doesn't work, just change the darn thing. In addition, buy a spare relay cause literally a few bucks is nothing compared to all this.

I think there are two threads on this and I recently replied likewise on another post - not sure if this issue or not. But please verify your genset AGS circuit.

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Zip92
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Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:14 pm
My RE system: Canadian Remote Cabin - Solar + Diesel Gen
COMM: Mate3s
INV: x2 VFX3524
CC1: MX-60
CC2: Conext MPPT 80
SOLAR1: 6x 123w (Sharp ND-L3EJEA)
SOLAR2: 12x 250w
BATT: RollsSurrette 24v (2v x 12) S2-1275AGM
GEN: Cummins 10kw Deisel w/ Atkinson GSCM Mini D
Location: Ontario Canada

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by Zip92 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:10 pm

@JRHill,

Re: #3, good call on the AUX relay. I'll watch for that next time. AUX light on means 12v trigger is active and gen should be running; got it. And I shall lookout for those related posts.

Re: #2, cut-out/cut-in voltage, I've never actually had my batteries cut out in a while... It used to cut out when I was having diesel fuel freezing issues so I had that set like that for a reason I wont go in to now. I can widen that spread now. I do wonder what a tolerable/safe cut-out voltage is... I really need to take a moment and figure out how my resting voltage compares to the voltage under load. I'll leave at 23.8v, hoping that my resting voltage would actually be around 24v (50% soc) or more.

Re: #1, Since I don't use float for my AGM's, I'll leave this one for now and try and read up on it. This whole "Global Charge" section I am not too familiar with.

Many thanks for the tips Jim.
-Adam

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Zip92
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Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:14 pm
My RE system: Canadian Remote Cabin - Solar + Diesel Gen
COMM: Mate3s
INV: x2 VFX3524
CC1: MX-60
CC2: Conext MPPT 80
SOLAR1: 6x 123w (Sharp ND-L3EJEA)
SOLAR2: 12x 250w
BATT: RollsSurrette 24v (2v x 12) S2-1275AGM
GEN: Cummins 10kw Deisel w/ Atkinson GSCM Mini D
Location: Ontario Canada

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by Zip92 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:51 pm

@fcwip,

I'm feeling confused by the GLOBAL CHARGE -> MAXIMUM BATTERY CHARGE (MBC) setting. My 10kw gen outputs 83amps (see spec below - have not field tested it). I assume it would be 83amps max, and not 83amps per VFX inverter/charger. I believe thats why MBC is set to 80amps. Should I be doubling that to 160amps?
Screen Shot 2020-02-03 at 8.41.24 PM.jpg
However, in your current Mate3s settings on the Global Charge Screen you have "Maximum Battery Charge" at the default 80A which would be an 5.5 hour absorb/charge. Increase this value to the recommended maximum of 230ADC (20% of C20).
Are you saying MBC should be set to 230amps instead of 80amps? Like this:
Screen Shot 2020-02-03 at 9.31.49 PM.jpg
I would also set your float voltage to the recommended 27.6V on both charge controllers and inverter for at least 6 hours. Rolls says you can do it indefinitely or until the charger is shut-off, which in your case is when the sun goes down.
OK, I'll double check that. I won't do it for the gen/inverters as can't have the gen running for 10hrs! But for the PV charge controllers, for sure (I believe they are set up as such).
For the loads shown the MX60 output appears high. Are there other loads on the system besides the VFXRs. I label the PV Array 2 as being "potentially available" as there is no evidence from the loads that this array's kWh are needed.
When I'm not at the cabin, there's less than 100w drawing power. I estimate around 70w load for satellite internet modem, wifi router, wifi camera's, wifi receptacles. In the summer I do run some fans to cool the batteries and move air around in the basement to help with humidity. But from Oct-May, load should be around 70w.
A couple of questions/requests:
1) Is your reported 75W (12.6kWh/week) load supplied directly by the batteries? If so is it being taken at 12V or 24V? ANSWER: No. All from AC.
2) Please show the charging parameters from both the MX60 and Schneider CC. ANSWER: Will need to get this upon next site visit.
3) Do you have battery temp sensors attached to both CCs? During winter in Ontario your batteries are going to be cold and will require a higher absorption voltage, it no BTS this will lead to chronic undercharging. At 10C (50F) the charge/equalization voltage is 30.12V versus the 29.4V at 25C (77F). ANSWER: Yes I do have an battery temp sensor and consulted with Rolls on where to place. My understanding is that the Mate3s does all the calculations so I just leave it set at 29.4v.
4) Does the MX60 have a re-bulk V setting? I have only worked with later model Outback CCs which have this setting. ANSWER: I'll have to check. I dont know.
5) Please provide daily graphs for Wednesday 12/04/19, Thursday 01/09 and Friday 01/10. ANSWER: See below.

daily.jpg
You're giving me lot of homework! Thanks again sir! I appreciate the help.

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My RE system: GS8048A, FM80 w/3,600 W PV Fixed, FM80 w/2,700W on Zomeworks tracker, Mate3, 24 Trojan 2V L16 1100AH @ C20, Grid-Tied with Kohler 14RESA LPG Generator and MEP-803 Diesel if needed
I also install and maintain grid-tied and off-grid systems, details will be given for these system if required
Location: 80 miles NE of Phoenix at 5500'

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by fcwlp » Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:54 pm

Zip92 wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:51 pm
I'm feeling confused by the GLOBAL CHARGE -> MAXIMUM BATTERY CHARGE (MBC) setting. My 10kw gen outputs 83amps (see spec below - have not field tested it). I assume it would be 83amps max, and not 83amps per VFX inverter/charger. I believe thats why MBC is set to 80amps. Should I be doubling that to 160amps?
The MBC is the total DC amps being sent to the batteries from the inverters and the CCs controlled by the Mate3s. However per the Mate3s manual, the Mate3s can monitor but not control a MX60 with the caveat that Float Coordination works if the MX60 has firmware v.5.11.

Your generator is outputting 41.7A at 240V or 41.7A per each 120V leg. Per the FXR manual for charging (Table 3) the VFXR3524 has a maximum AC input current of 20Aac to make 83Adc going to the batteries. So your generator can easily provide 166Adc to the battery.
Zip92 wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:51 pm
Are you saying MBC should be set to 230amps instead of 80amps? Like this:
Correct. The 230Adc is 20% of the C20. Rolls actually allows you to go up to 30% of C20.
fcwlp wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:16 am
I would also set your float voltage to the recommended 27.6V on both charge controllers and inverter for at least 6 hours. Rolls says you can do it indefinitely or until the charger is shut-off, which in your case is when the sun goes down.
Zip92 wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:51 pm
OK, I'll double check that. I won't do it for the gen/inverters as can't have the gen running for 10hrs! But for the PV charge controllers, for sure (I believe they are set up as such).
Agree on not doing it on the inverter. Based on what I see in the daily graphs, it does not look like the CCs are floating the batteries at 27.6V or taking the batteries up to the absorb voltage. Can you see the MX60 settings through OpticsRE. Any changes will need to be made directly on the MX60 and Schneider CC on your next visit to cabin.
Zip92 wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:51 pm
When I'm not at the cabin, there's less than 100w drawing power. I estimate around 70w load for satellite internet modem, wifi router, wifi camera's, wifi receptacles. In the summer I do run some fans to cool the batteries and move air around in the basement to help with humidity. But from Oct-May, load should be around 70w.
A couple of questions/requests:
1) Is your reported 75W (12.6kWh/week) load supplied directly by the batteries? If so is it being taken at 12V or 24V? ANSWER: No. All from AC.
Good that the loads are taken from the inverter. Strange that the load is not being reported by OpticsRE.
Zip92 wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:51 pm
3) Do you have battery temp sensors attached to both CCs? During winter in Ontario your batteries are going to be cold and will require a higher absorption voltage, it no BTS this will lead to chronic undercharging. At 10C (50F) the charge/equalization voltage is 30.12V versus the 29.4V at 25C (77F). ANSWER: Yes I do have an battery temp sensor and consulted with Rolls on where to place. My understanding is that the Mate3s does all the calculations so I just leave it set at 29.4v.
Good that you have a BTS on the Outback, is it connected to one of the VFXRs or the FX60. If the BTS is on a VFXR the Mate3s will know the battery temp and control the inverters during the generator charging but per the Mate3s manual it can not control the FX60. My guess is you will need two Outback BTSs, one for the VFXRs and one for the FX60. Do you have a BTS on the Schneider CC?

In your graphs, the voltage drop over time for a 70-100W load (that for some reason does not show up) seems higher that I would expect for the size of your battery bank. This could be do to a low SOC of the batteries.

When are you planning to head up to the cabin again?

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Zip92
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Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:14 pm
My RE system: Canadian Remote Cabin - Solar + Diesel Gen
COMM: Mate3s
INV: x2 VFX3524
CC1: MX-60
CC2: Conext MPPT 80
SOLAR1: 6x 123w (Sharp ND-L3EJEA)
SOLAR2: 12x 250w
BATT: RollsSurrette 24v (2v x 12) S2-1275AGM
GEN: Cummins 10kw Deisel w/ Atkinson GSCM Mini D
Location: Ontario Canada

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by Zip92 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:30 am

@fcwlp,

I was just looking at the Mate3s programming guide, and notice it states that the GLOBAL CHARGE sections needs a FLEXnet DC monitor and pertains to FLEXmax CC's... This section for me has always been 'disabled'. Based on that, I wont change anything here. I should invest in the FLEXnetDC and upgrade the MX60 to an FM60. I wish I could have used an Outback product instead of having to use the Schneider CC. Sucks not being able to see everything on OpticsRE.
Screen Shot 2020-02-04 at 7.14.32 AM.jpg
The reason you aren't seeing the 75w load is that the Mate seems to only read in 100w increments. So if the load is less than 100w, it shows up as zero. I wish it could be more accurate. If you know of a way to see a more accurate reading, I would be all over that. I understand the FLEXnet DC may offer this?

I'll be heading up weekend of Feb 14th. I'll make a list of info to gather from the MX60 and Schneider CC.

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Zip92
Forum Whiz
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:14 pm
My RE system: Canadian Remote Cabin - Solar + Diesel Gen
COMM: Mate3s
INV: x2 VFX3524
CC1: MX-60
CC2: Conext MPPT 80
SOLAR1: 6x 123w (Sharp ND-L3EJEA)
SOLAR2: 12x 250w
BATT: RollsSurrette 24v (2v x 12) S2-1275AGM
GEN: Cummins 10kw Deisel w/ Atkinson GSCM Mini D
Location: Ontario Canada

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by Zip92 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:17 pm

@fcwip,
I was able to get up to the cabin last weekend and check the charging settings in the MX60 cc and the Schneider cc. Both had slightly higher absorb charge settings, and float. I dialed them back to be in line with the recommendations from Rolls and match the generator.

Was there something in particular from these settings you were looking for? I will confirm the number of RTS’s I have connected and to what devices.

The gen/AGS ran fine and normal last weekend.

I ordered a FNDC. I’ll leave setting that up until the spring while I do some homework on how it works/installed in the meantime.

Cheers.

fcwlp
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Posts: 186
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:40 am
My RE system: GS8048A, FM80 w/3,600 W PV Fixed, FM80 w/2,700W on Zomeworks tracker, Mate3, 24 Trojan 2V L16 1100AH @ C20, Grid-Tied with Kohler 14RESA LPG Generator and MEP-803 Diesel if needed
I also install and maintain grid-tied and off-grid systems, details will be given for these system if required
Location: 80 miles NE of Phoenix at 5500'

Re: Mate3s Intermittently Not Charging from Generator

Post by fcwlp » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:24 pm

I missed your update after you came back.

Normally you want to keep the CC voltages 0.2V to 0.4V higher than the inverter/charger, to prioritize the use of the PV. Keep the CC V settings as recommended by Rolls as that is what will be charging the batteries the majority of the time.

Did you record on the MX60:
- Absorb time and end amps settings?
- Float time?
You should be able to read the MX60 settings over OpticsRE but can not update them. There should be similar settings on the Schneider.

How would you characterize the PV production while you were there? I am still trying to figure out why you have to run your generator so much. It could be due to an inadequate absorb cycle (time, end amps) or the lack of BTSs resulting in too low of a charge V and therefore undercharging the batteries. Investing in $50-60 USD of BTSs is cheaper than a new set of batteries.

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