Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of

reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
We installed the new Conext XW+ system, the system was easy to install and was completed in 2 days with 4 guys. Started about 7am day 1 and were finished with System and PV Array by 8pm. Installed battery bank, programmed and commissioned the system by lunch on day 2. Overall the equipment is user friendly and easy to install.
AND
I'm not impressed to the point I’m ready to remove all the Schneider equipment and install an Outback system. I would caution anyone looking at the Schneider equipment to run the other direction. (I was warned and did not listen!! You have now been warned!!) While easy to install this equipment is nowhere near ready for production release. I have spent more hours on phone with tech support than I can count. (I must add that they do answer the phone and are very willing to “TRY” to help) I have factory reset the equipment and reprogrammed per tech support instructions more times than I can count. I have tested the equipment per tech support instructions more times than I can count. I have made detailed wiring diagrams and taken many pictures for tech support.

The problem seems to be a disconnect from the Schneider tech support and Schneider engineering. In my experience and the experience of others I've talked with, even if the Tech team can duplicate the issue/bug and they admit it is software related the engineering team doesn’t/won’t/refuses to fix the issue and release an update. Issues/bugs they do fix seem to take a VERY long time and go through an act of Congress to be released.

My System
5.4KW PV Array
1 x 48V 1600Ah Battery Bank
2 x Conext XW+NA 6848 inverters
1 x Conext 80 600 MPPT CC
1 x Conext XW+ Power Distribution Panel
1 x Conext SCP
1 x Conext ComBox
1 x Conext Battery Monitor
1 x Conext AGS (Auto Gen Start)

There are SO MANY bugs and other issues. Some issues are so severe that I have disabled and turned off one of the inverters and am running in single inverter standalone mode. (I have a second inverter hanging on my wall that does nothing and was a complete waste of money) The one inverter I am running is acting as nothing more than what a substantially cheaper Grid Tie inverter could do.

Issues when running Single Inverter or Stacked Inverters

1. Battery Monitor was DOA and took 3 calls to Schneider support to get RMA (have not received replacement yet)

2. The 80/600 CC spec says it supports 16~67VDC but if your battery exceeds 63voltsDC (while doing EQ charge for example) the CC throws a DC Over Voltage fault at 63V and shuts down. This requires the CC to be placed in standby mode, clear faults from system and then restart CC. My battery manufacture recommends EQ charge at 64V but I have to limit this to 62.5V to prevent the CC from faulting and shutting down. Tech support has confirmed that the voltage sensor is set to 63V in firmware. One tech says it should be fixed (ETA unknown) while another tech says engineering may just decide to lower the specs from 16~67V to 16~63V not to funny if part of your purchase planning was based on their published specs in the manual and web site.

3. During low light (Cloudy Overcast days, Rain etc..) when the PV array output is reduced and unable to complete the charge of battery, if Grid or Gen power is used with the Inverter to assist in battery charging, the 80/600 CC throws a DC Over Current fault. This requires the CC to be placed in standby mode, clear the faults from system and restart CC. Of course you have to wait to reset the CC until the Inverter has completed its charging cycle. This in turn shuts down any PV power that could be available.

4. Schneider uses a Grid Support Voltage (GSV) setting to enable/disable the inverter exporting battery capacity to sell to grid. The manual states that to stop the inverter from selling battery capacity to grid set the GSV higher than your battery EQ voltage (i.e. if EQ charge for battery is 62V then set the GSV to 63V) This is a nice feature to have so you’re not selling to grid capacity from your battery
AND
Schneider uses a Load Shave setting; you enable Load Shaving to reduce power use from the grid. With load shave enabled you can set the Load Shave Amps to XXamps so the grid will supply up to XXamps (load shave amps) and above this setting the inverter draws from the battery bank thus reducing grid usage. With Load Shaving enabled you should be able to run your loads "Off Grid" while having the grid sitting there should it be needed.
BUT!!!!!!!!!
Load Shave mode is also tied to the GSV setting. So if you set the GSV high enough so you’re not selling battery capacity to the grid, load shave will not work correctly. If you set GSV so load shaving works somewhat correctly, the system starts selling your battery capacity to the grid.
Why can't Schneider tie the Load Shave feature to the inverter Low Battery Cut Out Voltage or to the Battery Recharge Voltage setting so you can prevent the inverter from selling battery capacity to the grid and still be able to use Load Shaving correctly to minimize grid power use?

5. With load shave enabled and load shave amps set to 0, the system should be running in an off grid state with no input at all from the grid. The system ignores the settings and still imports from grid to power loads. This issue may be related to issue 4 in some way, but no matter what settings I or tech support has tried the system will still import grid power. Basically the battery bank and CC just sit there doing nothing unless the grid goes down. Tech support agrees that with load shave amp setting of 0 the inverter should never import grid power unless the battery falls to Low Battery Cutout Volts.

6. The WX+ inverter is supposed to be a grid tie and off grid inverter wrapped up in a single inverter. But if you attempt to run in a strictly Off Grid setup without grid power or intentionally turn off grid power, the inverter throws a fault. While the inverter does continue to operate and power loads, the fault stays active and you have to sit and listen to an endless fault alarm. Thus you never know by looking at the system if the fault alarm is from not having grid power or some other fault. You have to manually check the SCP or ComBox for faults frequently to be sure there are no new faults in the system. Even if used as a grid tie with battery backup system, are you supposed to sit and listen to the damn fault alarm 24/7 during a grid outage? The inverter should just add a line in the log noting grid down/up and keep on going without all the hassle and nuisance. Grid outage in a system designed for this very purpose should not be a warning or fault.

Issues when running Stacked Inverters

1. The system cannot accurately track the loads (with a known 500watt load) my fluke meter and Watt meter both accurately show 500watt load while the system SCP and ComBox bounces from 0 to xxx watts of load. This causes the usage and history reports/charts to be inaccurate and totally useless.

2. When stacked (Master/Slave) the slave inverter should enter sleep mode and draw 8watt or less from the system (per system manual). When the Master inverter reaches 60% of its output capacity the Slave should wakeup and help support the loads. When the loads drops the Slave will again go into sleep mode (per system manual). This does not work even with loads well below 60% capacity of the Master. Both the Master and Slave inverters stay active 100% of the time and actually fight each other as to which one is going to power the loads. This is causing some kind of other issue (maybe a loop back or something) because the system efficiency drops to 60~50%. If you can/willing to deal with this then you still have other issues to deal with as well.


3. If you value your investment at all, do not attempt to use a generator as a secondary source of power when using stacked inverters. YOU WILL BURN UP THE INVERTERS and let the smoke out. I don't know what causes this but there are other reports about this issue. Using a generator does seem to work ok if using a single inverter in standalone mode.


There are other issues with this system that I continue to discover as I learn more about what it is advertized to be capable of vs what it can actually do without errors and faults.



Regards
«1

Comments

  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,121 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    reefbum wrote: »
    3. If you value your investment at all, do not attempt to use a generator as a secondary source of power when using stacked inverters. YOU WILL BURN UP THE INVERTERS and let the smoke out. I don't know what causes this but there are other reports about this issue. Using a generator does seem to work ok if using a single inverter in standalone mode.
    Regards
    Does your generator have a true center tapped 120V/240V output? If not, you will have to use an autotransformer such as the one sold by Outback to couple in the generator safely.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,249 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of

    Wow, sounds like a nightmare. I've had fairly good results with my XW gear, aside from the manuals being obtuse just "saying" how a feature works without "describing" how and why it works that way. I am off grid and have not tested anything from AC1. But I do have well functioning generator support and battery charging from my genset.

    The only oddity that really irks me, is the charge controller is temp compensated, and as temps go down, the battery voltage needs to rise, but the inverter does not account for the need for higher battery voltage (even with it's battery temp sensor) and has given me DC over volt warnings a couple times this last week, I had to dial the chargers back a bit (rob Peter to pay Paul) and increase my absorb times to compensate (i hope).
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • jtdiesel65jtdiesel65 Solar Expert Posts: 135 ✭✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    reefbum wrote: »
    2. When stacked (Master/Slave) the slave inverter should enter sleep mode and draw 8watt or less from the system (per system manual). When the Master inverter reaches 60% of its output capacity the Slave should wakeup and help support the loads. When the loads drops the Slave will again go into sleep mode (per system manual). This does not work even with loads well below 60% capacity of the Master. Both the Master and Slave inverters stay active 100% of the time and actually fight each other as to which one is going to power the loads. This is causing some kind of other issue (maybe a loop back or something) because the system efficiency drops to 60~50%. If you can/willing to deal with this then you still have other issues to deal with as well.

    That sounds fishy. Are you sure you have one of them configured to be in search mode?

    If I had the SWs configured both with search off, they hunted around a bit. But when configured one as master and one as slave with master search off, slave search on, the behavior is as expected.

    The XWs I have now that replaced the SWs are configured one in search and one not and they behave as expected.

    granted neither of those are "+" inverters.
  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    reefbum wrote: »
    6. The WX+ inverter is supposed to be a grid tie and off grid inverter wrapped up in a single inverter. But if you attempt to run in a strictly Off Grid setup without grid power or intentionally turn off grid power, the inverter throws a fault. While the inverter does continue to operate and power loads, the fault stays active and you have to sit and listen to an endless fault alarm. Thus you never know by looking at the system if the fault alarm is from not having grid power or some other fault. You have to manually check the SCP or ComBox for faults frequently to be sure there are no new faults in the system. Even if used as a grid tie with battery backup system, are you supposed to sit and listen to the damn fault alarm 24/7 during a grid outage? The inverter should just add a line in the log noting grid down/up and keep on going without all the hassle and nuisance. Grid outage in a system designed for this very purpose should not be a warning or fault.

    From Schneider tech support:

    To disable this alarm the inverter "Grid Support" and "Sell Mode" must be disabled.
    With Grid Support enabled the inverter is being told to function with the grid for selling any excess PV energy back to grid.
    In accordance with NEC and other regulations the inverter must stop exporting power to grid during a grid outage, to do this the inverter must poll the AC1 grid terminals.
    If power to AC1 is interrupted as what would happen in a grid outage, the inverter will issue a fault and shut down any export of power to grid.
    The audible alarm can be disabled in the SCP but the visual flashing alarm will stay active for 5min after AC1 has returned to normal grid voltage. After 5min the fault will self clear and the inverter will return to normal operation. For an extended grid outage it is recommended to disable "Grid Support" and "Sell Mode"



    At least I now know how to run the system correctly in an off grid state without the fault alarm. To bad it took 6 calls to tech support to finally reach the tech that actually had the answer.
  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    jtdiesel65 wrote: »
    That sounds fishy. Are you sure you have one of them configured to be in search mode?

    If I had the SWs configured both with search off, they hunted around a bit. But when configured one as master and one as slave with master search off, slave search on, the behavior is as expected.

    The XWs I have now that replaced the SWs are configured one in search and one not and they behave as expected.

    granted neither of those are "+" inverters.


    I have confirmed
    Master Search Mode = Disabled
    Slave Search Mode = Enabled

    I also have a ComBox which allows remote access and programming.
    I have had 2 different Schneider tech's login remotely, factory default all the equipment and reprogram it themselves with the same results.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,257 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    reefbum wrote: »
    I have confirmed
    Master Search Mode = Disabled
    Slave Search Mode = Enabled

    I also have a ComBox which allows remote access and programming.
    I have had 2 different Schneider tech's login remotely, factory default all the equipment and reprogram it themselves with the same results.

    With a system this big you are beyond search mode in my opinion. I have installed three 6848's in the last three months with out any offgrid issues. The configuration and commissioning take someone who knows the XW very well or has quite a bit of experience. They are extremely reliable when installed
    correctly.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    With a system this big you are beyond search mode in my opinion. I have installed three 6848's in the last three months with out any offgrid issues. The configuration and commissioning take someone who knows the XW very well or has quite a bit of experience. They are extremely reliable when installed
    correctly.

    Search mode has nothing to do with how "big" the system is.
    Search mode per the manual is based on current draw of loads per the manual.

    As of right now the only loads on the system is 2 x 500watt loads, 1 500watt load L1 and 500watt L2
    This is a total of 1000watts which is well below the 60% load capacity of the Master inverter.
    Once placed in full operation my anticipated house loads will generally not exceed 1000watts.
    The reason for 2 x 6848 inverters is because my wife will take delivery of her new Tesla in about 5weeks.
    During the time the car is charging, I have no expectation that the Slave inverter will be "sleeping", however during the rest of the time when only carrying limited house loads I do expect the slave to sleep. My goal is to use the excess PV energy not required by battery bank to "Opportunity Charge" the car when possible.
    My utility company pays .05KW for exported power, opportunity charging the car is worth more to me than .05KW.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,249 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    reefbum wrote: »
    Search mode has nothing to do with how "big" the system is..........

    There may be issues with load balancing between phases. If too much load is on one phase (3Kw per each leg) that may be what's triggering the slave.

    You can use the combox to verify the different loading between legs, and that your loads are indeed split evenly. Installer may have crossed a wire somewhere.

    But the installer should be on the hook for getting this working right. If you chose to be your own installer, it's not an average DIY job. I'm off-grid, and only have a single, so I can't answer your grid and slave issues. When you want Gen Support+ advice, I can help.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,249 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    1. The system cannot accurately track the loads (with a known 500watt load) my fluke meter and Watt meter both accurately show 500watt load while the system SCP and ComBox bounces from 0 to xxx watts of load. This causes the usage and history reports/charts to be inaccurate and totally useless.

    Take load readings off the inverter display, it is more stable than the data reporting over the xanbus and then through ethernet. Lots of latency there.
    I use 1 minute logging on the combox, and it appears to be accurate to 1A on the DC battery side, and close enough on the AC side that it makes sense too.

    Be sure the xanbus terminations are BOTH in place, you need one terminator plug at each end of the network. There was some issue with too short (or too long) of cables between units causing race conditions.

    You need to ask to get in touch with a Xantrex/Schneider engineer, not the script readers that answer the phones. Insist on higher tier support, this gear does work, when it's instructed properly.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,257 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of

    Very nicely said Mike! As for search mode, I only meant that the 40 watt load of another inverter is way down the list on getting a system like this running well. Who was the installer? I am guessing a local electrician who is starting to do more solar installation. They are the ones who call me...
    The hi voltage charger may cause some peaks in DC output during clouds and solar weirdness. Go into the XW inv/chg menu and widen the Inv screen DC cut-out and cut-in set-points. These are probably causing your warnings and faults. In the offgrid mode these should not cause any problems except more warnings, faults and flashing red lights.
    In grid tie, I am glad that I rarely have to get the headaches from thinking about grid-tie.
    mike95490 wrote: »
    Take load readings off the inverter display, it is more stable than the data reporting over the xanbus and then through ethernet. Lots of latency there.
    I use 1 minute logging on the combox, and it appears to be accurate to 1A on the DC battery side, and close enough on the AC side that it makes sense too.

    Be sure the xanbus terminations are BOTH in place, you need one terminator plug at each end of the network. There was some issue with too short (or too long) of cables between units causing race conditions.

    You need to ask to get in touch with a Xantrex/Schneider engineer, not the script readers that answer the phones. Insist on higher tier support, this gear does work, when it's instructed properly.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • jtdiesel65jtdiesel65 Solar Expert Posts: 135 ✭✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    reefbum wrote: »
    My battery manufacture recommends EQ charge at 64V but I have to limit this to 62.5V to prevent the CC from faulting and shutting down.


    Hi,

    Not to question you but, over here in this thread http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?25560-Advice-on-what-installer-recommended you indicated

    reefbum wrote: »


    GB Industrial email to me
    Quantity (4)
    New 12v GB Solar Battery, model 6SBY85-25 / 1608AH capacity: $ 2115.50 each x4. *
    Dimensions: 41L X 11 1/2W X 25H each x4.
    Weight: 996 pounds each x 4.
    > Modules are delivered fully assembled with intercell connections.
    > (4) modules in series = 24 cells, 48 volts DC.
    > Bulk Charge 55.20volt
    > Absorption Charge same as Bulk charge for 2hr
    > Float Charge 53.04volt
    > Equalize 61.92volt for 1hr
    Warranty: 7 years
    Total cost for (4) units: $8462.00
    Free shipping to lower 48 with pickup at terminal, $275 residential lift gate delivery.

    Here GB says 61.92v for EQ. Did you get a different battery or was there a mix up with the specs?

    I was just looking at this because 64 seems really high. I have a 24v forklift battery and I use 30.1v which would work out to be 60.2v. Absorb of 55.2 also seems really low.
  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    jtdiesel65 wrote: »
    Hi,
    Not to question you but, over here in this thread http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?25560-Advice-on-what-installer-recommended you indicated
    Here GB says 61.92v for EQ. Did you get a different battery or was there a mix up with the specs?
    I was just looking at this because 64 seems really high. I have a 24v forklift battery and I use 30.1v which would work out to be 60.2v. Absorb of 55.2 also seems really low.


    GB recommends for a 48v bank
    61.92v - EQ
    55.20v - bulk & absorb
    53.04 - float

    Using these voltages the CC is reaching float everyday but the bank is not full.
    Lowering the ending amps and increasing the absorb time does not fix the issue.
    With the recommended volts and long absorb the CC reaches bulk and enters absorb very early in morning (9:30am) by about 11:00am the CC is basically floating the battery at the absorb voltage with current moving between 0~1amp. Taking SP readings of the cells shows the bank 80% SoC (20% DoD). Each day this continues and each day the SP goes lower.
    After 3~4 days I tried EQ 61.92 to bring the SoC to 100%. EQ did bring the SP back up after about 16hr, a 16hr EQ every 3-4 days is not a possible solution.

    I talked with GB and they said I may need to use a higher voltage on bulk/absorb and EQ. Because of the height of the cells (24"), and low Charge Controller current from early morning sun at their recommended voltages they think the batteries are not gassing and there is stratification happening.

    In general it is recommended to have the battery gassing well towards the end of absorb.
    For my batteries to have gassing towards end of absorb, the voltages needed are 62v bulk/absorb. Using 62v bulk/absorb the Charge Controller is now entering absorb about 11:am and entering float about 3 pm and the SP shows about 95% SoC. A quick EQ of 64v brings the SP up to 100% SoC.

    GB ending advise (in my case) is to use the 62v bulk/absorb setting to get the batteries to 90~95% SoC daily and run EQ 1~2 times a month to bring the SP back to 1.290 average across all cells. (100% SoC = 1.285~1.295) The reasoning is that most "forklift/industrial" chargers provide the recommended voltages for bulk/absorb and a final "finishing" charge where the charger supplies full amps and lets the voltage climb as far as it can. During this finishing charge the battery begins gassing very well and stratification is not an issue. When forklift/industrial batteries are used in an RE solar environment the CC and Inverters do not have this finishing charge and so a higher bulk/absorb voltage is needed to gas the batteries to ease stratification.

    Basically my take on the advise was to stop treating the batteries like a baby and treat them like a POW.
    Beat and starve them during use but give them a good meal once in a while to keep them working.

    This goes back to the 80/600 CC, it is not capable of the 16~67v specs Schneider gives. At 63v the CC gives a warning, at 64v it faults out.
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of

    I have a gb 800 ah 48 volt battery. I went through the same buisness with low sg. I contacted the manufactuer BBI. I now have my absorb at 61.6 and I eq at 63.2. When I use the grid my inverter will run the battery to 64.3 at times. I have a non temp comp charging system. At least some time durring the week I have to charge with the eq voltage if I want to get above 1.265 sg. I got up this morning with the trimetric saying the battery was 80% soc. I checked the sg and it was just above 1.240 from a full charge and eq the night before. I put 11 kwh in but this is with my house loads so 65 to 70 amps towards the battery. The battery just hit 60 volts. The sg is still under 1.250. When I hit 61 volts and above the sg will start raising about .o10 per hour. At that voltage it will not hit 1.280 on my low cell. I have been working on this for about a year and a half. I started with an absorb voltage of 57.2. I was doing 16-20 hour eq monthly at 62 volts and never getting my low cell sg and sometimes none of them to 1.285-1.295. The battery would git to 90 degrees. Yesterday I charged with 63.2 for seven hours and the battery only got to 65 degrees and I got my sg.

    I was just about to start a thread about the relationship of voltage to being able to get the sg to rise at all.
    gww

    Ps I came to the above with the advice from the battery maker. He believes the plates are still not formed and the charging may eventually happen a bit easier.
  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    gww1 wrote: »
    I have a gb 800 ah 48 volt battery. I went through the same buisness with low sg. I contacted the manufactuer BBI.


    Yes, in my above post I refer to the advise as coming from GB, actually the advise came from the manufacture BBI.
    I'm considering the purchase of an "industrial" charger for use when EQ is needed to be able to provide the "finishing" charge.
    I could use the gen to power the industrial charger if/when grid power is not available.
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of

    reef....
    I agree with you and got the same advice but; when it wasn't working I called their factory tech guy and we adjusted to what I am doing now. If you look at my system, it is very simular to yours wattage wise though I use outback equipt. I followed the guide lines for about six months before contacting them. I could not live with 20 hour eq every month, which wasn't working well anyway and may have cause sulphate in that time that may never go away. I called and we come up with something new that seems to be working better. In 5 years if I have corroded my pos-plates to nothing I may regret my decision. There is no way of knowing now except that I get better sg readings then I used to. And it is still hard.

    I don't know enough to know what is good or bad and just do my best.

    Cheers
    gww
  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    gww1 wrote: »
    I followed the guide lines for about six months before contacting them. I could not live with 20 hour eq every month, which wasn't working well anyway and may have cause sulphate in that time that may never go away.

    My battery is new and I caught the SP issue within the first week and contacted BBI right away. (reading all cells every 6hrs for the first 7days trying to find my baseline)
    I had done much reading prior to the batteries arrival and from everything I had read, the SP is god and master of the batteries so when the SP kept falling even though the CC was going to float every day I immediately called BBI to question the charging voltages and info provided by GB.

    With 62v (temp compensated) bulk/absorb setting my bank comes up every day to about 1.275~1.280 with 4hr absorb time. If i apply EQ charge at 64v they will average 1.290 within an hour.
    1.289 my lowest cell and 1.294 on the highest cell with the rest of cells somewhere in between. I did ask about the high setting causing +plate corrosion, BBI seemed unconcerned stating that an industrial charger would run the finishing voltage up much higher than the 62/64v settings in my CC and INV.

    I have no idea how long it takes for a new cell to sulphate but I would guess you could have at least a small % of this problem if your having a really hard time bringing the SP up.
    The SP in my bank rises fairly quickly to 1.290 average (1hr or so) using 64v EQ after the CC goes to float mode. The first time I used the 64v EQ it did take 16+ hours to reach 1.290
  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    Very nicely said Mike! As for search mode, I only meant that the 40 watt load of another inverter is way down the list on getting a system like this running well. Who was the installer? I am guessing a local electrician who is starting to do more solar installation. They are the ones who call me...
    The hi voltage charger may cause some peaks in DC output during clouds and solar weirdness. Go into the XW inv/chg menu and widen the Inv screen DC cut-out and cut-in set-points. These are probably causing your warnings and faults. In the offgrid mode these should not cause any problems except more warnings, faults and flashing red lights.
    In grid tie, I am glad that I rarely have to get the headaches from thinking about grid-tie.

    Dave
    I'm having a difficult time with the Schneider equipment I have.
    The install company has pretty much given up and thrown their hands in air with trying to get equipment to do what is wanted.

    How would you tune the settings for(listed in order of importance to me):
    1. Never import/buy power from grid unless battery reaches the inverter low batt cutout.
    2. Never export/sell battery capacity to grid.
    3. Export/Sell to grid excess not needed to maintain battery/loads.

    I don't care if the slave inverter never sleeps, it would be nice if it would do as advertised but at this point all I really expect are the 3 items above.

    Regards
  • jtdiesel65jtdiesel65 Solar Expert Posts: 135 ✭✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of

    Hi,

    Did BBI specify charging amps when you asked about voltage?
  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    reefbum wrote: »
    I talked with GB and they said I may need to use a higher voltage on bulk/absorb and EQ. Because of the height of the cells (24"), and low Charge Controller current from early morning sun at their recommended voltages they think the batteries are not gassing and there is stratification happening.

    The only spec given on charging current was up to 300amps

    From the conversation with BBI, my understanding is because of the early morning low current (or other low light times) a higher voltage is needed to achieve proper gassing.
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of

    I discussed amps and on my 800 ah battery, bbi though about 100 amps charging rate should be ok. I have exceeded that for short periods up to 120 amps but it is usually a fluke and I stay under 100 amps.
    gww
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,249 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    reefbum wrote: »
    The only spec given on charging current was up to 300amps

    From the conversation with BBI, my understanding is because of the early morning low current (or other low light times) a higher voltage is needed to achieve proper gassing.

    You cannot get higher voltage, till you have raised the charge level of the battery. A low battery will refuse to come up to voltage, until it's soaked up a few hundred amps, and it's voltage will slowly rise as you pump more amps into it. When you get closer to full, the amps the battery demands will drop off and the voltage will continue to rise, and then (and only then) the controller throttles back the voltage to the float voltage. If you don't have enough amps, it will take much longer to reach ABSORB voltage. Once there, the gassing starts in earnest, and that stirs up the electrolyte.

    In the attached pic, you can see when I started the genset, and was charging the batteries,
    Amps=red line, volts=blue line
    with constant amps, the voltage slowly rises, till I cut the generator off. Then I got some cloudy sun and the arrays kicked the amps and voltage up, and then later, I briefly ran the genset in the evening. (disclaimer, these charts are off a NFe bank, do not use these volts on Pb-H2So4 batteries) The evening charge, you can see the amps taper off, as the voltage holds the same - a good way to waste generator fuel.Attachment not found.
    PS - chart excerpt from Combox battery status graph
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of

    Mike you are correct.

    Early morning or low light (clouds) amps are low, with low amps it takes longer (trickle charge) for the battery to reach the absorb voltage but it does get there.
    Even though the 55.2v recommended is reached every day and no matter how long the absorb time is set at 55.2v the battery never reaches gassing stage.
    The SP continues to drop each day and the CC is entering float sooner and sooner each day until finally the SP reading is showing the battery as 80% DoD and charge controller reaching float rather quickly. At this point there is an issue with stratification.

    To solve the issue of stratification BBI recommended increasing the bulk/absorb voltage. Since increasing the voltage it now takes even longer for the CC to reach absorb stage but now near the end of absorb the battery is gassing (bubbling) well and so far every day I check the SP once the CC enters float and the SP is showing about 90% SoC (10% DoD). Doing a quick EQ the battery SP reaches 100% SoC within an hour. So my plan is to run the battery bank daily between 70~90% SoC and a monthly EQ to bring the SP back to 100%
  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of

    Update:
    reefbum wrote: »
    1. Battery Monitor was DOA and took 3 calls to Schneider support to get RMA (have not received replacement yet)

    I finally received the replacement battery monitor from Schneider support. It took 3 calls to get RMA, I was sent an email with the shipping information however for 1week the tracking with UPS was showing invalid. It took an additional 4 calls to finally receive a good tracking number only to find out the shipment never shipped until after the 4th call trying to find the shipment.

    After installing and setup there was a constant difference in voltage reading between the BattMon and Charge Controller of 1v~.8v
    I called tech support and they ran me through all the settings and the wire connections confirming that everything set and connected properly.
    Tech support shipped a new 500A/50ma shunt, installed the new shunt and had a .7~.5v difference between BattMon and CC readings.
    I ordered new Deltec shunt 500A/50ma, there is no comparison in apparent quality and I have not seen larger than .06v difference in readings now.

    If you buy the Schneider Battery Monitor be sure to order a good shunt at the same time. The one provided with the monitor is junk.

    Regards
  • JohnMJohnM Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    reefbum wrote: »
    How would you tune the settings for(listed in order of importance to me):
    1. Never import/buy power from grid unless battery reaches the inverter low batt cutout.
    2. Never export/sell battery capacity to grid.
    3. Export/Sell to grid excess not needed to maintain battery/loads.


    Does anyone know how to achieve these requirements when using an XW6048 inverter/charger?

    Can it be achieved by:

    - Enabling grid support mode
    - Enabling sell mode
    - Enabling load shave mode set with load shave amps set to 0 A for a time window spanning the whole day
    - Charger block enabled / charger disabled for a time window spanning the whole day.

    Thanks,
    JohnM
  • JohnMJohnM Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of

    Would you also set the Grid Supp Volts to equal the LBCO value (i.e. 46 V for a 48 V system)?
  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of
    reefbum wrote: »
    1. Never import/buy power from grid unless battery reaches the inverter low batt cutout.

    According to all my calls to SE support, this is not possible. From SE support the inverter will ALWAYS import between 50~200watts of power from grid regardless of system settings.
    SE support says this 50-200watts is needed by the inverter to monitor grid power status. From my testing this wattage is 'lost' and not used to power loads.
    reefbum wrote: »
    2. Never export/sell battery capacity to grid.

    This can be accomplished only if the inverter has updated firmware and by setting the 'Grid Support Voltage' to 64
    My inverters are the XW-6848+ I'm not sure if the 6048 inverter has this capability or not.
    reefbum wrote: »
    3. Export/Sell to grid excess not needed to maintain battery/loads.

    This can be done by enable Grid Support and Grid Sell


    My current settings:
    Inverter 2 (slave) turned off, system operating with only Inverter 1 (master). There are too many issues that SE support has not been able to resolve when operating with stacked Master/Slave setup. Having the second inverter so far has been a complete waste of money and this money would have been better spent by me on additional PV panels.
    Grid Support = enable
    Grid Support Voltage = 64.0
    Grid Sell = enable
    Load Shave = enable
    Load Shave Amps = 0



    I wish I had never purchased this SE equipment. If I could do it over again I would have Outback equipment and anyone I talk to that is interested I always steer them well away from any SE equipment.
    SE phone support will try to help if they can, should the issue be (most are) beyond the scope of general tech support you are out of luck. The support tech will tell you they submitted your issue to higher level support (engineering) and that will be the last you ever hear of your issue. Any further calls to support concerning the issue will always result in the same answer, (Your issue has been submitted to higher level support and we don't know if or when there will be a resolution) SE engineering and management doesn't give a rats a@@ about solving any software/firmware issues. Their phrase "Bankable partner" is a joke unless you interpret that to mean "Buy our equipment and you can "bank" on having issues and as your "partner" we don't give a sh*t"

    Regards
  • JohnMJohnM Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of

    So if Grid Supp volts setting is 47 V, for example, you will not only use stored battery energy to supply local loads when PV is not producing, but you will also sell stored battery energy to the grid when PV is producing surplus.

    By setting Grid Supp volts to 64 V you will not sell stored battery energy to the grid, but will this ensure that when there is no PV production the local load will be supplied from the batteries in preference to the grid (ignoring the 50-200 W needed for the inverter's monitoring)?

    Thanks once again,
    JohnM
  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of

    With GSV 47v the inverter will sell battery energy to grid until the battery reaches 47v
    With GSV 64v the inverter will not sell battery energy unless of course your battery voltage reaches 64v or higher.
    Per the manual the recommended setting for preventing export of battery energy is GSV = 64v

    In both cases the inverter will power loads from battery as long as Load Shave is enabled and Load Shave Amps is set to 0
    If using Load Shave the manual recommends setting the Recharge Voltage low enough to not cause nuisance inverter battery charging.
    I have my inverter Recharge Voltage set to 47v which roughly equates to approx. 80% DoD, so far the inverter has never entered battery charge mode.

    With GSV set to 64v and Grid Sell enabled, my inverter does continue to sell excess PV energy not being used for battery charging or local loads.

    Regards
  • sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
    Re: Schneider Conext XW+ = What nightmares are made of

    Where's Solar Guppy (Henry) when we need him? He is truly an expert on the XW system, by good fortune lived close enough to me that I could stop by and ask advice, and was a huge help getting my system going.

    I am definitely no expert, but I might be able to add something. Also, to clarify, I have the XW MPPT-60-150 (2), the XW6040, and the little XW control panel, from back when it was Xantrex. I really have found it to be fine equipment, and have no complaints about it and how it has worked for me (so far).

    I would never set the sell voltage to 47, that is too low. If GSV is set to 47, with loads it will put the batteries at 46V and still be selling. I would set mine at 50V, and even then I would be worried. Now, my batteries were under the optimum capacity for the system, at 357ah, when I really needed 500ah (100ah / 1kw PV rule). You can also set the maximum sell amperage if you want to keep the selling amount back to the grid a bit more constant. For example, I'd set the maximum amperage at a lower number in the morning, and a GSV of 54V, so the battery is really just charging from the PV but will sell at some point, then set the sell amperage up in the afternoon when the batteries were fully charged from the PV. Then, as it went to peak charges, I'd reset the GSV down to 50V and the sell amperage down to maybe 5a, which was pulling 25a from the 48V battery bank, so I'd have a steady offset of usage of just over 1kw during peak charges. Then, when peak was over, just resetting the GSV to 54V would stop the selling and the batteries would wait and be recharged in the morning. I guess it might have been possible to use the Load Shave feature, but I never found that feature very helpful for my situation. And I kept the batteries SOC fairly high, since my bank turned out to be undersized (as a lot of others had done too by just reading the manual that incorrectly stated a minimum of 100ah for the XW6048 ), with a big battery bank you should be able to alter the selling amounts upward by a good amount.

    You can search here for more posts from Solar Guppy, and it might even be worthwhile to look at his old forum, http://sgtechnology.no-ip.org/forum/ which although not active anymore still has a lot of great information that he has kept open for people.
  • AudiomakerAudiomaker Solar Expert Posts: 100 ✭✭✭✭
    Not to sidetrack but I've read quite a few posts about bugs in firmware in the Xantrex/Schneider systems, and also that firmware is slow if not halted in development.

    I'm certain that Schneider/Xantrex does actually want it's expensive equipment to work, and I also know that developers can be pretty "disconnected" from real world issues going on (Their heads are all wrapped up in implementing new features and such... and most are on-grid not actually developing these systems while needing to use them themselves). It's not their fault...completely.

    In addition, these companies have to shelter their developers from being tech' support agents (not a good use of their time), so bugs, feature requests, etc... only get recognized when there is a *trend* through the regular phone and email channels. Important things get lost in that mediation.

    So my question is, is there some place to submit feedback that the developers are actually watching? A back door, a forum, somebody's pal?

    I have a few ideas that cross between being bug reports and feature requests that I haven't even bothered sending to tech support because I'm pretty sure the developers would never hear of them.

    Ideas?
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