Conext SW4024 - AC Support Performance

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  • giawagiawa Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭
    Got it all up and running on a Netduino with ModBus and now I have a cool little LCD screen giving me real-time statistics on the SW performance.  Now I just have to eagerly await my Amazon deliveries >.>

    If you're curious about the hardware, this is a Netduino 2+ with a Gameduino shield attached.  I'm using open-source C# code on the Netduino to interface with the Gameduino shield:  https://github.com/giawa/gameduino4netduino  Communication is over ModBus TCP, and everything is powered off the micro USB cable.

    The plot on the left isn't showing anything interesting yet (I've adapted this display from another project).  I'll probably get that to be able to swap between Solar/Grid/Battery/Load wattage or something.



    6x Canadian Solar 260W Panels + 3x Jinko 260W Panels (2.34kW), Conext SW 4024 Inverter, Conext XW 60A 150 MPPT Charge Controller, 8x 220Ah 6V Flooded GC2 Batteries (4 per string, 2 strings in parallel for 24V 440Ah), MidNite Solar Combiner
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,772Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    I have nothing to add, but am curious about the hw and look forward to hearing how it turns out. Do share!
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • giawagiawa Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭
    Hey everyone,

    It will still be a while longer before my double pole relay shows up, but I thought I would upload the most recent copy of my ModBus code in case anyone wants to try it out, or if anyone in the future looks at this thread trying to do something similar.  I now have examples of writing data, and have successfully turned on/off AC Support, set AC Support voltage, etc over ModBus.

    Cheers,

    Giawa

    6x Canadian Solar 260W Panels + 3x Jinko 260W Panels (2.34kW), Conext SW 4024 Inverter, Conext XW 60A 150 MPPT Charge Controller, 8x 220Ah 6V Flooded GC2 Batteries (4 per string, 2 strings in parallel for 24V 440Ah), MidNite Solar Combiner
  • VicVic Posts: 2,906Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭

    Hi Giawa,

    WOW,  that Netduino project looks stunning.   Sure has been a lot of progress in these open-source computing devices.

    You may know,  but,  on the MidNite Solar Forum,  there is a Topic area for a number of the different computing boards.   Here is a Link to the Arduino  Topic.  You might find it or some use,   and bet,  that the Forum would benefit from your input:

    http://midniteftp.com/forum/index.php?board=35.0

    Great work!    Thanks,   Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • MrM1MrM1 Posts: 273Registered Users ✭✭✭
    Great work. Looks cool. Wondering though, when u say disconnect from AC you mean turning off AC support, or did you find a way to internally disconnect AC power. 
    REC TwinPeak 2 285W 3S-3P 2.6kW-STC / 1.9kW-NMOT Array / MN Solar Classic 150 / 2017 Conext SW 4024 Inverter latest firmware / OB PSX-240 Autotransfomer for load balancing / Trojan L16H-AC 435Ah bank 4S connected to Inverter with 7' of 4/0 cable / 24 volt system / Grid-Assist or Backup Solar Generator System Powering 3200Whs Daily / System went Online Oct 2018 / System, Pics and Discussion
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,960Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    I am wondering the same thing and why you need a CB ?  You should be able to control this with modbus internally.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • giawagiawa Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭
    I am wondering the same thing and why you need a CB ?  You should be able to control this with modbus internally.
    Hi Dave,

    Looking through the memory map for the SW in ModBus I couldn't find any way to control the internal switch.  It could be this exists hidden somewhere, but their public documentation doesn't seem to include an ability to disable the AC input and run from the inverter only.  If it is possible (or if you know someone who can point out that register) then that would be super helpful.  There might be a way for me to fake it out as well by changing the AC min/max frequencies or high voltage/etc to have it disconnect the AC input.

    Giawa
    6x Canadian Solar 260W Panels + 3x Jinko 260W Panels (2.34kW), Conext SW 4024 Inverter, Conext XW 60A 150 MPPT Charge Controller, 8x 220Ah 6V Flooded GC2 Batteries (4 per string, 2 strings in parallel for 24V 440Ah), MidNite Solar Combiner
  • giawagiawa Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭
    MrM1 said:
    Great work. Looks cool. Wondering though, when u say disconnect from AC you mean turning off AC support, or did you find a way to internally disconnect AC power. 
    My thought was to disconnect the AC input from the SW.  This would force the SW to operate in inverter mode only.  I can already easily control AC Support via ModBus (and am actively using this now).

    Giawa
    6x Canadian Solar 260W Panels + 3x Jinko 260W Panels (2.34kW), Conext SW 4024 Inverter, Conext XW 60A 150 MPPT Charge Controller, 8x 220Ah 6V Flooded GC2 Batteries (4 per string, 2 strings in parallel for 24V 440Ah), MidNite Solar Combiner
  • giawagiawa Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭
    Vic said:

    Hi Giawa,

    WOW,  that Netduino project looks stunning.   Sure has been a lot of progress in these open-source computing devices.

    You may know,  but,  on the MidNite Solar Forum,  there is a Topic area for a number of the different computing boards.   Here is a Link to the Arduino  Topic.  You might find it or some use,   and bet,  that the Forum would benefit from your input:

    http://midniteftp.com/forum/index.php?board=35.0

    Great work!    Thanks,   Vic

    Thanks!  I've been having some fun with it.  I'm hoping I can get some time this weekend to experiment with having the Netduino disconnect the AC input automatically.  I'm already using it to control the AC support voltage, mode and to act as my quick reference and history for load/solar/etc.

    I'll definitely check out that forum - thanks for the link!  Cheers,

    Giawa
    6x Canadian Solar 260W Panels + 3x Jinko 260W Panels (2.34kW), Conext SW 4024 Inverter, Conext XW 60A 150 MPPT Charge Controller, 8x 220Ah 6V Flooded GC2 Batteries (4 per string, 2 strings in parallel for 24V 440Ah), MidNite Solar Combiner
  • MrM1MrM1 Posts: 273Registered Users ✭✭✭
    Post a link over here if you bounce over to MidNite Solar Forum plz
    REC TwinPeak 2 285W 3S-3P 2.6kW-STC / 1.9kW-NMOT Array / MN Solar Classic 150 / 2017 Conext SW 4024 Inverter latest firmware / OB PSX-240 Autotransfomer for load balancing / Trojan L16H-AC 435Ah bank 4S connected to Inverter with 7' of 4/0 cable / 24 volt system / Grid-Assist or Backup Solar Generator System Powering 3200Whs Daily / System went Online Oct 2018 / System, Pics and Discussion
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,960Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    There should be a way but I have only done this with XW. The reason I hire my friend is this programming stuff bores the heck out of me ;)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • giawagiawa Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭
    There should be a way but I have only done this with XW.
    Ya, it looks like it is available in the XW memory map, but not in the SW.

    Also, the SW forces a range of what it considers to be 'valid' values for the AC high/low voltage and frequency, so you cannot configure these values to be out of range.  I was hoping I could set the AC high voltage to 110V and then have it unqualify the AC input, forcing it into inverter mode, but those Schneider engineers/programmers are just too clever for me.

    Giawa
    6x Canadian Solar 260W Panels + 3x Jinko 260W Panels (2.34kW), Conext SW 4024 Inverter, Conext XW 60A 150 MPPT Charge Controller, 8x 220Ah 6V Flooded GC2 Batteries (4 per string, 2 strings in parallel for 24V 440Ah), MidNite Solar Combiner
  • MrM1MrM1 Posts: 273Registered Users ✭✭✭
    edited May 26 #44
    Post a link here if you bounce
    giawa said:

    ... those Schneider engineers/programmers are just too clever for me.

    Giawa
    Yes I guess that's one way of looking at it.
    REC TwinPeak 2 285W 3S-3P 2.6kW-STC / 1.9kW-NMOT Array / MN Solar Classic 150 / 2017 Conext SW 4024 Inverter latest firmware / OB PSX-240 Autotransfomer for load balancing / Trojan L16H-AC 435Ah bank 4S connected to Inverter with 7' of 4/0 cable / 24 volt system / Grid-Assist or Backup Solar Generator System Powering 3200Whs Daily / System went Online Oct 2018 / System, Pics and Discussion
  • giawagiawa Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭
    MrM1 said:
    Post a link here if you bounce
    I don't think I'll bounce out of this thread - but I'll definitely be reading up on some of the project that people in the other forum are working on.

    Giawa
    6x Canadian Solar 260W Panels + 3x Jinko 260W Panels (2.34kW), Conext SW 4024 Inverter, Conext XW 60A 150 MPPT Charge Controller, 8x 220Ah 6V Flooded GC2 Batteries (4 per string, 2 strings in parallel for 24V 440Ah), MidNite Solar Combiner
  • fasterskifasterski Posts: 13Registered Users ✭✭
    Thanks for the Shneider FAQ link. Now I understand why I could not get it running as per manual. What I did in my case is I used one phase 15 AMPs coming in on a Wink Compatible Smart light module. I can control it remotely when the sun in ablaze (On schedule and override as needed) Found the setup will work for most of the stuff in the house (except central vac and saws). 
  • MrM1MrM1 Posts: 273Registered Users ✭✭✭
    @giawa, did you ever figure out a way to internally disconnect AC input on the SW?  Or did you get it set up via a relay? 
    REC TwinPeak 2 285W 3S-3P 2.6kW-STC / 1.9kW-NMOT Array / MN Solar Classic 150 / 2017 Conext SW 4024 Inverter latest firmware / OB PSX-240 Autotransfomer for load balancing / Trojan L16H-AC 435Ah bank 4S connected to Inverter with 7' of 4/0 cable / 24 volt system / Grid-Assist or Backup Solar Generator System Powering 3200Whs Daily / System went Online Oct 2018 / System, Pics and Discussion
  • giawagiawa Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭
    MrM1 said:
    @giawa, did you ever figure out a way to internally disconnect AC input on the SW?  Or did you get it set up via a relay? 
    No.  Trying to 'trick' it using settings for the AC input being out of range doesn't work either.  They have some hard coded min/max values for those settings, and if you try to trick it by considering an AC under voltage at 130V it just ignores your command.  They're being too clever for their own good.

    The SW also doesn't support accessing/toggling the internal relay via ModBus, etc, so that's no fun.  I talked with SE customer support and they don't seem to care.  No timeline/roadmap for future firmware updates, no beta program, nothing like that.  Darn.  They *still* recommend AC support to me even though we've talked about how it doesn't work well.  It seems their own customer support often aren't aware of their product limitations.

    I ended up just using a controllable breaker in my main panel (the breaker that feeds the AC input of the SW).  It seems to do the trick, although I need to work on automating it.  Right now I just toggle it from my computer when the sun looks good.  I'd like to get back into the Netduino stuff, but I've just been too busy these last few weeks.  I'll update here if I get anything good going.

    On a random aside, SE heavily suggested migrating to their own charge controller to "prioritize solar over grid".  I ended up being able to effectively trade in my Morningstar ProStar for an MPPT 60 150.  It had zero effect, except now I can see some nice plots of my PV energy generation (whereas before everything appeared to come from battery).  "Prioritizing solar over grid" doesn't help when there's a fundamental limitation to the inverter in that it cannot perform AC support properly on unbalanced loads.  When operating in island mode there is no difference, since the PV power is just PV power.

    My new issue is that the SW does struggle with inductive loads on a single phase (when operating as an island).  SE support is trying to help me track down why I am seeing AC output over voltage faults when a single phase inductive load is cycling.  I don't think this inverter has the guts to pull it off, which I'm kind of 'meh' about.

    The system works well enough for me to say that I've accomplished the goals I had.  However, it wouldn't have worked as-is, regardless of how much configuration was attempted.  The SW just isn't flexible enough (and I'm not convinced that the XW, at 3x the price, is flexible enough either).  In my opinion the SW has some decent hardware and some awful firmware.  Similarly, I've found the Combox firmware to be pretty awful.

    To close on a more positive note.  My average electricity consumption went from 30kWh/day down to 19kWh/day.  My more recent days are looking even better (I just installed another 3 panels).  I could probably cover another ~5kWh/day if I got a few more batteries.  Right now I'm a wimp and don't like to discharge them more than 20% or so each day.  From my energy provider, here are my last 7 days consumption:



    Giawa
    6x Canadian Solar 260W Panels + 3x Jinko 260W Panels (2.34kW), Conext SW 4024 Inverter, Conext XW 60A 150 MPPT Charge Controller, 8x 220Ah 6V Flooded GC2 Batteries (4 per string, 2 strings in parallel for 24V 440Ah), MidNite Solar Combiner
  • giawagiawa Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭
    fasterski said:
    Thanks for the Shneider FAQ link. Now I understand why I could not get it running as per manual. What I did in my case is I used one phase 15 AMPs coming in on a Wink Compatible Smart light module. I can control it remotely when the sun in ablaze (On schedule and override as needed) Found the setup will work for most of the stuff in the house (except central vac and saws). 
    Glad you found it useful!  Their manual and marketing material are super misleading in my opinion.

    Are you using the single phase switch to kill one of the AC input phases to get the inverter to operate in island mode?  If so, that's a really cool solution!  I didn't think of just killing a single of the two phases.

    Cheers,

    Giawa
    6x Canadian Solar 260W Panels + 3x Jinko 260W Panels (2.34kW), Conext SW 4024 Inverter, Conext XW 60A 150 MPPT Charge Controller, 8x 220Ah 6V Flooded GC2 Batteries (4 per string, 2 strings in parallel for 24V 440Ah), MidNite Solar Combiner
  • MrM1MrM1 Posts: 273Registered Users ✭✭✭
    fasterski said:
    Thanks for the Shneider FAQ link. Now I understand why I could not get it running as per manual. What I did in my case is I used one phase 15 AMPs coming in on a Wink Compatible Smart light module. I can control it remotely when the sun in ablaze (On schedule and override as needed) Found the setup will work for most of the stuff in the house (except central vac and saws). 
    Yes I am not fully understanding what you are doing.  I am curious though.  Anything to make it work better would be awesome. 
    REC TwinPeak 2 285W 3S-3P 2.6kW-STC / 1.9kW-NMOT Array / MN Solar Classic 150 / 2017 Conext SW 4024 Inverter latest firmware / OB PSX-240 Autotransfomer for load balancing / Trojan L16H-AC 435Ah bank 4S connected to Inverter with 7' of 4/0 cable / 24 volt system / Grid-Assist or Backup Solar Generator System Powering 3200Whs Daily / System went Online Oct 2018 / System, Pics and Discussion
  • MrM1MrM1 Posts: 273Registered Users ✭✭✭
    I did come up with a "sorta" fix for charging and who the charger terminates absorb way too early to get a full charge (although I recall you not needing the charger?? Cant remember)

    Anyway.  The charge block feature!!!!   It occurred to me a month or so ago.  just set absorb volts and float volts to the same voltage and set the charge block to kick in at whatever time you want the charge to end.   Works like a charm.  Not perfect,  but then at least you can stay in "absorb" (all-be-it via absorb / float ) for several hours rather than the 20-45 minutes I had been experiencing before the charge would terminate and go to float based on 2% or more of battery amp hour.    You could skip charge block,  but then you have to really monitor the charger or it charges until you remember to turn it off.  hours, days, weeks ... yikes.  :smile:

    REC TwinPeak 2 285W 3S-3P 2.6kW-STC / 1.9kW-NMOT Array / MN Solar Classic 150 / 2017 Conext SW 4024 Inverter latest firmware / OB PSX-240 Autotransfomer for load balancing / Trojan L16H-AC 435Ah bank 4S connected to Inverter with 7' of 4/0 cable / 24 volt system / Grid-Assist or Backup Solar Generator System Powering 3200Whs Daily / System went Online Oct 2018 / System, Pics and Discussion
  • giawagiawa Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭
    MrM1 said:
    I did come up with a "sorta" fix for charging and who the charger terminates absorb way too early to get a full charge (although I recall you not needing the charger?? Cant remember)
    Very cool!  I'm glad the charge block feature did the trick for you.  I never use the charger built into the SW, and instead rely upon the MPPT charge controller.  The charge controller seems to do a decent job with my GC2 batteries.  I checked specific gravity shortly after receiving the XW MPPT and it did a reasonable job.  I haven't tried equalizing with the new charge controller yet, so I'll learn more at that time I imagine.
    6x Canadian Solar 260W Panels + 3x Jinko 260W Panels (2.34kW), Conext SW 4024 Inverter, Conext XW 60A 150 MPPT Charge Controller, 8x 220Ah 6V Flooded GC2 Batteries (4 per string, 2 strings in parallel for 24V 440Ah), MidNite Solar Combiner
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,960Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    You can get around the balance limitations of a small inverter by stacking them. That is what one would do offgrid ;)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • giawagiawa Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭
    For anyone looking to improve their AC support performance (the title of this post) I suggest you take a look at this post here:  http://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/comment/389558#Comment_389558

    MrM1 had pretty good success with balancing L1 and L2 by using an autotransformer!  Definitely check out his posts and the results (pictures/data included in that thread).  Cheers,

    Giawa
    6x Canadian Solar 260W Panels + 3x Jinko 260W Panels (2.34kW), Conext SW 4024 Inverter, Conext XW 60A 150 MPPT Charge Controller, 8x 220Ah 6V Flooded GC2 Batteries (4 per string, 2 strings in parallel for 24V 440Ah), MidNite Solar Combiner
  • b. ecologìcAllb. ecologìcAll Posts: 24Registered Users ✭✭✭
    any solution to this problem? that is for the SW to automatically use full sun power to avoid manually turning on and of AC in
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