Schneider combox is coming!

DustyDusty Posts: 218Solar Expert ✭✭✭
I've decided to upgrade from my old XW configuration tool, because it tends to lock up randomly  anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes, and Heaven knows the grief that could ensue if I was updating firmware at the time it locked up.

And, of course, I ordered it from NAWS.

So, I"m looking forward to seeing all the additional information that will be at my fingertips, and I've already downloaded and started reading the manual.

I have a question for those of you that have been using the combox for years now;  (please have patience while I catch up!)

I'm looking at the Home screen in the manual, and the numbers are not adding up by a significant margin.  I'm assuming they took a screen shot from one of their operating systems to make the manual, so is this large discrepancy also what you see with your own system?

For example, their diagram shows 3590W coming from PV, 41W leaving the battery (@52.5V), 1366W going to loads, and 1703W being sold to the grid.  That leaves 562W completely unaccounted for.  That's a lot of loss--almost a third of what's being sold to the grid.

When monitoring your own system, do you normally see such a large discrepancy?  The last thing I want to do is hook this up to my system, and then start running down the rabbit hole looking for reasons why the numbers don't add up.

Since 41W is leaving the battery, I'm assuming that at the time the snapshot of this diagram was taken, the battery was already charged and in float.  Otherwise, the arrow would be pointing toward the battery and not toward "devices." 

As always, thanks!
XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.

Comments

  • DustyDusty Posts: 218Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Also, the instruction manual says to use either the 25-foot xanbus cable (809-0940) or the 75-foot cable (809-0942).  It also says not to use a cable shorter than 6.5 feet or degraded performance will result.

    There is no list of what's included on the NAWS website, so I don't know if I need to order a xanbus cable or if one is included?  The combox will be installed right next to the SCP, so a 6.5 foot xanbus cable is all I need.  I'm assuming that it comes with a xanbus terminator, but there is no list of what's included.

    I'd hate to open up the box and find out that I have to wait another week for a cable to arrive once I order one!
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • mcgivormcgivor Posts: 2,052Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 1 #3
    There should be a cable suppied, if not just buy a RJ45 patch cable for a computer store.
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

  • DustyDusty Posts: 218Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    edited August 1 #4
    I have tons of RJ45 cables, but do you mean a crossover cable, like when you attach computer to computer, or a standard cable that you'd connect to a router or switch?
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • mcgivormcgivor Posts: 2,052Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Not a crossover
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

  • DustyDusty Posts: 218Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    OK, thank you!
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,886Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Dusty,

    I think you would really like it compared to the config tool. I have both and the config tool is great for firmware at remote sites for me.

    Follow set-up instructions exactly. Know what the next step is before you start the current step. 

    Combox changed my world in that I can monitor my clients if they want or have a need. Insight is amazing for this over the web thru combox. I do the same with Outbacks web portal Optics.

    xanbus is a slow system and has a 2 second or so delay, and error,  if you like watching meters you have to know that. The system is pretty smart and logs 8 pre programmed screens for 7 days and then writes over them. The logs are very accurate for me but I do not use a genset and fight actively to keep the Utility as far away as possible! You can log for years....

    Combox is not going to cause you to use any more power than you do, so please do not go there OK? It will inform you of what is going on. Some screen shots below.

     
    Heat pump, fridge, and freezer cycling below and current starting to increase at sunrise.



    screen one below on combox.   you can see a bit of loss that would be different 2 seconds later.  it averages on the XW design that is circa 2003 or so.


    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • DustyDusty Posts: 218Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    edited August 1 #8
    Thanks Dave,

    I didn't mean to infer that I was worried about the combox using power; 2-10W according to the manual is negligible.  I just meant that the more information I see, the more I might wonder about total system losses that I didn't notice before.

    When you chimed in on my EIM thread and provided one of these combox screenshots, I noticed that your total loss was only about 160W between what your PV was producing and what loads and the battery were displaying.  In the screenshot above, your loss is 211W, and I'm sure your system is tweaked to be as good as it can get. That amount of loss seemed fair to me.  But to lose over 550W in grid-tied mode seems excessive.  That's why I asked if other folks were seeing the same thing, so I can call that much loss "normal" when I look at my system when the combox is installed.  I realize from previous thread discussions that I can expect about 200W being pulled from the grid even if I'm making a surplus of PV, (but do I lose that 200W even in Sell Mode?), but I figured that amount should still be figured into what is supplying the loads.  I knew that I lose about 30% of what the PV is rated for, but I was surprised to see an equal 30%+ loss on the inverter side as well, since the inverter is supposed to be 95% efficient.  And I realize that batteries lose about 20% of the energy that goes into them.

    I'll be sure to follow the directions closely.  I won't use Xanbus power when initially configuring it, and I see that there's a firmware update from late 2017 on the SESOLAR.COM website that may have to be installed in the unit I receive.  It's kind of unsettling to think that I have to wipe out the existing firmware first before I can install the new firmware.  That's the first electronic device I've ever had to do that with,  So I'll be real careful.

    Thanks again for the screenshots!
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,886Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Inverter efficiency is based on your particular models curve over a range of power levels. The one I have is highest (around 95%) at about 1KW out. It is much lower below that and a bit lower up to rated output. Some of my loss is to a DC reefer that gets mixed in with inverter conversion loss.

    The batteries will eat more energy as they age. That is another reason to find better choices than LA for long term users.

    This is what my brother retired to. Go Navy!   This is day 19 of being indoors in a place where I want out. 


    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • DustyDusty Posts: 218Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Great photo!  Working on drones that big must be a real challenge.

    Yup, that's why I'm looking at the LiFePO4 batteries when my AGMs give up the ghost.  That, plus I can get the Ah capacity I really should have in the same location where my AGMs are 1/4 of the capacity.   Thanks again!
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • stmarstmar Posts: 274Solar Expert ✭✭
    Dusty,
    When I just bought my SW from NAWS they were out of the Combox so I went with the SCP. I am thinking about getting the Combox also. Are they back in stock? Since they would be "fresh" stock/units would they not have the most current firmware update?
  • DustyDusty Posts: 218Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Yes @stmar they are in stock.  I received notification that my order shipped today.  As for the firmware, based on your comment that they were out of stock earlier (I didn't know that), that's a good guess.  But since you can upgrade firmware using the combox, it shouldn't be a problem either way.

    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,790Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    The combox is a great bit of gear.    It comes with cable & terminator plug

    BUT remember, if you are upgrading inverter firmware, the inverter gets shutdown in the middle of the update, and the combox, laptop and router (if you are using ethernet) will all loose power.  So you need to have a genset running and run the gear off that for inverter firmware
    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 ,

  • DustyDusty Posts: 218Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    edited August 2 #14
    mike95490 said:
    The combox is a great bit of gear.    It comes with cable & terminator plug

    BUT remember, if you are upgrading inverter firmware, the inverter gets shutdown in the middle of the update, and the combox, laptop and router (if you are using ethernet) will all loose power.  So you need to have a genset running and run the gear off that for inverter firmware
    Yup, I've had that happen.  Fortunately, if I put my E-panel in bypass ahead of time, the subpanel continues to get fed from the grid.  Additionally, all of my electonics, (cable modem, router, computer) are on UPSs, and the external power supply for the combox will be on my computer's UPS.

    But thanks for the warning!  And thanks for confirming that it definitely comes with a cable!
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
Sign In or Register to comment.