XW 6048 AC2 options

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bhva
bhva Registered Users Posts: 15
I have a Xantrex 6048 with a 440 A/HR battery bank as my main system (solar panels will be later) that I use primarily as a backup for the house when the power goes south like it did this last weekend here in Northern VA. Everything went really well until the 6048 decided the batteries were exhausted (it was right, BTW). I have an 120 to 240 auto transformer hooked up to the AC2 inputs so I can feed the battery charger from a variety of sources. I have at 1K generator that I can borrow, a Honda i2000EU generator I can borrow, as well as a inverters from 800 to 1400 VA that I have DC sources for (vehicles mostly coupled with my older system's batteries).

The 6048 would not lock onto the 1K generator (it has a cyclical surge at about every five seconds that probably means the output never stabilizes in terms of frequency or voltage). I bought a Black&Decker 800VA inverter at HD when my old Portawattz 1750 unexpectedly died, but the 6048 would not lock onto it either (probably because its a B&D and thus has a very cheap output), that left me with the Honda and the output from a APC Smart-UPS 1400XL pure sign UPS. With both of them, if I turned off the 6048's inverter and allowed either device to feed the AC2 inputs (again, at 240V split phase because of the auto-transformer) it would charge the batteries just fine (at least until the owner of the Honda came and got it back - he was supporting 5 houses with that generator along with the other 1K generator; My hat is off to him). If however, I enabled the inverter on the 6048 so that we could do anything besides battery charging, then when any of the loads clicked on (at one point I was up to 3 refrigerators on the 6048 - at my house and others), the 6048 would disconnect from the AC2 inputs and try to run everything on the subset of the my battery bank that I had partially recharged - that didn't work well for more than an hour.


Configuration - I had the charging percent on the 6048 set to 50%, the AC2 breaker size set to 7 amps, the gen support feature enabled,the gen support amps set to 6 for the Honda (4 for the UPS - it has a 1400VA/1050W continuous rating), and the ECO mode on the Honda disabled. Like I said, with the inverter disabled, these settings worked well for battery charging, but with the 6048 inverter enabled, it'd drop the AC2 input whenever the loads changed. Even with the Honda ECO mode disabled, I'd have to manually start the gen support setting at about 3a and then slowly increase it to 6a in order for the 6048 to be happy with the Honda's power ramp up - I determined this on my own, but have since seen mention of that procedure here on the site; and it does make sense to some degree since the Honda is slower to react to load changes than the 6048 would like. The meters on the 6048 SCP tell me that the power coming off the AC2 was proportional to the Gen support setting - at 6 amps the power reading indicated about 1KW. The i2000 continuous rating is 1600w and 6 amps at 240 is 1440 Watts, so I was within its rating and I figured that the other 440 Watts were lost to charging efficiency and power factor. Since the inverter was already drawing everything it was programmed to be able to draw, load changes should not have been seen at the generator (BTW - this was also true later, after the power came back on and I'd fully charged the entire battery bank).

So, my question really is why does the 6048 keep dropping the AC2 inputs whenever the load increases on the 6048 inverter? and is there anything I can do about it?

Thanks to everyone for being willing to monitor these forums and give such excellent feedback

BH

Comments

  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    Not an XW guy, but I suspect the problem is Xantrex's load sharing ability. It detects the sudden load increase, decides the gen input can't handle it, and tries to supply power from the depleted batteries to make up the difference. The programming of this function is a bit complex, and it may be yet another case where you will need to update the firmware in the XW to get it to work right. That process is in itself a bit of a hassle.

    Not sure of the 6048's charger capacity, but I think it is 80 Amps DC. At 50% that would be 40 Amps @ 48 Volts or 1920 Watts. That alone is over the EU2000i's capacity (1600 Watts), and when you add in the PF of the charger an any loads you've got a high probability of shut-down of the gen source. Basically the gen is too small for the inverter's charging capacity. Try cutting gen support back to 25%.

    Another simple solution is to buy a stand-alone battery charger suitable for the bank that will run from any 120 VAC source. Something like this Iota: http://www.solar-electric.com/iodl48vo15am.html (Although 15 Amps is pretty light for a 440 Amp hour battery bank.)
  • bhva
    bhva Registered Users Posts: 15
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    Thanks for the prompt response CariBoocoot.

    Two clarifications - Without any load, the 6048 can run the charger by itself off of the AC2 sources I have, for the Honda, the 6048 meter showed 1kW from the EU2000i and it showed it supplying the batteries ~20a @ 48v (actually 54v?). Also, when I re-enabled the inverter, I had reduced the battery bank to one string (110a/h at 48v) so that the charging would have an appreciable effect (in case I had to haul the rest of them somewhere for charging), so the batteries that were connected weren't all that depleted at the time - I also tried the setup again after the power was restored with the entire 440ah bank after it had been connected and charged to close to full capacity with the same outcome.

    Also, the 6048 is supposed to be able to limit the current supplied by the generator (AC2 input) to a value programmed in the advanced menu if Gen Support is enabled. That's the way I read it anyway, I thought it said it fairly clearly, but it wouldn't be the first time that I misread or found a manual to incorrect. Since the 6048 was using only 20a of the 50a the charger was programmed to be able to use, it should have been drawing everything it's allowed to from the EU2000i before the loads were added.

    I'll try setting the charging value to a lower value, but I suspect that now that the batteries are charged, it won't make much difference, but who knows.

    I'd already looked in to getting a separate 48V charger (then the system would essentially be operating in a double conversion mode), but I hadn't seen that IOTA model - it looks like a nice little unit. If its the only solution that I end up with, it'll have to be, but in that case, the charging side will be fixed in capacity and I'll have to match the energy source more exactly than I would like - any capacity that a genset would have that exceeds of the IOTA's requirements would be unusable (unless I got several IOTAs, but that makes the budget squeamish and it makes a large generator more cost effective - although I hate the maintenance tail that implies). With all the neighbor refrigerators working in the high heat, the load this last weekend was high in terms of kWh.

    Anyone know how to update the firmware, if it'd fix my issue, etc? Or, how to properly program the 6048 to do the gen support function correctly? - I know there are some undocumented features and settings in this device and it might not be intuitive.

    I'm running F/W versaion 1.05.00 BN 11 on XW6048 and F/W version 1.02.00 BN 6 on the SCP


    Thanks

    BH
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    Don't give up hope; there are some very knowledgeable Xantrex users on this forum who are much more familiar with the XW's peculiarities than I. :D

    Being an "Outback guy" is easier - 'cause they're better. :p
    (Sorry; I just had to say that.)
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,476 admin
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    I believe the AC2 current setting is at 240 vac... Or about 6-7 amps for the eu2000i..


    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • bhva
    bhva Registered Users Posts: 15
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options
    BB. wrote: »
    I believe the AC2 current setting is at 240 vac... Or about 6-7 amps for the eu2000i..


    -Bill

    Thanks Bill -

    Yeah - 7a @ 240v is too high, even just for the charger (7a@240v=1680w, which is greater than the EU2000i 1600w continuous rating). 6 works pretty well until a load comes on, then its goodbye. Since the 2000i had to be manually stepped from 3-4 amps to 6, once the 6048 drops the 2000i, its gone. Didn't result in much generator use, even with me checking the usage frequently. The stepping function worked with whatever load was present - I could ramp it up to 6a, have a load turn on and thus lose the generator, I'd go back down to 3a and step back up to 6a with the new load and it'd all work. There was just too much time where it was not only not charging, it was using what had just been replenished while the generator idled (high idle with EcoMode off). I ended up disabling the 6048's inverter so there were no loads and got some charging done, but it meant I lost the (borrowed) generator to another neighbor sooner.

    BH
  • stephendv
    stephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    I'm guessing here, but doesn't "gen support" mean that the inverter will support the generator at the given A value? I.e. Max charging amps could be set at 6A @ 240V, but if "gen support" is set at 4A, then if the XW detects more than 4A draw on the gen it decides that it needs to assist it and then stops charging and starts inverting. As I said, it's a guess because every manufacturer calls the feature something different "gen support", "gen assist", "gen boost", etc.
  • bhva
    bhva Registered Users Posts: 15
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options
    stephendv wrote: »
    I'm guessing here, but doesn't "gen support" mean that the inverter will support the generator at the given A value? I.e. Max charging amps could be set at 6A @ 240V, but if "gen support" is set at 4A, then if the XW detects more than 4A draw on the gen it decides that it needs to assist it and then stops charging and starts inverting. As I said, it's a guess because every manufacturer calls the feature something different "gen support", "gen assist", "gen boost", etc.

    that's how I read it - I had max charging amps set to something like 50a, but gen support set to 6a.

    I can get the 6048 to do the expected, but only until the load changes. Then I have to go through the process again (i.e. it doesn't "really" do gen support like that).

    BH
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options
    bhva wrote: »
    ....
    Anyone know how to update the firmware, if it'd fix my issue, etc? Or, how to properly program the 6048 to do the gen support function correctly? - I know there are some undocumented features and settings in this device and it might not be intuitive.......

    Ughhh. Painful. Firmware. XW.

    I did it, but was sweating bullets. Their latest firmware (Oct 2011) (never listed on site, only sent out via email) is supposed to relax the AC2 input, so more generators will be accepted. I've not had the capability yet, to wire it up to my genset (which is not fully bolted down).

    And what is documented in the manual, seems to have hidden "features" that are counter-intuitive. Not an easy read.

    These 2 threads may help somewhat
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?14803-Xantrex-XW6048-configuration-help
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?11524-XW6048-programing
    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 ,

  • offgrid me
    offgrid me Solar Expert Posts: 119 ✭✭
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    Turn off gen support. In gen support when the Ac loads exceed the gen support value for 1 to 2 seconds it will try and support the loads with the battery and will not charge if the AC2 breaker is to small. It will stay in gen support till the load drops by 2amp + 10% for .5 sec. The inverter is disconnecting because your generator is to small to support charging and loads. It is actually doing exactly what it supposed to do. You could also try gen support plus. This is supposed to help with small gensets of 5k or less. It connects the center of its transformer to the AC2 input neutral to act as a load balancing transformer. See 3-27 in the manual.
    Ned
  • SolaRevolution
    SolaRevolution Solar Expert Posts: 410 ✭✭
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options
    stephendv wrote: »
    I'm guessing here, but doesn't "gen support" mean that the inverter will support the generator at the given A value? I.e. Max charging amps could be set at 6A @ 240V, but if "gen support" is set at 4A, then if the XW detects more than 4A draw on the gen it decides that it needs to assist it and then stops charging and starts inverting. As I said, it's a guess because every manufacturer calls the feature something different "gen support", "gen assist", "gen boost", etc.

    That is the idea of how it is supposed to work.

    Unfortunately, while it can protect the generator from overload, it does not work very smoothly. When it is in use I've seen much more flickering and surging on the power to the loads. This can also be true if the charging current and load current exceed the AC input amps setting. With a 2kW or 1kW generator this will be happening constantly.


    I've found that even with an adequately sized generator;
    (numbers are ball park, no hair splitting :roll:)

    -If the AC2 input setting is at 10 amps (240vac X 10a= 2400w) but the charger is set for 100% (+ 5000w) you can hear the generator loading and unloading irregularly and the lights will often flicker.

    -If the AC2 input is set at 25 amps (6000w) and the charger is at 100% (+ 5000w) it will usually run smoothly unless the loads get over 1000w. Then again, you can hear the generator loading and unloading irregularly and the lights will often flicker.

    I've tried setting up a grid "trickle charging line" but did not have much luck trying to keep it connected with the AC1 input limited to 5 amps. It would work when there were very light loads but there was quite a bit of flickering. I finally just set up a small outboard charger. That solved everything.

    If you want to use a small 120vac generator to feed an XW system as a backup for a primary generator (or for regular use in your case), I would recommend using a seperate small charger sized for your small generator. No muss, no fuss. It also makes it simple for anyone to connect a small back up generator to the XW system without an autotransformer and without needing to change the XW's settings.
    Check out an Iota charger:
    http://www.solar-electric.com/bach2.html

    -Alex Aragon
  • bhva
    bhva Registered Users Posts: 15
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options
    mike90045 wrote: »
    Ughhh. Painful. Firmware. XW.

    I did it, but was sweating bullets. Their latest firmware (Oct 2011) (never listed on site, only sent out via email) is supposed to relax the AC2 input, so more generators will be accepted. I've not had the capability yet, to wire it up to my genset (which is not fully bolted down).

    And what is documented in the manual, seems to have hidden "features" that are counter-intuitive. Not an easy read.

    These 2 threads may help somewhat
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?14803-Xantrex-XW6048-configuration-help
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?11524-XW6048-programing

    Mike, Thanks for your pointers to those threads.

    The first thread has some very interesting design/operation explanations - very helpful. I makes it much easier to understand what the Software engineers were thinking if you can understand what it is that they had to deal with.

    The second thread makes reference to the AC2 breaker size. I had been doing some experimenting with that setting (the physical breaker in the distro panel is pretty clearly 60a), but its that kind of non-obvious stuff that I was hoping the experts here could point me to. I've not had the opportunity to connect the EU2000i since the power was restored, so I've done all the breaker size stuff with the little APC 1400XL UPS as a pure sign inverter. The behavior with the UPS is different than what I was seeing with the EU2000i, in that the UPS itself goes into overload, while with the EU2000i, the 6048 just drops it, but the 2000i is just fine.

    More experiments are warranted.

    Since the latest firmware has some AC2 support improvements, what does it take to upgrade? I've seen reference to a $150 dongle, but they sound like they may be "rent-able" - Where do I get one? Why the sweaty bullets? (as with all upgrades, I'd want to have the system on a UPS - with inverter and charger disabled of course).


    Thanks,

    BH
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,476 admin
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    I believe the XW Hybrid inverter (and many others) probably use the same "electronics/switches/etc.) to both "invert" and re-charge.

    If the inverter software believes the generator is not capable of supplying (programmed) rated load and "shuts down" the AC2 input, then it has no alternative path (i.e., separate AC to DC battery charging circuit) to make use of the generator input.

    A separate AC to DC charger would be the only option--But with the double conversion losses.

    Here is a really nice / detailed thread on picking the "optimum" charge controller for a small AC generator type system:

    Question about battery charger selection with EU2000 generator.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options
    bhva wrote: »
    ... Why the sweaty bullets? ....

    there are 2 ways to update the firmware,
    1) the XW "implanter" that major dealers own, or a rental/loaner from Xantrex/Schneider.
    2) with the $500 Gateway web interface ( a wireless router with XW firmware protocols in it. )

    I have #2, and since it's a router, and runs off external power..... I got a DC adapter to fit it, and plugged into my Jumpstart Battery Pack to keep it running. The first steps I was cautioned to perform, were the upgrades on the SCP (system control panel) and the 2 sets of firmware in the Gateway. Halfway through the gateway, it bricked, the vintage firmware could not be updated. Xantrex was very nice, and did an exchange for me, but it was a month waiting for it. So when it was time (a month later) to update the inverter, I was a bit nervous, it's a big thing to brick that, and ship it back!.
    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 ,

  • bhva
    bhva Registered Users Posts: 15
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    Thanks everyone for the info.

    I looked in my copy of the OP manual, but couldn't find the "gen support plus" info that @OffGrid mentioned - I looked at the online version as well (from Schneider Electric), but also couldn't find it there - Am I looking in the right place?

    @OffGrid's description of gen support is just what I expected it to do (use excess gen input for battery charging, but use battery for any load that exceeds the setting) except that the 1-2 seconds described seems to be the killer - if that's the way the gen support works, then it will overload any AC2 input that can't surge to the extent of the largest 1-2 second change in load. In my case that means that the EU2000i and APC 1400XL UPS will not work as AC2 inputs because they have very limited surge capability (and I want a genset heavily loaded when running). From what @SolaRevolution added, any generator would be affected by this issue if it is supplying enough charging and inverter loads and can't take any additional large loads (such as a well pump) - I guess only a 18Kw or larger generator would be able to guarantee the full capability (upto 5000kW charging + upto 6000kW of loads + upto 6000kW of surge).

    I'm disappointed - that 100a charger has a lot of versatility and the gen support feature would make a lot of sense as described in the manual/literature.

    So, it looks like my options are:
    1) Buy a redundant 48v charge system with not much hope of the programmable scaling that the 6048 internal one supports and accept the double conversion penalty - @BB thanks for the pointer to the charger thread. I haven't read it yet, but I'm looking forward to the discussion.

    2) Turn off the loads for charging operations (a real shame since I'd most like to be charging all night, but there are loads that have to be serviced then too, like fridges, boilers, and/or fans/AC)

    3) Use a highly surge-able AC2 input - I'm considering feeding it from my old 12v inverter system (either the old Portawattz 1750 if I can get it repaired, or another Portawattz 3000 I may be able to get hold of). The Genset would feed my 2 old SmartCharge 40+ 12v chargers. As long as I'm careful about the how/when large loads come on (since it'd have upto 3000 5sec surge capability), I think it'd work - although it'd be doing triple conversion (if not more) is some instances when there's more input power than load or 6048 battery charging (last weekend, that looked to be a rare event). I plan to get some of the 12v power off vehicles anyway, so it usually will not have as many conversion steps as imagination might indicate.

    Anyone know how well the 6048 would do with the modified sine from the Portawattz as an AC2 input?

    Thanks for all your inputs

    Brian
  • bhva
    bhva Registered Users Posts: 15
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options
    mike90045 wrote: »
    there are 2 ways to update the firmware,
    1) the XW "implanter" that major dealers own, or a rental/loaner from Xantrex/Schneider.
    2) with the $500 Gateway web interface ( a wireless router with XW firmware protocols in it. )

    I have #2, and since it's a router, and runs off external power..... I got a DC adapter to fit it, and plugged into my Jumpstart Battery Pack to keep it running. The first steps I was cautioned to perform, were the upgrades on the SCP (system control panel) and the 2 sets of firmware in the Gateway. Halfway through the gateway, it bricked, the vintage firmware could not be updated. Xantrex was very nice, and did an exchange for me, but it was a month waiting for it. So when it was time (a month later) to update the inverter, I was a bit nervous, it's a big thing to brick that, and ship it back!.

    Ouch! Now I see the consternation - since I have version 5, is there any reason that any of you know for me to take hassle and risk of upgrading to version 7 (or whatever that oct '11 version is)?

    Brian
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    In all likelihood the XW will look at the MSW waveform from the Portawattz and determine it to be outside of frequency and Voltage range and not use it.

    Somehow, going from 120 VAC gen to DC charger to battery to inverter to AC2 on the XW to get 120 VAC seems terribly inefficient. :roll:
  • bhva
    bhva Registered Users Posts: 15
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options
    In all likelihood the XW will look at the MSW waveform from the Portawattz and determine it to be outside of frequency and Voltage range and not use it.

    Somehow, going from 120 VAC gen to DC charger to battery to inverter to AC2 on the XW to get 120 VAC seems terribly inefficient. :roll:

    Agreed, but I already have the equipment (well, most of it works). Most often I'd be pulling 12v off a vehicle, inverting it, and using it to feed AC2 (at 240V) so I can feed the 6048 connected loads and the 6048 charger. I wouldn't need to do any of it if the 6048 gen support worked as I think it should.

    I'll be investigating the external 48v charging options as well (I may do both 1&3).

    Brian
  • RCinFLA
    RCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    Breaker input amperage size is about 20% higher then the actual limiting. 7 amp breaker setting is limiting at about 5.7 amps. However the XW reaction time is a bit slow so if your output loads plus charging draw is higher then this number there can be momentary surge exceeding the ACin2 limit setting.

    As already stated this is for 240 vac input. If you are using a 120/240 transformer then you would need 1368 watts plus transformer loss, for net total of about 12.5 amps at 120 vac from generator (1500 watts).

    Another potential issue is step-up 120v to 240 v transformers are typically not exactly 1:2 turns ratio. The are slightly higher to account for transformer voltage drop. Bottom line is the boost transformer is not perfect center-tapped transformer. When you tie the neutrals together you get a bit of a jam between external transformer and XW's internal transformer that can cause excessive current and loss that may cause the external transformer to get hot (assuming you can maintain connection by XW) and eat up some of you available gen wattage.
  • bhva
    bhva Registered Users Posts: 15
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    That momentary surge is causing me conniptions! Really, with the EU2000i, the real issue is that to get the 6048 and the EU2000i to sync up at 6-7A@240v takes manual input. When that momentary high load is passed to the generator and it chokes, the 6048 drops the input. Then 15 seconds later or so, the 6048 goes back to the EU2000i. Besides the flicker in the lights, this would be OK, but it takes the EI2000i longer to come up to 6-7A@240v level than the 6048 is willing to wait. I have to tell the 6048 to reduce its support level back down to 3 amps, then slowly change it back to 6 and all is fine - until the next load starts the process all over again. Since any light, fridge cycle change, door opening, etc. will cause the 6048 to drop AC2, I spend more time using the batteries at full load than charging them with the extra.

    I'm using an auto transformer (from Outback or Midnight, I'd have to check). The black wire from the 120 side is one leg of the 240 and the same 120 black leg is run through the transformer to invert the phase for the other 240 leg, so I believe its actually close to a 1:1 turn ratio in the transformer (possibly with accounting for voltage drop). The 120v white wire is the neutral for both the 120 and the 240. I didn't notice much of an imbalance on the meters between the L1 & L2 voltage levels. If I had a true 120/240 transformer, the simplest solution would to connect the AC2 input to my other neighbor with the large whole house propane generator. But, the way the neutrals are connected, their GFCI would pop before I had a chance to blink, I don't have a way to isolate them.

    Could you provide a little more on what a "jam" is between the two transformers? I'm actually a Embedded Software guy by trade, so I'm always very closely tied to the HW, but I'm amazed how often I learn some new HW point.

    Maybe the "Gen support plus" option would allow me to forgo the auto transformer all together (if I take the risk of upgrading the Software from v5, from what I understand).

    Thanks

    Brian
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,476 admin
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    I believe you need to change jumpers and flash new firmware to change to a 120 volt input/output only inverter (xw).


    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • offgrid me
    offgrid me Solar Expert Posts: 119 ✭✭
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    Brian
    I just checked my inverter and I am running firmware version 7 even though I bought the inverter july of last year. Gen sup plus must be one of the features that were added. It also allows a much larger AC2 voltage window of 80v all the way to 135v. I have never had a problem with my generator but it is a 17k propane unit and I leave gen support turned off.
    Ned
  • bhva
    bhva Registered Users Posts: 15
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    I have a 240 load, so I think I'll probably just leave the system at 240v - even if I moved the washing machine back to the unprotected panel, having a 120 input would still not solve the fact that the surges on AC2 cause the inputs options I have there to disconnect. The outboard charger option appears to be the best.

    @offgridme,

    I verified that I have version 5 (bought only slightly before yours) - I can set the voltage range down to 80v on it as well (according to the manual, I'll check the actual later), but I don't think the 2 extra volts range will help me much.
    If you've got a 17kW propane generator, you have it all set. That's the size I calculated as being able to supply every load the 6048 is rated for (5000w charging, 6000w, 6000w surge), even in the worst case where they all came on at the same time (harsh, but doable).

    Thanks everyone for your input.

    Brian
  • SolaRevolution
    SolaRevolution Solar Expert Posts: 410 ✭✭
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    I wonder if the XW4548 would do any better than the XW6048 in this case.

    Would the surging be just as extreme if the inverter was smaller? One of the greatest advantages of the XW is how powerful it really is! These things can power heavy surge loads quite well. Is this at the cost of finesse at low power?

    -Alex
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options
    I wonder if the XW4548 would do any better than the XW6048 in this case.

    Would the surging be just as extreme if the inverter was smaller? One of the greatest advantages of the XW is how powerful it really is! Things can power heavy surge loads quite well. Is this at the cost of finesse at low power?

    -Alex

    Probably no difference. The operating specs of the two are identical (in terms of self-consumption and efficiency). The 4.5kW version has a charger max of 85 Amps vs. 100 for the 6kW. And of course corresponding current handling for AC in and out.

    Mostly this is a problem of loads vs. generator capacity and some flaw in the XW's performance as it is not doing what it is supposed to, i.e. pick up the portion of load the gen can handle. It simply is not supposed to drop AC2 input when gen support is enabled.

    It occurs to me that some of the problem may come from using the inverter-generator with an autotransformer to get the 240 VAC input. I think the imbalance between the two load sides may "throw it for a loop" and overload the gen momentarily causing its output to drop in Voltage to where the XW thinks it isn't connected so it shuts off the input. (This from a vague remembrance of having to take AT out of circuitry when using a gen on another system.)

    Can't remember if the OP tried this with a 240 VAC gen, but then again they tend to be 3kW or better so it probably would be unaffected anyway. Perhaps another rule-of-thumb should be that gen capacity needs to be at least 50% of inverter capacity.
  • bhva
    bhva Registered Users Posts: 15
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    I did not try in on a 240 generator (not something I had access to), but I don't think it'd make a difference. Larger would help, but only if the "breaker size" / "gen support" setting was set low enough so that the generator had headroom for surges. If a 6500w generator was being utilized for charging/loads at 6000w and a 1kw device comes on line, the 1-2 seconds the generator has to take that load will likely cause the XW to drop the input. The subsequent retry might have worked with a larger gen and it might have worked with the 2000i if the AT weren't needed, but in either case, there would have been two momentary power drop-outs as the inverter switched inputs (not so nice for some devices).

    I don't have enough understanding about what interaction would be at issue to comment on the AT interference. Maybe I'll reconfigure the XW to 120v only, rewire to 120 only and without the AT and see what happens with the 2000i, but I wouldn't suggest holding your breath - it could be a while. Still, it would be interesting to see if the gen and XW could resync with each other after the surge.

    I like the 50% of capacity rule of thumb, but I think its for reasons other than the passing of additional load that the XW seems to do.

    Brian
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options

    A big gen should not have the trouble as they do have greater inertia and surge capacity. I've noticed the inverter-gens can be a bit slow to adjust to sudden loads. This may be just enough of a lag to cause the XW to think "low Voltage on AC2, disconnect" even with eco-throttle off.

    I'll see if I can remember or re-create the AT & inverter-gen issue, but don't hold your breath.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,776 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: XW 6048 AC2 options
    bhva wrote: »
    I did not try in on a 240 generator (not something I had access to), but I don't think it'd make a difference. Larger would help, but only if the "breaker size" / "gen support" setting was set low enough so that the generator had headroom for surges. If a 6500w generator was being utilized for charging/loads at 6000w and a 1kw device comes on line, the 1-2 seconds the generator has to take that load will likely cause the XW to drop the input. The subsequent retry might have worked with a larger gen and it might have worked with the 2000i if the AT weren't needed, but in either case, there would have been two momentary power drop-outs as the inverter switched inputs (not so nice for some devices).

    I don't have enough understanding about what interaction would be at issue to comment on the AT interference. Maybe I'll reconfigure the XW to 120v only, rewire to 120 only and without the AT and see what happens with the 2000i, but I wouldn't suggest holding your breath - it could be a while. Still, it would be interesting to see if the gen and XW could resync with each other after the surge.

    I like the 50% of capacity rule of thumb, but I think its for reasons other than the passing of additional load that the XW seems to do.

    Brian


    This won't help you but since the XW system was realeased I have used only the Honda 6500i for most all of the systems I have specified or installed. Firmware has not been any problem all the way back for offgrid. The newer firmware will help but in the end you really need a great generator (electrically) if you want to use this sytem. Good Luck!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
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    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net