New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox

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  • ChrisOlson
    ChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    The inverter and generator work in concert to power loads that neither unit on its own could handle.
    Like stacking inverters, only one of the power sources is a generator instead.

    That's an excellent analogy. Instead of an extra "sleeping" inverter we have an on-demand generator.

    And I like the on-demand generator better because it's not that expensive - and it saves on buying extra batteries to run an extra inverter.
    This is not the same as a standard off-grid install where the generator gets sized to both run the loads and provide charging current for the batteries because it has to do the whole thing by itself.

    That would be the only way you could do it with an inverter that does not have Generator Support. But inverters with Generator Support are a whole different ballgame, and by sizing your generator the way you would for the "traditional" inverter that does not have Generator Support you are cheating yourself out of a very useful off-grid feature that can save you a lot of money in the long run.

    I just don't know how to get this message out there to the off-grid folks. It is hard to understand because the manufacturers don't explain fully enough what it can achieve for you. All the owner's manuals basically skip over it, with just one paragraph that says it has it. But it doesn't explain how to actually USE it to your advantage :grr
    --
    Chris
  • NorthGuy
    NorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,913 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    No - absolutely, no. You have to get away from the mindset that you need a big generator when you got an inverter than can do Gen Support. It seems folks have a hard time getting their head wrapped around this. You have designed your system to use the generator to charge the batteries instead of using the RE system to do it. Design your system to use Gen Support instead. Any time the loads exceed what the generator can deliver have it fire your smaller, more fuel efficient generator up and use it to power those peak loads so the RE system can concentrate on charging batteries instead of running loads.

    First of all, I simply do not have any loads that I could run from the generator. My biggest loads are microwave, water pump, and backup water heater. They're all very short in duration and I would have to run generator for only 2-3 minutes at most. The second biggest thing is a warm floor, which lasts long, but is only 600W. So, I couldn't use generator support even if I wanted.

    Second, I'm not trying to optimize generator efficiency. I'm trying to optimize overall cost. The most efficient and wisely opearated generator is miles more expensive than solar. Therefore, my goal is to run generator as little as possible and use solar instead. At the resulting low levels of generator use, a small gain of generator efficiency doesn't really make much difference. Although, bigger generators are usually more fuel efficient that small ones. It is sad that I can use only a small amount of generator energy directly and have to push it into batteries, but the only way to avoid it is to use generator more thereby increasing the overall cost.
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox

    Scale sure makes a difference.
    My 3.5 kW inverter and Honda 1600 Watt generator work fine for my needs without gen support.

    Quite often we recommend using a large (inexpensive) gen to power heavy loads and charge batteries at the same time. It gets to be a bit of a math puzzle trying to weigh gen costs/power against inverter costs/power and how often you'd need to use the gen for power, et cetera.

    There's no "one size fits all" to off-grid, but it sure helps to know all the options before you make the decision.
  • ChrisOlson
    ChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox

    Yes, every system is different. And people's loads are different. But I maintain that NorthGuy's assumption that solar is cheaper than generator power will prove to be inaccurate when you factor in the extra wear and tear on batteries and what it costs to store that solar power to use it later when the sun isn't shining. Both need to be sized to the proper specifications to get the most out of them and minimize your cost in batteries over the long run. When you're off-grid the solar requires batteries. The batteries are the most expensive part - alone costing you more per day over the long run than buying power off the grid. That's what makes generator support shine - even with fuel at $4 a gallon.

    This is just an example of how peak load support works. And peak load support does not necessarily have to involve generator support. Just that the generator is used to directly power loads at the peak load times so the RE system can keep up.

    This is the event log for our XW-AGS:

    Attachment not found.

    The 303 code this morning was when Quiet Time ended - we don't let the generator run at night unless it's an emergency. The 322 code is for Gen Auto Off - meaning it's in standby and ready for action.

    My wife took a shower - this caused the water heater to kick in (2,000 watts). I made coffee (1,200 watts) and microwaved some dead food I found in the 'fridge (1,500 watts). My wife fired up her Super Turbo Pro Megawatt (by Revlon) hair dryer (1,800 watts). The coffee maker dropped to about 250-300 watts after brew, the microwave turned off.

    All these loads were intermittent and short like NorthGuy describes, and none of them overloaded the inverter. None of them caused the generator to start for Load Amps on Generator Support. But the continuous high draw of the water heater, plus the other intermittent loads hitting a battery bank that was at 60% SOC, and with virtual no incoming RE power other than about 350 watts from the turbines this morning, caused the voltage to sag on the bank.

    The 306 code is for Low DCV Start trigger. The AGS fired the generator up at 8:53 AM. The loads went direct to gen power and there was a tiny bit left over for battery charging. The AGS ran the generator for ~2.5 hours - the 307 code is Gen Stop due to the Stop V trigger at 56.0 volts.

    The end result is we used the generator for peak loads this morning, and it was necessary because of a discharged bank and no incoming RE. The gen recovered the bank to 56.0 volts and then shut off. As the day has progressed we got about 1,600-2,000 watts of wind power and about 600 watts of solar (heavy overcast). The bank is still hovering around 56.0 volts with our normal daytime loads on.

    Without using that generator for peak load, the bank would be sacked, the RE system would not be recovering it today, and we would end up tonight using the generator to do a full charge cycle on the bank - which would run the generator one heck of a lot longer than 2.5 hours (the way most people do it). We will have enough power to make it thru another night and into tomorrow without running the gen again (short of another high load event). And tomorrow the RE conditions will be better (according to the weather forecast) and the RE system will catch up and maybe absorb the bank.

    No doubt, we could run those loads this morning on battery power and let the RE recover the bank as much as it could today, then put the Big Run to the generator to charge it up. This is the way most people will do it. But my way is more efficient and costs less money - AND it's a lot easier on the batteries (which saves even more money in the long run).

    YMMV.
    --
    Chris
  • NorthGuy
    NorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,913 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    But I maintain that NorthGuy's assumption that solar is cheaper than generator power will prove to be inaccurate when you factor in the extra wear and tear on batteries and what it costs to store that solar power to use it later when the sun isn't shining. Both need to be sized to the proper specifications to get the most out of them and minimize your cost in batteries over the long run. When you're off-grid the solar requires batteries. The batteries are the most expensive part - alone costing you more per day over the long run than buying power off the grid. That's what makes generator support shine - even with fuel at $4 a gallon.

    I'm not sure we need to factor out the cost of batteries. Let's imagine you decide to install an extra solar array (which you probably do not need because your loads are different than mine :D). That wouldn't affect your batteries in any adverse way. Sometimes they would store more, but other times (on not so bright days), you could've used solar energy directly instead of drawing from batteries. However, this depends on usage pattern and other factors.
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    Without using that generator for peak load, the bank would be sacked, the RE system would not be recovering it today, and we would end up tonight using the generator to do a full charge cycle on the bank - which would run the generator one heck of a lot longer than 2.5 hours (the way most people do it). We will have enough power to make it thru another night and into tomorrow without running the gen again (short of another high load event). And tomorrow the RE conditions will be better (according to the weather forecast) and the RE system will catch up and maybe absorb the bank.

    That's a very good example. I now understand better how your system works. You make very clever use of the generator to support the concenrated loads. This probably cuts your generator use at least by 1/3, if not by half. Direct path is almost 100% efficient as opposed to Generator->Charger->Batteries->Inverter->Loads, which only gives you 50 to 70% efficiency and also puts extra load on batteries.

    I'd be happy if I could do something like that. However, my loads are more spread over the day - furnace, fridge, computers etc. Very rarely total consumption exceeds 2kW. Steady solar input during the day matches my usage pattern better. Good part of solar energy is used directly, without going to batteries.

    We have more consumption in the evening, but it's still spread over and irregular. In my original plan, I was going to run the generator during this time (in winter I have to run it every day anyway), so that I could support these bigger loads directly and charge batteries at the same time. However, my generator happened to be smaller than advertised. That's why it is important to me to make it work harder. Otherwise, I'll have to move battery charging out of this "sweet spot".
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox

    Sort of comes down to how heavy of loads you run how often and for how long. If it's the washing machine once a week that needs an extra 2kW for a couple hours that's one thing. If it's a fairly frequent requirement for 4kW running three hours a day that's another.

    Solar makes more economic sense the more it is used. Putting in another 6kW inverter with associated batteries and panels for that 4kW hours per week (as opposed to firing up a generator to achieve the same end) doesn't make much sense.

    Quantifying it gets to be more difficult.
  • NorthGuy
    NorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,913 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    Quantifying it gets to be more difficult.

    Yes, it's very hard to put numbers to these things. Every day is different. Weather changes, seasons.
    If it's the washing machine once a week that needs an extra 2kW for a couple hours ...

    There's an easy solution for this one. The machine definitely needs to be replaced with something more efficient :D
  • ChrisOlson
    ChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    I'd be happy if I could do something like that. However, my loads are more spread over the day - furnace, fridge, computers etc. Very rarely total consumption exceeds 2kW.

    That's where each of these situations has to be custom designed. There is no such thing as "one fits all". Extra solar capacity (without adding the battery capacity for it) is great if you can use it for opportunity loads like water heating. That's the primary reason we installed another kW of solar capacity here when we put the new inverter in. But the caveat with that is that you have a load that keeps it busy, at full output, every hour the sun is shining, or you just threw your money away on extra solar capacity.

    I invite you to rethink your theory on it and forget big generators like 8 kW or 17 kW. Think little generator like 2 or 3 or 4 kW. A little generator running at full rated load is way more efficient than a big one running at 50-60% rated load. Look at those spread out evening loads and figure it out - if you had a little generator (say a 3 kW unit) running during that time (evidently your peak load time). It would carry the loads (and if it can't for brief heavy loads the XW will help it out) and maybe provide just enough extra for some battery charging. A little generator running at full bore like that will maybe burn .44 -.45 gal/hr. Will it take enough load off your bank and system for the 2-3 hours that it runs during the evening in the winter to give your bank the "edge" it needs so the RE can catch it up the next day without running the big generator?

    If so, you just saved yourself a pocketful of change on generator fuel. Let the RE charge them batteries up. Use the little generator to take the peaks off the loads so the RE can keep up, instead of throwing the Big Power at the problem with a 8 kW generator.

    Believe me - it works and it works really darn well. Sure, there's no RE installer that will recommend it. They'll say, "Yep - you need a 14 kW blah, blah blah." But I wonder how many RE installers have actually ever lived off-grid and ran a real world system?
    --
    Chris
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    Believe me - it works and it works really darn well. Sure, there's no RE installer that will recommend it. They'll say, "Yep - you need a 14 kW blah, blah blah." But I wonder how many RE installers have actually ever lived off-grid and ran a real world system?
    --
    Chris

    I'll guess "darn few", judging by all the "professionally installed" systems that I've had to salvage. :roll:
  • NorthGuy
    NorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,913 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    I invite you to rethink your theory on it and forget big generators like 8 kW or 17 kW. Think little generator like 2 or 3 or 4 kW. A little generator running at full rated load is way more efficient than a big one running at 50-60% rated load. Look at those spread out evening loads and figure it out - if you had a little generator (say a 3 kW unit) running during that time (evidently your peak load time). It would carry the loads (and if it can't for brief heavy loads the XW will help it out) and maybe provide just enough extra for some battery charging. A little generator running at full bore like that will maybe burn .44 -.45 gal/hr. Will it take enough load off your bank and system for the 2-3 hours that it runs during the evening in the winter to give your bank the "edge" it needs so the RE can catch it up the next day without running the big generator?

    In December, almost every day is cloudy with average production of 3kWh (worst 1.5kWh). I consume 15kWh. So, I need to get 12kWh from somewhere. 3kW unit, assuming 70% overall efficuency, will need to run 6 hrs. By the time it's finished I'll be asleep. If something goes wrong, I need to wake up and repair generator in the middle of the night. Leaving 1kW for the load, it'll be charging at 2kW - 30A. That's less than 5% of C20 - not so good for batteries. Generac can do that in 2 hrs with excellent current. It also uses NG, which is 1/3 of price of gas. Looks like no-brainer to me.
  • ChrisOlson
    ChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    Generac can do that in 2 hrs with excellent current. It also uses NG, which is 1/3 of price of gas. Looks like no-brainer to me.

    December is really bad here too for solar. But wind power works 24 hours a day. Can you use wind power at your location in the winter? I got an absolutely bullet proof DIY off-grid turbine design for folks like yourself that might have a suitable site for it:
    http://dairylandwindpower.us/projects/

    You definitely need more RE power if you're consuming 15 kWh and only getting 3 on average in the dead of winter. That makes off-grid living a chore instead of a joy like it should be.

    When it comes to generators, yes, natural gas is cheaper. But it also has roughly half the BTU's in it that gasoline has. And NG engines are inherently less efficient than gasoline. So I suspect that's a wash. I guess the other way to look at it is; If you run a Honda EU3000 for 3 hours in the evening you're going to generate about 8 kWh with it - better than half of your daily consumption. It will burn roughly 1.4 gallons of gas in those three hours. There's no such thing as waking up to repair a Honda generator in the middle of the night because they don't break.

    The 8 kW Generac Guardian on NG is really only a 7 kVA peak and 4 kVA continuous output generator. And that's at sea level. De-rate it by 3% for every 1,000 feet altitude. It burns .9 Therm/hr @ 4 kVA (90,000 BTU/hr input) vs our Honda EM4000SX that burns roughly .6 gallons/hr at the same output (70,000 BTU input). I'll let you do the efficiency calculations on NG vs gasoline engines on that one.

    Been working on generators most of my adult life and I'm afraid your numbers don't add up, divide or multiply.
    --
    Chris
  • NorthGuy
    NorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,913 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    December is really bad here too for solar. But wind power works 24 hours a day. Can you use wind power at your location in the winter? I got an absolutely bullet proof DIY off-grid turbine design for folks like yourself that might have a suitable site for it:
    http://dairylandwindpower.us/projects/

    I visited your site before. Your turbines are very cool. I even bough a wind speed meter, but the results are not good :cry: We're in trees and hardly get any wind at all. The trees are 50-60 feet tall, so I probably would need 100-120 ft tower. But even there, according to Canada map, average wind speed is only 5 m/s. I didn't think through the details yet, but it looks like I don't have much chances with wind.
  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox

    Chris, just before you posted that very clear description I had an AhHa moment. What you do is just a modification of the 'opportunity loads' that we all talk about BUT with an ingenious twist. You are using the gen to provide power for an otherwise named 'opportunity load'.. clear and simple... how we get that opportunity is dependent on the source of that power, it's either Gen or Solar...

    Now, my large inverter has a transfer switch so this neat (assist) system will not work for me but when I have the gen on, my charger will be working doing an 'opportunity Charge' boosting my PV input..(same effect, different thinking). We just have to ensure we are loading down (up?) that gen set.

    Back to the XW --- How does that unit , internally do the gen assist? Like how is it wired to do this?
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • Joe_B
    Joe_B Solar Expert Posts: 318 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    Joe needs to install a relay to disconnect AC1 (even though there's already a relay inside XW). Both these, and many others, poroblems could be easily dealt with in firmware if they had put a little bit of a thought in it.

    I am not even looking for "special" features, all I want it to do is work as the manual says it will. I understand that all of this stuff has bugs but the unwillingness of Schneider to address these issues is basically them selling a product that does not meet spec. and saying "screw you we got your cash".
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,493 admin
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox

    Back some 30 years ago--I had a mid range computer tape drive vendor (9 track computer backup tapes) that we were evaluating. Over all was a pretty good nice unit (but, as always, there were a couple major issues that needed to be worked out at the time)...

    But anyway, one of the things our bosses made us do those days was to type in the data sheets/user manuals into our document control system (yep--manual key in using WordStar) an entire 150 page manual with signal timing diagrams, etc. (best we could do).

    Our purchasing department then took that spec. to the vendor and as part of the long term contract, asked them to sign the copy of the manual. They REFUSED and when asked why, they said they could not meet their own specifications in their own manual/engineering documentation.

    Sometimes, I wonder if it would be a good idea to try and have the mfg. sign off on their specifications when making big purchases (fridge, cars, hybrid inverter/power systems, etc.).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ChrisOlson
    ChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    westbranch wrote: »
    Back to the XW --- How does that unit , internally do the gen assist? Like how is it wired to do this?

    I don't know. I just ran the main standby gen to AC2 and the backup to AC1. Then programmed it for what the generators can put out for max power, plus set the Load Start amps to start the standby generator on AC2 (don't have auto-start on the backup on AC1). The inverter carries the load for five minutes, starts the gen up, syncs with it, brings it online and voila! Gen Support.

    After the load drops below the Load Stop setting, one minute later it disconnects the gen, cools it down and shuts it off.

    Not even a flicker in a CFL light bulb when it does it all. How it accomplishes all that in there, I have no clue.
    --
    Chris
  • ChrisOlson
    ChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    westbranch wrote: »
    Chris, just before you posted that very clear description I had an AhHa moment. What you do is just a modification of the 'opportunity loads' that we all talk about BUT with an ingenious twist. You are using the gen to provide power for an otherwise named 'opportunity load'.. clear and simple... how we get that opportunity is dependent on the source of that power, it's either Gen or Solar...

    I had to think about this for a bit. But I think you're basically right. Off-grid you are going to use a generator sometimes unless you choose a quite Spartan lifestyle or throw lots of RE resources at it. Using the "opportunities" where you can use the generator most efficiently is indeed an "opportunity load" for it. Just never thought of it that way before.

    This is how our day ended up here - the generator DID run again at supper time:

    Attachment not found.

    The code 308 is for Gen AC Load Start. The code 309 is for Gen AC Load Stop. It ran for 11 minutes with the inverter supplying Gen Support due to an inverter overload. These load start times are typically very short, but here they can sometimes involve loads up to 9 kW, depending on what caused the inverter overload.

    But here's the good part; 2.5 hours of run time this morning due to pretty much no incoming RE, heavy morning loads, and starting out with the bank at 60% SOC when we got up. 11 minutes of run time this afternoon due to extremely heavy loads. Basically, not much for solar power all day. But the wind picked up and tonight we got 2.5-3 kW coming in from wind power, and it looks like it's going to blow all night. Close to bed time and our bank is at what my wife calls "Green 70"

    Attachment not found.

    By the time we get up in the morning it will be at "Green 100" if the wind blows all night. When you live off-grid these are the things that make you feel good about doing the right thing. We didn't use the generator to charge the batteries - just to assist with the loads. We gained on battery SOC during the day, despite a "bad" day. The batteries are happy and didn't get overworked or stressed, despite consuming over 20 kWh of power since we got up this morning. And we did it on about 1.2 gallons of gas in the generator on a cold, dreary overcast winter day in March.

    Five years ago I would've looked at the situation this morning - dark, dreary overcast day, not much wind, bank is low and getting lower with morning loads on. Then I would've promptly started the generator and run it for 6 hours to recharge the bank. I've learned a lot about how to prevent doing that since then, and still take good care of the batteries. 8)

    I can only hope that by showing people how I've set this up, that maybe it will work for them too. Over two years ago we started off like NorthGuy with our new system - we bought a Generac EcoGen. I was not happy with the amount of fuel the thing burned for what we got out of it. When it started and ran it was impossible to keep it at full load except for charging batteries. And charging batteries with it was an exercise in futility because it was so incredibly expensive to run. I decided there HAS to be a better way. It cost us a lot of money to rectify the mistakes. But I'm a LOT happier with the way our system works now than I was then.

    I sure hope other people can learn from my mistakes and not make them.
    --
    Chris
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    ..... Close to bed time and our bank is at what my wife calls "Green 70" ...

    My wife says - "sun is supposed to come out later today, I'm starting the toaster and I'll dry my hair". arghhh
    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 ,

  • ChrisOlson
    ChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    mike95490 wrote: »
    My wife says - "sun is supposed to come out later today, I'm starting the toaster and I'll dry my hair". arghhh

    That's the mission of the High Power Off-Grid Woman - to make sure equipment is properly load tested on a daily basis. If it weren't for the High Power Off-Grid Woman all of our systems would fall into disrepair, generators would turn into rusting hulks, and we'd all be living in shanties with a single 9 watt CFL that don't work unless you tap on it. :roll:
    --
    Chris
  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox

    Chris she needs that Tim the Tool Man's Modified Blender ...that would puree' a brick :cry: :grr :confused: just to keep you ahead of the game...8)
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
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  • ChrisOlson
    ChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    westbranch wrote: »
    Chris she needs that Tim the Tool Man's Modified Blender ...that would puree' a brick

    She's already got that. It's called a NutriBullet and it's got a big assortment of hammers and blades and cups with it. I forget what the horsepower rating is on it, but she's proud of it.
    --
    Chris
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    mike95490 wrote: »
    My wife says - "sun is supposed to come out later today, I'm starting the toaster and I'll dry my hair". arghhh

    isn't that just how women reason most of the time!!!!

    so ask her if it's a 100% certainty that she could predraw on that power before hand. i wonder if she's trying to precollect on your life insurance too.:cry:
  • garlmike
    garlmike Registered Users Posts: 14
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    Joe_B wrote: »
    I am not even looking for "special" features, all I want it to do is work as the manual says it will. I understand that all of this stuff has bugs but the unwillingness of Schneider to address these issues is basically them selling a product that does not meet spec. and saying "screw you we got your cash".

    Do you try turning the inverter charge to OFF, in 1st page menu (arrow down its below screen) My inverter XW6048 Never ever charges the batterys.

    I also have problems with the Grid Tie option, it happens with Load Shave.

    I found Schneider to be very helpful, they replace a SCC no problems at all.
  • garlmike
    garlmike Registered Users Posts: 14
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    That's the mission of the High Power Off-Grid Woman - to make sure equipment is properly load tested on a daily basis. If it weren't for the High Power Off-Grid Woman all of our systems would fall into disrepair, generators would turn into rusting hulks, and we'd all be living in shanties with a single 9 watt CFL that don't work unless you tap on it. :roll:
    --
    Chris

    Yeah same problem with the electric stove, clothes dryer. They love load testing for sure..
  • Joe_B
    Joe_B Solar Expert Posts: 318 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    garlmike wrote: »
    Do you try turning the inverter charge to OFF, in 1st page menu (arrow down its below screen) My inverter XW6048 Never ever charges the batterys.

    I also have problems with the Grid Tie option, it happens with Load Shave.

    I found Schneider to be very helpful, they replace a SCC no problems at all.

    When you disable the inverter charger, it wont charge off of AC2 (GEN). The proper operation would be to use charger block on the inverter charger. If it worked properly the charger would still work on AC2. The issue is that charger block incorrectly blocks both AC1 and AC2 thereby making the generator input essentially useless since the inverter always defaults to charging on AC1.
  • NorthGuy
    NorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,913 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    Joe_B wrote: »
    the inverter always defaults to charging on AC1.

    You can change that. There's a "Priority" setting, which you can set to "AC2".
  • ChrisOlson
    ChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox

    If you set the priority to AC2 and the voltage of the bank has dropped below re-bulk, the charger block works fine here. We can't use the charger with our little backup generator on AC1 because it won't handle it. So I got the charger block enabled. But it still charges fine on AC2 as long as the voltage has dropped low enough to reset the re-bulk trigger. If the voltage has stayed above re-bulk, then it won't charge on AC2 either. Without the charger block enabled, it charges on AC2 every time.
    --
    Chris
  • Joe_B
    Joe_B Solar Expert Posts: 318 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    If you set the priority to AC2 and the voltage of the bank has dropped below re-bulk, the charger block works fine here. We can't use the charger with our little backup generator on AC1 because it won't handle it. So I got the charger block enabled. But it still charges fine on AC2 as long as the voltage has dropped low enough to reset the re-bulk trigger. If the voltage has stayed above re-bulk, then it won't charge on AC2 either. Without the charger block enabled, it charges on AC2 every time.
    --
    Chris

    My system does not act like yours then. If I enable charger block, then I can NEVER charge from AC2. This bug has been confirmed by tech support. I am running version 1.07 BN3 for XW inverter firmware. I will try this again and change my recharge volts value to a higher number but according to XW tech support, when AC1 gets requalified, it will ignore recharge volts and go right into bulk.

    The way it is supposed to work is:

    1. The grid charger should never do anything unless the battery is below recharge volts.
    2. The system should always try to charge from solar before drawing grid power.
    3. If the battery voltage drops below recharge volts, the system should first try to charge from AC1.
    4. If the grid is down, it should start the generator and charge from AC2.

    The way my system works is when the AGS tells the generator to start, it will only support the loads and not recharge the battery. If I enable the charger, then it will always try to charge from the grid in spite of adequate solar. My grid glitches several times a day, if I leave the charger enabled, when the grid gets requalified, it will begin a bulk cycle from the grid and shut off the solar controllers. I have discussed these issues at length with tech support and they confirm that the system is not working properly with their hardware.
  • ChrisOlson
    ChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    Joe_B wrote: »
    The way my system works is when the AGS tells the generator to start, it will only support the loads and not recharge the battery. If I enable the charger, then it will always try to charge from the grid in spite of adequate solar. My grid glitches several times a day, if I leave the charger enabled, when the grid gets requalified, it will begin a bulk cycle from the grid and shut off the solar controllers.

    We don't have grid power so I can't vouch for any of that problem. When I first hooked our backup generator to the AC1 I found out the gen output is not quite stable enough to use the charger if there's any loads. The inverter constantly spit the generator off if even the slightest load like the freezer kicked in. So I set the Charger Block to be active all except for one minute past midnight. When I first tried the standby gen (AC2) it wouldn't charge at all. But then I found out the rebulk setting was at 48.0 and the bank voltage had to drop below that for a time (never did figure out how much time, but I think it's an hour) before it would allow the gen on AC to use the charger.

    But I also found out that without the Charger Block enabled it will use the charger immediately on AC2, regardless of the voltage. So I think there is a bug in it there because that doesn't seem right. I also wanted to put two AGS units on the same Xanbus network - one for each generator - but with different triggers set to start the backup. Schneider told me I can't do that because confusion will reign supreme with two AGS's.

    The other thing is, our AC2 is set as priority over AC1.
    --
    Chris
  • NorthGuy
    NorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,913 ✭✭
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    Re: New SW and XW communication "Conext ComBox
    Joe_B wrote: »
    My grid glitches several times a day, if I leave the charger enabled, when the grid gets requalified, it will begin a bulk cycle from the grid and shut off the solar controllers. I have discussed these issues at length with tech support and they confirm that the system is not working properly with their hardware.

    According to the manual, that is how it is supposed to work by design. When grid comes back from an outage, it starts a new cycle. Inverter always has priority over solar charger. May be not the best design, but it works as documented.