Schneider Electric Conext SW 4048 Hybrid Inverter with AC Support multiple problems

AdrianBAdrianB Registered Users Posts: 6 ✭✭
My solar system configuration is:

           1.Conext SW 4048 220V inverter.
           2. Conext MPPT 60 PV charger
           3. 200Ah 48V battery bank.
           4. 1.5kW solar panels.
           5. Conext ComBox for monitoring.

All devices have the firmware upgraded to the latest version.

I. First problem, and the biggest one is this:
                 "NOTE: To prevent injecting current into the grid from the inverter, there is less than 2 amps of offset allowed from the grid to flow                             into AC IN even when Load Shave Amps is set to 0"  Documentation update on Schneider Electric website.

                  and this NOTE is translated to the following picture:
With full sun outside and for a 234W output load on AC i have a 255W input from the grid and ZERO input from the solar panels.

I hope there is a way to disable this 2 Amps offset, because this it's making the solar system useless, maybe a hidden service menu or a custom firmware update..? At this point i had to manually disconnect the grid from the inverter, in order to use the solar energy .

And with the latest firmware update you cannot set the load shave to 0, it is minimum 1 Amp, so a minimum of 3 Amps (660W ) must be drawn from the grid in order use solar energy.

II. The second problem:

Battery voltage readings and charging values are totally off by 1.5V !.
As you can see in the picture, the battery is in float charging with a set point of 53.8V. The MPPT it's reading 55.3V and the CSW 56.2V.

Also i measured the voltage with a calibrated multi-meter and i have 54.8V.

And some other issues with wrong power reporting...


And, not to forgot that the first ComBox failed after 6 hours! And they eventually replaced the unit under RMA, after 2 weeks...



Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,011 ✭✭✭✭
    wow.    Have you shown this set of pics to Schneider ?  I don't have grid, and never investigated the gridtie setups.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

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

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,125 ✭✭✭✭
    Who installed the system? As Mike said, if this is new equipment you should check with Schneider. 
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • AdrianBAdrianB Registered Users Posts: 6 ✭✭
    Hi,

    I didn't show this to Schneider yet, the equipment it's new and was installed by me as the Install-Owners-Guide specifies.

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,125 ✭✭✭✭
    I always suggest to people with the grid who probably have (guessing) little experience to first get the system working as if it were Offgrid.
    It is helpful to post a picture of the electronics and battery.  The more information you post the more helpful this can be.
    Your location can help along with what you intend to do. Good Luck!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • AdrianBAdrianB Registered Users Posts: 6 ✭✭
    edited April 2017 #6
    Hi,

    At this time, between me and the solar system is a 100 mile distance, i can only do remote access to the ComBox, i'll add some pictures in the weekend.

    And some detalils:

    AWG 3 wires were used to connect the inverter to batteries, with maximum length of ~1m in order to reduce power loss. 

    AWG 5 wires used to connect the charger to batteries.

    Newmax battery


    The above picture it's with grid disconnected.
    And current reporting from inverter it's oscillating from -3.5A and  +3.5A.


  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,013 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Those wire sizes seem light to me to me.
    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
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,125 ✭✭✭✭
    I see quite a few problems. Start with the obvious. Clean tight/torqued connections?
    The 200ah is the 20 hour rate correct?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • AdrianBAdrianB Registered Users Posts: 6 ✭✭
    All connectors and cables are brand new and high quality. Connectors tight and shiny.

    I just measured the voltages again at battery terminal, inverter (no load) screw and MPPT connector, i have the same voltage with my multimeter in all 3 points, in this case is 50.9. Combox is saying 52V for inverter and 51.5 for MPPT.
    Seems a calibration problem for me. Is there any way to calibrate these units ?
  • gbaiggbaig Registered Users Posts: 30 ✭✭
    AdrianB said:
    Hi,

    At this time, between me and the solar system is a 100 mile distance, i can only do remote access to the ComBox, i'll add some pictures in the weekend.

    And some detalils:

    AWG 3 wires were used to connect the inverter to batteries, with maximum length of ~1m in order to reduce power loss. 

    AWG 5 wires used to connect the charger to batteries.

    Newmax battery


    The above picture it's with grid disconnected.
    And current reporting from inverter it's oscillating from -3.5A and  +3.5A.


    How you are able to monitor through combox? I have been trying to remotely access but no luck. I will appreciate if you could give me step to configure it to access remotely.
  • AdrianBAdrianB Registered Users Posts: 6 ✭✭
    edited May 2017 #11
    You have to do a port forwarding on your router, and use a free DDNS if you have dynamic ip. And most probably you will have to change the communication port from combox config.
  • b. ecologìcAllb. ecologìcAll Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭✭


    I. First problem, and the biggest one is this:
                     "NOTE: To prevent injecting current into the grid from the inverter, there is less than 2 amps of offset allowed from the grid to flow                             into AC IN even when Load Shave Amps is set to 0"  Documentation update on Schneider Electric website.

                      and this NOTE is translated to the following picture:
    With full sun outside and for a 234W output load on AC i have a 255W input from the grid and ZERO input from the solar panels.

    I hope there is a way to disable this 2 Amps offset, because this it's making the solar system useless, maybe a hidden service menu or a custom firmware update..? At this point i had to manually disconnect the grid from the inverter, in order to use the solar energy .

    And with the latest firmware update you cannot set the load shave to 0, it is minimum 1 Amp, so a minimum of 3 Amps (660W ) must be drawn from the grid in order use solar energy.


    Has anyone found a solution to this problem?? anything else than to manually turn on and off the AC input?  feels like a punch un the face to invert money in an inverter that was advised to use the sun power every time and only the grid when there is no sun, but if loads are about 300w, the inverter will always have input from the grid and zero input from solar panels 
    some people are using an ac 240 timer, in order to disconnect during sun hours and reconnect back to the grid at nigh time. but feels like money in the trash  to buy an expensive inverter because all the features but can not do the one thing it was buy for.. to use sun energy every time its available 
  • t00lst00ls Solar Expert Posts: 155 ✭✭✭
    what was the reason you chose an SW over the XW

    the old trace/xantrex SW was barely grid tie and mostly used for marine and rv applications

    the XW series was specifically made for offgrid and gridtie or just plain backup power if you didnt have solar
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,142 admin
    I am not sure--But I think that the 'old' SW from Trace/Xantrex (long out of production) is not the same unit as the current Conext SW unit from Xantrex/Schneider...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,011 ✭✭✭✭
    Can you look at the imbalance between L1 & L2 loads (in a text listing in the Combox readout) Somewhere, I heard a load imbalance screws things up.
    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 ,

  • MrM1MrM1 Registered Users Posts: 305 ✭✭✭
    edited September 18 #16
    Has anyone found a solution to this problem?? anything else than to manually turn on and off the AC input?  feels like a punch un the face to invert money in an inverter that was advised to use the sun power every time and only the grid when there is no sun, but if loads are about 300w, the inverter will always have input from the grid and zero input from solar panels some people are using an ac 240 timer, in order to disconnect during sun hours and reconnect back to the grid at nigh time. but feels like money in the trash  to buy an expensive inverter because all the features but can not do the one thing it was buy for.. to use sun energy every time its available
    At loads of around 300 Watts,  that is the behavior of the SW.  It will not (hardly at all) pull from the battery/solar, but instead will inject power from the grid,  even in a perfectly balanced system load between the L1 and L2 BECAUSE of the 2 amp limitation.  There is no way to disable this.  It is what it is.   Load Shaving, which basically does the same thing as AC Support mode but with a start/stop block has a setting for amps,  and it will let you set it to 1 amp,  but it still has the 2 amp limit and in my testing actually does not do as good as AC Support mode.  That is,  in Load Shaving, the load has to be higher (more watts used) than in AC Support mode to lower grid support. 
    You are never going to get  away from some power being injected from the grid.   And you will have a really hard time balancing the loads between L1 and L2 ALL THE TIME. 
    I realize the Manual Says differently,  but my theory is that the SW was originally designed for 240/230v grid locations.  It only gives problems in Split Phase locations like N. America where you are using an L1 and L2.  It requires the load to be balanced. 
    Here is Schneider's Official response to the sections in the manual about  AC Support mode and the issue in NA.  It appear to have been posted by Schneider sometime early 2018. (I never found it until then and it seemed to start circulating around the forums about then)
    What can you do?
    1. Use more battery at night,  and you will use more solar in the day for charging.  Your Charge controller will charge regardless of your daytime loads.
    2. Realize that under about 300 Watts (give or take), the SW in ACS mode will pull very little from the battery/solar day or night, even in a "perfectly balanced world" in NA.  It is going to get that first 250-350 watts from the grid at all times. (2 amps).  The only way to change this is the turn off AC in from Grid/Genny.  Your timer idea might work here.
    3. Set up a diversion load from your Charge Controller like a 240v lower water heater element (say 1000 watts), connect the lower part of your Water heater to the inverter, and you will cut your power bill significantly.   If you can set up a relay that works with your Charge controller,  it will only heat water during the day.  Long read,  but here are the details of what I did
    4. I found installing an Auto Transformer, like the one from Outback Power - the PSX-240. made AC Support mode work almost as advertised.   You say "wow that is expensive" but look at it this way,  If you got a good deal on the SW and add the PSX-240 and the SW SCP,  you are still probably less money than any other major brand of 120v inverter  in the same class.  Look for deals on the PSX-240 on ebay (used or closeouts)
    5. Further, I have found, once the AT is installed,  it is better to have your higher loads on L1 (so long as you do not over load the L1 side).  Example,  Fridge on L1 at 15-300 Watts and 200 Watts of LED on L2 works better than the other way around
    For me the Auto Transformer was a game changer for the SW-NA.   I asked this question all over the internet back 7 months ago about AC Support mode and why it did not seem to be working,  I think it was @ButchDeal that said deep in one of those discussions one day, "you need an autotransformer".  That is when I started this thread about Using an AutoTransformer with the SW.   On page 2 at post #37      is where I started the install.  I post user data of before and after (with/without) the AT and you can see the results are significant. 
    Sorry for the long post.  Hope this helps.  Good luck.
    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
  • b. ecologìcAllb. ecologìcAll Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭✭
    since the solution almost everybody do is to manually turn off ac in in the morning and turn it back on in the afternoon. i think that process can be automated with a timer. Im looking at this one at amazon. it can be mounted in the din rail inside de ac panel. in PR at about 9am the batteries are completely charged, and we have sun light at about 6pm. so my plan is to set the timer to cut ac input at 9am, and put the grid back on at about 3pm, so we have from 3pm to 6 pm to recharge the batteries in case there is a power outage during night.
    it will be nice to instead of a timer, automated the process using battery voltage, so the user/installer  can set a desire battery voltage to cut the grid, and desire voltage to turn the grid back on.
    for example, turn off the grid at 25Vdc, turn grid on at 24.5Vdc

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,125 ✭✭✭✭
    "almost everybody" ?  Most people use this inverter/charger "CSW" for offgrid and they work fine for small systems. The same problem for grid-tie happens with the small Outback Radian and probably will happen with their new Skybox. Just a ridiculous use for a grid application  for a small inverter and small arrays,  but....
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • b. ecologìcAllb. ecologìcAll Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭✭
    edited September 18 #19
    , but....

    but... when it was advertised to work well, with a lot of features, bells and whistles... 

    why a client may choose an SW over the XW?
    1. it was advertises to be the same, only smaller and without netmeterin
    2. in PR its hard to get the netmeterin approved, the permit may be rejected by a lot of excuses from the utility without any logic reason.
    3. there are sectors where the feeder is full so utility will not receive the interconnection application
    4. there are clientes with small homes that their peak is just 1,500 w, and only consume 10 to 12kwh/day
    5. last but not least....   it was advertises to work as good as the XW, only smaller, without netmetering and cheaper!!!
    So, by the client side, it was a no brainer to choose an SW over an XW.
    But... with all the experience and troubles the SW are giving... I am  not recommending the SW no more...  just for off grid applications or people that realy dont have the money for an XW installation, i first offer the XW if the client dont have the budget, then I offer the SW but listing all the limitations it have  

  • MrM1MrM1 Registered Users Posts: 305 ✭✭✭
    since the solution almost everybody do is to manually turn off ac in in the morning and turn it back on in the afternoon.
    Oddly this the first I have ever heard a timer.  I thought about using a networkable on/off timer,  but I do like the idea of a timer an may add a simple hi current timer to control it even better.  But you specifically asked,  "Has anyone found a solution to this problem??" I offered you several,  including the limits of the inverter,  but then you go back to the timer idea you had already mentioned. 
    So do you have a link for the pic of the timer you posted above? 


    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
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,098 ✭✭✭✭
    MrM1 said:
    since the solution almost everybody do is to manually turn off ac in in the morning and turn it back on in the afternoon.

    So do you have a link for the pic of the timer you posted above? 


    Easy enough to find online.  The model the OP has shown is half the list price ($39.95) on eBay.

    http://www.electrodepot.com/contactor.htm

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • b. ecologìcAllb. ecologìcAll Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭✭
    edited September 20 #22
    60 amp contactor with timer, din rail mount
    https://www.amazon.com/Pole-Programmable-Timer-Control-9344204/dp/B01GXYNMO2/ref=sr_1_4?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1537460306&sr=1-4&keywords=timer+60+amp&dpID=41gljfaVgoL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

    if instead of a timer, some device that can be set to program it to open the contactor when the battery is at 90% DOC and close it when the battery is at 60% DOC, it will be even better! so user dont run out of batteries during rainy days 
  • MrM1MrM1 Registered Users Posts: 305 ✭✭✭
    60 amp contactor with timer, din rail mount
    https://www.amazon.com/Pole-Programmable-Timer-Control-9344204/dp/B01GXYNMO2/ref=sr_1_4?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1537460306&sr=1-4&keywords=timer+60+amp&dpID=41gljfaVgoL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

    if instead of a timer, some device that can be set to program it to open the contactor when the battery is at 90% DOC and close it when the battery is at 60% DOC, it will be even better! so user dont run out of batteries during rainy days 
    What is causing the trigger?  What are you connected it to that is detecting DOD? 
    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
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