Schneider SW fans running constantly

mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,423 ✭✭✭✭✭
Recently I read an old thread regarding the SW inverter charger fans running constantly, from what it appeared the issue was resolved by Schneider confirming there was a glitch and a fix in the form of a firmware update, this was in 2013.

Anyhow it seems the problem has not been solved, even with no load at 24° C ambient they never turn off, 4 hours of no load should be enough. If the inverter is turned off, the fans continue to run for 5 seconds then off, immediate restart the fans remain off and do not come on until a load is applied  < 200W for 1 hour, then the whole thing starts again. The temperature of the exhaust air was the same as ambient. Has anyone had, have or know these issues? Mine is manufactured July 2015, new purchase 2017.
1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.

Comments

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,137 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What firmware is installed?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,423 ✭✭✭✭✭
    A picture is worth a thousand words. 
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,137 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Looks to me that you are 4 revisions out of date. You will need to take this up with your supplier. This is really old stock BTW, sorry!

    One of the advantages of buying from the store here, or someone like me, is we drop ship from Schneider and the flap on the outside of the shipping box has a place for the warehouse to update firmware.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,423 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks Dave, have any of the firmware revisions actually addressed the fan management issues? Being that it was manufactured 2 years after acknowledgement by Schneider of fan shutdown issues, one would assume the firmware would have incorporated the fix, never make assumptions I guess. Purchasing from the US would almost  double the cost,  shipping is the killer, locally there is not much off grid intrest, probably due to cost, so stock probably sits around, the vendor seems to not have much experience with the equipment, however they are helpful so I'll contact them an see what they have to say.

    Ivor 
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • nickdearing88nickdearing88 Registered Users Posts: 96 ✭✭✭
    Dave,

    Can't the SW firmware just be downloaded from Schneider and updated by the end user? If a dealer was required to update firmware, that would be a deal-breaker for me.
    Current test system: 4-100w Renogy panels mono/poly, 1 string of 4 panels in series - 24v 100Ah AGM Battleborn LiFePO4 batteries - Morningstar MPPT40 CC - 1500W Samlex PSW inverter
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,137 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017 #7
    The end user needs a Combox or Config tool. It is a limitation of the design that was required in the original requirements back 12 years ago by DOD.

    Ivor, sometimes an issue that is fixed with firmware is really not totally fixed until another revision that address details that were missed.
    I assume you do not have a combox? The dealer/supplier needs to step-up here, if they are good! You could also have a defect in the thermistor circuit that would be covered by warranty.

    Last thing on Firmware, I have seen, both on Outback and Schneider, firmware installed and the Mate or Combox shows the new firmware,
    But, it is not really running it. The newest revisions of Combox will show all the firmware that has been attempted to install on a device.
    By performing a reset to factory, for some reason (I am an analog person), the newest firmware will "stick".  






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

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,423 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017 #8
     No ComBox yet , was planning to get one in the future, have sent an email to the dealer, who will most likely tell me to contact Schneider directly. As a temporary solution I cut up an old inverter housing, use the two fans with deflection inside to direct airflow towards the intakes, these are powered by a small separate dedicated 12V setup for ventilation. Has been 24 hours without the SW fans operating, even in 32°C ambient yesterday, the noise is not the issue really just how long till they fail, the ones from the Cotek are sacrificial and cost $2.50 each if replacement is required. Will see in a couple of days when it's supposed to get a little warmer. Picture taken this morning the DMM shows temperature just inside the cabinet. 

    Edit.Didn't have to wait got to 37°C today, internal fans came on, with the auxillary fans running the exhaust temperature is significantly higher than when off, the question is, more airflow  moving the heat away faster, or getting hotter because the added fans interfere with the airflow, causing more heat build up. Being that the change in temperature is rapid, I'm thinking it's moving more heat away, the experiment continues.

    Edit#2 Chose to leave the auxiliary fans running, initially the exhaust temperature increased, but over time it dropped, the internal fans shut down at 19:00H, so it would seem  the auxillary fans are helping because before they would run 24/7, still an experiment at this stage.e
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭
    I hacked a cooling fan accross the back of my, new to me, Outback FX inverter.  For me it was the sound of the internal fan cycling that was the bother.  It's a 12vdc fan running off the inverter's aux function...voltage related (just below float voltage).  I tried to use a snap disc thermostat on the heat sink of the inverter, to initiate the fan running, but the adjustment on the snap disc would not go low enough to cycle on before the internal fan started anyway.  Works in a blunt instrument way.

    Fan on the MX60 started to go, so I chopped off the top of the enclosure and put a fan up there, run off the aux function vent fan.  Works well and is quieter than the mini fan it came with.  Also drilled a grid of 1/4 inch vent holes in the bottom removable cover.  Philosophy...if it still works, why replace it?
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,137 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017 #10
    Something is not right!  All of my equipment cycles the fans starting around 29C or really large loads. 

    What is the CSW drawing with no load and the fan on ? Is it in spec ? The fans on a CSW are not hard to replace and should last 5 years easily and are available on e-bay. It can't hurt to run fans but maybe there is nothing wrong....

    I know you are "out there" a bit but maybe when you call Schneider to set-up a case number, you could request a config-tool or combox because your firmware is out by 4 revs. The comboxes have come down in price quite a bit. I still use the config tool as it does some things that make service easier and faster.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,423 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017 #11
    Something is not right!  All of my equipment cycles the fans starting around 29C or really large loads. 

    What is the CSW drawing with no load and the fan on ? Is it in spec ? The fans on a CSW are not hard to replace and should last 5 years easily and are available on e-bay. It can't hurt to run fans but maybe there is nothing wrong....

    I know you are "out there" a bit but maybe when you call Schneider to set-up a case number, you could request a config-tool or combox because your firmware is out by 4 revs. The comboxes have come down in price quite a bit. I still use the config tool as it does some things that make service easier and faster.


    Sent an email, have a case number, primarily to deal with the firmware updates. Perhaps I n reading into the fans running  a little too deeply, they are probably just doing their job of self preservation, although the auxillary fans do delay the units fans from activating and shutting down laterr than they would unassisted. Today I added 3 inches of fiberglass with mylar coating above the ceiling, which helps to reduce the ambient temperature in the room by at least 5°C, unit fans come on when the transformer temperature is around 40°C, loads are generally light, at night refrigerator 100W on and off, just the latent heat takes some time to disapate. The fan loads are consistent with specifications, by the way, nothing outrageously  excessive. 
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • MarkPMarkP Registered Users Posts: 41 ✭✭
    Schneider called me up out of the blue and alerted me that there was a firmware upgrade available.  They asked if I had a ComBox.  When I said no the sent me one free of charge so that i would be able to do the upgrade.  Don't know why I rated that.  This was about a year ago.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,137 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know why :) drop me an e-mail.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,423 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 26 #14
    Revisiting the fan issue, the fans run almost constantly when ambient temperatures are close to 30°C, but do turn off occasionally at night, now that it's a little cooler, so I'm figuring it's operating normally. Both fans have developed axial play which causes the blades to interfere with the housing, one at 6 months the other 1 year. The first  had the circlip come off the shaft, fan still  works after relocation, but still with interference, placed some small washers between the fan and housing which has cured the problem for now. So 5 years lifespan is probably in ideal conditions, or perhaps I got a unit with dodgy fans, either way it only reinforces my belief I'm passive cooling.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,137 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 26 #15
    The XW is really the unit to own and a CSW is a good spare, in my opinion. Different design goals at price and length of life. You live in the tropics right? Even more reason to use XW+. Did you ever get the firmware updated?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,423 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 26 #16
    Dave, can you elaborate on why the XW is superior to the SW, in terms of a tropical climate, where everything grows fast, is short lived and decays fast, if organic?
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,137 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 26 #17
    Look at warranty, look at how an XW ventilates, look at how the original DOD grant was written for harsh environments, and lastly look at it's history of being bulletproof reliable. I have picture of one somewhere at Schneider with bullet holes in it. It still worked B)

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

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,423 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Will look at the XW, but other than the fans the SW is still doing fine, lightning may take care of that though.
    The farm is improving, I make a point of doing something every day to make improvements no matter how small, been busy planting rice, many hours on the tractor. So far everything looks good, rains are becoming more frequent, but who knows what the weather will do these days. 
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,137 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am kind of the opposite,  my wife adds items to the improvement list and I cross them off even if they are not done >:)

    I once told an engineer at Schneider that one of my clients mounted his CSW sideways to enable it to ventilate like and XW.
    He said it would not do much to help as the unit design needs to be cooled to keep the mosfets behaving. I never heard from my client again and called the local police in Costa Rica for a health and welfare. Vanishing point...

    You should do the firmware as I said before, just because your version is later than the fix version, often these thing take a couple revisions to really fix. You ever work with the people who write that stuff ;)


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

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,423 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Will do the firmware update when I get a combox in September, but then on the other hand perhaps it's better to buy sacrificial inverters and charge controllers given the lightning issues I've experienced, strangely enough the cheaper units are all still working and they cost less than 20% of the supposedly better quality components. Actually it's ironic how  things work out, I find humor in the fact that if a cheap inverter fails, I can run to the store and replace it in less than 2 hours, as opposed to shipping a device to get evaluated  for a warranty claim, inconvenience comes to mind. But I do like the charging ability, despite only using it on rare occasions.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,137 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Are others near you having this problem? You have the grid right? It can be worse than lightning for some folks.
    Cheap and poorly designed electronics in addition to surges just fail for no reason!

    I have one client who lives in such a bad place for convection strikes, his plan is to be charged by noon and if he leaves the house he physically disconnects the array.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,423 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No grid, but the grid was also down, they have SPD devices at the transformer, something not too common in many locations, but it stands to reason, 80% of all lightning occurs within the tropics.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
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