Outback inverter with lifepo4 battery

Jacob_UJacob_U Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭
Hi Everyone,

I have many storage batteries,48v 400ah,700ah to 1000ah lifepo4,now my clients want to work with Outback inverter,but the BMS I used is my own protocol for charge/discharge ,temperature protection.Is there special protocol needed to communicate with Outback?Or I could plug directly with Outback,which could be programmed with Outback itself.

Much appreciate for any help.
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  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,121 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What you are asking, requires electronic engineering, to adapt a BMS to a different protocol system, good luck.  i cannot help you.
    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 ,

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,455 admin
    Many BMS systems when connected to a charging source/discharging sink are setup for failsafe operation.

    For example, you may have a two step process. Some inverters (and charge controllers have a "ground fault detect" circuit you may be able to "hack") have an input line which is an "inhibit" (remote on/off) or programmable input that may be used for on/off.

    And you have a second output from your BMS that controls (for example) a big old relay.

    One relay option is to use a "latching relay"... Uses a bit of power for an (example) internal electric motor that changes on/off state:

    https://www.bluesea.com/search/results/latching relay

    Another option is the old "crowbar" function. You have a high amperage fuse or circuit breaker to your battery bank, and you attach a standard (big relay) on the output of the fuse/breaker. When your BMS detects a reason for a hard fail (over/under voltage, over/under temperature), your BMS turns on the relay and shorts out the fuse/breaker and causes it to trip. This is what Schneider uses on (one of?) their Li Ion systems.

    Or, you could use the latching relay between the battery bank and and the battery bus (like the BlueSea above), and use your BMS to cycle the relay when needed.

    Getting into a digital data link between your BMS and the rest of the system... You will have to work with the manufacturer(s) for that.

    Some vendors such as MorningStar publish their comm standards. Others like Midnite Solar may have an open interface over Internet or other methods (and may be willing to work with you).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • AmpsterAmpster Registered Users Posts: 109 ✭✭✭
    edited February 16 #4
    I use a simple Kilovac contactor with an economiser circuit built it. My Orion BMS provides a signal that drops when any fault is detected. It is fail safe because if I lose power it cuts off power to the contactor. It draws 130 milliamp to hold the contactor closed at 12v. I am grid tied so when the batteries drop out I still have the grid but I do have to restart the batteries after i determine what fault tripped them.

    I communicated with Outback about using Canbus because my Skybox uses Canbus. Outback said they would have to develope the protocol with Orion for me to use Canbus. That was a longshot but the advantage is it would have given me better control over the charging process and possibly some control over using the grid when my batteries hit a SOC point. My BMS tracks SOC and while my Skybox is used mostly for load shifting I would want to maintain a reserve in the event of a power outage. Some day I may pursue that with Orion and see if they would be interested.
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This link may provide information that can be used to see how Outback recommend use with a particular battery manufacturer, Simpliphi in this case. Although I have not read this link in detail, I have read the Schneider/Simpliphi one and found much of the information helpful. The method I've adopted to turn the inverter off is unconventional but effective, using a second passive BMS which has external signals to drive contactors, perhaps not something to use for a client.
     https://simpliphipower.com/product/access-outback/
    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.
  • AmpsterAmpster Registered Users Posts: 109 ✭✭✭
    edited February 14 #6
    mcgivor said:
    This link may provide information tnihat can be used to see how Outback recommend use with a particular battery manufacturer, Simpliphi in this case.. .......The method I've adopted to turn the inverter off is unconventional but effective, using a second passive BMS which has external signals to drive contactors, perhaps not something to use for a client.
     https://simpliphipower.com/product/access-outback/
    I would describe my system as similar to yours, although I am not sure what you mean when you say second passive BMS? Is that for redundancy or because the primary BMS does not provide the control signals you need?

    The SimpliPhi link didn't provide much insight to how it interacts with the Radian. It may use Canbus since I recall seeing some video from a conference. I suspect it is proprietary since they are marketing it as an integrated product. Essentially they are positioning that as an solution to compete with the Tesla Powerall. In their case that product looks like it can perform off grid, grid tied or in self consumption mode.
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 14 #7
    Ampster said:
    mcgivor said:
    This link may provide information tnihat can be used to see how Outback recommend use with a particular battery manufacturer, Simpliphi in this case. Although I have not read this link in detail, I have read the Schneider/Simpliphi one and found much of the information helpful. The method I've adopted to turn the inverter off is unconventional but effective, using a second passive BMS which has external signals to drive contactors, perhaps not something to use for a client.
     https://simpliphipower.com/product/access-outback/
    I would describe my system as similar to yours, although I am not sure what you mean when you say second passive BMS? Is that for redundancy or because the primary BMS does not provide the control signals you need?
    The SimpliPhi link didn't provide much insight to how it interacts with the Radian. It may use Canbus since I recall seeing some video from a conference..
    The primary  BMS monitors all relevant parameters and safety features, however it has no display features. The second BMS which has a display, monitors bank/cell voltage but uses external shunts to monitor charge/discharge currents. It has two outputs which can be used to power NO contactors. The setpoints are programmable, the values can be set at more conservative levels than the main BMS and since it physically disconnects charging or load, it doesn't interact electrally in any way with the primary BMS. The addition of the second BMS adds a second level of protection which is a benefit, but the real reason was to have a display without having to rely on a PC or other device to view what's going on.



     
    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.
  • Jacob_UJacob_U Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭
    Thanks for all the suggestion and good ideas.I did add CANbus ,and RJ45 connector to the battery pack,normally every inverter brand has their own protocol for battery protection,like charge/discharge,current,which is similar with BMS function,and I checked with some inverter engineers,they told me most of the protocols are the same ,except the address,like for over charge protection,for A inverter the address is 0010,but for another brand maybe 0001.Then makes us very hard to competitive with all the inverters.

     But I do notice that let lithium ion batter works as lead acid battery type, then the communication is not needed.We set the protection in our own BMS,I really hope that some organizations or institutes could set a standard protocol between lithium ion battery with Inverter,then all could benefit. 

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ampster said:
    mcgivor said:
    This link may provide information tnihat can be used to see how Outback recommend use with a particular battery manufacturer, Simpliphi in this case.. .......The method I've adopted to turn the inverter off is unconventional but effective, using a second passive BMS which has external signals to drive contactors, perhaps not something to use for a client.
     https://simpliphipower.com/product/access-outback/
    I would describe my system as similar to yours, although I am not sure what you mean when you say second passive BMS? Is that for redundancy or because the primary BMS does not provide the control signals you need?

    The SimpliPhi link didn't provide much insight to how it interacts with the Radian. It may use Canbus since I recall seeing some video from a conference. I suspect it is proprietary since they are marketing it as an integrated product. Essentially they are positioning that as an solution to compete with the Tesla Powerall. In their case that product looks like it can perform off grid, grid tied or in self consumption mode.
    The link provided dose not contain much information, the settings used are what I was referring to, they can be found in attached pdf.
    The similar settings is what I used for Schneider gear, increasing current setpoints to reflect my larger capacity, the Outback inverter would appear to be capable of higher LBCO which is nice, the SW 2524-230 has a maximum of 24V, hopefully they will, or have increased this, as being able to disconnect using LBCO would save the battery from over discharge.
    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.
  • AmpsterAmpster Registered Users Posts: 109 ✭✭✭
    edited February 14 #10
    Thanks, the detail helped. I come from years of working with Lithium and some of the terms used for Lead Acid are confusing. I didn't have solar charging with my former Radian and I used an external charger and turned off the internal charger on the Radian so I never had to deal with those issues. Now I have an Outback Skybox and recently added some solar panels but have not set up the charging parameters.  I see that these settings also disable Float which I have done. When I get back in 10 days I will use this information to setup my Skybox for solar charging.  Somewhere along the way someone said that Bulk is analogous to the Constant Current phase and Absorb is like the Constant Voltage phase where the current begins to taper.
  • karrakkarrak Solar Expert Posts: 326 ✭✭✭✭
    What model Outback are you looking at connecting to?

    Some, maybe all have a manual on/off external switch input which might be useful. Hopefully the max charge/discharge current could be programmed into the Outback via other means which doesn't require the BMS.

    I agree that it is a real pain there are no open source CANBUS industry wide standards for solar equipment! One reason I avoid name branded equipment if it uses proprietary or closed standards or can't be easily reverse engineered.

    Simon
    Off-Grid with LFP (LiFePO4) battery, battery Installed April 2013
    32x90Ah Winston cells 2p16s (48V), MPP Solar PIP5048MS 5kW Inverter/80A MPPT controller/60A charger, 1900W of Solar Panels
    modified BMS based on TI bq769x0 cell monitors.
    Homemade overall system monitoring and power management  https://github.com/simat/BatteryMonitor
     

  • karrakkarrak Solar Expert Posts: 326 ✭✭✭✭
    Ampster said:
      I see that these settings also disable Float which I have done. When I get back in 10 days I will use this information to setup my Skybox for solar charging.  Somewhere along the way someone said that Bulk is analogous to the Constant Current phase and Absorb is like the Constant Voltage phase where the current begins to taper.
    I am not sure that disabling float is necessary or a good idea with LFP batteries. My experience is that charging to 3.45V/cell and floating at 3.35V/cell will keep the battery fully charged when there is enough sun regardless of external loads and has little if any impact on the life of the battery.

    You are right, Bulk is analogous to "Constant Current" or in reality as much current as the solar panels will provide and Absorb is Constant Voltage.

    Simon
    Off-Grid with LFP (LiFePO4) battery, battery Installed April 2013
    32x90Ah Winston cells 2p16s (48V), MPP Solar PIP5048MS 5kW Inverter/80A MPPT controller/60A charger, 1900W of Solar Panels
    modified BMS based on TI bq769x0 cell monitors.
    Homemade overall system monitoring and power management  https://github.com/simat/BatteryMonitor
     

  • AmpsterAmpster Registered Users Posts: 109 ✭✭✭
    edited February 14 #13
    karrak said:
    What model Outback are you looking at connecting to? Ni

    Some, maybe all have a manual on/off external switch input which might be useful. Hopefully the max charge/discharge current could be programmed into the Outback via other means which doesn't require the BMS.

    I have an Outback Skybox. The original poster also has an Outback but I don't know which model. I am using the Skybox in a non export self consumption mode and as backup. I am confident in the control it gives me over High voltage cutout and I think it can give me good control over current. My battery is a reconfigured Nissan Leaf pack of about 8 to 10 kWhrs. I will set the float voltage and that will tend to keep me closer to the top so I have a bigger reserve in case of a power outage. In my case 4.1v with NMC is probably similar SOC to 3.45 with LFP.

    I use the BMS primarily as a check on my battery health. I am seeing bigger deltas at each end and therefore have high and low cell alarms and low voltage cutouts set to  drop the battery out of the system with a contactor to protect the pack. I haven't found an external input on the Skybox that could give me that control. 
    Thanks for the feedback.
  • Jacob_UJacob_U Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭
    Since we're battery manufacturer,we could connect all the models of Outback,mainly Skybox.I just found one clients used the battery we produced with Outback without communicating,and we didn't design any communication like RS485,CAN. i think there's no problem for Outback now.But I keep searching more protocols,now I have two inverter brands protocol.For the charge issue,LFP battery,the charge voltage is 3.65v,but the rated voltage is 3.2v,normally the cut-off voltage will set 2V.NCM battery,charge voltage is 4.2V,rated 3.65v,2.5 cut-off. Many users will increase the cut-off voltage to avoid the over-discharge.We suggest to control the DOD (80%-90%) to increase the service life,floating charge is not necessary for lithium ion battery.
  • AmpsterAmpster Registered Users Posts: 109 ✭✭✭
    Jacob_U said:
    Since we're battery manufacturer,we could connect all the models........
    Nothing new. This looks to be self promotion.
  • mcnutt13579mcnutt13579 Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭✭
    Ampster said:
    Jacob_U said:
    Since we're battery manufacturer,we could connect all the models........
    Nothing new. This looks to be self promotion.
    Let him self promote.  Open networking needs to be done.  Voltage based AGS should be out the window by now.  The battery should be the one calling for charging when it needs it.
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 15 #17
    Ampster said:
    Jacob_U said:
    Since we're battery manufacturer,we could connect all the models........
    Nothing new. This looks to be self promotion.
    Let him self promote.  Open networking needs to be done.  Voltage based AGS should be out the window by now.  The battery should be the one calling for charging when it needs it.
    Self promotion would be providing a link to an actual product, not the case here.
    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.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,455 admin
    I don't see any problems.

    Letting people and companies ask (and answer) questions related to solar--I find it interesting.

    There will always be some "leakage" between the design and marketing. But we have had good discussions with the folks from Midnite Solar (as an example) over the years.

    -Bill "moderator" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • AmpsterAmpster Registered Users Posts: 109 ✭✭✭
    edited February 15 #19

    My apologies to @Jacob_U who I now realize started this thread.

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,455 admin

    No problem.

    -Bill

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Jacob_UJacob_U Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭

    @Ampster ,I started this conversion,because I really met the cases,before we just produced the battery,and the clients sent us the protocol,but these several cases for Outback,clients always told us that there's no communicating for Outback,I had searched over 1 weeks to figure our the answers,then found the forum,really like everyone share his views here,solution is the first thing I want to get,it's much better if promotion works.😁

  • AmpsterAmpster Registered Users Posts: 109 ✭✭✭
    edited February 18 #22

    You are correct. If you had time and money to spend developing a Canbus protocol with Ouback you may never recover your investment. It is much simpler for a DIYer like myself to set the high and low limits on the Outback and use my BMS for information and as a last resort fail safe.

    I appreciate that you were at least interested enough to ask the questions. Maybe, like @mcnutt13579 said, someone will develop a standard. I see Canbus chargers for Lithium but in that case there are only about 3 or 4 commands that are important. Lead Acid is much more complex in term of the number of settings.

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