S550 new and not lasting

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  • fogfog Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    It just went from charged to EX-absorb. I have no idea what that is. 
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,046 ✭✭✭✭
    fog said:
    Ok so I was able to get the batteries back up and staying 50 overnight by charging with the genny for about 3 days straight. My SG is up a bit. Around 12.3 which is better than it was. The problem now is it doesn’t seem to want to absorb. Yesterday is floated for 7 hrs and absorbed for 11 minutes. Today no float or absorb but it is cloudy. When I run my genny now it says CHARGED on the outback CC. This I haven’t seen for the whole 2 years I’ve had it. Does anybody know the entire settings for the context SW 4048 and the outback FM 60 together? Videos have such discrepancies that it’s unreliable. Please hel
    In Reply #8,  Photowhit provided the voltage Settings from the Surrette Battery Manual.
    Since you have NO Batt Temp Sensor (BTS),   you should estimate the nominal batt temp and tweak the voltages appropriately.

    If you are asking,   where are all of the charge voltage settings,   located in the CSW,   I cannot help,   BUT,   the CSW  Manual should be a huge help.
    FWIW,  Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,427 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 22 #64
    fog said:
    Ok so I was able to get the batteries back up and staying 50 overnight by charging with the genny for about 3 days straight. 
    Do we know this is working? Did you get the genny to 'qualify' with the Conext inverter?
    fog said:
    My SG is up a bit. Around 12.3 which is better than it was. The problem now is it doesn’t seem to want to absorb. Yesterday is floated for 7 hrs and absorbed for 11 minutes. 
    Excellent getting the SG up,

    Not sure where you are reading Float and Absorb? 
    If you are determining this by the voltage range, understand that the voltage, while in the first stage of charging(bulk) will rise THROUGH the float voltage to the absorb. At absorb you will reach about 80% full. What you are stating, sort of jives with the understanding of battery charging as a Specific Gravity of 12.38 would be about what would be expected for an 80% charge;

    If you had said it was in "Bulk" for 7 hours and absorb for 11 minutes, that would make perfect sense!

    fog said:
    Today no float or absorb but it is cloudy. When I run my genny now it says CHARGED on the outback CC. This I haven’t seen for the whole 2 years I’ve had it. 
    Since the charge controller can only go on what it's reading... I should give a nod to @Dave Angelini and say perhaps a unified system might help here, but I don't think you have the generator qualified with the inverter yet. Schneider does make a reasonable 60 amp charge controller which should work with your Combox/Conext system.

    While the generator is running it is reading a system voltage that is higher than it's settings so it thinks the battery bank is charged. I would think you could get it to 'rebulk' and go back through the charging stages, but I'm not familiar enough with the Outback charged controllers(CC) to tell you how to get there. It has been discussed recently here (I think, maybe in this thread, though I do help on some Facebook groups as well)

    fog said:
    Does anybody know the entire settings for the context SW 4048 and the outback FM 60 together? Videos have such discrepancies that it’s unreliable. Please help
    I don't really know what you are asking? I did harvest the setting off of the Rolls manual for you a few replies back, also a link to the manual. You should use the battery manufacturers suggested setting when ever possible.

    Have you be able to get the inverter to recognize the generator? Did the video I posted help?

    You are headed in the right direction. I'd keep running the generator in the morning on sunny days and throughout the day on cloudy days if possible. If you get to absorb that is about 80% full and the battery bank will slowly accept less current. Since they are in poor shape you might consider raising the voltage to encourage a higher flow of current, but without a BTS (Battery temperature sensor)  I'd worry a bit.

    I wise I understood generator charging and why such little wattage is going into the battery bank, when it clearly needs it. I think it baffles others here as well, perhaps getting it 'qualified' with your inverter would help.

    You are headed the right direction. I hope at some point we can address why things have gone wrong. To do that You/we need too look at the loads as well as the system servicing them.  Lots of people have been home with the CV-19 going around, just being around will create some loads.

    Hang in there!

    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • fogfog Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,427 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well, I'm an idiot...
    I didn't catch it sooner, I went back and yes your input voltage reflects the picture you just posted;
    Unless Outback uses some odd limiting the voltages don't reflect an array set up as 3 strings of 3 - 330 watt. There is 1 photo that reflects a maximum voltage that is around what I would expect, but somethings odd.


    These max input voltages look like panels setup in pairs. 


    Only This fuzzy one looks like it has 115 volts around what I would expect the max voltage from panels setup in strings of 3. 
    Take a physical look at the wiring of your panels if possible. If not while the sun is on them, turn on 1 breaker at a time to see what voltage each string is giving you.

    Generally panels will make voltage with out much effort. Even on a over cast day, might be slightly less but no huge difference, like 115 - >70.

    As to the 'float' time, I could only guess. In Float, the charge controller doesn't really charge the batteries, rather it 'idles' watching for a drop in voltage to allow more current to pass to maintain the float voltage level. Perhaps your generator running at a voltage higher than it could output made it think it was in float... That's an ugly guess.


    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,427 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't know maybe the display is the minimum and maximum output voltage...

    I'll read up on Outback CC if I get a chance tomorrow.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,188 admin
    I would double check the actual battery terminal voltage with a DMM (and ideally, with a current clamp meter).

    The actual battery (and outback) terminal voltage(s) may be less (24 cells * -0.005 volts per cell per degree C = -0.12 volts per [xxC-25C std]).... For example, if your battery temperature sensor reads 35C (95F), the controller will reduce the actual battery terminal voltage during charging by -0.120 VDC per C over 25C)...
    • Example: 59.0 volts charging setpoint (on Outback, meter) + (-0.12 V/C * (35C actual - 25C std)) = 57.8 VDC "temperature corrected" battery terminal actual voltage measured with DMM
    I do not know if Outback displays "actual voltage" or "temperature corrected to 25C / 75F voltage"...

    But 59.0 to 61.3 volts on a "not cold" battery bank with 0 amps... Either those batteries are fully and completely charged--Or something is not correct.

    The charge controller (in absorb and float) (more or less) sets the battery bus voltage... And the batteries take the current based on their state of charge and temperature. For flooded cell lead acid batteries--I would be expecting closer to 0.1 to 1.0% of battery bank AH capacity rate of charge even if full... 
    • 445 AH * 1% = 4.45 Amps tail end of absorb charging (nominal)
    • 445 AH * 0.1% = 0.445 ~ 0.4-0.5 Amps (low side of absorb charging tail)
    So--Zero Amps does not seem right unless you have another charging source (inverter-charger, AC battery charger, etc.).

    If the Outback is the only charging current source in the above photos--Then the zero current does not seem right.

    I am no expert here--But I would guess that the Outback is an "independent" charging source (not "networked" to the Schneider, etc.)... So, looking at chargers that are not networked--Each charger will set its own voltage... In bulk, each charger will output its maximum available charging current. In absorb, the charger with the "highest setpoint voltage" "wins" and will output most of the current... In float, again, the charger with the "highest setpoint" will win and set the float voltage.

    Of course, there are lots of variables... What are the DC loads, what is the available charging current (with solar, you have the sun moving across the sky/clouds/etc.)...

    So--For example, if the AC charger output is set to 60.0 volts, and the Outback is set to 59.0 volts absorb charging set points... Then the Outback will be near zero charging current and the AC inverter will be supplying most of the charging current.

    Also, sometimes there are "special settings" for some inverter/chargers/solar chargers... If you put 0 time in the Outback, it may have "unlimited" absorb time vs zero minutes absorb time (as I recall from years ago--Not sure--Just an example).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,427 ✭✭✭✭✭
    BB. said:

    But 59.0 to 61.3 volts on a "not cold" battery bank with 0 amps... Either those batteries are fully and completely charged--Or something is not correct.
    He's running a suplimental generator as well, though complete information has been difficult to ascertain. I'm guessing new to solar electric systems, in general, and learning how each is interacting with the other.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,188 admin
    I missed that... Thank you Photowhit.

    Need to run one "charging system" at a time... I.e., if working on the solar/Outback, need to turn off any other charging source the moment to see if the solar is charging correctly.... Whichever charging source has the highest voltage setpoint--Will "win".

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • fogfog Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Ok that’s a lot. Thanx everyone. I will check the wiring on the panels And get back to u. I did the breakers and they all went down the same amount. Also I put the volt meter on each panel before and after the breakers. It was overcast but they each are giving 117 volts. 
    It did the ex absorb last nite for 2 hours. The SG is around 12.3-12.5. 
    The settings of the batteries I have inputted are as Surrette asks but that has never changed. The settings I was asking for help for were all the other stuff through the com box. I did watch so YouTube vids but they were all different on the settings. Like 2 stage charge and 3 stage charge and all the other parameter within the context sW. 
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,427 ✭✭✭✭✭
    How is the recovery going?
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • fogfog Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Not so good. I cannot get the outback to act the way it used too. It does not go into absorb and I can’t figure out why. It does MPPT bulk the either goes to float or just says CHARGED. it has never said CHARGED the entire 2 years I have owned it. Also I seem to be fighting with the inverter qualifying the genny. I have 3 gennys and they all do the same. They will work sometimes for hours but then it will get kicked off and won’t qualify for several attempts. Very hard to get batteries charged up. I only have ComBox to adjust and view setting in the Schneider inverter. It will say it absorbing in the inverter info but not on the outback controller like it used to. I’m currently trying to get somebody from around here to come out and help but everyone is so busy. I feel like I can limp the batteries through the winter but they are not correcting. Currently with genny running most of the day (kicking in and out) I can get batteries to hold from 50.8 at bedtime to 49.2 in the morning which is better but the gravity is still at 12.25 in each cell. I fear that the outback is not working properly but I can’t really tell. 
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,580 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Winter never gets better for this kind of thing.

     My humble advice is lose the FM 60 and get the schneider mppt-60. It is less than 500 and you will have one system that all talks the same language. It will be far easier on you as the data will be logical, and if there is a significant other, easier for them.

    The gens kicking out are how you have programmed the CSW.  If you can't get someone to help, you can email my business email below. Good Luck.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,427 ✭✭✭✭✭
    fog said:
    Not so good. I cannot get the outback to act the way it used too. It does not go into absorb and I can’t figure out why. It does MPPT bulk the either goes to float or just says CHARGED. it has never said CHARGED the entire 2 years I have owned it. Also I seem to be fighting with the inverter qualifying the genny. I have 3 gennys and they all do the same. They will work sometimes for hours but then it will get kicked off and won’t qualify for several attempts. Very hard to get batteries charged up. I only have ComBox to adjust and view setting in the Schneider inverter. It will say it absorbing in the inverter info but not on the outback controller like it used to. I’m currently trying to get somebody from around here to come out and help but everyone is so busy. I feel like I can limp the batteries through the winter but they are not correcting. Currently with genny running most of the day (kicking in and out) I can get batteries to hold from 50.8 at bedtime to 49.2 in the morning which is better but the gravity is still at 12.25 in each cell. I fear that the outback is not working properly but I can’t really tell. 
    I won't argue with Dave on this one, seems like it's a no-brainer, since you have the ComBox and charge through a generator/inverter/charger system as well.

    I do think there is one or two things worth exploring on the Outback. While scrolling through screens or perhaps internally with adip switches there may be a "two stage" charging profile (I think these were used for NiCD batteries) 

    It might be worth posting on the Outback forum;

    http://www.outbackpower.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=7
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,613 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2 #76
    @fog said 
    Very hard to get batteries charged up. I only have ComBox to adjust and view setting in the Schneider inverter. It will say it absorbing in the inverter info but not on the outback controller like it used to. 

    Reading between the lines so this may or may not be relevant. When charging with the generator the  inverter charger may overwhelm the solar if the voltage settings are the same on both devices, if this is the case the inverter charger setpoints should be set at a slightly lower value. This will prevent the charge controller from assuming the the battery has completed its absorption cycle because it is not passing any current aa the voltage is being  satisfied by the inverter charger.Try lowering the inverter charger setpoints for bulk and absorption by 0.1V, if this is the case. 
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • gicamucigicamuci Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭
    I am using a CC from Outback, the FM80, but it should have the same menus and settings as the FM60.
    Mine says Charged after using the generator through the inverter to charge the batteries.
    From the FM60/80 manual:
    "Charged
    There is an external DC source other than PV keeping the battery above the Float voltage set point (see page 29). The FLEXmax will stop charging because it is not needed. The display may also appear when the cycle is transitioning from Absorbing (upper target voltage) to Floating (lower voltage). "

    5.1kW, 12 × 250W + 4 x 275W + 3 x 330W solar panels , FM80 MPPT CC, WavePower 6kW pure sine inverter, 16 x Trojan 105Plus in 8s2p strings 450Ah @ 48V battery bank.
    8Kw Champion LPG gen for emergencies only.
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