Replacing XW4024 - possibly at 48 volts

nkin
nkin Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭
Greetings All,

Posting again from VT - land of low sun, clouds and snow.  As Dave Angelini predicted a while back, my XW4024 is now showing signs of age (seeming to overheat and “cut out” at lower loads).  I’d like to replace it before it fails completely.

i notice that the Schneider SW4024 is not as well received/reviewed.  Apparently, the market has shifted more toward 48v, so I’m thinking of upgrading to 48v.  I’d appreciate expert advice on two questions which come to mind.

First, I have 20 Trojan batteries which are 18 months old - so I’ve considered reconfiguring to two strings of 8 but would like not to reduce storage capacity.  If adding four batteries merely degrades the new four to match the existing twenty, that loss seems acceptable. Are there more serious problems to fear?

Second,  what recommendations do people have for the best hybrid inverter options, with solar charging, which would meet or exceed the XW4024 capabilities, durability?   [I currently have six panels at 170w.  Might someday upgrade to six at 400w]

Thanks for any help.

Nkin 

Comments

  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Gosh, sounds like a very unbalanced system!
    Are you sure you are getting the batteries fully charged? Do you have suplimental charging?

    You have some 20x1.2 kWhs of storage or 24 kWhs and 6x170watt=1020watts of array. Trojan recomens 10% of capacity charging, or 2.4 kWhs (2400 watts) Your array likely only produces 760 watts on normal days (STC vs NOCT wattage more in the cold weather)

    I would take a long look at your needs and by all means switch to 48 volt system, after 18 months your battery bank may already be suffering from unequal charging and discharging from the 5 strings. Might take a look here;

    SmartGauge Electronics - Interconnecting multiple batteries to form one larger bank
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,404 admin
    If you add batteries to make for "even" 48 volt strings--Just assume (for planning purposes) that your new batteries will be replaced when you decide the "rest of the bank" needs to be replaced... Trying to keep a mix of middle aged and young batteries mixed in a single bank--May be more effort that it is worth (keeping track of "old but working" batteries mixed with new batteries).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nkin
    nkin Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭
    Thank you Photowhit and BB,

    Sorry, i neglected to mention that here, in Vermont, we get most of our power from our Honda 6000w generator(s) - especially this time of year.  I charge the batteries three times each typical day (while pumping water, vacuuming, or other special loads) - for a depth of charge target roughly between 75-95%.  First set of T105RE lasted ten years.  I wouldn’t mind if four more I might buy now are quickly degraded and only last about eight years.  That’s less costly than trying to sell my current 20 on Craigslist and replacing them with Lithium now - as another route to a 48 v system.  

    My local solar installation company wants to add panels (of course) and replace everything- with a 12.5 kw Sol-Ark inverter and 18.5 kwh Fortress battery based system.  Sixteen new 400w panels would be mounted on our 45d roof facing 30d off south - replacing our current six, now on adjustable pole racks.

    Since our 12 year average yield from 1020 watt set of panels is less than ideal (ave 1.8 kwh/day - rare peak 3.94 kwh/day), I’m now leaning toward replacing six 170 watt panels with six 400 watt panels (2400w at optimized angles) — BUT I need a good inverter to tie everything together with generator.  Unfortunately, the Schneider XW4024 replacement is a true “lightweight” - apparently nowhere near as good.  I’m hoping there are better options for a 48v system these days, with the option of converting to lithium in 6-8 years.

    Thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Nkin
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Gosh, I'd swap solar for gas at todays panel prices, you shouldn't have to run your genorater nearly as much.

    With charging so frequently, I'd just run 2 strings and sell 4 batteries. 

    I think most inverterter companies that have been up and running for 10+ years making NEC compliant Inverters are pretty good. Schnieder makes good inverters, I think they are just going away from 24 volt versions. We've had boB from Midnite on here saying how the inverters from China are getting very good! (boB and his brother Robin were at Trace/Xantrex, started Outback, and now have Midnite Solar, they know inverters) 
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,713 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Your electrical life where you live would be far better in winter with 8+ KW of solar. When you get large arrays, even on stormy days, you get enough solar to run your day loads, if you are reasonable.

    I do not care much for Sol-Arc or similar HF inverter designs. They can get imbalances with split phase loads. All I use for my 500+ client is XWP. All of the CSW  4kw inverters and other makes are even more sensitive to split phase loads. The last thing one wants is to have a fault and lose power offgrid. XWP is a 10 year warranty and built with a cooling channel that keeps dust off of the electrical components. The same design that the military grant paid for to Xantrex. Now SE solar.


    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • nkin
    nkin Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭
    Photowhit,  Thanks,  You’re correct, I should add panels, now they’re less expensive.  You and Dave seem on same page on that.

    Dave,  Thank you.  I’m very interested in your experience and advice.  Please help me check your acronyms. I understand HF and LF as high and low frequency, with LF having more tolerance.  I also understand SE to mean Schneider Electric.  Internet search suggests  XWP means Schneider XW Pro and CSW is from Magnum, which is too sensitive.  

    I wasn’t even aware of the XWPro line - only the SW.  Just looking at the weight of XWP 121 pounds, it seems designed with different philosophy.  Excellent!   [I seem to recall the SW4024 had cut the weight of the XW4024 about in half - down to a “lightweight” 55lbs?. And, Sol-Ark is relatively lightweight.  Intuitively, I lean toward more copper.]

    I’m also interested to note XWP are appropriate for lithium batteries, in case we upgrsde.

    Also very interesting that basic warranty is five years, extendable to ten years by simple timely registration, making it competitive with Sol-Ark basic 10 yr warranty.  Is that ten-year version a true valuable feature - or a tricky gimmick, with troublesome “fine print”? 

    Back in 2009, there was no established solar installer out here in the boonies, so I purchased a “kit” from MA  and had it installed by the electrician who wired our house.  If I infer correctly, do you offer a “design coordination service” which would facilitate a very similar approach 2022?

    Please continue to advise how we might work together.

    Nkin
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    12 solid years on my xw6048, running a house 24/7    Hasn't skipped a beat
    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 ,

  • nkin
    nkin Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭
    edited January 2022 #9
    Mike,

    Sounds good.  Thanks.  

    My XW4024 has been good for years and still hasn’t failed entirely - I just notice that it can’t handle as many amps of house load while combined with charging load.  When pumping, for instance,  I have to reduce the percentage going into batteries - otherwise inverter “cuts out,” until I notch down the % going to batteries.  

    Do you mention your good history as good evidence for the current Schneider XWPro 6048 - because the basic design has “evolved” with good improvements  (still LF).

    Unfortunately, Schneider didn’t seem to treat owners of XW4024 so well.  No comparable XWP4024 in sight.  Lightweight SW4024 seems, from what I’ve heard, an unworthy replacement.  I suppose because is 48v favored for “serious” inverters.  Unexpected in 2009.

    Maybe my problem could go on for years.  But, I’m not sure how long I should take the risk.  9,500 posts! - have you learned any clues to help predict inverter failure in advance - or do inverters tend to simply quit one day?

    Nkin
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,713 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Schneider built the CSW4048 for the replacement of XW4024. It was meant as a transition for people to go to XWP6848v or for a cabin. SE provided a 2 year warning that XW4024 was going to be discontinued. I warned all of my clients and also told them they need to go 48v because it gives you so many different battery size options. Especially offgrid in a battery emergency!!!


    SE just about owns the closed loop LFP market with 7 different batteries they support. Outback has done very little to close the loop with LFP. Open loop charging is fine if you watch the charge and discharge currents as you are the open loop manager.

    I private messaged you Nkin. I take it you never used the old Combox with your system. The newer Conext Home and Gateway devices allow you to see graphically what your system is doing. It might help you see the faults and warnings also with your charge problem.







    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    nkin said:
    Mike,

    Sounds good.  Thanks.  

    My XW4024 has been good for years and still hasn’t failed entirely - I just notice that it can’t handle as many amps of house load while combined with charging load.  When pumping, for instance,  I have to reduce the percentage going into batteries - otherwise inverter “cuts out,” until I notch down the % going to batteries. 
         Does this happen when you run the generator ?   My first thought is Generator may not be able to handle the loads of appliances and charging, and the inverter disqualifies it.

    Do you mention your good history as good evidence for the current Schneider XWPro 6048 - because the basic design has “evolved” with good improvements  (still LF).
        Yes, improvements built on a good design

    ............ - have you learned any clues to help predict inverter failure in advance - or do inverters tend to simply quit one day?
    Surge Protection on the AC output.  Often inverters die days after a near miss from lightning, if not immediately.   I also know electronics after +30 years in spacecraft design, and while a little transistor radio can last 30 years, the high power gear does not last that long, I figured after 12 years, to proactively, get the new inverter and keep the old as a spare.


    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 ,

  • nkin
    nkin Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭
    Dave,

    Thanks.  I’ve responded and simply now note that I’ve only used the basic System Control Panel.  I’m delighted to see current options greatly improved.  And Schneider reputation much better than II feared.

    Mike,

    Thank you. Yes, the problem is while running a 6000 watt Honda, output at 57hz.  I used to be able to use 95% into batteries - which would show as about 144 amps at 24 amps on inverter readout (3400w?).  Now, I can only get by with about 87%, sometimes I’ve had to that knock down to 65% (all without special house loads over roughly 250 watts).

    Sadly, moving up to 48v negates standby value,  I think I’m ready to say “good bye.”
     
    Nkin
  • Graham Parkinson
    Graham Parkinson Registered Users Posts: 160 ✭✭✭
    Wow - Good news. That post by Dave about Schneider finally investing in installer and direct customer support will be enough to make me finally want to buy the Schneider system that I have been putting off due to lingering doubts about their ability to support their products!

    Great news as I gather that their hardware is pretty good but I find that their software and manuals can be a minefield of poorly explained, loosely or undefined settings.

    As a technical guy I always read the manuals of anything before I buy it - in my experience some of the Schneider manuals don't exactly explain the nitty gritty of the units functions or operational settings.

    I had been trying to support a friend with a Schneider CSW4024 system that was installed years ago by a long gone installer. The manuals just really didn't provide the user with enough information.

    Offgrid in cloudy PNW

    MacGyver'ed museum collection of panels, castoff batteries and generators - ready for state of art system install .... parade of surviving and dead generators: H650, Ryobi 900, Briggs and Scrap Iron 2000, H2200, H3000, Kubota 3500, Kubota 4500, Onan 7500

  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,713 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Graham,  you do need to read the manuals as always. They are designed for installers, and someone without experience will probably need to invest the time. I would just add that SE Solar has done alot of video training and have on their site along with YouTube some very helpful information for a novice. 

    https://solar.schneider-electric.com/webinar-replays/
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail [email protected]