The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

Below is from another thread on the subject, and Bill advised a new thread so here I am.
Hello all,

My first post.

What became of the dilema here?

I've found myself in the same boat with my SW4024 and a CNC 220v lathe I acquired to run in my shop. Been off grid of 10 years now, and wished I would have purchased 2-SW 4024's.

Now I don't have enough amps.

Kindest regards,

Pat
BB. wrote: »
Pat,

Welcome aboard! And perhaps you want to create a new thread with your requirements (120/240 VAC power, amps, watts, peak, average, etc.). And if you can use a 48 volt battery bank at this time...

Depending on your answers (and requirements) there are probably a few different solutions you can look at (none of them cheap though--The Xantrex SW product line is long obsolete now and difficult to repair).

-Bill

Thank you for the welcome Bill.

I like many folks, have found myself a victim of time and technology. My SW4024 now will not meet my needs.

I built a machine shop fully solar powered, and I'm in full production. To date I've thought out of the solar box so to speak and have been adapting to limited power in various ways such as motor swaps on machine equipment, using Permanent Magnet DC motors in 110v to replace 3phase motors. Using quality 110v equipment and motors, etc.

I was doing just fine until I found a steal of a deal on a Hardinge "Super Precision" tool room lathe with Full CNC automation, and decided to step into the world of CNC. Oops- now I have a need for some fairly serious amperage, as this is a packaged machine that really works well with the system as is. I've decided to resort to converting power instead of motor mods this time.

It's bout' a 6.8KW monster in 220v 3phase. All DC servo- spindle motor and axes motors. I need roughly 60 amps in 220v or 2 Trace SW 4024's to handle the surge start up. That 220v single phase will be sent to a rotary phase converter to convert it to 3 phase, and then I'm off to the CNC races.

All of the problems with Trace and only 1 SW4024 have been rehashed here I believe, and going with a new system is an option obviously, but a costly one.

I'm also not very happy with the state of affairs and dying technology. Us off gridders after all want the best, and buy it to last forever- and are not happy when electronics become a dinosaur due to economic climate changes.

So I'm trying to figure out a solution. I want to put my money where it can adapt and not be locked into another Trace deal. My current system can stay like it is now, and it has done a remarkable job over the past 10 years.

What I propose may not be doable, but I'm looking into the possibility. I want to put a stand alone 220v system together with two (2) import 5000w pure sign wave inverters, solely to run my CNC lathe. I would like to use 12 extra L16's I have on hand for a battery bank.

What I'm trying to find out is if these 2 inverters will be approximately 90- 120 degrees out of phase from one another, because if the are, their voltage can be sent to the rotary phase converter that will combine the voltage to 220v 3 phase that will work and run my CNC.

I will use direct to battery DC charging, and add panels in the future. This way I can use inexpensive components to get the job done, and if something fails, it's not a big deal, and easily fixed.

Anyone know what the phase relationship could or would be between 2 matched pair of inverters non syncronized?

Best,

Pat ...

;)
«1

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    You can not couple inverters on the AC side unless they are specifically designed to do so. Not only will the phase not by in sync, the output voltages will not be exactly alike and the current handling will be different.

    My suggestion would be to bite the bullet and get two XW 6048's and the necessary batteries/panels/charge controllers to support it. Maybe you can sell the old equipment or use it in another application. You've got a real power hog there. The kind of thing that makes one appreciate the utility grid!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,157 admin
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Outback had (has?) an FX series off-grid inverter that can support 3 phase power (manual here). I could not find any sign of it on their site today... (may be a 50 Hz only??? or now obsolete--don't know).

    Of the years, a friend and I have operated many machine shop tools using a Rotary Inverter (3 phase, "Y" wound motor) on both simple 3 phase laths and mills, and even on CNC with digital drives stuff too...

    What we would do is rewire the controller (if needed) to place all AC/Control/Digital Controller wires on the "good" L1/L2 connection from his single phase 120/240 VAC power (we did his shop in a 2 car garage at his home). The balance of the motor power was just run off the L1-L3 legs of the phase converter. Has worked well for some 30 years...

    Regarding your choices--the Xantrex XW 6048 would be a nice unit to look at -- 120/1240 VAC split phase with 12 kW surge capabilities.

    Regarding the 10 year obsolescence of inverters/charge controllers/etc.--It unfortunately goes with the territory.

    Decades ago--when I was helping to design a voice mail system for the phone companies--we spent more time trying to figure out what processor/package would be avialable for "embedded" devices than the actual processor "brand/architecture"...

    There is just so much changing so fast--that the "consumer" is demanding that the vendors switch over to the latest/fastest/cheapest platforms... The old stuff just is not worth keeping alive.

    Who would want an I-Phone the size of a mini-van (being silly--but you get the idea).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,558 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    This won't help the OP but living off-grid and running a business requires that spares be designed in. Spare equipment on hand as if you were a boat crossing an ocean. With this philosophy you only can blame yourself when a failure occurs.
    I have a spare 4024 and a 4048, what are we talking?

    There is a new service note on firmware conversion of the stock XW6048 from split phase to single phase and then more firmware to build a 3 phase 6KW per phase system at
    http://www.xantrex.com/support/web/type/7/docldoc_type.asp

    Look for the orange september 2009 download
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Wow, there is nothing now the XW series can't do ...

    And reading the document, you can gang 6 unit now for 36kw for offgrid ... that's some serious power

    So Split or Single phase, your choice 6kw per box and 3 phase if you should so choose. Better than the SW series in every single way, price, features, surge performance and efficiency ...
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    At 6.8KW plus this being for a business. Have you look at using a diesel genset?
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    I have a spare 4024 and a 4048, what are we talking?


    Are you selling the 4024?


    My question remains and that is will 2 non synced inverters run between 90 and 120 degrees out of phase? Is so, 2 non synced inverters will work for my purposes.
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    n3qik wrote: »
    At 6.8KW plus this being for a business. Have you look at using a diesel genset?

    Yes- I have a diesel genset that will run it, but it is costly and to run an expensive generator for this purpose, especially considering component wear and replacement.

    I can power a Delco Alt and keep it running for much less money, connected to an inverter system.,
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    This won't help the OP but living off-grid and running a business requires that spares be designed in. Spare equipment on hand as if you were a boat crossing an ocean. With this philosophy you only can blame yourself when a failure occurs.
    I have a spare 4024 and a 4048, what are we talking?

    There is a new service note on firmware conversion of the stock XW6048 from split phase to single phase and then more firmware to build a 3 phase 6KW per phase system at
    http://www.xantrex.com/support/web/type/7/docldoc_type.asp

    Look for the orange september 2009 download

    Thanks for the reply, but I don't quite understand your point. Who else would I ever blame otherwise? ...:confused:
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    2 inverters not synced will run all over the place if they dont blow up first i think they would smoke from backfeeding from the other leg. This will not work guaranteed. I would go for a 3 phase xw system or at least a pair and feed a phase converter
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    halfcrazy wrote: »
    2 inverters not synced will run all over the place if they dont blow up first i think they would smoke from backfeeding from the other leg. This will not work guaranteed. I would go for a 3 phase xw system or at least a pair and feed a phase converter

    Well if you try to run them like you are thinking they will, so you are correct on that point. I will be using a power conditioner/stabilizer and rotary phase converter, that will most definitely work with with 2- non syncing inverters if they are within 90-120 degrees out of sync, and out of phase.

    This would be an awesome accomplishment for off gridders because:

    1- You could use inexpensive inverters that are cheaply replaced.
    2- You can put together stand alone power systems to power various needs and not screw up or change your basic (Trace) system.
    3- You would have great flexibility and back up power.

    I don't know how else I can explain it here and may not have done a good job, but I appreciate your input. I will seek a soulution and get it done.
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Instead of going for 2 x 5000W inverters in split phase to drive a rotary phase converter, why not get 3 x 3000W inverters and go three phase throughout? And avoid the associated losses/expense of the rotary phase converter.
    Then sprinkle your single phase loads on each of the legs of your 3 phase system.
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    Wow, there is nothing now the XW series can't do ...

    And reading the document, you can gang 6 unit now for 36kw for offgrid ... that's some serious power

    Many other inverters offer this feature. Victron will let you parallel units on all three legs of a three phase system for a total of 75kW. SMA will do the same up to 68kW. Studer/Steca will let you combine 3 x 3 x 8kW inverters into 72kW.
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    HA! now you're talkin'.

    I got to get to work, but want to explore that later. Muchas Gracias ...;)
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,558 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    Just Pat wrote: »
    Thanks for the reply, but I don't quite understand your point. Who else would I ever blame otherwise? ...:confused:

    Some folks are mad at Xantrex for not still making the SW's. They blame them for everything! They don't answer their e-mail, they don't have a good forum, they did not answer my e-mail......I just care about value for my customer and easy solutions for myself.

    I am not saying you do! If you replace my SW with an XW it is yours. I stock them for my clients but I figured out a way to replace an SW with an XW that will not look bad in a clients home. Looks are important!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    stephendv wrote: »
    Instead of going for 2 x 5000W inverters in split phase to drive a rotary phase converter, why not get 3 x 3000W inverters and go three phase throughout? And avoid the associated losses/expense of the rotary phase converter.
    Then sprinkle your single phase loads on each of the legs of your 3 phase system.

    Could you expand on this idea some more Stephen?

    How do you sprinkle the single phase loads? Does this mean I could possibly use 3- seprate but same model inverters- non synced to produce my 3phase power?
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    Just Pat wrote: »
    How do you sprinkle the single phase loads? Does this mean I could possibly use 3- seprate but same model inverters- non synced to produce my 3phase power?

    Sorry, my bad - just read that what you're looking for is 230V 3 phase. If you connected 3 x 230V inverters together in a 3 phase configuration you'd have 400V between the phases, and 230V single phase between any phase and neutral. ...and if they're export inverters they're all at 50 Hz!

    If you used 3 x 120V US inverters (60Hz), you'd have 208V 3 phase and 120V on each of the phases.

    So, I don't think it's possible to get 230V 3 phase output from 3 inverters as you'd need each inverter to supply 135V... which none do (AFAIK).
  • DapdanDapdan Solar Expert Posts: 313 ✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Hey all,

    A supplier from Canada supplied a friend of mine an xw6048 but at 230v instead of the 120v at 60Hz. He said that it was possible to modify through a computer and software the 120v/60Hz unit to 120v/50Hz. So if this were possible then you could modify the 230v/50Hz machine to 230v/60Hz and the problem would be solved. Therefore he would be able to have 4wire 3 phase using 230v legs running at 60Hz.

    Cheers...
    Damani
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    The XW6048 is 240V default, not 120V. It can be configured for 120V and can be linked for 3-phase as well but these are end-user modified( instructions and firmware on the Xantrex support site ), but from the factory it 240V/60HZ

    Also, when configured for 3-phase, the net voltage is 208, not 240V as your 120 degrees out of phase from any hot to hot not 180 degrees as you would be for 240V
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    stephendv wrote: »
    Sorry, my bad - just read that what you're looking for is 230V 3 phase. If you connected 3 x 230V inverters together in a 3 phase configuration you'd have 400V between the phases, and 230V single phase between any phase and neutral. ...and if they're export inverters they're all at 50 Hz!

    If you used 3 x 120V US inverters (60Hz), you'd have 208V 3 phase and 120V on each of the phases.

    So, I don't think it's possible to get 230V 3 phase output from 3 inverters as you'd need each inverter to supply 135V... which none do (AFAIK).

    Glad I came back here for a look. For some reason my email notification did not work.

    "If you used 3 x 120V US inverters (60Hz), you'd have 208V 3 phase and 120V on each of the phases."

    I think that is what I need 110/120 on each leg. When I mentioned "import"- I meant the Chinese 60hz units for the US. I'm still checking. Some techs say it can be done, and some not. Hence my confusion so far,.

    I need to power my Hardinge CNC lathe with pure sine wave current. The machine spec plate reads:

    Lathe number CNC #109
    230v 3 phase
    6.8KW FLA 30
    3500 rpm

    What I'm trying to find out is if I can run 3- same model 110v inverters wired in paraell, or 2 inverters 240v to a rotary phase converter to get 3 phase.

    And use non sync inexpesive inverters likes Aims corp.

    The PhaseMatic people tell me if the 240v inverters are out of sycn between 90-120 degrees, they will work with their rotary phase converter to create the 3 phase current I need.

    I was hoping using 3 inverters would supply my 3 phase power, and I would not need to buy a Rotary phase converter, but I'm willing to do what I've got to do.

    Thanks for the input.
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    The XW6048 is 240V default, not 120V. It can be configured for 120V and can be linked for 3-phase as well but these are end-user modified( instructions and firmware on the Xantrex support site ), but from the factory it 240V/60HZ

    Also, when configured for 3-phase, the net voltage is 208, not 240V as your 120 degrees out of phase from any hot to hot not 180 degrees as you would be for 240V

    How many amps in 240v continous does this inverter put out, and how many peak?
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/1858/DocServe.aspx

    6kw @ 240vac ~ 25 amps

    12kw @ 240vac surge, listed as 52.5A for 15 seconds
  • blackswan555blackswan555 Solar Expert Posts: 246 ✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Have a look at these
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable-frequency_drive
    no start surge, converts 1 > 3 ph, variable speed / stop / reverse and reasonably linear on speed vs current draw, You can also run multiple motors off 1,
    I have one running a 3ph swimming pool pump, set to 40% (about 5.5a) for normal day to day filtration, with a boost switch to 100% (around 16a) to run the infinity effect when need be,

    Have a good one
    Tim
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    That Xantrex probably would run my machine. Problem is that cost what- $3800 then a good rotary phase converter with power stablizer such as the phasematic is $2500. Holy cow, it adds up.

    Love the idea of the VFD's but can't run that with a CNC servo computer controlled system.

    Could buy some used SW series inverters, but then there's the parts and repair issue if a failure occures.
  • blackswan555blackswan555 Solar Expert Posts: 246 ✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    It`s been a fair few years (and a lot of technology) since I had my head in anything CNC ish, but as far as I remember it is only the main motor that is 3 phase, all the drive & control is just taken from 1 phase ? May be worth a look through the wiring diagram ?
    I have not looked deeply but I see quite a few that look specifically designed for CNC ?
    http://www.lightobject.com/075KW-220V-Variable-Frequency-Drive-VFD-Power-Supply-for-CNC-Spindle-P373.aspx

    Have a good one
    Tim
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,558 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Pat,
    Just an FYI, the three machine shops up here in the Sierra that I know of do not run three phase. They run the converter for their machine from 120VAC. Also the cost for an XW if you are retrofitting an existing system is more like $3K as the balance of system is already there. Just did one. The labor is where we get you.:cry:
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    It`s been a fair few years (and a lot of technology) since I had my head in anything CNC ish, but as far as I remember it is only the main motor that is 3 phase, all the drive & control is just taken from 1 phase ? May be worth a look through the wiring diagram ?
    I have not looked deeply but I see quite a few that look specifically designed for CNC ?
    http://www.lightobject.com/075KW-220V-Variable-Frequency-Drive-VFD-Power-Supply-for-CNC-Spindle-P373.aspx

    Have a good one
    Tim

    That is what I am narrowing down. Exactly how the upgrade mod was done on this machine, and if the spindle motor is the only thing left running 3 phase, it certainly would be a lot cheaper to change that motor out and run 220v single phase.
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    Pat,
    Just an FYI, the three machine shops up here in the Sierra that I know of do not run three phase. They run the converter for their machine from 120VAC. Also the cost for an XW if you are retrofitting an existing system is more like $3K as the balance of system is already there. Just did one. The labor is where we get you.:cry:

    Yes- that would be the way to go for many machines. Problem is when you want to run a machine that requires more amps than the 110v inverters put out, and requires 220v which is where I am at. The bigger machines require 3 phase, unless you modify them like I did with my Hardinge manual lathe.

    There is no other alternative for my sitiuation at this point. I will need to run Outback, or Xantrex. The next step is to see if I can eliminate 3phase on the machine. Then I can run 220v without a pricey rotary phase converter.

    Stackability of Outback, and ease of repair is looking very good. Running 2- 3500 watt units, with the ability to add more in 220v will be the ticket if I can get my machine to comply without 3 phase.

    I'm keeping my current SW4024 system in tact.

    No kidding on labor costs. I do all of my own work here, so not a problem for me. If I had to pay for help for what I do, I would be broke. Just not enough income.

    Thanks much for all the thoughts fellas.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,157 admin
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Are you purchasing a rotary converter--or just building your own with an old 3 phase motor (in times past, I used a "Y/wye" wound 5 HP 3,500 RPM motor).

    The first one we did, just used a small motor to get the 3 phase motor spinning (even tried a rope wrapped around the shaft as a "pull start").

    Later, a friend of mine, found that you could build a nice phase converter by adding a start cap and voltage "Potential" controlled relay to control the start capacitor sequencing (once the 3rd wire is generating > 150 volts or so, relay opens and the motor continues to accelerate to full speed).

    Have used the rotary converters to power both standard 3 phase induction motor and those with digitally controlled multi-horse power drives too). Just made sure that the controller electronic feeds were all on the real 240 VAC L1/L2 phase (at least the few controllers I worked on, their electronics were all single phase).

    Should also combine with a motor control relay that cuts power to the motor if the AC supply is temporally interrupted (equipment will not start on its own if AC power comes back on).

    Obviously, need to compare the costs/complexity between a 3 phase inverter solution vs a single phase inverter with a rotary converter and its lower efficiency (idling motor losses).

    Here is another link with more technical information.

    -Bill

    PS: The Xantrex.com/xw Inverter is a 6kW / 48 VDC unit that has native support of 120/240 VAC split phase circuits (12 kW peak--note, you cannot pull 6kW from only a single 120 VAC leg--If I recall correctly, you can only pull 70% of rated current from a single 120 VAC leg without using a 240:120 transformer).
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Bill I'm trying to avoid the rotary phase all together if possible simply for the cost. Have considered building one.

    I just opened up my Fagor computer control box on the CNC lathe and shazzamm... there are 2 servo amplifiers inside feeding the DC motors on the X and Z axes. So this is all powered with 110v.

    It looks like the 3 phase still in place is only running the spindle motor, and the flood coolant pump only. This changes everything.

    Maybe a motor swap on the splindle could be the soultion and keep me in the land of single phase 110v, providing I had an inverter supplying enough amps. The X and Z servo motors (Glentek) are consuming about 20 amps total it looks like (not counting surge start). Add a bit for the computer and swap out the coolant pump. No problem there, I already have done one of those.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    The XW can be field configured/updated for 120V, there is a tech document on the WX site explaining this, but you will need the programming dongle. So you get 50+ amps continuous and ~110 amp 15 second surge on a XW-6048.

    The XW-6048 stock will do 75% maximum unbalanced if your running in stock 240V mode, so about 38 amps hot to neutral out of the box.
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