The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

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  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,182 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Pat wrote,

    "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."

    Xantrex has always had a big power option for 120VAC in the SW5548. That is what the Machine shops run up here. As SG says the XW can be configured for 6KW 120VAC and the news that SG probably knows but is not official would definately make the Xantrex choice easy unless your hoplessly in love at Outback.
    "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

    I've been more than happy with my trace inverter. The only attractive items I see with Outback is cost, and repair. They will send out replacemet parts, IC boards I understand, and the units are much lighter. The lighter part is probably why they do not have the surge punchiness of the Xantrex.

    Can more than one inverter be fed by the same battery bank? Say 110v of one brand and a 220v of another? Providing the have the same DC voltage and their own distribution panel of course.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    Just Pat wrote: »
    Can more than one inverter be fed by the same battery bank? Say 110v of one brand and a 220v of another? Providing the have the same DC voltage and their own distribution panel of course.

    A common question, and the answer is "yes". Some people run a small inverter and a large one, leaving the large one off except when needed in order to reduce 'standby' power consumption. The trick is to be sure the battery bank and charging is sized to handle the combination, and each inverter should have its own DC wire/fusing & AC wiring (as you mentioned).
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,182 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Pat,

    The SW's were harder to service than Outback as you needed some skill. The XW is designed for field service by above average humans. If you have time you should check-out the XW install video.

    http://www.xantrex.com/xw/

    It is in the download section.

    --Dave
    "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: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    On a per watt basis or per pound basis, the XW-6048 doesn't weight or cost more.

    The Outback 3K units ( name plate 3600, but just try and run it at that for some length of time ) are about 74 pounds, I know I just shipped one, the XW is about 140 but double the power. Street price on the Outback is about 1600 , about 3K for the XW-6048

    As for service, I had to replace the board sets on my Outback twice, the XW with 2 plus years running hasn't had a single issue.
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    Pat,

    The SW's were harder to service than Outback as you needed some skill. The XW is designed for field service by above average humans. If you have time you should check-out the XW install video.

    http://www.xantrex.com/xw/

    It is in the download section.

    --Dave

    I run an older Mac, and can't open the video.

    So the XW has incorporated some service engineering ease? I've been running my SW for over ten years without a hiccup.

    I learned today it looks like I can run my CNC with 110v single phase power. All the servo motor amplifiers are 110v, including the DC splindle drive motor. Hooray- but I most likely need to still put together another system for additional amps to run all of my shop equipment, or machines simultaniously. An XW4024 would be a nice addition.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,502 admin
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    You may want to look at the XW 6048 too..,., It is "only" $400 more for 50% more power (and lower peak current because of the 48 volts) (of course, it is your $400--not trying to minimize your cost exposure).

    I know you have a 24 volt system right now--but at some point it may make sense to upgrade to 48 volts.

    -Bill
    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

    It certainly would be a good idea to upgrade to 48v, and the larger inverter, but then I would have the other costs involved as well.

    For now I have to get running as cheap as possible, and make some money. See how bad things are going to get, and if it picks up, go the nice system upgrade later.

    I may have to even go with a additional 12v system and a smaller, cheaper inverter. Xantrex Prosine 2000 looks interesting as it's stackable. One could possibly get me going.
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    BB. wrote: »
    "and lower peak current because of the 48 volts"
    -Bill

    It's been a help bouncing ideas off of you guys here. Where else can you get the seasoned knowledge at your fingertips? Hail the internet... 8)

    I don't follow when you say "Lower peak current"? Please explain that some more?

    Is there another benefit besides using smaller cable for longer runs with 48v?


    My problem also would be batteries. I have 12 older extra L16's and going 48v would require more (or use 4 less) and more would be adding new batteries to an old bank- no winner there,.

    Also, I kinda wanted to stay modular with this system, and not rely one bigger inverter in case failure, hence multible 12v or 24v smaller inverters and separate service panels would work in that case.

    Any other downfalls to 12v aside from the wire/size run from the power source?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,502 admin
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    I should clarify, lower peak DC current:

    P=I*V

    Double the voltage, 1/2 the current between 24 vs 48 volt battery banks.

    Also, since wiring losses are based on:

    P=I^2 *R

    Heating losses--the same wiring would have 1/4 the losses at 48 volts vs 24 volt system.

    I don't know/remember what Solar Charge Controller you are using--but the typical large MPPT charge controller (and some of the other PWM controllers) will support 24 or 48 volt battery banks with the same unit. Plus, since the charge controllers are current limited, doubling the voltage will allow you to add 2x the number of solar panels with the same controller (24 vdc vs 48 vdc).

    Obviously, I do not know your setup or your future needs...

    My 2 cents is that I lean towards a single solar RE setup (one "large" system vs several "small" systems) because of the issue of trying to balance power usage between the systems (one day, you use more power for system A and system B has lots of extra power--so you have to switch some loads to B and/or use a battery charger to move excess power from B to A--and the extra conversion losses, etc...).

    12 volt systems, because of the relatively high DC side currents and low margins (a 12 volt inverter/load will typically shut down at 10.5 volts--giving you only 1.5 volt margin)--it is difficult to and expensive to use 12 volt systems for anything much larger than 1,000 watts of loads (try to keep loads from going much over 100 amps--switches, fuses, breakers, wiring become expensive).

    While there does not seem to be much in the way of "small" 48 volt inverters out there (for spares, etc.)--You may be able to contact our host or the mfg. Samlex or Exeltech directly as it appears that both vendors to offer 48 volt options for some of their units.

    In the end--comparing the costs of setting up multiple smaller separate systems (12/24/48 volt based) would probably cost just about as much as setting up one larger system and buying some spares to put on the shelf (spare charge controller, some fuses, perhaps one of those special order 48 volt smaller inverters, surplus AC to DC forklift battery charger to run off your genset, setting up two 48 volt battery strings with an isolation switch if you get a shorted cell, etc.).

    You could also contact a couple sources and see how long it takes to get a XW system repaired (sounds like you can get replacement boards for field repairs too). Next day air and some extra fuel costs vs $3,400 for a XW 6048 sitting on your shelf that you never hope to use. Of course, local sourcing/support options may help too.

    In the end, there are probably no cheap solutions for your needs. Just different optimal $olutions to meet your needs...

    -Bill
    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

    Very well written, and thank you for the response.
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Are SW series inverters repairable, or are they heading toward a boat anchor status if they fail?

    I can get 2- SW5048's in good condition with sync cables for $1500 each.
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,280 ✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    Just Pat wrote: »
    Are SW series inverters repairable, or are they heading toward a boat anchor status if they fail?

    I can get 2- SW5048's in good condition with sync cables for $1500 each.

    You can get an XW6048 for about the same. Yes, its 6kw vs. 11kw for the two 5548's. (never heard of a SW5048, probably 4048 or 5548 ).

    They are repairable depending on your local service center capability. I have repaired one of my SW4048's after a lightning strike. It blew the voltage sense transformer on AC1. Luckily I was able to repair the transformer and avoid a possible recalibration on the unit. I also happened across the power relays on an electronics parts site for several dollars so bought three for spares. When the repair gets into the main control board things get a bit more dicy. Shops usually change out whole board subassemblies which will become harder to get. Final phase is cannibalization of 'bone pile' units. The SW's have been pretty reliable units.
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Yea- it's a gamble.

    You'd think there would be 3rd party repair support for the SW, but there probably hasn't been enough of them gone bad for enough business.

    Thing with electronics to is you never know when the time meter is up on a parts longevity. Then if the part is available.

    I've got to find out what extras you have to buy with the new Xantrex 6048? I'm running a battery bank only on this system with DC charging direct to the batteries. I don't need all the bells and whistles. If I could get buy with $3500, I probably will go that route.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,182 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    "Thing with electronics to is you never know when the time meter is up on a parts longevity. Then if the part is available."


    It was over a year after their notice that Xantrex was selling parts before they pulled the plug. It was on their forum and anyone who really needed a spare had plenty of time to get one.

    ASE services them in Oregon and has boards & parts. 800 289 2737
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,280 ✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Depends on where you live. I know Sun Electronics in Miami supplies a lot of off grid systems in S. America and Caribbean. They seem to have quite a bone pile of SW units the last time I was down at their shop. I think every time things get slow they refurb some and sell them.
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Thanks Dave-

    I'll call Oregon tomorrow and see what they have to say.

    Hard choice. If money was no object I would go with big XW's. Stil may only be able to go with a XW4024, but it's tempting to go with the SW5548's.

    But then if the only repair option may be a whole expensive control board, what would be the point of the old SW's?

    One things for sure. I need punchy surge handling units. If I'm not running the lathes it will be shop saws. My SW4024 really performs.
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    RCinFLA wrote: »
    Depends on where you live. I know Sun Electronics in Miami supplies a lot of off grid systems in S. America and Caribbean. They seem to have quite a bone pile of SW units the last time I was down at their shop. I think every time things get slow they refurb some and sell them.


    I'm in N. California RC. You know... the Golden State that's in the tank ..:roll:
  • Just PatJust Pat Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    Where can I get a deal on a XW4024 Dave? I'm heading down to Reno next week.

    Pat
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,182 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024

    The best price I have seen is the place that RC is speaking of in Miami. I have mixed results with them...

    In Reno is AES for service on the SW's. Their number is 775 857 1157
    Let us know what they say! My repair source in Richmond (bay area) retired.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,502 admin
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    Just Pat wrote: »
    Where can I get a deal on a XW4024 Dave? I'm heading down to Reno next week.

    I believe that Arizona has no state sales taxes on Solar RE equipment (i.e., our host NAWS)--or at the very least, you can have it shipped across state lines to avoid sales taxes. We are getting near 10% sales taxes here (going to 9.5% in our city with new voter approved 1/4% increase from yesterday). That will save you close to $350...

    However, watch out (in California) if this is a business--the Franchise Tax Board (at least in major cities) is knocking on doors and (at least trying) to audit businesses with >$100,000 gross income and going back 3-8 years to see if anyone avoided Use (1935 tax that was rarely enforced 'till now)/Sales taxes on anything purchased outside the state.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    BB. wrote: »
    I believe that Arizona has no state sales taxes on Solar RE equipment (i.e., our host NAWS)--or at the very least, you can have it shipped across state lines to avoid sales taxes. We are getting near 10% sales taxes here (going to 9.5% in our city with new voter approved 1/4% increase from yesterday). That will save you close to $350...

    However, watch out (in California) if this is a business--the Franchise Tax Board (at least in major cities) is knocking on doors and (at least trying) to audit businesses with >$100,000 gross income and going back 3-8 years to see if anyone avoided Use (1935 tax that was rarely enforced 'till now)/Sales taxes on anything purchased outside the state.

    -Bill

    L.A. County Tax Assessor got me once with one I had never heard of; "Personal Equipment used for a Business".

    I had a laptop quit working while I was out of town, so I ran to the store and bought a new one. But I goofed...since I was out of town, I didn't want to load up my company credit card (I might need the reserve), so I bought the laptop on my personal card.

    Since it was in my name, but I was using it as part of my business, I had to pay a 1% tax on it. Well, that and a few other things which I had bought before I started the business and hadn't bothered to officially "sell" to the business.

    And yea, he just wandered into the office one day and told me it was audit time.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: The Continuing Saga of Trace and the great SW4024
    dwh wrote: »
    L.A. County Tax Assessor got me once with one I had never heard of; "Personal Equipment used for a Business".

    I had a laptop quit working while I was out of town, so I ran to the store and bought a new one. But I goofed...since I was out of town, I didn't want to load up my company credit card (I might need the reserve), so I bought the laptop on my personal card.

    Since it was in my name, but I was using it as part of my business, I had to pay a 1% tax on it. Well, that and a few other things which I had bought before I started the business and hadn't bothered to officially "sell" to the business.

    And yea, he just wandered into the office one day and told me it was audit time.

    Thank you for making me feel better about living in BC, CA. We have a lot of stupid taxes here, but not that stupid! Not since they eliminated the Capital Asset Tax. But we are about to lose our PST break on solar goods when then 'blend' it with the GST - everything will be taxed at 12%. Mind you, it was worse before they lowered the GST: 14% tax on practically everything you bought. Oh yes, politicians want you to "go green". Uh-huh.

    Sorry. Political ranting again. Shutting up now. :blush:
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