In need of info and input

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  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,172 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    Hi George(?),

    You may know this, but MidNite has a very active Forum:

    http://midnitesolar.com/smf_forum/index.php

    73, 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.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,741 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input
    kd7irm wrote: »
    I am having difficulty with some of the detail about the epanel wiring and install.

    You might try asking your question here... quite a few of us have experience with the ePanel. Also, the sponsorship of this forum constitutes a form of customer support by NAWS.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    also some of the guys from midnite also lurk here. throw your questions out here on the forum anyway.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,905 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    And us there, I'm sure you'll see some of the same names.

    I've set up one system with and E-Panel and have somewhat modified the one I currently have mostly installed, just need to add the 3rd charge controller, and adding a second inverter.

    Sounds like you have been to the Midnite forum and haven't found answers to your questions? What's you name over there, I'll read through this post and those over there and see if I can help.

    Have you worked with things similar in the past, is there terminaology you don't understand?

    I think their diagrams are pretty darn good, I know it looks like spagetti when you first look at it, but just take your time and folow things around and you should see how things hook up. If your super uncomfortable you might see if there is someone who has done solar in or near your community. Ask around solar people like to share and help. I've travels as much as a 100 miles to help out, and met people at Sams club so they could buy batteries, send wires and small panels to people on this forum, and had people on this forum sell me charge controller pieces cheaply during the ladybug infestation of 2010. Mostly a friendly bunch.

    Well nothing on the Midnite forum under E-Panel since Feb 11th...
    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.
  • kd7irmkd7irm Solar Expert Posts: 39 ✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    Hey guys just a quick update, called to order more parts from naws today and was able to speak to Robert. he has wired many epanels and was able to give me the real world answers I was looking for, it was what I had in mind in the first place but the manual/ wiring diagram/ photos got me a little concerned and confused. I guess when I called yesterday I was misunderstood, or caught the other person at the wrong time or something, but anyway things are solved and seem straight forward to complete :)

    One thing to note that I found added to the confusion, the epanel that I have is a very recent production with a few new changes that are not represented in the manual or the wiring diagram. Not big deals but added to my simple minded confusion on things, lol. First time wiring an epanel for me.
    Outback MX60 charge controller, Outback VFX3524 inverter, Deka 95-25 1140 Ahr (8hr rate) 24v batteries, Champion 3.8kw generator, and about 2000 panel watts. (Honda EU6500is inverter generator in for repair) 
  • kd7irmkd7irm Solar Expert Posts: 39 ✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    Well nothing on the Midnite forum under E-Panel since Feb 11th...[/QUOTE]

    No I have not posted anything on the midnight forum, I've read a lot of posts on that forum and i have read the faq on the midnight web page and some where the same questions or at least a few of the same questions I had, with some answers I found to be contradictory or not what I would call a real world field answer vs a test bench/NEC answer.

    To help explain my thought process.... If you followed outbacks wiring diagram/instruction and midnight solars diagram/instructions, you may not be able to close the door due to all the redundant wiring of ground/common placements, lol. :) like I said not a big deal to someone that has wired a few of these before but this being my first it was a little confusing.

    Thanks for the replays, I will have future questions for the forum I'm sure and maybe someday be able to provide others with answers to theirs. Looking forward to it :)
    Outback MX60 charge controller, Outback VFX3524 inverter, Deka 95-25 1140 Ahr (8hr rate) 24v batteries, Champion 3.8kw generator, and about 2000 panel watts. (Honda EU6500is inverter generator in for repair) 
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    don't be afraid to go over to the midnite forum and say what's on your mind as they may see it your way.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,905 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    Just for a background The solar companies have some overlap and shared experiences, At least 2 of the engineers at Midnite worked at Trace/Xantrex, then Started Outback and now Own Midnite, and they are willing and actually seem to enjoy interacting with the end users.

    So if you have problems "...followed outbacks wiring diagram/instruction and midnight solars diagram/instructions,..." There is no better place to ask questions.

    When they start a Photovoltaic Hall of Fame, Robin and boB will be early inducties.
    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.
  • kd7irmkd7irm Solar Expert Posts: 39 ✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    Quick question..... Settings on the mx60. What happens if the absorb time settings are set to 0 min and 0 max? What happens after bulk? How long in absorb? (and the end amps are set at 0)

    My thinking and hope, is that it stays in absorb as long as it takes to reach 0 amps into the bats at the bulk/absorb voltage. When I experimented with the charge timing from the fx from 50% soc, it took about two hours in bulk and then about a half hour in absorb before it switched to float, at low loads from the house and the pv array off.
    Outback MX60 charge controller, Outback VFX3524 inverter, Deka 95-25 1140 Ahr (8hr rate) 24v batteries, Champion 3.8kw generator, and about 2000 panel watts. (Honda EU6500is inverter generator in for repair) 
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input
    kd7irm wrote: »
    Quick question..... Settings on the mx60. What happens if the absorb time settings are set to 0 min and 0 max? What happens after bulk? How long in absorb? (and the end amps are set at 0)

    Zero.
    It might 'blip' at Absorb Voltage, but no minimum time and no maximum time and no End Amps means no Absorb.
    So after Bulk it should settle back to Float Voltage.

    Why anyone would want to do this I don't know.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input
    kd7irm wrote: »
    How long in absorb? (and the end amps are set at 0)
    My thinking and hope, is that it stays in absorb as long as it takes to reach 0 amps into the bats at the bulk/absorb voltage.

    End amps into the battery will never actually be zero. Less than one amp maybe, depending on the size of the bank, but never zero. Quite possibly setting End Amps to zero is used by the software to disable End Amps sensing completely.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input
    inetdog wrote: »
    End amps into the battery will never actually be zero. Less than one amp maybe, depending on the size of the bank, but never zero. Quite possibly setting End Amps to zero is used by the software to disable End Amps sensing completely.

    Yep. That's what it is there for. :D
  • kd7irmkd7irm Solar Expert Posts: 39 ✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    No it's not something that I want to do, just wondering, trying to get my head wrapped around the possible settings. Now I'm wondering if you have the times set to 0 and 0 and the end amp to say 13 amps would it stay in absorb until that amp threshold s met regardless of the time and then float? Right now I'm at 2 hours min and 4 hours maximum with end amps at 13.
    Outback MX60 charge controller, Outback VFX3524 inverter, Deka 95-25 1140 Ahr (8hr rate) 24v batteries, Champion 3.8kw generator, and about 2000 panel watts. (Honda EU6500is inverter generator in for repair) 
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    No.
    Minimum time = Absorb for at least that long, regardless of End Amps.
    Maximum time = Absorb for no longer than that time, even if End Amps is not met.
    End Amps = stop Absorb when current falls below this level.

    So if the maximum time is set to '0' minutes it will shut down the Absorb cycle as per the description above.
  • kd7irmkd7irm Solar Expert Posts: 39 ✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    Ok, thanks. One more time to see if i got this right yet.
    On the mx 60 my choices seem to be.... Maximum time is a setting of 1,2,3, or 4 hours with a minimum of 0 minutes through 10 min less than whatever the maximum setting is. So basically you can not have a minimum time setting unless you choose a maximum. 4hours seems too short on some days to get the batteries to a full charge. So that is why I'm wondering if I set the times to 0 and 0, and the end amps to 13, could I expect it to hold the absorb volts until it gets to 13 amps and then stop absorb, thus charging the batteries to 13 amps regardless of the time it take to get them there?

    With no loads and perfect sun, 2 to 4 hours is plenty, but on days when it's cloudy, SOC at 50%, and such it just falls short.
    Outback MX60 charge controller, Outback VFX3524 inverter, Deka 95-25 1140 Ahr (8hr rate) 24v batteries, Champion 3.8kw generator, and about 2000 panel watts. (Honda EU6500is inverter generator in for repair) 
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    On the bright side you do not have to do a full Absorb every day. The upper limit of 4 hours on the MX was based on the notion you probably wouldn't have enough sun in any given day to do Bulk & Absorb for that long (normal function: the Absorb timer counts up from when the Bulk charge starts to when it hits Absorb Voltage). So you'd need 8 hours of sun to do 4 Bulk + 4 Absorb. :D

    Curiously, they seem to have lengthened the maximum limit on the FM series, but eliminated the minimum? (Which was originally implemented in case of rapid rise of battery Voltage from high current where the timer may not run up enough minutes).

    I can't remember just how, but it is possible to 'force Bulk' on an MX and re-start the cycle if needed. Thus with a minimum 2 hour and maximum 4 hour you could 'trick' it into a 6 hour Absorb. Although where you'd get all that sun I don't know.

    Probably if you can't get through a full charge cycle in 4 hours you either don't have enough array, or need to Bulk up with generator to begin with. There's always some way to adapt, and the irony of that is you nearly always have to.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    So, on a related note; what happens when the absorb cycle is interrupted by loading, (as often happens to me) and the CC goes back into bulk?

    What happens to me is that I often get some absorb time, but later in the day, the combination of loading and lower PV production drops the voltage loops enough to start an bulk cycle again. This typically happens in the afternoon if I charge a computer or the pump cycles on.

    Tony
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    With an MX60 if loads pull it into Bulk (the Absorb stops of course) and the Absorb timer starts running up again until Absorb Voltage can be met, then that stage resumes.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: In need of info and input

    I think that is the way that the Rogue works as well. I am looking into the documentation now.

    T.
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