Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

Options
markr
markr Registered Users Posts: 14
Howdy!

I've looked around a bit and can't find the answer to this question:

How do you configure the Xantrex System Control Panel (SCP) to talk to 3 XW-MPPT60 Solar Charge Controllers (SCC)?

I've just expanded my system from 1.8kW of Siemens SP-75s and a Trace C40 + SW4048 by adding 4kW of Evergreen 200W panels. I've replaced the SW4048 with an XW6048. The arrays are set up as the original 1.8kW and two 2kW arrays with the new panels. Each array drives an XW-MPPT60 and all connect to the same battery bank.

Initially I powered up the charge controllers without the SCP. I was able to set the device numbers as 1, 2 and 3 and everything seemed good. Next, I powered up the inverter which powered up the SCP. The inverter checks out OK so it still seems good.

Looking at the SCP only the inverter and two of the MPPTs are shown.

After a factory reset of the MPPTs there is an F.69 (probably an address conflict) which cleared after setting one of the MPPT's device numbers to a different value. This allows me to get the inverter and two MPPTs shown on the SCP. Re-resetting the third MPPT and setting its device number causes one of those listed on the SCP to go away leaving only the inverter and one MPPT.

The System ID is the same on two of the MPPTs and different on the third. I've set unique device numbers, common battery bank name and different array names.

The SCP says it supports up to 8 devices and I only have four (inverter + 3 MPPTs) plus the SCP. The network is terminated and all works OK except for the number of MPPTs shown.

Hopefully I'm missing something simple. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Mark R.
«1

Comments

  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Hi,
    I am also interested in an answer to your problem. I have two mppt60 charge controllers with two seperate PV arrays, feeding one battery bank and an XW inverter. One of my mppt60 charge controllers constantly drops off the SCP display, and quits talking to the other mppt60 controller. I called Xantrex, and they did not have an answer. This has been happening for a little over a year. Maybe the same problem??
    Mike
  • markr
    markr Registered Users Posts: 14
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Hi Mike,

    It may be the same since I bought everything almost a year ago and just finally got it online last week.

    The two MPPT60s that show up on the SCP have the same System ID (oddly, a negative number) while the third has a different System ID. I'm not sure how that gets set and why it is not reset with a return to factory defaults.

    I went back to the beginning and reset everything to factory with the Xanbus disconnected. Then I reconnected everything and followed the steps in the MPPT60 manual exactly. It did the same as before where only 2 of the MPPTs showed up (the same 2, all system IDs were the same as before). The third MPPT (with the different system ID) was running with the other 2 displayed. Later I came back and the SCP was only showing 1 MPPT. This sounds like what you are seeing.

    Looking around on the Schneider web page it turns out there are firmware updates for the MPPT60 and XW6048. There are no release notes so even if I had the interface and could run the update I'm not sure it is a good idea.

    Page 2-3 of the SCP manual says that the Xanbus system can handle 8 devices and their example was 3 inverters, 2 charge controllers an automatic generator starter and the SCP. The MPPT60 manual does not state any limitation on the number of charge controllers. The limit of 2 MPPTs does not make sense (3x 6kW inverters with only 2 60A charge controllers - huh?).

    I'm running:
    MPPT60 firmware: V01.04, Build 4
    XW6048 firmware: V01.03.00, Build 12
    SCP firmware: V01.02.00, Build 6

    I sent a query to Schneider and will post any results.

    Thanks,

    Mark R.
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Hi Mark,
    I have:
    MPPT60 firmware: V01.05.00, Build 6
    XW4024 firmware: V01.04.00, Build 02
    SCP firmware: V01.02.00, Build 6
    The balance of my system is 8 EverGreen ES-A-205 panels in 2 strings of 4, 12 Concorde PVX-9150T batteries, backed up by a Honda EU6500iSA generator. Along with the XW4024 inverter and the two MPPT60 charge controllers.
    If it is any help, I have the XW Config tool I can lend you. I am away from the cabin at the moment, but I will be back after January 11. Also, I was just up on Schneider's web site, and I can no longer find any 865-1030 (charge controller) firmware updates. My charge controller that keeps dropping off the Xanbus produces about the same power as the other charge controller EXCEPT during absorption phase, it makes less than half the power. Schneider claimed that lack of power production by the second controller is not that unusual, but I am just a little skeptical of their response. Less than half power is a lot. I am beginning to think the charge controller is defective, and Schneider does not want to admit it.
    Mike
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    You maybe overloading the Xanbus power, the XW chargers don't power the Xanbus, they rely on the power from the inverter. Xantrex has a doc on how power the charger with a walwart, I don't have the link, but its part of the kit with the programming tool and required when you lod firmware with just a charger connected

    On the Absorb, the chargers are by definition limiting power available, there is no linking method to try and balance between chargers and no reason to for that matter. To prove its just this, bump up the absorb a few tenths of a volt on the charger and it will then be the one carrying the majority of the absorb charge
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Solar Guppy,
    Thank you for the advice on the Xanbus power. When I get up to the cabin next week, I will find the wallwart and see if it fixes the problem with the second MPPT60 dropping off the bus.
    What you say about the Absorption phase of charging makes sense when I think about it. I wish Schneider tech support would have phrased it like you did. The light bulb went off over my head when I read your paragraph <smacking palm against forehead>.
    I will report back later next week if the wallwart fixes the bus problem.
    Thank you,
    Mike
    ps I owe Xantrex/Schneider an apology. I have been suspicious of Charge Controller 2 for quite a while, and it sounds like it has been working exactly as designed. Sorry!
    You maybe overloading the Xanbus power, the XW chargers don't power the Xanbus, they rely on the power from the inverter. Xantrex has a doc on how power the charger with a walwart, I don't have the link, but its part of the kit with the programming tool and required when you lod firmware with just a charger connected

    On the Absorb, the chargers are by definition limiting power available, there is no linking method to try and balance between chargers and no reason to for that matter. To prove its just this, bump up the absorb a few tenths of a volt on the charger and it will then be the one carrying the majority of the absorb charge
  • markr
    markr Registered Users Posts: 14
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the offer on the XW Config Tool, I'll send you a PM if it comes to that.

    The latest MPPT60 firmware is up on the Schneider web page but getting to it is not intuitive. Go to the top "solar backup and off grid" section then click the charge controller link there. Select the MPPT60 then on the right side pick software/firmware. The latest is 1.05 build 6 like you already have loaded.

    Until I'm legal to sell my only loads are on the inverter output side and typically only a few hundred Watts (unless the furnace and toaster oven are running ;-). I see the same behavior with one of the MPPTs carrying the load and the others idling. Sometimes the idling units show more output power than input power - a temporary exemption from the laws of physics? When I first fired up the charge controllers without the inverter the batteries were low and all 3 MPPT60s were running about the same (overcast day so only 2kW instead of closer to 5.8kW).

    On the bright side I had my rough-in inspection today (I had permission to wire everything up prior to the inspection) and only had a couple of minor items to resolve. I should get to the final next week if all goes well.

    What do you see on the XW Config Tool when the SCP is only showing 1 of your MPPT60s? Does it still see them both?

    Please let us know what happens with the wall wart powering the Xanbus.

    Solar Guppy,

    Thanks for the insight on the Xanbus power supply. It seems like the inverter should be able to power everything but I'll check the voltage to make sure it looks OK.

    Thanks,

    Mark R.
  • markr
    markr Registered Users Posts: 14
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    OK, so on the Xanbus connector I measure 15V across the outside two pins. You can remove the cover on the MPPT60 and carefully measure these outside pins. I'm not willing to measure any other pins for fear of shorting some together and letting the magic smoke escape. Be careful.

    The inverter is supposed to generate 15V at up to 800mA to power the bus. Each Xanbus device uses up to 200mA. In my system the inverter powers 3 MPPT60s and the SCP so my load is 3*200mA + 200mA = 800mA, the max the inverter is rated to supply. When my inverter is off, the SCP does not power up BUT the 3 MPPT60s can still talk among themselves ("copy from" function is available and works).

    Unless the Xanbus in each device is able to disconnect itself my bus voltage is OK. Tomorrow I'll try to reset the MPPT60 that drops off and re-check the voltage when it is listed on the SCP.

    I also wonder about the ground fault protection circuitry. Only one MPPT60 has the grounding fuse in it per the manual. It is the one that does not show up at all. Maybe I'll experiment with moving the fuse to see what happens.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    With the inverter off, during daylight, the CC's all talk correct? There is new SCP firmware that is not on the X site, I can send a copy for you to try?

    Oh yea, you do have the three with different ID's correct?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • markr
    markr Registered Users Posts: 14
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Hi Dave,

    Yes, when I first powered the system (with daylight) I started with the CCs and left the inverter off. The SCP was blank (powered down) but all the CCs came up asking for a device number and the rest of the setup info. I did the first one then copied the data to the other two giving them all different numbers (1, 2 and 3).

    When I powered the inverter and the SCP came on it only saw two of the CCs.

    I went back and unhooked the Xanbus, did a factory default reset on everything including the inverter and SCP then started over with the inverter and SCP on. The results were the same.

    Do you know what the new software is supposed to fix? I guess it won't be a problem on the SCP so if I can get the XW Config Tool (local would be easier than getting Mike's) I'm willing to try. Let's give it a few more days to see if I hear back from Xantrex first.

    Thanks!

    Mark R.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    I will forward your problem when you get back on this, if you want? The second time you powered up should have done it. I would make sure though that 3 chargers show different numbers, make sure your network cables are good and the loop is terminated, Are you able to see different cc's by shifting cables?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60
    markr wrote: »
    Hi Dave,

    Yes, when I first powered the system (with daylight) I started with the CCs and left the inverter off. The SCP was blank (powered down) but all the CCs came up asking for a device number and the rest of the setup info. I did the first one then copied the data to the other two giving them all different numbers (1, 2 and 3).

    When I powered the inverter and the SCP came on it only saw two of the CCs.

    I went back and unhooked the Xanbus, did a factory default reset on everything including the inverter and SCP then started over with the inverter and SCP on. The results were the same.

    Do you know what the new software is supposed to fix? I guess it won't be a problem on the SCP so if I can get the XW Config Tool (local would be easier than getting Mike's) I'm willing to try. Let's give it a few more days to see if I hear back from Xantrex first.

    Thanks!

    Mark R.

    Xantrex doesn't use email for support, you have to call the 800 number if you need technical assistance
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    I missed that, thanks SG ! Definately use a telephone to inititially set-up the support. After that Xantrex will communicate however you wish, most of the time!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • markr
    markr Registered Users Posts: 14
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    OK, now I'm feeling silly. I started with the customer care form on the Schneider web page since I did not see a phone number. I've never gotten any kind of response from the form I filled out. Then I posted here figuring someone might have seen this issue before - it seemed like there must be a simple explanation. I had searched online for the support number but with the transition to Schneider I could not find it posted anywhere. After reading the latest comments about calling for support I started hunting for the number in earnest and found it in the Owner's Guide. I had been all through the books before (many times) but hadn't noticed it. So I call and speak with a very helpful person and I think the problem is solved.

    The network looked like this:
    Terminator - Inverter - MPPT1 - MPPT2 - MPPT3 - SCP - Terminator

    I was asked to try it like this with each MPPT by itself and make sure they all communicated OK:

    Terminator - Inverter - SCP - MPPT1 (then MMPT2 then MPPT3 each by itself)

    This worked fine for all 3 MPPT60s so I added them back until I got this:

    Terminator - Inverter - SCP - MPPT1 - MPPT2 - MPPT3

    Everything is still working after a couple of hours.

    It appears that connecting the SCP at the end of the network is a bad idea. Depending on the number of devices, it might also be a bad idea to put terminators at both ends of the network.

    If the system goes weird again I'll post an update but today's results are looking very promising.

    Hey Mike, please let us know if this fixes your disappearing MPPT60, too.

    Thanks to everyone for your help. I really appreciate it!

    Mark R.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60
    markr wrote: »
    OK, now I'm feeling silly. I started with the customer care form on the Schneider web page since I did not see a phone number. I've never gotten any kind of response from the form I filled out. Then I posted here figuring someone might have seen this issue before - it seemed like there must be a simple explanation. I had searched online for the support number but with the transition to Schneider I could not find it posted anywhere. After reading the latest comments about calling for support I started hunting for the number in earnest and found it in the Owner's Guide. I had been all through the books before (many times) but hadn't noticed it. So I call and speak with a very helpful person and I think the problem is solved.

    The network looked like this:
    Terminator - Inverter - MPPT1 - MPPT2 - MPPT3 - SCP - Terminator

    I was asked to try it like this with each MPPT by itself and make sure they all communicated OK:

    Terminator - Inverter - SCP - MPPT1 (then MMPT2 then MPPT3 each by itself)

    This worked fine for all 3 MPPT60s so I added them back until I got this:

    Terminator - Inverter - SCP - MPPT1 - MPPT2 - MPPT3

    Everything is still working after a couple of hours.

    It appears that connecting the SCP at the end of the network is a bad idea. Depending on the number of devices, it might also be a bad idea to put terminators at both ends of the network.

    If the system goes weird again I'll post an update but today's results are looking very promising.

    Hey Mike, please let us know if this fixes your disappearing MPPT60, too.

    Thanks to everyone for your help. I really appreciate it!

    Mark R.

    Mark, SCP's are almost always at one end of the network! I have had three on my system at times over 125 feet, so I am doubting your conclusion. How long is the run?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • markr
    markr Registered Users Posts: 14
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Hi Dave,

    I started with something like this (total < 20'):

    Terminator - Inverter - 6' - MPPT1 - 2' - MPPT2 - 2' - MPPT3 - 12' - SCP - Terminator

    Xantrex first said there might be too much traffic on the bus causing the second MPPT60 to drop off. I told him the manual said if supported 8 devices and that didn't make any sense.

    Next, he said to try isolating the problem with the SCP in the middle of the network. Testing each MPPT60 by itself was a great idea and showed they all worked OK and got the same system ID.

    He also said that in some cases the resistive termination on both ends might ruduce the signal level too much and by putting the SCP in the middle it would get better signal quality. Additionally, removing one terminator would allow the signal level to increase (what about reflections?) providing better signal quality. It sounded kind of like hand-waving, but it's working now and was not before.

    I agree, it seems a bit odd. Maybe there is something wrong with this specific SCP? They must have shipped enough of these things to work out the bugs but you never know.

    When I get a few minutes this weekend I'll try putting the SCP back at the end with and without the terminator and see what happens then. Right now my day job is really putting a crimp in my PV project ;-)

    Thanks,

    Mark R.
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    You can also try an put the inverter as the middle device in the chain, have two mppt's then terminate from one of the inverters xanbus ports and from the other inverter xanbus connector run one mppt and the scp then terminator. This would lower the voltage drop at a minimum
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Are you getting faults, warnings, or events on the SCP & System log screens? They probably had you check. I would suspect cables and make sure the terminations are 140 ohms. I am wrong on the exact value here but close, both should be the same.

    When was your system shipped? My SCP firmware is 1.03.00 BN3 and it has been changed twice now for the other HV -80 charger I am testing. I have been trying to get them to adapt SG's scroll methodology on the -60 and make the the SCP scroll the system screen, then the 1st charger home screen, 2nd charger home screen, 3rd charger home screen and go back to the system screen and loop to avoid button pushing and automate. It would not hurt if you told your support person something about this... If you set scroll with the above firmware, the -60's will add a new screen called system today and total up your production from all three chargers.

    good luck! it is friday;)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • markr
    markr Registered Users Posts: 14
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Hi Dave and Solar Guppy,

    I didn't have much time to experiment inside since I was trying to fill in my trench before the snow started (mostly complete).

    If I go back to my original network layout:

    Terminator1 - Inverter - 6' - MPPT1 - 2' - MPPT2 - 2' - MPPT3 - 12' - SCP - Terminator2

    It works without Terminator2. As soon as I plug in Terminator2 the middle MPPT60 drops off the SCP display. As soon as I unplug it, it comes back.

    Terminator 1&2 both read 120 ohms. I looked at faults and warnings but nothing really seemed related to the communication problem (some AC low warnings, probably when I switched off the grid during setup and some other generic command executed things and a couple of new device found items). Xantrex did not ask me to check them.

    The SCP firmware is 1.02 BN 6. Some of your new features sound pretty handy. I'll ask Jeff at Xantrex about any newer versions and the release notes.

    Longer term, I'm thinking about getting the Apox CAN-USB interface and logging software from Dan Lenox. It sounds like the XW Config Tool will work with this interface so then I can run the updates.

    I attached a couple of photos. The new PV arrays are the ones further up the hill (no, I have no idea what I was thinking).

    Thanks,

    Mark R.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Mark,

    It certainly will not hurt anything so leave it off for now. Nice pictures! Really nice!
    It looks like you have an excellent blend of tracked and fixed! Smart guy!!!

    If your CC's are firmware 5 build number 6 you already have the bulk of the the firmware you just need to enable the scroll mode in the CC manual. This will make your life much easier. I have about 12 of these XW systems running this way and everyone sends me a Christmas card!

    You may be right and the SCP has a problem. I would buy another one and send that one back. If you were closer I would lend you one. I do have a sister up in Fort Collins... The Dan Lennox idea is great, but a little more work that spending what Xantrex sells. Hope you are up for it! I know most of my clients would have trouble with it. Have you asked X to lend you one. If your gear is new they often will give a config tool just to keep you happy.

    We have snow coming also! Stay warm!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    By removing the terminator, your reducing the load on the +12 and since the SCP is at the end of 22 feet of 24 or smaller gauge wire I suspect that's the real issue

    Its not unheard of to hear cheap Cat5 wires that use undersized wires to save costs, which would causes issues just like this

    The Xanbus is only running at 1.5mbs and is differential, I don't think I have ever bothered using the terminators and honestly think it makes more problems with powering remote devices than it helps with signal reflections
  • markr
    markr Registered Users Posts: 14
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Hi Dave,

    You're only saying it looks good because I didn't share any photos with the covers off ;-) Making all the 4 AWG and 2 AWG from the arrays behave is a challenge. The ladies who built boards and wiring harnesses where I worked in high school would probably take me out to the wood shed. After getting the initial system running I figured out that having part of an array tracked and part fixed was not the best plan. As part of the upgrade I also got another tracker so all the original 1.8kW (lower on the hill) can track together. That will be a project for a warmer day.

    I called Xantrex (Schneider) back and found out I had talked to someone that normally supports the RV products from Xantrex. The new guy asked me to replace all my Xanbus cables with store-bought cables instead of home-made (although I've made a lot of them and am running gigabit Ethernet on them without problems). He also said if the cables are too short it might cause problems. I made some nice 18" cables since the MPPT60s are close together so using a standard cable will address that, too. Finally, he suggested trying different terminators since I have 4 of them and only need two. I'll do all this when I have a few minutes and report back.

    On the XW Config Tool, they will rent it for $40. I'm still interested in Dan's stuff and based on his FAQ I can get the Apox CAN-USB interface and use it with the XW Config Tool software (unless it requires a license). The $40 rental is a good chunk of the $125 for the Apox adapter and eventually I'd like some monitoring to put up on the web anyway. I can try Dan's free version and see how it works and go from there. I'm willing to put some effort into it. The weather station and webcam haven't beaten me (but setting up BackupPC on a Linux box came really close ;-) Have you tried Dan's program?

    Hi Solar Guppy,

    I checked and all the cat 5 cables (home-made, from Xantrex and other purchased cables) are marked as 24 AWG. I could certainly have a bad crimp so I'll try the exercise above and see what happens. Then I'll really feel silly.

    Thanks,

    Mark R.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,500 admin
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60
    markr wrote: »
    The new guy asked me to replace all my Xanbus cables with store-bought cables instead of home-made (although I've made a lot of them and am running gigabit Ethernet on them without problems). He also said if the cables are too short it might cause problems. I made some nice 18" cables since the MPPT60s are close together so using a standard cable will address that, too.
    The using too short of cables can actually be a good call by Xantrex...

    If you have it--Try using 4-8 foot (or even longer) cables as the shortest run between controllers...

    What happens with the short cables is that with multi-drop connections (as opposed to the point to point Ethernet connections and even just placing two controllers 18" apart) is that the capacitance of each controller causes a small impedance mismatch as the 1.5 mbit signal propagates down the cable.

    Usually this is not a big problem--except when you put two or three controllers 18" apart and have another controller 5+ feet away.

    The signal from the far controller gets sent down that nice 100 Ohm cable and hits those two or three controllers 18" apart--they "load down" the line with their own local capacitance... Perhaps down to 50 ohms or less (made up number) depending on the design of the controller interface instead of, perhaps a 10-15 ohm mismatch from a single controller... This cause a "reflection at the mismatch--something like 1/2 the energy continues forward and the other 1/2 is reflected back to the source.

    With the old early 1990's 10Base-5 multi-drop Ethernet coax cable (big 75 ohm or so cable)--there where marks on the cable every X feet (something like 4-8 feet) and we could not put taps closer than every X feet for good signal quality. (thank you for the Internet--2.5 meters or about every 8').

    When Ethernet went point to point (one source, one destination), it make networking wiring much easier (and cheaper).

    I don't know if adding 4-8' of cable between each controller will fix the problem--but it is certainly worth trying. (As a young engineer, I had my first and only big design mistake because of short distances on a SCSI disk back-plane I designed--I had to redesign it with as long as signal traces between connectors as I could because of the reflection/impedance mismatch problem).

    -Bill

    PS: It is possible that one open wire in a twisted differential pair will work sort of OK but fail under heavy traffic or in "difficult" configurations.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Interesting Bill. Now I know why the cables X packages with the systems are always too long. I'll save the joke about young engineers for later;)

    Marc I have tried Dan's program and I really am not a charts and graphs type. I do too much of that at my other job! Nothing wrong with what he does or anyone else. All I want for my customers is to know the time they went to float each day, the KWH produced, a log of that, the input from the array, output from the CC or CC's. I really do not use shunts for KWH consumed because I size the system in a way that I do not need that data and can infer from the data already there. Nice, easy, and reliable.

    If you need cables, look at monoprice.com. They still have your scuzzi cables Bill...
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60
    markr wrote: »
    ......
    On the XW Config Tool, they will rent it for $40. I'm still interested in Dan's stuff and based on his FAQ I can get the Apox CAN-USB interface and use it with the XW Config Tool software (unless it requires a license). The $40 rental is a good chunk of the $125 for the Apox adapter and eventually I'd like some monitoring to put up on the web anyway. I can try Dan's free version and see how it works and go from there. I'm willing to put some effort into it. The weather station and webcam haven't beaten me (but setting up BackupPC on a Linux box came really close ;-) Have you tried Dan's program?..........


    Dan ? FAQ? Apox CAN-USB interface? I'm missing something here.
    I'll be unpacking my SCP next month and connecting it up (single XW6048, Gateway, ( a MS TS MPPT 60 does my charging) )

    I'll keep the cable lengths in mind, and bring a few spares along. A way to monitor/log the XW would be nice.
    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 ,

  • markr
    markr Registered Users Posts: 14
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Hi Bill,

    Your comments on the Ethernet make sense - I had forgotten all about the markings on the cable and the reason for them (but I remember the thick net cable with those cool (NOT) vampire taps). I'll try the longer cables and see what happens.

    Hi Dave,

    How do you get the float time and kWh out of the XW system so you can see it? Or do your customers just look at the SCP for that data when they are interested?

    Hi Mike90045,

    We're a bit off topic here, but ... Dan is Dan Lenox. He deciphered the Xanbus protocol and wrote some software to read the data and plot it (Google for 'powerdashboard'). In order to access the data you need to jump on the Xanbus. It's a modified version of the CAN bus used on factory floors and other places. The electrical part and some of the protocol (I think) is the same. Mostly the protocol is different. One way to access it is the Xantrex XW Config Tool for around $400. This includes an interface from Xanbus to your PC and the software. This is used to perform any firmware updates on XW devices. You can get the User's Guide at the Schneider web page.

    Alternatively, you can get a CAN-USB adapter made by Apox. Dan sells these and the RJ-45 adapter to connect it to the Xanbus. His FAQ page says that the Xantrex software will talk to the Apox CAN-USB adapter so if the Xantrex software does not need a license (you can download it from their web page) it is a lower cost option that enables more logging with Dan's software.

    Thanks,

    Mark R.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Mark,

    As I said, enable scroll mode! It will be displayed on the CC. There are no buttons to push. It is as they say, "when in doubt, read the manual".

    I am trying to get this same feature put on the SCP and if anyone wants to phone them they might listen. As it is now you can manually go to system screen and then each chargers home screen. The data is there but I need this automated so spouses, and non nerd/geeks can just read it to me on the phone.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • markr
    markr Registered Users Posts: 14
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Hi Dave,

    I saw the scroll option in the CC manual (definitely spent some time in there). I'd like to get the data uploaded to my web page along with the weather data and webcam.

    So far the only options I've found for external data access are the XW Config Tool and Power Dashboard. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing some other way to make that happen.

    Thanks,

    Mark R.
  • markr
    markr Registered Users Posts: 14
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Hi Again,

    Yesterday was the day of Xanbus cable experiments. All purchased cables, all about 6' long.

    In this layout no matter which MPPT60 is in the middle it goes away with both ends terminated:

    Terminator1 - Inverter - 6' - MPPT1 - 6' - MPPT2 - 6' - MPPT3 - 6' - SCP - Terminator2

    With Terminator2 MPPT2 goes away, all OK with only Terminator1

    Then again with the SCP at the other end the result is the same:

    Terminator1 - SCP - 6' - Inverter - 6' - MPPT1 - 6' - MPPT2 - 6' - MPPT3 - Terminator2

    With Terminator2 MPPT2 goes away, all OK with only Terminator1

    I also tried different terminators at both ends with the same results.

    It works fine with only 1 terminator so maybe I should just drop it but the manual says use two terminators so something seems wrong.

    I'll call Schneider again and see what they say now.

    Thanks,

    Mark R.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,500 admin
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    Look at the sockets on the equipment. Make sure there are no bent/broken pins (RJ stuff is usually pretty rugged). I have seen problems when somebody plugs a 4 wire RJ cable into a 6 wire receptacle which damages the outer two pins...

    If you had an oscilloscope, it would be helpful to look at the signal quality... See if there is a bad signal path somewhere. These networking problems can be difficult to debug without one.

    I would not rule out a hardware problem at this point...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Options
    Re: Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    I am glad it is working with three MPPTs one way or the other. I was researching to see if my proposed system with three XW 6048, three XW MPPT-60, one SCP, and one XW AGS would communicate on the Xanbus. I have seen on another forum the picture of an install with two XW 6048 and four XW MPPTs; not sure if they were Xanbus linked though.

    What gave me jitters was the statement "The network can consist of up to three
    XW Hybrid Inverter/Chargers, two XW SCCs, one XW-AGS, and one SCP. When only XW SCCs are installed, up to 10 units can be networked together." in 'XW Solar Charge Controller, March 2009 Revision B'.

    I am glad it is working for you with one XW 6048 and three MPPTs; not sure if your method would work with three XW 6048 and three MPPTs.