New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

Les NagyLes Nagy Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭
I have been suffering for quite a while with a problem of getting my XW4548 to qualify my generator when it was needed. Most of the time loading the generator with my microwave oven would get it qualified and the inverter would switch over.

I called Schneider (they have taken over Xantrex) and got a new firmware emailed to me that does not exist on their web page. Apparently there are many new firmwares available but not on the web page. This new firmware loosened up the qualifications requirements for AC input quality and I now have no need to start my microwave in order to get the generator online.

So if you have been looking for new firmware and gave up, don't! It probably exists but you need to contact Schneider for the update. (1 866 519 1470)

Hopefully they get things updated soon online.
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Comments

  • Les NagyLes Nagy Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    I should mention some of the highlights for the firmware updates. (copied from the firmware update notes)

    2. Adjusted the A.I. bounds such that they are less aggressive. This was done to
    address customer complaints about how our equipment would not connect to
    poorly regulated utilities (which is often the case in the back up market).

    4. Implemented AC coupling which is defined as:
    • In invert mode.
    • But power (more than 300W) flows into to the battery.
    • During AC coupling, current is displayed and the charge LED flashes.

    5. AC output voltage and operating frequency (50Hz or 60Hz) are now
    configurable via Xantrex XWConfig and Xantrex XWConfigPro.

    12. Added the configurable AC output voltage feature which allows the user to set
    the AC output level:
    • NA model range: 105-130V.
    • EU model range: 205V-255V.
    • The new configuration is saved after power off.

    13. Widened the battery temperature compensation range to 0-50°C.

    14. The minimum AC qualify time (a.k.a. AC Transfer Switch Delay), the period
    during which the AC voltage needs to stay stable to be qualified, on both AC1
    & AC2 is now adjustable(10s-655s) via Xantrex Xanbus PGN AcXferSwCfg.


    These things are important to me and my off grid installation. I now do not need to apply a load to my generator before it gets qualified and connected. The thing is though I am not sure I quite understand the AC coupling description. Can anyone elaborate?

    This is also the first time I have seen mention of XWConfig Pro software. Anyone have use this?
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    My experience has been it is almost always the generator that is causing these problems or very old firmware (3+years) in the XW. How old is your XW Les?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    They have a tech note that explains their AC coupling idea: http://www.global-download.schneider-electric.com/852577A4005D7372/all/8FA29D94B918A0FB8525781F0072FCA7/$File/ac-coupling-app-note(976-0240-01-01_rev-a).pdf

    First link if you go to tech notes, in case the URL above expires.
  • Les NagyLes Nagy Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    My XW is just one year old and had the latest firmware available online. With the new firmware it is much happier connecting to the less than pure sine wave output coming from my generator. My generator does is not an inverter output type and the output waveform can change considerable depending on the load. I have looked with my oscilliscope and it isn't very pretty!

    With the old firmware I would need to start my generator, switch to direct bypass, start my microwave and wait for the inverter to go into AC2 bypass, stop the microwave, and then switch the house back to the inverter.

    With the new firmware all I need to do is start the generator and wait for a bit and the inverter goes into bypass without the song and dance.
  • Les NagyLes Nagy Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    Here is the content page from the release notes so everyone can check to see if the have the latest:

    865-1000 (Xantrex XW6048-NA) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2
    865-1000.01_03_00.BN0012 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -2
    865-1000.01_05_00.BN0011 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -2
    865-1000.01_07_00.BN0003 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -4
    865-1005 (Xantrex XW4548-NA) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5
    865-1005.01_04_00.BN0015 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -5
    865-1005.01_07_00.BN0003 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -6
    865-1010 (Xantrex XW4024-NA) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 8
    865-1010.01_04_00.BN0002 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -8
    865-1010.01_07_00.BN0003 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -9
    865-1035 (Xantrex XW6048-EU)- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 11
    865-1035.01_07_00.BN0005 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 11
    865-1040 (Xantrex XW4548-EU)- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 14
    865-1040.01_07_00.BN0006 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 14
    865-1045 (Xantrex XW4024-EU)- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 16
    865-1045.01_07_00.BN0005 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 16
    865-1030 (Xantrex XW MPPT Charge Controller) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 20
    865-1030.01_05_00.BN0006 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 20
  • RegGuheertRegGuheert Solar Expert Posts: 102 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    Thanks for the information, Les! Can you please tell me how to obtain the new firmware?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,497 admin
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    For now, this appears to be the correct way to get the updates:
    Les Nagy wrote: »
    So if you have been looking for new firmware and gave up, don't! It probably exists but you need to contact Schneider for the update. (1 866 519 1470)

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Les NagyLes Nagy Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website
    stephendv wrote: »
    They have a tech note that explains their AC coupling idea: http://www.global-download.schneider-electric.com/852577A4005D7372/all/8FA29D94B918A0FB8525781F0072FCA7/$File/ac-coupling-app-note(976-0240-01-01_rev-a).pdf

    First link if you go to tech notes, in case the URL above expires.


    Thanks for the pointer. Now that I read it I can see that this feature isn't much use to my particular situation.
  • RegGuheertRegGuheert Solar Expert Posts: 102 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    Thanks, Bill! I missed that!

    What information is Schneider going to request when I call so that I can have it ready? (The inverter is on the job site, so if I need part numbers or serial numbers, I will need to get them first.) TIA!
  • Les NagyLes Nagy Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website
    RegGuheert wrote: »
    Thanks, Bill! I missed that!

    What information is Schneider going to request when I call so that I can have it ready? (The inverter is on the job site, so if I need part numbers or serial numbers, I will need to get them first.) TIA!

    They will want the model number of the equipment. They might also ask for the current firmware. The firmware revision you have can be found using a System Control Panel (SCP). In the System Status menu press Enter, select System Settings and press Enter, scroll down and find View Device Info and press Enter. You can scroll through the devices using the arrow keys.
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,280 ✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website
    Les Nagy wrote: »
    They will want the model number of the equipment. They might also ask for the current firmware. The firmware revision you have can be found using a System Control Panel (SCP). In the System Status menu press Enter, select System Settings and press Enter, scroll down and find View Device Info and press Enter. You can scroll through the devices using the arrow keys.

    Just aside, Les, were you using AC1 or AC2 input for your generator input?
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website
    BB. wrote: »
    For now, this appears to be the correct way to get the updates:



    -Bill

    Bill,

    The telephone has always been the best way for them in my experience. They just want it that way and have since they were Trace.

    Les,
    I would be careful with your loads when using the generator. If it looks bad to you on a scope. Generators are the biggest cause of appliance failure offgrid.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Les NagyLes Nagy Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website
    RCinFLA wrote: »
    Just aside, Les, were you using AC1 or AC2 input for your generator input?

    I was using AC2, as is normal for a generator.
  • Les NagyLes Nagy Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    Les,
    I would be careful with your loads when using the generator. If it looks bad to you on a scope. Generators are the biggest cause of appliance failure offgrid.

    Thanks for the advice. Fortunately my only sensitive loads for clean power that I have would be the fridge, but I unplug it during generator use. All my other loads that are in use during generator time use switching power supplies.

    This has been the first time in 5 months that I have needed the generator since getting proper batteries. It has been two weeks here with broken cloud and a few days like yesterday with total overcast all day. I was getting too far into a deficit charge situation with the batteries and they needed a full charge.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website
    Les Nagy wrote: »
    Thanks for the advice. Fortunately my only sensitive loads for clean power that I have would be the fridge, but I unplug it during generator use. All my other loads that are in use during generator time use switching power supplies.

    This has been the first time in 5 months that I have needed the generator since getting proper batteries. It has been two weeks here with broken cloud and a few days like yesterday with total overcast all day. I was getting too far into a deficit charge situation with the batteries and they needed a full charge.

    Nice ! You obviously have been well advised or know your stuff! You know this but make sure your generator charge rate is less than 10% of your battery capacity in dc amps. That is the other common way people get in trouble offgrid. All this talk of high charge rates is great while the warranty is around. Offgrid there seldom is warranty in the places we go!

    The sun is a natural slow charge and the steel genoa is a battery killer!

    Beautiful country! Enjoy!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Les NagyLes Nagy Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website
    Nice ! You obviously have been well advised or know your stuff! You know this but make sure your generator charge rate is less than 10% of your battery capacity in dc amps. That is the other common way people get in trouble offgrid. All this talk of high charge rates is great while the warranty is around. Offgrid there seldom is warranty in the places we go!

    The sun is a natural slow charge and the steel genoa is a battery killer!

    Beautiful country! Enjoy!

    I do know a bit about a lot of things, but maybe not everything! For example, I am not sure why you are recommending what you are in regards to using the generator. It just so happens my 750AH AGM bank only gets around 30amps DC from the XW when the inverter is running. This is definitely less that 10%. The thing is it was my understanding that AGMs can take whatever you give them during bulk rate.

    Please expand on your statement. But perhaps another thread would be more appropriate as this has nothing to do with firmware for the XW equipment.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    les nagy,
    just for info, 30a to a 750ah battery bank is a low 4% rate of charge and is under the normal range advised. only good consolation is the agms don't need to mix up the electrolyte fla types require. there is an obvious higher percentage with the inverter off, but how often is the inverter off? at 4% this is a 100/4=25hr rate and even if one gets 5hrs of full sun per day it would take 5 days to reach full charge.

    in regards to this,
    "AGMs can take whatever you give them during bulk rate"
    this is not quite true and will vary per manufacturer. we still recommend the 5-13% charge rate range for them, but most agms can take a higher charge rate than the recommended range. this does not mean what the bulk charge rate is is not important and, even though concorde agms can take several times their ah rating, i would not recommend doing so. plus, that high of a charge rate does not apply to other manufacturers unless they specify it.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    The firmware is an upgrade for you right? You can use your generator! Nice!

    But is it really an upgrade? I assume they loossened the frequency specs as the last firmware had pretty wide voltage specs if you widened them on the SCP.
    The point here is they probably are increasing the chance that poor quality AC is going out to your loads.

    Batteries like slow charges and slow discharges if you want them to last way beyond the warranty. One of the reasons that many of my customers get 15 years or more, and cycle everyday, is they use solar and avoid generators or do not use them at all! A guy who sells batteries does not have to worry what happens after the warranty is gone.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Les NagyLes Nagy Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    neil:

    Thanks for the reminders. And thanks for all the help people offer here. I have learned a lot by reading these forums.

    As for my low current input to the batteries, I don't think it is a problem in my particular use. As you said, they are AGMs and do not require the same stirring effect and it was my understanding that AGMs didn't really have this minimum charge current requirement at all. Am I mistaken?

    My energy use per pay is usual well below 20% of the batteries' capacity. So every day with the normal amount of sunshine I get here the batteries hit the end of bulk rate by noon, spend another 1 hour to 1-1/2 hours in absorption and then float the rest of the day. I can easily dump 50amps into them with my solar and generator in tandem. I will of course do that should the batteries get low in charge (below 70%). When I said I was getting into a deficit charge state, the batteries actually had around 75% capacity left. I just wanted to keep them as well charged as I am able to.

    As for AGMs being able to take anything you can throw at them, I was overstating the case. My context was that in practical terms they can take anything you can throw at them in an off grid situation, unless you have a monster generator. Concorde's AGMs will take up to 4x their 20h for bulk charge rate. If I had those batteries I would need 3000Ah from my recharging source to hit that mark. Not likely that an off grid person would have that kind of power for recharging. My batteries, Universal Battery (UPGI) have a rated maximum charge rate 87.5Ah for one 250Ah battery. I have a 3x4 battery setup (edit, oops, said 4x4) so my maximum charge rate would be 263Ah (edit, oops, wrong value was 350Ah). I can't get anywhere near this with my setup so literally my batteries can take anything I can give them. So yes my statement was not correct and could mislead someone into thinking they can plug an AGM into the wall and watch it charge, but for almost any practical installation for off grid I believe that my statement was correct. Perhaps someone does have the charging capacity to hit more than 35% of their batteries' 20H rate, maybe even the 3000Ah Concordes could take in my configuration, in which case I apologize for the generalization and broad statement.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website
    Les Nagy wrote: »
    neil:

    As for my low current input to the batteries, I don't think it is a problem in my particular use. As you said, they are AGMs and do not require the same stirring effect and it was my understanding that AGMs didn't really have this minimum charge current requirement at all. Am I mistaken?

    you are mistaken as too low of a charge will just cover self discharge losses and charging losses. this may be lower for an agm, but are still very much there so there is a minimum break-even point. 4% is not terrible when talking of agms and with the ability to bring it up to a good soc quickly by you is a plus so you won't have too many problems should the soc go too low and inclimate weather be present also.

    in a nutshell, you should be fine with what charge rates are present with your ability to bring it up further and faster if need be, but to say there isn't a bottom end to charging an agm is false. it will handle lower charge rates better than an fla, but it is still a lead acid battery in any case, just to keep things in perspective. most really don't want to charge at a low rate anyway because of the long time periods it takes to charge up a battery and could also lead into deficit charging and sulfation.
  • Les NagyLes Nagy Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    Thanks for the clarification. I forgot to account for internal factors of the batteries themselves. Fortunately AGMs have a very low self discharge and a very high charge efficiency so that is one factor that lowers their charge rate needs quite a bit.
  • RegGuheertRegGuheert Solar Expert Posts: 102 ✭✭✭✭
    Please help me determine if I am current!
    Les Nagy wrote: »
    Here is the content page from the release notes so everyone can check to see if the have the latest:

    865-1000 (Xantrex XW6048-NA) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2
    865-1000.01_03_00.BN0012 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -2
    865-1000.01_05_00.BN0011 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -2
    865-1000.01_07_00.BN0003 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -4
    865-1005 (Xantrex XW4548-NA) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5
    ...
    Thanks again for providing this! I finally got powered up over the weekend. Here is what I see for firmware:

    XW6048 00
    Model #865-1000
    Serial #00001462CC93
    Firmware Rev. 1.05.00 BN 11

    I am a little unclear whether this means the firmware is current or out of date based on the chart you provided. Do I need to update to 865-1000.01_07_00.BN0003 or am I current with what I have in place?

    TIA for any explanations here,

    Reg
  • RegGuheertRegGuheert Solar Expert Posts: 102 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    Bump. Does anyone know the answer here, or should I just call Schneider? TIA!
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    You could just read the previous posts and make your mind up for yourself!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • RegGuheertRegGuheert Solar Expert Posts: 102 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    No, I cannot. There is not enough information in this thread.

    Let me reword the question to be more clear:

    This system has the following information displayed:

    XW6048 00
    Model #865-1000
    Serial #00001462CC93
    Firmware Rev. 1.05.00 BN 11

    Is the revision "865-1000.01_07_00.BN0003" a newer version of the firmware for this inverter or is it firmware for a different inverter (like for later serial numbers)?
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,280 ✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website
    RegGuheert wrote: »
    No, I cannot. There is not enough information in this thread.

    Let me reword the question to be more clear:

    This system has the following information displayed:

    XW6048 00
    Model #865-1000
    Serial #00001462CC93
    Firmware Rev. 1.05.00 BN 11

    Is the revision "865-1000.01_07_00.BN0003" a newer version of the firmware for this inverter or is it firmware for a different inverter (like for later serial numbers)?

    "865-1000." 01_07_00. BN0003

    I'd say 1.07 is newer then 1.05, but 1.05 contains GT AC coupling capability.
  • RegGuheertRegGuheert Solar Expert Posts: 102 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    Thanks, RCinFLA! I will contact Schneider and see if I can get the newer firmware.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website

    The reason I asked you read the thread is Xantrex often releases firmware for various issues and does not really want you playing around with firmware unless you have that issue. I have had them write firmware for specific customer issues.
    The OP in this thread was using a generator that many people could have problems with unless they were informed like he was of the downside of using an out of spec generator.

    The revision also has a build number associated with it! If your system is performing well, I would only use the firmware that is on the Schneider site or telephone for advice.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • RegGuheertRegGuheert Solar Expert Posts: 102 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website
    The reason I asked you read the thread is Xantrex often releases firmware for various issues and does not really want you playing around with firmware unless you have that issue. I have had them write firmware for specific customer issues.
    The OP in this thread was using a generator that many people could have problems with unless they were informed like he was of the downside of using an out of spec generator.

    The revision also has a build number associated with it! If your system is performing well, I would only use the firmware that is on the Schneider site or telephone for advice.
    Fair enough. Still, how can I know if the firmware will impact my installation if I do not have release notes that tell what is fixed.? I assume new firmware fixes many, many issues, not just a single one.

    So far, this unit has performed flawlessly, but I have not put it through its paces, yet. We have barely just turned it on. If there are potential issues when I get around to hooking up the backup generator or going to very high load levels, then I would prefer to have the most current firmware in hand when I tackle that part. I prefer to take a proactive approach instead of a reactive one.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: New firmware available for Schneider/Xantrex, but not on website
    RegGuheert wrote: »
    Fair enough. Still, how can I know if the firmware will impact my installation if I do not have release notes that tell what is fixed.? I assume new firmware fixes many, many issues, not just a single one.

    So far, this unit has performed flawlessly, but I have not put it through its paces, yet. We have barely just turned it on. If there are potential issues when I get around to hooking up the backup generator or going to very high load levels, then I would prefer to have the most current firmware in hand when I tackle that part. I prefer to take a proactive approach instead of a reactive one.

    This now a mature product so there should be little advantage to doing any firmware upgrade unless you have a reason. If it is not broke you still have the chance to break it. It is one of the reasons that X did not want to make firmware upgrades too easy to do! BTW, I agree with them if you can't tell! Good Luck!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

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