Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

keyturbocarskeyturbocars Solar Expert Posts: 375 ✭✭
Hello,

For those of you that have experience with the Xantrex XW6048 inverter...

What has been the reliability of the XW6048?

How long has it been in operation, and have there been any problems or issues with it?

Thanks,

Edward
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Comments

  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    I have never heard of a single XW-6048 failure and my unit has been up for 4+ years without a single hickup
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,212 admin
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    And they work well provide you follow the guidelines/rules of thumb for building out your system.

    One common "complaint" here seems to revolve around a large solar array and smallish battery bank with grid tied operation. It appears that one or two people had problems with the battery bank voltage going too high for short periods of time.

    The minimum recommendation here (based on Solar Guppy's experience--not trying to put words into his mouth--I just type more :roll:;)) is a minimum of a a 600 AH battery bank @ 48 volts for a 6kW array/inverter maximum continuous load. That is higher than what the manual recommends (as I recall).

    Xantrex/Schneider also appears to have specialized firmware for their XW units that address other issues... For example (from what I understand) generators that don't have accurate frequency control, ability to AC Couple / Back Drive a second GT inverter back into the XW Hybrid inverter to charge the battery bank/share loads when off-grid mode, possibly one that allows the use of a 120 VAC genset instead of a 240 VAC generator for AC2 input, etc....

    It is not well documented online--you will have to contact your installer/Schneider for further information.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • keyturbocarskeyturbocars Solar Expert Posts: 375 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    Thanks for the feedback guys.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    Number 12 is doing fine as are the others. As Bill said there are issues with utility power during set-up as well as generators that operate out of spec. All I do is offgrid and so I really do not have any issues. I try to inform that solar is the only way in a location that supports it! All of the firmware has been done now for 2 years offgrid.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,462 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    XW 6048, approaching the 1 year mark. I've not bothered to hook up the SCP that I bought for it. Running fine & no complaints.

    Mike
    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 ,

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    Mike,
    Maybe the reason you were using a bit more than normal watering is that you are using the defaults when using generator power? The SCP allows you to tweek that roger? Spring is coming, finally this week!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,462 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    @ Dave - I don't have genset wired in yet - it was 3 gallons in 2 months into 8, L-16's , plates were still underwater


    XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 400A battery bank | 15, Evergreen ESA 205 fa3 "12V" PV

    Haven't fired up the genset, system is on autopilot with the MS controller., loads in winter are light, so the system has been staying pretty well.
    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 ,

  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,124 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    WOW, Mike, thats a lotta water !

    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.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    I am guessing now that maybe this is happening because of the long commute, for now?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • tallgirltallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    They work well as long as they aren't hooked up with much of anything else. For simple configurations, sure -- but start connecting multiple XWs and SCCs together and expect problems.

    Which is to say the Xanbus is horrible.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 1,003 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability
    tallgirl wrote: »
    They work well as long as they aren't hooked up with much of anything else. For simple configurations, sure -- but start connecting multiple XWs and SCCs together and expect problems.

    Which is to say the Xanbus is horrible.


    Julie, I'm curious why you think Xanbus is so bad ? I haven't hooked up to it but looking at the documentation, I'm not sure what's wrong with it.

    Are they missing some needed commands maybe ?

    boB
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,212 admin
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    There has been at least one thread here about, apparently, unreliable communications with multiple devices on one Xanbus.

    Config help with Xantrex SCP and 3 XW-MPPT60

    I am not sure there was ever a definitive answer.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    Works well for me and my 12 XW systems. There were very few problems on the Xantrex forum before they pulled the plug. I think it is an RTFM problem in most cases. Iif you look at the number of systems, the problems are in the noise floor.

    I sure would give a much more serious look at Midnite if they built a Xanbus interface for their cc's.;)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • tallgirltallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability
    boB wrote: »
    Julie, I'm curious why you think Xanbus is so bad ? I haven't hooked up to it but looking at the documentation, I'm not sure what's wrong with it.

    Are they missing some needed commands maybe ?

    boB

    My understanding is that Xantrex doesn't want =anyone= other than themselves on the Xanbus, so I have to use the SSC to get status. Which is fine by me -- I really couldn't care less what I talk to get data.

    An "unconfirmed source" (take that for what it's worth) has indicated that more than 3 or 4 devices on a Xanbus will cause it to have issues. That matches my experience and observations.
  • tallgirltallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability
    Works well for me and my 12 XW systems. There were very few problems on the Xantrex forum before they pulled the plug. I think it is an RTFM problem in most cases. Iif you look at the number of systems, the problems are in the noise floor.

    I've probably worked with more than 12 installers who have installed at least 1 XW and the opinions are running mostly negative when it comes to the Xanbus. One of my clients who used to love up on Xantrex gear recently told me they aren't installing any more, with a fair bit of that being the Xanbus.

    Bug reporting is a self-selecting kind of thing. Some people get fed up and (a) live with it, (b) work around it, (c) use something else. All three of those behaviors cause bugs reported to go down. Enough of (c) and the company winds up being sold to someone else ...
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 1,003 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability
    tallgirl wrote: »
    My understanding is that Xantrex doesn't want =anyone= other than themselves on the Xanbus, so I have to use the SSC to get status. Which is fine by me -- I really couldn't care less what I talk to get data.

    An "unconfirmed source" (take that for what it's worth) has indicated that more than 3 or 4 devices on a Xanbus will cause it to have issues. That matches my experience and observations.

    OK. Yes, I had heard that XanSchneider did not want anyone to transmit on their bus but to only receive... I don't care for that restriction either.

    As for the hardware side, RS-485 does have to be implemented properly, (terminations and all that), for it to work well.... Multi-drop or not. I worked with RS-485 comm. quite a bit at my last job and I saw where it can have problems if not real careful.

    boB
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    To be fair, there were many systems on the X forum that pushed the limit of 10 devices. I personnally have never run more than 6. They were 2 SCP's, 3 CC's and an XW inv/chg.

    I guess a lawyer could always make it difficult, but what would stop someone from producing for sale a xanbus interface or just a whole display network that could run a Morningstar or Midnite device?

    Until someone builds a better inverter/charger for my deep well pump customers,
    I am always interested in a better graphics display for the XW. Bigger and better!
    I was told there is something in the works by James Goodnite.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Joe_BJoe_B Solar Expert Posts: 318 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability
    I was told there is something in the works by James Goodnite.

    I gave up on X tech support, they always have something in the works but it never seems to get released. SSDD
  • tallgirltallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability
    To be fair, there were many systems on the X forum that pushed the limit of 10 devices. I personnally have never run more than 6. They were 2 SCP's, 3 CC's and an XW inv/chg.

    I guess a lawyer could always make it difficult, but what would stop someone from producing for sale a xanbus interface or just a whole display network that could run a Morningstar or Midnite device?

    Until someone builds a better inverter/charger for my deep well pump customers,
    I am always interested in a better graphics display for the XW. Bigger and better!
    I was told there is something in the works by James Goodnite.

    I don't know what Crewzer is up to, but the only thing keeping me from having a better interface for Xantrex gear is access to it. That and a working Xanbus ...

    I'm already able to do a fair amount of work with Morningstar, and I'm just waiting on boB or a distributor of mine in Anchorage to get me access to a Classic. The Classic is currently #1 in the "devices to add" queue. boB?
  • tallgirltallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability
    Joe_B wrote: »
    I gave up on X tech support, they always have something in the works but it never seems to get released. SSDD

    I could care less about future products. What I'd like to have been able to get from Xantrex support is support.

    OutBack products aren't as bleeding edge as some of the kit on the market, but their support is #1, #2 and #3. Which is how good I think their support is. And I get that whether or not I introduce myself at the start of the call, so I don't think it's them playing favorites.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,212 admin
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    Hmmm... Tech Nerd Guys getting phone call from cute woman. (i will go back to my cave now).

    -Bill :blush:
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • tallgirltallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability
    BB. wrote: »
    Hmmm... Tech Nerd Guys getting phone call from cute woman. (i will go back to my cave now).

    -Bill :blush:

    Unless the women at OutBack are all lesbians (hmmm ...), I doubt that it can easily be explained by "Tech Nerd Guys".

    Besides, there is the flip side of lonely "Tech Nerd Guys" -- "No Gurls Aloud", which is also spelled "Don't trouble your pretty little head about that."

    When I've worked with OutBack my impression has been that they not only want my business, but also that they value my feedback. Pretty close to the same with Morningstar, less so with MidNite, about the same with SMA, not at all so with Xantrex. The only company, in almost four years of renewable energy stuff, that has had worse customer service than Xantrex is the people who make the TED 5000.

    The problem with Morningstar is that their largest inverter is all of 300 watts. If they had inverters in the 1000 watt range I'd feel better about their gear for some applications, but Xantrex? No. I'd rather go with a pair of VFX 3648 and a X240 transformer than an XW 6048.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,462 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    So are there any actual broken XW6048's or is it all interface (vendor & software) and undersize battery bank issues ?
    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 ,

  • tallgirltallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability
    mike90045 wrote: »
    So are there any actual broken XW6048's or is it all interface (vendor & software) and undersize battery bank issues ?

    The Xanbus flat out refuses to communicate all the information needed to all the components that need the information on large systems.

    I'm sure it's great if you have one charge controller and one inverter, but considering there are OutBack systems with 10 inverters or 10 charge controllers on a Hub, the Xanbus performance isn't acceptable. At all.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    Sounds like Xantrex isn't interested in supporting third party software developers which has nothing to do with the functionality to the end user

    Does you AC manufacture give you write access to the control CPU communication bus? From the view of the end user what your complaining about doesn't even register as an issue.

    The XW is an whole house/business power center and I haven't heard any issues with large installations, I'm sure boB would have heard something as well if there was some wide spread issues. Xanbus is simply modbus protocol over canbus both very proven and robust communications standards.

    While being a software developer myself, I understand your desires and reasoning for access but that doesn't reflect on the functionality of the XW as provided by Xantrex which is head and shoulders above anything else on the market

    I haven't worked for Xantrex since 2007, so this is my personal expert opinion and I have always called it as I see it and have never played favorites and never will.
  • tallgirltallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    SG,

    I've seen this on systems with a relatively small number of devices compared to what other vendors -- SMA, OutBack, Morningstar -- support on their bus. I've also seen it when =not= using any of my own software. In fact, the worst system I've ever seen was four charge controllers, two inverters and =their= software. The solution was to remove the four charge controllers from the Xanbus, after which time the inverters were able to function properly.

    As regards your example, you might want to check out BACnet and what it's used for. For clients (of mine and others) who want to be able to view inverter and charge controller information directly, a functioning communications bus =is= an issue. My clients do make purchasing decisions based on whether or not there is the ability to directly monitor (control is more optional) what the equipment is doing. Vendors who take a close communications bus approach to life find themselves selling less gear. Something those vendors may wish to consider.
  • Joe_BJoe_B Solar Expert Posts: 318 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    I have to agree with Julie here, the only way to get any information out of the system is with that joke called a widget. Being an engineer, I looked at hardware and made my purchasing decision based on specs. I was sadly dissapointed when I tried to operate the damn thing and saw how lame it was. X has great hardware but very poor software as well as poor tech support. (speaking as a customer)
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    From an Engineering contact,

    Hi Dave,

    Xanbus is a CANbus based network protocol that runs at 250kpbs (ie. it isn't based on RS485). Xantrex specifies a maximum network length for the XW system of 40m, but the theoretical limit of CANbus networks running at this speed is 250m. I know of sites where the 40m limit is exceeded, but we do not guarantee that it will work properly.

    Xanbus can be problematic in the following situations.

    1) If too many Xanbus nodes are put onto a single Xanbus network then the traffic on the communication bus becomes too much and Xanbus messages start getting dropped and not delivered properly to the other devices. Unfortunately there is no magic number for how many devices you can put on one network because each type of device from the XW system sends out a different amount of messages per second. The XW inv/chgr transmits the most, which is why we typically do not recommend people put more than 3 or 4 of them together on one Xanbus network. The MPPT charge controller transmits about half the number of messages per second as the XW inv/chgr so you could create a system of 6 or 8 MPPT's along with an SCP and likely have no problems with the message transmissions. The AGS, and SCP also send out less messages than the inv/chgr so do not present a large load on the bandwidth of the network.

    2) If the network has improper termination or is simply too long then it can cause reflections in the data bits. So if the network configuration (wiring, terminators, etc) is not setup correctly, you can get errors on the network resulting in messages being dropped.

    For anyone that installs XW systems I would recommend that they purchase an N2KMeter from Maretron. It is a diagnostic meter that can tell you how well your Xanbus network is performing and help to troubleshoot any problems:
    http://www.maretron.com/company/Maretron%202010%20Catalog.pdf#page=72


    You can post my comments if you want.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 1,003 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability
    From an Engineering contact,

    Hi Dave,

    Xanbus is a CANbus based network protocol that runs at 250kpbs (ie. it isn't based on RS485).

    Dave, is this new ? I knew that Xanbus started out as a CANbus system (BTW, doesn't CANbus xmit/receive over RS485 hardware ?) but it looked like Xantrex changed it to a modbus protocol a few years ago. It was 9600 Baud at default IIRC from the Xanbus spec I have, which I believe was just in time for the XW system.

    Or, maybe there are 2 different types of Xanbus nowadays ?

    boB
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex XW6048 Reliability

    boB, I really have only had good luck with the XW system and the SW before. Next year it will be 20 years offgrid and I really only have an analog Engineering background from the old Bill and Dave school of "less is more design". I expect to not have to think digital and expect this stuff to work. So far zero problems for me!

    The comments from my contact at Schneider are what they are and I believe them. As for me, I just plug the little rj-45 cable connectors in and that is it. I like it when there is competition in the marketplace. We all win! Winter storm warning today in the Sierra, now that gets my attention!
    "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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