XW6048 semi off grid

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  • yellowheadyellowhead Registered Users Posts: 17 ✭✭
    Re: XW6048 semi off grid
    BB. wrote: »
    Simon,

    I think what you are doing is cool! :D (yea--I am an engineer, want to make something of it? :p;))

    If the XW AC2/AC1 works well with your long power run--I think that this will be popular with the folks that are at the edges of the grid.

    Of course--there is always that guy which will have lots of hard won knowledge from being first.

    Best of luck and skill.
    -Bill

    Hey Bill. Thanks for the support. I am engineer too (software rather than hardware though). I don't mind being first through these hoops if it meets my needs. I do think the XW is a neat bit of kit. I will of course have to hook something up to Xanbus to let me monitor all this :roll:

    The biggest challenge for me right now is deciding how on grid to be. With #6 I definitely need inverter/battery support. But with 1/0 I'm getting close to a usable grid only service (may not a full 60A but certainly 30+). Of course the cable costs a lot more but the trenching and pole service probably cost about the same. If you factor in the inverter/battery cost the two solutions aren't that far apart. Despite that at heart I want to be as grid independent as possible so I think the inverter solution is the way I'll go.

    Sure I get the joys of flooded lead acid battery maintenance but in return I can survive a 24 hour grid outage on batteries alone and if I have to run a generator after that it will be at an efficient load point. In addition if grid power gets real expensive I can easily add some solar PV and if smart/time of day metering ever makes it to my part of the world I can store grid power when its cheap and run on batteries when its not. Lots of options ...

    Cheers,

    Simon.
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,280 ✭✭✭
    Re: XW6048 semi off grid
    yellowhead wrote: »
    Spoke to Xantrex tech. support about this. In case anyone else is looking at a similar application I thought I'd post what I learned here.

    Load shaving as currently implemented won't do quite what I want. Thats because during the load shave window (which is continuous in this case) the charger is disabled. This is true even if the house load is less than that defined by load shave amps i.e. 'spare' capacity on AC1 will not be used to charge the batteries.

    I am told that this will be fixed in the next firmware release although no ETA was available.

    Luckily, using gen support on AC2 behaves exactly as I want so there is a workaround in the short term.

    Simon.

    Strange, why would they make AC1 and AC2 behave any differently? If you are in load shaving, then by default, inverter is supplying power from battery so it can't be charging. I don't see why they would disable charging if ACout load is less then max AC1in amps. The old SW series worked okay in this case.
  • whitestrabbitwhitestrabbit Solar Expert Posts: 39
    Re: XW6048 semi off grid

    Hi yellowhead. I have been attempting to do the same thing you are and my neighbor as well (except we also have solar panels in our system) -- XW6048 with low amperage grid tie and running our own wires. Xantrex indicated to us last year it "should" work. We both have XW6048 inverters. I am 950' from the grid, and my neighbor is about 1500 feet. Our main issue is actually getting the power company to set the meter at the existing pole and let us run our own underground lines instead of trying to gouge us for $40k worth of overhead power lines but that's another long painful story.

    Please keep us updated on your actual success with this method as I still plan to implement it if I can ever work through the bureaucracy at the power company and get a reasonable price for a simple meter set at the existing pole.

    We also have a 3kW generator currently. We plan to upgrade to something bigger than 6kW eventually which I would recommend. fyi - we had issues with load sharing using a power source (generator) less than 6kW which Xantrex fixed with a firmware upgrade (at least for AC2) which may be of interest to you - this may be related to the workaround/firmware upgrade you mentioned. During troubleshooting with Xantrex we tested load sharing with the 3kW generator feeding to both AC1 and AC2 and neither AC1 or AC2 was load sharing properly. We tried using Generator Support but that did not help. Xantrex provided a firmware upgrade with a feature they call "Generator Support Plus" which provided proper load sharing on AC2 under 6kW.

    BTW - I was very impressed with Xantrex customer support and continue to be. They were always responsive and even sent us a replacement inverter (shipping pre paid here and back) when they thought the issue may be hardware related. They also sent all equipment necessary for the firmware update with all shipping prepaid.

    Xantrex troubleshooting stream details below...

    Forwarded Message ----
    From: Eric B.... <[email protected]>
    Sent: Fri, October 23, 2009 5:43:45 AM
    Subject: RE: case # 139917 Re: XW Firmware Upgrade Procedure / File attached

    Hi,

    Glad to hear your problem is finally resolved. Gen Support Plus is a standard feature that will be available on all the new releases of XW6048 (865-1000-01). Firmware will be available for older models that require this feature. Small generators have a fuel saving advantage, but many customers like to obtain the max charge rate while running the rated loads, which requires more power. Other customers may be running bio-diesel, in which case fuel cost is minimal. In most cases, some system design is recommended once you find out what the individual customer’s needs are. Trying to create a “one-size-fits-all” package deal is sometimes difficult because applications may vary considerably. I will have Customer Service email you ARS tags so you can return the XW Config Tool.

    Regards,

    Eric

    Forwarded Message ----
    To: Eric B.... <[email protected]>
    Sent: Thu, October 22, 2009 3:24:24 PM
    Subject: case # 139917 Re: XW Firmware Upgrade Procedure / File attached

    Hi Eric,

    I got the new firmware file loaded, and working. It is working great so far. Better than I expected.
    Not only does it limit the charge current on AC2 L2, but it is also now balancing the load drawn on AC2 L1 & L2 no matter what loads I throw at L1 & L2. So I am able to get the entire 3kW out of my generator now which is great, we should be able to run the microwave even when the lights and furnace are on etc.
    This is a great feature. I am wondering why the Generator Support Plus is not a standard feature?

    ---- Forwarded Message ----
    From: Eric B.... <[email protected]>
    Sent: Mon, October 12, 2009 9:47:13 AM
    Subject: RE: Re: Case Number (00134446) [ref:00D3Wjr.50087T59L:ref]

    I get the same behavior when using only L2 on my XW4024. I was only using L1 previously. I will email engineering to see if this can be corrected thru firmware upgrade.
    Regards,
    Eric

    Original Message
    Sent: 10/12/2009 8:41 AM
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: Re: Case Number (00134446) [ref:00D3Wjr.50087T59L:ref]

    Hi Eric,

    thanks.

    In case you didn't get my voicemail - I installed the new XW6048 Friday and it has the same behavior as the first one.

    I also noticed that it only fails to adjust the charge rate down under AC2 max breaker size on L2. L1 works fine. This is the same as the first one. Maybe you were testing on your inverter with a larger load on L1 which also works fine for me.

    L1 load - correct behavior:
    L1 load - 3A then add load to 9.6 amps, AC2 charge rate adjusts down automatically so AC2 is under 12A on both L1 and L2
    L2 load - 1.6 amps

    L2 load - incorrect behavior:
    L1 load - 1.6 amps
    L2 load - 3 amps then add load to 9.6 amps, AC2 charge rate does not adjust - AC2 L2 goes up to 16-17A and then breaker trips on generator. Also, the behavior is the same whether the load is added before or after AC2 generator charge starts.

    AC2 max breaker is set to 12A

    Can you test on your inverter and make sure the larger load is on L2? If that doesn't have the same behavior then can you have someone test on an XW6048 ?
    Seems like a likely firmware issue.

    Which inverter should I send back ?
  • yellowheadyellowhead Registered Users Posts: 17 ✭✭
    Re: XW6048 semi off grid

    Hi whitestrabbit. Thanks for the notes on advanced gen. support; I'll definitely be needing that. Sounds like this will be available in newer XW6048s (part number 865-1000-01) which is what I have. Did I understand the Xantrex tech. support correctly? Is your inverter an 865-1000?

    As for the grid support, I too am having problems working through all the red tape. In my case, the utility is OK with dropping service to my meter pole (albeit at what strikes me as a rather high price given the simplicity of the connection). However, I have to get permission to cross government land to get to my site; easy in theory but slow and painful in practice ...

    I'll definitely let you know how it goes when power arrives; might not be until the end of the year though. Good luck persuading your utility to be reasonable.

    Simon.
  • whitestrabbitwhitestrabbit Solar Expert Posts: 39
    Re: XW6048 semi off grid

    Yes, my inverter is an XW6048 865-1000.

    Good luck with your utility! Are they willing to set your meter off your property ?
  • yellowheadyellowhead Registered Users Posts: 17 ✭✭
    Re: XW6048 semi off grid
    Yes, my inverter is an XW6048 865-1000.

    Good luck with your utility! Are they willing to set your meter off your property ?

    Yes, as long as they have 'legal' access to it. I'm sure it all depends on where you are .
  • whitestrabbitwhitestrabbit Solar Expert Posts: 39
    Re: XW6048 semi off grid
    Yes, as long as they have 'legal' access to it. I'm sure it all depends on where you are .

    That's good. Monopolies are always such a pleasure to work with! (sarcasm) :cry:

    Hopefully RE will break this monopoly in the future. Off grid solar with the latest inverter technology definitely has given me some leverage against our monopoly utility but not quite as much as I'd like since battery technology is still stone age. I was discussing renewable energy with the PG&E rep the other day and he asked me about bloom box (see link below). Apparently it is on the utility's radar which is a good thing. Hopefully in 5 years when my batteries die I can buy a bloom box (or equivalent) for a cheap price.

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/22/the-bloom-box-a-power-plant-for-the-home-video/

    PG&E also has a measure on the current ballot to try and prevent local governments from being able to use taxpayer money to build their own RE power plants. The ads do their best to disguise the fact that they are paid for by the utility company.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,993 admin
    Re: XW6048 semi off grid
    PG&E also has a measure on the current ballot to try and prevent local governments from being able to use taxpayer money to build their own RE power plants. The ads do their best to disguise the fact that they are paid for by the utility company.
    Probably don't want to go down that political discussion in this thread--If somebody wants to have open commenting on Prop 16, please feel free to start a new thread in "Solar & Renewable Energy Product Announcements, News, Alerts, Reviews" section of our forum.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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