Xantrex GT and XW Support

crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
All,

I'm working on a couple of projects:

1) I'll be at ASES in Phoenix later this week. One agenda item when I meet with my colleagues is planning for an exciting new special assignment. ;)

2) I'll be attending an all-day meeting at SEREB/Xantrex in Burnaby on May 26. The meeting will focus on the XW, and I'll have access to the product manager and the technical staff. :cool:

3) I have other meetings, trade shows, and training events scheduled for May and June. I'll post additional details later.

4) Now that it's finally warming up around here and my fingers have thawed out, I'll be replacing my OutBack-based system with a Xantrex XW system, probably built around an XW 4024. :cool:

I'd like to try and improve technical support for our products. It used to be easy to do on this forum, but, it's become so popular (and rightly so), that I find it difficult to sort through all of the discussion topics.

But, you need support, and part of my job is to provide it. If you have questions or are having problems with GT or XW related products, please post them in this thread for the next several days. Please include as much useful technical info as possible (i.e., system configuration and components, array configuration and battery voltage and capacity, problem symptoms, etc.), and I'll do what I can to address each one.

I'll also probably take some of the questions/issues with me to Burnaby next week. :roll:

Thanks, and regards to all!

Jim / crewzer
Sr. Sales Applications Engineer
SEREB / Xantrex

Comments

  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,977 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support

    Hi Jim,

    Nice to have you on board with Xantrex, think that their support of the XW SCC is a bit spotty.

    Recently installed a new XW SCC along side of the OB MX-60. During the first day charge cycle, noticed that the SCC was stating that it was already in Aborb, long before the target Asorb Voltage, or ending current had been reached. After a few days got a sunny day and determined that the CC was indicating Abs when it was really still in Bulk.

    Called X support, and that tech knew of no probs with version 4 (build 4) of the FW, and could not replicate the problem -- several more calls to X over a few weeks -- the next tech stated that this was "an X innovation", it was NOT a problem, just innovative ! This is a BUG to me, it may have been fixed in the current version 5 of the FW, of it may not have been. In an e-mail from X Tech, was told that my version of FW was "very old and outmoded" Jeez, it was less than two MONTHS from the date of purchase. Perhaps there needs to be some field FW update program, especially because the SCC does NOT just plug into a computer's USB port.

    I purchased the CC in Feb this year from NAZW&S, but it was down-rev in the FW. I did discover that I need to buy a dongle thingie to implant the new FW -- not happy about this ... just bought the NEW CC.

    X Tech does not seem to be very well informed about the XW product line.

    Also have noticed that an important Aux funciton is MISSING: 'CC in Float' mode and delivering power. Very useful (as you know) for we off-gridders. In an e-mail exchange, the X tech (who had contacted the SCC Product Manager) stated that it was very unlikely that this useful funciton would ever be implemented.

    Also the pesky Bulk Voltage setting seems crazy. FLAs certainly do not need this setting, why is it even an option when FLA batts are specified. Why is the AH capacity required instead of the easier to determine Abs ending Amps ? Why does the CC begin a NEW Charge Cycle when EQ is commanded ? If end amps have not been set, think that the CC would quickly go thru Bulk, but probably (have not tested this) would need to do the full timed ABS cycle before going to the EQ ... may be wrong on this.

    I have switched back to the MX-60, as I do not trust the X with my expensive bat bank. And so on ... Bought the XW SCC because it was FCC B, Convection-Cooled, and Field Firmware upgradable . Perhaps I'm being unfair, but coming from the ultimately flexible MX-60, still an innovative box, the XW SCC seems to be very stripped-down and Dumbed Down. And the misreporting its correct Charge Mode seems estupido. Had wondered about recommending the XW inverters to others, but for now, I wonder ... Perhaps a bit too harsh a critique.

    On the plus side, X has FIXED the difficult to knock-out knock-outs .. very easy now. Wiring compartment quite cramped, but LIKE the bolt-on BTS. It is very quiet CC -- no fan, that's a plus. Am not certain that the SCC emits any less RFI than the OB MX-60, as I decomissioned the XW SCC before running the noise tests.

    TIA Have Fun, Vic
    EDITED for fat-finger TYPOs
    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.
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support

    Jim glad you are thawing out. Hope to see you at MREF? I have a question on the XW inverter I have one installed that seems to have a rather loud hum more harmonic than transformer? It is probably the loudest of the name brands I have messed with and I may have to relocate it as it is audible through a wall into the house. Any ideas?
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,864 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support

    Keep up the good work Jim! I have an XW that was hit by lightning can you help me also?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support

    First, thanks for the feedback.

    Vic: I need to digest the issues you described. Your message is an example of one I'll take to Burnaby next week.

    Ryan: My experience with the XW is that it's generally fairly quiet. If you've got a nasty buzz, then I'd look for loose hardware or a misaligned panel. What happens if you rap on the case with your knuckles?

    I will indeed be at MREF, at Booth C1.;)

    Dave: Sorry about the lightning damage... I'm sorry, but I don't think I can help with that one! Any luck going through homeowner's insurance?

    Thanks, all, and now I'm off to ASES!

    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,864 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support

    Jim,
    You have been away from California too long. Very few Offgrid homes have homeowners or can afford it after all the wildfires. Most self-insure or roll the dice. My customers XW is toast or garage art. The worst part was I lost my beta XW (sold to lightning customer) and sold my old SW and now have an O-3524. I would be unhappy except for all the prosperous capitalism that has come my way.

    The only thing I really want from X is to continue on to the next frontier and produce a smart inverter ( ala smart meter) that will controll loads and their use thru a prioritized intelligence. Take the whole aux. input to a higher level of sophistication. The Jeff's in Engr. have heard this before. All I care about is results! That is a beautiful spot that they have up on that mountain is it not?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support
    crewzer wrote: »
    First, thanks for the feedback.

    Vic: I need to digest the issues you described. Your message is an example of one I'll take to Burnaby next week.

    Ryan: My experience with the XW is that it's generally fairly quiet. If you've got a nasty buzz, then I'd look for loose hardware or a misaligned panel. What happens if you rap on the case with your knuckles?

    I will indeed be at MREF, at Booth C1.;)

    Dave: Sorry about the lightning damage... I'm sorry, but I don't think I can help with that one! Any luck going through homeowner's insurance?

    Thanks, all, and now I'm off to ASES!

    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer

    Jim thanks for the assurance it should be quite I will do a little trouble shooting and see what I can find. See you in Wisconsin in a few weeks
  • sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support

    OK, as a complete novice, here are a couple of questions I've had about the XW6048 and the XW-MPPT-60-150 charge controllers, which I think have version 1.03.

    In the morning, they will come on for a few seconds, then go back off because there really isn't enough light yet. Then, once they're off, they'll be getting ready to go back on in a short time and start it over again until there is enough total light. I had been turning off the breaker for them until there was enough light, but that isn't the proper way. Also, I know that there are some updates, but it is basically impossible for me to do it because you either need to rent or buy the special tool and it is a lot of trouble vs. just turning a breaker on and off once a day. I think Xantrex should provide it as a rental for the customer to just pay the postage each way. I can't help it that Xantrex didn't get it right the first time. Even Microsoft allows people to update their products without a special tool or payment.

    Also, I don't know if it is possible or desirable, but is Equalization only possible for a time of 1 hr? Do you then start another Equalization if the batteries still need it? Some people have said the batteries need to be equalized for 6 hours or maybe even more, so are the people supposed to be there every hour? I understand that if it is hot you don't want the batteries burning, but in cold weather you should be able to set it longer.

    For the Charge Controller display, is it possible to have each Charge Controller's output displayed, or are they always both displayed as combined? I have two, connected with the cable to the Xantrex System Control Panel.

    If some of these things are in the manual I apologize, but I never found them.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,816 admin
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support

    Regarding equalization time...

    After you have "fully charged" your battery bank. Equalization is a selective over charging of your bank.

    Specifically, some cells may have low specific gravity and you are over charging the other cells to bring the low cells back into balance.

    So, the idea is after 30-60 minutes, you should measure the SG of each cell. If they are still not the same (0.030 or less difference) and/or the SG is still rising in the low cells--then you can cycle for another 30-60 minutes and measure SG again.

    Equalization is very hard on otherwise fully charged and properly maintained cells. Too much equalization can actually reduce overall battery life (as well as cost you a lot for expensive distilled water at a remote site).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,864 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support

    And then add to everything Bill wrote the concept of preventative equalization. Basically a 2 hour EQ every 3 months. Check your manufacturer! If you do that and other things correctly, you will never have to do what Bill wrote unless you have problems. You should not have problems unless you are breaking the basic rules too often or the cardinal rules even as little as once! I say that, but it is very often not the case is it not?

    Distilled water can be expensive or free out of the sky!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support

    Done with ASES in Phoenix... I'm now in Burnaby...

    More soon,
    Jim / crewzer
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,816 admin
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support

    Jim,

    A couple of recent threads with Inverter/hardware support questions:
    Wilis wrote: »
    I guess I ask the wrong questions. Not one answer. Maybe this was a topic for a generator forum and not a solar. I was hoping someone had this working with a generator.
    Well, I have been able to find additional information and now this question is maybe a little more on a solar topic or at least on the XW Automatic Generator Start panel.
    I called Norpro and they sent me the manual for the Dynagen GSC300 auto start engine controller. I was told by their tech support person that the best way to do what I wanted to do is just provide a +12v 7ma signal to their pin 19 on the GSC300 panel. Any time it is high the generator would start and when it dropped it would stop. That sounds simple.:D
    I guess I could use the aux from the Xantrex CC and not even use the XW AGS panel? What I want to do is use the gen input to theXW-6048 inverter and if I did use the XW AGS panel I would have many options like run the gen every so many days etc.

    So if anyone is running a Xantres XW 6048 inverter with the XW AGS panel I sure would like input from you. Seeing I have two digital controllers, the Gynagen and the XW AGS, I want to be able to use the best of both if possible. Please any thoughts or web address to go to now to get this information. Norpro knows nothing about Xantrex and I don’t know who to talk to at Xantres. Thanks for any help before I get it. Wilis
    pcguy2u wrote: »
    For some reason, I have lost contact with this thread, probably because I missed a notification and haven't been to the site since March. And a lot of good info has been posted since then. I apologize for not being in the middle of this.

    This morning 5/27/2010 at 8:22AM the inverter experienced the same problem - a series of F49 faults and then nothing. After testing the batteries at the individual cable connections (not the battery posts) and finding everything normal, I tried a series of progressively more involved resets of the system.

    The only thing that worked was to turn off the system (holding the power button for a second or two) and all six breakers. The system then came up and I then had to go into the inverter and enable Advanced settings (press Enter, Up and Down arrows all together, simultaneously) and enabled sell once again. This is essentially what has had to happen each time (although not exactly as intended) the system has experienced this problem, and it does seem to do the trick every time.

    The weather that has been present with this series of problems has been, at one time or another, just about everything you could expect - sunny and warm, sunny and windy (cool), foggy and rainy.

    This moring, while producing only a constant 400+- watts and with a rain storm going on outside, this problem happened again. BTW, the XW AC charger is and has been set to OFF since SG recommended (with other changes) that last year.

    It does appear that this problem has to do with a handshake between inverter and the charge controllers and with improperly managed inverter memory variables.

    SG, do you know if the latest firmware has specifically addressed this issue and what that version is?

    As I have posted to Xantrex and on this thread previously, this wouldn't be an issue if the inverter would handle the Fault and return to operation upon clearing the fault.

    Many thanks,
    Nick

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support

    Update: I returned from Burnaby, and then took a break over the holiday weekend. I'm off on a quick trip to Philadephia tomorrow, and I'll try to catch up on some of these items when I return.

    Bill,

    I've communicated directly with Willis and provided him with some suggestions.

    I'll try to take a look at PCguy2u's issue after I return.

    Thx,
    Jim / crewzer
  • sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support

    I know it has been a couple of months since the last comments, but I had another question (basic of course).

    Can the XW6048 be programmed to work at different settings at different times of the day, similar to a programmable thermostat?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,816 admin
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support

    Jim/Crewzer has not been logged in since June 2nd (hope he is OK).

    You might get a faster response by contacting Schneider directly with the questions.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,864 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex GT and XW Support

    Use the telephone and you will get support!
    "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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