Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

Folks

I have ten solar trailers (4.5 kilowatts solar, 2.4 kilowatts wind) that we have built. We have had a problem with two trailers with the Xantrex supplied temperature sensor. I have worked with temp sensors for a long time and this is a pretty high failure rate.

The sensor says that the temp is 231 degrees, which gives a fault 44 on the Xantrex 6048 control panel and then it shuts down the system.

We pull the sensor and everything is fine and the control panel sees that no sensor is plugged in. When we replace the sensor, we see that the temperature on the sensor is showing -38F. The temp outside was about 77 degrees F.

I have gone through all of the basic and advanced menus (Enter up arrow down arrow) for the charger where the temp sensor info is shown. The question that I have is... is there a menu system that I don't know about where I can put in a calibration temp for the sensor?

There is a menu for the calibration curve (-108mv/deg) but I cannot find a place to set the calibration of the sensor. Any ideas?

Thanks
Dennis Wingo
CEO
Greentrail Energy

Comments

  • RCinFLARCinFLA Posts: 1,280Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    Doesn't sound like a calibration problem. It sounds like a bad sensor.

    Does it show same wild temp with another sensor?
  • DenniswingoDenniswingo Posts: 16Registered Users
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration
    RCinFLA wrote: »
    Doesn't sound like a calibration problem. It sounds like a bad sensor.

    Does it show same wild temp with another sensor?

    The "bad" sensor showed 231F. The replacement sensor showed -38f. Two bad sensors?

    That seems unlikely but I guess that it is possible. However that may be there should be a calibration where you can "set" the proper temp of the sensor calibrated to an external source.
  • VicVic Posts: 2,922Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    Dennis,

    I only have an XW SCC, which prob uses the same BTS as the other XW stuff. They actually look more robust than the older BTSes that the X SW inverters run. BTSes in general seem vulnerable, as there is little/no strain relief where the Telephone-type wire enters the battery end of things. They are vulnerable to mechanical stress at this point.

    The Xantrex BTSes used on the C-40/C-60 CC in many neighbor's installations seem to fail fairly often. Often the problem appears to be that RATS/mice like to chew on the BTS cables. You might look for signs of rodent munchings along the length of the cable.

    Not to rag on X/S, but most of the X-branded product is made in China, which can be good quality, or bad. It is possible that most BTSes are now made in China, but sometines there are few corners remaining to be cut, if the manufacturers do not watch like Hawks.

    It should be fairly simple to make one's own BTSes, as most are just Thermistors, perhaps a few may be diode used as temp sensors. I have not done this, but thermistors are very inexpensive, and even Radio Shack may have the correct value that you need. The exact value of the thermistor is unknown, but think that has been a Topic here.

    Good Luck, 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.
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    being that you have so many similar systems that are working, why not pull a known to be good sensor and place it on the system in question and see if it still shows wrongly? if it shows to be off then it's warranty repair time for it.
  • DenniswingoDenniswingo Posts: 16Registered Users
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration
    niel wrote: »
    being that you have so many similar systems that are working, why not pull a known to be good sensor and place it on the system in question and see if it still shows wrongly? if it shows to be off then it's warranty repair time for it.

    Thanks, but it is a royal pain in the arse to pull the sensors out of the good systems.

    Here is a picture of our systems assembled.

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/60021515
  • DenniswingoDenniswingo Posts: 16Registered Users
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration
    Vic wrote: »
    Dennis,

    I only have an XW SCC, which prob uses the same BTS as the other XW stuff. They actually look more robust than the older BTSes that the X SW inverters run. BTSes in general seem vulnerable, as there is little/no strain relief where the Telephone-type wire enters the battery end of things. They are vulnerable to mechanical stress at this point.

    The Xantrex BTSes used on the C-40/C-60 CC in many neighbor's installations seem to fail fairly often. Often the problem appears to be that RATS/mice like to chew on the BTS cables. You might look for signs of rodent munchings along the length of the cable.

    Not to rag on X/S, but most of the X-branded product is made in China, which can be good quality, or bad. It is possible that most BTSes are now made in China, but sometines there are few corners remaining to be cut, if the manufacturers do not watch like Hawks.

    It should be fairly simple to make one's own BTSes, as most are just Thermistors, perhaps a few may be diode used as temp sensors. I have not done this, but thermistors are very inexpensive, and even Radio Shack may have the correct value that you need. The exact value of the thermistor is unknown, but think that has been a Topic here.

    Good Luck, Vic

    Yea we may have to do this. Temperature compensation is going to be very important as our systems are going to be running cell sites out in the Wyoming desert in winter!

    I just can't believe that there is not a way to calibrate the temp sensor for the Xantrex system.
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,957Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration
    I just can't believe that there is not a way to calibrate the temp sensor for the Xantrex system.

    Because the thermistor is either working fine, or broken. I think they only are marginal for a short period before they turn to toast.

    But What's Causing them to die ?

    Any stray voltage runs along the same path that could be inducing spikes in them ? Are the receivers in the charger getting zapped - or does a new thermistor fix it for a while?
    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 ,

  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,957Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    And I'd send that photo of 8 production units to Xantrex, and tell them to get on the ball and solve the problem, or you jump ship to another vendor.

    Or just buy a new X thermistor and measure it at room temp, and order clones from Newark, DigiKey, or Mouser.
    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 ,

  • RCinFLARCinFLA Posts: 1,280Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    One thing when if you are running multiple XW's in parallel for increased power from common battery bank. Make sure you put all the temp sensors together in one spot to avoid temp gradient between sensors. Otherwise the units may push or pull battery current from each other.

    It would seem with Xanbus interconnection the software should be written to share a single sensor info between units so you don't have the multiple sensor temp gradient issue. I don't know if this is or is not the case.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 4,085Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration
    Thanks, but it is a royal pain in the arse to pull the sensors out of the good systems.

    Here is a picture of our systems assembled.

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/60021515


    Life is a royal pain sometimes also, but the alternative sucks!
    You have to find out if it is the sensor, the unit, or your installation. This is not rocket science and no there is not a user change screen, and there should not be for obvious reasons ! Good Luck they look cool!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • VicVic Posts: 2,922Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    Hi denniswingo,

    Any news on the XW RTS problem? We are curious about what you found, and any possible resolution.

    Thanks, 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.
  • DenniswingoDenniswingo Posts: 16Registered Users
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration
    Vic wrote: »
    Hi denniswingo,

    Any news on the XW RTS problem? We are curious about what you found, and any possible resolution.

    Thanks, Vic

    Vic

    Nope. The temperature sensor that we replaced the old one with was either bad or we have some other problem. We will take another sensor out on our next service run.
  • XWGuyXWGuy Posts: 15Registered Users
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    It sounds like you had two faulty sensors. The one that reads 231F sounds like a short circuit, and the one that reads -38F would be open circuit. Getting yourself a 3rd non-faulty sensor should fix the problem for you.

    Please don't hesitate to call our tech support: 1-866-519-1470

    Jeff
  • XWGuyXWGuy Posts: 15Registered Users
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration
    RCinFLA wrote: »
    One thing when if you are running multiple XW's in parallel for increased power from common battery bank. Make sure you put all the temp sensors together in one spot to avoid temp gradient between sensors. Otherwise the units may push or pull battery current from each other.

    It would seem with Xanbus interconnection the software should be written to share a single sensor info between units so you don't have the multiple sensor temp gradient issue. I don't know if this is or is not the case.


    The XW components (inverter/charger, and charge controllers) do share battery temperature information. They communicate the readings via the Xanbus link. Each unit on the network uses the highest reported BTS reading for the temperature compensation of the charge voltage.

    Jeff
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Posts: 1,280Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration
    XWGuy wrote: »
    The XW components (inverter/charger, and charge controllers) do share battery temperature information. They communicate the readings via the Xanbus link. Each unit on the network uses the highest reported BTS reading for the temperature compensation of the charge voltage.

    Jeff

    Do you know if, in the group, if there is an out of range low or high sensor, or only one sensor plugged into one of the units in parallel, it just uses good sensor reading?
  • XWGuyXWGuy Posts: 15Registered Users
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    There isn't any code looking for outliers. Whichever one is reporting the hottest is used. In this case, it is clearly a short circuit on the BTS with the high temp reading.
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Posts: 1,280Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration
    XWGuy wrote: »
    There isn't any code looking for outliers. Whichever one is reporting the hottest is used. In this case, it is clearly a short circuit on the BTS with the high temp reading.

    So every paralleled unit needs a good working sensor for temp comp to work correctly. If unplugged is read as cold then I guess only one good unit, plugged in, will do.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 4,085Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    Not in the systems I have installed!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Posts: 17,615Banned ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    Just to remind everyone: the OP's problem was not temp sensor data sharing on parallel units within one installation. Rather he has multiple identical installs, some of which worked and some of which did not.

    I should think one temp sensor is enough for any single install, no matter how many inverters/controllers it involves so long as the data can be shared via communications ports. Pretty sure both Xantrex and Outback can do this. ;)

    But on ten separate installs it doesn't help.
  • DenniswingoDenniswingo Posts: 16Registered Users
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration
    XWGuy wrote: »
    It sounds like you had two faulty sensors. The one that reads 231F sounds like a short circuit, and the one that reads -38F would be open circuit. Getting yourself a 3rd non-faulty sensor should fix the problem for you.

    Please don't hesitate to call our tech support: 1-866-519-1470

    Jeff

    Jeff

    Thanks, hate to think that our spares are bad like this. We really need to talk to tech support as we are having a lot of weird things happening with our installation and it is a critical telecommunications application that will result in a lot more sales if we get it taken care of. This system is sitting on top of a mountain in western colorado so it is a major pain to get to.
  • solar_davesolar_dave Posts: 2,335Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration
    Jeff

    Thanks, hate to think that our spares are bad like this. We really need to talk to tech support as we are having a lot of weird things happening with our installation and it is a critical telecommunications application that will result in a lot more sales if we get it taken care of. This system is sitting on top of a mountain in western colorado so it is a major pain to get to.

    I would certainly take a fully tested system with me to the site on your next trip if it is critical to the business. The investment iron should pay off if more business is at stake.
  • DenniswingoDenniswingo Posts: 16Registered Users
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration
    solar_dave wrote: »
    I would certainly take a fully tested system with me to the site on your next trip if it is critical to the business. The investment iron should pay off if more business is at stake.

    It was fully tested. The damn temp sensor broke the first week in the field and the spare was bad. Now in my business temp sensors don't fail that often. Our backup plan is to use the software presets on the Xantrex for cold mode.

    We are not stupid, nor are we amateurs, it is just surprising to us that systems that work when they are tested in the shop fail rapidly in the field.
  • diemkaediemkae Posts: 1Registered Users
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration
    mike90045 wrote: »
    And I'd send that photo of 8 production units to Xantrex, and tell them to get on the ball and solve the problem, or you jump ship to another vendor.

    Or just buy a new X thermistor and measure it at room temp, and order clones from Newark, DigiKey, or Mouser.

    Please elaborate how to "measure new X thermistor" - Xantrex will not divulge pinouts or specs (to me, at least).

    I know how to measure basic three wire thermistors like the TMP36, from Adafruit, but without some specs from Xantrex, I'm not sure where to start.

    Thanks
  • VicVic Posts: 2,922Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    Hi diemkae,

    Well, it is my guess that the XW RTS is a conventional two-wire Negative Temperature Coefficient Thermistor, and as such uses only two of the four (IIRC) contacts on the phone plug.

    There are some who frequent this site that probably know the resistance value spec at 25 degrees C. Am not at my off-grid site, so cannot measure one.

    It should be a fairly simple matter for one to make one's own RTS, given the info on the nature of the Thermistor.

    Have seen a number of these RTSes at neighbor's locations, where the cable appears to have been cut. This is almost always at a power room which is NOT completely devoid of Rodents ... it has been my assumption that in these cases, rodents have eaten the cable. Cannot prove this, but, in most cases, rodent droppings are present, and rodents do eat wiring. But am just guessing, in those cases, and possibly in the case of Denniswingo as well. Guess that will stop guessing for now. 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.
  • solarvicsolarvic Posts: 1,048Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    Groundhogs like spark plug wites. Just after I put the third set on my car I saw a groundhog slinking under my car. I opened the hood and he was ready to start on that set. I was so mad I just gave him a karate chop. Wouldn,t come out of the car so I gave him a ride down the road and when it got too hot for him he bailed out. ;)solarvic;)
  • SolaRevolutionSolaRevolution Posts: 407Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    Hey guys,

    Was this resolved?

    I was wondering if the BTS cable was run with the battery +/- cables. I've seen battery monitors with erratic current readings until the sensor wires were seperated from current carrying conductors. I can't find any references to it right now but I'm fairly certian I've seen something about it in some equipment manuals.

    Has anyone seen temp sensor readings effected by this?

    From the XW Install guide:
    "Important: Communication and signal cables must be segregated from all DC
    and AC wiring. Therefore, a small raceway has been included in the design of
    both the Xantrex XW Power Distribution Panel and the Xantrex XW Conduit Box to
    separate the communications cables from the power cables."

    The wording does not clearly say there will be a problem, but it seems to me that if it was not a functional issue it would more likely say something like:
    "to ensure adherence to the local and national electrical codes applicable in your jurisdiction...."


    Alex
  • BB.BB. Posts: 28,054Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    The NEC does require signal wiring to be separate from power wiring--But that is based on the concern of a 120 VAC cable shorting to a 12 volt bell transformer type thing...

    With any cables where crosstalk can be a problem--Yes, you should keep them separate and frequently, the smaller signal cables are actually twisted pairs to keep them from broadcasting or receiving interference (such as networking cable).

    When you have to--Cross wiring at 90 degree angles.

    Remember that DC wiring as used in many solar PV systems actually has 120 Hz wave forms impressed on the DC cable--because of the 120 VAC 60 Hz inverter which do not (usually) attempt to "filter out" the current "spikes" (single phase inverters draw power based on the output sine wave--Voltage/Current Peak--high current draw from the DC/Battery bus... Voltage/Current at zero transition--very little current draw).

    Also, when running your DC (and AC) power wiring--Keep wire pairs routed together. Do not take the + wire one way and the - wire a different route. That forms "loop antenna" which can broadcast interference and is susceptible to static discharges and nearby lightning strike interference.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • SolaRevolutionSolaRevolution Posts: 407Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration
    Folks

    The sensor says that the temp is 231 degrees, which gives a fault 44 on the Xantrex 6048 control panel and then it shuts down the system.

    We pull the sensor and everything is fine and the control panel sees that no sensor is plugged in. When we replace the sensor, we see that the temperature on the sensor is showing -38F. The temp outside was about 77 degrees F.

    This could make sense if the problem is from signal interference due to proximity of the BTS cable to the Battery +/- cable.

    -The discrepancies would be intermittent and hard to identify upon initial testing.
    -The discrepancies could be different after re-running a new cable.
    -A new, freshly commissioned system would have fairly full batteries and therefore less current in the battery power cables to interfere with the BTS signal.

    Alex
  • VicVic Posts: 2,922Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex 6048 Temp Sensor Calibration

    Alex,

    Interesting wonderment about interference twix BTS/RTS and AC & DC busses. Had not thought of that. Have not seen these effects in other folks' systems, and run ALL wiring in metal pipe in my own systems, altho, inside the batt box, switch to PVC conduit for RTSes, so have not seen it in my systems either. But, would bet that there is little high freq noise on the batt cables, in general, especially with fine strand multi-ought cables

    And BB Bill, good points regardin pairing DC busses to/from inverters and associated parts. BTW, the X SW+ inverters here do have a DC Cap bank (electrolytics in the order of 60-100K uF total). Have not looked for any film/ceramic caps for higher freqs, altho, the batts function like capacitors. Have never looked for HF AC on the batt terminals of the inverters here, but there is a lot of noise associated with each of the sine wave step on the AC output side of things. Have never dealt with any XW inverters, altho they, too, prob do have similar cap banks. Realize that these electrolytic do not generally do well with higher freq ripple currents, and noise, and that you were referring to 120 Hz ripple.

    Dennisw's system is farily robust, so there could be a lot of noise floating around, and high AC loads and high charge currents from inverters/CCs should raise the noise levels. Would think that a Common-Mode choke on the RTS leads would help most any noise issue, depending on just how they measure the R.
    Hope we hear more of Dennis' results. 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.
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