Xantrex controller - faults not clearing

abrockcaabrockca Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭✭✭
Hi, all -

Everything's been going great since I replaced my batteries with Trojans - until this afternoon.

This afternoon, after the system was in float, the XW System Control Panel went blank. Nothing had changed (although I had gone down to check SG's; when I came back up it was blank, but I hadn't touched the controllers)

One controller had two error messages - Aux Power Overload and Batt under volt. According to the manual, we're supposed to be able to clear these faults, but when I tried, they wouldn't clear. Batteries aren't under voltage; they're fine. And nothing changed in terms of wiring for the Aux Power Ovld. (I had gotten that when I hooked up the Xantrex router without its own power supply).

The other controller is fine; no error messages.

Any ideas? I'll contact Xantrex tomorrow, but thought someone here might have an idea...

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex controller - faults not clearing

    sounds like a failure needing warranty work if still applicable.
  • abrockcaabrockca Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex controller - faults not clearing

    So got some tips from Xantrex; we were able to clear the fault by removing the Controller from the network and pulling the jumper off the aux output (we have the jumper to power the control panel - we don't have an XW inverter, so using aux output). We tried replacing; same fault message that we couldn't clear. So we redid the steps, cleared the fault, and moved the jumper to the second controller where it's working fine - no faults. Sop guess yeah, the aux output on the one controller isn't working; we are under warranty still but not sure it's worth sending in to fix. Need to contact Xantrex to make sure there's no fix they can send us to do. Anyway, if our second aux out fails we'll go with a power supply for the control panel instead...

    Just wanted to update the thread; looks like we're good for now.

    Anne
  • Joe_BJoe_B Solar Expert Posts: 318 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex controller - faults not clearing

    I am starting to believe that the XW MMPT 60-150 has a design flaw associated with that aux output. I have two of them and one has failed on me. I had an optocoupler connected to mine set up to run 12 volts at 10 ma and mine failed after about a month. I sent my circuit to the tech support guru's at S and they said it should not have failed. Since you are the third person I have heard that has had a failure on the aux output, I am beginning to conclude that there is an issue. Apparently there is some interaction between the AUX output and the GFCI fuse.
  • abrockcaabrockca Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex controller - faults not clearing

    good data points, Joe_B. I hope our 2nd one stays strong! we've had the controllers for just over a year.

    Odd thing - when I called Xantrex, the tech started talking about how the control panel was just a "convenience", no big deal if we didn't have it, and no big deal if the controllers aren't linked together. I find the control panel and the networking vital - my controllers are down under the house, so having to walk down to see what's going on with the charging would be a royal pain. And being able to set EQ cycle from inside the house is wonderful! My Outbacks, I had to go under the house whenever I EQ'd. And having them linked together keeps me from having to set things like absorb time twice when I want to change it. I just wish there was even more info on the control panel! it's been great! And someday we'll have an XW inverter so things will be even better...

    Anyway, that was a digression... I don't know how many people use the aux output, hope they are having better luck than you & I are having!
  • Joe_BJoe_B Solar Expert Posts: 318 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex controller - faults not clearing

    Funny... You absolutely need the SCP if you want to access most of the menu's. You need the SCP to get into the advanced menu's that enable you to configure the system for your particular battery bank, etc. As far as the networking goes, it is probably true that the SCC's will work OK without being networked but the inverter absolutely needs to know what the SCC's are doing. If you dont network things, each element will only have the battery voltage to go by. Grid support wont work and the SCC's will shutdown occasionally without networking. So you have to do the xanbus thing if you want "full" functionality.

    I suspect that the S tech support guy told you networking was not essential because they have a lot of firmware issues associated with the networking. I have been pointing out bugs in the firmware to S since I got this system 3 years ago and to this date, they have only addressed one of the major bugs I have reported. I alerted them to another major bug back in March and they still have not done a thing to fix that one. When my system finally bites it and dies, I will most definately not replace my hardware with XW stuff.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex controller - faults not clearing

    You know, MidNite's controllers are so much better than the Xantrex units that it might be worthwhile spending the money on new controllers and flogging the old X units to some unsuspecting sod who thinks they are good. The Classics work better, have interesting remote monitoring abilities, and customer support superior to Brand X.

    Yeah, I know: The $1,200 solution! :roll:
  • abrockcaabrockca Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex controller - faults not clearing

    Good info for next time we replace them, Carib; but after replacing both controllers and the batteries (twice) last year, I think I'm leaning in favor of "doing the bare minimum" this year. By the way, my Trojan batteries are working great; no moisture on the tops them; SG is staying up pretty well (have the absorb set to 4 1/2 hours based on input from Trojan); have only had to put water in a couple times (planning to do it again this weekend). I do EQ for an hour on a regular basis; when I didn't do that for a few weeks, the SG started dropping. At that time absorb was set to 4 hours, so hopefully the extra absorb will help keep SG up. But when the control panel is working, setting an EQ cycle is easy, so no biggie there.

    Anyway, way too much detail! thanks for the info on the other controllers! But not ready for a major replacement project yet.... and ALL our projects seem to become major!
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex controller - faults not clearing
    abrockca wrote: »
    I do EQ for an hour on a regular basis; when I didn't do that for a few weeks, the SG started dropping. At that time absorb was set to 4 hours, so hopefully the extra absorb will help keep SG up. But when the control panel is working, setting an EQ cycle is easy, so no biggie there.

    The purpose of EQ is to "equalize" the cells in a series string (inside one battery or in a series string of batteries) which have gotten to mismatched SOCs. It should be used when you see cell to cell differences in voltage or SG, not just when the overall charge level gets too low. It deliberately uses a high enough voltage that it will force current even through a fully charged cell so that low cells in the string will get the current they need. If your normal charging does not provide enough power to cause some gassing to prevent electrolyte stratification, then EQ can deal with that too, but it is not the right way to go.

    What you are describing seems to be chronic undercharging, and should be dealt with by tuning the charging parameters, as you are now doing, rather than by applying EQ voltage to the batteries unnecessarily.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,112 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex controller - faults not clearing

    abrockca,

    Perhaps the increased Absorption time has cured this need for frequent EQs. But, if this is not the case, you might consider increasing the Absorb voltage, especially as the days shorten.

    Too bad about your expeience with S. I have been quite disappointed with their BUGGY XW SCC 60-150, or whatever it IS called. FW Buggy out of the box, and you are forced to buy or rent the "Implanter Tool" to update the FW to something with just different bugs. Hope that you have not needed the Aux function: "CC in Float", because this important off-grid function is missing from the S SCC.

    Oh well, glad that you have a tolerance for the S products. There may be times when their products still make some sense even given the horrible downsides of needing to deal with S, but, here, have not encountered such a situation, since having been burned the first time -- refused to buy or rent the thingie, so this POS SCC sits unused as a monument to Fine Chineese Engineering! YMMV, Follow The Label, AVOID excessive use. 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.
  • abrockcaabrockca Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex controller - faults not clearing

    absolutely agree, I want to get absorb to a place where it's keeping the SG up and not do EQs except when out of balance! And definitely it's great to hear everyone else's experiences re the products! but I sure hope we don't have to replace anything for awhile...
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