Schneider Combox compatibility with pre-Schneider Xantrex XW systems.

AudiomakerAudiomaker Solar Expert Posts: 100 ✭✭
Hi all, my name is Sean and this is my first post.

Forgive me for starting a new topic for this, but after an hour of internet research I figured the answer to this might help someone else doing Google searches down the line.

I will have a lot to talk about soon as I am installing a significant system in an RV (XW6048, MPPT 60-150, 10x250w PV's...etc).

I have purchased an older Xantrex (2010 pre-Schneider) XW6048. I am preparing to do the install and while on the net getting all the info' that I could, came across the Conext Combox product.
This product looks exactly like something I'd like to have.

I understand that Conext is for the most part a re-labled Xantrex product, but I just wanted to confirm that the older XW6048 and MPPT 60-150 (also Xantrex branded), are compatible with it. I'd just like to be sure before pulling the trigger and ordering one.

In addition, I'd like any advice on firmware that might be required, and any other hurdles I'm looking at?

For reference, this mobile setup will look like this:

1x 40' class A RV (CT truck conversion)
Xantrex XW 6048
Xantrex MPPT 60-150
Xantrex SCP and AGS (model 1050 and 1060)
Powertech 7kW diesel genny
16x group 24 100ah batteries (8 already purchased)
10x 250 PV's (not yet purchased)
...and hopefully a Combox.

Many thanks for your help, and I look forward to sharing as this project evolves.

Sean

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,509 admin
    Re: Schneider Combox compatibility with pre-Schneider Xantrex XW systems.

    Wow.... I would like that for my home. If I did a bit more conservation, I could go off grid with that system.

    Usually, we like to start with your loads--Watt*Hours / kWH per day, your expectations of electrical needs vs where you will be with the RV (winter up north, winter down south, etc.).

    The only two "issues" I have--Using our standard rules of thumbs. First, I think you have a 400 AH @ 48 volt battery bank. The most you can probably "reliably" get from the inverter (sun down/dark days, just from battery bank) would be around ~4 kWatts max continuous power, and ~8 kWatt surge. To get more power (i.e., 6 kWatt reliably from the battery bank), you should have around ~600 AH @ 48 volt deep cycle flooded cell battery bank.

    Not a big problem, but just understanding capabilities of the system.

    The other suggestion I would have... I am not a big fan of lots of parallel strings of batteries. I would suggest 1-2 strings of parallel batteries, with ~3 parallel strings as being the day to day maximum I would suggest. As you add parallel strings, trying to keep current sharing balanced, checking/cleaning connections, checking/adding water, etc. becomes a big hassel with lots of parallel strings.

    Getting 6 volt / 4 volt / 2 volt batteries (cells) with larger AH rating would be my suggestion (for example, you can get "golf cart" batteries for 6 volts @ ~220 AH rating... And just two parallel strings. Golf cart batteries are usually relatively cheap, and will last 3-5 years (depending on quality).

    Good luck and have fun!
    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Schneider Combox compatibility with pre-Schneider Xantrex XW systems.

    I have a ComBox, and a pre-Schneider XW6048, and it sees it fine.


    And the great thing about the combox, it can upload new firmware to the other components, which used to be impossible without renting a "Implanter box".
    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 ,

  • AudiomakerAudiomaker Solar Expert Posts: 100 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Combox compatibility with pre-Schneider Xantrex XW systems.
    mike95490 wrote: »
    I have a ComBox, and a pre-Schneider XW6048, and it sees it fine.

    That's the answer I was looking for and thanks!

    Thanks for the advice as well Bill. I don't actually use that much power in the RV, the 6048 was more of a feature related choice.

    All the Best
    Sean
  • AudiomakerAudiomaker Solar Expert Posts: 100 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Combox compatibility with pre-Schneider Xantrex XW systems.

    Oh, and Bill...

    I purchased the 8 12v group 27 Interstate deep cycle batteries used off Craigslist for two reasons. 1. They were cheap. 2. I had already toasted my vehicle batteries pushing them too hard with a different 12v inverter (Xantrex RS3000).
    Basically it's a temporary solution so that I can get the 48v system installed and working, then I can transfer the batteries to replace what is barely hanging on now to start the truck (RV) itself.
    They wouldn't be my first choice by any means, it just seemed logical and they will fit several other vehicles I own as soon as my budget allows me to purchase the batt's I'd prefer.

    That said, using any standard (i.e. not specialty UPS) batt's, I would struggle to get more than 500ah @ 48v in there. It's just a space issue that comes with being on 4 wheels.

    Regards
    Sean
    (edit: I'm actually on 10 wheels...for the record)
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,509 admin
    Re: Schneider Combox compatibility with pre-Schneider Xantrex XW systems.

    Space and weight are always an issue with lead acid batteries and vehicles. Getting a "training set" of batteries for the first set or two until you get the system running well (and you get experience) is usually a very good idea. Most people "murder" their first set or two of batteries (me included).

    Keep an eye on LiFEPO4 type lithium batteries. They are getting close to being the battery of choice for serious RVer's. They are expensive and the questions about monitoring/controlling cells makes things a bit cloudy. And make mistakes in operation costly. But there are many folks out there running them and happy with the results.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • AudiomakerAudiomaker Solar Expert Posts: 100 ✭✭
    Re: Schneider Combox compatibility with pre-Schneider Xantrex XW systems.

    I checked those out Bill and cool!

    I'm making some checks in Photoshop right now to buy a set ;-)

    Currently about 15-20 grand to get 400ah @ 48v. Disappointed in myself for needing to wince at that.

    Someday...
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