TriMetric meter and my Outback controller

BobbieLeeBobbieLee Registered Users Posts: 1
I've been advised that I need to upgrade my system in order for the batteries to last longer.  I have an Outback system but I've been advised I need a Hub, HubMate, and a TriMetric meter.  If I add the Hub and the HubMate, to my existing Outback system, do I still need the TriMetric meter or will the HubMate provide the same information the TriMetric meter will the necessary information to satisfy battery warranties? 

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,697 ✭✭✭✭✭
    BobbieLee said:
    I've been advised that I need to upgrade my system in order for the batteries to last longer.  I have an Outback system but I've been advised I need a Hub, HubMate, and a TriMetric meter.  If I add the Hub and the HubMate, to my existing Outback system, do I still need the TriMetric meter or will the HubMate provide the same information the TriMetric meter will the necessary information to satisfy battery warranties? 
    While it might be nice to have the extra's, what you need is proper battery charging and care. It might be helpful tool to have these things, but it can be done without.

    The Trimetric is a shunt based system, with a shunt measuring the current going into and out of the battery bank. If setup properly, should give you quality information on your battery bank. We often see people set them up improperly and have problems.

    Outback has it's own system which uses shunts in the charge controller and inverter. Do you have an Outback inverter and charge controller? Others here know more about the Outback system.

    I would think it would be nice to have one or the other, but redundant to have both. I think there are other reasons to have a hub and/or mate.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2017 #3
    Hi BobbieLee,
    The Hub is a communication device, similar to a network hub. The Mate/Mate3 is a remote control used to monitor and configure settings of the inverter, charge controller, etc. The Trimetric is a battery monitor. The Outback equivalent is the Flexnet DC or FNDC.
    When properly configured and managed they can give you a fairly accurate reading of the battery bank's SOC (State of Charge), amps in and out, and more . Although the Mate/Mate3 does provide some battery information, it is not as much or as accurate as a battery monitor. I do use a battery monitor myself, but it is not a Trimetric or FNDC.

    Rick  
    4480W PV, MNE175DR-TR, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 51.2V 360AH nominal LiFePO4, Kohler Pro 5.2E genset.
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,495 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I use both mate and trimetric, and I find the trimetric good for at a glance monitoring. The mate involves going through menu levels on a small lcd screen, the trimetric show a big red number on the led display. I can see net amps from across the room.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • BGordonBGordon Registered Users Posts: 1
    Hi,

    I just signed up to this Forum after I saw the post by BobbieLee as it has been a problem that I have struggled with for months.  My battery bank (locatted in a remote off-grid cabin) is the most expensive component of my RE system and my top priority is to insure that they are being fully charged - at least once a week.  Batteries are not fully charged untill they have spent the proper amount of time in the "Absorb" stage to the point of not accepting additonal charge current.

    I have both the Trimetric and the Outback FLEXnet DC (FNDC) battery monitors.

    My experience with the FNDC is that it is complicated and difficult to get the right combination of settings to insure that the charge controller remains in the Absorb Mode long enough to "fully" charge the batteries.  I spent months working with Outback Support trying to get my Mate3 to reset the "Days Since Full" (DSF) to Zero when it was reporting 100% State of Charge daily with good sun.  I finally accomplished resetting the DSF to zero by bypassing the FNDC charge parameters and controlling the "Absorb Time/Hours"  manually. 

    I recently installed the Trimetric TM-2030 battery monitor in my RV to monitor my solar system while dry camping.  It was simple to program and monitors Amp Hour replacement (Net Amp Hours) and charging voltage and current based on a battery efficiency factor.

    The Trimetric TM-2030 comes with a Shunt and it can be installed on any existing equipment without purchasing the Outback Hub or the Mate - at a fraction of the cost!

    I highly recommend the Trimetric TM-2030 battery monitor.  I am considering adding it to my Outback FLEXpower ONE system just for the simplicity of monitoring my battery bank Net Amp Hours..

    Plus, I find the Trimetric Support to be excellent.

    Bill

     
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,495 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just to be clear, although I like the trimetric for monitoring, it isn't perfect. Over extended periods of partial charge and discharge it gets out of whack. Any monitor will IMHO. I like it because it gives me a quick read on what's going on.

    The MATE is not really a (good) monitor though. It's main utility is to control Outback charge controllers and inverters. I use it to set custom parameters, and turn inverters on/off remotely. Not really an either/or. Each serves a purpose.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
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