XW inverter questions?

BrockBrock Posts: 630Solar Expert ✭✭✭
Right now I am running stacked SW2412's. I was going to upgrade to stacked SW5548's but now I am considering a single XW6048. I know it won't do what stacked 5548's would but I could get a second if I needed to. Mainly I am wanting to get out of the 12v battery setup as my system grows but would also like a better surge capability then what I have now.

So my big question with the 6048 is what if you load 6kw on one side and none on the other? Does it have a built in balancing transformer or how does it deal with this? I guess if loading one side isn't an issue I am fine with it.

One last question what about charging it with only 120vac, say from a Honda 2000i? Will it lock on to one side? Would it charge from only a 120vac input? I am assuming you could limit the amps draw like the SW line could?
3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI

Comments

  • crewzercrewzer Posts: 1,832Registered Users, Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: XW inverter questions?

    Brock,

    There’s a lot of info available on Xantrex’ XW website. See: http://www.xantrex.com/xw/ A quick review of the information suggests to me that the new inverter/chargers are intended for only 120/240 split-phase applications. The maximum line-to-line imbalance appears to be 75%, and I saw nothing in Xantrex’ literature that indicates the units can be used for single-phase 120 applications.

    HTH, and Best Wishes for 2008!

    Jim / crewzer
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Posts: 1,959Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: XW inverter questions?

    You need a 240V 3 wire genny ... ( Thanks Crewzer )

    As for crewzers comment on 120vac only, you can run loads off of only one leg and not use the other, but the your 6kw inverter is now only 4.5kw

    The XW does everything the SW did ... and much more with much better performance and efficiencys.

    By the way, SW's are no longer manufactured and from reading, they are pretty much gone from the distributors shelfs as well .. so thats not a option.
  • crewzercrewzer Posts: 1,832Registered Users, Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: XW inverter questions?

    Somebody's documentation is flawed. Xantrex' on-line XW Installation Guide (page 1-7) is pretty clear on the generator issue:
    Generator

    The generator should be a 120/240V, 2-wire or 3-wire generator with Auto Start capability.

    Important: Do not use a 120-volt only generator. The inverter will not accept power from a generator of this kind.
    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Posts: 1,959Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: XW inverter questions?

    Interesting, yes the documentation I have on hand is pre-release ... it had an icon of a 120/240 generator and no warning like the release docs
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Posts: 718Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: XW inverter questions?

    for what its worth the magnum split phase inverters will charge from a 120 genny and still produce the 240 also. so i have to assume the xw would also
  • H2SO4_guyH2SO4_guy Posts: 213Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: XW inverter questions?

    The 6048 looks impressive BUT the biggest question is if the waveform is better than the old SW series? The SW was not that great of a stepped waveform (27 steps?).

    Also is is capable of 3 phase operation? I don't think so as the blurb said up to 3 stacked, which I think means three in parallel for a total of 150 amps of single phase 220 volt.

    It still looks cool however, 3 phase power to the shop tools is going to require a phase converter to run correctly.

    The outback option is to buy 3 of the 3600 watt 48 volt models for 3 phase operation, BUT they can't be stacked for anything more than the 30 amps per phase. So if you need more than 30 amps per any phase, you're running a genny.

    The XM series 6048 does look like it will cost less than the outback unit on a cost per watt basis.

    Any ideas?

    It would be nice to run 3 phase stuff, but I could get a phase converter if need be, or run a 3 phase diesel genny on veggie oil if need be.
    12K asst panels charging through Midnite Classic 150's, powering Exeltechs and Outback VFX-3648 inverter at 12 and 48 volts.  2080 AH @ 48 VDC of Panasonic Stationary batteries (2 strings of 1040 AH each) purchased for slightly over scrap, installed August 2013.  Outback PSX-240X for 220 volt duties.  No genny usage since 2014. 
  • BB.BB. Posts: 28,079Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    Re: XW inverter questions?

    Do you want to run the 3 phase equipment from battery, or just use Grid Tie to "spin your meter backwards"?

    If you don't want to run your shop tools from 3 phase battery backed power, any Grid Tied system should work fine (for smaller installations like home/small shops).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • H2SO4_guyH2SO4_guy Posts: 213Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: XW inverter questions?

    Bill,

    I think we will be off grid. Do you know if the 6048 is cleaner power than the old SW series, or just like it. The outback and Exeltech both had better wave forms than the old SW series, so I just wondered if they had imporved the waveform.

    My Exeltechs have 2% THD on the power, which is better than the spec for the power companys!

    We are looking at land in Colorado, and if there isn't any power available, the land is usually much less costly than if there is grid power available. Either way, it will be rural living.

    Are you happy with the 6048 so far? It looks like it is pretty nice. Also are you using a large battery bank too?

    Thanks,

    Skip
    12K asst panels charging through Midnite Classic 150's, powering Exeltechs and Outback VFX-3648 inverter at 12 and 48 volts.  2080 AH @ 48 VDC of Panasonic Stationary batteries (2 strings of 1040 AH each) purchased for slightly over scrap, installed August 2013.  Outback PSX-240X for 220 volt duties.  No genny usage since 2014. 
  • BB.BB. Posts: 28,079Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    Re: XW inverter questions?

    Skip,

    I am using a 3kW Grid Tied system (3.5kW of STC rated panels for ~4,800 kWhrs generator per year)--so I cannot tell you about using any off grid type system from my experience...

    If you are trying to run 3 phase equipment, I don't think you would see any differences between 2% and 5% THD.

    I setup a friends machine shop in his 2 car garage with several 1-5 HP pieces of 3 phase equipment (a couple Bridgeport Mills, an old WWII 5hp turret lath, a 1 hp turret lath, and a 5 hp CNC lath). All running off of single phase 240 VAC using a 5 HP idler motor to create fake three phase power. For the CNC I wired the electronics so that they would draw power from the one true 240 VAC single phase--but otherwise the rest of the equipment was unmodified.

    I am sure that the 3 phase power generated this way was not very good, but all of his equipment worked just fine (plus the more 3 phase motors I turned on, the more they helped the original idler converter-motor generate the additional phases). We had more problems power droops when he first turned on his equipment (cycling the power on the air compressor would sometimes cause the next door neighbor's TV problems).

    We reduced the voltage droop problem by choosing multi-horse power equipment that used clutches to stop rotation instead of of turning motors on and off all the time (or in the air compressor's case, used an unloader instead of an electric pressure switch). Worked very well for many years.

    Solar PV works well, but if you are going to use large amounts of power--it is going to be very expensive to install and maintain an off-grid system.

    You would probably be better off estimating how much power you will use, figure out how much an off grid system would cost vs finding a place with power nearby--and see if you can use the difference in costs between an off-grid system vs a grid tie system and use the difference to pay for running utility power to your land.

    For a full off-grid system, you will need a generator--so it would probably make sense to size the generator to run your shop+home loads (+ charging) as there will be times (especially during the winter) will you will not have enough solar power to run your loads.

    And, if your shop loads are highly variable (few days of heavy use, weeks of light/no use), it probably would not make economic sense to build a solar array that could handle 100% of the loads all year round--but use the generator instead for those days when you use the heavy equipment.

    If you are talking about under 5 HP manually operated equipment that uses 3 phase power just to power the main drive--You might want to experiment on using a 3 phase converter like I did... Installing 3x 6048 inverters seems to be way expensive overkill for a small installation. You could possibly even avoid a 3 phase generator...

    In the end, you are talking about a very large investment in power for your new place--you should probably try mocking something up first and make sure how much it will cost for your place. And make sure that it is economically practical.

    Here seems to be a pretty good link that goes into the details of a single to three phase converter and the issues. Mine was a simple design--just a 3,5xx RPM Y wound 5 hp motor and used a small 120 VAC motor with a fan belt looped around the shaft to spin the motor up to near full speed. A rope pull also worked fine, but the starting load from low RPM and to full speed was pretty severe (see neighbor's TV for details).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • MangasMangas Posts: 547Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: XW inverter questions?

    Would I have problems replacing my stacked 5500 watt SW inverters with the new generation XWs'? Did I undertsand you guys right?

    So far, I haven't had any problems with the SWs (except adding capacitors to the variable speed furnaces). But if I ever had to replace the SWs', I assumed XWs' would require no mods to my off grid system.

    I was told the new XWs' have a better sine wave than what I am running.
    Ranch Off Grid System & Custom Home: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, ICF House Construction, all appliances, Central A/C, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Propane furnaces, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
  • BB.BB. Posts: 28,079Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    Re: XW inverter questions?

    I am not saying--because I don't know... ;)

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BrockBrock Posts: 630Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: XW inverter questions?

    Thanks. I didn't plan to load 6kw up on one side I was more curious if an unbalanced load was ok, 75% either way should more then do the trick.

    So if I were to use a Honda eu2000i I would have to get a 120/240 transformer on the input side. Hey when you do that is there a place to tap off the center? Or can you just feed the 240 in to the inverter and it will center off the ground/neutral?

    I know the SW's are no longer made but it looks like places that still have the 5548's are selling them at a reduced rate (if they aren't all gone by now). I don't have any 3 phase loads so I am fine on that front.

    I think the XM6048 is a better way to go for the long run with it being newer and less expensive to start out as well only having to buy one to make the switch.

    I would just have to sell my two SW2512's ;)
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: XW inverter questions?

    hi brock,
    glad to see you posting again for i hadn't seen much from you for quite awhile. the xw is pretty new and if they shipped i don't know of anybody with one as of yet to know of operations or if there's any just released bugs. if you get the sw's on sale you may kick yourself later so maybe if you can wait some it would be good to do. if anybody even would have an inkling to your questions it would be solar guppy unless windsun has the info now.
  • BrockBrock Posts: 630Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: XW inverter questions?

    It's good to be back! We sold our house last spring and are building a new one, with solar mounts on a nice south unobstructed garage roof! Another baby (that’s #4 in 6 years) and moving and that darn job thing keep taking up my time :)

    Yes I read Solar Guppys xm6048 stuff, which is what made me want one :) Honestly it would be so much easier to just start out that way rather then install my stacked SW2512s then rewire the panels and batteries again for 48v a couple months later. Although I could just go to 48 right away with the MX60 and panels. It would also work out better with a 60 amp 240 transfer built right in as well.

    And thanks to BB for reminding me to get my behind over here more ;)
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
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