Feedback on Outback VFXR/FXR inverters?

twistedtreetwistedtree Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭✭
I'm looking for feedback on the newer VFXR and FXR inverters from outback.  I have used the older VFX, but for this next project I really need an inverter with a load assist feature (inverter+battery supplements grid/generator to power heavier loads).

Thanks in advance

Comments

  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 394 ✭✭✭
    I have a 36/48 out back system . 
     It doesn’t have generator assist , if charging and drawing power the generator will drop the charging to power loads . 
     I use a 2800 watt Honda to charge my system . 
     It runs the house fine and will start my frig when charging .
     If I power up tools the charging stops . 
     I run heavy tools no problem off my system .
     Air compressor , 15 amp saws . 
     I don’t like when the inverter drops the charging to power loads but it works fine . 
      I have a 120 volt system and run my charging off one leg of a 240 v generator,  the tools get plugged in to the second leg .
     The generator is a champion 4500 watt unit . 
      If we use 2 saws and the compressor kicks in the inverter will drop charging and resume when the rpms pick up on the generator .
       I have no grid here  I’m happy with my system so far. John 
    Out back  flex power one  with out back 3648 inverter fm80 charge controler  flex net  mate 16 gc215 battery’s 4425 Watts solar .
  • twistedtreetwistedtree Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the reply.  I just re-checked the FXR manual and there are two modes related to generator use.  One is "Generator" and the other "Support".  The support function only works in Support mode.  So perhaps you are using Generator mode?  Or perhaps you have VFX or FX models (no "R" at the end)?  Those are the previous generation and do not include the Support function.

  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 696 ✭✭✭✭
    @twistedtree,
    I don't have a FXR inverter, but have been using a Radian 4048A for 3 years now. From what I've read the functionality and management are the same as they are both Outback hybrid inverters, the big difference is the Radian is 240 volt. I use 3 modes only, Grid Zero, Mini Grid and Backup.
    Grid Zero is used with heavier loads because it blends grid and inverter to support the loads. The amount of power the batteries supply is configured by setting DOD amps and DOD volts. DOD amps is an AC value and can be set from 1 to the max the the inverter will allow. In my case that's 15 amps though I rarely go over 5 amps, 1200 watts. The documentation says that it will always use 1 amp from the grid, but I have seen it use less. The DOD volts setting is just what is says and when that voltage is reached, the amperage coming from the battery will slowly decrease and stop if there is no charging source.
    With Mini Grid, the inverter supports all loads until the "connect to grid" voltage is reached then the relay connects to the grid to support the loads. 
    Backup is also self explanatory. It is the default mode and I do generator charging in this mode.
    Also these systems require an internet connection to access monitoring and management features via a computer. 
    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Rick      
    3600W PV, MNE175DR-TR epanel modified, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 54.4V 195AH LiFePO4 no BMS, 4500W genset.
  • twistedtreetwistedtree Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭✭
    Thanks Rick.  I had to go back and look at why I rejected the Radian since it seems to fit my needs, esp with 240V split phase.  And Now I see.  It's 48V only.  For a variety of reasons, I'm locked into 24V.

    I had good service from a pair of VFX inverters, but I'm always nervous when a vendor revises their product, especially after being acquired by another company with unknown staff making the changes.  Xantrex, for example, really buggered up the Trace products.

    Also, some of these advanced features like load support don't always work as gloriously as the brochures say.  I have read that the Scnheider/Conext products don't work so well with this feature, but they are on my no-buy list for other reasons.

    With the VFXR, I actually plan to use the 230V Euro version, set to 60hz, plus an autotransformer to get 240V split phase.  Then with light loads the stacked VFXRs can idle down except for one to minimize parasitic loads.
  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 696 ✭✭✭✭
    I can't comment on the stacking aspect but the offsetting function of Grid Zero is as described and works  well.
    The screen capture below shows my system in Grid Zero while running a 2 ton 2 stage heat pump over a 24 hour period.


    3600W PV, MNE175DR-TR epanel modified, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 54.4V 195AH LiFePO4 no BMS, 4500W genset.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Manufactures can have problems and Outback is no different. Lately this is what I see from the guys I work with.

    "I have seen this problem and other similar problems many times. I saw one just last month that someone else was having trouble with. And with every single case that I've seen, the installer had accidentally neglected to ensure that the inverters are plugged into the correct ports. One of the Outback instruction manuals does say that the master inverter must be plugged into port one of the hub. In my own experience, if it's not plugged into port one, all kinds of weird and strange problems arise. I would be only slightly surprised if Outback tech-support did not have you check that. I think that some of their techs don't know the little details like that. On the Radian last month, I went over and switched the cables so that the Radian was plugged into port one, and it worked great after that.
     
    Just to keep things organized, I always ensure to put the master inverter in Port 1, the second inverter (first slave) in Port 2, etc., then put all the charge controllers after that. I don't understand it, I just know that this is a good way to prevent strange and frustrating errors.
     
    Sometimes the ever occurs immediately, sometimes the error waits and happens after running a while. I have found this same issue with all Outback products, FX, Radian, FXR, etc. "

    Number 2 comment.

    "Remember, on the FXRs, they plug into ports 1 and 7 (it's in the FXR manual) I always put the FNDC last if used.
    Remember, the 2nd Mate port is not used (I've seen that used and cause havoc as well).
    Always remember to reformat the SD card that you use for updates, and copy and paste each item to the card individually. Remember to eject card safely. Seem to be to many loose bytes floating around!
    My new rule of thumb: If your firmware is working, don't update. (if it ain't broke, don't fix it!) However, in your case, the Radian fw update may solve the problem. You may also consider plugging the Radian directly into the Mate for running the update."
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • twistedtreetwistedtree Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭✭
    Manufactures can have problems and Outback is no different. Lately this is what I see from the guys I work with.

    "I have seen this problem and other similar problems many times. I saw one just last month that someone else was having trouble with. And with every single case that I've seen, the installer had accidentally neglected to ensure that the inverters are plugged into the correct ports. One of the Outback instruction manuals does say that the master inverter must be plugged into port one of the hub. In my own experience, if it's not plugged into port one, all kinds of weird and strange problems arise. I would be only slightly surprised if Outback tech-support did not have you check that. I think that some of their techs don't know the little details like that. On the Radian last month, I went over and switched the cables so that the Radian was plugged into port one, and it worked great after that.
     
    Just to keep things organized, I always ensure to put the master inverter in Port 1, the second inverter (first slave) in Port 2, etc., then put all the charge controllers after that. I don't understand it, I just know that this is a good way to prevent strange and frustrating errors.
     
    Sometimes the ever occurs immediately, sometimes the error waits and happens after running a while. I have found this same issue with all Outback products, FX, Radian, FXR, etc. "

    Number 2 comment.

    "Remember, on the FXRs, they plug into ports 1 and 7 (it's in the FXR manual) I always put the FNDC last if used.
    Remember, the 2nd Mate port is not used (I've seen that used and cause havoc as well).
    Always remember to reformat the SD card that you use for updates, and copy and paste each item to the card individually. Remember to eject card safely. Seem to be to many loose bytes floating around!
    My new rule of thumb: If your firmware is working, don't update. (if it ain't broke, don't fix it!) However, in your case, the Radian fw update may solve the problem. You may also consider plugging the Radian directly into the Mate for running the update."
    I'm fine assuming a correct installation.
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 394 ✭✭✭
    Twisted tree, you where Correct in fact I do have generator support I must’ve just missed that when I set up my system I was having trouble getting the inverter to  except the current from my generator so I jumped to genarator mode and never looked back . 
     Generator support was kinda new 3 years ago and I did not now what it was ? Sorry for the  misinformation  
          I learn some thing new here every day thanks John 
    Out back  flex power one  with out back 3648 inverter fm80 charge controler  flex net  mate 16 gc215 battery’s 4425 Watts solar .
  • twistedtreetwistedtree Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭✭
    wellbuilt said:
    Twisted tree, you where Correct in fact I do have generator support I must’ve just missed that when I set up my system I was having trouble getting the inverter to  except the current from my generator so I jumped to genarator mode and never looked back . 
     Generator support was kinda new 3 years ago and I did not now what it was ? Sorry for the  misinformation  
          I learn some thing new here every day thanks John 
    No worries.  Glad we got it sorted out. 
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