Inverter upgrade with additional solar?

Northern_BCNorthern_BC Registered Users Posts: 28 ✭✭
I am looking to add additional solar panels to my array. The additional panels are for through the winter on short, low sun days. When my panels are not putting out close to full output.

My inverter is the XW6048. I have 6kW of solar panels now, though I don't think at the inverter it has ever been drawing above 5kW. I want to add 2.25kW of solar panels. Do I need to upgrade my inverter now that I have the potential to be inputting 7-8kW? I can control the charge amps to the batteries, but unsure if the inverter will even accept for than 6kW.

XW6048 inverter, EnerSys 1520 Ah battery bank, 1500 watt tracker & 7500 watt stationary solar, 10kw Baldor NG generator


  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,246 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The inverter will only draw what it needs to satisfy the loads and internal losses. Having an array of larger capacity really has no bearing on the inverter unless larger loads than the present are anticipated..

    The benefits are being able to harvest more energy when solar is at a premium during winter, during summer their may be a surplus to requirements, what isn't used for charging and loads would simply be lost potential, this potential could however be used for other purposes. Should these other purposes require AC power greater than the combination of current basic loads and the opportunity loads combined, then a larger inverter or a second stacked unit would be required.

    A ballanced system will always have greater potential capacity than needs, it often feels like wasted energy that needs to be used, its better in my opinion, to think of it as a reserve capacity waiting for a stretch of poor weather where a smaller array would be insufficient

    Having sufficient charging capacity to utilize the added solar may be something worth considering, to optimize charging the batteries after a deep discharge.

    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,987 admin
    edited August 2019 #3
    What, exactly, is your Solar Charge Controller? It is separate from the XW Inverter (which does not "care" about the size of your solar array).
    What type of batteries are you using for your 48 Volt battery bank (Flooded Cell, AGM, etc.).
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,573 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Adding more panels will likely require the purchase of an additional Solar Charge Controller.   This device converts the PV panel voltage, into voltage suitable for charging the batteries the XW6048 runs off of.   I use 2 arrays and 2 charge controllers with my XW6048, and all are wired to the same battery bank
    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

    gen: ,

  • Northern_BCNorthern_BC Registered Users Posts: 28 ✭✭
    BB. I currently have two Schneider MPPT 60 150 charge controllers.

    It sounds like I was not thinking this correctly and my inverter won`t be an issue. I am not looking for more output and sounds like input is only related to the charge controllers and not the inverter.

    Maybe the better question is Should I be adding a 3rd charge controller? The MPPT60 150 says it is rated at a max output power of 3500W. In theory if I add 2.25kW more I could be sending around 4000W to each charge controller. But like I said above, I don`t expect to actually get 8kW out of my system to the charge controllers. On a bright sunny winter day the reading from the meters are usually 4500 - 5000 W I think when bulk charging. On a summer morning it is never using more than 1500W or so to charge. Maybe I can push it an not have to buy another charge controller, but I don't want to damage what I have or have them pop the breaker on sunny days and get nothing.

    XW6048 inverter, EnerSys 1520 Ah battery bank, 1500 watt tracker & 7500 watt stationary solar, 10kw Baldor NG generator
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,438 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The controllers will limit to 60a, so 120a for a pair.  That's a bit light for 1520ah bank, so adding a third with extra pv not a bad idea.  IMHO, with two and extra 2kw pv you shouldn't pop breakers or damage things, but may want extra capacity
    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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