armyaviator: Large XW6048 system--Would like to add genset for backup/extra power. Help!

This discussion was created from comments split from: Grid tie system, with off grid battery..

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  • armyaviatorarmyaviator Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭
    edited April 2020 #2
    Can anyone help me?  Schneider Electric Solar will not answer any of my three open tickets...waiting now two weeks!
    I have 9.2Kw of solar panels powering a hybrid grid-tie system with a 1200Ah 48V battery backup...using three XW6048 Hybrid Inverters, Power Distribution Panel, two MPPT 80 600 Chargers, System Control Panel and Combox.  

    I installed system in 2011 and has been working great since...however, I would like to add a tertiary backup.  

    In the event of grid down during summer months I run short on power especially during overcast/stormy weather;  I have a 12K 50Amp 240V Dual Fuel Portable Generator and would like to augment/supplement when grid is down. 

    I've read that AC2 issues with XW6048 might not properly charge batteries and my question is :  Can I connect generator through main breaker panel with interconnect?  This way it would supply inverters via ac1 wiring and i would not need to add wiring from all three inverters to power distribution panel... 

    Also, in the event of surplus energy will the inverters try to "Sell" back to my Generator in the is configuration and could this cause problems (safety concerns)???
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I've been charging my batteries for 10 years with the AC2 input.  Not a bit of trouble with it.   if there grid is down, you have an off-grid system, and AC2 works just dandy.
    I have only a single inverter and with your 3 ganged, you will have to read the manual to discover which is the best inverter to connect the generator to.
    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 ,

  • armyaviatorarmyaviator Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭
    mike95490  thanks for the insight.  That is the more laborious wiring method and all three inverters would be needed to be connected since each only has a 100A 48V charge output and a 240V 50A should convert to around 276A 48V  (or am I reading specs wrong?).  I am curious if you or anyone can see any problems with a interconnect on main panel (this is a fraction of wiring and would utilize already in place ac1 wiring and save money and time...but, not worth it if there is some xanbus or other issue)...    V/R, Mike
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,302 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2020 #5
    Do not use the main grid panel for this. You do not need to, it is not any harder to do it right. Get the correct dual pole for your PDP.
    A 12 KW genset is not that big for just one XW charger. I would just use one and save the rest of the genset for house loads.
    XW system will stop charging on AC2 when the grid comes back on AC1.

    The problem with any inverter charger is the solar coming on in cloudy weather when the generator is on. You need to set this up correctly.

    Schneider is not going to really be of help to you unless you are the registered installer. The xw6048 is out of support life now and has been replaced by xw6848+ or Pro. Combox also is out and replaced by Gateway
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,302 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Oh yea, fixed wing or whirly? Thanks for that one. I mean it!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • armyaviatorarmyaviator Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭
    Thanks Dave.  When grid returns and inverters return to ac1...what will they do to power from ac2 genset if it is still running (without an integrated AGS with connection via Xanbus)?  I suppose if I do the wiring the proper way, another $180 for a AGS is not a big deal...
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,302 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I do not like using AGS because 90% of the time it really is not needed and can start a fire. Especially with a gasoline engine!

    XW will disqualify AC2, the genset, a few minutes after AC1, the grid is back and stable. It will not allow backfeed or damage anything.
    Fixed or whirly? just wondering...
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • armyaviatorarmyaviator Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭
    Whirly?  ... do you mean hardwired or portable generator?   It is a dual fuel Portable 12K Generator.  I cannot justify the expense to doing a full-blown 30K standby genset...
  • armyaviatorarmyaviator Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭
    I am registered installed, or so I thought.  Schneider sent me motherboard for dysfunctional third inverter back in 2011 (which I installed)...and I spent a week helping them troubleshoot the old gateway (predecessor to the combox).  Schneider Electric tech support was super quick and friendly back then...I wonder what happened to them.
  • armyaviatorarmyaviator Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭
    Doh...sorry, slow thinking this morning.  "Whirly"  ... AH-64  "Rotary Winged"...long time retired though...LOL
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think Dave is asking about your screen name (aviator) not the genny  ;)

    Schneider has moved away from supporting end users directly in recent years.  I don't know how/if they qualify or define installers.
    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
  • armyaviatorarmyaviator Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭
    Estragon how do you like your Outback system? 
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,302 ✭✭✭✭✭
    In December they changed tech support and you would need to register again unless you were actively installing systems over the years.
    https://solar.schneider-electric.com/solar-installer-registration/

    The new gateway replaces combox which replaced the old gateway. Been using their gear since they bought xantrex and before that with Trace.  New Gateway is cloud based and allow you to monitor systems worldwide from anywhere. Below is a screen from Insight2.

    Fixed wing USN back to ww2.  Yes long time!  ;)



    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • armyaviatorarmyaviator Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭
    Dave thank you for your service!  Naval Aviators kick butt!  Wow, I wish I had your knowledge and expertise... I am most certainly overly ambitious with regards to PV.  Oh, and suffering terribly from paralysis from over-analysis... scared to muck something up.  I just opened everything up to take photos and develop a plan of attack...definitely want to proceed safely!
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,302 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Was not in that long but my brother retired in the FA 18 and flew the last F4 squadron to the boneyard in Tucson. Dad got it in the battle of Leyte gulf in 1944. He was up in a wildcat too many times to count. Just left us before thanksgiving.

    One thing you may have trouble with is the AVR in the genset. The good ones are no trouble. Some need to be tweeked so that the no load and load frequency is centered around what XW wants. Widen all the AC2 specs to max is a good start. They still will be good for your loads.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • armyaviatorarmyaviator Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭
    Dave, my condolences; they were definitely the "Greatest" generation.

    My Pulsar PG12000B does seem to have an AVR; but how good, I do not know (so far only ran 20min to flush oil).
    I guess I need to make a pot of coffee and open up the manuals to check on the settings...

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,302 ✭✭✭✭✭
     Yep ! The greatest! The things they endured...The backstage crew here reminded me that my second cousin flew Army Whirlies.👍
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • armyaviatorarmyaviator Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭
    Here's 6 years of data (didn't have combox for first 2+ years to log data...
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,302 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Looks like you have been doing a good job staying balanced!

    Remember that you need to keep your back-up loads below 13KW or you will need the schneider relay box. Your grey box xw is similar.

    Not sure why you needed 3 XW but it is not bad to have a spare. Just keep the chart below in mind. I had a machine shop doing this and even with extensive warnings they ran really high loads one week and killed the master switching relay. For others this is recorded internally and voids warranty. Since this is a board level replacement it can be a deal breaker for XW. Big power can be big money later also.....



    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • armyaviatorarmyaviator Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭
    I was told by a solar engineer that I needed the three xw6048 because of my 5Ton central A/C Lock rotor start (startup draw?)...which later was determined to be much lower than the published amp draw.  Yes, basically the third inverter sits in standby. 

    The wiring for the 50Amp plug (Portable 12K Generator) is complete and do I just enable Gen Support for each XW under the Advanced settings and make Gen Support Amps to =50?
  • armyaviatorarmyaviator Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭
    Finally got in touch with Schneider Solar Engineer after 2.5 weeks!   I need to set each XW for 1/3 of 80% generator's amp capacity.  So in my case about 12 to 13 Amps.
  • armyaviatorarmyaviator Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭
    I have a Crown 24-85-21 Forklift Battery and have the settings below;  does this look good?  Also should I set an equalizing into scp or just do it manually?  If manual, how often?  Minor stratification in top 1" or so during hydro readings, but manually set one MPPT 80 to equalize...is this sufficient? 

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,302 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you do not need the 3rd XW, I would take it offline/unwired and really make sure it is out of the loop so it will survive a grid, gen, or Glitch/lightning strike. That is my offgrid mentality to always have spares. Save a few watts also.....

    I did not look up your battery but bulk and absorb look low. Standard deviations in SG are usually a 2 hour EQ. Corrective EQ is longer until they settle close. What I do for Schneider EQ's because they only allow 1 hour on an EQ, is program the float voltage to the EQ voltage and write notes everywhere to remind. This way you have the full solar power for all of your loads from both mppts and the EQ will not get interrupted by loads.

    This my general advice. You should email me as I am in business and only do general advice here. I bend the rules for vets, cops, and fire folks though! FRIDAY!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

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