Hi Watts = 107.5%!

CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
This is a record for my 4 Sharp 175's! :D

I think the wind may be keeping the panels cool, improving efficiency. Pity they also keep blowing in clouds!
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Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,706 admin
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    Glad it is working out well for you... Just an FYI--many vendors are known for reporting 5-10% higher readings (power) than is really happening. Appears to make for happy customers. :confused:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    At best, that's nothing more than a "feel good" indicator, all the Outback units I have tested ( 6 different units over the years now ) were at best 5% over actual and typcally much further off in the optimistic direction ( typically 10-15% high ).

    Cool conditions and edge of cloud can certainly have higher than normal performance but just understand the display is not particularly accurate.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    Normally it runs about 75% of the panel rating in bright sun. This is just an anomaly!
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    My testing here using 3rd party data monitoring shows the same the MF series runs at least 10% above what it actually makes
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    meh. :p

    It's all relative, see? 75% vs. 107.5% - even minus a reading error of 10% this is the best the array has ever done. :D
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    that is exactly right that is still a really cool number no matter what
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,163 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    Good on ya Marc... all relative too...;)

    I have been observing somewhat opposite readings between the XBM and the MX.:confused:
    Been blaming some adequate but undersized wiring for the (loss) lower XBM Amps vs the MX but now am wondering after SGs comment that there is a discrepancy in the MX amperage readouts. Will have to investigate further.

    Eric
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 966 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    Clouds rolling by ? It's probably from an edge of cloud event. Even if it was 5% high, that's very good.

    Heck, even 100% would be good.

    boB
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,351 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    At 0f (-18C) I routinely get ~230 watts out of 200 watt panels, add in some edge of cloud and it can bump a bit higher. (That's cold panels, and reflection off of miles of frozen lake covered with snow!

    Gets colder, gets even better.

    Tony

    PS I know we had a long engineering discussion about my description of how much it put out at -40. I haven't actually done a real analysis since I have redone my system. Next winter perhaps.
  • dlenoxdlenox Solar Expert Posts: 42
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    Marc,

    I have four Mitsubishi 180 watt panels (720 watts total) and have seen them output over 800 watts at times when the sunlight is unobstructed.

    It's nice to see that some manufacturers have not over-rated the output from their panels, and under excellent conditions you are able to see them output at least their rated power.

    Dan Lenox
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    Its called a standard for a reason

    1000 watts meter squared irradiance with the panel cells at a temperature of 25C is the criteria used by all manufactures to rate the power rating of the pv panel.

    Panels are "flash" tested to prevent the heat from raising the cell temperature during the test. Mitsubishi is no better than Evergreens or probably a dozen other manufactures for that mater, the listed wattage is identical for the same test, that's why they have the test.

    Without doubt, its the quality of the measurements or the equipment used is what effects what people see there PV producing power wise. You need to know the cell temperature, the irradiance at the cell ( to correct for sun angle error ) a way to verify true vmp and account for all loses in the load and measurement equipment to make a statement that one is better than another. I own all the above as part of my business and its near full time job to keep it all calibrated for accurate results.

    If someone is making a statement Mitsubishi is better than Kyocera, Sharp, Evergreen ect, its more likely due to the variance in the measuring, not the true performance of the PV panel

    Outback, as an example, knows this and chooses to sell equipment that makes the end user feel good about there choice to by the controller ( higher listed power harvest than actual ). One can argue the merits of this approach, me being an engineer have the opinion it deceptive at best, but that doesn't make it good or bad, just how I see things.

    In cool or edge of cloud events it common to have greater than STC conditions and get more than STC power. The lower the cell temperature or the greater the irradiance, the higher the output. Edge of cloud in my location regularly shows 1100-1350 vs the standard of 1000 ( watt/meter/squared ) or 35% peak intensity on the pyranometer

    Put a panel in snow country and you could get 1.5X the rated output between the cold temperatures and reflection off the snow
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    I have to agree with SG - it is at least 'sloppy' of Outback not to make their readings as accurate as possible.

    But I also think that what this thread has shown is that there is a great deal of difference between performance in controlled laboratory conditions and in the real world. Actual performance is highly dependent on individual site conditions, especially weather. I even think my elevation here helps by eliminating a couple thousand feet of firmament that blocks some sun. :D At least it eliminates a couple thousand feet of pollution that blocks some sun! :p
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,706 admin
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!
    I have to agree with SG - it is at least 'sloppy' of Outback not to make their readings as accurate as possible

    I think it is more than "sloppy"... There have been multiple reports over the years here of people bringing it to the vendor's attention and getting a "no...--really?" reply from the company.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    Yikes! Pretty rough stuff, guys:
    At best, that's nothing more than a "feel good" indicator, all the Outback units I have tested ( 6 different units over the years now ) were at best 5% over actual and typcally much further off in the optimistic direction ( typically 10-15% high ).

    Cool conditions and edge of cloud can certainly have higher than normal performance but just understand the display is not particularly accurate.
    Outback, as an example, knows this and chooses to sell equipment that makes the end user feel good about there choice to by the controller ( higher listed power harvest than actual ). One can argue the merits of this approach, me being an engineer have the opinion it deceptive at best, but that doesn't make it good or bad, just how I see things.
    I have to agree with SG - it is at least 'sloppy' of Outback not to make their readings as accurate as possible.
    I think it is more than "sloppy"... There have been multiple reports over the years here of people bringing it to the vendor's attention and getting a "no...--really?" reply from the company.
    Can you provide some specific examples of “deceptive” and or “sloppy” claims?

    I’ve only measured numbers on a single OutBack controller, and that was several years ago. I thought most of the numbers looked pretty good (see posts near bottom):

    http://www.outbackpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=952&hilit=indicated+measured

    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!
    This is a record for my 4 Sharp 175's! :D

    I think the wind may be keeping the panels cool, improving efficiency. Pity they also keep blowing in clouds!

    Marc,

    This is not at all unusual. Short duration power surges are typically the result of an "edge of cloud" event, when the Sun's rays are focused onto a PV array, briefly resulting in higher-than-normal output current.

    The power number is impressive, but, because it's short duration, there's very little extra energy produced. It's a not uncommon environmental artifact, and not cause for bashing the controller's manufacturer. All PV modules respond to edge-of-cloud events in the same way, and any charge controller that tracks input power will display this type of anomoly in the manner that you observed.

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    From my work Jim, the accuracy vary's over the operational range ... low wattage way off, mid range not so bad, high power off a lot.

    I have tested 6 different OB units, all bought from different retail stores.

    It a well know issue to those that work in RE about accurate reporting on a units performance and extends well beyond charge controllers.

    PV Power was the poster child for this issue and what drove the entire work for the CEC demanding UL signed off testing for inverters which the 3600 watt OB shows up as a 3100 watt in real life inverter.

    Unfortunately, the longer I work in this business the harder it is to be able to claim I'm not biased ( I feel I am, buts that's another story ) and I respect anyone's challenges to what I report, so take what I write as just one persons opinion.

    My work is every day is testing, validation and design of these products and I have pride in what I do... that's all I can offer in response to your challenge.

    If you need some hard data maybe your former employer could provider could pony up some UL verification data on this subject. I am VERY sorry to hear of your your circumstances , best wishes to you and hope you can continue with your RE journey.


    SG
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,706 admin
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    Solar Guppy with ~2.5 year less bias ;):
    The MX60 does not have current measurement for the Array current and hence Array Power Values are not measured but estimates. Also, in my testing of multiple units, the DC watts accuracy was in the 10-35% range, always reporting high in DC watts ( meaning unit is reporting more watts than are actually being produced ). I've done some very extensive testing with lab quality power meters and have discussed with now "former" Outback staff, their take was it didn't effect the performance and the customers weren't complaining, which I agree.

    IMHO,* I guess its the engineer part in me that gets ruffled when I see post after post of some outrageous system performance knowing its just digits on the LCD display, not watts going into the load :roll: The MX60 is a good charger, its not a good watt meter ...

    Not that "Guppy" has been keeping solutions to himself:
    ...Yes, the Yokogawa Wt2030 was about 20K new ....

    Putting a Yokogawa under the hood is a bit less though, check out http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/21482C.pdf

    About 3 dollars including the above chip, shunts, precision resistors for full array and battery current, I'm getting about 0.5% accuracy over the power range of my current work....

    And, Home Power Magazine (article since removed from Blue Sky's website) reported a 99.3% power efficiency vs the 93% that the design (at best via Solar Guppy) was capable of:

    Blue Sky patented MPPT vs other MPPT controllers?

    So, yes there is quite a bit of history regarding various vendor's accuracy regarding power output as self reported. And, nobody at the companies or in the "press" seem to even question the numbers.

    We can also talk about the solar panel vendors that hype their panel as being a whole bunch better than the competitor (work better at temperature, work better in low light, and even a few article or so that talk about collecting solar power from starlight).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • dlenoxdlenox Solar Expert Posts: 42
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    SG,

    Not saying that one manufacturer panels are better, only that it seems like the rating that they give them is certainly in line with what the panels can produce.

    It took a while for the EPA estimated MPG for vehicles to come into line with what was obtainable, and possibly the solar panel industry may not be 'fudging' the estimated panel power output.

    Don't know about if other manufacurers are giving realistic panel values, the only ones I've delt with are the ones that I have.

    Dan
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,351 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    Which Bluesky did SG test? The link refers to Windsun's comment about a discontinued model. How does the current line of BS controllers stack up relative to their hype?


    Tony
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    PV Power was the poster child for this issue and what drove the entire work for the CEC demanding UL signed off testing for inverters which the 3600 watt OB shows up as a 3100 watt in real life inverter.
    Ref: http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/equipment/inverter_tests/summaries/Outback%20GVFX%203648.pdf

    Henry,

    I realize that this particular issue still causes heartburn for some. What I don’t understand is how the OP’s picture of what was almost ceratinly an edge-of-cloud power spike degraded into an OutBack bash-fest.

    The CEC power issue is one that may never be resolved. It’s my understanding that the Sandia protocol used was developed after Outback introduced its inverters and their published specs. Accordingly, it appears that different protocols were used.

    Interestingly, this particular “CEC problem” is not limited to OutBack products. Xantrex’ SW4024, 4048, and 5548 inverters – also all developed before the Sandia protocol – did not fare well in their CEC tests.

    See: http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/equipment/inverter_tests/summaries/Xantrex%20SW4024.pdf
    and: http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/equipment/inverter_tests/summaries/Xantrex%20SW4048.pdf
    and: http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/equipment/inverter_tests/summaries/Xantrex%20SW5548.pdf

    Frankly, this situation really doesn’t bother me too much. Holding manufacturers responsible for protocols developed after the products just doesn't sit well with me. Furthermore, operational RE system inverters are rarely stored at 45 C for 24 hours, then operated at full power for 2-1/2 hours for thermal stabilization, and then tested at full power for at least three hours more, as required by the Sandia protocol.

    Additionally, there are other product quirks that we don’t hear much about. For example, the CEC tests for the XW6048 indicate a night time tare loss of 45 W. The same test protocol recorded the OutBack’s overnight tare loss at 0 W.

    See:
    http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/equipment/inverter_tests/summaries/Xantrex_XW6048-120-60.pdf
    and: http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/equipment/inverter_tests/summaries/Outback%20GVFX%203648.pdf

    I agree that in the end, we’re all trying to help our customers get the most bang for their buck in terms of performance, features, and user experience. There are a variety of ways to do that. For example, when a potential customer presents a requirement that calls for a “small” solution, then I’m perfectly happy walkin’ ‘em over to Brad Berwald at Morningstar.

    Finally, I do sincerely appreciate your messages of concern about me leaving Outback. I’ve received many phone calls, PM’s, posts, and e-mails of concern and support. I appreciate and value them all, and I hope that this unfortunate career chapter will be short.

    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!
    It took a while for the EPA estimated MPG for vehicles to come into line with what was obtainable, and possibly the solar panel industry may not be 'fudging' the estimated panel power output.

    Don't know about if other manufacurers are giving realistic panel values, the only ones I've delt with are the ones that I have.
    Dan,

    Yeah, STC numbers are typically not realistic. Check a module's NOCT values for more realistic performance specs.

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,706 admin
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!
    crewzer wrote: »
    Additionally, there are other product quirks that we don’t hear much about. For example, the CEC tests for the XW6048 indicate a night time tare loss of 45 W. The same test protocol recorded the OutBack’s overnight tare loss at 0 W.

    And very happy to have that pointed out--that is not an insignificant amount of power consumed at night... Sort of makes one wonder about what the 8 watts of power otherwise stated.

    0.045 KW 12 hours * 30 days = 16 kWHrs per month

    That is 5-10% of my total monthly Grid Usage.

    Would be interesting to understand why (internal battery charger floating XXX AH of battery bank or what).

    My goal (at least) is to try and disseminate accurate information. Obviously there are few of us here with access to a wide variaty of units and lab quality test benches.

    In general, if you are with 5-10% of predicted/measured values--that is probably as close as a "home user" can ever accurately measure.

    Units that go out reading 35% "optimistic" become very difficult to justify when trying to understand an off-grid system.

    Nothing out there is perfect. There is always a price/performance/quality trade off. (old engineering saying--"Pick any two").

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    Sorry I spoke: seems to have started a war. :blush:

    Yes I do know what is going on with the MX - I did say it was an anomaly. It's the average output over a day or days that is really important.

    As far as the Outback's accuracy is concerned, others say it is off by XX%. I do not know and have no way of testing. But if it is inaccurate and they know about it, seems to me they'd want to bring it in line as close as possible. Otherwise, why have a read out at all?

    I seem to be upsetting a lot of people lately. I'll just sit here quietly now.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,163 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    Hi Marc, did you happen to 'calibrate' the volts on your MX to battery Volts using a DVM at the battery? I know it is in there somewhere...

    Eric
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    The XW inverter have I beleive has 3 different sleep modes that bring the tar loss down below 8 watts as speced, the 45 watts is the inverter active and idle, not surpising for a 6kw box, the Outback is similar, just scales to the size

    As for products and testing, only the Outback FX series is still being sold, the SW and SW+ are long retired from being manufactured and sold. Since its been 4 years since the CEC/Sandia/UL requirements why hasn't Outback improved the design or updated the true operational power the inverter can handle in the marketing material? ... that where my concerns or comments are.
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    45 watts for the xw idle but on seems pretty respectable I think a pair of Outbacks would be the same and I know my Magnum is close.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,840 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    I really tried to switch over to Outback. Their CC was the best for Offgrid. The inverters were less than 1/2 the weight. It all became clear when I started having trouble with a few of my early Outback customers.

    I was happy that the Outback CC allowed me to run greater distances with less loss. A very fine buck converter was all I needed but fan problems and the ridiculous amount of tweaking/sweeping with no power made one of my customers a little "crazy" Outback did a beta to try and fix it but.....

    One of my customers with an SW told another with an Outback that they could run their whole SW4048 on a 1000 watt Honda. We tried it on the Outback and it worked until the water pump pressure switch cycled. The generator dropped and it was back to the battery. This is where I learned about load support and the bidirectional nature of the SW's and now the XW. The SW would happily use it's battery while still connected to the little honda when the well pump cycled. I assume this support feature is what allowed the old SW to grid tie (Help SG)
    but I remember very little about that stuff. I do know that the 5 second surge rating is what is important for the happiness of an expensive deep well pump.

    To sum it up I will buy whoever builds the best! I do not want fans running except for extreme conditions. Relays should be used intelligently and not trying to prove that they will last by cycling. I want equipment that I can take nap with and not get disturbed by noise. I did a review of the XWCC and it was on the Arizona web store for a month in Jan 09. They dropped it for whatever reason but as SG said previously it is by far the best at this point in time.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!
    I did a review of the XWCC and it was on the Arizona web store for a month in Jan 09. They dropped it for whatever reason but as SG said previously it is by far the best at this point in time.


    Huh ??? first I ever hear they were dropped

    http://store.solar-electric.com/xaxwmp60amps.html
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    the XW MPPT60 works very well. It however has tons of relay clicking morning at wake up and night when it is going into lo light. In my extensive testing here it appears The XW doesnt harvest as much as the MX60 or the Classic but it is real close and it works. It doesn't have all the quirks the outback FM series has. I have not pushed it to its limits amperage wise but i suspect it will be fairly warm with no fans but i guess thats ok as long as it holds up well over the long haul.

    Xantrex has long made the best inverter in my book I loved the SW+ line and the XW is no slouch
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,840 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hi Watts = 107.5%!

    Halfcrazy,
    There is a firmware revision that help reduce the cycles at dawn and dusk. I think it was #4 or 5?? can't remember. You have to admit that the CC is silent except those times. With a tracked array I am at 5 cycles dawn and dusk. They do need to tweak it more but are afraid of losing harvest. It is such a small amount but they have to keep the grid-tie folks happy. Remember charts and graphs........It is nice that you can tweak the firmware in your own home! Even nicer that the beast does not wake me up at siesta time. A 5 year warranty to boot.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

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