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Author Topic: Poof goes the Morningstar MPPT 60 controller  (Read 38513 times)
stephendv
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« on: February 10, 2012, 12:18:05 PM »


So, got up early this morning to increase the absorb time a bit on  my controller - and as I've done quite a few times before, changed the config using my laptop and the MSView software from morningstar.  New settings loaded fine and the controller went into fault mode as it always does after uploading new settings.  Then I click on the "reset" button to restart the controller and BOOM sparks everywhere and black smoke from the controller  facepalm

The only thing different about today from the many other times I've done this is the low temperatures, panels had a Voc of 111V about half an hour after the bang - but this should still be well within the 150V range of the controller.  Currently with the distributor to see what how long replacement under guarantee will take  Cry  Cry  Cry
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Eleanor
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 12:26:11 PM »

Sorry to hear that Stephen  Sad
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billi
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 01:05:42 PM »

 Embarrassed  seems similar happened here.....

http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,16171.0.html
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1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 01:39:39 PM »

Good to know I'm not the only one.  While waiting for this to be sorted out my PV array is 4 groups of 3 in series of Yingli poli panels with Vmp 29.5 and Voc 37.  Total of 2.8kW into a 790Ah (C20) 48V battery.  Could I wire 2 of the panels directly to the bank without a controller and without diodes?
If it's 2 panels in series it would be Vmp 59V which is 2.45V per cell.  And with just 2 panels, that'd be 470W or 8A into the battery: 1% of C rating.  Should be ok no?
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 01:53:04 PM »


Would say that is fine

I had   my whole 2.4 kw PV with 66 Vmp connected to my 24 volt battery for 2 weeks this winter  .... Tongue
sure gave me  only about half  the  power of the array ,but  was  working  fine ,  but   sure  only connected up  when battery was low .....
Not so sure , if that was very clever ,but what should happen  as long as Battery  voltage   stays  under 29 volt ?
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 02:01:09 PM by billi » Logged

1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 03:15:11 PM »

Yeah makes sense, thanks Billi.  I guess it could be OK to put the whole array on, but I'm not sure what the actual Vmp will be.  This morning the voltage was just above STC rating - but the panels have warmed up now and Voc was closer to the NOCT rating (i.e. So the Vmp should be closer to 2.23V per cell).  Think I'll play it safe and watch the battery tomorrow and then connect more panels if the battery hasn't charged much.
Have connected 4 panels now, and saw 10A going into the batteries.
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rogeriko
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 05:18:39 PM »

The battery will control the voltage. we just had big discussions about this on another thread http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,16462.msg187220.html#msg187220
Its quite ok to connect all the panels you just have to watch the battery voltage manually. Seeing as its winter time I am sure your batteries are not completely full. So if its sunny just keep an eye on the volts and when/if it gets to 56/58 disconnect all except for 2 to trickle charge a little more. how is the weather there now? sunny?
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stephendv
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 05:28:19 PM »

Very sunny and very cold temps - so the batts are pretty full 1.27 SG this morning before the bang.  I'd like to connect just enough panels so that I don't have to manually switch them off every day as they're far away and I need a ladder to reach the breakers.
These last few days, the battery enters absorb just before midday and finishes absorb around 2pm.  Sun sets at 6.  So perhaps best bet is just use 4 groups of 2 in series so V will never climb to anything dangerous? 
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2012, 02:03:07 AM »

No big discussion   Roger , just think  we need charge control .......... sure i can educate  my son to switch on and off  a heater   constantly , but i have my reservations ,that he will be reliable enough ....when Tom and Jerry   come to visit   whistlie



But agree  ,i could leave my Windturbine   uncontrolled to my battery  without a harm  ,  but certainly my PV  not  (much stronger)



Every setup   / location   differs ........... whistlie
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 02:15:18 AM by billi » Logged

1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2012, 03:23:39 PM »

Here's one for you: What's made in India and sprays all my equipment with oil and coolant when it overheats and blows a gasket?

.... my @$^@#ing  Volvox generator  Angry  Angry




* oil.jpg (24.49 KB, 640x478 - viewed 1363 times.)
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2012, 04:19:31 PM »

Should have bought a Lister  Grin Seriously Stephen don't feel too bad, one of the big Volvo's on the ferry did something similar last year right after I'd spent a whole two days cleaning and polishing the bilge and floor plates  Cry  Cry 40lts of hot black oil sprayed under pressure onto the injector pump drive shaft then liberally splattered all over the engine room. Worst of it was I couldn't shut it down as we were manoeuvring into a berth at the time, all I could was sit there, watch it and weep until we had the ropes on  fume

Sorry to hear about your controller, it's kinda put me off them  Undecided

Good luck, Paul 
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'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SMA SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 8kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2012, 04:38:05 PM »

Sorry to hear that Stephen,
                       These things happen and i guess we have to just turn round and get on with life.My 2kw got hit with lightening but it was a few days later before i knew the full extent of the damage.The lightening also fried the big blue outlet socket on the 6kw geni,knocked out the symmetra rm and knocked out the sound on the big flatscreen for an hour.I replaced the socket on the geni,The symmetra runs less a power module and a brain but it runs and the 2kw is almost up and running again.
  I know you spent a lot of time getting your volvox right but i am beginning to come round to pauls way of thinking.I already have a few listers but a nice 6kw job would certainly be a welcome addition.I am keeping my eyes open.
                                                                                     Biff
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stephendv
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2012, 05:22:47 PM »

Thanks for the condolences  Smiley  Glad I'm not alone in my frustration.  Regarding the Morningstar, I still really like the ethernet interface and the fact that I can monitor the thing all the time remotely.  What I don't like, compared to the outbacks for example: no built in relay, no "end amps" setting to end absorb - which would have been quite handy.

On the one hand I'm relieved that the volvox is now properly f$%@(d so I can replace it with something decent.  Spending the winter here with the solar panels has been instructive too - I've only had to turn the generator on once for an hour, but the weather has been unusually sunny with no rain since november.  So I'm considering replacing the gen with something smaller.  Perhaps a 3-4kW SDMO diesel, 3000rpm? and then only run it at 60% rating in emergencies.  Don't think I'll need more than 60 hours a year from it.


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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2012, 06:19:39 PM »

Hi Stephen,

personally I wouldn't touch a 3000rpm generator with a barge pole but at your kind of usage it would probably be OK. Diesel generators are better run at a minimum of 60% load, so perhaps your Volvox was too lightly loaded. No load = glazed bores = piston blow by = poor compression = pishing out oil =  sh*tfan

I'd ALWAYS go with a 1500rpm Lister as they're indestructible and cheap my last one I bought off here for less much less than 1000GBP delivered with only 50 hours on it http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,14524.0.html I only bought it because it was like new and no one else wanted it. I even sent PMs to other members telling them to buy it but to no avail.

At 39 years old and with never having been run for at least 10 years it started on first compression  Grin



just look at the insides of that baby  Grin



and here he is in place of my old ST2

http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/cyrils-in/

How about this one http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lister-Startamatic-Generator-6kwLister-Startamatic-Generator-/180814639439?pt=UK_BOI_Industrial_Tools_Generators_ET&hash=item2a1964714f

an SR2 that's a piece of cake to start via any inverter  Grin

OK, it might not be practical where you live Stephen but worth keeping an eye out as these things are all over the planet  Wink

Good luck, Paul
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'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SMA SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 8kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2012, 09:12:11 AM »

 Cry   I have  every winter some trouble with generators  ,  a nightmare


would be handy  to have one or two of those cheap china  GTI s (10-30 V  DC in)  and   " AC  couple"   our car    with its  alternator  into theoff grid system  system  ,  does not sound efficient  , but just in case ......  and one can built a nice small Genny  with a small engine and car alternators      and  feed the  GTI

Billi
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1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
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