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Author Topic: Easterdown Plan 'B' help please  (Read 16237 times)
V
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« Reply #135 on: November 14, 2016, 02:09:38 AM »

V
Quote
The SB's claim they are set for 50hz grid operation.
How does this claim manifest itself - is it accessible from the display panel or are you communicating with the SBs via software (eg Sunny Explorer)?


On the display.

And I wondered about the off grid thing, but I know the rotary encoder is set correctly.
The encoder should be set to E0 but even if it is this does not necessarily mean the parameters have not been subsequently changed via software - I think the only method of adjustment after a commissioning period in some SBs.
Sorry, don't quite understand this.


Quote
Perhaps I am being too simplistic here but there is one old inverter presumably operating under the same regime as the two that have prematurely failed and two new inverters clearly operating differently. It "seems" the newer ones respond to a lower frequency shift threshold that the older one. Two sets of inverters of the same type that have apparently been set-up differently. I think it is reasonable to assume (but it is not necessarily a fact) that the basic operating principles will not have changed even with firmware and software updates. A basic fault diagnosis starting point should be to:
a) Make a direct comparison of the set parameters which I think you can only do if you have the communication access (the display panel is very limited) - do you have such access?
and
b) Look at the SI data set to confirm the relationship between SI frequency shift and SB response, give precise information regarding the status of Bulk, Absorption and Float charging and a whole lot of other useful stuff - can you access the SI logs?

If you can do neither of these everything is guessing is it not.

Yes I can look at the logs, but I'm not sure what/where I would look for this info. I know where to find the times that boost or equalisations may have occurred. But I don't know where to look for frequency shift.

I'm afraid that I can't agree with Bxman that I 'have nothing to worry about'. Rogeriko said this earlier and this agrees with the behaviour that I have observed for two years:

The 3 inverters should all display very similar readings as long as their is enough load to use all the power and there is no shading on the panels AT ALL.
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camillitech
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« Reply #136 on: November 14, 2016, 07:18:58 AM »


But I don't know where to look for frequency shift.

I'm afraid that I can't agree with Bxman that I 'have nothing to worry about'. Rogeriko said this earlier and this agrees with the behaviour that I have observed for two years:

The 3 inverters should all display very similar readings as long as their is enough load to use all the power and there is no shading on the panels AT ALL.


Morning V,

Open the log in Excel (the text document and not EVT file) or something similar, check the 'delimited' icon then tick tab, semicolon, comma on the next dialogue box. The frequency will be in columns AA,AB,AC or there about.

I also agree with BXman about the inverters and read Rogeriko's statement differently. I think Roger is saying that 'when there is enough load' to use all the energy, in which case no frequency shifting is taking place. That I take it, that is when ALL the inverters should read similar. When frequency alters then I'd agree with BXman. I also agree with his water heating idea, that's what I do, ditch FSPC, keep all the SB's at 'full throttle' and divert all excess into a large thermal store using Hugh's method http://scoraigwind.co.uk/tristar-follower-to-control-ac-heaters/ As has been said before, everyone's system and requirements are different, it took me years to get this far https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/?s=an+off+grid+journey and I'm still constantly 'tweaking'.

Cheers, Paul

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« Reply #137 on: November 14, 2016, 09:06:33 AM »

Hi V,

here's (a not very good example) what you're looking for



from this thread http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,27449.msg313691.html#msg313691

That's charge current/frequency but you can pick your own data to graph to help you see what's happening. HH is your man for advice  genuflect

Good luck, Paul
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« Reply #138 on: November 14, 2016, 10:16:20 AM »

Great links Paul,
              Hugh,s new Tristar follower to control AC heaters is very interesting and it is indeed very good of him to share it with us,
   In my own case, my DC voltage is too high but then again my cable does not have to be too heavy to travel in dc + my thermostats are all triggered in AC.
   I know a few people who will be keen to use Hugh,s method.
                                                                   Biff
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V
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« Reply #139 on: November 14, 2016, 10:19:54 AM »

Hi V,

here's (a not very good example) what you're looking for


Thanks so much for this, I'll have a play.

But re: diversion of SB energy into the hot water - I have immersions in my two thermal stores and can switch them on whenever I want to and I'll look into how this other configuration of Hugh's works.

But that still doesn't change that I'm now, with these replacement inverters, getting less battery charging than I used to in low light conditions unless the SI is bulk charging.

Thanks to everyone who has been giving me such great information, I have a lot to process now and suspect this won't be my last question!
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« Reply #140 on: November 14, 2016, 10:53:42 AM »

Hi V

Has the SI been changed  or had it's settings changed ?

It is that which does the battery management . 

Nothing at all   to do with the PV inverters.

they just feed the SI and act in response to its control

If they are throttling back it is only because the SI is getting more power than it can use .
or
 maybe it is overheating ? unlikely but could possibly have  been  incorporated in s/w
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« Reply #141 on: November 14, 2016, 12:24:26 PM »

V
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On the display.
OK - I'm not directly familiar with these SBs. You still need to see the full parameter range though for which you need software access I think.
Quote
Sorry, don't quite understand this.
The encoder switch position should be at E0 - this is the setting for "off-grid UK". However some SB TLs would only accept parameter changes after the first 10 hours (or thereabouts) of operation made via software - ie the basic settings can not be made via the rotary switch therefore you need to check via software. Not suggesting your original SB is one of these but to be absolutely sure of the settings software is required.
Quote
But that still doesn't change that I'm now, with these replacement inverters, getting less battery charging than I used to in low light conditions unless the SI is bulk charging.
I may be reading you wrong, and apologise if I am, but you seem to have an incorrect reading of how the charge process works. The SI will initially deliver full current to the batteries until they are at the required voltage (this is the bulk phase) and then switch to absorption during which the voltage will be held constant but the current will taper off. Other than tracking the current vs voltage you have no indication when that switch is made (unless your SI has extra features I'm not aware of which is possible). After bulk phase is complete the SI will not deliver maximum charge current. It only has one point of reference which is the battery voltage and it will only deliver sufficient current to maintain that voltage whatever potential is available to it. All chargers (basic, complicated, AC, DC) use this process.
I'm not doubting your conviction that you are getting less charging now but the status of your whole system is a bit cloudy and needs to be worked through logically.
If you are prepared to share some data with us we can "see" what is happening. If you are not sure how to extract the data from the SI just post the raw data file from the SI SD card - one day's worth of log data would be fine although the parameter list and event files would also be useful. Refer to the thread Paul pointed you at for how to extract the data or I can walk you through the whole process (from Card save to spreadsheet input) if you want (may be better in a pm to avoid clutter on here). Can't help with the SBs unless you have the required communication access but just the SI data will confirm a few things.
Once your SB situation is resolved you should certainly think about automatic diversion. Paul uses one method, I use something similar but specifically for AC coupling, Nowty uses another and Tinbum has also developed a method. Which would be right for your particular  system is debatable (we will all no doubt plug our own) and is maybe a topic on it's own.
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« Reply #142 on: November 14, 2016, 12:26:15 PM »

Just a thought V, came to me in a flash there as I was moving 300 x 6m lengths of 50mm PVC ducting by hand  wackoold Anyway, how about doing a new battery install (10.8 page 76) perhaps the settings went 'pear shaped' when you had the connection problems? What does the SOH and cycle counter say? do they make sense? Also, as part of my monthly battery maintenance I run an IR thermometer over the battery terminals whilst the immersion is on, you can get them off eBlag for around a tenner and it'll save you a lot of grief in the future.

Cheers, Paul
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Tinbum
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« Reply #143 on: November 14, 2016, 12:51:18 PM »

The encoder switch position should be at E0 - this is the setting for "off-grid UK". However some SB TLs would only accept parameter changes after the first 10 hours (or thereabouts) of operation made via software - ie the basic settings can not be made via the rotary switch therefore you need to check via software. Not suggesting your original SB is one of these but to be absolutely sure of the settings software is required.

The switch setting has to be done within the first 10 hours of use otherwise it won't make any difference. After that 10 hours you have to use software and need a GRID GUARD code from SMA.
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« Reply #144 on: November 14, 2016, 06:03:07 PM »

Anyway, how about doing a new battery install (10.8 page 76) perhaps the settings went 'pear shaped' when you had the connection problems? What does the SOH and cycle counter say? do they make sense? Also, as part of my monthly battery maintenance I run an IR thermometer over the battery terminals whilst the immersion is on, you can get them off eBlag for around a tenner and it'll save you a lot of grief in the future.

Funny you should say that. I've been fretting about the SB software not being upgraded, but of course my SI is WAY out of date with its software. I've hesitated to upgrade it because when I upgrade the software I will lose all of my previous data. The SI will believe it has never been run before, although I can keep a copy of the data. And thanks for the heads up on the IR thermometer.

I thought I would try and get the SB's sorted out before embarking on the SI. The SI claims 33 cycles in 31 months.  It is consistent with the amount of full and equalisation charges that I've done. Does this seem realistic?

SOH has been 98% since the very early on. I thought this could be due to yet another thing Sungift Energy/Sungift Solar did wrong. When they installed the bank they set  the 'C10 of the bank' parameter to 2000 aH, when it was actually 1848aH. They said it wasn't important and refused to come and change it when I asked. Luckily my third installer was happy to put that right but it was several months later. When I spoke to SMA about this, they said that as the SI 'learned' my batteries the SOH might move up from 98%. On the other hand, this 98% figure could be completely unrelated to Sungift's incompetence. It was only in May that the problem with the battery cables was sorted out and some of the batteries were fairly unhappy back then, although they have now recovered extrahappy. SMA have looked at my card data several times and reckon that the Amps in and Amps out are pretty good. So maybe this >98% SOH is yet to come? Might not matter?

But the upgrade/reboot definitely has to happen. The loose battery connections were sorted out in between the two inverter failures, so about a 3 months after the first failure and the second failure was 5 months later. The first failure was before the battery cables were tightened, after some snow. The second was the day the digger replaced the soil into the trench that they had dug for the PV cable to be buried in.   


The encoder switch position should be at E0 - this is the setting for "off-grid UK". However some SB TLs would only accept parameter changes after the first 10 hours (or thereabouts) of operation made via software - ie the basic settings can not be made via the rotary switch therefore you need to check via software. Not suggesting your original SB is one of these but to be absolutely sure of the settings software is required.

The switch setting has to be done within the first 10 hours of use otherwise it won't make any difference. After that 10 hours you have to use software and need a GRID GUARD code from SMA.
Thanks for this. It looks VERY interesting. The replacement inverters were refurbished and had to come from Germany. I think some of these ideas that they could have started life in different Hz's and possibly even grid connected should be explored. More good stuff for my ever growing list!
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« Reply #145 on: November 14, 2016, 08:11:16 PM »

How do you connect your computer with your Sunny Boys, do you use Sunny Explorer and Bluetooth. All the settings are there to be seen. Country code, off grid etc.
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« Reply #146 on: November 15, 2016, 09:58:30 AM »

How do you connect your computer with your Sunny Boys, do you use Sunny Explorer and Bluetooth. All the settings are there to be seen. Country code, off grid etc.

I've heard this works, - I need to get a windows emulator/and or partition working on my Mac, then I'll need to get Sunny Explorer. Then, I believe, a Grid lock code from SMA. All achievable, I think!  fingers crossed!

V
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« Reply #147 on: January 04, 2017, 10:33:09 AM »

If you set CycTmFul to 1 that will set it to do a full charge every day.

But it still requires the BatSoc to drop to 70% if you have gone into float before a full charge will start. I can't understand why that 70% value can't  changed.
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