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Author Topic: Help...SMA Sunny Boy programming from PC  (Read 1391 times)
Bladerunner
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« on: December 22, 2020, 12:59:04 AM »

Hi

I am new to this forum and there seems to be a whole raft of knowlege about.  I have an Evance 5kW turbine powering an off grid system with a Sunny Island and four huge Trojan batteries.  I live in Shetland so there is plenty of wind about and the house is usually roasting hot at this time of year. The heat coming from two 3.4 kW storage heaters.

I had two Windy Boy WB2500 inverters connected to the turbine.

All was working fine for about 7 years then one of my inverters got too hot and stopped working. (I should have fitted some fans) Black gunge from the transformer has leaked out.
So I bought a second hand inverter.  It is a Sunny Boy 2500 and I need to reprogram it for the turbine.  I have tried to get hold of an SMA service cable USBPBS, but no one seems to have one in stock... anywhere.

I have a laptop with the software loaded and used this to set everything up originally but I only used a borrowed service cable.

Does anyone know of any way I can get the laptop to communicate with the inverter?

I have (hopefully) attached a photo of the inverter guts with the two connectors highlighted.

Many thanks in advance.

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biff
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2020, 08:19:19 AM »

Welcome to the forum Bladerunner
        There should be someone along shortly with the correct info. Your batteries must be very big ?
     Biff
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Fintray
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2020, 11:00:46 AM »

Look at this previous thread https://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,11163.0.html and perhaps contact linesrg to ask if he got anywhere.
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floydy
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2020, 08:30:02 PM »

Hello,
I should be able to help you with this! There are a couple of options not using the service cable. You need a piggy back board to plug into the two sockets on the display board - they are available in either RS232 or RS485 versions, then you connect a cable to the 4 little screw terminals on the board .
Wind and Sun have an RS232 piggy back board listed in their clearance section which is about 10. It's listed as being for the 5000/6000 I think, but is the same for all that era of inverters. I'll take a picture of one of the boards later. You just need a serial cable with bare wires at the end to connect.
Here's the link:
http://www.windandsun.co.uk/products/Clearance-Items/SMA-Inverters-Accessories/SMA-Accessories#.X-JaBUPgo8o
 
Sometimes the inverters come with a 485 or 232 board fitted if you're lucky. I think pin 4 is + and pin 7 is - for RS485, assume the same for 232 - will check the pinouts. When communicating , the older inverters prefer 1200 bps. I can run through the software if you need also.

Andy
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Gareth J
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2020, 09:20:03 AM »

Have the same setup with 2x2.5 windy boys, though is grid connected.

One of ours also leaked the black goo out of a capacitor after getting pretty hot so, as you suggest, put two temperature controlled fans on top of the heatsinks that ramp up to help cool things down. The temperature sensor lives inside the box somewhere it gets warm. Not really necessary to have them controlled like that considering the low power of them. They do keep the temperature of the boxes down but they still get warm.

Be great to know if you manage to get set up successfully with the programming
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Bladerunner
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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2020, 07:24:57 PM »

Hi

Thanks to everyone for getting back to me so quickly.  Yes the batteries need 2 people to carry them.  The whole system is in a shed in the back garden. Certainly keeps the shed warm.

Andy, I have checked the website you suggested and sent them an e-mail request.  Hopefully they still have one in stock and can get it to me in the new year.

I am so glad I have found some folks who have any idea what I am blethering on about.

Cheers Guys
Have a good Christmas.
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floydy
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2020, 09:02:15 AM »

It did occur to me, if the small control PCB at the front with the display etc on  is OK on your old inverter, you could just swap it over to the new one and not need to worry about any re programming.

Andy

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Gareth J
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2020, 10:30:04 AM »

Hi

Thanks to everyone for getting back to me so quickly.  Yes the batteries need 2 people to carry them.  The whole system is in a shed in the back garden. Certainly keeps the shed warm.

Andy, I have checked the website you suggested and sent them an e-mail request.  Hopefully they still have one in stock and can get it to me in the new year.

I am so glad I have found some folks who have any idea what I am blethering on about.

Cheers Guys
Have a good Christmas.

Good luck!

I have an ulterior motive for the interest - it's something I suspect I might have to do myself in future. Like I said, the same happened to me ~5 yrs ago. One of the original 2500s leaked the dielectric juice out of one/some of the capacitors. Fortunately the company I used to get to service it were able to source a NOS one, which next to the other original one has gone along fine (with the fans). But I don't expect there are many NOS ones about so I'll be stuck trying to make something work or maybe getting the leaked original one, which is still in store, repaired. I did suggest just replacing the capacitors in the old one to the maintenance company but they were of the opinion the failure would have likely knocked something else out. Did you investigate the repair route?

Gareth
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camillitech
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2020, 08:21:11 AM »

Morning Chaps and merry Christmas,

I have a service cable you could borrow for a wee while Bladerunner.

Cheers, Paul
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floydy
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2020, 09:23:06 AM »

Hi Gareth,
The good news is the 2500 and 3000 are pretty plentiful as ex solar inverters, so there should be a supply for a good while yet. If going down this route, make sure you go for an identical looking one (colour doesn't matter though!) The later HF versions (transformerless) aren't wind compatible and are just solar inverters! Of the early era, all the transfromer type SMA inverters can be reprogrammed to wind, that being the 1200/1700/2500/3000/5000/6000.  I gather that SMA hold a stock of old ones and would sell you a refurb model. They apparently take a while to respond.
You could replace the caps as a preventative measure - not a bad job to do as the board comes out quickly. I've replaced IGBTs on one of them but not needed to change caps yet.


Regarding the original info on alternatives to the original service cable, it's Pin 2 TR+ and pin 7 TR- for RS 485 piggyback board . Port settings are 1200bps 8 bits no parity 1 stop bit no FIFO .
The installer password is ID00xx where  xx=DD+MM+YY of the computer time/date . Start with Sunny Data or Sunny Data Control program and after going into installer mode, change the turbine mode from MPPT to Turbine . Then you can set up V start etc in there. Next you can use the Windy Boy Setup Tool program to put in the power curve, or just do it from the coefficients if you know them in SDC .

This PDF should help with cable connection etc for RS232. All the inverters I've seen just have 4 terminals, but the numbers are the same.

www.altestore.com/static/datafiles/Others/Com_RS232_SB2500U-PC_TechNote_V15.pdf

Andy


« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 09:37:55 AM by floydy » Logged
Bladerunner
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2020, 08:10:46 PM »

Hi and thanks te everyone who has responded to this question.

The black gunge that leaked out from my inverter definitely came from the massive isolating transformer at the rear left side of the case.  I took the inverter apart and cleaned out most of the gunk with warmth and lots of fabric cloths.  Stuck the cloth to the gunk then pulled quickly and it came off in chunks. It still works OK but not sure how long it will last.

Would strongly advise anyone with these inverters to get at least 2 big PC fans for each inverter.  Mine are operated from a 12 Volt wall wart and a cheap digital thermostatically controlled relay switch.  This keeps the heatsink and case down to a reasonable 28c - 30c degrees.  They used to be so hot that I burnt my hand once. 

Andy,
Is the power curve programming stored in the display PCB?  If so, that could be a good solution.  Thanks for the link th the tech note.  This one has more information in it than the one I have, looks interesting.  Would still need to get hold of an RS 232 or 485 communication board or can the comms be done just by connecting to the screw termials?

Paul,
Thanks for the offer of a loan cable.  If I can't find a solution, I may take you up on that.

Once again, thanks for your responses.
Graham
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floydy
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2020, 09:30:18 PM »

Hi Graham,
Yes the power curve etc is all on the front two small PCBs, the very  front one is just the display(originally an optional extra), the back one has the DSP/firmware  etc on.  All the firmware is in the little IC marked BFR SRR xxx, I don't know for sure if the power curve is in there or a different ROM on the same board, so worth changing the whole front boards together, 2 min plug in job with a few plastic clips.


Re  programming, you'd just need the 10 rs232 piggy back board that I linked before from Wind and Sun. If they are out of stock, I should have a spare RS232 board somewhere here, as I only use an RS485 one now.

Andy
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Bladerunner
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2021, 12:03:45 AM »

Hi Andy,

I have sent Wind and Sun a couple of e-mails asking to buy an RS232 interface but with Christmas, New Year and lockdown, I am not expecting a quick response.  But I'll try ringing them next week.

I am interested in bying that RS232 board off you if your willing to sell it.

Some companies can be a bit shy of posting stuff to Shetland but the Post Office charge the same as for anywhere in the UK.  In the meantime, when the weather is suitable I think I'll try swapping the boards over and see if that works.  Usually at this time of year I'm getting almost the full 5kW from the turbine but we seem to be almost constantly in the dead zone of the low pressures that we are getting at the moment so I may get an opportunity in the next couple of days.

Many thanks
Graham

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floydy
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2021, 09:57:53 AM »

Hi Graham,
Send me a PM if you don't have any luck with Wind and Sun. Ill try and find that spare interface today, the trouble with them being so small is it could be anywhere in my slightly dubious storage network!!

Andy
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Bladerunner
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2021, 12:11:40 PM »

Hi Andy,

I did finally receive the interface and have ordered the necessary stuff to convert RS 232 to USB. I'm goning to make up a lead once it is not freezing in the shed then give it a go.  Thanks again for your help.  I'll let you know how I get on.

Graham
 freeze
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