Noob questions on existing installation

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mjruser
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:21 pm
My RE system: Dual MX60

Noob questions on existing installation

Post by mjruser »

Hello All,

I've downloaded the manuals and have been doing a lot of reading about the system that came pre-installed in the home we purchased this summer. But it seems I cannot really answer a few basic questions and was hoping for a bit of help. TIA!

First image is the two systems, the one on the right appears to be operational. The one on the left doesn't seem to be doing anything, perhaps it's just an auxiliary as it's always sleeping.
IMG_0273.JPG
screen of the active system:
IMG_0274.JPG
The screen of the sleeping system
IMG_0275.JPG
Does this look normal, that the left unit always sleeping?

I cannot seem to locate a manual for the box under the left outback with the 'drop East' and 'drop West' labels. What's it for and is it an outback product which I can locate a manual for?

Kind Regards,
Mike
Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2030
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied, manual switch during winter or grid outage

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Noob questions on existing installation

Post by Mike Curran »

That box under the lefthand MX60 (not Flexmax 60) looks like a custom non-Outback design, maybe for disconnecting your east or west PV array. Do you have 2 arrays, one facing east, the other west? Or maybe those are the PV input breakers, and the labeling is just misleading.

If that's not the case, I don't know why your previous system owner would want to drop the PV input from either of 2 independent arrays. They should be able to operate simultaneously to charge your battery, even though (if my assumption is correct) they're connected to arrays that don't get sun at the same time very often.

As far as one sleeping all the time, try pressing one of the red buttons on the mystery box to see if you can shut off the active MX60 and wakeup the sleeping one. If that works you know the sleeping charge controller is functional.

Looks like you have a Mate2 (under the righthand MX60). Newer Mate3 and Mate3s controllers have a float coordination function that makes multiple charge controllers operate in tandem so one doesn't sleep while the other is active. I don't know if your Mate2 has this function, but if not, before purchasing a Mate3 to replace it be aware the float coordination function only works with MX60s with firmware version 5.11, and you must ship your MX60s back to OB to have them upgraded if they have an earlier version. Since these are considered "legacy" equipment, may not be worth it - not sure if OB still does the fw upgrade or what they would charge.

One last thought - check each MX60 battery voltage calibration to insure they're "agreeing" on what the battery voltage is. And make sure they're set up with the same charging parameters.

I know, a lot to think about...

FWIW- Mike
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
mjruser
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:21 pm
My RE system: Dual MX60

Re: Noob questions on existing installation

Post by mjruser »

Hi Mike,

Thank you for taking the time to give us such a detailed post and clarification on our OB models. We do not have 2 arrays, there is just one up on the South side of the roof. I'll be sure to download the correct manual and play around with the mystery. Will report back what I find.

Thanks again for your time!
Mike
fcwlp
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My RE system: GS8048A, FM80 w/3,600W PV Fixed, FM80 w/2,700W on Zomeworks tracker, Mate3, 24 Trojan 2V L16 1100AH @ C20, Grid-Tied with Kohler 14RESA LPG Generator and MEP-803 Diesel if needed.

I install and maintain grid-tied and off-grid systems in my area and consult on solar system design/operation.
Location: 80 miles NE of Phoenix at 5500'

Re: Noob questions on existing installation

Post by fcwlp »

My first guess was also what Mike thought.

Since you have only a south facing array, it could be the east and west portions of that array. To start understanding your system:
1) take a look under the panels and see if you can read the label or if you phone camera can capture it,
2) provide a count of the total number of modules
3) look on the roof to see if you have combiner box(es) where the PV wires come into. Open the cover and take a picture of what are probably breakers.

Do you have a voltmeter and are you comfortable measuring voltages.
SandyP
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My RE system: 8 x 190W 24V Suntech panels (4 strings of 2) July 2011
4 x 325W 24V Suntech panels (2 strings of 2) added Sept2018
Mate2
Outback FM60 MPPT (max output lowered to 55amps)
12 x 2V Hoppecke GEL 612 Ah C24 - 24V System
Outback VFX3024 Inverter/Charger
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Location: Victoria, Australia

Re: Noob questions on existing installation

Post by SandyP »

mjruser wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:41 pm ./..
The screen of the sleeping system

IMG_0275.JPG

Does this look normal, that the left unit always sleeping?
../..
The left unit is always sleeping as there is no incoming voltage (or amps) from the solar array ie it shows IN 000 V.
The OUT V is the battery bank voltage.

So, as others have suggested, it is either the switch box below the left MX has disconnected the array for the left MX or there is a breaker on the incoming solar array line that has tripped.
-------------------------
http://spwebcam.myddns.me/
mjruser
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:21 pm
My RE system: Dual MX60

Re: Noob questions on existing installation

Post by mjruser »

Thanks to both of you for the additional information!

I've printed it out and will over the weekend start to hopefully unravel the mysteries of the system. :idea:

Best Regards,
Mike
mjruser
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:21 pm
My RE system: Dual MX60

Re: Noob questions on existing installation

Post by mjruser »

Hi All,

Katie took the time to put a spreadsheet together with the settings of the two units side by side.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nXk ... sp=sharing

She's concerned about the stop sell code 8, the internal fan failure (temperatures) on the active unit (right column), and the sunrise on the other unit.

Anything in red text is different so hopefully, that will make it a bit easier to look at all the information.

Please let us know if you see anything 'Strange'.

Thanks again for all your help, I've reached out to Outback for a dealer referral in our area (Bend Oregon) but have yet to hear back.

Kind Regards,
Mike
Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2030
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied, manual switch during winter or grid outage

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Noob questions on existing installation

Post by Mike Curran »

She's concerned about the stop sell code 8, the internal fan failure (temperatures) on the active unit (right column), and the sunrise on the other unit.
Unfortunately OB doesn't spell out the meaning of stop sell codes in the GFX manual (excerpt below).
Screenshot_20210115-181409.jpg
As far as sunrise on the non-operating unit, it's probably off because that charge controller hasn't seen daylight for awhile, based on the 000 PV input voltage shown in your earlier photo.
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
fcwlp
Forum Czar
Posts: 706
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:40 am
My RE system: GS8048A, FM80 w/3,600W PV Fixed, FM80 w/2,700W on Zomeworks tracker, Mate3, 24 Trojan 2V L16 1100AH @ C20, Grid-Tied with Kohler 14RESA LPG Generator and MEP-803 Diesel if needed.

I install and maintain grid-tied and off-grid systems in my area and consult on solar system design/operation.
Location: 80 miles NE of Phoenix at 5500'

Re: Noob questions on existing installation

Post by fcwlp »

mjruser wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:14 pm She's concerned about the stop sell code 8, the internal fan failure (temperatures) on the active unit (right column), and the sunrise on the other unit.
The internal fan error on the one inverter needs to be checked first. A fan failure indication and high temps are not good. Remove the four screws holding the cover on. You will see a polymer fiber filter that can be removed and cleaned. Behind the filter, the fan is visible and can be checked if it is working. While you are at it, clean the other filter as well.

Provide some details on your batteries. In Katie's listing, I do not see info on absorb voltage and time for either the inverters or the CCs. The inverter's Float set pt is 25.8V. Most lead-acid batteries are ~27V. In general you will want the settings for absorb and float to be 0.2V higher on the CCs as compared to the inverters, to force the CCs to be the primary supplier when PV is adequate.

Let us know when you get some PV voltage to the left CC. Have you tried pushing the red button for "drop east". It looks to be extending out slightly more than the other button.
mjruser
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:21 pm
My RE system: Dual MX60

Re: Noob questions on existing installation

Post by mjruser »

Thanks again for the information.

I pushed the red east button (non-functioning unit) and released it, where it springs back to it's (open?) position. So the red buttons are not two-position switches.

The question we have right now.. if we push the drop west button, to see if that triggers the east into functioning. How would you re-connect west after the drop?

Best Regards,
Mike
mjruser
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:21 pm
My RE system: Dual MX60

Re: Noob questions on existing installation

Post by mjruser »

Hello All,

Thank you again for all the feedback. After taking off the covers to check the filters, it was found that the PV array on the east unit is not even connected. Though the battery leads are so it appears active... Firmware on the left unit is showing 1.4 and on the right unit 5.1. So it appears that the previous owner likely connected the east/west pv into just the right unit (west). Or perhaps the PV east is faulty and was disconnected?

Kind Regards,
Mike
raysun
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Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Noob questions on existing installation

Post by raysun »

Looking at the display of the left unit, I'd guess it's damaged. The battery (OUT) voltage should charge the power capacitor to about 19V (IN) with the solar panels disconnected.
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