FX2000 Modules

Discussion about the FX2000 Inverter
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Rex Ewing

FX2000 Modules

Post by Rex Ewing »

Hi, Guys -

I need to get something straight for a book I'm working on: how does the modular design for the FX2000 differ from the "other" inverter? Specifically, theirs has a series of buttons in front of each unit (I'm very adept at pushing the wrongs ones and causing a homegrown blackout), but I see none in pictures of the FX2000. I assume that most of the programming is done with The Mate. In the rough draft of my book I stated that the beauty of using modular design (yours) over standard design (theirs) was that you could add inverter modules without having to replicate the expensive (and redundant)programming electronics. I have the feeling this isn't the whole story.
What am I missing?

FX2000 Modules

Post by Christopher »

The OutBack approach to power inverters was to build a fairly simple to use "black box" unit that has one DC connection (battery), one AC input (grid or Gen) and one AC output (loads).

All of the complicated settings are actually done on the MATE system controller and display. The MATE controls the inverters as a group - it keeps the all coordinated and working together. No more conflicts or having to "stage" the inverter setpoints in complicated patterns. The mate also coordinates the operation of the MX60 MPPT charge controllers with the inverters to maximize system performance. It also has a real time clock to allow the system to respond to the time of day or day of the week for some operations.

So, for simple systems (cabins etc.) a MATE can be connected only when initially setting up the inverter or to make a changes. The settings are stored in memory so even if the inverter is disconnect the settings aren't lost. There are a pair of terminals you can connect with any switch to turn the inverter on/off.

On a larger system, (home / commercial) the MATE would be connected all of the time to all of the FX2000 inverters and to the MX60 controllers. It will provide control / coordination and meters to see what the system is doing. The MATE can also control a gen start system and even DC or AC loads.

Putting all of the more complex software in the MATE makes it easier to upgrade the system in the future. The MATE is easy to change and uses flash program memory - we can swap it easily or field upgrade it. Eliminating the complex software form the inverter for simple applications makes the inverter more reliable and less expensive.

The biggest cost savings for OutBack is from building a higher volume of one design - instead of making a separate 2, 4, 6, 8 kW units as different models. We have one chassis and one set of circuit boards regardless of the DC or AC output voltage. Volume helps lower cost and improves reliability with power electronic products. If one market needs a special feature or capability, we can often implement it in the MATE - we don't have to make another special version of the inverter.