AC Input will not accept "use"

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Zip92
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:14 pm
My RE system: Canadian Remote Cabin - Solar + Diesel Gen
COMM: Mate3s
INV: x2 VFX3524
CC1: MX-60
CC2: Conext MPPT 80
SOLAR1: 6x 123w (Sharp ND-L3EJEA)
SOLAR2: 12x 250w
BATT: RollsSurrette 24v (2v x 12) S2-1275AGM
GEN: Cummins 10kw Deisel w/ Atkinson GSCM Mini D
Location: Ontario Canada

AC Input will not accept "use"

Post by Zip92 »

It's winter and I rely on my generator to top up my batteries at my remote cabin. I have had a recent issues with my system where the AC Input will be stuck on "Drop" and I cannot change it to "Use". Hence causing the generator to run, but not allow it to charge the batteries.

What causes this? If I shut down the entire system and reboot, it usually fixes it, but I have to be on site to do that. It's 4 hrs away. The Mate is also failing to start the gen (AGS Failed), and I can remote start it manually.
Screen Shot 2021-11-16 at 8.02.04 AM.png
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Mike Curran
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My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
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- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
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Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
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Battery systems operate in grid-tied, battery backup mode
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Re: AC Input will not accept "use"

Post by Mike Curran »

It looks like the Mate thinks there is no AC input to use, since the Generator status is "Not running". I don't know how the Mate detects whether the generator is running or not, but maybe that's a clue to the problem. Obviously if the generator won't start, can't use it. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
https://smart.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45?date=2021-11-10
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JRHill
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My RE system: VFXR3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3s, FNDC, 4ea 3.8 PHIs. EU7000is AGS. X240 with big Bertha way off in the shop. Off grid.
Location: PNW
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Re: AC Input will not accept "use"

Post by JRHill »

Zip92 wrote: Tue Nov 16, 2021 5:03 am It's winter and I rely on my generator to top up my batteries at my remote cabin. I have had a recent issues with my system where the AC Input will be stuck on "Drop" and I cannot change it to "Use". Hence causing the generator to run, but not allow it to charge the batteries.

What causes this? If I shut down the entire system and reboot, it usually fixes it, but I have to be on site to do that. It's 4 hrs away. The Mate is also failing to start the gen (AGS Failed), and I can remote start it manually.
I don't often use OpticsRE to operate the generator but I believe there is a hint in the 2nd P above. If you have the Mate3 in Gen > Auto and press AC Input > Use it should be good to go on the next AGS run. If you are at the cabin and AGS is triggered you say that it Fails? You also say that you can start it manually but if you press Gen > Use does it connect? Is this behavior consistent or does it sometimes work then not?

A few things to try:
1) Reflash the Mate3s firmware. If no change then,
2) One at a time remove your RJ45 cables at both ends and verify clean contacts. Reapply the little smudge of dielectric grease to the plug and reseat. If no change then,
3) Change your AGS to the other VFX3524, AGS wiring at the inverter and the port settings in the Mate3s. In other words swap their roles. (I trust you use the inverter for AGS?)
Shadow_Storm56
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Re: AC Input will not accept "use"

Post by Shadow_Storm56 »

Zip92 wrote: Tue Nov 16, 2021 5:03 am It's winter and I rely on my generator to top up my batteries at my remote cabin. I have had a recent issues with my system where the AC Input will be stuck on "Drop" and I cannot change it to "Use". Hence causing the generator to run, but not allow it to charge the batteries.

What causes this? If I shut down the entire system and reboot, it usually fixes it, but I have to be on site to do that. It's 4 hrs away. The Mate is also failing to start the gen (AGS Failed), and I can remote start it manually.

Screen Shot 2021-11-16 at 8.02.04 AM.png
I had this happen once and it was for a dumb reason. One of my older generators has the option of 120 or 240 as a little switch. Idk what the point of it is but it just switches it to strait 120. So the L1 and L2 on the 240v plug are in phase with eachother and it won't work. The inverters read the voltage of each leg but read that total voltage by adding the 2 not by a sensor. So even if it is 120 on each leg and they are in phase with eachother so don't make 240v it still reads as 240v on the radian but it detects they are not 180 out of phase.

If this is the case you will find the generator icon in OPTICS will not light up and it will remain in AC drop. Basically if the icon is faded out it means no generator or the generators input is invalid.

I'm guessing the reason for this feature is for like a camper whare all you want is 120 so it is able to put more power to just one side of the generator.

Another reason it won't switch or isn't detected is usually if it is just generally out of spec, voltage too high or low, frequency too high or low.... also if the load on the inverter is more than you have your inverter set to allow it won't switch either.

I fought with this issue for hours and in my case it was one tiny switch..
User avatar
Zip92
Forum Expert
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:14 pm
My RE system: Canadian Remote Cabin - Solar + Diesel Gen
COMM: Mate3s
INV: x2 VFX3524
CC1: MX-60
CC2: Conext MPPT 80
SOLAR1: 6x 123w (Sharp ND-L3EJEA)
SOLAR2: 12x 250w
BATT: RollsSurrette 24v (2v x 12) S2-1275AGM
GEN: Cummins 10kw Deisel w/ Atkinson GSCM Mini D
Location: Ontario Canada

Re: AC Input will not accept "use"

Post by Zip92 »

I appreciate all the comments.

I arrived at the cabin this weekend to investigate. Observations:
-generator starts/runs fine when manually started. No tripped breakers on the Gen side.
-my batteries reached their low-voltage cutoff/protection threshold earlier in the day. This would shut down both inverters and essentially act like a “power-cycle”.
-I went to the Mate, and started the Gen using the AGS, and away she went.

I have had this issue happen a few times this last year. The fix seems to be to power-cycle the VFX’s…

This leads me to believe that there is a problem with the master VFX. I will swap their roles and see if that helps.

Thanks again all.
JRHill
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Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: VFXR3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3s, FNDC, 4ea 3.8 PHIs. EU7000is AGS. X240 with big Bertha way off in the shop. Off grid.
Location: PNW
Contact:

Re: AC Input will not accept "use"

Post by JRHill »

I have pondered asking but I think and AGS sub-forum would be beneficial.

There would seem to be enough questions/answers that a specific place would/could be in order. And frankly the whole AGS thing can be complex. Especially when it has been working error free and then all of a sudden doesn't.

To me (and not so much others), AGS is a really cool feature. But its not so easy to troubleshoot.
JRHill
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2094
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: VFXR3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3s, FNDC, 4ea 3.8 PHIs. EU7000is AGS. X240 with big Bertha way off in the shop. Off grid.
Location: PNW
Contact:

Re: AC Input will not accept "use"

Post by JRHill »

As of this point AGS is useful for one thing: to warm up the generator and tell me its time. Why? Because the run fails:

1) The weather got colder so I increased the warm up from three to four minutes. At that exact moment of time when I changed the warm up the Mate would show the AC Input change to USE and the generator connected just to immediately shut down with a Generator Run failure. I changed the warm up back to three minutes and problem solved. BYW, manual operation from the Mate worked fine through this.

2) After that the AGS connected perfectly. 15 seconds later the generator would shut down. No errors on the Mate or on the generator and the generator run timer kept running. Erghh. Went to clean the spark arrestor but just plain removed it for TSing. Cleaned everything. Changed the fuel filter. Oil level fine as always. No change.

3) In every case above a manual warm up and connect works perfectly. No shut downs or dropped connection. Only AGS. The aftermarket AGS module is acting up? If so, why does it work perfectly when manually operated but in programmed AGS it fails?

My fail safe is the lithiums. Even if a missed recharge run they'd still be good for another day. So I have this crazy illusive thing for troubleshooting. A 24hr reboot of the Mate did nothing. I refuse to shut the system (inverter) down to see it that fixes it as in the OP. So now I use AGS as an alarm clock knowing it is warmed up and ready to run manually. Sigh.
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