Inverter output flashing?

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cinderblock63
Forum Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:28 pm
My RE system: VFX3524

Inverter output flashing?

Post by cinderblock63 »

Every once in a while, mostly after we let batteries run too low I think, our inverter's output cycles at ~1Hz. Has anyone seen this before? The batteries are at ~25V. Removing all loads sometimes seems to help it recover but not always. This is relatively new behavior.

It also makes a barely audible 60/120 Hz buzzing sound while the led is on.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1J9l1Py ... sp=sharing
raysun
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
SimpliPhi 48-3.8 (6 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Inverter output flashing?

Post by raysun »

Under normal operation, a blinking green inverter LED means the inverter is on, but idle. Usually seen in stacked inverters, or when an inverter is in search mode.

Not sure how either would relate to a low battery.
cinderblock63
Forum Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:28 pm
My RE system: VFX3524

Re: Inverter output flashing?

Post by cinderblock63 »

This is a single inverter VFX3524 https://ibb.co/H4qJdZ6

This happens while trying to power loads. Lights and phone chargers flash in sync. Internet router doesn't turn on.

How can I diagnose what is going on? Someone else installed this system.
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 4591
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
SimpliPhi 48-3.8 (6 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Inverter output flashing?

Post by raysun »

Is there a Mate attached to the inverter?
jnh
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Posts: 419
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:56 am
My RE system: GVFX-3524, FM-80+FM-60, ~4.9kW PV in mixed panels on movable platforms, 415 Ah AGMs @ 24V, 80Ah @ 12V, Hub4, Mate, FNDC, Brultech GEM 32-ch AC datalogger, Midnite E-Panel, homebrew DC-DC crossfeed to 12V system, Honda EU-1000i, AIMS CON120AC1224DC charger
Location: St. Augustine, FL, US

Re: Inverter output flashing?

Post by jnh »

Check to be sure the inverter hasn't been placed into "Search" mode inadvertently. You'll need a Mate connected. Press the INV key and be sure the mode is ON rather than SRCH. Search-mode is a power-saving feature where the inverter only comes on for constant-power output when it sense a load above an adjustable minimum. It should not be triggered by low battery state, but (when enabled) by low AC demand.
JRHill
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My RE system: VFXR3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3s, FNDC, 4ea 3.8 PHIs. EU7000is AGS.
Location: PNW
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Re: Inverter output flashing?

Post by JRHill »

jnh wrote: Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:34 am Check to be sure the inverter hasn't been placed into "Search" mode inadvertently. You'll need a Mate connected. Press the INV key and be sure the mode is ON rather than SRCH. Search-mode is a power-saving feature where the inverter only comes on for constant-power output when it sense a load above an adjustable minimum. It should not be triggered by low battery state, but (when enabled) by low AC demand.
Yup, I think JNH hit it. I tried the inverter power saving mode for ONE day. Nope, no thanks. I'm sure if is used by some folks but it didn't work for any benefit in our usage.
jnh
Forum Guru
Posts: 419
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:56 am
My RE system: GVFX-3524, FM-80+FM-60, ~4.9kW PV in mixed panels on movable platforms, 415 Ah AGMs @ 24V, 80Ah @ 12V, Hub4, Mate, FNDC, Brultech GEM 32-ch AC datalogger, Midnite E-Panel, homebrew DC-DC crossfeed to 12V system, Honda EU-1000i, AIMS CON120AC1224DC charger
Location: St. Augustine, FL, US

Re: Inverter output flashing?

Post by jnh »

When my system was smaller than now, short on both battery capacity and PV and with only a few circuits on the inverter's AC-out subpanel, I did use search-mode occasionally at night, during long power outages. We'd already moved most always-on loads like night lights and network equipment to direct-DC, so it wasn't too disruptive. It's now been years since I've enabled it, but it's nice to have the option if we ever end up in a serious energy-shortfall situation, with a broken generator or not much fuel available. With nearly all 120V circuits now behind the inverter, though, the activation threshold would surely need to be adjusted upward for it to be of any use.
JRHill
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1525
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: VFXR3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3s, FNDC, 4ea 3.8 PHIs. EU7000is AGS.
Location: PNW
Contact:

Re: Inverter output flashing?

Post by JRHill »

jnh wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:44 pmthe activation threshold would surely need to be adjusted upward for it to be of any use.
That was my experience. A few wall warts, the alarm clock, cell phones and the satellite modem all went off/dead. Then you had to reset everything. It might work great for a remote cabin but not were you live day to day. But if there day to day loads it wouldn't be necessary except in extreme cases.

Really how do folks do power savings? Just the overhead of the inverter covers so many devices. So why shut it down?
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