Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Discussion about the FM100, FM80, and FM60 Charge Controllers

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TerraAlta2020
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My RE system: 10.8 Kw Solar Panels , 8kW Radian Inverter (8048a) , two FM 100 with 6 Simpliphi 3.8kw Batteries

Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Post by TerraAlta2020 »

Today my PV system was working properly when it suddenly stopped producing after the generator weekly exercise process this afternoon. (Probably is a coincidence but was detected after this exercise).

Followed the troubleshooting guide but did not find anything that could guide me to a potential cause for my system.

My system key components are as follows:

1) 32 PV 340 Cells with TIGO RSD and Optimizers
2) Two FM 100
3) One 8048 grid tie inverter
4) 6 Simpliphi Batteries (3.8 kwh each)

Please advise as system is down.
Thanks!!
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raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
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Re: Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Post by raysun »

Not sure if its a contributing factor, but the PV arrays certainly bump up against the maximum amperage limits of the FM100.

By my grade school math: 16 x 340W / 50V = 108A at STC. If there is overproduction, there's additional stress.

The Tigo optimizers may add another twist to the tale.

Any events in the logs?
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: Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Post by fcwlp »

raysun wrote: Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:40 am By my grade school math: 16 x 340W / 50V = 108A at STC. If there is overproduction, there's additional stress.
Raysun the FM100 can handle more PV input, with string design tool caution is indicated starting at 6,000W, with a hard limit of not to exceed 7,000W. The datasheet sets an upper limit of 6,000W.
TerraAlta2020 wrote: Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:30 am Today my PV system was working properly when it suddenly stopped producing after the generator weekly exercise process this afternoon. (Probably is a coincidence but was detected after this exercise).
If I recall correctly, I had a similar behavior several years ago on my system. Check to see if the inverter is on. In OpticsRE, click on the gear symbol at the top right of the screen (next to system name) and verify if inverter is on or off. For some reason it was not automatically kicking back on my system.

I switched my generator (Kohler 14RESA) to do its own exercise cycle, which has three benefits. It is an exercise cycle that Kohler recommends, the generator tracks the exercise and does not tell you it is due, and I no longer had the issue you experienced. I probably should have done more debugging but it was not a priority.
TerraAlta2020
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Posts: 9
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My RE system: 10.8 Kw Solar Panels , 8kW Radian Inverter (8048a) , two FM 100 with 6 Simpliphi 3.8kw Batteries

Re: Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Post by TerraAlta2020 »

Good aftrenoon:

It is not the case as this is a 4x4 array per Flexmax therefore a max Isc of 9.59 amps x 4 = 38.36 amps.

The next day the system started procucing but somewhat limited (One Flexmax) . Actually I called Outback tech support and their argument was that my inverter was running high in temperature.
I did not agree as the room temperature for the system is ~ 85F (29.4C) . That will account only for ~400 W derating and not the amount we are experiencing (basically one of the Flexmax not producing)
We also turned off the one producing and the second one kicked in but not both at the same time therefore dwindling the production or power injected to the Energy Company. (this is grid tied system)
(In terms of inverter max derating....and By my grade school math 80 VA/degrees C X 5 degrees C= 400 VA)

Let me know if you have further ideas.
Optics RE name - Eduardo Delgado
Thanks in advance
raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
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Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Post by raysun »

Your profile is missing some equipment. I assume there's is a Mate3s, yes?

Is Global Charge Control enabled? What is max. amperage?

The maximum charge current for 3 simpliphi blocks is a nit over 100A

Array current is mentioned but not array voltage. The charge controllers will convert high voltage, low current input to low voltage, high current output.
TerraAlta2020
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Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:15 am
My RE system: 10.8 Kw Solar Panels , 8kW Radian Inverter (8048a) , two FM 100 with 6 Simpliphi 3.8kw Batteries

Re: Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Post by TerraAlta2020 »

Good afternoon:
Yes, it does have a Mate 3S
The Global Charge Control is Disabled and max battery charge set was for 80 Amps as per Simplphi guidelines
The Voc for the array is ~188.28 Volts

Thanks in advance,
ED
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Screen Shot for Mate 3S parameters
Screen Shot for Mate 3S parameters
raysun
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Posts: 4104
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
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Post by raysun »

TerraAlta2020 wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:48 pm Good afternoon:
Yes, it does have a Mate 3S
The Global Charge Control is Disabled and max battery charge set was for 80 Amps as per Simplphi guidelines
The Voc for the array is ~188.28 Volts

Thanks in advance,
ED
IIRC, the Maximum Battery Charge (amps) setting is only active when Global Charger Control is enabled (and off-grid system set to Grid Tie).

Might want to check that the charging current is being limited as expected. The other charge limit settings are in the charge controllers themselves, I believe.

Also the 80A charging spec is confusing. The SimpliPhi 3.8 is rated at 37.5A per block. 6 would be 37.5 x 6 = 225A. Why would the recommendation be 80A?
mattyxp@yahoo.com
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32 REC360aa alpha solar panels with total wattage of 11,520w
20kw Perkins diesel backup generator

Re: Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Post by mattyxp@yahoo.com »

Hi Ed,

Did you ever figure out why one FM100 charge controller was turning off during the daylight solar production cycle?

I am experiencing the same problem with an almost identical system as yours:
Mate3s
Dual VFX3648 inverters in Master/Slave setup
Two Flexmax100 afci charge controllers
All plugged into a HUB10
Five Simpliphi 3.8kwh 48v batteries
100% off-grid

Thank you for letting me know if you ever found a solution to this...I am confident that the Mate3s is the problem and telling the second FM100 charge controller to turn off...I just can't figure out why.

Cheers,
Matt
mattyxp@yahoo.com
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Flexmax100 afci x 2 units
Flexnet DC
HUB10 port hub
32 REC360aa alpha solar panels with total wattage of 11,520w
20kw Perkins diesel backup generator

Re: Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Post by mattyxp@yahoo.com »

Hi Again Ed,

I think I found my solution today...I though it might help you if your still having similar problem with the FM100 charge controllers:

I believe I have found my solution today...please note that these are only my observations and opinions which are what I did to bush fix my issue and are not the solution/opinion/advice of Outback Power...

With lithium batteries we are told to disconnect the Battery Temp Sensor (BTS) from the system which I had done since lithium batteries do not need temperature compensation of the voltage while charging in "Absorb" and "Float" modes.
However, with the BTS disconnected from the system, my Mate3s was getting ghost/random electrical signals that the Mate3s interpreted as real temperature readings from the batteries. These false/non-existent/wild/random/ghost temperature readings that the Mate3s thinks it is seeing (with the BTS disconnected) are ranging from 30 degrees F to 490 degrees F.
Seeing these false very high battery temperature readings, the Mate3s then goes and, via its internal "logic" (or lack thereof), shuts down one of the two FM100 charge controllers into "Silent" mode...when, in fact, there are no battery temperature readings or problems and both FM100 charge controllers should stay in "Bulk" mode until the "Absorb" mode voltage is reached.

On a side note, my random electrical signals the Mate3s is interpreting as battery temperature readings are probably coming from harmonic noise in the 3rd, 5th, and 7th from my Yaskawa 3-phase Variable Frequency Drive that controls/powers my deep water well pump. I did add on a Lineator Harmonic Filter from Mirus between the well pump VFD drive and the rest of the electrical system way back when but we're guessing a small amount of harmonic noise is still ringing through the entire electrical system and that is probably what the Mate3s is interpreting as these false battery temperature readings.

My Solution:
1) Plug the battery temperature sensor (BTS) back into one of the FM100 charge controllers and make sure the Mate3s is then reading a steady and proper temperature from the end of the BTS.
2) Then rig up a digital temperature controlled heating pad (Amazon has lizard heating pads like this for about $28USD) with the BTS placed on the heating pad with the heating pad set to 25 degrees C / 77 degrees F
...I'm not joking here, I really had to do this to fake out the Temperature Compensation logic of the FM100's so as not to overcharge/undercharge the lithium batteries which the Temp Comp Slope setting of the FM100's will want to do if the BTS temperature deviates from the 25 degrees C.
3) In OpticsRE, bring up Device Map
4) In Mate3s settings under Global Charge tab, leave Float Coordination =Enabled
5) In FM100 settings under Temp Comp tab, set for all FM100 charge controllers:
Battery Temp Comp Range =Limited
Limited: Lower Battery Voltage =your battery Float voltage setting
Limited: Upper Battery Voltage =your battery Absorb voltage setting
Temperature Comp Slope =2mV/C

That did it for me today and all working perfectly again. Outback is aware of this internal problem now regarding the ghost/random battery temperature readings when the BTS is disconnected from the system and is checking it out and working on a solution. The solution appears to simply be to allow an FM100 Temperature Comp Slope setting of =0 to turn off temperature compensation for those of us with lithium batteries. But until Outback comes out with a firmware update to remedy/fix this issue, the digital temperature controlled heating pad will have to suffice.

Outback Power Engineers...Please remedy/fix this issue asap for all of us lithium battery users that are seeing one of our FM100 charge controllers turn off to "Silent" mode in the middle of "Bulk" charging due to the Mate3s seeing random/ghost/not real temperature readings with the BTS disconnected from the system.

Have a great solar day!
Matt :)
sbrownian
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MUCH more efficient!!
Location: Central Washington State

Re: Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Post by sbrownian »

So, if someone at Outback engineering will chime in...

If the sensor is a simple thermistor, a resistor of appropriate value placed across the terminals will cause the system to always read the same temperature. If an RTD, the same is true, but would need either two common reference wires shorted together (three wire RTD) plus a resistor placed between those and the third 'sense' terminals. If it's an active device, a simple adjustable voltage regulator could supply whatever voltage (or current,) is needed to 'simulate' the temperature.
mattyxp@yahoo.com
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My RE system: Mate3s
VFX3648 x2 units master/slave setup w/ PSX-240 Transformer
Flexmax100 afci x 2 units
Flexnet DC
HUB10 port hub
32 REC360aa alpha solar panels with total wattage of 11,520w
20kw Perkins diesel backup generator

Re: Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Post by mattyxp@yahoo.com »

sbrownian wrote: Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:32 pm So, if someone at Outback engineering will chime in...

If the sensor is a simple thermistor, a resistor of appropriate value placed across the terminals will cause the system to always read the same temperature. If an RTD, the same is true, but would need either two common reference wires shorted together (three wire RTD) plus a resistor placed between those and the third 'sense' terminals. If it's an active device, a simple adjustable voltage regulator could supply whatever voltage (or current,) is needed to 'simulate' the temperature.
...Or Outback Power engineers could just get moving quickly to remedy this whole problem by allowing a Temp Comp Slope setting of =0 in the FM100 settings which would permanently solve this nasty issue for all lithium battery users. This is exactly what the Outback team did in their Skybox product.
sbrownian
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My RE system: GS8048 FM80 FNDC Mate3
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7kw Kubota propane gen
Had 1200 Ahr FLA Locomotive batts
Just replaced with
2 x 300 Ah ReLion Lithium packs
MUCH more efficient!!
Location: Central Washington State

Re: Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Post by sbrownian »

Not only two threads with the same name, "Two Flexmax100 charge controllers installed but Mate3s keeps turning one to "Silent" mode before Absorb voltage reached"

But the info in this thread seems to be basically the same as the one I just mentioned...
Steve5c
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My RE system: Off Grid - Southern Missouri
Storage: C&D 48V 1,105 Ah (6hr)
PV: 7kw
Charge Controller: FlexMax 100 x4
Inverter: VFXR3648A x2 in parallel (single leg 120v)
Interface: Mate3s, Hub-10
Generators: MEP-003a diesel 10kw, x2 Honda EU2000i
Monitoring: WattPlot

Re: Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Post by Steve5c »

I have 4 FLEXmax100 charge controllers. I am having a similar issue. Only one charge controller will charge my battery, which is a lead acid, and I'm using the battery temp sensor.

This is a recent event, looks like it started about a week ago.

When I disconnect my Mate3s, my other charge controllers will start working.
When I plug my Mate3s back in to my hub10, 3 charge controllers go to sleep. I update my mate3s yesterday to the latest firmware, still same issue.
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EA6LE-ONE
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My RE system: System 1:
MATE3s, 3 x Radian GS8048A,
4 x FLEXmax 100, HUB10,
2 x EnergyCell 48V 2700RE,
1 x FLEXnet DC, 4 x FLEXware ICS Plus,
54 x PANASONIC VBHN325SA17 325W

System 2:
MATE3s, Radian GS8048A,
2 x FLEXmax 100, HUB10
1 x EnergyCell 48V 2700RE,
1 x FLEXnet DC, 2 x FLEXware ICS
21 x PANASONIC VBHN325SA17 325W
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Re: Both FM 100 Stopped Production

Post by EA6LE-ONE »

If absorb or float voltage is reached and one charger can keep the absorb or float voltage, then the other chargers are dilled down and eventually turned off. I have right now 2 producing and 2 turned off. the ones turned off should have more solar collecting now than the ones that are charging.
it seems that mate is controlling them in order on the hub to produce the necessary power.
chargers.jpg
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