My problem

Mate3 and Mate3s communications devices for Outback Power
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jirotheking
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My problem

Post by jirotheking »

Hi there,
There have been times when CHARGER > BULK CHARGE has been quite handy. But its only for the inverter charger? Can one rebulk from the FM80? I'm looking around and have before but I can't find a trigger.

The Mate3 manual note is: "The charging information displayed on this screen is for inverters only. In a multiple inverter system, the master inverter controls this status. If an inverter or charge controller has a different charging status from the master inverter, this screen will not display its status."

Huh? OK. It won't display the status of, say, the FM80. The manual just shows a graphic with the title of "Charger Status". My Mate3 screen has a title of "Inverter Charger Status". But if the CHARGER > BULK button is pressed when charging from the FM80, what happens? I know from FLA days if I press CHARGER > EQ CHARGE the FM80 will attempt to EQ if there is enough solar. If not, it will reattempt the next cycle, I think? The manual is not explicit.

But these days I have some weird stats unlike what I've had in previous years. So before I punch buttons I'd like to know expected program behavior.
provo
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Re: My problem

Post by provo »

From the Main Menu of the FM80 display screen go to the Misc Menu:

Screen Shot 2021-07-21 at 8.24.07 AM.png

Press Next to access the Force Float and Force Bulk commands:

Screen Shot 2021-07-21 at 8.25.25 AM.png

later edit: I know Force Float is not available from the Mate3s or OpticsRE, and that may be true of Force Bulk also....
JRHill
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Re: My problem - Charger Hot Key

Post by JRHill »

jirotheking wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:43 amThe Mate3 manual note is: "The charging information displayed on this screen is for inverters only. In a multiple inverter system, the master inverter controls this status. If an inverter or charge controller has a different charging status from the master inverter, this screen will not display its status."
Mr. Jirotheking, your equipment is not itemized in your profile/on the right side bar. It makes for a lot of guessing.

But to your reference of the Charging screen, the data (battery, absorb and float) shown directly below the header is that of the inverter. The manuals are not clear on this but the soft keys below, on that screen, are not just the inverter as I recall. Why?

- When the sun illuminates the panels and the CC starts working the Charger hot key LED comes on. It has nothing to do with the inverter.

- Back in the days of a VFX, Mate3 and lead batteries I am SURE that if the generator was off and I was charging from solar and I pressed the Bulk or EQ softkeys it would initiate that mode from the FM80. With the VFXR, Mate3s and lithium batteries I won't test this now. You can test this though. Charging from solar and when you enter Absorb, hit either the Bulk or EQ soft keys. That will tell you.

Best, JRH

It does bring up a question though. If the generator is running and a charge is going to the batteries from both the inverter AND and the charge controller, which one is going to feed the Bulk or the EQ if the soft key is pressed? If the CC and a cloud goes by what happens (wink)? Raysun tells me I think too much on some things (another wink).
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Re: My problem

Post by pss »

The inverter's charger has settings for re-bulk and re-float. The charger controllers (Flexmax), normally only charge to complete a cycle and maintain the float voltage. They don't automatically re-bulk or re-float until after completing the float cycle, then a sleep period where they drop down to a specified voltage and there is still PV available in the day for them to start charging again. In the Flexmax manuals this is shown in the images more so than the written text.

The inverter's charger, if set to ON, will initiate a charge cycle whether daytime or nighttime when the re-bulk or re-float voltage has been reached. To make the inverter's charger subservient to the Flexmax, the voltage settings on the inverter charger need to be lower than those of the Flexmax by amount that vary depending on whether you are 12V, 24V, 48V.
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Re: My problem

Post by JRHill »

pss wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:34 amThe inverter's charger, if set to ON, will initiate a charge cycle whether daytime or nighttime when the re-bulk or re-float voltage has been reached.
OK, off grid or grid connected has to be specified. If Grid connected I can see that. But Off Grid it is a non issue unless the generator is running. If off grid and the generator is not running it wouldn't apply until the next generator run (or AGS) and hopefully cancelled out if parameters were reached previously.

This maybe should be a separate post - not to dilute the OP.

I have to admit that I have done everything I can to remove lead batteries from my memory. That gap is now filled in with doing a better job of watering the tomatoes.
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Re: My problem

Post by sodamo »

On OpticsRE? Check out the Bulk button under system tools.
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com
raysun
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Re: My problem

Post by raysun »

The control logic behind the inverter charger and the charge controllers is markedly different.

For the inverter charger a good deal of logic is built around managing charge cycles that can be arbitrarily interrupted by dropping AC IN (gen or grid). The inverter manuals illustrate multi-day scenarios I won't try to explain here.

For Inverter Chargers, the Charger -> Start Bulk command clears all the internal accumulators and starts a new charge cycle.

The FlexMax charge controllers have simpler and more complex control logic. (I love dichotomies.)

At the simplest, the FM literally "wakes up" each day and starts a Bulk charge cycle, proceeds to Absorb, then finishes with Float, until the sun sets. Regular as the tides. The FM charge controllers are designed to work autonomously.

Where it gets complex is logic governing Absorb and its relationship to Rebulk Voltage parameter. The Absorb phase is principally managed by Absorb Voltage and Absorb Time. However, the static Absorb Time can lead to overcharging the battery if it has been lightly discharged. Enter Rebulk and its secret powers. The Rebulk value is used in calculations that modify the Absorb Time counter (ChgT). For every minute the fully charged battery spends above the Rebulk voltage, 1 minute is subtracted from the counter. For every minute spent below Rebulk, 1 minute is added to the counter. In a nod to Peukerts, for every minute the battery voltage is well below Rebulk, 4 minutes is added to the counter.

To the question in the OP. IIRC, starting a Bulk charge with Mate -> Charger - Start Bulk does issue the command to the FMs as well as the inverter chargers. However, depending on battery state, the FMs may quickly proceed to Absorb, linger in that phase for a very short period, then proceed to Float. Inverter chargers are going to run a full cycle. The FMs may go to a Charged, Sleeping, or other idle state in the presence of the inverter chargers after having completed their own charge cycle.
JRHill
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Re: My problem

Post by JRHill »

raysun wrote: Sat Jul 24, 2021 8:13 amTo the question in the OP. IIRC, starting a Bulk charge with Mate -> Charger - Start Bulk does issue the command to the FMs as well as the inverter chargers. However, depending on battery state, the FMs may quickly proceed to Absorb, linger in that phase for a very short period, then proceed to Float. Inverter chargers are going to run a full cycle. The FMs may go to a Charged, Sleeping, or other idle state in the presence of the inverter chargers after having completed their own charge cycle.
YES! This makes sense. I was sure that pressing Bulk also applied to the FMs. But you tickled my memory as I remember being irritated that issuing the Bulk from the Charger key did not necessarily cause a complete absorb cycle for the FM as there were times that I did want another complete absorb without initiating an EQ.
raysun
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Re: My problem

Post by raysun »

One of the blessings of Lithium charging is shedding the complexities of maintaining lead-acid chemistries in a functional state.
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