Power factor mismatch? Grid very low, SB=1

True Hybrid Energy System
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: Power factor mismatch? Grid very low, SB=1

Post by fcwlp »

For testing you could try isolating the SkyBox completely and make it look like an off-grid system with only a DC array. A possible logical way to do this and startup sequence from is:
1) Open both 50A breakers in the House PNL
2) Open all breakers in the Barn Main PNL
3) Disconnect phone, CATV, and Ethernet cables
4) Open all breakers in the Barn Aux PNL including the Talesun array
5) Remove the wiring connections (N & G) for the Talesun array from the Barn Aux PNL, observe SkyBox power draw
6) Close 50A breaker in House Main PNL for the SkyBox, observe SkyBox power draw
7) Close 50A breaker in House Main PNL for Barn Main PNL, observe SkyBox power draw
8) In Barn Main PNL, separately close each 20A for Westinghouse array, observe SkyBox power draw
9) In Barn Main PNL, only close breaker powering Envoy
10) In Barn Aux PNL, reconnect N&G wires for Talesun array and observe SkyBox power draw
11) Turn on 20A breaker for Talesun array and observe SkyBox power draw
12) in Barn Aux PNL, close breaker powering Envoy
12) Reconnect phone, CATV, and Ethernet cables one at a time and observe SkyBox power draw
13) Close remaining breakers and observe

Mike, hopefully by step 5 you will have achieved the nominal SkyBox power draw. If you do not see nominal draw, then stop and reconsider what else to disconnect. Starting with step 6 you should observe a higher power draw at some step and we will be able to narrow in on the problem.
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Mike Curran
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Posts: 2631
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 microinverters

Battery systems operate in grid-tied, net metering w/backup mode
All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Power factor mismatch? Grid very low, SB=1

Post by Mike Curran »

Sounds like a plan, thanks!
https://ei.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
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Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2631
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 microinverters

Battery systems operate in grid-tied, net metering w/backup mode
All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Power factor mismatch? Grid very low, SB=1

Post by Mike Curran »

At steps 4 & 5, SB power draw was 100 watts. Didn't observe it before that.

As soon as I close the grid supply to SkyBox (step 6), consumption rose to 500 watts.

Basically this is what I've observed before - with battery on and all else disconnected, as soon as I connect the grid, power consumption skyrockets. Only difference this time was disconnecting all the signal cables and the N & G wires on the Talesun array.

I guess i was hoping for something different this time but no joy. Any other suggestions?

Thanks again - it was definitely worth a shot. - Mike

Edit - Note, this was done with the DC array shut off since with it on, for some reason Skybox stops using excessive grid power.
https://ei.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
fcwlp
Forum Czar
Posts: 936
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:40 am
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: Power factor mismatch? Grid very low, SB=1

Post by fcwlp »

Mike Curran wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:09 am At steps 4 & 5, SB power draw was 100 watts.
Mike Curran wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:09 am Note, this was done with the DC array shut off since with it on, for some reason Skybox stops using excessive grid power.
So the 100W draw was from only the battery. If the DC array was active, what would the draw be at steps 4, 5 and 6?

When you did the previous generator test, where was your N-G bond; at the generator or the SkyBox? That is about the only thing that I can see different between the generator and the grid setup. As you are now separately derived you could remove the N-G bond by the auto-transformer and make it at the SkyBox.
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Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2631
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 microinverters

Battery systems operate in grid-tied, net metering w/backup mode
All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Power factor mismatch? Grid very low, SB=1

Post by Mike Curran »

So the 100W draw was from only the battery. If the DC array was active, what would the draw be at steps 4, 5 and 6?
I didn't observe this today but in the past, when there's PV comjng in, grid use was normal. Outback has confirmed that is the way it should work, PV reduces Skybox jnternal grid consumption (for some reason). Edit: See this thread, where at about the 7th post it describes Skybox power consumption dropping when there's solar input: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=14520

When you did the previous generator test, where was your N-G bond; at the generator or the SkyBox?
At the Skybox. I'll try changing this tomorrow. Thanks.
https://ei.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
wtfg
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Posts: 19
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My RE system: Skybox with 14.3kw LiFepo4 batteries for backup
22 canadian Solar 325 watt panels
With Enphase Micro Inverters AC coupled to Skybox
Location: Mn

Re: Power factor mismatch? Grid very low, SB=1

Post by wtfg »

Mike did you ever figure out why the power factor was low?
I am still having tons of problems with my skybox, and noticed today my power factor was .59 and had another gate fault
Outback support is worthless
Thanks
User avatar
Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2631
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 microinverters

Battery systems operate in grid-tied, net metering w/backup mode
All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Power factor mismatch? Grid very low, SB=1

Post by Mike Curran »

wtfg wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:28 am Mike did you ever figure out why the power factor was low? I am still having tons of problems with my skybox, and noticed today my power factor was .59 and had another gate fault
No, and I've stopped worrying about it because Outback support helped me solve my high grid use mystery, as described here: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=16000&hilit=Skybox

I had thought the PF mismatch had something to do with it...
https://ei.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
wtfg
Forum Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2021 11:06 am
My RE system: Skybox with 14.3kw LiFepo4 batteries for backup
22 canadian Solar 325 watt panels
With Enphase Micro Inverters AC coupled to Skybox
Location: Mn

Re: Power factor mismatch? Grid very low, SB=1

Post by wtfg »

The power factor on my Skybox goes from 0.86 to -0.98 with furnace blower motor on
Then when furnace turns off its back to 0.86, and grid is 1.0
Is this a problem or just what happens with a inductive load?
raysun
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REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
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Re: Power factor mismatch? Grid very low, SB=1

Post by raysun »

wtfg wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:04 am The power factor on my Skybox goes from 0.86 to -0.98 with furnace blower motor on
Then when furnace turns off its back to 0.86, and grid is 1.0
Is this a problem or just what happens with a inductive load?
Inductive and capacitive loads throw power factor all over the map (in opposite directions, of course.)
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