Charging SimpliPhi battery with OB chargers

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raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (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

Charging SimpliPhi battery with OB chargers

Post by raysun »

The SimpliPhi owners on this forum have been very active in discussing the LiFePo4 battery, its usage, and maintenance. Having been a participant in the discussion, I have learned a great deal, and post this to recap the charging routine I use.

These posts become somewhat wide-ranging, so I ask we keep to the subject of SimpliPhi charging (and usage related to the charge parameters employed). Other subjects that arise should be posted elsewhere, please, so that readers can review the posts here concisely.

My system is strictly off-grid, and that informs my charging decisions. On-grid considerations are welcome, as long as they relate to charging.

SimpliPhi publishes a series of guides and other other documents related to their batteries. Any user should visit their site and download the appropriate collateral.

The basis of my charging parameters are taken directly from the SimpliPhi - Outback Integration Guide:
https://simpliphipower.com/wp-content/u ... -guide.pdf

Abstracts from the guide:
Screenshot_20210912-181634_OneDrive.jpg
Screenshot_20210912-181739_OneDrive.jpg
The parameters in the above abstracts have evolved from Phi-OB integration testing. Earlier publications listed slightly different parameters.

In my own testing the published parameters were evaluated, along with variations I considered potential improvements to the specifications. Those findings are posted elsewhere on this forum.

The parameters I will list subsequently are my final configurations, and largely align with Phi's published specifications.

Continued in the next post.
raysun
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (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: Charging SimpliPhi battery with OB chargers

Post by raysun »

Charging parameters for Flexmax 60/80/100 Charge Controllers and FXR/GS Inverters (also applicable to FX class inverters except where noted.)

Screenshot_20210912-175503_DuckDuckGo.jpg
FlexMax parameters from OpticsRE

Screenshot_20210912-224741_DuckDuckGo.jpg
FXR parameters from OpticsRE

20210912_220025.jpg
Battery Protection parameters

FlexMax charging - Bulk/Absorb phase
The vast majority of my charging is via two FM80 charge controllers attached to 3.5kW arrays. The charge profile is essentially a Bulk phase to a target termination voltage - the Absorb Voltage - which is held until the charge current falls to 9A (2% of my battery's 450AH capacity), at which point charging terminates. Once the Absorb Voltage (56.4V) is reached, the current decline occurs in a space of 1 to 5 minutes. I have noticed the decline is fairly smooth until approximately 11 - 12A, at which point the current may "bounce" a bit. I'm not sure what causes the rise and fall (typically 0.5 - 1A excursions) but speculate it may be due to cell balancing by the BMS.

FlexMax charging - Float phase
After the Bulk charging terminates, the FlexMax charge controllers enter a silent state where no PV harvest is executed. When the battery voltage declines to the Float Voltage, the FM charge controllers "wake up", perform an MPPT sweep, and commence Float charging. The general consensus is Float charging is not beneficial for LiFePo4 cells, as holding them at at 100% State of Charge for extended periods can lead to anode degradation. However, SimpliPhi specifies a Float Voltage = 54V. I believe this is an accommodation for additional PV harvest after charging is complete in order to service daytime loads. A tradeoff, if you will, between battery service life, and maximizing solar power production.

I choose a different balance point for that tradeoff by setting a lower Float Voltage = 53.1V. This value was established by experiment. The goal was to allow a small about of charge to drain off the battery, reducing State of Charge below 100%, while still maintaining high PV harvest. The Float Voltage chosen (53.1V) is somewhat load dependent with our afternoon loads being in the 0.1 - 0.5kW range typically. Higher average loads may benefit from a higher Float Voltage (53.2 - 53.5V). My goal is to have a slight net discharge (0.1 - 1.0A) consistently. At the end of the Float phase (at sunset) the battery is typically at 97% SoC.

Inverter charging
The inverter charger Absorb Voltage = 56V which is 0.4V lower than the FM charge controller setting. This is typically done so that the solar charge controllers have priority. If both charger types are employed simultaneously, the inverter charger will drop out when the voltage rises above 56V.

The Float and EQ charge settings are disabled by setting Time = 0.

I find the Rebulk Voltage = 50.8 somewhat problematic. My battery never reaches this voltage, so a new charge cycle is not flagged by this parameter. I don't bother with it however, as I start generator / inverter charging manually. Also, I generally charge the battery to 80% SoC on generator, as that's sufficient for our needs. An incomplete charge is another factor that appears to cause the inverter charger cycle restart logic some confusion.

Battery voltage protection
Setting overvoltage and undervoltage protection is necessary for battery health and to maintain the SimpliPhi warranty. The latest FXR (A-01) and GS (A) models have Low Battery Cut Off and High Battery Cut Off parameters in the voltage ranges needed.

Note, the older FX series inverters LBCO does not have the proper voltage range, and HBCO does not exist in the firmware. External protection must be incorporated. The FlexNET DC battery monitor can be used for this purpose.
Last edited by raysun on Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:41 pm, edited 10 times in total.
raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (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: Charging SimpliPhi battery with OB chargers

Post by raysun »

Charging control and State of Charge monitoring
20210912_220325.jpg
20210912_220349.jpg
FLEXNet DC settings
The FNDC battery monitor supports advanced charging control that is essential for proper SimpliPhi battery charging. It also provides continuous State of Charge status, and a means to automatically sync the meter with the battery at 100% SoC. The Battery Charging parameters are listed above. Note: Battery Capacity is the C20 AH rating, and Charged Return Amps is specified as 2% of the battery C20 AH capacity. Charge Factor is from the SimpliPhi specs.

Mate settings
I use the Mate3s system controller. The settings are applicable to the Mate3 as well. If using a Mate/Mate2 check that the Global Charge functions are available.

The Mate, in concert with the FNDC, provides two advanced charging control functions that, IMO, are essential for proper and safe charging: Global Charger Control and Automatic Charge Termination.

Global Charger Control
This function coordinates total charge current delivered to the battery from all active FM and Inverter chargers. The Maximum Battery Charge parameter sets the limit. Note, the inverter chargers are not controlled, however, their charge contribution is taken into account and the FM output is modulated to keep total charge below the maximum. The SimpliPhi 3.8-48 continuous charge current specification is 37.5A per block, for a total of 225A in my case. However, I set Max Battery Charge to 180A because I don't care to charge lithium batteries at their maximum charge rate. (180A permits my two FM80s to deliver their full 80A output when sufficient solar is available.)

Note the FM60/80 charge controllers must be set to GT Mode = Enabled in order for Global Charger Control to manage their output. I don't know about the FM100.
Screenshot_20210913-064631_DuckDuckGo.jpg
Automatic Charge Termination
When enabled ACT will stop all Bulk/Absorb charging phases when the charge parameters are met: Charged Voltage, Charged Time, and Charged Return Amps. When Charged Parameters Met, the FNDC automatically syncs to 100% SoC.
Last edited by raysun on Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:52 am, edited 4 times in total.
provo
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Re: Charging SimpliPhi battery with OB chargers

Post by provo »

Thanks for this -- good to see it all gathered in one place.
jainsw
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My RE system: My setup is a 48v system and is comprised of the following components:
12-ES190 Evergreen solar panels-pole mount non-auto tracking, 4 220 Volt GE panels fixed mount
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1-Outback FM60 PV Charge controller 60a MPPT, 12-60 vdc. 60a output
1-Outback FM80 PV CC, 80a MPPT
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1-Mate
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Re: Charging SimpliPhi battery with OB chargers

Post by jainsw »

raysun wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:05 am Charging control and State of Charge monitoring

20210912_220325.jpg

20210912_220349.jpg
I just heard from my supplier of these batteries and the MATE3s order and the MATE3s won't be delivered for another 3 weeks after I receive the batteries. So, should I just delay installing the batteries or go ahead with the install and change out the Mate later?
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 5615
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (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: Charging SimpliPhi battery with OB chargers

Post by raysun »

jainsw wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:35 am
raysun wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:05 am Charging control and State of Charge monitoring

20210912_220325.jpg

20210912_220349.jpg
I just heard from my supplier of these batteries and the MATE3s order and the MATE3s won't be delivered for another 3 weeks after I receive the batteries. So, should I just delay installing the batteries or go ahead with the install and change out the Mate later?
Its worse than waiting for Christmas, I know. Ultimately, its your choice. Read through the above after I've completed the Mate/FNDC post and decide. (BTW, I'd be suprised if other vendors don't have the Mate3s in stock.)
jainsw
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Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:54 am
My RE system: My setup is a 48v system and is comprised of the following components:
12-ES190 Evergreen solar panels-pole mount non-auto tracking, 4 220 Volt GE panels fixed mount
12-Hanwha Q Peak 300watt panels
1-Outback FM60 PV Charge controller 60a MPPT, 12-60 vdc. 60a output
1-Outback FM80 PV CC, 80a MPPT
1-Outback VFX3648 3.6kw, 120vac output
1-Mate
1-Outback Hub
1-Outback FNDC
24-,Trojan L-16RE-2V lead acid 1110ah C20 batteries

Re: Charging SimpliPhi battery with OB chargers

Post by jainsw »

raysun wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:14 am
jainsw wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:35 am
raysun wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:05 am Charging control and State of Charge monitoring

20210912_220325.jpg

20210912_220349.jpg
I just heard from my supplier of these batteries and the MATE3s order and the MATE3s won't be delivered for another 3 weeks after I receive the batteries. So, should I just delay installing the batteries or go ahead with the install and change out the Mate later?
Its worse than waiting for Christmas, I know. Ultimately, its your choice. Read through the above after I've completed the Mate/FNDC post and decide. (BTW, I'd be suprised if other vendors don't have the Mate3s in stock.)
I actually had already read that and that was what prompted the question. Thanks for keeping me in check from my wild emotions. #-o
raysun
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Posts: 5615
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (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: Charging SimpliPhi battery with OB chargers

Post by raysun »

jainsw wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:22 am
raysun wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:14 am
jainsw wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:35 am

I just heard from my supplier of these batteries and the MATE3s order and the MATE3s won't be delivered for another 3 weeks after I receive the batteries. So, should I just delay installing the batteries or go ahead with the install and change out the Mate later?
Its worse than waiting for Christmas, I know. Ultimately, its your choice. Read through the above after I've completed the Mate/FNDC post and decide. (BTW, I'd be suprised if other vendors don't have the Mate3s in stock.)
I actually had already read that and that was what prompted the question. Thanks for keeping me in check from my wild emotions. #-o
Look through the Mate menu and see if Global Charge functions are supported. Of course, OpticsRE is not, so an important monitoring feature is not available.

I'd council patience, but it would be disingenuous, being as my entire system was swapped out the very afternoon I picked up all the gear from my distributor, and was in full operation at sunrise the next day.

If I was limited to monitoring from the Mate screen, I'd either make camp in the basement, or set up a WiFi web cam pointing at it so I could check it every 30 seconds. 🤣🤣
jainsw
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Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:54 am
My RE system: My setup is a 48v system and is comprised of the following components:
12-ES190 Evergreen solar panels-pole mount non-auto tracking, 4 220 Volt GE panels fixed mount
12-Hanwha Q Peak 300watt panels
1-Outback FM60 PV Charge controller 60a MPPT, 12-60 vdc. 60a output
1-Outback FM80 PV CC, 80a MPPT
1-Outback VFX3648 3.6kw, 120vac output
1-Mate
1-Outback Hub
1-Outback FNDC
24-,Trojan L-16RE-2V lead acid 1110ah C20 batteries

Re: Charging SimpliPhi battery with OB chargers

Post by jainsw »

raysun wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:55 am
jainsw wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:22 am
raysun wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:14 am

Its worse than waiting for Christmas, I know. Ultimately, its your choice. Read through the above after I've completed the Mate/FNDC post and decide. (BTW, I'd be suprised if other vendors don't have the Mate3s in stock.)
I actually had already read that and that was what prompted the question. Thanks for keeping me in check from my wild emotions. #-o
Look through the Mate menu and see if Global Charge functions are supported. Of course, OpticsRE is not, so an important monitoring feature is not available.

I'd council patience, but it would be disingenuous, being as my entire system was swapped out the very afternoon I picked up all the gear from my distributor, and was in full operation at sunrise the next day.

If I was limited to monitoring from the Mate screen, I'd either make camp in the basement, or set up a WiFi web cam pointing at it so I could check it every 30 seconds. 🤣🤣
I'm already paranoid but thanks for the extra dose as I'm certain I will be able to use it during installation. :grin:
raysun
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Posts: 5615
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (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: Charging SimpliPhi battery with OB chargers

Post by raysun »

I'm already paranoid but thanks for the extra dose as I'm certain I will be able to use it during installation. :grin:
Actually, once the parameters are in place, lithium battery charging is quite well-behaved. There's no ambiguity when they reach full charge. They are easier to operate than lead acid too.

The only really tricky part for your install will be setting LBCO and HBCO in the FNDC, and wiring the Aux relay to the inverter's ON/OFF terminal. In reality even that isn't a critical failure point as its very unlikely either limit would ever be reached in normal operation. Just make sure the charge parameters are correct, the battery gets an initial full charge, and the discharge is monitored. (Now is not the time to see how long you can run the arc welder.)

I used to watch my lead acid battery consumption like a hawk. Now, I'm like: "Whatever." 😉
jainsw
Forum Guru
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:54 am
My RE system: My setup is a 48v system and is comprised of the following components:
12-ES190 Evergreen solar panels-pole mount non-auto tracking, 4 220 Volt GE panels fixed mount
12-Hanwha Q Peak 300watt panels
1-Outback FM60 PV Charge controller 60a MPPT, 12-60 vdc. 60a output
1-Outback FM80 PV CC, 80a MPPT
1-Outback VFX3648 3.6kw, 120vac output
1-Mate
1-Outback Hub
1-Outback FNDC
24-,Trojan L-16RE-2V lead acid 1110ah C20 batteries

Re: Charging SimpliPhi battery with OB chargers

Post by jainsw »

raysun wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 10:37 am
I'm already paranoid but thanks for the extra dose as I'm certain I will be able to use it during installation. :grin:
Actually, once the parameters are in place, lithium battery charging is quite well-behaved. There's no ambiguity when they reach full charge. They are easier to operate than lead acid too.

The only really tricky part for your install will be setting LBCO and HBCO in the FNDC, and wiring the Aux relay to the inverter's ON/OFF terminal. In reality even that isn't a critical failure point as its very unlikely either limit would ever be reached in normal operation. Just make sure the charge parameters are correct, the battery gets an initial full charge, and the discharge is monitored. (Now is not the time to see how long you can run the arc welder.)

I used to watch my lead acid battery consumption like a hawk. Now, I'm like: "Whatever." 😉
Well, I placed the order for the batteries and they will be here before next Monday and I place a separate order at another vendor for the Mate3s which they have in stock, but they indicate it won't be delivered until Tuesday or Wednesday. Sooooo, all that means is that I likely won't get around to the install until I return from my trip the first week of October. Bummed about that. I just hope my FLA batteries don't just lay down and die. This morning, when my bride turned on her hair dryer, the batteries bottomed out at 43.5 and the generator kicked on. The only problem with that is that I have to manually turn the generator off or it will run until Absorb is reached which would likely be about 3 hours of burning propane.
jainsw
Forum Guru
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:54 am
My RE system: My setup is a 48v system and is comprised of the following components:
12-ES190 Evergreen solar panels-pole mount non-auto tracking, 4 220 Volt GE panels fixed mount
12-Hanwha Q Peak 300watt panels
1-Outback FM60 PV Charge controller 60a MPPT, 12-60 vdc. 60a output
1-Outback FM80 PV CC, 80a MPPT
1-Outback VFX3648 3.6kw, 120vac output
1-Mate
1-Outback Hub
1-Outback FNDC
24-,Trojan L-16RE-2V lead acid 1110ah C20 batteries

Re: Charging SimpliPhi battery with OB chargers

Post by jainsw »

raysun wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:59 amState
Great news! I was able to expedite the Mate3s so I will have it by this Friday and will try to install Saturday.
Also, what you have posted here is great and I appreciate it. How do I save it so that I can reference it easily on this forum?
raysun
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Posts: 5615
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (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: Charging SimpliPhi battery with OB chargers

Post by raysun »

Screenshot_20210914-161936_DuckDuckGo.jpg
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