Mate3S Modes Options

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Yoe
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Mate3S Modes Options

Post by Yoe »

Could someone explain what "Inverter Mode" is used for? It has 3 options: Off, Search or On.

Screenshot 2024-06-20 at 14-54-15 OPTICSRE.png
raysun
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Re: Mate3S Modes Options

Post by raysun »

OFF: turns the inverter function off, no AC output
ON: turns the inverter function on, AC Output.
SEARCH: Enables the inverter low power standby mode, with the inverter "searching" periodically for the presence of a load, at which point it turns on.
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Re: Mate3S Modes Options

Post by Yoe »

So would the applications be for:
OFF - Inverter would not invert any power ever.
ON - Would be Inverter supplying power to Loads constantly.
SEARCH - Would supply power to loads during power outage.

Is this correct?
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Re: Mate3S Modes Options

Post by raysun »

Yoe wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 2:23 pm So would the applications be for:
OFF - Inverter would not invert any power ever.
ON - Would be Inverter supplying power to Loads constantly.
SEARCH - Would supply power to loads during power outage.

Is this correct?
Close
ON and OFF are correct.

SEARCH - Would supply power to loads during power outage.
Search allows the inverter to enter a very low power (4W) sleep mode, from the typical idle mode of 39W or more.
It periodically sends a "probe" through circuits connected to AC OUT, and if it identifies a load demanding power, the inverter "wakes up" and starts inverting.
SEARCH is not designed to respond to grid power failures. The inverter cannot connect its AC OUT to live circuits powered by another source without the risk of damage.
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Re: Mate3S Modes Options

Post by chrisski »

I found out the hard way if you turn the inverter "Off" it shuts all the power in the house off.

I normally "drop" the grid tied function so no sell back to the POCO pulls no power from the grid and powers the critical loads off the inverter and batteries only.

I mistakenly hit the "off" button for the internet on the app and a few seconds got a text from my family saying power was out at the house. Not knowing what I did, I called the installer and corrected me. Embarrassing.
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Re: Mate3S Modes Options

Post by Echo5 »

One has to be careful with SEARCH. I experimented with this because in the winter I am very power constrained and wanted to see if I could reduce the power self-consumption. The problem was that when only fridge and freezer were on but not actively cooling, their low power "vampire" style loads were not enough to activate the inverter in SEARCH mode. Consequently they were effectively powered off until a larger load came on and the power demand triggered the inverter to produce a supply. Once they had power they woke up saw they were really way too warm and then activated. Once the motors were actually running the inverter could cheerfully supply the fridge and freezer without the other load. I could definitively see this simply by turning on a 60W light bulb on the system. The fridge and freezer would immediately activate and start frantically cooling.

My feeling is that if you have periods where the loads require very low power you should expect the circuit to be completely powered off in SEARCH mode. Not good if you need devices to automatically wake up periodically.
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Re: Mate3S Modes Options

Post by raysun »

SEARCH has parameter adjustments to address that, but it can quickly become an exercise in tail-chasing. Setting the threshold sensitivity lower can pick up those "vampire" loads, but too sensitive, and SEARCH is on all the time. The system can accommodate by setting parameters that account for "load characteristics" but then tail chasing takes the form of juggling cats.
In the end, SEARCH was a "genius" solution when high capacity batteries and solar panels cost a year's pay, and the loads "behaved normally". These days, SEARCH turns into more effort than it's worth, for most folks.
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Re: Mate3S Modes Options

Post by Echo5 »

I bet this could be fixed by adding an option to force an activate of the power at settable intervals even if the probe came back as negative. Having the power activate fully once per hour certainly would have fixed the issue with my fridge/freezer vampire load problem. Not a 100% universally applicable solution - but it could work for some.

I will add this as a suggestion to the New Features request thread. It might get read by somebody someday once the dust settles on all this.
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raysun
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Re: Mate3S Modes Options

Post by raysun »

Echo5 wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2024 12:03 am I bet this could be fixed by adding an option to force an activate of the power at settable intervals even if the probe came back as negative. Having the power activate fully once per hour certainly would have fixed the issue with my fridge/freezer vampire load problem. Not a 100% universally applicable solution - but it could work for some.

I will add this as a suggestion to the New Features request thread. It might get read by somebody someday once the dust settles on all this.
Actually, "tweaking" the three Search parameters would probably address the issue with the refrigerator.
The simplest, and first, adjustment would be Sensitivity. Keep adjusting downward a step at a time until it reliably responds to the load. At too low a setting, wire impedance can turn on the inverter, so if there are too many false positives, the probe pulse may need modifying.
The Pulse Length and Pulse Duration settings can be tried. However, at least for me, balancing Sensitivity, Length, and Duration seems akin to throwing darts blindfolded. I could never tell what results I was getting.
In the end, I just don't use the feature, and accept the 0.8kWh daily consumption to be the "cost of doing business" with an FX inverter.
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Re: Mate3S Modes Options

Post by raysun »

I bet this could be fixed by adding an option to force an activate of the power at settable intervals even if the probe came back as negative.
This could be done with a battery powered external timer, and a small relay connected to the inverter's ON/OFF terminals.
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Re: Mate3S Modes Options

Post by Echo5 »

raysun wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2024 1:21 am
I bet this could be fixed by adding an option to force an activate of the power at settable intervals even if the probe came back as negative.
This could be done with a battery powered external timer, and a small relay connected to the inverter's ON/OFF terminals.
That would work - even simpler it could just turn on a dummy load (light bulb perhaps) just large enough to trigger the SEARCH probe. However one issue is that the timer has to be externally powered with a battery. The ideal situation would be to have the solar powered circuit itself charge the battery in the device. Perhaps a large capacitor could be used instead. Design the circuit so that the relay is normally closed (hence activating the search probe with the dummy load). As part of the the inverter powering the dummy load and whatever other loads may be present, the capacitor also fills and the relay opens taking the dummy load out of circuit. At this point the inverter continues to supply any other loads on the circuit until they are satisfied and then goes back to sleep. Once asleep the SEARCH probe is not triggered unless other loads require it. Once the capacitor drains (the timing is settable) the relay pops closed again, the dummy load is present and triggers the SEARCH probe to turn the circuit back on for a while, the vampire loads wake up and do their thing and the capacitor gets charged again. Thus the circuit would be guaranteed to activate at a pre-set interval after the last time the SEARCH probe supplied the power to whatever source.

Simple, fail safe, easy to implement (doesn't even require a microcontroller) and definitely do-able. Trivial to fit - ultimately it would just be a small device the size of a wall wart that you plugged into a socket anywhere on the solar supplied circuit. But would the power savings of such a device be more than the quiescent load drawn by the inverter itself? Possibly not. Kind of fun to think about though. I might build one of these this winter just for the LOL's.
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Re: Mate3S Modes Options

Post by raysun »

A typical non-toy inverter idles at around 30-50W, hybrids even higher, so there's an energy budget to work with.
I have an old aquarium controller that consumes 4 watts, and has digitally controlled AC outlets. It would be trivial to use one of its cyclic timer functions to "trigger" an outlet in order to provide a load. I can run the CPU head unit off a battery, and at 4W, it doesn't need to be much of a battery.
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