In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

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Joe
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My RE system: Radian Outback
Flexmax 80 x 2
Simpliphi 48v 3.8 x 8
6kw panels

In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by Joe »

Howdy folks,

I know, this has probably been covered somewhere, but I am working with limited communications resources and am trying to get my electricity back on. I'll try to spell out my situation, but I'm sure I'll miss some obvious information. With that in mind, here goes:

My system is off-grid. We bought the property with an RV on it, which is being powered by 8 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, a Radian inverter (not sure of the model #), 2 x FlexMax 80, 6kw panels, Mate3s. System was installed about two years ago. We took ownership a few months back. No problems. Today, all AC electricity to the RV (our residence) went out. I checked breakers in the RV. None were tripped. I checked the inverter, no breakers were obviously tripped. I unplugged the 50 amp power cord to the RV and plugged it into the generator. All electricity in the RV works using the generator.

I looked at the Mate3, which I only use to see what my pct. of charge is, and there were no errors. Inverter light was off. I turned all inverter switches off and all back on, in no particular order (yes, I've read somewhere that is not the correct sequence, but keep that in mind). I don't know anything about how this inverter cycles off and on. I see both charge controllers are in Absorption mode.

I tried calling Outback Support. The message says consumers must call their installing company. I did that and spoke with the owner. He tried walking me through breakers on my RV. As I told him, the RV works fine on the generator. He doesn't know much, so he said his installer will call me. I know his installer is just that, and relatively new at it. It's late in the day here, so I probably won't hear from him today.

Any help is appreciated. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure this forum has direct message capability, so feel free to use that.

Thanks for any help!

Edit to add: Mate3 is showing 100% charge. One of the FlexMates is showing Charged and the other is showing Floating.

There are two switches on the right side of the panel box on the Radian. I can get one to switch UP (on?), but the other will not. This behavior has alternated between those two switches. When the power first went out, both were in the UP position. I switched them off. Now only one at a time, and that's sporadic, but not both.
raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
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Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by raysun »

Are the various circuit breakers on the Outback panel labeled? Can you post pictures of them?

Can you post a picture of the Mate summary screen?

Do you have hand tools and a multimeter to do some voltage measurements?
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: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by fcwlp »

On your Mate3s, press the top left button and turn the inverter on. It is likely off.
Joe
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My RE system: Radian Outback
Flexmax 80 x 2
Simpliphi 48v 3.8 x 8
6kw panels

Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by Joe »

raysun and fcwlp,

Thank you for your speedy replies. I was able to get in touch w/ Outback support and got a very helpful technician. First check was charge controllers output voltage, 55.4 and 55.3. The inverter won't power up because the 175 amp breakers won't stay in the ON position. When I (probably foolishly) lift and hold either or both, I can hear the inverter fans cycle on and off again. To test if it was a physical or electrical reason that the breakers aren't staying in the ON position, the technician had me turn off all of my Simpliphi batteries using the built-in switches. Then with no power (I verified no DC current), the breakers still wouldn't stay in the ON position. I ordered two replacements, which will be here late next week.

I don't believe any of the breakers were in the off position yesterday when the electricity went off. Yes, they are labeled and they are all now in the OFF position.

After I replace the breakers, I'll see if it powers up. If it does, but does not return to normal function, the technician advised me to remove/hold for 10 seconds/replace the ON/OFF INV (J3) jumper.

I'll update this as I get more information.
Joe
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My RE system: Radian Outback
Flexmax 80 x 2
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6kw panels

Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by Joe »

fcwlp wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 11:24 am On your Mate3s, press the top left button and turn the inverter on. It is likely off.
That is exactly what I should have done yesterday. I didn't think about it. I went straight to the RV breaker box, then to the inverter breakers.
Joe
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My RE system: Radian Outback
Flexmax 80 x 2
Simpliphi 48v 3.8 x 8
6kw panels

Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by Joe »

raysun wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 10:56 am Are the various circuit breakers on the Outback panel labeled? Can you post pictures of them?

Can you post a picture of the Mate summary screen?

Do you have hand tools and a multimeter to do some voltage measurements?
I flipped breakers off and back on again yesterday and tried different combinations. I know, that's not advisable. If I had done that yesterday, it probably would have been easy to isolate the problem.

All inverter breakers are off, so Mate screen is off. A picture from yesterday might have been helpful today.

I do have some tools and a multimeter to use when I get back on it. That will be after new breakers come in.
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: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by fcwlp »

Joe wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 3:17 pm There are two switches on the right side of the panel box on the Radian. I can get one to switch UP (on?), but the other will not. This behavior has alternated between those two switches. When the power first went out, both were in the UP position. I switched them off. Now only one at a time, and that's sporadic, but not both.
Joe wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 12:07 pm After I replace the breakers, I'll see if it powers up. If it does, but does not return to normal function, the technician advised me to remove/hold for 10 seconds/replace the ON/OFF INV (J3) jumper.
Now I understand what two switches you were referring to. :grin: Each of these 175A breakers is connected to one of the power modules. The power modules are independent of each other and the breakers are independent, so I have a hard time believing that replacing the breakers will fix the issue. However, I have seen six encoders fail in one week while bringing a tool up in France which took all of my planned spares for next five years. The control board does control both of power modules and I would take a look at the J3 jumper, but I think this is also a low probability.

Is there a chance that you are back feeding the RV generator into the AC output of the inverter? This could cause possibly cause the issue you are seeing and has a high probability of blowing the power modules. I have seen a Schneider and an OB GVFX where the grid got connected to the AC output and blew both inverters. I came in for the clean-up after the other installers screwed up the design.
Joe
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Posts: 12
Joined: Wed May 11, 2022 3:32 pm
My RE system: Radian Outback
Flexmax 80 x 2
Simpliphi 48v 3.8 x 8
6kw panels

Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by Joe »

fcwlp wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 2:43 pm
Joe wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 3:17 pm There are two switches on the right side of the panel box on the Radian. I can get one to switch UP (on?), but the other will not. This behavior has alternated between those two switches. When the power first went out, both were in the UP position. I switched them off. Now only one at a time, and that's sporadic, but not both.
Joe wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 12:07 pm After I replace the breakers, I'll see if it powers up. If it does, but does not return to normal function, the technician advised me to remove/hold for 10 seconds/replace the ON/OFF INV (J3) jumper.
Now I understand what two switches you were referring to. :grin: Each of these 175A breakers is connected to one of the power modules. The power modules are independent of each other and the breakers are independent, so I have a hard time believing that replacing the breakers will fix the issue. However, I have seen six encoders fail in one week while bringing a tool up in France which took all of my planned spares for next five years. The control board does control both of power modules and I would take a look at the J3 jumper, but I think this is also a low probability.

Is there a chance that you are back feeding the RV generator into the AC output of the inverter? This could cause possibly cause the issue you are seeing and has a high probability of blowing the power modules. I have seen a Schneider and an OB GVFX where the grid got connected to the AC output and blew both inverters. I came in for the clean-up after the other installers screwed up the design.
Thanks for the reply!

When the power went off yesterday, the generator was not running. It is a small generator that we use for charging during low-sun periods. Yesterday was a full sun day and I started the day at 85% and was close to full, if not full, when it shut down. This same setup has been running for over two years, 8 months of which I have owned it. It has just hummed along. I only connected the generator to confirm that the RV would run everything off of outside AC source.

The breakers will not go into the ON position, even with no power going to them.
Joe
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My RE system: Radian Outback
Flexmax 80 x 2
Simpliphi 48v 3.8 x 8
6kw panels

Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by Joe »

Here is a follow-up on my status.

This unit is still under warranty. I am getting nothing but dead air from my supplier/installer. I am on my own trying to troubleshoot this. All logic says that without a lot of smoke, two breakers don't just fail. I don't see or smell any signs of electrical catastrophe. All power off, those breakers will not go into the ON position. I can't get around that fact. I have ordered two more. In a real "it's under warranty" world, I wouldn't be doing this. But I am. I would like to get electricity going. As it is, it will be late next week before the breakers come in. I'm out over $200 and probably have no hope of recovering that, much less what might be to come.
Joe
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My RE system: Radian Outback
Flexmax 80 x 2
Simpliphi 48v 3.8 x 8
6kw panels

Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by Joe »

Joe wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 3:01 pm
fcwlp wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 2:43 pm
Joe wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 3:17 pm
I only connected the generator to confirm that the RV would run everything off of an outside AC source.

The breakers will not go into the ON position, even with no power going to them.
When I connected the RV to the generator, I bypassed the inverter by using the 50A power cable for the RV. It was unplugged from the inverter and plugged into the generator.
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Mike Curran
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Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by Mike Curran »

Joe - Sounds like you've done this already but make sure the breakers are fully shut off before trying to turn them on. I don't know about those 175A DC breakers but some breakers trip to an intermediate, in between position, and must be fully shut off before they can be reset to the ON position. Of course, this doesn't explain why they tripped off in the first place, so it's probably not the issue.
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Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by JRKsolar »

Just guessing here but, could these breakers be remote tripped by a ground or arc fault, or maybe rapid shutdown? Hard to imagine what would cause 1 to die, let alone 2 at the same time.
fcwlp
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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: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by fcwlp »

Joe wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 3:01 pm The breakers will not go into the ON position, even with no power going to them.
Since you are planning to replace the breakers. Take one of the breakers out of the system and see if it still won't go into the ON position. If it does we know there is something else going on. I would recommend that you download the GSLC installation manual from the website and verify with your meter that all power is off as the confines of the GSLC are tight. People have also been known to say a few choice words while working the GSLC.
Mike Curran wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 3:40 pm I don't know about those 175A DC breakers but some breakers trip to an intermediate, in between position, and must be fully shut off before they can be reset to the ON position.
Mike, no intermediate position on these breakers.
JRKsolar wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 4:05 pm Just guessing here but, could these breakers be remote tripped by a ground or arc fault, or maybe rapid shutdown? Hard to imagine what would cause 1 to die, let alone 2 at the same time.
These are strictly over-current breakers. Nothing fancy and I can never recall seeing one trip on any OB system.
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6kw panels

Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by Joe »

Mike Curran wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 3:40 pm Joe - Sounds like you've done this already but make sure the breakers are fully shut off before trying to turn them on. I don't know about those 175A DC breakers but some breakers trip to an intermediate, in between position, and must be fully shut off before they can be reset to the ON position. Of course, this doesn't explain why they tripped off in the first place, so it's probably not the issue.
Winner winner, chikkin dinner. Mike for closest guess.

Alright, I've paid the dumbass tax and learned along the way.

Final answer is, while I had switched the breakers into the OFF position, I only toggled them up to the "intermediate" position, of which Mike spoke. Having never touched those breakers before, I didn't realize that I needed to use more force and get them all the way up. Dangit, this crow doesn't taste good.

If you look at those levers, they have long toggles on them, like enough leverage to break them if you force them. Like you feel like you're gonna break the breaker. After I ordered new ones and was looking at what was going to be involved in changing them, I gave one of them a hard tug and there it was, ON. Well dang. Other one, ON. Batteries on, charge controllers on, AC output on. RV on.

What was the original problem? I'm guessing both of my RV air conditioning units powered on at the same time via thermostat. Instead of tripping the breaker on the RV, it tripped the breakers on the load center. When I went to look, I saw them in the intermediate position (tripped), switched them to OFF, but never got them up to ON (which is not marked anywhere). I only got them halfway, which is where I found them, and met resistance.

Now y'all know where to start with the next guy. "Mrs. Jones, is the dryer plugged in?".

Thank you guys for digging into this with me.
raysun
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REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
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Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by raysun »

Occam's Razor gives a clean shave every time.
Joe
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Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by Joe »

raysun wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 5:24 pm Occam's Razor gives a clean shave every time.
Indeed.

Anyone with any experience would have seen that right away. Tech support guy was just, no man, I don't know that I've ever seen a breaker go bad, but call these guys. I talked to the guy at Zonna Energy and he said the same thing. Two bad breakers? Never seen that happen before. I'm thinking something ain't right here, but here I am saying it like it's a fact, so shame on me.
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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: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by fcwlp »

fcwlp wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 4:42 pm Mike, no intermediate position on these breakers.
Mike, you were right. I have never seen one trip but have toggled them many times.
raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by raysun »

Now you have the experience! Welcome to the club. The motto is: "Don't smoke 'em, if you got 'em."
raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by raysun »

fcwlp wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 5:41 pm
fcwlp wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 4:42 pm Mike, no intermediate position on these breakers.
Mike, you were right. I have never seen one trip but have toggled them many times.
Mike is always right. Dag-nab it.
Joe
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My RE system: Radian Outback
Flexmax 80 x 2
Simpliphi 48v 3.8 x 8
6kw panels

Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by Joe »

raysun wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 5:42 pm Now you have the experience! Welcome to the club. The motto is: "Don't smoke 'em, if you got 'em."
Thank you for the welcome.

In the vein of trying not to let the smoke out, I had joined this forum a couple of days ago, before I had a problem. I am looking to do a couple of things and was on here hoping to get the lowdown. Now y'all know what level to talk to me on.

fcwlp said "People have also been known to say a few choice words while working the GSLC". I believe it. You don't just pop those breakers in and out.

I am looking to add a couple of batteries and thought hell, I can do that. Then I saw the inside of that load center. It has eight sets of battery cables coming in and I'm thinking there's no way I can add two more pairs into this mess. I think it should have had an external bus from the beginning. Knowing a little about the history of this setup, I can see why they didn't do that. The previous owner had four Simpliphis at first. Fair enough, probably didn't justify a bus. Then they put in four more. That is probably where they should have gone to a bus. So that is what I'm thinking of doing. Well, not thinking, I have the two new batteries, I just hadn't looked behind the panel and discovered what I was in for. It's probably best to start a new thread with photos for this, so y'all tell me where you'd like to see that thread go and I'll start it there.
raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by raysun »

Take the last paragraph and post it in a new thread.

We can start with that.
Joe
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My RE system: Radian Outback
Flexmax 80 x 2
Simpliphi 48v 3.8 x 8
6kw panels

Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by Joe »

Under Outback Inverters/Radian Series?
raysun
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Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: In need of immediate help, Radian stopped working

Post by raysun »

Not really important. But maybe under 3rd Party Batteries - SimpliPhi
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