FM80/60 calibration

Discussion about the FM100, FM80, and FM60 Charge Controllers

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raysun
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Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
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FM80/60 calibration

Post by raysun »

The FlexMax charge controllers, like most all charge controllers, use battery voltage to control the charging stages. In order for the FlexMax charge controllers to charge accurately, their internal voltmeters need to be carefully calibrated to the battery voltage.

The FlexMax 60 and 80 (FM60, FM80) charge controllers can be calibrated using one of two methods:

• Software calibration by adjusting the VBATT parameter.
VBATT calibration is useful across a +/-0.5V range. Its primary benefit is ease of implementation. IMO, it is not as effective as hardware calibration.

20220313_104241.jpg
VBATT calibration in FM Advanced menu.

Screenshot_20220313-102503_Firefox.jpg
VBATT calibration in OpticsRE.

To calibrate using VBATT
1. Select a time when the system is "quiet", with little or no load on the battery.
2. Disconnect the solar array from the FlexMax.
3. Measure the battery voltage at the FlexMax Bat +/- terminals in the wiring compartment.
4. Compare to the Out Voltage reading on the FlexMax front panel.
5. If the two readings differ by 0.5V or less, adjust the VBATT parameter until the voltages agree.
6. Reconnect the solar array.


• Hardware calibration by adjusting a "trim pot" on the FM internal circuit board.
This method is very high precision across a broad voltage range. IME, it produces more stable results than VBATT calibration, and is the preferred method if syncing multiple chargers.
20220313_103841.jpg
Hardware calibration in FM controller.


To calibrate using the trim pot
1. Select a time when the system is "quiet", with little or no load on the battery.
2. Disconnect the solar array from the FlexMax.
3. Measure the battery voltage at the FlexMax Bat +/- terminals in the wiring compartment.
4. Compare to the Out Voltage reading on the FlexMax front panel.
5. Adjust the bottom-most trim pot until the voltages are equal.
NOTE: The trim pot is very sensitive. It can adjust to 0.01V, though the FM display only shows to 0.1V. It may take some "tweaking" to get the voltage exact.
NOTE: DO NOT adjust the other two trim pots above the bottom-most one.
6. Reconnect the solar array and replace the wiring compartment cover.
Last edited by raysun on Sun Aug 21, 2022 6:34 pm, edited 9 times in total.
jainsw
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Posts: 457
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-Mate3s with OpticsRE
1-Outback Hub
1-Outback FNDC
7-SimpliPhi 3.8-48v-75Ah Lithium batteries

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by jainsw »

Thanks for sending this over. Looking at the present calibrations, the FM60 is at .4 VDC and the FM80 is at -.2VDC both of which were set for my old bank. I will do this in the am. Thanks again.
raysun
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Parallel Stacked, (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
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by raysun »

The FM controllers have an internal voltmeter. Setting it precisely is important for Lithium batteries as 0.1V is a big difference to them.
pioneerMan
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My RE system: 12 volt system
6 Lion Energy model 700 batteries, 12V each
12 solar panels (Mitsubishi 125 Watt)
Outback VFX2812 inverter and two FLEXmax 60 inverters
Trimetric 2030A battery monitor
Mate 3s
Dual fuel 4500 watt AC generator
Location: Northern Utah

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by pioneerMan »

raysun wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:18 am 1. Select a time when the system is "quiet", with little or no load on the battery.
2. Disconnect the solar array from the FlexMax.
#1 Should I just disconnect the Main circuit breaker switch on my Flexware250? That would completely remove all electrical loads from the battery, right?

#2 Since my system doesn't have a solar disconnect switch, should I unscrew the PV wires going into the charge controller? Or would it be better to turn off the circuit breaker switches in the PV combiner box associated with each solar tracker?

Thank you.
raysun
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Posts: 9024
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Parallel Stacked, (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
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by raysun »

pioneerMan wrote: Tue Nov 15, 2022 8:55 am
raysun wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:18 am 1. Select a time when the system is "quiet", with little or no load on the battery.
2. Disconnect the solar array from the FlexMax.
#1 Should I just disconnect the Main circuit breaker switch on my Flexware250? That would completely remove all electrical loads from the battery, right?
I don't know how the main disconnect is wired so can't answer this. The charge controllers must remain connected to the battery.
#2 Since my system doesn't have a solar disconnect switch, should I unscrew the PV wires going into the charge controller? Or would it be better to turn off the circuit breaker switches in the PV combiner box associated with each solar tracker?
Turning off the circuit breakers in each combiner should be sufficient.
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: FM80/60 calibration

Post by fcwlp »

Good description raysun of the calibration process. I had to do this last week on a system with 5 FM80s and 1 FM60. A couple of the CCs thought it was time to quit absorbing and go into EX-Absorb prematurely.
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 9024
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Parallel Stacked, (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
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by raysun »

fcwlp wrote: Tue Nov 15, 2022 9:52 am Good description raysun of the calibration process. I had to do this last week on a system with 5 FM80s and 1 FM60. A couple of the CCs thought it was time to quit absorbing and go into EX-Absorb prematurely.
My two FM80s, after the appropriate "training", could contend for Olympic Gold in Synchronized Charging.
5 FM80s and an FM60. I admire your tenacity!
jainsw
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Posts: 457
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-Mate3s with OpticsRE
1-Outback Hub
1-Outback FNDC
7-SimpliPhi 3.8-48v-75Ah Lithium batteries

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by jainsw »

raysun wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:18 am The FlexMax charge controllers, like most all charge controllers, use battery voltage to control the charging stages. In order for the FlexMax charge controllers to charge accurately, their internal voltmeters need to be carefully calibrated to the battery voltage.

The FlexMax 60 and 80 (FM60, FM80) charge controllers can be calibrated using one of two methods:

• Software calibration by adjusting the VBATT parameter.
VBATT calibration is useful across a +/-0.5V range. Its primary benefit is ease of implementation. IMO, it is not as effective as hardware calibration.



Raysun, thanks again for sending this over. So, it appears I may have a FM60 going bad. It's 14 years old and after testing it tonight and trying to adjust the trim pots, the voltage at the terminals is fluctuating. So, at the batteries, the voltage was 52.1v and the inverter was 52.1 volts, and the FM80 was 52.1v, but on the suspect FM60, I can adjust the display using either the trim pots or the Optics calibration and regardless, the voltage at the terminal jumps from 51.9 to 52.1. So, even with the display adjusted to 52.3 the terminal voltage was registering 51.9v to 52.1v alternating. What do you think this could be?
raysun
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Posts: 9024
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Parallel Stacked, (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
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by raysun »

So, even with the display adjusted to 52.3 the terminal voltage was registering 51.9v to 52.1v alternating. What do you think this could be?
Check all the wiring between the FM60 and the battery:
FM60 Bat (+) - Circuit breaker.
Curcuit breaker - Battery (+) Bus Bar
FM60 Bat (-) - Shunt load side
Shunt - Bat (-) Bus Bar.

Make sure all connections are clean and tight.
Measure along the above circuit paths to detect any voltage drops (that may indicate internally broken wires).
Also, the circuit breakers can go bad, so check for voltage drop across the FM60 breaker when its "On".
jainsw
Forum Guru
Posts: 457
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-Mate3s with OpticsRE
1-Outback Hub
1-Outback FNDC
7-SimpliPhi 3.8-48v-75Ah Lithium batteries

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by jainsw »

raysun wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:36 pm
So, even with the display adjusted to 52.3 the terminal voltage was registering 51.9v to 52.1v alternating. What do you think this could be?
Check all the wiring between the FM60 and the battery:
FM60 Bat (+) - Circuit breaker.
Curcuit breaker - Battery (+) Bus Bar
FM60 Bat (-) - Shunt load side
Shunt - Bat (-) Bus Bar.

Make sure all connections are clean and tight.
Measure along the above circuit paths to detect any voltage drops (that may indicate internally broken wires).
Also, the circuit breakers can go bad, so check for voltage drop across the FM60 breaker when its "On".
Ok, on my way to do that now. By the way, the backlight display of the FM60 quit working several weeks ago and the buttons on the FM60 do not work most of the time.
raysun
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Posts: 9024
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Parallel Stacked, (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
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by raysun »

Ok, on my way to do that now. By the way, the backlight display of the FM60 quit working several weeks ago and the buttons on the FM60 do not work most of the time.
Might be time to retire it next to that Apple Lisa, and get an FM80.
The one hole in our systems' battery protection scheme is High Voltage Disconnect for the charge controllers, there isn't any. If a controller were to fail in a way that dumped array voltage to the battery, it would be an expensive tragedy. Not to say its likely to happen, but it would be more likely to happen with an old FM60 than a new FM80, IMO.
jainsw
Forum Guru
Posts: 457
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-Mate3s with OpticsRE
1-Outback Hub
1-Outback FNDC
7-SimpliPhi 3.8-48v-75Ah Lithium batteries

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by jainsw »

raysun wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:59 pm
Ok, on my way to do that now. By the way, the backlight display of the FM60 quit working several weeks ago and the buttons on the FM60 do not work most of the time.
Might be time to retire it next to that Apple Lisa, and get an FM80.
The one hole in our systems' battery protection scheme is High Voltage Disconnect for the charge controllers, there isn't any. If a controller were to fail in a way that dumped array voltage to the battery, it would be an expensive tragedy. Not to say its likely to happen, but it would be more likely to happen with an old FM60 than a new FM80, IMO.
I did find the Battery - cable a little loose so I tightened that one down. Now, I get 52.1 on the display of the FM60 and 52.1 at the terminal. So, I'll try again in the morning to see what I get. Maybe that was it. Regardless, I think I will order a new FM60. I don't think I have room for a FM80 as it is taller and I have another control box above.
Thanks much, I'll sleep better tonight.
pioneerMan
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Posts: 337
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My RE system: 12 volt system
6 Lion Energy model 700 batteries, 12V each
12 solar panels (Mitsubishi 125 Watt)
Outback VFX2812 inverter and two FLEXmax 60 inverters
Trimetric 2030A battery monitor
Mate 3s
Dual fuel 4500 watt AC generator
Location: Northern Utah

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by pioneerMan »

jainsw wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:52 pm ...and the buttons on the FM60 do not work most of the time.
Sounds like I'm not the only one. Who knew buttons could go bad when they have only been pressed about 6 times in the last 15 years.
raysun
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Parallel Stacked, (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
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by raysun »

I don't think I have room for a FM80 as it is taller and I have another control box above.
Thanks much, I'll sleep better tonight.
Try to find room for the FM80. Trust me on this.
jainsw
Forum Guru
Posts: 457
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-Mate3s with OpticsRE
1-Outback Hub
1-Outback FNDC
7-SimpliPhi 3.8-48v-75Ah Lithium batteries

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by jainsw »

Raysun, I need help before I leave. I unplugged and turned off everything this morning and now my mate is showing 100%SoC instead of 54%SoC. I forgot how to reset it. Can you help?
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 9024
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Parallel Stacked, (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
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by raysun »

jainsw wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:51 am Raysun, I need help before I leave. I unplugged and turned off everything this morning and now my mate is showing 100%SoC instead of 54%SoC. I forgot how to reset it. Can you help?
The FNDC, when power cycled, "wakes up" and resets itself to 100% SoC. In order to sync its reading with battery reality, fully charge the battery.
jainsw
Forum Guru
Posts: 457
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-Mate3s with OpticsRE
1-Outback Hub
1-Outback FNDC
7-SimpliPhi 3.8-48v-75Ah Lithium batteries

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by jainsw »

raysun wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:56 am
jainsw wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:51 am Raysun, I need help before I leave. I unplugged and turned off everything this morning and now my mate is showing 100%SoC instead of 54%SoC. I forgot how to reset it. Can you help?
The FNDC, when power cycled, "wakes up" and resets itself to 100% SoC. In order to sync its reading with battery reality, fully charge the battery.
I am leaving our house now and now one will be home. Is there an alternative?
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 9024
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Parallel Stacked, (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
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by raysun »

I am leaving our house now and now one will be home. Is there an alternative?
The erroneous reading doesn't impact anything but your mental health, so simply ignore SoC until such time as the battery is fully charged.
jainsw
Forum Guru
Posts: 457
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-Mate3s with OpticsRE
1-Outback Hub
1-Outback FNDC
7-SimpliPhi 3.8-48v-75Ah Lithium batteries

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by jainsw »

Thank you and my mental health is in question at this point... :lol:
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 9024
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Parallel Stacked, (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
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: FM80/60 calibration

Post by raysun »

jainsw wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 9:05 am Thank you and my mental health is in question at this point... :lol:
The benefit of that big battery and nobody home is it isn't likely to be depleted of charge. SoC is "nice to know", but isn't "need to know". In the immortal words of Alfred E. Newman: "What? Me worry?"
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