Unlike Charger Inverter Stacking

Discussion about OutBack Inverters in Marine Applications

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flackbrandon
Forum Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2023 2:10 pm
My RE system: 1- MATE3S
1 - FX2012MT
1 - FLEXmax 60
1 - HUB4
2 -Magnum charger/inverters ME2012
1- Phasor K4-21.0KW Generator
8 - Lifeline GPL-8D Batteries
8 - Renogy Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline

55 sailboat - SVMagicBus.com

Unlike Charger Inverter Stacking

Post by flackbrandon »

Hey all,

First time poster here. System details in my profile and below. My question is can I integrate the Magnum charger /inverters into my system? Right now we just use the Magnums as chargers off shore power or generator, and we just use the Outback charger/inverter as an inverter, and the flexback is always doing it's thing on the side. Any advice would be most appreciated all the "stacking" details for chargers and inverters appear to only be for all Outback products in the system.

1- MATE3S
1 - FX2012MT
1 - FLEXmax 60
1 - HUB4
2 -Magnum charger/inverters ME2012
1- Phasor K4-21.0KW Generator
8 - Lifeline GPL-8D Batteries
8 - Renogy Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline

https://photos.app.goo.gl/S64jovF5MgwopQLL6

Any and all advice welcome!

Brandon

55' sailboat - SVMagicBus.com
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 9378
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Series 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: Unlike Charger Inverter Stacking

Post by raysun »

The Magnum inverter / chargers would have limited ability to integrate with the Outback Inverter.

The Magnums are presumedly attached to the same battery as the FX2012, and could be used as inverters, but would need to have their AC Output powering completely separate circuits than those serviced by the FX.

They certainly could not "stack" in the conventional sense, as there is no way to have the inverter models sync their output, nor control servicing loads. Combining their output would most likely destroy the inverters' power curcuits.

Also the Magnums are modified sine wave AC output, and the FX pure sine wave. The "noisier" output from the Magnums can cause issues with sensitive electronics, and mechanics like compressor motors. Their AC Output would need to be furnished to loads that can tolerate MSW.
flackbrandon
Forum Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2023 2:10 pm
My RE system: 1- MATE3S
1 - FX2012MT
1 - FLEXmax 60
1 - HUB4
2 -Magnum charger/inverters ME2012
1- Phasor K4-21.0KW Generator
8 - Lifeline GPL-8D Batteries
8 - Renogy Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline

55 sailboat - SVMagicBus.com

Re: Unlike Charger Inverter Stacking

Post by flackbrandon »

Thank you so much. How about using them a just another charging source?

Brandon
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 9378
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Series 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: Unlike Charger Inverter Stacking

Post by raysun »

flackbrandon wrote: Mon Jan 16, 2023 9:29 am Thank you so much. How about using them a just another charging source?

Brandon
Of course. Charging sources can be used in parallel on a common battery. Each will operate autonomously, but all should share a common control - battery voltage.
Some considerations:
• Charging profiles should be compatible. This is especially important in the constant voltage (Absorb) stage.
• Combined charge current should be limited to battery specifications. With four potential chargers available, the total charge current needs management.
• All devices should be calibrated to read the same battery voltage. Charging phases are generally controlled by battery voltage, so for the chargers to be in sync, they all need to read the same voltage.

Input not asked for...
Getting all the chargers to perform "in concert" will be a tricky, but do-able proposition. Careful planning, calibration, configuration, and testing will be the order of the day.

Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) battery cells present another challenge. Being sealed is a big attraction, especially in a marine environment. Being "maintenance free" has some benefits and some cautions. They are more efficient to charge (v.s. Flooded Lead Acid) and accept a higher charge current (good when using multiple chargers). However, they are much more sensitive to overcharging, and to a certain extent, undercharging. If overcharged, vented gasses will result in permanent loss of capacity. AGM cells are referred to as "starved electrolyte", meaning the sulfuric acid is absorbed into glass mats, and there is much less electrolyte than in a FLA cell. Any loss makes a difference. Chronically, undercharging any lead acid battery will result in lead sulfate buildup and shorter service life. Between the two evils, with VRLA AGM, the lesser is slightly undercharging rather than slightly overcharging. The best practice is to precisely charge the cells. The latter is tricky, VRLA is picky. 😉
One critical factor will be temperature compensated charging. The OB gear can do this automatically with the addition of a Remote Temperature Sensor cable.
Remote Temperature Sensor Communication with OutBack ... https://www.outbackpower.com/downloads/ ... p_note.pdf
The Magnum chargers will need separate temperature compensation.

One absolutely critical tool will be a quality battery monitor. With the Outback gear, a very good choice would be the FlexMax DC. It gives precise current monitoring (charge and discharge), can derive battery State of Charge (SoC), and can support advanced charging functions critical especially for VRLA batteries. This is strongly recommended.

Looks like there are two separate battery banks?
flackbrandon
Forum Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2023 2:10 pm
My RE system: 1- MATE3S
1 - FX2012MT
1 - FLEXmax 60
1 - HUB4
2 -Magnum charger/inverters ME2012
1- Phasor K4-21.0KW Generator
8 - Lifeline GPL-8D Batteries
8 - Renogy Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline

55 sailboat - SVMagicBus.com

Re: Unlike Charger Inverter Stacking

Post by flackbrandon »

Yes we have two banks but most of the time they a connected as one. We also have three independent starting batteries for each motor and the generator.
flackbrandon
Forum Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2023 2:10 pm
My RE system: 1- MATE3S
1 - FX2012MT
1 - FLEXmax 60
1 - HUB4
2 -Magnum charger/inverters ME2012
1- Phasor K4-21.0KW Generator
8 - Lifeline GPL-8D Batteries
8 - Renogy Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline

55 sailboat - SVMagicBus.com

Re: Unlike Charger Inverter Stacking

Post by flackbrandon »

If we add high output alternators to our primary engines. Do you all have any way of tying them into this system so they work (regulate i guess) with the solar?
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 9378
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Series 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: Unlike Charger Inverter Stacking

Post by raysun »

flackbrandon wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 7:43 am If we add high output alternators to our primary engines. Do you all have any way of tying them into this system so they work (regulate i guess) with the solar?
Engine-driven DC alternators are stock-in-trade for battery charging in marine systems.
(PYS has a collection of decent tech articles on marine charging: https://www.pysystems.ca/resources/tech-talk/ )

When charging from alternators and solar charge controllers simultaneously, the two charging sources operate autonomously, and can be used in parallel.
Some considerations :
• Accomodating different charging profiles.
Alternator charging is single stage (constant current) "Bulk" charging, generally employing some sort of regulator to control the output current. The FlexMax (and other solar charge controllers) employ more sophisticated 2 or 3 stage charging. Typically a constant current (Bulk) stage, followed by a constant voltage (Absorb) stage. After fully charging, the FlexMax switches to a third stage: a constant voltage (Float) stage intended to keep the battery "topped off" as long as solar harvest is available (until sundown.) The charge profiles are controlled by battery voltage, so calibrating the charging sources to precisely read the battery voltage is key to getting them working in concert.
• Controlling the total charge current. A battery has a maximum specified charge current that should be adhered to. During the constant current (Bulk) phase, chargers generally feed all available charge current to the battery. The sum of that available current may exceed the battery's maximum charge rate, resulting in overheating, plate warpage, and failure short of expected service life. The proposition becomes trickier when battery banks can be separated/combined by on-board switches and isolators. This is especially so when house batteries (in multiple banks), starting batteries, winch/thruster batteries, etc., are all brought into the mix.

Combining alternator, shore power/inverter, and solar battery charging is do-able. It's a marvelously complex puzzle that keeps marine electricians/engineers well supplied with work. The trick, of course, is rigging out a system that the boat owner can understand and reliably operate.
flackbrandon
Forum Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2023 2:10 pm
My RE system: 1- MATE3S
1 - FX2012MT
1 - FLEXmax 60
1 - HUB4
2 -Magnum charger/inverters ME2012
1- Phasor K4-21.0KW Generator
8 - Lifeline GPL-8D Batteries
8 - Renogy Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline

55 sailboat - SVMagicBus.com

Re: Unlike Charger Inverter Stacking

Post by flackbrandon »

Like the idea of adding a Flexmax DC to the system, but will it be able to measure the input from the Magnum chargers and the engine alternators as well as the solar? Then it also would need to measure the DC system draw for all the 12v stuff and the Outback inverter draw and charge as well.
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 9378
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Series 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: Unlike Charger Inverter Stacking

Post by raysun »

flackbrandon wrote: Fri Jan 27, 2023 3:36 am Like the idea of adding a Flexmax DC to the system, but will it be able to measure the input from the Magnum chargers and the engine alternators as well as the solar? Then it also would need to measure the DC system draw for all the 12v stuff and the Outback inverter draw and charge as well.
The FlexNet DC can support up to 3 current shunts, so can track battery charge/discharge flow from three categories of sources. For example, the inverters could be attached to shunt A, charge controller to shunt B, and alternators to shunt C. Each shunt's instantaneous current/kW and accumulated Amp Hours/kWH can be monitored, as well as aggregates from all 3 shunts.
Configured with the proper battery parameters, the FNDC can derive battery State of Charge (SoC) from the net current flow.
The current flow and SoC metrics are critical for best battery management, IME.
There's a "fly in the ointment" when this type of monitor is used with certain systems. Marine systems in general, and yours specifically, have issues. The primary issue is the monitor tracks current flow for a single battery. Typically, that's the House Battery. However, when battery is split into separate banks that charge and discharge independently, the banks are actually two separate batteries. The practice of splitting and combining the banks at will plays hob with tracking. It also is hard on the battery cells themselves. Combining banks that are at different states of charge is stressful on the cells, and will result in reduced service life. The practice of independently charging banks from separate charging sources adds further complexity that's difficult to integrate into a unified view.
Bottom line, the only practical way to use advanced battery monitoring from the FNDC or any "current counting" monitor is to always have the banks combined into a single battery.
The separate issue of tracking starter batteries, etc., adds another layer of complexity to effective monitoring. The Victron BMV series monitors add a sense line to track voltage (only) on a 2nd battery.
The usual marine battery setups and operations often force monitoring to the "lowest common denominator" of voltage and amperage metering per bank. These readings in themselves give at best a rough indication of battery state, but are better than nothing.
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