test of backup failed--not sure why?

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test of backup failed--not sure why?

Postby Megunticook on Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:26 am

So back in December I installed a FPS8048A system, grid-tied with a 428AH bank of FLA batteries. Working fine in grid-tie mode. Just tried a little test with backup mode last night and was disappointed, would welcome advice on troubleshooting steps.

I needed to kill the power to my main service panel so I could install a new breaker. Figured I'd use the opportunity to test the Radian's backup function. In the MATE3s I went to the system settings and changed "type" to "backup." Then I opened the main breaker at my meter. The loads wired to the backup panel lost power just like everything else in the house. I did my breaker swap and then powered everything back up. This morning when I checked the MATE's system settings it still read "backup." Event history clearly shows point where I cut grid power and then restored it, but it appears to think it's still in grid-tie mode.

Do I need to reboot the MATE after I change the system type? Anything else need to be changed/enabled for backup to work? I had expected that when grid power was lost the inverter would quickly turn on and start drawing power from the battery bank and feeding AC to the backup loads panel.

Thanks for any troubleshooting suggestions.
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Megunticook
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Location: Maine
My RE system: 6.4 kW solar array (21 QCell 305 panels in strings of 3)
GS8048A FLEXpower Radian (Radian 8048A, 2 FlexMax 80 cc's, Mate 3s, FlexNet DC, Hub)
8x6v Rolls-Surette 550 FLA batteries, 428AH

Re: test of backup failed--not sure why?

Postby Mike Curran on Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:58 am

That system type setting in the Mate is only to format the Mate's display - it should not have any effect on your backup power coming on (see photo below).
Screenshot_20180119-113649.jpg

I can't think of any programming error that would prevent your system from supplying backup power. Seems more likely there's some kind of wiring error. I would double check to make sure your auxiliary panel is being fed from the output of your FPS system - not sure how exactly the output is labelled - could be "AC OUT busbar 1", and "AC OUT busbar 2".

What kinds of indicators did you have on your Mate when you opened the mains? The LED on the inverter hot key (upper left corner) should have been on solid green to indicate it's inverting DC to AC to power your loads, per the Mate overview guide:
https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/154 ... 1c33c49322
Mike Curran
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Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio
My RE system: Outback:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one MX60
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah
- Hub10.3, Mate3, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar:
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied.

Re: test of backup failed--not sure why?

Postby Megunticook on Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:12 am

Duh, I didn't go into the inverter settings and change the "input mode" in "grid AC input mode and limits" to "backup." You're right, the one I switched just controls the MATE display.

I'll repeat the test tonight--sun is out and I'm cranking out the watts right now.
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Megunticook
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Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:08 am
Location: Maine
My RE system: 6.4 kW solar array (21 QCell 305 panels in strings of 3)
GS8048A FLEXpower Radian (Radian 8048A, 2 FlexMax 80 cc's, Mate 3s, FlexNet DC, Hub)
8x6v Rolls-Surette 550 FLA batteries, 428AH

Re: test of backup failed--not sure why?

Postby Mike Curran on Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:20 am

If you're grid-tied, you should be able to leave that setting alone and your system will pick up your aux panel loads, no matter what it's set for. I don't know what the difference is between the backup mode and the grid-tied mode - perhaps in backup you never sell to the grid? Looking at the profile wizard it says if system type is set to backup:
- for Radians grid AC input changes to backup and gen AC input changes to generator;
- for FXR's input type changes to grid, the AC input modes used by grid and gen change to backup and generator.

This is all kinda Greek to me but don't see how any of these settings would affect backup power to your aux panel.
Mike Curran
Forum Guru
 
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio
My RE system: Outback:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one MX60
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah
- Hub10.3, Mate3, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar:
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied.

Re: test of backup failed--not sure why?

Postby Megunticook on Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:51 am

In grid-tie mode, if the grid goes out and there's no PV current, the inverter will not pull from the batteries to supply the backup loads panel. I haven't actually tested this by cutting grid power during the day while PV was flowing but that's my understanding from how it works.

In backup mode I don't believe you can sell to the grid (even when the grid is supplying AC and PV is producing).

What I'd like to try is use the FlexTime scheduling feature to switch modes--grid-tie during the day and then switch to backup at night. I just tried that setting so we'll see how it works.
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Megunticook
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Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:08 am
Location: Maine
My RE system: 6.4 kW solar array (21 QCell 305 panels in strings of 3)
GS8048A FLEXpower Radian (Radian 8048A, 2 FlexMax 80 cc's, Mate 3s, FlexNet DC, Hub)
8x6v Rolls-Surette 550 FLA batteries, 428AH

Re: test of backup failed--not sure why?

Postby Mike Curran on Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:16 pm

Megunticook wrote:In grid-tie mode, if the grid goes out and there's no PV current, the inverter will not pull from the batteries to supply the backup loads panel. I haven't actually tested this by cutting grid power during the day while PV was flowing but that's my understanding from how it works.

In backup mode I don't believe you can sell to the grid (even when the grid is supplying AC and PV is producing).

What I'd like to try is use the FlexTime scheduling feature to switch modes--grid-tie during the day and then switch to backup at night. I just tried that setting so we'll see how it works.

My system operates in grid-tie mode and when there's a grid outage it supplies/backs up my aux panel just fine, day or night.
Mike Curran
Forum Guru
 
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio
My RE system: Outback:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one MX60
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah
- Hub10.3, Mate3, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar:
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied.

Re: test of backup failed--not sure why?

Postby Megunticook on Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:12 am

Interesting. Mine doesn't seem to do that. I'll look at the documentation again but I don't remember seeing anything about the grid-tie mode supplying backup power.
User avatar
Megunticook
Forum Expert
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:08 am
Location: Maine
My RE system: 6.4 kW solar array (21 QCell 305 panels in strings of 3)
GS8048A FLEXpower Radian (Radian 8048A, 2 FlexMax 80 cc's, Mate 3s, FlexNet DC, Hub)
8x6v Rolls-Surette 550 FLA batteries, 428AH

Re: test of backup failed--not sure why?

Postby Megunticook on Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:43 am

Have the system auto switching to "backup" mode after sundown and returning to "grid tie" just before sunrise. Had a brief power outage this morning, after the system had switched to grid tie (but before the sun was actually up so charge controllers were asleep), no backup power. Is there some setting in the MATE that I have wrong that could be preventing the inverter from kicking on in that situation? I do have the inverter's battery charger turned off. . .but the bank is 100% SOC.
User avatar
Megunticook
Forum Expert
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:08 am
Location: Maine
My RE system: 6.4 kW solar array (21 QCell 305 panels in strings of 3)
GS8048A FLEXpower Radian (Radian 8048A, 2 FlexMax 80 cc's, Mate 3s, FlexNet DC, Hub)
8x6v Rolls-Surette 550 FLA batteries, 428AH

Re: test of backup failed--not sure why?

Postby Mike Curran on Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:16 am

Megunticook - Your Radian has a lot more functionality than my FX inverters do, so I can't really give you much help. But I was looking at the Radian manual and ran across a reference to a "Search" function/variable that sounds like maybe it's not set right in your system. Maybe this'll help:
Screenshot_20180127-131140.jpg

- Mike
Edit: My FX's do have this feature. Here's how they're set:
Screenshot_20180127-155609.jpg

You also might try turning your charger function on, just to see if that's what's preventing backup power feed.

FWIW
Mike Curran
Forum Guru
 
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio
My RE system: Outback:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one MX60
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah
- Hub10.3, Mate3, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar:
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied.

Re: test of backup failed--not sure why?

Postby Megunticook on Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:46 pm

Checked search function and it's off.

Tried a test tonight while inverter was in "backup" mode. Opened the AC input breaker in the Load Center and the inverter immediately kicked on. Repeated again from inside the house, opening the breaker on my main service panel that connects the inverter, and all the backup loads stayed live. Pointed my browser to the MATE3s and saw that it was inverting from the batteries and sending out 240V. Interestingly, none of this activity seems to even be registering on OpticsRE Event History.

But anyway the backup power is kicking right on the moment the grid drops. Will have to test again when the unit is in Grid Tie mode, and also while the PV is producing.
User avatar
Megunticook
Forum Expert
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:08 am
Location: Maine
My RE system: 6.4 kW solar array (21 QCell 305 panels in strings of 3)
GS8048A FLEXpower Radian (Radian 8048A, 2 FlexMax 80 cc's, Mate 3s, FlexNet DC, Hub)
8x6v Rolls-Surette 550 FLA batteries, 428AH


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