FM80 not seeing PV Input

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FM80 not seeing PV Input

Postby hpm on Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:26 pm

My Off-grid System has been working from 2013.
Solar array 18 X 300w /40V panels connected by 3 to get 6X120V in parallel.
Found out MATE3 wasnt displaying solar input bar.
Went to RadianSeries found out solar breakers were off and FM80 down.
Put them back on FM 80 started up again but still displays 0V as input.
Output correctly displaying from batteries.
House is powered normally thru battery bank and generator.
Checked input wires : no input until I unplugged them from the system : they are hot with 118V.
When plugged back : displaying 0V and meter shows no voltage.
Trouble seems to be within FM80.
What could it be?
Thanks.
hpm
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Re: FM80 not seeing PV Input

Postby blackswan555 on Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:11 pm

Checked input wires : no input until I unplugged them from the system : they are hot with 118V.
When plugged back : displaying 0V and meter shows no voltage.

Is the FM hot to the touch or making any noise ? With the amount of panels you have if the FM was dead short (1 possible description for above) I would expect a reasonable amount of heat,
The other possible is a bad connection, enough for your meter to read but any load and it is gone, If you have an amp meter capable of reading the possible amps you have, You could use that but guessing not ? Firstly have a look at every connection / breaker for signs of head discolouration and tightness and check for continuity of the breakers (at night, cover panels or be VERY careful, there is 120 ish v in there somewhere, it does sting a little) If nothing obvious you could try loading them up a little (a bit of a barnyard method, but it will work) Get an old fashioned incandescent light bulb in a holder, 75w or 100w will do, ( presuming you are 110v US, but no matter if 230v bulb, It will still give a result) Disconnect panels from FM and connect light bulb to them instead, If it lights up it confirms you have voltage and current under load so your FM is probably faulty, if it does not or flicks on and off, Keep looking for that loose connection or bad breaker,

To add, Where in the world are you ? Your panel potential at 112 amps is,,,, a little high for 1 FM ?

Tim
My comments are based on my experience and research, They are not endorsed or checked by Outback.I am an independent British electrician living in Spain, So please take this into account when reading /acting on my post`s.
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Re: FM80 not seeing PV Input

Postby hpm on Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:00 am

Thx for the reply Blackswan555
I'm in Canada QC
i believe I have voltage on all my panel groups - metered a breaker level.
Common wire shows 118V before plugging on FM80.
FM80 not warm when connected to panels: remains shut.Lits only when connected to batteries and then shows 0 V for input.
I can try to connect a bulb to panel as you said.
Once again TY
hpm
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My RE system: RadianSeries + FM80 + Solar array + Generac 22KWh

Re: FM80 not seeing PV Input

Postby klundquist on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:21 am

What is the "IN" voltage on the FM screen with the PV wires removed?

I also agree that 5400W is a bit more PV array than the FM80 was designed to handle with a 48V battery bank. Ideally 6 of your modules would go to a second charge controller.

-Kurt
Kurt Lundquist
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http://www.alpha.com/solar
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Re: FM80 not seeing PV Input

Postby hpm on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:32 am

Hi
klundquist wrote:What is the "IN" voltage on the FM screen with the PV wires removed?

I also agree that 5400W is a bit more PV array than the FM80 was designed to handle with a 48V battery bank. Ideally 6 of your modules would go to a second charge controller.

-Kurt


In give 00V whatever I do Plugged or unplugged.
The array never provides 5,400W because 14 panels are on the roof either Eastward or Westward oriented and wont be getting sunshine at the same time - except may be in Aug or Jul, while the last four of them are vertically standding high on the walls to catch winter low sunshine - in case of big snow fall they produce a remaining power allowing for the house heating by propane furnace.
Actually never seen more than 3,000W of power in 5 years - usually between 1,500 in winter and 2,800 in summer.
Battery bank is NiFe system 40 X 1.2V - 500AH.
THX
hpm
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Posts: 5
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My RE system: RadianSeries + FM80 + Solar array + Generac 22KWh

Re: FM80 not seeing PV Input

Postby klundquist on Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:14 am

If FM80 IN is 0 Vdc with the PV wires removed the FETs are shorted. I'm sorry for the bad news. You can email support@outbackpower.com or call OutBack directly to arrange for repairs.

If you are off grid you may want to see about getting another controller to use in the mean time. Once the other controller is repaired you will have a spare or you could look into splitting the array between two controllers for a more efficient PV harvest. I notice one potential issue if your array is 3 modules in series but 4 modules are set vertical. It looks like one of your series strings has one vertical module with two others at roof tilt. This is not ideal and depending on the effect it has on the I/V curve it could actually do more harm than good for your PV harvest.

If you are curious about the Max power harvest the FM80 keeps a stats log. You can see it by pressing the far left button under the screen, then point the array at "Stats" and press GO. The third line down has the MaxWatt listed.

-Kurt
Kurt Lundquist
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http://www.alpha.com/solar
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Re: FM80 not seeing PV Input

Postby Solarmusher on Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:54 am

hpm wrote:Hi
klundquist wrote:What is the "IN" voltage on the FM screen with the PV wires removed?

I also agree that 5400W is a bit more PV array than the FM80 was designed to handle with a 48V battery bank. Ideally 6 of your modules would go to a second charge controller.

-Kurt


In give 00V whatever I do Plugged or unplugged.
The array never provides 5,400W because 14 panels are on the roof either Eastward or Westward oriented and wont be getting sunshine at the same time - except may be in Aug or Jul, while the last four of them are vertically standding high on the walls to catch winter low sunshine - in case of big snow fall they produce a remaining power allowing for the house heating by propane furnace.
Actually never seen more than 3,000W of power in 5 years - usually between 1,500 in winter and 2,800 in summer.
Battery bank is NiFe system 40 X 1.2V - 500AH.
THX

hpm, where are you in Qc?
Erik from Solaire Laurentides
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Re: FM80 not seeing PV Input

Postby hpm on Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:34 pm

Solarmusher wrote:
hpm wrote:Hi
klundquist wrote:What is the "IN" voltage on the FM screen with the PV wires removed?

I also agree that 5400W is a bit more PV array than the FM80 was designed to handle with a 48V battery bank. Ideally 6 of your modules would go to a second charge controller.

-Kurt


In give 00V whatever I do Plugged or unplugged.
The array never provides 5,400W because 14 panels are on the roof either Eastward or Westward oriented and wont be getting sunshine at the same time - except may be in Aug or Jul, while the last four of them are vertically standding high on the walls to catch winter low sunshine - in case of big snow fall they produce a remaining power allowing for the house heating by propane furnace.
Actually never seen more than 3,000W of power in 5 years - usually between 1,500 in winter and 2,800 in summer.
Battery bank is NiFe system 40 X 1.2V - 500AH.
THX

hpm, where are you in Qc?
Erik from Solaire Laurentides


I'am in St-Gérard J0B 3J0 (Estrie).
hpm
Member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:15 pm
My RE system: RadianSeries + FM80 + Solar array + Generac 22KWh

Re: FM80 not seeing PV Input

Postby hpm on Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:38 pm

blackswan555 wrote:
Checked input wires : no input until I unplugged them from the system : they are hot with 118V.
When plugged back : displaying 0V and meter shows no voltage.

Is the FM hot to the touch or making any noise ? With the amount of panels you have if the FM was dead short (1 possible description for above) I would expect a reasonable amount of heat,
The other possible is a bad connection, enough for your meter to read but any load and it is gone, If you have an amp meter capable of reading the possible amps you have, You could use that but guessing not ? Firstly have a look at every connection / breaker for signs of head discolouration and tightness and check for continuity of the breakers (at night, cover panels or be VERY careful, there is 120 ish v in there somewhere, it does sting a little) If nothing obvious you could try loading them up a little (a bit of a barnyard method, but it will work) Get an old fashioned incandescent light bulb in a holder, 75w or 100w will do, ( presuming you are 110v US, but no matter if 230v bulb, It will still give a result) Disconnect panels from FM and connect light bulb to them instead, If it lights up it confirms you have voltage and current under load so your FM is probably faulty, if it does not or flicks on and off, Keep looking for that loose connection or bad breaker,

To add, Where in the world are you ? Your panel potential at 112 amps is,,,, a little high for 1 FM ?

Tim


Hi Tim, not working.
i did the bulb test it lits up nicely when connected to the PV input, so i believe it's something within the FM.
THX for the tip.
hpm
Member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:15 pm
My RE system: RadianSeries + FM80 + Solar array + Generac 22KWh


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