Newbie w/Radian 8048

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Washwren
Forum Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:50 am
My RE system: 30 ITEK 270HE panels
Radian 8048 w/Load center, grid tied
2 FM80s, Mate 3, Hub
400AH AGM batteries in 2 strings

Newbie w/Radian 8048

Post by Washwren » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:12 am

Hi Everyone,

First off, I've been lurking since Nov 2013 and have really learned a lot from all of you. I started out with a small 280w solar setup feeding 300Ah at 12V for some experiments around the house with lighting, and cooling the house down at night with 12v fans in the deserts of Central Washington. Last spring, I discovered the incentives for solar in Washington State and saw that it was totally viable to invest in a grid tied system so we took the plunge. We used all Washington State manufactured equipment to max the annual incentive payment, so we ended up with 30 ITEK 270 w panels, an Outback Radian 8048 w/the Load Center and Flexnet DC, Mate3, Hub and 2 FlexMax 80's. I did the full install myself; ground mounting the panels and installing the 330Ah battery bank and inverter gear in a nearby pump house. I've worked electronic systems on military and civilian aircraft for over 20 years so with the manuals and wire labeling the Outback gear was pretty much "Plug and Play." Everything went together very easily and the system passed an uneventful final electrical inspection the last week of August. The system has operated without any sort of problem ever since.

My only "hickup" was that I had a "parallel thought in the middle of series wiring" and momentarily turned 2 batteries into a welder...wow!

Production has almost mirrored PV watts estimates, though we've had an unusually gloomy/cloudy/foggy winter. My current goal with the system is to produce as much as possible back through the production meter to ensure I get at least 10,000kWh of annual production year. I have the load panel wired to supply backup power to my shop, house and well pump if an outage occurs. With the Federal tax credit, electrical bill savings and annual state incentives, the $33.5k install will pay back in 4 years.

I haven't changed any of the settings other than telling the Mate the system config and I have let it manage everything else. I log production daily. I monitored battery temps daily upon install for over a month during peak production times. I'm running 3 strings of Group 27 deep cycle batteries and have monitored them every two weeks for water usage and resting voltages. I equalize the first weekend of every month. I haven't checked SG and figure that I'll see any problems developing via voltages, duration the batteries hold their charges and production rates.

All this to say that this has been a relatively easy process and I'm intentionally testing the KISS principal as far as sticking with the pre-engineered system settings and factory recommendations with respect to minimum battery bank sizing (I understand it is pretty dang small compared to the PV input). My only real question is just how these batteries hold up. I'll keep you posted.

User avatar
Kurt Lundquist
Alpha Energy Engineering
Posts: 1447
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 7:23 am
My RE system: VFX3524, Mate3, 200Ah 24V AGM Battery Bank
Location: Arlington, WA

Re: Newbie w/Radian 8048

Post by Kurt Lundquist » Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:23 pm

I am glad to hear everything worked out! It sounds like your research and due diligence payed off with the system install and inspection. I am sure you must feel a great sense of accomplishment, especially when you consider that Washington is paying you for power that you use in your home.

Did you have to install Arc Fault Detectors/Interrupters for your PV arrays (NEC 690.11)? How about a Rapid Shut Down system (NEC 690.12)? Washington adopted NEC 2014 code in July last year so I assume the inspector might have been looking for those things. I'd love to hear more about how you handled it if you were required to meet them.

Did you adjust the battery charge settings? The OutBack default settings are tailored to charging a sealed battery and it sounds like you have flooded. Also I usually suggest setting the charge controller charge settings a few tenths of a volt above the inverter charge settings to place priority on solar charging.

Cheers,

-Kurt
Kurt Lundquist
Renewable Energy Project Engineer
http://alphaenergy.us/

Washwren
Forum Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:50 am
My RE system: 30 ITEK 270HE panels
Radian 8048 w/Load center, grid tied
2 FM80s, Mate 3, Hub
400AH AGM batteries in 2 strings

Re: Newbie w/Radian 8048

Post by Washwren » Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:10 pm

Thanks Kurt, To be honest, I remember being in that menu but don't remember the settings... I'll check them out tonight.

I'd done my 'planning meeting' with the inspector in May to ensure we were on the same page and neither of us knew the new requirements. After I'd put it all together in August and called for a final, I'd heard about the Arc Fault and rapid shut down, but 'let it ride'. Neither of us brought it up during final inspection.

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Offgridmojo
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Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:28 pm
Location: WA State
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Re: Newbie w/Radian 8048

Post by Offgridmojo » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:11 pm

Ha! Welder. I experienced that. Got pretty exciting, really quick.

Nice setup, any pictures you want to share of the ground mount? I am getting ready to build mine this week.

Thanks,

Washwren
Forum Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:50 am
My RE system: 30 ITEK 270HE panels
Radian 8048 w/Load center, grid tied
2 FM80s, Mate 3, Hub
400AH AGM batteries in 2 strings

Re: Newbie w/Radian 8048

Post by Washwren » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:54 am

Here are a couple shots of the mount...
Attachments
image.jpg
image.jpg

Washwren
Forum Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:50 am
My RE system: 30 ITEK 270HE panels
Radian 8048 w/Load center, grid tied
2 FM80s, Mate 3, Hub
400AH AGM batteries in 2 strings

Re: Newbie w/Radian 8048

Post by Washwren » Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:30 am

It's now Nov 2016. The system remains rock solid after almost 2 1/2 yrs. No issues since installation and it continues to crank out the power. Thrilled with this setup!

Washwren
Forum Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:50 am
My RE system: 30 ITEK 270HE panels
Radian 8048 w/Load center, grid tied
2 FM80s, Mate 3, Hub
400AH AGM batteries in 2 strings

Re: Newbie w/Radian 8048

Post by Washwren » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:26 am

This system has been on line now for 3 years without interruption. The only maintenance I do is change the inverter intake air filter when it gets dirty and water/EQ the batteries at the end of each month. I noticed 1 battery beginning to leak (more like bubble over) on a regular basis. Since the bank is small (3 x 4 Group 27 deep cycle), I figured they'd had enough so I took them out of service and replaced them, keeping the originals around for a bit of testing. Keep in mind that these batteries have only been partially discharged about 5 times over 3 years.

I have a computerized battery analyzer (http://www.westmountainradio.com/produc ... ts_id=cba4) so I figured I'd run a 5 amp load on each battery, taking them to 12.0v and see what they did. All but the 'leaker' ran between 10.5 & 11 hours to get to cutoff, which was about 1 hour less than the 'reference' brand new battery from the same retailer. When the load was removed, they all recovered to about 12.2v. The biggest difference was that the new battery 'dug in' (stabilized) at the start of the test at about 12.4 volts while the older ones sagged to 12.2, then worked their way up to about 12.35. Frankly, I think they just need a few discharge cycles and I'm going to take a couple and see how they respond to that. This set (minus the 1) could have made it at a least 1 more year.

My intent with this system was to get it on line for production as inexpensively as possible to capture Washington State's production incentive while providing some power backup capability for the rare outages we experience here.

All of this to say that the outback system remains solid and a small (315ah) relatively inexpensive battery bank has done OK for me.

Washwren
Forum Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:50 am
My RE system: 30 ITEK 270HE panels
Radian 8048 w/Load center, grid tied
2 FM80s, Mate 3, Hub
400AH AGM batteries in 2 strings

Re: Newbie w/Radian 8048

Post by Washwren » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:15 am

System still running without incident...not 1 minute of down time. Over 9800kWh produced this year, reached the 100% payback of the installation mid summer. Only maintenance is watering and EQ charging at the end of each month. Completely happy with this system!

Washwren
Forum Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:50 am
My RE system: 30 ITEK 270HE panels
Radian 8048 w/Load center, grid tied
2 FM80s, Mate 3, Hub
400AH AGM batteries in 2 strings

Re: Newbie w/Radian 8048

Post by Washwren » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:10 am

System has been up for over 6 years. Fully paid for itself (along with a new set (400ah) of AGM batteries this year) between various incentives and production. Not much to add other than the system has been 100% reliable and I just check in on it occasionally to ensure it’s still operating without any faults. Great system and it has been a great investment!

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 842
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:55 am
My RE system: Totally off grid - Hamakua side, Big Island, Hi

36 Trina 280 & 16 Phono 250 in 48 volt array (fixed) 14080w
Radians GG8048/GS4048 w GSLCs
4 FM 80 charge controllers
Hub 10.3
FNDC w/3 shunts
Mate 3s
OpticsRE - MMKL - Ninole Hi
12 SimpliPhi 3.8
14Kw Kohler 14RESA Propane

Charging Only
2FX3048T
Hub
FNDC. - shared shunt feeds from Radian FNDC
Mate 3s
10Kw MEP 803a Military gen

Honda EU7000i

Davis VantagePro2 Wx Station
On line at: https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/KHININOL2
Location: Ninole, Hi

Re: Newbie w/Radian 8048

Post by sodamo » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:07 pm

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David
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