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malcolminthemiddle

Troubleshooting Solar Back Up System

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I have a 5Kw solar system with back up batteries. Recently the back up batteries have failed to kick in when there is a mains power outage. If I simulate a power outage by turning off the main breaker the batteries kick in. If I turn off the main breaker during the power outage the batteries still fail to kick in. My installer has already reneged on his service agreement and is of no help. I have tried resetting the solar system by turning it off and back on. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

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You'll need to give us more information about your system, particularly the inverter and how the backup is supposed to sense mains failure.

 

How old are the batteries, do they have a good state of charge?

 

Can you force the system to start up once the mains has failed (buttons on the inverter)? 

 

At first glance it seems to be something around the failure detection gubbins, but we need more detail as there are many different ways this may have been implemented.

 

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37 minutes ago, Crossy said:

You'll need to give us more information about your system, particularly the inverter and how the backup is supposed to sense mains failure.

That's beyond my technical level. Although the back up did work perfectly before. I cannot think of an event that would have upset the system. 

37 minutes ago, Crossy said:

 

How old are the batteries, do they have a good state of charge?

3 years old. They are regularly serviced and hold a charge of 90% +.

37 minutes ago, Crossy said:

 

Can you force the system to start up once the mains has failed (buttons on the inverter)? 

If I turn the solar off and then back on during the outage the batteries will kick in but only for a minute or less.

37 minutes ago, Crossy said:

 

It certainly seems to be something around the failure detection gubbins, but we need more detail as there are many different ways this may have been implemented.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, malcolminthemiddle said:

If I turn the solar off and then back on during the outage the batteries will kick in but only for a minute or less.

 

When you simulate a power failure by opening the main breaker do the batteries stay on longer?

 

When you say the batteries are at 90% how are you determining that? Can you check the voltage of the battery pack and the individual units? (do you have a multimeter?)

 

Some photos of what you have including the type number of any of the kit would be handy.

 

EDIT It's also worth running through the configuration menu of the inverter and checking that there's nothing "weird" (like the wrong battery type), these things can forget sometimes.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Crossy said:

 

When you simulate a power failure by opening the main breaker do the batteries stay on longer?

Yes. When I simulate a power failure by opening the main breaker the batteries kick in and stay on.

Quote

 

When you say the batteries are at 90% how are you determining that? Can you check the voltage of the battery pack and the individual units? (do you have a multimeter?)

I have an app that gives me a live graphic of the system including battery storage.

Quote

 

Some photos of what you have including the type number of any of the kit would be handy.

I will take some and post.

Quote

 

EDIT It's also worth running through the configuration menu of the inverter and checking that there's nothing "weird" (like the wrong battery type), these things can forget sometimes.

How would I do that? Thanks

Edited by malcolminthemiddle

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33 minutes ago, malcolminthemiddle said:

How would I do that? Thanks

 

Start by reading the manual.

 

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Posted (edited)

One would hope this 'back up system' has a functional relay to disconnect the mains from the load (presumably the house?) before energizing the circuit. If that section of the 'system' has gone faulty then I'd expect issues.

Edited by RichCor

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1 hour ago, RichCor said:

One would hope this 'back up system' has a functional relay to disconnect the mains from the load (presumably the house?) before energizing the circuit. If that section of the 'system' has gone faulty then I'd expect issues.

 

This is why we need to know what he has, photos of the kit would be a good start.

 

I suspect he has a non-grid tie hybrid inverter, but ...

 

 

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4 hours ago, Crossy said:

This is why we need to know what he has, photos of the kit would be a good start.

I suspect he has a non-grid tie hybrid inverter, but ..

....

6 hours ago, malcolminthemiddle said:

I found this. I think the issue maybe with the software? 

Off grid.png

6 hours ago, malcolminthemiddle said:

Yes. When I simulate a power failure by opening the main breaker the batteries kick in and stay on.

If it turns on when the main breaker is opened, then it is a hybrid grid-tie-inverter.

But the picture that you, got from the manual on cd (?) is for a off-grid inverter.

 

So questions for the OP, MITM:

 

  • What is the name and type of your inverter. (We can help if you post a picture)
  • What do you mean with 'main switch' , the one in the customer unit or a switch at the inverter?
  • Is the power failure a direct cut or a brownout, the light flickers and dims before it goes out

 

 

6 hours ago, malcolminthemiddle said:

I have an app that gives me a live graphic of the system including battery storage.

I will take some and post.

How would I do that? Thanks

Screenshot: depending on the mobile phone, mostly the bottom button and volume down pressed at the same time.

Do a google with 'screenshot <your phone name and type>. 

Or is the app on the computer? Take a screenshot with [alt]+[prt screen] and paste in the write field on ThaiVisa.

 

 

8 hours ago, malcolminthemiddle said:

That's beyond my technical level. Although the back up did work perfectly before. I cannot think of an event that would have upset the system.

A surge can happen without knowing such things has occured. Some electronics lock up, happens a lot with routers, mostly a reset fix it but not always.

 

8 hours ago, malcolminthemiddle said:

3 years old. They are regularly serviced and hold a charge of 90% +.

If I turn the solar off and then back on during the outage the batteries will kick in but only for a minute or less.

 

THAT sounds like a battery which holds the voltage but lost it appetite (capacity) to hold the charge it was rated at.

So how do you measure the charge? Does the app say that?

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Apologies for the delay in posting pictures. Here are some pictures of the wall mounted part of the system. The inverter is a Lantrun type Aegis5000ES 5000W/230V/50Hzl48Vdc/Backup 2.3 KVA.

103245032_259079888683692_7996664423871717295_n.jpg

103443256_265553561452554_7237331052413711263_n.jpg

103558365_556157841712642_8208130945384003809_n.jpg

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OK so it's an on-grid hybrid with zero export function. All the clever stuff is done by the inverter.

https://cdn.enfsolar.com/Product/pdf/Inverter/5810558b52234.pdf

 

The maximum load on "Backup" is 2.3kW so check you're not near that on your "essential" circuit.

 

Otherwise, get out (download) the manual and check all the settings are sensible (reset to default never hurts). 

 

If you're still having issues then in order of preference it's:-

  1. Batteries.
  2. Inverter.

It's worth emailing the manufacturer's support people, in my experience the Chinese manufacturers are actually very good if you can get hold of a proper engineering support person.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

battery backup not working, 

1) your load is greater then 2.3Kw.

2)Sine Wave Inverter has failed.

another possibility,

3) Live and Neutral into the system is reversed.

 

In bypass mode (when the mains is working) only a relay i used.

Edited by BritManToo
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@malcolminthemiddle has anything new been added to the "backup" load recently which could take you over the 2.3kW limit?

 

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Thanks to everyone who responded. The problem still exists but we are working on the first assumption that the problem is with the batteries. Unfortunately, the manufacturer no longer provides technical support. 😠 

 

A new question. The inverter is single phase whereas the incoming load is 3 phase. Our meter is the multi-directional type i.e the meter turns backwards with the power generated by the solar system during the day. Is there any negative effect of having a single rather than 3 phase inverter? Thanks in advance.

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