Jump to content
Thank you for the great forum, Safe Driving over the weekend. Sincerely Jason
Coulomb

Axpert 5 kVA patched firmware based on 72.70; overshoots

Recommended Posts

Details here, in a pair of AEVA posts.

In summary:

* The charge bug still exists in official 72.70 firmware.

* It turns out that the bug is a typo, not missing functionality. The effect is the same for users, unfortunately.

* 72.70 has some options that earlier firmware doesn't, so it may be worth upgrading if you are using an earlier patched firmware. There are the two new settings (documented in the Axpert 5KVA User Manual V2.1 ). New setting 32 can be used for manual equalisation (but only up to 58.4 volts, or 14.6 V per nominally 12 V module). It also seems to overshoot the voltage settings less, but that's just my impression so far.

* SCC firmware 4.10 is for SCCs in Axperts only, not for stand alone charge controllers like the PCM60x. The hardware in these two is essentially the same, except for the display on the stand alone version, so I can see how people could get the impression that the same firmware runs in both. But it's not the case, and at least one user here has been caught by this.

* There is a new way to exit the float stage and restart charging, detailed in this earlier AEVA post about what's new in 72.70

I've been looking at the other differences between firmware 72.60 and 72.70, and haven't found anything very significant. @Manie, there is a new field at the end of the QPIRI .command with the CV charge time setting (setting 32), or 000 for "Aut" (Automatic). The rated output current in an early field now depends on the output voltage, which could be 220, 230, or 240 V as set by a POPV command (undocumented, but existed in older firmwares). There are many new variables in 72.70, which changes many RAM addresses, which sometimes causes differences in function lengths even when there is no change in functionality. So that's part of what is making the comparison process slow. Hopefully more soon, in Don's thread for the official 72.70 firmware.

Edited by Coulomb
Removed stray &nbsp. Updated title due to topic drift.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
9 hours ago, Coulomb said:

@Manie, there is a new field at the end of the QPIRI .command with the CV charge time setting (setting 32), or 000 for "Aut" (Automatic).

@Coulomb will ask Don to test it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/26/2017 at 9:22 AM, Coulomb said:

 It also seems to overshoot the voltage settings less, but that's just my impression so far.

I take that back. Today I've seem some moderately wild overshoots, about as bad as I've seen on earlier versions of the firmware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Coulomb said:

Today I've seem some moderately wild overshoots

Hi @Coulomb, I am not sure what you deem to be wild? I have seen a few overshoots of up to 1.0 Volt I must also add that these overshoots only happens when on solar. When on grid power, I have not observed any overshoots and the volt graph seems to be very smooth. 

What I am currently experiencing currently is that while on solar, my system will sit in bulk charge at 57.6 Volt the whole day and seem unable to go over to absorb stage. Only once I change over to grid, will the system spend 20-60 minutes in bulk charge, depending on my SOC, then go over to absorb stage. 

bulk.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Don said:

I am not sure what you deem to be wild? I have seen a few overshoots of up to 1.0 Volt I must also add that these overshoots only happens when on solar.

I have seen about 1.5 V overshoot, not such a big deal but they last for 30-60 seconds. Today it was causing my BMS to drop out the solar panels because one cell was over 3.61 V. The SCC was still pumping over 20 A into it when the overall battery voltage was 1.5 V over the set point. I'm used to a Blue Sky Energy solar controller, made in the USA, still in use with 3 of my 11 strings of panels, which has brilliant voltage control. It never seems to overshoot by more than one or two tenths  of a volt. So I know it can be done :-)

I agree that it only seems to overshoot on solar, where the source power is intermittent.

Your system doesn't seem to put much solar energy into charging, though before 9am where your screenshot is from there wouldn't be much solar power. Presumably around noon it puts in a lot more current. Though with lead acid, you may be limited to perhaps 40 A of charging, even if you have more solar charge current available. That's another advantage of lithium batteries; they can absorb every bit of solar power that you have available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Coulomb said:

It never seems to overshoot by more than one or two tenths  of a volt. So I know it can be done :-)

Never seen overshoot of more than a second or two with either my Victron or Microcare controllers. Since I've never used anything else, I simply assumed this is how it is always done. 30-60 seconds points to a rather big problem, IMHO anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The overshoots I have experienced never last more than a few seconds. Until I worked out what was going on, I would get up to switch the BMV alarm off but never reach the BMV before the alarm stopped, even if I was in the same room.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Coulomb said:

Your system doesn't seem to put much solar energy into charging, though before 9am where your screenshot is from there wouldn't be much solar power.

I had a lot of spare solar capacity at the time. My solar panels were sitting in starting blocks waiting for me to unleash them. I have a dual axis solar tracker. At 9h00 I can get 3000-4000 watt out of my panels. I just did not have any load at that stage. Even more reason for the charging cycle to make use spare of solar capacity and use what is required to go from bulk charging to absorb cycle. 

That is another thing I have noticed. Even though I have a lot of spare solar capacity, charging would limp along say at 2-4 amps. If I changed over to grid, charging would jump up  to say 20 amps for a minute or two, then gradually drop down, go from bulk to absorb and then finally to float, all within say 60 minutes. If I stayed on solar, it would just happily limp along until I changed to grid. Why would it not do that while on solar with at least 2000 watt spare capacity?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, plonkster said:

 30-60 seconds points to a rather big problem, IMHO anyway.

Yes. I'm still hoping to find that they have integral windup or similar, and that I can find an easy patch for that.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I am reading this with interest - @Chris Hobson KNOWS I am. :D

Why? Have asked before and never got an answer. How good is the MPPT controller? 

I am used to controllers where they cost more than a 5kva inverter.

The inverter we have discussed ad infinitum is good, cheap and good and no failure in droves either. So plus 1.

The MPPT controller on the other hand is probably the most critical part. It can give you all the power you need when you need it AND it protects the batteries, or not, and we all know that the battery banks are the most expensive part of any solar system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Don said:

I had a lot of spare solar capacity at the time. My solar panels were sitting in starting blocks waiting for me to unleash them. I have a dual axis solar tracker. At 9h00 I can get 3000-4000 watt out of my panels. 

Ok. Respect! 

 Why would it not do that while on solar with at least 2000 watt spare capacity?

 

You must have a bad setting somewhere, or ICC (?) is sending a bad one (perhaps a bad configuration for it; sorry, I'm not familiar with how it works). It nearly has to be setting 02 (from memory, maximum  total charge current) being not much more than maximum utility charge current. 

That's assuming it stays like that, with the battery voltage near  the CV setting. If that's actually your float voltage, or it goes to your float voltage later in the morning,  then it could be the charge bug, and you need the patch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Coulomb said:

It nearly has to be setting 02 (from memory, maximum  total charge current) being not much more than maximum utility charge current. 

Yes, setting 2 is Max. Charge current (Solar+Grid). I have that at 50 amps - 30 amps on 1st inverter and 20 amps on second inverter. Maximum utility charge current I also have on 50 amps, therefore they are the same.

28 minutes ago, Coulomb said:

it could be the charge bug, and you need the patch

Been on patch since you released it a day earlier in Australia than here in South Africa.

Maybe I am confused here. It seems my setting 2 might be the problem. The way I saw it was the the Max charge current from solar and grid, which I set at 50 amps, although they would never charge at the same time. Do I then set it to 100 amps, 50 amps for when on solar and 50 amps for when on grid? The total being 100 amps?

I did not want to charge 50 amps from solar and 50 amps from grid pumping 100 amps into my batteries, although it is not possible with my current settings. It is either the one or the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Program 02  = Solar charge rate + Program 11.

So if there is no grid solar charge rate is limited to the setting in Program 2.

if you have program 16 set to SNU then solar will try and supply the charging rate specified in Program 2. If there is insufficient solar energy it will be augmented from AC up to the limit specified in Program 11. This assuming that your batteries can accept the charge specified.

Sometimes on a cloudy day my solar is only good for 6A although Program 2 is set for 30A. If the generator is turned on we charge at 26A as Program 11 is set to 20A. If we start generating over 10A with solar we are still limited to 30A. Solar providing as much as it can and grid topping up to 30A.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Why? Have asked before and never got an answer. How good is the MPPT controller? 

Indeed. It seems to be "good enough", as long as you have a good battery management system. When a friend and I looked into solar energy systems some years ago, we came across essentially the "Blue verses cheap" question (where for us Blue could be Victron, Selectronic, or Xantrax/Schneider). As you guys have noticed and discussed, there is a substantial difference in cost, but also performance. We had a pair of PIP-4048 (Axpert 5 kVAs) to attempt to repair, so we evaluated them for our needs. (It turns out we successfully repaired only one of the two, so we were very aware of the reliability situation). In the end, we decided they would be good enough, but only if we could solve a problem with the charging. Initially we thought it would just need the right commands, but to do that we needed to crack the CRC algorithm. That was the start of the huge AEVA thread. It took some months to figure out that it was a firmware problem, and that it could be successfully patched. That was the start of the series of patches, and we made the decision to go cheap verses Blue.

I'm going to make an attempt to get the charge bug fixed in official firmware. If that and the overshoot can be fixed in official software, then we'd have helped make available to all an inexpensive but decent performance inverter and charge controller. Well, especially if we can convince them to use 100 V MOSFETs on the battery side. 

It's so frustrating that there isn't a mid priced option, or that Voltronic don't put a bit more R&D into their products. As far as I can see, the only products competing at the low price end of the market are knock-offs of their own products, so they could own the mid price market, and make more money. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Don said:

Maybe I am confused here.

Sorry, it's me that is confused. I shouldn't be posting after midnight on my phone. 

Yes, those settings are fine. I'll have another think about what your problem might be. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Thank you @Coulomb 

Seems to me your skill set and integral knowledge of how things Axpert works made the decision a no brainer. I would reason the same.

The MPPT is probably my last and only reservation on Axperts seeing as I have always used brand name controllers. They are just worlds apart. But, at one stage the price becomes an issue. 

Will never admit it publicly but if the blue yonder calls for my device, and we have to part ways, who knows what will replace it. ;)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

Program 03

Now I am even more confused. Program 3 is APL or UPS setting? How does that influence my solar charging rate? Or are you referring to Setting 11 (Utility Charging Current)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

10 minutes ago, Don said:

Now I am even more confused. Program 3 is APL or UPS setting? How does that influence my solar charging rate? Or are you referring to Setting 11 (Utility Charging Current)?

My apologies  substitute Program 11 (AC charging) where ever you see Program 3. I will make the changes to the original post but need to acknowledge I have stuffed up. I am tired this evening and should just go to bed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Chris Hobson said:

My apologies  substitute Program 11 (AC charging) where ever you see Program 3. I will make the changes to the original post but need to acknowledge I have stuffed up. I am tired this evening and should just go to bed.

No problem Chris, that is what I thought you meant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My understanding of the settings are as follows:

Setting 2 (Maximun Charging Current = Utility Charging Current + Solar Charging Current)

                                             Inverter 1 = 30 amps + Inverter 2 = 20 amps

                         Total charging Current = 50 Amps

I see this as the maximum charging current, either from grid, solar or a combination of the two.

Setting 11 (Maximum Utility Charging Current)

                                             Inverter 1 = 30 amps + Inverter 2 = 20 amps

              Total Utility Charging Current = 50 Amps

That is the maximum charging current when on Utility or Grid.

Setting 16 (Charge Source Priority) CSO = Solar Energy will charge battery as first priority. Utility will only charge when solar energy is not available.

                                             Inverter 1 = CSO + Inverter 2 = CSO 

As the setting of both inverters are the same, Solar will be the only source for charging batteries when in solar mode. When going to Grid and solar is still available, solar will charge batteries. Only when no solar is available, will utility or grid charge batteries.

When I am on Utility or Grid power, it will charge my batteries at 46-48 amps while in bulk charge, then go to absorb charge and drop down until changing over to float charge. No problem.

When on solar and I have a SOC of say 90%, it will also charge at about the same rate of 46-48 amps. The charge rate would eventually drop down to less than 1 amp, but it would never cross over to absorb stage. The system would sit there the whole day at 57.6 Volt (bulk charging) doing charging at a rate of 1 amp or less, limping along, with lots of spare solar capacity.

The only way it would go to absorb stage is when I change over to grid. The amps would jump up, realize the batteries are fully charged, go to absorb stage very quickly and then change over to float, all within a mater of 20 minutes.  

The bottom line is that when in solar mode, the charging rate is not close to the grid charging rate. I am referring here to the end of bulk charging mode. It seems there is not enough oomph to push it over the edge to absorb stage for some reason, although it is available.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Coulomb said:

It's so frustrating that there isn't a mid priced option, or that Voltronic don't put a bit more R&D into their products. As far as I can see, the only products competing at the low price end of the market are knock-offs of their own products, so they could own the mid price market, and make more money. 

Lately I started to realise that there is a neglected aspect of the debate, namely support, and as you just mentioned R & D. I believe this is what makes the European contenders so expensive: they include ample room for support in the price. I'm not necessarily arguing here that Voltronic don't support their product, but it is a fact that they are an OEM and that in many cases the support and distribution is in fact delegated to other companies. I think this makes the comparison even harder. It means that wishing for a mid-priced option, but demanding high quality hardware, might in fact mean foregoing support and R & D. I don't really know, I'm wondering how much of an effect that has.

Perhaps my opinion is coloured somewhat by the fact that I already own so much high-end kit, but looking at the spectrum, Victron kit is actually more affordable than many of the others. If I look at the local lineup, many of them GTI (ABB, Fronius, SolarEdge), but also Hybrids (Microcare, Imeon), it really should be said that outside of the Voltronic, everyone else is three times more expensive.

There is definitely something very odd about the price spacing :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...