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Issues on Axpert/mecer inverter


Saint
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Hi everyone,

I have been trolling the website or forum as a guest for a number of months, and recently joined, you guys have an amazing forum going with a wealth of knowledge. I hope that eventually one day i can help to add or plow back some knowledge. For the current time being i am unfortunately still a noob. Hope i followed all the guidelines i tried, so be gentle, it is my first post here...

 

Sorry for the long read, just some background to try and give you guys better understanding of the details surrounding my setups. So i started playing around with the solar field about a year or so ago, unfortunately i only discovered the forum after struggling through some teething problems myself. Long and short, i am a mechanical engineer by trade, so by no means really qualified from an electrical perspective bar the limited knowledge imparted from some limited electrical subjects forced unto me while at varsity (back then all i learned was that all electronic equipment works with black smoke, once smoke is outside it no longer works and is challenging to get the smoke back inside.... just kidding :-))

 

Anyway, i wanted to install three sites, my own home, my dad's home and my dads office. For my own home and father's home we wanted so safe money spent on eskom power spent (bills was ranging from 2-4k), as well as try and go off grid. For my dad's office the main idea is to be able to just go through load shedding sessions since his utility bill is very low already since it is a smallish business mainly relying on computers and few aircons being the main culpruts, so once load shedding hits we only need to power a few lights and maybe 5 or six computers.

 

The hardware was all bought at inverter warehouse over at gary, and the batteries at the sun pays. setups was as follow:

 

Father's house:

- canadian solar 330watt panels x 14 (two strings, 7 panels in series for each string connected to the two seperate mppt's of the goodwe)

- goodwe 5kw EM inverter

- 2 x 4.8kw sun pays lithium batteries

 

My own home:

- 20 x canadian solar 330watt panels (two strings, 10 panels connected in series to the two separate mppt's of the goodwe)

- goodwe 5kw ES inverter

- 5 x 4.8kw sun pays lithium batteries

 

My dad's office setup:

- 4 x 330 watt canadian solar panels (one string, 2 panels in series, then connected in parallel with another string of two in series, connected to the mecer mppt)

- mecer 5kw inverter

- 1 x 4.8kw the sunpays lithium battery

 

So all three systems i installed myself, i learned as we went along, i am however very precise or pedantic when it comes to quality of installation etc etc, so i first tried the first install with a local installer or electrician and very quickly saw that it will not end well, since i did not like the quality and workmanship etc. I decided to do it myself as and when i have time, over weekend etc so took quite some time to finish all three installations. The system at my dad's house as well as my home, have been completed, both with change over switches and proper breaker and isolaters between the DB, DC side form panel and batteries at all three the site i installed it similar. I think all should be in order, both systems are working and seem to be performing well. I have two problems i hope you guys can help with...

 

My own system seems to not like it when the actual combined loads in the house goes over 4.5kw, then it throttles back to 4.2kw (Whether the available solar is 5kw at that stage or not....), it can easily be seen in sems, the graph will make a tabletop flat graph (this is not due to weather, the graph was increasing steadily and will flat off obviously being throttled since it can be seen that this being done by the inverter controller), which rises when the load goes less or the pv drops then it will start to follow the  sinus curve or graph again as expected. It will go over 4.5kw though if the house loads is say 4kw, and it can charge the battery at 1-2kw depending on what the solar can provide... however, as soon as the house load alone increase over about 4.5kw it will throttle back to around 4.2kwin total and basically "drop" the available pv, it won't even then charge the rest to the batteries, until the house loads drops then it will charge at for example 2.5kw on the batteries and house load will be at 2.5kw giving me around 5kw total load, it can however never reach 5kw on only the house loads alone, even if the pv is suffient, it can generate around 5-5.5kw granted the house load is below the 4.5kw, and then the balance will go to the batteries if the house load increase over 4.2kw then the pv will decrease to 4.2kw throttled and the rest will be fed from the grid... why is this... i thought it can do 6kw if not on the backup side....?

 

Second issue, i only got round to finishing the mecer install at my dads office over the weekend, the manual is [email protected], to say the least, there is no wiring diagram whatsoever so i had to try and figure it out myself, so not sure if the problem is maybe there. Currently though the system is not happy and not doing what i want it to do or thought it can and should do. Wiring was done as follow (keep in mind there will never be a stove on, they have gas installed, stove has been disconnected, and the geyser is only switched on on saturdays for maid to have warm water....) The inverter will never run of batteries with the geyser or any single load larger than 1kw turned on it will only be 5 or 6 office computers and their lcd screens, so i guess no more than 3kw at most ever combined load....

So i wired the solar and batteries where they should be, the mecer only has one AC output, unlike the goodwe that has two ac outputs, one for  main, and one for backup, and one ac input. So i wired the incomer 220v straight into the changeover switch, then into the inverter at the ac input (they have a 12kw generator i wired on the alternate supply for the changeover so also running directly into the inverter if switch is changed over). Then i wired the ac output from the inverter to the DB into the mains and earth leakage, since i did not want to split the db since there is no stove connected, and the geyser is off, 6 out of 7 days, and always when grid is not present, so when the grid is present, and the geyser is on, should the inverter not just supplement the extra power needed for the geyser from the grid or generator...? Should i wire the geyser directly from the incomer rather....?

 

So the unit powers on, but when i switch on the circuits it starts for a few minutes and then shuts down or reboots.... they had loadshedding on saturday, so the grid was down, but even if the generator is running, it did not seem like it was poewering anything from the generator, so it was complaining about the battery voltage being too low, but SHOULDit not be able to power loads from the grid/generator when the battery or pv is not sufficient, i want to configure it anyway never to use batteries unless there is loadshedding to ensure the battery is always fully charged to ensure that they can work max time before the battery is flat. Is my wiring incorrect, why did it not pull from the grid/generator....? What should my battery setting be... the basic settings for the battery is as follow as per its manual.... the menu in the inverter seems dodge and i am not entirely sure what is should put where... if you guys can give some guidance it will really be appreciated! thanx in advance, and stay classy, this forum rocks!!

 

Battery recommended settings:

 

48v 100ah/h

charge limit coefficient 0.05c-0.5c10

float voltage 51v

boost charge voltage 53.5v

equalized charge voltage 53.5v

float charge voltage 51v

low voltage alarm 47v

load low voltage disconnection voltage 46v

battery low voltage disconnection threshold 44v

 

sorry for the long read guys,i appreciate all and any input!

 

thanx

 

peace out!

 

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6 minutes ago, Saint said:

@plonkster care to comment perhaps.... if and when time offcourse....?

Plonkster will be inactive for a few days and he is the Blue team (Victron) captain around here. @Coulomb might be more able to answer your questions better. 

3 hours ago, Saint said:

So i wired the incomer 220v straight into the changeover switch, then into the inverter at the ac input (they have a 12kw generator i wired on the alternate supply for the changeover so also running directly into the inverter if switch is changed over). Then i wired the ac output from the inverter to the DB into the mains and earth leakage, since i did not want to split the db since

This doesnt sound right. you have the option to direct the grid to the inverter input or bypass the inverter and send the power back to the DB, if this is correct, you will also switch the grid directly on the inverters output in bypass mode. to make this work correctly you would need a 4 pole change over switch. 

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14 minutes ago, Jaco de Jongh said:

Plonkster will be inactive for a few days and he is the Blue team (Victron) captain around here

Yup. I don't even read the topic if it has Mecer, Axpert, and such words in the title... cause 1) I don't know them well enough to give the best advice, 2) I don't really want to aid the competition in selling more of these... 😛

 

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4 hours ago, Saint said:

I have been trolling

Also... please... I know it is considered uncouth to show your superior grammar/spelling on the internet, especially if you are an Afrikaans boikie who makes enough of his own mistakes... but please... trawling... not trolling. That second one means something completely different, it's something you shouldn't do 🙂

 

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hehe, thanx Jaco, and i think thanx Plonkster....? I am also sorry i did not pay the few buck extra for the goodwe or a victron or something similar, however the aim was never to be grid independent completely at his office so it seemed good for what it was intended.... @Jaco de Jongh not sure what you mean.... currently i have the changeover wired in such a manner, that in either one of the two settings, it will either have input from the grid, or input from the generator then through the inverter to the db... is this not correct.... can the inverter not add or blend the needed power draw like the goodwe and likes do....? I can obviously wire it that the one setting is when it goes straight grid to db, and the second option that it goes through the inverter and then they need to switch when needed... just seemd a little retarded that way....

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geez sorry man.... then it is inferior grammar or spelling is it not... english is only my third language... cut me some slack, after coca cola normally most of my english is done for the day... so pardon the ignorance, i wasn't trying to be impolite... 🙂

 

p.s. most people from potchefstroom only encounter English during their adolescence the first time.... 😉

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44 minutes ago, Saint said:

currently i have the changeover wired in such a manner, that in either one of the two settings, it will either have input from the grid, or input from the generator then through the inverter to the db... is this not correct....

Now i understand, that is correct, I misunderstood your first post. 

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4 hours ago, Saint said:

can the inverter not add or blend the needed power draw like the goodwe and likes do....?

Depending on the exact model, usually not. If it's an Axpert King, it can blend PV / battery and AC-in, otherwise, basically not.

It can however switch the loads completely to AC-in, which is what you want when the geyser is on. So the inverter will basically do what you want, even if not quite the way you expect it to.

However, one 4.8 kWh battery likely won't handle a 3 kW load. I don't know how much power 6 PCs will draw. If they are rendering movies, it might be a lot more than spreadsheet and browser. So measure a typical use.

Use output source priority of SOL to minimise the use of your battery.

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Hi Coulomb...

 

thanx for the reply, i see you are wanted in a lot of the threads, so i appreciate you taking the time to respond... to your point... yes i do not mind if it switches to eskom or utility power entirely if the battery can't handle the load... the battery specs is pretty decent though, or atleast i thought so... or atleast on paper.... it is however not an axpert king inverter, just the 5kv mecer... i will try and confirm tomorrow if it is the 64VDC model or not... i will list the settings i plan to put in below if you can PLEASE comment... they are not rendering movies, it is mediocre office use, browsing and spreadsheets etc.. i had a watt meter installed for two to three weeks and max load was avg around 1.5kw peaking slightly higher when the boil the odd kettle or so.... the main idea or focus is to have the battery as backup, so ideally IF the solar can "add" power to the load then that is great, from what i understand it can't though, unless the loads is below or less than what pv is generating or can supply together with battery, correct? So then i would prefer it runs mainly from the grid, so that if and when there is loadshedding or outages that the battery is full, or nearly full so that it can then run of that and the subsequent solar hopefully...

 

Can you perhaps comment whether my logic on the wiring is indeed correct... meaning the cables going to and from the inverter... on the ac in and ac out... (however if the inverter can switch between battery and grid, then surely i can have all my loads connected via the inverter, during normal grid operation it will just go to the line bypass mode to power larger loads like the geyser etc when and if it kicks in, and when the grid is off and the load/settings is correct, then it can/run of the inverter via the batteries/pv correct...? pardon all the questions....) was it just a setting that was wrong and that is why it did not want to power from the utility when i tried it on saturday, maybe i did not have setting 23 enabled....?

Below is what i am planning on entering, ideally i would want to limit battery DOD to 80-85% when grid is available, when grid is not present or during load shedding though i would prefer it do go to DOD of 15% DOD, can i manipulate the settings like that or will the mecer settings and functionality not allow for that....?

Settings indicated in red i am especially unsure off... battery spec listed above... if more details is needed please just ask, i listed what specs i thought should be needed and relevant to set up the inverter with the batteries!

01 -  SOL (so you say this is the best mode then and not SbU, think i had it on SbU, i will change it then...)

02 - 40A (i want the batteries mainly to charge from the solar panels, i have 4 x 330watt which roughly gives around 1300 watt max, so it should never be able to charge at a higher rate than around 25 amps from the solar, correct if charging at the 53.5 volts as required...?)

03 - UPS (or should this be APL, a smaller tolerance seems better or not...?)

04 - SDS

05 - USE

06 - LTE (restart enabled)

07 - ttE (restart enabled)

09 - 50hz

11 - 10A

12 - 53V (not sure if mine is the 64VDC or the 48V model, however how do i determine what this voltage setting should be, when considering the battery parameters or specs as per details above, especially considering i want to try and keep the batteries atleast at around 80-85% SOC so that i have maximum life when utility goes out, then it can drain down to say 15%DOD or so...?)

13 - 54V (since maximum charge voltage is 53.5 volt, or is this too close to setting value for setting 12...)

16 - OSO

18 - bON

19 - ESP

20 - LON

22 - AON

23 - bYE

25 - FEN

26 - 53.5V

27 -51V

29 - 46V

31 - SbE

32 - AUt

33 - EEN

34 - 53.5V

35 - 60

36 - 120

37 - 20d

38 - NEC 38 d1 S

39 - AEN                 

 

Again, so much for the great forum and support from all the moderators and users actively participating....

 

thanx

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@plonkster

since you are the blue product king according to Jaco, will i be able to install a BMV 712 to work in conjunction with my Goodwe ES to get better readings and management of my batteries. My current batteries are not supported by goodwe, they work fine, but you need to manually tweak and input values mostly based on voltages. Unlike the lg or pylontech batteries which has native support on goodwe. If indeed this can work, how will it work, how does the BMV connect and communicate with the batteries, via RJ45, and then from the BMV with RJ45 to the inverter....?

 

thanx, i was just curious,i saw some posts on this in the battery section but couldn't determine if it will work on my goodwe....?

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On 2020/02/04 at 4:30 AM, Saint said:

the battery specs is pretty decent though, or atleast i thought so... or atleast on paper....

I'm no expert on these batteries, but they look rather like stolen Leoch batteries. Hopefully they are imported and customised.

Quote

so ideally IF the solar can "add" power to the load then that is great, from what i understand it can't though, unless the loads is below or less than what pv is generating or can supply together with battery, correct?

As long as the inverter is in battery mode, PV will blend with battery power, regardless of what power is available or the load. Of course, if PV power is less than load power, the battery will be supplying the balance.

Quote

So then i would prefer it runs mainly from the grid, so that if and when there is loadshedding or outages that the battery is full, or nearly full so that it can then run of that and the subsequent solar hopefully...

I suggest that you run in SOL output priority mode. That runs in battery mode during the day (unless the battery is weak), and line mode (utility supplies loads) as soon as the sun sets.

Quote

Can you perhaps comment whether my logic on the wiring is indeed correct...

You didn't provide a lot of detail, but it sounds like you have either generator or utility supplying the inverter's AC-in, and AC-out supplies all the loads, including the geyser. That sounds fine.

Quote

during normal grid operation it will just go to the line bypass mode to power larger loads like the geyser etc when and if it kicks in, and when the grid is off and the load/settings is correct, then it can/run of the inverter via the batteries/pv correct...?

Yes.

Quote

why it did not want to power from the utility when i tried it on saturday, maybe i did not have setting 23 enabled....?

That seems unlikely. Axperts are very picky about generator output quality. It may be that you need a different generator, or it may need an adjustment or service.

Quote

Below is what i am planning on entering, ideally i would want to limit battery DOD to 80-85% when grid is available,

That will be difficult to achieve without a Victron BMV or similar external device, running some monitoring software such as ICC. The main reason is the very flat voltage versus SOC graph for LFP batteries.

Quote

when grid is not present or during load shedding though i would prefer it do go to DOD of 15% DOD, can i manipulate the settings like that or will the mecer settings and functionality not allow for that....?

As they come from the factory, they are not particularly LFP compatible, despite the marketing. You will need patched firmware or the BMV/ICC combination to achieve this. You have not said what model Mecer 5 kVA you have (apart from it not being a King). There are many, not just the 64 V versus 58.4 V variants. Some may be suitable for patched firmware; others are not.

Quote

01 -  SOL

Good. This will keep the battery as full as possible.

Quote

02 - 40A (i want the batteries mainly to charge from the solar panels, i have 4 x 330watt which roughly gives around 1300 watt max, so it should never be able to charge at a higher rate than around 25 amps from the solar, correct if charging at the 53.5 volts as required...?)

Yes to the 40 A, your logic is essentially correct. The recommended charge seems to be 20 A per module, and you have two.

Quote

03 - UPS (or should this be APL, a smaller tolerance seems better or not...?)

With generator refusal, you definitely want APL.

Quote

 

04 - SDS

...

09 - 50hz

 

All good.

Quote

11 - 10A

You may as well set this to 40 A, so that you can charge the battery as quickly as possible when power is available.

Quote

12 - 53V (not sure if mine is the 64VDC or the 48V model, however how do i determine what this voltage setting should be, when considering the battery parameters or specs as per details above, especially considering i want to try and keep the batteries atleast at around 80-85% SOC so that i have maximum life when utility goes out, then it can drain down to say 15%DOD or so...?)

Because you have a 15S lithium battery, this should be 50 V. That's 3.33 VPC, which is the 85-90% SOC plateau  for LFP. The next lower setting, 49 V, would be 3.27 VPC, which is around the 50% SOC plateau. All this is at 25°C with rested batteries and no load, so the actual SOC will vary widely from these figures. That's why the BMV/ICC combination will work so much better. If you use this combination, then set all the battery settings as instructed on the ICC web page.

Quote

13 - 54V (since maximum charge voltage is 53.5 volt, or is this too close to setting value for setting 12...)

Because you want such a high SOC for your battery, I think FUL would be better here. Or adjust until it works best.

Quote

16 - OSO

That would mean no utility charging. I believe you will want SNU.

Quote

 

18 - bON

...

25 - FEN

 

All OK or not important.

Quote

 

26 - 53.5V

27 -51V

 

Those figures are high, but the manufacturer seems to suggest even higher.

Quote

29 - 46V

I would use 48.0 V. That's 3.2 VPC, which is around 15% SOC when rested.

Quote

 

31 - SbE

32 - AUt

 

These are OK. Because you will be utility charging a lot of the time, you don't need either 32 non-AUt or 33 EEN, though it's possible you still will. For now, leave the above as is.

Quote

 

33 - EEN

34 - 53.5V

35 - 60

36 - 120

37 - 20d

 

As above, you probably don't need 33 EEN (could use EdS), but it won't hurt much to leave it on, and may help overcome the premature float bugs. If the battery is still undercharged, you may need to reduce 37 to 2d or so.

Quote

38 - NEC  d1S

Yes. This is only needed with an external grounding box.

Quote

39 - AEN

No, use AdS, unless your battery is low in charge and you have solar energy available. This is a one-shot setting, you have to set it every time you need to force equalisation.                 

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@Coulomb Hi coulomb... thanx for the reply... will read through it and see if i can understand everything.... i really hope the batteries aren't stolen, it was bought at a reputable business mentioned earlier, not off the back off a pickup, that being said, after the carte blanche episode i did have a look, and the specs seems different when compared to the leoach, similar on some things, but these seem more powerful, but then again both are lithium so i guess they should be similar in essence, and the batteries physically also looks completely different, is possible that the enclosures was just changed i guess....

 

anyway, again i do appreciate all the input, i will try and change all the settings and see how we go!

 

Model number of the mecer inverter is SOL-I-AX-5P64...

 

thanx so much... appreciate you taking the time man.... 🙂

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Hi guys,

thanx so much for all the feedback and advise. I changed the settings as recommended, and the inverter is now working, the way i thought it would and should, just one more issue left, if and when it switches between the utility or eskom or grid power and powering from the solar or batteries, the moment the load is too big and it needs to switch, the switch is not smooth, meaning the power goes off, almost like a breaker trip for a few seconds, and then power returns, i thought the transition should and would be smooth... is this normal... can anyone comment....?

 

Just seems odd, and can def not be good for anything electrical connected to have a few trips a day because it switches between the sources

@Coulomb @Chris Hobson @plonkstercan you guys perhaps comment if this is normal behavior for this inverter, and if not, what can cause this....?

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7 hours ago, Saint said:

the inverter is now working, the way i thought it would and should

Glad to hear it.

Quote

if and when it switches between the utility or eskom or grid power and powering from the solar or batteries, the moment the load is too big and it needs to switch, the switch is not smooth, meaning the power goes off, almost like a breaker trip for a few seconds, and then power returns, i thought the transition should and would be smooth... is this normal...

That's definitely not normal. Mine is 2015 vintage, and switches to utility on average 1-2 times per day. We have three computers with no battery backup, and never have a drop out. The lights don't even flicker. You can only tell it happened by the "voomph" sound from outside, and fans start running a little faster; the microwave fan note is especially noticeable. The mains here in Queensland Australia runs high, often 247 V or sometimes over 250 V (253.4 V as I type), so that contributes to the change in fan speed.

I can't immediately think what could be causing that. Perhaps try the other option for setting 03 (AC input voltage range). You might have a faulty board that is supposed to help speed the changeover; if it's faulty, you're better off with the "slow" changeover. If you're technically minded, that board is the nearly square one near the lower left of this photo:

1810742040_BatterysideMOSFETlocation.thumb.jpg.bc077747f3e776f693f285734cefc4ee.jpg

The text "AC changeover PCB" is barely readable, sorry.

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Hi @coulomb

thanx for the reply, i will try it and see what happens, mine is not switching correctly, i will try changing the setting and see if it helps... also thought it cannot be correct, makes not sense since it will basically not help if it basically simulated a trip everytime before changing over.... will see and check, unit supposed to be brand new.... 😞

 

thanx again....

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3 hours ago, RGS said:

I have an inverter that was reset and then started up again but now have no mains (220v) output

Hi, RGS. You don't give us much to go on.

I assume that yours is an Axpert inverter of some sort. I assume that there was no bang or smell, or you would have reported that.

Can you tell us why it was reset (do you mean the battery disconnected)?

No mains output: you mean you can't power the loads, either from battery/PV or AC-in?

Is the display normal?

Is there a fault code on the display?

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Dear friends

My name is Mohammad from Jordan.

I have an inverter charger model INVERTER KING 5KW PAR-A. It is working normally with a USb (program 02). However, when the utility is off, the inverter switched off instead of going to battery mode. No solar energy in this system.

I will be thankful to you if you give me an explanation and how to solve the problem

 

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