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Masvingo

Axpert inverter not recognizing PV

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Over the last few months i've bought components for solar system install in zim. System install was finally done but having some problems, items purchased include: Soliax-5-NB inverter, 4 x 340 watt Art Solar Panels (2 strings) and 1 x 4.8Kw Huawei battery. I couldn't travel due to obvious covid-19 issues but my installer is pretty good. 

He's facing the following issues:

1. On his first connection of panels, the inverter dropped voltage from 160v down to 45v

2. Subsequently, the Inverter doesn't recognize the panels once connected

Got some pics of the display which i am including here and can tell fault light turns on once PV breaker is turned on. the other pic is when PV breaker is off. what could my issue be? 

Below are the settings currently on the inverter, open to suggestions on what ought to be changed. I realize there are quite a few issues here, any help would be appreciated. 

O1 UTL

02 60A 

05 USE

16 SNU

26 53,5V

27 53,5V

29 44,0V 

583188463_WhatsAppVideo2020-03-30at10_39.36AM_Moment.thumb.jpg.471d4678aec3d6d50552101b23e5bdfd.jpg

WhatsApp Image 2020-02-24 at 10.02.00 AM.jpeg

WhatsApp Image 2020-03-30 at 10.40.23 AM.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Masvingo said:

Soliax-5-NB inverter

That's a Mecer SOL-I-AX-5NB model. I was trying to Google search for the Soliax brand 😕

47 minutes ago, Masvingo said:

4 x 340 watt Art Solar Panels (2 strings)

So that's presumably 8 panels total? I.e. 4S2P? Generally this type of inverter seems to need 6 panels minimum. So it might be best to put all 8 in one series string.

59 minutes ago, Masvingo said:

can tell fault light turns on once PV breaker is turned on

Unfortunately, he has setting 28 other and SnG (single unit, not paralleled). That means that the fault code alternates with "HS", the latter indicating MaSter.

What is the fault code that alternates with "HS"?

You need to change setting 28 to SnG; see FAQ questions 3 and 4. Leaving it on PAL can lead to odd problems (assuming it's not actually paralleled).

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10 hours ago, Coulomb said:

That's a Mecer SOL-I-AX-5NB model. I was trying to Google search for the Soliax brand 😕

So that's presumably 8 panels total? I.e. 4S2P? Generally this type of inverter seems to need 6 panels minimum. So it might be best to put all 8 in one series string.

Unfortunately, he has setting 28 other and SnG (single unit, not paralleled). That means that the fault code alternates with "HS", the latter indicating MaSter.

What is the fault code that alternates with "HS"?

You need to change setting 28 to SnG; see FAQ questions 3 and 4. Leaving it on PAL can lead to odd problems (assuming it's not actually paralleled).

Sorry @Coulomb, indeed it's the Mecer SOL-I-AX-5NB model. 

It's actually 4 panels, 2 strings of 2 panels each (uggh i failed at speaking solar tech speak). Was hoping to start with 4 panels then add 2 later as funds permit. 

Ok, i'll ask him to check what fault code alternates and change that setting 28. Also, thanks for the FAQ i'll take a look. Bear with me, it may be a day or two before i can get responses. 

Thanks!

 

 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Masvingo said:

It's actually 4 panels, 2 strings of 2 panels each (uggh i failed at speaking solar tech speak). Was hoping to start with 4 panels then add 2 later as funds permit. 

[ Edit: You actually described your panels correctly, if not completely clearly; it's just that I didn't think anyone would wire them that way for that model inverter. ]

You have the wrong model of Solar Charge Controller for adding pairs of panels. For that, you'd need one with a 145 V max (115 V max MPPT) PV charger, e.g. a SOL-I-AX-5P. I assumed that the 160 V you mentioned was the open circuit PV voltage; there is no way you were getting 160 V from two ordinary panels in series.

If you wire all 4 panels in series, you might get some PV production for part of the day, though as I say, the consensus seems to be that 6S is the minimum for this SCC type (maybe 5S if they are 72-cell panels, I don't recall).

Edited by Coulomb

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Hi Coulomb, i am sending over the pics and text i got from the installer. 

Also, i got confirmation that the panels are installed in series and the voltage of 162vdc is shown below.

1847094076_WhatsAppImage2020-04-07at4_06_29AM.thumb.jpeg.d121bc5dda857ee5699e343b873e51fe.jpeg

The pv breaker is off and I’m getting 162vdc from the panels

847639526_WhatsAppImage2020-04-07at4_08_31AM.thumb.jpeg.6ab12a98ae032d46423b10c5132def80.jpeg

If I put the pv breakers up the voltage will fall from 161vdcto 1.2vdc

The cable with a black tape is the negative

1779598613_WhatsAppImage2020-04-07at4_04_51AM.thumb.jpeg.2292d57f5118eda2a58a685dec830b4c.jpeg1070293245_WhatsAppImage2020-04-07at4_04_50AM.thumb.jpeg.a471ba018ac86609403b05b9050be181.jpeg1847487418_WhatsAppImage2020-04-07at6_42_57AM.thumb.jpeg.7ef59e58c53be5aecdd8e5ffbdb5d1b9.jpeg

 

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12 hours ago, Masvingo said:

The pv breaker is off and I’m getting 162vdc from the panels

That might be enough to start the solar charger. Barely. I suspect it will need to see at least 150 V before it will start (though I can't find that in the manual at present, or in firmware). 

Quote

If I put the pv breakers up the voltage will fall from 161vdcto 1.2vdc

And in the original post it said it collapsed to 45 V. 

Quote

The cable with a black tape is the negative

Ick. Please check that the same wire has black at both ends, i.e. that the polarity at the PV input is correct (negative on the right).

It seems it has to be either the PV lightning protection devices (at left in the PV box), or something in the solar charge controller itself. It might be worth temporarily disconnecting the protection devices to see if they are the problem.

Otherwise, it's either that the sunlight is too weak to start the solar charge controller with just 4 panels (that might explain the 45 versus 1.2 V difference), or there is a serious fault with the SCC. I got the impression from other posts on this forum that 6 panels is the minimum for this model (perhaps 5 panels if they are 72-cell).

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Hi @Masvingo,

At the moment I'm installing 340 Wp panels as well. Here in Holland the temperature can drop to as low as 20 deg. C below zero. Well once in 10 years or so, this winter the lowest temp measured in the garden was -3. These panels are going to be 18 in series and they will not go over 900V (the max inverter Uoc) at -20 C. So you should be able to put 9 in series or even 10 without going over the max Uoc of that inverter. What are the specs of the panels, do you have a PDF to upload? And what is the lowest temp you can expect on site?

Anyway, what happens with you panels and charger is this: Uoc of the panels is somewhere around 40V, that is what the meter shows as well in your picture (40V x 4 = 160V). Now lets assume the Umpp is 34V x 4 = 136V. Ok, your charger will see Uoc (160V) first and decides to turn on. The MPP tracker starts to find the MaximumPowerPoint and does this by pulling amps from your panels, hence the voltage will drop. It will drop very soon below the minimum solar voltage of 120V as is shown in the sticker on your inverter and shuts of. Presumably it will keep on trying again and again (but maybe @Coulomb can share his view with us) but with the same result. Only thing you can do in my opinion is add panels as Coulomb stated as well. Add 5 but at least 2, not sure if 2 is enough but yeah I think so.

 

Good luck, Rik

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7 hours ago, RikH said:

It will drop very soon below the minimum solar voltage of 120V as is shown in the sticker on your inverter and shuts off.

Actually, the shutoff voltage is 110 V; 120 V is the minimum it will use for maximum power point tracking purposes.

Similarly, it will shut off (stop PWMing altogether, but as far as I know not disconnecting the IGBTs from the panels) at 450 V.

It doesn't seem to have a minimum startup voltage, so it will attempt to connect as long as the panel voltage is over 110 V. There is a startup delay of just one second.

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thank you gents, the installer eventually added a separate charge controller (Tristar TS-60) and the system is now working 100%. When i'm able to travel there, i'll buy 2 more panels and install. 

thanks for all your help, i really appreciate it. 

 

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