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Dual Axpert Inverter Charger with ICC Software


Paul Vermeulen
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My setup has started behaving strangely, alternating between bypass mode and battery mode every 10 seconds or so. I have tried shutting down completely to reset the inverter chargers (they have no alarms present), I have also disconnected the Raspberry Pi to see if that was causing the problem. I have tried forcing the system into bypass mode using the inverter settings, and I have tried switching off one inverter at a time to see if one of them is faulty. I am assuming the Inverters are faulty, and I will replace them during the week, but are there any other suggestions please? I am attaching a photo of the Dashboard, you can see where the inverter is short cycling. There is no sun today so I am charging the batteries with Utility in case the power goes out.

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1 hour ago, Paul Vermeulen said:

but are there any other suggestions please?

Can you please post screenshots of your battery settings and inverter settings tabs from ICC please? Just to ensure that this is not caused by any conflicting settings?

And what Axpert models and batteries are you using?

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Hi Andy I have 4 x 3.5kW Pylontech batteries, I have been controlling them on SOC 20% back to grid and 25% back to battery. I have 2 x 5kVA 4kW Inverter Chargers. I have noticed that the battery cycles have changed on the program, they all used to be the same. Also I tried to change the back to grid and back to discharge settings on the Inverter settings and it won't let me. Hope it makes sense to you, and thanks for the help!

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20200830_153552 (1024x768).jpg

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20200830_153752 (1024x768).jpg

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10 minutes ago, Paul Vermeulen said:

Hope it makes sense to you, and thanks for the help!

Thanks Paul

I think I know what causes the behavior: Did you manually change your system to Utility? If you want to manually change to Utility, then you first need to disable the 'Use SOC for Control' on your battery settings tab (and then press the 'Save' button at the bottom right for ICC to accept the new setting). Otherwise ICC (after a few minutes) switches your system back to SBU because it picks up that your SOC is higher than your set value and triggers the switch.

Could you please make the following changes and see if your system behaves as desired (if I understand correct you want to run on Utility and charge the batteries from both Utility and Solar - correct?):

  1. Disable 'Use SOC for Control' on battery settings tab
  2. Set 'Back to discharge voltage' to 58V (or whatever else the highest voltage is that you can set - to ensure that the Axpert itself does not interfere with the ICC switching)
  3. Set inverter mode to Utility (in case ICC has switched it to SBU)

A few further setting changes that I would recommend:

  1. 'AC Input Range' to 'Appliance'
  2. 'Bulk charging voltage' to 52.5V (see more details on why these values see this thread)
  3. 'Float charging voltage' to 51.8V 
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Thank you the settings seem to have worked. The Inverter settings on the ICC Program seem limited, it will not let me change maximum charge rate and cutoff voltages, but otherwise I can do it from WatchPower and everything else seems to have come right. Do you know which is the best of the lower priced Hybrid Inverter Chargers are? I see Kodak, Growatt, Deye, Goodwe, Sofar to name a few. I am happy with the performance of the Axpert ones, but am worried about long term durability.

 

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4 hours ago, Paul Vermeulen said:

Thank you the settings seem to have worked.

Great - happy to hear

4 hours ago, Paul Vermeulen said:

The Inverter settings on the ICC Program seem limited, it will not let me change maximum charge rate and cutoff voltages

I can change these on my dual-Axpert setup without problems. Most of the time it is a logic-inconsistency that prevents the changes. The max AC charge rate cannot be higher than the Solar charge rate if I remember correctly. And similarly the cut-off voltage cannot be the same or higher than the 'Back to Grid' voltage

The only thing that I sometimes also experience is that when clicking the 'Set' button to have ICC send the command to the inverter, it does not always accepts the change the first time around. But trying 2 or 3 times usually does the trick for me

4 hours ago, Paul Vermeulen said:

Do you know which is the best of the lower priced Hybrid Inverter Chargers are? I see Kodak, Growatt, Deye, Goodwe, Sofar to name a few. I am happy with the performance of the Axpert ones, but am worried about long term durability.

I do not have any experience with any other brands. I've had my one Axpert for more than 5 years and bought the 2nd early this year (used). I've moved all my PV to a separate Victron MPPT. A nice side-effect is that the Axpert does not get that hot anymore (with the MPPT not being used), which I am hoping will contribute towards a longer lifetime of the Axpert. I have also stuck computer fans on the outside of the case of the Axpert to lower the temperature (according to ICC the fans brought the temp down somewhere around 5-10 degrees)

My plan is to get as much mileage out of the Axperts as possible and only worry about what to replace them with once they have broken down for good. Am otherwise very happy with my system (especially the ease of making changes in ICC remotely via VNC), so why spend more money?

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On 2020/08/30 at 10:22 PM, wolfandy said:

Great - happy to hear

I can change these on my dual-Axpert setup without problems. Most of the time it is a logic-inconsistency that prevents the changes. The max AC charge rate cannot be higher than the Solar charge rate if I remember correctly. And similarly the cut-off voltage cannot be the same or higher than the 'Back to Grid' voltage

The only thing that I sometimes also experience is that when clicking the 'Set' button to have ICC send the command to the inverter, it does not always accepts the change the first time around. But trying 2 or 3 times usually does the trick for me

I do not have any experience with any other brands. I've had my one Axpert for more than 5 years and bought the 2nd early this year (used). I've moved all my PV to a separate Victron MPPT. A nice side-effect is that the Axpert does not get that hot anymore (with the MPPT not being used), which I am hoping will contribute towards a longer lifetime of the Axpert. I have also stuck computer fans on the outside of the case of the Axpert to lower the temperature (according to ICC the fans brought the temp down somewhere around 5-10 degrees)

My plan is to get as much mileage out of the Axperts as possible and only worry about what to replace them with once they have broken down for good. Am otherwise very happy with my system (especially the ease of making changes in ICC remotely via VNC), so why spend more money?

 

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Hi Andy, I have been checking on the newer range of Inverter Chargers and the Growatt is reasonably pried, appears to have a 5 year warranty, can be connected in parallel, and has a 4.5kW Solar Array input. If I were to replace my 2 Axpert Inverter Chargers I would be able to get 9kW solar power (my current ones will only give me 50A Solar) and they have built in BMS for Lithium Ion, though I believe that the ICC setup will work here too. Have you heard any negative reports about Growatt?

I did see one member complaining about communications with the factory, but he also gave detailed instructions about hoe to configure them with Lithium Ion batteries.

Your experience will be appreciated,

Regards, Paul

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56 minutes ago, Paul Vermeulen said:

Have you heard any negative reports about Growatt?

I don't have any personal experience with them. But I think there are a number of posts of people here with Growatts

57 minutes ago, Paul Vermeulen said:

If I were to replace my 2 Axpert Inverter Chargers I would be able to get 9kW solar power (my current ones will only give me 50A Solar)

I was also at one point contemplating of replacing my Axperts with something else (I was looking at Victron) - also primarily to be able to run more PV. But from what I've read, the inverter side of the Axperts is quite decent. So why replace the whole thing when really I only wanted to upgrade the MPPT? I instead decided to add a Victron MPPT (250/100) to my system and have moved all my PV (plus added panels) onto it. So my Axperts are now purely working as inverters (except for the rare occasion on which I need to charge my batteries from AC). ICC is also able to read the data from the Victron MPPT, so I still control everything through ICC. If I ever want to add more PV, I then have the option of either adding another Victron MPPT or connecting it directly to one of the Axperts

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