Started working this morning about 7am trying to figure out why I couldn’t get the Victron Quattro inverters programed correctly. On Saturday I did get the system up and running…but only using one inverter and only in single phase 120vAC. The problem was the programing. Yeah, the inverters have a computer inside of them…doesn’t everything nowadays!
So I could program each inverter individually with one software application. But I couldn’t get them programmed to work together because each inverter needed their firmware updated. And that took another application to accomplish. And that firmware update had a problem…my network cable. But a tender mercy helped me figure that out. Now all is good…the system is up and running!!
Here is a bit of a recap…
I started with version 3 of my off-grid system: 404ah LifePO Elite batteries, 1xVictron 150/70 MPPT, 1x Victron 48v/5kw/120v Quattro and kindof a mess that had been pieced together from versions 1 & 2)
I ended up with 634ah LifePO4 batteries (2xElites, 1xTrophy), 2xVictron 150/70 MPPTs, 2xVictron 48v/5kw/120 Quattros in split phase configuration. Much less of a mess and that should be cleaned up by the end of the week once I get the the wire ducts in.
In the build I used a Victron Lynx PowerIn as a busbar, added a Class-T fuse, then combined a Victron Lynx shut and another Victron Lynx PowerIn as a fused distributor. I even built 2 of my own busbars vs 4/0 cable connection. All of that made things much cleaned, much more organized and a lot more safe. Upgraded all my wiring and cabling. Added better circuit breakers, got rid of a weak fuse set-up, and balanced my 3 arrays between the 2 MPPTs.
The downside does exist:
- While Victron equipment is Tier 1 gear, it can be complicated to work with. The MPPTs are Smart Networked which is nice, but they had to be programed individually via Bluetooth.
- The Victron Quattro inverters are really great, very high quality, they were a pain to configure correctly. Eventually the process was: 1) upgrade the firmware on both units, 2) configure each inverter for its function, 3) then configure them together to work in split phase. Each step was a different computer program. That is a huge downside to otherwise great gear. Victron needs to get it together and have a single computer program that can do all the functions from that one program.
- I am not 100% confident that the Lynx Shunt, inverters, and CCGX are working together correctly to give me an accurate SOC. I might have add back in my BMV 712 to accurately monitor the battery bank.
- I am not sure how long it will take my batteries to balance with the addition of the 3rd battery. I am thinking at least a couple of weeks, maybe a month or two.
- I now have 240vAC vs 120vAC available to me.
- I now have 10kw vs 5kw available to me.
- I now have 57% more battery capacity available to me.
- I now have more efficient PV charging for the system.
- And it all works!!!!!!
Yeah, I know…I sound silly…but this has been 6 months in the planning stage and 8 days work in the shed…including 6 days running on generator. I am just thrilled!!
Once I get the wiring cleaned up I will post pictures.
Related Articles –
- Great Solar Upgrade – Day #1
- Great Solar Upgrade – Day #2
- Great Solar Upgrade – Day #3
- Great Solar Upgrade – Day #4
- Great Solar Upgrade – Day #5
- Great Solar Upgrade – Day #6
- Great Solar Upgrade – Day #8
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Great job… BIG job! Whole house top tier solar is a great accomplishment, as is keeping it going. It will be worth the substantial costs and labor effort, especially if there is a major societal crash. But I’m still wondering if/ how you see any need to ‘harden’ your investment to protect against the very real (and increasing) threat of an EMP attack that’d bring down our current grid. I only have a 4.3 KwH portable/ emergency system (6-panel/ 6-AGM deep cells, 6000w pure sine inverter, being trickle-charged), but I have concerns about it’s EMP protection. Would really appreciate knowing your thoughts on this — whether whole house or portable/emergency system, it seems worth considering protection.
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Answered your comment back in Great Solar Upgrade – Day #3 post
sounds about right
I had been planning for several years in my transition from a SW4024 120v AC/24v DC inverter to a XANTRAX SW+5048 120v AC/48v DC inverter to now with a Schneider XW Pro 6.8k 240v AC/48v DC inverter.
Got that done last November. At least I had the Grid for my backup.
Money for parts came in slowly over the decades (and the wife limit)
Yet I am STILL tinkering/playing/enhancing the whole system, both AC and DC.
Now laying the foundation for a 2nd XW Pro sometime in the future
that will give 13.8kw power
Great job Trimble!
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Sweet!!!! Schneider is Tier 1 equipment, right up there with Victron. Glad to hear you are going with the good stuff. 13.8kw is awesome!!!
Yeah, once I clean up the wire mess I don’t want to mess with it for awhile…to much else to do. But, I am sure there will some tweaking done once I get bored.
Isn’t is nice, a great sense of security, to be your own power company?
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