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Problem with Outback System

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  • Problem with Outback System

    I'm having some serious issues with my off-grid Outback system. A few days ago, I started losing power in the house. Basically, only a few lights and the tv still worked, while all other things did not. I checked the batteries (great SG) and circuit breakers. No issues. I ended up flipping the two inverter switches ON and OFF, and that rebooted the system, restoring power. However, I ended up calling Outback and they recommended that I update the firmware, which I did.

    The issue came up a few days later. Again, very little power in the house. Just a few lights. No Error messages on the Mate3. I did notice that the Slave Inverter's Status Light is NOT lighting up. And the AC OUT light is very faint.

    Called Outback and they recommended that I reset the inverters using the Mate3. While doing this there was a loud pop from the Charge Controller, with a few sparks inside. The Ground Fault switch was triggered, and now the Charge Controller and the Mate3 are both dark/dead (i.e. nothing on their displays).

    System:
    Installed 1 year ago
    12 270w Panels
    8 Rolls-Surrette S550 (428AH/48 Volts)
    OutbackFlexPower Two (FXR 3046As) with one FM80 CC
    HUB 10 / MATE 3

    I'm waiting on both Outback and my solar technician to call back, but wanted to submit this issue to you all, to see if there's any feedback/ideas.

  • #2
    Get your checkbook out. Sorry. Sparks and sounds from electronics is never going to be cheap or fast to remedy. if it is covered under warranty, you still need to have gear to run with for the 90 day turnaround. But in the future - you will have a spare
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Cult of Dionysus View Post
      I'm waiting on both Outback and my solar technician to call back, but wanted to submit this issue to you all, to see if there's any feedback/ideas.
      You probably also lost the hub, and you may have lost the modbus interface on the inverter. That may not be the end of the world since the inverter may still work (at its last settings) until you get a replacement. It depends on what failed in the charge controller.

      BTW I believe you can plug the MATE 3 directly into the inverter (no hub) to see if the MATE/interface still works.

      Also it sounds like one of the inverters was shutting down. It would probably be worthwhile to have 120VAC indicator lights near the inverters to see which one it is, to aid debugging,

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      • #4
        Thanks, jflorey. That is very helpful insight and guidance.

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