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SMA Sunny Island Error Code W331 Anti-Islanding

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  • SMA Sunny Island Error Code W331 Anti-Islanding

    This weekend, a major storm blew through Michigan and knocked out power to almost 200k people. We're still out as I type this.. What a joyous occasion! I got to activate my off-grid system in a real world test for the very first time..... and discovered a strange glitch I can't seem to figure out.

    Every few hours, the Sunny Island SI6048 inverter will trip out and stop making power for about 3 seconds.. then reactivate again on their own. A review of the event codes shows the Master is throwing error code (W331 Grid/generator disconnected due to anti-islanding).

    My system isn't connected to any grid or generator, it is a stand alone grid. All it does is take battery power, convert into 120/240 split phase, and send it into the breaker panel through a double pole breaker on an interlock. The main breaker in the house's circuit breaker panel (150 amp) is off to isolate the house from the grid. There is no generator connected, no other inverters except the Slave unit. The only other source of power generation that is currently connected is the AC Coupled solar array which uses two Sunny Boy inverters.. and since its after midnight and very dark outside, I seriously doubt the panels are generating any energy.

    Anyone have any clue?


  • #2
    I would think that the SMA inverters need to have some type of disconnect that really isolates them from the grid before their Off grid features works. It seems your SMA is still looking for a grid and goes into anti-islanding because it can't find it.

    Did you perform the system install yourself or was someone else involved? You may need to contact SMA to find out what that inverter is thinking about and why it turns off.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
      I would think that the SMA inverters need to have some type of disconnect that really isolates them from the grid before their Off grid features works. It seems your SMA is still looking for a grid and goes into anti-islanding because it can't find it.

      Did you perform the system install yourself or was someone else involved? You may need to contact SMA to find out what that inverter is thinking about and why it turns off.
      The house is isolated from the grid because the main breaker has been turned off. Nothing connected except neutral to the neutral/ground bus. I will say this: By the time I had my head back on straight after taking care of my own family and helping the neighbors, it was already very dark outside, and when I went to put the Sunny Boy's into Island mode, I got an error telling me there wasn't enough DC power feeding them to make changes. I put them into island mode this morning so we'll see if it does it again.

      Just got an update from DTE and they say we won't have power until Wednesday so I'll have some time to play with it.

      Yes, system installed by myself. I used to design industrial power distribution, controls, and automation, so I kind of know what I'm doing.. sort of. Some things are still a mystery to me, like why a $5000 inverter has such a crappy user interface.

      Its NOT the Sunny Boy's that tripped out, its the Sunny Island battery inverter.. Its supposed to be its own ISLAND.. its spelled out right in the name of the device.. LOL

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Salts View Post

        The house is isolated from the grid because the main breaker has been turned off. Nothing connected except neutral to the neutral/ground bus. I will say this: By the time I had my head back on straight after taking care of my own family and helping the neighbors, it was already very dark outside, and when I went to put the Sunny Boy's into Island mode, I got an error telling me there wasn't enough DC power feeding them to make changes. I put them into island mode this morning so we'll see if it does it again.

        Just got an update from DTE and they say we won't have power until Wednesday so I'll have some time to play with it.

        Yes, system installed by myself. I used to design industrial power distribution, controls, and automation, so I kind of know what I'm doing.. sort of. Some things are still a mystery to me, like why a $5000 inverter has such a crappy user interface.

        Its NOT the Sunny Boy's that tripped out, its the Sunny Island battery inverter.. Its supposed to be its own ISLAND.. its spelled out right in the name of the device.. LOL
        Maybe the battery is not up to level for the SMA inverter to work properly. It seems like some type of setting or software issue if it keeps going off line due to no grid and no solar input.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

          Maybe the battery is not up to level for the SMA inverter to work properly. It seems like some type of setting or software issue if it keeps going off line due to no grid and no solar input.
          Unfortunately, our grid power is back up. Bet you don't hear that too often! LOL

          I think I might know what it is. When I installed the original ground mount array with the Sunny Boy SB6.0, I used a 70amp GFCI breaker on the 4ga solar feed lines. Everything worked great during the daytime, but every morning when I woke up, that GFCI breaker would be tripped open. I ended up swapping it out for a normal 70amp breaker and no issues since. Its been 3 years.

          I think that those Sunny Boy inverters do something at night that causes a GFCI breaker to trip, some kind of arc-fault test or neutral conductivity test or something... and whatever it is that they do that causes the GFCI breaker to trip, is also causing my Sunny Island's to misbehave.

          I will have the answer the next time we go off grid. I'm going to make sure to open the breaker to the solar feed lines as soon as it gets dark to isolate the grid tied inverters.. if that works, then I will know where the problem is originating from. After that, the next step will be to make sure I put the grid inverters into "Island Mode" right away and to leave the breaker on to see if it still does it. Perhaps in Island Mode, it doesn't do the same testing every night.

          We just switched back to grid power, but we ran all night long and into the early afternoon on battery juice. Except for tripping and resetting itself at night one time for three seconds, the system worked beautifully. I get a real kick out of watching the Sunny Islands do the Frequency Shift Power Control thing.

          Thanks for the suggestions.

          Comment


          • #6
            UPDATE:

            Well, I completely disconnected the off-grid system and isolated it. There is nothing connected to either the AC1 or AC2 terminals. The unit is just sitting there idling.. the inverters are making power, but nothing is connected to use it, not even a ground or neutral line. At this point, its a stand alone system. And yet, its still tripping out for about 2 seconds and throwing the W331 error (Anti-Islanding)

            I know when it trips because I can hear the load shedding contactor engage and disengage. Its an ABB contactor rated for 160 amps so it sounds like someone slamming a 400 page book down on a table when it energizes or de-energizes.

            Might have to contact SMA for this one.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Salts View Post
              UPDATE:

              Well, I completely disconnected the off-grid system and isolated it. There is nothing connected to either the AC1 or AC2 terminals. The unit is just sitting there idling.. the inverters are making power, but nothing is connected to use it, not even a ground or neutral line. At this point, its a stand alone system. And yet, its still tripping out for about 2 seconds and throwing the W331 error (Anti-Islanding)

              I know when it trips because I can hear the load shedding contactor engage and disengage. Its an ABB contactor rated for 160 amps so it sounds like someone slamming a 400 page book down on a table when it energizes or de-energizes.

              Might have to contact SMA for this one.
              Yes. It sounds like an issue with the inverter.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Salts,
                Do you have parameter 231.05 (ExtSrc) set to "PvOnly"?
                Otherwise the Sunny Island may be periodically testing for the grid presence.
                Also, just to be certain, parameter 232.41 (GdSocEna) should be "Disable", to make sure it's not trying to connect to the grid based on battery S.O.C.
                Though I would think that shouldn't happen if the ExtSrc is set to PvOnly.
                Otherwise, did you ever find the root cause of this periodic W331 error?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sunny Island inverters are very sophisticated and can handle many situations if configured correctly. It is very easy to not have one of the many setup parameters set right. Call tech support and go through your configuration with them....
                  BSEE, R11, NABCEP, Chevy BoltEV, >2500kW installed

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