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  • StorEdge Configuration Question: Alt Power Src

    Newbie to solar here - but learning fast...

    Some background: I recently had 24 panels (8.4kWp), StorEdge 7600A, LG battery and Auto-transformer installed at my home in NC. No meter. My installer disappeared after the job was "done," so I have had to learn a lot about the system as fast as I could. I ended up having to fix some of the things the installer did wrong or didn't do at all (some minor and couple of major things). All of the major issues have been fixed and only a few minor issues remain. Now that I'm at least "stable," I wanted to dive into some details and gain some wisdom from the community. This post is about a specific configuration setting: Alt Power Src

    My StorEdge Inverter (7600A, w/screen, w/o HD-Wave)
    CPU: 3.2525.0
    DSP1: 1.210.1428
    DSP2: 2.52.515

    My LG Battery (R15563P3SSEG1, 9.8kWh, HWID:100): DCDC 7.4.8

    I was scrolling through my configuration settings and noticed one called Alt Power Src that was enabled. I hadn't noticed that during my previous dive into the menu and so I looked at the SolarEdge Application Note for Alternative Power Source (v1.4, March 2020). When I read through the document, it seems that this setting is for the SolarEdge inverter to work in coordination with a generator. I don't have a generator, but I do have a battery.

    I guess that the LG Battery is technically an alternate power source, but I wonder if it is an "Alternate Power Source" within the context of this configuration setting? I didn't see anything in the StorEdge connection and configuration documents that mention the Alt Power Src setting when configuring an LG Battery.

    Before I call SE. I thought I'd check here to see whether anyone knows whether the Alt Power Src setting should remain enabled on the StorEdge inverter with LG Battery if I don't have a generator?

  • #2
    Originally posted by v10tdi View Post
    My installer disappeared after the job was "done," so I have had to learn a lot about the system as fast as I could.
    This line made me chuckle. Installers really have no incentive to be helpful after you get connected and they get paid in full. I'm so glad I never had to make my final payment to my deadbeat installer. It was obvious that the "20 Year Warranty" wouldn't be worth $h!t if they are ignoring your calls and emails even BEFORE it's done.

    I have 31X 325W Panasonic panels tied to my SE7600A and LG RESU10H. I think you can safely turn off Alt Power Src. It is off on mine.

    One quick question: how is your battery configured? Maximum self consumption?

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    • #3
      Yes, I DISabled Alt Power Src in the StorEdge configuration and the system is performing as expected, including backup. That part is good.

      >One quick question: how is your battery configured? Maximum self consumption?
      I have my battery configured for Backup Only. I'm on an electric Co-Op with little incentive and it didn't seem like a good trade-off to "use" the battery in that scenario. So, I acquired the battery exclusively to provide backup options in the event of a power failure. FWIW - in the past 3 years I've had more extended power failures in my Western NC home due to hurricanes than I did in my Central FL home. And the big risk are the bridges...a bit too much rain too quickly and a bridge out in either direction would leave me isolated (no power, propane or fuel) - probably for awhile.

      The next think I'm trying to accomplish is to reduce the baseline SOE of the battery. The SE "Backup Only" profile maintains the battery at 97-100% SOE and uses both PV and Grid for charging. That setting would be my ideal for 'Storm Mode" (when I know a storm is coming). I'm at that setting now. I was able to turn off Grid Charging of the battery (only using PV for battery charging - doesn't take long at all). However, for "non-Storm Mode," I'd rather run the battery at 77-80% SOE (and use only PV for charging). I don't see a way to configure the reduced SOE. SE Support said that "Backup Only" mode was at 100% SOE - no option to reduce.

      I did see options under Maximize Self Consumption to maintain a "Backup Reserve" - so I might experiment with that. But what I don't want is for the battery to charge up to 100% and then discharge down to 80%. It just isn't worth the cycles on the battery. I'm taking it one step at a time. Maybe a call to LG Chem might help...

      Any wisdom?

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      • #4
        [Deleted text - double post]
        Last edited by v10tdi; 05-17-2020, 08:10 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by v10tdi View Post
          Any wisdom?
          I'm going to make two assumptions:

          a) You are operating under net metering with your utility.
          b) There is no Time of Use (TOU) policy and electricity costs don't change depending on the time of day.

          These two factors are the common justifications for a battery system. If not for net metering, you'd want to save more of the electricity you generate during the day and use it at night. If electricity is cheaper from your utility during the day, you can store that electricity and discharge it when the cost goes up at night (instead of net metering that same energy during the day).

          With that said, there is one additional factor to consider: does your 8.4kWp system ever cause the SE7600A to clip AC output at ~8kW during peak hours? This would show up on your plot as a plateau like the one shown below from my 10kWp system back in Febuary:

          Clipped.JPG

          If not, there is very nearly zero reason for you to ever charge/discharge the battery. If you do have clipping, you should configure the inverter to "Charge from Clipped Energy". This is how I configured my inverter and, when the AC output limit is reached at 8kW, any remaining DC power is used to charge the battery directly via the DC connection to the battery. with my 10kWp setup, this is energy that would have been completely wasted by the SE7600A if not for the battery. I set a backup reserve of 50% for the battery and, every sunny day, the battery will charge to 80-90% and then discharge at midnight.

          Even if you don't have clipping, you way want to get full installer access to the SolarEdge monitoring platform for your site. My installer granted me access to an administrator account so that I could create custom storage profiles for the battery. Using those tools you would likely be able to set an idle backup reserve level lower than 100%.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for the reply, Soby.

            Thus far I clip only rarely.

            My installer completely flaked out at the end (e.g, no meter, AC disconnect was a shell with wires lying loose in a DC junction box in the ceiling, etc.) , so I had SE turn over the monitoring site admin to me. As a result I do have access to the admin configuration. I tried using the monitoring site charge/discharge profile (not the best interface IMO), but I was getting unexpected behavior. When I asked SE about the behavior, they said the only charge/discharge profiles that would work for my configuration (no meter, I haven't gotten around to acquiring & installing one) was "Backup Only" (I could have PV or PV/Grid charging) and "Discharge to Maximize Export" (to the backup reserve limit). Seems strange, but that's what they said. SE also told me there was no way to set a lower baseline SOE using "Backup Only."

            So I'm on the lookout for a WattNode Modbus meter to add in at some point. It's not urgent to me - more like fine turning - because the system is cranking out the watts and the battery backup works as I want. I'll try experimenting with both the web charge/discharge profile and the one built into the menu.

            Thanks again for the reply!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by v10tdi View Post
              Thank you for the reply, Soby.

              Thus far I clip only rarely.

              My installer completely flaked out at the end (e.g, no meter, AC disconnect was a shell with wires lying loose in a DC junction box in the ceiling, etc.) , so I had SE turn over the monitoring site admin to me. As a result I do have access to the admin configuration. I tried using the monitoring site charge/discharge profile (not the best interface IMO), but I was getting unexpected behavior. When I asked SE about the behavior, they said the only charge/discharge profiles that would work for my configuration (no meter, I haven't gotten around to acquiring & installing one) was "Backup Only" (I could have PV or PV/Grid charging) and "Discharge to Maximize Export" (to the backup reserve limit). Seems strange, but that's what they said. SE also told me there was no way to set a lower baseline SOE using "Backup Only."

              So I'm on the lookout for a WattNode Modbus meter to add in at some point. It's not urgent to me - more like fine turning - because the system is cranking out the watts and the battery backup works as I want. I'll try experimenting with both the web charge/discharge profile and the one built into the menu.

              Thanks again for the reply!
              Sorry to hear about your installer. I had a very similar experiences since I had to pay a different (more reputable) company to come and finish my system when the original installer flaked out. How were you able to get the job completed and get electrical approval?

              You absolutely want to get that meter. The meter only costs about $250 so it's relatively cheap (pending electrician) and easy to install. More importantly, the meter adds significant functionality to the battery setup and gives real-time use data (import/export) that updates every 5 seconds. Below is what the app and web monitoring show me:

              Monitoring.jpg

              Comment


              • #8
                >How were you able to get the job completed and get electrical approval?
                The installer obtained inspection and got approval then the electrical company came out and swapped the meter. Battery charged up, power being generated, but there were some remaining issues that weren't readily apparent - especially to me. Probably the worst of it was that I discovered the external disconnect was a complete sham - nice and official looking to get past inspection, but the wires just lying loose in in a DC junction box in the ceiling. Looks good from the outside - I'm assuming the installer did it just to get past inspection and get his check. I guess you could argue the inspector might have asked why AC and DC wires were mixed in the same junction box (my new electrician said "nope"), but the inspector probably didn't realize what he was looking at.

                >You absolutely want to get that meter. The meter only costs about $250
                Yes, I do want to get the meter. I haven't seen any compatible meters for $250...where would I find that? Ironically, I do have 2 CTs (SE-ACTL-0750-200-NA) my installer left behind - probably intended for a meter that he didn't get. It doesn't look too hard to install/configure the meter myself (from videos on the net).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by v10tdi View Post
                  >You absolutely want to get that meter. The meter only costs about $250
                  Yes, I do want to get the meter. I haven't seen any compatible meters for $250...where would I find that? Ironically, I do have 2 CTs (SE-ACTL-0750-200-NA) my installer left behind - probably intended for a meter that he didn't get. It doesn't look too hard to install/configure the meter myself (from videos on the net).
                  This is the meter I have: https://www.solar-electric.com/solar...BoCa3UQAvD_BwE

                  If you are comfortable in a 200A distribution panel and can install a breaker, you could install this yourself. There is also some configuration on the inverter but nothing too difficult. The monitoring will automatically update to show this data once the inverter is configured.

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                  • #10
                    Ordered it. Thank you for the link.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I installed the meter this morning and everything appears to be working. I had a few questions, but I'll start a new thread for that.

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