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  1. Yesterday
  2. At least with firmware v117 pulling the solar panels off the MSB charger for 30 seconds or so then reconnecting would cause it to attempt to find MPP again, but from experience it could still find a false knee point again and park there. If you have a bench/lab power supply with current limiting (important that it has this) you can attach it to the MSB's PV input. Depending on the exact firmware version* the voltage the charger needs to see above the battery voltage before it goes into MPPT mode varies but 6V over is pretty much a safe bet. That'd let you determine input power pretty accurately and indicate if there is something awry electrically with the MSB and/or output figures reported. *the end user can not determine the exact version of the firmware installed. only the major version, 116, 117, 118, 119 number is available.
  3. I would suggest using an external meter to measure the actual power flow. There's a chance the MSB might be mis-reporting the actual current. You can sorta guesstimate the "maximum power point" voltage--in my experience, the MPPTs usually either run at close to the actual power point, or they yank the panels all the way down to battery voltage.
  4. Yes it's fixed.. I believe they set it for optimal at the equinoxes.. So not optimal for winter or summer.. Somewhere in between. I really did think I saw above peak in the cold when I first got the panels.. I wish I had a high voltage DC-DC so I could manually find the MPPT. My RD power supplies only handle max of 70V input.. So I'd have to test each panel individually! I could also "rent" a panel tester from amazon and test individually also.. I think the flatness is more coming out of shade at the "top" of the curve... I never come close to fully charging the batteries.. So the MPPT *shouldn't* be throttling.. Ugh.. I wish I wouldn't have fried my other 40A MSB... Maybe I'll "rent" a victron 150/35A. to see if I could get more out of my panels... I think there's a prime version.. I do hate doing that! And at ~$350.. it's not too bad.... Next time I'm home with full sun I'll re-power the MSB controller to see if that does anything I guess... Jim
  5. Way too easy to forget that people live further away from the equator than I do 😇
  6. Ah, but here's something to keep in mind: I am assuming your panels are on a fixed array. The sun is significantly lower in the sky in the wintertime than in the summer (at least in the Northern hemisphere). From a direct point-of-view, the panels are getting LESS actual sun in the wintertime due to the LESS-than-perpendicular angle. This will result in reduced power output. At least from my guesstimates, a 15-degree angle (0-degree being flat on the ground) tilt is good for summertime. Wintertime is best at closer to a 60-degree angle (IIRC, could be wrong!)--and if your panels are at 15-degree angle, they're basically tilted away from the sun in the wintertime. But something to keep in mind: if it's cloudy, the best panel angle is flatter (i.e. closer to 15 degrees), though then snow likes to build up on them. So many compromises!
  7. The fun of selling rebranded Chinese stuff...and the reselling company doesn't have the foggiest notion what's actually inside.......or how it even works.
  8. I initially bought a Morningstar Tristar TS-MPPT-60. It remains to date the best MPPT I've ever had. (Also the most costly 😉.) Super easy to interface to, very efficient (no fans), excellent array tracking, etc. Stellar A+ customer service as well. My unit currently has 44,547 hours on it, and I'm very happy with it. My biggest complaint is the 150v max input voltage--seeing as the higher wattage panels these days do so by increasing the voltage, and keeping the current closer to 8A. Works fine on the smaller panels I have, though. Added more solar a few years back, and utilized two Epever Tracer 8420AN MPPTs. I like them for the 80A output current, the 200v maximum DC input, AND the fanless design. However--as with any Chinese-designed units, they have their shortcomings/quirks. Most notably, the voltage regulation is SO slow that they will "overshoot" the desired battery voltage for several seconds if a large load (i.e. load on an inverter). And not by just a half volt, either. Epever's official solution is to set the "high battery voltage cutoff" so if their MPPT overshoots the specified voltage, it will shut itself off, then regroup and start over again. Quite stupid, but hey, like @TheButcher pointed out...good luck getting any improvement to the firmware of a Chinese-produced product. Sean is currently testing/trialing some AmpInvt MPPTs. Another Chinese company; obviously, I'm not keeping close tabs on Sean's system, but what I HAVE noticed when I've been at his place, is that these tend to fail at determining the actual MPPT point from the panels. In other words, they'll have the solar panel voltage down at battery voltage (i.e. 55v) in dark cloudy weather--which KILLS your power production. The max power point is somewhere past 100v--which with the "constant current" solar panel characteristic, means it's only able to produce HALF the power it should. These MPPTs also utilize fan cooling.
  9. Panasonic panels would definitely not be showing that sort of age related power reduction at 3 years old. The curve in image 2 is what I'd expect to see in a system where the charger and what ever is on its output is not being maxed out, ie the charger is taking everything the panels can provide. The flatness in the first image is what I'd expect to see if the panels are exceeding either the charger's abilities, that could be panel watts out or it could be thermal limiting in the controller but I don't know if the MSB does that, or it could be that what ever is on the output of the MSB is not capable of accepting any more current. If the charger / load is being maxed the panel voltage will go up so graphing panel voltage at the same time as watts produced would be a good way to track that. I'm guessing you have cloud going past in the last 2 images. A word about solar charger limiting. If the unit is rated at 40A at it hits 40A you might think that's maximum wattage right there. But it isn't. Maximum wattage is a function of that 40A multiplied by the output side voltage. If the output voltage is being held down by a load your wattage will be lower. 28.4 * 40A = 1136W, 26.5 * 40A = 1060W
  10. The victrons are just soooo much more expensive! I wish I could justify it! I wonder what @Sid Genetry Solar and @Sean Genetry Solar are using now.... If I had time, I'd hack my broken one and try to write my own MPPT algorithm... But I'm not retired yet! So no! 🙂
  11. They are Panasonic 330W panels. about 3 years old.. But the panels in question sat in my garage for about a year and a half... So I assume they don't really degrade if they are not in sunlight? This is the data from today.. Max is 1.2kW. Here is from June when I started keeping this data.. Here is the same day zoomed in on the peak: So It looks like it's getting a higher power after it's re-tracking.. But I also swore it was steady state over 1.5kW when I first started using one of the MSB's before I got the data acquisition going...
  12. Last week
  13. 2 cents worth of comment. My main charger is a Victron with two Renogy 'Rover' 40A chargers assisting. The Renogy chargers perform well enough. They appear to be OEM by SRNE with a custom case and branding to Renogy's spec. SRNE model is ML2440. Internally they are the same, the bluetooth dongle is the same, and the modbus register map is the same, same serial port options RS232 / RS485 etc etc. Like so many other Chinese products the calibration isn't fantastic but it's pretty close. They do have external temperature sensors to support proper charging of lead acid batteries but do not extend temperature control to be able to halt charging in low temperatures, like the Victron charger can, to assist with lifepo4 batteries that have a BMS that doesn't include low temperature charging cut off. There are bugs in the firmware, to be expected given country of origin and there has never been, at least as far as I can tell, a firmware update from SNRE and don't even think about asking Renogy for a firmware update (cue raucous laughter).
  14. I have always understood that warning to refer to the AC input--which can't handle a 3-wire AC input ("L1 N L2"), or the inverter will blow up due to a backfeed condition. Beyond that, there is absolutely no issue with split-phase output from an "AMG transformer." For that matter, there isn't any intrinsic design difference between the "5-wire" transformers and an "AMG 6-wire" transformer. Phase voltage imbalance is in most cases a complete non-issue--it's just the customer who notices it. As most appliances accept a fairly large voltage range, it generally won't hurt or affect appliances in any way. Most of the PJ inverters only regulate output voltage from a single 120v phase anyway--and often don't even have an AC output filter cap on the other phase. This is even on the "5-wire" transformers, one of which I have on my bench right now. The L2 wire goes directly from the transformer to the terminal block. No filtering or regulation whatsoever on the other phase--and that's a v9.0 PJ inverter with a copper-wound transformer.
  15. I could literally cut one of the secondary windings' wires out of that lug, crimp them into a separate lug, and *bam* I'd have a "6-wire AMG" transformer. (Sure, the 2 windings probably won't be balanced voltagewise, but that has nothing to do with the point I'm making here.) I know the point you are making that PJ let the buyer decide if the inverter is 120vac single phase or can be jumper to be 240vac single phase with one 120vac line . PJ on ebay say not L1 N L2 . I know it can be wired L1 N L2 to the house but the 2 windings may not be balanced voltagewise . Is that the reason PJ say not L1 N L2 ? IF jumper for direct 240vac single phase 60 hz and L1 and L2 not balanced is ok to start an inductive load but if wire split phase and a large load is on one of the 120vac line then the inductive load will not get the full 240vac output and may not start . That split phase may have an unbalanced line and reason to not L1 N L2 but wired as L1 and L2 direct to the well pump without neutral and ground connect to the inverter case .
  16. The MSBs are consistent...ly wrong with the figures they display. The degree varies from unit to unit, but probably no proper calibration and using the cheapest parts they can source no doubt is the cause. But in my experience at least they are consistent in that if the unit reads X watts under a set of conditions it will still read X watts under those same conditions in a few months time. It may be the poor MPP tracker algo in the MSBs showing it's head. I have 2 v117 (with some version of v118 firmware loaded) and a v119 and they all have issues to some degree with finding and holding onto MPP - ie, they might find a knee point and track that instead of doing a full sweep and finding the real MPP etc. If the panels individually can produce enough voltage to let the MSB attempt to find MPP and also charge a battery, even if that means temporarily hooking it up to a reasonably discharged 12V battery so that the battery can sink all the current the MSB provides, hook up each panel individually to the MSB and compare the power output of each one. This assumes no shading and all in the same plane. That'll at least let you know if one panel has reduced output compared to the others. What make, model and age are your panels, Busky?
  17. Panels do age over time, with a degredation of output. Wouldn't expect it to be hugely significant though. Regardless of that, solar panels will produce significantly more power in colder weather. You can see this from the solar panel datasheet, where the voltage, current and wattage temperature coefficient ratios are provided (usually in percent per degree Kelvin). The significant increase in solar panel voltage can cause system failures (due to overvoltage!) if not accounted for during design. Also worth keeping in mind that the power monitoring in the MPPTs may not be super accurate--and this could also explain the discrepancy you're seeing. (Even my expensive Morningstar Tristar TS-MPPT-60 registers a significantly higher amperage on the readout than I actually measure with a clamp DC ammeter, easily off by a whole amp. Not sure which one isn't reading right!)
  18. I remember when I first got my MSB controller(s) I would get over the rated panel power in the cold (winter). I have 4x 330W panels (2s2p) I swore I remember getting over 1500W at one point. Now I peak at about 1200W. Now I do have 2 controllers I've played with.. I have a 40A and a 60A... I fried the 40A (I think) so I'm only using 60A one. I don't recall which one I saw the 1500W with. Has anyone seen anything like this? Does anyone get over the panels rating in the cold, cold weather? Jim
  19. Again, this is distinction with absolutely no real-world difference. EVERY SINGLE PJ TRANSFORMER with a split-phase output...has TWO 120v secondary windings, wired in series. The junction point between the 2 coils is the Neutral line. If the two windings are put in series inside the transformer...if they're put in series at the crimp lugs on the end of the transformer wires...or if they're put in series externally with an "AMG" jumper wire, it makes NO electrical difference. I've even rewound an older copper-wound PJ transformer (with the colored insulation wires)...and the windings were series-connected internally at the "neutral" junction wire connection. If you unwind a PJ transformer, you'll find all 3 windings (the two 120v windings, and the "DC" side winding) are each separated with a layer of clear plastic wrap.
  20. I dunno where you get all this. There is no internal difference to the transformers, just how the wires are presented. There is no magic "5-wires" and "6-wires" transformer difference. The only practical difference is how the wires are presented. I have a "5-wire" ASL9 PJ transformer. It still has 2 secondary windings, just the same as the "AMG" transformers. The only difference on the "5-wires ASL9" is that the "middle" wires of the windings are both crimped into a single lug. I could literally cut one of the secondary windings' wires out of that lug, crimp them into a separate lug, and *bam* I'd have a "6-wire AMG" transformer. (Sure, the 2 windings probably won't be balanced voltagewise, but that has nothing to do with the point I'm making here.)
  21. No idea where you get this. The "AMG" version is based off the GS concept for rewiring the transformer for full output at different voltages. It is equally at home with a single-phase output, as well as a spit-phase output. Just rewire it as necessary. Only difference being that the PJ version only ever regulates 110v from one secondary winding...the other winding is unregulated and appears to also be unfiltered.
  22. Ah thanks for the explanation, it makes sense now. Your welcome . The old 5 wires transformer has the one secondary as a 240vac winding and the center tap makes two 120vac secondary for L1 N L2 . The AMG has 2 separate secondary windings and both are 120vac so not good for L1 N L2 . PJ in China do not understand 240vac split phase and advertise the AMG as having more output but actually output less with the rev 11.1 control board .
  23. Ah thanks for the explanation, it makes sense now. I've never quite got my head around the US split-phase system. In the UK and most of Europe domestic supplies are usually single phase 230v, industrial supplies usually 3-phase.
  24. Is there some reason for this difference or it just some more dodgy chinese maths? I'm not sure whether the 'split phase' thing makes the same size inverter somehow able to miraculously produce more output than a single-phase 230v unit? You are not off topic . The new AMG with 6 wires transformer with 2 secondary 120v windings is better for single phase 120vac . Your 8 kw 230 vac single phase 50 hz produce more output than the AMG wired as split phase L1 N L2 . The AMG should only be wire L1 and L2 and Ground for 240vac 60 hz single phase OR 120vac single phase . The old 5 wires transformer has one secondary winding and a center tap is good for split phase L1 N L2 . AMG is not recommended for L1 N L2 .
  25. It shipped as 43 lbs, and seems to have a pretty hefty transformer. I'll post a photo of the transformer, later, as well.
  26. Maybe I'm going a little off topic now, but whilst we are on the subject of wattages I noticed that the casing of your '8000w AMG' inverter looks more like the '6000w 230v' that they used to sell on ebay UK. So I had a look on the ebay US website and sure enough the '8000w split phase': https://www.ebay.com/itm/403247207055 looks like the '6000w single phase' 230v unit I have seen for sale on the UK ebay site before (no listings at present for comparison). The '10000w split phase' unit https://www.ebay.com/itm/403127622433 looks identical in casing size etc. to the 8000w single phase 230v that they sell on ebay UK: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/373439121334 (thats the one I have). Is there some reason for this difference or it just some more dodgy chinese maths? I'm not sure whether the 'split phase' thing makes the same size inverter somehow able to miraculously produce more output than a single-phase 230v unit??
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