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Looking at your 6kw inverter


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I found Genetry from watching a youtube video & was impressed with your new custom build. I have a couple Solinba 4kw inverters but 1 of them has gone thru 3 boards in 2 years & that's not reliable enough for me so I'm wanting to try out your 6kw but have a few ?'s.

I'm only using 120v, no need for 220 but can your inverter put out the full 6kw on just 1 leg or just half? the other is, my system is automated & I need a remote on/off inverter connection, is this something I could have added to your inverter. I'd have to pass on your inverter if I couldn't have that feature.

Also you mentioned in that video about mosfets blowing for no reason & I've had that happen. You were talking about putting some diodes in with the mosfets to protect them better. Did you ever figure out how to prevent that & put it in your design? & what is the weight of that 6kw?

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4 minutes ago, Bossrox said:

I'm only using 120v, no need for 220 but can your inverter put out the full 6kw on just 1 leg or just half?

You would have to specify this in the ordering information, but the inverters can be configured for 120v output @ full load.  (Paralleling the 2 output phases instead of putting them in series for 240v split-phase.)  Keep in mind that the output terminals (and AC Mains relay) are rated at 50A...which works out fine at 6kw (6000 / 120 = 50A...redline!)  We will probably have to beef up the chassis wires to the output terminals, but other than that it should be fine.

 

5 minutes ago, Bossrox said:

the other is, my system is automated & I need a remote on/off inverter connection, is this something I could have added to your inverter. I'd have to pass on your inverter if I couldn't have that feature

What kind of signal is provided by the automation?

  • There's a chance I might be able to have the inverter automate itself (i.e. if this is by battery input, or loss of AC input signal, etc.) 
  • The AC input could be used as an on/off signal if that would work?  (i.e. if AC signal input, then inverter turns on...no input, inverter turns off)
  • Currently, the inverter connects to a remote server with WiFi via MQTT, and on/off commands can be sent to it that way--though I'm leery of relying on "the cloud" for anything critical!  We do have one customer who uses this to auto shut down the inverter if the ambient temp is too low.  (Finally got them an update to automate that internally.)
  • I am planning a physical hardwired RS-485 MODBUS port (electrically isolated), over which it would be possible to read any and all info on the WiFi board, as well as control any function on the WiFi board.  I haven't designed the little interface board, but it will not take long.  (It attaches to the WiFi board.)
    • Some customers have asked about local-network MODBUS-over-TCP.  This is a possibility as will.
  • There's a possibility you could hardwire the control signal across the power switch (SPST contacts, referenced to battery negative), though this would require opening up the inverter.
    • Getting more specialized, there is a "SPEC" connector on the GS Rev. B Control board, which provides 3 inputs to the CPU--any of which could easily be used for a hardwired on/off signal.
  • If you're talking a more industrial-embedded application, we do have an up-and-coming "commercial control board" that provides an RS-485 MODBUS port directly on the control board (dispensing with the WiFi board altogether).  Depends on your needs, this might be a more viable option?

 

11 minutes ago, Bossrox said:

Also you mentioned in that video about mosfets blowing for no reason & I've had that happen. You were talking about putting some diodes in with the mosfets to protect them better. Did you ever figure out how to prevent that & put it in your design?

Absolutely ;-).  After figuring out why the FETs were blowing (severe EMI/ring induced on the long signal cable to the FETs, punching through the gate barrier) + inadequately sized FET drivers, the diodes have completely neutralized the problem.  We have not had a single set of FETs blow in normal operation after applying this fix, despite some pretty serious code mistakes!  (Caveat: mistakes made during development tests will blow FETs, no way around that!)

 

13 minutes ago, Bossrox said:

& what is the weight of that 6kw?

Umm...I have to say I don't know the answer to that question ;-).  I do know that the 12kw sample inverter is 106lbs.  And I know that a 3kw sample inverter (for a different project) tipped the scales at 42lbs.  Can't seem to find the photos of the weight of a 6kw; I could ask Sean if this is important...but it'll be somewhere between these numbers...probably thereabouts of 60lbs (item weight, not shipping weight.)

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I should provide an example of a "Serious code mistake"...try this beauty that Sean caught @ 4kw load.......

image.png.8691b0d61b99025eb6b4b1ba07552621.png

Took one glance at that and I knew exactly what'd gone wrong with the new experimental code test.  Was an easy fix (unhandled register overflow), though the inverter was so loud that he heard it from 2 stories up.  Didn't blow any FETs...those same FETs are still in that inverter today, working flawlessly.

By development mistakes, I mean things like a bad connection on a test fixture, etc.

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On 2/28/2021 at 7:31 PM, Sid Genetry Solar said:

I should provide an example of a "Serious code mistake"...try this beauty that Sean caught @ 4kw load.......

image.png.8691b0d61b99025eb6b4b1ba07552621.png

Took one glance at that and I knew exactly what'd gone wrong with the new experimental code test.  Was an easy fix (unhandled register overflow), though the inverter was so loud that he heard it from 2 stories up.  Didn't blow any FETs...those same FETs are still in that inverter today, working flawlessly.

By development mistakes, I mean things like a bad connection on a test fixture, etc.

He's got bats in his scope.🤣

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I don't see a reply I posted earlier so here it is again.... On your question of what I need for a remote on/off connection, I use a timer connected to a relay to turn my inverter on/off replacing the inverters stock on/off switch. It appears your unit uses a momentary push to turn on/off where my method wouldn't work to replace your switching? My switching essentially is the same as an on/off light switch wired away from the inverter. Hope that clarifies what I would need.

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24 minutes ago, Bossrox said:

I don't see a reply I posted earlier so here it is again.... On your question of what I need for a remote on/off connection, I use a timer connected to a relay to turn my inverter on/off replacing the inverters stock on/off switch. It appears your unit uses a momentary push to turn on/off where my method wouldn't work to replace your switching? My switching essentially is the same as an on/off light switch wired away from the inverter. Hope that clarifies what I would need.

I sent a lengthy reply within 30 minutes of your message; it's the 2nd post in this thread.  Might be something off with the forum and notifications?

The power switch on GS inverters is a latching on/off SPST button; the switch is common ground, low voltage, low power (signal).  Extremely easy to control with a relay.  Or any of the other 6 ways I mentioned 😉.

 

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Sid will be able to answer that one, however, a battery disconnect would do the same thing, that what I use.  They make relay big enough to handle the load.

 

and the push switch, I wouldn't be surprise if it could be fitted with a extra wire to do the same thing from the inverter, probley would have to order it that way.

 

Why do you need a on and off switch?  Only thing I can see something like that is needed if you going to put it in a place you are not going to hardly go to, like a RV, mobil home, or maybe a power shed. which in any of those cases, a simple power relay could be use to turn the main power on and off from the battery side.  All my built batts have bluetooth bms that I can turn them off from over 40 feet.

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3 minutes ago, Sid Genetry Solar said:

Technically the switch is an SPDT, but we don't use the other side 😉

Well there you go, so a simple external wire harness with two banana plugs on from the power side and the other from the other output side of the switch would by pass the button switch.  Seems like that was thrown in as a after thought for something like that. most inverts that have the on and off remote switch uses a phone plug to connect to the by-pass.

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Ah yes, the reply was in notifications, I didn't see that. The reason I have an automated inverter switch is, I run on batteries at night if I get a good charge during day, however my timer switch is set to shut down the inverter in the morning so if the day starts out overcast & or stays that way, I won't be draining the batts down too low, then when or if the sun returns I can manually switch it back on.

Doing a switch on the batteries is a more costly endeavor as I'd need at least a 150 amp DC relay & that just puts an obstacle in the path of power transfer with contacts that will eventually char from the high current switching & arcing.

So if you can put together a unit with a remote on/off hookup that bypasses the normal switch & can deliver the full wattage on 120v, you've got a sale & if it costs a bit more to make those changes, that's ok.

Hope to hear back that you can do that. I'm ready to send in an order.

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1 hour ago, Bossrox said:

The reason I have an automated inverter switch is, I run on batteries at night if I get a good charge during day, however my timer switch is set to shut down the inverter in the morning so if the day starts out overcast & or stays that way, I won't be draining the batts down too low, then when or if the sun returns I can manually switch it back on.

Umm...would completely customizable UVP / OVP (undervoltage protection / overvoltage protection) settings coupled with auto-restart...do the exact same function for you??  That's already implemented in the GS inverters out of the box.

Actually have a customer using the inverter that way...on a 36vDC system.  Set the UVP shutdown to the minimum you want your batteries to get to...if that voltage is reached, the inverter will shut down (yes, you can disable the beeper alarm).  Then when (if!) the sun comes back up in the morning, the inverter will notice the battery voltage is above the "alarm" threshold due to being charged, and auto-restart into "on" mode.

There's also an "auto power save" feature, where the inverter will automatically enter "power save" mode if the battery voltage is below a setpoint.  ("Power Save Mode" is only valuable IF any connected appliances can also handle this function.  It'll power on for a few seconds [user customizable again], then if the load is less than the threshold [you guessed it, customizable], it'll turn back off for a set time [user settable].)

 

1 hour ago, Bossrox said:

So if you can put together a unit with a remote on/off hookup that bypasses the normal switch & can deliver the full wattage on 120v, you've got a sale & if it costs a bit more to make those changes, that's ok.

Full wattage at 120v, can be done, no problem.

Remote on/off hookup...can be done.  Assuming none of the software features above can do what you need, we could mount a 1/8" panel mount jack to the lid, and wire it directly to manually bypass the switch.  (This would be a low voltage signal--in other words, if +12v was gated into it, it would likely damage the inverter's control board.  Relay contacts will be perfectly fine.)  Additional cost?  If anything, it'd be minimal--just a bit of labor and a suitable jack.

 

1 hour ago, Bossrox said:

Hope to hear back that you can do that. I'm ready to send in an order.

We would welcome your order of course, however please be aware that we are still trying to get our inverters in stock!  The first shipment of inverters is pushing our patience with delays (not to mention being all sold, I believe).  The 2nd shipment is coming through a different port and carrier entirely; we are expecting the shipment to arrive--pending any further unexpected delays--by the end of this month.

If you place an order, it will go on the backorder log, and you'll be among the first to get the inverters as soon as they arrive.

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Re-read what you were doing...ha, I didn't quite understand it the right way the first time.  So while the above automated features I mentioned are completely present, they won't quite do what you need 😉.

But wiring a connector for an on/off switch is very easy to do.  Obviously you'll have to have the inverter's power switch in the "off" state to be able to control it.

And of course 120vAC @ full load is completely possible.

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That sounds terrific. 1 other thing I'm concerned about is the 120v ac terminal block, 6000 watts @ 120 needs at least #4 wire connected to it. I want to be sure it can accept that size & lock down on it firmly. If that's no problem then I'll send over an order for 1 & somewhere down the road I'll need another for back up. Oh, & after the warranty is over, if there's any trouble with it where it needs parts, do you care if I order the parts needed & install them myself? I've had to replace 3 boards in my inverter so far so I'm pretty familiar with that sort of stuff. It's just so expensive to ship something that heavy back & forth.

Lastly, when I'm ready to order, can I call your company & pay over the phone with debit? That way I can be sure you have the customizing details I'm needing.

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1 hour ago, Bossrox said:

That sounds terrific. 1 other thing I'm concerned about is the 120v ac terminal block, 6000 watts @ 120 needs at least #4 wire connected to it. I want to be sure it can accept that size & lock down on it firmly. If that's no problem then I'll send over an order for 1 & somewhere down the road I'll need another for back up. Oh, & after the warranty is over, if there's any trouble with it where it needs parts, do you care if I order the parts needed & install them myself? I've had to replace 3 boards in my inverter so far so I'm pretty familiar with that sort of stuff. It's just so expensive to ship something that heavy back & forth.

Lastly, when I'm ready to order, can I call your company & pay over the phone with debit? That way I can be sure you have the customizing details I'm needing.

 

Far as I know Sean will call you before he setup your inverter.  I'm sure he can write up a work order over the phone and you pay with your card on the web site, either with card stripe or paypal.

 

Far as the size wire. not sure what size wire it will take I know I use 10/3, but that running 240v.  I would think 6/3 would be good enough to run 50A of 120V  cause I know 10/3 is up to 30A so maybe 8/3, depends how much power you going to pull, if you going to pull 50A on a non-stop cycle, then yeah 6 or 4.

 

I'm not sure what size wire the terminal block can handle. hope its not like the PJ version, I hated that thing the screw would strip.

 

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2 hours ago, Bossrox said:

1 other thing I'm concerned about is the 120v ac terminal block, 6000 watts @ 120 needs at least #4 wire connected to it. I want to be sure it can accept that size & lock down on it firmly.

Photos on the website show the first order of inverters (using the more common "lug" terminals rated at 60A); I discovered some 60A wire screw terminals (insert wire, screw down)...which are on the 2nd shipment and forwards.  Maximum wire diameter on these terminals appears to be roughly 6mm in diameter (eyeball measurement, I don't have a caliper); according to an AWG diameter chart, 4AWG wire comes in at 5.1894mm--so it'll be a tight fit, but possible 😉

Ampacity seems to be quite a variable number...4 AWG wire ampacity ranges from 60A to 135A on charts depending on the context, so...!

All internal AC wiring in the 6kw inverters is 10AWG; obviously, for 120vAC single-phase output, we'll need to double them up.

 

2 hours ago, Bossrox said:

Oh, & after the warranty is over, if there's any trouble with it where it needs parts, do you care if I order the parts needed & install them myself?

Absolutely no problem with replacement parts, etc.  In the event of a catastrophic failure, you should only need to replace the (4) MOS boards, and (rarely) the LF Driver board.  That's it.  (Well, unless someone connected the battery input to the AC line--that'd almost certainly cook everything inside to a fried crisp.  Yes, people are really that dumb...)

I don't expect any reliability issues with the inverters; obviously, being pretty new, things can happen...but they shouldn't be prone to failure.  My (48v) house inverter has 3,224 hours on it in the current incarnation (I've reset the hourmeter several times with board upgrades as we developed the GS inverter--the actual inverter has been in use several years now!)  Zero issues (apart from the ones I introduced by testing code or modifying it!)  Still has the original set of FETs in it.

If you encounter problems with your inverter down the road, we will happily provide replacement parts if needed.  Warranty stuff is just in case there's a manufacturing flaw or something of that sort in the inverter--and the "terms and conditions" pretty much only because people will otherwise open it up, break it, then claim warranty...when it wasn't our fault that it failed.  If someone knows what they're doing (and is honest about things), we might be willing to work with them during the warranty period to save cost.  Depends what the issue and context is.

2 hours ago, Bossrox said:

I've had to replace 3 boards in my inverter so far so I'm pretty familiar with that sort of stuff. It's just so expensive to ship something that heavy back & forth.

I have to ask: what is your current inverter?  (Just completely out of curiosity.)

 

2 hours ago, Bossrox said:

Lastly, when I'm ready to order, can I call your company & pay over the phone with debit? That way I can be sure you have the customizing details I'm needing.

I believe so.  (I do the R&D; Sean is responsible for sales and support.)  You can reach him at 833-GENETRY; please note that he has to have automated spam/scam blockers to filter out all those robocalls/telemarketers...not to mention being an actual human being with an actual life, so it may not be the easiest to get him on the phone 😁

So far it sounds like you need the following customizations:

  • 120v single-phase output
    • what if these are 2 hot, 2 neutral on the connector??  (Not sure if you're planning to use AC input as well.)
  • 1/8" phones jack for external power switch control (PLEASE NOTE: NOT A SIGNAL INPUT, RELAY CONTACTS ONLY!)
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Yes, the 2 120v posts would actually be better. That way I can use smaller wire & join them together into a suitable block made to hold a big #4 wire. According to the wattage chart I saw, #4 is good to almost 6kw under 100 ft.

& yes, the remote switch option will be connected to a relay that's either full on or full off, no signal.

I've got 2 Solinba 4kw inverters now & 1 of them is going on 2 years old that I had to replace 3 boards in so far. The company has been terrific sending all the parts free from China but with that much failure, I can't see buying a bigger model from them. I'm banking on what I see coming from your end as something I can count on better & your price for what you're offering is way better than the better known brands.

I'll be placing an order next week, gotta get a few more jobs done here to get the funds for it. Thx Sid, you've been very helpful.

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37 minutes ago, Bossrox said:

Yes, the 2 120v posts would actually be better. That way I can use smaller wire & join them together into a suitable block made to hold a big #4 wire. According to the wattage chart I saw, #4 is good to almost 6kw under 100 ft.

So the 5-pin 60A terminal block has the following connections in 240v split-phase mode:

  • L1
  • N
  • L2
  • Input L1
  • Input N / L2 (depending on 120v / 240v AC input)

If in 120v single-phase mode, we could make it the following:

  • L
  • N
  • L
  • N
  • Input L

Unless you need the AC input function, that should be quite adequate for your needs.  Makes it much easier for Sean to rewire, too 😉.

And like I told another customer, if down the road (past the warranty period...or if you just don't care about the warranty), it is completely possible for you to open up the inverter, reconfigure the transformer secondary wires, reconfigure the CPU setup, and have yourself a 240v split-phase inverter.

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11 hours ago, Sid Genetry Solar said:

Here's a photo of an inverter in the 2nd shipment (which I believe you would get if you ordered):

image.thumb.png.26e6ae47f28fd8b272693b13ab044def.png

You can see the AC output terminal in this photo (box cover removed):

image.thumb.png.a9010f97e10f7fce20da6848a4cc8bdb.png

 

(Both of these photos were from the factory before the shipment was sent out)

Much better output terminal orientation.

Hey Sean, can I swap the V1 I ordered for a V2 when it comes in?

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1 minute ago, Waterman said:

Hey Sean, can I swap the V1 I ordered for a V2 when it comes in?

You'd have to call him to work that out; I don't think he has time for the forum.  And wait even longer for your inverter 😉.  The no-delays estimate on the 2nd shipment was towards the end of this month/early April.

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1 minute ago, Sid Genetry Solar said:

You'd have to call him to work that out; I don't think he has time for the forum.  And wait even longer for your inverter 😉.  The no-delays estimate on the 2nd shipment was towards the end of this month/early April.

I can live with the delay. The way the terminal block is on the V2 would allow swapping from the PJ/Upower to the GS without any wire change on that end. All I would have to change is the 2/0 wire.

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23 minutes ago, The Blind Wolf said:

Uhm, wait, its a five wire block?  Oh boy. . .  I was so hopeing it would be useing the PJ bottem terminals instead of the stupid center block.  I like the other kind, easy to insert wire, tighten down and no fuss.

 

So the 2nd shipment uses a "PJ bottom terminals" only 10x better (a single 5-wire block).  No flimsy bendy plastic terminal--no, it's a hard plastic terminal, and a LOT larger.  Just insert the wires, tighten the screw down, and you're done.

Unfortunately the 1st shipment uses the large "PJ barrier strip blocks" (what they use on their 9/15K+ inverters)--that's all I was aware of at the time.  A 3-position terminal for AC output, and a 2-position terminal for AC input.  Yes, putting wires in them is a bit of a pain, to say the least.  And unfortunately no, we can't swap out the old terminals for the new ones...they're mounted differently.

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8 minutes ago, Waterman said:

I can live with the delay. The way the terminal block is on the V2 would allow swapping from the PJ/Upower to the GS without any wire change on that end. All I would have to change is the 2/0 wire.

We certainly appreciate your patience.  This Frontline Freight shipping company is trying our patience to no end--suffice it to say that they'll never get another dime of our business.  EVER.

Second shipment is coming in a NY port, not a CA port.  Out of FF's service area.  I just hope there isn't some other just-as-lousy carrier on the East coast...

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Uhm, tempting to wait for the v2 as well.

 

Too bad you can't just replace the face plate with a updated model down the road, or would the be possble?

 

Of course I have no issue, once it wired up, I'm not touching it.  I already got me two 10/3 wire ready to hook up that goes to the breaker.  one wired with L1 l2 and N, and the other L1 and l2 only as Sid described to wireing.

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