Outback to Growatt system upgrade - Keep using Outback and other ?

robby

Photon Vampire
Joined
May 1, 2021
Messages
3,260
View attachment 81223
I can export it as an image if you want. But that seems to defeat the purpose which is to have smart shapes and connectors that adapt to changes in the drawing. And it does support layers so you could just look at the AC or DC side.
Thanks, let me take a look at what their software can do and I will post back. I am just trying to avoid another learning curve since I already know how to use Photoshop.
 

newbostonconst

Solar Addict
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
984
More effective - yes. Cheaper? No. The Growatts were $900 each instead of $4000 for the GS8048. I have a lot of respect for Outback. They are rock solid but I don't think they are going to survive if they can't compete with Chinese manufacturers like Growatt.
I do think I have too many panels, fuses and breakers. It's turns into a hair ball pretty fast. Once I settle on all the major components then I will trim away the fat.
I think you are also going to need an isolation transformer....might find a cheap used one, there are a bunch on ebay.
 

cliffgrimes

Off Grid living!
Joined
Feb 24, 2022
Messages
17
I just purchased
  • 4x EG4-LL 5.12 kWh batteries (20 kWh total) from Signature Solar,
and am waiting for the SC4880 SCC to be back in stock.
In the mean time I was going to just use my MX60 and disconnect the BTS, set Equalization interval to 000 and manually set the Float and Absorb values.

I'm still running off my FLA batteries but want to switch ASAP.
 
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cliffgrimes

Off Grid living!
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Feb 24, 2022
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Daily usage is in the 10 to 20 kWh range but we now have caretakers living in the second house and we do not generate enough power to keep the water tanks full and are having to spend too much on propane for the generator. It takes thousands of dollars to fill our two 500 gallon propane tanks and I would rather spend that money on solar.
Plus I want to add some mini-splits for AC in the summer and eventually heat water with electricity. Oh, and charge my Tesla :cool:
Are you still using the Outback MX60 SCC?

I just purchased
  • 4x EG4-LL 5.12 kWh batteries (20 kWh total) from Signature Solar,
and am waiting for the Growatt SC4880 SCC to be back in stock.
In the mean time I was going to just use my MX60 and disconnect the BTS, set Equalization interval to 000 and manually set the Float and Absorb values.

I'm still running off my FLA batteries but want to switch ASAP.
 
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cliffgrimes

Off Grid living!
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Feb 24, 2022
Messages
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@viccooper did you end up adding the growatts?
I did switch to the Growatt SC4880 SCC.
I'm not sure I like it though. The Outback gave me much more information and data logging.

I don't have the Growatt connected to the Lifepower4 EG4 batteries either - not sure if it is possible.
The manual that came with the unit is different than the manual you can download off the signature site.

The batteries seem to be charging OK but I am getting some voltage glitches on my inverter.
It is an old Trace SW4048 but has been running fine for the last 20 years until now.

I may switch back to the Outback to see if this clears up.
 

cliffgrimes

Off Grid living!
Joined
Feb 24, 2022
Messages
17
The Growatt SC4880 I purchased just died! It was showing charging but 0 A were going to the batteries.
No faults or anything. It showed the battery voltage and the PV voltage but no A or W.

I replaced it with the old Outback MX60 and I'm back charging.
 

Mjk

New Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2022
Messages
1
Your MX60 works with the Lithium batteries? I was told I had to upgrade to get lithium….
 

cliffgrimes

Off Grid living!
Joined
Feb 24, 2022
Messages
17
Yes, working great so far.
You just have to set the absorb and float values appropriately.
I have the EG4 Lifepower4 LFPs and have the float set to 53.8V and the absorb set to 54.5V. I had to play with the values a bit.
I did disconnect the BTS and turn off the equalize - set the interval to 0.

The charge controller does not care what it is connected to - it just "translates" PV power to battery power.

I've been talking to someone else here who has been using one for the last two years with no issues.
 
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sunshine_eggo

Happy Breffast!
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Oct 26, 2021
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HBR, USA (6500' in ENE AZ)
Your MX60 works with the Lithium batteries? I was told I had to upgrade to get lithium….

Nope. You were lied to.

When "Lithium" refers to "LiFePO4," "LFP," "Lithium-Iron," etc., they are effectively drop-in replacements for lead acid in almost all cases.

Any assertion that a charger "won't work" with LFP is almost always driven by sales motivation, i.e., someone is trying to sell you something, or they are just ignorant.

Often, many "Lithium" chargers actually have undesirable features based on misconceptions by charger manufacturers or for reasons that don't apply to one's situation.

It is stated repeatedly, "LFP doesn't need a float charge." That is very true if you are placing the battery in storage. If you're using it in a cyclic power system, it IS necessary because the float voltage is what tells the solar to power the loads by ensuring the battery doesn't drop below the float voltage.

For a 12V system, if a charger:

1) Charges to 13.8-14.6V.
2) Floats at 13.6V (can go as high as 13.8V if cycling regularly).
3) Doesn't equalize above 14.6V.
4) Doesn't use temperature compensation.

(Multiply voltages by 2 for 24V and 4 for 48V)

It will work fine in the vast majority of cases.

Concerning #3, even if a charger does force an equalization cycle, the battery BMS will cut off charging to protect the cells.

For something like the MX60, FM60 or FM80, they will all work fine with lithium as their charge parameters can be customized. The key issue is that the temp probe must not be installed to ensure temperature compensation is not active, or it needs to be disabled in the configuration.
 
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