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Schalk van der Merwe avatar image

ESS questions - and measuring power on AC-out2 / non essential loads

Hi all

I have:

  • 1x Quattro 48/8000/110-100/100
  • 1x CCGX
  • 2x Solar MD 3.7 with DataloggerV2
  • 2x Solis 4kW G4 1ph Grid-Tie Inverter, each with a ET112
  • extra ET112 for measuring AC-OUT2;


I want too:

  • See power output on essential and non-essential loads on CCGX and VRM;
  • be able to close the relay on AC-OUT2 in an off-grid environment (load shedding) and power non-essential loads if there is enough power available from PV;
  • In On-grid periods power both AC-OU1 and AC-OUT2 with PV first;
  • Only charge batteries from PV

I want too see who has done something like this, and get feedback and collaborate please.


Issues arrived:

  • Will the Solis inverters give an error during in off-grid if a CT clamp is configured? The theory is it should use the CT clamp during on-grid and frequency shifting from the Quattro during off-grid to regulate power output. Was advised it should not give an error, will give feedback, we are close to powering up the PV;
    • Since i started this post some feedback came back, Solis said there is a 'Fail-safe - Disabled" i have to select to avoid this error;
  • I am using ESS, so non-essential loads is displayed as next to the grid with an icon on a CCGX, which is fine. Please correct me if i am wrong, but my understanding is that ESS wants to only use AC-OUT1 with a ET112 on the grid input, so all power via inverter will be considered essential loads, and the difference between that and the meter, will be displayed on non-essential loads. Since my requirement is to power AC-OUT2 loads in daytime and if the PV is strong (still not sure how we will be configuring this, will get to it later) I had to connect the non-essentials on AC-OUT2 instead of leaving it on the DB as the manual suggest. My biggest question is how do i program the CCGX to display the AC-OUT2 on the CCGX/VRM with a ET112? The only options are inputs (Grid, Generator and PV Inverter, the last one i will be using for the Solis PV Output).
  • Assistance to program the Quattro to only charge batteries from PV;
  • I found assistance to program AC-OUT2 to close during Off-grid here: https://community.victronenergy.com/questions/1343/enabling-multi-ac-output-2-during-grid-outage.html

I did possibly miss something in the manuals, so please just direct me to the correct one should that be the case;

MultiPlus Quattro Inverter ChargerCCGX Color ControlVRMEnergy Meterac out 2
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4 Answers
Daniël Boekel (Victron Energy Staff) avatar image
Daniël Boekel (Victron Energy Staff) answered ·

Hi @Schalk van der Merwe

I'm going to try to answer some of the questions, but really, my only answer should be:

-Please get an experienced Victron installer involved, as yes you can do this yourself, but for such a system you need to learn about everything any installer knows already. therefore the official policy here is also:

https://community.victronenergy.com/questions/5889/new-victron-community-guidelines.html

Not really the place for System Design

Long, multifaceted issues involving system design, multiple run on questions with very specific installation and nuanced details are not really well suited for the structure of the community. It is best to have a single question with a clear title per post. More complex enquires are best be directed towards your distributor.

---

I have:

  • 1x Quattro 48/8000/110-100/100
  • 1x CCGX
  • 2x Solar MD 3.7 with DataloggerV2

So the 'Solar MD's are 'sunspec' compatible? e.g. no need for ET112?

  • 2x Solis 4kW G4 1ph Grid-Tie Inverter, each with a ET112

Solis not sunspec compatible? its usually best to use an inverter that is, cheaper and easier.

  • extra ET112 for measuring AC-OUT2;

That doesn't work unfortunately


Please note that you have more than 8kW PV power available, you'll have to connect the excess to the input of the Quattro to adhere to the 1:1 rule

I want too:

  • See power output on essential and non-essential loads on CCGX and VRM;

only loads between grid meter (you could use the 'extra' ET112 for that) and Quattro/Multi are shown as 'non essential'

  • be able to close the relay on AC-OUT2 in an off-grid environment (load shedding) and power non-essential loads if there is enough power available from PV;

The behavior of AC-out2 is fully configurable using assistants, this changes the standard behavior (standard: power AC-out2 when Ac-in is available)

  • In On-grid periods power both AC-OU1 and AC-OUT2 with PV first;

This is standard behavior with ESS systems

  • Only charge batteries from PV

Also standard behavior - until batteries drop 5% lower than the set minimum SOC level in the ESS settings, the system will then recharge the batteries back to the set level. Also, when 'sustain' mode becomes active (setting in ESS assistant), system will slowly charge up to 'sustain' level

I want too see who has done something like this, and get feedback and collaborate please.

The thing is: you've asked so many questions, it is about all the information learned in a 2 day Victron training, assuming attendees have enough background knowledge. That doesn't mean these questions cannot be answered, but it will lead to an unreadable topic. Hence the 'one question per post' rule

Issues arrived:

  • Will the Solis inverters give an error during in off-grid if a CT clamp is configured? The theory is it should use the CT clamp during on-grid and frequency shifting from the Quattro during off-grid to regulate power output. Was advised it should not give an error, will give feedback, we are close to powering up the PV;
    • Since i started this post some feedback came back, Solis said there is a 'Fail-safe - Disabled" i have to select to avoid this error;

The CT clamp has no influence what so ever on the PV inverter.

  • I am using ESS, so non-essential loads is displayed as next to the grid with an icon on a CCGX, which is fine. Please correct me if i am wrong, but my understanding is that ESS wants to only use AC-OUT1 with a ET112 on the grid input, so all power via inverter will be considered essential loads, and the difference between that and the meter, will be displayed on non-essential loads.

That is correct

  • Since my requirement is to power AC-OUT2 loads in daytime and if the PV is strong (still not sure how we will be configuring this, will get to it later) I had to connect the non-essentials on AC-OUT2 instead of leaving it on the DB as the manual suggest. My biggest question is how do i program the CCGX to display the AC-OUT2 on the CCGX/VRM with a ET112? The only options are inputs (Grid, Generator and PV Inverter, the last one i will be using for the Solis PV Output).

Displaying the output on AC-out2 seperately from AC-out1 is not possible

  • Assistance to program the Quattro to only charge batteries from PV;

ESS assistant does that for you

that works very well, my advice is to use the 'generator start/stop' assistant, as you can also set other values, like low voltage (good for when SOC calculations are off), and availability of AC-input.

like this for example:



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Hi @Daniël Boekel (Victron Energy Staff)

Thank you very much for the detailed response. Sorry that I broke the '1 question rule', intention was not only to get an answer on the 1 major question, but also to have a post as a referral for future installers.

This post was not intended as question of system design, the design was approved by 2 distributors. It was intended as a project overview to help me resolve the last few issues with the help of community.

I am an installer, I attended every event since May 2019. We have not yet had an in-depth discussion on ESS (which was not my major concern as there are a few in-depth article on it).

My main question was highlighted and about measuring power on AC-OU2: In training it was mentioned that the Quattro cannot measure current out on AC-OUT2, and that we need a ET112 to do that. My distributor confirmed that was their understanding also. We just did not know HOW to do it, by creating this post i was hoping someone would just send me a link on HOW. You did say this is not possible, I will liaise with my distributor to confirm if this was a misunderstanding.

I can see that the way i structured my post could have been frustrated to you with the many questions, and for that i apologize and thank you for your systematic answers. Some replies to your feedback separate.


I'm going to try to answer some of the questions, but really, my only answer should be:

-Please get an experienced Victron installer involved, as yes you can do this yourself, but for such a system you need to learn about everything any installer knows already. therefore the official policy here is also:

https://community.victronenergy.com/questions/5889/new-victron-community-guidelines.html

Not really the place for System Design

Long, multifaceted issues involving system design, multiple run on questions with very specific installation and nuanced details are not really well suited for the structure of the community. It is best to have a single question with a clear title per post. More complex enquires are best be directed towards your distributor.

---

>>Noted sorry.


  • 2x Solar MD 3.7 with DataloggerV2

So the 'Solar MD's are 'sunspec' compatible? e.g. no need for ET112?

>> I think you are confused with DataLoggerV2 and Energy Logger, DataLoggerV2 is a Solar MD product and required to communicate to GX on CAN.Bus. This was not a question, this was to make sure no-one said, "Hey, you need a DataloggerV2 if you install a Solar MD"


  • 2x Solis 4kW G4 1ph Grid-Tie Inverter, each with a ET112

Solis not sunspec compatible? its usually best to use an inverter that is, cheaper and easier.

>> Not a question, just a statement. I was recommended to install a ET112 with ALL Grid-Tie inverters to display power generation on GX;


  • extra ET112 for measuring AC-OUT2;

That doesn't work unfortunately

>> This was my question, will get feedback from distributor.


  • See power output on essential and non-essential loads on CCGX and VRM;

only loads between grid meter (you could use the 'extra' ET112 for that) and Quattro/Multi are shown as 'non essential'

>> Issue is it will only display non-essential load in on-grid period, thus the reason i wanted to put in on AC-OUT2, but again, will refer back to distributor;


  • be able to close the relay on AC-OUT2 in an off-grid environment (load shedding) and power non-essential loads if there is enough power available from PV;

The behavior of AC-out2 is fully configurable using assistants, this changes the standard behavior (standard: power AC-out2 when Ac-in is available)

>> Not worried about this as it will be easily taken care of with assistants;


  • In On-grid periods power both AC-OU1 and AC-OUT2 with PV first;

This is standard behavior with ESS systems

>> Yes, not a question, System Design statement, sorry


  • Only charge batteries from PV

Also standard behavior - until batteries drop 5% lower than the set minimum SOC level in the ESS settings, the system will then recharge the batteries back to the set level. Also, when 'sustain' mode becomes active (setting in ESS assistant), system will slowly charge up to 'sustain' level

>> Yes, another System Design statement, sorry


I want too see who has done something like this, and get feedback and collaborate please.

The thing is: you've asked so many questions, it is about all the information learned in a 2 day Victron training, assuming attendees have enough background knowledge. That doesn't mean these questions cannot be answered, but it will lead to an unreadable topic. Hence the 'one question per post' rule

>> Ok will do


Issues arrived:

  • Will the Solis inverters give an error during in off-grid if a CT clamp is configured? The theory is it should use the CT clamp during on-grid and frequency shifting from the Quattro during off-grid to regulate power output. Was advised it should not give an error, will give feedback, we are close to powering up the PV;
    • Since i started this post some feedback came back, Solis said there is a 'Fail-safe - Disabled" i have to select to avoid this error;

The CT clamp has no influence what so ever on the PV inverter.

>> This one both my Victron distributor and Solis distributor will disagree with. Maybe i misunderstood you, but the Solis will require a CT clamp to avoid feeding to the grid, but again it is then the wrong platform, sorry.


  • Since my requirement is to power AC-OUT2 loads in daytime and if the PV is strong (still not sure how we will be configuring this, will get to it later) I had to connect the non-essentials on AC-OUT2 instead of leaving it on the DB as the manual suggest. My biggest question is how do i program the CCGX to display the AC-OUT2 on the CCGX/VRM with a ET112? The only options are inputs (Grid, Generator and PV Inverter, the last one i will be using for the Solis PV Output).

Displaying the output on AC-out2 seperately from AC-out1 is not possible

>> My main issue, will refer to distributor


  • Assistance to program the Quattro to only charge batteries from PV;

ESS assistant does that for you

>> Thank you, this was another question, but will refer all outstanding questions on this to distributor and refer to ESS manual, as it did not do it so far. This is definitely one of those cases where i just "missed a tick-box or something small like it" somewhere :)


that works very well, my advice is to use the 'generator start/stop' assistant, as you can also set other values, like low voltage (good for when SOC calculations are off), and availability of AC-input.

>> Thank you very much!!!

Riaan Barkhuizen avatar image
Riaan Barkhuizen answered ·

Hi @Schalk van der Merwe

Have a look at this post, not sure if you are trying to achieve this?

https://community.victronenergy.com/questions/40135/measuring-ac-out-2.html


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Hi @Riaan Barkhuizen, thx for the feedback.

@TiaanGreensun is my distributor, i did not know he also created a post.

warwick avatar image
warwick answered ·

In an off-grid scenario, anything plugged into AC-Out-2 should not be powered. AC-Out-2 is bridged to AC-In and is augmented by excess power from the inverter but ONLY when the grid is there.

Without a grid, there will be nothing on AC-Out-2 to measure.

In my case, I have geysers on AC-Out-2 and the oven on the main DB. I have an ET112 to the immediate right of the Eskom feed to measure the ovens load.

While the grid is there, the AC-Out-2 loads are lumped in with the critical loads because there is only 1 CT.

I hadn’t thought about charger power but I assumed that is subtracted from critical loads because there is measurement of how much DC is being applied to the battery.

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@warwick

AC-out2 is -not- directly coupled to AC-in, it has it's own relay to switch off, and you can use assistants to set the behavior of AC-out2 as needed. (like switch off on low SOC)

warwick avatar image warwick Daniël Boekel (Victron Energy Staff) ♦♦ ·

Thank you.

warwick avatar image
warwick answered ·

My understanding is that there is only 1 CT in the Quattro and thus there is no device capable of measuring AC-OUT-2 separately.

@Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) do you have an updated block diagram for the Quattro which shows the CT. The one in the manual does not.

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Hi, yes, that was exactly what was said in training, and if we wanted to see AC-OUT2 power we had to install a ET112, which i got. Now I am struggling to do so.
On advice of my distributor I am going to install an additional ET112 just after grid, that way we hope that it will measure total consumption from grid, minus the power ofver AC-OUT1 and the rest will go to AC-OUT2. My issue with this is that it will only work in on-grid environments.
Then something i want to mention, both AC-OUT1 and AC-OUT2 power is currently displayed out CRITICAL LOAD on CCGX, combined. Any idea why? Do you think it takes the power coming in on AC-IN1 and puts it there? I was under the impression it measures the power on DC-Charger, AC-IN1, AC-IN2 and AC-OUT1, but not AC-OUT2. Point is if it measure on DC-Charger, AC-IN1 and AC-OUT1, the difference should be allocated to AC-OUT2, right?

warwick avatar image warwick Schalk van der Merwe ·

I think it is wrong to say that an ET112 will show you what is on AC Out 2. Please see the energy meters manual and the diagrams. None of them have an ET112 measuring just AC-Out-2. They’re called “grid meters” in the context of how Victron uses them because they tell the Multi or Quattro what the overall grid value is so the loads not connected to AC-Outs can be calculated.

Yes, but this was my understanding from a training session that if i want to measure output on AC-OUT2 to use a ET112. I will clear this up as I think I might have been a misunderstanding.

Right now my distributor recommended that i move the ET112 to the Eskom main, that way in on-grid i will be able to see my non-essential load separately (with ESS it creates a block on CCGX called LOADS and one called BACKUP for all essential loads). Although LOADS will be displayed wrong, it will/should get the job done. Reason i did not do it from the start is because in off-grid i wanted to show the essential and non-essential loads separately.

Ingo avatar image Ingo Schalk van der Merwe ·

I think this statement is true but not in the way you want.

"Yes, but this was my understanding from a training session that if i want to measure output on AC-OUT2 to use a ET112. I will clear this up as I think I might have been a misunderstanding."

Measuring the output is relatively simple, the integration what I think you expected is something else.

None of the systems like VRM and VenusGX has the ability to display the value read from the second ET112 (mostly true, read further). There will probably be huge development time that needs to go into this if it ever becomes a feature. So let's think about this. The Inverter only has one point of measure that combines both outputs. To seperate this it needs to 'know' there is an optional ET112 on ACOut2 and use those values to subtract it from ACOut1 otherwise you will have a Total Value of both and an ACOut2 value. You probably want all three, Total, ACOut1 and ACOut2.

On VRM there is also no widget to display the information in two separate instances - hence more development.

I know it will be nice to display both values, even I tried to get this going a while ago but gave up. The best you can maybe try is to set the second ET112 as something else like a Generator. This might display 'some' value on the Generator widget but it will probably be a negative value which might not display at all. It might even skew all other values and disrupt your Grid/Battery/Solar stuff used as you now have a 'Generator' that sucks power and not produce power.

I only see three options:

1. Log an enhancement request via your distributor to have another option to the Grid Meter application (Grid, Solar,Generator and ACOut2) and hope for the best OR

2. Put something custom in place that can read the Modbus data from your optional ET112. Perhaps a Raspi with LCD screen to display the values OR

3. Get a new Grid meter that has LCD screen to display the values locally on the meter inside your DB. I have an old PowerLogic PM100 that shows me the ACOut2 data I need albeit there is no integration anywhere.


thank you very much for those suggestions and confirming that my original plan has to be slightly modified :)

I am however going to leave non-essentials on AC-OUT2 for now, with ESS and in on-grid environment it will take power from PV then grid, where AC-OUT1 will take power from PV then battery.

Off-grid it will take power as per SOC conditions on AC-OUT2.

Thx all for the feedback, this was kinda what i was hoping to achieve.