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  1. Richard H
    Offline

    Richard H EF Member

    Location:
    wells somerset
    Hello professionals out there! This is my first question on this forum.
    I am not a professional and have no electrical qualifications.
    I have a PV and battery system. The battery was installed in 2016 and is still under guarantee. It is a Samsung 3.6 KW in the A10 series. Samsung have now stopped that side of their business and have passed it over to Hansol (who apparently made the thing for Samsung in the first place). It was installed by Avonside Eco Homes, which was a subsidiary of Avonside Roofing, but is no longer trading.
    Recently, the battery system has started randomly shutting itself down. Switching it off at the main isolator and on again resets it, when it will run again for random amounts of time - it could be a minute or two, or some hours or even all day.
    I contacted Hansol's service department, who monitored it remotely through its internet connection and said that over-voltage on the grid was causing it to trip. They said it is set to trip in excess of 253 volts. I contacted Western Power Distribution, who thought this unlikely, but fitted a monitor to record voltages continuously for a week. During that time the A10 continued to trip randomly, but the grid voltage never went higher than 245.8.
    In the meantime, I had noticed that the system only tripped when the Immersion controller was set to automatic. Ours is an Absolute Energy Master, and was installed by Avonside as part of the package that came with the battery. I pointed this out to Hansol, who said that they didn't know what that was (although I told them) but that the A10 is not designed to run with one. Absolute Energy have now gone out of business, so I cannot pursue that line. Avonside now have nothing to do with batteries, only PV panels, and Avonside Eco Homes no longer exists, so no joy there either.
    My suspicion is that the immersion controller is not to blame, as I have two - the other is running a heater in the hall (only used in winter, when the hot water is produced by a back boiler in an Aga, which we turn off in summer and use an immersion heater). I have tested the second one, and the A10 trips randomly with that too. It seems unlikely that both would fail in the same way at the same time. Also, much more recently I have noticed that if I don't switch the immersion controller on (i.e. to automatic) until the battery is nearly fully charged (85% or more), then the system does not trip, but works perfectly, with current fluctuating correctly with the level of sunlight and other appliances being used.
    So, if anyone has managed to plough their way through this and got to this point, do you have any ideas about what the cause of this might be and whether I can get anything done about it?
     
  2. marconi
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    marconi Regular EF Member

  3. Richard Burns
    Offline

    Richard Burns Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Business Name:
    Richard Burns
    It might be that when both heater and immersion controllers operate at the same time the demand is greater than the 3.6kW and overloads the unit.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  4. Richard H
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    Richard H EF Member

    Location:
    wells somerset
  5. Richard H
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    Richard H EF Member

    Location:
    wells somerset
    Sorry, I wasn't clear. I only operate one controller at a time. In fact, if they are both on, it sends half power to each.
     
  6. marconi
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    marconi Regular EF Member

    Could you also provide me with make and model of your immersion heater controller?
     
  7. marconi
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    marconi Regular EF Member

    Re#4 - you have done.
     
  8. Wilko
    Offline

    Wilko Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Business Name:
    Wilko Electrics
    Hi - never fear, several of us have read through it all now :) . Doing my very simple logic on the problem - either there is an overvoltage and the unit correctly trips, or there is not an overvoltage and something else makes it trip but it (incorrectly) reports the fault as overvoltage. It might be interesting if you can create a trip by manually operating the immersion controller (?).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Richard H
    Offline

    Richard H EF Member

    Location:
    wells somerset
    The controller is an Absolute Energy Master and I attach a copy of the installation Guide, which gives some technical details. They have now gone out of business, so the contact details on the back page lead nowhere.
    The photograph on the front page of the installation guide is of the monitor, which is near the consumer unit and meters etc for ease of attaching the current-sensors to the relevant cables. The screen is touch-sensitive and is how the various settings are made - e.g. touching the green circle marked A will turn the immersion controller on / off. The monitor sends a radio message to the power throttle which is near the immersion heater (or other heater) and regulates the amount of current flowing to the heater.
    The power throttle is a white box with no identifiers on the outside. I have attached a photograph of the one controlling the immersion heater so you can see the positioning, and a photograph of the inside of the other as it's easier to get at. They are identical.
    I hope that helps. I also hope you can open the photos in full size - not sure I've attached them correctly.

    IMG_2044.JPG

    IMG_2046.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Richard H
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    Richard H EF Member

    Location:
    wells somerset
    Thanks very much for your interest. It was Hansol who told me that it is overvoltage. The A10 has an LCD screen which shows an error message - E903. The User's Manual describes that as "Single fault event. Occurs on system connection standard single fault over. Contact the installer immediately."
    I have not been able to provoke a trip manually. By observation I have been able to identify the most likely circumstances in which one will occur. I can turn the controller on and off manually - see my other reply today (to Marconi) with details of the controller. You can even turn the immersion heater on at full current manually - i.e. bypassing the automatic setting - that does not make it trip.
    It appears only to trip when on automatic setting and the battery is less than approx 80% charged (but that may not be totally correct).
     
  11. marconi
    Offline

    marconi Regular EF Member

    Thank you for your #4. The ESS displays a number of 4 digit fault codes beginning with E. See Section 9. Are any other codes other than E903 displayed please?

    Also what ESS operation mode (see Section 8.3) is selected?

    Also check that the current transformers are correctly placed, closed properly and plugged in.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  12. marconi
    Offline

    marconi Regular EF Member

    First, did you ever have a period of trouble-free operation?

    Second, could you provide a sketch of how the ESS, the Absolute energy controllers, the heater, immersion heater and your home wiring have been combined into a system, taking care to show where the current transformers are placed and to what (ie ESS or Absolute Controller) they are connected to.

    It seems to me you may have two PV energy diverter/throttle systems working alongside each other and maybe not working coherently together. For example, the Abosolute Controllers have no planned interaction with the ESS Operation modes and vice versa. Thus there may be some unintended consequences.

    It would be good if you could describe how it worked when you thought all was well.
     
  13. Wilko
    Offline

    Wilko Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Business Name:
    Wilko Electrics
    The mains voltage monitoring you've had done appears within range. If it had been out of range, I'd expect to see E702 displayed and then restart after 1 minute, which is not what you've seen. So I don't think much of the advice you've had that there is supply overvoltage, two strikes I think.

    IMG_1151.jpg
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Richard H
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    Richard H EF Member

    Location:
    wells somerset
    Thanks for this. E903 is always the code when the system trips.
    I'm afraid your question about which ESS operation mode is selected is too technical for me, and I don't understand what the manual has at section 8.3 on page 45.
    I assume by 'the current transformers' you mean the white boxes in my photographs that Absolute Energy call the Power Throttles. They appear to be correctly wired, and the one in the airing cupboard was placed by Avonside. They both work perfectly well between tripping.
     
  15. Richard H
    Offline

    Richard H EF Member

    Location:
    wells somerset
    Yes, the system worked properly from installation (early 2016) until about
    Sorry - I got called away in the middle of replying and I think the system 'timed out', so this may be a bit disjointed. The fault developed in about May this year, so it worked fine for about 15 months.
    I have drawn a diagram (attached) of how the system seems to me, but there are a lot of wires at the 'main switchboard', so I may not have got it quite right. However, what I know is right is that there is no direct connection between the Absolute Energy Master and the A1o. The Energy Master gets its information from clip-on sensors and sends 'instructions' to the power throttles by radio. The appliances get their power from the household wiring through the throttles. The two throttles are not working alongside each other - it is either one or the other. The one not in use is switched off at the wall and therefore cannot receive a signal from the control unit.
    When it was working well, it was doing exactly what it does now, but not tripping. It was possible to leave it switched to Automatic all the time and whenever there was 'spare' electricity, instead of feeding it back into the grid, the control unit would divert it to whichever throttle was switched on. Now, whenever it trips, it doesn't just stop sending power to the throttle, it switches the whole system off, so it stops generating too.
     

    Attached Files:

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