Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 45
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Kona, Hawaii
    Posts
    23
    Post Likes

    New member - Reviving a 2 megawatt solar thermal array using WebCTRL v4

    Greetings everyone. I have been tasked with restarting a 2 megawatt (thermal) solar array and hoping to use the existing WebCTRL v4. My previous experience was as the operator of this plant, now I'm in charge. I'll need some help.

    This plant has been sitting unpowered and idle for 5 years. So far I have gotten the plant powered and can move the array (single axis tracking array) manually. Started WebCTRL Server and client but am having trouble reloading software into the field controllers. The server is on an Ethernet LAN and a ALC250 router is providing communication to the field controllers (BACnet) and to the solar field via RS485. These both seem to work but I am still just beginning.

    Some of the field controllers have come to life and provide valid data on-screen but others only show question marks. This is my first quest. Reloading the modules software is unsuccessful due to "Unknown failure"s.

    Have not gotten to the solar field yet as I want to establish solid communication and programming to the field controllers first. Today I plan to start the oil circulation pumps today in manual just to assure they still work and check for leaks.

    I will provide more information when I see that I have attracted some attention and can get help over this first hurdle.

    Dean.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Kona, Hawaii
    Posts
    23
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    I'm just getting started and was a bit freaked out at first. Downloaded & printed the manuals for the various Automated Logic Controls (ALC) field modules (LRG250 router, M4106 control module, MX0320 expander, MX880 expander, M0100 module, SE5104a module) and started to read. Also printed the SiteBuilder manual and EIKON LogicBuilder manuals. Found all the modules have Format buttons and most have 10,000 hour backup batteries. I'll order new batteries for everything and press the Format button on individual modules. I'll take a logical approach to resetting each module/set. I'll post what happens...

    Dean.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Sea to Sky
    Posts
    3,384
    Post Likes
    Off topic......don't you have a CRD to put back together? ;p.......ok back on track.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Sea to Sky
    Posts
    3,384
    Post Likes
    Others who are more familiar with those controls will likely chime in, but I would make an educated guess that the question marks indicate lost communication with those controllers. If so, you will need to troubleshoot the communication wiring itself.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Kona, Hawaii
    Posts
    23
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by BALloyd View Post
    Off topic......don't you have a CRD to put back together? ;p.......ok back on track.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
    Suddenly it's a small world ! Yes I do. Never a dull moment.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Sea to Sky
    Posts
    3,384
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Dean View Post
    Suddenly it's a small world ! Yes I do. Never a dull moment.
    Lol....WolverineFW would be my other handle.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Kona, Hawaii
    Posts
    23
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Ahh, WolerineFW. You are the Pene-Exclave dweller. Thanks for making yourself known.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    146
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Dean View Post
    I'm just getting started and was a bit freaked out at first. Downloaded & printed the manuals for the various Automated Logic Controls (ALC) field modules (LRG250 router, M4106 control module, MX0320 expander, MX880 expander, M0100 module, SE5104a module) and started to read. Also printed the SiteBuilder manual and EIKON LogicBuilder manuals. Found all the modules have Format buttons and most have 10,000 hour backup batteries. I'll order new batteries for everything and press the Format button on individual modules. I'll take a logical approach to resetting each module/set. I'll post what happens...

    Dean.
    HOLD ON. If the controllers are communicating you do not need to press the Format button. Changing the battery can be done with the module powered up and will not cause an issue. If i remember correctly Island controls on Oahu is the local dealer and have a great reputation.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Kona, Hawaii
    Posts
    23
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Thanks unonut,

    Fortunately I have not had the time to work at the solar plant last week so I did not press the Format button(s) yet. I'm glad to get your advise as we come up to speed with WebCTRL and the ALC modules.

    We do know about Island Controls (Jason F.) but we're hoping to get as far as possible before we have to bring them in. This project is expected to last 4 years then shut down again. As with anything else, my guess is it will run longer.

    Dean.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Kona, Hawaii
    Posts
    23
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    unonut,

    Discussed your comments at work and was told that our contribution to reviving the solar plant is "contribution in kind". Means we can only use our own talents and minimal monies. We have 1 year starting from June 1, last month.

    So, I greatly appreciate your help. Once over this hump of getting WebCTRL to reload the modules successfully, then we will be on the downhill slope.

    I'll post what happens when I get my next chance to spend some time there.

    Dean.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    146
    Post Likes
    No worries,
    Sent me an email and i can give you a Step by step on how to determine the configuration of the Communications and also how to determine what is commiunicating. Question marks could mean that a module has lost its programming.
    Give me a shout. Im a night owl and understand the time difference. Lived on Oahu for a couple years when i was in the service.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Kona, Hawaii
    Posts
    23
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Will be spending a half workday at the solar plant tomorrow (7/24). Will change the batteries in all the ALC control modules and firing up the WebCTRL system again. Hope to eliminate the remainder of the question marks.

    The contractor who will eventually use the heat from the solar plant will be there to gather information from me, and provide clues to his process to me.

    Also, the sun will pass directly overhead Kona leaving no shadows on vertical posts at 12:31 noonish. That is called Lahaina Noon, or Cruel Sun Noon.

    Dean.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Kona, Hawaii
    Posts
    23
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Half a day (7/24) at the solar plant turned out to be a sales trip to give a potential tenant (contractor) a thorough tour of the plant to see if they had room for their equipment, see what worked and what didn't work. We did a good tour and the contractor felt much better about their quest.

    Spent another half day (7/25) and changed the batteries in the ALC modules. This made no difference to the WebCTRL problem of displaying question marks instead of data. Now I have two definite paths of troubleshooting: 1) find a failure in the communication between modules. 2) get the maintenance manuals for the ALC M4106 Control Module to discover if there is a CMOS memory that needs reloading, and how flash it.

    I am assuming that, similar to a PC, the battery keeps a tiny CMOS alive. After the CMOS battery had gone dead, the CMOS would lose it's program and would have to be reloaded.

    I will check the BACnet wiring between the ALC LGR250 Router and the downstream ALC control modules.

    Dean.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •