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Frequently asked questions

Areas of Application

Learn more about the countless application possibilities of the Power-Blox technology.

Products

The PBX-200 is the off-grid and energy storage solution that grows with your needs.

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Here you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions and the latest version of our user manual. If any question remains unanswered please do not hesitate to contact us.

Manual

Would you like to dive deep into the matter? Then download the detailed PBX-200 user manual with detailed technical information on maintenance and service.

General Questions

  • What is the difference between PBX-200 and other Solar Home systems on the market?

    A Solar Home system is always designed for a specific use. It has a rated power and storage specification. Most systems cannot be expanded at a later date - you will be forced to buy new and more powerful devices as soon as you need more power. With the PBX-200 series, you can start with one unit and later expand the system with additional units. Each PBX-200 adds 200 Watt to power and 1.2 kWh to storage capacity. Your energy production is also increased as each PBX-200 is connected to its own solar panel. This allows you to start small and scale the system whenever you need it. 

  • What is «swarm electrification»?

    «Swarm electrification» is a new and patented way of building electricity grids (the so-called «mini-grids»). Normally, a power-grid always has a main source that is responsible for building the voltage and frequency in the grid. This is the «master»-device. Without this «master» the mini-grid stops working. With «swarm electrification» we have radically changed this approach. In a swarm network there is no master device. It is only the sum of all individual elements (= Power-Blox cubes) in the network. Each element supports the entire network. It starts to run with the first element and will continue to run as long as a device in the network is switched on. With this system, building a network is very simple and flexible. Plug & Power - connect all devices and build your own local network in seconds. No special knowledge is required. It's as easy as plugging your vacuum cleaner into the wall socket. 

  • What is the difference to the TESLA solution?

    The TESLA Power-Wall is fundamentally different from the Power-Blox. From a technological point of view, the Power-Wall is above all a battery system which enables the solar energy generated by the client's solar system to be stored and used at any time, e.g. at night. However, TESLA Power Walls do not contain swarm technology like Power-Blox uses them and require specialists to be installed. They also need a stable wall for mounting (120kg for Powerwall 2). 

Technical Questions

  • How much power does a PBX-200 have?

    A Power-Blox has 200 Watt inverter power (230V AC). For a short period even 400 Watt. More power can be achieved by adding more PBX-200 cubes.

  • Does Power-Blox provide three-phase AC?

    The PBX-200 series is currently single phase only. However, if you have already installed a three-phase system, the PBX-200 can support one phase. For example, if a three-phase system has an unbalanced load, the PBX-200 can be used as a «buffer element» to support the overloaded over-phase.

  • What is the current from a PBX-200 enough for?

    The current from a PBX-200 is sufficient for:  

    • A small refrigerator* 
    • A television 
    • Three LED lights (7W each) 
    • mobile phone charger 

    *Caution with high starting currents in refrigerators. Only use devices with «soft start». A solar module with between 200 Wp and 500 Wp depending on the region, inverter with 200 Wp and battery with 100 Ah (1.2 kWh) provide enough power for these devices. This may vary depending on solar radiation in your region. In northern countries such as Switzerland or Germany, we recommend the PBX-200 version with the larger 300 W solar module.

  • How do I build a mini-grid with Power-Blox?

    Setting up a mini-grid is easy. You have 2 possibilities:  

    • Create a central installation of PBX-200 (stacked) in one place, from where you distribute the power to all consumers via a switchboard with conventional wiring. 
    • Create a decentralized installation by setting up PBX-200 at different locations and connecting them using the «snowflake topology». If there are less than 40 cubes (a total of 8 KW), you can use a 16mm cable and no specific fuses. Up to 10 PBX-200 form a cluster with internal 10 A fuses. 

Repair and Troubleshooting

Please consider that if your problem is not solved by the actions described below, the PBX-200 should be checked by a certified Power-Blox service technician.

  • General

    Many sporadically occurring errors can be rectified by restarting the PBX-200. It is recommended to restart the PBX-200 first in case of errors: 

    • Switch off the PBX-200 via the main switch.  
    • Disconnect the solar module from the PBX-200 using the solar input connector on the PBX-200 or the solar connector on the solar module. 
    • After approx. 30 seconds you can switch the PBX-200 on again via the main switch. 
    • Connect the solar module to the PBX-200 again.

    If these actions do not solve the problem, the PBX-200 should be checked by a certified Power-Blox service technician.

  • The LED display shows nothing

    Check that the main switch is set to "I" (On).  

    • If it has just been switched on, wait 60 seconds. 
    • If no LED is still on after one minute, the battery charge level is probably so low, that the electronics cannot start up.  
    • Check that the cable between the PBX-200 and the solar module is correctly connected and that the connector is engaged. 
    • Make sure that the solar module: is not shaded and no snow, leaves, etc. lie on it 

    Switch off the PBX-200 via the main switch. 

    • Have the PBX-200 charged via the solar module for at least one sunny day in the switched-off state.

    If these actions do not solve the problem, the PBX-200 should be checked by a certified Power-Blox service technician.

  • No output voltage at the 230 V socket

    Check that the main switch (3) is set to "I" (On). 

     

    Is the LED indicator lit? 

    • Only one red LED is lit or flashing. 
      • The PBX-200 is discharged too deeply to be able to supply power. 
      • Have the PBX-200 charged via the solar module for at least one sunny day or on the mains until at least six green LEDs light up again. 

    Yes, several LEDs are lit. 

    • Was there a 60 second wait after switching on the PBX-200?
    • The device requires a certain amount of time before power is available at the socket.
    • Plug the consumer appliance into the second socket and check whether the voltage is present there (switch on consumer appliance). 
    • Was a too large load connected? 
    • A PBX-200 delivers 200 W. If the load is too high, the output is switched off. 
    • Disconnect the connected consumer device from the PBX-200. 

     

    If these actions do not solve the problem, the PBX-200 should be checked by a certified Power-Blox service technician.

  • The PBX-200 does not charge, the battery indicator shows a falling charge level although the sun is shining

    Check that the cable between the PBX-200 and the solar module is correctly connected and that the connector is engaged.  

    • Make sure that the solar module:  
      • is not shaded 
      • no snow, leaves, etc. lie on it 
    • Check the performance of the attached consumer equipment. If the load on the PBX-200 is greater than the energy from the solar module, the PBX-200 will discharge even in sunshine  
      • If necessary, reduce the number of attached devices to allow the PBX-200 to load.

  • The PBX-200 regularly goes into fault mode (whole display flashes red)

    Check whether the performance of all connected consumer devices is higher than the total performance of the PBX-200.  

    • Many consumers (LED lamps, refrigerators, motors) have a much higher switch-on power than indicated on the type plate.

    Disconnect all consumers from the PBX-200 and restart the PBX-200 as described in chapter 9.1.1. Note the LED display: 

  • The PBX-200 is overheated (whole display flashes orange)

    Check that the PBX-200 is installed in a well-ventilated and cool place. 

    • Avoid direct sunlight on the PBX-200 
    • Switch off the PBX-200 via the main switch and disconnect the connection to the solar module. 
    • Let the PBX-200 cool down for a few minutes. 
    • Switch on the PBX-200 via the main switch and connect the solar module to the PBX-200. 
    • If these actions do not solve the problem, the PBX-200 should be checked by a certified Power-Blox service technician.

Even more questions?

Any questions left? Please do not hesitate to contact us. We are looking forward to talking to you.

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