To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Discussion about OutBack Inverters in Off Grid Applications

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JeffinthePeace
Forum Guru
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:20 pm
My RE system: VFX3524 Inverter/Charger.
2 x FM80 Charge Controllers.
12 Trina PV panels: 365W, 48.0Voc, 9.3A Imp.
Total 4380W PV.
Midnight Sun Combiner Boxes.
Mate (Original) and Hub4.
TriMetric 2020 Battery Monitor.
1065 Ah Yuasa 85T-21 FLA 24V battery bank (10 yrs old).
10kW 120/240VAC Kubota/Stamford diesel generator.
PSX-240 Auto Transformer for generator charging.
No Utility Grid available.
Location: Peace Country, British Columbia

To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Post by JeffinthePeace » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:38 pm

Hi -
To date, we have not made the leap to AGS.
Now we are considering it.
On the Pro side, the convenience and leveraging technology is appealing.
On the Con side, I have always enjoyed checking my fuel and oil levels before firing up the generator. (Not to mention, in our climate, we literally have to heat up the generator shed before starting the generator (during winter) so the automation is kinda lost during winter anyways...)
IÔÇÖm curious about othersÔÇÖ experience:
If you started without it, did you find the AGS upgrade worth it?
Any issues?
Thanks
Jeff

wolfridge
Forum Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:27 am
My RE system: Manson Creek B.C.
36 Hanwha 300watt panels
2-FM100
Radian GS8048A
OUTBACK Load Center GSLC 175-PV-120/240
Outback FN-DC Flexnet
Mate3s
Sacred Sun 48 Volt 500 Ahr Carbon Battery Bank
Perkins 10kw and two Kubota 8kw
Way Off Grid
Location: Manson Creek B.C.

Re: To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Post by wolfridge » Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:28 am

Hi
We are reasonably close to each other. This is our first winter with solar so we are new to this. I use AGS and really like the convenience especially if we are not home. Checking oil is not a problem because the few hours the generator is running oil changes are months apart. Otherwise I do not lose oil. My generator will start to -25 outside without problems usuall. But this winter the AGS tried to start the generator. The starter relay stuck on so the starter kept spinning until it burnt out. So there are downsides to the remote start. I still use it though.

JRHill
Forum Czar
Posts: 876
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am

Re: To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Post by JRHill » Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:38 am

This our 1st season using AGS. It was time to do it after 8 years of manual start/stops during the worse weather of the year. I have enough equipment to keep up with that I really don't look forward to another maintenance chore as you seem to (wink).

The one main thing that kept me from it previously was the need to purchase a generator that had the right engine for an autostart kit. That meant a diesel with an automatic pre-heater, if needed, or a gas unit that was fuel injected. I have seen gas gensets that can be modified with an automatic choke but I have some reliability suspicions with that upgrade. There was also the output consideration as we rarely need a lot of power except when shop chores call for it and I already have a unit that can provide that demand. Another requirement was that the unit MUST be a inverter generator. The best unit for our uses, the EU7000is, has the reputation for reliability, efficiency and longevity but dang it comes with a heck of a price tag. Ultimately that's the direction we went and couldn't be happier with the utility. Oh yeah, the Honda, esp for its rated output is amazingly quiet.

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2525
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Post by raysun » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:18 pm

I, like JRHill, have found the Honda EU7000is to be an excellent auxiliary power source for my off-grid installation. I'm about to modify it for AGS service. Here on Hawaii Island, I have little concern for cold-weather starting, but the fuel-injection system is excellent. There are remote start kits for the EU7000is that will start it in "normal" mode, and switch it to "eco" mode after a warm-up.

Tge EU7000is is expensive, but darn well worth it.

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 789
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:55 am
My RE system: Totally off grid - Hamakua side, Big Island, Hi

36 Trina 280 & 16 Phono 250 in 48 volt array (fixed) 14080w
Radians GG8048/GS4048 w GSLCs
4 FM 80 charge controllers
Hub 10.3
FNDC w/3 shunts
Mate 3s
OpticsRE - MMKL - Ninole Hi
12 SimpliPhi 3.8
14Kw Kohler 14RESA Propane

Charging Only
2FX3048T
Hub
FNDC. - shared shunt feeds from Radian FNDC
Mate 3s
10Kw MEP 803a Military gen

Honda EU7000i

Davis VantagePro2 Wx Station
On line at: https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/KHININOL2
Location: Ninole, Hi

Re: To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Post by sodamo » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:18 am

First couple of years were strictly manual run for generator. Now I have AGS autostart and wouldnt have it any other way. Can still control the generator manually. Even better I can control manually from OpticsRE due to AGS autostart capability. Still check the fuel, oil etc.
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

jbakker
Forum Guru
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:47 am
My RE system: 2 VFX3648 Inverters 2 FM60 150VDC Charge Controllers Mate3 3.4 KW of panels 15kw JC Onan NG Generator made in 1975 I love that generator almost as much as my wife.
7 banks of 14 cells each from a 2017 Chevy Volt. Parallel for the AMP Hour. 7 Chinese made BMS systems.
Location: Goderich Ontario Canada

Re: To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Post by jbakker » Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:39 am

Have used AGS for the last 3 years. 1st genertator was a Generac. Had to some intersting setup to get POS to work with the AGS.
Second unit is the Onan JC 15KW unit natural gas. Made in 1975. Starts 99 percent of the time with the AGS no problem.
Yesterday did not want to start. To be honest the temp was -18C with wind chill at around -26.
So that told me I need a new battery for it and I need to build a battery box that is insulated.
In regards to the oil I check it everyday when I get home from work. Its a habbit now.
The Onan was a 3 wire strat stop and I have a 2 wire to 3 wire interface that works like a charm.

Life with the AGS is great. Optics RE can control it and i can start the unit from work.

pss
Forum Czar
Posts: 565
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:40 am
My RE system: 8330 watts in three strings, Flexmax 60 x 3, Radian 8048A, GSLC load center, Mate 3S, Hub 10.3, FN-DC and 900 Amp, 48V Trojan T105-RE battery bank.

Re: To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Post by pss » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:12 am

Question: Does the Honda warranty apply when connected to an off grid solar installation or is it void when used in this type of environment?

JRHill
Forum Czar
Posts: 876
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am

Re: To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Post by JRHill » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:15 pm

pss wrote:Question: Does the Honda warranty apply when connected to an off grid solar installation or is it void when used in this type of environment?
After learning that some brands specialifically excluded use except for backup I checked into this precaution. I can't remember where but Honda will not void the warranty for the kind of use we are giving the genset. Heck, a work crew.with power tools and battery pack charges would work a genset harder than us for recharging a battery bank.

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1659
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Post by Mike Curran » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:33 pm

Here's the warranty page from Honda's generator manual:
1548106271866-81568981.jpg
"Private residential: Used in maintaining owner's primary and/or secondary residence."
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

Joseocollazo
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:04 pm

Re: To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Post by Joseocollazo » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:08 pm

Hello,

Where I can buy the remote started for the Honda so I can use it with AGS of the inverter?

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1659
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Post by Mike Curran » Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:52 pm

Joseocollazo wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:08 pm
Where I can buy the remote started for the Honda so I can use it with AGS of the inverter?
https://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.co ... gle.com%2F
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2525
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Post by raysun » Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:45 pm

:-#
Mike Curran wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:52 pm
Joseocollazo wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:08 pm
Where I can buy the remote started for the Honda so I can use it with AGS of the inverter?
https://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.co ... gle.com%2F
Can the Honda remote start switch accommodate the 2 wire AGS start/stop from the Inverter?

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1659
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Post by Mike Curran » Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:26 pm

Looking at the wiring diagram for the connections to the remote start jack, it looks like the 2 conductor start switch is brought out to be wired in parallel with the remote AGS start contact in Outback's inverters. However, for it to work, the Honda generator must also have its main on/off switch either turned on or another remote contact is needed in parallel with the main switch.
20200731_201305.jpg
Actually all you'd need to do is use the Outback inverter AGS start contact to energize a double pole, single throw (DPST) relay to close both these contacts at once, like this:
1596241462308339272114.jpg
Edit: This may not work if the start contact needs to be momentary contact - if held on, the starting motor may stay engaged...
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 789
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:55 am
My RE system: Totally off grid - Hamakua side, Big Island, Hi

36 Trina 280 & 16 Phono 250 in 48 volt array (fixed) 14080w
Radians GG8048/GS4048 w GSLCs
4 FM 80 charge controllers
Hub 10.3
FNDC w/3 shunts
Mate 3s
OpticsRE - MMKL - Ninole Hi
12 SimpliPhi 3.8
14Kw Kohler 14RESA Propane

Charging Only
2FX3048T
Hub
FNDC. - shared shunt feeds from Radian FNDC
Mate 3s
10Kw MEP 803a Military gen

Honda EU7000i

Davis VantagePro2 Wx Station
On line at: https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/KHININOL2
Location: Ninole, Hi

Re: To AGS or not to AGS: that is the question.

Post by sodamo » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:18 am

Joseocollazo wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:08 pm
Hello,

Where I can buy the remote started for the Honda so I can use it with AGS of the inverter?
There are different kits for different model Hondas. Need the correct one.
http://www.generator-line.com/index.html
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

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