Bad Power

Discussion about OutBack Inverters in Off Grid Applications

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sodamo
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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

Bad Power

Post by sodamo » Sat May 12, 2018 2:04 pm

Situation:
Completely off grid ( see profile)
Everything runs well off OutBack, MEP and Honda Generator
Many items do NOT like my primary generator the AGY24
Specifically: WifeÔÇÖs front load Kenmore washer (control board error)
Kenmore dryer has also had 2 boards replaced last couple of years.
Garage door openers
Microwave ovens

I suspect this generator doesnÔÇÖt produce good power. A search of this forum would produce threads of other problems with this generator. Unfortunately, the manufacturer is no help, too expensive to just replace. IÔÇÖd consider replacing just the alternator head but IÔÇÖve had nine problems in past.

Would like to find a reasonable solution.
Thoughts for comment/suggestion:
I suspect there is a way to IÔÇÖd the problem. Oscilloscope? Of course IÔÇÖve Never used one, but possibly could learn. Assuming I canÔÇÖt borrow one are that inexpensive ones that would tell me what I need to know? Not looking to invest $$ for one time use. Something less than $100?

Assuming what I find out if fixable, is there such a thing as cost effective ÔÇ£powerconditionerÔÇØ that I could insert between generator and Outback? Guessing it would have to be sized for voltage/amps?

Another microwave bit the dust this week (past warranty of course) so would really like to explore possible affordable power fixes.
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

petertearai
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My RE system: 2220 watt pv, fm80, outback fxr 2000 watt inverter. Shoto 12 times 2 volt exc400 lead carbon batterys 24 volt system victron battery moniter. optics RE
Location: NewZealand North Island

Re: Bad Power

Post by petertearai » Sat May 12, 2018 2:13 pm

sympathize with you .
Have you checked the frequency and voltage.
2220 pv. fm80. 12 times 2 volt exc shoto lead carbon 450 AH 24 volts. victron battery monitor. outback fxr 2000 watt inverter

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 831
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: Bad Power

Post by sodamo » Sat May 12, 2018 2:26 pm

Yup, definitely in tolerance for OB, last time I checked, just a couple days ago, 115v each leg, 59.8 hz. According to Generator panel. Been awhile since IÔÇÖve double checked with Multimeter. This is not a recent development, but as long as I had the generator. I just didnÔÇÖt know it because it was installed a beginning of summer and when I did start seeing problems, I never suspected the generator as I never had a problem with the previous one. When I finally identified an unbalanced L1-L2 problem, manufacturer was adamant it was external to generator, which I eventually disproved. We were able to overcome the balance issue by rewiring as Double Delta, but the quality issue remains.

Possibly something else that could be corrected on the alternator itself, but IÔÇÖm clueless in that regard. Then again this was first time I ever reconfigured one, so iÔÇÖm adaptable. :grin:
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

Mike Curran
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Re: Bad Power

Post by Mike Curran » Sat May 12, 2018 2:30 pm

An O scope would show you the AC waveform and verify your suspicions, and it might help determine what equipment would be needed, but I think you'd need a specialist to interpret and recommend a fix....

A device like this might help but I suspect that one big enough to handle your generator output would probably cost a lot, and this particular one is meant for 3 phase, higher voltages: https://www.schneider-electric.us/en/pr ... nd-systems
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

raysun
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Re: Bad Power

Post by raysun » Sat May 12, 2018 2:53 pm

This may be a bit far afield, but could there be an open neutral somewhere in the house wiring causing an issue, rather than the generator?

sodamo
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Posts: 831
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: Bad Power

Post by sodamo » Sat May 12, 2018 2:55 pm

Thanks Mike, likely not cost effective
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 831
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: Bad Power

Post by sodamo » Sat May 12, 2018 2:56 pm

Ray
WouldnÔÇÖt that situation show up regardless of the power source? Only this one generator is problematic.
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

linel
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Location: Cat Island Bahamas in the winter, West Virginia mountains in the summer

Re: Bad Power

Post by linel » Sat May 12, 2018 3:37 pm

Sure sounds to me like a grounding or neutral/grounding problem.

For example, your neutral should be grounded at only one location in the entire system (assuming no isolating transformations).

Perhaps the generator manufacturer provided a grounded neutral; perhaps your electrician wired it that way; perhaps the construction of your system has left you with a floating neutral .... and wow! that is dangerous.
Off grid
5760 watts of panels in 2 arrays
2 - FM80
8 - NC200 batteries @ 48v with RTS in Outback 2-string rack
1 - GS8048 inverter
GSLC
FNDC
Mate3

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 831
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: Bad Power

Post by sodamo » Sat May 12, 2018 7:53 pm

linel wrote:Sure sounds to me like a grounding or neutral/grounding problem.

For example, your neutral should be grounded at only one location in the entire system (assuming no isolating transformations).

Perhaps the generator manufacturer provided a grounded neutral; perhaps your electrician wired it that way; perhaps the construction of your system has left you with a floating neutral .... and wow! that is dangerous.

Thank, I think it is grounded back to the Outback, but will have to verify. Been a few years, memory not improving. But as I recall it was wired according to manufactureÔÇÖs instructions, but doesnÔÇÖt mean itÔÇÖs right.
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

blackswan555
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Re: Bad Power

Post by blackswan555 » Sun May 13, 2018 3:08 am

A couple of questions, Is it more when gen is running hard charge, eg first few hours ? or is it on changeover ? and is changeover smooth ?
Do you have diagrams for previous and new way generator alt is wired ?

Scope, Best to borrow one if poss, But failing that if you do an ebay for "USB oscilloscope" they start around $20, You will need either a set of leads with attenuation built in or an attenuation "plug" if you want to read above 5v on most.

Tim
My comments are based on my experience and research, They are not endorsed or checked by Outback.I am an independent British electrician living in Spain, So please take this into account when reading /acting on my post`s.

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 831
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: Bad Power

Post by sodamo » Sun May 13, 2018 12:22 pm

Thanks Tim

IÔÇÖd say more as to while running. Changeover not smooth, sometimes a flickering of lights, but not sure if same or different depending on generator. IÔÇÖll have to pay attention.

Hopefully these diagrams loaded and understandable. Changeover was done with help of electrician friend, checked and double checked.
Attachments
Alt Plaq.jpg
ALtWS.jpeg
Alt - Double Delta.jpg
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 831
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: Bad Power

Post by sodamo » Sun May 13, 2018 12:38 pm

One thing this issue does is reinforce my desire to have a generator charging system separate from the inverters. While I can understand why OB and others build a combined inverter/Charger, I would like to see an offering of a compatible charger only. One that would integrate into system but would charge the batteries without the changeover. My thinking is IF/WHEN I decide to upgrade to a factory wired FlexPower system I intend to repurpose the current FXÔÇÖS as Chargers only.
HavenÔÇÖt had great luck searching for either DC generators or 48vdc chargers greater than 18 amps(golf cart). Anybody else?
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 831
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: Bad Power

Post by sodamo » Mon May 14, 2018 12:17 am

Grounding update

So I checked the system and found that the problem generator is in fact grounded differently than either the MEP or Honda or even the previous generator it replaced. All the others have the ground running from the wire connection point to the Outback panel ground. The problem generator does also. In addition that generator chassis is also grounded. It is grounded to a point that is also connected to the main system ground. So in essence that generator is grounded twice, but the grounds are connected. The point of chassis ground is a 2nd rod about 8 feet from the primary. Pretty sure the rods are connected. Tempted to disconnect this ground leaving just the single ground back to OB panel. Anyone see a potential downside? Is there a measurement I can take before and after?
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

blackswan555
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Re: Bad Power

Post by blackswan555 » Mon May 14, 2018 4:06 am

I have done a few from 3 ph to 1ph, & use double delta for that,,,,, yours all seems good, (yes remove top link as questioned on diagram) One thing to look at is where the voltage regulator is connected to alternator, This side of pond ( I guess yours may be the same ?) The voltage regulators are 230v and would go to U & W connections 7 & 8, I do not know if you would also have the centre sensed for 110v with you ? but one to check,
Changeover not smooth, sometimes a flickering of lights,
Have you dialled your AC2 gen input delay down from its default 60 cycles ?

Grounding, That would depend on your system build, There are lots of different "ways" depending on that, For example if you were using PME (as UK) The neutral would be bonded to ground somewhere but ONLY IN ONE PLACE, This could be the generator OR the inverter panel, Technically it should be your principal incoming power source, But as we have two possible principals, Debatable which one it should be,,,,,,,, But it is not (visible to me) in the alternator as it would be with us,
So a suggestion there, Have a check of resistance to earth on all of your gens, Usually "small" gens are internally bonded so N to E would be close to zero ohms, The lives should be open circuit to earth and the resistances between both lives and N should be equal, On larger gens it is usually up to the installer to bond if and where they want,

Tim.

https://www.voltimum.co.uk/articles/pri ... e-earthing
My comments are based on my experience and research, They are not endorsed or checked by Outback.I am an independent British electrician living in Spain, So please take this into account when reading /acting on my post`s.

malury
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Re: Bad Power

Post by malury » Wed May 16, 2018 1:14 am

I am Sodamo's friend and electrician, joining this discussion. It has been a long time since I have looked at this equipment. Working from memory for now. I am not comfortable with abandoning the chassis ground on his main generator because if a hot wire grounds then Sodamo can get a bad shock with no one to help. I think we should look carefully at the grounding compared to the other generators. Soon, we will check the resistance to ground, but compared to what? We do not have a ground conductor from the electric utility near the property. Just the ground that Sodamo created. It seems adequate for all uses except the main generator.

I am suspicious of the voltage regulator on the generator. We need to examine it's voltage sensing contact points and grounding. Is it appropriate for low voltage double delta?

Since it is electronic equipment that fails, I wonder if there is a problem with harmonic currents and/or the voltage regulator's ability to keep up with an electronic power supply.

petertearai
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Re: Bad Power

Post by petertearai » Wed May 16, 2018 6:16 pm

Hi
Dont think Tim is suggesting abandoning earthing , just terminating at one common point .
2220 pv. fm80. 12 times 2 volt exc shoto lead carbon 450 AH 24 volts. victron battery monitor. outback fxr 2000 watt inverter

blackswan555
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Re: Bad Power

Post by blackswan555 » Thu May 17, 2018 3:07 am

Sorry my bad, Did not explain that well enough,
No I am not saying abandon earthing, I am talking about bonding Neutral to Earth that is normally done on "our systems" (pme) It sounds like your 2 small gens are bonded internally and the big one not, To test if that is correct, on disconnected gens, Take the ohms readings as mentioned, eg neutral to case earth, That will tell you that bit, The live to neutral reading is just another test to see if gen is wired correctly, eg both sides of the 110v match,
We would also then add an earth connection at generator, eg Earth spike and another at distribution end, eg,from FW or house panel (Resistance dependant if much distance from gen) Copper piping, steel sinks and baths and pretty much anything that could "hurt you" would also be bonded to the panel common earthing point as well as "the rest of the house",
It is compulsory for us to use a 30ma RCD, (Differential in some parts of the world) which I thoroughly recommend even if you do not have to,
Some put one on the gen and one in the house panel, I found you get a lot of nuisance tripping and usually just go with the internal one.
Since it is electronic equipment that fails, I wonder if there is a problem with harmonic currents
I have had similar for two different reasons,
1, Massive voltage spike to about 320 v on changeover, Caused by someone trying to use just one phase of a 3 ph gen, (ours are 230v, it is voltage sensed from only one ph, The ph imbalance drove it crazy on change over, reconfigured gen to double delta as per your diagram, All fine
2, Yes there are harmonics in there that could possibly damage "stuff", My question about when it occurs was because I had a client with a washing machine that would not run during the first hour ish of a charge cycle (and did eat a few panels, But it was a cheep and cheerful) But after then was fine, There has also been other mention of it on here, iirc it is about 20khz and no one figured how to suppress it ?

Tim
My comments are based on my experience and research, They are not endorsed or checked by Outback.I am an independent British electrician living in Spain, So please take this into account when reading /acting on my post`s.

blackswan555
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Re: Bad Power

Post by blackswan555 » Thu May 17, 2018 7:06 am

An old similar post referring to the harmonics possibility , viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3614

Tim
My comments are based on my experience and research, They are not endorsed or checked by Outback.I am an independent British electrician living in Spain, So please take this into account when reading /acting on my post`s.

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 831
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: Bad Power

Post by sodamo » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:58 pm

Well my friend finally got his oscope and the cables unpacked and brought them up.

This is waveform of the ÔÇ£badÔÇØ generator taken at the generator. Load or no load, the same
Changed out AVR, no change.
8B2ED926-5679-45B0-8625-1C4DA60F2CF5.jpeg
This is waveform of the FXÔÇÖs, no generator.
ACCCD5CD-087D-4CCD-B47A-C795B8B9DD9F.jpeg
Any suggestions?
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 831
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: Bad Power

Post by sodamo » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:20 am

Given the AGY24 waveform and knowing the detrimental effects to various household appliances I have to wonder about possible effects on my FX3048s. Am I putting them at risk by powering the chargers or are they tolerant enough?
Right now I can minimize impact on the holdhold appliances by running my smaller, MEP generator, but now wonder if I can safely power the FXs with the AGY when i repurpose them to charger only configuration (no ac out).
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

blackswan555
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My RE system: Other peoples, VFX "E" versions, FLA`s, Generators.
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Re: Bad Power

Post by blackswan555 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:01 pm

That is one strange waveform you have there !! The "usual" problem only shows up at certain stage of charge and makes the waveform a bit sawtooth, IIRC around 20khz,,,,
That not even connected is,,,,,, ](*,)

Tim

To add do not think voltage reg, to slow to give that,
My comments are based on my experience and research, They are not endorsed or checked by Outback.I am an independent British electrician living in Spain, So please take this into account when reading /acting on my post`s.

hilo90mhz
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My RE system: Off grid system
6X FXR3048 three phase
1000AH 48V Forklift Battery
2.5KW Micro Hydro 24/7 charging
Runs warehouse, numerous three phase tools, a large house, clothes dryer, water heater etc etc.
No backup gen run or even installed for over 10 years (storm in summer 2018 was the first time needed!)
Location: Umauma / Hilo, Hawaii
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Re: Bad Power

Post by hilo90mhz » Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:20 am

sodamo wrote:Given the AGY24 waveform and knowing the detrimental effects to various household appliances I have to wonder about possible effects on my FX3048s. Am I putting them at risk by powering the chargers or are they tolerant enough?
Right now I can minimize impact on the holdhold appliances by running my smaller, MEP generator, but now wonder if I can safely power the FXs with the AGY when i repurpose them to charger only configuration (no ac out).
I do not think that waveform would negatively affect the FX3048 in charger mode - especially if they have already been working on it for awhile.

Some appliances care about the waveform because they use it for things like motors or time keeping that need a proper sinewave waveform. Others that just rectify it to DC for use in a switch-mode power supply do not care so much about the waveform.

Its funny that you are considering this option - using the FX as chargers - I had recently thought about doing just that in another system but am instead building a custom 3 phase 240V input 48V 5KW DC output charger.. But if you already have the FX inverters I recommend going that route ;)

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