Generator Running (It should not be)

Discussion about OutBack Inverters in Off Grid Applications

Moderators: OutBack, OutBack Moderator Team

Post Reply
eesiason
Forum Whiz
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:40 am
My RE system: Off-Grid 48ea Sunmodule SW240, sunmodule 240W Modules, 18 SolarWorld 290W modules, 2ea Radian 8000W GS8048 48V 120/240VAC Inverter, 4ea Flexmax 80, MATE 3s, Hub 10, 2kw Wind, two 15kw ecogen on a manual bypass. Everything is redundant.
Location: 648 Southbridge Rd., Warren MA
Contact:

Generator Running (It should not be)

Post by eesiason » Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:20 pm

Anyone seen this before? I came home to a running generator (it had just started a few minutes earlier).

The thing is, it should not have been running. Batteries at 90%, plenty of voltage, house drawing 500 watts, Mate on Auto. Manually set it to off on the Mate, it kept running.

Went outside and shut off generator. came back in, recycled the Mate, and set the generator to "off". Went back outside and switched the generator to "Auto". It started. Shut it back off.

Went back inside and restarted the whole system. Both Radians, all four FM80s, Mate, etc. Shut it all down. Turned it all back on, made sure generator was still set to "off" on the Mate. Went back outside and switched the generator back to "Auto". It started.

Have not done any sleuthing yet to see if there is 12v on the start wire, or switched to the alternate generator (two Generac ecogen 15kW with a manual transfer switch). Just wondering if anyone has seen this before...

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 841
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: Generator Running (It should not be)

Post by sodamo » Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:13 pm

I’d suspect something in the starting circuit external to Outback. Relay?
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

eesiason
Forum Whiz
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:40 am
My RE system: Off-Grid 48ea Sunmodule SW240, sunmodule 240W Modules, 18 SolarWorld 290W modules, 2ea Radian 8000W GS8048 48V 120/240VAC Inverter, 4ea Flexmax 80, MATE 3s, Hub 10, 2kw Wind, two 15kw ecogen on a manual bypass. Everything is redundant.
Location: 648 Southbridge Rd., Warren MA
Contact:

Re: Generator Running (It should not be)

Post by eesiason » Wed Dec 25, 2019 7:14 am

Yeah, not the generator. The system seems to be stuck "on", in spite of me having it set to manual "off". I guess a ticket to the support folks is in order.

JRHill
Forum Czar
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: VFX 3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3, FNDC (retired), 8ea L16 mixed. Wonderful wife.

Re: Generator Running (It should not be)

Post by JRHill » Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:51 pm

eesiason wrote:
Wed Dec 25, 2019 7:14 am
Yeah, not the generator. The system seems to be stuck "on", in spite of me having it set to manual "off". I guess a ticket to the support folks is in order.
I had to change the 12vdc relay off the auxiliary port last year so the problem was neither OB or the genset. The relay was operating but it had some amount of resistance and not close to zero ohms when closed. So JIC I keep a spare around now.

So you checked the aux with a good DVM and the relay and then manually toggled the two wire start and what did you find?

eesiason
Forum Whiz
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:40 am
My RE system: Off-Grid 48ea Sunmodule SW240, sunmodule 240W Modules, 18 SolarWorld 290W modules, 2ea Radian 8000W GS8048 48V 120/240VAC Inverter, 4ea Flexmax 80, MATE 3s, Hub 10, 2kw Wind, two 15kw ecogen on a manual bypass. Everything is redundant.
Location: 648 Southbridge Rd., Warren MA
Contact:

Re: Generator Running (It should not be)

Post by eesiason » Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:40 pm

JRHill wrote:
Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:51 pm
eesiason wrote:
Wed Dec 25, 2019 7:14 am
Yeah, not the generator. The system seems to be stuck "on", in spite of me having it set to manual "off". I guess a ticket to the support folks is in order.
I had to change the 12vdc relay off the auxiliary port last year so the problem was neither OB or the genset. The relay was operating but it had some amount of resistance and not close to zero ohms when closed. So JIC I keep a spare around now.

So you checked the aux with a good DVM and the relay and then manually toggled the two wire start and what did you find?
Interesting. When Gen is manual "Off", I get 1.34 v. When I ask it to turn on, it goes to 0.00 v. I wonder if I go out and turn the genny back to auto, and turn the gen "on" at the Mate, if it would actually shut off? Which relay is it? I have two Radians, so I could at least swap them while I wait for a replacement.

eesiason
Forum Whiz
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:40 am
My RE system: Off-Grid 48ea Sunmodule SW240, sunmodule 240W Modules, 18 SolarWorld 290W modules, 2ea Radian 8000W GS8048 48V 120/240VAC Inverter, 4ea Flexmax 80, MATE 3s, Hub 10, 2kw Wind, two 15kw ecogen on a manual bypass. Everything is redundant.
Location: 648 Southbridge Rd., Warren MA
Contact:

Re: Generator Running (It should not be)

Post by eesiason » Wed Dec 25, 2019 7:38 pm

Ha, JRHill. Time spent reading the installation guides tells me my installers effed me (again) and did not put a relay between the generator and the inverter. Wired the generator directly. We did almost all of the install ourselves, but paid "an experienced" installer to do the work at the inverters. There were many other errors made, this now added to the list.

So I ordered the relay that is on the board and will replace that, and add an insulating relay... Hopefully, it's just the relay that's shot.

stuch
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:46 pm
My RE system: Flexpower two
Mate3s
FM80 150VDC
VFXR 3648A
Flexnet DC

Re: Generator Running (It should not be)

Post by stuch » Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:12 pm

I have a FlexPower Two system and I seem to be having the same issue. Was running fine previously, came back to the cabin after a month and a half, re-powered the system and I now seem to have the problem listed above. I have a Kohler Generator, and I have verified the operation at the generator end is working as expected.

Now when the Generator is set on Auto Mode (at the Generator) The generator will run constantly, BUT The Inverters do not be taking the load from the Generators to the Battery unless the relay is kicked in (Via setting Generator to On via the Mate3s). I am using the built in relay from the FlexNet DC Battery Monitor.

I have the OpticsRE running as well. I tried to stop the generator manually from there, I hear the relay "click", Sounds like the relay is doing its Job. BUT the Generator is still running. The rest of the system seems to think the Generator is turned off.

Even more interesting, When the Generator is set to manually on, It is Showing it as "Not Running" on Both on the Mate 3s and on OpticsRE.
Gen On - On in Settings - Shows Not running.png
After about 1.5 mins, the Generator will shut off for 5 seconds, and then restart. It will then show the proper state on the Mate 3. (Show "Starting" then "On") As well as a proper state on the OpticsRE.
Gen on after 1-44 off then into proper ettings.png
When I go to manually turn the generator off at the Mate3s, I will hear the relay click, no load is seen on the AC "IN", But the generator will continue to run. The System will say the Generator is "Not Running"

Anyone seen anything like this?

Thanks

eesiason
Forum Whiz
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:40 am
My RE system: Off-Grid 48ea Sunmodule SW240, sunmodule 240W Modules, 18 SolarWorld 290W modules, 2ea Radian 8000W GS8048 48V 120/240VAC Inverter, 4ea Flexmax 80, MATE 3s, Hub 10, 2kw Wind, two 15kw ecogen on a manual bypass. Everything is redundant.
Location: 648 Southbridge Rd., Warren MA
Contact:

Re: Generator Running (It should not be)

Post by eesiason » Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:06 pm

Stutch, try isolating the wire between the generator and your system (disconnect both ends) and see if the generator still starts and runs. I have not proven it with a replacement wire yet, but here is what I know:

If i disconnect the two wires from my aux port on the inverter, the generator still starts and runs when set to auto. So we know it's not my Outback stuff...

If I then disconnect the generator from the two start wires, it no longer starts and runs when set to auto.

Diagnosis: My two wire start wire is compromised and shorting. I'm thinking that once I pull a new wire through the conduit this weekend, my problem will be solved.

stuch
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:46 pm
My RE system: Flexpower two
Mate3s
FM80 150VDC
VFXR 3648A
Flexnet DC

Re: Generator Running (It should not be)

Post by stuch » Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:10 am

I found that I just needed to power cycle the entire unit. From inverter back to charge controllers. Turned everything off for 5 minutes, then back on, and it started working again as expected. So it may have been a software glitch. Will keep watching it in the future.

Thanks

eesiason
Forum Whiz
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:40 am
My RE system: Off-Grid 48ea Sunmodule SW240, sunmodule 240W Modules, 18 SolarWorld 290W modules, 2ea Radian 8000W GS8048 48V 120/240VAC Inverter, 4ea Flexmax 80, MATE 3s, Hub 10, 2kw Wind, two 15kw ecogen on a manual bypass. Everything is redundant.
Location: 648 Southbridge Rd., Warren MA
Contact:

Re: Generator Running (It should not be)

Post by eesiason » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:05 pm

Just in case anyone ever runs into this... My issue was a short in the two-wire start to the generator, underground in the conduit. The bonehead installer did a very poor splice and the conduit is wet. (Clearly not sealed well...) The splice got wet and shorted, starting the generator. At least the splice stayed together to allow me to pull a string into the conduit, and then pull a new and more appropriate and contiguous pair of wires through. Happy wires, happy generators, happy me.

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 841
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: Generator Running (It should not be)

Post by sodamo » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:45 pm

Good fix 🤙🤙
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

Post Reply