wanting to add a generator

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wanting to add a generator

Postby Neil on Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:39 pm

Hi

I have a vfx3648 outback system ( four 100 AH batteries ) which has been working OK with solar or charging from AC grid power.

I have the system installed on a box truck that I use for street music. The purpose now is to add more reliability for times I need to charge the batteries over night when I don't have access to grid power. I can't add more panels since the truck roof is all covered by panels.

So I'm thinking something small like the Honda 2000i would work OK. It comes as a pull start generator that con be converted to electric start but this looks expensive . The electric start option is an independent company . And I have no idea how this generator might be made to function automatically. I would go that route if it wasn't too expensive or complex so if anyone knows how to do that please let me know.

I envision needing to use a generator while I am staying at a hotel where I would not have access to grid power if the batteries are low. And to avoid the complexities of making it automatic I'm fine going out to the truck to pull start the generator . But I'm wondering how I might be able to set it up to automatically stop running when the batteries are fully charged ?

Neil

Alternately what other small generators might work more easily in the regard ?
Neil
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Re: wanting to add a generator

Postby Sandra Herrera on Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:49 pm

Nail.
If you are considering a manual start generator (pull start), the starting and stopping must be done manually
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Re: wanting to add a generator

Postby Neil on Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:54 pm

OK

then what are the requirements to make a generator function automatically ?

of course electric start but what else ?

Or .. where is a good tutorial on this subject ? Looking at the Outback knowledge base page no videos or information seems to be there on this subject ?
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Re: wanting to add a generator

Postby Sandra Herrera on Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:47 pm

Neil,
Automatic start is a requirement, and I recommend a two wire start
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Re: wanting to add a generator

Postby Neil on Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:23 pm

I'd still be interested in any discussion on this thread. I have purchased a Yamaha EF2000ISHV2 which is one of Yamaha's new models. I think I've realized that probably for now the simplest thing to do is run the generator as needed but do it manually rather than try to go for automation. I guess one way to automatically have a generator turn off would be to only put enough fuel in to run it for a limited amount of time ?

A related question.. I charge using AC by running my AC through a junction box that then is wired to the AC in in the Outback . Can I simply put the AC power coming from the Yamaha into this same box ? Of course I would not have the grid AC connected at the same time as the Yamaha .

Neil
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Re: wanting to add a generator

Postby blackswan555 on Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:36 pm

I guess one way to automatically have a generator turn off would be to only put enough fuel in to run it for a limited amount of time ?
That would work, be sure to put your absorb time longer than gen will run otherwise you will be wasting fuel, You could also look at gen wiring, it will have a stop switch on it ? you could use a relay on that ?

I charge using AC by running my AC through a junction box that then is wired to the AC in in the Outback . Can I simply put the AC power coming from the Yamaha into this same box ? Of course I would not have the grid AC connected at the same time as the Yamaha .


You would need a changeover switch to be safe, otherwise I would put a "fly lead" on the FX input with a plug on it, So you could then plug it into grid OR gen

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.
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Re: wanting to add a generator

Postby Neil on Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:27 pm

thank you for the replys Sandra and Tim . much appreciated .. Neil
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Re: wanting to add a generator

Postby intellact on Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:06 am

Neil wrote:what are the requirements to make a generator function automatically ?
of course electric start but what else ?
Or .. where is a good tutorial on this subject ? Looking at the Outback knowledge base page no videos or information seems to be there on this subject ?

There are a couple of options for automatic generator functionality.

The first is built into the OutBack MATE and MATE3 devices. It is a mode called AGS - Advanced Generator Start, which specifies conditions under which the generator will start and stop. You can program various set points into the MATE/MATE3 that will allow the system to automatically decide when the generator is needed. That system includes some added functionality of "Quiet times" (when the generator will not run) and even exercise times so that the generator can be regularly cycled to keep it active and ready to go. The MATE/MATE3 manuals will have lengthy descriptions of the AGS mode.

For more sophisticated users and enhanced requirements, external software may be used to automatically turn the appropriate AUX port on or off to control the generator. In WattPlot, for example, you can easily program multiple simultaneous conditions, including battery voltage, time-of-day-, state-of-charge, load amperage, presence of grid, etc. etc. to direct the system when to start and stop the generator. Furthermore, you can easily set delays and state-hold times so that the generator is not activated or shutdown by random spikes or drops, etc. (WattPlot can also do additional tasks, such as sending you an email or text message when the generator has been activated.) The WattPlot User's Guide has excellent write-ups on how that functionality works (page 84).

I hope this helps get you 'started'. :wink:
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