Discussion:
Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
(too old to reply)
John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar & Wind
2002-09-16 18:18:34 UTC
Permalink
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan 3.6kw
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries. Anyone know what might be wrong other than the generator has a
weak output (I have seen that before with some cheap junk generators) Power
in is 122VAC and 60 Hz. It just won't load even at 30 amp AC input and
battery charging settings on the Trace. I thought about switching the
transfer switch and getting some loads on in the house to test the generator
directly but we can't come close to 12 amps AC with everything in the house
turned on. I guess I better start carrying portable electric heaters in my
tool bag for testing purposes!. Any ideas?

John Blittersdorf
Central Vermont Solar and WInd

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Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
2002-09-16 21:15:05 UTC
Permalink
Hi John,

Is it full power 120? or a 120/220 split, so you are just pulling 1/2 power?

Jay

Peltz power
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar & Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan 3.6kw
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries. Anyone know what might be wrong other than the generator has a
weak output (I have seen that before with some cheap junk generators) Power
in is 122VAC and 60 Hz. It just won't load even at 30 amp AC input and
battery charging settings on the Trace. I thought about switching the
transfer switch and getting some loads on in the house to test the generator
directly but we can't come close to 12 amps AC with everything in the house
turned on. I guess I better start carrying portable electric heaters in my
tool bag for testing purposes!. Any ideas?
John Blittersdorf
Central Vermont Solar and WInd
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Todd Cory, Mt. Shasta Energy Services
2002-09-16 23:38:48 UTC
Permalink
John and list,

I am curious how you got Onan to sell you a generator? I have been working with
a local customer that wanted to buy the Onan Emerald ~5 kW unit (propane) and
they said they would not sell it to him unless it was going into an RV... they
even said they needed to see the RV license and registration info before they
would sell it to him to make sure he wasn't just saying it was going in an RV to
be able to buy it.

This all surprised the heck out of me! Evidently they (Onan) said it had
something to do with pollution standards although I didn't know generator
manufacturers were required to enforce any kind of pollution control on their
gear... has anyone else heard about this or encountered a similar thing?

Todd
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar & Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan 3.6kw
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries. Anyone know what might be wrong other than the generator has a
weak output (I have seen that before with some cheap junk generators) Power
in is 122VAC and 60 Hz. It just won't load even at 30 amp AC input and
battery charging settings on the Trace. I thought about switching the
transfer switch and getting some loads on in the house to test the generator
directly but we can't come close to 12 amps AC with everything in the house
turned on. I guess I better start carrying portable electric heaters in my
tool bag for testing purposes!. Any ideas?
John Blittersdorf
Central Vermont Solar and WInd
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matthew tritt
2002-09-17 01:38:11 UTC
Permalink
Todd,

Aside from the fact that Onan, under the control of Cummins, has eliminated
most of their great old bulletproof models and replaced them with crappy
little cheap ones, you can buy them from Northern Supply with "no questions
asked". This is in lieu of actually buying a REAL generator! ;-)
Lister/Petters are great, Kohlers are acceptable and Industrial grade Onans
(they use Lister/Petter engines by the way) are just fine too. If Diesel is
OK you should consider finding a Deutz set somewhere.

Happy motoring.......

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Todd Cory, Mt. Shasta Energy Services" <toddcory at finestplanet.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 4:38 PM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Todd Cory, Mt. Shasta Energy Services
John and list,
I am curious how you got Onan to sell you a generator? I have been working with
a local customer that wanted to buy the Onan Emerald ~5 kW unit (propane) and
they said they would not sell it to him unless it was going into an RV... they
even said they needed to see the RV license and registration info before they
would sell it to him to make sure he wasn't just saying it was going in an RV to
be able to buy it.
This all surprised the heck out of me! Evidently they (Onan) said it had
something to do with pollution standards although I didn't know generator
manufacturers were required to enforce any kind of pollution control on their
gear... has anyone else heard about this or encountered a similar thing?
Todd
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan 3.6kw
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries. Anyone know what might be wrong other than the generator has a
weak output (I have seen that before with some cheap junk generators)
Power
Post by Todd Cory, Mt. Shasta Energy Services
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
in is 122VAC and 60 Hz. It just won't load even at 30 amp AC input and
battery charging settings on the Trace. I thought about switching the
transfer switch and getting some loads on in the house to test the generator
directly but we can't come close to 12 amps AC with everything in the house
turned on. I guess I better start carrying portable electric heaters in my
tool bag for testing purposes!. Any ideas?
John Blittersdorf
Central Vermont Solar and WInd
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matthew tritt
2002-09-17 01:38:11 UTC
Permalink
Todd,

Aside from the fact that Onan, under the control of Cummins, has eliminated
most of their great old bulletproof models and replaced them with crappy
little cheap ones, you can buy them from Northern Supply with "no questions
asked". This is in lieu of actually buying a REAL generator! ;-)
Lister/Petters are great, Kohlers are acceptable and Industrial grade Onans
(they use Lister/Petter engines by the way) are just fine too. If Diesel is
OK you should consider finding a Deutz set somewhere.

Happy motoring.......

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Todd Cory, Mt. Shasta Energy Services" <toddcory at finestplanet.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 4:38 PM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Todd Cory, Mt. Shasta Energy Services
John and list,
I am curious how you got Onan to sell you a generator? I have been working with
a local customer that wanted to buy the Onan Emerald ~5 kW unit (propane) and
they said they would not sell it to him unless it was going into an RV... they
even said they needed to see the RV license and registration info before they
would sell it to him to make sure he wasn't just saying it was going in an RV to
be able to buy it.
This all surprised the heck out of me! Evidently they (Onan) said it had
something to do with pollution standards although I didn't know generator
manufacturers were required to enforce any kind of pollution control on their
gear... has anyone else heard about this or encountered a similar thing?
Todd
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan 3.6kw
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries. Anyone know what might be wrong other than the generator has a
weak output (I have seen that before with some cheap junk generators)
Power
Post by Todd Cory, Mt. Shasta Energy Services
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
in is 122VAC and 60 Hz. It just won't load even at 30 amp AC input and
battery charging settings on the Trace. I thought about switching the
transfer switch and getting some loads on in the house to test the generator
directly but we can't come close to 12 amps AC with everything in the house
turned on. I guess I better start carrying portable electric heaters in my
tool bag for testing purposes!. Any ideas?
John Blittersdorf
Central Vermont Solar and WInd
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Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
2002-09-17 01:23:16 UTC
Permalink
In a message dated 9/16/2002 11:21:57 AM Pacific Standard Time,
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan 3.6kw
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries.
In my experience with generators for charging battery banks using an
inverter/charger
from Trace/Xantrex, nothing less than a quality 5kw generator will suffice.

SUNcerely,
Frank Fowler
Crystal Pines Alternative Energy
530-532-1972
cpae1 at aol.com
www.solarenergy-alt.com

--
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Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
2002-09-17 14:01:36 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

Having just had to listen to my darn old Honda for hours yesterday I want to
chime in on this one. I agree with Frank, my experience shows me that you
really need about 6.5 kW of good generator to get max charging performance
from the SW. My 3.5 kW (sort of) Honda has a plug rated 30 amps and a 30
amp breaker but if I set my max AC amps any higher than 23 it actually
stalls the Honda. With that generator I get the best performance at about
16 AC input amps, any higher I lug the generator down and it really labours.

Ezra Auerbach
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy " <cpae1 at aol.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
In a message dated 9/16/2002 11:21:57 AM Pacific Standard Time,
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan 3.6kw
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries.
In my experience with generators for charging battery banks using an
inverter/charger
from Trace/Xantrex, nothing less than a quality 5kw generator will suffice.
SUNcerely,
Frank Fowler
Crystal Pines Alternative Energy
530-532-1972
cpae1 at aol.com
www.solarenergy-alt.com
--
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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matthew tritt
2002-09-17 14:36:26 UTC
Permalink
Ezra,

The same thing happens when trying to charge batteries with a 3.5 Honda
through a DR 2500! I believe that they (Hondas) have a really bad power
factor because the generators will act like they're attempting to start a
too large motor load. Normally a generator with a rated output of 1.5 the
expected load is required to start a motor load without bogging down, but
with Hondas, who knows?

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex" <ezra at lasqueti.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 7:01 AM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Hi,
Having just had to listen to my darn old Honda for hours yesterday I want to
chime in on this one. I agree with Frank, my experience shows me that you
really need about 6.5 kW of good generator to get max charging performance
from the SW. My 3.5 kW (sort of) Honda has a plug rated 30 amps and a 30
amp breaker but if I set my max AC amps any higher than 23 it actually
stalls the Honda. With that generator I get the best performance at about
16 AC input amps, any higher I lug the generator down and it really labours.
Ezra Auerbach
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy " <cpae1 at aol.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
In a message dated 9/16/2002 11:21:57 AM Pacific Standard Time,
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan
3.6kw
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries.
In my experience with generators for charging battery banks using an
inverter/charger
from Trace/Xantrex, nothing less than a quality 5kw generator will
suffice.
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
SUNcerely,
Frank Fowler
Crystal Pines Alternative Energy
530-532-1972
cpae1 at aol.com
www.solarenergy-alt.com
--
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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Richard Perez, Home Power magazine
2002-09-17 15:07:15 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Hello Wrenches

I'd second Ezra's opinion that a minimum of a 6.5 KW generator is
need to obtain full output from the Trace SW series chargers. I think
that we are getting bitten by the reality of power factor here. While
power factor isn't "real" on grid since the utility just supplies the
reactive component, it's very real for generator users. Some
chargers, such as those built into the Statpower ProSine series
inverters, have unity power factor and are much easier to power with
smaller generators.

Richard
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Hi,
Having just had to listen to my darn old Honda for hours yesterday I want to
chime in on this one. I agree with Frank, my experience shows me that you
really need about 6.5 kW of good generator to get max charging performance
from the SW. My 3.5 kW (sort of) Honda has a plug rated 30 amps and a 30
amp breaker but if I set my max AC amps any higher than 23 it actually
stalls the Honda. With that generator I get the best performance at about
16 AC input amps, any higher I lug the generator down and it really labours.
Ezra Auerbach
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy " <cpae1 at aol.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
In a message dated 9/16/2002 11:21:57 AM Pacific Standard Time,
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan
3.6kw
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries.
In my experience with generators for charging battery banks using an
inverter/charger
from Trace/Xantrex, nothing less than a quality 5kw generator will
suffice.
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
SUNcerely,
Frank Fowler
Crystal Pines Alternative Energy
530-532-1972
cpae1 at aol.com
www.solarenergy-alt.com
--
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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</x-flowed>
matthew tritt
2002-09-17 14:36:26 UTC
Permalink
Ezra,

The same thing happens when trying to charge batteries with a 3.5 Honda
through a DR 2500! I believe that they (Hondas) have a really bad power
factor because the generators will act like they're attempting to start a
too large motor load. Normally a generator with a rated output of 1.5 the
expected load is required to start a motor load without bogging down, but
with Hondas, who knows?

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex" <ezra at lasqueti.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 7:01 AM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Hi,
Having just had to listen to my darn old Honda for hours yesterday I want to
chime in on this one. I agree with Frank, my experience shows me that you
really need about 6.5 kW of good generator to get max charging performance
from the SW. My 3.5 kW (sort of) Honda has a plug rated 30 amps and a 30
amp breaker but if I set my max AC amps any higher than 23 it actually
stalls the Honda. With that generator I get the best performance at about
16 AC input amps, any higher I lug the generator down and it really labours.
Ezra Auerbach
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy " <cpae1 at aol.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
In a message dated 9/16/2002 11:21:57 AM Pacific Standard Time,
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan
3.6kw
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries.
In my experience with generators for charging battery banks using an
inverter/charger
from Trace/Xantrex, nothing less than a quality 5kw generator will
suffice.
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
SUNcerely,
Frank Fowler
Crystal Pines Alternative Energy
530-532-1972
cpae1 at aol.com
www.solarenergy-alt.com
--
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Richard Perez, Home Power magazine
2002-09-17 15:07:15 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Hello Wrenches

I'd second Ezra's opinion that a minimum of a 6.5 KW generator is
need to obtain full output from the Trace SW series chargers. I think
that we are getting bitten by the reality of power factor here. While
power factor isn't "real" on grid since the utility just supplies the
reactive component, it's very real for generator users. Some
chargers, such as those built into the Statpower ProSine series
inverters, have unity power factor and are much easier to power with
smaller generators.

Richard
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Hi,
Having just had to listen to my darn old Honda for hours yesterday I want to
chime in on this one. I agree with Frank, my experience shows me that you
really need about 6.5 kW of good generator to get max charging performance
from the SW. My 3.5 kW (sort of) Honda has a plug rated 30 amps and a 30
amp breaker but if I set my max AC amps any higher than 23 it actually
stalls the Honda. With that generator I get the best performance at about
16 AC input amps, any higher I lug the generator down and it really labours.
Ezra Auerbach
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy " <cpae1 at aol.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
In a message dated 9/16/2002 11:21:57 AM Pacific Standard Time,
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan
3.6kw
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries.
In my experience with generators for charging battery banks using an
inverter/charger
from Trace/Xantrex, nothing less than a quality 5kw generator will
suffice.
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
SUNcerely,
Frank Fowler
Crystal Pines Alternative Energy
530-532-1972
cpae1 at aol.com
www.solarenergy-alt.com
--
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</x-flowed>
Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
2002-09-17 14:01:36 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

Having just had to listen to my darn old Honda for hours yesterday I want to
chime in on this one. I agree with Frank, my experience shows me that you
really need about 6.5 kW of good generator to get max charging performance
from the SW. My 3.5 kW (sort of) Honda has a plug rated 30 amps and a 30
amp breaker but if I set my max AC amps any higher than 23 it actually
stalls the Honda. With that generator I get the best performance at about
16 AC input amps, any higher I lug the generator down and it really labours.

Ezra Auerbach
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy " <cpae1 at aol.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
In a message dated 9/16/2002 11:21:57 AM Pacific Standard Time,
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan 3.6kw
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries.
In my experience with generators for charging battery banks using an
inverter/charger
from Trace/Xantrex, nothing less than a quality 5kw generator will suffice.
SUNcerely,
Frank Fowler
Crystal Pines Alternative Energy
530-532-1972
cpae1 at aol.com
www.solarenergy-alt.com
--
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jberdner
2002-09-17 22:09:57 UTC
Permalink
Matt:

While low cost generators may have bad power factor but you also have to
look at the power factor of the inverter when charging. In my
experience the US inverter chargers present a low power factor load to
the generator. This means the inverter / charger is asking for current
at the wrong time (out of phase with the voltage). Low power factor
loads make it very difficult for the lower cost generators to deliver
significant power through the charger to the battery.

In Europe they have requirements for power factor correction. Power
factor correction does add some additional cost to the inverter charger
but it also reduces the problems of interfacing Generator A with
Inverter B etc. IMHO, power factor corrected chargers (when they become
available) will eliminate the vast majority of these types of problems.
Yes, we will still have to deal with lousy generators but more of the
common ones will work reasonably well with battery chargers in the
inverters.

If you have any questions, or if I can be of any further assistance,
please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best Regards,

John Berdner

SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)


-----Original Message-----
From: matthew tritt [mailto:solarone at charter.net]
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 7:36 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]

Ezra,

The same thing happens when trying to charge batteries with a 3.5 Honda
through a DR 2500! I believe that they (Hondas) have a really bad power
factor because the generators will act like they're attempting to start
a
too large motor load. Normally a generator with a rated output of 1.5
the
expected load is required to start a motor load without bogging down,
but
with Hondas, who knows?

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex" <ezra at lasqueti.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 7:01 AM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Hi,
Having just had to listen to my darn old Honda for hours yesterday I
want
to
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
chime in on this one. I agree with Frank, my experience shows me that
you
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
really need about 6.5 kW of good generator to get max charging
performance
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
from the SW. My 3.5 kW (sort of) Honda has a plug rated 30 amps and a
30
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
amp breaker but if I set my max AC amps any higher than 23 it actually
stalls the Honda. With that generator I get the best performance at
about
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
16 AC input amps, any higher I lug the generator down and it really
labours.
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Ezra Auerbach
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy " <cpae1 at aol.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
In a message dated 9/16/2002 11:21:57 AM Pacific Standard Time,
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an
Onan
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
3.6kw
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the
new
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
batteries.
In my experience with generators for charging battery banks using an
inverter/charger
from Trace/Xantrex, nothing less than a quality 5kw generator will
suffice.
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
SUNcerely,
Frank Fowler
Crystal Pines Alternative Energy
530-532-1972
cpae1 at aol.com
www.solarenergy-alt.com
--
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
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Hugh Piggott
2002-09-17 23:29:54 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Post by jberdner
While low cost generators may have bad power factor but you also have to
look at the power factor of the inverter when charging.
this statement puzzles me. Power factor is determined by the load,
and not the generator (no?).
Post by jberdner
In my
experience the US inverter chargers present a low power factor load to
the generator. This means the inverter / charger is asking for current
at the wrong time (out of phase with the voltage). Low power factor
loads make it very difficult for the lower cost generators to deliver
significant power through the charger to the battery.
When I measure the power factor of a Trace SW loading a generator it
is pretty near to 1, but still it is clear that something is going
on, because the voltage is pulled down and the engine is working
hard. I wonder if my power analyser really takes account of the
waveform distortion between input voltage and the current drawn.
They are in phase OK, but the shape of the current wave is weird.
Not all on the peak like a DR, but more flattened out.
--
Hugh

stop the war
http://www.scoraigwind.co.uk/

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</x-flowed>
Joe Schwartz, Home Power
2002-09-18 00:03:34 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Hey Hugh,
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
While low cost generators may have bad power factor but you also have to
look at the power factor of the inverter when charging.
this statement puzzles me. Power factor is determined by the load,
and not the generator (no?).
Exactly!
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
In my
experience the US inverter chargers present a low power factor load to
the generator. This means the inverter / charger is asking for current
at the wrong time (out of phase with the voltage). Low power factor
loads make it very difficult for the lower cost generators to deliver
significant power through the charger to the battery.
When I measure the power factor of a Trace SW loading a generator it
is pretty near to 1, but still it is clear that something is going
on, because the voltage is pulled down and the engine is working
hard. I wonder if my power analyser really takes account of the
waveform distortion between input voltage and the current drawn.
They are in phase OK, but the shape of the current wave is weird.
Not all on the peak like a DR, but more flattened out.
Using a Fluke 43B Power Quality Analyzer, with the SW in charge mode,
I see power factor values between 0.75 to 0.85 depending on the
charge rate. The power factor further degrades when the batteries are
close to full, and the charge rate is really low.

The AC chargers in the PROsine series inverters have power factor
values between 0.98 to 1.0 - stylin'!

Joe
--
Joe Schwartz - CEO and Technical Editor
Home Power magazine
joe.schwartz at homepower.com
www.homepower.com

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</x-flowed>
matthew tritt
2002-09-18 00:26:37 UTC
Permalink
Wow! I had no idea the ProSine was anywhere near that efficient! One hears
such non-flattering things about them usually.

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joe Schwartz, Home Power" <joe.schwartz at homepower.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 5:03 PM
Subject: RE: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Joe Schwartz, Home Power
Hey Hugh,
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
While low cost generators may have bad power factor but you also have to
look at the power factor of the inverter when charging.
this statement puzzles me. Power factor is determined by the load,
and not the generator (no?).
Exactly!
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
In my
experience the US inverter chargers present a low power factor load to
the generator. This means the inverter / charger is asking for current
at the wrong time (out of phase with the voltage). Low power factor
loads make it very difficult for the lower cost generators to deliver
significant power through the charger to the battery.
When I measure the power factor of a Trace SW loading a generator it
is pretty near to 1, but still it is clear that something is going
on, because the voltage is pulled down and the engine is working
hard. I wonder if my power analyser really takes account of the
waveform distortion between input voltage and the current drawn.
They are in phase OK, but the shape of the current wave is weird.
Not all on the peak like a DR, but more flattened out.
Using a Fluke 43B Power Quality Analyzer, with the SW in charge mode,
I see power factor values between 0.75 to 0.85 depending on the
charge rate. The power factor further degrades when the batteries are
close to full, and the charge rate is really low.
The AC chargers in the PROsine series inverters have power factor
values between 0.98 to 1.0 - stylin'!
Joe
--
Joe Schwartz - CEO and Technical Editor
Home Power magazine
joe.schwartz at homepower.com
www.homepower.com
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matthew tritt
2002-09-18 00:26:37 UTC
Permalink
Wow! I had no idea the ProSine was anywhere near that efficient! One hears
such non-flattering things about them usually.

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joe Schwartz, Home Power" <joe.schwartz at homepower.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 5:03 PM
Subject: RE: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Joe Schwartz, Home Power
Hey Hugh,
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
While low cost generators may have bad power factor but you also have to
look at the power factor of the inverter when charging.
this statement puzzles me. Power factor is determined by the load,
and not the generator (no?).
Exactly!
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
In my
experience the US inverter chargers present a low power factor load to
the generator. This means the inverter / charger is asking for current
at the wrong time (out of phase with the voltage). Low power factor
loads make it very difficult for the lower cost generators to deliver
significant power through the charger to the battery.
When I measure the power factor of a Trace SW loading a generator it
is pretty near to 1, but still it is clear that something is going
on, because the voltage is pulled down and the engine is working
hard. I wonder if my power analyser really takes account of the
waveform distortion between input voltage and the current drawn.
They are in phase OK, but the shape of the current wave is weird.
Not all on the peak like a DR, but more flattened out.
Using a Fluke 43B Power Quality Analyzer, with the SW in charge mode,
I see power factor values between 0.75 to 0.85 depending on the
charge rate. The power factor further degrades when the batteries are
close to full, and the charge rate is really low.
The AC chargers in the PROsine series inverters have power factor
values between 0.98 to 1.0 - stylin'!
Joe
--
Joe Schwartz - CEO and Technical Editor
Home Power magazine
joe.schwartz at homepower.com
www.homepower.com
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Joe Schwartz, Home Power
2002-09-18 00:03:34 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Hey Hugh,
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
While low cost generators may have bad power factor but you also have to
look at the power factor of the inverter when charging.
this statement puzzles me. Power factor is determined by the load,
and not the generator (no?).
Exactly!
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
In my
experience the US inverter chargers present a low power factor load to
the generator. This means the inverter / charger is asking for current
at the wrong time (out of phase with the voltage). Low power factor
loads make it very difficult for the lower cost generators to deliver
significant power through the charger to the battery.
When I measure the power factor of a Trace SW loading a generator it
is pretty near to 1, but still it is clear that something is going
on, because the voltage is pulled down and the engine is working
hard. I wonder if my power analyser really takes account of the
waveform distortion between input voltage and the current drawn.
They are in phase OK, but the shape of the current wave is weird.
Not all on the peak like a DR, but more flattened out.
Using a Fluke 43B Power Quality Analyzer, with the SW in charge mode,
I see power factor values between 0.75 to 0.85 depending on the
charge rate. The power factor further degrades when the batteries are
close to full, and the charge rate is really low.

The AC chargers in the PROsine series inverters have power factor
values between 0.98 to 1.0 - stylin'!

Joe
--
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Home Power magazine
joe.schwartz at homepower.com
www.homepower.com

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</x-flowed>
Hugh Piggott
2002-09-17 23:29:54 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Post by jberdner
While low cost generators may have bad power factor but you also have to
look at the power factor of the inverter when charging.
this statement puzzles me. Power factor is determined by the load,
and not the generator (no?).
Post by jberdner
In my
experience the US inverter chargers present a low power factor load to
the generator. This means the inverter / charger is asking for current
at the wrong time (out of phase with the voltage). Low power factor
loads make it very difficult for the lower cost generators to deliver
significant power through the charger to the battery.
When I measure the power factor of a Trace SW loading a generator it
is pretty near to 1, but still it is clear that something is going
on, because the voltage is pulled down and the engine is working
hard. I wonder if my power analyser really takes account of the
waveform distortion between input voltage and the current drawn.
They are in phase OK, but the shape of the current wave is weird.
Not all on the peak like a DR, but more flattened out.
--
Hugh

stop the war
http://www.scoraigwind.co.uk/

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</x-flowed>
David Palumbo, Independent Power &amp; Light
2002-09-18 16:08:39 UTC
Permalink
Wrenches,

I just performed a test with a Yamaha YG2800i inverter generator. Charging a
1,200 amp hour 24VDC battery bank thru a Trace SW4024 inverter/charger.

Charged at 81 amps at 28VDC (as seen on TriMetric meter with all other DC
charging sources disconnected).
Inverter Max AC Charge Amps set at 23. Observed AC charging Amps = 23.
Generator output as measured during above charging 117VAC, 60.00 HZ (does
not budge), 168.8 Peak Volts as measured with Fluke 87 meter.

This inverter generator is rated at 2,500 Watts. So the 23 Amps is pushing
it a little. Obviously this is not maxing out the Trace SW's total charging
potential but the 80 Amp at 28VDC performance is very impressive for this
small generator.
You can buy these over the web at USA Light & Electric for $1,000 delivered.
They weigh 66 lbs. They hold 3 gallons of gas and run for 7.7 hours on a
full load and 11.9 hours on a half load. They are relatively quiet at 60 to
67 dBA. And they rate a score of 3 (out of 10) on the California Engine Air
Index.

For back up on a well designed RE system these small generators make great
sense. A back up generator should not have to run very much, again in a well
designed system, even in Vermont in the winter. So why should most off grid
homeowners need anything more than this?

Honda makes a nice inverter generator with impressive performance also. The
Honda offers electric start.

Dave Palumbo
IP&L

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Perez, Home Power magazine
[mailto:richard.perez at homepower.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 11:07 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]


Hello Wrenches

I'd second Ezra's opinion that a minimum of a 6.5 KW generator is
need to obtain full output from the Trace SW series chargers. I think
that we are getting bitten by the reality of power factor here. While
power factor isn't "real" on grid since the utility just supplies the
reactive component, it's very real for generator users. Some
chargers, such as those built into the Statpower ProSine series
inverters, have unity power factor and are much easier to power with
smaller generators.

Richard
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Hi,
Having just had to listen to my darn old Honda for hours yesterday I want
to
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
chime in on this one. I agree with Frank, my experience shows me that you
really need about 6.5 kW of good generator to get max charging performance
from the SW. My 3.5 kW (sort of) Honda has a plug rated 30 amps and a 30
amp breaker but if I set my max AC amps any higher than 23 it actually
stalls the Honda. With that generator I get the best performance at about
16 AC input amps, any higher I lug the generator down and it really
labours.
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Ezra Auerbach
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy " <cpae1 at aol.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
In a message dated 9/16/2002 11:21:57 AM Pacific Standard Time,
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan
3.6kw
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries.
In my experience with generators for charging battery banks using an
inverter/charger
from Trace/Xantrex, nothing less than a quality 5kw generator will
suffice.
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
SUNcerely,
Frank Fowler
Crystal Pines Alternative Energy
530-532-1972
cpae1 at aol.com
www.solarenergy-alt.com
--
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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jberdner
2002-09-18 20:06:23 UTC
Permalink
Matt:

Power factor while charging is certainly a very important factor.
The efficiency while charging is whole other can o worms.
Don't assume the inverter efficiency is the same in both directions.
In my experience the efficiency on most units is usually much lower as
charger than as an inverter.

If you have any questions, or if I can be of any further assistance,
please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best Regards,

John Berdner

SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)


-----Original Message-----
From: matthew tritt [mailto:solarone at charter.net]
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 5:27 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]

Wow! I had no idea the ProSine was anywhere near that efficient! One
hears
such non-flattering things about them usually.

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joe Schwartz, Home Power" <joe.schwartz at homepower.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 5:03 PM
Subject: RE: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Joe Schwartz, Home Power
Hey Hugh,
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
While low cost generators may have bad power factor but you also
have to
Post by Joe Schwartz, Home Power
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
look at the power factor of the inverter when charging.
this statement puzzles me. Power factor is determined by the load,
and not the generator (no?).
Exactly!
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
In my
experience the US inverter chargers present a low power factor load
to
Post by Joe Schwartz, Home Power
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
the generator. This means the inverter / charger is asking for
current
Post by Joe Schwartz, Home Power
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
at the wrong time (out of phase with the voltage). Low power factor
loads make it very difficult for the lower cost generators to
deliver
Post by Joe Schwartz, Home Power
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
significant power through the charger to the battery.
When I measure the power factor of a Trace SW loading a generator it
is pretty near to 1, but still it is clear that something is going
on, because the voltage is pulled down and the engine is working
hard. I wonder if my power analyser really takes account of the
waveform distortion between input voltage and the current drawn.
They are in phase OK, but the shape of the current wave is weird.
Not all on the peak like a DR, but more flattened out.
Using a Fluke 43B Power Quality Analyzer, with the SW in charge mode,
I see power factor values between 0.75 to 0.85 depending on the
charge rate. The power factor further degrades when the batteries are
close to full, and the charge rate is really low.
The AC chargers in the PROsine series inverters have power factor
values between 0.98 to 1.0 - stylin'!
Joe
--
Joe Schwartz - CEO and Technical Editor
Home Power magazine
joe.schwartz at homepower.com
www.homepower.com
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John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
2002-09-20 22:12:23 UTC
Permalink
Todd and all,
In this case, the Onan was purchased by my customer directly and the
dealer knew it was for an off grid house. My customer asked me if Onans were
good generators and unfortunately I told him that I had heard they were good.
The smaller output was hopefully to use less fuel but I am not happy with 12
amps. I have a 2200 watt Kawasaki that easily puts out 16 amps (19 amps
trips the 20 amp breaker but the engine handles it OK) and it ran my house
for two years.

Thanks everybody for your comments. I guess I will stick with my econo
Yamaha 5200 which will do 28 amps. I have a customer who wanted to get rid
of his Yamaha to go with a larger generator for full SW charging and bought
and 8.5kw Kohler and so far has replaced the generator, starter and a circuit
board. So much for robustness. So far all the Yamahas I have sold are still
working fine, including the Trade-in which I am using at my house. We tried
using the T240 to boost the output but just ended up tripping the 220 breaker
with only a couple amps extra available. Still can't quite get to 30. I
just set them all up at 25 amps (over 100 amps amps DC at 24V at initial
charge) and make sure my customers know how to reprogram the charge rate if
they have to reboot. I convert most of them to propane and get much better
output than the 6000 watt Honda propane version. $2500 selling price for a
reasonable propane generator is OK in my book. Till I hear of one brand that
always keeps running, I will stubbornly resist the big boys. I am a VW
driver from way back (Geo Metro now) (52MPG). The secret is still using less
than 100kWhrs per month in your home and not needing the extra charge rate.

John Blittersdorf
Central Vermont Solar and Wind

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John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
2002-09-20 22:12:24 UTC
Permalink
Jay,
It is full power 120.

John
CVSolar

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John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
2002-09-16 18:18:34 UTC
Permalink
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan 3.6kw
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries. Anyone know what might be wrong other than the generator has a
weak output (I have seen that before with some cheap junk generators) Power
in is 122VAC and 60 Hz. It just won't load even at 30 amp AC input and
battery charging settings on the Trace. I thought about switching the
transfer switch and getting some loads on in the house to test the generator
directly but we can't come close to 12 amps AC with everything in the house
turned on. I guess I better start carrying portable electric heaters in my
tool bag for testing purposes!. Any ideas?

John Blittersdorf
Central Vermont Solar and WInd

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Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
2002-09-16 21:15:05 UTC
Permalink
Hi John,

Is it full power 120? or a 120/220 split, so you are just pulling 1/2 power?

Jay

Peltz power
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan 3.6kw
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries. Anyone know what might be wrong other than the generator has a
weak output (I have seen that before with some cheap junk generators) Power
in is 122VAC and 60 Hz. It just won't load even at 30 amp AC input and
battery charging settings on the Trace. I thought about switching the
transfer switch and getting some loads on in the house to test the generator
directly but we can't come close to 12 amps AC with everything in the house
turned on. I guess I better start carrying portable electric heaters in my
tool bag for testing purposes!. Any ideas?
John Blittersdorf
Central Vermont Solar and WInd
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Todd Cory, Mt. Shasta Energy Services
2002-09-16 23:38:48 UTC
Permalink
John and list,

I am curious how you got Onan to sell you a generator? I have been working with
a local customer that wanted to buy the Onan Emerald ~5 kW unit (propane) and
they said they would not sell it to him unless it was going into an RV... they
even said they needed to see the RV license and registration info before they
would sell it to him to make sure he wasn't just saying it was going in an RV to
be able to buy it.

This all surprised the heck out of me! Evidently they (Onan) said it had
something to do with pollution standards although I didn't know generator
manufacturers were required to enforce any kind of pollution control on their
gear... has anyone else heard about this or encountered a similar thing?

Todd
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan 3.6kw
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries. Anyone know what might be wrong other than the generator has a
weak output (I have seen that before with some cheap junk generators) Power
in is 122VAC and 60 Hz. It just won't load even at 30 amp AC input and
battery charging settings on the Trace. I thought about switching the
transfer switch and getting some loads on in the house to test the generator
directly but we can't come close to 12 amps AC with everything in the house
turned on. I guess I better start carrying portable electric heaters in my
tool bag for testing purposes!. Any ideas?
John Blittersdorf
Central Vermont Solar and WInd
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Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
2002-09-17 01:23:16 UTC
Permalink
In a message dated 9/16/2002 11:21:57 AM Pacific Standard Time,
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan 3.6kw
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries.
In my experience with generators for charging battery banks using an
inverter/charger
from Trace/Xantrex, nothing less than a quality 5kw generator will suffice.

SUNcerely,
Frank Fowler
Crystal Pines Alternative Energy
530-532-1972
cpae1 at aol.com
www.solarenergy-alt.com

--
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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jberdner
2002-09-17 22:09:57 UTC
Permalink
Matt:

While low cost generators may have bad power factor but you also have to
look at the power factor of the inverter when charging. In my
experience the US inverter chargers present a low power factor load to
the generator. This means the inverter / charger is asking for current
at the wrong time (out of phase with the voltage). Low power factor
loads make it very difficult for the lower cost generators to deliver
significant power through the charger to the battery.

In Europe they have requirements for power factor correction. Power
factor correction does add some additional cost to the inverter charger
but it also reduces the problems of interfacing Generator A with
Inverter B etc. IMHO, power factor corrected chargers (when they become
available) will eliminate the vast majority of these types of problems.
Yes, we will still have to deal with lousy generators but more of the
common ones will work reasonably well with battery chargers in the
inverters.

If you have any questions, or if I can be of any further assistance,
please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best Regards,

John Berdner

SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)


-----Original Message-----
From: matthew tritt [mailto:solarone at charter.net]
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 7:36 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]

Ezra,

The same thing happens when trying to charge batteries with a 3.5 Honda
through a DR 2500! I believe that they (Hondas) have a really bad power
factor because the generators will act like they're attempting to start
a
too large motor load. Normally a generator with a rated output of 1.5
the
expected load is required to start a motor load without bogging down,
but
with Hondas, who knows?

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex" <ezra at lasqueti.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 7:01 AM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Hi,
Having just had to listen to my darn old Honda for hours yesterday I
want
to
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
chime in on this one. I agree with Frank, my experience shows me that
you
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
really need about 6.5 kW of good generator to get max charging
performance
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
from the SW. My 3.5 kW (sort of) Honda has a plug rated 30 amps and a
30
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
amp breaker but if I set my max AC amps any higher than 23 it actually
stalls the Honda. With that generator I get the best performance at
about
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
16 AC input amps, any higher I lug the generator down and it really
labours.
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Ezra Auerbach
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy " <cpae1 at aol.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
In a message dated 9/16/2002 11:21:57 AM Pacific Standard Time,
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an
Onan
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
3.6kw
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the
new
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
batteries.
In my experience with generators for charging battery banks using an
inverter/charger
from Trace/Xantrex, nothing less than a quality 5kw generator will
suffice.
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
SUNcerely,
Frank Fowler
Crystal Pines Alternative Energy
530-532-1972
cpae1 at aol.com
www.solarenergy-alt.com
--
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Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
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David Palumbo, Independent Power &amp; Light
2002-09-18 16:08:39 UTC
Permalink
Wrenches,

I just performed a test with a Yamaha YG2800i inverter generator. Charging a
1,200 amp hour 24VDC battery bank thru a Trace SW4024 inverter/charger.

Charged at 81 amps at 28VDC (as seen on TriMetric meter with all other DC
charging sources disconnected).
Inverter Max AC Charge Amps set at 23. Observed AC charging Amps = 23.
Generator output as measured during above charging 117VAC, 60.00 HZ (does
not budge), 168.8 Peak Volts as measured with Fluke 87 meter.

This inverter generator is rated at 2,500 Watts. So the 23 Amps is pushing
it a little. Obviously this is not maxing out the Trace SW's total charging
potential but the 80 Amp at 28VDC performance is very impressive for this
small generator.
You can buy these over the web at USA Light & Electric for $1,000 delivered.
They weigh 66 lbs. They hold 3 gallons of gas and run for 7.7 hours on a
full load and 11.9 hours on a half load. They are relatively quiet at 60 to
67 dBA. And they rate a score of 3 (out of 10) on the California Engine Air
Index.

For back up on a well designed RE system these small generators make great
sense. A back up generator should not have to run very much, again in a well
designed system, even in Vermont in the winter. So why should most off grid
homeowners need anything more than this?

Honda makes a nice inverter generator with impressive performance also. The
Honda offers electric start.

Dave Palumbo
IP&L

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Perez, Home Power magazine
[mailto:richard.perez at homepower.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 11:07 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]


Hello Wrenches

I'd second Ezra's opinion that a minimum of a 6.5 KW generator is
need to obtain full output from the Trace SW series chargers. I think
that we are getting bitten by the reality of power factor here. While
power factor isn't "real" on grid since the utility just supplies the
reactive component, it's very real for generator users. Some
chargers, such as those built into the Statpower ProSine series
inverters, have unity power factor and are much easier to power with
smaller generators.

Richard
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Hi,
Having just had to listen to my darn old Honda for hours yesterday I want
to
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
chime in on this one. I agree with Frank, my experience shows me that you
really need about 6.5 kW of good generator to get max charging performance
from the SW. My 3.5 kW (sort of) Honda has a plug rated 30 amps and a 30
amp breaker but if I set my max AC amps any higher than 23 it actually
stalls the Honda. With that generator I get the best performance at about
16 AC input amps, any higher I lug the generator down and it really
labours.
Post by Ezra Auerbach, Xantrex
Ezra Auerbach
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy " <cpae1 at aol.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
In a message dated 9/16/2002 11:21:57 AM Pacific Standard Time,
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I just installed an SW4024 system with 8 L16 batteries and an Onan
3.6kw
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
generator. It will only produce 10-12 amps AC input charging the new
batteries.
In my experience with generators for charging battery banks using an
inverter/charger
from Trace/Xantrex, nothing less than a quality 5kw generator will
suffice.
Post by Frank Fowler, Crystal Pines Alt. Energy
SUNcerely,
Frank Fowler
Crystal Pines Alternative Energy
530-532-1972
cpae1 at aol.com
www.solarenergy-alt.com
--
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jberdner
2002-09-18 20:06:23 UTC
Permalink
Matt:

Power factor while charging is certainly a very important factor.
The efficiency while charging is whole other can o worms.
Don't assume the inverter efficiency is the same in both directions.
In my experience the efficiency on most units is usually much lower as
charger than as an inverter.

If you have any questions, or if I can be of any further assistance,
please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best Regards,

John Berdner

SMA America, Inc.
20830 Red Dog Road
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530.273.4595 (voice)
530.274.7271 (fax)


-----Original Message-----
From: matthew tritt [mailto:solarone at charter.net]
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 5:27 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]

Wow! I had no idea the ProSine was anywhere near that efficient! One
hears
such non-flattering things about them usually.

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joe Schwartz, Home Power" <joe.schwartz at homepower.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 5:03 PM
Subject: RE: Onan 3.6kw 120vac generator. [RE-wrenches]
Post by Joe Schwartz, Home Power
Hey Hugh,
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
While low cost generators may have bad power factor but you also
have to
Post by Joe Schwartz, Home Power
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
look at the power factor of the inverter when charging.
this statement puzzles me. Power factor is determined by the load,
and not the generator (no?).
Exactly!
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
In my
experience the US inverter chargers present a low power factor load
to
Post by Joe Schwartz, Home Power
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
the generator. This means the inverter / charger is asking for
current
Post by Joe Schwartz, Home Power
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
at the wrong time (out of phase with the voltage). Low power factor
loads make it very difficult for the lower cost generators to
deliver
Post by Joe Schwartz, Home Power
Post by Hugh Piggott
Post by jberdner
significant power through the charger to the battery.
When I measure the power factor of a Trace SW loading a generator it
is pretty near to 1, but still it is clear that something is going
on, because the voltage is pulled down and the engine is working
hard. I wonder if my power analyser really takes account of the
waveform distortion between input voltage and the current drawn.
They are in phase OK, but the shape of the current wave is weird.
Not all on the peak like a DR, but more flattened out.
Using a Fluke 43B Power Quality Analyzer, with the SW in charge mode,
I see power factor values between 0.75 to 0.85 depending on the
charge rate. The power factor further degrades when the batteries are
close to full, and the charge rate is really low.
The AC chargers in the PROsine series inverters have power factor
values between 0.98 to 1.0 - stylin'!
Joe
--
Joe Schwartz - CEO and Technical Editor
Home Power magazine
joe.schwartz at homepower.com
www.homepower.com
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John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
2002-09-20 22:12:23 UTC
Permalink
Todd and all,
In this case, the Onan was purchased by my customer directly and the
dealer knew it was for an off grid house. My customer asked me if Onans were
good generators and unfortunately I told him that I had heard they were good.
The smaller output was hopefully to use less fuel but I am not happy with 12
amps. I have a 2200 watt Kawasaki that easily puts out 16 amps (19 amps
trips the 20 amp breaker but the engine handles it OK) and it ran my house
for two years.

Thanks everybody for your comments. I guess I will stick with my econo
Yamaha 5200 which will do 28 amps. I have a customer who wanted to get rid
of his Yamaha to go with a larger generator for full SW charging and bought
and 8.5kw Kohler and so far has replaced the generator, starter and a circuit
board. So much for robustness. So far all the Yamahas I have sold are still
working fine, including the Trade-in which I am using at my house. We tried
using the T240 to boost the output but just ended up tripping the 220 breaker
with only a couple amps extra available. Still can't quite get to 30. I
just set them all up at 25 amps (over 100 amps amps DC at 24V at initial
charge) and make sure my customers know how to reprogram the charge rate if
they have to reboot. I convert most of them to propane and get much better
output than the 6000 watt Honda propane version. $2500 selling price for a
reasonable propane generator is OK in my book. Till I hear of one brand that
always keeps running, I will stubbornly resist the big boys. I am a VW
driver from way back (Geo Metro now) (52MPG). The secret is still using less
than 100kWhrs per month in your home and not needing the extra charge rate.

John Blittersdorf
Central Vermont Solar and Wind

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John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
2002-09-20 22:12:24 UTC
Permalink
Jay,
It is full power 120.

John
CVSolar

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