Discussion:
SB2500 Display Panel issues revisited [RE-wrenches]
(too old to reply)
asap
2002-12-30 19:38:10 UTC
Permalink
Kent, John, Matt,

Thanks for words on the display panel issue on right side inverter of a pair. Here's the rest of the story: the left side inverter commenced normally to begin with, while we discovered right side inverter problem as discussed, but on the second day the left side did not wake up with the
right side inverter, which continued to operate normally. Homeowner reported this and we walked him through ecommence for both sides/system, and left side's display came back on again, all normal. I do not know if the left side's green light was on during that time, on that ccasion.

So the week goes by and apparently things were looking normal during this time, but the Homeowner admittedly was just checking to make sure the meter was spinning backwards when he felt it should have been and said it was. Also meanwhile, both County inspectors and SDGE popped in and gave everybody a thumbs up. But when I went out to pick up paperwork, left side inverter had only character blocks on the first line of the display. Green light was on solid. Decided to recommence entire system and left side's display
worked fine after that, right side inverter continued to behave. Checked alignment on display panel left side inverter, it was positioned on the pins correctly, and of course, it has been working before and is displaying now.
Just the trouble in the beginning and this past Saturday with the character blocks.

Now the Homeowner feels like the inverter is not working, even if it is of course, since he can't determine kwh for the day, etc. when this happens. The hour count was only off by 1. And etotal was pretty close too, so again, i think both sides are putting out to the grid. Would a new display panel solve this? Things to check? Or does John get one of these units back after all? Strange that we'd get a pair of display panel problems, especially after bragging about how SMA inverters are practically free from anomalies like this!

Peter
ASAP POWER! / 1AU, Inc

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Kent Sheldon
2002-12-30 20:32:40 UTC
Permalink
Paul, I don't know what is going on exactly. Sounds like there have been
a lot of hands playing with the displays. We have had a small number of
display problems that will behave like you have stated (black lines).
Most of the time, R&R'ing the display will solve the problem. Sounds
like you may have already tried this. Please contact Jason Mills 530 273
4848 in SMA technical support. He will arrange an RMA and get you a new
display.

This problem will not keep the inverter from working normally. The
display is not integral to the inverter operation. When the green LED is
solid, the inverter is power tracking. Regards,

____________________________________________
Kent Sheldon
Projects Manager, Industrial Power Systems
SMA America
ksheldon at sma-america.com
530 271 1821 Office



-----Original Message-----
From: asap at podnine.com [mailto:asap at podnine.com]
Sent: Monday, December 30, 2002 11:38 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: SB2500 Display Panel issues revisited [RE-wrenches]

Kent, John, Matt,

Thanks for words on the display panel issue on right side inverter of a
pair. Here's the rest of the story: the left side inverter commenced
normally to begin with, while we discovered right side inverter problem
as discussed, but on the second day the left side did not wake up with
the
right side inverter, which continued to operate normally. Homeowner
reported this and we walked him through ecommence for both
sides/system, and left side's display came back on again, all normal. I
do not know if the left side's green light was on during that time, on
that ccasion.

So the week goes by and apparently things were looking normal during
this time, but the Homeowner admittedly was just checking to make sure
the meter was spinning backwards when he felt it should have been and
said it was. Also meanwhile, both County inspectors and SDGE popped in
and gave everybody a thumbs up. But when I went out to pick up
paperwork, left side inverter had only character blocks on the first
line of the display. Green light was on solid. Decided to recommence
entire system and left side's display
worked fine after that, right side inverter continued to behave.
Checked alignment on display panel left side inverter, it was positioned
on the pins correctly, and of course, it has been working before and is
displaying now.
Just the trouble in the beginning and this past Saturday with the
character blocks.

Now the Homeowner feels like the inverter is not working, even if it is
of course, since he can't determine kwh for the day, etc. when this
happens. The hour count was only off by 1. And etotal was pretty close
too, so again, i think both sides are putting out to the grid. Would a
new display panel solve this? Things to check? Or does John get one of
these units back after all? Strange that we'd get a pair of display
panel problems, especially after bragging about how SMA inverters are
practically free from anomalies like this!

Peter
ASAP POWER! / 1AU, Inc

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scott
2003-01-03 22:48:12 UTC
Permalink
Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott

Hi,

I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My oven/stove
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug heaters.

I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and was
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024 is
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top burners
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other appliances
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when we run
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.

I originally guessed that the ignitor control was sensitive to the power
factor, and tried using a couple of different value motor run caps.
Interestingly, this made the situation worse. With the caps on, the oven
would never work. Presumably if caps make it worse, more inductance might
help, but I'm not sure how to add inductance. I was going to try an
isolation transformer next, but thought I'd check to see if you have had any
experience with this and had any ideas.



Backwoods Solar Electric Systems www.backwoodssolar.com

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matthew tritt
2003-01-04 02:53:06 UTC
Permalink
Scott,

My bet is that the genset isn't powerful enough to both run the ignitor and
charge batteries at the same time. A bigger generator is the answer (if your
customer doesn't want to buy another stove!) I find old stoves for my
clients all the time which use a standing pilot or a match! (The old ones
are better anyway.
;-)_

Good luck

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "scott" <scott at backwoodssolar.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 2:48 PM
Subject: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by scott
Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott
Hi,
I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My oven/stove
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug heaters.
I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and was
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024 is
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top burners
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other appliances
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when we run
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.
I originally guessed that the ignitor control was sensitive to the power
factor, and tried using a couple of different value motor run caps.
Interestingly, this made the situation worse. With the caps on, the oven
would never work. Presumably if caps make it worse, more inductance might
help, but I'm not sure how to add inductance. I was going to try an
isolation transformer next, but thought I'd check to see if you have had any
experience with this and had any ideas.
Backwoods Solar Electric Systems www.backwoodssolar.com
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William Miller
2003-01-04 08:04:43 UTC
Permalink
Colleagues:

While this might be a nice pitch to sell a generator, I don't believe it
follows logic. The SW has a feature that prioritizes AC input power (grid
and generator) over battery charging. To wit, from the SW manual:

"The SW Series Inverter/Charger includes the ability to automatically
"back-off" the battery charger to prevent overloading a generator or
tripping a circuit breaker when other AC loads are being operated through
the inverter."

In other words, the inverter always directs power to the loads as a first
priority, and whatever is leftover is diverted to battery charging. The
only scenario that would indicate the generator is too small is if it's
total output could not power the stove (and other loads). I doubt the
generator lacks the ability to power a piezo electric igniter by itself. I
checked specifications on the Whirlpool website, and they do not list the
actual current draw of any of their gas ranges, but it can't be that much.

If the generator is grossly overloaded, other charging problems would be
occurring. If either the generator output voltage or frequency are too
low, the inverter is probably the most sensitive load, I suspect, and it
would not be charging dependably. How about changing out the piezo
generator? They can't be too expensive. Let us know...

William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Scott,
My bet is that the genset isn't powerful enough to both run the ignitor and
charge batteries at the same time. A bigger generator is the answer (if your
customer doesn't want to buy another stove!) I find old stoves for my
clients all the time which use a standing pilot or a match! (The old ones
are better anyway.
;-)_
Good luck
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "scott" <scott at backwoodssolar.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 2:48 PM
Subject: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by scott
Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott
Hi,
I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My
oven/stove
Post by scott
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug heaters.
I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and was
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024 is
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top burners
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other appliances
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when we
run
Post by scott
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.
__________________________________________________________________
William Miller
Miller Power and Communications
PO Box 50, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Voice :805-438-5600 Fax: 805-438-4607 VMail: 805-546-4875
email: wrmiller at slonet.org
http://millerpowerandcomm.com
License No. C-10-773985
_____________________________________________________________
Compatibility:
Word processor: WP7
Spreadsheet: Quatro Pro 7
CAD: Microstation 95, DXF, Visio 4.1T
_____________________________________________________________
"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."
H. L. Mencken
__________________________________________________________________

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matthew tritt
2003-01-04 18:31:02 UTC
Permalink
When I said "ignitor" I was referring to the oven glow bar ignitor. These
resistance heaters draw huge amounts of juice, which is why this type of
oven should be avoided in any R.E. system. Because the SW is capable of
nearly double it's rated output (for short periods of time) it would have an
easier time of powering the glow bar than a 4 kW genset would, especially
when there is battery charging going on.

Regardless of what the SW manual says about the charger being circumvented
when high loads are present, I have never seen this actually take place in
the field. I always sell clients on at least a 6 kW generator if the
inverter in use is a 4 k SW to allow for motor starting loads, if just the
generator is running, or if the batteries are being charged by the inverter.
Either way, it's the same problem. Also, the little 4 k Onan does not enjoy
a very great power factor, which is another reason to go with bigger
gensets.

The cheapest solution is to find a nice, old O'Keefe and Merrit range for
them. A $350.00 stove sure beats a $3,500. genset!

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "William Miller" <wrmiller at slonet.org>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 12:04 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by William Miller
While this might be a nice pitch to sell a generator, I don't believe it
follows logic. The SW has a feature that prioritizes AC input power (grid
"The SW Series Inverter/Charger includes the ability to automatically
"back-off" the battery charger to prevent overloading a generator or
tripping a circuit breaker when other AC loads are being operated through
the inverter."
In other words, the inverter always directs power to the loads as a first
priority, and whatever is leftover is diverted to battery charging. The
only scenario that would indicate the generator is too small is if it's
total output could not power the stove (and other loads). I doubt the
generator lacks the ability to power a piezo electric igniter by itself.
I
Post by William Miller
checked specifications on the Whirlpool website, and they do not list the
actual current draw of any of their gas ranges, but it can't be that much.
If the generator is grossly overloaded, other charging problems would be
occurring. If either the generator output voltage or frequency are too
low, the inverter is probably the most sensitive load, I suspect, and it
would not be charging dependably. How about changing out the piezo
generator? They can't be too expensive. Let us know...
William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Scott,
My bet is that the genset isn't powerful enough to both run the ignitor and
charge batteries at the same time. A bigger generator is the answer (if your
customer doesn't want to buy another stove!) I find old stoves for my
clients all the time which use a standing pilot or a match! (The old ones
are better anyway.
;-)_
Good luck
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "scott" <scott at backwoodssolar.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 2:48 PM
Subject: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by scott
Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott
Hi,
I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My
oven/stove
Post by scott
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug heaters.
I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and was
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024 is
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top burners
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other appliances
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when we
run
Post by scott
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.
__________________________________________________________________
William Miller
Miller Power and Communications
PO Box 50, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Voice :805-438-5600 Fax: 805-438-4607 VMail: 805-546-4875
email: wrmiller at slonet.org
http://millerpowerandcomm.com
License No. C-10-773985
_____________________________________________________________
Word processor: WP7
Spreadsheet: Quatro Pro 7
CAD: Microstation 95, DXF, Visio 4.1T
_____________________________________________________________
"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."
H. L. Mencken
__________________________________________________________________
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William Miller
2003-01-04 21:23:29 UTC
Permalink
Colleagues:

In addition to assigning the AC loads as first priority, the SW inverter is
also supposed to boost generator amps:

"If the amount of current demanded by the AC loads is greater than the GEN
(AC2) AMPS AC setting, the inverter is capable of supplementing the
generator's power."

For the generator to be blamed for failing the light the burners on the
stove in the scenario described, both the "back-off" and the "supplement"
features would have to be inoperative on this inverter. We've heard
skepticism that the SW will "back-off" battery charging, and I'll admit
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested either or
both of these features? Or is anyone going to visit an SW inverter with a
generator in the near future that could test these features? I imagine it
would be done by setting AC2 INPUT AMPS temporarily to an artificially low
level, turn on some loads and record how the system performs.

William Miller
Post by matthew tritt
When I said "ignitor" I was referring to the oven glow bar ignitor. These
resistance heaters draw huge amounts of juice, which is why this type of
oven should be avoided in any R.E. system. Because the SW is capable of
nearly double it's rated output (for short periods of time) it would have an
easier time of powering the glow bar than a 4 kW genset would, especially
when there is battery charging going on.
Regardless of what the SW manual says about the charger being circumvented
when high loads are present, I have never seen this actually take place in
the field. I always sell clients on at least a 6 kW generator if the
inverter in use is a 4 k SW to allow for motor starting loads, if just the
generator is running, or if the batteries are being charged by the inverter.
Either way, it's the same problem. Also, the little 4 k Onan does not enjoy
a very great power factor, which is another reason to go with bigger
gensets.
The cheapest solution is to find a nice, old O'Keefe and Merrit range for
them. A $350.00 stove sure beats a $3,500. genset!
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "William Miller" <wrmiller at slonet.org>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 12:04 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by William Miller
While this might be a nice pitch to sell a generator, I don't believe it
follows logic. The SW has a feature that prioritizes AC input power (grid
"The SW Series Inverter/Charger includes the ability to automatically
"back-off" the battery charger to prevent overloading a generator or
tripping a circuit breaker when other AC loads are being operated through
the inverter."
In other words, the inverter always directs power to the loads as a first
priority, and whatever is leftover is diverted to battery charging. The
only scenario that would indicate the generator is too small is if it's
total output could not power the stove (and other loads). I doubt the
generator lacks the ability to power a piezo electric igniter by itself.
I
Post by William Miller
checked specifications on the Whirlpool website, and they do not list the
actual current draw of any of their gas ranges, but it can't be that much.
If the generator is grossly overloaded, other charging problems would be
occurring. If either the generator output voltage or frequency are too
low, the inverter is probably the most sensitive load, I suspect, and it
would not be charging dependably. How about changing out the piezo
generator? They can't be too expensive. Let us know...
William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Scott,
My bet is that the genset isn't powerful enough to both run the ignitor
and
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
charge batteries at the same time. A bigger generator is the answer (if
your
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
customer doesn't want to buy another stove!) I find old stoves for my
clients all the time which use a standing pilot or a match! (The old ones
are better anyway.
;-)_
Good luck
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "scott" <scott at backwoodssolar.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 2:48 PM
Subject: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by scott
Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott
Hi,
I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My
oven/stove
Post by scott
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug
heaters.
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Post by scott
I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and
was
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Post by scott
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024
is
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Post by scott
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top
burners
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Post by scott
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other
appliances
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Post by scott
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when
we
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
run
Post by scott
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.
__________________________________________________________________
William Miller
Miller Power and Communications
PO Box 50, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Voice :805-438-5600 Fax: 805-438-4607 VMail: 805-546-4875
email: wrmiller at slonet.org
http://millerpowerandcomm.com
License No. C-10-773985
_____________________________________________________________
Compatibility:
Word processor: WP7
Spreadsheet: Quatro Pro 7
CAD: Microstation 95, DXF, Visio 4.1T
_____________________________________________________________
"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."
H. L. Mencken
__________________________________________________________________

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To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com

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Todd Cory, Mt. Shasta Energy Services
2003-01-04 21:37:34 UTC
Permalink
I have seen this problem with large surge loads that the inverter cannot respond
quick enough to, and so it often momentarily overloads the genny, which throws
it's voltage/ frequency out of the acceptability window, this causes the SW to
drop the genny input entirely and then it reconnects after a time-out period.

Even with AC2 dialed way down it still occurs.

Todd
Post by William Miller
Has anyone out there tested either or
both of these features? Or is anyone going to visit an SW inverter with a
generator in the near future that could test these features? I imagine it
would be done by setting AC2 INPUT AMPS temporarily to an artificially low
level, turn on some loads and record how the system performs.
William Miller
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Jack West, Talkeetna AE
2003-01-05 08:38:59 UTC
Permalink
William et al,

The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1 amp
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the max
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did not
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.

Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested either or
both of these features?
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Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
2003-01-05 17:11:26 UTC
Permalink
Hi All,

What I'm curious about is that "glow bars" only use a few hundred watts max.
I don't understand all this talk of overloading a 3500 watt genny?

I think the problem is not in acutal power useage but in some other problem
such as wave form. I've got a customer ( haven't been back out to the site
yet) who says their microwaves work fine on the inverter, but don't work
with the genny ( SW4024) which is a 4.5kw onan in good shape.

Remember its not the size, its how it works!!

jay
Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack West, Talkeetna AE" <jackwest at alaska.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
William et al,
The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1 amp
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the max
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did not
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.
Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested either or
both of these features?
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matthew tritt
2003-01-05 19:10:38 UTC
Permalink
Hay Jay,

. I suspect that the real reason that certain loads, like microwaves, oven
bars and submersible pumps don't work properly with the small, low
torque-high RPM gensets has to do with their controls, and not the actual
load. Perhaps, that since these small generators will easily bog down and
develop a less than perfect wave form when attempting to start some loads,
the controls reject the power (or, in the case of some pumps, the engine
stalls out) Does anyone have experience with a small (under 6 kW) high speed
genset that will actually start and run sensitive loads? I've never seen
this type of problem with the Listers or other industrial grade sets that I
use.

Matt
----- Original Message -----



From: "Jay Peltz, Peltz Power" <jay at asis.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Hi All,
What I'm curious about is that "glow bars" only use a few hundred watts max.
I don't understand all this talk of overloading a 3500 watt genny?
I think the problem is not in acutal power useage but in some other problem
such as wave form. I've got a customer ( haven't been back out to the site
yet) who says their microwaves work fine on the inverter, but don't work
with the genny ( SW4024) which is a 4.5kw onan in good shape.
Remember its not the size, its how it works!!
jay
Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack West, Talkeetna AE" <jackwest at alaska.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
William et al,
The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1 amp
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the max
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did not
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.
Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested either or
both of these features?
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Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
2003-01-05 22:56:36 UTC
Permalink
Hi Matt,

Yes I agree, that with just the one load on, sometimes it can "fool" the
regulator on the genny, but I doubt that this is the case. Usually if you
are using the stove, you've at least got a light on. And in my experience,
if at least one light is one ( best if its an incandescent) then there is no
problems with a sensitive load.

Jay

peltz power


----- Original Message -----
From: "matthew tritt" <solarone at charter.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 11:10 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by matthew tritt
Hay Jay,
. I suspect that the real reason that certain loads, like microwaves, oven
bars and submersible pumps don't work properly with the small, low
torque-high RPM gensets has to do with their controls, and not the actual
load. Perhaps, that since these small generators will easily bog down and
develop a less than perfect wave form when attempting to start some loads,
the controls reject the power (or, in the case of some pumps, the engine
stalls out) Does anyone have experience with a small (under 6 kW) high speed
genset that will actually start and run sensitive loads? I've never seen
this type of problem with the Listers or other industrial grade sets that I
use.
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Peltz, Peltz Power" <jay at asis.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Hi All,
What I'm curious about is that "glow bars" only use a few hundred watts
max.
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
I don't understand all this talk of overloading a 3500 watt genny?
I think the problem is not in acutal power useage but in some other
problem
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
such as wave form. I've got a customer ( haven't been back out to the
site
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
yet) who says their microwaves work fine on the inverter, but don't work
with the genny ( SW4024) which is a 4.5kw onan in good shape.
Remember its not the size, its how it works!!
jay
Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack West, Talkeetna AE" <jackwest at alaska.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
William et al,
The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1 amp
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the max
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did not
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.
Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested
either
Post by matthew tritt
or
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
Post by William Miller
both of these features?
- - - -
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matthew tritt
2003-01-05 23:51:27 UTC
Permalink
J,

I meant the control on the appliance in question, not the generator. Ranges
and microwaves all seem to have very persnickety circuitry these days; if
everything isn't just so, they must assume that there's something wacko with
the "grid". I just went through this same (or similar) problem with a
friend's stove when they were using a borrowed Home Depot-bought gen. When
their old, low 1800 RPM unit came back from a re-build, everything worked
fine!

Matt T
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Peltz, Peltz Power" <jay at asis.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 2:56 PM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Hi Matt,
Yes I agree, that with just the one load on, sometimes it can "fool" the
regulator on the genny, but I doubt that this is the case. Usually if you
are using the stove, you've at least got a light on. And in my experience,
if at least one light is one ( best if its an incandescent) then there is no
problems with a sensitive load.
Jay
peltz power
----- Original Message -----
From: "matthew tritt" <solarone at charter.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 11:10 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by matthew tritt
Hay Jay,
. I suspect that the real reason that certain loads, like microwaves,
oven
Post by matthew tritt
bars and submersible pumps don't work properly with the small, low
torque-high RPM gensets has to do with their controls, and not the actual
load. Perhaps, that since these small generators will easily bog down and
develop a less than perfect wave form when attempting to start some loads,
the controls reject the power (or, in the case of some pumps, the engine
stalls out) Does anyone have experience with a small (under 6 kW) high
speed
Post by matthew tritt
genset that will actually start and run sensitive loads? I've never seen
this type of problem with the Listers or other industrial grade sets
that
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
I
Post by matthew tritt
use.
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Peltz, Peltz Power" <jay at asis.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Hi All,
What I'm curious about is that "glow bars" only use a few hundred watts
max.
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
I don't understand all this talk of overloading a 3500 watt genny?
I think the problem is not in acutal power useage but in some other
problem
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
such as wave form. I've got a customer ( haven't been back out to the
site
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
yet) who says their microwaves work fine on the inverter, but don't work
with the genny ( SW4024) which is a 4.5kw onan in good shape.
Remember its not the size, its how it works!!
jay
Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack West, Talkeetna AE" <jackwest at alaska.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
William et al,
The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1
amp
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the
max
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did
not
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.
Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested
either
Post by matthew tritt
or
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
Post by William Miller
both of these features?
- - - -
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Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
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William Miller
2003-01-08 05:10:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
I've been having a long-term problem with an Onan Emerald 6300W propane
genset.
Works great much of the time, but sometimes gets into a pulsing mode while
charging. By pulsing I mean that the current draw on the charger will vary
by 3 to 8 amps in a 2-3 second period, pulsing up and down. Sometimes this
is ok, other times it makes the lights flicker like all heck. We get voltage
readings that vary by 15 to 20 volts during the pulsations. This will go on
anywhere from 2 minutes to half an hour, and then just stop. No way to make
it happen, or to stop it.
Jeff:

As some have mentioned, noise may be an issue. Do you have access to an
oscilloscope? You can use a voltage divider to lower input voltage to
protect the scope front end.

William Miller

__________________________________________________________________
William Miller
Miller Power and Communications
PO Box 50, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Voice :805-438-5600 Fax: 805-438-4607 VMail: 805-546-4875
email: wrmiller at slonet.org
http://millerpowerandcomm.com
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_____________________________________________________________
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Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Anyone have any other ideas as to how to keep the diff controller
happy
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
other then just leave the inverter on all the time?
Hey Tom,
I would think it would be pretty easy to make your own DC differential
controller, maybe there is even one out there. Stay DC.
Tom. I have a couple of Ivan Labs dif controllers used with the El Sid.
Haven't done it yet but I suspect it can easily be adapted to drive AC
circ pump using a master/slave relay set up.
Extremely low idle current on the surface mount board and comes with
temp sensors.
Just a suggestion.

Larry Elliott
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matthew tritt
2003-01-05 23:51:27 UTC
Permalink
J,

I meant the control on the appliance in question, not the generator. Ranges
and microwaves all seem to have very persnickety circuitry these days; if
everything isn't just so, they must assume that there's something wacko with
the "grid". I just went through this same (or similar) problem with a
friend's stove when they were using a borrowed Home Depot-bought gen. When
their old, low 1800 RPM unit came back from a re-build, everything worked
fine!

Matt T
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Peltz, Peltz Power" <jay at asis.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 2:56 PM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Hi Matt,
Yes I agree, that with just the one load on, sometimes it can "fool" the
regulator on the genny, but I doubt that this is the case. Usually if you
are using the stove, you've at least got a light on. And in my experience,
if at least one light is one ( best if its an incandescent) then there is no
problems with a sensitive load.
Jay
peltz power
----- Original Message -----
From: "matthew tritt" <solarone at charter.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 11:10 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by matthew tritt
Hay Jay,
. I suspect that the real reason that certain loads, like microwaves,
oven
Post by matthew tritt
bars and submersible pumps don't work properly with the small, low
torque-high RPM gensets has to do with their controls, and not the actual
load. Perhaps, that since these small generators will easily bog down and
develop a less than perfect wave form when attempting to start some loads,
the controls reject the power (or, in the case of some pumps, the engine
stalls out) Does anyone have experience with a small (under 6 kW) high
speed
Post by matthew tritt
genset that will actually start and run sensitive loads? I've never seen
this type of problem with the Listers or other industrial grade sets
that
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
I
Post by matthew tritt
use.
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Peltz, Peltz Power" <jay at asis.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Hi All,
What I'm curious about is that "glow bars" only use a few hundred watts
max.
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
I don't understand all this talk of overloading a 3500 watt genny?
I think the problem is not in acutal power useage but in some other
problem
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
such as wave form. I've got a customer ( haven't been back out to the
site
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
yet) who says their microwaves work fine on the inverter, but don't work
with the genny ( SW4024) which is a 4.5kw onan in good shape.
Remember its not the size, its how it works!!
jay
Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack West, Talkeetna AE" <jackwest at alaska.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
William et al,
The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1
amp
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the
max
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did
not
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.
Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested
either
Post by matthew tritt
or
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
Post by William Miller
both of these features?
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Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
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William Miller
2003-01-08 05:10:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
I've been having a long-term problem with an Onan Emerald 6300W propane
genset.
Works great much of the time, but sometimes gets into a pulsing mode while
charging. By pulsing I mean that the current draw on the charger will vary
by 3 to 8 amps in a 2-3 second period, pulsing up and down. Sometimes this
is ok, other times it makes the lights flicker like all heck. We get voltage
readings that vary by 15 to 20 volts during the pulsations. This will go on
anywhere from 2 minutes to half an hour, and then just stop. No way to make
it happen, or to stop it.
Jeff:

As some have mentioned, noise may be an issue. Do you have access to an
oscilloscope? You can use a voltage divider to lower input voltage to
protect the scope front end.

William Miller

__________________________________________________________________
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PO Box 50, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
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From: Lawrence Elliott <larry at energyoutfitters.com>
Subject: Re: differential controllers [RE-wrenches]
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Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Anyone have any other ideas as to how to keep the diff controller
happy
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
other then just leave the inverter on all the time?
Hey Tom,
I would think it would be pretty easy to make your own DC differential
controller, maybe there is even one out there. Stay DC.
Tom. I have a couple of Ivan Labs dif controllers used with the El Sid.
Haven't done it yet but I suspect it can easily be adapted to drive AC
circ pump using a master/slave relay set up.
Extremely low idle current on the surface mount board and comes with
temp sensors.
Just a suggestion.

Larry Elliott
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Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
2003-01-05 22:56:36 UTC
Permalink
Hi Matt,

Yes I agree, that with just the one load on, sometimes it can "fool" the
regulator on the genny, but I doubt that this is the case. Usually if you
are using the stove, you've at least got a light on. And in my experience,
if at least one light is one ( best if its an incandescent) then there is no
problems with a sensitive load.

Jay

peltz power


----- Original Message -----
From: "matthew tritt" <solarone at charter.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 11:10 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by matthew tritt
Hay Jay,
. I suspect that the real reason that certain loads, like microwaves, oven
bars and submersible pumps don't work properly with the small, low
torque-high RPM gensets has to do with their controls, and not the actual
load. Perhaps, that since these small generators will easily bog down and
develop a less than perfect wave form when attempting to start some loads,
the controls reject the power (or, in the case of some pumps, the engine
stalls out) Does anyone have experience with a small (under 6 kW) high speed
genset that will actually start and run sensitive loads? I've never seen
this type of problem with the Listers or other industrial grade sets that I
use.
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Peltz, Peltz Power" <jay at asis.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Hi All,
What I'm curious about is that "glow bars" only use a few hundred watts
max.
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
I don't understand all this talk of overloading a 3500 watt genny?
I think the problem is not in acutal power useage but in some other
problem
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
such as wave form. I've got a customer ( haven't been back out to the
site
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
yet) who says their microwaves work fine on the inverter, but don't work
with the genny ( SW4024) which is a 4.5kw onan in good shape.
Remember its not the size, its how it works!!
jay
Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack West, Talkeetna AE" <jackwest at alaska.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
William et al,
The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1 amp
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the max
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did not
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.
Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested
either
Post by matthew tritt
or
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
Post by William Miller
both of these features?
- - - -
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matthew tritt
2003-01-05 19:10:38 UTC
Permalink
Hay Jay,

. I suspect that the real reason that certain loads, like microwaves, oven
bars and submersible pumps don't work properly with the small, low
torque-high RPM gensets has to do with their controls, and not the actual
load. Perhaps, that since these small generators will easily bog down and
develop a less than perfect wave form when attempting to start some loads,
the controls reject the power (or, in the case of some pumps, the engine
stalls out) Does anyone have experience with a small (under 6 kW) high speed
genset that will actually start and run sensitive loads? I've never seen
this type of problem with the Listers or other industrial grade sets that I
use.

Matt
----- Original Message -----



From: "Jay Peltz, Peltz Power" <jay at asis.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Hi All,
What I'm curious about is that "glow bars" only use a few hundred watts max.
I don't understand all this talk of overloading a 3500 watt genny?
I think the problem is not in acutal power useage but in some other problem
such as wave form. I've got a customer ( haven't been back out to the site
yet) who says their microwaves work fine on the inverter, but don't work
with the genny ( SW4024) which is a 4.5kw onan in good shape.
Remember its not the size, its how it works!!
jay
Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack West, Talkeetna AE" <jackwest at alaska.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
William et al,
The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1 amp
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the max
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did not
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.
Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested either or
both of these features?
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Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
2003-01-05 17:11:26 UTC
Permalink
Hi All,

What I'm curious about is that "glow bars" only use a few hundred watts max.
I don't understand all this talk of overloading a 3500 watt genny?

I think the problem is not in acutal power useage but in some other problem
such as wave form. I've got a customer ( haven't been back out to the site
yet) who says their microwaves work fine on the inverter, but don't work
with the genny ( SW4024) which is a 4.5kw onan in good shape.

Remember its not the size, its how it works!!

jay
Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack West, Talkeetna AE" <jackwest at alaska.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
William et al,
The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1 amp
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the max
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did not
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.
Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested either or
both of these features?
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Todd Cory, Mt. Shasta Energy Services
2003-01-04 21:37:34 UTC
Permalink
I have seen this problem with large surge loads that the inverter cannot respond
quick enough to, and so it often momentarily overloads the genny, which throws
it's voltage/ frequency out of the acceptability window, this causes the SW to
drop the genny input entirely and then it reconnects after a time-out period.

Even with AC2 dialed way down it still occurs.

Todd
Post by William Miller
Has anyone out there tested either or
both of these features? Or is anyone going to visit an SW inverter with a
generator in the near future that could test these features? I imagine it
would be done by setting AC2 INPUT AMPS temporarily to an artificially low
level, turn on some loads and record how the system performs.
William Miller
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Jack West, Talkeetna AE
2003-01-05 08:38:59 UTC
Permalink
William et al,

The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1 amp
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the max
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did not
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.

Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested either or
both of these features?
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matthew tritt
2003-01-04 18:31:02 UTC
Permalink
When I said "ignitor" I was referring to the oven glow bar ignitor. These
resistance heaters draw huge amounts of juice, which is why this type of
oven should be avoided in any R.E. system. Because the SW is capable of
nearly double it's rated output (for short periods of time) it would have an
easier time of powering the glow bar than a 4 kW genset would, especially
when there is battery charging going on.

Regardless of what the SW manual says about the charger being circumvented
when high loads are present, I have never seen this actually take place in
the field. I always sell clients on at least a 6 kW generator if the
inverter in use is a 4 k SW to allow for motor starting loads, if just the
generator is running, or if the batteries are being charged by the inverter.
Either way, it's the same problem. Also, the little 4 k Onan does not enjoy
a very great power factor, which is another reason to go with bigger
gensets.

The cheapest solution is to find a nice, old O'Keefe and Merrit range for
them. A $350.00 stove sure beats a $3,500. genset!

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "William Miller" <wrmiller at slonet.org>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 12:04 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by William Miller
While this might be a nice pitch to sell a generator, I don't believe it
follows logic. The SW has a feature that prioritizes AC input power (grid
"The SW Series Inverter/Charger includes the ability to automatically
"back-off" the battery charger to prevent overloading a generator or
tripping a circuit breaker when other AC loads are being operated through
the inverter."
In other words, the inverter always directs power to the loads as a first
priority, and whatever is leftover is diverted to battery charging. The
only scenario that would indicate the generator is too small is if it's
total output could not power the stove (and other loads). I doubt the
generator lacks the ability to power a piezo electric igniter by itself.
I
Post by William Miller
checked specifications on the Whirlpool website, and they do not list the
actual current draw of any of their gas ranges, but it can't be that much.
If the generator is grossly overloaded, other charging problems would be
occurring. If either the generator output voltage or frequency are too
low, the inverter is probably the most sensitive load, I suspect, and it
would not be charging dependably. How about changing out the piezo
generator? They can't be too expensive. Let us know...
William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Scott,
My bet is that the genset isn't powerful enough to both run the ignitor and
charge batteries at the same time. A bigger generator is the answer (if your
customer doesn't want to buy another stove!) I find old stoves for my
clients all the time which use a standing pilot or a match! (The old ones
are better anyway.
;-)_
Good luck
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "scott" <scott at backwoodssolar.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 2:48 PM
Subject: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by scott
Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott
Hi,
I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My
oven/stove
Post by scott
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug heaters.
I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and was
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024 is
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top burners
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other appliances
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when we
run
Post by scott
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.
__________________________________________________________________
William Miller
Miller Power and Communications
PO Box 50, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Voice :805-438-5600 Fax: 805-438-4607 VMail: 805-546-4875
email: wrmiller at slonet.org
http://millerpowerandcomm.com
License No. C-10-773985
_____________________________________________________________
Word processor: WP7
Spreadsheet: Quatro Pro 7
CAD: Microstation 95, DXF, Visio 4.1T
_____________________________________________________________
"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."
H. L. Mencken
__________________________________________________________________
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William Miller
2003-01-04 21:23:29 UTC
Permalink
Colleagues:

In addition to assigning the AC loads as first priority, the SW inverter is
also supposed to boost generator amps:

"If the amount of current demanded by the AC loads is greater than the GEN
(AC2) AMPS AC setting, the inverter is capable of supplementing the
generator's power."

For the generator to be blamed for failing the light the burners on the
stove in the scenario described, both the "back-off" and the "supplement"
features would have to be inoperative on this inverter. We've heard
skepticism that the SW will "back-off" battery charging, and I'll admit
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested either or
both of these features? Or is anyone going to visit an SW inverter with a
generator in the near future that could test these features? I imagine it
would be done by setting AC2 INPUT AMPS temporarily to an artificially low
level, turn on some loads and record how the system performs.

William Miller
Post by matthew tritt
When I said "ignitor" I was referring to the oven glow bar ignitor. These
resistance heaters draw huge amounts of juice, which is why this type of
oven should be avoided in any R.E. system. Because the SW is capable of
nearly double it's rated output (for short periods of time) it would have an
easier time of powering the glow bar than a 4 kW genset would, especially
when there is battery charging going on.
Regardless of what the SW manual says about the charger being circumvented
when high loads are present, I have never seen this actually take place in
the field. I always sell clients on at least a 6 kW generator if the
inverter in use is a 4 k SW to allow for motor starting loads, if just the
generator is running, or if the batteries are being charged by the inverter.
Either way, it's the same problem. Also, the little 4 k Onan does not enjoy
a very great power factor, which is another reason to go with bigger
gensets.
The cheapest solution is to find a nice, old O'Keefe and Merrit range for
them. A $350.00 stove sure beats a $3,500. genset!
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "William Miller" <wrmiller at slonet.org>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 12:04 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by William Miller
While this might be a nice pitch to sell a generator, I don't believe it
follows logic. The SW has a feature that prioritizes AC input power (grid
"The SW Series Inverter/Charger includes the ability to automatically
"back-off" the battery charger to prevent overloading a generator or
tripping a circuit breaker when other AC loads are being operated through
the inverter."
In other words, the inverter always directs power to the loads as a first
priority, and whatever is leftover is diverted to battery charging. The
only scenario that would indicate the generator is too small is if it's
total output could not power the stove (and other loads). I doubt the
generator lacks the ability to power a piezo electric igniter by itself.
I
Post by William Miller
checked specifications on the Whirlpool website, and they do not list the
actual current draw of any of their gas ranges, but it can't be that much.
If the generator is grossly overloaded, other charging problems would be
occurring. If either the generator output voltage or frequency are too
low, the inverter is probably the most sensitive load, I suspect, and it
would not be charging dependably. How about changing out the piezo
generator? They can't be too expensive. Let us know...
William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Scott,
My bet is that the genset isn't powerful enough to both run the ignitor
and
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
charge batteries at the same time. A bigger generator is the answer (if
your
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
customer doesn't want to buy another stove!) I find old stoves for my
clients all the time which use a standing pilot or a match! (The old ones
are better anyway.
;-)_
Good luck
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "scott" <scott at backwoodssolar.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 2:48 PM
Subject: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by scott
Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott
Hi,
I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My
oven/stove
Post by scott
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug
heaters.
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Post by scott
I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and
was
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Post by scott
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024
is
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Post by scott
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top
burners
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Post by scott
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other
appliances
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Post by scott
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when
we
Post by William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
run
Post by scott
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.
__________________________________________________________________
William Miller
Miller Power and Communications
PO Box 50, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Voice :805-438-5600 Fax: 805-438-4607 VMail: 805-546-4875
email: wrmiller at slonet.org
http://millerpowerandcomm.com
License No. C-10-773985
_____________________________________________________________
Compatibility:
Word processor: WP7
Spreadsheet: Quatro Pro 7
CAD: Microstation 95, DXF, Visio 4.1T
_____________________________________________________________
"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."
H. L. Mencken
__________________________________________________________________

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matthew tritt
2003-01-04 02:53:06 UTC
Permalink
Scott,

My bet is that the genset isn't powerful enough to both run the ignitor and
charge batteries at the same time. A bigger generator is the answer (if your
customer doesn't want to buy another stove!) I find old stoves for my
clients all the time which use a standing pilot or a match! (The old ones
are better anyway.
;-)_

Good luck

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "scott" <scott at backwoodssolar.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 2:48 PM
Subject: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by scott
Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott
Hi,
I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My oven/stove
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug heaters.
I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and was
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024 is
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top burners
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other appliances
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when we run
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.
I originally guessed that the ignitor control was sensitive to the power
factor, and tried using a couple of different value motor run caps.
Interestingly, this made the situation worse. With the caps on, the oven
would never work. Presumably if caps make it worse, more inductance might
help, but I'm not sure how to add inductance. I was going to try an
isolation transformer next, but thought I'd check to see if you have had any
experience with this and had any ideas.
Backwoods Solar Electric Systems www.backwoodssolar.com
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William Miller
2003-01-04 08:04:43 UTC
Permalink
Colleagues:

While this might be a nice pitch to sell a generator, I don't believe it
follows logic. The SW has a feature that prioritizes AC input power (grid
and generator) over battery charging. To wit, from the SW manual:

"The SW Series Inverter/Charger includes the ability to automatically
"back-off" the battery charger to prevent overloading a generator or
tripping a circuit breaker when other AC loads are being operated through
the inverter."

In other words, the inverter always directs power to the loads as a first
priority, and whatever is leftover is diverted to battery charging. The
only scenario that would indicate the generator is too small is if it's
total output could not power the stove (and other loads). I doubt the
generator lacks the ability to power a piezo electric igniter by itself. I
checked specifications on the Whirlpool website, and they do not list the
actual current draw of any of their gas ranges, but it can't be that much.

If the generator is grossly overloaded, other charging problems would be
occurring. If either the generator output voltage or frequency are too
low, the inverter is probably the most sensitive load, I suspect, and it
would not be charging dependably. How about changing out the piezo
generator? They can't be too expensive. Let us know...

William Miller
Post by Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
Scott,
My bet is that the genset isn't powerful enough to both run the ignitor and
charge batteries at the same time. A bigger generator is the answer (if your
customer doesn't want to buy another stove!) I find old stoves for my
clients all the time which use a standing pilot or a match! (The old ones
are better anyway.
;-)_
Good luck
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "scott" <scott at backwoodssolar.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 2:48 PM
Subject: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by scott
Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott
Hi,
I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My
oven/stove
Post by scott
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug heaters.
I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and was
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024 is
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top burners
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other appliances
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when we
run
Post by scott
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.
__________________________________________________________________
William Miller
Miller Power and Communications
PO Box 50, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Voice :805-438-5600 Fax: 805-438-4607 VMail: 805-546-4875
email: wrmiller at slonet.org
http://millerpowerandcomm.com
License No. C-10-773985
_____________________________________________________________
Compatibility:
Word processor: WP7
Spreadsheet: Quatro Pro 7
CAD: Microstation 95, DXF, Visio 4.1T
_____________________________________________________________
"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."
H. L. Mencken
__________________________________________________________________

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scott
2003-01-03 22:48:12 UTC
Permalink
Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott

Hi,

I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My oven/stove
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug heaters.

I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and was
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024 is
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top burners
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other appliances
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when we run
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.

I originally guessed that the ignitor control was sensitive to the power
factor, and tried using a couple of different value motor run caps.
Interestingly, this made the situation worse. With the caps on, the oven
would never work. Presumably if caps make it worse, more inductance might
help, but I'm not sure how to add inductance. I was going to try an
isolation transformer next, but thought I'd check to see if you have had any
experience with this and had any ideas.



Backwoods Solar Electric Systems www.backwoodssolar.com

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Matt Lafferty
2002-12-31 03:53:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by asap
Now the Homeowner feels like the inverter is not working, even if it is of
course, since he can't determine kwh for the day, etc. when this happens.
The hour count was only off by 1. And etotal was pretty close too, so
again, i think both sides are putting out to the grid. Would a new display
panel solve this? Things to check?

My Penny-and-a-half: (WARNING - Soap-Box at bottom of post!)

Multi-issues....One at a time.

First and foremost.

The most significant and unfortunate is the Homeowner's questioning the
operation of the system. Without one of my long-winded diatribes on the
personality and intelligence characteristics of Homeowners....Hey, I'm
feeling generous today.... :-)
Post by asap
From the description given, it appears that the performance and operation
are normal with the exception of the display(s).

This "simple little thing" is causing the Homeowner to have concern about
the reliability of the equipment....Wouldn't you? The Homeowner does the
next natural thing and passes that concern on to Peter. Now, Peter, being
the ever-diligent and responsible Contractor (with or without NABCEP
Certification..... ;-) responds with phone-call(s), probably some
long-distance, and personal visits to the site to evaluate....Getting paid
for any of that, Peter? Way to go, by the way. It's part of our
responsibility, but good to know someone else cares.

A little head-scratching and Customer Reassurance Activity goes on.
Customer's still not sure. Double-edged sword....Customer found a
Contractor that responds so he expects "prompt service" because "he has a
problem". It was his money that was spent, after all. Well, some dutifully
paid and collected "Public Goods" money, too....I'm guessing here.... In
either case, Peter is on the hook whether or not it's his fault and whether
or not the equipment is producing power "to spec".

Now, we here on the Wrenches should know by now that SMA has stood behind
their Customers with OUTSTANDING Customer Support and Service since they got
to the States. Heck, I think they should be sponsored for Citizenship!
Even if they aren't on "Red Neck......errrrrr Red Dog" Road any more. Does
anybody besides me even know what a Loma Rica is? ;-)

But Mr. Homeowner doesn't know that like we do. Mr. Homeowner may or may
not have anything other than Peter's word to rely on. "Red light, Green
light, Blinking Lights.......Sheeez! I just want to read my display!" See
where this can go?

That's one issue.

Second one:

The "hour count was only off by 1." Wow!

While I haven't seen the Site and don't know the particulars and
relationships of the two systems, assuming they are IDENTICAL, this could be
due to the following primary possibilities:

1. Not all PV Modules are created equally. Whether or not they are
IDENTICAL in labeling, rating, appearance, price or what the salesguy told
you......(Talk about the 800 pound gorilla....)
2. The system in question has been "re-commenced" or reset several times.
Each time takes approximately 7 minutes for full operation to resume....Add
it up.
3. The display only shows the "full hours of production".....Correct me if
I'm wrong, Grass Valley Guys....In short (Did I say, "Short"? Shame on
me!), if one inverter has produced power for 2 hours and 5 minutes, it will
display "2 Hours Total". If the other inverter has produced power for 1
hour and 50 minutes, it will display "1 Hour Total". While this would show
a 1 hour discrepancy, the actual time of production difference would only be
15 minutes. (Equivalent of 2 re-starts) Now I'm sure the boys back in
Germany could put in a "minutes / seconds" timer....but knowing what they
charge for their stuff..... lol. You know that "Mandatory 6-Weeks per Year
Vacation" really costs in the long run!

Idea! Let's say there is an actual 1 hour difference in production.....Give
the guy a quarter for his lost electricity and thank him for his patience!
When the RMA display gets to you, go change it, again. (I would be
personally grateful, for my own knowledge, to know the outcome.) Perhaps if
all of us Sunny-Boy users (Addictive, isn't it?) took up a
collection.....Why is it I'm in such a good mood today? Sun's not shining
here....Hmmm. Maybe I've just outgrown that "Seasonal Affected Disorder"
thing....

Item 3:

"He can't tell the e-total for the day".

It's winter. It's not a lot, anyway. (You know....Solar....Sun.....Short
days....) OK, so I'm kidding somewhat, but this is a serious issue with
"new PV owners".... I've got stories to tell about lawn-chairs, park
benches, Engineers "doing their own calculations", retired people with
nothing better to do than watch that meter go backward, "Turn off all the
stuff in the house, Marge, I wanna see it do it again".....

One of the nice things about the SB's is that the memory is not stored in
the display. Upon resolution of the display issue, which I know will
happen, the current and "accurate to an acceptable degree", information will
be displayed for the Homeowner's viewing pleasure. (See previous post,
12/23/02) You might want to give him a quarter for the good-will aspect.

Consideration of Issue #2 above is also relevant to this issue. Especially
Item #1 within that issue!

Since SMA will send you the RMA (2nd time....sorry to say. Hang in there,
Peter, it's to all of our benefit, you Martyr, you.) display promptly, it's
probably not necessary to show the Homeowner how to "switch" the working
display back and forth between inverters just before sunset every day so he
sees the E-Total....lol Hopefully this time will be the last and your
customer's confidence will be restored.

So far, any of the display failures we've experienced have been resolved
with just a display replacement. There hasn't been a need to send a whole
inverter back for such a problem.

Sun's still not shining... (Moon's not out yet either)

-Matt Lafferty
pvpro at attbi.com
(916) 422-9772
(916) 914-2247 Fax


OK....Soap Box Time!

What does all this mean? What can be done to prevent these issues in the
future?

NABCEP? (Just had to say that...)

No. That won't do it. Might not hurt though. Read on.... What this and
many other experiences I've had points out to me is that we "aren't there
yet". While nothing is perfect, in terms of equipment, process, etc.,
improvements can and should be sought.

Supportive partners in finding the ultimate answers are crucial! We, as
individuals and companies, have a duty to be partners in seeking this
resolution.

I, for one, am strongly supportive of "production based incentives" in
trying to reach that "ultimate answer", under the following conditions:

That it is well thought out, considers the known factors and affected
parties, is responsibly and cost-effectively deployed, is admninistered and
conducted in a non-biased manner, and DOES NOT "open the door" for taxation
or other "hidden" costs and "hoops" for end-users and Contractors to bear.

This type of approach if effectively deployed, in my way of thinking, would
provide:

1. Customer confidence (His system is working....the display is just not
doing what it's supposed to);
2. Peter's confidence and / or lack of confidence in selecting an equipment
manufacturer will affect his choices in the future....Trickle Up Economics I
think it is called.;
3. Justifiability of expenditures at an agency level. (This one is
GIGANTIC, if you haven't been there.)

You see, if there were an effective plan / way to deploy such a system, a
bunch of "problems" would become "memories" eventually....I did say,
"effective".......

Pipe Dream? I don't believe so. There are many great minds to tap for the
answers. Now, if only these minds could arrive at a consensus like the
"Founding Fathers" did in writing the US Constitution (They DEFINITELY did
NOT all agree on everything), nobody will "get everything they want" but,
isn't some portion of this "for the greater good"????

How do we get there from here? Multi-fronted assault.

First of all, understanding as many of the "obstacles and relationships" as
possible is key.

Meter sockets and the standard kWH meter are cheap and the obvious
"no-brainer" (don't be lulled into thinking this is the only answer....Keep
thinking!) means of capturing production data (kWH) over time. Well, for
smaller systems anyway.

Will the system incentive be based on "Meter 1 minus Meter 2" or just "Meter
2"? Will the bi-directional net meters that are already installed have to
be replaced with detented or "ratched" meters? Who pays for that, if so?
How much? Grandfathering? To what point? Who's getting screwed with that
option? Who's gonna buy the meters? Who's gonna read them? Who's gonna
keep the data? When will the money be distributed? Who is eligible to
apply for it? What about those larger systems, anyway? Damn I wish my
lotto ticket would turn green! This all gives me a headache!

All good questions and all should be open for discussion and need answers.

Taxation? Dare I say the word? "Hidden" costs? . . . . I hate to
Legislate, more than any of you know, but I see no alternative within the
current "way things are done" to that option. This, too, must be
spearheaded. "If we don't....They will!" comes to mind. Who will?

Who Certifies the meter accuracy? Who proves the accuracy (and pays for
that proof) when challenged? Don't fool yourself. There's a challenge at
every corner. Not to mention the Lawyer, Doctor, Engineer, etc. that thinks
they are smarter than "The System". A significant portion of our
"Clientele", I would argue. Another discussion, really.....Perhaps a
Conference Call is in order....Then those lucky ones of you who haven't had
to endure my ranting and raving on the phone could experience it once and
for all.... :-)

Who replaces and pays for a faulty meter? Who actually owns the meter?
Short-term? Long-Term?

Who reimburses whom for "lost revenue" associated with equipment "failures",
bad design, "over-optimistic" production predictions....Careful! You've got
Customers, CEC / Bureaucratic Agency, Utilities, Contractors, Neighbors,
Equipment Manufacturers, Salespeople, The Taxman, et cetera involved in this
one!

A whole lot of questions. There are more....If Next Year weren't almost
here I'd keep going. My point is that "we" haven't yet begun to effectively
"take it to the next level". What are they doing in Germany? Europe? The
rest of the World? What can we learn from them that applies here?

I have a few "proposals for consideration", I know others do, as well. I
welcome and want answers, discussion. I, for darned sure, don't know it
all. This may seem like a "California Only" issue (Not the SB-2500 Display
part....) but it's not. "As California goes, so does the rest of the
Country". That's not the whole truth, but what happens here does affect
what happens elsewhere. It's a blesseing and a curse, all in one.

This really is something that must be addressed for the eventual success of
PV in America, at least Grid-Tied, outside of Wisconsin, where they pay you
even if you're off-grid ;-) Arriving at a solution that meets "the biggest
needs other than profit" of all parties involved, is truly in all our best
interest.

You see, the ones holding the purse strings for doling out the "rebates" are
in the middle, too. Just a different middle than us. They don't make their
livings doing this stuff. They just "approve or deny" payments.....That
affects US!

There are Utilities and "Energy Suppliers". You've got your Enrons, or
used to, anyway. The Duke Energy's. IBEW. OPEC. Osama Bin Laden. George
Dubbya and boys. Gray Davis and cronies. The Caspian Sea. Some Uranium
Mine Owners and Afghani Cavedwellers. Somewhere in there, so they tell me,
is Sadam Hussein and the Ayatollah Khomeni in bed with Omar Qadafi and
Yessir I'm Fat. I bet somebody on the West, or is it East??? Bank has
something to do with it, too. Behind it all is the Tri-Lateral Commission
and the Rockefellers. Maybe even the Queen of England......OK, maybe not
the Queen, but I bet her boyfriend is involved.

With all those loud ($$$$) voices being heard, here we are, The Wrenches and
our Customers who are trying to make a living doing the right thing because
we know it works, it can work better and we believe that.... with that next
turn of the screwdriver.... The next Sunrise, if you will, they will all see
what we see....That this really is part of the answer. That we can have
some level of harmony and efficiency without anybody getting hurt or
becoming slaves (Taxes aside....Another Topic.....Sorry, Michael).

That the World doesn't have to revolve on the axis of Oil Interests forever
(Yes, BP, Shell, Et Al, You bear some responsibility and duty here,
too....We want to support you in your positive efforts....We need your
support at the same time. What are you willing to put up?).

We, on the ground-floor, need to take a stand....make the commitment to
ourselves and our children.....to understand the needs of all parties, to
meet the reasonable needs half-way, and to not back down from those things
we know are wrong for the sake of "sucking up the $$$ while they're there
for the sucking up". There are no "easy answers" but there are some that
are easier than others. One battle at a time. One battle at a time!

Yeah, we gotta make a living. How are we gonna make it a living for the
future? After buydowns and rebates?

I say that, in PV here in the States, it will most effectively be
accomplished by coming to grips with and proactively dealing with the
broadest set of hurdles and obstacles possible, on a prioritized and unified
basis. This must inevitably involve Grid-Tied PV and other source of RE
that interact with the Grid.

Breathe, Matt. Breathe.

If you're still reading and care, I request that replies to the "SB2500
Display Panel issues" be directly replied to.

If you're still reading and care, I request that replies to the "Soap-Box"
portion of this message have a new subject line for the sake of those who
don't want to watch both....Perhaps, "Soap-Box", perhaps one of your own
choosing. Or, as always, I'm available off-list, too.

Happy Next Year!

-Matt Lafferty
pvpro at attbi.com

- - - -
To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com

Archive of previous messages: http://www.topica.com/lists/RE-wrenches/

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Kent Sheldon
2002-12-31 04:17:48 UTC
Permalink
Matt, thanks for the compliments. And I already am a US citizen, but
thanks for the offer of support.

Loma: hill, knoll
Rica: rich, nice

Get it? It's a way of life...

____________________________________________
Kent


-----Original Message-----
From: Matt Lafferty [mailto:pvpro at attbi.com]
Sent: Monday, December 30, 2002 7:53 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: SB2500 Display Panel issues revisited [RE-wrenches]
Post by asap
Now the Homeowner feels like the inverter is not working, even if it is
of
course, since he can't determine kwh for the day, etc. when this
happens.
The hour count was only off by 1. And etotal was pretty close too, so
again, i think both sides are putting out to the grid. Would a new
display
panel solve this? Things to check?

My Penny-and-a-half: (WARNING - Soap-Box at bottom of post!)

Multi-issues....One at a time.

First and foremost.

The most significant and unfortunate is the Homeowner's questioning the
operation of the system. Without one of my long-winded diatribes on the
personality and intelligence characteristics of Homeowners....Hey, I'm
feeling generous today.... :-)
Post by asap
From the description given, it appears that the performance and
operation
are normal with the exception of the display(s).

This "simple little thing" is causing the Homeowner to have concern
about
the reliability of the equipment....Wouldn't you? The Homeowner does
the
next natural thing and passes that concern on to Peter. Now, Peter,
being
the ever-diligent and responsible Contractor (with or without NABCEP
Certification..... ;-) responds with phone-call(s), probably some
long-distance, and personal visits to the site to evaluate....Getting
paid
for any of that, Peter? Way to go, by the way. It's part of our
responsibility, but good to know someone else cares.

A little head-scratching and Customer Reassurance Activity goes on.
Customer's still not sure. Double-edged sword....Customer found a
Contractor that responds so he expects "prompt service" because "he has
a
problem". It was his money that was spent, after all. Well, some
dutifully
paid and collected "Public Goods" money, too....I'm guessing here.... In
either case, Peter is on the hook whether or not it's his fault and
whether
or not the equipment is producing power "to spec".

Now, we here on the Wrenches should know by now that SMA has stood
behind
their Customers with OUTSTANDING Customer Support and Service since they
got
to the States. Heck, I think they should be sponsored for Citizenship!
Even if they aren't on "Red Neck......errrrrr Red Dog" Road any more.
Does
anybody besides me even know what a Loma Rica is? ;-)

But Mr. Homeowner doesn't know that like we do. Mr. Homeowner may or
may
not have anything other than Peter's word to rely on. "Red light, Green
light, Blinking Lights.......Sheeez! I just want to read my display!"
See
where this can go?

That's one issue.

Second one:

The "hour count was only off by 1." Wow!

While I haven't seen the Site and don't know the particulars and
relationships of the two systems, assuming they are IDENTICAL, this
could be
due to the following primary possibilities:

1. Not all PV Modules are created equally. Whether or not they are
IDENTICAL in labeling, rating, appearance, price or what the salesguy
told
you......(Talk about the 800 pound gorilla....)
2. The system in question has been "re-commenced" or reset several
times.
Each time takes approximately 7 minutes for full operation to
resume....Add
it up.
3. The display only shows the "full hours of production".....Correct me
if
I'm wrong, Grass Valley Guys....In short (Did I say, "Short"? Shame on
me!), if one inverter has produced power for 2 hours and 5 minutes, it
will
display "2 Hours Total". If the other inverter has produced power for 1
hour and 50 minutes, it will display "1 Hour Total". While this would
show
a 1 hour discrepancy, the actual time of production difference would
only be
15 minutes. (Equivalent of 2 re-starts) Now I'm sure the boys back in
Germany could put in a "minutes / seconds" timer....but knowing what
they
charge for their stuff..... lol. You know that "Mandatory 6-Weeks per
Year
Vacation" really costs in the long run!

Idea! Let's say there is an actual 1 hour difference in
production.....Give
the guy a quarter for his lost electricity and thank him for his
patience!
When the RMA display gets to you, go change it, again. (I would be
personally grateful, for my own knowledge, to know the outcome.)
Perhaps if
all of us Sunny-Boy users (Addictive, isn't it?) took up a
collection.....Why is it I'm in such a good mood today? Sun's not
shining
here....Hmmm. Maybe I've just outgrown that "Seasonal Affected
Disorder"
thing....

Item 3:

"He can't tell the e-total for the day".

It's winter. It's not a lot, anyway. (You
know....Solar....Sun.....Short
days....) OK, so I'm kidding somewhat, but this is a serious issue with
"new PV owners".... I've got stories to tell about lawn-chairs, park
benches, Engineers "doing their own calculations", retired people with
nothing better to do than watch that meter go backward, "Turn off all
the
stuff in the house, Marge, I wanna see it do it again".....

One of the nice things about the SB's is that the memory is not stored
in
the display. Upon resolution of the display issue, which I know will
happen, the current and "accurate to an acceptable degree", information
will
be displayed for the Homeowner's viewing pleasure. (See previous post,
12/23/02) You might want to give him a quarter for the good-will
aspect.

Consideration of Issue #2 above is also relevant to this issue.
Especially
Item #1 within that issue!

Since SMA will send you the RMA (2nd time....sorry to say. Hang in
there,
Peter, it's to all of our benefit, you Martyr, you.) display promptly,
it's
probably not necessary to show the Homeowner how to "switch" the working
display back and forth between inverters just before sunset every day so
he
sees the E-Total....lol Hopefully this time will be the last and your
customer's confidence will be restored.

So far, any of the display failures we've experienced have been resolved
with just a display replacement. There hasn't been a need to send a
whole
inverter back for such a problem.

Sun's still not shining... (Moon's not out yet either)

-Matt Lafferty
pvpro at attbi.com
(916) 422-9772
(916) 914-2247 Fax


OK....Soap Box Time!

What does all this mean? What can be done to prevent these issues in
the
future?

NABCEP? (Just had to say that...)

No. That won't do it. Might not hurt though. Read on.... What this
and
many other experiences I've had points out to me is that we "aren't
there
yet". While nothing is perfect, in terms of equipment, process, etc.,
improvements can and should be sought.

Supportive partners in finding the ultimate answers are crucial! We, as
individuals and companies, have a duty to be partners in seeking this
resolution.

I, for one, am strongly supportive of "production based incentives" in
trying to reach that "ultimate answer", under the following conditions:

That it is well thought out, considers the known factors and affected
parties, is responsibly and cost-effectively deployed, is admninistered
and
conducted in a non-biased manner, and DOES NOT "open the door" for
taxation
or other "hidden" costs and "hoops" for end-users and Contractors to
bear.

This type of approach if effectively deployed, in my way of thinking,
would
provide:

1. Customer confidence (His system is working....the display is just
not
doing what it's supposed to);
2. Peter's confidence and / or lack of confidence in selecting an
equipment
manufacturer will affect his choices in the future....Trickle Up
Economics I
think it is called.;
3. Justifiability of expenditures at an agency level. (This one is
GIGANTIC, if you haven't been there.)

You see, if there were an effective plan / way to deploy such a system,
a
bunch of "problems" would become "memories" eventually....I did say,
"effective".......

Pipe Dream? I don't believe so. There are many great minds to tap for
the
answers. Now, if only these minds could arrive at a consensus like the
"Founding Fathers" did in writing the US Constitution (They DEFINITELY
did
NOT all agree on everything), nobody will "get everything they want"
but,
isn't some portion of this "for the greater good"????

How do we get there from here? Multi-fronted assault.

First of all, understanding as many of the "obstacles and relationships"
as
possible is key.

Meter sockets and the standard kWH meter are cheap and the obvious
"no-brainer" (don't be lulled into thinking this is the only
answer....Keep
thinking!) means of capturing production data (kWH) over time. Well,
for
smaller systems anyway.

Will the system incentive be based on "Meter 1 minus Meter 2" or just
"Meter
2"? Will the bi-directional net meters that are already installed have
to
be replaced with detented or "ratched" meters? Who pays for that, if
so?
How much? Grandfathering? To what point? Who's getting screwed with
that
option? Who's gonna buy the meters? Who's gonna read them? Who's
gonna
keep the data? When will the money be distributed? Who is eligible to
apply for it? What about those larger systems, anyway? Damn I wish my
lotto ticket would turn green! This all gives me a headache!

All good questions and all should be open for discussion and need
answers.

Taxation? Dare I say the word? "Hidden" costs? . . . . I hate to
Legislate, more than any of you know, but I see no alternative within
the
current "way things are done" to that option. This, too, must be
spearheaded. "If we don't....They will!" comes to mind. Who will?

Who Certifies the meter accuracy? Who proves the accuracy (and pays
for
that proof) when challenged? Don't fool yourself. There's a challenge
at
every corner. Not to mention the Lawyer, Doctor, Engineer, etc. that
thinks
they are smarter than "The System". A significant portion of our
"Clientele", I would argue. Another discussion, really.....Perhaps a
Conference Call is in order....Then those lucky ones of you who haven't
had
to endure my ranting and raving on the phone could experience it once
and
for all.... :-)

Who replaces and pays for a faulty meter? Who actually owns the meter?
Short-term? Long-Term?

Who reimburses whom for "lost revenue" associated with equipment
"failures",
bad design, "over-optimistic" production predictions....Careful! You've
got
Customers, CEC / Bureaucratic Agency, Utilities, Contractors, Neighbors,
Equipment Manufacturers, Salespeople, The Taxman, et cetera involved in
this
one!

A whole lot of questions. There are more....If Next Year weren't almost
here I'd keep going. My point is that "we" haven't yet begun to
effectively
"take it to the next level". What are they doing in Germany? Europe?
The
rest of the World? What can we learn from them that applies here?

I have a few "proposals for consideration", I know others do, as well.
I
welcome and want answers, discussion. I, for darned sure, don't know it
all. This may seem like a "California Only" issue (Not the SB-2500
Display
part....) but it's not. "As California goes, so does the rest of the
Country". That's not the whole truth, but what happens here does affect
what happens elsewhere. It's a blesseing and a curse, all in one.

This really is something that must be addressed for the eventual success
of
PV in America, at least Grid-Tied, outside of Wisconsin, where they pay
you
even if you're off-grid ;-) Arriving at a solution that meets "the
biggest
needs other than profit" of all parties involved, is truly in all our
best
interest.

You see, the ones holding the purse strings for doling out the "rebates"
are
in the middle, too. Just a different middle than us. They don't make
their
livings doing this stuff. They just "approve or deny" payments.....That
affects US!

There are Utilities and "Energy Suppliers". You've got your Enrons, or
used to, anyway. The Duke Energy's. IBEW. OPEC. Osama Bin Laden.
George
Dubbya and boys. Gray Davis and cronies. The Caspian Sea. Some
Uranium
Mine Owners and Afghani Cavedwellers. Somewhere in there, so they tell
me,
is Sadam Hussein and the Ayatollah Khomeni in bed with Omar Qadafi and
Yessir I'm Fat. I bet somebody on the West, or is it East??? Bank has
something to do with it, too. Behind it all is the Tri-Lateral
Commission
and the Rockefellers. Maybe even the Queen of England......OK, maybe
not
the Queen, but I bet her boyfriend is involved.

With all those loud ($$$$) voices being heard, here we are, The Wrenches
and
our Customers who are trying to make a living doing the right thing
because
we know it works, it can work better and we believe that.... with that
next
turn of the screwdriver.... The next Sunrise, if you will, they will all
see
what we see....That this really is part of the answer. That we can have
some level of harmony and efficiency without anybody getting hurt or
becoming slaves (Taxes aside....Another Topic.....Sorry, Michael).

That the World doesn't have to revolve on the axis of Oil Interests
forever
(Yes, BP, Shell, Et Al, You bear some responsibility and duty here,
too....We want to support you in your positive efforts....We need your
support at the same time. What are you willing to put up?).

We, on the ground-floor, need to take a stand....make the commitment to
ourselves and our children.....to understand the needs of all parties,
to
meet the reasonable needs half-way, and to not back down from those
things
we know are wrong for the sake of "sucking up the $$$ while they're
there
for the sucking up". There are no "easy answers" but there are some
that
are easier than others. One battle at a time. One battle at a time!

Yeah, we gotta make a living. How are we gonna make it a living for the
future? After buydowns and rebates?

I say that, in PV here in the States, it will most effectively be
accomplished by coming to grips with and proactively dealing with the
broadest set of hurdles and obstacles possible, on a prioritized and
unified
basis. This must inevitably involve Grid-Tied PV and other source of RE
that interact with the Grid.

Breathe, Matt. Breathe.

If you're still reading and care, I request that replies to the "SB2500
Display Panel issues" be directly replied to.

If you're still reading and care, I request that replies to the
"Soap-Box"
portion of this message have a new subject line for the sake of those
who
don't want to watch both....Perhaps, "Soap-Box", perhaps one of your own
choosing. Or, as always, I'm available off-list, too.

Happy Next Year!

-Matt Lafferty
pvpro at attbi.com

- - - -
To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com

Archive of previous messages: http://www.topica.com/lists/RE-wrenches/

List rules & etiquette: http://www.mrsharkey.com/wrenches/etiquete.htm

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asap
2002-12-30 19:38:10 UTC
Permalink
Kent, John, Matt,

Thanks for words on the display panel issue on right side inverter of a pair. Here's the rest of the story: the left side inverter commenced normally to begin with, while we discovered right side inverter problem as discussed, but on the second day the left side did not wake up with the
right side inverter, which continued to operate normally. Homeowner reported this and we walked him through ecommence for both sides/system, and left side's display came back on again, all normal. I do not know if the left side's green light was on during that time, on that ccasion.

So the week goes by and apparently things were looking normal during this time, but the Homeowner admittedly was just checking to make sure the meter was spinning backwards when he felt it should have been and said it was. Also meanwhile, both County inspectors and SDGE popped in and gave everybody a thumbs up. But when I went out to pick up paperwork, left side inverter had only character blocks on the first line of the display. Green light was on solid. Decided to recommence entire system and left side's display
worked fine after that, right side inverter continued to behave. Checked alignment on display panel left side inverter, it was positioned on the pins correctly, and of course, it has been working before and is displaying now.
Just the trouble in the beginning and this past Saturday with the character blocks.

Now the Homeowner feels like the inverter is not working, even if it is of course, since he can't determine kwh for the day, etc. when this happens. The hour count was only off by 1. And etotal was pretty close too, so again, i think both sides are putting out to the grid. Would a new display panel solve this? Things to check? Or does John get one of these units back after all? Strange that we'd get a pair of display panel problems, especially after bragging about how SMA inverters are practically free from anomalies like this!

Peter
ASAP POWER! / 1AU, Inc

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Kent Sheldon
2002-12-30 20:32:40 UTC
Permalink
Paul, I don't know what is going on exactly. Sounds like there have been
a lot of hands playing with the displays. We have had a small number of
display problems that will behave like you have stated (black lines).
Most of the time, R&R'ing the display will solve the problem. Sounds
like you may have already tried this. Please contact Jason Mills 530 273
4848 in SMA technical support. He will arrange an RMA and get you a new
display.

This problem will not keep the inverter from working normally. The
display is not integral to the inverter operation. When the green LED is
solid, the inverter is power tracking. Regards,

____________________________________________
Kent Sheldon
Projects Manager, Industrial Power Systems
SMA America
ksheldon at sma-america.com
530 271 1821 Office



-----Original Message-----
From: asap at podnine.com [mailto:asap at podnine.com]
Sent: Monday, December 30, 2002 11:38 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: SB2500 Display Panel issues revisited [RE-wrenches]

Kent, John, Matt,

Thanks for words on the display panel issue on right side inverter of a
pair. Here's the rest of the story: the left side inverter commenced
normally to begin with, while we discovered right side inverter problem
as discussed, but on the second day the left side did not wake up with
the
right side inverter, which continued to operate normally. Homeowner
reported this and we walked him through ecommence for both
sides/system, and left side's display came back on again, all normal. I
do not know if the left side's green light was on during that time, on
that ccasion.

So the week goes by and apparently things were looking normal during
this time, but the Homeowner admittedly was just checking to make sure
the meter was spinning backwards when he felt it should have been and
said it was. Also meanwhile, both County inspectors and SDGE popped in
and gave everybody a thumbs up. But when I went out to pick up
paperwork, left side inverter had only character blocks on the first
line of the display. Green light was on solid. Decided to recommence
entire system and left side's display
worked fine after that, right side inverter continued to behave.
Checked alignment on display panel left side inverter, it was positioned
on the pins correctly, and of course, it has been working before and is
displaying now.
Just the trouble in the beginning and this past Saturday with the
character blocks.

Now the Homeowner feels like the inverter is not working, even if it is
of course, since he can't determine kwh for the day, etc. when this
happens. The hour count was only off by 1. And etotal was pretty close
too, so again, i think both sides are putting out to the grid. Would a
new display panel solve this? Things to check? Or does John get one of
these units back after all? Strange that we'd get a pair of display
panel problems, especially after bragging about how SMA inverters are
practically free from anomalies like this!

Peter
ASAP POWER! / 1AU, Inc

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Matt Lafferty
2002-12-31 03:53:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by asap
Now the Homeowner feels like the inverter is not working, even if it is of
course, since he can't determine kwh for the day, etc. when this happens.
The hour count was only off by 1. And etotal was pretty close too, so
again, i think both sides are putting out to the grid. Would a new display
panel solve this? Things to check?

My Penny-and-a-half: (WARNING - Soap-Box at bottom of post!)

Multi-issues....One at a time.

First and foremost.

The most significant and unfortunate is the Homeowner's questioning the
operation of the system. Without one of my long-winded diatribes on the
personality and intelligence characteristics of Homeowners....Hey, I'm
feeling generous today.... :-)
Post by asap
From the description given, it appears that the performance and operation
are normal with the exception of the display(s).

This "simple little thing" is causing the Homeowner to have concern about
the reliability of the equipment....Wouldn't you? The Homeowner does the
next natural thing and passes that concern on to Peter. Now, Peter, being
the ever-diligent and responsible Contractor (with or without NABCEP
Certification..... ;-) responds with phone-call(s), probably some
long-distance, and personal visits to the site to evaluate....Getting paid
for any of that, Peter? Way to go, by the way. It's part of our
responsibility, but good to know someone else cares.

A little head-scratching and Customer Reassurance Activity goes on.
Customer's still not sure. Double-edged sword....Customer found a
Contractor that responds so he expects "prompt service" because "he has a
problem". It was his money that was spent, after all. Well, some dutifully
paid and collected "Public Goods" money, too....I'm guessing here.... In
either case, Peter is on the hook whether or not it's his fault and whether
or not the equipment is producing power "to spec".

Now, we here on the Wrenches should know by now that SMA has stood behind
their Customers with OUTSTANDING Customer Support and Service since they got
to the States. Heck, I think they should be sponsored for Citizenship!
Even if they aren't on "Red Neck......errrrrr Red Dog" Road any more. Does
anybody besides me even know what a Loma Rica is? ;-)

But Mr. Homeowner doesn't know that like we do. Mr. Homeowner may or may
not have anything other than Peter's word to rely on. "Red light, Green
light, Blinking Lights.......Sheeez! I just want to read my display!" See
where this can go?

That's one issue.

Second one:

The "hour count was only off by 1." Wow!

While I haven't seen the Site and don't know the particulars and
relationships of the two systems, assuming they are IDENTICAL, this could be
due to the following primary possibilities:

1. Not all PV Modules are created equally. Whether or not they are
IDENTICAL in labeling, rating, appearance, price or what the salesguy told
you......(Talk about the 800 pound gorilla....)
2. The system in question has been "re-commenced" or reset several times.
Each time takes approximately 7 minutes for full operation to resume....Add
it up.
3. The display only shows the "full hours of production".....Correct me if
I'm wrong, Grass Valley Guys....In short (Did I say, "Short"? Shame on
me!), if one inverter has produced power for 2 hours and 5 minutes, it will
display "2 Hours Total". If the other inverter has produced power for 1
hour and 50 minutes, it will display "1 Hour Total". While this would show
a 1 hour discrepancy, the actual time of production difference would only be
15 minutes. (Equivalent of 2 re-starts) Now I'm sure the boys back in
Germany could put in a "minutes / seconds" timer....but knowing what they
charge for their stuff..... lol. You know that "Mandatory 6-Weeks per Year
Vacation" really costs in the long run!

Idea! Let's say there is an actual 1 hour difference in production.....Give
the guy a quarter for his lost electricity and thank him for his patience!
When the RMA display gets to you, go change it, again. (I would be
personally grateful, for my own knowledge, to know the outcome.) Perhaps if
all of us Sunny-Boy users (Addictive, isn't it?) took up a
collection.....Why is it I'm in such a good mood today? Sun's not shining
here....Hmmm. Maybe I've just outgrown that "Seasonal Affected Disorder"
thing....

Item 3:

"He can't tell the e-total for the day".

It's winter. It's not a lot, anyway. (You know....Solar....Sun.....Short
days....) OK, so I'm kidding somewhat, but this is a serious issue with
"new PV owners".... I've got stories to tell about lawn-chairs, park
benches, Engineers "doing their own calculations", retired people with
nothing better to do than watch that meter go backward, "Turn off all the
stuff in the house, Marge, I wanna see it do it again".....

One of the nice things about the SB's is that the memory is not stored in
the display. Upon resolution of the display issue, which I know will
happen, the current and "accurate to an acceptable degree", information will
be displayed for the Homeowner's viewing pleasure. (See previous post,
12/23/02) You might want to give him a quarter for the good-will aspect.

Consideration of Issue #2 above is also relevant to this issue. Especially
Item #1 within that issue!

Since SMA will send you the RMA (2nd time....sorry to say. Hang in there,
Peter, it's to all of our benefit, you Martyr, you.) display promptly, it's
probably not necessary to show the Homeowner how to "switch" the working
display back and forth between inverters just before sunset every day so he
sees the E-Total....lol Hopefully this time will be the last and your
customer's confidence will be restored.

So far, any of the display failures we've experienced have been resolved
with just a display replacement. There hasn't been a need to send a whole
inverter back for such a problem.

Sun's still not shining... (Moon's not out yet either)

-Matt Lafferty
pvpro at attbi.com
(916) 422-9772
(916) 914-2247 Fax


OK....Soap Box Time!

What does all this mean? What can be done to prevent these issues in the
future?

NABCEP? (Just had to say that...)

No. That won't do it. Might not hurt though. Read on.... What this and
many other experiences I've had points out to me is that we "aren't there
yet". While nothing is perfect, in terms of equipment, process, etc.,
improvements can and should be sought.

Supportive partners in finding the ultimate answers are crucial! We, as
individuals and companies, have a duty to be partners in seeking this
resolution.

I, for one, am strongly supportive of "production based incentives" in
trying to reach that "ultimate answer", under the following conditions:

That it is well thought out, considers the known factors and affected
parties, is responsibly and cost-effectively deployed, is admninistered and
conducted in a non-biased manner, and DOES NOT "open the door" for taxation
or other "hidden" costs and "hoops" for end-users and Contractors to bear.

This type of approach if effectively deployed, in my way of thinking, would
provide:

1. Customer confidence (His system is working....the display is just not
doing what it's supposed to);
2. Peter's confidence and / or lack of confidence in selecting an equipment
manufacturer will affect his choices in the future....Trickle Up Economics I
think it is called.;
3. Justifiability of expenditures at an agency level. (This one is
GIGANTIC, if you haven't been there.)

You see, if there were an effective plan / way to deploy such a system, a
bunch of "problems" would become "memories" eventually....I did say,
"effective".......

Pipe Dream? I don't believe so. There are many great minds to tap for the
answers. Now, if only these minds could arrive at a consensus like the
"Founding Fathers" did in writing the US Constitution (They DEFINITELY did
NOT all agree on everything), nobody will "get everything they want" but,
isn't some portion of this "for the greater good"????

How do we get there from here? Multi-fronted assault.

First of all, understanding as many of the "obstacles and relationships" as
possible is key.

Meter sockets and the standard kWH meter are cheap and the obvious
"no-brainer" (don't be lulled into thinking this is the only answer....Keep
thinking!) means of capturing production data (kWH) over time. Well, for
smaller systems anyway.

Will the system incentive be based on "Meter 1 minus Meter 2" or just "Meter
2"? Will the bi-directional net meters that are already installed have to
be replaced with detented or "ratched" meters? Who pays for that, if so?
How much? Grandfathering? To what point? Who's getting screwed with that
option? Who's gonna buy the meters? Who's gonna read them? Who's gonna
keep the data? When will the money be distributed? Who is eligible to
apply for it? What about those larger systems, anyway? Damn I wish my
lotto ticket would turn green! This all gives me a headache!

All good questions and all should be open for discussion and need answers.

Taxation? Dare I say the word? "Hidden" costs? . . . . I hate to
Legislate, more than any of you know, but I see no alternative within the
current "way things are done" to that option. This, too, must be
spearheaded. "If we don't....They will!" comes to mind. Who will?

Who Certifies the meter accuracy? Who proves the accuracy (and pays for
that proof) when challenged? Don't fool yourself. There's a challenge at
every corner. Not to mention the Lawyer, Doctor, Engineer, etc. that thinks
they are smarter than "The System". A significant portion of our
"Clientele", I would argue. Another discussion, really.....Perhaps a
Conference Call is in order....Then those lucky ones of you who haven't had
to endure my ranting and raving on the phone could experience it once and
for all.... :-)

Who replaces and pays for a faulty meter? Who actually owns the meter?
Short-term? Long-Term?

Who reimburses whom for "lost revenue" associated with equipment "failures",
bad design, "over-optimistic" production predictions....Careful! You've got
Customers, CEC / Bureaucratic Agency, Utilities, Contractors, Neighbors,
Equipment Manufacturers, Salespeople, The Taxman, et cetera involved in this
one!

A whole lot of questions. There are more....If Next Year weren't almost
here I'd keep going. My point is that "we" haven't yet begun to effectively
"take it to the next level". What are they doing in Germany? Europe? The
rest of the World? What can we learn from them that applies here?

I have a few "proposals for consideration", I know others do, as well. I
welcome and want answers, discussion. I, for darned sure, don't know it
all. This may seem like a "California Only" issue (Not the SB-2500 Display
part....) but it's not. "As California goes, so does the rest of the
Country". That's not the whole truth, but what happens here does affect
what happens elsewhere. It's a blesseing and a curse, all in one.

This really is something that must be addressed for the eventual success of
PV in America, at least Grid-Tied, outside of Wisconsin, where they pay you
even if you're off-grid ;-) Arriving at a solution that meets "the biggest
needs other than profit" of all parties involved, is truly in all our best
interest.

You see, the ones holding the purse strings for doling out the "rebates" are
in the middle, too. Just a different middle than us. They don't make their
livings doing this stuff. They just "approve or deny" payments.....That
affects US!

There are Utilities and "Energy Suppliers". You've got your Enrons, or
used to, anyway. The Duke Energy's. IBEW. OPEC. Osama Bin Laden. George
Dubbya and boys. Gray Davis and cronies. The Caspian Sea. Some Uranium
Mine Owners and Afghani Cavedwellers. Somewhere in there, so they tell me,
is Sadam Hussein and the Ayatollah Khomeni in bed with Omar Qadafi and
Yessir I'm Fat. I bet somebody on the West, or is it East??? Bank has
something to do with it, too. Behind it all is the Tri-Lateral Commission
and the Rockefellers. Maybe even the Queen of England......OK, maybe not
the Queen, but I bet her boyfriend is involved.

With all those loud ($$$$) voices being heard, here we are, The Wrenches and
our Customers who are trying to make a living doing the right thing because
we know it works, it can work better and we believe that.... with that next
turn of the screwdriver.... The next Sunrise, if you will, they will all see
what we see....That this really is part of the answer. That we can have
some level of harmony and efficiency without anybody getting hurt or
becoming slaves (Taxes aside....Another Topic.....Sorry, Michael).

That the World doesn't have to revolve on the axis of Oil Interests forever
(Yes, BP, Shell, Et Al, You bear some responsibility and duty here,
too....We want to support you in your positive efforts....We need your
support at the same time. What are you willing to put up?).

We, on the ground-floor, need to take a stand....make the commitment to
ourselves and our children.....to understand the needs of all parties, to
meet the reasonable needs half-way, and to not back down from those things
we know are wrong for the sake of "sucking up the $$$ while they're there
for the sucking up". There are no "easy answers" but there are some that
are easier than others. One battle at a time. One battle at a time!

Yeah, we gotta make a living. How are we gonna make it a living for the
future? After buydowns and rebates?

I say that, in PV here in the States, it will most effectively be
accomplished by coming to grips with and proactively dealing with the
broadest set of hurdles and obstacles possible, on a prioritized and unified
basis. This must inevitably involve Grid-Tied PV and other source of RE
that interact with the Grid.

Breathe, Matt. Breathe.

If you're still reading and care, I request that replies to the "SB2500
Display Panel issues" be directly replied to.

If you're still reading and care, I request that replies to the "Soap-Box"
portion of this message have a new subject line for the sake of those who
don't want to watch both....Perhaps, "Soap-Box", perhaps one of your own
choosing. Or, as always, I'm available off-list, too.

Happy Next Year!

-Matt Lafferty
pvpro at attbi.com

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Kent Sheldon
2002-12-31 04:17:48 UTC
Permalink
Matt, thanks for the compliments. And I already am a US citizen, but
thanks for the offer of support.

Loma: hill, knoll
Rica: rich, nice

Get it? It's a way of life...

____________________________________________
Kent


-----Original Message-----
From: Matt Lafferty [mailto:pvpro at attbi.com]
Sent: Monday, December 30, 2002 7:53 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: SB2500 Display Panel issues revisited [RE-wrenches]
Post by asap
Now the Homeowner feels like the inverter is not working, even if it is
of
course, since he can't determine kwh for the day, etc. when this
happens.
The hour count was only off by 1. And etotal was pretty close too, so
again, i think both sides are putting out to the grid. Would a new
display
panel solve this? Things to check?

My Penny-and-a-half: (WARNING - Soap-Box at bottom of post!)

Multi-issues....One at a time.

First and foremost.

The most significant and unfortunate is the Homeowner's questioning the
operation of the system. Without one of my long-winded diatribes on the
personality and intelligence characteristics of Homeowners....Hey, I'm
feeling generous today.... :-)
Post by asap
From the description given, it appears that the performance and
operation
are normal with the exception of the display(s).

This "simple little thing" is causing the Homeowner to have concern
about
the reliability of the equipment....Wouldn't you? The Homeowner does
the
next natural thing and passes that concern on to Peter. Now, Peter,
being
the ever-diligent and responsible Contractor (with or without NABCEP
Certification..... ;-) responds with phone-call(s), probably some
long-distance, and personal visits to the site to evaluate....Getting
paid
for any of that, Peter? Way to go, by the way. It's part of our
responsibility, but good to know someone else cares.

A little head-scratching and Customer Reassurance Activity goes on.
Customer's still not sure. Double-edged sword....Customer found a
Contractor that responds so he expects "prompt service" because "he has
a
problem". It was his money that was spent, after all. Well, some
dutifully
paid and collected "Public Goods" money, too....I'm guessing here.... In
either case, Peter is on the hook whether or not it's his fault and
whether
or not the equipment is producing power "to spec".

Now, we here on the Wrenches should know by now that SMA has stood
behind
their Customers with OUTSTANDING Customer Support and Service since they
got
to the States. Heck, I think they should be sponsored for Citizenship!
Even if they aren't on "Red Neck......errrrrr Red Dog" Road any more.
Does
anybody besides me even know what a Loma Rica is? ;-)

But Mr. Homeowner doesn't know that like we do. Mr. Homeowner may or
may
not have anything other than Peter's word to rely on. "Red light, Green
light, Blinking Lights.......Sheeez! I just want to read my display!"
See
where this can go?

That's one issue.

Second one:

The "hour count was only off by 1." Wow!

While I haven't seen the Site and don't know the particulars and
relationships of the two systems, assuming they are IDENTICAL, this
could be
due to the following primary possibilities:

1. Not all PV Modules are created equally. Whether or not they are
IDENTICAL in labeling, rating, appearance, price or what the salesguy
told
you......(Talk about the 800 pound gorilla....)
2. The system in question has been "re-commenced" or reset several
times.
Each time takes approximately 7 minutes for full operation to
resume....Add
it up.
3. The display only shows the "full hours of production".....Correct me
if
I'm wrong, Grass Valley Guys....In short (Did I say, "Short"? Shame on
me!), if one inverter has produced power for 2 hours and 5 minutes, it
will
display "2 Hours Total". If the other inverter has produced power for 1
hour and 50 minutes, it will display "1 Hour Total". While this would
show
a 1 hour discrepancy, the actual time of production difference would
only be
15 minutes. (Equivalent of 2 re-starts) Now I'm sure the boys back in
Germany could put in a "minutes / seconds" timer....but knowing what
they
charge for their stuff..... lol. You know that "Mandatory 6-Weeks per
Year
Vacation" really costs in the long run!

Idea! Let's say there is an actual 1 hour difference in
production.....Give
the guy a quarter for his lost electricity and thank him for his
patience!
When the RMA display gets to you, go change it, again. (I would be
personally grateful, for my own knowledge, to know the outcome.)
Perhaps if
all of us Sunny-Boy users (Addictive, isn't it?) took up a
collection.....Why is it I'm in such a good mood today? Sun's not
shining
here....Hmmm. Maybe I've just outgrown that "Seasonal Affected
Disorder"
thing....

Item 3:

"He can't tell the e-total for the day".

It's winter. It's not a lot, anyway. (You
know....Solar....Sun.....Short
days....) OK, so I'm kidding somewhat, but this is a serious issue with
"new PV owners".... I've got stories to tell about lawn-chairs, park
benches, Engineers "doing their own calculations", retired people with
nothing better to do than watch that meter go backward, "Turn off all
the
stuff in the house, Marge, I wanna see it do it again".....

One of the nice things about the SB's is that the memory is not stored
in
the display. Upon resolution of the display issue, which I know will
happen, the current and "accurate to an acceptable degree", information
will
be displayed for the Homeowner's viewing pleasure. (See previous post,
12/23/02) You might want to give him a quarter for the good-will
aspect.

Consideration of Issue #2 above is also relevant to this issue.
Especially
Item #1 within that issue!

Since SMA will send you the RMA (2nd time....sorry to say. Hang in
there,
Peter, it's to all of our benefit, you Martyr, you.) display promptly,
it's
probably not necessary to show the Homeowner how to "switch" the working
display back and forth between inverters just before sunset every day so
he
sees the E-Total....lol Hopefully this time will be the last and your
customer's confidence will be restored.

So far, any of the display failures we've experienced have been resolved
with just a display replacement. There hasn't been a need to send a
whole
inverter back for such a problem.

Sun's still not shining... (Moon's not out yet either)

-Matt Lafferty
pvpro at attbi.com
(916) 422-9772
(916) 914-2247 Fax


OK....Soap Box Time!

What does all this mean? What can be done to prevent these issues in
the
future?

NABCEP? (Just had to say that...)

No. That won't do it. Might not hurt though. Read on.... What this
and
many other experiences I've had points out to me is that we "aren't
there
yet". While nothing is perfect, in terms of equipment, process, etc.,
improvements can and should be sought.

Supportive partners in finding the ultimate answers are crucial! We, as
individuals and companies, have a duty to be partners in seeking this
resolution.

I, for one, am strongly supportive of "production based incentives" in
trying to reach that "ultimate answer", under the following conditions:

That it is well thought out, considers the known factors and affected
parties, is responsibly and cost-effectively deployed, is admninistered
and
conducted in a non-biased manner, and DOES NOT "open the door" for
taxation
or other "hidden" costs and "hoops" for end-users and Contractors to
bear.

This type of approach if effectively deployed, in my way of thinking,
would
provide:

1. Customer confidence (His system is working....the display is just
not
doing what it's supposed to);
2. Peter's confidence and / or lack of confidence in selecting an
equipment
manufacturer will affect his choices in the future....Trickle Up
Economics I
think it is called.;
3. Justifiability of expenditures at an agency level. (This one is
GIGANTIC, if you haven't been there.)

You see, if there were an effective plan / way to deploy such a system,
a
bunch of "problems" would become "memories" eventually....I did say,
"effective".......

Pipe Dream? I don't believe so. There are many great minds to tap for
the
answers. Now, if only these minds could arrive at a consensus like the
"Founding Fathers" did in writing the US Constitution (They DEFINITELY
did
NOT all agree on everything), nobody will "get everything they want"
but,
isn't some portion of this "for the greater good"????

How do we get there from here? Multi-fronted assault.

First of all, understanding as many of the "obstacles and relationships"
as
possible is key.

Meter sockets and the standard kWH meter are cheap and the obvious
"no-brainer" (don't be lulled into thinking this is the only
answer....Keep
thinking!) means of capturing production data (kWH) over time. Well,
for
smaller systems anyway.

Will the system incentive be based on "Meter 1 minus Meter 2" or just
"Meter
2"? Will the bi-directional net meters that are already installed have
to
be replaced with detented or "ratched" meters? Who pays for that, if
so?
How much? Grandfathering? To what point? Who's getting screwed with
that
option? Who's gonna buy the meters? Who's gonna read them? Who's
gonna
keep the data? When will the money be distributed? Who is eligible to
apply for it? What about those larger systems, anyway? Damn I wish my
lotto ticket would turn green! This all gives me a headache!

All good questions and all should be open for discussion and need
answers.

Taxation? Dare I say the word? "Hidden" costs? . . . . I hate to
Legislate, more than any of you know, but I see no alternative within
the
current "way things are done" to that option. This, too, must be
spearheaded. "If we don't....They will!" comes to mind. Who will?

Who Certifies the meter accuracy? Who proves the accuracy (and pays
for
that proof) when challenged? Don't fool yourself. There's a challenge
at
every corner. Not to mention the Lawyer, Doctor, Engineer, etc. that
thinks
they are smarter than "The System". A significant portion of our
"Clientele", I would argue. Another discussion, really.....Perhaps a
Conference Call is in order....Then those lucky ones of you who haven't
had
to endure my ranting and raving on the phone could experience it once
and
for all.... :-)

Who replaces and pays for a faulty meter? Who actually owns the meter?
Short-term? Long-Term?

Who reimburses whom for "lost revenue" associated with equipment
"failures",
bad design, "over-optimistic" production predictions....Careful! You've
got
Customers, CEC / Bureaucratic Agency, Utilities, Contractors, Neighbors,
Equipment Manufacturers, Salespeople, The Taxman, et cetera involved in
this
one!

A whole lot of questions. There are more....If Next Year weren't almost
here I'd keep going. My point is that "we" haven't yet begun to
effectively
"take it to the next level". What are they doing in Germany? Europe?
The
rest of the World? What can we learn from them that applies here?

I have a few "proposals for consideration", I know others do, as well.
I
welcome and want answers, discussion. I, for darned sure, don't know it
all. This may seem like a "California Only" issue (Not the SB-2500
Display
part....) but it's not. "As California goes, so does the rest of the
Country". That's not the whole truth, but what happens here does affect
what happens elsewhere. It's a blesseing and a curse, all in one.

This really is something that must be addressed for the eventual success
of
PV in America, at least Grid-Tied, outside of Wisconsin, where they pay
you
even if you're off-grid ;-) Arriving at a solution that meets "the
biggest
needs other than profit" of all parties involved, is truly in all our
best
interest.

You see, the ones holding the purse strings for doling out the "rebates"
are
in the middle, too. Just a different middle than us. They don't make
their
livings doing this stuff. They just "approve or deny" payments.....That
affects US!

There are Utilities and "Energy Suppliers". You've got your Enrons, or
used to, anyway. The Duke Energy's. IBEW. OPEC. Osama Bin Laden.
George
Dubbya and boys. Gray Davis and cronies. The Caspian Sea. Some
Uranium
Mine Owners and Afghani Cavedwellers. Somewhere in there, so they tell
me,
is Sadam Hussein and the Ayatollah Khomeni in bed with Omar Qadafi and
Yessir I'm Fat. I bet somebody on the West, or is it East??? Bank has
something to do with it, too. Behind it all is the Tri-Lateral
Commission
and the Rockefellers. Maybe even the Queen of England......OK, maybe
not
the Queen, but I bet her boyfriend is involved.

With all those loud ($$$$) voices being heard, here we are, The Wrenches
and
our Customers who are trying to make a living doing the right thing
because
we know it works, it can work better and we believe that.... with that
next
turn of the screwdriver.... The next Sunrise, if you will, they will all
see
what we see....That this really is part of the answer. That we can have
some level of harmony and efficiency without anybody getting hurt or
becoming slaves (Taxes aside....Another Topic.....Sorry, Michael).

That the World doesn't have to revolve on the axis of Oil Interests
forever
(Yes, BP, Shell, Et Al, You bear some responsibility and duty here,
too....We want to support you in your positive efforts....We need your
support at the same time. What are you willing to put up?).

We, on the ground-floor, need to take a stand....make the commitment to
ourselves and our children.....to understand the needs of all parties,
to
meet the reasonable needs half-way, and to not back down from those
things
we know are wrong for the sake of "sucking up the $$$ while they're
there
for the sucking up". There are no "easy answers" but there are some
that
are easier than others. One battle at a time. One battle at a time!

Yeah, we gotta make a living. How are we gonna make it a living for the
future? After buydowns and rebates?

I say that, in PV here in the States, it will most effectively be
accomplished by coming to grips with and proactively dealing with the
broadest set of hurdles and obstacles possible, on a prioritized and
unified
basis. This must inevitably involve Grid-Tied PV and other source of RE
that interact with the Grid.

Breathe, Matt. Breathe.

If you're still reading and care, I request that replies to the "SB2500
Display Panel issues" be directly replied to.

If you're still reading and care, I request that replies to the
"Soap-Box"
portion of this message have a new subject line for the sake of those
who
don't want to watch both....Perhaps, "Soap-Box", perhaps one of your own
choosing. Or, as always, I'm available off-list, too.

Happy Next Year!

-Matt Lafferty
pvpro at attbi.com

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Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
2003-01-03 23:34:38 UTC
Permalink
Scott,

I would ask the customer for a little more info on the stove. Does the oven
igniter actually light a pilot light that stays on during the entire time
the oven control is in the "on" position and is the pilot light visible? It
could be that the oven is not using the piezo box that controls the top
burners and instead might have its own piezo controller with additional
"safety" features. The oven might also not use the piezo at all but instead
use a circuit that controls a momentary glow bar(rather than the old
continuos glow bar). Has he checked voltage and frequency of the generator
at the stove's outlet? As for the problem on SW power: It could be the
poor wave form at low load level versus the more sine-like wave form at
higher loads. I experienced this with my 120vac Asko washer. With low
loads on the inverter, the washer timer went crazy causing the machine to go
from start of wash to rinse to spin in about 5 minutes. Ended up to run my
super energy/water saving washer, I had turn on about 250 watts (heavy sigh)
of lights to get a wave form the washer could run on accurately. Hope some
of this gets you towards an answer. Sure sounds to me like 2 different
problems going on. Let me know what you find out.

Regards,
Bob Maynard

Energy Outfitters
800-GO-SOLAR

-----Original Message-----
From: scott [mailto:scott at backwoodssolar.com]
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 2:48 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]


Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott

Hi,

I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My oven/stove
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug heaters.

I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and was
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024 is
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top burners
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other appliances
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when we run
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.

I originally guessed that the ignitor control was sensitive to the power
factor, and tried using a couple of different value motor run caps.
Interestingly, this made the situation worse. With the caps on, the oven
would never work. Presumably if caps make it worse, more inductance might
help, but I'm not sure how to add inductance. I was going to try an
isolation transformer next, but thought I'd check to see if you have had any
experience with this and had any ideas.



Backwoods Solar Electric Systems www.backwoodssolar.com

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sunwise
2003-01-04 03:56:37 UTC
Permalink
Nice call Matt,

If you are right, it might also be worth looking at what the SW's Max
Charge Amps are set at as well as the Max AC2 Amps overall setting is
at. I don't have a manual handy to say what the menu numbers or titles
are but the Battery Charging setting is generally set fairly high and
the Max Amps Input(?) setting will throttle back on the charging amps to
stay within the maximum generator output parameters. Provide a little
breathing room between stated generator output and the SW settings.

Also, remember that with igniters that fire a pilot that satisfies a
thermocouple, there is a delay before the burner firing (perhaps a
minute or two, and a failing thermocouple itself could be the culprit).

If a glow-bar is used, either temporary to ignite a pilot or a regular
glow-bar igniter, each could be adversely effected by the lower
operating voltages of an overloaded generator.

Kurt Nelson

-----Original Message-----
From: matthew tritt [mailto:solarone at charter.net]
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 8:53 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]

Scott,

My bet is that the genset isn't powerful enough to both run the ignitor
and
charge batteries at the same time. A bigger generator is the answer (if
your
customer doesn't want to buy another stove!) I find old stoves for my
clients all the time which use a standing pilot or a match! (The old
ones
are better anyway.
;-)_

Good luck

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "scott" <scott at backwoodssolar.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 2:48 PM
Subject: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by scott
Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott
Hi,
I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My
oven/stove
Post by scott
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug
heaters.
Post by scott
I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and
was
Post by scott
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024
is
Post by scott
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top
burners
Post by scott
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other
appliances
Post by scott
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when
we
run
Post by scott
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.
I originally guessed that the ignitor control was sensitive to the
power
Post by scott
factor, and tried using a couple of different value motor run caps.
Interestingly, this made the situation worse. With the caps on, the
oven
Post by scott
would never work. Presumably if caps make it worse, more inductance
might
Post by scott
help, but I'm not sure how to add inductance. I was going to try an
isolation transformer next, but thought I'd check to see if you have
had
any
Post by scott
experience with this and had any ideas.
Backwoods Solar Electric Systems www.backwoodssolar.com
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Bob Ellison, Alternative Energy Systems
2003-01-04 04:31:39 UTC
Permalink
Scott,
Look for a voltage and/or frequency problem in either direction. I have
noticed in the past the same thing when the generator was a little slow or
way fast and the chargers had it well loaded. I like to run them a little
hot (fast), I get better charger performance that way. Nothing seem to
complain except sometimes the igniters..

I think that oven has a glow bar, the only spark ignition oven that I know
still that is available is the Peerless / Premier.
But I could be wrong.

Best luck,
Bob

RE. Ellison
Supplier of;
Alternative Energy Systems & Supplies
34642 Countryman Road
Theresa, NY. USA
?????????????????????????????? 13691-2076


-----Original Message-----
From: scott [mailto:scott at backwoodssolar.com]
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 5:48 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]


Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott

Hi,

I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My oven/stove
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug heaters.

I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and was
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024 is
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top burners
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other appliances
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when we run
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.

I originally guessed that the ignitor control was sensitive to the power
factor, and tried using a couple of different value motor run caps.
Interestingly, this made the situation worse. With the caps on, the oven
would never work. Presumably if caps make it worse, more inductance might
help, but I'm not sure how to add inductance. I was going to try an
isolation transformer next, but thought I'd check to see if you have had any
experience with this and had any ideas.



Backwoods Solar Electric Systems www.backwoodssolar.com

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Jeff Yago
2003-01-04 06:20:07 UTC
Permalink
I have a total off grid client with a single SW4024 inverter, a battery bank
of eight L-16 batteries,160 watts of solar (lots of woods and small south
roof area) which is used just to offset standby losses, and a 8.5 kW propane
generator wired for full output at 120 volts. System has worked great about
one year as this off grid cabin has minimum loads and only used on weekends.

Now owner is reporting problems. Generator will charge batteries if
manually turned on, but if he leaves generator control in "auto" mode, when
he returns after a few days the batteries are below 23 volts and error light
on.

No, I have not visited the site yet and the owner could not advise what type
of error light(s). I am convinced the owner has added some kind of fan type
space heater or other heating load that keeps drawing the battery down this
fast during these colder months, since his initial loads were just a few
compact fluorescent lights, one small micro-wave, a radio, and one Sun Frost
refrigerator, and almost everything stays off until the weekends. He does
not even have a TV, VCR, or well pump! Cooking and DHW by non electric
propane equipment.

Assuming some new loads we did not design for are drawing down the batteries
while he is away, this still does not explain why the inverter cannot
maintain battery charge with the generator in "auto" start mode, but works
great in manual start mode with no error messages during or after charging
for 3 or 4 hours. We are always careful about programming the inverter AC2
input (generator)amps capacity setpoint and the maximum bulk charge amps to
stay well below generator peak capacity, and have not had any problems with
this system in the past overloading the generator. Owner also swears
inverter has not been shut down (back to factory defaults) since our initial
setup, and nobody had access to control panel to change our setpoints.

Any thoughts on "auto" control verses "manual" generator start control for
battery charging with SW4024, as it relates to causing errors?

Jeff Yago

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David Palumbo, Independent Power &amp; Light
2003-01-04 17:34:43 UTC
Permalink
Jeff,

You need to know what the error message is. I recently had a problem very
similar to this with a dual SW4048 (Rev 4.2 firmware) / 8.5K Kohler genset
system. Ran fine in manual start/stop battery charging mode and with no
inverting problems. In auto gen start mode it started flawlessly and charged
the batteries completely. At the end of the programmed absorption time when
the controlling inverter shuts down the Kohler (the gen did shut down when
it was supposed to) the controlling inverter would go off on a "Input Relay
Error" (not in Trace manual but in the system software). The 3,600 rpm
Koehler's do not shut down as fast as the 1800 rpm units. Rev 4.2 would see
the gen still on (if it waited another spilt second to check for gen
run/shutdown everything would have been fine) and shut the inverter(s) off
due to the "In-put Relay Error").

Solution replace chipsets to Rev 4.1 now everything works very well and this
particular system is now being operated on Auto start/stop all the time.

Dave Palumbo
IP&L

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Yago [mailto:jryago at earthlink.net]
Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 1:20 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: SW4024 charging problems [RE-wrenches]


I have a total off grid client with a single SW4024 inverter, a battery bank
of eight L-16 batteries,160 watts of solar (lots of woods and small south
roof area) which is used just to offset standby losses, and a 8.5 kW propane
generator wired for full output at 120 volts. System has worked great about
one year as this off grid cabin has minimum loads and only used on weekends.

Now owner is reporting problems. Generator will charge batteries if
manually turned on, but if he leaves generator control in "auto" mode, when
he returns after a few days the batteries are below 23 volts and error light
on.

No, I have not visited the site yet and the owner could not advise what type
of error light(s). I am convinced the owner has added some kind of fan type
space heater or other heating load that keeps drawing the battery down this
fast during these colder months, since his initial loads were just a few
compact fluorescent lights, one small micro-wave, a radio, and one Sun Frost
refrigerator, and almost everything stays off until the weekends. He does
not even have a TV, VCR, or well pump! Cooking and DHW by non electric
propane equipment.

Assuming some new loads we did not design for are drawing down the batteries
while he is away, this still does not explain why the inverter cannot
maintain battery charge with the generator in "auto" start mode, but works
great in manual start mode with no error messages during or after charging
for 3 or 4 hours. We are always careful about programming the inverter AC2
input (generator)amps capacity setpoint and the maximum bulk charge amps to
stay well below generator peak capacity, and have not had any problems with
this system in the past overloading the generator. Owner also swears
inverter has not been shut down (back to factory defaults) since our initial
setup, and nobody had access to control panel to change our setpoints.

Any thoughts on "auto" control verses "manual" generator start control for
battery charging with SW4024, as it relates to causing errors?

Jeff Yago

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Todd Cory, Mt. Shasta Energy Services
2003-01-04 18:26:58 UTC
Permalink
Xantrex should give you a free TM-500 meter (as they did me) for your troubles
in beta testing their latest software for them.

Todd
Post by David Palumbo, Independent Power &amp; Light
Solution replace chipsets to Rev 4.1 now everything works very well and this
particular system is now being operated on Auto start/stop all the time.
Dave Palumbo
IP&L
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Todd Cory, Mt. Shasta Energy Services
2003-01-04 18:26:58 UTC
Permalink
Xantrex should give you a free TM-500 meter (as they did me) for your troubles
in beta testing their latest software for them.

Todd
Post by David Palumbo, Independent Power &amp; Light
Solution replace chipsets to Rev 4.1 now everything works very well and this
particular system is now being operated on Auto start/stop all the time.
Dave Palumbo
IP&L
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Jeff Yago
2003-01-04 21:15:13 UTC
Permalink
Dave Palumbo stated:
The 3,600 rpm Koehler's do not shut down as fast as the 1800 rpm units. Rev
4.2 would see
the gen still on (if it waited another spilt second to check for gen
run/shutdown everything would have been fine) and shut the inverter(s) off
due to the "In-put Relay Error").


Thanks Dave, I will check this out. We also have had more inverter charging
error problems with the 3600 RPM generators than the 1800 RPM units. Once
we get to site we will have better idea about what error lights and when,
but was looking for a "heads up" as we make repair plans since site is in
middle of nowhere.

Jeff Yago

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Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
2003-01-06 01:23:54 UTC
Permalink
I've been having a long-term problem with an Onan Emerald 6300W propane
genset.

Works great much of the time, but sometimes gets into a pulsing mode while
charging. By pulsing I mean that the current draw on the charger will vary
by 3 to 8 amps in a 2-3 second period, pulsing up and down. Sometimes this
is ok, other times it makes the lights flicker like all heck. We get voltage
readings that vary by 15 to 20 volts during the pulsations. This will go on
anywhere from 2 minutes to half an hour, and then just stop. No way to make
it happen, or to stop it.

After making way to many trips to the site and battling the local Onan
dealer, they finally replaced the voltage regulator. Didn't change a thing.
Now Onan Northeast is involved, and has a better theory, which might also
have something to do with the problems noted by others.

The voltage regulator senses the voltage from the line to the inverter.
During operation, the inverter/charger sends noise back onto the line being
sensed. The voltage regulator can pick up the harmonics, and start trying to
control to the harmonics, rather than to the true voltage signal.

If this is the problem, the solution is to install a small 1:1 transformer
in the line to the voltage regulator sensor. The transformer will drop out
the harmonics, allowing the regulator to regulate based upon a pure signal.

Could it be that the microwave/piezo igniters/other electronic thingies are
putting an excessive amount of noise back onto the line, making the voltage
regulator behave poorly enough to bump off the inverter connection?

On larger gen sets (don't know where the break point is) these transformers
come as standard, because apparently this is not an unusual problem.

We are going to install the transformer on 1/13. I'll let you know what
happens.

On a related topic, this same genny has gotten into a habit of disconnecting
during charging, turning off, and then restarting and reconnecting
automatically. It did not do this when first installed (even though it had
the above described problem) but has done it ever since the partial rebuild
caused by the mouse nest in the generator.

No error messages come on at all during this stop/start sequence. Gen starts
and synchronizes nicely. I'll track voltage better next time on site, but it
does not seem to be going off on high voltage. Any clues?

Jeff Wolfe
Global Resource Options



-----Original Message-----
From: Jay Peltz, Peltz Power [mailto:jay at asis.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 5:57 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]



Hi Matt,

Yes I agree, that with just the one load on, sometimes it can "fool" the
regulator on the genny, but I doubt that this is the case. Usually if you
are using the stove, you've at least got a light on. And in my experience,
if at least one light is one ( best if its an incandescent) then there is no
problems with a sensitive load.

Jay

peltz power


----- Original Message -----
From: "matthew tritt" <solarone at charter.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 11:10 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by matthew tritt
Hay Jay,
. I suspect that the real reason that certain loads, like microwaves,
oven
Post by matthew tritt
bars and submersible pumps don't work properly with the small, low
torque-high RPM gensets has to do with their controls, and not the actual
load. Perhaps, that since these small generators will easily bog down and
develop a less than perfect wave form when attempting to start some loads,
the controls reject the power (or, in the case of some pumps, the engine
stalls out) Does anyone have experience with a small (under 6 kW) high
speed
Post by matthew tritt
genset that will actually start and run sensitive loads? I've never seen
this type of problem with the Listers or other industrial grade sets that
I
Post by matthew tritt
use.
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Peltz, Peltz Power" <jay at asis.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Hi All,
What I'm curious about is that "glow bars" only use a few hundred watts
max.
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
I don't understand all this talk of overloading a 3500 watt genny?
I think the problem is not in acutal power useage but in some other
problem
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
such as wave form. I've got a customer ( haven't been back out to the
site
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
yet) who says their microwaves work fine on the inverter, but don't work
with the genny ( SW4024) which is a 4.5kw onan in good shape.
Remember its not the size, its how it works!!
jay
Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack West, Talkeetna AE" <jackwest at alaska.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
William et al,
The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1
amp
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the
max
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did
not
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.
Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested
either
Post by matthew tritt
or
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
Post by William Miller
both of these features?
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matthew tritt
2003-01-07 18:14:14 UTC
Permalink
Jeff,

This sounds like more of an inverter problem than a generator one. Is this a
newer SW? The starting/stopping issue has to be directly related to the
inverter relay set-points (unless the Onan has a brain of it's own!),
perhaps absorption times? This sounds odd, but you might also check your
battery cable connections for corrosion and/or looseness, and/or mouse pee
signs.

Matt T
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options"
<jeff at globalresourceoptions.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 5:23 PM
Subject: RE: SW4024 and Piezo Igniters [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
I've been having a long-term problem with an Onan Emerald 6300W propane
genset.
Works great much of the time, but sometimes gets into a pulsing mode while
charging. By pulsing I mean that the current draw on the charger will vary
by 3 to 8 amps in a 2-3 second period, pulsing up and down. Sometimes this
is ok, other times it makes the lights flicker like all heck. We get voltage
readings that vary by 15 to 20 volts during the pulsations. This will go on
anywhere from 2 minutes to half an hour, and then just stop. No way to make
it happen, or to stop it.
After making way to many trips to the site and battling the local Onan
dealer, they finally replaced the voltage regulator. Didn't change a thing.
Now Onan Northeast is involved, and has a better theory, which might also
have something to do with the problems noted by others.
The voltage regulator senses the voltage from the line to the inverter.
During operation, the inverter/charger sends noise back onto the line being
sensed. The voltage regulator can pick up the harmonics, and start trying to
control to the harmonics, rather than to the true voltage signal.
If this is the problem, the solution is to install a small 1:1 transformer
in the line to the voltage regulator sensor. The transformer will drop out
the harmonics, allowing the regulator to regulate based upon a pure signal.
Could it be that the microwave/piezo igniters/other electronic thingies are
putting an excessive amount of noise back onto the line, making the voltage
regulator behave poorly enough to bump off the inverter connection?
On larger gen sets (don't know where the break point is) these
transformers
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
come as standard, because apparently this is not an unusual problem.
We are going to install the transformer on 1/13. I'll let you know what
happens.
On a related topic, this same genny has gotten into a habit of
disconnecting
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
during charging, turning off, and then restarting and reconnecting
automatically. It did not do this when first installed (even though it had
the above described problem) but has done it ever since the partial rebuild
caused by the mouse nest in the generator.
No error messages come on at all during this stop/start sequence. Gen starts
and synchronizes nicely. I'll track voltage better next time on site, but it
does not seem to be going off on high voltage. Any clues?
Jeff Wolfe
Global Resource Options
-----Original Message-----
From: Jay Peltz, Peltz Power [mailto:jay at asis.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 5:57 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Hi Matt,
Yes I agree, that with just the one load on, sometimes it can "fool" the
regulator on the genny, but I doubt that this is the case. Usually if you
are using the stove, you've at least got a light on. And in my experience,
if at least one light is one ( best if its an incandescent) then there is no
problems with a sensitive load.
Jay
peltz power
----- Original Message -----
From: "matthew tritt" <solarone at charter.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 11:10 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by matthew tritt
Hay Jay,
. I suspect that the real reason that certain loads, like microwaves,
oven
Post by matthew tritt
bars and submersible pumps don't work properly with the small, low
torque-high RPM gensets has to do with their controls, and not the actual
load. Perhaps, that since these small generators will easily bog down and
develop a less than perfect wave form when attempting to start some loads,
the controls reject the power (or, in the case of some pumps, the engine
stalls out) Does anyone have experience with a small (under 6 kW) high
speed
Post by matthew tritt
genset that will actually start and run sensitive loads? I've never seen
this type of problem with the Listers or other industrial grade sets that
I
Post by matthew tritt
use.
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Peltz, Peltz Power" <jay at asis.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Hi All,
What I'm curious about is that "glow bars" only use a few hundred watts
max.
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
I don't understand all this talk of overloading a 3500 watt genny?
I think the problem is not in acutal power useage but in some other
problem
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
such as wave form. I've got a customer ( haven't been back out to the
site
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
yet) who says their microwaves work fine on the inverter, but don't work
with the genny ( SW4024) which is a 4.5kw onan in good shape.
Remember its not the size, its how it works!!
jay
Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack West, Talkeetna AE" <jackwest at alaska.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
William et al,
The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1
amp
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the
max
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did
not
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.
Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested
either
Post by matthew tritt
or
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
Post by William Miller
both of these features?
- - - -
To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com
http://www.topica.com/lists/RE-wrenches/
http://www.mrsharkey.com/wrenches/etiquete.htm
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
Check out participant bios: www.mrsharkey.com/wrenches/index.html
Hosted by Home Power magazine
Moderator: michael.welch at homepower.com
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==^================================================================
matthew tritt
2003-01-07 18:14:14 UTC
Permalink
Jeff,

This sounds like more of an inverter problem than a generator one. Is this a
newer SW? The starting/stopping issue has to be directly related to the
inverter relay set-points (unless the Onan has a brain of it's own!),
perhaps absorption times? This sounds odd, but you might also check your
battery cable connections for corrosion and/or looseness, and/or mouse pee
signs.

Matt T
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options"
<jeff at globalresourceoptions.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 5:23 PM
Subject: RE: SW4024 and Piezo Igniters [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
I've been having a long-term problem with an Onan Emerald 6300W propane
genset.
Works great much of the time, but sometimes gets into a pulsing mode while
charging. By pulsing I mean that the current draw on the charger will vary
by 3 to 8 amps in a 2-3 second period, pulsing up and down. Sometimes this
is ok, other times it makes the lights flicker like all heck. We get voltage
readings that vary by 15 to 20 volts during the pulsations. This will go on
anywhere from 2 minutes to half an hour, and then just stop. No way to make
it happen, or to stop it.
After making way to many trips to the site and battling the local Onan
dealer, they finally replaced the voltage regulator. Didn't change a thing.
Now Onan Northeast is involved, and has a better theory, which might also
have something to do with the problems noted by others.
The voltage regulator senses the voltage from the line to the inverter.
During operation, the inverter/charger sends noise back onto the line being
sensed. The voltage regulator can pick up the harmonics, and start trying to
control to the harmonics, rather than to the true voltage signal.
If this is the problem, the solution is to install a small 1:1 transformer
in the line to the voltage regulator sensor. The transformer will drop out
the harmonics, allowing the regulator to regulate based upon a pure signal.
Could it be that the microwave/piezo igniters/other electronic thingies are
putting an excessive amount of noise back onto the line, making the voltage
regulator behave poorly enough to bump off the inverter connection?
On larger gen sets (don't know where the break point is) these
transformers
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
come as standard, because apparently this is not an unusual problem.
We are going to install the transformer on 1/13. I'll let you know what
happens.
On a related topic, this same genny has gotten into a habit of
disconnecting
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
during charging, turning off, and then restarting and reconnecting
automatically. It did not do this when first installed (even though it had
the above described problem) but has done it ever since the partial rebuild
caused by the mouse nest in the generator.
No error messages come on at all during this stop/start sequence. Gen starts
and synchronizes nicely. I'll track voltage better next time on site, but it
does not seem to be going off on high voltage. Any clues?
Jeff Wolfe
Global Resource Options
-----Original Message-----
From: Jay Peltz, Peltz Power [mailto:jay at asis.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 5:57 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Hi Matt,
Yes I agree, that with just the one load on, sometimes it can "fool" the
regulator on the genny, but I doubt that this is the case. Usually if you
are using the stove, you've at least got a light on. And in my experience,
if at least one light is one ( best if its an incandescent) then there is no
problems with a sensitive load.
Jay
peltz power
----- Original Message -----
From: "matthew tritt" <solarone at charter.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 11:10 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by matthew tritt
Hay Jay,
. I suspect that the real reason that certain loads, like microwaves,
oven
Post by matthew tritt
bars and submersible pumps don't work properly with the small, low
torque-high RPM gensets has to do with their controls, and not the actual
load. Perhaps, that since these small generators will easily bog down and
develop a less than perfect wave form when attempting to start some loads,
the controls reject the power (or, in the case of some pumps, the engine
stalls out) Does anyone have experience with a small (under 6 kW) high
speed
Post by matthew tritt
genset that will actually start and run sensitive loads? I've never seen
this type of problem with the Listers or other industrial grade sets that
I
Post by matthew tritt
use.
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Peltz, Peltz Power" <jay at asis.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Hi All,
What I'm curious about is that "glow bars" only use a few hundred watts
max.
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
I don't understand all this talk of overloading a 3500 watt genny?
I think the problem is not in acutal power useage but in some other
problem
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
such as wave form. I've got a customer ( haven't been back out to the
site
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
yet) who says their microwaves work fine on the inverter, but don't work
with the genny ( SW4024) which is a 4.5kw onan in good shape.
Remember its not the size, its how it works!!
jay
Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack West, Talkeetna AE" <jackwest at alaska.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
William et al,
The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1
amp
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the
max
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did
not
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.
Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested
either
Post by matthew tritt
or
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
Post by William Miller
both of these features?
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Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
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Jeff Yago
2003-01-07 11:32:43 UTC
Permalink
"The oven might also not use the piezo at all but instead use a
circuit that controls a momentary glow bar(rather than the old
continuous glow bar)"

We had a total off grid solar/gen/battery powered very high efficiency
home in Idaho several years back that started out with generator
running 4 hours every 4th day as designed. After several months this
changed to 4 hours per day.

We inspected and metered everything for several days and found the
owner's self installed GAS stove was using more electricity than the
entire house! They used the oven for lots of cooking and the glow
type igniter stayed on the entire time. It was drawing about 1/2
watt. Needless to say, the owner installed the pilot light stove we
suggested.

Moral to story - Don't trust gas appliances built by people who are in
the electric business.

Jeff Yago

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Don Loweburg, Offline
2003-01-07 18:14:44 UTC
Permalink
In a message dated 01/07/2003 9:37:20 AM Pacific Standard Time,
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
On a related topic, this same genny has gotten into a habit of disconnecting
during charging, turning off, and then restarting and reconnecting
automatically
Jeff, I too experience this with my Onan. I have been able to graph the
charger output during these events. For me it always began during the last
1/3 third of the charge cycle. Sometimes output wanders but things stay in
sync while at other time we disconnect and reconnect. I think it is a battle
between the onboard gen regulator and the inverter output. I have simply
lived with it but welcome any solution you may find.

Best, Don Loweburg

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Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
2003-01-07 20:18:23 UTC
Permalink
Inverter is 2001 pre-GTI vintage. Gen start stop had been working fine. No
changing in settings. I'll check for (mouse pee?) next time on-site.

Jeff


-----Original Message-----
From: matthew tritt [mailto:solarone at charter.net]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 1:14 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Piezo Igniters [RE-wrenches]



Jeff,

This sounds like more of an inverter problem than a generator one. Is this a
newer SW? The starting/stopping issue has to be directly related to the
inverter relay set-points (unless the Onan has a brain of it's own!),
perhaps absorption times? This sounds odd, but you might also check your
battery cable connections for corrosion and/or looseness, and/or mouse pee
signs.

Matt T
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options"
<jeff at globalresourceoptions.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 5:23 PM
Subject: RE: SW4024 and Piezo Igniters [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
I've been having a long-term problem with an Onan Emerald 6300W propane
genset.
Works great much of the time, but sometimes gets into a pulsing mode while
charging. By pulsing I mean that the current draw on the charger will vary
by 3 to 8 amps in a 2-3 second period, pulsing up and down. Sometimes this
is ok, other times it makes the lights flicker like all heck. We get
voltage
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
readings that vary by 15 to 20 volts during the pulsations. This will go
on
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
anywhere from 2 minutes to half an hour, and then just stop. No way to
make
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
it happen, or to stop it.
After making way to many trips to the site and battling the local Onan
dealer, they finally replaced the voltage regulator. Didn't change a
thing.
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Now Onan Northeast is involved, and has a better theory, which might also
have something to do with the problems noted by others.
The voltage regulator senses the voltage from the line to the inverter.
During operation, the inverter/charger sends noise back onto the line
being
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
sensed. The voltage regulator can pick up the harmonics, and start trying
to
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
control to the harmonics, rather than to the true voltage signal.
If this is the problem, the solution is to install a small 1:1 transformer
in the line to the voltage regulator sensor. The transformer will drop out
the harmonics, allowing the regulator to regulate based upon a pure
signal.
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Could it be that the microwave/piezo igniters/other electronic thingies
are
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
putting an excessive amount of noise back onto the line, making the
voltage
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
regulator behave poorly enough to bump off the inverter connection?
On larger gen sets (don't know where the break point is) these
transformers
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
come as standard, because apparently this is not an unusual problem.
We are going to install the transformer on 1/13. I'll let you know what
happens.
On a related topic, this same genny has gotten into a habit of
disconnecting
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
during charging, turning off, and then restarting and reconnecting
automatically. It did not do this when first installed (even though it had
the above described problem) but has done it ever since the partial
rebuild
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
caused by the mouse nest in the generator.
No error messages come on at all during this stop/start sequence. Gen
starts
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
and synchronizes nicely. I'll track voltage better next time on site, but
it
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
does not seem to be going off on high voltage. Any clues?
Jeff Wolfe
Global Resource Options
-----Original Message-----
From: Jay Peltz, Peltz Power [mailto:jay at asis.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 5:57 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Hi Matt,
Yes I agree, that with just the one load on, sometimes it can "fool" the
regulator on the genny, but I doubt that this is the case. Usually if you
are using the stove, you've at least got a light on. And in my
experience,
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
if at least one light is one ( best if its an incandescent) then there is
no
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
problems with a sensitive load.
Jay
peltz power
----- Original Message -----
From: "matthew tritt" <solarone at charter.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 11:10 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by matthew tritt
Hay Jay,
. I suspect that the real reason that certain loads, like microwaves,
oven
Post by matthew tritt
bars and submersible pumps don't work properly with the small, low
torque-high RPM gensets has to do with their controls, and not the
actual
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Post by matthew tritt
load. Perhaps, that since these small generators will easily bog down
and
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Post by matthew tritt
develop a less than perfect wave form when attempting to start some
loads,
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Post by matthew tritt
the controls reject the power (or, in the case of some pumps, the engine
stalls out) Does anyone have experience with a small (under 6 kW) high
speed
Post by matthew tritt
genset that will actually start and run sensitive loads? I've never seen
this type of problem with the Listers or other industrial grade sets
that
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
I
Post by matthew tritt
use.
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Peltz, Peltz Power" <jay at asis.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Hi All,
What I'm curious about is that "glow bars" only use a few hundred
watts
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Post by matthew tritt
max.
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
I don't understand all this talk of overloading a 3500 watt genny?
I think the problem is not in acutal power useage but in some other
problem
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
such as wave form. I've got a customer ( haven't been back out to the
site
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
yet) who says their microwaves work fine on the inverter, but don't
work
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
with the genny ( SW4024) which is a 4.5kw onan in good shape.
Remember its not the size, its how it works!!
jay
Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack West, Talkeetna AE" <jackwest at alaska.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
William et al,
The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1
amp
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the
max
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did
not
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.
Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested
either
Post by matthew tritt
or
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
Post by William Miller
both of these features?
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Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
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John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
2003-01-08 03:54:04 UTC
Permalink
William wrote:
We've heard skepticism that the SW will "back-off" battery charging, and I'll
admit
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested either or
both of these features?

William,
I have notice that the SW will back off as stated if the generator has good
enough frequency control to stay in spec as the load is hitting it. If the
generator goes out of the voltage or frequency window due to the load hitting
it, then the over/underspeed error will show up and often kick the generator
momentarily off line. If you have set the max charge amps on menu 10 well
below the max that the generator can handle (3 to 6 amps lower) I find that
the generator stays on line. If you are working it hard, it has no excess
power to keep rpms up when the load hits. I'm running a 2200 watt Kawasaki
generator now on my SW4024 while I am upgrading my propane conversion on my
4600 watt Yamaha and find it is working fine at 11 amps max AC input. It
will run at 14 or 15 amps without kicking its circuit breaker but is lugging
pretty hard and I have burned up two voltage regulators on it so far....so
cutting back will hopefully save buying another $300 regulator and it doesn't
kick off line at all with my washing machine running, microwave kicked on,
coffee maker, 500 watt furnace fan etc. I have seen the DC amps go from 38
amps charge to minus 20 amps with the generator running steady. Same idea
works on the 4600 generator except the numbers are higher. Seems that most
generators don't like to work more than about 60% of rating. I know airplane
engines are required to be kept below 75% power to save the engines so guess
the same applies to any engine.

On a similar vein, I had a customer decide to upgrade to a Kohler 8.5 (3600
rpm) from the propane converted Yamaha I had provided (there were starting
problems-since corrected). I bought the Yamaha back and have used it at my
house for the last two years with no problems. They ran the new Kohler 30
hours and burned it up. Circuit board, then the starter, then a circuit
board again. The guy who sold them the Kohler couldn't figure out what was
causing it. Then I found out that they had the max AC2 set at 75 amps!!!!
It states right in the Kohler manual in small print at the bottom of a page
"Max continuous output 37 amps" it doesn't say at 120 or 240 but amps are
amps so I think they were just way overloading the boards (heat buildup?)
Since reducing the max AC input at my suggestion... no more problems. 37
amps at 120v is about 52% of its rated output. I have noticed at that
setting, frequency control on the Kohler is very good and the engine doesn't
appear to work at all. Anyone have good fuel consumption numbers for the
Kohler? I am trying to wean off my super efficient Kawasaki to cut down run
time but so far haven't found a generator that gives me more watts per gallon.

John Blittersdorf
CVSolar

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Allan Sindelar
2003-01-08 04:15:45 UTC
Permalink
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar & Wind" <cvsolar at aol.com>
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
37 amps at 120v is about 52% of its rated output. I have noticed at that
setting, frequency control on the Kohler is very good and the engine doesn't
appear to work at all. Anyone have good fuel consumption numbers for the
Kohler? I am trying to wean off my super efficient Kawasaki to cut down run
time but so far haven't found a generator that gives me more watts per gallon.
John,
The 8.5 is rated 35A at 240 VAC at sea level on LPG. It sounds like you are
running off of one leg of a 120/240 output. You can easily reconfigure the
field windings to straight 120VAC output, to run both stator coils in
balance at 1/2 of max output. This is advised; how to do it has been
discussed here in the past. You can also break the internal neutral/ground
bond if you wish.

Published LPG fuel consumption is 72 cu. ft./hour @ 100% load, 45 cfh @ 75%
load, 36 cfh @ 50% load, and 29 cfh @ 25% load. 1 gallon LPG = 36.39 cu. ft.
Allan @+E

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Electrical Energy
2003-01-08 16:17:38 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
I was told by a Kohler rep that the 8.5 is a fine generator, so long as you
are not planning to use it. He felt it was good for backup only. We
phased them out.

Drake

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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: Electrical Energy <solar at eagle-access.net>
Subject: Re: Kohler 8.5 [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 09:21:15 -0700
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Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
is the correct
grounding to isolate the neutral in the genny and reconnect the ground wire
at my main bus
According to at least one inspector, and my reading of the Code, this is
the correct way.

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From: sunwise <sunwise at cheqnet.net>
Subject: RE: differential controllers [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 10:49:34 -0600
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Tom Simko wrote:
Anyone have any other ideas as to how to keep the diff controller happy
other then just leave the inverter on all the time?

Hey Tom,

I would think it would be pretty easy to make your own DC differential
controller, maybe there is even one out there. Stay DC.

If you have to run it at 120vac, you could use a very tiny inexpensive
inverter (50 watt) to power the controller and have it pull in a relay
to run a DC pump(s) or even run an ac pump off the SW (inverter could
still sleep when the sun ain't shinning). This would probably be way
less current consumption than booting up the SW 24/7. A DC timer might
be another option. It would allow the inverter some nite time snoozing.

I am not fond of drain-back systems. I think the closed-loop is a
better deal, especially if circulating potable water in the drain-back
due to mineral build-up in the collectors.

Kurt Nelson
SOLutions

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From: Allan Sindelar <allan at positiveenergysolar.com>
Subject: Re: differential controllers [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 10:13:43 -0700
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Tom,
To reduce early-morning temperature drop, install a low limit snap switch
(Grainger part #2E848) near the collector output and air vent, wired between
PV module and pump, to keep the circuit open until a threshold temperature
is attained in the morning. The only downside is it adds one more
part/circuit to an inherently simple system.
The Gold Line GL30 differential controller (Grainger part #3GC96) may be run
on 24V DC. Connect DC- to BR1- (5th pin from top, and DC+ to BR1+ terminal
(4th pin from top). Either make up a pin connector (Mouser Electronics) or
solder leads to the circuit board. Works fine, voids warranty.

Allan at Pos E

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Simko" <tom at skylinesolar.com>
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
One draw back is in the morning there is a 1, maybe 1 1/2 degree temp drop
as
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
measured in the storage tank due to the sun telling the circ pump to run
what can be 100 plus degree stored fluid through the ice cold panels, its
momentary, and just at start up.
As to the differential controller, all I can find are 120VAC models,
meaning my 4024SW will have to be ON all the time. Anyone have any other
ideas as to how to keep the diff controller happy other then just leave the
inverter on all the time?

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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: matthew tritt <solarone at charter.net>
Subject: Re: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 09:32:31 -0800
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Mark,

I heard the first negative report on the Outback 2000 yesterday! Sounds like
several things are going to cause fits for installers and customers.

1: 50 Watt (!) no load consumption in "on" position (that's 24 hours a day,
folks; The SW has only 16)
2: Only one "AC In" connection. No possibility for both grid and genset at
the same time.
3: Poor wave form in "power save" mode (still draws 22 amps!)
4: Requires external control to operate certain programming modes (extra
expense).

These are not the only problems, but enough to start "dialogue". :-)

And we were hoping for a miracle! Is it on the way??

Matt T
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Robinson" <Mark at TheEnergyGrid.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 6:18 AM
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
GC-1000: If you have trouble finding them, please let me know.... I can
hunt
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
some up for you. I can also check around for parts if necessary.
Still no progress on the bankruptcy liquidation. There are a fistful of
companies bidding. I've spoken to several of them. Contact me offline if
you
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
want to know more or if I can help with specific problems.
I'm very interested in knowing more about current MultiMode performance
and
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
performance of other inverters (SMA, Trace, Outback). I'm starting to put
together some seminars and I need some war stories.
Regards,
Mark
Mark at TheEnergyGrid.com
-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Brooks [mailto:billb at endecon.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 5:50 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Kirk,
Contact AstroPower. I know they got a fairly large shipment before AEI
went
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
down.
Bill.
-----Original Message-----
From: Kirk Herander, VSE [mailto:kirk at vtsolar.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 2:41 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Group,
Does anyone know where I can obtain a new or used GC-1000 inverter cheap?
I
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
need parts, and Mark R. tells me it could be some time before the dust
settles to free up AE's intelluctual property. Please contact me offline.
Thanks - Kirk
Vermont Solar Engineering
a Xantrex / Trace Certified Dealer Charter Member
Kirk Herander
PO Box 697
Burlington, VT. 05402
www.vermontsolar.com
www.backeastsolar.com
800.286.1252 - 802.863.1202
fax 802.863.7908
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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: Andrew Bortz <solarman2 at attbi.com>
Subject: Inverter war story? [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 09:50:21 -0800
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Wrenches,

One of my client PV systems is acting up. This is a Trace SW4048 system
being operated as a combination utility intertie (sell mode) & battery
back-up system. There is a 1KW PV array, Trace C40 charge controller, and
(8) Trojan L-16 batteries in series (three years old & probably dead from
overcharging now).

The settings on the Trace are factory defaults with the exception of; bulk
volts at 58.5VDC, float volts at 52VDC, & 52.5VDC for the sell volts. The
C40 was set to 58.5 on the bulk volts also, and 53 on the float. This was
changed on the advice of the techs at my distributorship, and the idea was
to reduce battery water use, and Increase the power sold to the grid.

The problem: On SUNNY days the TM500 monitor is indicating that the
batteries are getting discharged down to 55% (selling?). And on cloudy days
the monitor indicates the batteries discharge down to 80 or 85%. It looks
like we are charging the batteries up overnight, and then selling too much
during the day. But, why would we sell more on sunny than on cloudy days
given the settings? My understanding is that the selling should typically
keep the batteries above 80%.

I suppose there could be a set up problem with the TM500 monitor, but I
think the dead batteries say there's a bigger problem!
-------------
On a separate subject: Has anyone had long term success with gel batteries
in a
residential installation?

Any help would be appreciated,

Andrew,
Solar Design

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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: Ray Walters <remotech at taosnm.com>
Subject: RE: Australian Thermal Tower [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 11:00:44 -0700
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Here's some more info I received from my father on the Thermal Tower .

Ray

AUSTRALIA'S LEIGHTON HOLDINGS TO
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
ANALYSE US$562.9 M SOLAR TOWER Story Filed: Monday,
November 11, 2002 1:03 AM EST SYDNEY, Nov 11, 2002 (AsiaPulse via COMTEX)
-- Leighton Holdings Ltd (ASX:LEI) is preparing to determine the viability
of building the world's first solar power generation tower, in a project
worth up to $A1 billion ($US562.9 million). Listed renewable energy group
EnviroMission Ltd said Leighton would establish whether the tower, tipped
to be one kilometre high and the world's largest engineered structure, was
economically viable. "" EnviroMission chief executive Roger Davey told
AAP. "" The study would also involve improving and finalising
materials, and forecasting the nature of the income stream. "" Mr Davey
said. He said the companies expected to pinpoint other income sources for
the construction other than power, including tourism, telecommunications
and agriculture. Once the viability study was completed, in an expected
three to six months, Leighton would take an equity position in the project
and participate in final design and actual construction. Leighton has the
option to convert up to $A1 million ($US562,900) in capital expenditure
into a stake in EnviroMission. Mr Davey said signing Leighton up to the
project added to its credibility. "" Mr Davey said. "" The tower, to
be located near Buronga in NSW's south-west, would be surrounded by a solar
collector 7km in diameter. The tower allows the hot air produced under
the collector to drive the turbines and generate the electricity, and is
expected to provide power for some 200,000 homes, abating 700,000 tonnes of
greenhouse gases emissions annually. Energen Global Inc, a technology
outfit with a stake in EnviroMission, provided the exclusive licence to the
German-designed solar tower technology in Australia. (C) 2002 Asia Pulse
Pte Ltd INDUSTRY KEYWORD: Energy Environment/water
pollution Utilities Copyright &copy; 2002, Asia Pulse,
all rights reserved.
LEI 061-Building, Contractor http://www.leighton.com.au/ Principal
Activities Leighton Holdings Limited is the parent company of Australia's
largest project development and contracting group. Group companies
undertake activity for clients in the telecommunications, engineering and
infrastructure, building and property, mining and resources, and
environmental services markets. Operations span projects in Australia, SE
Asia, NZ, Vietnam, China and South America. Business Summary Leighton
Holdings Ltd is the parent company of Australia's largest project
development and contracting group, the Leighton Group, which offers a broad
range of project development and contracting services and skills to public
and private sector clients from a wide range of industries. Project
development skills and project management of construction and property
developments complement the Group's contracting activities. The Group
operates in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region and is pursuing
opportunities in South America. LEIGHTON CONTRACTORS Leighton Contractors
is a broad-based Australian contractor which undertakes building and civil
engineering construction and various forms of contract mining. It maintains
one of the largest fleets of modern civil engineering and building
construction equipment and plant in Australia. THIESS CONTRACTORS Thiess
Contractors provide civil engineering, contract mining, building and
environmental services conducted throughout Australia, Indonesia and the
Pacific Region. LEIGHTON ASIA Leighton Asia is involved in civil
engineering and construction, marine and reclamation, foundation
engineering, project management and construction management. The Company is
based in Hong Kong and operates throughout Thailand, China, Vietnam,
Philippines and Malaysia. OTHER ACTIVITIES Leighton Properties - Structured
to develop, lease and sell properties with the aim to reduce exposure
through the leasing and sale of existing property projects in Australia.
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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: Joel Davidson <joeldavidson at earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: NET METERING ATTACK [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 10:39:41 -0800
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Don and California Wrenches,
Thanks for sending Ed O'Neill's protest letter and Jan Pepper's comments.
What are to email addresses and fax numbers for Jerry Royer, CPUC and James
Frank, SDG&E?
Also, send the email addresses and fax numbers for anyone else who should get a
copy of my protest letter.
I encourage others to file a protest. You can cut-and-pasted from Ed's letter or
I will send you my shorter cut-paste letter off-list.
Thank you.
Joel Davidson
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I'm posting this to the list because I think there is enough general interest
"Unlike most processes and procedures at the CPUC, the process for protesting
an Advice Letter is fairly simple. It takes nothing more than a letter
stating that the writer protests the Advice Letter and briefly stating the
grounds on which the Advice Letter is protested. It should be directed by
e-mail and fax to the same individual and address stated in CalSEIA's
protest. A copy should also be provided to the utility c/o the utility
employee named in the Advice Letter. There is, however, a time within which
protests to Advice Letters must ordinarily be filed and protests to SDG&E's
Advice Letter 1459-E were due 1/6/03. The CPUC often considers late-filed
protests, however, so if you know of others interested in filing protests and
they can do so fairly soon, I would recommend that they go ahead and do so.
For more information, you may contact or direct others to the CPUC's Public
Advisor's Office, 415-703-2074. FYI, ED
Thank Ed O'neil CALSEIA attorney and solar warrior.
Best, Don Loweburg
--
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: "Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters" <bob at energyoutfitters.com>
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 12:21:04 -0800
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Matt,

Let me update you regarding Outback. The following is cut and paste from
Christopher at Outback:
The idle power consumption
with a "real" sinewave output has been reduced to the 18 to 20
watt range and the "power mizer" mode has been completely eliminated.


This improvement is easily added in the field to any of the existing
FX2000 inverters already shipped and we will be providing the
"kit" at no charge for all units already shipped. We should
have the kits going out by the end of this week. It will be included
standard in all of the production FX2000 units we ship.
True, it does have only on AC input.

The FX comes with a basic default program. Using the "Mate" controller you
can change many parameters and customize for the application. Much more so
than the SW. Because the FX has non-volatile memory, you can program it to
customer spec. and remove it from the system altogether, it becomes a truck
tool. With that said, most people will want the "Mate" because of all the
metering and neat status screens!

Regards,
Bob Maynard
Energy Outfitters



-----Original Message-----
From: matthew tritt [mailto:solarone at charter.net]
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 9:33 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]


Mark,

I heard the first negative report on the Outback 2000 yesterday! Sounds like
several things are going to cause fits for installers and customers.

1: 50 Watt (!) no load consumption in "on" position (that's 24 hours a day,
folks; The SW has only 16)
2: Only one "AC In" connection. No possibility for both grid and genset at
the same time.
3: Poor wave form in "power save" mode (still draws 22 amps!)
4: Requires external control to operate certain programming modes (extra
expense).

These are not the only problems, but enough to start "dialogue". :-)

And we were hoping for a miracle! Is it on the way??

Matt T
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Robinson" <Mark at TheEnergyGrid.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 6:18 AM
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
GC-1000: If you have trouble finding them, please let me know.... I can
hunt
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
some up for you. I can also check around for parts if necessary.
Still no progress on the bankruptcy liquidation. There are a fistful of
companies bidding. I've spoken to several of them. Contact me offline if
you
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
want to know more or if I can help with specific problems.
I'm very interested in knowing more about current MultiMode performance
and
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
performance of other inverters (SMA, Trace, Outback). I'm starting to put
together some seminars and I need some war stories.
Regards,
Mark
Mark at TheEnergyGrid.com
-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Brooks [mailto:billb at endecon.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 5:50 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Kirk,
Contact AstroPower. I know they got a fairly large shipment before AEI
went
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
down.
Bill.
-----Original Message-----
From: Kirk Herander, VSE [mailto:kirk at vtsolar.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 2:41 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Group,
Does anyone know where I can obtain a new or used GC-1000 inverter cheap?
I
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
need parts, and Mark R. tells me it could be some time before the dust
settles to free up AE's intelluctual property. Please contact me offline.
Thanks - Kirk
Vermont Solar Engineering
a Xantrex / Trace Certified Dealer Charter Member
Kirk Herander
PO Box 697
Burlington, VT. 05402
www.vermontsolar.com
www.backeastsolar.com
800.286.1252 - 802.863.1202
fax 802.863.7908
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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: matthew tritt <solarone at charter.net>
Subject: Re: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 12:54:29 -0800
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Bob,

Thanks for the update. The info I posted was taken from a bench test from a
recent delivery, so Outback must have had a bunch of the first models to get
out (to keep us all happy), regardless of changes that would eventually be
needed. Such is life in the inverter world.

The truck tool idea is a good one if it keeps the homeowner from messing
with the settings, but it's too bad that techie owners will have to pay
extra for the ability to program their own equipment, no?

It seems a pity that there is only one AC in. Wonder why they did that??

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters" <bob at energyoutfitters.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 12:21 PM
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Matt,
Let me update you regarding Outback. The following is cut and paste from
The idle power consumption
with a "real" sinewave output has been reduced to the 18 to 20
watt range and the "power mizer" mode has been completely eliminated.
This improvement is easily added in the field to any of the existing
FX2000 inverters already shipped and we will be providing the
"kit" at no charge for all units already shipped. We should
have the kits going out by the end of this week. It will be included
standard in all of the production FX2000 units we ship.
True, it does have only on AC input.
The FX comes with a basic default program. Using the "Mate" controller
you
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
can change many parameters and customize for the application. Much more
so
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
than the SW. Because the FX has non-volatile memory, you can program it
to
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
customer spec. and remove it from the system altogether, it becomes a
truck
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
tool. With that said, most people will want the "Mate" because of all the
metering and neat status screens!
Regards,
Bob Maynard
Energy Outfitters
-----Original Message-----
From: matthew tritt [mailto:solarone at charter.net]
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 9:33 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Mark,
I heard the first negative report on the Outback 2000 yesterday! Sounds
like
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
several things are going to cause fits for installers and customers.
1: 50 Watt (!) no load consumption in "on" position (that's 24 hours a
day,
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
folks; The SW has only 16)
2: Only one "AC In" connection. No possibility for both grid and genset at
the same time.
3: Poor wave form in "power save" mode (still draws 22 amps!)
4: Requires external control to operate certain programming modes (extra
expense).
These are not the only problems, but enough to start "dialogue". :-)
And we were hoping for a miracle! Is it on the way??
Matt T
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Robinson" <Mark at TheEnergyGrid.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 6:18 AM
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
GC-1000: If you have trouble finding them, please let me know.... I can
hunt
some up for you. I can also check around for parts if necessary.
Still no progress on the bankruptcy liquidation. There are a fistful of
companies bidding. I've spoken to several of them. Contact me offline if
you
want to know more or if I can help with specific problems.
I'm very interested in knowing more about current MultiMode performance
and
performance of other inverters (SMA, Trace, Outback). I'm starting to
put
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
together some seminars and I need some war stories.
Regards,
Mark
Mark at TheEnergyGrid.com
-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Brooks [mailto:billb at endecon.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 5:50 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Kirk,
Contact AstroPower. I know they got a fairly large shipment before AEI
went
down.
Bill.
-----Original Message-----
From: Kirk Herander, VSE [mailto:kirk at vtsolar.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 2:41 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Group,
Does anyone know where I can obtain a new or used GC-1000 inverter
cheap?
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I
need parts, and Mark R. tells me it could be some time before the dust
settles to free up AE's intelluctual property. Please contact me
offline.
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Thanks - Kirk
Vermont Solar Engineering
a Xantrex / Trace Certified Dealer Charter Member
Kirk Herander
PO Box 697
Burlington, VT. 05402
www.vermontsolar.com
www.backeastsolar.com
800.286.1252 - 802.863.1202
fax 802.863.7908
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From: sunwise <sunwise at cheqnet.net>
Subject: RE: Outback update [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 15:02:46 -0600
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-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters [mailto:bob at energyoutfitters.com]

The idle power consumption with a "real" sinewave output has been
reduced to the 18 to 20 watt range and the "power mizer" mode has been
completely eliminated.

Greetings Bob,

I have not yet looked over the Outback unit and have been hoping to hear
more about it. Is the "power mizer" essentially the search mode (and it
is no more), or is there still some kind of search mode where energy
consumption is very low? I understand the "silent sell" missing from
the SW is included in the Outback, is it drawing something like 19 watts
when in silent sell as well?

Thanks -- Kurt Nelson

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From: "Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters" <bob at energyoutfitters.com>
Subject: RE: Outback update [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 13:27:30 -0800
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Hi Kurt,

The FX 2000 still has a search mode. The "power mizer" mode(now eliminated)
was an additional operating mode between search and full on sinewave.
Outback's engineers were able to eliminate this mode by reducing the idle
current. The concept of the powermizer mode was pretty neat but at the same
time added some confusion and complexity to the setup. Its great that
they've reduced the idle current to the point where its not needed!

Yes! What we in the industry refer to as "Silent Sell" is in the FX, but at
this time the inverter is only listed for offgrid application. Grid tie
certification will becoming down the road.

Anybody at Outback want to give us an estimated availability date?

I'm running my FX in the HBX mode (I'm currently ongrid). I've moved 4
critical load circuits from my main service panel to a sub panel. Grid
feeds through the FX to the sub panel. When my batteries reach full charge
from the solar array, FX transfers sub panel loads to inverter power. I've
played with the "low battery" transfer settings and when my batteries are
about 20% discharged, the FX transfers back to grid. This leaves reserve in
my battery just in case the grid goes down. In a separate programming menu,
I've told the FX's charger not to turn on. YEA!!! As for the 19 watts, I
haven't measured it yet, Outback want to comment?

Regards,
Bob

-----Original Message-----
From: sunwise [mailto:sunwise at cheqnet.net]
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 1:03 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Outback update [RE-wrenches]




-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters [mailto:bob at energyoutfitters.com]

The idle power consumption with a "real" sinewave output has been
reduced to the 18 to 20 watt range and the "power mizer" mode has been
completely eliminated.

Greetings Bob,

I have not yet looked over the Outback unit and have been hoping to hear
more about it. Is the "power mizer" essentially the search mode (and it
is no more), or is there still some kind of search mode where energy
consumption is very low? I understand the "silent sell" missing from
the SW is included in the Outback, is it drawing something like 19 watts
when in silent sell as well?

Thanks -- Kurt Nelson

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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: Christopher Freitas - OutBack Power <cfreitas at outbackpower.com>
Subject: OutBack FX2024 (was cheap GC-1000) [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 21:33:12 +0000
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Here is the latest information on the OutBack FX2024 inverter/charger
system. I am limiting my discussion to just the points Matthew Tritt
raised but am happy to answer any other question you might have either
here on the wrenches list or off-line via email or phone.

We have been shipping the FX2024 on a limited basis for specific
applications. The units we are shipping are intended for only
non-stacked systems, off-grid or backup systems. There are a number of
improvements we are testing which will be available very soon. We have
held off on production of the Fx2048 until these issues have been
resolved.

When we started the beta testing of the FX2024 the no load / idle power
consumption was under 20 watts with a sine wave output. We found some
problems with the AC output waveform regulation at very small load
levels and made the decision to switch to an alternative method for
efficiently powering small loads we called "power mizer". With this
mode the power mizer's operation could be adjusted to draw as little as
12 watts (but 22 watts is typical for the default settings). The power
mizer mode is a quasi-sinewave output and is intended for only
electronic loads such as CF lights and other small ac loads -
stereo/answering machines. Without the power mizer mode enabled the no
load "idle" power draw has been about 50 watts. When the load exceeds
100 watts the inverter automatically switches to full sinewave
operation. The power mizer mode can be disabled using the MATE system
controller/display.

We have not been satisfied with the power mizer solution and have
continued working on another method of reducing the no load / idle power
consumption. Last week we finalized the design of a simple modification
which reduces the no load / idle power draw to as low as 18 watts under
most conditions with a real sinewave output. We are completing the
final testing of this method at this time and will be posting more
information including the new efficiency curves on our website shortly.


The good news is that this modification can be made to any of the
previously shipped units and a kit will be provided at no charge to
allow for field upgrading. Installation of the kit requires only common
hand tools and no software changes are necessary. The modification also
does not affect our ETL listing of the FX2024 either.

With this modification installed the FX2024 has similar idle power
consumption to other inverters available without the problems of a
co-inverter (as with Vanner) or a poor quality ac waveform (as with the
SW series). Since our design is modular we can turn off the excess
capacity to maximize the efficiency under various load levels when
multiple inverters are "stacked" for higher power or 120/240 vac.

The FX2000 include only a single AC input for the utility or generator
connection. We plan on offering a seperate AC1/AC2 transfer switch to
allow automatic operation of systems with both utility grid and
generator power sources. Having two AC inputs on each inverter adds too
much complexity to the modular design and adds cost to all the units
even though many people do not use both of the AC inputs.

The MATE system controller and display is required for programming of
the inverter's setpoints but can be removed once the unit is programmed
(all settings are stored in non-volatile memory in the inverter itself).
We also have terminals for connection of a remote on/off switch which
allows you to disable or enable the search mode and reset the unit when
an error occurs without needing the MATE on site. All of the current
inverter modes operate without the MATE connected, but some of the more
advanced system operations were are developing will require a MATE to be
installed all of the time. For multiple inverter systems, only a
single MATE is required.


Christopher Freitas
OutBack Power Systems, Inc.
cfreitas at outbackpower.com
www.outbackpower.com
Tel 360 435 6030
Arlington WA USA
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I heard the first negative report on the Outback 2000 yesterday! Sounds
like several things are going to cause fits for installers and
customers.
1: 50 Watt (!) no load consumption in "on" position (that's 24 hours a
day, folks; The SW has only 16)
2: Only one "AC In" connection. No possibility for both grid and genset
at the same time.
3: Poor wave form in "power save" mode (still draws 22 amps!)
4: Requires external control to operate certain programming modes (extra
expense).
These are not the only problems, but enough to start "dialogue". :-)
And we were hoping for a miracle! Is it on the way??
Matt T
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From: "Tom Lane, Energy Conservation Services" <tom at ecs-solar.com>
Subject: Re: differential controllers [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 16:41:42 -0500
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drainback systems DO NOT scale up the collectors --- absorbers will last 3
times longer in a drainback system than any type of DHW design. Gator Tom
----- Original Message -----
From: "sunwise" <sunwise at cheqnet.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 11:49 AM
Subject: RE: differential controllers [RE-wrenches]
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Anyone have any other ideas as to how to keep the diff controller happy
other then just leave the inverter on all the time?
Hey Tom,
I would think it would be pretty easy to make your own DC differential
controller, maybe there is even one out there. Stay DC.
If you have to run it at 120vac, you could use a very tiny inexpensive
inverter (50 watt) to power the controller and have it pull in a relay
to run a DC pump(s) or even run an ac pump off the SW (inverter could
still sleep when the sun ain't shinning). This would probably be way
less current consumption than booting up the SW 24/7. A DC timer might
be another option. It would allow the inverter some nite time snoozing.
I am not fond of drain-back systems. I think the closed-loop is a
better deal, especially if circulating potable water in the drain-back
due to mineral build-up in the collectors.
Kurt Nelson
SOLutions
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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: Christopher Freitas - OutBack Power <cfreitas at outbackpower.com>
Subject: RE: Outback update [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 21:55:38 +0000
Message-ID: <1698134730-1463792126-1042062939 at topica.com>
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Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I understand the "silent sell" missing from the SW is included in
the Outback, is it drawing something like 19 watts when in silent
sell as well?
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Thanks -- Kurt Nelson
Yes - "silent sell" is designed into the design - and is currently used
also by the battery charger and HBX modes as well. When the inverter is
silent we not only turn off the inverter but also can disconnect the
transformer from the utility grid to minimize all of the parasitic power
consumption. There is zero power draw on the AC side of the inverter
and only a couple of watts on the DC side to keep the computer running
and transfer relays closed.

Our approach to developing the FX2000 is what I call a "crawl-walk-run"
strategy. We are currently crawling - shipping a limited number of
units and making improvements. Once the design is more proven and the
feature set complete we will start "walking" by shipping large volumes.
Once that is done we will enable the grid interactive features and be
"running". This approach allows us to bite off manageable amounts of
issues and not be overloaded.

We appreciate all the support and patience we have received from many on
this list and look forward to working with more of you in the future.

Christopher Freitas
OutBack Power Systems, Inc.
cfreitas at outbackpower.com
www.outbackpower.com
Tel 360 435 6030
Arlington WA USA

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From: "Tom Lane, Energy Conservation Services" <tom at ecs-solar.com>
Subject: Re: differential controllers [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 16:57:58 -0500
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Your assumptions about drainback systems is correct

Gator Tom
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Simko" <tom at skylinesolar.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 10:53 AM
Subject: differential controllers [RE-wrenches]
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I have installed several closed loop glycol/PV driven circ pump thermal
systems, kept it simple and let the PV control the circ pump: suns out and
the fluid moves. These systems were configured this way due to the thermal
panels being lower or equeal in height to the storage tanks and the lack
of
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
grid power. They have worked well and are pretty much maintance free. One
draw back is in the morning there is a 1, maybe 1 1/2 degree temp drop as
measured in the storage tank due to the sun telling the circ pump to run
what can be 100 plus degree stored fluid through the ice cold panels, its
momentary, and just at start up. The storage tank temps quickly rise and
the
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
system works great the rest of the day (40 to 45 degree rise in a 500
gallon
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
tank using 6 GOBI 4x8 thermal panels, and thats during the winter, about 6
hours full sun at my site, clear sky of course).
This minor drop in temp at startup I have always considered worth the
simplicity of the closed loop/PV driven systems. I recently reconfigured
my
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
own thermal space heating system and without really cogitating over it set
it up as a closed looper, and its working well. But, since the 6 Heliodyne
panels are, in my case, higher then the storage tank, in retrospect I
should
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
have set it up as a drainback system and eliminated that minor temp drop
at
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
startup. The other advantage I see over the closed loop system will be in
the summer, in the past with the closed loopers, being too lazy to drain
them down for the summer and recharge them in the fall, I simply cover the
thermal and PV panels with OSB/plywood and come heating season uncover
them
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
and everything comes to life. I ran one system like this for over 15 years
and NEVER had to mess with it (didn't know about checking the PH) those
panels were bought used, sold for what I paid for them, and are still
cranking out the BTU's on a friends house. Am I correct that with the
drainback systems it is OK to simply let them idle throughout the summer
months, empty of fluid? That would be a huge advantage, not having to deal
with the end of the heating season/cover them up ritual. Plus, very rarely
snow will not melt off the PV panel soon enough to stop the thermal panels
from overheating, a drainback system will solve that also.
As to the differential controller, all I can find are 120VAC models,
meaning my 4024SW will have to be ON all the time, I still cling to the
old
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
habit of keeping it OFF as much as possible, even though my home system
(1200 watts PV + a 1000w Whisper H-80) keeps my batteries topped off by
noon
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
most days, even in the winter. Nonetheless in order to keep the inverter
OFF
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
as much as possible, especially during the long winter nights, as of now I
am planning to install a timer to turn on a small load, just sufficent to
wake the inverter, before the sun comes out, and off after it sets,
(approximated as the seasons change) ensuring the diff controller will
have
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
AC when it needs it.
Anyone have any other ideas as to how to keep the diff controller happy
other then just leave the inverter on all the time?
Tom Simko
Skyline Solar
Inkom, Idaho
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From: William Miller <wrmiller at slonet.org>
Subject: Re: Inverter war story? [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 14:00:36 -0800
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Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Wrenches,
The settings on the Trace are factory defaults with the exception of; bulk
volts at 58.5VDC, float volts at 52VDC, & 52.5VDC for the sell volts. The
C40 was set to 58.5 on the bulk volts also, and 53 on the float. This was
changed on the advice of the techs at my distributorship, and the idea was
to reduce battery water use, and Increase the power sold to the grid.
-------------
On a separate subject: Has anyone had long term success with gel batteries
in a
residential installation?
Andrew:

Regarding the grid tie settings:

I don't endorse using the C40 for grid tie systems because they are a 3
stage charge controller only. I suggest an RV products Solar Boost set on
two stage charging. Having said that, the systems as set up should prevent
the C-40 from leaving the bulk mode: Theoretically, the batteries will
never get above the sell voltage of 52.5. Therefore the C-40 will never
get out of the bulk charge settings. If the C-40 goes into automatic
equalization, your TM500 will show an inequality between charging and
consumption. If the SW inverters are holding the battery voltage at 52.5
to sell, the C-40 may try forever to equalize. This seems to fit your
symptoms.

You don't want the SW inverters to bulk charge at all, unless your grid
power is prone to frequent outages. I'd set bulk time on the SWs to 0 or
10 minutes at the most. If the SW does bulk charge (after an outage or
possibly every morning if the battery voltage gets low enough during the
night), the C-40 will go into the float mode. It won't go back into the
bulk mode until 1 hour after the inverter stops bulk charging. Find out
how low the batteries go at night and if they peak in the mid morning.

58.5 volts bulk setting on the SW is a bit excessive if you are
experiencing water consumption on flat batteries. For new batteries, this
is a moderate setting. I'd go as high as 29 if the water is checked
regularly. Bottom line, the batteries in a grid tie system should cycle,
meaning they will not bulk daily.

The TM500 is a one shunt monitor. Depending on where the shunt is located,
it may not know what your PV is doing for your batteries. If the batteries
are indeed flat, the charging process is particularly inefficient. The
more sunshine, the more you charge and the more inefficient the process
becomes. I am no expert on the TM500, but this could explain readings.

I suggest checking the batteries and replace if necessary. Set the bulk
timer to 0. Check C-40 so it is not set to automatically equalize.
Consider setting max charge amps to 1 so you don't waste a lot of power
floating batteries all night with the SW inverter(s).

Re gel batteries:

I have installed a number of systems with gel batteries and I like them. I
have them in my service vehicle running a Statpower 1800. It is a bit
nerve wracking to have them connected to SW inverters since the default
bulk charging and EQ volts are too high. I label the DC inverter breakers:
If these breakers ever open, call this number immediately____." This is so
I can race out to the site and reprogram the inverter before the batteries
are damaged. I don't believe damage can occur easily in such a situation,
but I am cautious (I wish Xanthrax would get it together to at least lower
the default voltage settings, or better yet, get non-volatile memory!).

Set up charging equipment carefully and you won't have any problems.

William Miller


__________________________________________________________________
William Miller
Miller Power and Communications
PO Box 50, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Voice :805-438-5600 Fax: 805-438-4607 VMail: 805-546-4875
email: wrmiller at slonet.org
http://millerpowerandcomm.com
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Subject: Re: Inverter war story? [RE-wrenches]
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Correction: the following paragraph should read as shown. It originally
said "as high as 29..."


William
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
58.5 volts bulk setting on the SW is a bit excessive if you are
experiencing water consumption on flat batteries. For new batteries, this
is a moderate setting. I'd go as high as 59 if the water is checked
regularly. Bottom line, the batteries in a grid tie system should cycle,
meaning they will not bulk daily.
__________________________________________________________________
William Miller
Miller Power and Communications
PO Box 50, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Voice :805-438-5600 Fax: 805-438-4607
email: wrmiller at slonet.org
http://millerpowerandcomm.com
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Andrew,

You should not be dispatching your battery at all in a grid-tie application
unless you are trying to take advantage of a very good time-of-use rate. If
you are on a flat electric rate, set your grid usage time settings to the
same value and run the system 24/7 in float mode. This also provides the
advantage of using the temperature compensation to protect the battery.

When you are using the grid usage timer, those settings are not temperature
compensated so you may have a charge controller compensating while the
inverter is not--this is a bad situation. Both inverter and controller have
to compensate. It is good to have the charge controller set 1 Volt higher
than the inverter so that the temperature compensators never reach the same
value (each compensator has a slightly different compensation slope value).

Good luck with your new set of batteries. Use AGM VRLA batteries for your
next set. L-16s have a higher discharge rate at float voltage.

Bill.

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Bortz [mailto:solarman2 at attbi.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 9:50 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: SPAM: Inverter war story? [RE-wrenches]


Wrenches,

One of my client PV systems is acting up. This is a Trace SW4048 system
being operated as a combination utility intertie (sell mode) & battery
back-up system. There is a 1KW PV array, Trace C40 charge controller, and
(8) Trojan L-16 batteries in series (three years old & probably dead from
overcharging now).

The settings on the Trace are factory defaults with the exception of; bulk
volts at 58.5VDC, float volts at 52VDC, & 52.5VDC for the sell volts. The
C40 was set to 58.5 on the bulk volts also, and 53 on the float. This was
changed on the advice of the techs at my distributorship, and the idea was
to reduce battery water use, and Increase the power sold to the grid.

The problem: On SUNNY days the TM500 monitor is indicating that the
batteries are getting discharged down to 55% (selling?). And on cloudy days
the monitor indicates the batteries discharge down to 80 or 85%. It looks
like we are charging the batteries up overnight, and then selling too much
during the day. But, why would we sell more on sunny than on cloudy days
given the settings? My understanding is that the selling should typically
keep the batteries above 80%.

I suppose there could be a set up problem with the TM500 monitor, but I
think the dead batteries say there's a bigger problem!
-------------
On a separate subject: Has anyone had long term success with gel batteries
in a
residential installation?

Any help would be appreciated,

Andrew,
Solar Design

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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: matthew tritt <solarone at charter.net>
Subject: Re: OutBack FX2024 (was cheap GC-1000) [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 15:40:40 -0800
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Christopher,

Thanks for all the good info.

Another question came to my attention today, concerning multiple stacked
inverters. As I remember, there will eventually be the possibility of
stacking as many as 8 inverters, true or false? If true (and I sure hope
so), how will generator input be handled? Say someone has a 12 k genset
running at 230. Will the inputs be divided somehow to allow for all
inverters to be chargers, or???

Thanks,

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher Freitas - OutBack Power" <cfreitas at outbackpower.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 1:33 PM
Subject: OutBack FX2024 (was cheap GC-1000) [RE-wrenches]
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Here is the latest information on the OutBack FX2024 inverter/charger
system. I am limiting my discussion to just the points Matthew Tritt
raised but am happy to answer any other question you might have either
here on the wrenches list or off-line via email or phone.
We have been shipping the FX2024 on a limited basis for specific
applications. The units we are shipping are intended for only
non-stacked systems, off-grid or backup systems. There are a number of
improvements we are testing which will be available very soon. We have
held off on production of the Fx2048 until these issues have been
resolved.
When we started the beta testing of the FX2024 the no load / idle power
consumption was under 20 watts with a sine wave output. We found some
problems with the AC output waveform regulation at very small load
levels and made the decision to switch to an alternative method for
efficiently powering small loads we called "power mizer". With this
mode the power mizer's operation could be adjusted to draw as little as
12 watts (but 22 watts is typical for the default settings). The power
mizer mode is a quasi-sinewave output and is intended for only
electronic loads such as CF lights and other small ac loads -
stereo/answering machines. Without the power mizer mode enabled the no
load "idle" power draw has been about 50 watts. When the load exceeds
100 watts the inverter automatically switches to full sinewave
operation. The power mizer mode can be disabled using the MATE system
controller/display.
We have not been satisfied with the power mizer solution and have
continued working on another method of reducing the no load / idle power
consumption. Last week we finalized the design of a simple modification
which reduces the no load / idle power draw to as low as 18 watts under
most conditions with a real sinewave output. We are completing the
final testing of this method at this time and will be posting more
information including the new efficiency curves on our website shortly.
The good news is that this modification can be made to any of the
previously shipped units and a kit will be provided at no charge to
allow for field upgrading. Installation of the kit requires only common
hand tools and no software changes are necessary. The modification also
does not affect our ETL listing of the FX2024 either.
With this modification installed the FX2024 has similar idle power
consumption to other inverters available without the problems of a
co-inverter (as with Vanner) or a poor quality ac waveform (as with the
SW series). Since our design is modular we can turn off the excess
capacity to maximize the efficiency under various load levels when
multiple inverters are "stacked" for higher power or 120/240 vac.
The FX2000 include only a single AC input for the utility or generator
connection. We plan on offering a seperate AC1/AC2 transfer switch to
allow automatic operation of systems with both utility grid and
generator power sources. Having two AC inputs on each inverter adds too
much complexity to the modular design and adds cost to all the units
even though many people do not use both of the AC inputs.
The MATE system controller and display is required for programming of
the inverter's setpoints but can be removed once the unit is programmed
(all settings are stored in non-volatile memory in the inverter itself).
We also have terminals for connection of a remote on/off switch which
allows you to disable or enable the search mode and reset the unit when
an error occurs without needing the MATE on site. All of the current
inverter modes operate without the MATE connected, but some of the more
advanced system operations were are developing will require a MATE to be
installed all of the time. For multiple inverter systems, only a
single MATE is required.
Christopher Freitas
OutBack Power Systems, Inc.
cfreitas at outbackpower.com
www.outbackpower.com
Tel 360 435 6030
Arlington WA USA
I heard the first negative report on the Outback 2000 yesterday! Sounds
like several things are going to cause fits for installers and
customers.
1: 50 Watt (!) no load consumption in "on" position (that's 24 hours a
day, folks; The SW has only 16)
2: Only one "AC In" connection. No possibility for both grid and genset
at the same time.
3: Poor wave form in "power save" mode (still draws 22 amps!)
4: Requires external control to operate certain programming modes (extra
expense).
These are not the only problems, but enough to start "dialogue". :-)
And we were hoping for a miracle! Is it on the way??
Matt T
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Allan Sindelar
2003-01-08 04:15:45 UTC
Permalink
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar & Wind" <cvsolar at aol.com>
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
37 amps at 120v is about 52% of its rated output. I have noticed at that
setting, frequency control on the Kohler is very good and the engine doesn't
appear to work at all. Anyone have good fuel consumption numbers for the
Kohler? I am trying to wean off my super efficient Kawasaki to cut down run
time but so far haven't found a generator that gives me more watts per gallon.
John,
The 8.5 is rated 35A at 240 VAC at sea level on LPG. It sounds like you are
running off of one leg of a 120/240 output. You can easily reconfigure the
field windings to straight 120VAC output, to run both stator coils in
balance at 1/2 of max output. This is advised; how to do it has been
discussed here in the past. You can also break the internal neutral/ground
bond if you wish.

Published LPG fuel consumption is 72 cu. ft./hour @ 100% load, 45 cfh @ 75%
load, 36 cfh @ 50% load, and 29 cfh @ 25% load. 1 gallon LPG = 36.39 cu. ft.
Allan @+E

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Electrical Energy
2003-01-08 16:17:38 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
I was told by a Kohler rep that the 8.5 is a fine generator, so long as you
are not planning to use it. He felt it was good for backup only. We
phased them out.

Drake

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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: Electrical Energy <solar at eagle-access.net>
Subject: Re: Kohler 8.5 [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 09:21:15 -0700
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Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
is the correct
grounding to isolate the neutral in the genny and reconnect the ground wire
at my main bus
According to at least one inspector, and my reading of the Code, this is
the correct way.

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From: sunwise <sunwise at cheqnet.net>
Subject: RE: differential controllers [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 10:49:34 -0600
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Tom Simko wrote:
Anyone have any other ideas as to how to keep the diff controller happy
other then just leave the inverter on all the time?

Hey Tom,

I would think it would be pretty easy to make your own DC differential
controller, maybe there is even one out there. Stay DC.

If you have to run it at 120vac, you could use a very tiny inexpensive
inverter (50 watt) to power the controller and have it pull in a relay
to run a DC pump(s) or even run an ac pump off the SW (inverter could
still sleep when the sun ain't shinning). This would probably be way
less current consumption than booting up the SW 24/7. A DC timer might
be another option. It would allow the inverter some nite time snoozing.

I am not fond of drain-back systems. I think the closed-loop is a
better deal, especially if circulating potable water in the drain-back
due to mineral build-up in the collectors.

Kurt Nelson
SOLutions

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From: Allan Sindelar <allan at positiveenergysolar.com>
Subject: Re: differential controllers [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 10:13:43 -0700
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Tom,
To reduce early-morning temperature drop, install a low limit snap switch
(Grainger part #2E848) near the collector output and air vent, wired between
PV module and pump, to keep the circuit open until a threshold temperature
is attained in the morning. The only downside is it adds one more
part/circuit to an inherently simple system.
The Gold Line GL30 differential controller (Grainger part #3GC96) may be run
on 24V DC. Connect DC- to BR1- (5th pin from top, and DC+ to BR1+ terminal
(4th pin from top). Either make up a pin connector (Mouser Electronics) or
solder leads to the circuit board. Works fine, voids warranty.

Allan at Pos E

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Simko" <tom at skylinesolar.com>
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
One draw back is in the morning there is a 1, maybe 1 1/2 degree temp drop
as
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
measured in the storage tank due to the sun telling the circ pump to run
what can be 100 plus degree stored fluid through the ice cold panels, its
momentary, and just at start up.
As to the differential controller, all I can find are 120VAC models,
meaning my 4024SW will have to be ON all the time. Anyone have any other
ideas as to how to keep the diff controller happy other then just leave the
inverter on all the time?

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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: matthew tritt <solarone at charter.net>
Subject: Re: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 09:32:31 -0800
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Mark,

I heard the first negative report on the Outback 2000 yesterday! Sounds like
several things are going to cause fits for installers and customers.

1: 50 Watt (!) no load consumption in "on" position (that's 24 hours a day,
folks; The SW has only 16)
2: Only one "AC In" connection. No possibility for both grid and genset at
the same time.
3: Poor wave form in "power save" mode (still draws 22 amps!)
4: Requires external control to operate certain programming modes (extra
expense).

These are not the only problems, but enough to start "dialogue". :-)

And we were hoping for a miracle! Is it on the way??

Matt T
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Robinson" <Mark at TheEnergyGrid.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 6:18 AM
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
GC-1000: If you have trouble finding them, please let me know.... I can
hunt
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
some up for you. I can also check around for parts if necessary.
Still no progress on the bankruptcy liquidation. There are a fistful of
companies bidding. I've spoken to several of them. Contact me offline if
you
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
want to know more or if I can help with specific problems.
I'm very interested in knowing more about current MultiMode performance
and
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
performance of other inverters (SMA, Trace, Outback). I'm starting to put
together some seminars and I need some war stories.
Regards,
Mark
Mark at TheEnergyGrid.com
-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Brooks [mailto:billb at endecon.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 5:50 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Kirk,
Contact AstroPower. I know they got a fairly large shipment before AEI
went
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
down.
Bill.
-----Original Message-----
From: Kirk Herander, VSE [mailto:kirk at vtsolar.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 2:41 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Group,
Does anyone know where I can obtain a new or used GC-1000 inverter cheap?
I
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
need parts, and Mark R. tells me it could be some time before the dust
settles to free up AE's intelluctual property. Please contact me offline.
Thanks - Kirk
Vermont Solar Engineering
a Xantrex / Trace Certified Dealer Charter Member
Kirk Herander
PO Box 697
Burlington, VT. 05402
www.vermontsolar.com
www.backeastsolar.com
800.286.1252 - 802.863.1202
fax 802.863.7908
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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: Andrew Bortz <solarman2 at attbi.com>
Subject: Inverter war story? [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 09:50:21 -0800
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Wrenches,

One of my client PV systems is acting up. This is a Trace SW4048 system
being operated as a combination utility intertie (sell mode) & battery
back-up system. There is a 1KW PV array, Trace C40 charge controller, and
(8) Trojan L-16 batteries in series (three years old & probably dead from
overcharging now).

The settings on the Trace are factory defaults with the exception of; bulk
volts at 58.5VDC, float volts at 52VDC, & 52.5VDC for the sell volts. The
C40 was set to 58.5 on the bulk volts also, and 53 on the float. This was
changed on the advice of the techs at my distributorship, and the idea was
to reduce battery water use, and Increase the power sold to the grid.

The problem: On SUNNY days the TM500 monitor is indicating that the
batteries are getting discharged down to 55% (selling?). And on cloudy days
the monitor indicates the batteries discharge down to 80 or 85%. It looks
like we are charging the batteries up overnight, and then selling too much
during the day. But, why would we sell more on sunny than on cloudy days
given the settings? My understanding is that the selling should typically
keep the batteries above 80%.

I suppose there could be a set up problem with the TM500 monitor, but I
think the dead batteries say there's a bigger problem!
-------------
On a separate subject: Has anyone had long term success with gel batteries
in a
residential installation?

Any help would be appreciated,

Andrew,
Solar Design

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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: Ray Walters <remotech at taosnm.com>
Subject: RE: Australian Thermal Tower [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 11:00:44 -0700
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Here's some more info I received from my father on the Thermal Tower .

Ray

AUSTRALIA'S LEIGHTON HOLDINGS TO
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
ANALYSE US$562.9 M SOLAR TOWER Story Filed: Monday,
November 11, 2002 1:03 AM EST SYDNEY, Nov 11, 2002 (AsiaPulse via COMTEX)
-- Leighton Holdings Ltd (ASX:LEI) is preparing to determine the viability
of building the world's first solar power generation tower, in a project
worth up to $A1 billion ($US562.9 million). Listed renewable energy group
EnviroMission Ltd said Leighton would establish whether the tower, tipped
to be one kilometre high and the world's largest engineered structure, was
economically viable. "" EnviroMission chief executive Roger Davey told
AAP. "" The study would also involve improving and finalising
materials, and forecasting the nature of the income stream. "" Mr Davey
said. He said the companies expected to pinpoint other income sources for
the construction other than power, including tourism, telecommunications
and agriculture. Once the viability study was completed, in an expected
three to six months, Leighton would take an equity position in the project
and participate in final design and actual construction. Leighton has the
option to convert up to $A1 million ($US562,900) in capital expenditure
into a stake in EnviroMission. Mr Davey said signing Leighton up to the
project added to its credibility. "" Mr Davey said. "" The tower, to
be located near Buronga in NSW's south-west, would be surrounded by a solar
collector 7km in diameter. The tower allows the hot air produced under
the collector to drive the turbines and generate the electricity, and is
expected to provide power for some 200,000 homes, abating 700,000 tonnes of
greenhouse gases emissions annually. Energen Global Inc, a technology
outfit with a stake in EnviroMission, provided the exclusive licence to the
German-designed solar tower technology in Australia. (C) 2002 Asia Pulse
Pte Ltd INDUSTRY KEYWORD: Energy Environment/water
pollution Utilities Copyright &copy; 2002, Asia Pulse,
all rights reserved.
LEI 061-Building, Contractor http://www.leighton.com.au/ Principal
Activities Leighton Holdings Limited is the parent company of Australia's
largest project development and contracting group. Group companies
undertake activity for clients in the telecommunications, engineering and
infrastructure, building and property, mining and resources, and
environmental services markets. Operations span projects in Australia, SE
Asia, NZ, Vietnam, China and South America. Business Summary Leighton
Holdings Ltd is the parent company of Australia's largest project
development and contracting group, the Leighton Group, which offers a broad
range of project development and contracting services and skills to public
and private sector clients from a wide range of industries. Project
development skills and project management of construction and property
developments complement the Group's contracting activities. The Group
operates in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region and is pursuing
opportunities in South America. LEIGHTON CONTRACTORS Leighton Contractors
is a broad-based Australian contractor which undertakes building and civil
engineering construction and various forms of contract mining. It maintains
one of the largest fleets of modern civil engineering and building
construction equipment and plant in Australia. THIESS CONTRACTORS Thiess
Contractors provide civil engineering, contract mining, building and
environmental services conducted throughout Australia, Indonesia and the
Pacific Region. LEIGHTON ASIA Leighton Asia is involved in civil
engineering and construction, marine and reclamation, foundation
engineering, project management and construction management. The Company is
based in Hong Kong and operates throughout Thailand, China, Vietnam,
Philippines and Malaysia. OTHER ACTIVITIES Leighton Properties - Structured
to develop, lease and sell properties with the aim to reduce exposure
through the leasing and sale of existing property projects in Australia.
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From: Joel Davidson <joeldavidson at earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: NET METERING ATTACK [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 10:39:41 -0800
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Don and California Wrenches,
Thanks for sending Ed O'Neill's protest letter and Jan Pepper's comments.
What are to email addresses and fax numbers for Jerry Royer, CPUC and James
Frank, SDG&E?
Also, send the email addresses and fax numbers for anyone else who should get a
copy of my protest letter.
I encourage others to file a protest. You can cut-and-pasted from Ed's letter or
I will send you my shorter cut-paste letter off-list.
Thank you.
Joel Davidson
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I'm posting this to the list because I think there is enough general interest
"Unlike most processes and procedures at the CPUC, the process for protesting
an Advice Letter is fairly simple. It takes nothing more than a letter
stating that the writer protests the Advice Letter and briefly stating the
grounds on which the Advice Letter is protested. It should be directed by
e-mail and fax to the same individual and address stated in CalSEIA's
protest. A copy should also be provided to the utility c/o the utility
employee named in the Advice Letter. There is, however, a time within which
protests to Advice Letters must ordinarily be filed and protests to SDG&E's
Advice Letter 1459-E were due 1/6/03. The CPUC often considers late-filed
protests, however, so if you know of others interested in filing protests and
they can do so fairly soon, I would recommend that they go ahead and do so.
For more information, you may contact or direct others to the CPUC's Public
Advisor's Office, 415-703-2074. FYI, ED
Thank Ed O'neil CALSEIA attorney and solar warrior.
Best, Don Loweburg
--
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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(SMTPD32-7.13) id A9155000C0; Wed, 08 Jan 2003 12:24:53 -0800
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: "Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters" <bob at energyoutfitters.com>
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 12:21:04 -0800
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Matt,

Let me update you regarding Outback. The following is cut and paste from
Christopher at Outback:
The idle power consumption
with a "real" sinewave output has been reduced to the 18 to 20
watt range and the "power mizer" mode has been completely eliminated.


This improvement is easily added in the field to any of the existing
FX2000 inverters already shipped and we will be providing the
"kit" at no charge for all units already shipped. We should
have the kits going out by the end of this week. It will be included
standard in all of the production FX2000 units we ship.
True, it does have only on AC input.

The FX comes with a basic default program. Using the "Mate" controller you
can change many parameters and customize for the application. Much more so
than the SW. Because the FX has non-volatile memory, you can program it to
customer spec. and remove it from the system altogether, it becomes a truck
tool. With that said, most people will want the "Mate" because of all the
metering and neat status screens!

Regards,
Bob Maynard
Energy Outfitters



-----Original Message-----
From: matthew tritt [mailto:solarone at charter.net]
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 9:33 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]


Mark,

I heard the first negative report on the Outback 2000 yesterday! Sounds like
several things are going to cause fits for installers and customers.

1: 50 Watt (!) no load consumption in "on" position (that's 24 hours a day,
folks; The SW has only 16)
2: Only one "AC In" connection. No possibility for both grid and genset at
the same time.
3: Poor wave form in "power save" mode (still draws 22 amps!)
4: Requires external control to operate certain programming modes (extra
expense).

These are not the only problems, but enough to start "dialogue". :-)

And we were hoping for a miracle! Is it on the way??

Matt T
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Robinson" <Mark at TheEnergyGrid.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 6:18 AM
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
GC-1000: If you have trouble finding them, please let me know.... I can
hunt
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
some up for you. I can also check around for parts if necessary.
Still no progress on the bankruptcy liquidation. There are a fistful of
companies bidding. I've spoken to several of them. Contact me offline if
you
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
want to know more or if I can help with specific problems.
I'm very interested in knowing more about current MultiMode performance
and
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
performance of other inverters (SMA, Trace, Outback). I'm starting to put
together some seminars and I need some war stories.
Regards,
Mark
Mark at TheEnergyGrid.com
-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Brooks [mailto:billb at endecon.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 5:50 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Kirk,
Contact AstroPower. I know they got a fairly large shipment before AEI
went
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
down.
Bill.
-----Original Message-----
From: Kirk Herander, VSE [mailto:kirk at vtsolar.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 2:41 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Group,
Does anyone know where I can obtain a new or used GC-1000 inverter cheap?
I
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
need parts, and Mark R. tells me it could be some time before the dust
settles to free up AE's intelluctual property. Please contact me offline.
Thanks - Kirk
Vermont Solar Engineering
a Xantrex / Trace Certified Dealer Charter Member
Kirk Herander
PO Box 697
Burlington, VT. 05402
www.vermontsolar.com
www.backeastsolar.com
800.286.1252 - 802.863.1202
fax 802.863.7908
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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: matthew tritt <solarone at charter.net>
Subject: Re: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 12:54:29 -0800
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Bob,

Thanks for the update. The info I posted was taken from a bench test from a
recent delivery, so Outback must have had a bunch of the first models to get
out (to keep us all happy), regardless of changes that would eventually be
needed. Such is life in the inverter world.

The truck tool idea is a good one if it keeps the homeowner from messing
with the settings, but it's too bad that techie owners will have to pay
extra for the ability to program their own equipment, no?

It seems a pity that there is only one AC in. Wonder why they did that??

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters" <bob at energyoutfitters.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 12:21 PM
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Matt,
Let me update you regarding Outback. The following is cut and paste from
The idle power consumption
with a "real" sinewave output has been reduced to the 18 to 20
watt range and the "power mizer" mode has been completely eliminated.
This improvement is easily added in the field to any of the existing
FX2000 inverters already shipped and we will be providing the
"kit" at no charge for all units already shipped. We should
have the kits going out by the end of this week. It will be included
standard in all of the production FX2000 units we ship.
True, it does have only on AC input.
The FX comes with a basic default program. Using the "Mate" controller
you
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
can change many parameters and customize for the application. Much more
so
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
than the SW. Because the FX has non-volatile memory, you can program it
to
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
customer spec. and remove it from the system altogether, it becomes a
truck
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
tool. With that said, most people will want the "Mate" because of all the
metering and neat status screens!
Regards,
Bob Maynard
Energy Outfitters
-----Original Message-----
From: matthew tritt [mailto:solarone at charter.net]
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 9:33 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Mark,
I heard the first negative report on the Outback 2000 yesterday! Sounds
like
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
several things are going to cause fits for installers and customers.
1: 50 Watt (!) no load consumption in "on" position (that's 24 hours a
day,
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
folks; The SW has only 16)
2: Only one "AC In" connection. No possibility for both grid and genset at
the same time.
3: Poor wave form in "power save" mode (still draws 22 amps!)
4: Requires external control to operate certain programming modes (extra
expense).
These are not the only problems, but enough to start "dialogue". :-)
And we were hoping for a miracle! Is it on the way??
Matt T
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Robinson" <Mark at TheEnergyGrid.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 6:18 AM
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
GC-1000: If you have trouble finding them, please let me know.... I can
hunt
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
some up for you. I can also check around for parts if necessary.
Still no progress on the bankruptcy liquidation. There are a fistful of
companies bidding. I've spoken to several of them. Contact me offline if
you
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
want to know more or if I can help with specific problems.
I'm very interested in knowing more about current MultiMode performance
and
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
performance of other inverters (SMA, Trace, Outback). I'm starting to
put
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
together some seminars and I need some war stories.
Regards,
Mark
Mark at TheEnergyGrid.com
-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Brooks [mailto:billb at endecon.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 5:50 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Kirk,
Contact AstroPower. I know they got a fairly large shipment before AEI
went
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
down.
Bill.
-----Original Message-----
From: Kirk Herander, VSE [mailto:kirk at vtsolar.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 2:41 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: cheap GC-1000's, anyone? [RE-wrenches]
Group,
Does anyone know where I can obtain a new or used GC-1000 inverter
cheap?
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
need parts, and Mark R. tells me it could be some time before the dust
settles to free up AE's intelluctual property. Please contact me
offline.
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Thanks - Kirk
Vermont Solar Engineering
a Xantrex / Trace Certified Dealer Charter Member
Kirk Herander
PO Box 697
Burlington, VT. 05402
www.vermontsolar.com
www.backeastsolar.com
800.286.1252 - 802.863.1202
fax 802.863.7908
- - - -
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From: sunwise <sunwise at cheqnet.net>
Subject: RE: Outback update [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 15:02:46 -0600
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-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters [mailto:bob at energyoutfitters.com]

The idle power consumption with a "real" sinewave output has been
reduced to the 18 to 20 watt range and the "power mizer" mode has been
completely eliminated.

Greetings Bob,

I have not yet looked over the Outback unit and have been hoping to hear
more about it. Is the "power mizer" essentially the search mode (and it
is no more), or is there still some kind of search mode where energy
consumption is very low? I understand the "silent sell" missing from
the SW is included in the Outback, is it drawing something like 19 watts
when in silent sell as well?

Thanks -- Kurt Nelson

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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: "Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters" <bob at energyoutfitters.com>
Subject: RE: Outback update [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 13:27:30 -0800
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Hi Kurt,

The FX 2000 still has a search mode. The "power mizer" mode(now eliminated)
was an additional operating mode between search and full on sinewave.
Outback's engineers were able to eliminate this mode by reducing the idle
current. The concept of the powermizer mode was pretty neat but at the same
time added some confusion and complexity to the setup. Its great that
they've reduced the idle current to the point where its not needed!

Yes! What we in the industry refer to as "Silent Sell" is in the FX, but at
this time the inverter is only listed for offgrid application. Grid tie
certification will becoming down the road.

Anybody at Outback want to give us an estimated availability date?

I'm running my FX in the HBX mode (I'm currently ongrid). I've moved 4
critical load circuits from my main service panel to a sub panel. Grid
feeds through the FX to the sub panel. When my batteries reach full charge
from the solar array, FX transfers sub panel loads to inverter power. I've
played with the "low battery" transfer settings and when my batteries are
about 20% discharged, the FX transfers back to grid. This leaves reserve in
my battery just in case the grid goes down. In a separate programming menu,
I've told the FX's charger not to turn on. YEA!!! As for the 19 watts, I
haven't measured it yet, Outback want to comment?

Regards,
Bob

-----Original Message-----
From: sunwise [mailto:sunwise at cheqnet.net]
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 1:03 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: Outback update [RE-wrenches]




-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters [mailto:bob at energyoutfitters.com]

The idle power consumption with a "real" sinewave output has been
reduced to the 18 to 20 watt range and the "power mizer" mode has been
completely eliminated.

Greetings Bob,

I have not yet looked over the Outback unit and have been hoping to hear
more about it. Is the "power mizer" essentially the search mode (and it
is no more), or is there still some kind of search mode where energy
consumption is very low? I understand the "silent sell" missing from
the SW is included in the Outback, is it drawing something like 19 watts
when in silent sell as well?

Thanks -- Kurt Nelson

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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: Christopher Freitas - OutBack Power <cfreitas at outbackpower.com>
Subject: OutBack FX2024 (was cheap GC-1000) [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 21:33:12 +0000
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Here is the latest information on the OutBack FX2024 inverter/charger
system. I am limiting my discussion to just the points Matthew Tritt
raised but am happy to answer any other question you might have either
here on the wrenches list or off-line via email or phone.

We have been shipping the FX2024 on a limited basis for specific
applications. The units we are shipping are intended for only
non-stacked systems, off-grid or backup systems. There are a number of
improvements we are testing which will be available very soon. We have
held off on production of the Fx2048 until these issues have been
resolved.

When we started the beta testing of the FX2024 the no load / idle power
consumption was under 20 watts with a sine wave output. We found some
problems with the AC output waveform regulation at very small load
levels and made the decision to switch to an alternative method for
efficiently powering small loads we called "power mizer". With this
mode the power mizer's operation could be adjusted to draw as little as
12 watts (but 22 watts is typical for the default settings). The power
mizer mode is a quasi-sinewave output and is intended for only
electronic loads such as CF lights and other small ac loads -
stereo/answering machines. Without the power mizer mode enabled the no
load "idle" power draw has been about 50 watts. When the load exceeds
100 watts the inverter automatically switches to full sinewave
operation. The power mizer mode can be disabled using the MATE system
controller/display.

We have not been satisfied with the power mizer solution and have
continued working on another method of reducing the no load / idle power
consumption. Last week we finalized the design of a simple modification
which reduces the no load / idle power draw to as low as 18 watts under
most conditions with a real sinewave output. We are completing the
final testing of this method at this time and will be posting more
information including the new efficiency curves on our website shortly.


The good news is that this modification can be made to any of the
previously shipped units and a kit will be provided at no charge to
allow for field upgrading. Installation of the kit requires only common
hand tools and no software changes are necessary. The modification also
does not affect our ETL listing of the FX2024 either.

With this modification installed the FX2024 has similar idle power
consumption to other inverters available without the problems of a
co-inverter (as with Vanner) or a poor quality ac waveform (as with the
SW series). Since our design is modular we can turn off the excess
capacity to maximize the efficiency under various load levels when
multiple inverters are "stacked" for higher power or 120/240 vac.

The FX2000 include only a single AC input for the utility or generator
connection. We plan on offering a seperate AC1/AC2 transfer switch to
allow automatic operation of systems with both utility grid and
generator power sources. Having two AC inputs on each inverter adds too
much complexity to the modular design and adds cost to all the units
even though many people do not use both of the AC inputs.

The MATE system controller and display is required for programming of
the inverter's setpoints but can be removed once the unit is programmed
(all settings are stored in non-volatile memory in the inverter itself).
We also have terminals for connection of a remote on/off switch which
allows you to disable or enable the search mode and reset the unit when
an error occurs without needing the MATE on site. All of the current
inverter modes operate without the MATE connected, but some of the more
advanced system operations were are developing will require a MATE to be
installed all of the time. For multiple inverter systems, only a
single MATE is required.


Christopher Freitas
OutBack Power Systems, Inc.
cfreitas at outbackpower.com
www.outbackpower.com
Tel 360 435 6030
Arlington WA USA
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I heard the first negative report on the Outback 2000 yesterday! Sounds
like several things are going to cause fits for installers and
customers.
1: 50 Watt (!) no load consumption in "on" position (that's 24 hours a
day, folks; The SW has only 16)
2: Only one "AC In" connection. No possibility for both grid and genset
at the same time.
3: Poor wave form in "power save" mode (still draws 22 amps!)
4: Requires external control to operate certain programming modes (extra
expense).
These are not the only problems, but enough to start "dialogue". :-)
And we were hoping for a miracle! Is it on the way??
Matt T
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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: "Tom Lane, Energy Conservation Services" <tom at ecs-solar.com>
Subject: Re: differential controllers [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 16:41:42 -0500
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drainback systems DO NOT scale up the collectors --- absorbers will last 3
times longer in a drainback system than any type of DHW design. Gator Tom
----- Original Message -----
From: "sunwise" <sunwise at cheqnet.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 11:49 AM
Subject: RE: differential controllers [RE-wrenches]
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Anyone have any other ideas as to how to keep the diff controller happy
other then just leave the inverter on all the time?
Hey Tom,
I would think it would be pretty easy to make your own DC differential
controller, maybe there is even one out there. Stay DC.
If you have to run it at 120vac, you could use a very tiny inexpensive
inverter (50 watt) to power the controller and have it pull in a relay
to run a DC pump(s) or even run an ac pump off the SW (inverter could
still sleep when the sun ain't shinning). This would probably be way
less current consumption than booting up the SW 24/7. A DC timer might
be another option. It would allow the inverter some nite time snoozing.
I am not fond of drain-back systems. I think the closed-loop is a
better deal, especially if circulating potable water in the drain-back
due to mineral build-up in the collectors.
Kurt Nelson
SOLutions
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To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
From: Christopher Freitas - OutBack Power <cfreitas at outbackpower.com>
Subject: RE: Outback update [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 21:55:38 +0000
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Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I understand the "silent sell" missing from the SW is included in
the Outback, is it drawing something like 19 watts when in silent
sell as well?
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Thanks -- Kurt Nelson
Yes - "silent sell" is designed into the design - and is currently used
also by the battery charger and HBX modes as well. When the inverter is
silent we not only turn off the inverter but also can disconnect the
transformer from the utility grid to minimize all of the parasitic power
consumption. There is zero power draw on the AC side of the inverter
and only a couple of watts on the DC side to keep the computer running
and transfer relays closed.

Our approach to developing the FX2000 is what I call a "crawl-walk-run"
strategy. We are currently crawling - shipping a limited number of
units and making improvements. Once the design is more proven and the
feature set complete we will start "walking" by shipping large volumes.
Once that is done we will enable the grid interactive features and be
"running". This approach allows us to bite off manageable amounts of
issues and not be overloaded.

We appreciate all the support and patience we have received from many on
this list and look forward to working with more of you in the future.

Christopher Freitas
OutBack Power Systems, Inc.
cfreitas at outbackpower.com
www.outbackpower.com
Tel 360 435 6030
Arlington WA USA

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From: "Tom Lane, Energy Conservation Services" <tom at ecs-solar.com>
Subject: Re: differential controllers [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 16:57:58 -0500
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Your assumptions about drainback systems is correct

Gator Tom
----- Original Message -----
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To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 10:53 AM
Subject: differential controllers [RE-wrenches]
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I have installed several closed loop glycol/PV driven circ pump thermal
systems, kept it simple and let the PV control the circ pump: suns out and
the fluid moves. These systems were configured this way due to the thermal
panels being lower or equeal in height to the storage tanks and the lack
of
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
grid power. They have worked well and are pretty much maintance free. One
draw back is in the morning there is a 1, maybe 1 1/2 degree temp drop as
measured in the storage tank due to the sun telling the circ pump to run
what can be 100 plus degree stored fluid through the ice cold panels, its
momentary, and just at start up. The storage tank temps quickly rise and
the
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
system works great the rest of the day (40 to 45 degree rise in a 500
gallon
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
tank using 6 GOBI 4x8 thermal panels, and thats during the winter, about 6
hours full sun at my site, clear sky of course).
This minor drop in temp at startup I have always considered worth the
simplicity of the closed loop/PV driven systems. I recently reconfigured
my
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
own thermal space heating system and without really cogitating over it set
it up as a closed looper, and its working well. But, since the 6 Heliodyne
panels are, in my case, higher then the storage tank, in retrospect I
should
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
have set it up as a drainback system and eliminated that minor temp drop
at
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
startup. The other advantage I see over the closed loop system will be in
the summer, in the past with the closed loopers, being too lazy to drain
them down for the summer and recharge them in the fall, I simply cover the
thermal and PV panels with OSB/plywood and come heating season uncover
them
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
and everything comes to life. I ran one system like this for over 15 years
and NEVER had to mess with it (didn't know about checking the PH) those
panels were bought used, sold for what I paid for them, and are still
cranking out the BTU's on a friends house. Am I correct that with the
drainback systems it is OK to simply let them idle throughout the summer
months, empty of fluid? That would be a huge advantage, not having to deal
with the end of the heating season/cover them up ritual. Plus, very rarely
snow will not melt off the PV panel soon enough to stop the thermal panels
from overheating, a drainback system will solve that also.
As to the differential controller, all I can find are 120VAC models,
meaning my 4024SW will have to be ON all the time, I still cling to the
old
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
habit of keeping it OFF as much as possible, even though my home system
(1200 watts PV + a 1000w Whisper H-80) keeps my batteries topped off by
noon
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
most days, even in the winter. Nonetheless in order to keep the inverter
OFF
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
as much as possible, especially during the long winter nights, as of now I
am planning to install a timer to turn on a small load, just sufficent to
wake the inverter, before the sun comes out, and off after it sets,
(approximated as the seasons change) ensuring the diff controller will
have
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
AC when it needs it.
Anyone have any other ideas as to how to keep the diff controller happy
other then just leave the inverter on all the time?
Tom Simko
Skyline Solar
Inkom, Idaho
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From: William Miller <wrmiller at slonet.org>
Subject: Re: Inverter war story? [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 14:00:36 -0800
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Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Wrenches,
The settings on the Trace are factory defaults with the exception of; bulk
volts at 58.5VDC, float volts at 52VDC, & 52.5VDC for the sell volts. The
C40 was set to 58.5 on the bulk volts also, and 53 on the float. This was
changed on the advice of the techs at my distributorship, and the idea was
to reduce battery water use, and Increase the power sold to the grid.
-------------
On a separate subject: Has anyone had long term success with gel batteries
in a
residential installation?
Andrew:

Regarding the grid tie settings:

I don't endorse using the C40 for grid tie systems because they are a 3
stage charge controller only. I suggest an RV products Solar Boost set on
two stage charging. Having said that, the systems as set up should prevent
the C-40 from leaving the bulk mode: Theoretically, the batteries will
never get above the sell voltage of 52.5. Therefore the C-40 will never
get out of the bulk charge settings. If the C-40 goes into automatic
equalization, your TM500 will show an inequality between charging and
consumption. If the SW inverters are holding the battery voltage at 52.5
to sell, the C-40 may try forever to equalize. This seems to fit your
symptoms.

You don't want the SW inverters to bulk charge at all, unless your grid
power is prone to frequent outages. I'd set bulk time on the SWs to 0 or
10 minutes at the most. If the SW does bulk charge (after an outage or
possibly every morning if the battery voltage gets low enough during the
night), the C-40 will go into the float mode. It won't go back into the
bulk mode until 1 hour after the inverter stops bulk charging. Find out
how low the batteries go at night and if they peak in the mid morning.

58.5 volts bulk setting on the SW is a bit excessive if you are
experiencing water consumption on flat batteries. For new batteries, this
is a moderate setting. I'd go as high as 29 if the water is checked
regularly. Bottom line, the batteries in a grid tie system should cycle,
meaning they will not bulk daily.

The TM500 is a one shunt monitor. Depending on where the shunt is located,
it may not know what your PV is doing for your batteries. If the batteries
are indeed flat, the charging process is particularly inefficient. The
more sunshine, the more you charge and the more inefficient the process
becomes. I am no expert on the TM500, but this could explain readings.

I suggest checking the batteries and replace if necessary. Set the bulk
timer to 0. Check C-40 so it is not set to automatically equalize.
Consider setting max charge amps to 1 so you don't waste a lot of power
floating batteries all night with the SW inverter(s).

Re gel batteries:

I have installed a number of systems with gel batteries and I like them. I
have them in my service vehicle running a Statpower 1800. It is a bit
nerve wracking to have them connected to SW inverters since the default
bulk charging and EQ volts are too high. I label the DC inverter breakers:
If these breakers ever open, call this number immediately____." This is so
I can race out to the site and reprogram the inverter before the batteries
are damaged. I don't believe damage can occur easily in such a situation,
but I am cautious (I wish Xanthrax would get it together to at least lower
the default voltage settings, or better yet, get non-volatile memory!).

Set up charging equipment carefully and you won't have any problems.

William Miller


__________________________________________________________________
William Miller
Miller Power and Communications
PO Box 50, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Voice :805-438-5600 Fax: 805-438-4607 VMail: 805-546-4875
email: wrmiller at slonet.org
http://millerpowerandcomm.com
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Subject: Re: Inverter war story? [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 14:07:56 -0800
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Correction: the following paragraph should read as shown. It originally
said "as high as 29..."


William
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
58.5 volts bulk setting on the SW is a bit excessive if you are
experiencing water consumption on flat batteries. For new batteries, this
is a moderate setting. I'd go as high as 59 if the water is checked
regularly. Bottom line, the batteries in a grid tie system should cycle,
meaning they will not bulk daily.
__________________________________________________________________
William Miller
Miller Power and Communications
PO Box 50, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Voice :805-438-5600 Fax: 805-438-4607
email: wrmiller at slonet.org
http://millerpowerandcomm.com
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From: Bill Brooks <billb at endecon.com>
Subject: RE: Inverter war story? [RE-wrenches]
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 14:15:36 -0800
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Andrew,

You should not be dispatching your battery at all in a grid-tie application
unless you are trying to take advantage of a very good time-of-use rate. If
you are on a flat electric rate, set your grid usage time settings to the
same value and run the system 24/7 in float mode. This also provides the
advantage of using the temperature compensation to protect the battery.

When you are using the grid usage timer, those settings are not temperature
compensated so you may have a charge controller compensating while the
inverter is not--this is a bad situation. Both inverter and controller have
to compensate. It is good to have the charge controller set 1 Volt higher
than the inverter so that the temperature compensators never reach the same
value (each compensator has a slightly different compensation slope value).

Good luck with your new set of batteries. Use AGM VRLA batteries for your
next set. L-16s have a higher discharge rate at float voltage.

Bill.

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Bortz [mailto:solarman2 at attbi.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 9:50 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: SPAM: Inverter war story? [RE-wrenches]


Wrenches,

One of my client PV systems is acting up. This is a Trace SW4048 system
being operated as a combination utility intertie (sell mode) & battery
back-up system. There is a 1KW PV array, Trace C40 charge controller, and
(8) Trojan L-16 batteries in series (three years old & probably dead from
overcharging now).

The settings on the Trace are factory defaults with the exception of; bulk
volts at 58.5VDC, float volts at 52VDC, & 52.5VDC for the sell volts. The
C40 was set to 58.5 on the bulk volts also, and 53 on the float. This was
changed on the advice of the techs at my distributorship, and the idea was
to reduce battery water use, and Increase the power sold to the grid.

The problem: On SUNNY days the TM500 monitor is indicating that the
batteries are getting discharged down to 55% (selling?). And on cloudy days
the monitor indicates the batteries discharge down to 80 or 85%. It looks
like we are charging the batteries up overnight, and then selling too much
during the day. But, why would we sell more on sunny than on cloudy days
given the settings? My understanding is that the selling should typically
keep the batteries above 80%.

I suppose there could be a set up problem with the TM500 monitor, but I
think the dead batteries say there's a bigger problem!
-------------
On a separate subject: Has anyone had long term success with gel batteries
in a
residential installation?

Any help would be appreciated,

Andrew,
Solar Design

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Christopher,

Thanks for all the good info.

Another question came to my attention today, concerning multiple stacked
inverters. As I remember, there will eventually be the possibility of
stacking as many as 8 inverters, true or false? If true (and I sure hope
so), how will generator input be handled? Say someone has a 12 k genset
running at 230. Will the inputs be divided somehow to allow for all
inverters to be chargers, or???

Thanks,

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher Freitas - OutBack Power" <cfreitas at outbackpower.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 1:33 PM
Subject: OutBack FX2024 (was cheap GC-1000) [RE-wrenches]
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Here is the latest information on the OutBack FX2024 inverter/charger
system. I am limiting my discussion to just the points Matthew Tritt
raised but am happy to answer any other question you might have either
here on the wrenches list or off-line via email or phone.
We have been shipping the FX2024 on a limited basis for specific
applications. The units we are shipping are intended for only
non-stacked systems, off-grid or backup systems. There are a number of
improvements we are testing which will be available very soon. We have
held off on production of the Fx2048 until these issues have been
resolved.
When we started the beta testing of the FX2024 the no load / idle power
consumption was under 20 watts with a sine wave output. We found some
problems with the AC output waveform regulation at very small load
levels and made the decision to switch to an alternative method for
efficiently powering small loads we called "power mizer". With this
mode the power mizer's operation could be adjusted to draw as little as
12 watts (but 22 watts is typical for the default settings). The power
mizer mode is a quasi-sinewave output and is intended for only
electronic loads such as CF lights and other small ac loads -
stereo/answering machines. Without the power mizer mode enabled the no
load "idle" power draw has been about 50 watts. When the load exceeds
100 watts the inverter automatically switches to full sinewave
operation. The power mizer mode can be disabled using the MATE system
controller/display.
We have not been satisfied with the power mizer solution and have
continued working on another method of reducing the no load / idle power
consumption. Last week we finalized the design of a simple modification
which reduces the no load / idle power draw to as low as 18 watts under
most conditions with a real sinewave output. We are completing the
final testing of this method at this time and will be posting more
information including the new efficiency curves on our website shortly.
The good news is that this modification can be made to any of the
previously shipped units and a kit will be provided at no charge to
allow for field upgrading. Installation of the kit requires only common
hand tools and no software changes are necessary. The modification also
does not affect our ETL listing of the FX2024 either.
With this modification installed the FX2024 has similar idle power
consumption to other inverters available without the problems of a
co-inverter (as with Vanner) or a poor quality ac waveform (as with the
SW series). Since our design is modular we can turn off the excess
capacity to maximize the efficiency under various load levels when
multiple inverters are "stacked" for higher power or 120/240 vac.
The FX2000 include only a single AC input for the utility or generator
connection. We plan on offering a seperate AC1/AC2 transfer switch to
allow automatic operation of systems with both utility grid and
generator power sources. Having two AC inputs on each inverter adds too
much complexity to the modular design and adds cost to all the units
even though many people do not use both of the AC inputs.
The MATE system controller and display is required for programming of
the inverter's setpoints but can be removed once the unit is programmed
(all settings are stored in non-volatile memory in the inverter itself).
We also have terminals for connection of a remote on/off switch which
allows you to disable or enable the search mode and reset the unit when
an error occurs without needing the MATE on site. All of the current
inverter modes operate without the MATE connected, but some of the more
advanced system operations were are developing will require a MATE to be
installed all of the time. For multiple inverter systems, only a
single MATE is required.
Christopher Freitas
OutBack Power Systems, Inc.
cfreitas at outbackpower.com
www.outbackpower.com
Tel 360 435 6030
Arlington WA USA
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
I heard the first negative report on the Outback 2000 yesterday! Sounds
like several things are going to cause fits for installers and
customers.
1: 50 Watt (!) no load consumption in "on" position (that's 24 hours a
day, folks; The SW has only 16)
2: Only one "AC In" connection. No possibility for both grid and genset
at the same time.
3: Poor wave form in "power save" mode (still draws 22 amps!)
4: Requires external control to operate certain programming modes (extra
expense).
These are not the only problems, but enough to start "dialogue". :-)
And we were hoping for a miracle! Is it on the way??
Matt T
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John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
2003-01-08 04:44:46 UTC
Permalink
Allen,
Thanks for the Kohler fuel consumption figures. Looks like a gallon an
hour at the max continuous settings. 4000 watts per gallon... now to check
out my little K2200 consumption in gallons of gasoline compared to the Kohler
with propane... too late tonight for that math.

You read my mind as I had wondered about breaking the neutral bond on that
generator. Is it as simple as isolating the neutral wires from the ground
lug on the bottom of the wiring/circuit board space?

Which brings up another odd situation I had. A Honda 5000 watt generator
feeding a DR1524 suddenly started kicking the ground fault breaker on the
generator after working fine for months. I had not broken the ground/neutral
in that generator and had not grounded the generator. I did have the ground
(third) wire in the generator power cord connected to my main system
ground/neutral point in the transfer box. We couldn't find anything wrong
with the power cord and finally I tried disconnecting the ground wire in the
power cord at the neutral bus and it worked fine. All I could figure is that
the snow that had blown in around the generator in its makeshift shed was now
grounding the generator case and creating dual grounds. The system ground
rod is only a few feet from the generator. Should I just ground the
generator to that same rod...creating a common ground or is the correct
grounding to isolate the neutral in the genny and reconnect the ground wire
at my main bus. At the time I didn't think to connect the genny frame the
the ground rod to see if the problem went away.

John
CVSolar

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

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Hugh Piggott
2003-01-08 08:22:32 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Which brings up another odd situation I had. A Honda 5000 watt generator
feeding a DR1524 suddenly started kicking the ground fault breaker on the
generator after working fine for months. I had not broken the ground/neutral
in that generator and had not grounded the generator.
The system neutral should only be grounded at one point in the
system. If it is grounded at the generator as well as the inverter
(say) then current will flow in the grounding conductor between the
two points. This will trip any ground fault interrupt which you fit
between the two.
--
Hugh

An unprovoked attack by one nation on a another nation is terrorism.
'Liberation' applies only with consent of the liberated parties, and
with respect for innocent lives (of whatever race).
hugh at scoraigwind.co.uk
http://www.scoraigwind.co.uk/

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</x-flowed>
Hugh Piggott
2003-01-08 08:22:32 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Post by John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
Which brings up another odd situation I had. A Honda 5000 watt generator
feeding a DR1524 suddenly started kicking the ground fault breaker on the
generator after working fine for months. I had not broken the ground/neutral
in that generator and had not grounded the generator.
The system neutral should only be grounded at one point in the
system. If it is grounded at the generator as well as the inverter
(say) then current will flow in the grounding conductor between the
two points. This will trip any ground fault interrupt which you fit
between the two.
--
Hugh

An unprovoked attack by one nation on a another nation is terrorism.
'Liberation' applies only with consent of the liberated parties, and
with respect for innocent lives (of whatever race).
hugh at scoraigwind.co.uk
http://www.scoraigwind.co.uk/

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</x-flowed>
Bob Maynard, Energy Outfitters
2003-01-03 23:34:38 UTC
Permalink
Scott,

I would ask the customer for a little more info on the stove. Does the oven
igniter actually light a pilot light that stays on during the entire time
the oven control is in the "on" position and is the pilot light visible? It
could be that the oven is not using the piezo box that controls the top
burners and instead might have its own piezo controller with additional
"safety" features. The oven might also not use the piezo at all but instead
use a circuit that controls a momentary glow bar(rather than the old
continuos glow bar). Has he checked voltage and frequency of the generator
at the stove's outlet? As for the problem on SW power: It could be the
poor wave form at low load level versus the more sine-like wave form at
higher loads. I experienced this with my 120vac Asko washer. With low
loads on the inverter, the washer timer went crazy causing the machine to go
from start of wash to rinse to spin in about 5 minutes. Ended up to run my
super energy/water saving washer, I had turn on about 250 watts (heavy sigh)
of lights to get a wave form the washer could run on accurately. Hope some
of this gets you towards an answer. Sure sounds to me like 2 different
problems going on. Let me know what you find out.

Regards,
Bob Maynard

Energy Outfitters
800-GO-SOLAR

-----Original Message-----
From: scott [mailto:scott at backwoodssolar.com]
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 2:48 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]


Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott

Hi,

I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My oven/stove
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug heaters.

I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and was
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024 is
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top burners
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other appliances
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when we run
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.

I originally guessed that the ignitor control was sensitive to the power
factor, and tried using a couple of different value motor run caps.
Interestingly, this made the situation worse. With the caps on, the oven
would never work. Presumably if caps make it worse, more inductance might
help, but I'm not sure how to add inductance. I was going to try an
isolation transformer next, but thought I'd check to see if you have had any
experience with this and had any ideas.



Backwoods Solar Electric Systems www.backwoodssolar.com

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sunwise
2003-01-04 03:56:37 UTC
Permalink
Nice call Matt,

If you are right, it might also be worth looking at what the SW's Max
Charge Amps are set at as well as the Max AC2 Amps overall setting is
at. I don't have a manual handy to say what the menu numbers or titles
are but the Battery Charging setting is generally set fairly high and
the Max Amps Input(?) setting will throttle back on the charging amps to
stay within the maximum generator output parameters. Provide a little
breathing room between stated generator output and the SW settings.

Also, remember that with igniters that fire a pilot that satisfies a
thermocouple, there is a delay before the burner firing (perhaps a
minute or two, and a failing thermocouple itself could be the culprit).

If a glow-bar is used, either temporary to ignite a pilot or a regular
glow-bar igniter, each could be adversely effected by the lower
operating voltages of an overloaded generator.

Kurt Nelson

-----Original Message-----
From: matthew tritt [mailto:solarone at charter.net]
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 8:53 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]

Scott,

My bet is that the genset isn't powerful enough to both run the ignitor
and
charge batteries at the same time. A bigger generator is the answer (if
your
customer doesn't want to buy another stove!) I find old stoves for my
clients all the time which use a standing pilot or a match! (The old
ones
are better anyway.
;-)_

Good luck

Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "scott" <scott at backwoodssolar.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 2:48 PM
Subject: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by scott
Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott
Hi,
I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My
oven/stove
Post by scott
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug
heaters.
Post by scott
I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and
was
Post by scott
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024
is
Post by scott
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top
burners
Post by scott
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other
appliances
Post by scott
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when
we
run
Post by scott
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.
I originally guessed that the ignitor control was sensitive to the
power
Post by scott
factor, and tried using a couple of different value motor run caps.
Interestingly, this made the situation worse. With the caps on, the
oven
Post by scott
would never work. Presumably if caps make it worse, more inductance
might
Post by scott
help, but I'm not sure how to add inductance. I was going to try an
isolation transformer next, but thought I'd check to see if you have
had
any
Post by scott
experience with this and had any ideas.
Backwoods Solar Electric Systems www.backwoodssolar.com
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Bob Ellison, Alternative Energy Systems
2003-01-04 04:31:39 UTC
Permalink
Scott,
Look for a voltage and/or frequency problem in either direction. I have
noticed in the past the same thing when the generator was a little slow or
way fast and the chargers had it well loaded. I like to run them a little
hot (fast), I get better charger performance that way. Nothing seem to
complain except sometimes the igniters..

I think that oven has a glow bar, the only spark ignition oven that I know
still that is available is the Peerless / Premier.
But I could be wrong.

Best luck,
Bob

RE. Ellison
Supplier of;
Alternative Energy Systems & Supplies
34642 Countryman Road
Theresa, NY. USA
?????????????????????????????? 13691-2076


-----Original Message-----
From: scott [mailto:scott at backwoodssolar.com]
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 5:48 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]


Any comments on this query? Many thanks. Scott

Hi,

I have an off-grid house powered by solar, an SW4024, and an Onan 4kw
generator (everything bought from you except the generator). My oven/stove
is a current model Whirlpool (I think) propane stove with electronic
ignition. The lighters are pizzo spark ignitors, not glow plug heaters.

I've got a very odd and annoying problem that I can't figure out and was
hoping you might have some ideas. When running the generator (SW4024 is
charging the batteries and passing the generator power through to the
house), the ignitor for the oven will not operate. The stove-top burners
work fine. When the generator is off and I'm running the SW4024 on
batteries, the oven usually works fine, but with certain other appliances
turned on the oven still sometimes doesn't work. In particular, when we run
our christmas tree lights the oven ignitor won't work.

I originally guessed that the ignitor control was sensitive to the power
factor, and tried using a couple of different value motor run caps.
Interestingly, this made the situation worse. With the caps on, the oven
would never work. Presumably if caps make it worse, more inductance might
help, but I'm not sure how to add inductance. I was going to try an
isolation transformer next, but thought I'd check to see if you have had any
experience with this and had any ideas.



Backwoods Solar Electric Systems www.backwoodssolar.com

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Jeff Yago
2003-01-04 06:20:07 UTC
Permalink
I have a total off grid client with a single SW4024 inverter, a battery bank
of eight L-16 batteries,160 watts of solar (lots of woods and small south
roof area) which is used just to offset standby losses, and a 8.5 kW propane
generator wired for full output at 120 volts. System has worked great about
one year as this off grid cabin has minimum loads and only used on weekends.

Now owner is reporting problems. Generator will charge batteries if
manually turned on, but if he leaves generator control in "auto" mode, when
he returns after a few days the batteries are below 23 volts and error light
on.

No, I have not visited the site yet and the owner could not advise what type
of error light(s). I am convinced the owner has added some kind of fan type
space heater or other heating load that keeps drawing the battery down this
fast during these colder months, since his initial loads were just a few
compact fluorescent lights, one small micro-wave, a radio, and one Sun Frost
refrigerator, and almost everything stays off until the weekends. He does
not even have a TV, VCR, or well pump! Cooking and DHW by non electric
propane equipment.

Assuming some new loads we did not design for are drawing down the batteries
while he is away, this still does not explain why the inverter cannot
maintain battery charge with the generator in "auto" start mode, but works
great in manual start mode with no error messages during or after charging
for 3 or 4 hours. We are always careful about programming the inverter AC2
input (generator)amps capacity setpoint and the maximum bulk charge amps to
stay well below generator peak capacity, and have not had any problems with
this system in the past overloading the generator. Owner also swears
inverter has not been shut down (back to factory defaults) since our initial
setup, and nobody had access to control panel to change our setpoints.

Any thoughts on "auto" control verses "manual" generator start control for
battery charging with SW4024, as it relates to causing errors?

Jeff Yago

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David Palumbo, Independent Power &amp; Light
2003-01-04 17:34:43 UTC
Permalink
Jeff,

You need to know what the error message is. I recently had a problem very
similar to this with a dual SW4048 (Rev 4.2 firmware) / 8.5K Kohler genset
system. Ran fine in manual start/stop battery charging mode and with no
inverting problems. In auto gen start mode it started flawlessly and charged
the batteries completely. At the end of the programmed absorption time when
the controlling inverter shuts down the Kohler (the gen did shut down when
it was supposed to) the controlling inverter would go off on a "Input Relay
Error" (not in Trace manual but in the system software). The 3,600 rpm
Koehler's do not shut down as fast as the 1800 rpm units. Rev 4.2 would see
the gen still on (if it waited another spilt second to check for gen
run/shutdown everything would have been fine) and shut the inverter(s) off
due to the "In-put Relay Error").

Solution replace chipsets to Rev 4.1 now everything works very well and this
particular system is now being operated on Auto start/stop all the time.

Dave Palumbo
IP&L

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Yago [mailto:jryago at earthlink.net]
Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 1:20 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: RE: SW4024 charging problems [RE-wrenches]


I have a total off grid client with a single SW4024 inverter, a battery bank
of eight L-16 batteries,160 watts of solar (lots of woods and small south
roof area) which is used just to offset standby losses, and a 8.5 kW propane
generator wired for full output at 120 volts. System has worked great about
one year as this off grid cabin has minimum loads and only used on weekends.

Now owner is reporting problems. Generator will charge batteries if
manually turned on, but if he leaves generator control in "auto" mode, when
he returns after a few days the batteries are below 23 volts and error light
on.

No, I have not visited the site yet and the owner could not advise what type
of error light(s). I am convinced the owner has added some kind of fan type
space heater or other heating load that keeps drawing the battery down this
fast during these colder months, since his initial loads were just a few
compact fluorescent lights, one small micro-wave, a radio, and one Sun Frost
refrigerator, and almost everything stays off until the weekends. He does
not even have a TV, VCR, or well pump! Cooking and DHW by non electric
propane equipment.

Assuming some new loads we did not design for are drawing down the batteries
while he is away, this still does not explain why the inverter cannot
maintain battery charge with the generator in "auto" start mode, but works
great in manual start mode with no error messages during or after charging
for 3 or 4 hours. We are always careful about programming the inverter AC2
input (generator)amps capacity setpoint and the maximum bulk charge amps to
stay well below generator peak capacity, and have not had any problems with
this system in the past overloading the generator. Owner also swears
inverter has not been shut down (back to factory defaults) since our initial
setup, and nobody had access to control panel to change our setpoints.

Any thoughts on "auto" control verses "manual" generator start control for
battery charging with SW4024, as it relates to causing errors?

Jeff Yago

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Jeff Yago
2003-01-04 21:15:13 UTC
Permalink
Dave Palumbo stated:
The 3,600 rpm Koehler's do not shut down as fast as the 1800 rpm units. Rev
4.2 would see
the gen still on (if it waited another spilt second to check for gen
run/shutdown everything would have been fine) and shut the inverter(s) off
due to the "In-put Relay Error").


Thanks Dave, I will check this out. We also have had more inverter charging
error problems with the 3600 RPM generators than the 1800 RPM units. Once
we get to site we will have better idea about what error lights and when,
but was looking for a "heads up" as we make repair plans since site is in
middle of nowhere.

Jeff Yago

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Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
2003-01-06 01:23:54 UTC
Permalink
I've been having a long-term problem with an Onan Emerald 6300W propane
genset.

Works great much of the time, but sometimes gets into a pulsing mode while
charging. By pulsing I mean that the current draw on the charger will vary
by 3 to 8 amps in a 2-3 second period, pulsing up and down. Sometimes this
is ok, other times it makes the lights flicker like all heck. We get voltage
readings that vary by 15 to 20 volts during the pulsations. This will go on
anywhere from 2 minutes to half an hour, and then just stop. No way to make
it happen, or to stop it.

After making way to many trips to the site and battling the local Onan
dealer, they finally replaced the voltage regulator. Didn't change a thing.
Now Onan Northeast is involved, and has a better theory, which might also
have something to do with the problems noted by others.

The voltage regulator senses the voltage from the line to the inverter.
During operation, the inverter/charger sends noise back onto the line being
sensed. The voltage regulator can pick up the harmonics, and start trying to
control to the harmonics, rather than to the true voltage signal.

If this is the problem, the solution is to install a small 1:1 transformer
in the line to the voltage regulator sensor. The transformer will drop out
the harmonics, allowing the regulator to regulate based upon a pure signal.

Could it be that the microwave/piezo igniters/other electronic thingies are
putting an excessive amount of noise back onto the line, making the voltage
regulator behave poorly enough to bump off the inverter connection?

On larger gen sets (don't know where the break point is) these transformers
come as standard, because apparently this is not an unusual problem.

We are going to install the transformer on 1/13. I'll let you know what
happens.

On a related topic, this same genny has gotten into a habit of disconnecting
during charging, turning off, and then restarting and reconnecting
automatically. It did not do this when first installed (even though it had
the above described problem) but has done it ever since the partial rebuild
caused by the mouse nest in the generator.

No error messages come on at all during this stop/start sequence. Gen starts
and synchronizes nicely. I'll track voltage better next time on site, but it
does not seem to be going off on high voltage. Any clues?

Jeff Wolfe
Global Resource Options



-----Original Message-----
From: Jay Peltz, Peltz Power [mailto:jay at asis.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 5:57 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]



Hi Matt,

Yes I agree, that with just the one load on, sometimes it can "fool" the
regulator on the genny, but I doubt that this is the case. Usually if you
are using the stove, you've at least got a light on. And in my experience,
if at least one light is one ( best if its an incandescent) then there is no
problems with a sensitive load.

Jay

peltz power


----- Original Message -----
From: "matthew tritt" <solarone at charter.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 11:10 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by matthew tritt
Hay Jay,
. I suspect that the real reason that certain loads, like microwaves,
oven
Post by matthew tritt
bars and submersible pumps don't work properly with the small, low
torque-high RPM gensets has to do with their controls, and not the actual
load. Perhaps, that since these small generators will easily bog down and
develop a less than perfect wave form when attempting to start some loads,
the controls reject the power (or, in the case of some pumps, the engine
stalls out) Does anyone have experience with a small (under 6 kW) high
speed
Post by matthew tritt
genset that will actually start and run sensitive loads? I've never seen
this type of problem with the Listers or other industrial grade sets that
I
Post by matthew tritt
use.
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Peltz, Peltz Power" <jay at asis.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Hi All,
What I'm curious about is that "glow bars" only use a few hundred watts
max.
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
I don't understand all this talk of overloading a 3500 watt genny?
I think the problem is not in acutal power useage but in some other
problem
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
such as wave form. I've got a customer ( haven't been back out to the
site
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
yet) who says their microwaves work fine on the inverter, but don't work
with the genny ( SW4024) which is a 4.5kw onan in good shape.
Remember its not the size, its how it works!!
jay
Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack West, Talkeetna AE" <jackwest at alaska.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
William et al,
The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1
amp
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the
max
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did
not
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.
Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested
either
Post by matthew tritt
or
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
Post by William Miller
both of these features?
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Jeff Yago
2003-01-07 11:32:43 UTC
Permalink
"The oven might also not use the piezo at all but instead use a
circuit that controls a momentary glow bar(rather than the old
continuous glow bar)"

We had a total off grid solar/gen/battery powered very high efficiency
home in Idaho several years back that started out with generator
running 4 hours every 4th day as designed. After several months this
changed to 4 hours per day.

We inspected and metered everything for several days and found the
owner's self installed GAS stove was using more electricity than the
entire house! They used the oven for lots of cooking and the glow
type igniter stayed on the entire time. It was drawing about 1/2
watt. Needless to say, the owner installed the pilot light stove we
suggested.

Moral to story - Don't trust gas appliances built by people who are in
the electric business.

Jeff Yago

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Don Loweburg, Offline
2003-01-07 18:14:44 UTC
Permalink
In a message dated 01/07/2003 9:37:20 AM Pacific Standard Time,
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
On a related topic, this same genny has gotten into a habit of disconnecting
during charging, turning off, and then restarting and reconnecting
automatically
Jeff, I too experience this with my Onan. I have been able to graph the
charger output during these events. For me it always began during the last
1/3 third of the charge cycle. Sometimes output wanders but things stay in
sync while at other time we disconnect and reconnect. I think it is a battle
between the onboard gen regulator and the inverter output. I have simply
lived with it but welcome any solution you may find.

Best, Don Loweburg

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

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Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
2003-01-07 20:18:23 UTC
Permalink
Inverter is 2001 pre-GTI vintage. Gen start stop had been working fine. No
changing in settings. I'll check for (mouse pee?) next time on-site.

Jeff


-----Original Message-----
From: matthew tritt [mailto:solarone at charter.net]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 1:14 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Piezo Igniters [RE-wrenches]



Jeff,

This sounds like more of an inverter problem than a generator one. Is this a
newer SW? The starting/stopping issue has to be directly related to the
inverter relay set-points (unless the Onan has a brain of it's own!),
perhaps absorption times? This sounds odd, but you might also check your
battery cable connections for corrosion and/or looseness, and/or mouse pee
signs.

Matt T
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options"
<jeff at globalresourceoptions.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 5:23 PM
Subject: RE: SW4024 and Piezo Igniters [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
I've been having a long-term problem with an Onan Emerald 6300W propane
genset.
Works great much of the time, but sometimes gets into a pulsing mode while
charging. By pulsing I mean that the current draw on the charger will vary
by 3 to 8 amps in a 2-3 second period, pulsing up and down. Sometimes this
is ok, other times it makes the lights flicker like all heck. We get
voltage
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
readings that vary by 15 to 20 volts during the pulsations. This will go
on
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
anywhere from 2 minutes to half an hour, and then just stop. No way to
make
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
it happen, or to stop it.
After making way to many trips to the site and battling the local Onan
dealer, they finally replaced the voltage regulator. Didn't change a
thing.
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Now Onan Northeast is involved, and has a better theory, which might also
have something to do with the problems noted by others.
The voltage regulator senses the voltage from the line to the inverter.
During operation, the inverter/charger sends noise back onto the line
being
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
sensed. The voltage regulator can pick up the harmonics, and start trying
to
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
control to the harmonics, rather than to the true voltage signal.
If this is the problem, the solution is to install a small 1:1 transformer
in the line to the voltage regulator sensor. The transformer will drop out
the harmonics, allowing the regulator to regulate based upon a pure
signal.
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Could it be that the microwave/piezo igniters/other electronic thingies
are
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
putting an excessive amount of noise back onto the line, making the
voltage
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
regulator behave poorly enough to bump off the inverter connection?
On larger gen sets (don't know where the break point is) these
transformers
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
come as standard, because apparently this is not an unusual problem.
We are going to install the transformer on 1/13. I'll let you know what
happens.
On a related topic, this same genny has gotten into a habit of
disconnecting
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
during charging, turning off, and then restarting and reconnecting
automatically. It did not do this when first installed (even though it had
the above described problem) but has done it ever since the partial
rebuild
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
caused by the mouse nest in the generator.
No error messages come on at all during this stop/start sequence. Gen
starts
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
and synchronizes nicely. I'll track voltage better next time on site, but
it
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
does not seem to be going off on high voltage. Any clues?
Jeff Wolfe
Global Resource Options
-----Original Message-----
From: Jay Peltz, Peltz Power [mailto:jay at asis.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 5:57 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Hi Matt,
Yes I agree, that with just the one load on, sometimes it can "fool" the
regulator on the genny, but I doubt that this is the case. Usually if you
are using the stove, you've at least got a light on. And in my
experience,
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
if at least one light is one ( best if its an incandescent) then there is
no
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
problems with a sensitive load.
Jay
peltz power
----- Original Message -----
From: "matthew tritt" <solarone at charter.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 11:10 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by matthew tritt
Hay Jay,
. I suspect that the real reason that certain loads, like microwaves,
oven
Post by matthew tritt
bars and submersible pumps don't work properly with the small, low
torque-high RPM gensets has to do with their controls, and not the
actual
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Post by matthew tritt
load. Perhaps, that since these small generators will easily bog down
and
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Post by matthew tritt
develop a less than perfect wave form when attempting to start some
loads,
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Post by matthew tritt
the controls reject the power (or, in the case of some pumps, the engine
stalls out) Does anyone have experience with a small (under 6 kW) high
speed
Post by matthew tritt
genset that will actually start and run sensitive loads? I've never seen
this type of problem with the Listers or other industrial grade sets
that
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
I
Post by matthew tritt
use.
Matt
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Peltz, Peltz Power" <jay at asis.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Hi All,
What I'm curious about is that "glow bars" only use a few hundred
watts
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Post by matthew tritt
max.
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
I don't understand all this talk of overloading a 3500 watt genny?
I think the problem is not in acutal power useage but in some other
problem
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
such as wave form. I've got a customer ( haven't been back out to the
site
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
yet) who says their microwaves work fine on the inverter, but don't
work
Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
with the genny ( SW4024) which is a 4.5kw onan in good shape.
Remember its not the size, its how it works!!
jay
Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack West, Talkeetna AE" <jackwest at alaska.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: SW4024 and Pizzo Ignitors [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
William et al,
The ability of the 4024 to shed the charger load is approximately 1
amp
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
per cycle (16ms). IE, at 30 amps charging it takes 1/2 second to
completely shed the charger. Pretty slow. I have seen this cause
problems several times with pumps coming on. Generally setting the
max
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
charge amps to a lower value will fix the nuisance problems. I did
not
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
personnally measure this value but rather got the number from tech
support at trace when I was having similar trouble with a customer's
system.
Jack West
Post by William Miller
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested
either
Post by matthew tritt
or
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
Post by William Miller
both of these features?
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Post by Jeffery Wolfe, Global Resource Options
Post by matthew tritt
Post by Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
Post by Jack West, Talkeetna AE
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John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
2003-01-08 03:54:04 UTC
Permalink
William wrote:
We've heard skepticism that the SW will "back-off" battery charging, and I'll
admit
I've never tested either feature. Has anyone out there tested either or
both of these features?

William,
I have notice that the SW will back off as stated if the generator has good
enough frequency control to stay in spec as the load is hitting it. If the
generator goes out of the voltage or frequency window due to the load hitting
it, then the over/underspeed error will show up and often kick the generator
momentarily off line. If you have set the max charge amps on menu 10 well
below the max that the generator can handle (3 to 6 amps lower) I find that
the generator stays on line. If you are working it hard, it has no excess
power to keep rpms up when the load hits. I'm running a 2200 watt Kawasaki
generator now on my SW4024 while I am upgrading my propane conversion on my
4600 watt Yamaha and find it is working fine at 11 amps max AC input. It
will run at 14 or 15 amps without kicking its circuit breaker but is lugging
pretty hard and I have burned up two voltage regulators on it so far....so
cutting back will hopefully save buying another $300 regulator and it doesn't
kick off line at all with my washing machine running, microwave kicked on,
coffee maker, 500 watt furnace fan etc. I have seen the DC amps go from 38
amps charge to minus 20 amps with the generator running steady. Same idea
works on the 4600 generator except the numbers are higher. Seems that most
generators don't like to work more than about 60% of rating. I know airplane
engines are required to be kept below 75% power to save the engines so guess
the same applies to any engine.

On a similar vein, I had a customer decide to upgrade to a Kohler 8.5 (3600
rpm) from the propane converted Yamaha I had provided (there were starting
problems-since corrected). I bought the Yamaha back and have used it at my
house for the last two years with no problems. They ran the new Kohler 30
hours and burned it up. Circuit board, then the starter, then a circuit
board again. The guy who sold them the Kohler couldn't figure out what was
causing it. Then I found out that they had the max AC2 set at 75 amps!!!!
It states right in the Kohler manual in small print at the bottom of a page
"Max continuous output 37 amps" it doesn't say at 120 or 240 but amps are
amps so I think they were just way overloading the boards (heat buildup?)
Since reducing the max AC input at my suggestion... no more problems. 37
amps at 120v is about 52% of its rated output. I have noticed at that
setting, frequency control on the Kohler is very good and the engine doesn't
appear to work at all. Anyone have good fuel consumption numbers for the
Kohler? I am trying to wean off my super efficient Kawasaki to cut down run
time but so far haven't found a generator that gives me more watts per gallon.

John Blittersdorf
CVSolar

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John Blittersdorf, Cent. VT Solar &amp; Wind
2003-01-08 04:44:46 UTC
Permalink
Allen,
Thanks for the Kohler fuel consumption figures. Looks like a gallon an
hour at the max continuous settings. 4000 watts per gallon... now to check
out my little K2200 consumption in gallons of gasoline compared to the Kohler
with propane... too late tonight for that math.

You read my mind as I had wondered about breaking the neutral bond on that
generator. Is it as simple as isolating the neutral wires from the ground
lug on the bottom of the wiring/circuit board space?

Which brings up another odd situation I had. A Honda 5000 watt generator
feeding a DR1524 suddenly started kicking the ground fault breaker on the
generator after working fine for months. I had not broken the ground/neutral
in that generator and had not grounded the generator. I did have the ground
(third) wire in the generator power cord connected to my main system
ground/neutral point in the transfer box. We couldn't find anything wrong
with the power cord and finally I tried disconnecting the ground wire in the
power cord at the neutral bus and it worked fine. All I could figure is that
the snow that had blown in around the generator in its makeshift shed was now
grounding the generator case and creating dual grounds. The system ground
rod is only a few feet from the generator. Should I just ground the
generator to that same rod...creating a common ground or is the correct
grounding to isolate the neutral in the genny and reconnect the ground wire
at my main bus. At the time I didn't think to connect the genny frame the
the ground rod to see if the problem went away.

John
CVSolar

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