Demonstration of Generator Support

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  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Posts: 2,486Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    Are those little GFX's stackable?

    Yeah, I got a couple Pierce belt-drive governors off from old Chrysler 225 slant sixes that were used in industrial applications back in the day.
    --
    Chris
    Yes, stackable 3 ways, parallel, classic phase, or 3 phase. Little ?? they are the same size as a FX's and 49 Lbs, Little is the output...lol

    If I had to guess, I'd say they take a bunch of parts that fail a test of some kind and d-rate them and use them in it. I once was ordering a stator for for a Onan Generator, I noticed the part number was the same on a 6 Kw and a 3.5 Kw. I called and they laughed and said the 3.5 & 6 have all the same parts except for the jet in the carburetor and the Circuit breaker. When we build them and they are started and the ones that run under 105 deg are 6 's and the ones that are over are de-rated to 3.5 Kw's.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    mtdoc wrote: »
    I'm really not sure why you're resorting to deception to prove a point you have no direct experience with Chris. Anyone can do a search of the Outback forum and see other examples of gen support for G inverters sited.

    There is no attempt at deception on my part, and I resent that statement. I called Outback specifically to find out if we could use one or two GVFX3648's off-grid, with generator support. I was flat out told "NO". That comes direct from the source - the people who build the equipment. That does not mean it won't work - it means they do not recommend it, and they will not support it.

    The engineer I talked to recommended dual VFX3648's with a bigger generator. And when I insisted I wanted generator support because I was already using it with our SW Plus 4024's he told me the only inverter they had that would be suitable is the GS8048 Radian. At that point I got switched over to Francine Flores, who in turn took my information and got me in contact with a local dealer.

    We did not buy a Radian because I found about some things that are poorly documented, and problems that are not solved in that inverter too, as well as the local dealer dropping the ball and failing to provide us with an accurate quote for the equipment we really needed. We were going to buy a new XW6048 until I found out I could get a brand new in the box SW Plus 5548, and Schneider would honor the new product warranty on it.

    But the bottom line is, when we went looking for a 48 volt inverter, that my main criteria was to buy one with generator support - and that because I had discovered the advantages it provides in being able to power large loads without having to run dual inverters and a big battery bank.

    No deception - a quest for information - accurate information. And that's how it went down when I called Outback.
    --
    Chris
  • mtdocmtdoc Posts: 600Solar Expert
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    There is no attempt at deception on my part, and I resent that statement. I called Outback specifically to find out if we could use one or two GVFX3648's off-grid, with generator support. I was flat out told "NO". That comes direct from the source - the people who build the equipment. That does not mean it won't work - it means they do not recommend it, and they will not support it.

    Well, if your picking a quote out of context to make a point was done unintentionally I apologize. It did not appear that way to me.

    I guess to sum up:

    You spoke to one person at Outback who was not aware that generator support was a feature that works on some of their inverters. Others at Outback, including one of the design engineers says it does work as long as you use a generator with clean enough power. I and others have direct experience with it working.

    I still have no idea what you mean by "they will not support it". That is a statement that has no factual basis that I can tell. It is a feature available to use and documented in at least some of their literature, including the manual that came with my inverter. I have complete confidence in Outbacks support - it's reputation is excellent. I don't expect that my inverter will need repair anytime soon, if it does I have no doubt Outback will take care of it.

    Chis, I have the upmost respect for your RE knowledge and experience. Based on that experience I find it hard to believe you think one telephone conversation with an Outback Rep trumps personal experience with the equipment and the voice of one of the products design engineers.

    I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    mtdoc wrote: »
    Chis, I have the upmost respect for your RE knowledge and experience. Based on that experience I find it hard to believe you think one telephone conversation with an Outback Rep trumps personal experience with the equipment and the voice of one of the products design engineers.

    I will call Outback again tomorrow, just out of curiosity, and get the full scoop on using GVFX3648's off-grid with generator support. It was on Oct 19, 2012 when I talked to them the last time about this.
    --
    Chris
  • mtdocmtdoc Posts: 600Solar Expert
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    I will call Outback again tomorrow, just out of curiosity, and get the full scoop on using GVFX3648's off-grid with generator support. It was on Oct 19, 2012 when I talked to them the last time about this.
    --
    Chris

    Good idea, just keep in mind that it may be luck of the draw as to how knowledgable whoever you speak to is. I believe one of their key technical support people - Mary Raub recently left. Sadly, I also hear that Outback is now outsourcing production offshore.:roll:
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    That is correct - Mary Raub is no longer at Outback and she now works for an outfit that sells and installs leased grid-tied solar power systems. She is a system designer.

    But I know plenty of other people that work there, and I'll get the scoop on it.
    --
    Chris
  • mtdocmtdoc Posts: 600Solar Expert
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    Chris,

    In thinking about our disagreement more, It occurred to me that perhaps part or the misunderstanding might be that the person at Outback you spoke to previously was referring to the capabilities of the Radian - since you said that is the inverter you were asking about. As I understand it is built with the same same underlying boards as the GFVX/GTFX inverters but with some changes. So, I had a look through the Radian operators manual on the Outback website. I was surprised to find this:

    Attachment not found.

    See the highlighted sentence near the bottom. Also note that at the end of the first paragraph it says:
    If large loads need to be run, the Radian inverter augments (supports) the AC source, adding inverter and battery power to ensure that the loads receive the power they demand.
    .

    Boy, that sure sounds like a good description of generator support to me.

    The Radian is their newest product and this manual is a recent, presumably up to date manual. If you get conflicting info when you talk to Outback you might want to ask them about this page from the recent manual.

    I posted a question about this issue on the Outback forum. Hopefully, one of the Outback engineers will chime in. In know boB from Midnite is around - he could probably give some good info about the history of this confusing issue at Outback (paging boB.....).
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    mtdoc wrote: »
    In thinking about our disagreement more, It occurred to me that perhaps part or the misunderstanding might be that the person at Outback you spoke to previously was referring to the capabilities of the Radian

    My question when I called was whether or not the GVFX3648 was suitable for off-grid with generator support. The answer was no and the recommendation (after explaining our loads, etc) was to get dual VFX3648's with a larger generator. I told the fellow that's specifically what I didn't want - I want an inverter with generator support. The recommendation was then the Radian, and that's where I got handed off to Francine so she could take my information and hook me up with a dealer.

    But the Radian is too big, too much parasitic internal draw (idle draw with no load is dang near 50 watts), it does not have a Power Factor Corrected charger, it's too expensive, and it doesn't support three-wire generators without buying an additional $400 dongle (Atkinson).

    At that point I decided Outback did not have the equipment we need and was going to buy a XW6048 which has everything we need, including the price. But then I came across the SW Plus 5548 and bought that instead. It was one of the best purchases we've made yet - it is truly an awesome inverter.
    --
    Chris
  • mtdocmtdoc Posts: 600Solar Expert
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    My question when I called was whether or not the GVFX3648 was suitable for off-grid with generator support. The answer was no and the recommendation (after explaining our loads, etc) was to get dual VFX3648's with a larger generator. I told the fellow that's specifically what I didn't want - I want an inverter with generator support. The recommendation was then the Radian, and that's where I got handed off to Francine so she could take my information and hook me up with a dealer.

    Ok now, I'm confused (wouldn't the first time!). I had recalled This thread where you were contemplating the Radian and then mentioned the VFX (not the GVFX). It sounds like you had asked them about GVFX for off grid use - which not surprisingly led to a recomendation for VFX since that is what they consider their off grid inverter - then when you said you needed gen support they steered you to their newest most expensive inverter...

    This has come full circle to my original point here - that Outback does not market the gen support capabilities of the GFVX/GTFX inverters - I guess since that feature is most useful to someone off grid and because they sell a whole line of "off grid" inverters. Xantrex on the other hand markets the XWs for both grid interactive and off grid use. Outback now has their fancy Radian inverters which I believe were designed to compete with the XWs. So of course - steer off grid folks to the expensive Radians ...

    It kind of reminds me of my solar panels which all the literature clearly states "for grid tie inverters" and are marketed as such - when clearly they work just fine for off grid with an MPPT controller.

    So you seem to agree that Outback Radians do gen support and that Outback GFX's do gen support. The sticking point is about the GVFX/GTFX inverters. My personal experience with a GVFX is that it works just fine. It will be interesting to see if someone at Outback tells you otherwise. Perhaps i got lucky and they gave me half a Radian in an GVFX body...:confused:

    In any case it will interesting to see if you can dig deeper with the Outback phone call.
    It was one of the best purchases we've made yet - it is truly an awesome inverter.

    I agree, that seems to be the common view. I wonder why they stopped making it?
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    The SW Plus is the improved version of the Trace SW Series II. It has more surge and overload capacity, they improved serviceability of it by removing the internal relays and using external ALM and GSM modules, and about a dozen other improvements. But it's one drawback is that it is strictly an off-grid, or grid with battery backup unit, and does not have the ability to "sell" power back to the grid. That became the Next Big Thing so Xantrex designed the XW and discontinued the SW Plus because the off-grid market is not that big. With the XW they could kill two birds with one stone - having to build, support and service only one unit that could do both, and it comes out-of-the box with split phase so it seamlessly drops right into the average North American home that has split phase 120/240V power.

    The XW pretty much kicked Outback's butt because Outback had nothing to compete with it. Their answer to it is the Radian, complete with dual AC inputs, which the SW/XW's have always had.

    When it comes to the off-grid market, there are just not that many of us. So inverter manufacturers have ignored what off-grid people really need for equipment (like Outback refusing to support three-wire generators out-of-the box), and have instead concentrated on where the money is - which is in grid-tie equipment. Those of us who live off-grid are forced to use what we can get, which has for the most part turned into the so-called "hybrid" inverter/chargers like the XW and Radian (and Magnum's new MSH4024RE when they finally release it - which is also designed with dual AC inputs and generator support).

    The SW Plus was the last real off-grid inverter made, with the ruggedness and features in it that count for off-grid folks, including being able to wire it up to virtually any generator that has a starter on it and make it work for auto-start. The SW Plus might not be as "pretty" as all the new ones - it kind of looks like a tank with some flanges welded to it so it can be screwed to the wall, it's as heavy as a tank, and has about the same durability as a tank. Maybe someday somebody will look back and remember what made those inverters legendary and build one for the off-grid folks again.
    --
    Chris
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    mtdoc wrote: »
    So you seem to agree that Outback Radians do gen support and that Outback GFX's do gen support.

    The answer on the GVFX3648, used off-grid with generator support is a resounding "no". The inverter's AC input is too "picky" and it will not work reliably, even with inverter generators. If anybody else wants to verify that personally, you'll have to call Outback yourself. But I have been told the same thing twice, by two different people.

    The GS8048 Radian is the inverter of choice for off-grid power with gen support. The GFX is a low power unit that also has gen support, but it is not big enough for our situation.

    We are revisiting our decision on our system, looking at the Radian again, because I found out some new things about it that I did not find out before. And I can re-sell our system with ease if we would decide to get a Radian.

    One thing I found out is that the Radian is NOT two GVFX modules in one box. It is a totally different architecture with two 120/240 split phase 4 kVA power modules running in parallel, with full redundancy between the two modules. If one module fails the other continues to work, only that the inverter is 4 kVA output instead of 8 kVA, and the output is still 120/240 split phase.

    The other thing is that both AC inputs on it can be programmed for generator inputs, allowing the use of dual redundant generators. And that it "conditions" the power output from a "dirty" generator running out of spec to still supply clean output to the loads, instead of simply mimicking the generator's output.

    Those two items alone put it a few steps in technology ahead of the Schneider/Xantrex XW.
    --
    Chris
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Posts: 2,486Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    So the answer is NO / Yes / Maybe if it thinks the generator is good enough for it. Now I know what the F in FX stands for.....It's a Female.... Based on my test, I'd say it needs a ratio of Generator and Battery power. A Honda EU 2000 is probably to small for a 3500 watt Inverter, although The Honda EU 2000 was smooth as I have ever seen it under a varying load. The Honda EU 2000 can have a lag in it's response, my experience with it says no inverter is going to like that.

    I think you have to remember that when your on AC / Generator, the Inverter is on Standby or Charging It is locked on the the input. It's not until it reacts to the programed AC input that it is doing anything. If it's charging it's going to reduce the charger's output, Once it cannot shed any more load it going to reverse and start to supply anything. At that point the voltage it's trying to match has to be of a quality that can keep up with it. If it's to low / high or out of frequency, it'll all fail. What Chris has said the Radian gets around all that.

    .
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    So the answer is NO / Yes / Maybe if it thinks the generator is good enough for it. Now I know what the F in FX stands for.....It's a Female....

    Actually the F doesn't stand for that. There's a rather interesting story regarding what that F stands for, that includes the X standing for Xantrex. If you put two and two together, add 12 and carry 5 you'll figure it out.

    The GVFX3648 does not have robust enough overload capacity to handle generator support in an off-grid situation. And that is one of the requirements, and why these inverters are so few and far between. In a controlled experiment you can get it work. In the real world the inverter gets an overload thrown at it that requires it to produce both its continuous rated output, plus the continuous output rating of the generator, long enough to get the generator started and online to help out. Once the inverter gets the generator started and qualifies it, it's AC input is way too picky (only a few tenths either way from nominal) to suddenly throw that load at the generator to get its output back down below rated continuous capacity before it overheats and shuts down. The GVFX is not capable of doing that. The GFX is - it is grossly underpowered (in output) for its size and weight, just like the SW/SW Plus is, in order to handle it.

    Many folks think of generator support as a controlled thing - and it is. But it is not a gradual thing like folks have tested it. It is a severe duty thing, requiring a unit capable of maintaining gross overloads until the generator support can "fix" the overload situation in a real off-grid installation.

    So yes, it will probably work with a GVFX, if you baby it. If you tried it in our system where we regularly throw 40-70 amp loads at the inverter, it will snuff it and the power will go out - simply because it is not robust enough to handle that overload long enough to get the generator woke up and out of bed to help out. If you have the generator running ahead of time - just like grid power always is - then it will work. But that's not what generator support is all about. Generator support is about having peak load support on tap, any time you need it - automatically.
    --
    Chris
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Posts: 2,486Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    Chris, I hear what your saying and I agree. Everybody's situation is different, Generator Support will help me. If I run the Honda EU 2000 for 5 hours with a 50 amp stand alone charger I have the potential of 250 amp hrs conversion losses of say 15 %.= 212.5 amp hr's . Now If I have a load on the inverter of say 15 Amp's for those 5 hr's = 75 amp hr's, that gives me a net of 137.5 amp hrs into the batteries. Anything that the generator produced above the 50 amp charger was wasted that I didn't use and I only ended up with 137.5 net in the batteries. With Generator Support I get it all, no conversion loss on the load and I lose only what the loss on the charger is and a little more gas.
  • mtdocmtdoc Posts: 600Solar Expert
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    The answer on the GVFX3648, used off-grid with generator support is a resounding "no". The inverter's AC input is too "picky" and it will not work reliably, even with inverter generators. If anybody else wants to verify that personally, you'll have to call Outback yourself. But I have been told the same thing twice, by two different people.

    OK thanks, but somehow I'm not surprised you got the answer you were looking for:p..

    Mind if I ask who you spoke with at Outback? I am getting different information.

    The GS8048 Radian is the inverter of choice for off-grid power with gen support.

    No doubt that's what Outback is pushing for the big power users. Most people don't need that much power. And of course one of the whole points of having gen support is so you don't need a big inverter or generator.


    We are revisiting our decision on our system, looking at the Radian again, because I found out some new things about it that I did not find out before. And I can re-sell our system with ease if we would decide to get a Radian.

    :confused::confused: But the SW is the best inverter ever made.
    One thing I found out is that the Radian is NOT two GVFX modules in one box. It is a totally different architecture with two 120/240 split phase 4 kVA power modules running in parallel, with full redundancy between the two modules. If one module fails the other continues to work, only that the inverter is 4 kVA output instead of 8 kVA, and the output is still 120/240 split phase.

    Good info. What I was told was that the underlying electronics was the same - which of course is different than saying the architecture is the same. Clearly they've done something to make it less picky about it's AC input.
    The GVFX3648 does not have robust enough overload capacity to handle generator support in an off-grid situation.

    :confused::confused: I thought the whole point of generator support is to supplement the generator for brief loads that exceed what the generator can handle alone -whether its providing 100 watts, 1000 watt, 3000 watts, whatever. My inverter easily handles 4000 watts for many minutes and regularly handles brief surges well beyond that when my septic pump starts up. No problem. The GVFX inverters have the same overload capability of the VFX inverters. Your statement makes no sense to me.


    Chris - clearly you have an agenda here - which is fine - we all do. But while your obsessing about what an inverter you don't own and don't plan on buying can or cannot doing some of us are doing just that with the inverter. Like many things when it comes to technology - the real world performance and capabilities of a piece of equipment is often far different that what the company who makes it states.

    If you let me know who the person you spoke to at Outback, I'll see if I can track down why there are differing views at Outback about this.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    mtdoc wrote: »
    Mind if I ask who you spoke with at Outback? I am getting different information.

    I talked to John Webber about it this morning, and just called him back a few minutes ago.

    We're talking about the Radian and strongly considering it again. The one thing I miss here is being able to use my welder on the inverters without having to start the generator first. That is one thing the Radian could do, that our 5548 can't, is provide power for those extreme intermittent loads without the generator there helping out during the initial stages of the load.

    We dismissed it before mainly because of the price and some things I did not check out thoroughly enough after we saw the price. But it might actually save us some gen run time in the long term due to it's higher capacity and ability to run some loads without gen support that we have to use gen support on right now.

    I have no "agenda". I asked about the GVFX for off-grid generator support and was told "no" - twice now - once back in October and now today. That is NOT an "agenda". I am an experienced user of generator support on an off-grid power system, and very few have that experience because very few use it. We use it every single day - some days more than others. So if your "agenda" is proving that the GVFX is suitable for off-grid use with a generator, then move off-grid and prove it. Otherwise what Outback tells me, in person, stands.
    --
    Chris
  • mtdocmtdoc Posts: 600Solar Expert
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    So if your "agenda" is proving that the GVFX is suitable for off-grid use with a generator, then move off-grid and prove it. Otherwise what Outback tells me, in person, stands.

    No, my agenda is just to dispel the myth that Outback inverters (including the GVFX/GTFX) can't do gen support. Off grid full time or off grid during occasional extended power outages is irrelevant. It either works or it doesn't. Again my first hand, personal experience and that of others is that it does work. Seeing is believing. Second hand opinions don't convince me.

    The other point I've been making is that this feature in general is under appreciated (which has been your point as well, I believe) and that Outback has not marketed it well and has been inconsistent and incomplete in documenting it. Your telephone info seems to confirm this.

    Thanks for the info about who you spoke with at Outback. I was hoping to hear that you'd gotten more info about why the info from Outback is inconsistent, not just the opinion of one more person. I'll call Outback sometime in the next few days. Right now - lunchtime is over and I gotta get back to work...
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    mtdoc wrote: »
    Thanks for the info about who you spoke with at Outback. I was hoping to hear that you'd gotten more info about why the info from Outback is inconsistent, not just the opinion of one more person.

    Well, maybe it can be "proved" by asking enough people until you finally find somebody that says "yes - we'll support it". Otherwise Outback's official stand on it is that the GVFX is designed for, and only suitable for, grid-interactive usage. And that has not been inconsistent, or the opinion of just one person. So it would be great if it works, but they keep telling me it is not an off-grid inverter, and therefore not suitable for off-grid use. So at that point, the question becomes how many opinions do you need?

    So I can only assume that Outback knows some things about that inverter that people who have tried to "fool" it into thinking its hooked to the grid with a generator don't. And that you're probably not going to find out unless you move off-grid and try it every single day to find out what the glitch is.

    For instance, have you ever tried loading the thing to 125% of its rated capacity (4500VA) for one minute? Then after that minute has expired (normal delay time for gen support start to prevent nuisance starting of the generator for intermittent surge loads), start the generator and see if it will bring the generator online and seamlessly switch over to gen support and reduce the load on the inverter back below rated continuous output - without spitting the generator off or inadvertently overloading it?

    Or have you only tested it by starting the generator first, then seeing if it will load share with the generator by adding load to it?

    There's a big difference in those two scenarios.

    The first is real off-grid duty, day in and day out. The second is what a grid-interactive inverter normally does with grid power during load support, or load sharing. Generator support only becomes useful when you go into inverter overload situations, by allowing you to run a load that neither the inverter nor the generator can power by themselves. But together they can. But the caveat is that the inverter has to be able to carry that load for long enough to get the generator woke up and out of bed to help. And when it brings it into the fray it has to do it gently enough to keep from overloading the generator because that generator is going to go to full rated load if it's sized right for the system. The inverters I have seen that do this (Xantrex) do it very, very gently - there is no relay in there that slams shut and suddenly loads the gen, which can pop the breaker on it or put it into a surge load situation. If you put an ammeter on the generator output, when that overloaded inverter brings it online the needle makes a slow, smooth as silk transition from zero output to full rated output as it accepts load. Is the GVFX capable of doing that? Have you tested it? Or does it require a qualified power source to be there first, BEFORE the overload situation hits it?

    There appears to be some sort of vendetta here to "prove" the GVFX is a suitable off-grid unit with generator support. Outback says no. They've been building these inverters for 2 decades. They should know.

    One interesting thing I found out about the Radian today (which is what makes it VERY attractive to me) is that it does auto-balancing of the generator legs on split phase, using it's generator support architecture. And that very close to 100% of it's full rated output is available per leg of the split phase service. Now THAT is one of the most useful features that a split-phase off-grid inverter could possible have. I don't know if the XW does that, but I don't think so. I know our SW can't do it in stacked configuration without a balancing transformer.
    --
    Chris
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Posts: 17,615Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    Whoa, guys. This is getting to have too much of an adversarial tone to it.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Posts: 1,925Solar Expert
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    One interesting thing I found out about the Radian today (which is what makes it VERY attractive to me) is that it does auto-balancing of the generator legs on split phase, using it's generator support architecture. And that very close to 100% of it's full rated output is available per leg of the split phase service. Now THAT is one of the most useful features that a split-phase off-grid inverter could possible have. I don't know if the XW does that, but I don't think so. I know our SW can't do it in stacked configuration without a balancing transformer.

    XW has a feature called "Generator Support Plus", which is there to fix imbalances between legs for small (up to 5kW) generators. I tried it. I created a skewed load - 3kW on L1 and nearly nothing on L2. Then I turned the feature on, but it didn't really re-distribute the load. Tech support said that this feature simply connects neutral to the middle of the transformer. If I understand this correctly, this helps to keep N in the middle between L1 and L2 and doesn't balance the load.

    It could be the same thing in Radian.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    I wonder about that with the XW, NorthGuy. If I understand the XW correctly, it has two 120V inverter sections in it that supply out of phase 120V (to neutral) legs. Apparently the GS8048 has two redundant 4 kVA 120/240 split phase power modules that operate in sync, in parallel, to supply 8 kVA. From what I understand about it, the control board can use varying amounts of power from those two modules to balance legs and prevent leg overload on one leg, up to very close to 100% of the capacity of both modules.

    If so, the Radian is a completely different architecture than I have seen (so far) in split phase inverters. If the generator can put out, say 20 amps on either leg, and during generator support one leg of the generator reaches max, the Radian takes power from the module on the lower loaded leg and supplements it to the fully loaded leg to prevent the generator from going into imbalance overload.

    So while the Radian may not completely balance the generator legs if one reaches max, it does prevent overload of the leg.

    Not really sure on this. I have to download the manual and read it to hopefully gain a better understanding of it.
    --
    Chris
  • mtdocmtdoc Posts: 600Solar Expert
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    Whoa, guys. This is getting to have too much of an adversarial tone to it.

    I agree. I apologize for my contribution to that.

    I'll try to do more testing to flush out all the aspects of generator support on my inverter. So far I've only used it to power my house (when no sun,batteries low) with my fuel efficient eu2000i and still have the power to supply occasional large loads that exceed the generators capability. That is the key benefit generator support in my mind and it has worked well for that.

    If I was regularly having loads that exceed my inverters ability to supply them, I would get larger inverter since I prefer not to run my generator if at al possible. Still it would be good to know whether it will allow this - I'll try to test that when I have time.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    Whoa, guys. This is getting to have too much of an adversarial tone to it.

    Yeah, sorry about my contribution to that too. Although the controversy was good because it forced me call Outback, and I learned some new things about the Radian that I didn't learn before, and it is appearing to be a very cool inverter ;)

    I thought it was maybe two souped up and warmed over GVFX's in one box. Turns out it's not even close.
    --
    Chris
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Posts: 1,925Solar Expert
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    I wonder about that with the XW, NorthGuy. If I understand the XW correctly, it has two 120V inverter sections in it that supply out of phase 120V (to neutral) legs.

    I don't really know. I didn't look inside, but I always thought that it has a single transformer with a single out winding terminating on L1 and L2 with N connected in the middle. When you look from the back, it's only one mounting bolt, which I would guess is for the transformer.
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    Apparently the GS8048 has two redundant 4 kVA 120/240 split phase power modules that operate in sync, in parallel, to supply 8 kVA. From what I understand about it, the control board can use varying amounts of power from those two modules to balance legs and prevent leg overload on one leg, up to very close to 100% of the capacity of both modules.

    If so, the Radian is a completely different architecture than I have seen (so far) in split phase inverters. If the generator can put out, say 20 amps on either leg, and during generator support one leg of the generator reaches max, the Radian takes power from the module on the lower loaded leg and supplements it to the fully loaded leg to prevent the generator from going into imbalance overload.

    If it does that, this is a really useful feature.

    With two separate transformers, it can leave only one of them working at small loads, so when the load is small the efficiency can still be good.

    When I bough XW, Radian wasn't yet around. But it's the same size and shape as XW, connections exatly at the same places. Looks like they designed to easily replace XW in existing installations. The only difference is that it's a little taller. It may even be possible to simply hang it on XW mounting bracket.
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Posts: 491Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    Great Read So Far Guys !!!!

    SO this Radian is split phase , and the gen-unit your going to supply for power support is also split phase 240 V ?
    I did catch & read that "
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    It is a totally different architecture with two 120/240 split phase 4 kVA power modules running in parallel, with full redundancy between the two modules. If one module fails the other continues to work, only that the inverter is 4 kVA output instead of 8 kVA, and the output is still 120/240 split phase.The other thing is that both AC inputs on it can be programmed for generator inputs, allowing the use of dual redundant generators. And that it "conditions" the power output from a "dirty" generator running out of spec to still supply clean output to the loads, instead of simply mimicking the generator's output.
    Chris
    "

    So your using one Gen-unit on 240 split or one in 120v single leg times two ..

    Reading the Manual as well .

    Edit add , I see Northern Dude also is asking / thinking the same ..
    VT
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    I don't really know. I didn't look inside, but I always thought that it has a single transformer with a single out winding terminating on L1 and L2 with N connected in the middle. When you look from the back, it's only one mounting bolt, which I would guess is for the transformer.

    I know it has a single transformer with a center tap. And I know it can be reconfigured to 120V only output. I guess beyond that I don't know much about the internal workings of it.
    When I bough XW, Radian wasn't yet around. But it's the same size and shape as XW, connections exatly at the same places. Looks like they designed to easily replace XW in existing installations. The only difference is that it's a little taller. It may even be possible to simply hang it on XW mounting bracket.

    Yeah, I noticed that about it too. It's Outbacks answer to the XW, and from what I know about it now, it appears to be a formidable answer. I don't know about the charger in it, though. The XW's PF corrected charger is pretty nice.
    --
    Chris
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    CDN_VT wrote: »
    SO this Radian is split phase , and the gen-unit your going to supply for power support is also split phase 240 V ?
    I did catch & read that "

    That's what Outback told me. I specifically asked about whether or not it will accept a 120V generator like a Magnum PAE will. The answer was "no" - it requires 240V input.
    --
    Chris
  • inetdoginetdog Posts: 3,121Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    That's what Outback told me. I specifically asked about whether or not it will accept a 120V generator like a Magnum PAE will. The answer was "no" - it requires 240V input.
    --
    Chris
    So it would accept a 120V generator IF you supplied a step-up transformer (either isolation or autotransformer with a center tap), right?
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    inetdog wrote: »
    So it would accept a 120V generator IF you supplied a step-up transformer (either isolation or autotransformer with a center tap), right?

    Correct.
    --
    Chris
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    XW has a feature called "Generator Support Plus", which is there to fix imbalances between legs for small (up to 5kW) generators. I tried it. I created a skewed load - 3kW on L1 and nearly nothing on L2. Then I turned the feature on, but it didn't really re-distribute the load. Tech support said that this feature simply connects neutral to the middle of the transformer. If I understand this correctly, this helps to keep N in the middle between L1 and L2 and doesn't balance the load.

    I read about this in the XW manual. It does indeed connect the gen neutral to the transformer center tap and uses the transformer to balance the load on the generator legs. I think it's the same thing as the Radian does during gen support, short of the fact that the Radian uses a different method to achieve the same end result - and the Radian has two transformers instead of one.

    For imbalanced loads and small generators, the generator support feature may be used. When GenSupp Plus is enabled, the Xantrex XW Series Inverter/
    Charger will connect the center of its transformer to the AC2 input neutral to act as a load balancing transformer. This feature will attempt to balance the load between L1 and L2. Generator support is most effective for generators under 5 kW. If used with larger generators, the potential for recirculating current exists and if so, the efficiency losses would outweigh the benefit of generator support.


    So what they're telling you there is that if you use a higher gen input than what the inverter's transformer is capable of balancing, the input current will override what the transformer can do for leg balancing and it won't work due to the excess current circulating in the center tapped transformer.

    The XW is still a rock solid, proven design. It might have some minor software glitches here and there but the basic architecture of the XW inverter can't be faulted. It's a pretty efficient unit.
    --
    Chris
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