Manual to Automatic Transfer Switch Setup

Hey all ! Got a success story to share converting my Solar/Wind System from Manual transfer switch to ATS stand alone setup. Total cost was around $275 and some wiring, which was on hand already.

Only 4 components used:
1) ATS http://www.boatandrvaccessories.com/b246.html
2) Potentiometer relay http://www.onlinecomponents.com/crouzet-84872140.html?p=11213480
3) Timer relay http://www.ebay.com/itm/LCD-Digital-display-DC-12V-16A-24-HOUR-7-DAY-TIMER-TIME-RELAY-SWITCH-/370717429201?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56507b0dd1
4) Simple 30 amp disconnect switch.
All bought through USA dealers.

1) ATS - RV 120v transfer switch hooked up to the Generator poles/Solar/wind array. Power company hooked up to shoreline. Load center box (selected low load circuits for array).
2) Pot relay - 12v power directly from battery bank mains +/-. Adjustable low side at 12v initial cutoff or start up minimum. High side at max voltage of battery bank (15,16v).
Hysteresis set at 13% so when battery voltage reaches minimum tolerance, kicks out and waits for 13% higher than low set value = about 13.5v before start up again.
Timer delay set at maximum 10 seconds.
3) Timer relay - Sets ON/OFF schedule per programmed times (First in order of relay circuits, then pot).
4) Safety disconnect - 30 amp right next to the ATS for ease of maintenance use.

Took a few attempts to figure out the pot and wiring setup, yet fine tuned most of the issues so it runs on its own. The only issues we're having was when a heavier load demand on the inverter, the ATS would switch back to power company because it caused a low voltage signal in the pot relay. The pot was originally hooked up to the back of the inverter +/- posts, causing the voltage drop and fooling the pot to kick out. Hooked up straight to battery bank took most of the voltage drop out of the equation.
The ATS wiring was exactly opposite of dealer description for wiring hookup. It's set up to sense voltage from the Genny side in order to make the switch.
The last issue was that my common ground was inadequate for the load demand. On my old setup, the main common was jumped to the power company load center. The new setup was not at first and only allowed about 102 volts to pass on a 110v system. Not good, yet didn't notice until my UPS (uninteruptable power supply) started clicking when the computer started up. Soon as the common jumper was placed back into system, everything good. Must not have liked my grounding pole.
Quite a learning experience, and am relieved to know that I've not spent over $1k on expensive Programmable Logic Controllers, software and someone to program the simple logic into it.
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Comments

  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Manual to Automatic Transfer Switch Setup
    The last issue was that my common ground was inadequate for the load demand. On my old setup, the main common was jumped to the power company load center. The new setup was not at first and only allowed about 102 volts to pass on a 110v system. Not good, yet didn't notice until my UPS (uninteruptable power supply) started clicking when the computer started up. Soon as the common jumper was placed back into system, everything good. Must not have liked my grounding pole.

    On low voltage (not POCO distribution network) systems the ground rod, however well installed, is intended to carry fault and lightning current only and has far too high a resistance to be expected to carry normal operating current.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • GreenPowerManiacGreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
    Re: Manual to Automatic Transfer Switch Setup

    Found some loose connections on the quick disconnect screws to the main lines. Voltage between the two is now dead on.
    Nature's Design & Green Energy on FaceBook : Stop by and "Like" us anytime.. Many up-to-date articles about Renewables every day.
    WWW.GreenAnything.Net    Ad free website.
    Lots of DIY Renewable Energy Projects on ETSY : Solar Panel builds, Wind Turbine builds, Rain Barrel build,etc.  
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