First time using magnum pae4024 battery charger I smell plastic

vibelinevibeline Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
Hi Folks
The sun has not been out in 4 or 5 days so I wanted to charge my battery.
My system has been running since May 2013 And I have not used the battery charger until today.
I put 110 volts 30 amps to the magnum 4024. The magnum started putting out 111 amps right away.
I went to check on the system after about 30 minutes of charging,
The fan in the magnum was running, warm air was coming out of the top of the inverter.
Everything seemed normal except a slight smell of warm plastic.
after 60 minutes the charger was putting out 86 amps, the smell was not going away so I disconnected the 110 input to the magnum..
Anyone have a similar experience?
Any suggestions?

I have 1 more question.
I have 1440 watts of panels, until last week I never seen more than 1310 watts of output.
last week I saw 1560 watts output? It was very cold and sunny. Is this normal?

My System:
6 240 watt schott panels
midnite classic 150
magnum PAE4024 inverter/ME-RTR control
600amp/hr forklift battery

Thanks for the help folks.

Comments

  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: First time using magnum pae4024 battery charger I smell plastic

    Maybe the smell is because it's the first time that you'v put any stress and heat on the transformer. The Magnums have a " Charger Cut Back Mode " if the heat gets to the limit it will cut back the output until it cools. I have one with 70 amp max output and half the time it will be at 53 amps after it get's hot and then back to 70 for awhile. So it sounds about right to me not that I like it. To me it should be able to put out it's rated output for as long as you want it.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: First time using magnum pae4024 battery charger I smell plastic

    It is normal for the Magnum to start out at its maximum current, but it should drop down to the programmed limit right away. Sounds like yours doesn't have this limit programmed into it. I'd expect it to be set at 60 Amps for your 600 Amp hour battery. I'm not sure about the smell issue; could just be normal for new equipment or it could indicate too much heat being generated.

    Your panel production is not unusual. Cold temps make panel Voltage go up, so coupled with bright sunshine the Classic can convert this into more power than the panel rating. This is superconducting. :D
  • SolarMusherSolarMusher Solar Expert Posts: 176 ✭✭✭
    Re: First time using magnum pae4024 battery charger I smell plastic

    Hi,
    111 amps charging is too high for your 600Ah batterie, you should decrease the Magnum charger to something around 60% (+/-60A) in the ME-RC display. This could be the reason of this smell from my experience. How is your Magnum mounted? Does it have a hood to protect it from dirt? What's your generator?
    Yes, cold temps tends to rise panel voltage when cold and sunny and as you've seen last summer, hot temps tends to lower this voltage and then reduces the total output of the array.
    Erik
  • SolarMusherSolarMusher Solar Expert Posts: 176 ✭✭✭
    Re: First time using magnum pae4024 battery charger I smell plastic

    Oops! I didn't see that you have a ME-RTR. So it's easy, you can set it on the inverter port (port #1), push setup button, you'll have the choice between inverter and charger, select charger and go through the menu until you'll find Max Charge Rate, default is 100%, decrease to 60% =>Enter. That's it.
  • vibelinevibeline Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: First time using magnum pae4024 battery charger I smell plastic

    Thanks for all the feedback Folks.
    I will lower charger to 60amps and try it again on the weekend.
    I thought the manual wanted 120amps to start and 30amps to finish.

    cut and paste from my battery manual
    start rate of 20-23 amps per 100 A.H. of rated capacity. As the voltage rises to 2.37
    volts @ 77°F (25°C) per cell, the gassing voltage of the battery is
    held constant until the charge rate tapers down to 4-5 amps per100 A.H.
    Charger start rates should not be more than 23 amps per 100 A.H. of rated capacity,
    and the finish rates not less that 4-5 amps per 100 A.H. @ 2.55 V.P.C.
  • vibelinevibeline Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: First time using magnum pae4024 battery charger I smell plastic

    My generator is a old 6000 watt 1800rpm onan out of an RV, works well pretty quiet too.
    Attachment not found.


    Hi,
    111 amps charging is too high for your 600Ah batterie, you should decrease the Magnum charger to something around 60% (+/-60A) in the ME-RC display. This could be the reason of this smell from my experience. How is your Magnum mounted? Does it have a hood to protect it from dirt? What's your generator?
    Yes, cold temps tends to rise panel voltage when cold and sunny and as you've seen last summer, hot temps tends to lower this voltage and then reduces the total output of the array.
    Erik
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: First time using magnum pae4024 battery charger I smell plastic
    vibeline wrote: »
    Thanks for all the feedback Folks.
    I will lower charger to 60amps and try it again on the weekend.
    I thought the manual wanted 120amps to start and 30amps to finish.

    cut and paste from my battery manual
    start rate of 20-23 amps per 100 A.H. of rated capacity. As the voltage rises to 2.37
    volts @ 77°F (25°C) per cell, the gassing voltage of the battery is
    held constant until the charge rate tapers down to 4-5 amps per100 A.H.
    Charger start rates should not be more than 23 amps per 100 A.H. of rated capacity,
    and the finish rates not less that 4-5 amps per 100 A.H. @ 2.55 V.P.C.
    You got to do what you got to do. Personally I run a fast charge routine where I use 25% charge rate in bulk and drop half at gassing Voltage ( absorb) if I choose to go that far on Generator power. On Solar PV 5% -15% Charge Rate work great, when your buying fuel, it's not so good. You have a Forklift battery, built to be charged, your manufacturer knows the product.
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: First time using magnum pae4024 battery charger I smell plastic

    How big are the loads on the inverter? Realize that feeding it 110 volts is unbalancing the transformer. The Magnum transformers tend to run hot anyhow and add to much imbalance it will run hot. Smelling Plastic though is not normal in my experience.

    Ryan
  • vibelinevibeline Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: First time using magnum pae4024 battery charger I smell plastic

    Hi Ryan thanks for the reply.

    I don't think the inverter/charger got that hot, the case was not even warm to the touch, the fan was on and warm air was coming out of the top.
    my friend has a 6500watt yamaha inverter generator, I will borrow it and hook 220 to inverter and see if I still smell the hot plastic.
    If I still smell plastic maybe I should send it in to magnum for checkup while still under warranty.

    Load potential is high but very rare. If fridge and freezer start simultaneously amps spike hard for a second or two. inverter does not flinch.
    fridge uses less 1kw/day
    freezer about 1/2kw/day
    a few led lights,32"led tv and my laptop less than 1kw/day
    I need to collect 5kw a day to keep my battery happy.
    I have only collected 40kw in the past 14 days I would like to see around 35/week
    I will double panels to 2880 watts in the spring
    that will put my classic 150 on the edge..
    220 generator is on the list..
    everything takes time.
    Cheers,
    Jim



    halfcrazy wrote: »
    How big are the loads on the inverter? Realize that feeding it 110 volts is unbalancing the transformer. The Magnum transformers tend to run hot anyhow and add to much imbalance it will run hot. Smelling Plastic though is not normal in my experience.

    Ryan
  • upa123upa123 Registered Users Posts: 17
    Re: First time using magnum pae4024 battery charger I smell plastic
    vibeline wrote: »
    Hi Ryan thanks for the reply.

    I will double panels to 2880 watts in the spring
    that will put my classic 150 on the edge..

    Jim, at 24 volts and 2880 watts or 120 amps i am afraid that will put you well past the classic 150's edge or 80-96 amp rating and that is not even taking into account increased panel power potential during the cold, you are going to need a second controller if your array goes beyond 2k watts.
  • vibelinevibeline Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: First time using magnum pae4024 battery charger I smell plastic

    Thanks for all the feedback folks I really appreciate it.

    OK I wired the Magnum 4024 with 220/30 amps.
    I let the charger run wide open at 111 amps for 1 hour to see if I would get the plastic smell like the first time.
    After 1 hour the inverter was not even warm and there was no smell whatsoever, I cut the charger back to 70% it ran at 79amps for about 1 more hour,
    then it tapered itself back to 30 amps, it ran there for about 3 hours then went into float.
    After 5 hours of running there was no heat in the magnum at all. I only herd the fan run for a few minutes when it was putting out 111amps.

    I think Halfcrazy was right, 110 volt input was causing the unit to heat up.
    Why would magnum say it was all right to use 110volts if it was going to cause a problem?

    "Cut and Paste from manual"
    2.4.5 Wiring the AC Input and Output
    The MS-PAE series provides 120/240VAC on the output, but the input may be wired either as a
    120/240VAC input or a 120VAC input (to one input only) depending on your AC source. The AC output
    will continue to produce 120/240VAC with either the 120/240VAC or 120VAC input configuration.

    Merry Christmas Folks.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,004 admin
    Re: First time using magnum pae4024 battery charger I smell plastic

    Power = I^2 * R...

    So, at 120 VAC input vs 240 VAC input, for the same charging current, you get 2x the amount of AC current through the internal transformer(?) and with 2x the current, you have 4x the heating (assuming fixed resistance--Although, there may be other effects too, magnetic issues, the other 1/2 of of the 240 VAC current is going through 2x longer windings, in total, so you may get only 2x more heat, or even more heat--Don't know for sure).

    Glad to hear that the 240 VAC is working well.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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