Generator output not detected on Hybrid charger/inverter PV install

Hello Everyone,

I am stumped and i was wondering if someone could help me. I just took ownership of a home equipped with a 1,200W solar array feeding a Xantrex Solar controller that in turn is connected to a Xantrex XW Series Hybrid Inverter/Charger (XW4024-120/240-60). The existing generator was wired to the Xantrex Hybrid Inverter/Charger by means of a 4 wire twist lock plug on the generator side and a (Black(L1),white(N),red(L2),green(G)) wire inside the inverter/charger terminals. The issue is the existing generator is dead as in seized up! The previous home owner purchased a new Honda 2000EU generator, but never hooked it up.

My problem is the Honda 2000EU generator does not have the 4 wire twist lock style outlet, rather it has 2x standard household plugs.

So i "cannibalized" a 50ft medium duty 3 prong extension cord by cutting off one tip and exposing the copper wire so i could wire it to the terminal of the inverter/charger and when i turned it all on, the inverter/charger read-out display indicated AC power was detected but the voltage readout was that of 61v thus the charger does not turn on. Yet i tested the Honda 2000EU and it is in fact outputting 118v at the outlet as well as down the extension cord.

Given that i only have 3 wires to work with and one of them is the "ground" this leaves me with two wires. The diagram of my inverter/charger only shows a line from an illustration that resembles a generator to the gernerator terminal and does not specify which wire goes where.

So if someone here can aid me i would be very grateful.

I've attached two pictures: the first is that of the terminal connections inside the inverter charger and the 2nd is that of the Honda 2000EU panel.

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Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Generator output not detected on Hybrid charger/inverter PV install

    Welcome to the forum.

    You've got a problem and it is this: the XW inverter requires a 240 VAC generator and the Honda EU2000i is 120 VAC. It isn't going to work. Somewhere around here there's information about changing the XW to accept 120 VAC in, but basically that generator is rather small for the system anyway.

    In other words you should buy a larger, 240 VAC generator.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,489 admin
    Re: Generator output not detected on Hybrid charger/inverter PV install

    As I understand, the XW AC inverter is typically wired as a 120/240 VAC unit (split phase north American standard home service wiring).

    And, as configured, requires a 120/240 VAC genset--Or the use of a transformer to boost 120 to 240 VAC.

    You can re-configure the XW to a 120 VAC only unit (and change the firmware)--Then run a 120 VAC only genset (as I understand).

    Your other option is to run a ~20-25 amp @ 24 volt battery charger on your eu2000i... I am not sure, but this Iota DLS-27-25: 24 volt 25 amp regulated battery charger may work on the Honda eu2000i. At ~12 amp input current at 1110 VAC--That is very close to the genset's maximum output rating. There is a 15 amp Iota also available--And your genset would probably last longer if you planned on lots of winter generator run time.

    The 15 amp @ 24 volt battery charger and 5% rate of charge would support:
    • 15 amp * 1/0.05 rate of charge = 300 AH @ 24 volt battery bank
    By the way--What do you have for a battery bank (type of batteries, AH of battery bank)? That XW is a pretty good sized unit and 1,200 watts of solar array and an eu2000i (1,600 watt) genset sounds a little small for a typical battery bank used on that large of AC inverter.

    Nominally, I would be suggesting (approximately) an 800 AH @ 24 volt battery bank. And solar panel wise, 5% to 13% rate of charge:
    • 800 AH * 29 volts charging * 1/0.77 panel+controller derating * 0.10 rate of charge = 3,013 watt "nominal 10% rate of charge" array
    And would be ~1,500 watt minimum solar array (5%) rate of charge. That is if you are planning on using the 4kW AC inverter near its rated capacity...

    Charging wise, 10-20% rate of charge is common for an AC genset:
    • 800 AH * 29 volts charging * 1/0.90 charger eff * 1/0.75 consumer generator derating * 0.10 rate of charge = 3,437 Watt "minimum-nominal" rated genset
    A Honda em4000sx would probably be a better match for this size system (note "SX" model--Has electronic engine computer for full fuel/mixture control--usually better for auto start/remote start applications).

    Of course, I am making lots of guesses here--The other 1/2 of battery/solar array/generator charging sizing is the number of Watt*Hours (kWH/Amp*Hours/etc.) of energy you plan/are using today... Your loads define the battery bank. And the battery bank (plus loads) define your charging source needs.

    Short/heavy surges (i.e., deep well pump) can also define the minimum battery bank/AC inverter size in some situations. It is all a balancing act here.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,370 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Generator output not detected on Hybrid charger/inverter PV install

    The XW series, from the factory, require a 240V generator on the AC2 input. You can use a step-up transformer, to boost the genset to 240V and it would barely work. I use a 3Kw generator, which coupled with winter sun, is adequate. There are also settings to allow wider AC input voltage ranges and frequency variations.

    You also need to understand the many generator support menu options on the SCP or Combox, and how they react with the battery charge settings, in order to program for the best fuel usage.

    What are your winter loads & battery charging expected to be ? Solar harvest ? Do you need a secondary backup generator? (I do, just got a Subaru/Robin diesel 3Kw - w 240V outlet) Do you need Auto Start - that's a whole different range of generators to look at.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • martinqmartinq Registered Users Posts: 3
    Re: Generator output not detected on Hybrid charger/inverter PV install
    Welcome to the forum.

    You've got a problem and it is this: the XW inverter requires a 240 VAC generator and the Honda EU2000i is 120 VAC. It isn't going to work. Somewhere around here there's information about changing the XW to accept 120 VAC in, but basically that generator is rather small for the system anyway.

    In other words you should buy a larger, 240 VAC generator.


    Thank you for your quick response, i guess i'm off to the hunt to find a 240V Genset!!!
  • martinqmartinq Registered Users Posts: 3
    Re: Generator output not detected on Hybrid charger/inverter PV install

    Now i assume my winter needs will be quite close to that of my summer needs given i am located in Panama which is rather close to the equator and i suspect does not fluctuate much but i could be wrong!
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