Generator kicked on

BoFullerBoFuller Solar Expert Posts: 150 ✭✭✭
Wed night about 11:30, my backup propane generator kicked on. I went out to the solar shed and the SOC was 81%. The generator is programmed to come on when the batteries get down to 50%. After a half hour or so it turned off. I checked the batteries and they were now 80%, so it wasn't charging the system. The next day while flipping through my read outs, it said "last generator use - April 23". That's the day they tested it. Why did it come on? It has been getting down to 19-20 degrees at night. Does it come on occasionally to charge the generator battery?
12 Kyocera 235 panels, 16 Trojan L16 RE-B batteries, Outback 3600W 48V system, Generac 11K propane backup generator, NW AZ, off grid, 6,000 ft (system installed in April 2015)

Comments

  • BoFullerBoFuller Solar Expert Posts: 150 ✭✭✭
    I haven't been on for a few months. I use to have my equipment in a sig line. What happened to that? Can I redo it?
    12 Kyocera 235 panels, 16 Trojan L16 RE-B batteries, Outback 3600W 48V system, Generac 11K propane backup generator, NW AZ, off grid, 6,000 ft (system installed in April 2015)

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,142 ✭✭✭✭
    Bo go to the top of the page, beside your name there is a little "gear", click on that to enter your sig line...
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • BoFullerBoFuller Solar Expert Posts: 150 ✭✭✭
    Bo go to the top of the page, beside your name there is a little "gear", click on that to enter your sig line...
    Thanks. I think I got it all.
    12 Kyocera 235 panels, 16 Trojan L16 RE-B batteries, Outback 3600W 48V system, Generac 11K propane backup generator, NW AZ, off grid, 6,000 ft (system installed in April 2015)

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,517 admin
    Some controllers are programmed to cycle the genset every X days... Possibly you have a very large value that has never been set to something else?

    Most gensets seem to assume that they are "backup" to AC main power, and use an AC battery charger or expect the genset to be exercised every 1-2 weeks to keep the genset starter battery charged. If your genset still started after 7 months of not running--Sure sounds like it is getting charged somehow.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BoFullerBoFuller Solar Expert Posts: 150 ✭✭✭
    I'm mostly here on weekends (Thurs-Mon) and sometimes gone for 2 weeks. It might run weekly or monthly. I'm just saying I've never noticed it before. If I flip through the display on the genny, will it tell me the duration/frequency?
    12 Kyocera 235 panels, 16 Trojan L16 RE-B batteries, Outback 3600W 48V system, Generac 11K propane backup generator, NW AZ, off grid, 6,000 ft (system installed in April 2015)

  • BoFullerBoFuller Solar Expert Posts: 150 ✭✭✭
    If I'm here on a cloudy day and it's only up to 80% at 3:00 in the afternoon, should I force the genny on?
    Once while I was gone it got down to 69%. That's the lowest so far.
    12 Kyocera 235 panels, 16 Trojan L16 RE-B batteries, Outback 3600W 48V system, Generac 11K propane backup generator, NW AZ, off grid, 6,000 ft (system installed in April 2015)

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,517 admin
    I would guess that there should be a a setup menu with the information.

    I am a bit confused that even if this was a monthly exercise, that it did not appear to charge the battery bank during that time. You may have a fault somewhere.

    A suggested, fuel efficient, running schedule would be to start the genset at 50% State of Charge and run it up to 80% SOC. That would be the most fuel efficient program and relatively easy on the batteries. Batteries are there to be used.

    As always, you should measure the specific gravity once in a while to confirm your SOC estimates (from charge controllers, battery monitors, etc.). SOC readings from meters are not always accurate.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • stillchillinstillchillin Registered Users Posts: 44 ✭✭✭

    Hi, check your AGS setup sometimes my generator will come on because I have reached an amperage setpoint say for instance 30A. Maybe your load had reached that setpoint. My guess, by the way you should exercise your generator every week or so you can set that up at your AGS or on the generator control. The battery gets charged by the feeders you have connected to the generator terminal strip, can't remember the #s now but can look it up. I don't think the generator will charge its own battery while running, it is charged from the house panel.

    Still

    18- 235 W Kyocera panel, 12- 4-KS-25PS Rolls 1350 Ah, Magnum MS4448PAE, ME RC50, ME AGS, Outback FM 80, Generac 8KW LP generator, 6.5 Honda Portable generator
  • stillchillinstillchillin Registered Users Posts: 44 ✭✭✭
    Marked N1 N2 also T1 needs to be connected. Utility Sensing 240V and Load sensing 120V
    18- 235 W Kyocera panel, 12- 4-KS-25PS Rolls 1350 Ah, Magnum MS4448PAE, ME RC50, ME AGS, Outback FM 80, Generac 8KW LP generator, 6.5 Honda Portable generator
  • BoFullerBoFuller Solar Expert Posts: 150 ✭✭✭
    Thanks, I'll try to check it tomorrow. I spent all day today hauling water.
    We've had a few cloudy days and the SOC only got up to 69% today. I'll be surprised if the genny doesn't come on tonight.
    12 Kyocera 235 panels, 16 Trojan L16 RE-B batteries, Outback 3600W 48V system, Generac 11K propane backup generator, NW AZ, off grid, 6,000 ft (system installed in April 2015)

  • BoFullerBoFuller Solar Expert Posts: 150 ✭✭✭
    Genny came on at 10:30 pm when batteries hit 52%. It ran all night and when I checked it at 8:00 am, and the gen was still running, the SOC had only increased from 52 to 54%. Not good. Upon playing around with the Mate, I found the culprit. It was set to charge at the rate of 2 amps. I increased it to 10 and starting seeing a decent charge immediately. It got up to 79% today. Hopefully it will hit a full charge tomorrow.
    12 Kyocera 235 panels, 16 Trojan L16 RE-B batteries, Outback 3600W 48V system, Generac 11K propane backup generator, NW AZ, off grid, 6,000 ft (system installed in April 2015)

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,517 admin
    You can (and probably should) set the Bulk charging current to ~10% of your battery bank capacity (assuming charger/genset can support that level of current--Or at least 5%).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BoFullerBoFuller Solar Expert Posts: 150 ✭✭✭
    How do I determine that? 
    12 Kyocera 235 panels, 16 Trojan L16 RE-B batteries, Outback 3600W 48V system, Generac 11K propane backup generator, NW AZ, off grid, 6,000 ft (system installed in April 2015)

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,517 admin
    edited December 2015 #15
    If you have 2x strings of 8x 6 volt @ 370 AH (20 hour rate), then your battery bank would be 48 volt @ 740 AH.

    10% of 740 AH = 74 Amp charge rate
    74 amps * 59 volts charging = 4,366 Watts -- fare amount of power (not including AC charger losses, generator deratings and such)

    -Bill

    Fix driver error with calculator...
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,380 ✭✭✭✭✭
    BoFuller said:
    How do I determine that? 
    What is the Ah size of your battery bank ?     16 Trojan L16 RE-B batteries   wired into a 48V config, 2 strings, would  be about 800Ah, so Capacity/10 (C/10) would be 80A charge (60*80=4800watts)  well within your 11Kw generator capacity.  So the inverter/charger would be your limiting factor

    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 ,

  • BoFullerBoFuller Solar Expert Posts: 150 ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the info!!! I'll experiment this weekend.
    12 Kyocera 235 panels, 16 Trojan L16 RE-B batteries, Outback 3600W 48V system, Generac 11K propane backup generator, NW AZ, off grid, 6,000 ft (system installed in April 2015)

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    And keep in mind that even though you can charge at that rate of 80 A. Your batteries will last longer if you drop it to,say 60A.
    You are balancing fuel cost and battery life. It is the reason a well designed solar system in a good location will have long battery life without a generator.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

Sign In or Register to comment.