Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

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solorone
solorone Solar Expert Posts: 257 ✭✭✭
Where to start. Inverter produces AC, but will not charge, it sees gen input, AC2 flashes, but it will not connect.

Any suggestions.

Off grid for 27 years and I have only been without AC twice., and this time there is no TRACE, and no friendly knowledgeable voice on the other end of the phone.

A SW4024 life expectancy is 14 years that was from Clyde Yamamoto, a designer of same. Mine is 11 years old but lives a hard life.

Back story.

Gen set shut unexpectedly yesterday. Did it again this AM.

Inspection of Gen set lead to new filters. It is well maintained, but I might have missed the oil filter last time. After a total service the gen set ran fine. All this time the circuit to the inverter had been on, I saw no problem with that.

After the above work was done the Trace would not connect.

While going through the different panels checking settings I heard what can be best described as a dull CLUNK.

Moved input from oiginal AC 1, to AC2. Did not help.
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Comments

  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    unless sg can recommend a solution i think you may need to buy another inverter as they are no longer in production or serviceable.
    average life expectancy is meaningless especially if yours goes prior to expectations.
  • trumpets3u
    trumpets3u Solar Expert Posts: 35 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    I had the same problem with the 4024 and it was the generator, the gen started ok and ran but the carburetor needed to be rebuilt. Check the out put of the generator at the gen first. I had mine fixed and it works ok now.
    Brian
  • RCinFLA
    RCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    Is the 'dull Clunk' similar to when AC relay kicks in?

    When you say you moved input, did you mean you moved grid (not gen) feed from AC1 to AC2 and AC2 continued to have the same problem of not locking on? Edit: re-read your post, you don't have grid, its your gen freq. see end of reply.

    The blinking green light means the AC2 voltage is sensed but inverter has not phase/voltage locked yet. When inverter sync's to AC source then the AC power relay engages (with a solid 'clunk') that parallel's the inverter to AC source.

    There is a voltage sense transformer on AC1, AC2, and ACout points. The outputs of these small transformers are about 13.8vac and fed to control board. These 13.8vac signals (at 120 vac inputs) are used to sense the voltage and phase and go through some amplifies/filters/ac-dc converters on control board before going into analog to digital converter which is read by processor. If anything goes wrong in this path it could screw up the syncronizing process. There are calibration adjustments on the control board but don't mess with them unless you know what you are doing (have servicing software).

    You could have an issue with the voltage sense transformer, the electronics in control board, or perhaps a problem with the AC2 power relay.

    If source is out of voltage or frequency spec the light will continue to blink. A common issue with generators is their speed wobbles (you can hear it in wobbling engine speed sound). The SW will have problem getting phase lock if frequency of AC input is wobbling around even if the absolute range is within SW freq range spec.
  • Chuck46
    Chuck46 Solar Expert Posts: 95
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    Mine did the same thing turn out to be generator frequency, Speed of gen had slipped so reset carb and it ran fine.
    Chuck
  • RCinFLA
    RCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    Most inexpensive DVM's have a frequeny reading mode that is usually accurate enough to set your generator's engine speed to produce 60Hz output.
  • solorone
    solorone Solar Expert Posts: 257 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    Thanks for all the input folks.

    The gen set is a Kubota GL 6500 S. I have had no speed issues with it. I did check the voltage and it was no load 133 V. The get set is operating, through a different input, is operating the house system fine, big screen TV, microwave and such.

    It is hard to believe that the Gen is suddenly out of frequency, but things happen. I have a Fluke 36 meter, but no frequency reading.

    I have been on the phone all day, seems like the Magnum MS PAE 4048 is the best fit. Nothing has the surge capacity of the old trace, and we have really gotten use to it, sometimes the coffee maker, pump and large microwave come on at the same time. The Magnum has only 8 K surge, stacking is not desired, but oh well.

    I guess i will have to plan my shop work better now, never worried about it before, just fire up the planer or joiner and have fun.

    many parts are not available. The guy in California has quit working on them. there is someone in Jersey and NC, that might do it, but I guess it would not be wise to sink 600/800$ in shipping and repair into an 11 YO unit.:frown:
  • solorone
    solorone Solar Expert Posts: 257 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    In addition the gen set ran a couple hours and then shut off, a restart resulted in a 30 sec run. Now I need to deal with that problem.:roll: So off to my camera boards and seek out the diesel dude from New Zealand

    When it rains it pours:D
  • RCinFLA
    RCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    On old regulator system a high voltage reading usually means the engine is running too fast.
  • RCinFLA
    RCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP
    solorone wrote: »
    Inspection of Gen set lead to new filters. It is well maintained, but I might have missed the oil filter last time. After a total service the gen set ran fine. Allthis time the circuit to the inverter had been on, I saw no problem with that.

    After the above work was done the Trace would not connect.

    Last sentence says it all.
  • Chuck46
    Chuck46 Solar Expert Posts: 95
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    Well the 4024 has a frequency meter built in so pull it up and see what it thinks its seeing. Not the most accurate way to do it but saves buying a new meter
    Chuck
  • PhilS
    PhilS Solar Expert Posts: 370 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    I have an old SW (2512MC) and it had a problem "hooking up" to the generator to charge. But it would "try", that is, it would momentarily flash the charge LED then jump back to "AC in Good".

    I installed a 'ballast charger' on the generator output. It was an old automotive charger (10/40/100/200 IIRC) and I set it to the 40a setting on 'hold' so it was on and charging anytime the genset was running. No problems with the SW charging since.

    It seems the SW was reading the voltage as 'ok' but when it switched to 'charge' the sudden draw on the genset caused the SW to see the brownout/surge and immediately disconnect.

    If your SW is not momentarily switching to 'charge' then back again, different problem... and I really like the two Magnums I have powering the house. (The SW just powers water pumps and charges batts when the gen is on).

    Phil
  • halfcrazy
    halfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    I suspect the issue is generator related not inverter. I would borrow a small 5kw portable genset and see if it will connect. the fact the generator is bothering leads me to believe it is running to fast and frequency is out of spec.
  • Vic
    Vic Solar Expert Posts: 3,208 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    Been watching this thread, and am with Half on this, it MUST be the genset. If a neighbor had a lil Honda EU1000, 2000, or 3000 or similar genset you could borrow, it could easily be hooked to AC1 (IIRC its AC1) -- the Grid connection, and see if the inverter behaves there. If that is OK, disconnect the AC2 - Generator wires from the Kubota and see how the EUstyle genset does there.

    Perhaps the Kubota has a regulator or govoner problem. The Inverter gensets have well-controlled frequency output vs load, and they are very close to the ideal 60 Hz (for the US models). Good Luck Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • RCinFLA
    RCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP
    Chuck46 wrote: »
    Well the 4024 has a frequency meter built in so pull it up and see what it thinks its seeing. Not the most accurate way to do it but saves buying a new meter
    Chuck

    Unfortunately, the SW has to be locked up on AC source to read out frequency. If green light is blinking there is no lock and no freq readout.

    At no load, some generator wobble in frequency. Putting some load may smooth them out.
  • Ralph Day
    Ralph Day Solar Expert Posts: 1,019 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    If the genset has a 120v duplex outlet (not through inverter) then a Kill-a-watt meter (or equivalent) will read the frequency for you. That's what I use to set/adjust the gen speed on my old diesel system. No load...62hz 125vac, load will dropthe numbers to 60hz and 117vac for me.

    Ralph
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP
    Ralph Day wrote: »
    If the genset has a 120v duplex outlet (not through inverter) then a Kill-a-watt meter (or equivalent) will read the frequency for you. That's what I use to set/adjust the gen speed on my old diesel system. No load...62hz 125vac, load will dropthe numbers to 60hz and 117vac for me.

    Ralph

    great idea ralph.:D
  • solorone
    solorone Solar Expert Posts: 257 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    Thanks everyone for your input and thoughts, sorry to be late in getting back, but I am getting too old for battles like this:D

    This all may be too much info, but in case it can help, here it is.

    Keep in mind I suffer from the real condition know as chemo brain, and old age does not help. LOL

    The issues are resolved. I do not totally understand all that happened.

    1 After initial gen set (GS) failure, and subsequent repeated 2/5 minute run times before auto shut down, it ran for nearly 2 hours. ( conflicting input)

    2 Failure of this 11 year old inverter to connect. This failure persisted for short and long run times. Well into the issue and after many PH calls, and talks with Outback, (thanks Jim Scott) and Magnum (thanks Darrin and Clyde Yamamoto, nice to catch up there) it seems repair might not be a cost effective option. Here I applied a man repair and beat hell out of the Trace.:roll:

    Having done nothing else beyond what I have described in the thread, the Trace came to life during a short test run while I had my diesel guy on the phone, GS shut down soon after.

    Eliminating all other issues, the GS issue had to be a sensor. Heat was all that was left. The radiator was dirty. After removing the sound reduction cabinet, I discovered the broken water pump belt. Here is where Chemo brain comes in, but the GS had run for 2 hours in the middle of diagnosing the problem. Conflicting data for sure.

    A belt was flown out of Chicago, ( here I could write a while rant on the Kubota Corp, Kubota dealer 24 miles away can not sell me parts, do not buy Kubota).
    After the order was placed I happened to look in a box of parts and found an old belt I had removed during a preventive maintenance 5 years ago. (yep chemo brain)

    Well alls well that ends well.

    I do not believe the GS ever got over speed, not the nature of the Kubota.

    I think my initial 133 v reading was wrong.

    The dull clunk I heard, unlike the sharper snap when the trace shifts to charge, still puzzles me, and that noise is what led me to try a man fix to the Trace ( hit with nearest heavy object)

    Got a good update on available inverters on the market, must say I am disappointed with the surge capabilities, but then that’s business, they can sell you two for stacking.

    Will buy a new unit for storage.

    Thanks All.
  • solorone
    solorone Solar Expert Posts: 257 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP
    niel wrote: »
    unless sg can recommend a solution i think you may need to buy another inverter as they are no longer in production or serviceable.
    average life expectancy is meaningless especially if yours goes prior to expectations.

    There are still some people that work on them, but as you said parts would be an issue, may be worth a try for someone trying to get a cheaply bought unit fixed. Sorry did not get any names of the repair folks. But a letter to Outback and Magnum may solve that.
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    if you are that stuck with that particular inverter then you could take a chance and buy a used one to back up the one you have. you would take a chance only due to the possibility of somebody selling you a defective inverter and the used market is a buyer beware scenario for many items.
    glad it is still working for you.
  • solorone
    solorone Solar Expert Posts: 257 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP
    niel wrote: »
    if you are that stuck with that particular inverter then you could take a chance and buy a used one to back up the one you have. you would take a chance only due to the possibility of somebody selling you a defective inverter and the used market is a buyer beware scenario for many items.
    glad it is still working for you.

    Thanks, I am looking around for one now, years ago, right after they came out, I used to keep one in stock, along with a couple of the black units.

    Hard to beat the 12K surge, and it works for us, the normal house loads can be off and on and I can be in the shop working with no major issues.

    I might seek some current inverter advice. After talking to Magnum, I am leaning that way. I would guess that Outback and Magnun should be decent units, seems both companies have former Trace folks there.
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    The Xantrex XW-6048 is a better match to your SW, the Outback isn't even in the same league for power and features. Magnum has had some good comments but price wise a XW-4048 to the 4Kw magnum is not much difference price wise and the XW has more features
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,781 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    In your search, keep in mind that while the amount the inverter can surge to is important, the time that it can surge for is just as important. It is easy to hide in the specifications. One of the things that damages motors is the power source and it's voltage being pulled down under load. Power is the same, so current goes up and you get to buy a new motor before it's time. With a deep well you also get to help put the well service people's children thru college. If you are in that kind of ballgame, the XW is the best there is around here right now. Please build something better!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • RCinFLA
    RCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    It sure would be cheaper to buy a $30 multimeter with freq mode or Kill-A-Watt meter to check generator frequency then spend a few thousand for a new inverter to find out it also will not lock on to an off frequency generator.
  • solorone
    solorone Solar Expert Posts: 257 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP
    RCinFLA wrote: »
    It sure would be cheaper to buy a $30 multimeter with freq mode or Kill-A-Watt meter to check generator frequency then spend a few thousand for a new inverter to find out it also will not lock on to an off frequency generator.

    Can you give a link to a reliable model, funny that a $400 fluke will not do the job, but it will read 600Amps. Is this unit also used to read watt usage around the house? I use the amp meter on the fluke 36, but might be a bit easier with you suggestion.

    Still pretty certain the cycle/volts of the GS was not the problem, that darn clunk still really bothers me. After initial filters and such, nothing else was done when the Trace roared back to life, other than the sever man beating I gave it. Ok y'all are rolling your eyes, but I heard something move in there the day before.
    In your search, keep in mind that while the amount the inverter can surge to is important, the time that it can surge for is just as important. It is easy to hide in the specifications. One of the things that damages motors is the power source and it's voltage being pulled down under load. Power is the same, so current goes up and you get to buy a new motor before it's time. With a deep well you also get to help put the well service people's children thru college. If you are in that kind of ballgame, the XW is the best there is around here right now. Please build something better!

    Thanks. Clyde and I talked about the pump, Magnum has 8K surge, it will work, but does not leave much of a cushion.

    Xantrex was closed Monday, and my dealer rep was not available. I still get dealer discount, I sold a lot of stuff for them through the years. I need to look at the XW, curious about how it hooks up, hate to run new 500 MCM, but at 48V I can down size a bit. I need to enlarge my array and go to 48V. My array is 220 feet from the house. I know I can set the voltage up higher, and use smaller wire, but then you have another electronic do dad in the loop, right now the sun flows straight out of the lights. I was joking with a friend the other day, that if copper goes back up I might hook a tractor to the pile of 4ought (0000) in the conduit, pull it out and sell it for scrap. I salvaged it from a major rehab project.
    The Xantrex XW-6048 is a better match to your SW, the Outback isn't even in the same league for power and features. Magnum has had some good comments but price wise a XW-4048 to the 4Kw magnum is not much difference price wise and the XW has more features

    Thanks I will take a look at the current models.
  • RCinFLA
    RCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP
    RCinFLA wrote: »
    It sure would be cheaper to buy a $30 multimeter with freq mode or Kill-A-Watt meter to check generator frequency then spend a few thousand for a new inverter to find out it also will not lock on to an off frequency generator.

    http://store.solar-electric.com/kiacpomome.html
  • halfcrazy
    halfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP
    RCinFLA wrote: »
    It sure would be cheaper to buy a $30 multimeter with freq mode or Kill-A-Watt meter to check generator frequency then spend a few thousand for a new inverter to find out it also will not lock on to an off frequency generator.

    I could not imagine even thinking of buying a new inverter till I new what was wrong. The SW has 2 separate ac inputs so even if one was flaky the other should work I would think. I still say generator issues and I would be testing simple things before I dump 3 grand or better on an inverter and set there embarrassed when it did the same thing.

    That is my 2 cents but in today's economy that's pretty useless.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,781 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    I have seen a few SW's with relay failures over the years. Almost always caused by generators that were too small or not warmed up. When the relay fails both inputs are toast. At least that has been my experience. I will cross my fingers for the OP. You could hot wire it and make it think the generator is always there. The SW will just lock-up or free run. No, you kids don't do this at home. Might burn up some loads like the flat screen...

    Ya know that you really should have spare or know someone who does...
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • RCinFLA
    RCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP
    I have seen a few SW's with relay failures over the years. Almost always caused by generators that were too small or not warmed up. When the relay fails both inputs are toast. At least that has been my experience. I will cross my fingers for the OP. You could hot wire it and make it think the generator is always there. The SW will just lock-up or free run. No, you kids don't do this at home. Might burn up some loads like the flat screen...

    Ya know that you really should have spare or know someone who does...

    You can not hard wire the relay. The inverter will be initially out of phase with source. It will overload and trip the 35 amp inverter circuit breaker.

    There are two separate relays, one on AC1 input, one on AC2 input. No way both can 'toast' from a single input. They are normally open and single one engages when inverter phase lock to source. AC1 has priority if both present. This is why there is no AC passthru when battery power is removed as there is no power for relay coils.

    There are three parallel 30 amps contacts in each relay, providing some degree of contact redundancy. Usual relay failure is 'welded' contacts where the relay contacts stick together permanently engaging relay. This is not OP's problem.

    You can buy a new relay, or use other input. It's part number is on my original attached schematic.
  • CaptTurbo
    CaptTurbo Solar Expert Posts: 66 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP

    Dear Solorone, I'm sorry to hear of your problems. I don't know if I can be of help to you but I have a brand new XW6048 that is still sitting on the pallet that I can sell you. I bought a solar system from a company out in CA and then changed my design plans after I hired Solar Source to install it all. Instead of using the 6048 they wanted to go with SMA Sunny Islands. Anyway, my system is running well and I have the 6048 sitting here. I had planned to return it but if it would help you out I would be happy to send it to you.

    Feel free to let me know if I can be of help. Neville.

    PS: I have other new components that were not utilized as well:

    Quantity - Item

    1 XW Power distribution Panel Part# 865-1015

    1 XW-MPPT-150 Charge Controller

    1 SMA Combi Switch 10A Sunwise 176039

    1 PVPowered PVP2500-SD-240

    1 Midnite Solar 6 String Combiner Model# MNPV 6
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,781 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Trace SW 4024 Crash, Help needed ASAP
    RCinFLA wrote: »
    You can not hard wire the relay. The inverter will be initially out of phase with source. It will overload and trip the 35 amp inverter circuit breaker.

    There are two separate relays, one on AC1 input, one on AC2 input. No way both can 'toast' from a single input. They are normally open and single one engages when inverter phase lock to source. AC1 has priority if both present. This is why there is no AC passthru when battery power is removed as there is no power for relay coils.

    There are three parallel 30 amps contacts in each relay, providing some degree of contact redundancy. Usual relay failure is 'welded' contacts where the relay contacts stick together permanently engaging relay. This is not OP's problem.

    You can buy a new relay, or use other input. It's part number is on my original attached schematic.

    I sure do not remember it this way from the Xantrex forum. Maybe I am mixing it up with the battery charger which uses one of the Sw's MSW inverters to charge. That would make either AC1 or AC2 inoperative would it not? Maybe the single input has toasted the battery charger circuitry.

    Those relays do fail and having redundancy in contacts just prolongs the eventual demise. Contacts in bad situations, get arched and can fail open or closed and I would say open is likely also after the event is over. Hey you are probably right but I still think that it is time for new electronics including the generator. No sense in taking a chance that there is an intermittent in the generator that produces a failure down the road.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net