Inverter shut off while generator charging

I was checking to see how the charge was going when the inverter sounded an alarm and turned off. I have not been able to get it turned back on. I am running on straight generator now but this can't last long. Any idea what happened and how I can get it back up and running asap? It is an Outback 3500 watt FX Series Inverter.

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,601 admin
    Re: INverter shut off while generator charging

    Did you see what the Alarm was?

    Check battery voltages and electrolyte levels (battery over or under voltage)?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,145 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: INverter shut off while generator charging

    Howard,

    Have no experience with the OB inverters. But, have you tried cycling the DC breaker that connects the interter to the batteries?

    There should be a 'reason' for fault or similar menu which should show what the inverter does not like (again I have no experience with OB inverters).

    EDIT: And the Outback Power Forum has a larger number of people who know about OB inverters:
    http://www.outbackpower.com/forum/

    Is the inverter charging the batteries when the genset is running? Guessing done for now. Good Luck, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 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.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: INverter shut off while generator charging
    Vic wrote: »
    Howard,

    Have no experience with the OB inverters. But, have you tried cycling the DC breaker that connects the inverter to the batteries?

    Likewise I have no experience with OB inverters, but several times (not the fault of my inverter) my Xantrex 1800/12 inverter has shut down and required a complete restart, including switching off the DC supply to it, before it would fire up again. At least once was a short on the AC load and twice it happened when the external GFI suddenly kicked off while the inverter was powering a substantial load. In each case, powering the inverter off and on again, everything looked normal on the display, just no AC output. First time I thought the inverter was shot, but finally not expecting anything, just on a hunch, I cut the DC supply and after a complete restart, the inverter was fine. Might work for yours too. Good luck!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,601 admin
    Re: INverter shut off while generator charging

    To Howard (question via email):

    I do not know the Outback line either--But the "reset" I was talking about was cutting all DC and AC power to the inverter for a few seconds (some people may suggest a few minutes) to do a hardware reset.

    There have been a few inverters that have gotten corrupted configuration memories--And the fix there was to perform a software reset to defaults (from the menu system--if there is the option), then reprogram the settings to your needs.

    Otherwise, any other information on what you are seeing? Measuring voltage at the DC input, checking electrolyte levels in the battery bank, checking cell specific gravity, cell/battery voltages, etc. can also sometimes find a "hidden" bad cell or connection that is enough the trip the inverter's safety circuits during heavy loads/charging currents.

    Also, turn off the AC breaker to the inverter to make sure there is not a dead short on the AC output.

    Lastly--I am a big believer in balancing loads with battery bank, chargers, solar array, generators, etc... If your home is reasonably energy efficient and/or small--Do you have a smaller genset that can run for hours at a time to keep your power up while addressing the inverter problem?

    I really like the Honda eu1000i (900 watt) and eu2000i (1,600 watt) or the Yamaha and similar Inverter/Generators... for example, the eu2000i can power 400 watts of load at almost 1/10th of a gallon of fuel per hour (quietly).

    At least you will have power and lights without spending a huge amount of money on a 8-15kW genset that may drink a 1/2 gallon to 1 gallon (or more) of fuel per hour at anything less than a 4-7 kW load (i.e., typical gasoline/propane/natural gas generators will consume nearly 50% fuel flow with 0-50% electrical loads--And Diesels which may run more efficiently at low electrical loads can have mechanical issues such as wet stack/glazing cylinder walls, etc. if operated at less than ~40-60% of rated load).

    Good luck! :cry:
    -Bill

    PS: Howard, were you doing anything while checking battery charging (switching breakers, adjusting wiring on batteries, etc.?).

    PS: Howard's information to us via email:
    My Outback inverter decided to turn off today while our generator was charging the batteries, we've had a lot of cloudy days in TN lately. Anyway, I was back checking to see how the charge was doing and suddenly the inverter sounded an alarm for a few beeps and then turned off. I have not been able to turn it back on.....? What now?
    thanks Bill, I tried that [killing power to inverter? -BB] but haven't check voltages.. batteries are ok.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: INverter shut off while generator charging

    Alarm while charging from gen is most likely over-Voltage, and is often caused by bad wiring to the batteries (high resistance in wiring causes Voltage to be high at inverter).

    Not really enough details to go by.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,741 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: INverter shut off while generator charging

    I presume you have a mate, because the fx needs a mate to be properly functional. I presume you don't have a mate because if you did, you would read the error code.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • Howard SHoward S Registered Users Posts: 3
    Re: Inverter shut off while generator charging

    Thank you all, I will go through all these suggestions and see hat I find. I did disconnect all power including the DC hoping the inverter would reset... maybe I didn't wait long enough to turn them back on. Will try that again...
  • Howard SHoward S Registered Users Posts: 3
    Re: Inverter shut off while generator charging

    Got it reset today and all is good, everything working fine. Not sure what happened but perhaps I'll discover more when I need a generator charge again.
    Thank you all for the help.
  • t00lst00ls Solar Expert Posts: 239 ✭✭✭
    Re: Inverter shut off while generator charging

    you didnt say what kind of generator it was or whether you off grid, I'm assuming off grid with the fx.....my recent adventure had to do with a rogue neutral wire.

    does your generator have a floating neutral I wonder
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