SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't

PhenPhen Registered Users Posts: 5
Hi,
I have a fairly old Trace SW5548 that we use with a generator backup. We had a lightning storm and I think a surge came into the house on the telephone cable, or maybe jumped past the lightning arrestor. Anyway, the inverter still works, sort of. It still inverts just fine. However, there are two things that don't work:

-it won't sync with the generator. From what I can tell, what is happening is that when it gets the generator input, it immediately starts drawing power from it, rather than waiting until it is synced. As a result the generator slows down and it throws a low frequency error before it can synchronize. (Previously it would sync for 30 seconds or so before drawing power).

-Search mode isn't working. When there is no load, the light blinks as though it is searching, but the inverter continues buzzing as it does when it is fully on, and there is no lag when a load is turned on.

I'm reluctant to take it to an authorized service center because there are none close to us and I don't want to be out of commission for several weeks. I see I can buy circuit boards at ... http://inverterservicecenter.com/Inverters/Inverter-Repair-Parts/Xantrex-Repair-Parts/SW-5548

I guess I'm wondering if anybody here knows which circuit board would control these two functions? Or has any other ideas on how to fix it? Or would like to buy a slightly damaged inverter ... ;-)

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Phen

Comments

  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't

    Have you tested the Generator's output with another load ?? The reason I am asking is I just went through this with one and It ended up being a bad battery on the generator. I don't think it syncs with the generator, it should be qualifying the power to see if it's within the limits ( Voltage & Frequency ) before it allows it to passed through.

    The search function should be on the control board, but I'd think it would get it's input from the power board.

    I have the name of the bench tech at Inverter Service Center. They are great guys, but they have their issues also. It's expensive getting it there and replacement boards are not cheap. Post back and I'll tell you who to talk to.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,046 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't

    The 5548s that I've seen DO sync with the generator. This allows for a relatively seamless transfer twix inverter waveform and the genset waveform.
    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.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't
    Vic wrote: »
    The 5548s that I've seen DO sync with the generator. This allows for a relatively seamless transfer twix inverter waveform and the genset waveform.
    Vic
    Maybe you just thought it was syncing before it tested the limits of the incoming power before the transfer. Just a thought. I never said it NEVER synced with the Incoming power. What came first Vic, the chicken or the egg ??
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,046 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't

    What I meant to say is, that the SWs and SW+es that I have seen DO SYNC to the generator.

    Without a sync, the transfer could be more disruptive to loads, as there is transfer time, plus the uncertainty of where toe geset waveform happens to be.

    It has been said that sync to generators is a major reason for errors in AC-operated clocks.

    Re-read, and re-read yet again, and if seems to me that you WERE saying that YOU thought that there was NO syncing going on.

    Am not trying to be argumentative. Qualification could be done quickly.

    The SWs are quite seamless. Have not watched the process on a scope for almost a decade, however, I do not have a horse in this race. And will not be using a scope watching a transfer any time soon.

    Qualification could be done quite quickly, and not require 30 seconds or so that the transfer requires, and so on.
    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.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't

    I don't know how disruptive it is, the transfer is done in 10-16 ms and it should be synced. It really has no reason to sync until it goes into unless it's in a support mode. Even a MSW can make the transfer pretty seamless, what kind syncing is going on there ?? What I was trying to say it has nothing to sync to until it qualifies the incoming power.

    What I was trying to tell the OP is that he needs to check the Generator first, if he pulls the Inverter and buys boards or sends it off, they might not be the Issue. I had a bad battery that would not let the AVR adjust the voltage or frequency.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't

    Here , I split it with you Vic.

    TRANSFERRING UPON AVAILABILITY OF AC POWER

    When AC power is supplied to the AC HOT IN 1 or AC HOT IN 2 input, the inverter automatically transfers
    from inverter mode to battery charger mode. Before transferring, the inverter verifies that both the AC
    input voltage and frequency are within tolerance. It then synchronizes waveforms and connects to the
    inverter’s AC output without interruption of power.

    http://www.xantrex.com/documents/Discontinued-Products/SW2512MC-SW4024MC2UserGuide.pdf
  • PhenPhen Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't

    Thanks Vic and Blackcherry...

    Yes, I'm sure it does sync (when working correctly), unless the owner's manual is lying about it.

    I checked the generator when not under load and both frequency and voltage output are spot on. It doesn't have a battery of its own. It bogs down somewhat (both voltage and frequency drop) when the load connects--that is typical, and was never previously a problem. However, previously it would be synced during the 30 seconds or so BEFORE the inverter/charger connects, and thus BEFORE bogging down, and they would stay linked up. However, now it is bogging down immediately and the inverter is rejecting the input as under speed.

    Anyway, I'll try to contact Inverter Service Center--if you think a backdoor contact would help, I would be appreciative!

    Thanks,

    Phen
  • PhenPhen Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't

    As far as I can tell you two are in agreement (and i agree with both) that it checks for voltage and frequency range first, then synchronizes the waveforms. I think there was a mis-communication that is hopefully behind us...

    Also... prior to the damage, the inverter never started to draw significant power from the generator until after syncing, and when it did start to draw power it it would build up slowly , another amp every few seconds. This avoided the heavy bog-down that throws it out of frequency tolerance. Now, it is bogging down immediately, and throwing the error immediately.



    Thanks
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't

    Here, the Main Tech guys name is Randy, ask for him and they'll put him on the phone. None of my business, but I'd have a $$$ amount in mind before I talked about repair that I wanted to spend. It's a old Inverter without a warranty. I can't begin to tell you how many Inverters they get sent in on a one way trip that go to salvage ( by the pallet full ) because no one wants them returned after they find out the repair bill and shipping back and forth.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,046 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't

    BC,

    OH did not realize that you were speaking of the sequence of transferring the generator, but rather, were saying that SWs simply do not ever bother syncing as a matter of their design.

    The SWs are workhorses, and generally run 12 - 15 years if there are no incidents (like lightning etc) but as BC said, unless it is something fairly simple like a relay, repair is often difficult, as parts are difficult to find. 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.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't

    your best bet is to buy another as whatever you don't replace in it now is likely to prematurely fail even though you've replaced boards/parts that have outright failed. with the new one, try to take steps to suppress the lightning's damage.
  • MangasMangas Solar Expert Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't

    My four 5548s' are going on 10 years running 24/7.

    Lost one inverter mother board a couple years ago. A nearby solar pump outfit put a new board in it for about $400. They told me the boards were available then but not the transformers.

    No problems since.

    If repair is possible but runs over, $500 I would buy a new inverter.
    Ranch Off Grid System & Custom Home: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, ICF Custom House Construction, all appliances, Central A/C, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Propane furnaces, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
  • PhenPhen Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't

    Thanks everyone!
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: SW 5548 after lightning strike-- some functions work and others don't

    I hope it works out for you. There is really a balance point that a repair cost can be justified. With a 130 lb Inverter it's really a problem with shipping and repair costs. I just sent a owner to the repair center as a walk in, he paid $675 to repair a 15 year old Inverter ( Heart Interface ) that would only cost $1,000 to replace with a new one and a 3 year warranty, I am like, why didn't you call me ?? I know everyone hopes it's a $2 part or a loose wire and I have seen them, but it's usually not.
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