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Author Topic: Auto start for Gen  (Read 3734 times)
stevet903
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« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2011, 09:43:49 AM »

Check out the Xantrex LinkPRO battery monitor.  It can monitor 2 banks of batteries and can be programmed in a number of ways to start and stop the generator - by voltage, state of charge, and max run time.  If you look around, you should be able to pick one up for about $250.

http://www.xantrex.com/power-products/power-accessories/linkpro-battery-monitor.aspx

Steve
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 09:45:31 AM by stevet903 » Logged
Eagle Andy
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« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2011, 10:05:36 AM »

Thanks Clifford I will do that , I was looking at my paper work and Terry bopught this whole set up in 1997 so am hoping the two wire is the one . And yes Iam going to increase the battery bank this year . Thanks again for all the info guys it helps a great deal  Andy
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Sean
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« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2011, 11:12:18 AM »

Although many of the auto gen start devices including the ones built into inverters have many if not all of the features we need to start the generator, I believe there is one feature missing to stop the generator. Have yet to find one that will shut down after 80% battery charge has been completed. Every one I have seen shuts the generator down after pre-programed duration. ...

The generator start system built into the Trace SW series does not use a programmed duration.  To achieve 80% charge simply set absorption time to zero.  When the bulk phase completes the batteries will be at about 80% SOC.  To get 100% SOC you need to set absorption time to 2 hours or greater, depending on bank size.

We set absorption time to zero or ten minutes (the settings are only in ten minute increments) when we are boondocking on the generator.  We set absorption to three hours when plugged in to shore power.

Automatically stopping the generator at less than 80% SOC can be achieved by setting the bulk voltage lower than spec.  So it is possible with these inverters to set any arbitrary discharge/charge profile you wish merely by changing the settings.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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Kenny
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« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2011, 01:24:15 PM »

Sean or anyone else, is there a stand alone battery monitor / auto generator start (separate from inverter) that has the features you mention?
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« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2011, 01:46:53 PM »

Kenny, check out the Murphy www.fwmurphy.com there is no reason to buy the RV stuff Murphy cost a few bucks more but well worth it.
A friend of mine has a Murphy sytem that has a cool down for diesel engines doesn't use the inverter for nothing  


good luck
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Sean
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« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2011, 02:37:26 PM »

Sean or anyone else, is there a stand alone battery monitor / auto generator start (separate from inverter) that has the features you mention?

Kenny, if you have a "2-wire" generator you have lots of options.  The LinkPro that Steve linked to above can be programmed to do it, as well as the older Link-10 (or Link-20) with optional relay contacts, and its predecessor the E-Meter.  I think Bogart's monitors have the same option.  These are all state-of-charge (SOC) meters and so can be set to start and stop the generator at any arbitrary SOC desired, plus give you low voltage protection and sometimes a current-based option as well.

If you have a 3-wire generator, then you need a way to first convert it to on/off (2-wire) operation.  Here is where the Murphy products that Clifford (luvrbus) mentioned come in.  That said, there are perhaps a dozen similar products on the market, and Murphy is at the higher end of the spectrum.

-Sean
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Eagle Andy
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« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2011, 04:40:51 PM »

Sean , How do you determind if you have a 2 wire or three. I talked to wrico today and he said I can not use a two wire auto start with the set up I have and told me he had a system for 300.00. I am really not good at this elec stuff always learning. Thanks Andy
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luvrbus
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« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2011, 04:56:42 PM »

That is funny Andy when I bought the 2 wire system from him in 1999 or 2000 he told me it would work with the system I bought there a 13k generator and the same inverter you have guess there is some difference in a couple years huh


good luck
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2011, 05:13:42 PM »

Yea Clifford I hate talkin electronics with smart guys, I mean I guess he told me the right stuff but when I told him what I had he started talkin all this stuff I have no idea what it ment lol , The first thing he wanted to know was what kind of two wire you had ? and we never got much better than that  Grin He was helpful and all I just wish I would have knew what he was saying lol
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Sean
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« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2011, 05:39:40 PM »

Sean , How do you determind if you have a 2 wire or three.

Andy,

A "2-wire" has a simple on/off switch (which might be instead an on/off key).  When you move the switch or key to "on" the generator starts, usually after a short delay, and then continues to run.  When you move the switch from "on" back to "off" the generator shuts down.

A "3-wire" typically has either a pair of switches, or a single switch that has three positions: center "off" and a momentary in either direction.  You hold the switch one way (or one of the two switches) to heat the glow plugs, which you usually have to time yourself.  Then you hold the switch the other way (or operate the second switch) to crank the starter until the engine fires.  To shut down you hold the switch back in the same direction as you did to pre-heat, or hold down the pre-heat switch, or it may even be a third "shutdown" switch.

Obviously the 3-wire type needs more gadgetry to get it to work automatically, since you now need to have some timers to automatically heat the glow plugs for a specific time, then crank the starter for a specific time (or have some way to know the engine has started) and then you also need to hold the stop solenoid in for a set time on some sets.  A 2-wire generator takes care of all this for you.

Many RV inverters with built-in generator controls can handle both 2-wire and 3-wire sets.  On my SW4024 I have to set the pre-heat time, the maximum crank time (although it stops earlier when it detects the engine running) and the recovery time between starting attempts for my 3-wire generator.

The LinkPro and similar devices have no way to do all the things required to start and stop a 3-wire set.  They have only a simple contact closure to say that the generator should or should not be running.  A 2-wire set can handle that, but a 3-wire unit needs a little control box to essentially convert it to 2-wire operation.

HTH,

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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MARKMC7
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« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2011, 05:51:46 PM »

Okay all, NOTED. when I get to the point that the genny and her controls go in I got to have one of these.

Mark
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Eagle Andy
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« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2011, 05:54:09 PM »

Thanks Sean , Now that I could and did understand . I have a three wire and the control box you mentioned is what the Gentelmen mentioned today . So If I want to add this auto start to the Bus I will coat me about 300.00 bucks I just have to be sure if I really need it . Thanks again Andy
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« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2011, 07:01:37 PM »

Like Andy I have a three wire Wrico. 

My inverter is an Trace SW2512.  In reading the manual it looks like all of the components and control is within the inverter.  The text that confuses me a bit is:

Quote
Three  wire  start  generators  do  not  include  automatic  engine  cranking  control  system.  Separate
control of the starter motor requires additional interaction between the inverter’s auto-control system and
the  generator.    This  also  adds  complexity  to  the  installation  since  more  wires  must  be  connected  and
more programming of the inverter is required. Troubleshooting can also be more difficult.

I think that says that the Trace will do it all but takes some significant set-up.  It says that the inverter has the required relays built in and the software to control the system.

Am I close?

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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David Anderson
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« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2011, 07:18:38 PM »

Jim,
The one problem with the SW2512 auto start system is that it can't sense the genny running if for some goofy reason the genny doesn't put out AC power.  Dick Wright was very fearful of this, so he sold me a Gen Mate.  It cranks and senses "run" after the engine starts regardless of AC output. 

Think about it, if the inverter doesn't get AC input it will continue its cranking cycle continuously, engaging the starter even if the the genny is running.  I understand Dick's logic after thoroughly reading the Trace manual.   I never found a way to overcome this potential problem, which is why I purchased the Gen Mate from Wrico.  I do feel it is important because I'm at the mercy of my Todd transfer switch to throw the relays after the genny sends its power down the line. 

The 2512 can and will auto start your genny, but be aware of the weakness.

I've only used my auto start system once.  It is great when you need it.

David
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luvrbus
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« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2011, 07:31:18 PM »

Before you guys confuse Andy more he does not have a SW series Trace inverter thought you may like to know


good luck
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