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Author Topic: I need some electrical help with a 4024 xantrex that keeps turning on and off.  (Read 2569 times)
Sean
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« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2012, 01:12:33 PM »

1)  I have a 50 amp shore cord that I either plug into the gen or pole. It comes on as  AC1.
...
3) input lower -105
    Input upper - 140
    Grid amps -30
    Gen amps- 30

OK, so here is what's probably happening:

With your AC1 input set to 30 amps, on a hot day, with possibly low voltage, whenever the A/C compressor cycles on, the current draw to the inverter can spike well about the input threshold (30 amps), particularly if anything else is running in the coach (e.g water heater, ice maker, household fridge, etc.).  If you have a household (120VAC) fridge, this can cause the same problem, though usually the load for a fridge is much lower.

As the total load escalates up to 30a rapidly, the SW40124 will drop the battery charger load to zero.  But past that point, it needs to start drawing from the batteries to supplement the load.  Unfortunately, the extra load presented by a locked-rotor compressor (IOTW, one just starting up) escalates so high so quickly that the inverter can not keep the output waveform in sync with the input power, one of the consequences of a highly inductive load coming on line quickly.  As soon as the inverter waveform falls behind, by even just a hair, the grid-protection mechanism kicks in and the inverter disconnects from the input power, instead powering the entire load from the batteries.

This re-starts the AC1 "ready" delay timer (about 20 seconds), during which time the AC1 In Good indicator blinks.  That gives the inverter time to re-synchronize the output waveform to the input under the new load condition.  There is nothing wrong here -- this is "normal" behavior.

This happens to us routinely, BTW -- we have an air compressor on board, to keep our air up for the suspension, air door, and air-operated commode.  Whenever that compressor starts, if we have other loads like an A/C running and we are on 30 amp shore power, we will lose synch and have to go through the 20-second delay.  Once the inverter synchs, the battery charger comes back on line and replaces what got used when it was offline.

There are two things you can do to fix this.  The easiest and most immediate is to keep your air conditioners from cycling.  During the heat of the day, your A/C units are probably running full-tilt, full-time, which is why you notice this more at night.  Once it gets a bit cooler, those units want to cycle on and off to maintain a set temperature.  If you have a standard roof air with an ADB, turn the "temperature" setting to full cold.  That should keep the compressor from cycling.

The second thing you can do is set the AC1 Input Amps to a higher value.  If you are on 50-amp shore power, you should be able to set this to 40 amps, unless you used wire smaller than #6 to wire up the inverter or there is some other lower-current device in the circuit.  This will give the inverter another 10 amps to work with before it decides it needs to supplement the load.

This last point brings up another issue.  Usually when an SW-series inverter is connected to only a single input for both generator and shore, which is normal when either an external transfer switch is used, or a single cord connects it to either shore or generator, then the AC2 input (generator) is the input that is used.  This is so that the generator starting routine can sense the generator voltage.  You might consider making this change.

Remember you need to change whichever input you use, whether it is AC1 or AC2, to match the amount of power available, every time you move the cord.  So when you plug into a 50-amp shore service, you can set this to 40 amps; for a 30-amp service you should set it to 24 amps, for a 20-amp service 16 amps, and a 15-amp service should be set to just 12 amps.  When you connect to your generator you should set it to the maximum continuous capacity of the generator as specified by the manufacturer.

Quote
ATS,?Huh

"Automatic Transfer Switch"

-Sean
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« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2012, 01:19:18 PM »

Sorry, forgot to mention one other thing:

The other possibility here is that you might be at the end of a very long cable run of minimum-code gauge.  So even if you measure, say, 108VAC in "steady state", when your unit cycles on, the current draw rises enough to drag the loaded input voltage down below your low input voltage setting.  The way to know this is to be watching the voltage display while the event is happening - you will actually see the voltage decreasing rapidly.  Once the inverter drops the input power, the input voltage rises very rapidly back to nominal, re-starting the AC1 Good ready timer, starting the whole cycle over again.  I call this "yo yo mode" and the only way to fix it is to either remove some of the load, or lower the input voltage limit.  This is why we keep ours so low.

-Sean
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« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2012, 03:59:49 PM »

My Prosine 3.0 inverter was alarming and shutting down when it was 108 degrees out last year.  Power was simply passing through the internal transfer switch, but still the air conditioner with other loads were occasionally pulling over 30 amps causing the inverter to have a fit,

My solution was simply to move the circuit for the air conditioner from the inverter power panel to the non-inverter power panel.
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« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2012, 10:02:27 PM »

Well, no luck. Looks to me I have an issue with the actual inverter. The issue is the same whether I'm on the pole or the gen.
It's after midnight and I thought the problem was rectified but I was sadly mistaken. It was working up until about 15 minutes ago. I'm just turning the AC off so the cycling doesn't kep me awake all night again and sweat it out. I need to speak with someone so they can walk me thru .... whatever, and see if the inverter actually has the issue. This is such a drag. I can also tell you, I won't go for the " cream of the crop" next time either. It doesn't seem worth it. I'll go for the " KISS" method. ( mainly cause I'm not adept enough for the more high tech stuff.) Hell, if it wasn'tfor all,the infinite knowledge on this board, there would be NO WAY I could have a bus. I truly do owe it all to this board.
Thanx again Sean and all for al the help!!!!!!!! I' just frustrated, confused, tired and hot.
  Chaz
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Sean
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« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2012, 10:40:01 PM »

Well, no luck. Looks to me I have an issue with the actual inverter. The issue is the same whether I'm on the pole or the gen.

OK, I had understood that the problem happened only on shore and not on generator.  If it happens on both, that's a different set of things to look at.  However, it is more likely there is a problem with the air conditioner or the wiring than that there is anything wrong with the inverter itself.

Do you have more than one air conditioner, and, if so, does this problem happen with all of them?  With only a 30-amp input, a marginal air conditioner in extremely hot and humid conditions can be causing this problem, as I described earlier.

One simple test you can do here is to increase the 30-amp limitation temporarily to see if that will let the inverter pass more input power to the load.

To do this, first disable the battery charger by setting Max Charge Amps to zero at the bottom of menu 10 (otherwise the charger will add to the load, tripping the breaker).  Then ensure that your shore circuit (or generator circuit, as the case may be) is properly protected by a 30-amp breaker.  Turn off all major loads except the air conditioner.  Last, set AC1 Amps to, say, 50 under Menu 11.

Now if there is an actual overload on your electrical system, it should trip the shore (or generator) breaker instead of causing the inverter to lose synch.  If the shore breaker trips, you'll know there is an overload problem somewhere, possibly in the A/C unit.  If the breaker does not trip, but the inverter still loses synch, then we have some more investigating to do.

-Sean
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« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2012, 05:50:28 AM »

I thought maybe it was just the pole as well. Unfortunately, no.
Plus, it happens with either AC AND even without an AC.
I also did everything you are talking about on your simple test and no luck. It does not seem to want to charge the batteries at all. Jerry had called and he walked me thru it. It seems there may be a relay bad or something, he said.
I'm leaving today and heading home. I guess the last test will be to plug it in at home and see what happens. I will probably be calling Trace and see if there is something they walk me thru. I'm going to need to talk to someone on the phone and work the control panel at the same time.
I can't imagine there be an "operator error" after doing everything you guys have told me but...... I'm not the best operator either.
Btw, I have been up for about a half hour now. I turned the inverter on and it " cycled " on and off again. I turned on an AC and it continued about 10 mins. Now itis running steady. For how long, who knows. But that's it's M.O. - run all day and mess with me at night. 
Thanx again. I will update later. I really do appreciate it!!!
  Chaz
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« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2012, 05:53:35 AM »

(5 mins. Later)
Opps, should have kept my fingers to myself.  Cry.......at it again.
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Sean
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« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2012, 07:45:22 AM »

OK, if this is happening even with no load, then it is one of two issues -- either a problem with the input wiring, or a problem with the inverter.

Start by carefully inspecting all the connections between the power source and the inverter.  You want to make sure all lugs are tight, and look for any discoloration that would indicate arcing or overheating.

If all the wiring is good, since you are only using one input, let me suggest you switch to the other input instead.  The inverter has two contactors (like relays) inside that select AC1, AC2, or neither, and it is possible that one of them has gone bad.  (As a mechanical component, these are among the most likely trouble spots in the unit.)  Since you are using AC1, the AC1 contactor may be having trouble.

Switch your input over to AC2 instead.  That only requires you to move one single wire (neutrals are common in the SW series).  Then make sure your Set AC2 Amps setting is correct.  See if that makes the problem go away.  If so, that would confirm the AC1 contactor issue.  You could pay someone to fix that, or you could just leave the input on AC2 and call it good.  The only difference between the inputs is that AC2 supports the generator start controls, and AC1 is easier to set different amps (on MC2 models) because there's a shore cord size control on the main menu.

-Sean
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« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2012, 05:13:02 PM »

I got home a couple hours ago and ran the gen on the way home. It worked fine but did not charge the batteries. I plugged the inverter in when I got home and it seemed to be fine except for not charging. Then, I just went out there and it was " cycling"  again with no load and wasn't charging. I just turned it off. I have issues. I will try to figure it out tomorrow. I'm toast.
I'll check the connections but.... Who knows. I just don't think I'm that lucky. Thanx for all the ideas and help.Hopefully tomorrow will be an enlightening day.
Chaz
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« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2012, 07:47:39 PM »

Hold on...

Back in Reply #7 you typed this:

Battery outage is 23.8 but yet, when it kicks off not even he batteries keep it going.

What is the health of the battery bank?

IIRC, my Trace runs the bank up at 27.8, give or take. Down at 23.8, there might be some trouble with limit settings?

Could a weak battery set, coupled with the particular stresses and limitations of that operating environment, trigger this wonky operation?

The magic of one of these Trace 4024's, and my main reason for selecting one for myself, is the supplementing the unit can do from the battery bank.

Until you find the problem, don't go tossing the baby out with the bath water just yet...

happy coaching!
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« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2012, 05:47:05 AM »

Thanx BW. I had it scheduled to check all the batteries before I went on trip but the guy could not make it. I will have him come over as soon as I can. Jerry mentioned the battery condition as well so I topped them all off. I have been suspecting the batteries but from what little I know and what others have said, I was thinking it was more likely the inverter. I SO hope you are right!  ( sorta. Batteries are bad expensive too Undecided)
Than a bunch!
   Chaz
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« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2012, 07:57:52 AM »

My Buddy is coming over tomorrow morning and said I need to have the batteries charged.... Hmmmmmm.....
I have 2 - big 12 volt battery chargers and I have never had to charge a battery bank before. My guess is that I need to split the bank into 4 - 2 battery groups and charge them seperate. The meter is showing the bank to be at 23.2 right now.
Any suggestions here??
Thanx a bunch,
   Chaz

(Sean, can I give you a call?)
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« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2012, 10:02:28 PM »

Well some good news ( I hope). Sean called and we talked about all the issues. ( well, mostly he explained and I listened Roll Eyes ) I did a few things in regards to cleaning batteries, replacing one and found that the circuit breaker for charging them had popped. I also put a little tightening on the shore cord connections for good measure. As of this evening, it all seems well. Man I hope it stays that way.
Thanx again  for all of you giving this some thought ans especially those who posted. I love this community. No way could I do this on my own and have any sanity left.  Shocked.
Thank you all again,
   Chaz
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« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2012, 06:14:24 AM »

  (snip)   . As of this evening, it all seems well. Man I hope it stays that way.   

     Good luck; I hope that that covers it, too.  As I used to tell people as we were working on thorny electrical problems (back when I was a useful, productive member of society and before I became fodder for the Health Care Death Panels), "I grew up dating girls in North Carolina, I worked for British companies for 20 years, and used to be engaged to a red-headed woman so I KNOW what frustration is -- but there's nothing as frustrating as an intermittent electrical problem!"   I hope that yours never returns.
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« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2012, 09:51:38 AM »

HA! Good analogy O!
I hope it's good to go as well. Time will tell. And I really appreciate everyone's help and thoughts.
  Chaz
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