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Generator not picked up by 5kW infinisolar


Daniemj
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I have a 15kVa (12kW)  380V/220V diesel generator. With the generator in 220V setup I have 3 x  21Amp generators so to speak. I have connected my own house as well as the house next door on two of those generators and now I have connected the 3rd to my 5kW infinisolar inverter. The generator output is 220V- 240V 50Hz 

I have enabled "generator as AC source" as well as "Wide AC input range", but the inverter does not seem to pick up the generator and does not indicate "GEN-IN" on the inverter. Or will it only allow generator to charge batteries when the battery Voltage is below minimum discharge Voltage as set up under parameters settings?

Another question is that the "AC output on/off timer" only allows for it to be totally disabled (00:00-00:00 )or for an on and off time to be programmed. I do not know how to set it in order for the AC output to be enabled 24 hours per day. The best I can do is to program it something like 12:00-11:59, but then the AC output is off for that one minute between 11:59 and 12:00? Any suggestions?

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Hi Daniemj,

Generator

I had a similar issue with InfiniSolar Plus 5KW: I've connected generator to the GEN INPUT terminal block on the inverter, then turned OFF grid and turned ON generator. But, nothing happened. Manual is not really clear on how this should work, but after some investigation I'm convinced that it's like this:

  • when the battery voltage drops under a discharge cut-off value, then the inverter will trigger dry contact
  • based on the dry contact signal, the generator will autostart
  • the inverter will automatically switch from grid input to generator input
  • after the battery voltage rises above threshold, the dry contact will switch off the generator

So, if you want to use generator input terminal, you should hook-up dry contact to generator autostart and kill switch. Of course, depends whether your generator is able of remote controll and has a compatible input. For example, my generator has an electric start (like using carkeys) but has no input terminals nor auto choke so the remote controll is impossible. On the other hand, if you want to utilize generator manually, the solution is to install a I-0-II switch in front of the grid input terminal on InfiniSolar so you can select whether you want to have the inverter connected to the Grid or to the Generator.

AC ON/OFF

Here, 00:00-00:00 setting means that the AC output will be on all the time, 24x7.

infini5k dry contact.JPG

Edited by Youda
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Thank you very much for that info.

The I-0-II switch setup will work for me, but I have no clue as to what that switch look like, where to find one and how to set it up. I will appreciate if you can assist me in that. At least once I know the correct name for that switch, I will be able to ask the guys at an electrical shop who should be able to assist me there.

 

AC ON/OFF

On my inverter the 00:00-00:00 setting disable the AC load 24x7. In fact I could never even get the AC out to work until I noticed that setting and changed the times.

If I put any two similar times on the settings, my inverter drops the AC output, even on the lcd display.

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image.png.d528a5cca690793f4df38fe863575286.png

Well, this is what I have set and AC works 24x7 for me. So if the above does not work for you, there must be something else wrong :-/

 

For switching, I personally use Hager SFT440 which is suitable for 3 phase. For single phase, the SFT240 or similar device should be okay. Just ask an electrician for "manual changeover switch" and he will suggest you the right one. Speaking of wiring, it's pretty easy, given you have 1-phase Infini 5KW:

  • connect terminal 1 to the GRID IN LIVE on Infini
  • connect terminal 5 to the GRID IN NEUTRAL on Infini
  • connect terminal 2 to the ESKOM LIVE
  • connect terminal 6 to the ESKOM NEUTRAL
  • connect terminal 4 to the GENERATOR LIVE
  • connect terminal 8 to the GENERATOR NEUTRAL
  • ground should be connected together at all times (eskom, generator, inverter)

This way, the position I will be ESKOM, mid-position will be OFF and position II will be generator.

image.thumb.png.d96f9a71baea9d6c0df65adee9236a1b.png

 
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As soon as I have my laptop up an running again, I will try to disable the AC output timer. I think I misunderstood it.

I actually do have the changeover switch installed, but the inverter does not accept my generator as an AC source (Grid). I think it does not like the waveform of the generator. I will try and see if it does take it when the batteries are below the minimum discharge voltage as a generator in order to charge the batteries. 

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Just few points: "GEN-IN" label will appear on the display only if generator is connected to the GEN INPUT terminal and has been started via dry contact.

If a working generator is connected to the GRID INPUT then the inverter will show symbol for a working grid which is "UTILITY"

Yes, you might be right that inverter does not like the waveform produced. For example, since you are using 3-phase generator, if you put a decent load on one of the phases, the voltage of other two phases might be increased too high. But if there's no load, the generator should be producing acceptable waveform. Especially if it has AVR or Inverter built-in.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This may be a silly suggestion, but after programming the inverter and powering everything up, have you switched the output of the inverter ON by pressing and holding the Enter/On key for about 5 seconds - ie the light bulb turns on and the load is connected to whatever source is connected and appropriate?

With regards to the generator input on the infinisolar units with dedicated generator input, I believe the operating method is as follows:

The generator serves to supply the load of the inverter, while the available PV charges the batteries. Once the battery voltage reaches the re-connect voltage as programmed in the settings of the inverter, then the dry contact switch is opened and the inverter begins to supply the load from PV and battery until either standard utility is restored or the low voltage disconnect is reached and the generator is switched on again, on instruction by the dry contact switch. 

I'll try to double check this and revise if my understanding is mistaken. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
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