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portable Generator not working on Axpert inverter


SilverNodashi
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I thought I'd start a new thread on this topic, since I can't find the other posts I made on this subject, in another topic. 

 

So, I have an Axper MKS 5Kva inverter and a Ryobi 6900 VA petrol generator. The Axpert doesn't recognize the power from the genset. The "AC icon" flashes and it beeps, but there's no error. 

 

Someone suggested I hookup an Effergy meter and read the Hertz coming from the generator, but my efergy classic 2 doesn't have a Hertz setting. 

The Axpert did show the incoming Herz as 50Hertz though. 

 

While looking for the other topic on this matter, I found this one: http://powerforum.co.za/topic/215-infini-axpert-firmware-solarpower-pro-software/?hl=generator#entry1481 where Chris Hobson quoted another forum:

 

 

Quote from Solarmahn (of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association forum)

 

"Yes. Thats the lastest version. Be good to know what the difference is between the 2. I will load 72.40 and see if I can notice any changes. One difference between 52 25 and 52 30 is the fan speed. What about U2, the scc firmware. What version have you got for that. You would have to expect that 72 40 is better than 52 30. I had a problem with 52 30 when connecting generators. It would worh with 25 but not with 30. I suspect that the test that the inverter applies to the utility/generator feed is more stringent in 30. I tried apl, ups, different voltage and frequency and everything else I could think of but could not get the inverter to switch to the generator. Mains indicator icon just keeps blinking."

 

 

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My 2 cents.

 

One of my friends have had to replace a few UPS'es, the ones that run for short period of time whilst you start a gennie. 

 

One of my clients also bought a 6kva generator and when they start it up, the UPS'es (also the small ones) start beeping like crazy.

 

Apparently, I am told, some generators have very cheap voltage regulators. Maybe an idea to confirm your generator is generating as expected.

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Hi Silver

 

From the AEVA site

 

"There is a new version of the PIP firmware at the MPP Solar web site:

http://www.mppsolar.com/manual/PIP-HS,%20MS%20FW/PIP-MS%204-5K%20%28CHG%20UPDATE%29/

This is version 72.40; last was 52.30." You may want to give it a try. I have 72.40 and no real issues with my Axpert/Mecer.

 

Chris

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I think you need to get an oscilloscope connected to the generator and look at the wave form.

 

I wouldn't really be too eager to blame it on the Inverter because the generator power should be no different from wall power.

 

Have you tried setting your Axpert to Appliance mode rather than UPS mode. It could make the difference.

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I think you need to get an oscilloscope connected to the generator and look at the wave form.

 

I wouldn't really be too eager to blame it on the Inverter because the generator power should be no different from wall power.

 

Have you tried setting your Axpert to Appliance mode rather than UPS mode. It could make the difference.

Did you read the whole thread? It's not a waveform issue, the Axpert reports 50.1Hz. Instead it's a firmware issue. I first need to get a Serial to USB adapter and then sit one day, when my wife (she works from home) can afford to be without power if the firmware upgrade fails. 

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Did you read the whole thread? It's not a waveform issue, the Axpert reports 50.1Hz. Instead it's a firmware issue. I first need to get a Serial to USB adapter and then sit one day, when my wife (she works from home) can afford to be without power if the firmware upgrade fails. 

 

I did, but 50Hz doesn't say anything about the waveform... The Axpert also doesn't have an integrated waveform analyzer. It is estimating the wave form to be 50Hz, probably on the 0 point cross over, which can be 50Hz even with a completely square wave (which is far from what you would want to send to your devices).

 

As I said, there is no way a device can tell the difference between a generator VS utility power. The only time it would detect a difference is if the waveform is mangled or the voltage is bad.

 

I mean, feel free to upgrade the firmware but this is typical of low quality generators. Just saying...

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I agree with Gnome. 

 

By all means, upgrade the firmware ... but ... just because, confirmation, ensuring all is as you expect, because you can, for fun (pick anyone) ... check the generators output also.  ;)

 

At the very minimum, from your feedback, we all may learn that the generator is generating as advertised.

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@SilverNodashi

 

I have a cheap Chinese portable generator, like most of the GRIP/Ryobi/Stramm/<any other cheap brand> generators are.

 

The generator does have an AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator) build in.

 

When I run my house from the generator, my APC UPSes, are very happy with the generator input. The APC UpSes, will maybe once or twice in a 2 - 3 hour period report an under voltage or an over voltage.

 

I also have Tescom UPSes. The Tescom UPSes are however NOT VERY HAPPY to run from the generator feed. They will run but will constantly complain about under or over voltage. :( (Sad part is I bought them because they were rated "generator compatible")

 

I also have access to another, 2 portable generators. One being another, older, Chinese cheapie and then a decent Honda powered, Sincro generator.

 

If I use the above 2 generators, to run the same UPSes, connected in my house at the same locations, I do not encouter the problems as I described above .... strange .... indeed!!!

 

Now you may ask, how does this relate to you and your Axpert, well ... not directly, I suppose, however I think it is pertinent that you test everything.

 

Your problem maybe the firmware, but it would be best to check all components involved in your system.

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I did, but 50Hz doesn't say anything about the waveform... The Axpert also doesn't have an integrated waveform analyzer. It is estimating the wave form to be 50Hz, probably on the 0 point cross over, which can be 50Hz even with a completely square wave (which is far from what you would want to send to your devices).

 

As I said, there is no way a device can tell the difference between a generator VS utility power. The only time it would detect a difference is if the waveform is mangled or the voltage is bad.

 

I mean, feel free to upgrade the firmware but this is typical of low quality generators. Just saying...

Ok, so we learn something new every day ;)

I always thought 50Hz is the waveform? Needless to say, I don't own an oscilloscope and don't plan on buying one just for this exercise . Anyone with an Oscilloscope close to Brakpan, who'd like to see what's up with the generator and Axpert?

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think you need to get an oscilloscope connected to the generator and look at the wave form.

 

I wouldn't really be too eager to blame it on the Inverter because the generator power should be no different from wall power.

 

Have you tried setting your Axpert to Appliance mode rather than UPS mode. It could make the difference.

I haven't used a scope since school,and it was only very briefly. Since I want to get to the bottom of this, I want to one and saw this digital pocket scope for R1400: http://netram.co.za/1055-dso-nano-v3---pocket-sized-digital-oscilloscope.html

 

 

Will this work?

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I think you need to get an oscilloscope connected to the generator and look at the wave form.

 

I wouldn't really be too eager to blame it on the Inverter because the generator power should be no different from wall power.

 

Have you tried setting your Axpert to Appliance mode rather than UPS mode. It could make the difference.

I haven't used a scope since school,and it was only very briefly. Since I want to get to the bottom of this, I

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I haven't used a scope since school,and it was only very briefly. Since I want to get to the bottom of this, I want to one and saw this digital pocket scope for R1400: http://netram.co.za/1055-dso-nano-v3---pocket-sized-digital-oscilloscope.html

 

 

Will this work?

Won't work, the max input voltage is 80V peak to peak, must be (230 x 1.414) peak to peak.

If you manage to get hold of an oscilloscope, be careful as the alligator clip is normally grounded.

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If you put the AC though a transformer you should manage. You are interested in the waveform and the transformer should not distort it too much. Try one of the universities or technicons to see if you can bring your gennie into the lab and test it. I am sure someone must be able to help you.

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If you put the AC though a transformer you should manage. You are interested in the waveform and the transformer should not distort it too much. Try one of the universities or technicons to see if you can bring your gennie into the lab and test it. I am sure someone must be able to help you.

I thought about that too, but wouldn't it be better to have both the generator and the inverter on the oscilloscope? 

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My advice on a scope: For this application, the cheapie DSO USB jobbie might do the job, but in general these cheapies are pretty crap. Look around a bit for an old second hand analog oscilloscope. You can get 20Mhz models for as little as R500. The only thing is that you have to familiarize yourself with them so you can test it before buying it... look at the eevblog youtube channel, he explains how to test a scope.

 

Here's the rant video about why you should not buy the cheapie:

 

One good thing about a portable hand-held scope is generally they are battery powered, so you get isolation for free. With scopes that run from AC power, you have the additional problem that often the scope's ground is connected to the supply ground, so you can blow up the scope (or usually the probe) if you get it wrong. Also, scopes have a limited input voltage (mine is 250V peak, so I cannot measure AC with it, because line AC has 325V peak), so you need to use the x10 probe for this.

Basically, 1) rather get a cheap second-hand scope with two channels, and 2) when testing the gennie, run the scope from grid supply while testing the gennie, and leave the generator completely isolated (not even sharing ground), or 3) put live on one channel and neutral on the other, then tell the scope to invert channel 2 and "Add" the signals (this will cause it to subtract the two signals and you will end up with the right thing, while not running into the danger of a shared ground)...

Edited to add: One thing the eevblog dude doesn't tell you is that many scopes have a 1khz square wave test-point built in. So you don't need a signal generator to test it. You just need to know where the test point is, hook the tip of the probe to it, and check that the horizontal and vertical divisions match the signal frequency and magnitude (usually 1V). If it does... you got yourself a cheap scope.

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Hi all

 

New to this forum - please show me to the newbie introduction section if there is such a place?

 

SilverNodashi - I came across this thread as I have exactly that same problem.. In fact, I have tried about 5 different sized gennies (all AVR, from 2.5kva-6.5kva of various qualities) on about 5 different axperts mks 5kva setups and I can't get any to 'transfer' across to take the ac input. it reads, flickers and 'clicks' as if to transfer but doesn't take the frikken thing... Eventually, yesterday I took a demo 3.5kva Inverter-Generator from the hardware and tried that... The axpert takes it very nicely (as it does eskom or power from another inverter fed into it...).

Was really hoping someone has found the solution? I was also at the point of doing the firmware upgrade, but somehow I don't think it's gonna sort it...

I have actually connected one or two gennies to the 2.4kw axperts and that worked fine... So I also think its the 4kw units that are just too sensitive for the quality of current from seemingly any 'normal' AVR genny...

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Plaasjaap, out of interest, what price ranges where the generators in that your tested / tried?

HI triple T

 

Very wide range:

1 x 2.5kva oldish builders warehouse chinese petrol jobbie (the 2.4kw axpert actually took it even though V and Hz clearly not great)

1 x 1kva yamaha 'normal' generator

1 x 6,5kva Honda (rental in very good nick giving good readings)

1 x 6.5kva Diesel (silent type boxed) - also chinese I suppose, not well known make, yellow in colour. gives good readings

1 x 6kva tractor engine real farm genny on trailer.

 

I have an Outback 3048GTVX as well and it took the Honda very well after i couldn't get my Axpert to take it.

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  • 1 month later...

I thought I'd start a new thread on this topic, since I can't find the other posts I made on this subject, in another topic. 

 

So, I have an Axper MKS 5Kva inverter and a Ryobi 6900 VA petrol generator. The Axpert doesn't recognize the power from the genset. The "AC icon" flashes and it beeps, but there's no error. 

 

Someone suggested I hookup an Effergy meter and read the Hertz coming from the generator, but my efergy classic 2 doesn't have a Hertz setting. 

The Axpert did show the incoming Herz as 50Hertz though. 

 

While looking for the other topic on this matter, I found this one: http://powerforum.co.za/topic/215-infini-axpert-firmware-solarpower-pro-software/?hl=generator#entry1481 where Chris Hobson quoted another forum:

 

Hi

 

Just in case someone else was wondering, I have the exact same generator (Ryobi 6900 VA petrol generator) and Axpert MKS 5KVA and experienced the exact same symptoms.

 

I was on U1 - 52  30 software at the time

 

I upgraded to U1 - 72 40 

 

All is working 100% now :)

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Just to inform the non-technical guys as to what the actual problem is.

 

The AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator) in a generator is a reactive thing. In other words, as the load on the generator changes the AVR adjusts things to try and keep the specified output (50Hz, 230V or so). You may hear the generator changing RPM's as you switch different loads on and off. When you have no load on the generator it becomes more difficult for the AVR to keep things steady. This is almost like a car engine running without a flywheel... it will work, but is much more erratic. So the load on the generator actually helps to stabilise it.

 

So, when you connect the generator as input to the Axpert, there is no real load on the generator (as the axpert has not switched the generator power to the output yet). So the voltage and frequency is a bit instable, and this is what the axpert complains about. Your grid power is very stable, on the other hand, and the axpert is made to work with a stable incoming grid supply.

 

The newest version of the axpert firmware basically just allows the incoming voltage to be a bit more unstable, so to speak, before it starts complaining about it. It allows for a greater variance of voltage and frequency.

 

One possible way of solving this, if you have no means of upgrading your axpert, is by connecting a load onto the generator, in addition to connecting it to your axpert input. This will help stabilise the generator output, and consequently the axpert sees a more stable input. As to what the load should be will really depend on the generator, but I'm guessing a load of about 100W should be enough (but don't quote me on this... never tried it!).

 

Hope this helps.

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