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AlanH

Victron Quattro fed by 21kVA Generator

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Morning all,

I have been running my system now for about two years and now have finally procured a generator before  going off grid.

So it's a Quattro 10000 with a 10kW Revov battery and 20 x 265 Canadian solar panels feeding the Victron Output through a SMA Sunnyboy 5000.

I have installed the Generator and feed that to the Victron via a changeover switch to select either grid or Generator.

When the grid is off I change over and start the generator. It will sync and connect for a very short time before the Victron diconnects it again.

I have tried all the remedies I found on the Victron site but none worked yet. I also noticed that it might be it disconnects just as the Sunnyboy wants to connect.

I then switched off the Solar inverter, and it seems to run but it does not take load.i.e. The generator freewheels while the Victron actually uses battery power instead of the load an batteries charged from the generator. Oh, and as soon as I try to add load like a geyser element the generator is disconnected again.

 

Anyone have any ideas what I can still try? I have not yet tried running the generator direct to my loads bypassing the Victron. That will be my next move just to make sure the generator is OK.

 

Tx in advance.

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Posted (edited)

Have you checked the generator voltage and Hz. Can be that is out of tolerance. Is there a significant RPM change when the load connects? There will be an adjustment on the governor to make sure that the generator is running at 50Hz.

Edited by DeepBass9

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Hi Deepbass9

I did check that they were in range and stable, although I could not check what happens when load kicks in.

It is rather a big Genny with a 6 cylinder diesel that should not feel the load I'm adding.

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10 hours ago, AlanH said:

I then switched off the Solar inverter, and it seems to run but it does not take load.i.e. The generator freewheels while the Victron actually uses battery power instead of the load an batteries charged from the generator. Oh, and as soon as I try to add load like a geyser element the generator is disconnected again.

You didn't say whether you have the ESS assistant loaded. When using ESS, the Victron unit always tries to keep your grid consumption at zero, and will use battery power to do it. It doesn't know that you changed over to generator, so it treats the generator the same way: It avoids using it.

On the GX device (ccgx, venus-gx) you can select what is connected to a particular AC input: Grid, Generator, or Shore power (which is the same as grid, but for people with boats). On the larger Quattro units (with two AC inputs), one will be configured as grid and the other as generator. Now comes the smart part: If the active AC input is a generator, it will automatically switch strategy and start charging.

But, if you don't have a quattro, you will have to manually change the AC input type for AC-input-1 (under Settings -> System Setup) when the generator is running.

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Thanks Plonkster,

Yes I have ESS loaded.

I did change the battery settings to keep them charged 100% and also tried lower settings without success.

I also reconfigured the AC input as Generator which also did not do the trick.

I think I must try again and document what I have done and what I could still try.

BTW, I do have a Quattro.

 

Thanks for the replies so far.

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Posted (edited)

OK, so I went back to basics.

Switched off the solar input, which is connected to the Quattro Output.

I configured the AC2 input to Generator and selected battery to be 95% charged unless grid fails. At the time it was 65%.

The input was switched from mains to generator and it takes a minute or so to synchronise and try to connect. It once connected for about wo minutes but does not charge batteries an only kept load going which was about 2kW.

It then switches back to Battery and takes a minute or so to sync and try again. It however tries to connect but while connecting disconnects again.😕

I measured the frequency of the generator and that was sitting on just over 50 Hz (50.2Hz)

Edited by AlanH

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Posted (edited)

OK, it seems you have two issues.

1. It won't tie with the generator, at least not reliably

2. When it does tie, it is not charging. The input is correctly indicated as a generator input.

I suspect the second issue is related to the first.

In VE.Configure, what have you got here?

Selection_523.png.51cc16e2a70443b0abb76c78fcfdf80e.png

By disabling LOM detection on the generator input, you may be able to get it to tie more reliably. LOM == loss of mains.

You can also try running with the "Other" grid code. This still does anti-islanding, but you get the ability to tweak the frequency and voltage values it will accept (and technically you are no longer NRS097 compliant... though I am not even sure if that option is available on your quattro).

Selection_524.png.041671f20269aa004847849823507420.png

You must then disable the UPS function. See here.

Edit: If anyone wonders why the screenshots look funny... cause it's running under Wine in Linux, that is why 🙂

Edit 2: Read the whole generator FAQ I linked. It mentions that since firmware 460 the reason it won't tie is actually shown in VE.Configure, in addition to the count-down timer (if mandated by the grid code).

Edited by plonkster

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Thanks plonkster,

I have tried the Transfer switch option previously before without success.

having said that I think the LOM setting could be a solution. It seems my Quattro does not have the South Africa option and I am currently on other. 😬

When I try to change the LOM it prompts me for a Password which I do not have. Seems I have to ask my dealer, but I bought the unit via OLX. Will see if I can get hold of him still. It's been a few years already since I purchased the unit.

Appreciate your replies.

 

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Posted (edited)

Oh, and I checked the NS Protection log and it seems the Victron is not happy with the frequency, complaining about ROC too high. I did not make a note but can accept that. I do need to have the generator serviced as it does smoke a little on start up and when warm gives a puff of white smoke every now and then. Will have to wait till after lockdown. Will start with that.

Appreciate your replies.

 

Edited by AlanH

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21 hours ago, AlanH said:

ROC too high

Rate of Change. So the frequency is not stable. That's kinda odd for a generator of that size.

21 hours ago, AlanH said:

smoke a little on start up

 

21 hours ago, AlanH said:

puff of white smoke every now and then

So I won't say I'm a Diesel mechanic, but white smoke means insufficient heat, and since a Diesel derives heat from compression it might mean you are down on compression on a cylinder and you're having the occasional misfire. That would also perfectly explain the ROC complaint. That misfire will cause a vector shift (it basically means there is a stretch in the 50Hz sine wave and it shifts) every time.

So when you service it, pull the injectors and do a compression test.

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This was a series I enjoyed a lot.This video is somewhere in the middle, but clearly shows the Mercedes Diesel misfiring at idle, but smooth out around 2000rpm. They tried everything on this engine, but there was a very surprising outcome at the end. The reason for the misfire on cylinder 3 is low compression, but if you find out why it has low compression, that will blow your mind.

It could also be something simple like valve clearance, or an injector that is worn, though worn injectors tends to produce black smoke rather than white.

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Hi Plonkster,

Yes white  is unburt diesel. Could be a variety of things but I will start with having diesel injectors tested and pump checked.

The diesel is a Nissan RD28 six cylinder and has about 2840 hrs on it which is actually not too much.

Will check out the video now.

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While working for company Nigel Diesel many years ago a John Deere tractor was brought in . The dieselpump and injectors was reconditioned and the enjin was overhauled by another company but still no power . Connected it to the Dyno to check hp . First the basic test was done . Fuel , water , oil ect . Result aircleaner completly block . Have you ever seen a angry farmer

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3 hours ago, Chris Louw said:

aircleaner

Yup. I've seen that with petrol vehicles too, usually also related to poor fuel consumption.

But the funniest one was my dad's 3-series Diesel Land Rover. That thing was a dog to start on a cold morning. He'd run the glow plugs a full minute sometimes, and when the engine didn't start, he'd do it again... sometimes taking up to 5 minutes to get it started.

One day he told me to clean the air filter. It was an oil-bath filter. You throw away the dirty oil, wash it out with Diesel, refill with clean oil, then wash the top mesh part with parrafin, and re-assemble. Result: Glow for 15 seconds and she starts right up every time...

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Watched episodes 5-8 and thought they never revealed what the problem was. Crazy what the actual outcome was. Tx for sharing.

 

OK, I tested the Generator with the LOM disabled. It did stay connected but did not work as expected. I think I first need to get the generator running smooth.

What I found is that the generator was servicing the load and giving some charge to the batteries, but when I set the ESS to keep batteries charged (they were at 68%) it picked up and I could see the generator being loaded and then dropped off again. I think the Victron is limiting the charge even though I have set the charge to be unlimited.

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