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What Generator will work?


Allen Hobson
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Hi Members,

I have had a revamp on my system recently and want to connect a generator to the Inverters to charge Batteries on Cloudy / rainy days when needed.

But my inverters dont pick up the the fong kong 7.5Kw Gennie I have.

My Installer has same Inverters and has a Yamaha Generator that works. 

But want to make sure I have all options as It is an expensive purchase if does not work.

I also have Ardendorf 3ph 12KVA on a by pass switch, but this thing is so noisy. Also not sure if I can hook it up to system. Each phase is only 3kw though

 

Does anyone have a proven generator working when needed?

3 X MPP Solar 5Kw V Series (Infini V Cluster on ICC)

4 X Pylontech 3000c (Soon to be another 4)

12Kw in Panels.

 

 

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It's important to note that the cheapy gennys DO NOT even closely approach their rated output. I tried a succession of Ryobi (based solely on their ease of exchange at Builders) gennys... from the 950W that could only give me about 200W before it choked, to the 1.2kW that choked out at about 500W, and up to the 2.5kW that couldn't provide a kilowatt. I have Mac Africa/Adendorff gennies in the 5.5kW class that will only provide 3kW (at Joburg altitude).

But my old 6kVA Honda will happily lug down when drawing 5kW, so I bought a Honda 3kW that is actually rated for 2.8kW, and provides 2.4kW before it starts to struggle.

On 2kW it is quite happy.

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43 minutes ago, Allen Hobson said:

My Installer has same Inverters and has a Yamaha Generator that works. 

I also use a very old 3.5KVA Yamaha on a clone 4KW Axpert the only thing is I have to set the battery charging current down on the inverter to about 10A so that the generator could run my small house loads and still have bit of power to charge the batteries otherwise the inverter will just draw too much charging current and trip the generator.

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I currently use a Ryobi 6700k with AVR on my Axpert 4048 inverters. I have to set both to appliance and they pickup the generator and charge the batteries. The other inverter I use is a 2000w turner morris inverter generator. I can only charge one inverter at a time using this but I can leave the inverter set to UPS mode. This is underpowered so if the load increases the inverter takes over until the load is decreased and then the generator continues charging. 

Overall I think an inverter generator is the solution but I need one a lot bigger than what I have. The ryobi works in bypass but you expose your appliances to the generator ac waveform which is admittedly nuts. 

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On 2021/03/03 at 8:47 AM, Allen Hobson said:

Hi Members,

I have had a revamp on my system recently and want to connect a generator to the Inverters to charge Batteries on Cloudy / rainy days when needed.

But my inverters dont pick up the the fong kong 7.5Kw Gennie I have.

My Installer has same Inverters and has a Yamaha Generator that works. 

But want to make sure I have all options as It is an expensive purchase if does not work.

I also have Ardendorf 3ph 12KVA on a by pass switch, but this thing is so noisy. Also not sure if I can hook it up to system. Each phase is only 3kw though

 

Does anyone have a proven generator working when needed?

3 X MPP Solar 5Kw V Series (Infini V Cluster on ICC)

4 X Pylontech 3000c (Soon to be another 4)

12Kw in Panels.

 

 

My Plan B (rainy day plan) is a 3kW Honda genny attached to my Deye 8kW. I set the Deye to only draw 2kW from the genny. It charges my batteries and supplements the feeble sunshine perfectly... uses relatively little petrol vis a vis my 6KVA Plan C (when the inverter fails ) fallback.

Edited by PaulinNorthcliff
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1 hour ago, PaulinNorthcliff said:

My Plan B (rainy day plan) is a 3kW Honda genny attached to my Deye 8kW. I set the Deye to only draw 2kW from the genny. It charges my batteries and supplements the feeble sunshine perfectly... uses relatively little petrol vis a vis my 6KVA Plan C (when the inverter fails ) fallback.

I have a similar solution, cheap 7.5kva Grip petrol genny linked to the AUX on my Sunsynk. Would prefer something smaller, but it's what I had.

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Has anyone considered using an LPG generator or considered converting a petrol generator to LPG with a suitable conversion kit?

I know they aren't very economical but they have other benefits, less pollution and no dealing with cans of petrol or diesel.

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On 2021/03/04 at 11:50 AM, Steven Burnett said:

looking at doing the same before winter arrives properly- got 2 pylontechs with a goodwe.

am hoping to run the generator for maybe 90 minutes in the morning to run an office and charge 2 batteries.

will be on a dedicated manual switch on system,

 

any advice from those who've done this before welcome 

looking at putting an adendorff gennie onto a goodwe ES/pylontech offgrid system.

was going to use the gennie as the "grid" and then when required in mornings run it through the inverter to charge the batteries/provide power

but now I'm going through the manual again, and page 5 tells me no no.

https://www.goodwe.com/Public/Uploads/sersups/EM USER MANUAL.pdf

image.png.3f1837f3b8f6facfe903ff812d398729.png

 

i suppose the only other way is to charge batteries directly, but how would you do that (they are 48VDC and the gennie is 220V AC)

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Two things you would need IMO to successfully use a generator are:-

  1.  A decent waveform from the generator which an inverter generator would give you as mentioned earlier in this  post. We put a decent generator, a Honda  with AVR on the oscilloscope and the waveform was horrendous - so bad that the APC UPS would stay on battery. 
  2. Make absolutely sure that you limit the power you will draw from the generator to a fair amount below what the generator specs are. Remember that if you are at altitude you need to de-rate the power output. If your solar inverter overloads the inverter gen then it will trip. Also, not flogging the engine and inverter to death will hopefully ensure a decent life from the generator. 

Unfortunately the inverter generators are available in small to mid sized power ratings only. They are also more expensive per kVA or kW compared to normal gennies as they are more complex. It uses the petrol engine to make DC and the DC is fed to an inverter (hence the name inverter generator) to make nice clean AC which your solar inverter will be happy with. 

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16 hours ago, GreenMan said:

Two things you would need IMO to successfully use a generator are:-

  1.  A decent waveform from the generator which an inverter generator would give you as mentioned earlier in this  post. We put a decent generator, a Honda  with AVR on the oscilloscope and the waveform was horrendous - so bad that the APC UPS would stay on battery. 
  2. Make absolutely sure that you limit the power you will draw from the generator to a fair amount below what the generator specs are. Remember that if you are at altitude you need to de-rate the power output. If your solar inverter overloads the inverter gen then it will trip. Also, not flogging the engine and inverter to death will hopefully ensure a decent life from the generator. 

Unfortunately the inverter generators are available in small to mid sized power ratings only. They are also more expensive per kVA or kW compared to normal gennies as they are more complex. It uses the petrol engine to make DC and the DC is fed to an inverter (hence the name inverter generator) to make nice clean AC which your solar inverter will be happy with. 

thank you. I will keep digging, I'm sure it has been done before without being so risky.

 

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17 hours ago, GreenMan said:

Unfortunately the inverter generators are available in small to mid sized power ratings only. They are also more expensive per kVA or kW compared to normal gennies as they are more complex. It uses the petrol engine to make DC and the DC is fed to an inverter (hence the name inverter generator) to make nice clean AC which your solar inverter will be happy with. 

So what that would mean to me, is that there is a market for DC generators and Hybrid inverters that can swallow the DC directly and use it for charging batteries etc. that would make the generator less expensive, I'd think and should not add that much more cost to the inverter...

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I found this Gentech  inverter generator which is one of the largest at 3 500 kVA (4 000 max). What I like about it is that it has electric start.

https://gentechindustries.co.za/gen_products/gentech-4-kva-digital-pure-sine-wave-inverter-generator/

I have not found it at any of the normal outlets such as Builders Warehouse or Makro but found it on Takealot for R17 999.

Also on Takealot I found the Honda  EU30is which is a 3 kVA inverter generator at the princely price of R41 200.

I did say earlier that the inverter generators are more expensive than conventional gennies 😬

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On 2021/03/03 at 8:47 AM, Allen Hobson said:

But my inverters dont pick up the the fong kong 7.5Kw Gennie I have.

My Installer has same Inverters and has a Yamaha Generator that works. 

Are you running a hybrid setup? In which case what does the inverter do when there's a mismatch between grid and the gennie output?

Also have you mentioned the gennie output? My inverter disconnects from grid if voltage falls too low (the lower bound acccording to our standards is 207, Goodwe confirmed that when setup for SA the inverter disconnects at 195 and reconnects only at 200). 

I would try to find out what the gennie is actually putting out under load.

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On 2021/03/11 at 11:36 AM, PaulinNorthcliff said:

Orrrr...

You can do the (don't try this at home, kids) workaround.

A couple of Meanwell 220VAC-48VDC powersupplies plugged into your genny and paralleled directly onto your batteries.

i think we're going to try this. will manually charge the batteries from gennie - won't connect gennie into the inverter/220V system at all

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5 hours ago, Steven Burnett said:

i think we're going to try this. will manually charge the batteries from gennie - won't connect gennie into the inverter/220V system at all

The Meanwells have little pots so you can fine tune the voltage to always give you the required potential difference to charge the 'real' batteries.

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