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Home Forums Technical Discussion Generator battery charger woes

This topic contains 11 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  elnav 5 years, 3 months ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • #36873

    danblack
    Participant

    This is my first post so hello all. I’ve had a read through these forums and there are some really interesting posts. I don’t think this question has been covered though, but apologies in advance if I have missed a post.

    I have recently moved to a cave in Spain which is off grid. We have been adding to our electrical systems as we can afford. All our electricity has been provided by a Kipor 6700T generator. Up until recently this was connected directly to the cave and if it was running we had electric and if it was off we didn’t. Not ideal, expecially when my 2 year old son decides 4am is the perfect time to wake up depending more milk :/

    I recently purchased a set of 12, 2v deep cycle batteries and a charger / Inverter. When I tried to charge the batteries using our generator though the charger would start to charge for a few seconds then switch off again and then keep repeating this cycle. I borrowed a friends more basic petrol generator and this charged the batteries without a problem. So for a brief time we had lighting at night. Bliss, if a little pricey.

    I really need to find a way to make my generator charge the batteries though and I am running out of ideas. I’m guessing that the problem is something to do with my generator ‘throttling’ how much electricity was generated based on demand and the charger/inverter just expecting it to be there without asking if you see what I mean. Is that a reasonable assumption about what is happening. Has anyone had similar problems or could anyone with more technical knowledge than me offer any advice. Is there anyway I can trick or ‘fix’ my generator into outputting at maximum capacity (or at least a higher capacity) rather than trying to gauge how much electricity is needed and generating just that. Or am I barking up the wrong tree and would that have no effect.

    I read online a suggestion to wire a 100W light bulb to the generator output to provide some resistance. This didn’t seem to have any effect though. I also read something about sine waves possibly being an issue. I believe this generator outputs a pure sine wave signal though and I haven’t had any problems with any of our electrics that might be effected by a less than perfect sine wave.

    Any help greatly appreciated as I have run out of things to try :(

    Cheers,

    Dan

    #41618

    elnav
    Member

    Dan I have not had personal experience with your Kipor brand generator but I have encountered the problem when I was a sales engineeer for Xantrex.

    You never menttioned what brand of inverter you have. What follows is general but possibly applicable.

    You said the charger stopped but no mention was made of what if anything your generator did when this problem matereialized.

    When I worked for Xantrex we announced a new product. Very quickly we recieved complaints that the inverter would not work with some gensets. Our engineering department quickly found that the included power quality circuits was not happy with the wavefor produced with ssome gensets but was fine with others.

    I even visited one major genset manufacturer to test out product with their generator. It worked. I discussed generator output waveforms with their engineering people in order to learn why some worked and some did not. Apparently it has to do with how the generator regulator works.

    Bottom line. Either you do product compatibility testing or else you use an oscilloscope tp examine waveforms in an effort to determine if they may be compatible.

    Either way you are not going to be happy with my suggestions because it will cost you money. I have not heard any detrimental comments about the Kipor generator. Yes it is a chinese manufactured product but some of them are fine to use. My suggesttion is to find a manufacturer whoe product is able to run with the Kipor. I have found Victron brand products to be very good. 10 years of using them in my desigjn projects have not yielded bad results. In fact the US military are very happy with zero failures so far. They are not the cheapest but then again quality never is.

    Personally I no longer use conventional 220V AC gensets driving general purpose battery chargers. I have found DC gensets to be more fuel economical.

    Best of luck

    #41624

    chowan
    Participant

    just wanted to second elnavs recomendation of dc gensets being a more

    economical way to charge batteries.

    cant help much with what you have but i would try running a small load like you suggested a light bulb of the generator as well.

    #41627

    elnav
    Member

    Dan Black

    You said you bought a combination inverter/ccharger. Which model?

    In my experience a 6700 genset is way too big for a charger such as the combination units. Most of these models rarely absorb more than 2400 watts worth so the genset runs undereloaded. 100 watts of lights as a seperate load is nowhere enough For a 6700 model you would need a couple of kilowatts load in addition to the charger /invertere. See if you can scrounge a water heater or some heater strips.

    One of my systems is being built in Turkey and we had a lot of trouble finding a decent generator that was small enough. Finally settled on a Fareymann(german) diesel engine driving a 4000 watt 230V 50Hz power head.

    #41630

    danblack
    Participant

    Hi Guys and thanks for your reply’s. All very helpful and given me a few ideas. Here are the exact makes of my genset and charger/inverter.

    The genset is a KDE6700T. Manufacturer page here :

    http://www.kipor.com/product/xiangxi.aspx?classid=144680341347500032&id=34

    The combi charger / inverter is a Power Star W7. Some info here but I can’t find the manufacturers page :

    http://www.upspowersupplier.com/sdp/1190101/4/pd-5451384/8136020-2265791/Power_star_Pure_Sine_Wave_Inverter_Charger_6000W.html

    I read on a forum that it is almost an exact Chinese copy of a Sterling Combi S :

    http://www.sterling-power.com/products-icc.htm

    It does indeed look almost identical right down to the stickers. The whole Chinese product copies is a seperate debate. I just buy what is available locally. Which tendds to be pretty limited.

    One this I never thought off was DC charging until I saw it mentioned in your post elnav. My generator has 12V DC output. So would it be possible to use this to charge my batteries? Through some kind of charge controller?

    Someone reasonably local is selling a wind turbine and charge controller that I was considering buying. The charge load controller is this one from Coleman Air.

    https://www.colemanair.us/vp_asp/scripts/shopexd.asp?id=579&bc=no

    I guess something a bit meatier (especially as I want to add solar panel when we can afford them) suck as this would be better.

    https://www.colemanair.us/vp_asp/scripts/shopexd.asp?id=583

    But in theory could I run the genset through a load controller such as these ones and charge the betteries that way. So effectively not use the charge feature of the combi charger / inverter and just use it as an inverter?

    I hope that makes sense and thanks again for all you help. I feel like I am getting somewhere now even if it means buying a bit more kit along the way.

    Cheers,

    Dan

    #41631

    elnav
    Member

    Dan have you got a direct email address I can use. I just spent 30 minutes doing a detailed reply to you but the forum dumped it when I clicked on your links. You are heading for an expensive mistake.

    Elnav

    #41633

    danblack
    Participant

    Hi Elnav

    I hate it when that happens with forums. Thanks again for your help. My email address is ‘me at danielblackburn dot co dot uk’ (just trying to defeat any evil spam bots ^^)

    Thanks,

    Dan

    #41634

    elnav
    Member

    Dan email sent and no bounces.

    #42483

    eddie41
    Participant

    Hi,

    what did you end up doing?

    I have a simplair kipor genset and am keen to know more about how you got on. I was hoping to combine the kipor with some solar panels to charge a battery bank.

    i’d be grateful for any info ..

    thanks Ed

    #42490

    elnav
    Member

    Eddie,

    You are going to need something more than just a Kipor and solar panels. Mixing charging sources require sophisticated charge controllers. All of them sense battery voltage to regulate charging. If you have two sources one confuses the other resulting in one shutting down. You need smart regulators and sophisticated configuration of voltage thresholds.

    #42493

    eddie41
    Participant

    Hi elnav,

    Thanks for your reply, yes i know its not as simple as plugging it all in together. I was hoping to use the solar panels as primary source to charge my battery bank through a PWM charger to run simple lights and a freezer. With the Kipor Genset to run my workshop, welding and cutting gear and bulk charge the batteries at the same time, I know the diesel gensets like to be loaded. All of this i am intending to run through manual change over switches or interlocked contactors. Do you think this is possible?? I am a compitant (and qualified) electrican and just want a simple reliable system. I know none of this stuff is cheap so I would be grateful for any advice before i go an burn a load of cash on stuff that aint up to the job.

    Any advice would be appreciated, I would be very interested to hear more about DC charging from a genset, do you think its possible to do from a kipor KDE6700TA, I know its a bit large for domestic use but its the smallest i could find with anysort of sound proofing, plus i got it for a good price nearly new.

    Thanks

    ED

    #42508

    elnav
    Member

    yes you can arrange manual transfer switches. I have seen some that used hand cut plates to block the appropriate breaker toggles to prevent inadvertent contact closure at the wrong time. Any genset can be modified to drive a big alternator. When it is not practical to belt drive something because the radial load is excessive drive a jack shaft with a lovejoy coupling or similar. Then install belt and pulley on jackshaft to suit. I have used such arrangements to provide for 400 amps at 24V from dual alternators or 300 A and a water maker from a 10HP kubota diesel. At home I have a 1 cyl Yanmar clone with dual belt sheave to power two different alternators. One can be 12V and one can be 24V or both can be the same for double the current.

    Biggest problem is adjusting output so they do not stall engine with overload.

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