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Old 01-19-2009, 08:33 PM   #1
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The AGS issue is raising its ugly head again:

While in Quartzsite this weekend, I had my Xantrex RS3000 set to trigger the generator when the batteries got below 12.2 volts for more than 15 minutes and below 11.8 volts for more than 15 seconds. (It was also programmed for quiet times.)

Every time the generator was automatically triggered for low battery voltage, the generator would start up, run three minutes and shut off. Just like clockwork.

I could start the generator using the ManualOn feature on the AGS panel or by just pushing the start button and it would continue to run properly until I shut it off using the ManualOff setting or pushing the off button.

I tried using the LoadEnable feature and it had the same three minute shutoff. I left the LoadSense turned off.

I had the same exact same problem with my RS2000 that was "on-loan" from Xantrex until last year.

After searching the forums, I'm drawing a blank. Anyone figure this one out?
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:40 PM   #2
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What are your "shut off" triggers set at? Stop absorb, stop float and StopBattV.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:44 PM   #3
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I have StopAbsorb set to On and StopFloat set to Off (since I top with the solar panels). StopBattV I will have to check. It is set to the factory default, since I never "played" with that setting.

I checked the battery voltage when the AGS was triggered and it was accurate at the 12.2 volts and 11.8 volts.

It is also programmed for AGMs and 660 AH.
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:42 AM   #4
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Takepride,

I am concerned that the Xantrex may be faulty or need a firmware upgrade due to the fact that it only runs three minutes, but here is some thoughts. Since I have a residential fridge, my batteries are always under load and voltage alone can't be used to judge condition. I have my triggers set to: 15 min below 11.7V and 15 seconds to 11.0V. I keep the 15 seconds set low so that the gen is not started by just running the microwave or coffee pot for a few minutes in the AM. I have the off triggers set: StopAbsorb to off, StopFloat to off and StopBattV set to 14.5. Even at those start settings, with the StopAbsorb set to on, the gen was not running long at all. With the settings I am using the charger will run a lot longer, while still putting out high amps to the batteries. If the StopFloat is set on, the charger has to run a very long time while the amps being put into the batteries gets very low. (wasted gen time.) I am still refining these settings.
I am still configuring my battery monitor for an accurate "fuel gage" reading, I had to change the low amps reset number due to the solar additional input. So far, it looks like the batteries will run at a slightly reduced voltage with the constant load on them while being far from very discharged.
The Xantrex RS2000 and 3000 will always go back to the charge condition that they were shut off in on restart, unless certain parameters are met. If yours was in absorption when it shut down, the voltage in the system needs to drop below 12.5 volts for 15 minutes before it will restart in bulk. This alone could cause your problem. If it shuts down in absorb mode and voltage doesn't drop low enough for long enough, it will restart in absorb, which is where it is set to shut down at. Xantrex is suppose to have upgraded the firmware to change this sometime last year, but I haven't talked to them lately to see if it was done or not.
If you have the residential fridge, try setting your on triggers lower and see if it will run longer. If not try resetting the inverter and getting the firmware updated.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:41 PM   #5
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Dale:

Thanks for the advice. I did notice that a second restart had to wait until the voltage dropped to the trigger parameters, often taking a great while.

I'm thinking now that the problem may be my understanding of the StopAbsorb function. Now I'm thinking that if StopAbsorb is set to On, the generator turns off after Bulk Charging is complete and Absorb Charging starts, hence "StopAbsorb" or stop when Absorb is reached.

I don't want the generator to Float Charge the batteries since it takes forever and the solar takes care of it. However, my intention was for the generator to Absorb Charge. I think by setting StopAbsorb to On, I was defeating my purpose.

I still haven't had a chance to check the StopBattV setting. I have AGMs, so I'm not sure what the setting should be.

BTW, I had the same three-minute issue with the RS2000 (installed 3/08) and the RS3000 (installed 11/08), so I think it isn't a firmware difference, it's just the loose nut setting the parameters. Occasionally I'm my own worst enemy when trying to reason these things out.

I too, have the residential reefer, so the system gets constant exercise.

Another question about your setup: are you using the LoadEnable (not LoadSense)? If so, what wattage triggers it?

I'l let you know my results. Thanks again.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:10 AM   #6
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takepride,

The StopBattV is just telling the AGS when to shut off the gen and is not battery dependent. I use this so that I get a good charge while not shutting off right at absorb, but not waiting for the full absorb. (gen running a long time at low charging amps near the end of cycle.)

I do not use the enable load function. Its purpose is to start the gen at a preset load and shut it off when the load drops to another preset amount. LoadSense if just for the inverter.

Beside the fuel gage function of the battery monitor, it measures the amp draw on the batteries accurately to a tenth of an amp. I plan to use that information to see where all of my excessive load is going and eliminate what I can while dry camping. I also plan to get a better idea of what is an acceptable low voltage on the batteries, under load, to set the start triggers on the AGS, when I get home and use an hydrometer.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:18 PM   #7
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Dale:

Thanks for more input.

I checked my panel again today and found the StopBattV was set to off, but changed it to 14.5 as you suggested. I'm not sure if that level is appropriate for all batteries, mine are AGMs. What do you think?

I played with the EnableLoad and I can pretty well figure out which appliances will trigger it. I thought maybe the level where the micro and the fridge are both running might be a good set point, but if the batteries can handle it without severe drain, maybe I'll just leave it off, too.

I'm going to do more dry-camping this Winter/Spring and will test the new settings. However, I'd like to get a better sense of what levels are safe to draw the AGM batteries down before charging. Too low and damage occurs. Too high and the generator runs too often. I've seen various recommendations on this sight. Thoughts?
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:30 PM   #8
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My error, "The StopBattV is just telling the AGS when to shut off the gen and is not battery dependent." Wet cells start absorb at 14.4, AGMs at 14.3. My 14.5 StopBattV stopped working like it did at first. Xantrex readout indicates it is going up to 14.7 volts while in absorb, battery monitor indicates 14.5 at the batteries. Still working on what to shut off at.

Bought a hydrometer at Quartzsite, showed batteries way too low of a charge and full charge with the Xantrex did not bring to full charge. Now that I am at home I did about 5 one hour equalization charges to get them up to full charge. I will now test to see at what voltage, with normal load, is safe amount to discharge.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:41 AM   #9
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Dale:

To renew this line of thread, I'm replying here.

Have you been able to determine how low is too low for flooded and AGM batteries?

How has experimenting with using the Charger for Bulk and the solar for Absorb and Float charging turned out?

Since your batteries seem to not be fully charged even though Xantrex says so, would it be better (on battery life) to allow the genset to do all of the Absorb charging?

And finally, now that I have completely re-confused myself... is the StopAbsorb feature, when set to "on" turning off the genset at the Bulk/Absorb level or the Absorb/Float level of charge? I am easily talking myself out of each idea.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:01 AM   #10
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My understanding is stop on absorb. Means stop prior to absorb stage.
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Old 04-17-2009, 01:04 AM   #11
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Thanks Wayne:

I think that was my thinking, back when I made the setting. I have mine set to "on" for Absorb and "off" for float. I want the genset to charge through Absorb and turn off when it is ready to enter float. The solar will top it just fine, but I want to make sure the batteries are nearly charged first.
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