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Old 09-28-2009, 09:25 AM   #15
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Cinequip,

When I drew the conclusion in this statement in my last post,

"To help isolate the problem, I suggest that when you experience the continual cycling of the battery isolator/solenoid, run the GenSet, instead of using shore power, to see if the problem goes away. If it does, that suggests the problem is related to the Xantrex Inverter/Charger."

my reasoning was wrong for the underlined portion! Both shore power and GenSet power 1st enter the coach through the transfer switch, then exit the transfer switch on a common set of wires to the rest of the coach. One input to the transfer switch comes from shore power at 30Amps in your described case and the other input is from the GenSet at 62.5Amps. So, if the GenSet avoids your described problems, the shore power is suspect.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:19 AM   #16
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Dale,

I have always assumed that the genset sends out both 12vdc and 120vac. If true, then does the genset charge the batteries on the DC output? If that's true, then my problem solved on genset operation doesn't necessarily mean bad shore power - but low float current from the xantrex that doesn't keep up with the DC load in the coach.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:35 PM   #17
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Scott,

The genset has no 12v output to the coach, your 12vdc charging comes from the 120vac supplied by the genset to the Xantrex. I would check the 120 voltage in the system while on shore power and then on the genset.

Have you ever checked the 120vac connections in the transfer switch, as many posts have commented on?
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:04 PM   #18
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Dale G:

I have a (possibly stupid) question. Dale mentions that his genset sends out 62.5 amps. My Xantrex RS3000 charges at (up to) 150 amps. My generator has a circuit breaker on it that reads 35 amps.

I have had numerous occasions where the circuit breaker on the genset trips. This has happened in cold weather and hot (furnace and AC). I can always get it to trip if I run both ACs and the microwave. I also have the residential reefer contributing to the load. I try to manage the loads, but they seem to trip while still fairly low. Do you think my breaker is just weak and needs replaced? How do the various amps reconcile? Certainly with a genset that big and charging amps that high, 35 amps seems low. Ideas?

Thanks
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:18 AM   #19
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Takepride - I think your genset breaker is weak. I would try a new one if it was me. You should be able to run both ac's and the microwave and not trip the breaker. APEX's are electrically dependent, meaning more electronics & electrical in them and I have never tripped the breaker on mine.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:26 AM   #20
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Takepride--when it comes to comparing amps, yr genset is putting out 60+ AC amps while your 150 amp Xantrex output to the bats is measure in DC amps [12 volts DC vs 120 volts AC, or a factor of ten]. Therefore, 50 amp [120/240v] shore power plug gives you approx 100 amps of available AC power on two legs [only 30 AC amps shared on two legs if shore power is 30 amp plug].
Example--with two heat pumps on[15-20 amps each], the hot water heater[10 amps], yr RS3000 at full charge [20+ amps]; you are already at about 60 AC amps. Add in a hair dryer, coffee pot or the mircowave and you can exceed the genset breakers. My math may be a bit off but with 35 AC amps on two legs from the genset, you will have 70 amps, of a fewer amps, to play with. Unless you have an estimate of your total amp pull, its hard to assess if your genset breakers are "weak."
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:42 AM   #21
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Takepride,

Monty and Old Scout covered your question very well. While I would suspect that the breaker might be weak, there is an other thing that can be a problem. In the case of a 2 pole circuit breaker an unbalanced load can cause tripping. In our 120v systems, the Xantrex (with the charger and all of the 120v circuits that run off of it,) and one AC are on one leg of power in. The other AC and the non-inverter circuits are on the other leg. As you can see from that, the one leg with the Xantrex and one AC has the potential of a very large load. One AC, your larger charger, and all of the AC outlets powered by the inverter. If the load on that leg exceeds 35 amps it will trip the breaker.
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:41 PM   #22
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Old, Old and Dale:

Thanks for the replies.

I had forgotten about the "factor of 10" with the DC charging rate. Did I mention my question was (possibly stupid)?

In my last "trippage", I had the front AC (Leg 1?), the inverter (with reefer) and the micro running simultaneously. The batteries were also (morning) recharging since I was boondocking. All on Leg 1 (?). The breaker tripped about 5-7 seconds after starting the microwave.

I had the rear AC and a non-inverted outlet using a hair-dryer on Leg 2.

From Monty's reply, I assume Leg 1 should have not tripped unless the breaker is weak.

From Dale's reply, the imbalance could cause the trip, since Leg 2 was not using the same load. Of course it never uses the exact same load (unless the load is zero). The hair dryer is 1850 watts (15.4 amps) and the AC is 15-20 (?) amps. Thirty amps total.

Leg 1 amps are probably much higher. Reefer (10-13?), AC (15-20), Charger (12.5) Inverter with miscellaneous electronics (10), microwave (15-20?). 62.5 amps or more.

I think I'll test the breaker by running front AC, reefer, inverter and microwave simultaneously while leaving the rear AC and hairdryer off. As per Monty, if it trips it is a weak breaker or per Dale an imbalanced load.

I also need to see if the charger is the breaking point. I had it set at 30 amp load share. Doesn't that keep the amps down?

Then I will reverse all. If it trips, it is still a weak breaker or an imbalanced load, but I will had narrowed down which leg.

Thoughts? Opinions? Thanks guys!
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:09 PM   #23
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Takepride,

I didn't mean that a imbalance would cause a trip, as the load is almost always imbalanced. I was referring to, if one leg of the 120vac was over 35 amps it will trip the breaker, 35 amps per leg. If you have the Surge Guard, it will show the amps on each leg. If not see if someone that you know, has a amp probe, with it you can check out the load on each leg. If the breaker trips at less than 35amps on both legs, it is bad.

Your charger will probably charge at a high rate, even set at 30amp power share.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:06 PM   #24
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Thanks Dale. I recall you mentioning earlier the charger is not controllable (other than on/off). How many amps should be drawn when using power like Monty describes (reefer, AC, micro)? Seems like more than 35, no? I assume the charger heaps on more amps. Maybe his description includes the batteries being fully-charged.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:19 AM   #25
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One clarification--the "power share" function will de-rate yr charger to accommodate a lower power supply [eg 30-20 amps shore power]. Set at 30 amps, the charger can/will pull AC amps at full capacity [propably 20-25 amps for an RS3000]. If you set the power share at something less than 30 [eg 5-10 amps], the charger will de-rate and pull almost no AC amps--resulting in more power for rest of the coach but it will take for ever to charge yr bats. Except for starting and defrost cycle, yr resid refeer doesnt pull many amps--less than 5 AC amps.
PS--"one" of the design problems with Alpines is that dash A/C condensation drips on top of the genset--can rust the breakers. Some sealing tape or putty on the genset cover seams will help.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:24 PM   #26
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Takepride,

Either you are attributing too much info to me, I am loosing it or you are referring to Dale777. The charger output is controllable by, The Power share, Max charge rate and the Battery size settings.

Old Scout,

I am glad you brought up your PS. Water on the gen circuit breaker is a definite problem. It has been on my list of "to does," it just gets postponed due to living in such a dry area.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:54 PM   #27
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Don't know if it is the same type of technology, but my coach has an Intellitec B.I.R.D. (Bi-directional Isolator Relay Delay). It allows both battery banks to be charged, but monitors voltage and will disconnect the bridge when it senses a heavy enough draw on one bank in order to protect the other bank. I hear it clicking on and off quite a bit when we are dry camping, much less so when we are plugged in to shore power. Mine has worked fine for 6 years like that ...sounds to me like you have a similar device and it is working as designed. Unless you are absolutely sure it is "broke", I suggest you don't mess with it!!!
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:40 AM   #28
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takepride,

Some info for you, I just checked and @ 148 amps dc from Xantrex RS3000, the 120vac load is 21 amps. I also found that when the Xantrex panel is reading 14.3 volts my actual voltage at the batteries is 13.8. I will check connections when home. I am suspicious of the ground, as on this coach, the ground from the Xantrex does not go directly to the batteries, I think it did on my '02.
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