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Old 07-01-2017, 09:14 AM   #1
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2018 Entegra Aspire - Power Management panel

As brand new Aspire owners I must admit to a bit of confusion regarding the power control devices. In particular, three of them and how they work together.

Over the entrance door (among other things) are:
1) Energy Command 30
2) Power Control System by Precision Products Inc.
3) Magnum Energy

The problem is what does what? Both the Magnum (which I know ties into the inverter and battery charging system) and the Energy Command talk about the Auto Generator start. Both the Magnum and power control system seem to have input amperage settings.

I've tried to read the manuals, which are adequate for each device, but they don't really discuss how they work together.

Could someone walk me through the basics of what's what and for what?

Also, perhaps the most important item is the battery level. Keeping them above 50% is extremely important. That seems to be mostly reflected in the Magnum panel where they give the system voltage. Depending on which table I read I gather that's either 12.1V or 11.9V.

In another post I discuss solar. That's not directly related... but possibly. I'm considering adding additional battery amperage monitoring and/or a battery percentage monitor. I'm very interested in energy management and the only way to do that, effectively, is with the right tools. Has anybody added anything similar that can give advice? Are the built in capabilities sufficient or is there room for improvement?

Thank you,
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Old 07-01-2017, 10:32 AM   #2
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The Energy Command 30 is your automatic generator start (AGS) module. It can be set to manually start and stop your generator or automatically start your generator if the battery voltage goes too low or if you thermostat calls for air conditioning and shore power is not present. In addition, it can display generator hours as well as any error codes. This panel comes from Onan and strictly deals with your generator set, although you can toggle through the display to view battery voltage of both the chassis and house batteries.

The Magnum panel controls your inverter/charger. You can display house battery voltage as well on this panel. It is mainly used to set your charge rate and other inverter parameters but once set is pretty much a hands-off panel.

The Precision Circuits System is an Energy Management System. This monitors your incoming shore power. The particular system that is on your coach will look to see if the generator is running or if you are plugged into a 50 amp shore power. If either is found, the system does nothing. However, if you are plugged into a 30 amp shore power it will know that. It will then monitor how many amps you are drawing. If it exceeds 30 amps it will shed off one or more circuits that are shown on the right of the panel to keep the total draw below 30 amps so that you won't trip the pedestal breaker. One common scenario ids when you are running two A/C units and someone kicks on the microwave for bit. The current goes over 30 amps so the EMS shuts off one air conditioner so that you can run the microwave without blowing the breaker. Once you are done with the microwave it will restore power to the second air conditioner. If you are plugged into a 20 amp shore power you will need to press the "select" button to switch it to 20 amps versus the default 30 amp setting. This too is pretty much hands-off.
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Old 07-01-2017, 01:42 PM   #3
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Thank you very much.

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Old 07-01-2017, 02:20 PM   #4
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AGS

When I tested the AGS on my 2018 Aspire to ensure it started based on temperature it turned on immediately after shore power was disconnected. It appears there is an undocumented additional setting on the EC30 for immediate activation when shore power is lost. So now it looks like it can be set for whenever shore power is lost or when battery voltage reaches a certain point or when temperature hits a designated level.

It is indeed confusing that the Magnum appears to have an AGS control but it does not on the Aspire.

It would also be nice if Amps in use could be seen when on shore or generator power instead of just when on 30A.

Good luck with your power management and solar project.
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:03 PM   #5
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The Precision Circuits System is an Energy Management System. This monitors your incoming shore power. The particular system that is on your coach will look to see if the generator is running or if you are plugged into a 50 amp shore power. If either is found, the system does nothing. However, if you are plugged into a 30 amp shore power it will know that. It will then monitor how many amps you are drawing. If it exceeds 30 amps it will shed off one or more circuits that are shown on the right of the panel to keep the total draw below 30 amps so that you won't trip the pedestal breaker.
Thank you for that clear explanation. Is that what beeps when 50 amps from the pedestal or genny is applied? Is that where the low-voltage output from our transfer switch runs to send the signal?
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butte64 View Post
When I tested the AGS on my 2018 Aspire to ensure it started based on temperature it turned on immediately after shore power was disconnected. It appears there is an undocumented additional setting on the EC30 for immediate activation when shore power is lost. So now it looks like it can be set for whenever shore power is lost or when battery voltage reaches a certain point or when temperature hits a designated level.

It is indeed confusing that the Magnum appears to have an AGS control but it does not on the Aspire.

It would also be nice if Amps in use could be seen when on shore or generator power instead of just when on 30A.

Good luck with your power management and solar project.
Magnum also makes an automatic generator start module but Entegra does not use it. That's good because the Onan EC-30 that they use is the best available. The Magnum display panel can be used to monitor their AGS module if it was so equipped. In the case of an Entegra it just won't do anything. The Magnum panel can also be used to monitor a Magnum Battery Monitor Kit (part nbr BMK). This is an optional accessory that monitors power in and out of the batteries via a shunt (included in the kit) and will display the actual state of charge of the battery bank in percentages.

The EMS can't display amperage when on 50 amp shore power or when on the generator. The reason is because this system monitors current flow via current loop transformer on the neutral wire. The only time that this is accurate is when the coach is connected to a 30 or 20 amp 3 wire feed. When on 50 amp (or the generator) the coach is running on a split-phase 4 wire system. Power flows in on both the L1 and L2 wires but the neutral only carries the imbalance between the two phases so it would always read short. PCS does make a full featured EMS system that utilizes dual current loop transformers over the L1 and L2 lines. I installed this system in my last coach but it requires a different breaker panel that is wider and there just isn't any room for it in the location that Entegra uses for their dual breaker panels. This system actually will shed loads on 50 amp or generator as well. In addition it can be used to control a Magnum MSH3012 hybrid inverter to provide load assist before resorting to load shedding. This allows the inverter to augment existing shore power for short durations so that load shedding only needs to be used in more extreme circumstances.
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:28 PM   #7
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Thank you for that clear explanation. Is that what beeps when 50 amps from the pedestal or genny is applied? Is that where the low-voltage output from our transfer switch runs to send the signal?
I haven't heard any beep from the overhead controls area. The only beep I occasionally hear is from behind the dash, which I believe is from my Kenwood DNX571TR entertainment system with Garmin GPS.

The low voltage (12-24 VAC) feed from the transfer switch goes to a pair of pins on the backside of the Onan EC-30 AGS module. It is used to provide a shore power sense signal to the AGS so that it won't start every time the thermostat calls for cooling, but will only do that if shore power is not present. That way you can set the EC-30 on auto mode while plugged into a campsite pedestal. The shore power will run your A/C units and if the campground power fails for any reason the EC-30 will sense that and start the generator once the thermostat requests cooling. The EC-30 only monitors two thermostat zones so the center A/C unit isn't monitored, only the front and rear A/C units are monitored. Some manufacturers don't bother to connect the rear A/C unit to the EC-30 so only the front zone is monitored. But that generally isn't a big deal because the front is always the zone that is getting hot and calling for cooling due to the windshield and all of the other glass up front. Obviously, once the generator is running, all three A/C units will be able to operate if the thermostat wants them on.
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:39 AM   #8
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I haven't heard any beep from the overhead controls area. The only beep I occasionally hear is from behind the dash, which I believe is from my Kenwood DNX571TR entertainment system with Garmin GPS.
My surge protector at the pedestal has a built-in delay feature. If I plug in and turn on 50 amps there is a 136 second (why that number?) delay for power to pass to the coach. If I am inside the coach I will hear a beep when power starts to flow and the Magnum panels change from Inverting to Absorb Charging and the Power Control System Monitor briefly lights up indicating 50 amps. If on 30 amps it stays lit and displays the draw. I'm not sure if the beep I'm hearing comes from the front panel or from the lower bays.
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:00 PM   #9
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Bob, the 136 second delay is to avoid an attempt to restart an A/C immediately after it was shut down. This will help reduce the locked rotor effort on the motor, potentially avoiding a tripped breaker or other less than desirable start.

Evidently, when Progressive designed their EMS systems, there were A/C units in production that didn't incorporate a time-delay. PI wisely made it possible for an owner to tailor the function of their EMS to suit the A/C installed.

The A/C units Entegra uses incorporate a built in time delay, so sweltering for 2:16 isn't necessary.

There is a small jumper used to manipulate this delay. Every PI unit includes the jumper, and instructions on use.

I hope this helps,

-Matt
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