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Old 05-28-2012, 08:04 AM   #1
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Engine Gen warning lite on when running gen set

Have an '04 Monaco Dynasty with Onan 10kw genset. When running the Onan with the engine running the engine alternator warning lite and alarm stay on untill I turn off the gen set. Same thing when plugged into shore power. Any ideas?
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:13 AM   #2
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When plugged into shore power or running the genset, the Inverter (being powered by AC) is putting a charge into the house battery.

Your rig has a solenoid that shunts both house- and chassis- batteries together when the main engine is running. This is so the alternator can charge (or "maintain") both battery banks. So at this point you have two sources (alternator and Inverter) trying to charge the same batteries. The alternator's regulator doesn't know what to do about this....so the warning light comes on. No harm done, however.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robi.1014 View Post
When plugged into shore power or running the genset, the Inverter (being powered by AC) is putting a charge into the house battery.
I guess that I'm confused. The converter not the inverter charges the house batteries even if it's combined in the same piece of equipment. If the inverter does have anything to do with the alternator, then it can be switched off and see if the warning lights and alarm go out. Maybe I just need another glass of wine and see if it becomes clearer.
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:01 PM   #4
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What does the gauge on the dash say? Is your voltage normal?
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:20 AM   #5
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Wannabe,
Wine does help! Sorry for the confusion.

The rig that you, me and Gumby own has an "Inverter" (capital "I" intentionally used herein) that provides two services: (1) an inverter function, and (2) a battery-charger (converter) function. The "inverter" -function is not what is causing the alternator light to glow, the "battery charging" (converter) -function is.

When the genset is running or when plugged into shore power, the "inverter" -function of the Inverter is not in use because there is no need when an AC power-source is present. The Inverter (capital "I") passes-thru the incoming AC power.

In the computer-networking-world, we have the Internet and the internet. But don't get me started!!!
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:35 AM   #6
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I would start out by checking both your house and chassis batteries. Check specific gravity and/or get them load tested. You should not be seeing that alternator warning light on while the generator is running. If your batteries check out ok, go to the next step and try a full reset on your inverter/charger. Post back what you find out about the batteries.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:22 PM   #7
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I realize there's no harm done but if I want AC and start the gen set it's irritating to listen to the warning buzzer for a couple hours. I'm thinking either there's a control board in the coach or inverter/converter that should shut the converter off if the batts are being charged by the engine alternator. I was wondering if anyone had this problem and what solved it.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:26 PM   #8
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The batteries are fine. I posted earlier that I believe it should be a board in the coach or inverter/converter that should shut the charging function of the converter off when the engine alt is charging the batteries. I'll try the inverter reset and post the results.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:24 AM   #9
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Gumby, sorry that I missed the fact that you have to listen to an audible alarm. So I miss spoke (above) when I wrote "no harm done."

As I write this, recall that I'm using "Inverter" with a capital "I" ... meaning that the Inverter is also performing as a battery-charger when AC power is available at its source. (FYI, I prefer not to use the word "converter".) So here goes....

My Xantex Inverter has a button on its remote panel where I can "tell" the Xantex to use less-and-less of the incoming AC power to charge the house batteries. Each push of this button tells the Xanex to charge at only 25 amps, then (pushing the button again) 15 amps, then (pushing again) 10 amps, with the last button-push setting the charge-rate at just 5 amps. This function comes in handy when my rig is attached to a 100-foot 15-amp drop-cord when I'm parked overnight outside a friend's house....and I need to manage the current that I'm sucking from my friend's house. [For others reading this, yes, I do have an EMS.]

So here's my thought:
If your Inverter has a similar "minimize-the-Inverter's-charge-rate" button, use this function to force the Inverter to the minimal charge-rate setting. (Note, of course, that the genset must be running.) Maybe by minimizing the Inverter's charge-rate, the alternator's regulator will not take objection to this second charge-source being present....and thus the dash ALT light and audible alarm doesn't occur.
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:55 AM   #10
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Thanks Robi,
No my remote doesn't have that feature but I'm going to call Xantrex and see what they have to say. Probably will have to take out the inverter and send it in.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:21 AM   #11
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A follow-up:
I found my Xantex user manual on line...and see that the reduced-charging-rate feature I was describing above is called "Power Share". Just FYI.

And an additional thought or two:
---WRT your "Probably will have to take out the inverter and send it in." --- I'm thinking that your Inverter is not doing anything wrong or failing you. Stated differently, there is nothing in your Inverter that needs repair.
---Final thought: Might there be a way to place your Inverter in an OFF state or into a standby state so that it is not attempting to charge the house batteries? By running the genset, you have AC power into the Inverter. There is a circuit breaker (probably in your load AC distribution center) for the Inverter...something like 30 amps I guess. Throwing that breaker to OFF will definitely turn off your Inverter (and its charging function)!!....and you can drive down the road without the ALT light and alarm.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:15 AM   #12
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Yes, I could turn off the breakers, etc. but that's really not a fix. When I first got the coach you could run the genset with the engine running and there were no problems. Monaco told me at one time that there is a circuit board that "might be the problem" but I'd rather not spend $200.00 if that's not the cure. I was hoping someone else had had this problem and could tell me what fixed their unit.
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