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Old 09-17-2021, 07:34 AM   #1
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Not Charging While Driving when Running Generator

I thought this was pretty much automatic. I have the Magnum setup with a single inverter. I have the controller setup at 50 amp charge source. Are there any other settings that I need to look at?
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:39 AM   #2
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Is your battery switch on? Does the generator charge the batteries when parked? Does the charger charge the battery while on shore power?
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Old 09-17-2021, 09:59 AM   #3
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On my old rig, the 160a alternator will charge both the chassis and house battery when the engine is running, even without the generator running.

The generator will function the same whether the engine is running or not.

How did you determine that the generator was not charging a battery with the engine running?
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Old 09-17-2021, 10:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryStone View Post
Is your battery switch on? Does the generator charge the batteries when parked? Does the charger charge the battery while on shore power?
Oh yes, I am mostly running the genny while in transit so everything is powered up. And yes it does charge perfectly on shore power.
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Old 09-17-2021, 10:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deandec View Post
On my old rig, the 160a alternator will charge both the chassis and house battery when the engine is running, even without the generator running.

The generator will function the same whether the engine is running or not.

How did you determine that the generator was not charging a battery with the engine running?
I am not sure that the alternator is doing much while I am rolling down the road. I have had the BIRD system checked out multiple times. I am going to have it checked again this year.

So when I get home or to the campground after a 5-6 hour trip, the SOC of my batteries is usually in the low 80%'s. No where near a full charge. That is what I am basing my comment on about not charging in route.
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Old 09-17-2021, 10:53 AM   #6
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Two charging sources (alternator and inverter/charger) on at the same time often do not play nice with each other. Generally the source set to the higher voltage will dictate.



You need to test your system:


Generator off, driving down the road, what is chassis and house battery bank voltage? Most accurate if you stop after driving for awhile, and check at the batteries with the engine running.


Next, with either generator on or on shore power connected, what is voltage at both battery banks?
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Old 09-17-2021, 11:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoBnd View Post
I am not sure that the alternator is doing much while I am rolling down the road. I have had the BIRD system checked out multiple times. I am going to have it checked again this year.

So when I get home or to the campground after a 5-6 hour trip, the SOC of my batteries is usually in the low 80%'s. No where near a full charge. That is what I am basing my comment on about not charging in route.
So you now are not certain whether the alternator or generator are not charging your batteries correctly when driving the rig or perhaps that your batteries are weak?

Best to do static tests with a voltmeter at your destination.

Engine stopped generator running for 10 minutes what dc volts do you read at the house battery terminals?

No shore power, no generator power but engine running. What dc volts do you read at the house battery terminals?

Shore power only with charger on (not inverter), what dc volts do you read at the house battery terminals?

If each instance yields @ 13.5 to 14.0 dcv the house battery is being charged properly.

Then, perhaps the battery is weak?
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Old 09-17-2021, 02:16 PM   #8
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Your alternator may be locked out from charging the house batteries if the generator is running.
The alternator will always charge the chassis batteries when the engine is running. The BIRD is between batteries not the alternator.

Knowing that, when on shore or generator power, what is the charging voltage of the house batteries ?
Are you seeing 13.4 volts or more on the house batteries ?
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Old 09-18-2021, 10:42 AM   #9
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Two battery chargers (Alternator/chassis battery and inverter/charger/converter with generator) can both work together charging the house battery bank. If generator is supplying all house circuits, it is likely supplying the charger as well. The charger supplying the highest voltage will supply the most current for charging.

It is certainly possible that some EMS is stopping the charge due to its internal programing, but it is usually not necessary and so is not programmed in. Designers can do just about anything these days.

Trouble shoot by following the voltages. Charging voltages start at the static state of charge (SoC). They slowly rise to the preset charger voltage.

Alternator may possibly supply 14.4 volts. This will raise chassis battery terminal voltage to 14.4 volts. At some point the system that connects the house and chassis batteries should connect and raise house battery terminal voltage to 14.4 as well. Deeply discharged batteries may take a while to reach the 14.4 volts.

Inverter/charger may also supply 14.4 volts or at other times 13.6 volts.

Fully charging lead acid batteries takes 14 to 18 hours. A good fast charger can bring a deeply discharged battery up to 80% SoC in 4 hours. It still takes another 10 hours for a full clean charge. The batteries have limited ability to absorb current. That ability decreases to nearly nothing as the battery approaches full charge. It takes a long time to finish. It cannot be pushed faster.

You can force more current, but the batteries won't absorb it.

Battery University https://batteryuniversity.com/articles

How does the Lead Acid Battery Work?
https://batteryuniversity.com/articl...d-battery-work

How do battery chargers work
https://batteryuniversity.com/articl...-chargers-work

How to Charge and When to Charge?
https://batteryuniversity.com/articl...when-to-charge

"Static" State of Charge (SoC)
After 3 hours rest.
100% 12.7
90% 12.5
80% 12.42
70% 12.32
60% 12.2
50% 12.06
40% 11.9
30% 11.75
20% 11.58
10% 11.31
0% 10.5
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