Author Topic: Going off-grid in Idaho  (Read 984 times)

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Offline Pete

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Re: Going off-grid in Idaho
« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2020, 04:17:23 am »
Painful Process Doc.
Sure is a lot of work to get a supposedly working inverter to work.
Pity they are not designed well in the first place.
good to know that you have a good dose of perserverence.
Maybe a bicycle frame and a generator would be easier, just peddle whenever you want power. Not so much to go wrong.
It is good to read of your experiments
Pete

Offline dochubert

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Re: Going off-grid in Idaho
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2020, 11:01:20 pm »
Well I did some troubleshooting with Sean (by text) and he thinks the charger/output board portion of the control board is the culprit.  Doesn't seem that likely, but willing to let him lead since I feel it has to be something to do with his control board, and this way at least he's taking some responsibility.  No reason to suspect my transformers.  (When was the last time you ever heard of a transformer spontaneously "going bad"?)
He is sending my other "tested" control board/mainboard set that I already paid for, plus a replacement charger /output board for this one.  Supposed to be here Monday.
Will try to be patient till Monday.
Ommmmmmmmmmmm.........
Zero Deaths + Zero Hospitalizations = No pandemic
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So why ARE you wearing that silly mask?

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Offline dochubert

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Re: Going off-grid in Idaho
« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2020, 05:27:36 pm »
Well, my parts got sent to Georgia.
I live in Idaho.  (I checked!)
Customer in Georgia is supposed to be forwarding package to me.  No idea when it will get here (if ever!)
Chances of "damaged in shipping"  just doubled!

At least my luck is consistent...
Zero Deaths + Zero Hospitalizations = No pandemic
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So why ARE you wearing that silly mask?

---  dochubert ---

Offline dochubert

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Re: Going off-grid in Idaho
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2020, 04:03:06 pm »

Parts arrived!  Nothing appears broken!  It's a miracle!
Zero Deaths + Zero Hospitalizations = No pandemic
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Offline dochubert

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Re: Going off-grid in Idaho
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2020, 08:36:33 pm »
I suspected the charger board wouldn't fix it.  Nothing fixes it.  Tried swapping parts from the new set.  Same results. 
I have to face the unpleasant conclusion that there is something wrong with my transformers.  Don't see how.  But there is nothing else in the mix. 

So, going to take a left turn, pull out my hybrid inverter made from my other 15kw powerjack case and transformers with a new chinese inverter board, and rework it back to full powerjack with the second set from Sean.  Now that I have just tested these transformers.  Here it is with the generic inverter installed.

8561-0
8563-1

I pulled it out, opened it, checked it, powered it up, let it run for awhile, checked voltage and frequency, then turned it off. 
Commenced to remove the inverter board.  Also removed bolts and plates from the 2 transformers in this unit.  This one has two As3 transformers (about 3000w each).  The 3 transformers in the other unit are As2 (2000w).  I need to make some blocks to set the two transformers on like I did with the other transformers.  Add a couple of fans on top of each xfmr.  Pull the endplate and mod the output like I just did with the failed unit.

So with the second mainboard/control board set installed with these tested xfmrs, It either proves the other xfmrs bad or that something "else" is at fault.  It pretty much HAS to be the xfmrs at this point.
Work to do...
Zero Deaths + Zero Hospitalizations = No pandemic
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Offline Pete

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Re: Going off-grid in Idaho
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2020, 09:38:25 pm »
Hi Doc, just wondering if it is possible to try the inverter that you suspect has bad transformers with just one of transformers at a time connected.
There is a chance that one of the transformers may have a short and be pulling the other down with it.
Or they may not be connected right, possibly they have paralleled them with one transformer fighting the others.
Just a thought
Pete

Offline dochubert

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Re: Going off-grid in Idaho
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2020, 09:21:34 pm »
Hi Pete,
You are exactly right.  Next step with that inverter is to test transformers individually. 
Before I do that, however,  I'm hoping to get at least one of these 2 older style inverters working.  Putting the second board set into the other inverter with it's tested transformers seems a quicker way to get one running.  At the same time it verifies that the transformers have to be the problem in the first inverter.
Then I'll go back and test transformers. 
I expect that you are correct that one is pulling the other two down.  Ready to soon get this solved and move on.....
Zero Deaths + Zero Hospitalizations = No pandemic
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So why ARE you wearing that silly mask?

---  dochubert ---

Offline dochubert

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Re: Going off-grid in Idaho
« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2020, 10:32:31 pm »

Just when I thought it couldn't get any stranger, it does!

Got the 'second set' installed in the 2nd powerjack.  Powered it up.  Lights up and runs.  No flashing lights.  No beeping.  Great, right?
Just one problem.  Output voltage is not 240/120 volts.  Instead I get 120/60 volts out.  Huh?
Checked and rechecked everything.  Same result.  Inverter mainboard is putting 16-17 volts into the transformers (just as a 24v inverter would do)

So the first inverter with the first complete control board/mainboard set in it blinks, beeps and won't start up.
The second inverter with the second set starts and run perfectly...  at half voltage.
Wonderful!

I guess now I will have to take the blinking control board and put it in the other inverter and see what happens.  Tomorrow....
Zero Deaths + Zero Hospitalizations = No pandemic
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So why ARE you wearing that silly mask?

---  dochubert ---

Offline Pete

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Re: Going off-grid in Idaho
« Reply #38 on: May 24, 2020, 05:34:23 pm »
Wow Doc, you sure are having fun!
Sounds like someone who connects the transformers isn't quite up to the job.
Maybe they paralleled the secondary windings rather than series .
Good luck
Pete

Offline dochubert

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Re: Going off-grid in Idaho
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2020, 09:59:11 pm »
Sorry so slow updating.  Been a bit frustrated.

Switched the control boards in the two powerjacks.  The symptoms moved with the control boards.  Yes, the first powerjack now runs fine at half  output voltage and the other one just blinks then beeps.  It also proves the hookup was correct as results switched units perfectly.  These things at the very least verify that the control boards are "bad" in some way.  It also proves the transformers are good in both powerjack units.  It also proves I connected things correctly, or else I duplicated my mistakes perfectly when boards were switched.  That part is good anyway.  Sadly, Sean doesn't get it.  His best answer was that the blinking set was simply me "accidentally" running in powersave mode.  He suggested I send the control boards to him and he would video them running perfectly for me to see.
 
I was very tempted to reply with something less than pleasant.

Luckily we were only 'talking' by text.  Time for me to maintain restraint.  I need him to replace the junk with good working parts.  Can't afford to piss him off right now.  That's what I told myself.
Anyway,  I think I've mentioned that I think his heart is in the right place.  Still think so.  Seems to burn the candle at both ends.

Sent him the stuff.  He'll get the stuff tomorrow.  I did text him this morning that the stuff was on its way to him.  Did nicely predict for him what I thought was wrong with each board. 
He seems to think I'm not too bright.  Perhaps he's right.  Sometimes I think I'm pretty stupid, actually.  Other times, I actually hit through to the problem.  This time, by simple process of elimination, I proved some things both positive and negative.  Sean refuses or is unable to see despite me videoing the test-running of both.  Then videoed my 2nd test-running of both after switching control boards.  In this instance I'm on pretty firm ground
Admittedly, my video skills are not top level.  Also my stupid phone insists on turning pictures and video 90 degrees counterclockwise when it sends them to either text or email.  Can't figure out why.  I can fix pictures now but videos still get turned.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see what he reports.  Hopefully he's tired enough (finally!) of hearing from me to get me some decent parts.  At least he should understand by now that I will persist until I get what I paid for, Plus shipping....
Sounds good anyway.
Who knows?
Would like to get these two running before martial law is declared.
Zero Deaths + Zero Hospitalizations = No pandemic
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So why ARE you wearing that silly mask?

---  dochubert ---

Offline Pete

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Re: Going off-grid in Idaho
« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2020, 09:32:39 pm »
Hi Doc, well it sounds like you are having a tough time, hope that Sean can find the problem.
A bit of a double whammy in the US at the moment.
First Corona virus now riots.
Hopefully you will get your inverter going before the whole place shuts down.
Take care
Pete

Offline dochubert

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Re: Going off-grid in Idaho
« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2020, 03:40:19 pm »
A quick update;

Can't seem to get a working version 8 control board, so done with that. 
Sean (Genetry Solar) is coming out with a simplified all purpose control board that is supposed to drop right into any powerjack inverter.  Now being tested and tweaked before production.  Sean has promised me 2 of them as soon as they are available.
So that's on hold until I get them.  Several weeks at least.

In other news, 6 of my (20) 200ah/12v SLA batteries are starting to get weak.  Only 3 years old.
They do fine in the day when there is solar charging, but overnight some of them are unevenly dropping down too much.  With winter on approach, that's not going to cut it.

Got a deal on (10) 24v/220ah BYD Lifepo4 modules.  2 will power my 24v water heater setup and the other 8 will form my 48v bank for running the house.  If they would just get delivered.....
Ups tracking says they are scheduled for delivery on 2 Sep.  Today is the 6th.....
My usual luck
Zero Deaths + Zero Hospitalizations = No pandemic
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So why ARE you wearing that silly mask?

---  dochubert ---

Offline Pete

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Re: Going off-grid in Idaho
« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2020, 01:41:43 am »
Hi Doc, delivery is pretty patchy these days. I ordered a motocycle part from the US and it took nearly 5 months to get to Tasmania where I live.
Other stuff I have ordered has gone from LA to New York to Singapore to Perth in Western Australia, then to Sydney Aus, then to Melbourne Aus then to Tasmania.
Even our postal system is chaotic with covid restictions. Fortunately we are clear of Covid in Tasmania as far as we know, so life is pretty normal here except post and delivery times.
Keep us up to date on the simplified PJ control board.
Oh do you know if Power Jack and U Power are the same company or do U power just make PJ clones?
Sounds like you will have plenty of battery power when they turn up.
We have just gone from 12 volt to 24 so now have a 24 volt 660 amp hour bank. We seem to be using about 4 to 5% of the storage overnight. I am pretty happy with that.
Cheers and hope the batteries turn up soon.
Pete

Offline dochubert

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Re: Going off-grid in Idaho
« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2020, 09:45:55 pm »
Hi Pete,
My best guesstimate is that Powerjack only writes Powerjack on its big box models now, and puts Upower on the smaller cased units.  Sort of a Cadillac - Chevy deal.  I think they are all put together in the same factory using the same internal parts.  Some just named differently.

My batteries are supposed to be delivered tomorrow.  Guess we'll see.
Zero Deaths + Zero Hospitalizations = No pandemic
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So why ARE you wearing that silly mask?

---  dochubert ---