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Old 09-25-2018, 10:16 AM   #1
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solar works, generator doesn't

Thanks in advance for any advice!

I have a Yamaha inverter generator that I have used in the past to charge my batteries and power my interior outlets. Yesterday I had the solar panel out and was charging, but because of cloud cover I chose to run the generator. I started the generator and found that it wasn't providing any power to the batteries. When I unplugged the solar, the generator power started charging the batteries. At some point I turned on the invertor and later noticed that I was no longer getting a charge from the generator.

Fast forward to this morning.
Started the generator - no charge. Shut it off and opened the main compartment under the bed (in my 17B). I found that a wire from the solar controller was very loose (possibly already disconnected - it fell apart when I touched it). I fixed that but still no charge from the generator. Solar panel is out and working.

I've checked the breaker on the generator as well as the electrical breakers and fuses in the Escape panel. Nothing visibly amiss.

Help?
Thanks
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:26 AM   #2
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Is the battery Ok? Do the cells need water?
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:46 AM   #3
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It doesn’t sound like this is a factor, but do you have the factory EMS surge protector? (Are you using a grounding plug?) Also, how are you monitoring charging to determine that amps are going into your batteries? Also, is your solar factory installed and wired direct to the batter(ies)?
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by sclifrickson View Post
It doesn’t sound like this is a factor, but do you have the factory EMS surge protector? (Are you using a grounding plug?) Also, how are you monitoring charging to determine that amps are going into your batteries? Also, is your solar factory installed and wired direct to the batter(ies)?
Not certain about the EMS surge protector....this is a 2011 model that I bought used.

Not using a grounding plug and was able to charge batteries before.

Monitoring charge through the battery monitor (BM-1 model) that shows the charge current battery charge, amperage charge/discharge, % charge, and estimated hours to full charge or discharge. This system shows the charge from any external power supply.

Solar is not factory - it's a 110 panel on a long cable that plugs into the rear of the trailer and is wired to a solar charge controller. Right now I"m running my inverter and still charging the batteries with solar at 3.2 amps

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Old 09-25-2018, 11:18 AM   #5
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How is the solar charge controller wired into the system? Direct to batteries, or otherwise?
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:24 AM   #6
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How is the solar charge controller wired into the system? Direct to batteries, or otherwise?
i believe it's wired direct to the batteries. It has an inline fuse that I checked and found to be in good condition
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:34 AM   #7
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Have the solar and generator systems both worked simultaneously in the past, and is what you’re seeing new behavior, or have you changed things in some way?
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Old 09-25-2018, 12:14 PM   #8
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A few things. Do you have a multimeter?

Check all battery connections for being corroded or loose, be careful, they are live.

Disconnect the solar and generator, give it an hour then what's the voltage across the batteries with the multimeter, or what does the BM-1 display?

connect the solar, again what do you get via the MM or the BM-1?

Cover or disconnect the solar, give it a few min then fire up and connect the gen, what do you see?

leave the genny running and uncover or connect the solar, now what do you see?

Shutdown the genny, you should see the solar only, what's the reading? now restart and connect the genny, what's the display now?
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Old 09-25-2018, 12:22 PM   #9
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Have the solar and generator systems both worked simultaneously in the past, and is what you’re seeing new behavior, or have you changed things in some way?
i don't recall using both at the same time in the past. it's been an either/or kind of thing.

the change is that now there is no charge coming into the system from the generator.

however, i just went out with a computer and plugged it directly into the outlet on the generator and it's producing an inverter charge. Then i plugged the power cord for the trailer into the generator 30 amp and plugged that into the trailer while the solar was connected. once i unplugged the solar, the generator began charging the batteries....

so problem solved, except that I don't know how or why....maybe the solar charger has a transfer switch? i'll have to disassemble the bed once i'm in warmer area and check out the whole system to see if I can figure it out.....
thanks much
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Old 09-25-2018, 01:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
A few things. Do you have a multimeter?

Check all battery connections for being corroded or loose, be careful, they are live.

Disconnect the solar and generator, give it an hour then what's the voltage across the batteries with the multimeter, or what does the BM-1 display?

connect the solar, again what do you get via the MM or the BM-1?

Cover or disconnect the solar, give it a few min then fire up and connect the gen, what do you see?

leave the genny running and uncover or connect the solar, now what do you see?

Shutdown the genny, you should see the solar only, what's the reading? now restart and connect the genny, what's the display now?
no multi meter.
before I saw this reply i had shut off the generator (it worked and I ran it for a couple hours) and disconnected the gen. plugged in the solar and nothing.....and it's a bright sunny day.

so i've shut off the battery power (shut off switch in the trailer.) I'll give it 15 minutes or so and then start reconnecting and see what happens.
I'll keep you posted.
thanks
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