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Old 23-06-2007, 15:02   #1
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Prosine expert needed !

I'm having difficulty with my Prosine 2.0 unit. Starting from scratch the charger works great. When my dc refer (Seafrost) kicks on she eats a lot of amps 40-60 depending on the voltage, over 50% of the time I get a low voltage error on the charger and she shuts down, when she trys to restart about 10% of the time she restarts, else it stays low bus voltage error.

Now it seems to me the wiring diagram in their docs isn't the best.

I have the AC coming into the boat and immediately hits a 30amp breaker. From there it runs to my panel and a double pole switch on each of two sides. On the one side I have the breaker for the charger. I ran the inverter to the generator switch which turns on either power from the inverter or the shoreside. Something isn't working right here cause I tried to run the in the inverter side today and the inverter shut down. Had to restart the whole thing, which isn't that difficult but I shouldn't need to. Tomorrow I'm going to hook up a small fan straight to the inverter to make sure that it is working and I'm not spitting into the wind.

If anyone has come close to a situation similar to mine and have any suggestions on what direction to look I would appreciate it.

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Old 23-06-2007, 16:02   #2
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Ummm, just to clarify. So you have an Inverter/charger, as in all in one unit??? Or is it a charger and inverter seperate??
If seperate, ensure you do not have the inverter powering the charger which is then trying to charge the batteries that the inverter is sucking from. It flattens them very quickly and will cause a situation like you describe.
Secondly, what current is the DC refer drawing when you are not using the Inverter. Because 40A is a heck of a lot and 60A is even worse.
Clarification needed here as well...... is the refer a compressor or an element. A 12V element would expect to be about 15-20A. A 12VDC compressor should be more around 4-6A.
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Old 23-06-2007, 17:14   #3
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Alan,
I had a 12 volt DC cold plate refrigeration system on my previous boat which drew 17 amps. It took 3 1/2 hours to completely freeze the cold plate which kept ice cream hard in the tropics. It held for about 26 hours.

My current fridge is as you described, 4-6 amps.

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Old 23-06-2007, 17:34   #4
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Low voltage shut-down

Your problem is common and not confined to that particular brand or model. Your problem is that your battery voltage is not being transferred to the input terminals of the inverter/charger.

The problem is due to one or all of the following:
Low internal battery voltage; excessively high internal cell resistance; poor battery terminal connections; excessively high wiring resistance; any other intermediate terminal connections having too much contact resistance.

The reason that you have this problem is that most charger functions of inverter/charger combo units cannot respond in zero time to regulate the dc output voltage and, therefore, your battery and associated wiring must "hold up" the voltage until the charger regulator can catch up with the load. Your battery and/or wiring are at fault.

Troubleshooting: turn off the ac input to the inverter/charger and operate in the inverter mode with a modest ac load that will not cause a low voltage error. Measure the dc voltage DIRECTLY at the inverter dc input connections (even if you must use needles to probe through cable insulation to get to the cables with your DVM). Note the reading. Next measure the voltage directly at the battery terminals (not the terminals of the cables connected to the battery posts). Note the difference in the two readings. The difference should be less than 1 Volt with a 200A inverter load (over a 2000W ac load) decreasing linearly with a decrease in ac load.

If that voltage is sufficiently small then your battery voltage itself is the problem and this is a subset of troubleshooting that includes the method of wiring multiple batteries forming a bank so that each battery "sees" the same exact cable resistance (round trip) to the inverter input. Another problem is having a "full" battery that has too high an internal resistance. That leads to another subset of troubleshooting that may include the necessity of equalizing the battery. If your batteries do not regularly receive an absorption charge voltage of 14.4V or higher @ 20-25 deg C ambient then they will gradually develop a high internal resistance.
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Old 23-06-2007, 17:57   #5
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Alan, It's a combo unit. The refer unit is a Seafrost direct drive DC-5000 which draws a lot of current when it runs but it can pull out a lot of BTU's. It is a holding plate system, two plates in the freezer and one in the refer.

Quote:
Low internal battery voltage; excessively high internal cell resistance; poor battery terminal connections; excessively high wiring resistance; any other intermediate terminal connections having too much contact resistance.
The battery voltage at the Prosine reads consitently 12.5-12.6 volts. The batteries are Lifeline AGM's. There are 2 of the I think 8 D's giving me approx 500 amp hours total. The battery connections are 2/0 between them and the wire running to the Prosine from the batteries is what Prosine recommended for the distance which is 3/0.

I'll try what Rick suggests tomorrow and post any results here.
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Old 23-06-2007, 18:31   #6
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voltage measured at Prosine

It does not matter what the voltage "measures consistently" to be. It ONLY matters what YOU can measure with a fast-acting DVM just before the unit drops out from a low voltage error reading. That is why I suggest that you take slower measurements (easier to do than using a "min" capture voltage automatic reading that some DVMs are capable of doing real-time when your unit drops out).

The Prosine voltage display is slow and will not respond to the fast dip that occurs when your reefer (or other heavy load) is trying to start with a large surge current. In the absence of any other observed indicators that might indicate any other problem you must conclude that the problem is transient and due to the battery voltage/cabling/resistance phenomenon outlined previously.
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Old 24-06-2007, 02:20   #7
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Rick would be our acknowledged expert on these devices.
FWIW Prosine 2.0 Users Manual:
http://www.jackrabbitmarine.com/file...e20_Manual.pdf
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Old 24-06-2007, 09:01   #8
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Prosine info from this am

First: I've been looking at the manual Gord and have two copies with notes in both.

Here is the update:

After changing the acceptable low current cutout to 85 volts, the dc voltage change to 1.0 volt and the unit to restart after error this is what has happened:

In the am when I went to the boat after 12 hours of charging the battery voltage was 13.2 volt charge 2 a and 90 degrees F at the batteries.

I turned on the refrigeration and the Prosine switched off / on three times then stayed online. Initial amps were 96
approx 1 min in 59 amps 14.0 volts;
3 min 52 amps 14.0 volts;
7 min 46 amps 14.1 volts;
15 min 42 amps 14.1 volts;

AC input voltage at this stage was 105 volts

One minute prior to the refer kicking off the Prosine read 36 amps at 14.1 volts
One minute after shut down of the refer it read 2 amps at 14.1 volts

A few minutes later it was back at where it started 13.2 volts at 2 amps and 90 degress F

Fair winds
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Old 25-06-2007, 14:31   #9
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Dave,

I have a Prosine 2.0.

I will let Rick diagnose it, but I will throw something in here really quick: When did you install your unit? Recently?

The reason I am asking is that my Prosine 2.0 requires a minimum (read, minimum) 4/0 cabeling from the batts, with a reccomended 250-350 mcm.

You sure about that 2/0 and 3/0?

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Old 25-06-2007, 15:52   #10
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No, I'm not sure, but do know I bought some really big stuff and I'm thinking in retrospect it is 4/0 fromt the batteries to the Prosine.

Where I'm getting the issue is when the large DC motor on the Seafrost starts up. At the Prosine panel the AC in light disappears and then the Prosine goes into the restart mode. Today when I came home is was in it's constant restart mode and didn't restart saying Low Bus Voltage. In the manual Prosine said when the unit gets "historiosius" something like that, to turn it off at the unit for five seconds and then back on. When I do that it starts up fine. Charges well and then sometimes drops off when the large DC motor kicks in and sometimes not. I do know that I didn't scrimp on the wire and that I was just a foot over their recomended length and so went up to their next size.

But, be that as it may, I'm not really clear on what each panel amt signifies. I believe I understand the low AC input then there is a panel that seems to indicate battery voltage change.

In addition, it looked to me like I could run the inverter and run the charger, the power out of the inverter would then be used to boost the power to the loads but the power into it would come from in my case the municipal grid and wiring to the boat. I tried that and it seemed to lock up on me. When I pull it all the way off the grid, switch to invert, all works well.

I haven't done the measurements yet as Rick suggests, some due to time and mostly to not yet believing that any of my wiring is subnormal.

I do think I may have an issue with the feed powercord to the boat and am going to try to upsize that. I don't have a 30 amp receptical on the dock, only a 15 and am running a small fifteen amp cord to the boat and then switching to a 15 to 30 amp cord to connect to the boat. Now this I can believe is where one potential problem is and I'll report back how this effects anything once I make that switch.

Fair Winds
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Old 25-06-2007, 16:19   #11
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Have you tried calling Xantrex? I have found them fairly helpful.

First my apologies because I am not on my boat and (gulp, hate to say this) on pain medication for my back so I am a bit loopy. I probably should not even be trying to help you as I may have you burn the boat down!!!!

Ok, here goes:

The top line on the prosine, IIRC, is battery. It is current voltage, then amount of amps out, then battery temperature.

THe second line is AC/inverter., followed by the AC out.

The prosine is a smart unit - but must be programmed. Did you program it correctly with your battery type and bank size? Did you program the breaker size?

The AC coming into your boat must go directly to the inverter/charger. Did you do this? Nothing before it!! No shortcuts unless to breakers/fuses switches... but no other loads. IT IS A DIRECT RUN from shore. Nothing else leads in. Nothing else leads away. Think of it as the distribution panel for your boat that knows what is going in and what is going out. Since you have programmed your breaker, assuming it is 30amps, it knows not to exceed that - but will also maximize that. It wil automatically keep the inverter off when you are plugged in. When not plugged in, it will turn on the inverter when neccessary (assuming you have it switched on).

Are you sure you do not have your inverter back feeding your charger? THis happens if you have the 110 going out of the panel, back into the ac-in leg, that leads back to the inverter/charger.

When the prosine needs to invert and pull of the batteries, it will only do it when there is no AC power feed. And IIRC, the 2.0 is a constant run 2.0 but will actually exceed the 2kw for short periods of time. THus, I cannot see why you are having a V problem. My guess is a poor connection or insufficient wire size. As I said, 4/0 is the absolute minimum because of the potential for the large upfront draw. They really want you to put in 250-350 mcm. Let's see, 4/0 is about the size of my thumb - maybe bigger. It typically has to be ordered. Few West Marines actually carry it in stock.

I know I keep harping on that - but just be sure you have the proper wire size. Make sure you have very good battery connections.

Those are my very dissorganized, Vicodin thoughts. Many apologies if it is a little hard to follow. Just make sure:

1) You have 4/0 (or bigger wire).

2) Good connections.

3) Direct leads to the charger/inverter from the dock with NO loads before it and NOTHING leading back into it.

4) No lead from the inverter (like a 110 run/leg) back into the charger.

I do not know if I have helped. Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.

- CD
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Old 25-06-2007, 17:57   #12
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Dave,
"I don't have a 30 amp receptical on the dock, only a 15 and am running a small fifteen amp cord to the boat and then switching to a 15 to 30 amp cord to connect to the boat."

I'll bet that's your problem. A big AC motor/compressor can take a huge current bite when it starts. 85 volt cutout is probably being hit.

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Old 25-06-2007, 19:43   #13
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I checked and the cable from the batteries to the Prosine are 4/0. The motor is DC and I to think the cutout is getting hit. I'll try switching out the powercord and see what's up.

Quote:
Did you program it correctly with your battery type and bank size? Did you program the breaker size?
Yes to the best of my knowledge. I put the breaker size in and the battery bank size.

Quote:
The AC coming into your boat must go directly to the inverter/charger. Did you do this? Nothing before it!! No shortcuts unless to breakers/fuses switches... but no other loads. IT IS A DIRECT RUN from shore. Nothing else leads in. Nothing else leads away.
From the deck 30amp connection I run to a breaker box that is approx 18" from the deck input. Only one line runs out of there and that is to the distribution panel. On the distribution panell there is a breaker for the charger and from there I run to the Prosine. On the AC panel there are other breakers for other points in the boat. As well as two transfer switches one for each AC bank. On the one bank is the Prosine breaker. On the other our my AC outlets in the boat. On the AC outlets side that is where I have the Inverter feed into so when I throw the transfer switch over then the inverter takes over and covers those outlets.

Quote:
Are you sure you do not have your inverter back feeding your charger? THis happens if you have the 110 going out of the panel, back into the ac-in leg, that leads back to the inverter/charger.
I don't see how that is possible unless I have both transfer switches thrown, which I don't. From my reading of the docs they seem to indicate that the prosine will know that and react accordingly. But I need to look that up if you want me to. I remember reading that the prosine will actully boost and clean up any AC and will boost it accordingly. But that seems another story. First I need to get any of these issues solved.

Quote:
As I said, 4/0 is the absolute minimum because of the potential for the large upfront draw. They really want you to put in 250-350 mcm.
As I said earlier in this post, I checked tonight and the wiring going to and from the prosine is 4/0. Runs from the positive to the 300 amp breaker Prosine recommends to the Prosine and back to the negative battery post.

Tonight I was down at the boat. I had the charger on and went and turned on the DC Seafrost. It killed the charger and because I have it set to restart it successfully did on the 4th try.
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Old 25-06-2007, 20:05   #14
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Dave,

To me, (a retired electronics tech) the operative info is when operating on inverter only that everything's ok. If I read that right, your problem is on the input AC side. If you are indeed running the boat on shorepower AC through a tiny extension cord, the startup current of the refrigeration compressor would most likely take a big bite out of the incoming voltage.
Let me know if you can measure the sag on the incoming voltage.
And get rid of that weenie extension cord!!!

Steve B.
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Old 25-06-2007, 20:08   #15
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Dave, the reefer motor is something like 12VDC 40A rated, yes?

So in theory...it can be run directly from the battery bank, or from the battery + alternator, with the Prosine physically disconnected?

I would think about doing a fast "divide and conquer" move in it, try to run the reefer without the Prosine being connected, and use a DC ammeter to measure the current it it drawing. There's the outside chance that the reefer has something wrong and is drawing way too much current--and the Prosine is right to shut down.

If you're not familiar with ohm meters and current shunts...I'd just go to an auto parts store and buy a $25 cheap ammeter, of the type that reads 0-60 or 0-80 amps and installs directly in the battery wire. A DMM with high DC current scales won't be cheap. Otherwise, you can take a bit more effort and use a current shunt for the measurement but that's going to be more time and effort.

The comments about making sure the Prosine is being well fed and well-cabled may be all that needs to be attended to...or a total wild goose chase if the reefer compressor motor is really the culprit.
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