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Old 10-06-2012, 06:27   #16
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Is there any black smoke at start up after it's sat for awhile?
Tellie,

No there is no black smoke at all. Also, it does not burn any oil.

John
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:25   #17
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

Sometimes an injector will leak small amounts of fuel into the cylinder after it sits for a long period causing the engine to crank a few extra revolutions before catching. But that's usually followed by a bit of smoke at initial start up. Then it fires right up whenever you use it within a few days or so. But since you're not seeing any smoke I'd go along with the others at this point and check the fuel supply lines for any leaking that allows a small bit of air into the system.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:37   #18
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Makes no sense at all, first the oil galleries won't hold pressure for more then a couple of seconds after the oil pump shuts down ie: engine stops.

Oil in the cylinders will create grater compression at the rings when wet, less then when dry after setting for a week or 2. A sign of low compression or improper break-in, or lightly loaded causing cylinder glazing, which results in low compression.

Second, most generators use a bypass alarm circuit, during the the start crank.

So that leaves either fuel pressure, bc of air in the system, low turnover during cranking or low compression.

Low compression can be caused by improper brake-in when the engine was new, and will only gradually get to the point that it shows up after warm-up.

Trouble shoot as follows:

Make sure the battery has enough cold cranking amps to turn the engine over at cold start-up.

Trouble shoot as follows: pressure test the fuel systems and make sure it holds pressure.

Do a compression check on the engine cylinders when cold, and then after warm. A differential will be suspect.

Lloyd
Lloyd--

I don't believe I said anything about the motor holding oil pressure once shut down. What I said was that I suspect that over time, the oil in the galleries drains down to the sump. The motor has a relatively small rotary pump and it will (logically) take a few seconds for cold oil to be picked up and pumped into and through the galleries and then develop sufficient pressure to open the circuit (pressure switch) to the fuel pump allowing fuel to be delivered to the injection pump. Further, FYI there is no audible low-pressure alarm on the Panda, one energizes the panel and holds down the start button. Either it starts or it does not. (One could, in fact, test this theory by simply pulling the plug off the pressure switch which will allow the fuel pump to start as soon as the panel is energized but I don't think that would be too wise.) As a comparison to the foregoing, most yachts' primary engines do have audible alarms and I have observed that in most cases these continue to sound for a few seconds after the engines have actually started. If such alarms were pressure switches, controlling fuel pumps, the engines would not have started at all, would they?

Unless Simister is experiencing something different that I, it normally takes only 15 or 20 seconds for the engine to kick over after extended non-use although. compared with the 2-3 when the engine is used routinely, that can seem like an eternity. (Other owners of similar units report that same behavior.) Frankly I don't care one way or the the other, but I do think one can make a mountain out of a mole hill if one chooses; and, searching for non-existent gremlins can be a pretty fruitless endeavor. Further, on another note, if one reads the operators manual, one will discover that running the engine lightly loaded is ill advised because it disallows the engine to reach/maintain its preferred operating temperature, in the same manner that idling the ships engine is undesirable for other than short periods.

In any case, I think the wisest thing for Simister would be to contact either Jeff Till or Bob Grubert at Panda and inquire about his concerns. Either can be reached (in the USA) by phone at 954.462.2800. If you choose, tell them Scott from HyLyte referred you. Or not.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:39   #19
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

My guess would be the fuel system bleeding down over time.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:10   #20
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

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Originally Posted by Simister View Post
It all makes good sense.

Glazing seems to be the most likely problem. The engine has 250 hours and I would say it has run at around 50% load for most of its life.

It is 4.5 kva which should be about 20 amps at 240 volts. I generally run the genset drawing around 10 amps most of the time.

Thanks again Lloyd for your help.
A 50% load is not at all a light load, which would lead to bore glazing. On the contrary, that must be something near the optimum load for a diesel engine. If you keep 10 amps on your genset, or even 5 I would think, then there's nothing at all wrong with your operating regime.

Here's a really good resource on bore glazing: Bore glazing

According to this guy, bore glazing is far more likely to occur during the very first hours of an engine's life, when it is not yet broken in.

I am with those who think it is a sensor fault. Don't those FP gensets have fault codes you can read? FP gensets are notorious for this kind of failure (they are notorious in general, I hate to say).

In my opinion, oil galleries draining down is also a reasonable suspect. I would try to get a FP dealer to read the fault codes. In any case, I do agree with those who recommend professional help -- you can waste your life chasing FP gremlins; the dealer will know much better where to look (he has LOTS of experience ).
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:42   #21
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

To eliminate fuel troubles just disconnect hose from tank and tie it upwards, so that it gravity feeds to the genset. It will not get air into the fuel that way. Switch off engine, put a little plug in the top of the hose but keep it tied up. Then, after you return a couple weeks later, remove the plug and try to start again.

When I start my main engine or genset after a period of non-use, I keep pressing the stop-button while trying to start. This prevents the engine from starting by keeping the fuel-solenoid closed, while cranking the engine. I do that to distribute oil from the sump throughout the engine so that bearing surfaces are coated with oil before allowing internal combustion with the much higher speeds and forces. What people are trying to explain is that this might be automated behavior for this particular genset.

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Old 10-06-2012, 12:37   #22
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Lloyd--

I don't believe I said anything about the motor holding oil pressure once shut down. What I said was that I suspect that over time, the oil in the galleries drains down to the sump. The motor has a relatively small rotary pump and it will (logically) take a few seconds for cold oil to be picked up and pumped into and through the galleries and then develop sufficient pressure to open the circuit (pressure switch) to the fuel pump allowing fuel to be delivered to the injection pump. Further, FYI there is no audible low-pressure alarm on the Panda, one energizes the panel and holds down the start button. Either it starts or it does not. (One could, in fact, test this theory by simply pulling the plug off the pressure switch which will allow the fuel pump to start as soon as the panel is energized but I don't think that would be too wise.) As a comparison to the foregoing, most yachts' primary engines do have audible alarms and I have observed that in most cases these continue to sound for a few seconds after the engines have actually started. If such alarms were pressure switches, controlling fuel pumps, the engines would not have started at all, would they?
svHyLyte,

I hope ya didn't take my post personal, sure am sorry if my words seemed that way.

All modern diesle gensets use an energize to run solenoid, they also use an engine shut down system in that circuit for low oil pressure, and over temp, some have audible alarms. Within that circuit is a bypass of the oil pressure switch, in essence it apply power direct to the run solenoid during crank start.

So my point was that it can't have anything to do with lack of oil in the galleries.


Quote:
Unless Simister is experiencing something different that I, it normally takes only 15 or 20 seconds for the engine to kick over after extended non-use although. compared with the 2-3 when the engine is used routinely, that can seem like an eternity. (Other owners of similar units report that same behavior.) Frankly I don't care one way or the the other, but I do think one can make a mountain out of a mole hill if one chooses; and, searching for non-existent gremlins can be a pretty fruitless endeavor. Further, on another note, if one reads the operators manual, one will discover that running the engine lightly loaded is ill advised because it disallows the engine to reach/maintain its preferred operating temperature, in the same manner that idling the ships engine is undesirable for other than short periods.

In any case, I think the wisest thing for Simister would be to contact either Jeff Till or Bob Grubert at Panda and inquire about his concerns. Either can be reached (in the USA) by phone at 954.462.2800. If you choose, tell them Scott from HyLyte referred you. Or not.
Yes bore glazing is an issue on a constant speed generator that is lightly loaded anything not approaching 80% of load is considered by most manufactures as lightly loaded, it stated in the owners manual.

Lloyd

PS note Jedi, I have older 1964 vintage Perkins 6-354 for my main engines, I do the same thing with the stop switch if I haven't started for a month. Most new boats use an energize to run solenoid and don't offer a shut down button separate, but that is an easy circuit to add.
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Old 10-06-2012, 13:38   #23
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Yes bore glazing is an issue on a constant speed generator that is lightly loaded anything not approaching 80% of load is considered by most manufactures as lightly loaded, it stated in the owners manual.
There are different opinions about this, but I have never seen before 80% of full load stated as the minimum to prevent bore glazing. My Kohler genset manual in fact states that optimum load is from 25% to 75% of rated capacity; 80% would be above the optimal range.

I have heard of gensets glazing their bores when run all night, night after night, with practically zero load, because they are on standby for air conditioners. But it would be hard for me to imagine that a 50% load or even a 25% load could cause any problems to a properly broken in diesel engine.

In my opinion based on everything I have read -- and it is only an opinion, and second hand information, since I am far from being a diesel engine expert -- is that the fear of damage from light loading diesels is exaggerated, as long as there is enough load to make operating temperature, and enough load to avoid wet stacking. For goodness sake, my Yanmar main engine (a 4JH3HTE) has an optional "trawling lever", for sustained operation at under 1000 rpm in fishing boats (it's a 3900 RPM motor).
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Old 10-06-2012, 13:48   #24
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

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[INDENT]

There are different opinions about this, but I have never seen before 80% of full load stated as the minimum to prevent bore glazing. My Kohler genset manual in fact states that optimum load is from 25% to 75% of rated capacity; 80% would be above the optimal range.

I have heard of gensets glazing their bores when run all night, night after night, with practically zero load, because they are on standby for air conditioners. But it would be hard for me to imagine that a 50% load or even a 25% load could cause any problems to a properly broken in diesel engine.

In my opinion based on everything I have read -- and it is only an opinion, and second hand information, since I am far from being a diesel engine expert -- is that the fear of damage from light loading diesels is exaggerated, as long as there is enough load to make operating temperature, and enough load to avoid wet stacking. For goodness sake, my Yanmar main engine (a 4JH3HTE) has an optional "trawling lever", for sustained operation at under 1000 rpm in fishing boats (it's a 3900 RPM motor).
Dockhead.

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Old 10-06-2012, 14:08   #25
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

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I'm not saying your wrong -- I know that this opinion exists, and I am not knowledgeable enough about diesels (unfortunately; am trying to correct this) to feel very certain about my opinion. But neither of your links says anything about this -- one is about breaking in a diesel engine, and the other is about oil changes.

This is the most convincing thing I have read about the issue: Bore glazing

This guy is a very serious engineer who contributes to Yachting Monthly over here. He writes:

"A fully run-in engine is unlikely to suffer bore glazing, provided that its sump is filled with the recommended lubricant. Piston rings in an engine that has run for about 100 hours will conform well to the bores, limiting blow-by and oil consumption. An engine with less than these hours should never be run at light load for long periods, as is typically done for yacht battery charging. In the middle part of its life, glazing is less likely while the bores remain in good condition, although as wear increases its likelihood will increase. However, bore polishing is always a possibility with light loading. The solution is always to load the engine when battery charging, by driving the propeller. An engine that is driving the boat will never suffer from either glazing or polishing, even if it is at anchor or on a mooring.

Yanmar's workshop manual suggests that after two hours of low-speed operation their engines should be revved in neutral to maximum speed in about five bursts, to clear out carbon deposits. They also suggest that periodical operation under full power while underway will benefit the engine, for similar reasons."

So I haven't found anything which suggests that a diesel engine will fly apart if you load it at less than 80%. Kohler don't say it, and Yanmar don't say it. It seems to me that any load adequate to keep up temperature in the cylinders is enough. And according to this guy, it is extremely important not to use the wrong type of oil -- that is, a synthetic or too high a grade.

Getting back to the OP's question, surely 50% load on a marine genset is perfectly adequate.
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Old 10-06-2012, 14:16   #26
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I'm not saying your wrong -- I know that this opinion exists, and I am not knowledgeable enough about diesels (unfortunately; am trying to correct this) to feel very certain about my opinion. But neither of your links says anything about this -- one is about breaking in a diesel engine, and the other is about oil changes.

This is the most convincing thing I have read about the issue: Bore glazing

This guy is a very serious engineer who contributes to Yachting Monthly over here. He writes:

"A fully run-in engine is unlikely to suffer bore glazing, provided that its sump is filled with the recommended lubricant. Piston rings in an engine that has run for about 100 hours will conform well to the bores, limiting blow-by and oil consumption. An engine with less than these hours should never be run at light load for long periods, as is typically done for yacht battery charging. In the middle part of its life, glazing is less likely while the bores remain in good condition, although as wear increases its likelihood will increase.
Quote:
from your own quote
However, bore polishing is always a possibility with light loading. The solution is always to load the engine when battery charging, by driving the propeller. An engine that is driving the boat will never suffer from either glazing or polishing, even if it is at anchor or on a mooring.

Yanmar's workshop manual suggests that after two hours of low-speed operation their engines should be revved in neutral to maximum speed in about five bursts, to clear out carbon deposits. They also suggest that periodical operation under full power while underway will benefit the engine, for similar reasons."


So I haven't found anything which suggests that a diesel engine will fly apart if you load it at less than 80%. Kohler don't say it, and Yanmar don't say it. It seems to me that any load adequate to keep up temperature in the cylinders is enough. And according to this guy, it is extremely important not to use the wrong type of oil -- that is, a synthetic or too high a grade.

Getting back to the OP's question, surely 50% load on a marine genset is perfectly adequate.






</h3></h3></h3>
Dockhead, a propulsion engine, is differnt then a constant speed generator engine. The links I pointed you to are from one of the best diesel engine mechanics I have ever known...some 30 plus years experience. I'll find his topic on bore glazing, and post it.

Lloyd
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Old 10-06-2012, 14:25   #27
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Dockhead, a propulsion engine, is differnt then a constant speed generator engine. The links I pointed you to are from one of the best diesel engine mechanics I have ever known...some 30 plus years experience. I'll find his topic on bore glazing, and post it.

Lloyd
Thanks, I'll read it with interest when you find it.
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Old 10-06-2012, 14:57   #28
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

Wow, there is lots of (mis)informed speculation about this engine. It should be easy to rule out some of the theories by doing the following:

!. To rule out low compression and cylinder glazing without the expense of a compression test, blow a hair dryer in the intake after the boat has been sitting for a month and see if it starts readily. If it does it is low compression. But I don't see how. The OP said that the engine started easily stone cold a few days after running but not after 30 days.

2. To rule out the oil pressure switch keeping the fuel solenoid closed until it opens, disconnect it. It will then act like oil pressure is present and the engine should readily start. Having an oil pressure switch connected to the fuel solenoid is kind of screwball IMO, but F-P engineers do screwball things with their equipment.

3. An air leak is going to be harder to rule out. The fittings may look tight but may have a burr on the sealing face. You can temporarily plumb a length of clear tubing just before the fuel pump and watch for air bubbles as you crank it.

My money is still on #3.

David
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Old 10-06-2012, 17:40   #29
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

My hypotheses concerning low oil pressure may be wholly or in part erroneous.

Upon arriving at the yacht earlier today, I reviewed the 4.2 Operating Manual for "Faults". It seems that hard starting may be, in part, attributable to a weak starting solenoid which, when the start button is depressed, should bypass the pressure switch on the oil circuit and activate the fuel pump. If the solenoid is weakened or malfunctioning, it will not do so, hence the fuel pump will not be activated until adequate oil pressure has developed to open the circuit by that avenue. This may be the issue with Simiter's, and my, delayed start after a period of inactivity. I have sent a message to FP to see what Bob Grubert, FP's lead technowiz, has to say about the matter and shall report back once I have rec'd his answer.

FWIW...
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Old 10-06-2012, 18:12   #30
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Re: Fischer Panda 4.5 kva ac Genset

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Lloyd--

I don't believe I said anything about the motor holding oil pressure once shut down. What I said was that I suspect that over time, the oil in the galleries drains down to the sump. The motor has a relatively small rotary pump and it will (logically) take a few seconds for cold oil to be picked up and pumped into and through the galleries and then develop sufficient pressure to open the circuit (pressure switch) to the fuel pump allowing fuel to be delivered to the injection pump. Further, FYI there is no audible low-pressure alarm on the Panda, one energizes the panel and holds down the start button. Either it starts or it does not. (One could, in fact, test this theory by simply pulling the plug off the pressure switch which will allow the fuel pump to start as soon as the panel is energized but I don't think that would be too wise.) As a comparison to the foregoing, most yachts' primary engines do have audible alarms and I have observed that in most cases these continue to sound for a few seconds after the engines have actually started. If such alarms were pressure switches, controlling fuel pumps, the engines would not have started at all, would they?

Unless Simister is experiencing something different that I, it normally takes only 15 or 20 seconds for the engine to kick over after extended non-use although. compared with the 2-3 when the engine is used routinely, that can seem like an eternity. (Other owners of similar units report that same behavior.) Frankly I don't care one way or the the other, but I do think one can make a mountain out of a mole hill if one chooses; and, searching for non-existent gremlins can be a pretty fruitless endeavor. Further, on another note, if one reads the operators manual, one will discover that running the engine lightly loaded is ill advised because it disallows the engine to reach/maintain its preferred operating temperature, in the same manner that idling the ships engine is undesirable for other than short periods.

In any case, I think the wisest thing for Simister would be to contact either Jeff Till or Bob Grubert at Panda and inquire about his concerns. Either can be reached (in the USA) by phone at 954.462.2800. If you choose, tell them Scott from HyLyte referred you. Or not.

When I have left the boat for about a month it would take about 20 - 30 seconds for the engine to start. As HyLyte said it does seem like an eternity. I certainly don't want to be chasing gremlins if it is not necessary. If this is normal and is not a malfunction with the system then I am quite happy to live with it.

On one occasion after leaving the boat for a month, I bled the fuel system at the injector before starting, to try and eliminate possible air in the lines. I cracked the nut at the injector and ran the fuel pump, without starting the engine, to bleed the lines. This made no difference at all and it still took around 20 cranks to start.


John
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