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Old 14-09-2014, 10:39   #1
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Installed a New Charger/Inverter. trust the Auto Start/Stop feature for Generator?

We purchased the Freedom SW 12V 3000W system from Xantrex.

the Auto Generator Start add-on seems cool. Would you use it?

In theory it sounds terrific. What are the negatives?

Thanks!!
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Old 14-09-2014, 13:49   #2
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Re: Installed a new charger/inverter. trust the auto start/stop feature for generat

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In theory it sounds terrific. What are the negatives?
I am not a big fan of this feature as I feel that there should be a human operator in the loop before any major piece of equipment is started and put on line. Some of the things that can go wrong if you autostart and don't look, sniff and feel are:
But it is a cool feature!
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Old 14-09-2014, 13:57   #3
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Re: Installed a new charger/inverter. trust the auto start/stop feature for generat

I thought about a couple of these. On our westerbeke there's sensors/alarms that **** down for temp and oil pressure. In fact wired in with the preheat switch is an override for the oil sensor since it obviously isn't at the range for safe operation at start up. If we clog with sea grass in the strainer and temp rises it also shuts down.

But all that can fail and if it does it can cost you mega bucks... So I tend to agree. This is where the ability to check and worst case **** down the system from your computer or phone would be amazing!!


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Old 14-09-2014, 18:17   #4
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Re: Installed a New Charger/Inverter. trust the Auto Start/Stop feature for Generat

If you designed the system with sufficient safeguards and there were no charger/inverters with a self start feature you would be stuck...

If you slap on a charger/inverter with autostart feature without sufficient safeguards you could do damage.

The point is design the whole system and then decide if you want it automatically starting.

There is a lot to consider.
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Old 14-09-2014, 18:22   #5
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Re: Installed a New Charger/Inverter. trust the Auto Start/Stop feature for Generat

We never leave running machinery if we are not on board.
There are too many risks.

A few months ago a couple sat in the restaurant and watched their catamaran burst into flames when they left the generator running.
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Old 14-09-2014, 18:34   #6
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Re: Installed a New Charger/Inverter. trust the Auto Start/Stop feature for Generat

The remote can be programmed to start the generator based on several parameters as listed below, such as low battery voltage or a specific state of charge.


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Old 16-09-2014, 16:39   #7
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Re: Installed a New Charger/Inverter. trust the Auto Start/Stop feature for Generat

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Originally Posted by sy_gilana View Post
We never leave running machinery if we are not on board.
There are too many risks.

A few months ago a couple sat in the restaurant and watched their catamaran burst into flames when they left the generator running.

There in lies the fear....


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Old 16-09-2014, 21:11   #8
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Re: Installed a New Charger/Inverter. trust the Auto Start/Stop feature for Generat

OK, I am in the business of automatically starting generator systems, and generator engine automation. I have designed and installed engine automation solutions for mission critical industrial generators for a very long time. Long enough to watch the industry evolve.

I also have the Xantrex SW series inverter compatible with their engine start system. I also have their generator auto start, but have not installed it yet.

In general I have no problem with having a generator automatically start. I do not see a down side to this, and see several up sides.

As far as engine protection goes, the Xantrex solution is compatible with the generator protection circuits you already have in place. If for example you have the standard high coolant temp, exhaust elbow temp, oil pressure, etc... the Xantrex unit will not "go around" those systems.

As far as automatically starting generators in general I have not in my career ever seen a generator in a auto start configuration cause any other issues other than not start, which is due to a generator malfunction. I have not seen a auto start system inadvertantly start a generator, but I have seen them when they break, fail to start a generator.

One of the key benefits as I see it of an auto start generator in a marine application is unattended operation. If you are away from the boat, and say tied to a mooring the generator can get a start signal from a State of Charge meter (Xantrex link is a good example) and run the generator to recharge the batteries. You can set up the SOC meter to close a contact when the batteries drop to say 50% and open the contacts when the batteries reach 90% (these are jus example percentages) That way your boat DC system stays up while you are away.

I am planning on installing my Xantrex auto start simply because as a a transient I may not have power, and my boat uses power all the time for its systems, including the alarm system. The only reason I have not installed it yet is because I've been debating putting a full engine automation package on my Northern Lights generator.

This will free the wife and I to for example make a trip away from the boat for several days inland, or back to our dirt home and not worry about our boat.
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Old 17-09-2014, 01:31   #9
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Re: Installed a New Charger/Inverter. trust the Auto Start/Stop feature for Generat

would hate to be working on the gen, or the ac panel, when it fired up...
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Old 17-09-2014, 03:16   #10
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Re: Installed a New Charger/Inverter. trust the Auto Start/Stop feature for Generat

The the ones (auto start gen sets) that I have been around on commercial boats worked very well, but they also had hands checking in on the plant.

I would not want a engine running on my boat while I was away. There are too many little things that can go wrong. S/W and F/O leaks would be my biggest concerns. I don't care how new, or how well maintained a engine is, they all develop leaks sooner or later.

But then again, I might just be another paranoid old engineman.
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