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Old 26-07-2015, 15:23   #1
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Inverter light doesn't come on when alternator is going

Noticed the above. Actually, the green light which is on the year 2000 Statpower inverter shows red, but the light on the AC panel does not come on. I did'nt check if power was available.


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Old 26-07-2015, 18:57   #2
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Re: Inverter light doesn't come on when alternator is going

I think we need a bit more explanation and description of the problem. I don't see what the inverter and alternator have in common except a basic connection to the batteries.

Are you saying that your inverter will not work when the alternator is running, but works fine when it is not?

Mark
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Old 26-07-2015, 21:30   #3
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Re: Inverter light doesn't come on when alternator is going

Let me check tomorrow to see if there is any actual power at the outlets when the alternator is running. I assumed there would not be when NO light appeared at the AC panel switch for the inverter.
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Old 27-07-2015, 14:11   #4
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Re: Inverter light doesn't come on when alternator is going

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Are you saying that your inverter will not work when the alternator is running, but works fine when it is not?

Mark
That's what I'm saying, and it is true. I tested it this morning.

The 800watt Prowatt inverter, circa year 2000, has a small micro switch on one end, together with a green/red light. To use the inverter, I turn on the main battery switch, then this small micro switch. I have an double side by side AC switch that can switch from Shorepower to Inverter, with a protective slide. After switching on the inverter via the small micro switch, the inverter's green light comes on, and a green light comes on beside the Inverter switch. I switch it on. Then I turn on the Outlets switch. A green light comes on beside the Outlets switch. Power is then available at any of my 4 outlets.

I am using a Galvanic box and GFIC outlets.

Everything is fine when the engine is off. However, when the Inverter microswitch is on and when the engine starts up, i.e. the alternator starts providing power, the light is RED on the inverter, there is NO power at outlets, NO green light beside Outlet switches, NO green light beside Inverter switch.

I did all the AC wiring myself 15 years ago, but have not had much use for the Inverter as I had shorepower readily available, , now I don't, so the inverter is getting more use. i.e. this conflict might have been there since day one.

Why is this happening ?
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Old 27-07-2015, 20:04   #5
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Re: Inverter light doesn't come on when alternator is going

over voltage on the battery? could be shuting down the inverter. check battery voltage. alt regulator could be failing.
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Old 27-07-2015, 20:39   #6
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Re: Inverter light doesn't come on when alternator is going

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over voltage on the battery? could be shuting down the inverter. check battery voltage. alt regulator could be failing.

Oh, great. Just what I don't need ! I'll check it on next visit.
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Old 28-07-2015, 13:25   #7
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Re: Inverter light doesn't come on when alternator is going

Readings from this morning with alternator/engine working: House Battery=14.35 volts. Starter Battery=14.50 volts. Measured by voltmeter, dial on panel, and Link Battery Monitor.

Inverter is attached to House Battery circuit.

HOWEVER, I DID NOTICE the inverter's small meter showed 15 volts and showed a red colour.

Inverter's documentation specified that voltage should not be more than 15 volts. It also specified that if the input voltage was over 15 volts, it would cut out.

Maybe the inverter is misreading the number of volts it is getting ?
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Old 28-07-2015, 22:12   #8
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Re: Inverter light doesn't come on when alternator is going

probably. try measuring right at the inverter wires. though it's can't be any higher then the battery itself.
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Old 31-07-2015, 06:49   #9
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Re: Inverter light doesn't come on when alternator is going

I wrote to Xantrex, the current manufacturers who took over Statpower, the manufacturer of my PROwatt 200/12. They seemed to agree the inverter was recognizing too many volts. Their solution was:

"You could try a rectifier diode rated at 0.7V / 100A. Keep in mind on continuous lost of about 70W. And you will need a good size (big) heat sink attached to the diode due to the heat dissipation."

Thoughts ?
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Old 31-07-2015, 22:15   #10
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Re: Inverter light doesn't come on when alternator is going

sounds like you need a new inverter. droping the main power wire to the inverter just to fool the sense would be stupid. unless you can open the unit up and put a small diode on just the sense wire inside.
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:58   #11
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Re: Inverter light doesn't come on when alternator is going

Can't justify new inverter. Too much bother to take it it out and examine it.

I'll live with it. At any rate, probably only another 5 years at max before I retire from sailing - getting old.

It works fine when alternator not running - I'll make do with that.

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