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Old 06-12-2013, 18:10   #1
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Weak Heart?

I have a Heart Interface Freedom 20 inverter/charger, which does not charge the battery at rated amperage when powered by the generator.

The charger is rated at 100 amp DC charging output, but I never see more than 55 amp, and usually (like right now as I type) the output is only 45 amp. The battery is at 13.44 V, and charger is set for bulk charge voltage of 14.1 V.

The generator is giving panel 110.5 VAC at 60.1 Hz measured at circuit breaker panel with load of 9 Amp AC (35 Amp capacity).

The voltage of 110.5 VAC is a bit low, and I fear may be my problem, but charger is rated for 90 to 130 VAC for charger operation. Trouble shooting guide does say for charging "low voltage input will result in low DC output current", but does not give any values as to what is considered a low voltage input.

Anyone with experience with the Heart Interface Freedom 20 units seen similar reduced charging output? Any guidance would be appreciated.
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Old 06-12-2013, 18:39   #2
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Re: Weak Heart?

Nice subject line.
Mine did that, its an old one, the black box. I found the contacts in the contactors right down in the bottom were dirty. Cleaned them, problem solved.
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Old 06-12-2013, 23:02   #3
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Re: Weak Heart?

I've seen a few low. but normally more like 20a max. threw them out and replaced with magnums.

are you sure the batteries are low enough to take the full 100 amps? are you draining them to test?

also is that 45a coming out of the charger (measured with a clamp meter), or 45a going into your house bank (VIA battery monitor) because those are 2 totally different numbers.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:43   #4
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Re: Weak Heart?

Gilana- Thanks, good tip. I assume that you mean the internal AC transfer switch. Good thing to check.

smac- The batteries have gotten very low (voltage under 12 VDC at one point) but still maybe 60 amp DC at most, usually around 54 A or so. This is measured via monitor (i.e., battery amp input), but after checking and seeing boat DC load of only about 2 amp, so adding the two values and figuring this is basically total output of charger.

I will be in a marina next week for a few day (for first time since October) and will see how charger performs when plugged into shore power (which hopefully is over 115 VAC). Should help in identifying problem.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:01   #5
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Re: Weak Heart?

I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly but from what your stating my assumption would be that the amperage going into the batteries is all that the batteries can handle/accept. A battery can't take 100amps all of the time it will only absorb what its temperature and charge state will allow.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:17   #6
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Re: Weak Heart?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly but from what your stating my assumption would be that the amperage going into the batteries is all that the batteries can handle/accept. A battery can't take 100amps all of the time it will only absorb what its temperature and charge state will allow.
Good advice. I have 800 AH of gel cells, which I understand give me an acceptance rate of about 800 x .3 = 240 amp. Battery voltage (not charging) is about 12.5 vdc. I am assuming that batteries should accept full 100 amp DC charge current. Note when charging voltage is about 13.3 vdc, and charger should be in bulk mode at 14.1 vdc.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:44   #7
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Re: Weak Heart?

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Originally Posted by Dennis.G View Post
Good advice. I have 800 AH of gel cells, which I understand give me an acceptance rate of about 800 x .3 = 240 amp. Battery voltage (not charging) is about 12.5 vdc. I am assuming that batteries should accept full 100 amp DC charge current. Note when charging voltage is about 13.3 vdc, and charger should be in bulk mode at 14.1 vdc.
Ok my 1 concern is shouldnt the normal standing voltage fully charged be about 12.7 volts? Are you measuring with a good meter or the boats gauge? If it really only goes to 12.5 then the batts could be weak. The charger only going to 13.3 at the highest means something is either not allowing full output or the batts aren't accepting anything more. Is it 13.3 after several hours or just initially. I know my charger takes a while to get to the full 14.1 vdc.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:51   #8
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Re: Weak Heart?

OK, did some tests which are convincing me that issue has to do with low AC input voltage to the charger from generator. Looked at charger output with different AC loads and resulting changes in AC voltage from generator. Values are:
  • No load (0 amp AC), 110.2 VAC, 0 amp DC charger output
  • Charger only load (8 amp AC), 110.2 VAC, 49 amp DC charger output
  • Charger and AC refrigerator (14.5 amp AC), 105.8 VAC, 38.6 amp DC charger output
  • Charger, refer, and WH (21.5 amp AC), 104.3 VAC, 34.5 amp DC charger output
Need to see how charger performs plugged into shore power, but I am now thinking this is really an issue with generator voltage regulation. Generator specs say +/- 5% regulation, which I would guess means from 120 VAC, or range of 114 to 126 VAC. Values seen clearly outside of that range.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:55   #9
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Re: Weak Heart?

I rater suspect that your charging issues are related to the generator. Some gens clip the peak sine-wave which should be 170 volt.

Your inverter/charger depends on a 170 peak to get 100% charger out-put.

A quick look at your Heart manual will show you, they printed in black and white..

Lloyd




Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis.G View Post
I have a Heart Interface Freedom 20 inverter/charger, which does not charge the battery at rated amperage when powered by the generator.

The charger is rated at 100 amp DC charging output, but I never see more than 55 amp, and usually (like right now as I type) the output is only 45 amp. The battery is at 13.44 V, and charger is set for bulk charge voltage of 14.1 V.

The generator is giving panel 110.5 VAC at 60.1 Hz measured at circuit breaker panel with load of 9 Amp AC (35 Amp capacity).

The voltage of 110.5 VAC is a bit low, and I fear may be my problem, but charger is rated for 90 to 130 VAC for charger operation. Trouble shooting guide does say for charging "low voltage input will result in low DC output current", but does not give any values as to what is considered a low voltage input.

Anyone with experience with the Heart Interface Freedom 20 units seen similar reduced charging output? Any guidance would be appreciated.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:12   #10
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Re: Weak Heart?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
Ok my 1 concern is shouldnt the normal standing voltage fully charged be about 12.7 volts? Are you measuring with a good meter or the boats gauge? If it really only goes to 12.5 then the batts could be weak. The charger only going to 13.3 at the highest means something is either not allowing full output or the batts aren't accepting anything more. Is it 13.3 after several hours or just initially. I know my charger takes a while to get to the full 14.1 vdc.
Yes, resting voltage should be higher if fully charged, but I know that batteries are not fully charged. If I kept generator on all day would likely get there, but after a couple of hours can't stand it anymore and shut it down.

A couple of weeks ago I had an all day motor (have 100 amp alternator on main engine) and batteries got up to full charge (resting voltage about 12.8 or about 13.6 v when charging).
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:57   #11
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Re: Weak Heart?

I have the same issue, but I think it to be the batteries to be on their last leg.

Mine wont even do bulk part of the time and will go to float with 150+ah left to charge. I have 880ah agms
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:45   #12
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Re: Weak Heart?

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Originally Posted by Dennis.G View Post
OK, did some tests which are convincing me that issue has to do with low AC input voltage to the charger from generator. Looked at charger output with different AC loads and resulting changes in AC voltage from generator. Values are:
  • No load (0 amp AC), 110.2 VAC, 0 amp DC charger output
  • Charger only load (8 amp AC), 110.2 VAC, 49 amp DC charger output
  • Charger and AC refrigerator (14.5 amp AC), 105.8 VAC, 38.6 amp DC charger output
  • Charger, refer, and WH (21.5 amp AC), 104.3 VAC, 34.5 amp DC charger output
Need to see how charger performs plugged into shore power, but I am now thinking this is really an issue with generator voltage regulation. Generator specs say +/- 5% regulation, which I would guess means from 120 VAC, or range of 114 to 126 VAC. Values seen clearly outside of that range.
I believe I saw similar things with the last one I changed, but it was 6 months ago and I'm going off memory. I'm pretty sure it would drop from 20a down near 0 when ac loads were applied. with a 15a heater on the boat the charger was barely doing 12.5v and a few amps. and barly 13v with no load. this was on shore power. I had good ac voltage at the charger input.

maybe an issue inside the charger on the AC end. as the current passing through is affecting the charger. I belive I measured the pass through AC voltage and it wasn't dropping.

I didn't spend much time trying to diagnose or fix. out she went. maybe something fixable.

this was on brand new batteries as well. (was there to upgrade batterys. found the charger issue after new batts in)


oh yah the other weird thing on that one was I couldn't turn off the charger. as soon as it had ac power it would try to charge. wheather the panel was set to charge or not. the charge led would turn off and on at the panel. but the charger kept trying to charge either way so that one had a few issues.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:09   #13
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Re: Weak Heart?

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
I believe I saw similar things with the last one I changed, but it was 6 months ago and I'm going off memory. I'm pretty sure it would drop from 20a down near 0 when ac loads were applied. with a 15a heater on the boat the charger was barely doing 12.5v and a few amps. and barly 13v with no load. this was on shore power. I had good ac voltage at the charger input.

maybe an issue inside the charger on the AC end. as the current passing through is affecting the charger. I belive I measured the pass through AC voltage and it wasn't dropping.

I didn't spend much time trying to diagnose or fix. out she went. maybe something fixable.

this was on brand new batteries as well. (was there to upgrade batterys. found the charger issue after new batts in)


oh yah the other weird thing on that one was I couldn't turn off the charger. as soon as it had ac power it would try to charge. wheather the panel was set to charge or not. the charge led would turn off and on at the panel. but the charger kept trying to charge either way so that one had a few issues.
The old Hearts are not Power Factor Corrected. The Charger in these units depend on a peak sine wave of 170 at 140 volt peak they won't charge at all.

Small or poorly built generators have a hard time with induction and rectified loads, especially if the PF on the load is poor.

  • No load (0 amp AC), 110.2 VAC, 0 amp DC charger output
The above RMS equals a 155.3 volt Sine Peak

  • Charger only load (8 amp AC), 110.2 VAC, 49 amp DC charger output
This load equals same

  • Charger and AC refrigerator (14.5 amp AC), 105.8 VAC, 38.6 amp DC charger output
This load is 149.1 Peak

  • Charger, refer, and WH (21.5 amp AC), 104.3 VAC, 34.5 amp DC charger output
This load is at 147 Peak.


Now if you were to hook up an O-scope to your gen you would see a sine wave that is clipped and looks more like a square wave.


What gen are you using and how old is it.


Lloyd
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:57   #14
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Re: Weak Heart?

I found function 14 was set to "on" causing all my problems!

My temp sensor must be bad, because there was no heat anywhere!

Cheers...hope this helps

David
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Old 09-12-2013, 16:50   #15
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Re: Weak Heart?

FlyingCloud1937 +1

Per a 1997 Xantrex TechNote; the minimum size genset for a Freedom 20 is 6.5kW with no other AC loads.

What is the make and model of your genset?
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