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Old 14-08-2020, 20:57   #16
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Re: Portable Generator Overloads even when no apparent load. Why?

I am fairly sure the problem is stemming from the initial Victron capacitor draw. Thanks for the advice, it's greatly appreciated. I do not currently know if I can circumvent the Victron but will find out, as too the startup draw as it has overloaded shore power in the past whilst the controller was in the off position in a rather scratchy marina.
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Old 14-08-2020, 22:21   #17
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Re: Portable Generator Overloads even when no apparent load. Why?

You cannot "circumvent" the buffer cap inrush on an inverter. You need to charge the caps to use the machine.

However, on Victron inverters at least, those caps will stay charged as long as there is a battery or AC input connected.

In your scenario, is your battery also connected to the inverter prior to connecting the shore cord?

If so, the problem is probably not the input capacitors.
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Old 15-08-2020, 12:13   #18
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Re: Portable Generator Overloads even when no apparent load. Why?

@Naughty Cat
Please provide the answers to the questions asked in Post #8?
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Old 15-08-2020, 13:04   #19
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Re: Portable Generator Overloads even when no apparent load. Why?

Hello Charlie. The Victron is a Multiplus 3000 12/230/240. The overload on the generator kicked in before power registered on the multicontroller. However, as the multicontroller was in the off position so that I could introduce load, I would not have expected any lights in any event.

Is there something on your mind? I am concious that I need to run some tests in the next few days when I get to a marina and get some answers.
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Old 15-08-2020, 14:00   #20
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Re: Portable Generator Overloads even when no apparent load. Why?

@Naughty Cat
The blue "Mains On" LED on the Digital Multi Control should illuminated when qualified mains or genset power is available.

Have you programmed the Multi-Plus 3kW using VE.Configure3? If so, what are the tolerance bands for voltage and frequency?

Additionally, I recommend that you try the following settings-
VE.Configure3: General Tab has a selection for Dynamic Current Limiter. From the VE.Configure3 Manual:
Quote:
If an inverter-generator is used, such as the HONDA EU series, the shore current setting will be dynamically reduced (following a period of low current consumption) to compensate for the engine reaction time when higher loads are activated.
VE.Configure3: Charger Tab has a selection for Weak AC Input. From the VE.Configure3 Manual:
Quote:
If the quality of the supply waveform is less than the charger expects, it will reduce its output to ensure that the COS phi (difference between current/voltage phases){aka, power factor} remains acceptable. This protection can be deactivated for low capacity or poorly regulated power supplies.
If these ideas don't solve your issue then I agree with others above, the high energy spike to charge the inlet capacitors may well be overloading your genset. You may be have to install a soft start module between the generator and the Multi-Plus. Here are two that may work:
https://battlebornbatteries.com/prod...surge-limiter/
https://battlebornbatteries.com/prod...-soft-starter/
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Old 16-08-2020, 00:55   #21
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Re: Portable Generator Overloads even when no apparent load. Why?

Thank you Charlie. That is incredibly helpful and why forum members like me are so indebted to the knowledge that experts like you can bring. I was wondering whether there was something like a soft start module. I did not programme the Victron (the boat is 3 years old from new) and that is something I will need to learn from scratch. The generator is a sine wave inverter generator (Champion I would say is credible in that regard) with 2300 starting capacity and 2000 running, so the output should be of adequate quality.
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Old 16-08-2020, 06:34   #22
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Re: Portable Generator Overloads even when no apparent load. Why?

Just as a FYI as I have not read all of the thread. In order to start my small air conditioner off my generator I had to install a "hard start" capacitor kit to it. To get it to start my larger air conditioner I had to add soft start kit to it.
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Old 03-02-2022, 18:34   #23
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Re: Portable Generator Overloads even when no apparent load. Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naughty Cat View Post
Thank you Charlie. That is incredibly helpful and why forum members like me are so indebted to the knowledge that experts like you can bring. I was wondering whether there was something like a soft start module. I did not programme the Victron (the boat is 3 years old from new) and that is something I will need to learn from scratch. The generator is a sine wave inverter generator (Champion I would say is credible in that regard) with 2300 starting capacity and 2000 running, so the output should be of adequate quality.
Hello, I created an account here because I have this exact same problem and cannot figure out how to fix it.

After the Champion generator is running, I plug the MultiPlus into it. The multiplus is in the "off" state. There should be minimal draw. But there is a big current draw (my Kill-A-Watt reads 22 amps and voltage from the generator drops to about 99v).

Did you figure out what was causing your overload? I was thinking maybe the onset surge was due to the MultiPlus's caps charging up as others in this thread have mentioned.
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Old 04-02-2022, 08:34   #24
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Re: Portable Generator Overloads even when no apparent load. Why?

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Originally Posted by xthree View Post
Hello, I created an account here because I have this exact same problem and cannot figure out how to fix it.

After the Champion generator is running, I plug the MultiPlus into it. The multiplus is in the "off" state. There should be minimal draw. But there is a big current draw (my Kill-A-Watt reads 22 amps and voltage from the generator drops to about 99v).

Did you figure out what was causing your overload? I was thinking maybe the onset surge was due to the MultiPlus's caps charging up as others in this thread have mentioned.
The capacitors are on the DC input side of the inverter. They’ll stay charged as long as the inverter is connected to battery. (Also why it’s useful to have a precharge circuit when dealing with Lithium Batteries.

On the AC side, it’s possibly the magnetics (the big toroidal transformer) that are causing your issue.

What I would try is to try starting the thing up with your inverter on and running, then turn on the AC supply from the generator. The inverter should then synchronize to the inverter before switching in. If you enable the power assist functionality, the inverter will limit the current pulled from the generator, and make up for it with battery power.
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Old 26-06-2022, 05:07   #25
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Re: Portable Generator Overloads even when no apparent load. Why?

An update to the problem. It turned out to be the water heaters. They are operated via a mains relay - via a push on push off switch. This means that I need mains power to turn them off - just pushing the switch whilst not hooked up does nothing. So, everytime I fired up the generator the heaters kicked in and tripped the input. The heaters are now off by default and all is fine.

Rather an elementary solution in the end but I learnt a lot along the way.
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Old 26-06-2022, 05:30   #26
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Re: Portable Generator Overloads even when no apparent load. Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naughty Cat View Post
An update to the problem. It turned out to be the water heaters. They are operated via a mains relay - via a push on push off switch. This means that I need mains power to turn them off - just pushing the switch whilst not hooked up does nothing. So, everytime I fired up the generator the heaters kicked in and tripped the input. The heaters are now off by default and all is fine.

Rather an elementary solution in the end but I learnt a lot along the way.
So much for the wisdom of crowds...

I was reading through this thread from the beginning, thinking, "But, wait, a filtering capacitor in an AC line doesn't ever "charge up?" What is everybody thinking?" I have been inside Victron Multiplus boxes a number of times I have NEVER seen a cap of a size big enough to cause this problem...

Think about it for a second... the cap has a 1/100 of a second (with 50Hz power) to "charge up" before the voltage reverses.. That whole idea of plugging into mains, and QUICKLY switching to the generator shows a complete ignorance of what an AC filtering capacitor is and how it works. But it SOUNDED really smart, to somebody with a high school physics understanding of what a capacitor is.

It was one of those plausible sounding, but totally BS, explanations that suckered almost everybody in. But now it is forever fixed as an explanation of this problem into the minds of everybody involved, because "I read it on the internet."
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