Powerstar W7 Charging Problems

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Powerstar W7 Charging Problems

Postby Lotsmaw » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:38 am

Hi All,

I have recently installed a Powerstar W7 48v 6000w inverter charger into my off grid system. It is a replacement for an old PMA 5/48 inverter that was fried by lightening. I am aware of the issues with the W7 and have read much of the discussion on these units but am prepared to persevere until I can afford a better unit.

Problem I have at the moment is the unit does not charge the batteries above 48v (or that is how it seems to my non-technical mind) and I am getting concerned about battery condition.

As an example, I sense the batteries were getting low recently so I started the generator at about midnight and let it run all night. The PL20 indicated the batteries were down to 44v when I started the system. By morning they were up to 48v but no higher. If I were to do the same with my other system elsewhere on the property running a PS1, I know the batteries would be well into the 50s. (My genset is a 14kva unit - not sure if the size of the gensest might be an issue.)

I raised the issue with the supplier and managed to get a replacement unit out of them but this is doing the same thing.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Regards

Bill
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Re: Powerstar W7 Charging Problems

Postby Tracker » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:32 am

Lotsmaw wrote:Problem I have at the moment is the unit does not charge the batteries above 48v (or that is how it seems to my non-technical mind) and I am getting concerned about battery condition.

So, is it the charging or the batteries..? Have you selected the correct battery type on the Powerstar..?
The PL20 indicated the batteries were down to 44v when I started the system. By morning they were up to 48v but no higher.

Sounds suspicious - do you have a good MULTI-METER
I know the batteries would be well into the 50s.

Are these the PMG batteries, surely not... :!: I assumed from the intro. that they were original and now G.O.N.E. to God

(My genset is a 14kva unit - not sure if the size of the gensest might be an issue.)

Do you run the genset thru the PL20...?
If you connect direct to the batteries that there should have been plenty to charge with at 14kVA, but via the PL20, much less... 1000W would it not be..

I raised the issue with the supplier and managed to get a replacement unit out of them but this is doing the same thing.

What was replaced -- the PL20..?

What is the battery capacity supposed to be and any marking (if NOT the PMG)

If the PMG batteries, then I would be measuring cell voltages.. Surely, they HAVE to die one day.. ;)

If you start to think "Battery Replacement" then talk to Gordon about Lithium batteries..
..
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Re: Powerstar W7 Charging Problems

Postby Lotsmaw » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:06 pm

Hi Tracker,

This system is relatively new - batteries are lead acid 600AH. (The PMG batteries were on my other system at the winery and went to recycling in 2004 - some of them were 31 years old.). The batteries were fine when the Old Selectronics inverter was running. I have selected lead-acid on the W7.

I don't have a good multi-meter but the readings on the PL20 and W7 are consistent, I just don't like the fact that I have to multiply the reading on the W7 by four to get a 48v reading and I am more inclined to trust the PL20 than the W7.

The genset is connected to the W7. It was the W7 that was replaced.

Regards
Bill
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Re: Powerstar W7 Charging Problems

Postby davidg » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:27 pm

Lotsmaw wrote:Hi Tracker,

This system is relatively new - batteries are lead acid 600AH.I have selected lead-acid on the W7.
The genset is connected to the W7. It was the W7 that was replaced.

the W7 settings

what are the 600ah batteries or cells when you say lead acid thats not enough. Vented, VRLA, GELL?

you need to have the exact specifications of the things like the float etc.

when setting the W7 you need to know what the float voltage would be for the bank for instance on vented lead acid cells you might need a float of say 56.8Vdc which would equate to 14.2Vdc on the W7, if they are sealed lead acid then the float voltage might be at a lower level say 54.24Vdc then the setting would be say the closest would be 13.6Vdc

That is really the only setting theseW7 units have unless you have one that also has the amount of current you can push in, another little thingo next to the dial setting.

it would be well worth obtaining a suitable shunt and display to see which way the power is being pushed and how much current you are pushing in/out - EBAY has plenty of them - Here is a link to one that I have used in the past don't be fooled using a bigger shunt is a better option to using one you think will be enough One EBAY Shunt Voltage combo meter then you will be able to see what it is actually doing.
Hybrid-& Off-grid Systems - I Store Sun to use later- Can you?
20degNE, 30deg Tilt 7.2Kw with several Grid Inverters
AC-coupled using Selectronic SPMC-482 7.5kW
1100Ah 48V Bank

145KVA Genset.
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Re: Powerstar W7 Charging Problems

Postby Tracker » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:43 am

Elsewhere
you indicated the four 75W panels
And then the newer 165's I think
How are those two systems connected ..?

Now the W7 is connected to the genset... that says you are using the W7 as the bulk charger, as would be expected..

So fill in the dots and describe how the various bits are connected...

A practical suggestion would be to get a good multi meter from Jaycar or eBay, as you really do need to be able to be able to measure battery voltages etc.

And remember that these comments are intended for you to convey to you electrical contractor, as we ALL know that big brother does not like people who can actually think for themselves..
..
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