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Itinerant1

Itinerant

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Posted: 07/19/21 05:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do you have easy starts (micro-air) on the units?


12v 500ah (5,120Wh usable), 20 cells_ 4s5p (GBS LFMP battery system). 8 CTI 160 watt panels (1,280 watts)2s4p,Panels mounted flat. Magnum PT100 SCC, Magnum 3012 hybrid inverter, ME-ARC 50. Installed 4/2016 been on 24/7/365, daily 35-45% DOD 1,800+ cycles.

MNRon

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Posted: 07/19/21 09:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Itinerant1- no, I don’t have soft starts. That may be in my future, but-
* I can start and run an AC fine using batteries and Magnum alone, static current draw ~180A with sundry other draws
* Magnum doesn’t appear to be playing well with my generator (now 2 generators)
* i4500 should have plenty of guts to start the AC but the Magnum kicks it out and doesn’t let it bring AC up on own
* If I put magnum in load support, or start on Magnum and then try and bring genny in, it Overload Faults and indicates about 400A draw
******Occasionally I have started AC with inverter off and with inverter in load support by playing combinations of manually soft starting, varying VDCO, dropout voltage, etc but it’s’hit and miss’ with success ~10% at best

I have a call in to Magnum tech support, I really think there’s an issue with the way it ‘qualifies’ the incoming power and/or sync’s with it.


Ron & Pat
2013 Silverado 3500 Duramax SRW
2019 VanLeigh Vilano 320 GK

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 07/19/21 09:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MNRon wrote:


* i4500 should have plenty of guts to start the AC but the Magnum kicks it out and doesn’t let it bring AC up on own
* If I put magnum in load support, or start on Magnum and then try and bring genny in, it Overload Faults and indicates about 400A draw


One AC unit?

Two AC units?

400A at 12.8V is 5120W, 5120W at 120V is 42.7A (not accounting for conversion losses)..

i4500 is only rated 3,700W (31A) continuous, 4500W (37.5A) surge

Your magnum is only rated 3KW and your trying to make it start and run a 5KW+ load..

Everything pipelined (two AC units plus other loads) through the magnum is going to put the magnum into fault mode.

Two AC units plus any other loads is simply way too much wattage no matter how you try..

Your gen is not enough wattage to reliably start and run two 13.5K BTU AC units as it appears to be what you are attempting.

If you are only trying one 13.5K BTU AC or one 15K BTU AC, then you may have an issue with said AC unit and/or too much other loads.

As far as Magnum being used as load support, you would have to limit or turn off the charging current while it is supporting additional load since that charging current becomes additional load to the gen.

You could try splitting off one AC unit and connecting it directly to the gen via 20A outlet and the RV through the 30A outlet.. but I still suspect you have more load than the gen will handle.

In reality, you would need a gen of 5Kw+ which typically lands you in split 240/120 gens and you would need to set up your RV with a 50A 240/120V panel.

Another way is 3Kw+ of solar panels to independently charge the battery bank and run the magnum plus one AC unit..

You cannot get something from nothing and in effect that is what you are doing and is called "over unity" or "perpetual machine".

MNRon

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Posted: 07/19/21 11:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer - thanks for your thoughts. I may not have been clear with some of my comments.

I am having a problem with the Magnum 3012 boost inverter playing well with the i4500 generator to start ONE AC (1500W) yet alone two.

I can start 1 AC on just the batteries using the inverter, but not reliably with the generator with boost on or off on the inverter. If plugged in to 30A shore I can easily run both ACs and other things while having the inverter load support on. Similarly I would expect to be able to do the same off of the i4500 (3700W continuous, or ~30A). BTW, the Magnum automatically throttles the charger if current demands are too high; but I’ve turned that off and still have issues.

It’s looking like there is some issue with the Magnum qualifying (or disqualifying) the incoming power and/or syncing with it from the generator. Iwith playing with various programming I’m able to get an AC started about 10% of the time, but it’s not deterministic, and playing around for 20-30min to get it going when it’s 100degrees inside isn’t fun.

I just got off of my second call with Magnum tech support and they’re passing my issue up to someone more senior. Still looking for related experiences and/or advice…thanks

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 07/19/21 01:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

i4500 may not be 100% PSW, waveform is critical, your Magnum in order to work as a booster will have to have a 100% identical waveform in order for it to "add" support to the existing input from gen.

In order for your Magnum to be able to "sync" with and "add to" the incoming power it must be able to perfectly mimic the waveform and frequency it is seeing on the input. Failure to reproduce the waveform and frequency of the input will result in a fault.

The fact that shore power and the Magnum boost works fine with both ACs is very telling to me.

Do you have access to a non inverter 4Kw 120V gen to try a test?

Old school non inverter gens will have 100% PSW waveforms, the only caveat is the frequency will be a bit higher than 60 Hz (61-62 Hz) when unloaded and when fully loaded that can sag to 58-59 Hz.

Inverter gens while they may claim to have PSW output, in reality their waveforms can be badly distorted in spite of the marketing claims and that distortion most likely is causing your issue. I would put that Westinghouse brand in the questionable quality category for waveform.

Have access to a Oscilloscope? That would tell the tail right their, need a perfectly formed sinewave waveform (magnify the waveform on the scope to view the steps) , lots of little jagged steps means there are a lot of harmonics above 60 Hz which would indicate a series of squarewaves put together to create a close representation of a sinewave along with some output filtering to smooth out some of the harmonics.. Harmonics and jagged waveform can cause issues with how your Magnum will handle the load.

The fact that you can get it to work on shore power but fails with the i4500 tells me you are barking up the wrong tree, it isn't a fault or setting on the Magnum, it is something with your choice of gens..

Westinghouse (Which was known as Westinghouse Electric) as you may have grown up with does not exist, they do not make that gen, that name is "licensed" from Westinghouse brands licensing division.

Westinghouse nearly 20 yrs ago divested themselves and sold off all of the divisions until only the Nuclear division was the only thing they do and created Westinghouse Electric Company in 1999.. This new version of Westinghouse only deals with commercial nuclear power plants, they have nothing to do with consummer generators, TVs, blenders or any other non nuclear items.

Westinghouse Electric Company then was bought up by Toshiba (sound familiar?, yeah, semiconductor, computer memory and hard drive Toshiba) where they found out why nobody wanted the Nuclear division the hard way by bleeding them dry with losses.. Toshiba did manage to find another company dumber than they were to unload the Nuclear division at a huge loss to Toshiba..

That gen is simply a rebranded Chinese built gen with nothing to do with Westinghouse other than being officially licensed to have the name stuck on the side..

The current Westinghouse headquarters? Yeah, that is huge albatross campus on the edge of my county and hr away from me with a fraction of workforce the building once held..

Not sure what happened to the original Westinghouse corporate building in downtown Pittsburgh that I once worked at, I am sure it was sold and re purposed..

MNRon

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Posted: 07/19/21 03:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer-
Not going to defend Westinghouse in depth, but their <3% THD is plenty good. AND I had the same behavior from a Yamaha 2000iS which I would consider a “high quality” generator (from previous thread). Additionally I know someone with same 5er and ACs (without Magnum) that can run not just one of the ACs with their Westinghouse i4500 but BOTH ACs as long as everything is off.

Bottom line, at this point I’m convinced there is something in my particular Magnum 3012 that doesn’t play well with genny s. Just spent another 30min with Magnum support, and they’re going to research and call back again tomorrow. The big question in my mind at this point is this anomalous behavior from my inverter? (Tech and literature suggest probably/yes) Or is this inherent in the Magnum design; in which case I probably will just add soft starts, but should have chosen Victron, but too late now.

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 07/19/21 04:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MNRon wrote:

Gdetrailer-
Not going to defend Westinghouse in depth, but their <3% THD is plenty good. AND I had the same behavior from a Yamaha 2000iS which I would consider a “high quality” generator (from previous thread). Additionally I know someone with same 5er and ACs (without Magnum) that can run not just one of the ACs with their Westinghouse i4500 but BOTH ACs as long as everything is off.

Bottom line, at this point I’m convinced there is something in my particular Magnum 3012 that doesn’t play well with genny s. Just spent another 30min with Magnum support, and they’re going to research and call back again tomorrow. The big question in my mind at this point is this anomalous behavior from my inverter? (Tech and literature suggest probably/yes) Or is this inherent in the Magnum design; in which case I probably will just add soft starts, but should have chosen Victron, but too late now.


Yamaha was clearly undersized for the task.

Westinghouse gen is the same Chinese import quality of Harbor Freight gens (most likely came from the same factories as HF gens).

Not the same "quality" between the two.

I would bet that the Westinghouse gen has far greater THD than 3% and that is most likely the issue.

There is a reason why a bigger Yamaha or Honda inverter gen costs considerably more than a Westinghouse gen.. It costs more money to design and build high quality PSW inverters even when the inverter is part of a gen. Many PSW inverters use a PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) "step" approximation of a sinewave. The speed and length of the pulses can be very fine (high quality looking sinewave) or they can be rather coarse (very poor looking sinewave with noticeable steps).

Think of this as similar to music files like MP3 where a low "sample rate" like 64 Kbps creates a terrible sounding audio file and if you increase the sample rate to 256 Kbps you end up with a near CD quality audio file.

HERE is a real good read on inverters that may help explain things better.

Basic PSW will use a "2 level" setup, the resulting waveform will look a lot like this (from the above link)..

[image]

Better PSW will use "3 level" setup, resulting waveform will be vastly improved like this..

[image]

Even better is a "5 level" setup which will result in even much better looking waveform.

Each "level" requires more parts which increases the cost..

Something else to consider, lower cost inverters may use "IGBT" outputs rather than MOSFETs, big difference in waveform quality, MOSFETS will result in far less distortion but it takes more MOSFETs to handle the power when compared to "IGBTs". IGBTs have limitations on how fast they can switch(ON/OFF) which limits them to a lower frequency (lower sampling rate) , MOSFETs are transistors which while can act like a switch, are considerably faster which allows for much finer high frequency switching (higher sampling rate).

Before barking up Magnums tree, borrow a old school 4Kw 120V non inverter gen. If it doesn't work, then consider it a fault of your Magnum.

LittleBill

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Posted: 07/19/21 05:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MNRon wrote:

Gdetrailer-
Not going to defend Westinghouse in depth, but their <3% THD is plenty good. AND I had the same behavior from a Yamaha 2000iS which I would consider a “high quality” generator (from previous thread). Additionally I know someone with same 5er and ACs (without Magnum) that can run not just one of the ACs with their Westinghouse i4500 but BOTH ACs as long as everything is off.

Bottom line, at this point I’m convinced there is something in my particular Magnum 3012 that doesn’t play well with genny s. Just spent another 30min with Magnum support, and they’re going to research and call back again tomorrow. The big question in my mind at this point is this anomalous behavior from my inverter? (Tech and literature suggest probably/yes) Or is this inherent in the Magnum design; in which case I probably will just add soft starts, but should have chosen Victron, but too late now.


maybe i missed it, does it do the same thing on grid power if you ramp it lower?





MNRon

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Posted: 07/19/21 06:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer- EE, used to manage engineering in semiconductors and then medical devices. I understand the points you’re trying to make. Can’t say the generator waveform *can’t* be involved in the issue; but neither I nor Magnum tech suspect that at this point. Given this appears only surge related it’s not the chronic waveform integrity, but probably is acute waveform related (not stairstepping, but gross surge variation) in genny andhow Magnum sync/boost circuitry handles it. Magnum tech agrees this is not the expected performance of the inverter.

LittleBill - Magnum performs as advertised on shore power. I can throttle incoming current down and inverter load support will add to that as expected. True of resistive load support (wife’s hairdryer) or inductive (AC with large inrush).

I have another call with Magnum tomorrow. What I know right now is that the Magnum inverter performs as expected with shore power. With two different generators (including Yamaha “high end”) the Magnum inverter has a difficult time with inductive loads syncing with generator (need to reverify it works properly with hair drier boost, but pretty sure that was the case). Pretty sure my application is on the ‘hairy edge’ such that I can get AC to run on the generator with enough attempts, including under different parameteric conditions, but it’s not deterministic. Unfortunately the Magnum input checking circuitry kicks generator out and won’t pass thru power when not even using boost. When using load support feature the worst part is that not only does the inverter kick the genny power out, but somehow in doing that it sets up a current draw condition that it also overloads (~400A) and faults the Magnum.

I’m starting to suspect that this might be a design issue with Magnum such that I just need to get soft starts, but didn’t want to spend $600 more.

Magnum techs are puzzled, they agree this is anomalous behavior but don’t understand how it could be unit defect, or design flaw yet.

If anyone has experiences with Magnum load support of ACs using a generator that could be beneficial in this troubleshooting
Thanks

* This post was edited 07/19/21 07:01pm by MNRon *

MNRon

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Posted: 07/19/21 06:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Itinerant1- do you recall prior to installing soft starts if your ‘hit and miss’ performance running your ACs ever resulted in an AC Overload on your inverter with ~400A type draws that I’m seeing?

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