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Old 12-06-2019, 12:42 PM   #1
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AGS, generator & inverter

Question for the group. If this is not the right place, please let me know: we have a 2016 DX3. Everything works beautifully, except one important thing. I have set up the AGS according to the xantrex support folks. It all worked great yesterday. Disabled Quiet time over night to test it. This morning batteries were so low, generator would not start and inverter was off. Had to run the engine long enough to charge the batteries so we could start the generator and had to re-enable the inverter. Any advice from this group?
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:08 PM   #2
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Are you plugged into shore power?
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:26 PM   #3
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No. Thatís the point. We were hoping the AGS would take over if we arenít on shore power. I have the CFG Trigger set to 12.0v, per the guy at Xantrex.

Another person suggested maybe our batteries are too old and the load is too much with the aqua hot running. We will check the batteries. Or increase the trigger to something higher.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:38 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=Ladytj1754;2233541]Question for the group. If this is not the right place, please let me know: we have a 2016 DX3. Everything works beautifully, except one important thing. I have set up the AGS according to the xantrex support folks. It all worked great yesterday. Disabled Quiet time over night to test it. This morning batteries were so low, generator would not start and inverter was off. Had to run the engine long enough to charge the batteries so we could start the generator and had to re-enable the inverter. Any advice from this group?[/QUOTE

Battery disconnect on?
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:41 PM   #5
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At 12.0v the battery(ies) are basically DEAD.

You'll need to bump that voltage threshold up or the generator will never start.
It can't because the battery(ies) are really low at that point.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:56 PM   #6
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^^This^^

https://www.google.com/search?client...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

12V is 25% state of charge.

I think I always set mine at 12.2. In theory, a furnace or major draw might drop it below...but its not supposed to start up unless there is a sustained draw below that. The AH could do that....but better safe than sorry.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
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At 12.0v the battery(ies) are basically DEAD.

You'll need to bump that voltage threshold up or the generator will never start.
It can't because the battery(ies) are really low at that point.
That is what Iíve been trying to figure out. Makes total sense, but I donít know what that number should be. Suggestion? The Xantrex guy told me they are at 50% at 12v.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladytj1754 View Post
That is what Iíve been trying to figure out. Makes total sense, but I donít know what that number should be. Suggestion? The Xantrex guy told me they are at 50% at 12v.

I've always known 12.0v to be less than 50% but I won't question someone from Xantrex, they should know I suppose.

Me... I'd go with what Brian suggested... 12.2v.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:44 PM   #9
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I read an article that I finally found indicating 12.4 is 50%. I’m thinking of bumping the trigger to 12.5 just to be safe. Worth a try!
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ladytj1754 View Post
I read an article that I finally found indicating 12.4 is 50%. I’m thinking of bumping the trigger to 12.5 just to be safe. Worth a try!
Here is a chart that is for flooded lead acid batteries and pretty much in line with what I have experienced in over 40 years in the automotive industry.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:59 PM   #11
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Thank you! This is very helpful!
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:35 PM   #12
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I think 12.5 is too high. Your gen would be starting all the time. But, if there re no quiet hours you can test it there...see what happens. I think the Aquahot for sure would likely pull charged batteries down below 12.5 under load.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:57 PM   #13
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Thank you, Brian. I didnít realize the percentages were that close. I can certainly test it at 12.2 or 12.3.

We also want to check the life of the batteries as well. They may be the originals and need to be replaced also.

Considering Solar so this all May end up being moot if the solar takes care of this problem!

Thanks, again, everyone for the education and feedbackí this is such a confusing subject!
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Old 12-07-2019, 02:21 PM   #14
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I have a different brand of coach, so I'm not comparing apples here. I had the same problem--no AGS. I called the manufacturer (dealer was no help). They said that before I could activate AGS using our multiplex control panel, I first need to start the coach engine, shut if off again, and actually remove the ignition key. Made no sense to me, but it worked.
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:34 PM   #15
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One size does NOT fit all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
Here is a chart that is for flooded lead acid batteries and pretty much in line with what I have experienced in over 40 years in the automotive industry.
Before recommending a threshold voltage for Automatic Generator Start, the first thing to do is to decide what battery temperature is involved.

Take a look at the great chart at Battery Voltage Temperature Correction | All About Lead Acid Batteries

The 50% charge voltage for a 12v flooded Lead-Acid battery is roughly:

0F.. 12.43
10F. 12.40
20F. 12.38
30F. 12.36
40F. 12.33
50F. 12.31
60F. 12.29
70F. 12.26
80F. 12.24
90F. 12.22
100F 12.19
110F 12.17
120F 12.14
130F 12.12
140F 12.10

See the link above for more precise data points. It is clear that the generator start threshold should be temperature compensated. One setting is not adequate for the entire span of temperatures.

The 50% charge voltage at 95F is the same voltage (around 12.20v) as the 25% charge voltage at 20F.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:03 AM   #16
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Well, after checking everything and making sure triggers were set properly, the AGS wonít work at all now! I thought it might be because itís too cold and the 30 second trigger wasnít enough to warm up the gen to start, so I set the 15 minute one as well. That worked the other day. Now it wonít start at all unless manually. I set both triggers at 12.3.

All this may be moot as we are having solar installed tomorrow. Also going to have the batteries checked. But i would still like to know what is going on with this component! There is no Xantrex knowledgeable support in a Colorado that I can find. So I am relegated to calling the company. Itís frustrating to say the least.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:52 AM   #17
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While I have a Magnum Inverter and Magnum AGS, along with the ME-RC remote control panel, it may work similar to yours....here's my suggestions:

First, make sure your AGS is ENABLED. Sometimes thru the course of manually starting/stopping your Generator, it may have DISABLED the AGS Module. There is actually a setting within the Magnum AGS that sets what 'type' of situation you have, either 'RV', or 'OTHER'. While it would 'seem' obvious to set it to RV, it's actually better to set it to OTHER. The reason is that if you use the RV setting, it will DISABLE the AGS anytime you start/stop the Generator manually. With the OTHER setting, manually starting and stopping your AGS will not disable it from retaining it's operation, when it's called upon to automatically start.

- VOLTS setting: the discussion that 12.0 is 'too low' of a starting setting is just ridiculous, as this might even be much HIGHER than many of us who use our AGS regularly use. Mine is set to 11.9, sometimes even lower if I want the Generator to wait a little longer before it starts each time. These have never had any bearing on the 'life' of my House batteries, and have no problem starting the Generator. I seriously doubt that this VOLTS level has anything to do with YOUR Generator not starting, it sounds like the AGS is just not calling for it to be started, otherwise you would hear it 'trying' to start, or at least some 'clicking' sounds, even if the batteries were 'low'.


So, make sure the AGS is ENABLED and actually trying to start the Generator when it should, and make sure the VOLTS are set to a proper starting point so that it comes on when needed, but not too often otherwise.

You can test your AGS by running the VOLTS setting to 12.5, or even higher, to 'see' if the AGS starts the Generator, but using that setting for your 'regular' setting just means that the Generator will practically be running every hour.


There are other settings you also need to have in mind, like the SHORE MAX button/setting, which tells the Inverter's Battery Charger how much power you have access to, or to artificially limit the Charger's AMP usage during the generator's run, if you have a need for other items to be used at the same time, to minimize tripping the Generator's breaker. Also, the RUN TIME setting tells the AGS how 'long' the Generator should run each time, before it automatically shuts it back off. I've always used the 30mins setting, as we've found, in our camping comfort, that the generator running less 'time', but maybe more 'often' works best for us. Others might say set it to 2hours since you want to 'full charge' your House batteries, but every situation is different.

QUIET HOURS: make sure that you disable this. If you are ever at a campground that limits Generator usage during certain overnight hours you can deploy this feature, but otherwise it could be part of your problem if it is actually set ON while you are trying to diagnose why your Generator is not starting, since you must also set your Inverter's TIME to the correct time before the QUITE TIME setting knows when to 'disable' the AGS.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladytj1754 View Post
Question for the group. If this is not the right place, please let me know: we have a 2016 DX3. Everything works beautifully, except one important thing. I have set up the AGS according to the xantrex support folks. It all worked great yesterday. Disabled Quiet time over night to test it. This morning batteries were so low, generator would not start and inverter was off. Had to run the engine long enough to charge the batteries so we could start the generator and had to re-enable the inverter. Any advice from this group?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladytj1754 View Post
Well, after checking everything and making sure triggers were set properly, the AGS won’t work at all now! I thought it might be because it’s too cold and the 30 second trigger wasn’t enough to warm up the gen to start, so I set the 15 minute one as well. That worked the other day. Now it won’t start at all unless manually. I set both triggers at 12.3.

All this may be moot as we are having solar installed tomorrow. Also going to have the batteries checked. But i would still like to know what is going on with this component! There is no Xantrex knowledgeable support in a Colorado that I can find. So I am relegated to calling the company. It’s frustrating to say the least.

As FormerFR pointed out... are you sure this setting isn't causing your issue? Especially since it worked OK before messing with it.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:03 AM   #19
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also, typically the AGS is designed to start the Generator AFTER the VOLTS trigger setting has been breached CONSTANTLY for two minutes, meaning that the moment your VOLTS level reaches the AGS setting it will not 'automatically' and suddenly start the Generator, as these can sometimes only be due to a draw that is on artificially drawing down the VOLTS, such as the Fridge's compressor. It is designed to wait for the two minutes in order to not create 'nuisance starting' situations.

You may also have a 'TEST' setting within the AGS Module, which simply 'tests' to see if the AGS will start the Generator, run it for 30 seconds, then automatically cut it off.
If that works, then the AGS is actually working fine, but some of your other settings may be causing it to not trigger the AGS level to start the Generator, otherwise.


You may also have a LBCO setting, which is a Low Battery Cut Out designed to help preserve the level of the House Batteries in the even the AGS cannot start the Generator, or even if you forget to ENABLE the AGS, or even if you just have super low battery levels. You can use a 11.5volts setting, which will then automatically CUT OUT your Inverter anytime the batteries get too low, which is a VOLTS reading of less than 11.5volts for more than 30 seconds.
This is not only a battery saver, but also an indicator to show that the House Batteries are not getting a charge, whether from the Generator, Solar, or Shore Power.


When you get Solar Power, you'll see less of a need for the Generator to run as often, but you'll still find the AGS and the Generator very useful power sources for your RVing style, as air conditioning and electric water heating will require the Generator, when off-grid.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:03 PM   #20
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FormerFR, this is wonderful, detailed information! Thank you! I donít know if the AGS has been disabled somehow, but will certainly look at that. This is such an education! By the time this is all said and done, I should be well education in AGS operation on a Xantrex system. Hope it works similarly to a magnum!
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