Got installed on the island - MEP-803a

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k9medic

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Some of you may have read my previous post about my purchase of an 803a to bring over to the Bahamas for use as a primary power source for a house until they get power supplied.

I won the auction for the lofty sum of $375. A couple of batteries and a new relay later and I have a total of $600 into the system. It took the wisdoms of this board to get it running but it does!

Getting it to the Bahamas proved to be interesting. Obviously because of the weight, I could not just fly it over. It had to go by a barge. Moving it by barge was going to be very expensive. This is where relationships come in.

I learned that a friend of a friend had a truck he was donating, going over on a barge. I was able to get in contact with this person and was told we could put the generator in the back of the truck for the trip.

What I didn’t realize was the generator had to be at the Seaport two days later since they did not know when it was going to sail so I rushed to get the generator down to South Florida to the Seaport.

Later the next day, I got a phone call from US customs asking about the permits to export the “military equipment.“ it took some talking and an extra day, but we finally received word that I did not need any permits to export the generator.

Fast forward a week and I still has not heard anything on the shipping but I knew the barge had made it over. My friends on the island went on a hunt for the generator but were unable to find it.

Late in the evening (10:30pm) two days later I got a text saying they found the generator and they were going to put it at a buddy of mine’s house until I got over.

This past weekend I headed over with a load of stuff, with the plan to get everything hooked up.

The first step was chain sawing my way down the road to the house. Parts of my neighbors house were in the middle of the road as were many trees. A couple hours later, I had a clear path to the house.

Next came the waiting game. The gentleman who normally runs the loader is in the hospital. His brother was now doing twice the work. Priority came to getting heavy items moved that benefit they entire island so my generator was last on the list to get moved.

Around 6:30pm we finally got the generator placed next Ed to the power panel. An hour later, the meter was pulled , Polaris connectors were attached and I was up and running! For the first time in three months there was power!

After running flawlessly for over 6 hours, the generator shut down. I wandered out in the darkness to take a look and couldn’t see anything that stood out.

At first I figured the fuel was exhausted, but it appeared to still have several gallons of diesel left. I figured A couple more hours without power wouldn’t hurt so I waited until the sun came up to dig further.

Something caused the engine to bog down.

I borrowed a clamp on amp meter and went to checking loads. With just the ac running, I was pulling 24.5 amps on l1 and 26 amps on l2. By that math I should have plenty of amperage left. To run not only the AC bit other stuff as well. (In the early evening I ran lights, the ac and the water pump with no real issues. When the pump kicked in I did get a little surge)

Now I wonder why the thing bogged down!

Any thoughts?


My next course of action is to rig up an auxiliary fuel tank that I can run off of and the placement of a proper manual transfer switch.







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k9medic

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Florida
That's a great question. On our island (3 miles long) everybody knows everybody (any most are related) so we are generally pretty secure. The last thing that was "stolen" was a VHF handheld radio that a kid took. Everybody knows the kid so the next adult who saw him walking down the street grabbed him and dragged him to his house to get the radio.

Even house that have been completely destroyed are not "looted."
 

Guyfang

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Made some first post changes.
We cab see at the bottom of the first post, that you did an edit, so no need to write a separate post.

What did the gen set have for idiot lights on, when it stopped?
Did you hear it bog down? Or think it bogged down?
If it was an overload, the light should have been lit on the A2 fault indicator.
Are the batteries fully charged?
Start it back up, put it on load and see if it happens again.
 

k9medic

Member
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Location
Florida
Thank you. Here is some more info on the mess -

When I first hooked it up and started it, there was a heavy bog down. I figured this was due to the Air conditioner and fridge trying to come on at once.

I shut everything off in the house and started the generator back up. I then slowly powered things back on with exception of the fridge.

It was around 0130 when the generator died. I did not hear it die off as the generator is about 150’ from the house. When I went down to check on it, there were no lights. The fuel pump was still ticking away.

I turned it off and then started it right back up with no issues. I did check the oil and noticed it was pretty low so shut it back off until daylight.

The next morning I cranked it up and everything ran fine so I shut it back down until I could get some more oil.

I was only able to locate a quart of oil on the island so I added that. When I started it back up and closed the AC switch, it started to bog down again. The only thing that was on was the air conditioner.

I opened up the AC switch and the RPMs came back up. I reclosed the switch and it ran fine from there. Thinking that perhaps I was pulling too much power, I tracked down a clamp on meter. That is where I got the amperage readings with just the air conditioner running


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k9medic

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Florida
If I’m doing my math right, 26A per line equals 52A total.

With just the air conditioner running I was pulling 26A on one line.

Does this mean that I’m at 100% load?


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k9medic

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Florida
Is this the first time you have run the set?
No. I put a load on it with two ovens running at 400 degrees for about 2 hours.

It is the first time though that the set has run for anything longer than two hours.

I unfortunately did not have much of a choice. The opportunity for it to get shipped on a barge came up much quicker than I would have liked.


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Light in the Dark

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OK, so I guess I should have said was this the first time you ran the set at anywhere near its capabilities? If you have the ability, you should be stepping up the machine (in terms of load) to see how it runs and performs up to (And above) 100% gauge read. Many surplused sets need TLC to get up to their rated output.
 

k9medic

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Florida
My load gauge doesn’t appear to work.

That’s why I asked about the amperage per leg.


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Ray70

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K9medic, to answer about you clamp meter readings, yes if you were pulling 26A per leg then you are at 52A at 240V. So yes, about Full load. How many tonne is you A/C unit? That seems like a pretty large draw for even a 5 tonnne, probably almost double what I would expect.
I assume 52A was the running current draw, not the startup surge current?
 

Zed254

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If I’m doing my math right, 26A per line equals 52A total.

With just the air conditioner running I was pulling 26A on one line.

Does this mean that I’m at 100% load?


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When I was testing my 803A I had readings of:

Load Meter: 104%
Amps Red leg: 50.6 amps
Amps Black leg: 53.6 amps
Amps Neutral leg: 3.1 amps (control system / clock runs on a single leg so slightly out of balance)

Because this is alternating current I do not believe you add the amps on each leg: they are 180 degrees out of phase. Each of your power legs (L1, L3) should pull amps close to that showing on the equipment tag: 52 amps when operating in 120/240 single phase.....with a Resistive Load (240 volt electric stove).

As LITD says you probably need to ease up the power you are asking your machine to deliver. Run several hours stepping up the demand to allow the machine to blow out any debris in the exhaust side. You may have some wet stacking that needs to be cleaned up.
 
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DieselAddict

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K9medic, to answer about you clamp meter readings, yes if you were pulling 26A per leg then you are at 52A at 240V. So yes, about Full load. How many tonne is you A/C unit? That seems like a pretty large draw for even a 5 tonnne, probably almost double what I would expect.
I assume 52A was the running current draw, not the startup surge current?
Actually, no. You aren't at full load. When you are measuring a 240v load you have to measure all the legs and the neutral. The power on the two load legs cancel out so it is NOT summed. 26a at 240 is a little over half load.

To test what is bogging down the set I would start with the AC. You'll need to let the AC set for a while and see what happens when it tries to start. I suggest testing the voltage at the house when the AC starts. See if you are seeing a significant voltage drop. Voltage droop will dramatically increase the inrush.

Let us know what you find.
 

k9medic

Member
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Location
Florida
To test what is bogging down the set I would start with the AC. You'll need to let the AC set for a while and see what happens when it tries to start. I suggest testing the voltage at the house when the AC starts. See if you are seeing a significant voltage drop. Voltage droop will dramatically increase the inrush.

Let us know what you find.
This is what doesn't make sense. The measured 26A was measured with the compressor running yesterday.

The previous night before it shut down, it had been running for a bunch of hours and there was no other load other than a couple of ceiling fans.
 

Daybreak

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Howdy,
Your MEP-803A just might be cleaning itself out still. A good fully functional MEP-803A can really power a lot of stuff. The biggest would be the well pump starting and the A/C compressor starting around the same time. With the fans running, a few lights, and refridgerator running might have put it over the edge. The more running, and keeping a good load on the unit will certainly help. Try to keep the loads balanced. 240 equipment is not a problem.

Here are some MEP-802A and MEP-803A being loaded. Acquired a Military surplus load bank

The MEP-803A over 100% was only for a short period.
 

Bmxenbrett

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NY
Being so remote you need spare filters and more oil. There cheap, dont go bad and you will use them one way or another.

I keep at least 2 spare filters of each and 3-4 oil filters, at least a few gallons of engine oil and coolant. Also im in NY not a remote island with only 1qt of oil to be found.

Since it runs so well like others have stated you may need to run it up to max amps in stages due to wet stacking. Whats its normal output? Surely your house cant be running 20a+ all day?
 
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