Got installed on the island - MEP-803a

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Daybreak

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I agree with having voltage drop, but it's not possible to drop the frequency over a wire distance no matter how much resistance there is. It will be the same frequency no matter the voltage at either end.
Unless my understanding of how alternating current is way off and my google fu is failing me that's how it is.
Howdy,
What I am saying is;

The MEP-803A is mechanical. If your average running is around a 60% load, adjust accordingly. A nice 120/240 60Hz. So that means a unit with no load might be sitting differently on the gauges.
A no load MEP-803A for me would be hanging around 61-62Hz with no load.

I would take all the readings from where the power is being used. The biggest load being the A/C unit. Measure at the A/C, not 600ft at the generator.
 

Coug

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Olympia/WA
Howdy,
What I am saying is;

The MEP-803A is mechanical. If your average running is around a 60% load, adjust accordingly. A nice 120/240 60Hz. So that means a unit with no load might be sitting differently on the gauges.
A no load MEP-803A for me would be hanging around 61-62Hz with no load.

I would take all the readings from where the power is being used. The biggest load being the A/C unit. Measure at the A/C, not 600ft at the generator.
Yup, I agree with that. The load doesn't care how much power the generator is producing, the load only cares about how much power it is receiving.

Frequency will drop as the generator is loaded, but will always read the same at both ends of the cable, no matter how much the voltage drops.
 

k9medic

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Florida
So doing my math with the AC, the LRA is 78 amps - 26 amps over normal capacity for the 803a

That’s 150% loading.

If I got a hard start capacitor for the AC I should see my issue go away?


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Light in the Dark

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I don't think anyone can tell you with 100% certainty, but adding a soft start to this appliance definitely won't hurt your cause.
 

csheath

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FL
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?
Without some sort of data logging system that measures all parameters you may never know what caused it.

One thought is if the clamp meter you have has the ability to record max amps you could leave it running on the system or at the house panel to see if it was an over current situation.

Do you have an electric hot water heater? Well?

My house is all electric with a 1.5 HP well pump, a 3.5 ton package AC/heat pump, and an electric water heater with two 4500 watt elements. The water heater elements only energize one at a time. I have found my 803 can run any two of my 240 volt circuits without a problem but I usually leave the water heater off. If I need to heat water I turn off the AC. My 50 gallons of hot water will last 24 hours and provide at least 3 showers. Actually if I need to cook or turn on any other circuit than the well and AC I turn off the AC because of the start load it requires. When it starts you can hear the generator bog for a second but it doesn't shut down. My AC unit doesn't have a hard or soft start capacitor, just the stock start capacitor which has been replaced a couple of times during it's life.

Another thought is the possibility the oil pressure drops below the shut down point after running a long time. Next time it shuts off open any high load breakers at the house and restart the generator as soon as possible to check the oil pressure and engine temperatures. You may need to take it easy on it to get it broken in then put a good quality 15W40 diesel oil in it.

As others have said you DON'T add the readings from L1 and L3. The highest reading is your highest load. I added digital meters to mine and here is a photo of those with a 13,500 watt resistive load.

IMG_1421.JPG
 

k9medic

Member
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Location
Florida
Update

Over the Thanksgiving weekend we went back over to the island and spent 4 days working. I took some time to wire the generator into the power panel using the correct lockout kit. It took a bit but I tracked down the kit for under $75.00.

A few things that I found out after running the generator almost non stop for 4 days. -
  • The generator has some oil leaking somewhere around the fan area. I didn't have time to dig into it to find the origin.
  • I put 4 quarts of oil in the generator and it still showed low on the dipstick after several hours. Oil pressure was 40-60 psi
  • My wife didn't think about the power being used. With the generator powering the fridge, water heater, the washer, the dryer and the microwave, it will overheat and shut down without boiling water passion. I guessed the amperage at around 55 before the microwave kicked on for 5 minutes.
  • The aux pump does not work. Voltage was to the pump at 24V but nothing happens.
  • It will shut down with a no fuel indication after several hour and still has about 3 gallons of fuel. The Battle Short will let it run to empty. I had my son stick his hand in there and the floats are not stuck

Lingering question - When running at a smaller load, when the well pump kicks on the lights surge brighter. Why?

I also managed to get an auxiliary tank hooked up, although not the way it's intended. Being short on time I had to figure out a way to make the external tank run the generator. I disconnected the fuel line from the main pump and routed the aux. tank line to it. Go figure, the aux tank connector and the main connector are different sizes! A hose clamp solved that problem. I then took the fuel return hose and routed it back to the aux. tank through a covered funnel. It's not pretty but it's functional. To get past the no fuel shutoff issue, I put 5 gallons into the main tank.

Given the loads that I put on the generator, I was burning around half a gallon of diesel per hour.

The day before we left, they got some power into town which is a blessing. There is talk that electricity will be to our end of the island in the next three weeks!
 
Last edited:

Coug

Active member
347
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Location
Olympia/WA
Over the Thanksgiving weekend we went back over to the island and spent 4 days working. I took some time to wire the generator into the power panel using the correct lockout kit. It took a bit but I tracked down the kit for under $75.00.

A few things that I found out after running the generator almost non stop for 4 days. -
  • The generator has some oil leaking somewhere around the fan area. I didn't have time to dig into it to find the origin.
  • I put 4 quarts of oil in the generator and it still showed low on the dipstick after several hours. Oil pressure was 40-60 psi
  • My wife didn't think about the power being used. With the generator powering the fridge, water heater, the washer, the dryer and the microwave, it will overheat and shut down without boiling water passion. I guessed the amperage at around 55 before the microwave kicked on for 5 minutes.
  • The aux pump does not work. Voltage was to the pump at 24V but nothing happens.
  • It will shut down with a no fuel indication after several hour and still has about 3 gallons of fuel. The Battle Short will let it run to empty. I had my son stick his hand in there and the floats are not stuck

Lingering question - When running at a smaller load, when the well pump kicks on the lights surge brighter. Why?

I also managed to get an auxiliary tank hooked up, although not the way it's intended. Being short on time I had to figure out a way to make the external tank run the generator. I disconnected the fuel line from the main pump and routed the aux. tank line to it. Go figure, the aux tank connector and the main connector are different sizes! A hose clamp solved that problem. I then took the fuel return hose and routed it back to the aux. tank through a covered funnel. It's not pretty but it's functional. To get past the no fuel shutoff issue, I put 5 gallons into the main tank.

Given the loads that I put on the generator, I was burning around half a gallon of diesel per hour.

The day before we left, they got some power into town which is a blessing. There is talk that electricity will be to our end of the island in the next three weeks!
Hopefully if you don't get power back by the end of the year your wife learns to adapt to the reality of living on generator power and doesn't try to run every appliance at the same time again, but as long as the fluid levels are good she's unlikely to do any actual damage to the generator with all the safeguards built in.

You might need to be careful running off an auxiliary tank using the main fuel pump. These things don't burn all the fuel they pump, some is used for cooling and lubrication, and gets returned to the main fuel tank. Running it too long in this configuration could lead to overflowing fuel from the main tank.

As to why the lights get brighter when the well pump surges, the well pump surge is a heavy, but short load. The generator electronics can't respond fast enough, so there is a short lag where the output is playing catch up. Short delay for the output to increase to where it needs to be to power the well pump, then as the surge demand drops the generator decreases power. No matter how good the electronics are, when a generator load changes rapidly the mechanical portions of the generator still take time to compensate. Perfectly normal provided it isn't excessive.
 

rcamacho

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Bainbridge Island Wa
Good point on voltage regulation response time to load. I run a surge suppressor on the main electrical panel to give the home a safety margin on voltage spikes/transients.



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k9medic

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Location
Florida
I like the surge suppressor idea.

For the aux tank, I have actually disconnected all of the lines going into the internal tank. Everything including the return fuel line now circulates through the aux. tank so no worries on overflowing.
 

Guyfang

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Location
Burgkunstadt, Germany
Over the Thanksgiving weekend we went back over to the island and spent 4 days working. I took some time to wire the generator into the power panel using the correct lockout kit. It took a bit but I tracked down the kit for under $75.00.

A few things that I found out after running the generator almost non stop for 4 days. -
  • The generator has some oil leaking somewhere around the fan area. I didn't have time to dig into it to find the origin.
  • I put 4 quarts of oil in the generator and it still showed low on the dipstick after several hours. Oil pressure was 40-60 psi
  • My wife didn't think about the power being used. With the generator powering the fridge, water heater, the washer, the dryer and the microwave, it will overheat and shut down without boiling water passion. I guessed the amperage at around 55 before the microwave kicked on for 5 minutes.
  • The aux pump does not work. (So test the pump. Take it out. apply 24 volts to the plug. Works? or not? If it pumps, then hook a hose to the pump and see if it pumps fuel. Simply vibrating, is not proof of working or not. Voltage was to the pump at 24V but nothing happens.
  • It will shut down with a no fuel indication after several hour and still has about 3 gallons of fuel. (So adjust the float. But remember, its SUPOSED to shut the set off before the complete system runs dry.)The Battle Short will let it run (This is not a good idea to let your set run with Battle Short on. If its using oil, its even worse of a thing to do. What happens if it runs out of oil?) to empty. I had my son stick his hand in there and the floats are not stuck (This doesn't mean the float works. Test it)

Lingering question - When running at a smaller load, when the well pump kicks on the lights surge brighter. Why?

I also managed to get an auxiliary tank hooked up, although not the way it's intended. Being short on time I had to figure out a way to make the external tank run the generator. I disconnected the fuel line from the main pump and routed the aux. tank line to it. Go figure, the aux tank connector and the main connector are different sizes! A hose clamp solved that problem. I then took the fuel return hose and routed it back to the aux. tank through a covered funnel. It's not pretty but it's functional. To get past the no fuel shutoff issue, I put 5 gallons into the main tank.

Given the loads that I put on the generator, I was burning around half a gallon of diesel per hour.

The day before we left, they got some power into town which is a blessing. There is talk that electricity will be to our end of the island in the next three weeks!
.
 

k9medic

Member
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Location
Florida
Thank you. I do have 24v to the pump but nothing happens.

Unfortunately given the pace of the repairs that I needed to make, I didn’t have much time to do any testing and had to improvise.

Getting gutters in place to collect rainwater was a bit more of a priority.

I have made seven trips over since the storm passed. This last trip was my final trip until March of next year.

I’m out of money and time to take off!


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Daybreak

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Howdy,

Notes of interest.
Make sure the radiator is full. Make sure the overflow is half way. Make sure all panels are in place, and all doors are closed. The MEP generator is designed to run with all in place for proper air flow.

Use you handheld meter to make sure your at a nice 240 volts and 60Hz. Motors will love you more. :)

By the hours of use. It might be wise to go ahead and drain all the oil and replace the filter. Then top it off with the correct amount of oil.
 

k9medic

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Location
Florida
Well this is why I can’t have nice things...


My first renter arrived yesterday and couldn’t get the generator started.

Genny ran pretty much flawless last week.

Turned s1 to start and got a solid click but nothing else. Prime pump was running.

Had a moment where the low oil light came on while trying to start so he put oil in and reset the light. Still nothing.

Friend came over and checked voltage on both new batteries - 13v each.

Had him turn to prime and push fuel solenoid in and then use the dead crank switch. Turns over but nothing else.

Circuit breaker and fuses are good. Emergency cut off is pulled out. Battle short switch is off.

Hoping to throw this out there as I have a CAT mechanic that’s going to look at it today but he doesn’t know much about the govt. stuff.

Hard to troubleshoot with a renter who knows little about mechanics.


I have the -24 but can anybody think of something obvious he might not be doing?




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Guyfang

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Burgkunstadt, Germany
Thats a little low. Should be 24 VDC. Pumps will run with low voltage, but the K1 may not engage.

The low oil PRESSURE light will always come on, as there is no, or low oil pressure when the engine is not running.

Is he holding the S1 in the start position long enough?

As long as the S10 is in the normal position, the K2 should engage. Have him try the S10 switch, to see if the engine cranks over. If it cranks over, the K2 is good. Then its some kind of problem between the S1 and K1. Or the battery's are not up to snuff.
 

NATCAD

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Port Huron Michigan
Maybe buying more generators is not the solution, but maybe it is? Your 803a directly powering the airconditioning and another 803a and or an 802 (not sure about your other loads) powering the main panel. Then you have more robustness potentiality. How nice is your place in bahamas - maybe you can rent/donate your place out to the SS crowd in turn for some trouble shooting?
 

Daybreak

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Howdy,
Ummm, maybe your alternator is not working good enough to charge up the batteries. I would add a solar battery charger to keep them topped off after fixing the charging issue. 2 good fully charged batteries will start it right up. Having only 20 volts for start are not going to cut it.
 
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