foolios
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 3:43 pm
Delivery Date: 06 Mar 2014

Inverter with Battery Charger won't recharge battery bank

Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:32 am

My solar battery bank had gotten lower than I would have liked one evening and I thought that I could simply recharge it via the inverter I have hooked up to my leaf.

It did not work. I'm hoping someone can explain why this isn't working.

From the Leaf I am using the following inverter:
Sunforce 11240 1000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WGNNUQ?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00

That inverter(Sunforce) is then plugged into by this inverter(AIMS) with built in battery charger:
AIMS Power PICOGLF20W24V120VR 2000W 24V Pure Sine Inverter Charger
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BXTOQD4?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00

I had called the manufacturer of the AIMS inverter and checked that I have the correct DIP switch settings so that the built in charger would prioritize the battery and keep it charged.
They were not able to figure out why the battery charger(AIMS) will not kick in when plugged into the Sunforce inverter on the Leaf.

When I plug the AIMS inverter into the wall outlet(House Power), it immediately starts to charge the battery bank. Everything works as it should.
But plugging it into the inverter; it will not start the battery charging process.
I have tried two other inverters, cheaper, modified sine wave inverters, in place of the Sunforce(connected to the Leaf), with no luck either.

I guessed maybe it was because the Sunforce inverter connected to the Leaf didn't have a real ground so I connected a ground from the ground rod of the main service panel to the ground plug and that didn't make any difference.

I would love to know why this won't work. Anyone have any ideas?
1.4 kW Off-Grid Solar PV (14×100Watt@12V(24V config)
1000A@24v Battery Bank
EVSE level 2 - Clipper Creek
2013 S model without QC package

BrockWI
Posts: 571
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:28 am
Delivery Date: 28 Mar 2014
Leaf Number: 423875
Location: Green Bay, WI.
Contact: Website

Re: Inverter with Battery Charger won't recharge battery bank

Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:54 pm

First does the AIMS inverter / charger charge the batteries from the grid or from a genset? If it does you can rule out the AIMS unit settings. If it does then I am guessing the Sunforce inverter is not putting out waveform or voltage that the AIMS likes. I know Sunforce tends to not be to stable with load starting so it might keep falling out of the range set on the AIMS when the AIMS tries to pull the power for the charger. Does the AIMS even sync to the Sunforce without trying to charge?

My suggestion is to get 2 matched good sized 12v chargers to the two sides of you battery bank and power those from the Sunforce and avoid trying to run through the AIMS unit.
3 kw solar pv - XW6048 - 8 L16's
4 ton GSHP
2003 VW TDI 170k miles - 52 mpg lifetime
evse level 2 - Clipper Creek HSC-40
2013 S model with QC package Mar of 2013

smkettner
Posts: 7008
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:13 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Feb 2014
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Inverter with Battery Charger won't recharge battery bank

Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:46 pm

30 amp charging at 24 volt might be a bit high for a 1000w supply. Can you turn it down to 10 or 20 amp?
Dedicated battery charger might work better.

http://www.bestconverter.com/DLS-27-15-24-Volt-15-Amp-Power-Converter-_p_355.html#.VqQ6ViorKUk
1 bar lost at 21,451 miles, 16 months.
2 bar lost at 35,339 miles, 25 months.
LEAF traded at 45,400 miles for a RAV4-EV

foolios
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 3:43 pm
Delivery Date: 06 Mar 2014

Re: Inverter with Battery Charger won't recharge battery bank

Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:55 pm

The Aims can be plugged into Mains power ànd it's supposed to work from a generator as well.
You can lower the amp draw to be less than the 30 amps I believe as low as 10% of the full amount.
The load draw is a good guess but I've tried 3 different inverters and I'm just guessing that they should be able to handle an approximate 3 amps draw.
The voltage stability is a good guess as well, but there is a setting to allow a wider range of input voltage.
I'll have to take some measurements again and report them.

That link is very much appreciated. That's the first one I've seen for 15 amps @ 24v. I couldn't find one less than 20 amps. The initial power draw at startup from the 20 amp chargers were too high for the leaf. They would blow the 120amp fuse I was using to protect the leaf.
1.4 kW Off-Grid Solar PV (14×100Watt@12V(24V config)
1000A@24v Battery Bank
EVSE level 2 - Clipper Creek
2013 S model without QC package

BrockWI
Posts: 571
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:28 am
Delivery Date: 28 Mar 2014
Leaf Number: 423875
Location: Green Bay, WI.
Contact: Website

Re: Inverter with Battery Charger won't recharge battery bank

Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:12 am

On my house bank (8 L16's) I have four simple Black & Decker 2,4,6 amp chargers on the 48v bank, all in series. I can then set it to charge at 2, 4 or 6 amps each. I also have an iota DLS 54-13 (54v at 13 amps) that can easily be powered from our Honda 2000i.

I guess I am saying you could get any two matched chargers and put them on each side of the 24v bank and even turn them on one at a time if you need to "ramp up" the load.
3 kw solar pv - XW6048 - 8 L16's
4 ton GSHP
2003 VW TDI 170k miles - 52 mpg lifetime
evse level 2 - Clipper Creek HSC-40
2013 S model with QC package Mar of 2013

foolios
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 3:43 pm
Delivery Date: 06 Mar 2014

Re: Inverter with Battery Charger won't recharge battery bank

Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:34 am

You are using 4, 12v chargers in series on your 48v battery bank? Am I reading that right?

Do you have to manually monitor them all or do they still work as they were originally designed, preventing an overcharge?

Why does that work?

I do have a 15 amp, 12v charger that I thought wasn't as useful anymore.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000H961YI?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00
If I am reading you right, I could get another one of those and run them both at the 2a setting each.

I don't understand what you mean by putting them at each end of the bank. They have to be in series, or did u mean with a 24v version that matches the 24v battery bank; just get two small amp versions?
Which I would but 24v@15a is the smallest I've seen.

Edit; err, u prolly meant in series but the one positive lead of the combined units going to one end of the bank and the remaining negative to the other end of the bank.
It seems the two in series would make sense, but I wonder how accurately they will read through each other and whether they will change charge levels properly.
I guess at the small charge/amperage level on a large bank won't matter too much since theres time/room for error in charge time.
1.4 kW Off-Grid Solar PV (14×100Watt@12V(24V config)
1000A@24v Battery Bank
EVSE level 2 - Clipper Creek
2013 S model without QC package

BrockWI
Posts: 571
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:28 am
Delivery Date: 28 Mar 2014
Leaf Number: 423875
Location: Green Bay, WI.
Contact: Website

Re: Inverter with Battery Charger won't recharge battery bank

Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:14 pm

It is not uncommon at all to use multiple chargers on a larger bank and each charger will do it own thing and charge accordingly. Honestly if I could I would prefer eight 6v chargers so I knew each 6v battery was charged appropriately, instead I eq charge them to keep them all in balance.

I am assuming your 24v bank is two 12v batteries wired in series to get you the 24v? If so yes, just put one of the 12v chargers one one of the 12v batteries and a matching 12v charger on the second one. Yes you will have a negative from one of the chargers and the positive from the other essentially on the same points, with newer chargers they shouldn't interfere with each other at all. Older chargers would sometimes connect the negative side to ground and then you couldn't do this or bad things would happen, now chargers have to "float" compared to ground.

Just make sure the two chargers are matched, if one is putting out 4 amps and the other is putting out 2 amps you will unbalance your bank and really mess up one of the two batteries.
3 kw solar pv - XW6048 - 8 L16's
4 ton GSHP
2003 VW TDI 170k miles - 52 mpg lifetime
evse level 2 - Clipper Creek HSC-40
2013 S model with QC package Mar of 2013

foolios
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 3:43 pm
Delivery Date: 06 Mar 2014

Re: Inverter with Battery Charger won't recharge battery bank

Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:27 pm

Thanks for the explanations.

Very interesting idea.
1.4 kW Off-Grid Solar PV (14×100Watt@12V(24V config)
1000A@24v Battery Bank
EVSE level 2 - Clipper Creek
2013 S model without QC package

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