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Champion 3000 Watt Generator, Hard Starting when Cold - Page 8

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Posted by tdelaney911 on January 2, 2019, 2:02 pm
On Friday, January 23, 2015 at 12:33:30 PM UTC-5, jaugu...@verizon.net wrote:

Same here. Didn't start the first time I needed it. 30F. Dec.
One pull back in Sept.  

Posted by ads on January 3, 2019, 5:02 am
On Wed, 2 Jan 2019 06:02:06 -0800 (PST), tdelaney911@gmail.com wrote:

I was out in 30F with 7" of snow using a screwdriver to remove the air
cleaner and keeping a can of "starting fluid" warm in the other hand.
A couple of squirts and a few pulls later, it started.  I had to
SLOWLY nurse it off the choke before I could put a load on it.  Once
warm, it ran fine and took the planned load, but much more effort
getting it started than the last time it was tested (at maybe 60F).  

I've completed my solar generator to provide 8 to 24 hours of backup
AC power depending on the season (12 volt 540AH battery bank, 2000
watt pure sine wave inverter, multiple solar panels to keep the
batteries charged until needed).   Not a whole-house alternate energy
system, just enough power to ensure I won't be starting the Champion
gen in the dark again.  The cold I can manage, but I'd rather not be
working (or pouring gasoline) by headlight or flashlight.

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Posted by Jim Wilkins on January 3, 2019, 2:14 pm
 <ads> wrote in message  

With my equipment, needing more choke than usual means it's time to  
disassemble the carb and blow out the clogged main jet and other  
passages with compressed air. The ethanol/water damage appears as a  
clear or yellowish jelly at the bottom of the carburetor bowl, or  
white powder if the bowl has dried out. I've read that it is a gel of  
aluminum hydroxide etched from the carb and fuel pump.

During a power outage a 12VDC car tire inflater supplies the air.

My generator setup includes corrugated roofing panels and sawhorses to  
support them over the generator in bad weather, stored along the path  
I have to shovel to reach and set up the genny.

That refrigerator you mentioned is efficient because it lacks a  
freezer compartment. I didn't see much difference in energy rating  
among in-stock compact refrigerators with full width freezers and  
bought the Magic Chef for its reviews, interior features and $68 sale  
price. The first thing I checked was its starting surge to confirm  
that the 1400VA sine inverter could handle it.

I wish the Alpicool DC powered fridge/freezer was more reliable. I  
used it to discharge a battery to check out the new MPPT controller.  
It consumed 14.8Ah in 24 hours, of which 7Ah went to 6 hours as a  
freezer at -18C and the other 18 hours to a fridge setting of -4C. At  
that rate it should preserve the 6 days of  food I can cram into it on  
my battery bank's initial charge.

The Alpi may have faulted on AC power glitches. I haven't run it on  
battery-backed DC long enough to tell, as it ran a month or two on AC  
between faults.

Have you needed to replace AGMs yet? My experience with 12V18Ah AGMs  
is that they deteriorate after around 5 years and can't be restored,  
while flooded batteries are useable for at least 10 years if kept  


Posted by ads on January 4, 2019, 9:08 am
 On Thu, 3 Jan 2019 09:14:42 -0500, "Jim Wilkins"

The AGMs were purchased used, a data center UPS changeout at 5 years
(rated life is 10 years).  These are 12 volt 82AH (8 hour) or 90AH (20
hour) DataSafe 12HX330FR (FR for Fire Resistant).  These batteries are
rated for 586 amps discharge for 2 minutes with a short circuit
current of 3700 amps.  

I did discharge tests on each battery when I got them and they all
tested as a new battery would, recovering to the 50% charege open
circuit voltage in a mtter of minutes after the load was removed.
DataSafe does make the full specs available online so I could do
proper testing.  The biggest load I'll have on the battery bank is
about 200 amps (2000 watts at 12 volts and the inverter about 80-85%
efficient at full load).  The average load over 24 hours will be less
than 300 watts.

I repeated the 50% discharge test this summer (about 18 months after
the first test) and 5 of the 6 batteries still test as new.  The 6th
battery misses the spec by less than 0.1 volt.  

With the batteries being in conditioned space and mostly being beought
to float voltage daily, plus an occasional electrolyte stir (specs say
current limited 14.4 volt charge for 16 hours 4 or 5 times a year -  I
let the MPPT charge controller do "equalization" at that voltage for 2
hours each month), I'm optimistic about getting the remaining 5 years
out of the batteries.  At $5 each, I got a bargain.  Had I been able
to contact the seller again after I did the testing, I'd have bought
at least 6 more batteries.  (New from DataSafe is $00; aftermarket
brands are about $70.)

I have a Group 24 battery (bottom of the line) from Advance Auto that
I picked up via Freecycle a long time ago.  The date code on the
battery has a "4" in it (for 2004) but that battery has been my test
power for all types of automotive gear.  However, it's never  been in
a vehicle, it is regularly charged and the acid level is checked and
topped off with distilled water as needed.  It still passes the 100
amp battery tester check that you'd get at Advance.  If I can get that
much life out of a cheap battery, I think the odds of getting these
AGMs to 10 years after manufacture are excellent.

You'll probably find this article on time to 100% SOC at different
charge rates of interest:

I found a reference (not sure if it's the one above or elsewhere) that
charging can be 90% efficient below 80% SOC but as low as 50%
efficient above 80% SOC.  If that last bit of charge seems to take
forever - it does!

Most AGMs can be charged at 0.2C or greater (max charge rate is often
on the side of the smaller batteries) and they reach high levels of
SOC sooner with the correct charge rate.  I can't do that with my
battery bank as 540AH * 0.2 = 108amps which I can't provide.  Even the
lawnmower + GM alternator charger I'm putting together only has an 85
amp alternator.

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Posted by Jim Wilkins on January 4, 2019, 5:41 pm
 <ads> wrote in message  

This is why I asked:

"Many VRLA batteries are installed throughout the world and the  
industry is
beginning to acknowledge that a 20 year VRLA battery life is unlikely  
to realize. Recent
industry experience indicates that a 4 to 7 year VRLA battery life is  
more likely,
regardless of cell size or warranty claims."

"The data has shown us that so long as we control the temperature in  
our battery
room, perform regular maintenance on our cells and install a quality  
battery in the
first place, we should see our batteries last the design life of 5  
years (VRLA) 15
years (Flooded), ..."

Power-Thru sells flywheel UPS systems that reduce the peak demand on  
battery backups.

An Interstate battery in my truck did last 17 years. I replaced it  
when its measured (carbon pile) discharge current fell uncomfortably  
close to the starter's cold weather demand.

A few of my second-hand 12V,18A AGMs have failed from very low  
capacity in one cell. They appear normal on a top-up charge but  
rapidly drop to 10V during a load test.


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