Sol-Ark and generator issue/ suggestions please!

SCmountainman

New Member
New to the Forum but long time reader of the message boards. I am looking for suggestions on my system. My current Crapsman 5kw 240v generator has too much THD to play along nicely with my Sol-Ark inverter. (Generator is also excessively loud even in an enclosure and is very thirsty) Went through troubleshooting with Sol-Ark engineers and generator is not going to work properly. I cannot get it to charge over 20 amps to my batteries before HZ starts walking out of range and even at lower charge amperages the inverter does not like the fluctuations of the generator and cycles off the grid input after 20-30 min. Generator is in tip top shape with only 20 hrs run time.

So I want to get an inverter generator and cannot afford the big Honda 240v 7kw inverter generator, and I prefer to go with a smaller 120v inverter style generator for sake of noise and fuel consumption. I don’t need huge power, just looking for around 30 amp charge capacity for batteries. My daily energy consumption is about 5kwh. Panels keep up very nicely. Just days upon days of clouds and rain force me to go to fossil fuel or if I’ve used a lot of power tools after peak sun hours.

My questions are;
Do I use an auto transformer to create 240v from a 120v generator?
Do I use a buck/boost industrial transformer to create 240v from a 120v generator?
Do I use 2x13amp IOTA brand battery chargers directly to the batteries? (Will the sol-ark be ok with this)?
Is there another creative option that I have overlooked? Just want to be 100% safe and keep the Sol-Ark happy.

Thanks in advance!

Specs, 8kw sol-ark,10kwh lifepo4 48v battery bank, 1725w array
 

Roqm

Solar Enthusiast
The methods your looking at like the transformer will work but is very inefficient...
 

mrzed001

Voice of reason
Do I use 2x13amp IOTA brand battery chargers directly to the batteries? (Will the sol-ark be ok with this)?
Is there another creative option that I have overlooked? Just want to be 100% safe and keep the Sol-Ark happy.

If there is a charger that excepts this noisy AC and converts it to good stable 55-56Vdc then you can charge the battery from generator.
Even can use more of this chargers like 2x 2kW unit with a 5kW generator to the LFP battery.
The only thing important is that they have to have at least CC charging (stop charging when battery reached 55V). (CV so absorption is not needed for LFP)
 

SCmountainman

New Member
Thanks for the replies! The IOTA chargers have a turbo chip available that is designed for off grid applications, (basically it bulk/floats to 54.4vdc). The chargers pull 900w MAX each on the 120 side. I am thinking of stacking 2 together and powering from a Honda EU2200 generator. Then I would have around 1400 watts @54.4vdc. Chargers guarantee a clean DC charging current regardless of the AC input as long as voltage is in spec. Is this more efficient than using buck/boost transformer and having to use a larger wattage 120v generator? I will retire the 5kw generator to the storage shed just for running my welder or air compressor.
 
Top