No output - any thoughts?

For about four years we've had good service from our Honda 160cc engined 240/110 volt generator. At 2.2 kva, it has rarely been stretched but the
other day suddenly stopped producing electricity. We were running a line of low energy fluorescent bulbs & they drew a tad under 500 watts. Suddenly, they went out. No perceptible changes, no smell of old fish, no smoke, no drama.
We tried changing the load with various power tools & as we can see the diodes through the 'oles in the casing, checked them out too. Still no joy on either voltage.
Any ideas anyone?
regards,
Kim Siddorn
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There is almost always a tripswitch on those things somewhere. Look for an innocent looking little button poking out.
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On 29 Jul 2008 23:03:20 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAM.netunix.com wrote:

I suspect Kim isn't that daft as to have not to have tried reseting the overload trip or any RCD or the main breaker.
Bear in mind that the power factor from 500W of CFL lighting is probably horrendous so the peak currents could be considerably higher than that indidcated by the power.
It's a well used genset, maybe a screw has worked loose and a wire fallen off?
--
Cheers
Dave.




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Our Man Paul said this ...............
"Strangely the first thing I did was press the circuit breaker reset button! I also waggled the 240v/110v selector switch back and forth. The selector switch being set to the wrong voltage is the usual cause of output failure. I have tested the output from the main coil before the breakers on both the 240v and 110v sides. I detected no voltage at all.
The starting current for the fluorescents will be high but not as high as old type strip lamps. The modern compact fluorescents use an electronic ballast which is why they do not flash as they come on. Electronic ballasts are not as furious as the older magnetic ballasts.
The generator output failed during sustained load. Ian and I where using it to run lights in the hall and they went out while the generator was running and not at start. There where 8 lights at 25 watts each giving a load of 200 watts. Even assuming a 10 fold increase at start (as a rather silly figure I think) that would only be 2000 watts within the generators capacity of about 2200 watts (at a power factor of 1)."
So no help there then. I see a spare Honda engine & a new Chinese genny coming up!
regards,
Kim Siddorn
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Kim, is there a thermal fuse anywhere, probably close to the windings on the genny? These can often be "repaired" with low melting point solder.
Fred
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On Wed, 30 Jul 2008 09:46:02 +0100, Kim Siddorn wrote:

I'd look for a loose wire, not sure how these self exciting alternators work but I bet you can find it on the web. I've read that one left for a long time may not have enough residual magnetisium left to work without a little help. This won't apply here as it was working but failure in a winding or connection to from is a possibilty.
When the lights went off was it just straight to off like a switch or any flickering?
--
Cheers
Dave.




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I had a similar problem once, there was a diode providing DC to the exciter winding hidden in some shrinktube. The diode had popped, cost a few pence to replace. Some of the fancier modern alternators have electronic voltage regulators, if the magic smoke escapes from these you are stuffed.
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If it is only for lighting Makro have their 850 watt "Pro User" fellas for 49.99 +vat. Reasonably quiet 2 stroke generic chinese jobbie, sold under many labels. Mine works OK providing light in the garage, at that price you can treat them as disposable. Also seen occasionally at Aldi, probably plenty on EBay as well.
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Thanks for the thoughts all & when we get to it in August, we'll try them out. I suspect I may have a Honda engine to hand if the worst comes to pass, just in time to replace the smokey little Villiers SV that powers our ditch pump.
We've got a Chinese 500watt two stroke genny & it is man enough to run our PA system (Nominally, two 350 watt power amps plus the double CD deck - don't ask me, it just does!) all day long on a tank of two-stroke premix, but the 2.2 kva is/was generally used for power tools. Come to think of it, this year it has needed the load changing to make it go on several occasions. Hmmm.
There was a beast of a pump at Aldi a few weeks ago for 150 but we don't need one ATM. Sorely tempted I was.......... . regards,
Kim Siddorn
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.

I think they're actually rated at 800 or 900 watts - I've got one too, the wife calls it little stinky!
They are 50Hz output for the UK, but if you tweak the governor they will go to 60Hz which is their spec for the American market. So if you're using stuff that isn't particularly sensitive to frequency (like the wife's toaster and hairdryer) then just increase the revs and you get more waft from the thing!
Julian.
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