Thursday, November 29, 2012

ProSine 2.0 packing it in?

One of the first 'major' purchases I made for Viking Star was a true Sine-wave inverter.  MSW inverters had been around for some time, and were well know for their simplicity and robustness.  But they also had SOME compatibility issues (electric Blankets being the biggest issue for some reason).   So for the long haul, a true Sine-wave was what I wanted.

Can it be saved ????       
Back in 2001 there really were not too many options, and I ended up purchasing a StatPower ProSine 2.0   At the time Statpower still had a good name, and their inverter looked just like what I needed.

However, , ,

Little did I know that StatPower had already begun its transition into Xantrex.  And that the ProSine was one of the first of 'problem children'  to come out of that company.  Problem inverters combined with $$$ oriented business practices - little to no support for the end consumer let alone their dealer network.  Their reputation can easily be found all over the internet.

Once these things came to light it was too late for me.  So I prayed I would have 'That One' that worked. . .

And it has, sort of, for 10 years.  Despite the occasional hiccups - Like faulting on "Low Bus Voltage" (when the batteries are well charged and little load is being placed on the unit), or my favorite "Revise AC Polarity" (impossible -- we have an isolation transformer.  Polarity is established on the boat, not the dock.  And even more fun:  this error would come up when we were not even plugged into shore power).  And poor cooling of the unit rendering it unable to support more then 80A charge rate without overheating.   But we limped along, listened to the faulting after which it would mostly restart-after-fault.  So it went.

Till a couple of days ago when it started reporting its Low Bus Voltage every day.  And it would no longer auto-restart.  Then last night it went wild with Errors 0258, and error 3073.  I also noticed it was starting to trip the incoming AC mains breaker - a quick check showed that the unit would Max Out the charging current to over 100A, despite being capped to 50A in the setup, and the 'AC Breaker' size being set for 20A.  This maxing out, combined with the dryer running would cause a 33A draw on the AC mains, easily tripping my interior Circuit Breaker of 25A.

So, last night I had to disable the ProSine.  We still have our backup Heart Inverter that we can use (aka The Tank), but I would like to get the primary inverter back into operation.  Before I plunk down $1,500 or so on a new inverter (and it will NEVER EVER BE A XANTREX product, I am looking at Magnum Inverter)  I want to bust open the ProSine and see if there is anything obvious.  Looking for blatant signs of distress, and also perhaps corrosion on interconnects.  This Slow Die of the unit just has that feel that the unit might be rusting up some, and causing reliability issues with interconnects and / or the ability to reliably read its sensors.

Stay tuned for more!

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