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Inverter Generator Overload - Symptoms?

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  • #16
    What is the worst that can happen if I designate, say 20 minutes an hour to power for a fridge that has the electronic timer for defrost? Keep in mind that this will probably only be done about every three months unless we have a prolonged power outage.

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    • #17
      The worst that can happen is that the fridge will immediately start a defrost cycle and may not even start cooling again during that 20-60 minute period. Nothing will be harmed except maybe the food.
      SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

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      • #18
        From what I can tell from Google. Frigidaire has a system that keeps track of how long the compressor has run while cycling and then kicks off a defrost. If they write this to some sort of persistent memory then there is a chance this will work. I need to call them to find out. I have not had good success with getting technical information from their customer support. But it will save me $800 if I can run off the Honda 2000 instead of the 3000, so it is worth the effort to find out, or if that fails, to buy a timer and test it.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by inetdog View Post
          The worst that can happen is that the fridge will immediately start a defrost cycle and may not even start cooling again during that 20-60 minute period. Nothing will be harmed except maybe the food.
          Just as I figured, getting information from customer service is painful and unrewarding. Frigidaire customer service says they do not recommend putting their refrigerator on a generator! When asked about defrost, they said that when power was lost it goes through a factory reset.

          The person I talked to said they did not think it would go into defrost mode on power up, but who knows? I think I will need to get a switch and try cycling power for 20 minutes each hour and measure the temperature over a day each hour and see what happens.

          ### edit ###
          From looking at the repair forums, it appears that one way to force defrost on these refrigerators is to turn off power, disconnect the thermostat and turn it back on again. The fridge should not defrost unless the thermostat engages the heater. Therefore I conclude that defrost will not automatically kick on after power is restored. But I still feel the need to test.
          Last edited by lkruper; 03-17-2016, 11:18 AM.

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          • #20
            The defrost heaters have no startup surge when energized, so they will never exceed the FLA marked on your model # tag. Startup surge for the compressor on the other hand could be as high as 400-500% over the FLA. If the refrigerant pressure has not equalized when the compressor attempts to start then the compressor would draw LRA (locked rotor amps). This happens quite often with refrigerators when the door is opened and the thermostat calls for cooling before the pressure equalizes. This condition would result in the the motor protector opening the circuit until it cools down and then the compressor would attemp to restart.
            Simple answer don't open the refrigerator when on generator.

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            • #21
              Hopfully the factory reset does not include things like digitally set fridge and freezer temps. It would be shame for those to go back to defaults.
              SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

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              • #22
                No, it is a pretty basic model, with the exception that it is supposed to be outfitted to work well in an unheated environment. On another forum I got a refrigerator repair person to tell me that when power is reset it starts to count compressor time all over again and does not try to defrost for 6-24 hours. He was aware that generators can cause boards to blow, but had no idea what the difference was between a regular portable generator and an Inverter/Generator.

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                • #23
                  generator mode the excess load light comes on and the generator carry on to run. If you turn the inverter off the overwork light goes inedible, RPM's enhance and the generator starting to run.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by EricaRonnie16 View Post
                    generator mode the excess load light comes on and the generator carry on to run. If you turn the inverter off the overwork light goes inedible, RPM's enhance and the generator starting to run.
                    When an inverter generator overloads, it's all electronic. The engine keep running, unless it was in eco mode and stalled.
                    2 types of overload:
                    Too hot - not enough cooling air
                    Too much load, exceeds the safety margin of the electric
                    Both will stop the electricity until you remove the load and then reattach it, either by the power cord, or the circuit breaker .

                    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
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