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Advice on flickering lights

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  • Advice on flickering lights

    Having problems with a new installation of a Magnum 4400W inverter making the LED lighting in this home flicker. I think its just an incompatibility with this particular lamp but the guy has got lots of them in the house and is wedded to their low power so doesn't want to try anything else. Running a high power appliance at the same time is no different. The inverter output looks fine on my o-scope. There is a long wire length from the inverter to the new subpanel. Battery bank is 8 Trojan L16's close to the inverter. All connections are tight. Any ideas???
    BSEE, R11, NABCEP, Chevy BoltEV, >2000kW installed

  • #2
    Originally posted by solarix View Post
    Having problems with a new installation of a Magnum 4400W inverter making the LED lighting in this home flicker. I think its just an incompatibility with this particular lamp but the guy has got lots of them in the house and is wedded to their low power so doesn't want to try anything else. Running a high power appliance at the same time is no different. The inverter output looks fine on my o-scope. There is a long wire length from the inverter to the new subpanel. Battery bank is 8 Trojan L16's close to the inverter. All connections are tight. Any ideas???
    are those lights on some sort of dimmer? Was it full on or somewhere in the middle? Do they all flicker or only particular room/circuit? How do you know this flickering relates to inverter, may be it was there before? For example, in my house I replaced bunch of incandescent bulbs with LEDs but left old dimmers in place. While in most rooms the dimmers work OK in one room where it has lighting fixture with 6 small candelabra bulbs replacing all 6 put related dimmer into some oscillation mode with 1-2 sec period as I assume it simply didn't have enough load anymore. Leaving 1 bulb out of 6 old incandescent type cured the problem.

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    • #3
      The LED's are not on a dimmer and they all do it. About a dozen lamps all together. They don't flicker when the inverter is on bypass to grid power.
      BSEE, R11, NABCEP, Chevy BoltEV, >2000kW installed

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      • #4
        Originally posted by solarix View Post
        The LED's are not on a dimmer and they all do it. About a dozen lamps all together. They don't flicker when the inverter is on bypass to grid power.
        any chance you can connect your scope instead of one of them? Does your scope have at least 1 MHz bandwidth? What I'm thinking is inverter creates some kind of high frequency noise which freaks these bulbs power supplies somehow. Or if you could take one of those bulbs and connect directly to the inverter output- would it flicker? Just trying to localize the problem and I understand you might not have luxury to do these tests.
        Last edited by max2k; 08-08-2017, 03:16 AM.

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        • #5
          Did you found what was the flickering source?

          I'm having the same situation specially when using the washer machine.

          856ah battery bank, 6.6k 24v inverter, Flexmax80 controller, 4.4k solar array

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          • #6
            Update: the LED's were on dimmer controls. About a dozen LED lights (expensive ones) spread between 3 dimmers. Tried replacing the dimmers with newer units helped some but still flickers when the dimmers are turned down low (like at night when the flicker is really bothersome) The inverter manufacturer says that yes, dimmers are an often reported phenomenon. My conclusion is that the sharp turn on (or turn-off) of the dimmers especially with several of them and quite a few lights, is a disturbance that the inverter can't quite handle. Anyway the customer is an in-town picky type of guy and wasn't satisfied by "that's just the way it is on an off-grid system" conclusion. Finally modified the inverter bypass switch to allow each leg of the loads to be individually bypassed. He is running some of the loads on one leg from the inverter and the troublesome loads on the utility - but can be easily switched to the inverter during outages.
            BSEE, R11, NABCEP, Chevy BoltEV, >2000kW installed

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            • #7
              Your Inverter does not play well with Non-Linear Loads. No Inverter will play well with Non Linear Loads. They do not know how to regulate voltage on Non Linear Loads resulting in over and undershooting voltage.
              MSEE, PE

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              • #8
                Is the inverter in SEARCH MODE? The led lights do not draw enough current, so the inverter turns on and off. I had to put 3 led bulbs in my ceiling lamps in order to keep them on steadily without blinking on and off.

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