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View Full Version : Heart Interface EMS 2800-12 Inverter quit!


HoosierDaddy
08-28-2008, 01:17 AM
Heart Interface EMS 2800-12
It has worked fine until today. The whole circuit that the invertor supplies is dead. There is 110 volt at the inverter input but no monitor lights are lit. The breakers on the front of the inverter are not tripped. Not sure where to start..I'm guessing there is a relay inside that may have failed. I'm trying to find a schematic or should I send it in to the factory for repair?
Thanks,
Dean

fulltiming
08-28-2008, 02:39 AM
Dean, try this document (http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/761/docserve.aspx) for a troubleshooting guide. Heart Interface is now Xantrex. If you have a remote panel, make sure that it didn't get turned off somehow. Make sure your voltage is greater than 90 volts because the unit will shut down at that point. If those two items check out, I would contact Xantrex at 800-670-0707.

I have a friend that had his Xantrex inverter weld its transfer relay together over the weekend apparently from a power spike.

Let us know what you find.

Here is the reset procedure (http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/761/docserve.aspx) for the EMS unit. I would try that first.

HoosierDaddy
08-29-2008, 03:59 AM
Thank you Michael,
I called Xantrex today and they said "It's obsolete,,,cant get parts,,,Call back with the serial number and we'll sell you a new Xantrex 458 series 81-3010-12 at 40% off. (My cost 951.00) It's not easy for me to admit that something cannot be repaired so I took my tools and went over to tear into it today. When I arrived I discovered that it is working perfectly!!! The only thing I can figure out is that I inadvertently reset it yesterday or it cooled down overnight. ( I may take Xantrex up on their offer anyway :-) )
I'm trying to understand how this works....There is a converter in the power cord compartment that has a cooling fan. I have assumed that charged the batteries. So does the inverter charge them as well or is it a totally seperate function?

encantotom
08-29-2008, 04:29 AM
hi,

on mine when the xantrex freedom 458 2kw inverter charger was installed, they disconnected the charger that is in the electrical cord bay. i was going to take it out, but michael convinced me i might need it some day so i left it in there.

you can also get xantrex invertor chargers that are refurbished for good prices.

you have to choose if the freedom 458 is ok for you or a true sine wave inverter like the prosine by xantrex is what you need. i run all my stuff with a freedom 458 with no issues, but the prosine puts out cleaner power.

later

tom

fulltiming
08-29-2008, 05:46 AM
Dean, I would suspect that if your Heart failed once, it is likely to fail again since it wasn't just a tripped breaker. With that in mind, I would strongly suggest replacing the unit.

As Tom suggests, I believe an inverter/charger is the way to go. The converter/charger in your electrical bay is very hard on batteries. It is a one-stage charger frequently known as a 'battery boiler'. The newer chargers and inverter/chargers are typically 3-stage chargers so as the charge on the battery increases, the charger cut back on the voltage to minimize battery overheating. Your current inverter is an inverter only. There is one advantage to your current arrangement, however. With the converter/charger being in the bay, the inverter can be left completely off and thus not generate any heat. I unplugged the converter/charger (didn't want to be mean to my AGM batteries) but left it in the circuit in case the charger section of the inverter/charger died or in case the batteries for some reason became nearly totally discharged. The new multi-stage chargers will typically not bring a battery that is down to 5 or 6 volts back while the old 'battery boilers' will start to recharge any battery that doesn't have a dead short. However, since my inverter/charge is in the same location as the previous inverter (under the bed), it puts out a fair amount of heat all the time. That was not a problem with the old inverter because it was off 99% of the time. There is the advantage that the new inverters include a built-in transfer switch so the AC current is going through the inverter all the time with an instant change over if shore power or generator power is lost. I leave my inverter on all the time. I leave the charger section of the inverter on all the time other than when I am running the generator while driving. Under that circumstance, the inverter seems more likely to overheat. I suspect that with the engine alternator trying to recharge the house batteries and the generator alternator trying to recharge the house batteries AND the inverter/charger trying to recharge the house batteries that the inverter/charger is trying to take on too much of the load itself and overheating.

I have been very pleased with my remanuifactured Xantrex Pro-Sine 2000 inverter/charger. I went with the Pro-Sine since I am typically running several desktop computers, network attached storage units and routers. For most other applications, the modified sine wave of the 458 are probably as good. The microwave/convection oven seems to like the pure sine wave somewhat more than modified sine wave also.

Be aware that if you change to an inverter/charger, you will have some rewiring to do. To fully utilize the internal transfer switching of any new inverter you would need to take the relays that Newell used to switch individual circuits from shore power/generator to inverter out of the system and put in a dedicated sub-breaker box for the new inverter. Most of the newer inverters are not designed to be switched off and on through the use of external relays.

HoosierDaddy
08-29-2008, 02:51 PM
Thanks guys!
As I have been considering my next move I am anticipating installing solar panels in the future, especially since my coach is all electric. I'm wondering if my choice of inverter/charger would be influenced by the addition of solar power. ???
Dean

fulltiming
08-29-2008, 04:44 PM
Only to the extent that the solar panels will be another source of recharging when you are not plugged in so you might be able to support a slightly larger inverter. Other than that, a decent sized solar array will have its own controller to monitor battery recharging but will not supplant the need for a good battery charger if you spend time plugged in.

How many house batteries do you have Dean? Four 8-D's? Tom and I only have 2 8-D's for house and 2 more for starting. I believe it was later on when Newell went to 6 8-D's for the house plus more 2 for starting. I am presuming by the model number that you have a 2800 watt inverter.

Incidentally, if you want a really good inverter don't forget to look at the Outback. That is what Newell is installing these days. One heck of an inverter in the larger sizes (greater than 2kw).

HoosierDaddy
08-29-2008, 08:58 PM
My coach has 6 house batts plus 2 main engine batts. I have some reservations about 100% electric...LP fridge and furnaces are so efficient. It is nice to not have to worry about filling LP tank though. The batts are dated 2004 so are somewhat marginal. Two of them have failed. I put two new Interstate 8D's in for the main engine. I'm limping along with the remaining original batts...Hopefully they will last til I can afford AGM batts for the house. Another interesting bit...It had a forced air hand drier in the very small toilet room. There are two Suburban LP furnaces installed but they placed covers over the intake/exhaust holes on the outside of the coach...They have gas lines routed to the bay but they are plugged and have never been used.
Another question...On the panel above the microwave there are several switches, generator, lights, as well as the tank monitor. There is a switch labeled "selector" I haven't figured that one out yet?
Thanks,
Dean

fulltiming
08-29-2008, 10:05 PM
Interesting. The 6 house batteries will support a large alternator and inverter. It sounds like your coach may have started out with LP furnaces and then during production been changed to all-electric OR someone added the LP furnaces and then determined that the conversion to add a propane tank was going to be a BIG job. My guess would be the former. Newell installed 68 gallon propane tanks during the early 90's and they were put in an open bay (no floor). At any rate, with enough alternator power (the new Newell's use a 400 amp alternator to recharge the 6+2 8-D batteries), you could easily support a larger inverter. The new Newell's use a pair of 2800 watt Outback inverters.

As to the switch above the microwave, I suspect it is to select either the upper or lower 12 volt water pumps. Mine is marked 'Pump Select' and is next to the Water Pump off-on switch.

tuga
10-26-2010, 02:07 AM
My Freedom 2500 inverter quit inverting this past weekend. I had 12 volts coming from the battery bank but the 300 amp 12v bolt on fuse was blown.

I load tested my batteries today: disconnect each one and test it. They all tested good. They are 5 years old (AGM Lifeline Concorde 255 amps).

I checked all of the batter connections starting at the batteries and then to the inverter. All are tight.

The replacement cost of the 300 amp 12v bolt on fuse is about $86. Fuses usually blow when there is a short somewhere so I would like to find the problem then replace the expensive fuse.

Any suggestions?

Ron Skeen
10-26-2010, 02:23 AM
Tuga,
I did have a fuse to blow and did not find out the reason. I purchase a new fuse and installed about a year ago and have not blown yet. I thought I paid around 50 bucks but not sure and will try to look up.

jwe648
10-26-2010, 02:42 AM
We'll this may help with the price... This is where I bought my fuses..

http://store.solar-electric.com/infubr.html

Looks like the 300 amp is $33..

Now for the problem... Is the fuse mounted in a block? or just off the battery post?

Jimmy

RussWhite
10-26-2010, 03:39 AM
Hi Tuga,

Just some thoughts for you....

From your post you seem to indicate that your inverter was inverting at the time of its failure. Normally when one is using power from the post or from the generator the inverter is in bypass mode and not inverting. So I am going to assume you were not on the power post or the generator.

Your 2500 watt inverter if it were 100% efficient, which it isn't, could would use about 208 amps to produce those 2500 watts. Newell does a pretty good job of keeping us from overloading the inverter by limiting the number of devices that can receive power from it. I have not taken the time to determine if I used all those devices at once ( refrigerator, oven, entertainment, water pump, etc. ) could I actually consume more than 2500 watts. It is sometime to think about. You wouldn't have to go too far over considering inefficiency of the inverter to get to the rating of the fuse at 300 amps.
As you say, you could have a short to ground somewhere, but 300 amps would make quite a spark and noise I would think as it faulted to ground.

Good luck and I will watch this thread and try to answer any questions you have. Russ

encantotom
10-26-2010, 06:16 AM
i have not had the inverter DC fuse blow, but i did have one of the larger fuses blow that is attached to one of the batteries directly. i never did find out why it blew. i replaced it and have had no issues in some time.

i bought mine on ebay.

look around and there are many manufacturers that make exactly the same fuse with a different part number. if you pay retail, you will pay 2-3x what you can find it for elsewhere if you are a little patient.

tom (in herzilya israel looking at the waves coming in on the ocean)

Brad Townsend
10-26-2010, 11:47 AM
An inverter/charger with the highest amperage charging ability will result in less generator run time when making up for lack of enough sun time if boondocking.
Outback is bullet proof/pricy. Just one mans opinion.

Brad

tuga
10-26-2010, 02:05 PM
We'll this may help with the price... This is where I bought my fuses..

http://store.solar-electric.com/infubr.html

Looks like the 300 amp is $33..

Now for the problem... Is the fuse mounted in a block? or just off the battery post?

Jimmy

Jimmy,

The fuse is in a block next to the inverter. Thanks for the website; that is a good price. I am going to order 2 fuses and keep one as a spare.

Thanks to everyone else who contributed to this post. It's nice to know that others (Steve & Ron) have had a fuse blow and replaced it with no further issues.

Russ,

We were dry camping on Friday night and the inverter was working. When I woke up I noticed the voltage on the house batteries was 12.15 which is a little low; 12.20 is when I like to start the generator to charge the batteries back up. I started the generator and ran it about 8 hours (we were cooking & preparing food for a tailgating party). When the batteries were fully charged I shut off the generator. That is when I noticed that the inverter was not inverting. We had the TV, refrigerator, lights, both ACs, and maybe a few other appliances running on generator power. When I shut the generator down I noticed that the TV did not come back on. That is when I discovered that the inverter was not working.

RussWhite
10-26-2010, 03:01 PM
Tuga,

I'm thinking at this point all will be well when you replace the fuse. Probably just a combination of a high load and maybe a low interrupting value on the fuse due to age. I am going to assume this could happen to any of us and order a spare myself.
Later, Russ

tuga
10-26-2010, 06:39 PM
Russ and anyone else,

Before installing the new 300 amp fuse next to the inverter, do I need to turn OFF the inverter first? Also, are there any other prerequistes to installing the fuse?

Thanks,

RussWhite
10-26-2010, 06:51 PM
Tuga,

Turn off the coach/house batteries at the disconnect switch which is my coach is located in the compartment with the house batteries. As a level of assurance to be sure the switch worked try to turn on some 12volt lights and make sure they don't come on. The little on/off switch on the inverter/charger is not involved and may be left in the on or off position. I still use extreme caution when working on conductors that near the batteries. Just proceed making sure you never let the positive cable or any tools touching it come in contact with any part of the body. Twelve volts of course will not shock you, but you could sustain a flash burn if you do not isolate the batteries and do not make any mistakes that short positive to negative. You could remove the positive cables at the batteries themselves, but this is not without risk either. Just use the big disconnect switch, check that it worked, and proceed carefully. You should be fine. Russ

tuga
10-26-2010, 10:00 PM
Russ,

Thanks for the response; what you just said reminded me of something. When I removed my inverter and sent it off to be repaired last year I tried turning off both house battery and engine battery switches and I STILL HAD 12 VOLTS COMING TO THE INVERTER! I was at Newell at the time and Ron (a Newell electrician) told me that they wire the batteries DIRECTLY to the inverter! Turning the battery switches off WILL NOT KILL 12V TO THE INVERTER. I mention this so that others who read this will know about it. When working on electrical components in the coach double check to see if the voltage is killed to the component BEFORE touching it.

THESE BATTERY SWITCHES GIVE A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY !!!!!!

I think what I will do is like you said, remove the positive cables from all of the the house batteries and the engine batteries. That is the ONLY way I can be sure that there is no power going to the inverter. Of course the shorepower must be unplugged also.

RussWhite
10-26-2010, 10:17 PM
Tuga,

As one of my friends on the forum likes to remind me - "All Newells are different!". On mine the positive cables do run direct to the inverter/charger, BUT the negative side is totally switched off by the coach battery switch. When it comes to shutting off power only one side disconnected is sufficient. Your mileage may vary.
Be very very careful if you decided to remove the battery cables. If I were going to do it that way I would remove the negative side. If you chose to remove the positive side be very carefully to be sure no tool you use can come into contact with chassis ground and that you control the cable completely once it is loose. Wrapping your tools in electrical tape could help if you turn too far. You will need to insulate the cable somehow. I saw the guys at Newell sticking the cable in a rubber glove and taping it up. And I suppose good advice is always if you don't feel completely confident about working with such high potential currents, get some help.
Let us know when the fuses arrive and how it goes. Russ

tuga
10-27-2010, 12:25 AM
Russ,

I wrap the cable end in an old wash cloth or other rag and put a rubberband around it - don't use any tape. The rag and rubberband is easier to remove than the tape.

I'll let you all know how it turns out when I receive the fuse.

prairieschooner
10-27-2010, 03:18 AM
Tuga,
I would rather see the Battery Switch Disconnect the Batteries from ALL Systems. Actually on a boat it is an ABYC Recommended Standard in Yachts, although does allow an exception for Charging Equipment. This way you can disconnect the Batteries from the System. I realize that the Fuse should interrupt the System but I have made that change on our '82 and feel better knowing that I can Disconnect the Batteries.

Item #2;
11.6.1.2 Battery Switch

11.6.1.2.1

A battery switch shall be installed in the positive conductor(s) from each battery or battery bank with a CCA rating greater than 800 amperes.
EXCEPTION:
Trolling motor conductors connected to dedicated trolling motor batteries provided with overcurrent protection at the battery and a manual means of electrical disconnect separate from the trolling motor controls.
NOTE: Conductors supplying the following may be connected to the battery side of the switch (See FIGURE 11 ):
a. Electronic equipment with continuously powered memory;
b. Safety equipment such as bilge pumps, alarms, CO detectors and bilge blowers; c. Battery charging equipment.

tuga
11-10-2010, 06:35 PM
Russ,

I wrap the cable end in an old wash cloth or other rag and put a rubberband around it - don't use any tape. The rag and rubberband is easier to remove than the tape.

I'll let you all know how it turns out when I receive the fuse.

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond; I put the new 300 amp fuse in and it worked great! Looks like my problem was just an old worn-down fuse. I now have an extra spare fuse in inventory.

Thanks for all of the posts!

NewellCrazy
02-02-2013, 09:34 PM
I've noticed that most don't share pictures so I have decided to share photos I have taken when ever I get a chance so here you go.

As you can see there are 2 Outback Inverters Installed.

Newell Coach inverter setup:

3285