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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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cheap inverter generator DOA

I was recently given a Powerhouse PH2100PRi (Harbor Freight?) inverter generator. The original owner - a ham radio operator - purchased it new several years ago. He ran it briefly a couple times. But when he last tried to test it, he found it had no AC output. So he gave it to me to fix or scrap.

Here's what I found:

The engine starts right up but immediately takes off what I consider to be overspeed (6,000+ RPM I'd guess). It has no measurable voltage from 120 VAC output. Nor do any of the status LEDs light. It DOES however produce about 25 VDC at the DC output connector.

I removed the enclosure and found nothing amiss; all connectors intact, fuses good, no burned wiring, no apparently failed components. In fact it still looks brand new inside.

Started it up again and found by manually positioning the carb throttle stepper motor I could bring RPM's down to a more reasonable 3,600 RPM. Determined the battery charging circuit works (measured 14.5 VDC at the starting battery - and the electric starter works). I next measured the alternator output at the connector and found 300+ VAC on all 3 phases. Also measured about 25 - 30 VAC at the aux winding.

So apparently both power and aux AC is being supplied to the inverter module input. But NOTHING comes out of the inverter; no 120 VAC, no control signal to the carb throttle stepper motor, no signal to the various status LEDs, etc.

All I can figure is the inverter module has failed catastrophically. And since the inverter is a potted assembly it cannot be opened. So inspection, troubleshooting, etc. is impossible

My question: Does a failed inverter module make sense? Or is there another possible failure I have overlooked?

And if the inverter is the problem, is a replacement available at reasonable cost (recognizing it's a cheap, Chinese-made product and maybe not worth the cost/effort)? I just hate to scrap it if it can be brought back to life at reasonable cost.

Thanks!

...FB
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-25-2017, 08:04 PM
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FB, I am sure some the really sharp techs here will be answering, but would like to offer a source of parts. I have dealt with www.generatorguru.com, he has replacement parts for Chinese Gens, the prices are good, and the shipping is really not bad...and I had it in seven days. RonJ
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 05:29 PM
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Given my experience with the Honda Inverters, what your saying makes perfect sense. On the Yamaha however, the speed controller is external to the inverter. It's better engineered overall from that standpoint. I don't have any manuals or anything for yours but from perusing parts sites for that generator, the parts cost like Honda parts, probably not worth it. Too bad. Might be worth probing what you can get to. These things work by rectifying the AC into DC and then inverting the DC back into AC. So your stator is good it could be the rectifier or the filter caps. The filter caps appear to stick out of the epoxy to the point where you can get a meter on them and if there is power on those (DC) then the inverter is toast. If there is no power on those it is a rectifier issue and it has failed. Either way the box is toast since it is epoxied. My guess on the parts cost is 450 based on the zillion dollars they want for the carb.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 07:56 PM
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Like much technology from mainland China, it's disposable... not intended to be repaired... thus the price and/or availability of replacement parts.

If you have the space, throw it in the corner and keep an eye out on evilbay or craigslist for other similar units being parted out... or part yours out in the same manner.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmartyn View Post
.....Either way the box is toast since it is epoxied. My guess on the parts cost is 450 based on the zillion dollars they want for the carb.
You hit it right on the head.....a replacement inverter module is $449. No way I'm spending that to fix a $499 generator!

Guess I'll toss it on the back shelf in the off chance I can find someone is looking for a replacement engine.

...FB
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