3-Phase 60kw Kohler Generator Pains - Voltage Issues - Power Equipment Forum : Power Equipment Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation 3-Phase 60kw Kohler Generator Pains - Voltage Issues

Hi guys! Start off by saying reading around the forums has helped better my understanding of these tools.

I recently was given this beast of a generator, Kohler 60kw Diesel.

She starts up fine, as long as there is diesel no problems! The problem comes from voltage. For the past couple of days I have been trying to diagnose and fix the issues.

Whenever I test with the multi-meter on any of two leads I get a large fluctuation between 70-130 volts. Same thing when measuring from one of the 3 leads to ground.

First was to clean up some nest that was inside the control area, apparently it had fried some wire on one of the relays. I fixed that but it didn't solve my voltage problem.

I played around for a bit testing all the relays and cleaning her up but didn't find a solution until I thought to play with the throttle a bit. If I run the throttle full blast I am getting the full 220v from probing two of the 3 leads on the breaker and 120v when probing from 1 of the three leads and ground.

You could say problem solved, however this will consume a lot of diesel, produces a lot of white smoke, is much much louder than any lower throttling/idle and previous owner said that he never needed to full throttle it for proper voltage. That last bit I suppose he could have been mistaken....

Is it possible the voltage regulator is toast?

I found a replacement online, however it is pricey.

https://www.colburnpower.com/kohler-...regulator.html

Any input is welcomed as I am just learning about this beast and most of my electronic knowledge is in low power DC circuit building, arcades etc.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 02:21 AM
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please post the serial number and model number.
also post the numbers rating plate.

is this a 240 volt or a 208 volt??
also the knob on the pot for the voltage adjust is missing..
is the pot or voltage adjustment rheostat ok?
I am thinking at first thought this might be a 208 volt unit..

see the install setup manual for this unit...
there maybe a buss bar setup to select the voltage and hz.
most of these were for industrial places.

Thanks Paul in Iowa
see my Honda generator Group at https://hondagenerator.groups.io/g/main
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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You are correct that it is a 208v generator.

I have no idea teh model number, could not find anything like that. The motor (not engine) says Kohler Electric Plant, there is a plate on it with more info. I will get a picture of it tomorrow morning for you. I believe it says 1600rpm.

I have not checked the voltage adjustment pot, I have turned it back and forth with no visible change on the multimeter.

Thanks a lot for helping, quick response so far!
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a picture of the reading from the main panel I installed on it
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 08:09 AM
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This is an 1800 rpm set: 1800 is its rated speed; 60 hz rated frequency.
Let's start with the good news: These old mechanical relay sets are relatively simple, durable, can withstand a lot of malfeasance and abuse, and many times can be diagnosed just by looking at things.

Now, you state, "full blast". Not sure what this means. Typically, these sets have a governor and a fixed speed; some don't even have a throttle handle or knob or any other means of adjustment. Most of these sets -not all, but most- accelerate to rated speed when started, there would be no 'idle', per se'. You should see the frequency meter centered on 60 hz as confirmation that the engine is running properly.
If the engine is running too slow the voltage regulator will not work properly until the engine is running at a speed close to 60 hz - let's call it something above 52 hz.
In the photo where you have the engine running, and showing a low voltage reading on your DVM, you'll notice that the frequency meter (upper right hand corner) is off-scale at less than 55 hz. You can't test the voltage regulator until you get the speed somewhere on that meter.

IS that what you mean by "full blast"? That you have to set some throttle at 'max' in order to get 60hz?

Last edited by Melson; 02-01-2020 at 08:15 AM.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 08:22 AM
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also, it might be helpful to include a photo of the throttle you are adjusting. The injector pump, too.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2020, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a few more pictures
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2020, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a few more pictures, thanks.

208 line is showing around 120hz, but is jumping around. The 110v line is showing 62hz steady.

That has to be bad right? All the electronics I am trying to run are 50/60hz 110-240v

I managed to adjust the throttle to where it now produces steady voltage around 75% throttle.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2020, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a video of the Hz fluctuation

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2020, 04:15 AM
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do you have a hand held contactless tach yet??
you need one to look at the rpm on the diesel part...
put the reflective tape on the crank balancer.

cool these days as they are cheap!!

last I knew these were " fixed rpm" to get the hz.
they are adjustiable and have a electrical to mechanical governor to keep the rpm steady for the load changes.
but the hz needs to be right about center of the 60hz...

last I knew unless you are setup for 208 on your L1 to L2 load you need an accy transformer to change that to
single phase L1 125 vac to neutral L2 125 vac to neutral and L1 to L2 as 240 vac...
maybe something like this https://store.maddoxtransformer.com/...nt=45588273993

but on most late trailer units I have worked with they also have different taps for output
and shorting bars to "program" or "select" the gensets outputs.

are there any printed paper tags inside the side covers?

the tag on the generator alternator or "head" is just for that unit..
but some times unless the head has been swapped out you can track that back to the gensets model and serial number with a call to the mfg.
on the older stuff it is all "hand check"
now days after 2006 mfg most of it is all in a data base some where...
unless the mfg had folks enter the data for each model and serial number if they were all option units during production.
back then most of the larger units were just that!!
made to the clients specs on demand...

yea we need to know more on the head wiring...
I suspect it is a 208 Y 3 phase style..
but it could have the correct taps for 240.

Thanks Paul in Iowa
see my Honda generator Group at https://hondagenerator.groups.io/g/main
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