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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome and contribute to this thread since there (as far as I could find) is no other like it on the internet. This is my first post to this forum but I'm highly active on car forums to this day.

What we have is a circa 2002 Fischer Panda 55kw 3-phase 60Hz Asynchronous Generator with 314 hours. Mercedes turbo diesel OM364A. I got this from a neighbor who told me it was running one day and he forgot it was running. Came out in the evening and found it was "very hot" and wasn't making power. I put little credence in what he says however so take that with a huge lump of salt. I decided to take a whack at it and bought it for $2000. It was so clean and runs so smooth I figured I could probably make it work again. I'm an Aerospace Ground Equipment tech from 20 years ago (USAF) and we didn't have this style of generator to play with so this is new to me. It uses a huge bank of capacitors to excite the field.

I contacted Fischer Panda USA and they gave me the actual manual for this thing in German/English but it's VERY hard to understand what they want me to do. The guy at FP told me to "flash-in residual magnetism" and said "touch 24v to H1.1 backend leg". Then the other guy there chimed in with more lingo I'm not familiar with by sending me troubleshooting forms doing impedance and continuity measurements across "Z1.1" and "Z2" etc. More lingo I don't know what they mean. I asked for more information and they told me that's all they can do since they are only supposed to help the original end user AKA "military". So much for that avenue.

Email from today was this: "Your next task is to flash the backend to install residual magnetism. Take a 3 foot piece of 14awg wire and put a 10 amp inline fuse in it. Then, touch one end to the B+ starter post terminal and the other end to the H1.1 backend leg inside AC output box. If that doesn’t work, test the backend for shorts leg to leg and legs to case ground. Literature attached, remove all backend stator legs from ac box to isolate the backend from gen. Now, fasten together the windings as described in the first attachment. Finally, test all legs and record your data on the second attachment."

Then: "L1/2/3 is generator load out. You have 3 stator windings in that backend, I need you to isolate them from each other by tying the ends together. And when you test impedance between the windings and each winding to ground you want at least 1Mohm of impedance or the windings will not hold insulation between each other or case ground when producing. Finally, this was sold as a military unit and I am not really supposed to help anyone but original end user with this type of gen. You have experience and the literature for your model, I have done what I can do, good luck."

So at this point I want to flash residual magnetism but there is no procedure in the manual that makes sense (see attached). Anyone out there have experience with this type of thing? Am I to remove that big heavy plate endbell cover and tie stator wires together? I'm skeptical and cautious since its a tight fit back there with the giant radiator in the way and I don't want to do something I don't have to do!








 

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nice looking gen.
seek out one of the power support guys from the military.
most of them should be retired by now from the 1980's to 1990's.
do you have the mfg year on the tags?

flash the gen is super easy to do.
if you know what you are doing.

head over to you tube and search that.
 

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Panda 55/4
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll sit down tonight and do more digging. This is a winter project so I got lots of time to learn about it.

I just now put the enclosure back together and its VERY quiet. Runs so good it makes me motivated to get it going.
 

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take a look at section 3.3.4 in that manual
it looked easy to me.
basic they are connecting battery voltage for a couple of seconds to the output of the gen set.
and that will re flash the core.

most of the time they use a small fuse that will blow during the flash.
that helps keep the gen voltage when it does come to life out of the dc battery.

pretty basic stuff for a gen tech.
or an old school tube radio repair guy.
 

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a good cap tester is where i would start...
you might have a bad bank of caps...
age kills them.
look for date codes for mfg on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I tried flashing and nothing happened. I just now read the entire manual slowly and I'm suspect of the caps. The generator data plate says 2002 mfg date (in German of course, it says Bj. 2002. Baujahr.) I'll do some cap testing in the morning and definitely report back. This is pretty fun stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As far as flashing the field goes, here's what I've got so far. The generator has 3 pairs of cables coming out with each pair attached to L1/L2/L3. I disconnected the output lines leaving the "pairs" isolated. With generator off I then put 12VDC (+) to L1 and (-) to N. This is where I'm not 100% and need someone to clarify. By putting 12v through L1 this should short to N but it didn't pop my 10a inline fuse in doing so. Matter of fact nothing happened, no spark, no melting wires, nothing. My little Fluke shows 0.0 ohms between all terminals (L1-L2, L2-L3, L1-L3, L1/2/3-N). The manual says to measure mili-ohms but my meter won't go that far down.

Another thing I'm struggling with is the capacitor bank and excitation. This genset has 3 BIG cables coming from the capacitor bank that bolt directly to the generator leads at the AC output box. Am I understanding this correct that there is DC induced in the stator windings (from asynchronistic behavior) that overlays the AC output and it is this DC that charges and keeps the capacitors going? This generator has an AVR but I don't see that it influences voltage through excitation, rather it (possibly?) regulates engine speed. The manual states the AVR can be disabled and you can use the generator in standalone mode by adjusting the pump lever. All my questions would be answered if FP would have complied with my original introductory email requesting schematics. I'm a schematics whiz. I'd have gladly paid them too.

Too many words on this post, most of you will probably fall asleep reading. Meanwhile I'll be out there burning up caps and frying stator windings...

When all this fails I'll make a tractor out of the Mercedes engine.
 

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Way way over my head, but wish that I lived next to you so that I could come over to hear that engine purr...and watch with baited breath as you attempt to get it to produce power. Keep us in the loop, Dutchy
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
5 bad caps. These are 100uF caps that have a mounting peg on the bottom.

I tested for residual magnetism by running the generator with the stator unhooked and voltage tests across L1/2/3 to N yielded zero voltage. It must need flashing but seems 12v isn't doing it. I'll keep at it.
Plant Wood Grass Pollution Gas


9948
 

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i think some where it mentioned 24 volts..
check on that.
yea get the dod part numbers off the caps and replace them all.
and verify the new ones and write the numbers on the bottom of the caps with sharpi.

do you have a coil and choke meter?
you need one to check the windings for flash over.

also with every thing isolated use a good ohm meter to see if the windings are close together on ohms readings.
and check them to chassis ground as well for shorts.

did this unit have brushes???
if so check the slip rings and brushes..
and the brush holders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No brushes or slip rings on this big boy. This is an asynchronous self-exciting generator with capacitor banks attached to the L1/2/3 lines directly.

I ordered 5 replacement caps from digikey that are the same exact ones, $20/ea. I removed every single cap, did the Fluke capacitor test, then charged each one with a 12v battery to see if they would hold. All but 5 passed these tests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It works! That was much quicker than I expected. So I traced the individual wires from the capacitors and determined they are all ganged together (parallel) sooooo, I simply added 12VDC to one of the capacitors (melting the janky wires I made in the process) and it worked! I figured recharging the caps at least a little would flash the field. I verified it worked by shutting it down and restarting without 12VDC and it came up like it should. So now I have this giant 3-phase 55kw genset and no 3-phase equipment to run off of it. Oh well.

I noticed though since it's missing some caps the voltage came up over the course of about 3 seconds when I feel it should have leapt right up to 120v. New caps will be here when they be here.



 

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ha!
glad you are on the road to a good back up gen on the cheap!
i would think on replacing all the caps now that it is working!
think of it as an update PM (planned maintenance)..
then you should be set for another 10 years of run...

did you see the high temp versions of the caps??
they are higher cost but they are a 15 to 20 year cap..
and work great under heavy loads...
that is an upgrade thing..
panasonic makes some of the best ones if you can get them....
we use them in BIG computer power supplies.
some are at better than 1% as well.
hand picked stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I found identical ones on digikey made by Kemet in Bulgaria. I get legit VW parts from Bulgaria so why not caps eh? They are 470v 100uF with a 5% tolerance. The generator makes power with 5 missing so it would appear the total capacitance isn't a critical factor on this thing. Its got 4800uF total!
 

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just do not load it up heavy with out the caps.

yea a bit of govt over kill is a good thing!
nice on the 470 vac!

so one of the old caps was dead shorted?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Got new caps on today and all is well. 4 of the old ones would't take a charge and the remaining one puked its guts out the top. Next stop is building a trailer for it. I have to go back east for a few months for work so this project is on hold for the time being.

Neighbor offered to bring his 10k forklift over AFTER I ruthlessly dragged it to the back yard. Sucker is heavy and my poor little Takeuchi didn't like it one bit.
9970
 

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yea make sure when you do a heavy duty axle trailer to do one with outriggers or 4 corner jacks so you can setup and level the trailer.
and yes a lawn tractor works well with a draw bar works for moving it around on the property after it is on a trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quick text update. I have plans to build a trailer, electrical cabinet, and a big aluminum fuel tank for this thing.. in December. Currently I am in Toronto for another **** nuke job. I'm new on this forum but will not forget about it! I'm weeding through posts on VWVortex and noticed low-post number people tend to just disappear. Not me! I've got a few pieces of equipment that will need some future help I'm sure and dammit I can't do it all myself!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Back home for a 2 month break from Canada. Generator won't stay running without the bypass switch pushed. I reeeeeealllly need a wiring diagram for this thing. I went through all the safety switches and relays to no avail. This thing uses a hodge-podge of off the shelf gear like the Saab fuel relays and the Kubota tractor timer relay for the IP shutoff. The manual says the thing should start when you flip the toggle to "on" and mash the soft button "on". But it won't operate the fuel pump or shut off solenoid without the bypass pressed. I emailed the Fischer people in Germany again. Bout to take the engine out and put it in a truck.
 
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