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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 12/2/2015

Having learned his lesson from yesterday's fun I think, Generator Evan arranged to come up at 0900 today to try to finish diagnosing what the heck is wrong with the Ecogen. The good news is he did figure it out...


The weather was at least better, and I spent the day puttering around the shed, hauling old wood up to the top of the hill, and generally doing the half dozen chores that needed doing and hadn't been done around there. He tested and tested, went back up to his truck to call Generac, then came down to test again. Finally after much work he figured out the problem (at least according to the testing).

It would appear the generator's stator is bad. The stator is the big, multi-ringed loops of wound copper that are inside the alternator. The engine turns a magnet in the middle of all this and that's what makes the electricity. The definitive test was when he was able to check current across the stator -- despite being a mile or two of copper wiring in there it should show zero resistance (or too low to measure). Instead he had a steady, consistent resistance, which indicates a short somewhere in all those loops.

Those wires are all coated with a veneer so they don't short while they're wound onto the stator, so very likely what's happened is that the veneer was thin in one area, or maybe the wiring was a bit loose, so it rubbed against itself until somewhere the wires touched. That would certainly cause a "1061 VSCF Field Loss" type of error.

Now of course, Generac doesn't want him to replace the whole thing (which would arguably be easier). They just want him to replace the stator itself, which (in this case) will require two people to wiggle it out of the housing. Tomorrow he'll call it in and (presumably) they'll get one out sooner rather than later. We'll see of course.

How very annoying.

Steven in Colorado

Photos

The stator! Well, the end of it... It's all those copper windings you see along the edge there.
A close up of one portion. There's probably nothing they CAN do to repair it, and we might not even be able to see the problem when we pull it -- it could be inside those windings.


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