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Author Topic: Emergency maintained lighting  (Read 445 times)
freddyuk
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« on: December 02, 2018, 08:08:10 AM »

Been having some issues with battery inverter system tripping off the power which means going out to the garage to switch back on. It's not the battery system itself at fault but because I fitted an RCD on the output side as required this is what is sensitive picking up any fault in the house wiring. After months of random tripping I think I have narrowed down to the well pump as the culprit which would not be a surprise due to the high current on start up and most often I am in the shower just soaped up when it goes off. As I can't monitor when the pump kicks in it would produce a random trip with no obvious loads to cause the problem. My decision is even though I can fix the pump problem I still want a couple of emergency 5w LED's to light the way through the house as it is pitch dark out here. A simply relay connected to a 12v battery and a small solar panel will do the job but which relay should I use? A NO 10amp 12vdc / 230v ac non latching relay I think it what I need? Being a bungalow the wiring is easy and can be short. Anyone done similar project? Am I correct here?
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TT
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 09:53:55 AM »

Why not keep it simple and use self contained 230vac?
Your rcd is tripping due to earth leakage not current start up
A milliamp clamp meter around the tails and some fault diagnosis should show the culprits
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rogeriko
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2018, 10:46:56 AM »

Instead of having one RCD on the inverter output put seperate RCD's on every circuit so when the pump RCD trips only the pump circuit stops not the rest of the house.
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eabadger
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2018, 12:41:19 PM »

what type of rcd did you use? A AC B ?
if a standard type "ac" the dc content of certain electronic items and inverters will cause nuisance tripping, try a type "a"

steve
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Westie
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 01:07:14 PM »

what type of rcd did you use? A AC B ?

steve

Exactly what I was thinking!  Any inverter RCD should be a type B.
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eabadger
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2018, 01:31:24 PM »

type b massively expensive, i changed to type a and had no further issues.
here in france we have multi split boards and type a is norm for any electronic items, the ac one normally covers lighting etc now.
i this uk 18th covers it too.

steve
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freddyuk
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2018, 05:31:28 PM »

I was just following the instructions to install an RCD on the output of the Inverter. I have an RCD on the board for Kitchen circuit and one for the Solar with a main one for the other sockets/well pump/garage power. If the inverter one trips and I reset sometimes the  well pump MCB trips and sometimes another sockets circuit or the kitchen making the mystery hard to narrow down. It can be hard to reset the Inverter RCD so opening the well pump MCB allows me to reset and then eventually I can get all circuits back online. My local sparky has been round and could not find any obvious faults. RCD makes are Prolec, Hager and Olan. I have swopped out the Inverter RCD and same symptoms remain.

RCD is this one https://cpc.farnell.com/pro-elec/aur1-80/rcd-double-pole-80a/dp/PL10663
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jonesy
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2018, 11:23:06 PM »

If opening the pump mcb allows reset of the rcd, then it sounds like the pump is faulty.
If there is a mains filter on the pump, then one of the caps has worn out.
If you are running an inverter without an earthed neutral, you can get tripping from rcds.

To answer the question,  a mains coil relay with the lights on the nc side will do what you want. The 10A mains coil relays I have consume 3W, which is a lot imo. A spare phone charger wired into a 5v relay will consume half that. An old electronic timer plug often has a 'wattless' dropper and 24V relay which will be similar consumption. 
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freddyuk
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2018, 08:21:46 AM »

Thanks for the input.
The pump is submersible borehole unit and was replaced 2 years ago. I have checked the control box and no signs of a problem. I could change the capacitor but nothing else to see.
This morning I was in the shower and system tripped presumably as the well pump kicked in. The shower is on a pump as is the hot water and these run OK. Tried several times to reset RCD but it wouldn't have it so turned off well MCB and was then able reset the system. Another circuit had tripped but several tries at powering up the system in quick succession tends to trip some other circuit. All MCB's can then be reset and all is OK until the next time.
The Inverter is a Victron Quattro with automatic earthing relay depending on whether it is grid fed or inverting.
I have ordered a new RCD A type so will try that. Mine is an AC type I suspect as it is not actually marked. I will also ask Jim "the well" to come and check the pump as he is the well expert.

Interesting idea for the relay. I will try that.
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TT
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2018, 07:07:56 PM »

Do a ramp test on the rcd
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freddyuk
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2018, 02:14:55 PM »

Hager type 'A' bought and fitted - so far no trips in 2 days. Thanks for the pointers as if it stays that way it was an easy fix.
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