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 > Progressive Industries EMS and Powerline frequency error

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Ed_Gee

Central Oregon coast

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Posted: 08/10/21 07:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Recently while traveling through eastern Oregon and possibly western Idaho we experienced several instances where my Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X would give a line frequency error and not allow power to my RV. Since we really needed power for AC I removed the EMS unit... and all worked well.

My Question: has anyone else experienced this issue? Does anyone know of a way I could have bypassed the EMS line frequency error and still allow other protections to continue? I may pose,this question to Progressive Industries later....


Ed - on the Central Oregon coast
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theoldwizard1

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Posted: 08/10/21 08:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very unusual for 2 reasons?

1) Power line frequencies have to maintained very close to 60 Hz so that power companies can buy and sell power to each other. A very small fraction of 1 Hz.

2) any instrument that measures frequency likely has a crystal controlled built in oscillator. These are also very accurate. They might shift a small amount over a wide temperature range.


Believe it or not, most electrical loads (like an A/C) can tolerate +/- 5-10% shift in frequency. They won't be as efficient and might run hot.

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Posted: 08/10/21 08:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had the same issue with my progressive in one campground. I was getting the frequency error and one side was reading 89. I had no clue and the book said to call customer support. I tried but no one answered the phone.

The EMS has worked perfectly in the month and a half since in different camp grounds.

No idea what high frequency will do so I did just as the OP did and unplugged it for the night.


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NRALIFR

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Posted: 08/10/21 08:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There’s no way to bypass a single error condition. The unit is either plugged in-line, or it isn’t.

The display on the unit continuously scrolls, at 2 second intervals, all AC power information: voltage(s), current(s), frequency, error code, previous error code (if applicable).

What frequency was it displaying?

If AC power frequency deviates plus/minus 9 Hz from 60 Hz, the EMS will shut down AC power. An Error code of E 7 will be displayed when the frequency is high; and an Error code of E 8 will be displayed when frequency is low.

What error code was it displaying?

I would have checked the frequency with a DVOM, and confirmed that either the park power was out of spec, or the EMS was faulty.

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Ed_Gee

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Posted: 08/10/21 09:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NRALIFR - the error code was E7 ... high frequency. Not sure if my DVM will measure frequency.... will check and then keep this in mind...

time2roll

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Posted: 08/10/21 09:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did you inquire with the RV park about the issue? Any chance they were off-line and running a backup generator? I wonder if there was some other line noise in the connection that may have fooled the EMS. Maybe that is not possible.

If you use the bypass I would recommend monitoring the voltage manually.


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DrewE

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Posted: 08/10/21 10:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The error is most likely caused by some noise on the power lines that the EMS is somehow interpreting as the incorrect frequency. The power supply from the electric grid is quite well regulated in terms of frequency, within 1 or 2 Hz at the very worst under normal conditions (instantaneously) and within a tiny fraction of a percent when averaged long-term. The long-term accuracy is due to the need to keep clocks that reference the power line from gaining or losing time on average: a 1% error there would mean their gaining or losing about fifteen minutes over the course of a day, which is clearly not acceptable.

The main problem you might see if the frequency were actually well out of specification are some clocks and timers running fast (or slow)--these days, that's mostly mechanical appliance timers, as digital electronics generally use a crystal oscillator or similar timebase independent of the line frequency. Synchronous AC motors will try to run at a different speed, but for most household devices that's not a concern as their actual speed is usually a result of mechanical loading rather than synchronous line frequency. It would take a quite large deviation to cause "real" problems that might damage things.





wa8yxm

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Posted: 08/11/21 05:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:

Very unusual for 2 reasons?

1) Power line frequencies have to maintained very close to 60 Hz so that power companies can buy and sell power to each other. A very small fraction of 1 Hz.

Believe it or not, most electrical loads (like an A/C) can tolerate +/- 5-10% shift in frequency. They won't be as efficient and might run hot.


Some years ago the standards for maintaining power line frequency were loosened some.. I am not sure what it is today but it's not as tight ads it was years ago..
Of course it is important to stay fairly close to frequency or damage may occur to Generators and other equipment (As in total loss damage).

There are other issues however that can cause a "Phantom" frequency error. Power line noise can trip the senser in the protectors. Without a scope on the line.... hard to tell.


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Gdetrailer

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Posted: 08/11/21 07:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DrewE wrote:

The error is most likely caused by some noise on the power lines that the EMS is somehow interpreting as the incorrect frequency. The power supply from the electric grid is quite well regulated in terms of frequency, within 1 or 2 Hz at the very worst under normal conditions (instantaneously) and within a tiny fraction of a percent when averaged long-term. The long-term accuracy is due to the need to keep clocks that reference the power line from gaining or losing time on average: a 1% error there would mean their gaining or losing about fifteen minutes over the course of a day, which is clearly not acceptable.

The main problem you might see if the frequency were actually well out of specification are some clocks and timers running fast (or slow)--these days, that's mostly mechanical appliance timers, as digital electronics generally use a crystal oscillator or similar timebase independent of the line frequency. Synchronous AC motors will try to run at a different speed, but for most household devices that's not a concern as their actual speed is usually a result of mechanical loading rather than synchronous line frequency. It would take a quite large deviation to cause "real" problems that might damage things.


Most clocks now days do not depend of the line frequency for time keeping, heck even finding an new old fashioned synchronous motor driven clock is pretty difficult to impossible find now days. Most clocks are fully electronic driven with a crystal time base oscillator and only periodically "sample" the line frequency to snap the oscillator back into sync. Lots of battery powered clocks now days and much of the world uses their cellphones for time/alarm functions.

Induction motors do not care very much about frequency and are often marked 50Hz/60Hz which means they are designed to operate a bit below 50Hz to a bit above 60Hz and still operate efficiently and be operable anywhere in the world.

Much of the electronics world have moved over to switching power supplies which 100% ignore line frequency by rectifying and brute force filter the incoming AC line to DC then run the DC through a chopper at high frequency.. They too are also pretty much always will be rated 50Hz/60Hz which allows that power supply to be universally used anywhere in the world..

Line frequency from PoCos now days does indeed vary..

Here is a couple of snap shots from this morning..

[image]

[image]

Did see a 60.2 briefly but was not able to get a photo of that..

The frequency was changing consistently every second and I verified that on all three UPS units I have with that display while the same model were manufactured in different yrs.

Typically I will see a constant 59.9 or 60.1 for hrs on end, today, not so much.

While these examples are not +(-)1 Hz they do show that the grid frequency is not "rock stable".

I suspect however that the OPs EMS has a fault and will require replacement since it should tolerate enough frequency variation that comes from not only the POCO but a generator. Most generators will vary from 62Hz unloaded to 58Hz fully loaded.

Ed_Gee

Central Oregon coast

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Posted: 08/11/21 11:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To repeat some info - the frequency error occurred at three different RV Parks... all in the eastern Oregon area... I have yet to determine if my DVM measures Frequency.... but I must consider the EMS may have a problem.

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