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Thread: Need help trouble shooting - my contactor does not stay closed

              
   
   
  1. #1
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    Need help trouble shooting - my contactor does not stay closed

    Hi guys,

    need your help here, since yesterday, my contactor does not stay closed. When i switch on power on my Curtis 1238-7601 controller, contactor closes for a brief instant and then re-opens immediately.

    Curtis controller shows only error 39, Main contactor did not close:
    1. Main contactor did not close.
    2. Main contactor tips are oxidized, burned, or not making good contact.
    3. External load on capacitor bank (B+ connection terminal) that pre-vents capacitor bank from charging.
    4. Blown B+ fuse.

    Set: With the main contactor commanded closed, the capacitor bank voltage (B+ connection terminal) did not charge to B+.
    : Cycle KSI.


    I attach a couple of printscreen of controller input screens. When i switch on the controller , i see the capacitor bank voltage starting from 96 volts, maybe more, then after that it starts to slowly go down as the contactor re-opens again. There is no voltage from the controller on the contactor coil, so it seems it's the controller that does not provide voltage anymore. It does initially and then removes it right away. Not sure why. There are no other error messages.

    Last time i had an interlock failure giving me a similar problem. But this time it does not appear to be the interlock. YOu can see on the input screen that interlock is on and switch 3 input is on as well. I also set the interlock type to 2 to check if that makes any difference. Nothing.

    I don't know what to test next ?!!?


    controller.jpgbattery.jpgoutputs.jpginputs.jpg
    Regards from Switzerland
    My 2.5 Upgrade Thread

  2. #2
    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    This can happen if the contactor is damaged from opening under load. If you didn't open it under load, it could still be a bad contactor.

    Test would be to use a power supply to close the contactor manually, measure resistance at the terminals. Reaistance should be 0 Ohm.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G850A using Tapatalk
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by podolefsky View Post
    This can happen if the contactor is damaged from opening under load. If you didn't open it under load, it could still be a bad contactor.

    Test would be to use a power supply to close the contactor manually, measure resistance at the terminals. Reaistance should be 0 Ohm.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G850A using Tapatalk
    Good idea, i'll test that tomorrow. Although i have only a 12V power supply but my controller feeds it 23-24 volts. I don't know if the contactor is rated for 12 v, I need to check this.

    As far as i can remember it did not open under load, unless i did not realised it.

    thanks Noah.

    edit: contactor is
    ALBRIGHT SW200 Heavy Duty Contactor 24V

    will need to find 24 v somewhere...
    Last edited by Hugues; 27 September 2015 at 1212.
    Regards from Switzerland
    My 2.5 Upgrade Thread

  4. #4
    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    The sw200 is open, so the contacts could be dirty or corroded. HPEVS ships their kits with Tyco (LEV200) or Gigavac (GV200) sealed contactors. Much better on a bike where it's exposed to the elements.

    If that's it you might be able to clean the contacts, but I'd recommend a sealed contactor for long term reliability.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    Pulled out the contactor tonight.

    It does close firmly when applying 24 V, works also with 12 V.

    Cleaned the contacts, they were not really dirty, maybe a bit of oxidation. When closed, resistance is 0 ohm.

    Put back everything, no change

    I changed a couple of parameters from the Curtis software, like Checks Enable and Main DNC Treshold, to try to have the controller bypass the initial checks, if at all possible, no change.

    I measured the voltage on the controller B+. It starts at around 101 volts (my batter voltage), when the contactor closes, then voltage starts to drop slowly when contactor re-opens (caps leaking slowly).

    There is clearly no 24 V on the contactor pins after it re-opens. And this 24 V is given by the controller. So why is the controller not giving 24 V ?!?

    Not sure what to test next.

    Should I contact Curtis ? Or Electricmotorsport.com where i bought the controller and contactor ?
    Regards from Switzerland
    My 2.5 Upgrade Thread

  6. #6
    Senior Member DRZ400's Avatar
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    Did you measure the contactor hold current when you tested with external 12/24v? Could be its excessive and it blew the Curtis output?
    2003 Ninja 250EX, Agni #95R, 6:1 Gearing, 11 Leaf Modules.
    Alltrax SPM72400, 400 amp Controller, all LED lighting
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    http://www.evalbum.com/1955
    http://www.evalbum.com/3337

  7. #7
    Senior Member Athlon's Avatar
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    With curtis if you have a 96V system you should use 96V rated contactor , the PWM power save option is only for reduce che current , not for driving lower voltage contactor , most of the time Curtis can survive but you are puntting an extra load on the drive , lower voltage contactor need more current.
    Maybe this have nothing to do with your case but since you are using an open contactor you can find 96V rated contactor (sealed contactor works on 1V and theyshould be matched with 1239 controller )

  8. #8
    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    The 24V SW200 should be fine. It's holding current is <1A, and the Curtis can supply 2A. Good idea to check the coil current, if there were a short in the coil the current could go too high and the Curtis would cut power.

    If the coil driver was blown it probably wouldn't close at all. The coil driver is fed through the KSI input, so it's possible the controller isn't getting enough current through KSI, but unlikely since it worked fine before.

    I would recommend replacing with an LEV200 or GV200 sealed contactor. Eliminate the contactor as the problem, plus it's an upgrade. If you can change the Curtis programming, get a 48V version (they only go up to 48V). 48V is standard with HPEVS kits up to 144V.
    Last edited by podolefsky; 30 September 2015 at 0916.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    Ok,ordered a Tyco LEV 200, hope to have it before the weekend.

    Tried to measure the current drawn by the coil while powered by external voltage source, did not manage. I can close the contactor, but when I insert my amp meter in the circuit, the contactor does not close anymore.

    Not sure if this shows a contactor problem, bad amp meter, or poor understanding of the owner about circuitry
    Regards from Switzerland
    My 2.5 Upgrade Thread

  10. #10
    Empulse R #24 frodus's Avatar
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    On the Curtis software, go to the diagnostic view. I think it's the exclamation point and see what faults/errors you have. 39 is generic and doesn't tell you why it failed to close. Diagnostic tell you more about the root cause.

    Most time it's because of something simple.

    The controller controls the contactor for safety reasons. Like if throttle was on when you started, the capacitors didn't charge, your motor temp sensor is bad, etc.
    Travis

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