Originally Posted by mjlaupp
These are microprocessor controlled aftermarket kits that allow small generator starting capabilities for A/C compressors. On another RV forum that I frequent, there have been reports of successfully starting and running 13.5K A/C's with a 2400W Inverter Genset running in eco mode. I do not have either of these installed on my 5er.
Micro-Air Easy Start: Micro-Air - Products
Originally Posted by Sunflake
These sound like they are mini frequency drives. Is that correct?
Thank you mjlaupp for mentioning our product, and I would like to answer Sunflake's question in your behalf. I don't want to violate any of the forum rules here, so please, this is not a advertisement for my company. All I want to do if offer everyone who is interested some helpful information. In the end, you will all hopefully have the necessary information to make your own decisions on how to get your A/C systems to start and run on your generator or inverter systems, and on what you choose to purchase or not to purchase. Getting a larger generator or inverter with more surge capacity is always an option, albeit much more expensive. That's why using a soft start is the better option. So, let's get to the important stuff...
First, Micro-Air's EasyStart products come in a few different models. The link mjlaupp provided above was our circuit-board version, model 366. The more commonly used one for RV and marine A/C applications is the model 364
shown at this link.
The model 364 is easier to install than the 366 since it comes with its own plastic enclosure with all the necessary components and wiring harness included. If you are an advanced DIY person, you still may be able to handle the model 366, but you'll have to do more research and provide some additional wiring, parts, and find an appropriate enclosure. The model 366 is used most often by our OEM customers (A/C manufacturers) who build EasyStart into their final products' electric boxes, but there's nothing stopping you from doing the same thing if you are so inclined! Nevertheless, the easier to install and most commonly purchased model is the 364.
Second, because we recognized it as the one of the gold standards in the RV market, Micro-Air purchased a Honda EU2000i generator years ago to do real testing with every 115VAC RV and marine A/C system we could acquire. We are happy to report that we were able to start and run every one of them on this generator from ECO mode using EasyStart
. Yes, as mentioned by some other people who posted in this thread, ECO mode only matters when the A/C is not running (i.e. cycled off since it met it set point temperature). Unless you are in a really hot environment and your A/C runs all night long, ECO mode may allow you to get through an entire night on a single tank of gasoline since whenever the A/C's compressor cycles off, the generator will switch to low-RPM mode (assuming there are no other high-amperage loads on it). The EasyStart has a clever starting sequence that allows a 5-second delay, which is sufficient time for the Honda to detect the higher current draw of just the A/C's fan at first, switch into high-RPM, full-power mode, in time for the EasyStart to begin ramping up the compressor.
Third, answering Sunflake's question, EasyStart is a "soft start" device for a single-phase, PSC motor. It is not a frequency drive, nor a start capacitor, nor a "hard start" kit (more on that later). Frequency drives are typically used on 3-phase motors and do in fact alter the line frequency driven to the motor windings to speed it up during a start or slow it down during a stop. Soft starts do not alter the line frequency. They use a different electronic technique to slowly apply voltage and torque to the run and start windings of a single phase motor to gradually get it moving, then ramp it up to full speed, eliminating that huge spike of current (LRA or "locked rotor amperage") that would otherwise normally occur when full line voltage gets applied instantly to a stationary motor at rest. It is that brief LRA, which is 5 to 6 times the normal compressor running current, that bogs down and stalls out your generator or inverter. EasyStart uses a very unique, 4-step starting sequence that is carefully orchestrated in a closed-loop microprocessor control system (monitoring motor rotation, phase, and current as feedback parameters). EasyStart also continues to monitor the motor for various fault conditions after the startup is completed. Check out all the details and a competitive product comparison on the second page of the spec sheet shown at this link.
Lastly, we recently produced a video (our first, so don't laugh) on how to install an EasyStart into a typical RV rooftop A/C. A similar video of a marine A/C installation was shot with the GoneWiththeWynns YouTube channel team last month, but has not yet been published. Check out the Micro-Air RV installation video, starring yours truly, at this YouTube link.
I'll warn you now, like my post here
, the video is long
. In this video though, I do a lot of interesting testing and explanation, and also carry out a live comparison test of the often-prescribed "hard start" kit. You'll finally be able to see exactly why these do not even come close to attaining the startup current reduction delivered by EasyStart. The video does have a time-stamp index with links and an outline in its description box, so you can jump to specific sections if don't want to watch the entire thing.
Let me know if you have any further questions, and I'll do my best to answer them. Thank you again for your time and your interest in our products.