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Conti 100cc 2 group machine making the generator surge on the coffee van

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  • Conti 100cc 2 group machine making the generator surge on the coffee van

    Hi Everyone,
    We recently bought a second hand coffee van (about 2 years old), It's setup really nicely but once the machine gets up to 120c it makes the generator surge quite a bit.The temp goes back and forth between 119 and 120. It only durges at 119. We had the generator serviced, the carburetor sonic washed and while this made it a little bit better the surging is still there. Needless to say it's very annoying and I won't start trading as it is. We had a bigger 8kva generator plugged into the truck and it did the same. The current generator is a 7kva honda EM inverter 70is. Next thing to try I think is a different coffee machine but I thought to ask if anyone had a similar problem or have a suggestion. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    It sounds like there's an issue when the pressure stat disengages. That's about the correct temperature for the boiler at 1.0 bar or so. The generator is supplying, maybe,3 .4kW to the heating element which abruptly stops. And starts and stops. This is hard on generators. I recommend you speak with an electrical engineer - a generator sales rep won't know enough. Big loads will always cause a small generator to surge when the contactors close and current flows to the element.

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    • #3
      Addendum: change pressure stat. That may help a bit.

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      • #4
        Thanks heaps. did you mean a relay on the electronic board?

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        • #5
          Actually, the pressure switch. If it's a contactor pressure switch. There are relay pressure switches too. You will have one or the other on the Conti.

          The contacts take a beating: arcing and sparking; slag and carbon. I recently replaced a contactor that had two melted poles/contacts.

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          • #6
            Click image for larger version

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            Here's a 3 pole P/stat for your Conti

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            • #7
              Oops! The moderator won't like the commercial link: have quick look before I delete it [emoji14]

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              • #8
                Thats great thanks again

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sprezzatura View Post
                  Oops! The moderator won't like the commercial link:
                  CoffeeParts are a CS sponsor

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                  • #10
                    Conti 100cc 2 group machine making the generator surge on the coffee van

                    This being the case, Pedro will be pleased: eamon, you can buy a three-pole Sirai pstat from Pedro Lara @ CP.

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                    • #11
                      There's not a lot you can do when the load being switched is about 50% of the rated output of the generator.

                      Something that could be done but may be deemed more complex than desired, would be to have an appropriately qualified and licensed person, fit three high quality Pressurestats (one for each heating element) that have a very narrow dead-band setup with appropriate logic and wiring to separate SSRs connected to each Boiler Heating Element.

                      This way, and for most of the time (except at start-up), only a single element will be getting switched at around 1.2KW, which won't cause too much of a problem with the generator. As more heating input is required, additional elements will be switched on as the individual p/stats detect falling pressure in the Boiler. As each successive element is switched on, the additional 1.2KW loading won't cause the generator too much grief, and may in fact be barely noticeable.

                      This may sound like unnecessary complexity but all in all, a competent person could accomplish this in quite a short time and thereafter make life for your generator (and you perhaps) much less stressful...

                      Food for thought perhaps,
                      Mal.

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                      • #12
                        We have also discussed downgrading the element

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                        • #13
                          Just a quick update : I took the machine to Alex at Expobar and he found out that it is actually the computer board turning and electronic pressure stat on and off too quickly thsts causing the surging. He swapped out the relay for an analog pressure stat and the problem is sorted. Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

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                          • #14
                            Good outcome Eamon...

                            One thing this exercise has highlighted, is just how difficult it can be to troubleshoot a (seemingly) complex problem via remote control. It's always much better (and easier) when the equipment is there, right in front of you.

                            All the best,
                            Mal.

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