Author Topic: Reward Offered - Lister ST2 Startomatic Wiring Help Needed  (Read 810 times)


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Hi Guys

I'm a newbie to the forum.  I purchased a Lister ST2 air cooled with 7kVA generator, 7 years ago, a good price at 700Euro.  My plan was always to integrate it into an off grid electrical system, to that end we have installed a 4kW solar array and a 1kW windturbine is being added by the end of the Summer.  We have a 800Ah battery bank and at present, with just the solar array, it runs the house for 9/12 months of the year, hoping with the addition of the wind turbine this allow us to run the house off grid for 12/12 with the exception of approximately 2 weeks in the year when there is practically no sun or wind, this is where the Lister will come into its own.

IrishLights, decommissioned this generator, when they automated many lighthouses around the coast, converting them to Solar.  The generator has done very few hours, and starts easily on the first turn of the crank.

The plan for the Lister is to take the output from the generator and feed it into a 5kW inverter, which will charge the battery bank at up to 120Amps and the remaining power will power the house, when the generator is running.  A battery monitor will be programmed to trigger an ATS signal when the batteries drop to 70% and start the engine.

I have sourced this generator box to replace the orignal startup control box, which was not available when I purchased the Lister. 

This was the recommended module for the Lister here: https://www.gencontrol.co.uk/files/105_myv2558d.pdf

It will come with 2 bypass power relays 12V 40A to operate the starter motor and fuel solenoid valve. The module will use the existing starter motor and fuel solenoid. I understand these must be present on the generator and in working order (starter motor & fuel solenoid). The module has an auto start input which could also be used for ATS connection from the battery monitor e.g. trigger startup at 70% battery level.

I have attached pictures of the current electrics on the generator and hoping someone will know how I can wire the system, to achieve this.  I'm also about to purchase 2 x 12v (24v in total) to start the engine.  I'm willing to offer money, up to 200e to anyone who can help me get the engine automated and integrated into the current system.


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Re: Reward Offered - Lister ST2 Startomatic Wiring Help Needed
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2019, 08:48:22 AM »
If  you need any further images, don't hesitate to ask.  Thanks for your help.


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Re: Reward Offered - Lister ST2 Startomatic Wiring Help Needed
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2019, 12:41:14 PM »

I can't help you with the wiring but there are a few Cluey people here that can that have these things. I'm sure they will give you all the info you need to know.

You don't say anything about the generator or your setup as far as Voltage goes.
I take it your mains power is real power like we have here, 220/240V.  What is your battery voltage? 24 or 48V? I'm assuming 48V because 800Ah in 24 is pretty small capacity to be relying on when you are mainly going with solar in your part of the world.

I'm also wondering about your mention of the 5KW inverter and charging the battery bank at 120A. I'm no expert but 120A into a 800AH battery bank sounds a lot to me. Obviously it will taper to state of charge but that seems a real big hit and one I'd think really isn't practical or wise.

Why do you need a 5Kw inverter?  Did you mean a battery charger?  I take it you have an inverter from the solar not and as the generator I also assume is 220/240  than an inverter seems redundant.  If you meant a charger to take the mains to 24 or 48V, I'm with you there.

I know sun is not in abundance where you are but I'm wondering how much number crunching you have done with the wind turbine where you are and if you have verified it at all?  What i'm thinking is turbines tend to cost shiploads more than Panels.  At least in the parts of the world I am familiar with.
i would wonder how much more panels you could get for the same money as the turbine.  If both are going to have a dead spot, I'd be leaning towards the panels.  If you could get 3+ Kw of panels for the cost of the turbine, definitely the way I'd be going. Seems like the genny use won't be any different but the power you would get from a 3KW array is likley to be more than what you'd get from a 1KW turbine BUT... you have to look at the weather/ wind in YOUR location.  Just the same, takes a fair stiff wind to generate 1KW from a turbine but if you can get 500W 24 hrs a day, then you are far better off.
That's and IF you really need to check for yourself and don't take anything of face value that comes from a sales person.

If you are at all DIY, a 1Kw turbine can be cheap and easy to make yourself from a washing machine Motor. built one myself years ago ( before discovering how little wind I did actually have) and it was easy enough that if a pelican like me can do it, anyone can.  the motor you want is from a Fisher
& paykel machine but they are sold as other brands too. Look up Fisher & Paykel generator and you'll find loads of info on it.

You can overclock your solar  inverter severely with no problem.  I have 9.5 Kw of panels currently on a 5 kilo inverter and 7.5kw of panels on a 3.6 Kw inverter.
In summer they max out but make me more power than I use anyway even with a 20 Ton ducted AC and electric everything in the house including the septic pumps.  Right now in winter they don't hit their output rating so I could put up even more panels..... Which I was on the roof today looking, measuring and doing the mental arithmetic.  Inverters are a big expense and being off grid, in most parts of the world a lot of the grid tie rules don't apply. You could put 100Kw worth of panels on an inverter as long as you do them in strings and stay below the max input voltage and the things will take the power they want and reject the rest.  You would be feeding a controller rather than a GTI but no different in operation.

Yesterday it came over shadowless cloudy about 1pm and I noticed the big array was making about 2 Kilo and the little one was making only a little less.
Different orientations but both sub optimal.  And that is a tip I would give you, forget tilting your panels to the " correct" or " Optimum" alignment. It's anything but.
There are 2 Choices, align for winter and summer will take care of itself and still produce heaps of power or, Look up detailed weather info for your part of the world and look at the amount of cloudy days.  For cloud, the flatter the better.  If you had 3 arrays, I'd definitely be offsetting them so one is going to be where you want it at any given time.

Anyway, interested to hear more about the details and your ideas for the setup.


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Re: Reward Offered - Lister ST2 Startomatic Wiring Help Needed
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2019, 03:46:08 PM »
Thanks for the reply @glort.  The setup we currently have is operating successfully now for 4 years, weíve been recording the input and ouput from the system and we are running just from solar alone for 9 months of year.  However we would like to bring this to completion i.e. fully off grid. 

Yes we operate the home on 240v.  The battery bank is 24v as is the inverter.  The victron inverter offers the ability to take a feed from the generator and direct it to the house, any excess power is directed from the Victron inverter to be used to restore the battery bank tapering the charge until it goes to full capacity before automatically shutting down the generator and goes back to normal operation, drawing power from the battery bank.

Yes the 120amp charging is overkill, but we plan to expand the small battery bank in time.

We had used a 2kw inverter but it kept failing and shutting down as when heating/water pumps kicked in the draw was too much on the 2kw inverter.  The 5kw inverter offered the charging option as was not available in a smaller sized outut from this company.

Despite the apparent lack of sun, Ireland is a prime country to operate solar as we donít get extremes of sunlight/temperatures often, that reduce the efficiency of the output of the solar, the lower temperatures mean that we donít often have to contend with fans operating on charge controllers to dissipate heat.

We have the wind turbine already, itís secondhand, and as part of the purchase, we are to be shown how to service and maintain it and its from a reputable manufacturer (www.futureenergy.co.uk/wind-turbines/airforce1)

During the 3 months that the solar panels don't absorb enough energy, there is only a small deficit, we average an input of .25 to 1.5 kwh, so the turbine doesn't need to max to cover the shortfall.  We only require a minimum of 2 - 3kwh per day to cover, and 4 -5 on days when we run the washing machine.

We have a 8m tower with a weather station in operation and it measures the wind speed and direction and from a year of measurements we are confident it will fill the void during the periods that there is insufficent sunlight.


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Re: Reward Offered - Lister ST2 Startomatic Wiring Help Needed
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2019, 11:37:38 PM »

Where I am in Sydney, The average solar output per year is taken to be 4Kwh per KW of installed capacity.
In other words, on average, If you have 1 kw of panels, you can expect to get 4 Kwh per day out of them.  In summer it can be 6-7 Kwh and in winter 2-3.

Do you know what the average  solar output in Ireland is supposed to be?

It's Cloudy here today. I'll probably be lucky to average 1 Kwh per kw of panels I reckon.


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Re: Reward Offered - Lister ST2 Startomatic Wiring Help Needed
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2019, 12:05:09 PM »
Hi lister-IRL, sorry not to get back to you earlier but my Wife had her hysterectomy last week and I have had to be nurse, cleaner and cook for the last ten days, not a problem as I care deeply for my Wife, unusual in this day and age.

You say that you have a Victron inverter that will be able to split generator power between your home and battery charging. Is this unit a stand alone inverter or is it grid tied? Please post some more details.

Having looked at your control unit, it is only designed to auto start when the starting batteries are getting low. This could easily be converted to auto start once your solar batteries are low, provided you are happy with only 12 or 24 volt storage.

What it won`t be able to do is charge the two separate starter motor batteries. There are several possibilities here: the first is to use the old built in charging circuit that is part of your brush generator head, it`s not very sophisticated and I wouldn`t recommend it as it will easily boil your starting batteries during a long run, if miss adjusted.

The second is to use your main battery bank as the starter bank for your ST2, this has a lot to recommend it, as long as you are able and willing to hand crank the generator into life in the event of the batteries having fallen too low to crank the engine. The possible problem with this is that the control unit will probably continue to send the order to start and send current to the starter motor irrespective of the current/voltage available, this could burn out the starter motor windings, send excessive amperes through solenoids and flatten your batteries even more.

A third option is to have a separate pair of starter/cranking batteries connected to a pair of maintenance chargers driven off the 240 volt AC in your home, this is the option I have chosen and it works well, the starting batteries are always charged and never over charged by the antiquated ST2 charging system. My ST2 generator has never had a flat battery or failed to start since I went down this route, they cost around 15 Australian dollars each and my starting batteries have been faultless for three years, despite my being a tight arse and using very cheap lead acid cells.

There are four stages in the ST2 automatic start up procedure: 1, the demand triggers the supply of current/voltage to the inbuilt starter motor (built into the generator head and triggered through the large contactor in your top box). 2, opening of the fuel rack by lifting the large 24 volt solenoid on the left hand end of the engine. 3, the generator head starts to generate electricity and this is used to release the decompression levers allowing the engine to start. 4, oil pressure, if the pressure is inadequate the unit will automatically shut down.

Now back to your original question, "will this control unit do what I want it to?" Yes I believe it will, provided it is working as an off grid system, running your home and charging battery storage through your inverter. If you are grid tied then that is a completely different scenario which requires a cross over switch between you and the grid to ensure the safety of workers on the electric grid.

More info please,