Larry......... my answers are in italics and underlined. See below... thanks!
OK Kevin, Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX information I understand on how my solar system works and how a relay works, and you are right on, this is exactly the way it operates. I know this general info but not the specific details of these components, like why does my relay keep clicking.
Relay keeps clicking either due to a faulty relay, a faulty wiring connection or an insufficient voltage source applied to the coil.
I thought I had already told you, the relay is in combination with the 60 amp contactor..., no where near the auto transfer switch, but a little closer to the eight inverters.
So I am going re- ask my questions again in hopes of getting an answer because it appears that is the part of the information that, evidently, we are both struggling to understand:
So again, my questions if you could answer just these, please:
So what is the 120 volts coming into the relay powering????
The relay is rated and labeled at 12VDC and not 120VAC. A 12VDC relay requires 12VDC coming into feed it and not 120VAC. A 12VDC relay will not work on a 120VAC voltage to feed the relay coil. Coil voltages on all relays are either rated as DC or as AC. You cannot mix and match relay coil voltages, they are one or the other.
Or is that just the 120 V. power supply then moves over to the 60 amp contactor IF the relay would stay in place?
That is what I would also assume, but would need to reference a schematic diagram to be able to determine if that's the case or not.
Please answer each of these questions and I think I can figure this out.
Also for some reason my island power is 124 Volts - so substitute 124 wherever I say 120.
120 volts AC is referenced by the National Electrical Code as a nominal AC voltage. There is no such thing as a constant 120VAC circuit or a 124VAC circuit. The voltage can fluctuate from 110VAC up to 125VAC. Your reading of 124VAC means the same thing as a 110, or a 115 or a 120 VAC. The voltage is constantly changing. Not sure if the island adheres to the National Electrical Code, but most likely they do to some degree. In the National Electrical Code we always use 120 or 240VAC as the nominal voltage levels in a home.
My final question - it will take me at least a week to get this piece here on the island. To determine if this thing would actually work on 12 volts, if I could power 12 volts, could I just buy two of those big square 6 volt lantern batteries at the hardware store , wire them in series to give me 12 volts and see if that holds the relay shut?
You can test a 12VDC relay directly off of any automobile 12VDC battery. The wiring of (2) two 6VDC lantern batteries in series may or may not work. Even though the relay is labeled as 12VDC, many relays require a minimal amount of current to turn them ON or OFF. Two 6VDC batteries wired in series will provide the required 12VDC but may not provide the minimal current the relay requires. I would recommend to test a 12VDC relay using an automotive battery. Inside any vehicle are numerous 12VDC relays, therefore a car battery will work.
At least I would know if the relay is bad, or if the problem is the 3 volt feed.
Agreed. temporarily removing the relay and testing it will prove if it is functioning correctly or not. Once again, I would not be able to tell you where the 3 volts is originating from and would need to see a schematic diagram. If the 3 volts is DC, this may be used to light up an LED. Without being able to reference a schematic diagram, we are only guessing as to the purpose of the 3 volts. The 3 volts may not even be a proper voltage, it could be a higher voltage is required and the reason you are measuring 3 volts may be due to a fault in the wiring, connections, insufficient voltage source, etc or some other internal electronic component failure.