How common are DC Generators? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 13 Old 10-02-2011 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
May be a misprint but DC generators are quite common and the most efficient way to charge the batteries. Beats running the main engine or having a big generator for AC. A DC generator and an inverter, which you will probably have anyway, is a lighter, lower maintenance solution. On a larger boat, say above 40', I would want one.

I have seen several, one on a 35' catamaran and one on a Saga 43 for example.
Thanks everyone for the input, I will clarify with the broker...
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post #12 of 13 Old 10-19-2011
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All 12v/24v automotive and marine electrical systems are DC. The thing that produces the 13.8v or 14.4v for battery charging is called an alternator because internally it produces AC. It is rectified in to DC by diodes and the voltages is regulated by another circuit which allows it to put out the same voltage at any engine speed within normal range. Back before there were diodes they used dynamos which produced DC directly using brushes instead of diodes.

A generator is any electricity producing machine which can be AC or DC. In the listing in sounds like there is a separate engine/alternator for 12v since the term generator usually refers to a complete package

Generators in the 120/240 volt range are AC and the engines must run at constant speeds (1200, 1800 or 3600 RPM). Some generators put out DC at this voltage for some exotic power tools but those are rare.

And yes using an inverter should be fine for 120v AC stuff unless you use a lot of power. With a 120v AC generator you can't vary the engine speed at all like you can with a 12v one which is bad for light loads.

Last edited by steel; 10-19-2011 at 09:32 AM.
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post #13 of 13 Old 12-05-2011
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