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  #1  
Old 10-16-2007
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Honda portable gen set question

We have a 440 ampH battery bank and considering buying a small genset such as the H2000 to power the A/C, batt charger, coffee maker, wife's hair dryer, etc while on the hook. In another forum, someone mentioned the voltage potential between common and ground which these produce and I quote:

"If you check the AC voltage tha the Honda EU series produce, you will see a 60 volt potential between the hot side and ground, and a 60 volt potential between the common side and ground."

My question to the group is what effect this has on the galvanic isolator, if any, as it seems to me this would destroy the diodes.
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Old 10-16-2007
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Just a question, for about the same money as a Honda gen set, you could go solar and accomplish the same thing. Have you looked into solar ?
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Last edited by Freesail99; 10-16-2007 at 10:43 AM. Reason: I didn't see the need for AC, at first.
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Not sure about the answer to your question, but I can tell you from experience, that the Honda won't carry those kinds of loads. I tried using my electric kettle with my Honda2000, and it bogged it down quite a bit, with no other load on it. It works fine on my 20amp charger and laptop at the same time, but I don't think it's really well suited for high draw items like A/C. YMMV, of course.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1vsk View Post
"If you check the AC voltage tha the Honda EU series produce, you will see a 60 volt potential between the hot side and ground, and a 60 volt potential between the common side and ground."
The very last paragraph address this.
http://www.jkovach.net/projects/powerquality/


From the same site:

While the AC output of the EU2000i is very good, the same cannot be said about its 12 volt "DC" output. The average voltage of this waveform is somewhere around 12 volts, but there's a 15 volt ripple. According to the wiring diagram in the generator manual, the DC output is produced by a low-voltage winding on the main alternator which is fed through a simple 4-diode bridge rectifier. There is no filtering or regulation on the DC output. The DC connector on the generator is labeled "battery charging only", and they mean it. Batteries generally don't care if you charge them with lousy power, but try and run any sort of electronics off of this and there's a chance you might see smoke.


Quote:
Originally Posted by k1vsk View Post
My question to the group is what effect this has on the galvanic isolator, if any, as it seems to me this would destroy the diodes.
I don't know, but if you aren't hooking it into the boats electrical system it shouldn't cause a problem.

Now the load carrying capacity I agree with PBzeer. The Honda 2000 will have a problem with the A/C. I think the Yamaha 2800 does a little better. Or the Honda 3000, but it weighs about 135#. Search on an RV forum. I spent some time in one when we had our popup. The generator question comes up all the time. Most especially in the slide in campers section (the campers that go on the back of a pickup). They spend many nights boondocking and living off batteries.
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Just to clarify,
- solar won't provide the necessary power
- not going to use it for direct 12VDC power
- I am planning to connect the genset 110V output to the boat's elec system, hence the question on the galvanic isolator issue.

Rewell you attachment reads in part
"I measured several of the inverter devices here (the Back-UPS 650, 500, and the Honda generator) and noted that when the inverter is in operation both hot-ground and neutral-ground read around 60 volts. When you measure between hot and neutral, the reading is 120V."

This confirms what I had previously been told which causes the concern for the isolator diodes.

I guess I need to find someone who actually uses this genset through a galvanic isolator
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rewell...I don't think he is talking about using the DC output which is fairly useless.
He is talking about plugging in the AC output into his shorepower inlet and using the 2000 watt nominal output to drive his battery charger and other AC powered items on his boat.

K1VSK...it will NOT power your air conditioning. Beezer is correct. I have never heard of one affecting a galvanic isolator but your question is perhaps better directed to Honda directly.

Freesail... how for less than 900 bucks are you gonna come up with a solar power array that even begins to approximate 100 amps @ 12V an hour??
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I borrowed a freind's H2000 to try and it DOES power my 16k BTU A/C unit.
We had the same reservation when the start capacitor initiated bogging down the genset until we switched off the ECO mode allowing the genset to meet the initial demand after which is worked fine drawing 1750 watts.
Not sure if I called Honda on veg day but the teck folks with whom I had the pleasure to speak never heard of a galvanic isolator
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Wow! thanks for correcting that. We had friends that failed with a 12k...good too know how to do it! Was it a house type A/C unit or a marine installation?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Wow! thanks for correcting that. We had friends that failed with a 12k...good too know how to do it! Was it a house type A/C unit or a marine installation?

16K Marine Air. Had tried it with the Honda prior to installing the isolator so now my only real concern is whether or not I'd have to replace the isolator with an isolation transformer.
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Newer More efficient ACs?

The newer more energy-efficient ACs use far less power per BTU than the older ones did. That may be why one 16k BTU unit could run off a 2000w genset while another 12k BTU unit overloaded the generator.

Whatever you are powering remember that the initial current draw is much higher than the run current. You generator has to be capable of handling the starting load as well as the running load.

So to make a scientific wild-ass guess as to whether a generator can operate a specific piece of equipment, you need to know 4 things: 1. the startup current of the device, 2. the short-term overload capacity of the generator, 3. the running current of the device, and 4. the continuous power capability of the generator.

For instance, if an AC unit requires 2800watts to start and 1900watts to run, a 2000watt generator with an overload capacity of only 2200watts won't work, because while the generator could supply the running current, it won't have the capacity to get the beast started.

Putting away my EE hat now and picking up my Tilley :-)
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