Portable Genny and Inverter Questions - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-02-2008 Thread Starter
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Portable Genny and Inverter Questions

Hi all, I know this subject has been beaten to death several times over (I read those threads). Just a couple of quick Qs. First, with the Honda 2000i, can I just plug it into my shoreline socket to charge the batteries? I have two banks, house and starting, each with two batteries. Sorry, but I don't have the battery capacity handy, I'll check next time I see the boat. I have a WM battery charger wired into the system which charges at 5 amps. When on shore power, the charger keeps both sets of batteries topped up.
If I use this set up, I know I still could use an inverter to power appliances. Any tips on size or brands of inverters? I think that is about all for now.

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post #2 of 18 Old 09-02-2008
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Yes..you can plug in shore power to the Honda but you will need a 15a to 30a adapter. It will work fine with your charger BUT at only 5 amps you will have to run the generator for a long time to recharge four standard batteries which will typically have around 100ah each for a total of 400ah and 200ah before charging is needed. That is 40 hours at 5 amps!! Not a good solution for cruising but fine for the weekend.
When you say appliances I think of microwaves and hair dryers and I think the Xantrex line has proven pretty reliable. If you are gonna replace your charger, one of their combo units may be a good solution for you. Sizing is based on the START UP wattage of whatever it is you want to power.

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post #3 of 18 Old 09-02-2008
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There is an adapter cable you can get for the Honda genny - Camping World and other major RV places can probably get the part (or call Honda Directly).

As per your inverter question - it'll all depend on what you want to power. For instance I have a 300 watt invertor (bought at a truck stop) - it powers most laptops, phone chargers and other small load / trickle items - but will not power a Cuisinart 10 cup coffee maker.. So you need to base your inverter choice on needs - if you have the Honda genny - then really no need to have an inverter IMHO - less for powering a small device while underway..

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post #4 of 18 Old 09-02-2008
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Keep in mind the 2000i has a rated continuous output of 13 amps, not 20. It's good for top off's and using as a provider of 110v, not a house bank charger. OTOH it will power my 16,500 BTU air conditioner but not coffee and AC at once

If you want to use a 110v appliance your best bet is to fire up the Honda, use the appliance plugged into a 110v outlet, and then shut down the Honda; that saves the loss of efficiency in the AC to DC conversion inherent in inverters - and saves you the money and wiring in of an inverter.
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-03-2008
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A little off topic yet with regard to generators. I'm looking for info
on recommended brands for a 3 to 4 K generator?

Bob s/v Journey
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-03-2008
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Why would the 2000 not be suitable for a house bank charger?

Are you thinking that 13 amp 120 volt AC continuous can't power a 40+ amp 12 volt charger?

The way I figure if you don't count losses, it should be enough to squeak out near 100 amps.
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-03-2008
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I used my Honda 2000 the other day to run a 100W work light and an angle grinder and it barely changed its engine note. In my charging scheme, which is "still in development", the Honda has three functions: portable power at sea to save me using the inverter for power tools; last-option, lowest priority house bank charging for when the engine won't start and it's a calm, cloudy night; and for "spot-charging" the battery for the anchor windlass, so I don't have to run either an extension cord from the inverter or a dedicated solar panel on the deck (it's a manual/electric, so this is just a convenience).

Basically, I want the inverter to handle a wide range of small loads or "specialty" loads, like pure sine ones for the electronics. It's fairly wasteful to convert diesel to 14.4 VDC in an alternator/solar panel/wind gen and then back to 120 VAC for a Makita drill, etc., so the Honda makes sense for "15 minutes of 10 amp noise making", rather than eating a day's worth of refrigerator-running DC, for instance.

It's also handy for running lights when you are on the far side of a powered-down boat yard in the dark of winter when your own batteries are at home in the basement.
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-03-2008
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While the Honda 2000 might be an option, I'm looking
more toward a 3 to 4K unit that is a high end energy
producer for muit-purpose use. Any thoughts on a brand name?

Bob (North Bay) s/v Journey
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-03-2008
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Northbay-

Plenty of threads have been done on gensets, especially diesel gensets that are permanently installed... would suggest you read them, as they contain a fair bit more information than this thread.

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post #10 of 18 Old 09-03-2008
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Just as a side mention on the Honda 2000: The choke is almost TOO effective in that I didn't quite grasp that "full choke" in warm weather would stall out the engine. If it's warm enough, you can go with half or no choke from a cold start...if the engine isn't technically cold to begin with.

I should have known this as my Honda 2 HP outboard starts without choke in this weather readily.
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