Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
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Your original post said you wanted a generator to "charge batteries and make hot water".
IMHO, it would be inefficient to forego a generator which could do both.
The 800-watt element in your hot water heater will draw about 6.7 amps. You're right that there's no start-up current problem; the load is purely resistive.
A Honda EU2000i is rated at about 13.3 amps continuous, so you'd have about 6.5 amps maximum for a charger while making hot water. An efficient charger with a reasonable power factor would give you 30-40A of charge power for your batteries, while making hot water.
When not making hot water, you could run a charger with twice that capacity. So, a strategy if you only had a generator to make hot water would be to run a larger charger FIRST. Then, when the amperage draw has dropped back as the batteries come up in charge, cut in the hot water heater.
You could also plumb your engine to make hot water, if you haven't already.
Last edited by btrayfors; 04-25-2011 at 11:49 AM.