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Old 06-05-2011
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Honda Generator not triggering charger

Hello all,

I have a brand new Honda EU2000i charger that I want to use as a charging generator while on the hook. I filled her up with oil and gas, plugged in the 30A shorepower cord that I had just disconnected from my dockside service and . . . . Nothing.

The "shorepower" indicator on my onboard panel did not light up like it does when connected to shorepower.
I tested the standard 110v outlets on the generator by plugging in a hairdryer. It worked fine. I did not have a way to test the 30A socket.
I've got a Xantrex Freedom Marine 25 charger (130A three stage) and Link 1000 monitor. There was no indication of shore power on the monitor panel. The analog amperage gauge on my panel did not show any incoming charge.
I checked the breaker where my shorepower connection plugs into the boat and it was fine. I unplugged from the generator and back into dockside service and it was fine.

The rated output on the generator is around 16A. Is there a "minimum" current that is required to "trigger" the Xantrex and/or its monitor? Any suggestions? I must be missing something.

Last edited by boltnbrew; 06-05-2011 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 06-05-2011
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The charger/inverter you have is rated at 26 amps AC when in full charge mode. Your generator is too small by a large amount. Chargers are not always happy running off a generator as well. Steve D'Antonio recommends a gen capable of twice the required amperage of the charger for full charger output. But even forgetting full output you just don't have enough amps to get it going.
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Brian,

Does the inverter/charger need to see the "max" charge current in order to do any charging or is it simply a maximum? I guess another way of putting it is whether ther is a "minimum" ac input current to initiate charge mode? 52 amps (2x26) seems like quite a bit of generator capacity, especially for a wet battery bank.
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I believe the charger cycles, first bulk and then down as required by the batteries condition. The bank must be down a bit or charging would not be necessary. Even if you didn't double the chargers input with the gen, you still don't have enough.

I notice your AC panel shows no incoming voltage. Is this with everything turned off except the main double breaker? What kind of adapter are you using to go between the generator and the shorepower inlet?
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The batteries were fairly well-charged (better than 90%), so bulk charge rate shouldn't be a problem for very long. That's the odd part in that the charge load should not have been much more than the third or "float" level. All AC loads were turned off. No adaptor- the Honda 2000i is the "Companion" model with the 30A plug built in. I just connected it to the shorepower cord.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltnbrew View Post
The batteries were fairly well-charged (better than 90%), so bulk charge rate shouldn't be a problem for very long. That's the odd part in that the charge load should not have been much more than the third or "float" level. All AC loads were turned off. No adaptor- the Honda 2000i is the "Companion" model with the 30A plug built in. I just connected it to the shorepower cord.
A stretch, maybe a polarity issue, or a GFI somewhere behind
the input plug of the shore power cord?

Dabnis
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It sounds like the power is not even getting to the panel for some reason.

You know the generator works because the hairdryer works. If you have a multimeter check the other end of the shorepower cord. Put the meter in AC volts setting. You should get 120 volts between the ground connector and the unlabeled (hot) connector on the lower right. You should get 120 volts between the one labeled W and hot. The multimeter should read 0 volts between the ground and the one labeled W. That will tell you that you have power at the other end of the cord and in the correct pins.

Assuming that is fine I would get behind the panel - if it is screwed in remove it with shorepower off. Turn shorepower on and measure between the black and white connector on the incoming side. If there is 120 volts there make sure the main breaker is on and check the load side of the main breaker. There should now be 120 volts there.

It is a process of elimination, working from where you know there is power to the fault or problem.

I would only do the above if you are comfortable with it.
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Re: Honda Generator not triggering charger

Final chapter. After reading some RV forums, the issue appeared to be the Honda "floating ground" or some call it a "floating 110". Because the Honda is not truly "grounded", the ground is allowed to float between the ground and neutral wires- producing what appears to be 62.5V on both the hot and neutral when compared to the ground. This means my charger/inverter did not see 120 (115) V and acted like nothing was there. Solution: bond the ground and neutral wires inside the generator using a jumper. Just like what occurs in your household panels. Now all is well, the generator generates, the charger charges and no stray shock or other bad stuff.
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Re: Honda Generator not triggering charger

Please explain how you Bonded the neutral and ground inside the generator?
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Re: Honda Generator not triggering charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
The charger/inverter you have is rated at 26 amps AC when in full charge mode. Your generator is too small by a large amount. Chargers are not always happy running off a generator as well. Steve D'Antonio recommends a gen capable of twice the required amperage of the charger for full charger output. But even forgetting full output you just don't have enough amps to get it going.
This is incorrect. The charger is rated at 26Amps/12Volts DC. The generator will use around 3Amps at 120 volts to do the charging and is rated at 16 amps at 120 volts
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