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Old 07-07-2011
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How does a Honda Generator work?

I'm not really questioning how it works, but more of if it has a generator of some sort that can produce 2000 watts of power off a small gas engine why has someone not figured out a way to make a similar generator that can be attached to the existing motor already in the boat? Is there something to how it works I don't understand. Remember, I'm not an electrician or an engineer.
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Old 07-07-2011
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You can attach a generator to the existing motor. Logistics is the likely answer. The engine in your boat will typically consume far more fuel for a given time than the little honda, plus you'll have to increase the size of the engine compartment to fit the extra hardware. Your engine will already have an alternator that is used to charge the batteries, and that can be replaced with a larger capacity unit which can then be used in conjunction with your battery bank and inverter to produce 110AC.

Commercially available generator systems tend to be less problematic than something cobbled together (as well as cheaper), but there is really nothing stopping you from doing things differently.
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Old 07-07-2011
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The Honda EU2000I has a motor that turns an alternator to produce 12vdc and feeds that into an inverter to create 110vac. The main feature is that the electrical load affects the speed of the gas engine. Also the alternator is sized and geared to the engine.

If you were to hook up an inverter to your electrical system the alternator will not produce enough power at idle. You whould have to bump up the engine speed to a point that you will be wasting a lot of fuel. But if you are not concerned about the fuel economy and the noise of running the engine and you are willing to manually adjust the engine speed to the electrical load it can be done! Also a large battery between the alternator and the inverter helps.
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Old 07-07-2011
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Quote:
I'm not really questioning how it works, but more of if it has a generator of some sort that can produce 2000 watts of power off a small gas engine why has someone not figured out a way to make a similar generator that can be attached to the existing motor already in the boat? Is there something to how it works I don't understand. Remember, I'm not an electrician or an engineer.
yes its been done many times, see Balmar etc, then all you need is an external invertor and for $1000s more you have the same system.

Dave
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Old 07-07-2011
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The way I understand it is a high out put altenator and a say 450 hr battery bank with a 2000 watt inverter would still not do what a honda ue2000i will do. It seems like what ever is inside the honda could be put on an inboard motor and do the same as the little honda unit. But thats just my thinking. I would like to see inside the honda.
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Old 07-07-2011
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As you've read, it can be done. Here's the simple answer you asked for. My motor burns 2 gallons per hour, my 8kw onboard gen burns 0.75 gallons per hour.

p.s. My Honda 1kw gen burns something like 0.1 gallons per hour.
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The guy who writes about this stuff for sail magazine once did a comparison chart of cost per kilowatt hour for various sources with amortization of the total costs. The outlet at your marina is like 25 cents per KWH. Solar and Wind is a whole lot more, your main engine can run $5.00 per KWH! The hands down winner for low cost per KWH was the little Honda inverter generators!

I got curious and did a little research on the life span of those things. I found an interesting website by a guy who had been living in a house far off the grid using portable generators for power with batteries and inverters for night time use. He was getting about 1000 hours out of number of different brands before they required too much repairs to be worth rebuilding, and he was religious about proper maintenance. Then he bought one of the little Honda units, for about twice the price. After 5000 hours of really low noise operation he realized they were a bargain!

I was in a rental place one day and they had a long row of portable generators sitting there. I asked the guy if they had ever tried one of the Honda inverter generators. He said a salesman came in, but they were much to expensive. I explained to him that the typical rental generator gets taken to jobsite where it sits and runs at full speed for 8 to 10 hours a day, burning a lot of gas, making a lot of noise, wearing it self out, waiting for someone to pull the trigger on a saw or drill for a few seconds maybe 100 times a day. The Honda would sit there idling away, using little fuel, making little noise, and wearing very little. It would speed up as soon as the load was applied. I'll bet the contractors would love the low noise and small fuel use, and would even pay a little more for the Honda. So it is very likely it will last way longer in that service, easily justifying the premium price.
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Old 07-08-2011
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In addition to less fuel consumption, engine hours are also important to me in terms of maintenance. In comparison, the Honda is pennies to dollars cheaper any way you slice it.

One could also argue the Honda is much quieter and does not introduce cabin heat as it is physically outside the cabin.

So, while you could adapt your engine to generate AC...why would you want to?
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Old 12-02-2012
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Thumbs up Re: How does a Honda Generator work?

i have been using honda eu 2000 for 13 years now and i can say beyond a shadow of a doubt, these things are phenomenal. i never shut them down only for oil change. my first eu2000 ran for 30,000 plus hours... you read right@!!@
the second one close to the same and the third is still running... 17,000 + hr's... i was told by honda they just need a cast sleeve and rings and start them again although i never had them rebuilt. now to be fair i should say they were never off the eco switch and the oil was only changed once a week albeit mostly every two weeks. had i stuck to a specified regiment they could have run several thousand more hours. i still have the old hulls by the way. the eu 1000 are no big bargain and can not be rebuilt. oh, spark plugs were changed about twice per generator, thats it! i would in closing these generators will last a lifetime under camping type situations.
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Old 12-02-2012
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Re: How does a Honda Generator work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by epaolino View Post
The Honda EU2000I has a motor that turns an alternator to produce 12vdc and feeds that into an inverter to create 110vac.
Actually, it's the other way around - the alternator puts out 110vac, at 13.3 amps continuous the inverter puts out the much lower 12vdc at 8 amps.

Inverter generators use a three-step process to produce electricity. Multiphase high voltage AC is produced by the generator. The AC is converted to direct current by a microprocessor. This DC is then converted back to AC by the inverter.

Read more: How Honda Inverter Generators Work | eHow.com How Honda Inverter Generators Work | eHow.com


It's just like the bigger units for homes, 110vac is the 'easier' output to provide.
That's also why the older, non -" I " versions didn't have 12vdc outputs.
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