Honda Generator Promotion - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-23-2014, 01:28 AM   #15
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I have been told that the best way to use a generator to charge your battery is to use the 110 from the gen to power a battery charger which has better capabilities to monitor the battery as charging takes place.
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:38 AM   #16
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Perhaps they need to incorporate the sort of charge controllers used for wind or water turbines fed straight off the alternator....

Sorry if I am borrowing knowledge of power systems from outside the RV world, but then again, why not?
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:44 AM   #17
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Maybe you can give me some advise here. I have an old 1800 watt generator and the governor to control the motor speed under various loads is not repairable. I was wondering if there is something out there that I could feed the 135 VAC into that would regulate recovered voltage to 110?
Frank
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:57 AM   #18
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Let me think about that a bit, Frank. Much of my past research and experience is with 12-36v feeding charge controllers to charge batteries, which in turn get stepped up to standard household voltages with inverters. I am a little unsure what to do with too much power, but I like the challenge. ;-)

My initial reaction is a lot of power will be lost in heat by regulating it, which will lead to premature failures, but i'll give that problem some thought....
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:08 AM   #19
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The Honda EU series are the Gold Standard in portable generators and I can see little need to re-engineer them. As the 12VDC output is somewhat limited, using a 120VAC charger running off of the generator makes some sense for a more rapid recharge.

BTW: Almost all campground restrict (read prohibit) running generators at night.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:17 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by frankcfx View Post
Maybe you can give me some advise here. I have an old 1800 watt generator and the governor to control the motor speed under various loads is not repairable. I was wondering if there is something out there that I could feed the 135 VAC into that would regulate recovered voltage to 110?
Frank
It's not the voltage that's the concern, it's the frequency which is varying as well. If you are more than a few Hz off of 60 HZ a lot of ac items can and will not be happy, over heat etc. Beside that, as you already know, that's a very noisy generator and it's not all that suitable for campground use.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:38 AM   #21
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Running the generators in parallel is interesting. I would be curious to know how they deal with keeping the inverters "phase synced".

Using a motor to drive an alternator, to feed 12v power to an inverter, to produce 110 A.C., that then goes into a battery charger, to feed 12v to batteries, just sounds like it would have a lot of conversion losses. I can see this being quite impractical to charge batteries. Too bad these type of "gensets" don't have a feed straight off the alternator to charge 12V batteries.
David,
I don't know how they keep the phases matched and in sync, but voltage comes out the end of the wires so they must be in phase.

Charging the battery using a generator is not really too bad efficiency-wise, but it just takes time to top off a battery when getting to that last 5-10%. If you are listening to a generator do that job it gets tiring for those few hours. Even a perfectly designed 4 stage smart charger takes time, so if you have sunlight solar is the way to go, not a gen set. The gen set should be used like a back up system for dark days or when you really need a frozen margarita.
Russ
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Old 04-23-2014, 04:10 PM   #22
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Russ:

In looking at the EU2000i again, it does look like the 12V port is actually designed to charge 12v batteries. That is a nice feature that I overlooked. However, it looks as if it will be an 8 amp constant current charge before the voltage regulator kicks in and starts into the "topping" charge phase. No indication was given about a float stage, so I assume you are expected to simply disconnect the battery at full charge.

By comparison, a good battery charger running off the more than ample current of the inverter will be able to deliver a higher than 8A constant current charge phase (12A is typical) thus reducing the charge time by a few hours. These chargers also provide a float phase after the battery is charged so disconnecting the fully charged battery in a timely manner is not as necessary. This method will provide the quickest charge without a doubt.

Unfortunately, due the nature of charging lead-acid batteries, you can't really speed up that last 30% or so of the charge (the topping phase) beyond the needed 7-10 hours without damaging the battery. That is a long, noisy run of the generator.

Also, you will get no argument from me about solar. I love it. I used it on my home (electric and hot water) and vehicles (battery charging and maintenance) in Arizona. Now I live in rainy, cloudy western Washington -- sigh. Maybe wood-fired steam turbine...? LOL.
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Old 04-23-2014, 04:42 PM   #23
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I ran my Honda 1000 for about an hour and a half ( park allowed a two hour window in the morning and late afternoon ) to try to top up my 12V Group 27. It never was enough, and now I see why. So, my question is, does it really need to reach 100 per cent?
I'm going to use a 40w portable solar panel this year, with the generator as a supplement.
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Old 04-23-2014, 05:29 PM   #24
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Dave7F,
I just purchased a Yamaha ef2000is, and it has a special cord to plug directly from the generator to clip onto your battery for charging.
Dave & Paula
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:04 PM   #25
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Glenn:

It is a good idea to charge deep cycle lead-acid batteries to full charge. If you frequently charge them to less than full, eventually excessive lead sulfate will build up on the plates and the battery capacity and performance will be reduced.

There are chargers that will "de-sulfanate" a poorly performing battery, but the process of changing the lead sulfate back in to lead and sulfuric acid also allows some of the lead to fall to the bottom of the battery (this happens to a lesser extent with normal charging too). Your battery will again perform, but at the cost of reduced capacity. The best life span is achieved by regularly fully charging.

Another important thing about batteries is to make sure they are fully charged before storing them, "top them off" by charging them every few months while in storage, and check the water levels of the fully charged battery. A good solar powered battery maintainer is very handy for this -- not just a solar panel hooked the battery. Preferably one that does a temperature compensated float charge.

In any case, battery chemistry "marches on" and batteries will eventually wear out and need to be replaced, it's just a matter how often based on how you care for them. If you understand that you might be replacing them a little more frequently, use them however you want.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:11 PM   #26
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I'm going to use a 40w portable solar panel this year, with the generator as a supplement.
If you spent the extra $40 and went with an 80 watt I'm willing to bet you never have to plug the generator in again! Maybe even true with a 60 Watt assuming your not wanting to watch TV and run a microwave.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:10 PM   #27
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Dave,
I agree that an outboard charger would do a faster job than the built in Honda one. More so if the battery was deeply discharged. I've tried a CTEK 7amp which was too slow and now have a "Solar" brand that as I remember can dump 20amps and works better. That said I still have a problem listening to a generator run for hours. On cloudy dark days you may have no choice though.
One technique that other posters mentioned in the past was to let the battery get down to 50% before running the generator to re-charge. you could replace a lot of juice faster with say a 20 amp charger and get to 90% in a couple of hours, and then shut it off. You could then wait until getting back home to top off the battery for storage.
Russ
http://www.amazon.com/SOLAR-PL2320-P.../dp/B007ESQW08
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:32 AM   #28
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I keep a log and it was enlightening when I had growing concern about my battery holding a charge. The battery I thought I bought a year or two earlier, was actually purchased in 2011.
Hey, I'm getting old, and so is my battery.
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