Here is something i noticed last season, and i forgot to post a question on it. I kept my boat
at a dock
for a couple of weeks where there was no shore power
hookup. I wanted to run my onboard A/C, as well as keep my batteries charged while watching TV, etc..., so i bought one of those 1800 - 2200 watt, 110 volt Ryobi RYI2200 inverter
generators with a handle and wheels like airport
luggage. I placed it on shore to keep the exhaust
away from the cabin
. I got a Marinco pigtail cable that has a standard male 3-pronged 110 V plug
on one end to plug
into the generator
, and a 3 pronged female shore power
connector on the other end for my boats power cable.
My A/C worked great, and the TV and everything. My twenty year old monster sized Charles battery charger
that came with the boat
even worked fine, as was evident from the usual hum. One thing i did notice was that my reverse polarity light on my onboard breaker panel was lit, and my modern Charles SP series battery charger
, which powers my battery bank connected to my onboard inverter
used when out cruising to run the fridge or TV, wasnt working. It wasnt charging
those two batteries. I looked up the specs on the generator
, and it has whats known as a "floating neutral", whereby the neutral is not bonded to the ground.
My questions are:
Why would this make the "reverse polarity" light come on?
Why would my newer Charles battery charger not work, whereas my older one does?
BTW, i overcame the issue by making a plug that bonds the neutral lead to the ground lead at the generator, and plugged it into the unused outlet on the generator while it is running, and my issues went away. This solution leads to another question - I am wondering why this needs to be done, and can it lead to more galvanic corrosion
below the water