Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 30-05-2016, 18:47   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Boat: 1995 Larson Cabrio
Posts: 132
Charles marine battery charger doesn't work with inverter generator

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 line somehow?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	plug.jpg
Views:	103
Size:	21.5 KB
ID:	125230  
__________________

__________________
Joe from ny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-05-2016, 18:55   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 1,532
Re: Charles marine battery charger doesn't work with inverter generator

the reverse politary light is powered between the ground and netreal wire. normally the voltage is 0v since the green and white are joined together at the dock. so it won't light up.

with a floating n-g that voltage could have been anything. 20v, 60, 100v. who knows unless you measured. the light would be on but not full brightness. full brightness would be at 120v if the hot and N were swaped at the plug.

as for the charger I have no idea. it should have worked. I doubt it looks or senses for a ground voltage or fault.
__________________

__________________
smac999 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 30-05-2016, 19:26   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Boat: 1995 Larson Cabrio
Posts: 132
Charles marine battery charger doesn't work with inverter generator

You are right about the light, is is a bit dim. But why doesn't it light when I plug into an extension cord run to my shed about 30 feet away? Is there a potential voltage difference between the ground and neutral on the generator? I will have to measure next time I crank it up.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
__________________
Joe from ny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-05-2016, 23:06   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 1,532
Re: Charles marine battery charger doesn't work with inverter generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe from ny View Post
You are right about the light, is is a bit dim. But why doesn't it light when I plug into an extension cord run to my shed about 30 feet away? Is there a potential voltage difference between the ground and neutral on the generator? I will have to measure next time I crank it up.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

your shed plug has the N-G bond (back at main panel), just like a dock does. yes your gen will have voltage from N-G. it could be anything between 0-120v since it's floating.
__________________
smac999 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2016, 00:06   #5
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Virgin Islands
Boat: 1999 Leopard 45, 45 foot cat, 1980 Hunter 33, 33 foot monohull
Posts: 351
Re: Charles marine battery charger doesn't work with inverter generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
your shed plug has the N-G bond (back at main panel), just like a dock does. yes your gen will have voltage from N-G. it could be anything between 0-120v since it's floating.
Does that mean that one can ignore the reverse polarity light in this situation?
__________________
contrail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2016, 03:23   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 15
Re: Charles marine battery charger doesn't work with inverter generator

A non marine or low quality cord can show reverse polarity when it gets wet from rain or a heavy dew.

I wouldn't ignore the light.

Conall
__________________
Conall63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2016, 08:01   #7
Registered User
 
Cadence's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SC
Boat: None,build the one shown of glass, had many from 6' to 48'.
Posts: 5,363
Re: Charles marine battery charger doesn't work with inverter generator

You can eliminate the floating neutral with a transformer between the gen. and the components onboard. If you want for go to the expense. I've had to do it for a piece of electronics that didn't like a floating neutral.
__________________
Cadence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2016, 08:20   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 23
Re: Charles marine battery charger doesn't work with inverter generator

I had a similar problem with a Charles Inverter/Charger on a new-to-me Carver Voyager 46. I think it was a 2500 watt inverter. It would not charge the battery using generator power, but it worked fine with shore power. Unfortunately, I didn't think of checking the floating ground, which may have caused the problem.

I finally just gave up and bought a Freedom 3000, which worked great.
__________________
gbohner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2016, 08:48   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Boat: 1995 Larson Cabrio
Posts: 132
Re: Charles marine battery charger doesn't work with inverter generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbohner View Post
I had a similar problem with a Charles Inverter/Charger on a new-to-me Carver Voyager 46. I think it was a 2500 watt inverter. It would not charge the battery using generator power, but it worked fine with shore power. Unfortunately, I didn't think of checking the floating ground, which may have caused the problem.

I finally just gave up and bought a Freedom 3000, which worked great.
yeah, i would not have figured it out had it not been for the polarity light. while searching for the reasons for that light, i came upon the solution of grounding the neutral line of the generator receptacle. For a $2 plug and a one inch piece of wire, my issue was solved. when the polarity light went out, my Charles battery charger came on. For whatever reason, i guess they dont like floating neutrals.
__________________
Joe from ny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-07-2016, 23:38   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Boat: 1995 Larson Cabrio
Posts: 132
Re: Charles marine battery charger doesn't work with inverter generator

Old thread, but would me using this solution lead to the zincs getting used up quick? All my anodes on my mercruiser alpha one drives dissolved quick last season. I haven't yet needed to use the floating neutral bonding this season, but I was wondering if my solution of getting my battery charger to work ended up causing greater galvanic reactions.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
Joe from ny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-07-2016, 23:45   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 1,532
Re: Charles marine battery charger doesn't work with inverter generator

every on board marine gen has the G-N bond. as does shore power at the dock. if you put the gen on shore and it managed to get a ground to earth. then maybe if you don't have a galvanic isolator. though if it was sitting on a wooden dock then I highly doubt it would get an earth ground anyways.
__________________
smac999 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2016, 00:50   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Boat: 1995 Larson Cabrio
Posts: 132
Re: Charles marine battery charger doesn't work with inverter generator

No, it was a portable inverter engine suitcase generator, a bit like the Honda. It sat on the dock next to the boat, and was connected to my shore power connector on the boat.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
Joe from ny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2016, 18:50   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 372
Re: Charles marine battery charger doesn't work with inverter generator

It sounds to me like the Charles charger may be wired incorrectly if it only works when you bond natural and ground. I'd guess the charger neutral wire is connected to the vessel ground bus rather than the neutral bus, so it had no return path when the ground is left floating.

Bonding the neutral and ground at a source of power (i.e. the generator) is required in marine applications but not in a residence, hence why the portable generator floats it's ground.

Galvanic corrosion may take place any time current flies through a vessel grounding system. The only sure way to check for it is use of a silver half cell and measure your hull potential.
__________________

__________________
boatbod is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery, charger, generator, inverter, marine

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale: Charles Battery Charger JusDreaming Classifieds Archive 1 09-05-2013 05:10
Inverter doesn't work when engine is running Bumberg Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 17 02-10-2012 10:08
Separate Charger and Inverter or Charger-Inverter ? SvenG Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 14 15-10-2010 17:14
New in Box Charles Marine C-Charger 80Amp Trim50 Classifieds Archive 0 05-05-2009 16:57
Opinions on this charger: BASSMASTER ProMariner Marine Battery Charger exranger Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 6 30-11-2008 07:25


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 23:05.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.