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Old 11-03-2013, 12:33   #1
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Generac 2000 and a Freedom 20

My Honda EB3000c just gave up the ghost after 15+ years. I'm looking at the Generac 2000 to replace it. Will it have enough juice to run my Freedom 20 charger/inverter? I'm out in Micronesia and there is not a lot to choose from.
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Old 11-03-2013, 15:25   #2
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Re: Generac 2000 and a Freedom 20

A Freedom 20 pulls about 15 amps AC when the batteries are half discharged. So a 2,000 watt generator should do it as the AC current drops off after about 30 minutes of charging to 10 amps or so. Most 2,000 watt generators are only good for full output for 15 minutes or so. But 1,800 watts should be ok continuously.

But do you appreciate that the Generac will be a noisy SOB. Don't anchor near me please.

David
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Old 11-03-2013, 16:05   #3
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Re: Generac 2000 and a Freedom 20

Yes and no. The electronics in the charger portion of the inverter/charger depend on a full, clean sine wave in order to extract the power required to charge a depleted bank. Back in the day, Xantrex/Freedom/Trace published a technical note that explained this and recommended that a minimum generator size of 6.5kW. They go on to say that a 1.2kW genset will work if the power requirement is lowered to 5A input.
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Old 11-03-2013, 23:49   #4
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The Freedom 20 has a 100amp battery charger. When charging a depleted battery bank the charger will nominally draw 1200 watts (12V x 100amps = 1200 watts). Accounting for any inefficiencies and higher battery voltages as the state of charge increases I would be surprised if you ever draw more than 1500 watts. I don't think you will have any issues with a 2000W generator as long as you are not trying to run too many other AC loads (coffee pot etc.) while charging.

I have the successor to the Freedom 30. It has a Power Sharing circuit that keeps the total AC current draw under 30 amps by cutting charger draw if other AC loads are present. The Freedom 20 has a similar circuit but I am not sure if the max current draw is 20 or 30 amps. If its 20 than you can probably run other AC loads temporarily while charging.
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Old 13-03-2013, 18:40   #5
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Re: Generac 2000 and a Freedom 20

The newer Generac 2000 is not as noisy as the old ones, but not as quiet as a Honda for sure.

The Freedom 20 manual says it requires 23 amps of AC at the 100 amp rate (~2700 watts). A lot to ask of a 2000 watt generator.
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Old 13-03-2013, 20:43   #6
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Re: Generac 2000 and a Freedom 20

Being on the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia, my choices were limited. I did finally find a Yamaha EF2400iS generator(LOTS more money). A friend on a neighbor boat had one and let me borrow it to make sure it would run the Freedom 20. Worked like a charm so I returned to town and bought it. Once on board, I added oil and filled the tank. Started up at first pull and my Xantrex meter showed the Freedom was putting out over 90 amps when it first fired up. It hasn't been any where near the number at any time we used the Honda. It slowly tapered off as the generator ran but it charged my batteries in about 2.5 hours instead of the normal 3.5 to 4 hours the Honda took.
It's much quieter than my Honda which makes fore happier neighbors here in the marina(so's my wife).
May be more than we needed but I have more faith in it(had a Yamaha before)than I think I would have had in the Generac.
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Old 13-03-2013, 21:02   #7
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Re: Generac 2000 and a Freedom 20

Just comments on an earlier experience I had with a Generac. Mine was a small unit, I forget what wattage, maybe 1 KW. I let a friend use it who grossly overloaded it. That caused a failure... been awhile but I think it was either a diac or a triac. Whatever it was, I repaired it.

The next failure I had was catastrophic! It developed an internal short and for those who are not aware, a simple one turn short in a transformer like device renders it a complete failure. Again I took the thing apart and was in awe of the magnet wire they built the product with. It was rated for lowest temperature I have ever come across in a power product. What that means if the unit operates at a heavy load condition, the windings naturally will get hot or at least hotter than the no load condition. Get the temperature high enough, and it will fail.

I personally do not recommend a Generac. Sure they may have corrected the earlier problems. However, IMHO, the design engineers compromised their design to save pennies. What would make me believe they would not do so again??? I have somewhat abused my 1KW Honda and after over 20 years of abuse it continues to operate flawlessly!

Foggy
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Old 13-03-2013, 21:35   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opie91 View Post
The newer Generac 2000 is not as noisy as the old ones, but not as quiet as a Honda for sure.

The Freedom 20 manual says it requires 23 amps of AC at the 100 amp rate (~2700 watts). A lot to ask of a 2000 watt generator.
I have the 150 amp version. If it had the same efficiency it would draw 34.5 amps or ~4000 watts at max charge (and probably blow my 30 amp shore power breaker). When charging a depleted battery bank at 150amps I have never seen my charger draw more than ~2500 watts from shore power. That figure includes the charger and any other loads at the time. So, I figured the Generac 2KW would be adequate for 100 amps as long as the there were not too many other loads while charging.

Incidentally, my charger does not list an input current anywhere in the manual but it does list a peak efficiency of >=84%. 150amps x 13V / 0.84 = 2300W. This is a pretty close match to my observations. Nonetheless, I guess I would not argue with the mfr spec. Nice find Opie91.
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