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Old 19-01-2011, 11:44   #1
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Generator or Genset ?

I'm confused..is a generator typically portable and a genset built in? It seems to me all "generators" have an engine that drives a component that makes electricity.

Secondly, a portable type such as the little Honda 2000i...do you just plug it in where you would normally plug in your dock power? If so, can you plug in a second Honda in the second plug-in?
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Old 19-01-2011, 12:08   #2
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The terms are pretty interchangeable. The Honda now has a twist lock outlet to match the shore power cord, the older models need an adapter. Two 1000s or 2000s can be connected together to double the output, but needs a special connector to do this. Chuck
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Old 19-01-2011, 13:11   #3
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Yeah, the terms are used interchangeably. I think the historic definitions were that the generator is the actual electrical end and a genset was a combination of a generator and an engine to run it.

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Old 19-01-2011, 14:06   #4
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Originally Posted by Waterwayguy View Post
... The Honda now has a twist lock outlet to match the shore power cord, the older models need an adapter ...
However, since the AC system on-board a vessel is a polarized grounded neutral system, in which the neutral for AC power sources shall be grounded only at the following points:
The shore power neutral is grounded through the shore power cable and shall not be grounded on board the boat.

The generator neutral shall be grounded at the generator.

The main AC system grounding bus shall be connected to the engine negative terminal or the DC main negative bus on grounded DC systems, or the boat's DC grounding bus in installations using ungrounded DC electrical systems.

Accordingly, one shouldn't merely "plug in" a portable generator to a shore power inlet.
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Old 19-01-2011, 14:44   #5
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The main AC system grounding bus shall be connected to the engine negative terminal or the DC main negative bus on grounded DC systems, or the boat's DC grounding bus in installations using ungrounded DC electrical systems.

GordMay, are you saying in the above to connect a ground from the panel to the negative on the generator engine and then it's ok to plug it in?
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Old 19-01-2011, 15:06   #6
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However, since the AC system on-board a vessel is a polarized grounded neutral system, in which the neutral for AC power sources shall be grounded only at the following points:
The shore power neutral is grounded through the shore power cable and shall not be grounded on board the boat.

The generator neutral shall be grounded at the generator.

The main AC system grounding bus shall be connected to the engine negative terminal or the DC main negative bus on grounded DC systems, or the boat's DC grounding bus in installations using ungrounded DC electrical systems.

Accordingly, one shouldn't merely "plug in" a portable generator to a shore power inlet.
I don't know that I full understand this in relation to the technicalities.
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Old 19-01-2011, 16:00   #7
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, LifeHappens.

I’m suggesting that one shouldn’t plug in a portable generator, unless/until one understands exactly what one is doing, and how it should be properly done.
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Old 19-01-2011, 16:41   #8
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Can anyone put that in layman's terms. I think I got it but maybe not......
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Old 19-01-2011, 16:45   #9
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However, since the AC system on-board a vessel is a polarized grounded neutral system, in which the neutral for AC power sources shall be grounded only at the following points:
The shore power neutral is grounded through the shore power cable and shall not be grounded on board the boat.

The generator neutral shall be grounded at the generator.

The main AC system grounding bus shall be connected to the engine negative terminal or the DC main negative bus on grounded DC systems, or the boat's DC grounding bus in installations using ungrounded DC electrical systems.
Gord May,

What is the correct configuration for grounding and the neutral with an isolation transformer installed?

When an isolation transformer is properly fitted is the shore power neutral grounded through the shore power cord on the primary side only?
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Old 19-01-2011, 17:20   #10
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Gordie is providing excellent advice but think about for a minute. You're dealing with AC power...........you should get local help for your individual circumstance!

Wiring does not require an electrical engineering degree but around here an electrician is required by law to have 15 hours of class room instructions prior to each license renewal. If you don't know exactly what you are doing, your safest route is to get a marine electrician's help.

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Old 19-01-2011, 17:45   #11
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GordMay, are you saying in the above to connect a ground from the panel to the negative on the generator engine and then it's ok to plug it in?
The Honda generator does not tie the neutral wire to the ground wire, so the neutral floats. Reverse polarity indicators will light up in this case, when you get a significant voltage difference between the neutral and the ground. You can make an extension plug with a jumper between the ground (green) and the neutral (white) wires, and the light will go out.

The Honda manuals explain that the neutral floats, but tell you to consult an electrician about your local electrical codes...
Honda dealers when asked usually suggest to link the Neutral terminal to the Earth terminal inside the normal three pin plug.

The Honda will run ok with or without this jumper. I don't use one as our Honda only runs our battery charger and is not connected to any outlets or other AC appliances.
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Old 19-01-2011, 17:59   #12
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estarzinger...do you plug your charger into the Honda or do you plug the Honda into the boat?
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Old 19-01-2011, 19:38   #13
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estarzinger...do you plug your charger into the Honda or do you plug the Honda into the boat?
Battery charger plugs into honda.
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Old 20-01-2011, 00:10   #14
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Gord May,

What is the correct configuration for grounding and the neutral with an isolation transformer installed?

When an isolation transformer is properly fitted is the shore power neutral grounded through the shore power cord on the primary side only?
I found the answer to my question in a Charles Industries isolation transformer installation manual:

"Isolation Transformer System with Single-Phase 240-Volt Input, 120/240-Volt Single-Phase Output with Boat
Grounded Secondary. Shield Grounded on Shore and Metal Case Grounded on Boat. The ungrounded shore
current-carrying conductors are connected from the power inlet to the primary winding of the isolation transformer
through an overcurrent protection device which simultaneously opens both current carrying conductors.
Do not connect the shore neutral. Fuses shall not be used in lieu of simultaneous trip devices.
240-Volt branch circuit breakers and switches simultaneously open all current-carrying conductors.
120-Volt branch circuit breakers are permitted to use single-pole breakers in the ungrounded current-carrying
conductors.
Polarization of conductors must be observed in all circuits.
The green grounding wire from the shore is connected to the shore power inlet shell which is insulated from
metal-hulled boats. Do not connect the shore green wire to the boat ground.
The grounded neutral from the secondary of the isolation transformer and the case of the transformer are
connected to the system ground, neutral conductor and engine negative terminal or its bus."

There is also an option for using a ground fault interupter in place of a circuit breaker on the primay side of the transformer.

This may seem like "thread drift", but I believe that it means that if an isolation transformer is installed, an external portable generator could be connected to the shore power cord. The generator would appear electrically identical to standard shorepower from the boat since neither the neutral or the ground wire is connected between the boat and the generator. The circuit discussed here is a 120/240 volt configuration.

I do not know if there are code restrictions regarding the use of ungrounded portable generators on docks or if such generators have protection for leakage currents to their exposed conductive parts.
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Old 22-01-2011, 14:49   #15
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Secondly, a portable type such as the little Honda 2000i...do you just plug it in where you would normally plug in your dock power? If so, can you plug in a second Honda in the second plug-in?
No you can not!
Without proper synchronization equipment you can't link 2 generators together.
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