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Old 16-07-2014, 19:55   #1
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Generator Setup.

I am thinking of getting a 1kv honda generator to use when I need to top up my batteries.
I currently run a bank of 3 80 amp sealed led acid batteries and 1 95 amp cranking battery.
D400 wind gen and a measly 60 amps of solar.
I could buy and install more solar. I have room for 2 130 watt panels but that would require some modifications to my davitts. That's why I am exploring the generator option. It seems fairly simple.
What size charger would I need? I am thinking about the Ctek M300 25amp.
Is this over kill? Or can someone suggest a net setup that will do the job.
Jeff
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Old 16-07-2014, 20:12   #2
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Re: Generator setup.

Do you mean 60 watts of solar?


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Old 16-07-2014, 20:25   #3
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Re: Generator setup.

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Originally Posted by Greggegner View Post
Do you mean 60 watts of solar?


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Yes. It's hardly worth mentioning. It trickle charges while we are away.
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Old 16-07-2014, 20:28   #4
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Re: Generator setup.

I love the honda generators, but I would really recommend going to the 2kw. It's basically the same size, weight, and fuel burn but double the capacity. I have one of each, and while they are both great I really wish I had two 2kw instead.
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Old 16-07-2014, 21:22   #5
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Re: Generator setup.

I hope your solar feeds through a charge controller. If the solar panels are directly coupled to your batteries you could kill them when you aren't there.
Do I Need A Solar Charge Controller ?? Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 16-07-2014, 23:09   #6
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Re: Generator setup.

I have a 18 amp controller.


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Old 16-07-2014, 23:17   #7
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Re: Generator setup.

I have just been and had a look at the "Ctek" m300 25 amp charger. Looks like a good bit of gear.
Has anyone used a July ne 2 jvancich generator? They have a yamaha motor. Any thoughts.
My main reservations about the 2 km models are weight and physical size. As I want to stow it under the main settee. I will measure the space tomorrow.
I am also tossing around the solar option. It will actually wind up being cheaper but will require some mods to mount.

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Old 16-07-2014, 23:18   #8
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Re: Generator setup.

I use the honda 1000 with a 35 amp smart charger. Works great, dont need the 2000. It could probably run a 45 amp charger.

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Old 17-07-2014, 01:25   #9
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Re: Generator setup.

Hi Hoohaa,

That is pretty close to our setup but we have the yamaha genni.,the ctek m300 works great. Then one day i thought why not just plug the shore power lead into the genni. It found the going pretty hard until I remembered to turn off the water heater !
Ctek gets my thumbs up.
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Old 17-07-2014, 02:18   #10
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Re: Generator setup.

This is actually a good question, and maybe some of the real electrical experts could give an opinion.

The battery charger needs to be sized right both in relation to your bank, and to the generator. With regard to the battery bank -- the optimal charger for regular FLA batts is probably about 20%C, or for you, 240 x .2 = 48 amps. That's an amount of power which regular FLA batts will accept without too much bubble and fizz, during the best part of the bulk phase. Smaller is ok and will actually be more gentle with your batts, but with a petrol powered generator, you don't want to extend the run times more than necessary.

That's, by the way, a pretty small bank for a 40' boat -- can you expand it?

A 48, say 50 amp charger puts out maybe 700 watts of power and will maybe consume 840 watts (but they vary a lot in efficiency -- look at the specs). That's within the capability of the Honda EU10i, but near the edge. These generators are variable speed inverter generators, and when they are putting out near maximum power, they will be screaming away (quietly, but screaming) at redline. I think that for a 50 amp charger, you might really want to think about the next bigger one, especially if you plan to use AC power for anything while you're charging.

Or you could go down to a 40 amp charger which will be comfortably within what the little Honda can do.


By the way, if you can afford to increase your solar capacity as well as doing this, you will be awfully happy you did. It will greatly reduce the amount of generator run time and will allow you to shut down the generator earlier. I wish I had listened to advice a couple of years ago to do this, instead installing the bloody useless wind generator I have

My father's boat, about the same size as yours, has I think 500 watts of solar and is based in Florida. He has no generator of any kind and is basically self-sufficient in power. He does have a lot more battery capacity than you do -- a couple of 8D's.
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Old 17-07-2014, 02:23   #11
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Re: Generator setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoohaa View Post
I am thinking of getting a 1kv honda generator to use when I need to top up my batteries.
I currently run a bank of 3 80 amp sealed led acid batteries and 1 95 amp cranking battery.
D400 wind gen and a measly 60 amps of solar.
I could buy and install more solar. I have room for 2 130 watt panels but that would require some modifications to my davitts. That's why I am exploring the generator option. It seems fairly simple.
What size charger would I need? I am thinking about the Ctek M300 25amp.
Is this over kill? Or can someone suggest a net setup that will do the job.
Jeff
How do you use your boat?

If you are a weekend warrior who uses the boat for an occasional week long trip for vacation a generator/charger makes a lot of sense.

If you plan extended off-grid cruising you may want to consider a more comprehensive energy plan - more solar, bigger banks - i.e. maximizing the things that don't require engine running.

A weekend warrior can spend $1,000 on a generator and charger and then have backup to "running the energy low" while on vacation and gain access to shore power charging.

Why do you think you need to change anything at all?
What's concerning you or not working for you?
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Old 17-07-2014, 04:39   #12
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Re: Generator setup.

Thanks Dock head. Hmm. What to do. I could add another battery. I am leaning towards the 25 amp charger.
Ex. I am a wannabe cruiser. I work 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. So for now I am sort of a long weekend warrior. But in reality it's all about keeping the beer cold through a Sydney summer..
The current setup won't run the fridge all night. If the wind is blowing, the wind gen can keep up. But it needs something extra. So that brings me back to my dilemma. Generator or solar.


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Old 17-07-2014, 04:52   #13
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Re: Generator setup.

If the dilemma is between generator and solar, go solar (assuming both will do the job)
This from a guy with two Honda EU2000's
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Old 17-07-2014, 05:21   #14
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Re: Generator setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoohaa View Post
Thanks Dock head. Hmm. What to do. I could add another battery. I am leaning towards the 25 amp charger.
Ex. I am a wannabe cruiser. I work 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. So for now I am sort of a long weekend warrior. But in reality it's all about keeping the beer cold through a Sydney summer..
The current setup won't run the fridge all night. If the wind is blowing, the wind gen can keep up. But it needs something extra. So that brings me back to my dilemma. Generator or solar.


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OK, that's more clear.

If I were you, I would follow these priorities:

1. More battery capacity for sure, if the main problem is you can't run the fridge all night. That's a no-brainer, and that might be all you need.

2. If that doesn't do it, then: More solar. That ought to do it if a wind generator almost keeps up. Solar is beautiful -- no noise, no running cost, works automatically -- beautiful.

3. But in case that doesn't do it, then you can supplement everything else with: The small Honda generator and the biggest charger you can find with maximum AC current draw of no more than say 700 watts (probably will be about 35 to 40 amps).

You want the biggest charger which can be run by your generator AND which does not exceed say 20%C, in order to minimize generator run times. The Hondas are quiet, but you will not want one running many hours a day (nor will your anchorage neighbors).
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Old 17-07-2014, 05:30   #15
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Re: Generator setup.

A 25 amp charger not be enough even with a small bank. You will have the Honda running all day. With 240 amps you will have about 100 amps before you have to recharge the batteries. You will be using the band from 100 to 200 amps in your 240 amp bank as the last 15% will take too long to recharge. It'll take you about 5 hours to put 100 amps into the bank with a 25 amp charger.

I would get a Honda EU2000i and a 100 amp charger. Then you will have plenty of charging power even if you increase the house bank (which you should).

If you're running a fridge with the 240 amp bank you will be running the Honda every day as conservative power usage will still mean about 80 - 100 amps a day.
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