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Old 05-03-2011, 12:26   #1
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Honda 2kw overload ....

Gotta question for our more astute electrical gurus ....

My Westerbeke 4.2 genset became unrepairable, so I purchased a Honda 2kw 4 stroke gas generator so that I can maintain the batteries on 42 ft Hunter Passage.

I have a pigtail that allows me to "patch in" the Honda via a 15 amp to 30 amp cord at the shore power connector. However, when I fire up the Honda it charges for only a few seconds then starts to run faster before doing an 'auto' shutdown at the Honda because of an overload condition.

The battery bank is two wet cell 220 amp batteries being charged thru a Freedom 25 Heart interface/charger with a 130 amp charge capability. It's controlled by a Xantrex Link 1000.

After reading all the documentation, a friend who has been helping me and I believe that the power sharing feature on the Xantrex may allow me to reduce the draw of the vessel's electrical system. The powershare is currently set at 30 on a scale which runs in increments of 5 up to a total of fifty (50). Although the documentation doesn't say so, I believe the index is measuring amperage which is why it is currently set at 30. If I change the powershare number to 15, I'm hoping that the Honda won't be overtaxed by the system.

Anybody out there have experience with this type of setup who can confirm or reject my conclusions?

Thanks.
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Old 05-03-2011, 13:03   #2
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Re: Honda 2kw overload ....

So you are running AC to the charger or DC to the batteries?

As far as I can recall, maximum output from the EU2000 model on the AC is a mere 13 amps continuous (see Specifications - Honda EU2000i Generator and Honda EU1000i Generator), and on the DC side, it's just 8A (96W).

That's not a lot. Practically, I have run a Makita 7 1/2" circular saw (10A draw) from the Honda 2000, but it "sounds" close to the edge. I would not use it to power anything bigger than a 10 A Guest ferroresonant old-school charger, which I've done when my older boat's on the hard. With that, I can run a single 100W worklight, but that's it.

I can run that for six hours, straight, however, so the Honda is great for "low-middle draw, continuous". In many situations, it's a lot easier to haul the 2000 around than to run 200 feet of 12 gauge power cord across a wet yard.

My suggestions are therefore to a) use a smaller charger, b) somehow restrict what the existing charger can draw, c) use a short, heavy power cable to reduce loss, and d) consider longer term buying a second Honda 2000 plus the kit to use them ganged together to provide a "real" 30 amp (or close to it) charging circuit.



Two Honda 2000s are considerably cheaper than a Westerbeke 4.2 genset, and arguably are a great deal more flexible.
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Old 05-03-2011, 13:28   #3
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Re: Honda 2kw overload ....

The Freedom 25 inverter/charger draws more than 20 amps AC when it starts up with somewhat discharged batteries. This is more than 2400 watts. Your Honda EU2000 is only good for 1800 continuous or 2000 short term, so it is no wonder it trips out.

I haven't tried it but yes the power sharing setting of the Freedom should work to limit the charging current draw. Try setting it to 10 to make sure that it works. Then you could try 15 but you will be right on the edge. But since the charger current drops fairly quickly during the first 15 minutes you may be ok at 15 amps AC.

Make sure that there are no other AC loads on, the hot water heater being one of the big ones.

David
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Old 05-03-2011, 15:24   #4
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Re: Honda 2kw overload ....

It's the same deal with my Marine Air 12,000 BTU heat pump. Theoretically, the Honda 2000 should allow it to kick, but its momentary draw is 17 amps for the March pump plus the unit itself. Then it drops back to 6-8 A.

So I'd need two to get A/C underway, because my 2000W inverter won't likely cope (not yet installed).
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Old 05-03-2011, 16:24   #5
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Re: Honda 2kw overload ....

You will need to get a regular battery charger and hook it straight to the Honda. I have a 60 amp battery charger that I can use when all else fails.
Honda does good with it, doesn't do good in the boost mode though, 120 amps pushes the limit of the little Honda.
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Old 05-03-2011, 20:19   #6
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Re: Honda 2kw overload ....

Thanks everyone for the info and feedback. I'll try the system with the powersharing set to 10 (ten).
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Old 05-03-2011, 20:36   #7
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Re: Honda 2kw overload ....

GOOD LUCK
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:44   #8
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Re: Honda 2kw overload ....

I had the same issue and YES, if you readjust your battery charger to limit the current it will definitely allow the Honda to pick up the charge.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:52   #9
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I've done the same thing with my Freedom 20 when I only had a single 15 amp extension cord to my shore power and wanted to run an 800 watt heater at the same time. The limiter did just fine.
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