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Old 01-06-2015, 20:18   #1
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Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

I'm not sure if this is right forum but if not one of the mods in training can move it.
We are in SW Florida, this time of year it is hot, humid and subject to frequent storms. As I enter this power has been out for about an hour.
I have a 16kbtu AC on the boat but no genset to run it.
I know that my little 2 kW Honda can run 5k btu all night without breaking a sweat. So what I'm thinking is to get a small, portable AC of around that size and use it at night to help us sleep. During the day we would use an awning and breeze boosters.
I'm seeing some on the net, not window units, for around $350 with a pretty small footprint.

Has anyone gone this route, problems, suggestions?

Rich


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Old 01-06-2015, 20:34   #2
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Re: Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

Are you saying your shore power is out and you need a backup plan?

A 4k Haier window unit will freeze you out, a remote control is good to have. I think it drew 8 amps. For awhile I stuck a window unit in my companionway at night in place of the lower board. It was Jury rigged but worked fine on hot nights and small to store on a quarter berth. Cost was $150.
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Old 01-06-2015, 20:45   #3
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Re: Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

We just bought a portable 8000 btu unit from Carrefour for 260. Mainly to keep our dog cool if in a marina and we want to head out for a bit. It will run off our 1500w inverter and with solar input it draws 30A. I think total is around 80A. It seems to work ok, we haven't tested it for long. Will probably use it a bit in marinas in grenada over summer.
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Old 01-06-2015, 21:26   #4
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Re: Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

Gentlemen,
You have the right idea. First, no I am not on the boat. That was just an example, power was restored a few minutes ago.

Monte you have the right of it. We have two dogs that are used to AC, so am I. I had heart surgery about 12 years ago and although I am now as fine as a 65 yr old fart can get, heat bothers me more than it used to. As a geologist I spent years working in the desert. I can handle it in the daytime but I prefer something a little bit cooler and less humid at night at this stage.
I've just spent a ton of money on a refit. Another $10k is not in the cards at this point for a retiree to put in a genset. I've already spent more than $20k and I've a house maintain.

But while normally breeze boosters suffice there needs to be a breeze. Right now the temperature is about 85 F with 100 percent humidity and no breeze.

We're doing some online research and finding some candidates but we're wondering if some one has travelled this path before.

Thank you gents.

Rich


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Old 01-06-2015, 21:33   #5
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Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

By the way I plan on running the condensate into the bilge if I get a stand alone unit that can be stored and used below decks. There won't be that much that a 38 ft can't handle.

Hasta lasagna amigos. My pups tell me it's bedtime here.

Again thank you
Rich
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Old 01-06-2015, 21:46   #6
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Re: Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azul View Post
Are you saying your shore power is out and you need a backup plan?

A 4k Haier window unit will freeze you out, a remote control is good to have. I think it drew 8 amps. For awhile I stuck a window unit in my companionway at night in place of the lower board. It was Jury rigged but worked fine on hot nights and small to store on a quarter berth. Cost was $150.

Azul I did the same on my first boat and as you say, they can freeze you out. But now I have a wife and two dogs. Getting over the AC in the hatch is getting too difficult at our age. But I have two 5k btu window units I keep for hurricane season that cost about $80 usd each. I've used them in the past with excellent results on the Honda. I don't see why I can't find something similar for the boat for part time use.

Rich


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Old 02-06-2015, 08:52   #7
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Re: Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

You may be able to run your 16k btu unit with your Honda 2000i. Look at a Supco Hard Start. They reduce the starting load dramatically. They are easy to install and they cost less than twenty bucks.
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:53   #8
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Re: Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

Cruiseair Carry On Air Conditioner 5000 BTU


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Old 02-06-2015, 08:59   #9
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Re: Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

We're using a 5000BTU window unit in the companionway until the boat a/c unit is replaced. Even then I'm told the window unit will work more efficiently than the boat unit and will run off the Honda 2000 generator. Other boat owners are telling me the cheap window units do a better job than the much more expensive built in units. I've been told that it may be the heat pump/heat exchange nature of built in boat air conditioners but if that is true then why is a Freon compressor built in to the boat unit?
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:01   #10
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Re: Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

Borrow a Honda 2kw generator and see if it will run it as-is. I have a friend with Dometic 16 btu A/C on his boat, and the generator runs it just fine. (Probably only kicks into eco-mode when the compressor is off.) I have the same generator and an 8 btu unit. Both of ours are marina A/C units with March 3CP circulating pumps, etc. The one thing I have to do though is start the generator first, leave it off of eco-boost, turn on the A/C and let the compressor kick on, and then I can turn generator to eco-boost. (Otherwise with eco-boost on from the beginning, it kicks the load out when the compressor kicks on.) It runs fine until it runs out of gas.
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:18   #11
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Re: Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

HopCar has the good word! I run my 16KBTU Webasco AC with my Honda EU2000i with the added hard start capacitor on the air conditioner. I also added relays such that the little generator charges my house batteries when the AC compressor is off. I find that the compressor stays off about half the time after it gets the boat cool. So I wake up to fully charged batteries after a cool night's sleep.
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:47   #12
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Re: Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

X2 on the starting capacitor. There are other brands and kits. Cowboy Sailer has the smart setup to utilize the power when the genset is off with voltage relays to kick on when the load changes.

Search youtube and you will see videos of how to build and/or use starting capacitor's.

And whoever said a 4K will freeze you out... Not on my boat.
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:41   #13
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Re: Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

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Originally Posted by Cowboy Sailer View Post
HopCar has the good word! I run my 16KBTU Webasco AC with my Honda EU2000i with the added hard start capacitor on the air conditioner. I also added relays such that the little generator charges my house batteries when the AC compressor is off. I find that the compressor stays off about half the time after it gets the boat cool. So I wake up to fully charged batteries after a cool night's sleep.

I would like to hear more about how you set the relays up, very interesting


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Old 02-06-2015, 11:16   #14
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Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

Thanks for the interesting and useful input. I have owned two of the 2 k Hondas. The first was stolen, apparently by a contractor working at my home. It was in my garage behind some tool cabinets and not visible from the street. They left behind two outboards and numerous power tools.

Anyway, I tried using it to start the AC and it died every time from overload. I had a Cruisair hatch unit but it was heavy, bulky, and now very expensive I have also used the window AC in the companion way hatch, it worked well, was very inexpensive but a pita to get in an out of the cabin.

From the response I've received I will try the hard start first. Then I'll look at building a main hatch adapter for a window unit, finally look at the portables.

I too would like more info on wiring to automatically shift from AC to bat charger. I can't see spending the money on a marine genset just to run an AC.

Thank you all,
Rich


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Old 02-06-2015, 13:23   #15
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Re: Portable AC w/Honda 2kw

I just did a web search for hard start capacitor and there an ungodly number of them. How do I choose?

I also see that some are prone to failure including exploding !!


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