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Old 03-02-2014, 04:12   #46
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
The Freedom inverter/charger will take upwards of 23 amps at 110v, which will probably pop the breaker of the Honda..
Since we're talking about the charger here, not the inverter, I'm trying to figure out where that 23A at 110V goes.

That's over 210A at 12V.

Did the OP say he had a 200A+ charger? If so I apologize for missing that.

My 2000W inverter/charger maxes out below 100A charging, and doesn't draw anywhere near 23A at 110V.
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:41   #47
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Ok, how many amps does it draw? I have a 55 amp charger that draws 10.4 amps, while running, pluged into my EU2000 Honda. This is actual data from a "watts up" meter on the input side and a battery monitor on the output side. A Honda 2000 will not run a 100 amp charger, hooked to run down batteries.


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Old 03-02-2014, 06:22   #48
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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Ok, how many amps does it draw? I have a 55 amp charger that draws 10.4 amps, while running, pluged into my EU2000 Honda. This is actual data from a "watts up" meter on the input side and a battery monitor on the output side. A Honda 2000 will not run a 100 amp charger, hooked to run down batteries.
I'm following this in newbie-learn mode, myself. We got a Honda 2000i as part of the boat equipment when we bought this old catamaran. On the "delivery trip" ( it sure wasn't a vacation) bringing the boat from Jax to the Turks and Caicos, we got hit by lightning. Fried just about every 12 volt system on board, from the tip of the mast to the alternators on the engines. We were dead in the water. Took me two hours just to figure out how to get an engine started. Anyhow, we still had 500 miles to go, starting at Chub Cay.

We made an overnight passage at the end of this trip, from Mayaguana to Providenciales. I started the Honda to power our 55 amp charger, and still we did not have enough juice to run the lights, VHF, autopilot, GPS, etc. we were using a flashlight to read instruments and the voltage was down to less than 10. No radar, no VHF, in a storm, at night. Did I mention no lights? We were watching these big ships crossing back and forth ahead and behind us all night. I'd run out on deck with a spotlight and shine it on the side of the boat hoping they'd see us.

I've wondered since then if I would have just been better off taking the dead batteries out of the circuit and using the 12 volts from the Honda into the 12 volt house circuit that I would disconnect from the batteries. Lights and the autopilot would have been nice.

Hence my intense interest in this discussion.
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:27   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
I'm following this in newbie-learn mode, myself. We got a Honda 2000i as part of the boat equipment when we bought this old catamaran. On the "delivery trip" ( it sure wasn't a vacation) bringing the boat from Jax to the Turks and Caicos, we got hit by lightning. Fried just about every 12 volt system on board, from the tip of the mast to the alternators on the engines. We were dead in the water. Took me two hours just to figure out how to get an engine started. Anyhow, we still had 500 miles to go, starting at Chub Cay. We made an overnight passage at the end of this trip, from Mayaguana to Providenciales. I started the Honda to power our 55 amp charger, and still we did not have enough juice to run the lights, VHF, autopilot, GPS, etc. we were using a flashlight to read instruments and the voltage was down to less than 10. No radar, no VHF, in a storm, at night. Did I mention no lights? We were watching these big ships crossing back and forth ahead and behind us all night. I'd run out on deck with a spotlight and shine it on the side of the boat hoping they'd see us. I've wondered since then if I would have just been better off taking the dead batteries out of the circuit and using the 12 volts from the Honda into the 12 volt house circuit that I would disconnect from the batteries. Lights and the autopilot would have been nice. Hence my intense interest in this discussion.
If every 12 volt system was dead why would you think the battery charger would work.

Also as an aside, several battery chargers won't charge a battery below 10.1 volts.
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:12   #50
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

The thought that y'all gonna go cruising can be frightening at times… this is one of those times

When you have an inverter-charger that has both AC in and AC out ports, and it specifies that AC in is 25A, then this does not mean that it's internal battery charger will consume 25A; it only means that it's internal transfer switch is rated at 25A

To calculate power requirements, CaptTom made some honorable attempts. Honarable, but flawed Two important factors were missed: a 12V battery charger uses higher than 12V voltages to charge the batteries, and these devices are not 100% efficient, nor do they have a 1.0 power factor.

So, a safer way to calculate is to use 14.5V and an 80% efficiency. For a 12V 100A charger we then get: P = U x I = 14.5 * 100 = 1450W. Now we have to adjust for the 80% efficiency: 1450 / 0.8 = 1812.5W

So yes a 100A charger should work on a 2000W inverter… but didn't I read that this little Honda has a continuous rating of 1600W? I just Googled it and indeed, it is only 1600W. It will probably still work, as most chargers quickly reduce power draw when charging old and tired LA batteries. But don't try this with Lithium batteries without reducing charger output.

The 2000W rating is to cope with start-up surges and short duration peaks. For regular usage, this generator is only a 1600W unit. Honda should be ashamed to put 2000W on it but I guess they are forced by others doing the same.

To come back to power rating on inverter-chargers: some allow you to adjust how much amps they can take from the shore power inlet. When you connect your Honda 2000i to this, you should set it at 13A. This means that the total output of the inverter/charger will be within that 13A input, and this total output is divided among it's battery charger and any other loads connected to it's AC output, like your TV, A/C, stereo, computer etc. If you want to charge fast, you should turn all those other appliances off.

Let me end with where I started: if you plan to go cruising, but you're not sure if you have a battery charger or other such details about your electrical system, you better start the learning process before leaving as it'll be more gentle that way

Okay, let me add a tip: take an extra battery charger with you: a 40-50A model and make sure it will take 100-240V 50-60Hz input power so that you can use it no matter where you are. Attach a regular power cord to it so that it can be connected to the nearest AC outlet in your boat, as well as to the extension cord that you also take with you. Bring plenty extension cords and plugs to put on incl. foreign plugs that you can get as you move along the countries you visit.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:14   #51
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Ok, how many amps does it draw? I have a 55 amp charger that draws 10.4 amps, while running, pluged into my EU2000 Honda. This is actual data from a "watts up" meter on the input side and a battery monitor on the output side. A Honda 2000 will not run a 100 amp charger, hooked to run down batteries.
Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
To calculate power requirements, CaptTom made some honorable attempts. Honarable, but flawed Two important factors were missed: a 12V battery charger uses higher than 12V voltages to charge the batteries, and these devices are not 100% efficient, nor do they have a 1.0 power factor.

So, a safer way to calculate is to use 14.5V and an 80% efficiency. For a 12V 100A charger we then get: P = U x I = 14.5 * 100 = 1450W. Now we have to adjust for the 80% efficiency: 1450 / 0.8 = 1812.5W
Thanks, Jedi, for letting me down gently about my charging voltage mistake, as well as for providing a reasonable value for efficiency.

Thanks, Twinboat, for the real-world numbers.

Let's put them together. 14.5 * 55 = 797.5W theoretical power draw for Twinboat's charger.

He measured a current draw of 10.4A, presumably at around 120VAC. 10.4 x 120 = 1,248W. Hmmm. Over 50% more than theory would predict.

I'm still missing something.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:03   #52
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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I'm still missing something.
Here's a pretty good explanation of the power factor

Xantrex Inverter/Charger Generator Sizing
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:22   #53
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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I've wondered since then if I would have just been better off taking the dead batteries out of the circuit and using the 12 volts from the Honda into the 12 volt house circuit that I would disconnect from the batteries. Lights and the autopilot would have been nice.

Hence my intense interest in this discussion.
You would have had lights, sure, but not perhaps the autopilot. They have quite variable draws depending on sea state, of course.

For what it's worth in the discussion, the idea of running a boat on a Honda isn't crazy, but I would consider it strictly emergency use only, as in "run the VHF and a light until we can land at a dock or get a tow". I've tripped my Honda using power tools, making me think that the surge protection is fairly aggressive. That said, during a summer blackout last year, I ran a fridge and a small chest freezer on my 2000 and while I couldn't run "eco" setting, I did notice it was able to cope with both compressors kicking off nearly at the same time. The Hondas are a little funny that way with over 5 amp loads: they grumble and rev a bit before they settle back down. The cold beer, however, was worth laying out the contractor-grade extension cords.

Some people in areas with frequent power outages have electricians provide a switchable input circuit for the 30A paired Honda 2000s on the side of their house. If the power goes out, you can fire them up, let them sync, switch to the "Honda input" and get a low-amp but functional amount of house power back. You can't run the dryer, of course, but if you have a landline (usually still working), you can run a computer and a DSL modem and stay connected. As we know from owning boats, you can do a lot with 30 amps, even though most houses today run 100 or even 200 amp services.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:37   #54
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Let me end with where I started: if you plan to go cruising, but you're not sure if you have a battery charger or other such details about your electrical system, you better start the learning process before leaving as it'll be more gentle that way

Okay, let me add a tip: take an extra battery charger with you: a 40-50A model and make sure it will take 100-240V 50-60Hz input power so that you can use it no matter where you are. Attach a regular power cord to it so that it can be connected to the nearest AC outlet in your boat, as well as to the extension cord that you also take with you. Bring plenty extension cords and plugs to put on incl. foreign plugs that you can get as you move along the countries you visit.
A very good post. Charlie Wing's book is excellent, and taking a class for hands-on circuit building and proper crimping and splicing and heat-shrinking techniques is even better.

Also good is keeping a box of various connectors and adapters. Some folk trade, I understand, depending on which place is next in front of them (think "Polynesia" and "Australia").

I have already mentioned "contractor grade" extension cords. By this I mean 12 gauge, and with telltale lights that show when there's a current.

Like this sort:



They aren't cheap, but they are meant for worksites where they will be run over by machinery. I consider them the only choice for a boat, unless someone offers me 100 feet of 12 ga. tinned wire for free...and then I would lash up my own plugs. An added bonus of 12 ga. is that it can handle more amperage and has less resistance over a long run like 100 feet. I get 30 amps aboard my boat on the hard (so I can run 100 watt lights, power tools, a stereo and a couple of cube heaters) by running two 15 amp circuit from the yard power posts, and an adapter for the 30 amp shore power line.



The point, to return to using the Honda, is that you'll get best results with a heavy-duty power cord to whatever you are trying to charge or light up.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:46   #55
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

[QUOTE=Sailmonkey;1457595]If every 12 volt system was dead why would you think the battery charger would work.
QUOTE]


Because the battery charger is a 110 volt, alternating current device that was not powered up when the 12 volt system was hit with lightning?

So, my logic on this was that since the Honda wasn't plugged in or turned on when the lightning hit, and the 110 volt charger wasn't plugged in or turned on when the lightning hit, then just maybe there was a chance that the 120 volt output of the non DC powered Honda would power the 120 volt input of the charger, and it would output enough dc voltage to charge my batteries.

Silly me. What an outrageous thing to expect. and at that point I would have tried anything. I'd already dealt with two fires, and disconnected almost everything in the engine room and ran the wiring directly from a now disconnected battery to the starter cable, and started the Yanmar with a screwdriver across the relay. Boy it was pretty sweet to hear that diesel start up. Alternator was toast, but the motor fired up pretty quick on one of the house batteries with nothing else connected.
Anyhow, the problem eventually turned out to be a dead short in the CU-200 fridge that was eating everything the charger was putting out......I think. There were a number of shorts. And newly open circuits. Like a six inch gap in my VHF antenna wire where two amphenols used to be.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:20   #56
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Well Badsanta, the battery monitor was among the problems we assumed our
electrician had repaired......not blaming him though, we all make mistakes and the
way we deal with them is perhaps more important than not making one.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:39   #57
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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Thanks, Jedi, for letting me down gently about my charging voltage mistake, as well as for providing a reasonable value for efficiency.

Thanks, Twinboat, for the real-world numbers.

Let's put them together. 14.5 * 55 = 797.5W theoretical power draw for Twinboat's charger.

He measured a current draw of 10.4A, presumably at around 120VAC. 10.4 x 120 = 1,248W. Hmmm. Over 50% more than theory would predict.

I'm still missing something.
Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Here's a pretty good explanation of the power factor

Xantrex Inverter/Charger Generator Sizing
Twinboat must have gotten a real good deal on his charger. That's the point, cheap becomes expensive quickly when it's about electric equipment. I always write things like this but not so many believe it normally.

Your math still lacks the efficiency- and the power factors. Here's the deal: the cheaper the unit, the worse these figures are. 85% efficiency is rather normal for cheap gear, as is a power factor of 0.6 or 0.7. The link that Don gave clearly shows this.

Here is the other side: http://www.rpc.com.au/pdf/victron_mu..._datasheet.pdf
You'll find that a Victron unit has an efficiency of 93% and a power factor of 1.0. Let's compare the two:

Let's put your calculated power at 800W and the measured power at 1250W. I estimate that a Xantrex will be at an efficiency of 88% and a power factor of 0.7. Here we go: 800 / 0.88 / 0.7 = 1298W, so well over the value reported by Twinboat (may be efficiency is a little better than my estimate).

Now, if he had bought a Victron unit instead: 800 / 0.93 / 1.0 = 860W.

Let those numbers sink in: 860W vs 1298W for the same 100A charge current: cheap turns into expensive quickly that way. Now you need a generator that has 50% more capacity… tell me which charger is the expensive one?

People still buy Xantrex in flocks
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:22   #58
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Yup, there it is. I had my Honda running both of my chargers at the same time. One charger is a 20 amp Guest and the cheap charger, that was plugged into the Watts UP, is the IOTA 55 amp. With bolth chargers running the EU 2000 is real close to maxed out ( any other load shuts it down ) so it is possable that I wasn't getting 120 volts at the time.

I bought a cheap charger because I have 675 watts of solar that has been keeping my 900 ah, FLA, bank charged for 4 years of full time cruising.
I only use the Honda once or twice a month, when we get a few rainy days in a row and I watch to much late night TV.

So it's all good
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Old 03-02-2014, 15:19   #59
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

I went with the IOTA 55 for similar reasons. I have a flooded bank and plan to run the Honda to charge rarely. Between solar and alternator, I expect to only need it after periods of prolonged cloudiness, which is not very common around here. I like the IOTA reputation and that fact that I can run it without batteries if desired.
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