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Old 22-11-2011, 10:02   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Newport News VA
Boat: Egg Harbor sedan cruiser 1970
Posts: 958
Zener Diode or Capacitor with mcck Onan Control-o-Matic Genset?

The generator sends a 12 volt DC power threw the ac power lines. When something turns on perhaps 50 watts, it automatically starts the generator.

that is just fine for most electrical devices.
But what about the charger-converter that runs off ac power to charge the batteries?

Currently I have run a wire that connects to the generator before this special circuit, and powers up the converter-charger. So that charger cant turn on the generator as it would run all the time.
I have a SPDT relay in there also. The relay lets shore power to the unit when ever shore power has power, otherwise it falls back to the generator wire. That relay switches hot and neutral simulataneously.
BUT, of course that means the converter cant be part of the AC load center. Which means for now, the line has no over current protection. I could I supose add some, which would cost me about $5 from for a couple 20 amp breakers

What I was wondering was, what about a zener diode with a 50 volt breakdown conduction voltage?
So, if ac power was on the line, the zener diode would conduct and allow the device to function, but if 12 volt DC was present, it would be blocked, and keep the generator from sensing the load and starting.

The charger is a 30 amp charger. What watt zener and does anyone have a source or another idea? Seems like the zener diode is a simple solution to me, if it would work. The zener when conducting will act like a resistor and might get hot.

I think a capacitor could be used and would not get hot.

What size and type of capacitor could be used to pass the AC voltage but block the DC voltage?
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