Generator questions

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rmay635703
rmay635703 Registered Users Posts: 7
I have a honeywell 2000i and have no complaints thus far, except for the fuel consumption which I should be better.

Anyway, I am wondering if anyone has a decent schematic or functional diagram of the thing, my father bought it to run our craft business.

He owns a 48v electric car which we drive just about everywhere, I have heard that the inverter generators are simply a rewound DC alternator that gets its output converted to AC.

Is it possible for me to tap the alternator directly to run it as a 48v battery charger?

Also I need a fuel consumption curve of watts verssus gallons per hour.

Thank you
Ryan

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  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions

    I've moved this to its own thread because the other one had wandered pretty far away from the original post. Time to start anew! :D

    Some basic info on terminology: an alternator produces AC, hence the term alternator (as in Alternating Current). In automotive applications it gets rectified to DC internally. The inverter/generators like the Honeywell use this DC to power an inverter which converts it to 120 VAC. This allow the engine to run at varying speeds depending on output needs, thus saving gas. Thus the frequency is not RPM dependent, only the power is.

    I don't know if any of these types of generators have 48 VDC inside them. Some have a separate, and low power, 12 Volt winding set. Many ask if they should use that for charging 12 Volt systems, and the answer is "no"; you actually get more power using the 120 VAC output to run a separate battery charger (a difference like 8 Amps max vs. 100+ Amps charge current).

    There are DC generators capable of supporting 48 Volts. Someone just mentioned them as a possibility recently in this thread: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=12209 Expensive, of course.

    And for some trivia, the old DC generators used in cars actually produce AC as well: it is rectified by the positioning of the brushes against the commutator.
  • RCinFLA
    RCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions

    These inverter-generators are permanent magnet three phase alternators that have full wave rectified output that converts output to high voltage DC. It is similar to an auto alternator but an auto alternator has an electro-magnet field rotor instead of rare earth high field permanent magnets. The auto alternator electro-magnet coil allows the rotor magnetic field to be modulated to regulate the alternator output. An inverter-generator can use engine speed to regulate output, along with the DC-AC PWM inverter to regulate AC output.

    For sinewave 120vac inverter output (accomplished by high frequency PWM chopping), the DC must be 180 vdc minimum to provide the peak of the 120 vrms sinewave. Lightly loaded the DC can rises to about 300 vdc at full rpm engine speed of about 3800 rpm's. The inverter PWM switching output can maintain a regulated 120 vac output with DC from inverter varying as long as it does not drop below 180 vdc.

    The eco-mode reduces the engine speed when the load on the generator is light to maintain about 190 vdc minimum on the rectified DC output. When using eco-mode and an AC load suddenly increases there is a momentary clipping of the AC sinewave output until the engine increases its rpm allowing the permanent magnet alternator to produce the greater required power output.

    A permanent magnet alternator has a complicated voltage-current vs. rpm profile and the winding of the alternator is targeted for a specific V-I profile. Smaller diameter wire and more turns for higher voltage and lower current, larger diameter wire and fewer turns for lower voltage and higher current.

    So the direct answer to your question is no, you cannot tap the DC output from the alternator and directly charge a 48 vdc battery. The wire size in the alternator is wound with smaller diameter wire with more turns then would be optimum for a 48 vdc output.

    It is theoretically possible to tap the high voltage DC output and add a buck switching converter to take the 200-300 vdc, lower amperage output from the alternator and convert it to 48 vdc higher amperage for the battery charging.

    The link below is a site that sells alternators with permanent magnets.

    http://www.hydrogenappliances.com/powerpmas.html
    http://www.hydrogenappliances.com/pmacurves.html


    Fuel consumption on my Yamaha EF3000i which should be similar to Honda is:

    0.17 gal/hr @ 700 watt load
    0.32 gal/hr @ 1400 watt load
    0.47 gal/hr @ 2100 watt load
    0.60 gal/hr @ 2800 watt load
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions

    Welcome to the Honeywell club ! Do you have the 1st gen or 2nd gen generator ? 1st gen is noted for needing 30-50 pulls to start when cold.
    I know, I've worn out the factory starter cord.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • RCinFLA
    RCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions

    Did we ever sort out whether the Honeywell inverter-generator was a true sinewave or modified sinewave output?

    It would surprise me if it was MSW output. The way a permanent magnet alternator output voltage varies with load I cannot see how a MSW makes any sense as it does not simplify anything. It would take a HV high frequency PWM 155 vdc regulator prior to MSW output chopper which would add as much or more circuitry then just doing the high frequency PWM for a regulated sinewave output.
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions
    RCinFLA wrote: »
    Did we ever sort out whether the Honeywell inverter-generator was a true sinewave or modified sinewave output?
    .....

    Someone on the Amazon feedback said they'd scoped it, and it was pure sine
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • TheBackRoads
    TheBackRoads Solar Expert Posts: 274 ✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions

    I have the 2nd gen and still takes the said 30-50 pulls.. :grr

    5157YOnlNgL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
  • dwh
    dwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions

    They are sine wave. I posted on Craig's List for someone to test mine, and a guy who had one responded. He scoped his and posted the vid on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILI6lXEyYmg


    To the OP: The manuals have a schematic in them. I've had both 1st and 2nd generation units. The main difference is the 2nd generation has the fuel pump primer and the entire 12v system deleted. The 2nd gen also has more internal grounding.

    I have both the 1st and 2nd generation manuals in .pdf format, which may no longer be available for download from the HW site since they got bought out by Generac. If you need one, send me a PM. I can't upload them here because they exceed the allowable file size for .pdf files.
  • Ralph Day
    Ralph Day Solar Expert Posts: 1,019 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions

    Didn't you love hearing the Honeywell on the video start with 1 pull? Not the experience of those on this forum, is it?:cry:

    Ralph
  • dwh
    dwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions

    The little 1200w/1500w Champion synchronous generator that I bought to replace the HW starts first pull every time.

    Imagine my relief. :D

    It's got about 250 hours on it now. It's still getting over 12 hours on a 1.2 gallon tank of fuel running nothing but the 10a battery charger in the camper. It was getting 14 hours on a tank when it was new.

    It does use a bit of oil though (always has). I have to add a half-ounce or so every time I fill the gas tank, and it is VERY sensitive to low oil. Doesn't take much of a drop in oil level for it to shut right down. Of course...it doesn't HOLD much oil in the first place so I guess that's all good.
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions
    dwh wrote: »
    The little 1200w/1500w Champion synchronous generator that I bought to replace the HW .....


    Got a link to that, or your earlier post about it ?? Search only found this post.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,476 admin
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    Re: Generator questions

    Here you go:
    dwh wrote: »
    Absolutely. I bought the Honeywell for the 2000w rating because I had planned to install an a/c unit in the camper. But that was right after I got the camper. Actually using the camper, I found that a few extra fans were good enough and I didn't need the a/c after all.


    If I had it to do over, to buy a gen just for battery charging, I'd probably buy the little Champion 1080w/1200w/1500w synchronous which claims a 10 hour run time at 50% load on 1.2g fuel (80cc engine). Champion has a great rep over on the RV forums:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0028VB6XO/ref=s9_simh_gw_p86_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-4&pf_rd_r=1A7M8G0RT5R0R9E27X0A&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470939031&pf_rd_i=507846


    BTW, if I haven't mentioned it before - Champion now has a 1600w/2000w inverter gen - and two can be synced ala Honda/Yamaha. I hear they're going for about $500 ea. at Costco:

    http://www.amazon.com/Champion-Portabler-Inverter-Generator-73531i/dp/B0041K09D8/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1300904110&sr=1-1

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • dwh
    dwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions

    That link to Amazon specs part number 42433. On the Champion web site, they showed what looked like the same unit but with part number 42431. So I called them and asked.

    Same unit - the two different numbers were originally to indicate which one was intended for retail sales, and which one was intended for online sales.

    What I actually ended up purchasing, was the 42431 from Champion's online fulfillment site (which is run by a 3rd party vendor and also looks to have been substantially updated from the way the site looked when I bought mine):

    http://www.champion-fulfillment.com/Generators.html

    Paid $198 total, including shipping. It arrived in about 10 days.


    It has a built-in volt/hz/hour meter so that's 25 dollars I didn't have to spend to add one myself.

    Other than a small amount of oil consumption, I've had 0 issues in the first 250 hours of run time.

    Starts first pull full choke, then half choke for 10 seconds or so depending on if it's cold out, then it settles right in at 118v-120v, 59.4hz-60.1hz within a few seconds and stays there.

    Manaual said to check the valve clearance after first 10 hours - very easy to access, no adjustment needed.

    Solid little unit, deeper front to back than the the HW, about the same length, an inch or two shorter.

    Gravity feed fuel, no fuel pump. Fuel filter in the petcock like a motorcycle. Air and fuel filters super easy to access. Oil filler and drain on the front - also easy access.

    It is louder than the HW, but sitting on the shelf on the back door of the camper, it vibrates the camper MUCH less than the HW did. The engine/alternator is mounted to the frame with 4 rubber motor mounts, and there are also 4 rubber feet on the frame.

    Outside the camper, it's noticeably louder than the HW, but inside the camper I hardly notice it at all. More than once, I've been sitting in the camper when the fuel ran out, and it took a few minutes before I noticed that it had stopped running.

    The low oil sensor is on the front of the engine block, just to the left of the oil filler port and obviously at the same level. The unit is very sensitive to low oil, so if it is off-level even a little toward the right, or toward the rear, it will start, but then shut down within a few seconds.

    Leaning a little forward or to the left doesn't create any problem.

    It originally ran about 14 hours on a 1.2g tank of fuel, but now runs about 12 hours. That's running only my 10a constant voltage battery charger and occasionally my netbook and/or the charger for the 18v Ryobi tools I carry in the camper. I haven't tested it with any heavier loads.


    There is a discrepancy which I have not bothered to resolve. The Champion web site said 1 year warranty, but the (old) fulfillment web site said 2 year warranty.

    I'm not worried about it. When I called Champion with my pre-sales questions, I indicated that I preferred to purchase retail rather than online, because of the "can't ship it back after adding fuel/oil" issue. They checked and there were none available retail anywhere in California at that time.

    The fellow I spoke with said not to worry about it, that since I was in L.A., and Champion was also in L.A., if I had a problem with the generator, he'd personally drive to my location and take care of it.

    Sounds like B.S. I know, but there is at least one report on the RV.net web site of a fellow in L.A. with a Champion generator (3000w I think) and someone from Champion actually did drive over to his house with parts and fixed his generator right there.

    By most accounts (and there are many) Champion's customer service is consistently above and beyond. They also don't seem to have any problem at all with shipping out parts and letting the owner do their own warranty repairs.



    Overall (and especially after coming off two years of hell with the HWs), I'm EXTREMELY happy with this little generator.




    Looking at the fulfillment site, I notice it specs a 1.45g fuel tank for the 42431. Mine has a 1.2g tank (the Amazon listing also says 1.2g). I checked the main CPE site and it says 1.45g as well.

    So I just sent off an email asking them if they've increased the tank size on those.

    I'll let you know what they say.
  • dwh
    dwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions

    Well, it's been a year now with the little Champion, so I thought I should post an update...

    At around 650 hours, it had a problem. I ran it out of fuel, and didn't use it for a few weeks. When I went to fire it up again, the starter rope pulled about halfway out and then stopped dead. No amount of yanking would budge it. I pulled the recoil starter off (three screws, easy access from the end of the machine) and it wasn't the starter, it was the machine. It wouldn't turn.

    I put a socket on the flywheel bolt and got it moving backwards, but it got stuck again. I finally determined that it was getting stuck at the same place on each revolution.

    Contacted Champion and described the problem. The tech said it sounded like the piston was hitting a carbon buildup in the head. I'd have to pull the head and de-carbonize it. He sent me .pdf files of the engine exploded view and also the torque specs.

    So I pulled the engine/alternator unit out of the frame (easy, took only a few minutes), removed the intake and exhaust (also easy) and pulled the head (yup, you guessed it - easy). He was right, there was a buildup of soft black carbon across half the chamber on the head - not thick, there is very little clearance between the piston and the head, so it didn't take much of a buildup to interfere with the piston.

    I scraped off the carbon buildup and examined the head and valves closely - looked very good. Put it all back together and it fired right up. The governor was surging the RPM after I fired it up, but I just diddled the lever to hold it at high RPM for a few seconds, and when I let it go, it settled down bang on at the proper voltage/frequency.

    All in all, I took my time and goofed around quite a bit and still had the job done in under two hours. If I'd had to, I could have probably gotten it done in half an hour.

    Now I run a slightly hotter plug in it, and add half a capful of SeaFoam to every tank of fuel. It's at about 800 hours now and still running perfectly.


    Also, I did get an answer as to the warranty question: It's a two year warranty, but the warranty *technically* doesn't cover "off-grid" use. I.e., a camper or motorhome is considered "off-grid" so while they didn't specifically say so, I suppose they could refuse to cover my generator if something actually does fail. I doubt they would, but they could.

    I think the fact that I use mine so much (650 hours in one year) for battery charging (no solar on the camper), is probably what makes them antsy. That's right at about an average of one 12 hour run (one tankful of gas) per week (to do a battery charge, I just fill it up, top off the oil, fire it up and let it run till it runs dry). That much usage in a year is up there with what I suppose would be considered "commercial" use.
  • icarus
    icarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions

    What percentage of load are you generally running it at? Minimal loading is likely causing excessive carbon build up. A hotter plug probably wouldn't hurt either.

    Tony
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions

    Gee, some generator companies sure are whiny! I put another 36 hours on the EU2000i this past week; what's a mere 12? :D

    Good to know your Champ is still able to run. They're a pretty good bargain in generators. You aren't at high elevation by any chance? The leaner air up here does rob power and make engines run a bit rich.
  • dwh
    dwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions
    icarus wrote: »
    What percentage of load are you generally running it at? Minimal loading is likely causing excessive carbon build up. A hotter plug probably wouldn't hurt either.

    Tony

    My constant voltage charger puts out 10a max, and settles fairly quickly to more like 6a, then of course, tapers off those last few hours. It's a 1200wC/1500wS 80cc gen and all I use it for is battery charging, so I'd guess it's usually running in the 5%-10% of rated load range.
  • dwh
    dwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions
    You aren't at high elevation by any chance?

    Haven't been. I spent a lot of time out in the desert at around 2500' elevation this winter.

    But I might soon be. A buddy of mine:

    http://www.strikingviking.net/

    picked up 37 acres on Palomar Mountain for a steal:

    http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=palomar+mountain&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&channel=suggest

    and invited me to head up there and hang out as much as I want. He's already got a well on the property and put in a septic system. He's even got a WiFi link setup to a neighbor, powered by a 120w PV and a pair of golf cart batteries.
  • icarus
    icarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Generator questions

    Try to load it up every now and again. Plug a heater or a bunch of bulbs for a while every few hours.

    Tony