Generator Charging Problem

I'm currently experiencing a generator charging problem when trying to charge my bank. My husband and I are new to solar power, but have been able to successfully wire 4 trojan t-105 batteries to our Prosine 2.0 (2000 watt) inverter/charger. The inverter works correctly with the bank and we are able to get power out of the bank. We have a Honda eu2000i (2000 watt) generator and are trying to use it to charge the bank. To do so, we bought a 12 gage extension cord, connected it to the AC input wiring on the inverter, set the generator's eco-mode to off, and turned it on. After a couple of seconds the prosine switched from inverter mode to charger mode and appeared to be charging successfully. AC input system diagnostics during this process were 122-123V, 11-12amp, 60Hz. However, after about 5-8 minutes the generator began to sound labored (ramping up, then down) and the V began to fluxuate, down to 112, then back up to 122, down, up, until the inverter came out of charge mode. After another few seconds, the entire process would repeat (charge mode turns on, gen ramps up slightly, charges a while, voltage fluxuates, charge mode stops). At no point however, did the generator sound like it was maxed out (like when we run our saw or other power tools off it). No lights on the generator indicated that it was maxed out either. In the manual, it says that continuous power from the generator should not exceed 1600 watts, yet from the stats given by the interver, this isn't happening. Am not sure how to proceed with solving this problem. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!


  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Generator Charging Problem

    How does the generator act when connected to a heavy road for an extended period, such as a 1500 or more watt electric heater, instead of the charger? If you haven't tried that, it might be a good idea to do so, as it could just be a problem with the generator. It could be something simple, like no, or very little venting of the fuel tank, resulting in a partial vacuum in the tank and the engine starving for fuel, or a dirty air filter (I've seen both give similar results). Of course it could be many things, but at least you could narrow it down.
    Good luck
  • dhilldhill Solar Expert Posts: 47
    Re: Generator Charging Problem

    I have a 10k watt generator and I have noticed it will pulse under load. It could be that you are running loads on the generator and that it isn't sufficient to run the loads and supply the charge also.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Generator Charging Problem

    My first question is ...what are you running in addition to the charger load? Anything at all? or just charging.

    My experience with the Prosine is the first few minutes into the charge cycle the charger is using most of the supplied amps, just to get the jucises flowing so to speek. After that the inverter likes to drop from say 100+ amps to some where in the 80 to 98 range depending upon how depleted the bank was. It drops from there. When the inverter "comes off that step" it likes to look around for other things it can addition to charging, I'll bet that's when your pulsing occurs. Do you notice lights dimming with the pulsing?

    I guess we really need to know what you are attempting to do, what you have on, if the generator is "maxed out" etc. I have a 5.2 KW mogen (see my post from yesterday) and it seems to handle the loads AND charge (if I degrade the input amperage on the Prosine) to 10 or 11 instead of 15 amps in.

    I still don't like the idea of you running the generator into the should go into the AC in.

    Jerry O.
  • PhilSPhilS Solar Expert Posts: 370 ✭✭✭
    Re: Generator Charging Problem

    I suspect Wayne's thoughts are on target.

    I have a Honda eu1000i and it uses the same gas cap as the 2000. It has an "on-off" lever that opens or closes the tank vent.

    On mine, if I put it all the way to "on", after awhile under moderate load or better, it will start to act as you described. I found the problem disappeared if I started loosening the gas cap. My solution: when you set the gas cap lever to "on", DON'T go all the way but stop just before it slips into the detent. That position holds the little vent valve open farther and I haven't had the problem since. If that's not clear (and it confuses me just writing it) you would move the lever to "on" and then back it off 1/4".

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