Lowering the voltage of a Honda 2000i inverter generator

icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
After chasing my tail with a Magnum inverter problem, I have traced it to an over voltage from the Honda Eu1000i genny.   The Magnum requires 120 vac +-5%, or a max of 125 vac.  My Eu1000i puts out 127 volts on eco throttle, about the same revved up.  As a result, the Magnum won’t charge.

I have been able to “trick” it by adding 50’ of cord and loading the genny a bit, which drops the voltage to ~125...just borderline.  the question is, does anyone know a way to change the VR of a inverter genny to drop the voltage just a bit?

All help appreciated.

Tony
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Comments

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hmm seems like an overly tight inverter AC spec. You sure? The other way to drop the voltage is with an incandescent 100 watt bulb and then turn it off. You probably know that... I will ask my engine guy. Did you google it?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    Dave...

    I did google it...and there is no info that I can find.

    I tried it with a 300 watt steam iron load, direct into the genny (actually via an power strip, with the line to the inverter on the same strip) and that didn’t work.  I tried it with a 150 incandescent flood light, and that didn’t do it.
    Mike’s solution of a 50’ #14 cord works just fine, if inelegant.

    I have been reading the voltage with a Kill-a-watt, and just for kicks I used my better meter. With the proper meter, it is reading somewhat north of 128 vac unloaded.  

    As I said, the Magnum book (spec) says 120 vac+- 5%.  That would make a ceiling of 126.  Running the genny, charging through the Magnum (powered though the extension cord, measuring the voltage at the outlet in the building where the motor load is, the voltage is ~125.  

    I’m trying to figure out a way if I can “trick” the Magnum, since once any load is applied, including a real charge current the Magnum meets spec.  Problem is, I think the Magnum measures the voltage at start up, and rejects it for the charger, while freezing passing it through to the load.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,330 admin
    I have used surprisingly small 240/208 vac autotransformer from a standard electrical supply outfit for a 1.5 heart pump compressor without issues.

    That would be 128/111 vac....

    Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019 #5
    Still seems like a tight spec. Outback and Schneider have adjustable gen inputs over 10%. Assume the frequency is right as that will play in also. Good Luck! I will talk with my gen man in town next week.You will be the one who gets me off the mountain in over 4 weeks. He is factory for honda, echo and kohler.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,482 ✭✭✭✭✭
    IIRC, the charging problem was present with both a 2000i and a pair of 1000i in parallel.  Doesn't really matter, as the solution works, but it does make me wonder.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭

    Magnum (as far as I know) doesn’t have a way to adjust the AC input voltage.   It seems to play fine with low AC voltage and will pass through nearly any voltage through the transfer switch, but is pretty picky running the charger.

    I built a variac to power my emergency heat tape from my inverter.  I used a hairdryer as a load.  I’m guessing a single light bulb might do the trick.  I will try tomorrow.  

    I know what you say about “leaving the mountain”...I hadn’t been out of the bush for nearly a month until yesterday.  I had to go to town for a few things...including groceries.  Thanks for the help.

    T
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,384 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019 #8
    You could use two reversed, parallel diodes.  Should be less wasteful than a load.  Be sure to properly heat sink them for the up to 8W each they may dissipate.

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You are welcome Tony! Raising a glass of 6 year age canadian right now! Wife is saying turn off internet. Better do it or she won't help me move firewood into the shed tomorrow.....Lucky that way!  Cheers!

    The diodes is a good idea if we can't find a tweek.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,330 admin
    I think this is still a big transformer (40 lbs), but has enough taps to do what you want (no price listed):

    https://www.lcmagnetics.com/transformers/auto-transformer/multi-tap-auto-transformer-5-5-kva-pn-18571/

    208/220/230/240 VAC taps... roughly 5% voltage taps.

    A bunch of buck boost transformers (from $250-$500+)

    https://catalog.larsonelectronics.com/bestsellers/208v-To-240v-Transformer

    You can call around--But I fear that the suggestion of Jonr's to use a few diodes in series (voltage drop) plus insulated heat sink, and a second string of diodes reversed (to drop both + and - AC Sine wave voltage) is going to be the cheap/easy answer.

    I don't see why to get a transformer that is 50% of the cost (and weight) of your eu2000i.

    The other is to call both Honda (to see if this is out of range for 120 VAC--can they repair/adjust) and Midnite (why they accept such a narrow range--something like 105 to 132 volts is "normal" for a wide range of 120 VAC voltages).

    And there is just going around and measuring the voltage of various eu2000i gensets and see if you can find one that is closer to your needs.

    Or just continue with the extension cord.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks all.

    Given the reality, cheap and simple is the only answer, and in this case the cord might be it.  I will try my existing variac with a small load and see what that does.  If I go the diode route I’ll get someone to sketch a diagram for me.

    tony
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,330 admin
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,191 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The diode may not work quite the way you think it may.   It will shave the tops off the sinewave, and then you no longer have a sinewave.  Will the inverter be able to qualify a distorted "flat top" sine wave ?   And a diode will make a fair amount  of electrical noise in the process.
    But a buck transformer, or even a 10A doorbell transformer wired as buck, should be the best way to knock down the voltage, if you can't find a honda trimpot on the inverter board

    Or an extension 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 ,

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,330 admin
    Placing the diodes in series will not "chop the top off the sine waves", it will simply take few volts off the sign waves (and create a little flat spot where the voltage crosses the zero volt line). Since they are in series with L1 (or neutral), it just takes a couple volts off the high/reverse sine waves. 

    Whether this would "play nicely" with motors/inductive loads, I am not sure.

    Chopping the wave forms would be if the dioes were put between the hot and neutral lines (l.e., when Vpk exceeds +/- 150 VAC or something)... This would not work well (lots of heat, high voltage diodes, etc.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike_smike_s Registered Users Posts: 123 ✭✭
    Spec for US power (ANSI c84.1) is 114-126 V at the source (service entrance). 110-127 is allowed, but calls for corrective action to get it back in range.

    Seems like a Honda issue to me. Warranty?
  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 194 ✭✭✭
    You can find a discarded UPS inverter everywhere. That transformer will be rated at at least 15A on the output.  Just connect the primary winding to 120V and put the secondary in series. RED is usually the center tap for 12V inits. That will either boost the voltage or lower it. You want the boosted voltage. connect those two windings in series to your 127V AC.  Then you can choose between that center tap and the series connection for the the voltage you want. FREE solution.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,495 ✭✭✭✭
    Your genset voltage regulator is extremely highly likely to be adjustable - AVR. It is probably easily located at the "end" of the motor. Remove about four screws to remove the motor "cap". Then another couple screws for the voltage regulator. There is a very, very small brass screw that will allow you to very easily lower the voltage.

    I did this a couple months ago. Going from memory - could have a small detail off. Like number of screws. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,495 ✭✭✭✭
    Also your Hz: "Good video. For others finding this video, first make sure your generator is running at 60hz (if you are in the US) before you adjust the voltage regulator as shown in this video. Either use a "kill-a-watt" meter or a multimeter that can read hz, start the generator and adjust the phillips spring-loaded screw for the governor adjustment to get the hz as close to 60hz as possible. You may find that you need to set the hz to 61-62 range unloaded to get a solid 60hz under load. Once that's set, follow this video to get your voltage dialed in."
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,330 admin
    The Honda eu2000i is an inverter-generator... The inverter is fully electronic and (as far as I can guess) does not have any "mechanical" adjustments for voltage and line frequency.

    With inverter-gensets, the motor generates "wild AC" (variable 3 phase voltage and frequency... Usually converted to DC then "inverted" to 120 VAC 60 Hz).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,191 ✭✭✭✭✭
    He's dealing with an INVERTER generator, not a regular alternator.   The inverter module may be totally sealed (how do you adjust the inverter output voltage on your 2kw inverter ?)

     The engine runs at different RPM's according to load.
    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 ,

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,495 ✭✭✭✭
    Alright then - perhaps an Hz adjustment is possible then? 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,482 ✭✭✭✭✭
    In searching around, I saw references to a small pot on the AVR to alter voltage on larger honda inverter type generators.  I didn't find anything on the 2000i though. 

    Maybe the AVR is integrated and non-adjustable on that model like Mike said?  I couldn't find a separate replacement AVR part for the 2000i, which suggests integrated to me.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    Inverter genies are not AVR controlled, and not adjustable in a traditional fashion.  HZ adjustment as well.  In traditional gennies HZ was a function fo RPM.  In my old Lister, you adjusted freq by changing the rpm, 1800=60hz.  You adjusted the voltage by changing the pick up point on a variable resister that excited the field.

    thanks folks, the extension cord works just fine, if inelegant.  Hopefully Honda can provide an answer, but I’m not hopefull.

    Tony
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,495 ✭✭✭✭
    I seem to remember you talking about a 30's vintage Lister many years ago. Must have opted for inverter genset efficiency.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I sent him an e-mail this am. He does not remember it on the 2000i  but will check with honda on monday. Is this the 1000i or 2000i btw.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 194 ✭✭✭
    Extension cord sounds like a horrible idea. But what the heck, this is solar.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    DAve,,,thanks,  It is a Eu 2000i, but I also have a couple of 1000i as well

    Nano,  Not really a horrible idea, jut not very elegant.  The genny sits in a little lean to shed, and plugs into the “powerhouse” which holds the batteries, inverter, (other older generators) various switch gear, and finally the main line out to the rest of the island.  The rest of the island is three small buildings occupied seasonally (very occasionally) and the total load on that line is never more than ~150 watts, so a long cord isn’t going to hurt anything.  My one big load in this is an 8 amp (120 vac) wringer washing machine,  If not for that the Eu 1000i would do all the work.  For guests, who use those buildings, the simplicity of having only one genny is the idea.

    My house is separate, on it’s own battery/PV/genny system.

    Tony
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,384 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019 #28
    A diode that would drop about 1.7V is here:   https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/microsemi-corporation/APT40DQ120BG/APT40DQ120BG-ND/1494578

    I wonder why the Honda is so high on voltage.  Perhaps a purposeful design decision to meet the watts spec at a slightly lower amps?

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,330 admin
    If I recall correctly, the earlier specifications for the euX000i family was something like 115 or 117 VAC.

    Perhaps, the original voltages allowed for the 115/230 VAC where 230 VAC is common in Europe... And originally was ~220 VAC 50 Hz nominal, and perhaps is going to 230-240 VAC 50 Hz nominal now?

    And there are the parts of Japan that are 100 VAC nominal (both 50 or 60 Hz, depending on West or Eastern Japan).

    Here is an interesting quick set of posts:

    https://www.quora.com/Is-the-power-system-in-the-US-technically-110-115-or-120VAC-How-about-220-or-is-it-240-or-235VAC

    The standardization of 120 VAC +/- 5% did not happen in the USA until 1984... Long ago, it was 110 VAC nominal (and assumed closer to 100 VAC in the home). And around 1968 that the NEC made 115 VAC the spec.

    And Honda is mfg. gensets for different countries and over time... But 128 VAC -- Sounds out of any "normal" spec. for North America.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The honda does sound a bit high but the Inv/chg is the issue having a 5% spec. This is ridiculous for Magnum.

    I did get a response on the 2000i and it was,
    "I just read the shop manual. The voltage is set from the inverter and there is no adjustment."

    So in my opinion there is a star value component set by the production line and since it is not in the shop manual you will need to do this externally or get rid of the magnum. Sorry.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for your help Dave.

    I agree, now that we have chased our tail ad nausium, that indeed it is a Magnum issue.  I’m not willing to get rid of it as it came to me free, and performs well on every other function.  The extension cord allows it to work as I need it to.  Trying to get “Tech support” from Magnum is useless, but until I get a very boring day, whenI’m willing to stay on hold ad infinitum, and try to climb the tier of tech support, I will probably just live with it.

    Thanks all.  (The batteries are being EQed with the Magnum and the 2000i as we speak).

    Tony
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