Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue

JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 248 ✭✭
Hello Folks, I've run into a problem with a Prosine 2.0 inverter/charger.
I've set one up for a friend's off grid cabin.
The inverter portion works fine, and passes gen power through it as it should when the gen is operating.
The problem is with the generator powering the charger. Even with no ac loads running, the prosine recognizes the AC coming in from the gen. However, when it switches to charge mode, the unit immediately swithes back to standby. His gen is a Honda EB3000.
According to Xantex, it is large enough to power the charger at its rated output of 100 amps dc. All Xantrex can tell me is the Prosine "doesn't like" the generator output.

I brought in my Honda EB6500 and the Prosine works excellent, charging at 105 amps at intial charge. The only thing I can think of besides the obvious thought of too small of a gen size, is there is a waveform problem with the EB3000 output, or maybe a neutral bonding issue. I should note that just for grins, i plugged in a 5000 btu window air conditioner i had sitting in the truck to the EB3000 and it didn't miss a beat powering up that AC unit. The EB3000 is an older unit without GFIC

My friend cannot afford a new generator just to so it can play nice with others.
By the way, the Prosine displays the AC input at 118 vac @ 59.9hz, well within the operational input range of the Prosine defaults.

Anyone have experience with this situation? Thanks for any clues.


  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,185 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue

    Hi James,

    Just a thought, perhaps the generator voltage/freq/waveform goes out of spec with the initial high charge current demand of the charger. Often inverter/chargers distort the waveform of smaller generators which can make them go out of spec. Also could that the load of max current causes initial underspeed (freq) of the gen, and the charger gives up before the generator throttle control can get the freq back to spec.

    If the Prosine has a way to cut back the charge current some lower setting should help if the above is the problem. If there was an adjustable delay to allow the generator to get back to freq (if that was the cause), this might help.

    Am an dialer-up, so I will not be perusing any prosine on-line manual.

    Good Luck Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue


    The Honda EB3000 generator is a 120/240 VAC generator rated at 2800 W continuous. Each 120 VAC leg is rated at 12 A when operated at 120/240 VAC. With the voltage selector switch set for 120 VAC operation, it appears the 120/240 VAC receptacle should not be used. There’s nothing in the generator manual that suggests to me that setting the voltage selector switch for 120 VAC operation would increase the ampacity of any single 120 VAC receptacle above 12 A.

    The Prosine 2.0 specs indicate its charger draws 15 A from 120 VAC to supply 100 A to the batteries. Based on what I think I see, the charger may be overloading the generator.

    The Prosine’s battery charging current may need to be reduced. You may need to adjust the battery size and charge current % settings to lower the load on the generator. See Prosine 2.0 manual page 4-12.

    Please let us know how this works out for you and your friend. I’m trying to help another fellow with a somewhat similar problem

    Jim / crewzer
  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 248 ✭✭
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue

    Thanks Crewzer,

    I have read the manuals on both the EB3000 and the Prosine.
    I agree with you on the possiblity of an overload at charge start.
    Xantrex told me to disconnect the ground wire from the EB3000 to see if it is a grounding /neutral ground issue.
    I will be back out to my friends cabin this weekend try the ground wire and any other advice some of you may have. the eb3000 gen is somewhat old and it is possible the old waveform just ain't what it used to be!
    thanks, i will repot findings as they become available
  • DabblerDabbler Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue


    I've got a much smaller setup, but in the event it helps .....

    I use a Prosine 2.0 and occasionally charge batteries with it's charger, powered with AC from a Honda eu2000i. Works fine. No ground wire mods.

    The eu2000i is rated at 13.3 Amps, rated output 1,600 VA, max output 2000VA.

    I would tend to go with crewzer's suggestion of the charger overloading the generator.

    Here's my theory and what I do. On page 4 of my Prosine manual it says "Uses its Power Share capability to tap off power to charge the batteries while 120 VAC is being passed to the loads." then, on p. 47, it says "set the AC breaker size to match the shore power circuit breaker size to reduce circuit breaker 'nuisance tripping' ". So, for my generator I set that down to 13A. My experience has been that this does cause the Prosine to manage demand within that setting. If AC loads go up, charging amps drop to keep total demand under 13A. So, a test might be to lower that setting to a number your friend's generator can easily do, and see if you can get a charge started.

    Also consistent with crewzer's suggestions, I would try adjusting the charge rate, to limit the charger AC demand from the generator. For my tiny system, I've set the "battery AH" setting on the Prosine to 80, and the %C for bulk charge rate to 30%. I never see more than 24A max hit the battery, so the Prosine seems to manage within these setting also. So, that would be my next test. You might consider adjusting these settings down very low like mine, and see if you can get a charge started.

    Failing that, I suppose I'd start suspecting the generator cleanness or the charger in the Prosine.

    My two cents
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue

    Most small generators have a floating neutral. I'm no electrical engeneer, but from what I have read, most chargers have a problem with floating neutral generators. They (the chargers) generally only put out a fraction of thier rated capacity with such a generator. The exception are the inverter type generators like the Honda EU series. These are built witha convention neutral, and as such most chargers will put out full output.

    I have a honda eu1000 coupled to a xantrex tc20. The tc20 puts out full output with the generator just idling

    Hope this helps,

  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 248 ✭✭
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue

    Hello folks, sorry for delay in reporting back results.
    I followed the advice regarding cutting back the charge currt settings.
    The battery ah capacity setting was also adusted. I need to reduce both of these settings to get the prosine to stay in charge mode.
    The 900 ah battery setting was reduced tp 130 ah and the charge % setting was changed to 12%. These were the highest settings I could use without the charger kicking back to stand by. The charger is only putting out 15 amp to the battery. Well under what we had hoped for.

    These settings seem to confirm what your advice suggested; the generator seems to overload when trying to push the charger at full, and even less than full output.

    My guess at this point is that this older generator is not able to hold an acceptable waveform when alternated is taxed. As I posted earlier, my newer, larger rated generator has no problem handling the charger at full output. At this point I have not yet addressed the floating neutral issue. Next visit i will look into that and report back any findings.
    Thanks to all for the suggestions.

    At least my friend can now charge a little, but very inefficently.
  • DabblerDabbler Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue


    Glad to hear of some headway. I'm like your friend and can't afford a new generator so, if I was in his spot, there's a couple other things I would look into and maybe try. Caveat: I would try this with MY stuff, but would seek more knowledgable advice here before I tried it on your friend's stuff!

    Question: when you say the prosine charger kicks back to standby, do you mean that the transfer switch in the prosine also disconnects from the generator? I'm assuming this is the case, as my prosine seems to either like the AC input or not, regardless of whether for loads or the charger.

    If that's the case, there's a section on page 74 of my manual called "AC Bad Causes". It says, "If the input AC is not acceptable according to the configuratiion values you have set, the AC Bad Cause screen in the Diagnostics menu indicates why." There are a variety of reasons like low voltage, low frequency, etc. If you can find an entry there, that may provide a clue as to what specifically the prosine doesn't like about the generator AC when it won't stay in charge.

    Then, on page 47, there's a section called "Configure Prosine - Advanced Menu". There are a variety of settings you can configure that control how the prosine determines it doesn't like the AC. Like, Low AC Voltage, Low AC Hertz, High AC Voltage, High AC Hertz.

    If, for instance, the diagnostic screen gave me a reason for "AC Bad", like "Low AC Voltage", I would consider adjusting that setting to accept a lower AC voltage without disconnect.

    Prosine manual says Low AC voltage is settable from 85-110Vac, default is 90. Low Ac Hz is settable from 40 to 59, default is 55. So I suspect at default settings, there's another 5Vac and 15Hz wiggle room to make the prosine more tolerant of your friend's generator.

    Maybe it would get you there, or increase the possible charge level, maybe not. I'd try it, but again, greater minds and experience here may differ.
  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 248 ✭✭
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue


    When the charger mode switched back to standby, the genny stayed connected with the ac indicated lit.
  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 248 ✭✭
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue

    Hello again folks,
    I'm still dealing with the pesky issue of my honda 6500 generator/prosine 2.0 charger working well together...
    now my honda will not work with the prosine charger at all.
    i have adjusted all the possible setting i can think of.
    the prosine will not "lock on" or recognize the honda voltage.
    it just keeps cycling, trying to latch the ac in from the honda.
    i don't want to spend the money to have a service tech look at the honda.
    it works just fine providing power to everything i have used it on except for the prosine charger.
    any additional thoughts would be appreciated!
  • KamalaKamala Solar Expert Posts: 452 ✭✭
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue

    The charger on my ProSine 2.0 works fine with a Honda EU1000i.

    ProSine breaker size = 30A
    Batt Cap = 400AH

    Max charge current = 40A (@ 12VDC, about half the genny's rated output)

    Good luck!
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,479 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue

    When EB3000 is switched to 120vac only, the full current (21.7 amp continuous, 25 amp surge) is available at the NEMA L5-30 twist lock plug.

    Just make a conversion cord from NEMA L5-30 male plug to NEMA 5-20R female socket. All these should be available at Lowe's or Home Depot, along with 8 or 10 guage, three conductor SOOW cord. (you can get by with #10 on three wire 120vac)

    The ProSine charger is non-syncronous, independent of inverter, and is pretty tolerant of input frequency and voltage. It will even run the charger from a modified sinewave inverter. It will take a pretty deep slump from generator voltage down below 100 vac output to abort.
  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 248 ✭✭
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue

    Hello and thanks,
    Because of the difficulties, I'm not even trying to use my friend's 3000 right now. I'm trying to use my 6500 honda. At one point in time, I could adjust the prosine to charge at the full rated charger output of 100 amps (104 to be exact) with no problem. Last summer I could only charge at about 24 amps, now the prosine will not stay in charge switches back to standby instantainiously. I did make the conversion cord in order to switch gen to 120 only thru the L-30? (i think that's the designation) outlet
  • PhilSPhilS Solar Expert Posts: 370 ✭✭✭
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue

    I had a similar charging problem with my Xantrex SW2512MC. It would often fail to "latch" onto the generator output... as soon as it tried, the momentary change on the generator output would cause the Xantrex to "unlatch" again. Sometimes, after a dozen or so "tries", they'd hook up and the Xantrex would charge fine. Sometimes, not. I noticed that if I was running my submersible well pump, the Xantrex would "latch" onto the gen power every time, so for years if the Xantrex needed help, I'd start the well (I learned this because USUALLY if the gen was running, it was FOR the well). Then I replaced the 220V well pump with one that runs off of the Xantrex... so back to square one.

    What finally worked for me was putting another charger on the generator output. I used one of those big ol' auto charger/starter 2A/40A/400A that I had sittting unused in the garage. I have it set to "hold" and 40A.

    It starts charging (at about 20A) as soon as the generator fires up, and stabilizes the generator output such that the Xantrex will "latch" onto the gen power the first try. Every time.

    James, try adding another charger (maybe 10A) and see if the Xantrex will transfer and charge like it should.

  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,479 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue

    The Prosine charger is independent but I believe the switchover between the inverter and generator AC is semi-syncronous in that the inverter matches the last zero crossing of AC input along with matching the phase to positive/negative half cycle.

    With its crossover spec of 16 msec it must do the semi-syncronous transfer to avoid throwing a motor or compressor a nasty reverse (or random) phase at transfer crossover.

    The freq spec is quite large (40-70 Hz) but what is not spec'd is the tolerance to rate of change of the frequency. This is what happens when a generator rpm dips down when a sudden load shows up on the generator. You are likely falling outside the 'quality' criteria of 40 Hz for a short period of time while the generator speed control reacts to the sudden load. That would require a small gasoline generator engine speed to drop to 2400 rpm from its normal 3600 rpm. It should be very noticable listening to the sound of engine. There will also be a voltage dip that may be falling out of the 90vac min spec.

    Sometimes putting a minimum load on the generator, 60w to 100w light bulb, will help reduce the reaction time on the generator. If you can get a DVM with freq measurement it is good to center up the speed of engine for 60 Hz with 10% to 20% of generator rated load applied. You might try running the rpm up so the nominal freq is a little higher then 60 Hz to give more margin to a load transient rpm dip.
  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 248 ✭✭
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue

    Thanks for the suggestion of placing a small load on the genny first...sounds like a good idea. I will try that in the next couple weeks as soon as i'm out to the cabin.
  • bryanlbryanl Solar Expert Posts: 175 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue

    The EB3000 appears to be a standard motor generator type genset so its output should be clean enough. The talk about 120v and 240v switching would imply 2 windings at 180 degrees but that shouldn't change anything as far as waveform.
    Most small generators have a floating neutral. I'm no electrical engeneer, but from what I have read, most chargers have a problem with floating neutral generators.
    A 120v genset does not have a neutral by definition. If I understand things right, this definition was added to the NEC in 2008 but there is an OSHA clarifying letter of 1993 that also describes this. I got into this because the Blue Beret (WBCCI member magazine) repeats an error that is also in the RV.NET blog on this point. The isolated ground confuses people used to split phase grid tied systems that do have neutrals and earth and chassis bonding to that neutral at certain specified points.

    Chargers and other 120v appliances should not have a problem with an ground isolated from the power leads. That sort of bonding is an upstream safety thing and should not be an issue with an electrical load.

    If the problem was with an inverter based genset, I'd think the battery charger power factor might be an issue but power factor and inrush shouldn't be an issue with the standard generator. That implies that the charger is set to pull too much power, dragging down the input, and causing the charger to think it is overdoing things. A factor to consider is the generator to charger wiring as losses there could cause a short term voltage drop on inrush currents that might trip the charger protection circuits.
  • cfcwcfcw Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue

    Sorry for diggin up an old thread here, but I thought I would report my findings on this. Yesterday for the first time I played with my eu2000i and prosine 2.0. As suggested in this thread, the prosine batt charger would kick in and kick right back out of charging, wait a few seconds and try again. I played with the AC breaker size setting in the prosine menu. I reduced AC breaker size to 13 amps, and the problem went away. The pair operate just fine, even with the generator in eco mode with that modification. I observed a peak DC charge rate of nearly 70 amps via the prosine remote panel. With eco mode off, I could set AC breaker to 14amps with no problems, but setting to 15 amps seem to be pushing it. I figure AC breaker size on the inverter of 13amps and eco mode on the genny is the best setting for the combo. That way, the eu2000 can throttle down as the charging rate drops.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,082 admin
    Re: Prosine 2.0 charger /Honda Generator issue


    Nice to hear that the inverter/charger re-programming fixed your problem.

    I have some reservations about multi-function units in general (if one section fails, then you have a 1/2 functional paper weight).

    But the newer Xantrex Inverter/Chargers are so programmable (maximum charging current, input circuit breaker programmable limits, plus Power Factor Correction, transfer switch, remote battery temperature sensor, etc.)--they are hard to resist.

    In fact, if they just made the programmable Battery Charger Only version--that would be a killer battery charger.

    If I could just get an MPPT solar charge controller that can operate in the 200-600 VDC range (same as my Grid Tied Inverter)--I would be all set for the next big power emergency.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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