Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel

DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
My Suzuki generator has a 240V output, so it was easy to tie it in to the Midnight Solar E-panel through a standard generator receptacle mounted to the outside of the house. I do not have the luxury of auto-start, but that's not a great loss, since my utility is very reliable.

I like the Honda EU2000 generator for its very quiet and long operation on a single tank. However, isn't the EU2000 only 120V? For those that use this generator to recharge their battery bank and also run loads, how do you tie it in to the distribution panel?:confused:
XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.

Comments

  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel

    I have the Yamaha version. Same issue though, it's only a 120VAC generator. Can't connect it directly to a 240VAC distribution panel, it'll only power up half the box. I think you're going to have to get a 240VAC generator since you already have the rest of the hardware.

    I got around this issue by only running my critical 120VAC loads during an outage, or some from alt-power exclusively. Consequently, I purchased a 30A 120VAC transfer switch. It can be fed via an inverter, or my generator. It's not as glamorous as pre-built professionally installed system, and does require running an extension cord to the generator as needed, but it does work.

    You can bridge two Hondas (same with my Yamaha) together, but that only doubles the available current. They are still only 120VAC. Honda does make a much larger generator that'll supply 120/240VAC, but they consume more fuel, and are much louder.
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel
    2manytoyz wrote: »
    I have the Yamaha version. Same issue though, it's only a 120VAC generator. Can't connect it directly to a 240VAC distribution panel, it'll only power up half the box. I think you're going to have to get a 240VAC generator since you already have the rest of the hardware.

    I got around this issue by only running my critical 120VAC loads during an outage, or some from alt-power exclusively. Consequently, I purchased a 30A 120VAC transfer switch. It can be fed via an inverter, or my generator. It's not as glamorous as pre-built professionally installed system, and does require running an extension cord to the generator as needed, but it does work.

    You can bridge two Hondas (same with my Yamaha) together, but that only doubles the available current. They are still only 120VAC. Honda does make a much larger generator that'll supply 120/240VAC, but they consume more fuel, and are much louder.

    Thanks Robert. I have a Suzuki generator already, and I used to tie it in to the house through a Gen-tran manual transfer switch. I could still do that, but it wouldn't charge the battery bank--so I installed a dedicated 240V receptacle that is wired in to the Midnight E-panel AC2 input.

    It puts out plenty of power, but it is noisier and not nearly as fuel efficient as the EU2000 or equivalent. Since I see the EU2000 on many folks Signature lines, I thought there was some way to tie it in to charge the battery bank. But it looks like I'll have to stick with the Suzuki. Thanks again!
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,741 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel

    Can't you use a transformer to step up the voltage?. Also, Honda does make quiet inverter generators that make 240 volts. --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel
    vtmaps wrote: »
    Can't you use a transformer to step up the voltage?. Also, Honda does make quiet inverter generators that make 240 volts. --vtMaps

    I think to properly connect it to the Midnight E-panel, you'd need two 120V legs to properly feed the inverter, vs. boosting one leg to 240v.

    The larger the inverter, the louder and less run time. The EU2000 is a perfect size for topping off the batteries--if only it had a 240V output receptacle--IMHO.
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel
    vtmaps wrote: »
    Also, Honda does make quiet inverter generators that make 240 volts. --vtMaps

    They do, but you have to be careful which one you get. Many people assume all Honda generators are quiet, and that's completely false. They do have a quiet series, and also have some that are as loud as a contractor grade model found at a big box store.

    Here's a good chart comparing their various models, and how loud each one is:

    dbchart.jpg

    Please note the EU3000 is also 120VAC only. Take a look at ALL the larger models, and the sound levels.

    Some already know this, others may not... Keep in mind that every 3 dB is twice the sound energy. The quiet series generators (Honda & Yamaha) operate ~ 53-58 dB. A contractor grade generator often is 67-72 dB. At first glance, the sound levels don't appear to be that different. The inverter generators engines only run as fast as the load demands. So at a 1/4 load, they are extremely quiet. A conventional generator is running a constant speed to make 60Hz, consequently, they generally only give one noise level on the specifications.

    My Yamaha EF2400iS can run a 5000 BTU A/C unit from idle, or about 53 dB. Double the sound, that would be 56 dB, double it again, 59 dB, double it again, 62 dB, double it again, 65 dB, double it again, 68 dB, double it again, 71 dB.

    There's a HUGE difference in the sound between models. This is the best video I've found that tries to demonstrate the noise level between the various Honda models:

    [video]http://powerequipment.honda.com/data/videos/honda-generator-noise-level-comparison.mp4[/video]

    I can tell you first hand, the video doesn't do the quiet generators justice. Until you've heard one running up close, the others don't "seem" that bad. :p
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel

    I have both the 1000i and 3000i Honda gens, and YES the 3000 is MUCH quieter than the 1000, go figure, also friends have a 2000i and it is NOT as quiet as either the 1000i or 3000i versions...
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,741 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel
    vtMaps wrote:
    Can't you use a transformer to step up the voltage?.
    Dusty wrote: »
    I think to properly connect it to the Midnight E-panel, you'd need two 120V legs to properly feed the inverter, vs. boosting one leg to 240v.

    Aren't there step up transformers that have a center tap on the output side? --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel
    Dusty wrote: »
    I think to properly connect it to the Midnight E-panel, you'd need two 120V legs to properly feed the inverter, vs. boosting one leg to 240v.

    If you use a 120v to 120v isolation transformer, you can create a second out-of-phase 120v leg from the generator output. Then between that and the orignal output you will have single phase 240v. Or you could use a transformer from 120v to center-tapped 240. When you make the center tap the neutral you have exactly what the E-panel is looking for.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,420 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel

    The cost of the transformer is a painful solution to get 240v.

    The lowest wattage 240vac inverter-gen (quiet) is the EU6500iS at 50db to 60db SPL. The EU5000is also is 240/120vac and a bit louder with 62-68 db but still not too bad.

    Both have two 120 vac inverter modules with output in series for 240 vac.

    If your transfer switch has some delay between transitions you can wire it so the 120 vac only generator feeds both L1 & L2 legs. You won't be able to power any 240 vac appliances and should check they don't have an issue with in-phase 120vac on both L1/L2 legs. Some appliances use 240v for heater and 120vac for motors so the spinning may continue to draw current.
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel
    RCinFLA wrote: »
    The cost of the transformer is a painful solution to get 240v.

    The lowest wattage 240vac inverter-gen (quiet) is the EU6500iS at 50db to 60db SPL. The EU5000is also is 240/120vac and a bit louder with 62-68 db but still not too bad.

    Both have two 120 vac inverter modules with output in series for 240 vac.

    If your transfer switch has some delay between transitions you can wire it so the 120 vac only generator feeds both L1 & L2 legs. You won't be able to power any 240 vac appliances and should check they don't have an issue with in-phase 120vac on both L1/L2 legs. Some appliances use 240v for heater and 120vac for motors so the spinning may continue to draw current.

    Well, I was hoping for a small generator that could recharge the battery bank in a pinch--something with a long run time and very quiet. My Suzuki generator will work fine--it's just not quiet or mizerly on gas. But for the number of times I actually have to use it, I guess I'll stick with what I've got and maybe put the $ into more PV instead. Thank you!
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel

    You could still go with the Honda 2KW, and just use a separate charger, rather than the Midnite built-in inverter/charger you already have.

    The separate charger is another piece of hardware to buy, but it then gives you the option of using the big Suzuki with the existing charger, or the fuel efficient Honda with a stand-alone charger. Redundancy is a good thing IMHO.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel

    I have been playing with my Honda EU 2000 that I use on my Boat with a couple chargers this summer. I guess it all depends what you are trying to achieve, Maximum Charge, Minimum Sound and Fuel use. With the ECO throttle on and the engine idling a 45 Amp charger is about right. A IOTA 55 amp will pull it above ECO a little bit, but still quiet and not using much fuel. Wide open with ECO off it will pull a 75 Amp with little problem and the RPM will level out at about 3/4 throttle, but louder. There are people that use a 90 Amp without any issues they report, but it has to be maxed out. The PFC of a charger will have a difference on the results of course.

    The best $$$ you can spend would be on at least a 60 amp charger with a remote where you can vary the output of the charger and the input from the generator. That way you could do a couple things at the same time with the generator output and lots of flexibility. Of course such a charger is $500.00, but worth the money long term.

    I have a friend with a Yamaha EF2000iS it does about the same, but is a tad more nosier for some reason. We have the same setup with a Iota 55.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,741 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel

    I think 2manytoyz has given you the best suggestion so far.... buy a battery charger. There is a famous thread on this forum about choosing a power factor corrected charger for the eu2000: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?10123

    Its a long thread, but worth reading. --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel
    vtmaps wrote: »
    I think 2manytoyz has given you the best suggestion so far.... buy a battery charger. There is a famous thread on this forum about choosing a power factor corrected charger for the eu2000: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?10123

    Its a long thread, but worth reading. --vtMaps

    Thanks everyone! The separate charger is a great idea, and I'm a big proponent of redundancy.

    Dusty
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Question for Honda EU2000 owners-how to tie in to Midnight E-panel
    vtmaps wrote: »
    I think 2manytoyz has given you the best suggestion so far.... buy a battery charger. There is a famous thread on this forum about choosing a power factor corrected charger for the eu2000: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?10123

    Its a long thread, but worth reading. --vtMaps

    It took a while to go through, but it was very informative. Now, if that Meanwell 48V charger would do AGMs too.....

    Fortunately, the 6048 will charge my bank from my suzuki generator, and from reading that thread, it makes a lot of sense to use the generator for the bulk charge and allow the PV to absorb charge. That will save gasoline for sure.
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
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