I've spent many hours reading up on generators -- mostly in these forums -- but I'm still puzzled by many technical issues and though I should ask for some advice before I buy.
We have an Inteli-Power PD9180 converter with Charge Wizard and two GP27 12V batteries: 235 amp hours (one 120AH + one 115AH). I did some reconfiguring in order to situate the batteries nearer the converter -- they are connected with about two feet of 4 AWG.
We do a mix of camping with hookups and boondocking -- mostly weekend trips so far, but would like to be able to take longer boondocking trips.
The primary purpose of the generator will be charging the batteries -- I would like to be able to recharge the batteries every other day or so on longer trips and after running the furnace overnight in cooler weather. My thought was to try to size the generator to minimize run time by getting one with high enough output to let the PD9180 operate in boost mode (14.4v) without overloading/tripping the circuit breaker.
With the PD9180's rated wattage of 1300 and using a power factor of .7 (Is that even the correct PF to use here?), I would be looking for a minimum continuous output of around 1850 watts, right? That would appear to be beyond most estimates of the capacity of the red/blue 2000 watt units. The next-step larger generators get into the range of being able to run our 13.5K BTU A/C. Although being able to do that is not a big priority, it seems like a nice bonus for a generator correctly sized to recharge our batteries relatively quickly and relatively quietly (at least not at full RPMs). I also understand that I would have the ability to use the Wizard pendant to put the converter into normal mode, which would decrease generator RPMs (and noise) while increasing charge time.
I welcome any comments on this logic. Am I missing anything major here? Also, any comments on specific generators that fit our needs would be appreciated, including any relevant comments on two that appear to be suited to this situation: the Boliy 3600si and the Yamaha EF2400ishc. Many thanks in advance for your comments.
A single Honda 2KW generator will be plenty to charge your batteries. Heck I for years carried a 1KW Honda and it did just fine. Now days, I rarely use my generator as my solar panels more than take care of battery charging.
I think the H2000 will run the 9180 into two batteries just fine. You will not get 80 amps into the two batteries for an extended period. You might be close to 2000va but power should taper off within the 30 minute surge time limit. You could try to rent or borrow one to verify.
Otherwise Yamaha2400 would be my choice.
Hopefully someone with similar will confirm that the 2000 works or fails.
I have a 2600 Kipor (70#) and it seems to get heavier each year.
If you are parked in the sun a lot consider 200+ watts of solar.
LED lights had the effect of almost doubling my battery power.
* This post was
edited 05/18/12 09:50pm by smkettner *
I would crunch the numbers as 80 amps * 14.4 volts = 1152 watts, divided by 0.7 pf = 1645 VA, divided by 80% converter efficiency = 2057 VA maximum needed from the generator. As previously commented, the chance of 2 batteries pulling 80 amps is pretty low, so you might never have a problem, and if you do you can kick the converter out of boost mode for a few minutes. You may have to make sure the fridge is on gas only if the batteries are heavily discharged.
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Honda Fit dinghy with US Gear brake system
LinkPro battery monitor - EU2000i generator
Many thanks for the excellent comments and advice so far. I'm grateful to be hearing from some of the guys whose previous contributions educated me on this topic.
OK, I understand that my generator power needs may actually be higher than I calculated, but also that the eu2000i (or, I assume, the ef2000is) may well cover me in all or most situations.
Question: Can anyone comment on likely noise levels of the red/blue 2000 units running at full capacity versus the ef24000is running at the RPMs at which it would generate roughly the same VA as the 2000s? I would not want to pay for or carry a 150 lb generator in order to get charging that is both quick and relatively quiet, but if the 70 lb ef2400is would be significantly quieter than the 2000s at the loads I'm talking about, that would interest me.
Also, thanks for the suggestions to consider solar. That probably would make sense for us. We are pretty low demand electricity users already - all LED lighting, and no TVs, microwave, electric coffeemaker, hair dryer, etc. I will look more closely at some threads here in Tech Issues. Any other recommended links to check out?Thanks again.
My Yammy doesn't rev up much to get full power. The Eu2000 is definatetly more annoying at full tilt than my 2400. Rest of my family all has eu2000. However, they are all still pretty decent.
I will say my Genset is way quieter charging with my 2 portable B&D chargers charging up four batteries (80amps) than one is running at full tilt using only 1 of those chargers (40amps) on a bank of 2.
While the EF2400ishc is okay for me to lift because I am in my 30s, my father would never be able to carry this around on a regular basis. The 2000 series has it on that one. If your going to use 2 in parallel, then this info would probably favor the twins but thats just a guess.
A 2,000 watt will be just fine, it may not charge full bore the first few minutes but after a few minutes the batteries will not charge full bore anyway and the the 2,000 will be more than adequate.
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