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 > Can you hook two different kinds of generators together?

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MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 03/11/19 09:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As Mr Wizard pointed out years ago, grid tie generators have the luxury of lead/lag pull-in via 1000x the energy in an established wave form.

With a 40KW John Deere/LIMA and a 40 KW Perkins/Stamford

And an owner utterly convinced that synchronization was "as simple as pie" he scoffed at my cost estimate to make the units play nice.

So he made his own paralleling 240 incandescent lamp setup.

He threw the switch (I wasn't there)

The Perkins Stamford started oscillating, from what I heard the oscillations rapidly became out of control. Oscillating means out-of control surging.

Both voltage regulators fried which threw them off-line. The primary exciters overloaded and they too destroyed themselves.

These were manual throttle control voltage regulated generators

I have a question to ask

Do you think there is some sort of peace treaty between inverter generator manufacturers that inhibits them from suing another manufacturer for patent infringement regarding any component dealing with voltage regulation and inverter designs?

Regardless

Are you willing to risk your generator or anything connected to it in an attempt to synchronize untested theory?

Mechanical synchronization is an art. To assume a second different generator can gather data then process it is a rather large assumption.

I can't help but remember Washoe Medical Center chief engineer Dwayne Telecky standing at the curb of east fourth street in Reno NV wondering how a V-12 Caterpillar engine and KATO generator jumped 50 feet through a cinder brick wall in flames (the coolant was flammable). I was on hand months before to see the operation of a six figure auto-start system and paralleling circuit. The load-shed was integrated and just conceptualizing it's entirety gave me a headache.

I believe contacting the OEM tech departments is in order. If even one says "no" I wouldn't try it.

Tom_M

New Hope, MN

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Posted: 03/12/19 04:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

map40 wrote:

I have connected any of the following in any configuration:
2 3500 Predator
1 2200 Predator
2 2200 Roybi
3 different regular inverters

They all get in sync when you connect them. Even when running under load. I could start both ACs in my 36 feet class A with a 3500 and a 2200 and then move the 2200 out for a few minutes, bring another one and connect it later, and the load would automatically balance between the two units, according to capacity. Don't ask me how, I don't know.
As a matter of fact, once for a Relay for Life event we had 3 RVs (1 A and 2 Cs) and 4 Inverter generators. We bridged them ALL and connected the RVs to them (Gen 1 - C - Gen 2 - A - Gen 3 - C - Gen 4). We were able to shut down one at a time, refuel, let it rest and restart and move to the next without a glitch.
Of course, we had to make our own parallel adapters, which took all but 30 minutes.
Real life trumps all the other speculation.

In my Air Force days, we routinely paralleled two 50kw diesel generators. Start one generator and put it on line. Start the second generator and watch a neon lamp while adjusting the rpm. When the lamp was on, the generators where out of phase. Adjust rpm so that the lamp would slowly turn off indicating that they were in phase then put the second generator on line. Once paralleled they will not go out of phase. Both generators had an old school mechanical governor.

You can not adjust the frequency of an inverter generator so when connecting two or more generators, the synchronization must happen almost instantly. The typical paralleling cord is just two wires so there is no separate sync signal.


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map40

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Posted: 03/12/19 07:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:

As Mr Wizard pointed out years ago, grid tie generators have the luxury of lead/lag pull-in via 1000x the energy in an established wave form.

With a 40KW John Deere/LIMA and a 40 KW Perkins/Stamford

And an owner utterly convinced that synchronization was "as simple as pie" he scoffed at my cost estimate to make the units play nice.

So he made his own paralleling 240 incandescent lamp setup.

He threw the switch (I wasn't there)

The Perkins Stamford started oscillating, from what I heard the oscillations rapidly became out of control. Oscillating means out-of control surging.

Both voltage regulators fried which threw them off-line. The primary exciters overloaded and they too destroyed themselves.

These were manual throttle control voltage regulated generators

I have a question to ask

Do you think there is some sort of peace treaty between inverter generator manufacturers that inhibits them from suing another manufacturer for patent infringement regarding any component dealing with voltage regulation and inverter designs?

Regardless

Are you willing to risk your generator or anything connected to it in an attempt to synchronize untested theory?

Mechanical synchronization is an art. To assume a second different generator can gather data then process it is a rather large assumption.

I can't help but remember Washoe Medical Center chief engineer Dwayne Telecky standing at the curb of east fourth street in Reno NV wondering how a V-12 Caterpillar engine and KATO generator jumped 50 feet through a cinder brick wall in flames (the coolant was flammable). I was on hand months before to see the operation of a six figure auto-start system and paralleling circuit. The load-shed was integrated and just conceptualizing it's entirety gave me a headache.

I believe contacting the OEM tech departments is in order. If even one says "no" I wouldn't try it.

All wise words. Maybe all the ones I used shared the same cheap chinese inverter chipset. As I said, I don’t know how or why, I simply started with "what would happen if we...". A few week later I was connecting 4 of them.
What I did find amazing it that they will level load to capacity. A 3500 and a 2200 won’t share equally, but proportionally. A higher load would go to the 3500.


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road-runner

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Posted: 03/12/19 10:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

10 to 15 years ago, Honda held the patent for self-syncing parallel connections, and Honda and Yamaha were the only producers using that technology. Then Kipor introduced self-syncing generators, was challenged by Honda, and changed to a sync-cable design. Champion introduced their parallel capable generators using a sync-cable design. Fast forward to now, it looks like all (or almost all) parallel-capable inverter generators are self-syncing. As a guess, somebody figured out how to get around Honda's patents, or they're all paying a royalty. The equal load sharing is kind of a natural side effect of a generator's output voltage going down as the load increases. The exception will be when a Honda generator is mixed with another brand, because the Honda output tends to be a few volts higher than other brands. Even though it's perfectly logical that brands can be mixed, I'd never want to take the responsibility of recommending it.


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RLS7201

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Posted: 03/12/19 11:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MrWizard wrote:

Inverter generators from different MFG, using different electronics to create the output power are not safe too connect together

Stream driven or water driven hydro turbines are synced by brute force
They bring them online by slowly applying load ( connecting to system thru inductive load) and using the back EMF to drive them into alignment aka synchronous spinning

Something you cannot to with consumer grade ( inverter output ) portable generators


I totally disagree with how you indicated power plants come on line.
I was in a power plant, while taking an operating engineers coarse, when it came on line. They watched their frequency meter until it aligned with the grid and threw the switch and came on line. If the plant lags in frequency, the grid will help pull it along.

Richard

* This post was edited 03/12/19 11:29am by RLS7201 *


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MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 03/12/19 12:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All wise words. Maybe all the ones I used shared the same cheap chinese inverter chipset. As I said, I don’t know how or why, I simply started with "what would happen if we...". A few week later I was connecting 4 of them.
What I did find amazing it that they will level load to capacity. A 3500 and a 2200 won’t share equally, but proportionally. A higher load would go to the 3500.



Interesting.

Being an EE I am far too timid to undertake a "Shake the jar Dewey and see if they fight" approach to investigating compatibility of electrical events.

[image]

burningman

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Posted: 03/12/19 06:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What has mechanically syncing large generators got to do with the price of tea in China? I don’t think that was the question.

These small inverter generators are self-syncing.
I’ve connected Yamahas and Hondas. I’ve also connected various different size units.
There’s no different-brand issue.
Do you worry about plugging your equipment into different brand generator’s power?
Do you think your microwave or computer operate differently on Honda 60Hz 120VAC than they do on Yamaha 60Hz 120VAC?
No!
It works fine. The generators don’t know or care where the other source of 60Hz 120VAC is coming from, it is what it is.

Don’t waste an extra $100 on a Honda “Companion”. That’s marketing BS. It’s zero different other than having a 30A twist-lock outlet on its panel, which doesn’t help you anyway because it’s not an RV-30, so you’ll be using an adapter anyway.
You gain absolutely nothing.

What I’d do it if were you is get another Honda, a new EU2200.
It’ll cost less than the 2400, it weighs a lot less, and when you parallel it with your existing EU2000 you’ll have plenty of power.

Harbor freight sells a rather nice parallel box. I’ve always made my own but at their price if I needed one today I’d just buy theirs.

Parallel kit


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map40

Florida

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Posted: 03/12/19 07:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:

All wise words. Maybe all the ones I used shared the same cheap chinese inverter chipset. As I said, I don’t know how or why, I simply started with "what would happen if we...". A few week later I was connecting 4 of them.
What I did find amazing it that they will level load to capacity. A 3500 and a 2200 won’t share equally, but proportionally. A higher load would go to the 3500.



Interesting.

Being an EE I am far too timid to undertake a "Shake the jar Dewey and see if they fight" approach to investigating compatibility of electrical events.

[image]

And that's the beauty of not being an EE. Enough knowledge to connect, enough equipment to try, stupid enough to make it happen!
Still, it has helped me several times. The ability of providing uninterrupted power for as long as is needed is not easy to achieve.
You have to love the simplicity of the approach...

MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 03/12/19 08:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I learned early on that sending smoke signals to my bank balance is bad juju.

They do not moniker "engineering" as a "discipline" for nothing. When data is insufficient, I balk.

I do not know how to diagnose a DC motor inverter, but sure as shooting the cost of a couple of repair items would equal the cost of a new complete generator.

I defer to someone else [emoticon]

map40

Florida

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Posted: 03/14/19 12:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:

I learned early on that sending smoke signals to my bank balance is bad juju.

They do not moniker "engineering" as a "discipline" for nothing. When data is insufficient, I balk.

I do not know how to diagnose a DC motor inverter, but sure as shooting the cost of a couple of repair items would equal the cost of a new complete generator.

I defer to someone else [emoticon]

Lol. You take my comment as an offense, it was not meant like that. I’m not and EE, but I hold 2 different Es, 2 masters and a doctorate. Just none of them in electrical. So far, electrical is not that difficult compared to quemical, mechanical or aeronautical, and some of the skills are transferables. The only smokes signals where when I did my first run of a modular 4.6l ford on hydrogen, but by the 3rd generation worked like a charm. The electrical generators sync was a walk in tha park compared to that. But I’ll keep trying until I get some smoke, I sometimes do. ??

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