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Old 06-15-2011, 01:21 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Westerville, Ohio (near Columbus)
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Question Portable generator

The Marina has been losing power regularly and therefore I am very uncomfortable connecting my shore power to it. Concerned they have bigger issues than being overloaded. Therefore, I am looking to buy a small portable generator that will only be used to recharge batteries on the boat if I am not running around the lake enough to thoroughly recharge (given gas prices that is a real possibility!).

Boat is a 2400 SCR with a total of 4 batteries, 2 on each side of the battery select switch.

The Honda EU2000 seems to be talked about but seems a bit pricey to me for my needs. While I know there is "no cheap way out" when it comes to boating and particularly safety, I see a number of less expensive units with reasonable 60dBA or less, 1000W rated, 1200W peak, in the $250 range.

Finally, the questions...
1) what specs are REALLY important when looking at generators and is a 1000W/1200W peak enough for recharging ?
2) is it okay to plug the shore plug line directly into the generator and use the "shore power panel" to turn on and use the battery recharger ?

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Old 06-15-2011, 01:26 PM   #2

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You'll need to know how your battery charger is currently set up. In other words, does it charge all 4 batteries at the same time? If so, the amperage draw could be significant. You'll need to know how many amps that charger will draw, add in any additional load that you may have while the charger is running, then pick a gen set that can accommodate that amperage draw.


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Old 06-15-2011, 03:17 PM   #3

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remember when comparing watts to watts....your looking at a generator that can't fire up a long do you expect the genny to charge your batts...much less 4 of need at least a 2k watt genny to do what your looking at..then say your running the fridge and other items....2k watts gets eaten up pretty fast....

and how long do you think one of those off brands will last....1 summer??...I know guys with honda's that are running just fine yrs later....' might be the more expensive way to go..but you have to weigh in the cost and hassle factor...

just my 2 braincells firing...

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Old 06-15-2011, 04:59 PM   #4

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Let's consider two seperate aspects of this thread (both related)

1) Battery Charging with a generator

2) Quality portable generators.

When it comes to a quality portable generator, you're going to be hard pressed to find one better than a Honda. Obviously, if money were no object, then installing an internal generator which is ignition protected, properly cooled and ventilated is the 'proper' way to go. However that is very expensive. since that is probably not an option, then one of your best options for a portable generator will be a honda. There is a more to the generator's than the label, Honda is not charging an additional $800 for the name.

when is comes to capacity, then work your way backwards with the generator being the last piece of the system.

1) How many amp hours are you typically drawing down on the batteries over a given time?

2) What is the total Amp Hour capacity of the batteries?

3) What are the type of batteries (flooded, Gel, AGM?)

4) What type of charger do you currently have installed?
-> Amperage output
-> number of banks
-> amperage draw

5) Now look at how long it would take for a generator to push the charger to recharge the amp hours drawn down.

I have 2 Group 31 AGM batteries and a Honda 2kW generator. The genny is bulletproof, however I have doubts it could completely recharge a single battery with a singel tank of fuel if the battery were deeply drawn down.

You have a main breaker as well as individual breakers for each circuit. If you're only running battery charger and fridge on the shorepower, I would assume you'd be safer leaving it connected, than leaving it disconnected and trying to recharge with the engine and generator alone. Also, most marina's don't want a generator running on the dock, so you'll probably only be able to run it out in a cove on anchor somewhere.
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