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Author Topic: A little electrical question...  (Read 2998 times)
Chaz
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« on: July 28, 2008, 09:53:54 AM »

I'm getting ready for the trip to L-ville this weekend and I was playing with my AC and generator. Seems that my 4kw gas gen does not have the s**t to pull two roof top "warts". (I guess I already knew that, but wanted to make sure)  But, "I THINK" with putting my Zantrex 4024 in auto mode it will pull from both the gen and the house batteries to make it work. (house batteries are 8-6volt golf carts. A 24volt system.)

Here's the question: The gen. I have is a noisey ol' Generac and I don't want to bother the neighbors any more than I have to. So I was wondering if a little 1kw "purring Honda gen." would do ok at recharging the batteries thru the day while we at at the show? I imagine it would take awhile (IF IT WORKS AT ALL) but it would be a whole lot less obtrusive than the Generac. Unfortunately, in the evening I will need to run the Generac so I can run both AC's.

 What ya think??
      Chaz
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2008, 10:09:21 AM »

I think you're going to have some upset neighbors!  Cheesy

Why do you need both airs at night?  You have several people scattered throughout the bus?

You'll have to do some calculating to see if you can make it work. I would suspect the problem you will have is that with your
4024, as you load up the generator, it will drop in frequency and / or voltage to the point that the 4024 kicks it out and goes back to inverting. Then, the generator will recover and the inverter will detect good power, and the whole process will start over.
Now, you could set the inverter to limit input amps from the generator to about 15, and then it would supplement from the batteries, but will probably then draw around 10-12 amps from your batteries. How long you can run this way will depend on the size of your battery bank and how low you're willing to let them drop.

As for the 1Kw generator recharging during the day, it's going to depend on how low your batteries are and how well that little generator maintains voltage and frequency. It will only put out about 8 amps if it can run full load at 1Kw. That's about 40 amps @ 24volts. To replace a 400 ah battery bank that's 50% down will take on the order of 15+ hours with only 40 amps input.

Pray for a cold front!
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2008, 11:09:40 AM »

If there is a way you can run the 1kw generator with your 4kw generator, that may be enough to power the AC's without draining the battery bank. 
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2008, 11:16:52 AM »

Chaz, one thing that You do not want to do is parrell the output of the two generators as a out of phase disaster will  result.  Once being converted to dc either by battery charger or what ever then no problem.  My two cents,not much buying power for sure.  John
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2008, 12:12:27 PM »

Get a bigger honda or even two or three of the small ones.  Get rid of that Generac.  The campers around a friend of mine almost got phisical with him when he used his Generac at a campground recently. We all hate the sound of a noisey generator!
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2008, 12:23:33 PM »

Have you tried piping the generator exhaust above the bus?  I know that relocating the exhaust made a huge difference on my old Onan.
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2008, 01:08:43 PM »

Can you run one air on it's own line and just plug it into the small genset?  When I only had a small 30 amp system, I just wired up the second air seperatly and plugged it into it's own 20amp outlet.

FWIW!
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2008, 01:33:56 PM »

I have a 5KW Onan and I can't sell it for $350 and it has great compression that would indicate little use.  Your 4024 inverter is a dream come true for me and I think you have the heart of a superb system.  Don't start with bandaids now.  If you will tolerate the fuel expense of a gas generator, find an old 6.5KW Onan for cheap and add that to your system.  Then you are THERE.

I think a 5Kw will run 2 AC units....barely.  If the gen is in good shape.  What it won't do is start two at a time.  As I recall, my roof unit needed 12 amps to run but almost 30 to start.  Way back when there was a elect unit that allowed only one AC to start and held the other OFF if it tried to start its compressor at the same time.  With both running the constant load was 24 amps and the start of one with one already running was well within the limits of my 6.5 and your 5KW backed up by your 4024 should work=, at least the arithmetic.  Get rid of the Genrac and pipe the Onan to the roof.

more 2 cents....soon to be a whole nickel

John
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2008, 03:37:40 PM »

Not much chance of a cold front Gumpy.  Roll Eyes  So I guess to keep from getting tarred and feathered I better camp out in the lower 40.  Smiley
Actually, the scenerio that I had in mind was to use the gen. and batteries in the evening to run the AC's, etc. and then at "quiet time" go to just batteries and just the bedroom AC . Then in the morning, plug my shore cord (since I'm not plugged into a pole) into the 1kw Honda to try and recharge the batteries thru the day.                       But....................... it's not looking too promising.

I talked to Zantrex and............ well.................. it seems they farmed out their customer service to the "Big Sand Box" too. (Sorry, but I have a hard time with the accent and I'm not very versed in this stuff to start with. Sad)
But anyway, he said it would take 20 hours to recharge the batteries using the Honda. He also said I can run one AC for 13 hours just on the batteries. (I have 8-6volt, 245 AH batteries) And he said I can not just plug into the Honda with the shore cord because of a bonding issue. Whether I got all that right is debatable. Given the fact I'm not much good at this and the translation thing.......who knows.

Jim, I am ALL ABOUT getting a better gen., but I have to put it down on the list of other things i need to thro money at.  Smiley And I don't really want to by something that is just a little better. If/when I'm going to spend the money, I would like to get a 6-7kw diesel. And as you know they cost an arm and a left nugget.  Undecided Roll Eyes I'll just to become a "loner". I really don't want to bother anyone, but it's the best i can do right now.

Tenor, That's a thought, but not sure how to go about it.

Pete (RTS Datona) gave me a call awhile ago to try and help me sort this out - and I couldn't appreciate it more!! Thanx again Pete!- and he mentioned using a small window unit with the Honda. But unfortunately, I don't have a window unit, or even a window that it would work in for that matter.  Wink Smiley Smiley

John, That sounds like a nice enough price for the Onan. I would consider it if I weren't wanting a diesel. I just want to keep my coach to as few fuels as possible.
I agree that it will be a nice system WHEN it's done, but doing things "piece meal" makes it a little more trying.  Undecided
My AC's show a draw of about 10-11 amps each when running. That's where I think I can get the Zantrex to supplement the start up amperage and hopefully let gen. run both. But I think more likely the inverter will need a little from the batteries to keep the AC's going. (at least that is the way I understand it to work)

I hope this post makes sense for you guys who are trying to help me. My finger is typing as fast as it can as I need to make an appointment.

Thanx for all your help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
   Chaz
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2008, 06:02:58 PM »

If everything was 100% you might get 2 or 3 hours running an A/C if that was the only load.  You have 98 amp hours of juice at 120 volts.  At max you could draw 49 amps and probably want to draw even less so you don't toast the batteries.
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2008, 06:24:21 PM »

 I have a trace (xantrex) Dr3624 inverter with 4 Sam's club type 6V golf cart batteries.  I have 11.5K btu roof air. In the real world this set up will run one roof air for 1 1/2 hours max. I do not see how 4 more batteries would give you 11 1/2 more hours run time on the AC !!!!!! 
 Kudo's for not wanting to bother people, the world needs more like you!!!!!     Jim
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2008, 06:37:04 PM »

Yeah, I think he got his numbers mixed up somewhere. But I wrote down what he told me and that's what he told me.

Oh well, not sure what else I can do with what I got. 3 hours of AC is NOT going to make Linda happy................. not even. And as for my "four legged and furry little buddy" thru the day...... man.......I dunno. Maybe I'll have to park over by a dumpster or something.  Tongue   Wink

Chaz
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2008, 09:23:22 PM »

Chaz,

I am in complete sympathy with you on the multi fuel tank issue.  It is the $4K problem associated with the diesel that has most of us stumped. Me for sure. Embarrassed Gas only has the drawback of the fuel going bad and that can be dealt with.  I start burning the old fuel in my car after spring has sprung.  When the tanks are empty i refill with fresh.  I am OK with that inconvenience.  Sure gas is less efficient. Tongue 

A better alternative is a gas rig that is converted to propane.  I have to carry propane anyway so that isn't a deal breaker.  Also, propane doesn't age and I don't have to rotate the stock.  I think you could get an old 6.5 for less than 500 but that is only a guess.  Still, I am not trying to talk you into a thing my Bro.

Really am impressed with your inverter.....you keep that locked? Grin
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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2008, 11:29:14 PM »

Hmmm...

Is the Genereck wired for straight 120 or for 240/120?

We fixed a little 4000 watt Onan at a bus rally years ago that some "expert" had ballsed the thing, for payment, too, the dirty so and so....

Wired the proper way, all fields on line for straight 120, it would run two roof airs.

Feed the full 4000 watts into the 4024, set the 4024 for 30 amps input, feed the roof airs from the 4024, start them one after the other and see what happens.

Make sure the Genereck has lots of cooling available!

happy coaching!
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2008, 06:48:01 AM »

John,
 A gas rig converted to propane is an interesting thought. I have a tank of propane on my bus now but just for the hot water heater. I want to go to a Webasto/proheat whatever eventually, so I can eliminate that also. (I may need a bigger diesel tank!!!!!!!! LOLOL  Shocked Grin   165 gal. may not be enough!!  Grin)
  Yeah, I am sooooo very tempted to get an older gas job, but I really think, ultimately, that the diesel would be the best bet in the long run. And I am ok with doing without till I can come up with what I want eventually. Plus, I do have the generac to get me thru. I just need to be an "outcast" till I can figure something out.
Oh, I have 3 rabid squirrels standing guard shifts over my 4024.  Roll Eyes Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy lol   I think it will be a sweet setup once I get it figured out.

Hmmmmmmm........  Not sure I follow ya, Buswarrior. But I think I am set up the way you are describing. Jerry Lieber helped me set things up and I must say, he really knows his stuff. I was hoping he might jump in, but he may be out and about. (I'm going to need his expertise to connect the house and start batteries)

 Thanx Guys!!!

  the "Outcast"                      Grin
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2008, 10:07:40 AM »

Chaz

The xantrex SW4024 has a "PEAK LOAD SHAVING MODE"  (see page 91 in the Trace/Xantrex manual)

<> Set you Xantrex (SET GRID AC1 AMPS) to 7.5 amp (your 1000w Honda is rated at 8.2 amps - so go just a little lower for safety)
.....If the Xantrex see that the load is going over 7.5 amp - it will go to INVERT MODE to ASSIST the Hond a Power
<> plug you power cord into the 1000w Honda
<> Close up the bedroom and just run the bedroom A/C at night (no water heater or microwave / etc)

<> If your AC compressor runs 100% of the time - you'll need approx 1400wats / hour (120v x 12amps)
......<> With the Xantrex set a 7.5AMP - your honda would supply 900 watts / hour (7.5amps x 120volts)  of that power
......<> 8-6volt 245amp/hr batteries can supply the other needed 500watts for approx 8-10 hours before they go to HALF CHARGE

<>so that gives you 8-10 hours of Air /Conditioning (IF THE COMPRESSOR RUNS FULL TIME) -

<>if the A/C duty cycle drops (the compressor goes off- the Xantrex see less than 7.5 amp load (fan only) - the Xantrex goes to charge mode (most likely BULK (FAST CHARGE) and you'll get even more time on you Air/Conditioning -

<> Example--if the compressor runs only 50% of the time - my guess is 20 - 24 hours of Air/Conditioning HuhHuhHuh 

.... IF DURING THIS TIME YOUR XANTREX CHARGES  YOUR BATTERIES AT OVER 24AMP TOTAL (or 3 amps per battery) - That would put enough power back into the batteries to make up for what can out during compressor run time

.... THEN YOUR BATTERIERS WILL NEVER GO LESS THAN 1/2 Rated charge - and you can run your A/C as long as your Honda has gas

>>> Damn my head hurts from all this thinking and calculating

anyone see a flaw in my logic Huh

Pete RTS/daytona
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« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2008, 11:02:52 AM »

I'm not going to check your numbers, but your logic is right on, and basically restates some of what I pointed out earlier. The only bug I see in it is that if the little honda can't maintain 60 Hz or 110v at nearly full load, the inverter will kick it out and revert back to inverting. Of course when you remove the load from the Honda, it will recover, and then the inverter will switch it back in, and the whole vicious cycle will start over. I'm almost certain that's what would happen with the Generac, but I don't know much about the little Honda's. They may have better control.

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« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2008, 11:03:40 AM »

Hey Thanx Pete!!!!!  (Been tryin to call ya but it's been busy. sorry)

What you have figured out for me sounds EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!! It REALLY does! My only concern would be that if I plug my shore cord into the Honda, will there be any "bonding" issues or sycronizing or whatever problems? Or is that just an issue on the main generator when there is a possibility of running a shore line and a generator? Or is it just as simple as plugging it in? Boy, I hope so. That would solve all my "present" issues. I'll still have to fuss a bit with pluggin/unpluggin, etc. but that's ok for a short trip like this. Ultimately, I need to get a good generator and wire it up correctly to where I will be using the Zantrex to it's best abilities, ie. managing everything, which is why I bought it in the first place.  Roll Eyes   Grin  But money determines most everything.  Undecided

Thanx again!! I'll still try to get ahold of you and see if there is anything else I might need to do....if that is ok.

  Grateful,
    Chaz

   (they might let me get away from the dumpsters now! Roll Eyes   Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2008, 11:14:34 AM »

 If you have not bought a genset yet a Honda EU2000i can start and run an 11.5K roof air. It would be worth the few xtra dollars.  They also hold thier value well and are easy to sell when you are done with it.
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« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2008, 11:30:19 AM »

Chaz

We finally got to talk on the phone - I told Chaz that I don't see any problem with the Neutral/ground bonding issue

When you plug your shore power line into the Dumb Honda - The ground / neutral bond is right where it should be - at the power source - the honda generator - The bond will be broken only when the honda is unplugged

Pete
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« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2008, 12:03:29 PM »

Progress Report  Roll Eyes  (so far)

Well, it seems like things aren't working out as Pete thought................ exactly.   Sad  It works for awhile (maybe 5 mins. or so, depending) and then kicks the overload on the gen. (dang)
When I first started the gen., it was in the power save mode which kicked the overload rather quickly. But after I took it off that, it did run longer before it kicked itself out. I did set the AC amps in to 7 but I wonder if I set it lower, if it would do better.  Huh
 Any thoughts?
   Chaz
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« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2008, 12:20:02 PM »

Chaz,

This is just a thought, but is your little Honda one of the inverter generators?

If it is, I wonder if it could be setting itself up for problems with the Xantrex inverter, since even a pure sine wave inverter isn't actually a pure sine wave out put.

One of the electrical guru's will have to answer that question.

On another note, is the Honda a full 1KW or is it normally something like 850 watts constant and 1KW surge for a short period?

Just a couple of questions I thought about a few posts back.

Dallas
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« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2008, 12:31:27 PM »

You're on top of it Dallas!  Smiley  It's an eu1000i Honda. It's rated 1000 surge and 900 run. And if this is pertanent at all, 8A at 12V.

 Chaz
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« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2008, 04:53:50 PM »

If you eventually overtax the Honda with the Trace set at 7 amp - try the trace at 6 amp and see what happens

I suspect that the 1000watt honda is 1000watt PEAK (short periods)

the 6amp setting would allow the Honda to run at 720 watts

Good luck - pete

P.S. IIRC peak inverters output is reduced as the temperature increases (your Honda u1000 is an inverter style generator - it's also probaly hotter the hell where you are - so hopefully the 6 amp setting will work better

the math says it should still give your wife a FULL nights A/C and most likely more than 8 hours - even at the 6 amp trace setting

 
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« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2008, 05:05:52 PM »

Chaz,
I just learned some valuable lessons about cooling from the board.

#1 blow out your A/C's before you go. pay special attn. to the finned unit closest to the hole in the roof. lay a towel in the bottom of your unit covering the hole to the inside. Then blow the air backwards through the finned unit. toward the hole. This will make a bit of a mess.

#2 Clean your air filters. Then when it is especially warm spray your filters with a water mister. The temp. will drop pretty quick.
I was ready to get rid of my A/C's, but these folks gave good advice and saved them for me.

I really didn't think they would be that dirty inside the fins.
HTH
Devin
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« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2008, 06:15:07 PM »

Thanx Pete. I was thinking that might help, but wasn't sure. I'll give it a try tomorrow.
(by the way, my better half is my girl friend.  Grin Grin Grin Grin She would find the "wife" comment pretty funny!  Cheesy Cheesy)
I just wasn't sure if there might be some other reason - maybe along the lines of what Gumpy mentioned - that was the culprit.
 Thanx buddy.

Devin,
 Good tip!!!! Thanx!! With all the issues I "MAY" be having getting and keeping it cool, any little bit can help.
 'preciate it!!
   
     Chaz
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« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2008, 08:09:14 PM »

Hello.

I have a Yamaha in the 3000 watt range inverter style, quiet. I plug the Trace 4024 into it, and then power whatever loads I like/can in the coach, through the 4024.

Turn the economy switch/throttle control or whatever Honda calls it off. Let the generator buzz at top speed.

I found the Trace 4024 really upset the sensing on the throttle control when the loads are lighter.

Make sure the generator is also cleaned out of dust and dirt. You are asking it to run flat out in hot conditions.

happy coaching!
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« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2008, 08:37:07 AM »

Well, I tried the 6amp setting and the same thing. Maybe 5?? Huh ?? Huh But if that don't work, I'll just have to get use to the smell of a dumpster.  Tongue Sad

I guess it just needs to be a bigger gen. since a 3000 will do it and a 1000 doesn't.

Oh well, ya get what ya pay for. Time to start saving a little harder.
  Chaz
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