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Charging batteries from generator


Sam226
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Hi, relatively new to the water and trying to improve my electricity situation

I have a Honda eu22i generator and I'm hoping to use it to keep my batteries topped up.

It has an lpg conversion, so I will be using it at the front of the boat where my gas locker is. Unfortunately my battery bank is at the back.

From reading I have learned that I will need a decent 3 stage charger (and I can't see one yet installed)

I could go via the shoreline plug at the back of the boat but I don't think this is wired to the batteries - it just goes straight to the 240volt plugs on board. Perhaps I should add a charger in here.

The two other options I have considered:

1. Plug a charger into the 240v of the generator and run a cable down the Inside of the boat to the batteries 

2. Set up a new battery bank at the front of the boat. This seems excessive.

Any advice would be much appreciated

Thanks

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Sam226 said:

Hi, relatively new to the water and trying to improve my electricity situation

I have a Honda eu22i generator and I'm hoping to use it to keep my batteries topped up.

It has an lpg conversion, so I will be using it at the front of the boat where my gas locker is. Unfortunately my battery bank is at the back.

From reading I have learned that I will need a decent 3 stage charger (and I can't see one yet installed)

I could go via the shoreline plug at the back of the boat but I don't think this is wired to the batteries - it just goes straight to the 240volt plugs on board. Perhaps I should add a charger in here.

The two other options I have considered:

1. Plug a charger into the 240v of the generator and run a cable down the Inside of the boat to the batteries 

2. Set up a new battery bank at the front of the boat. This seems excessive.

Any advice would be much appreciated

Thanks

 

The shoreline plug has nothing to do with batteries, its just the point at which any source of externally produced 20V AC is connected to the boat. There should be an RCD & MCB or and RCBO close to the socket to protect you and others from wiring faults on the boat. Only after shoudl any battery charger be connected to that input socket.

 

12 or 24 volt cables need to be far thicker than those for 240V doing the same job so forget about fitting the batteries or charger at the front of the boat. it will be cheaper and safer to run a mains cable down the boat and make a connection at the input socket BUT that is dangerous because the socket will have live pins when the generator is in use and if you connected the generator and shore line at the same time magic smoke and expensive replacement of equipment would be all but instantaneous to the connection needs some form of protection so both sources can never be connected at the same time so this need thought. Selector switches are available. Running a suitably installed mains cable down the boat would then allow you to install the charger close to the batteries which is good for minimising volt drop down the 12/24V cables.

 

I think your question raises doubts about your competence to carry out safe mains wiring and the equipment needed so maybe you should employ a professional install and to ensure the earth protection from either mains source is properly configured. There are further complications if you have or intend to have an inverter.

 

The following does not apply to using the generator but it you use a shoreline without an isolation transformer or a galvanic isolator then your hull is at risk  from electrical corrosion.

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23 minutes ago, Sam226 said:

It has an lpg conversion, so I will be using it at the front of the boat where my gas locker is. Unfortunately my battery bank is at the back.

 

I hope you mean that you will be running the Generator ON THE BANK SIDE at the front of the boat, and NOT in the boat.

 

Running a generator in the boat is potentially very dangerous,

 

Use the (normally orange) shore-line that you use when you connect to the mains, but instead of connecting it to a bollard, connect it to your generator.

Purchase a battery charger and install it next to the batteries and wire it into the mains circuit.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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12 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

I hope you mean that you will be running the Generator ON THE BANK SIDE at the front of the boat, and NOT in the boat.

 

Running a generator in the boat is potentially very dangerous,

 

I'd prefer to have an LPG converted generator, but could the OP run the exhaust out and away from the boat's immediate area, while having the generator semi-permanently housed on the boat ? I'm thinking of - not the interior of the boat, possibly front deck area. In my case, that's where the gas locker is. 

 

 

 

Edited by Higgs
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16 minutes ago, Higgs said:

could the OP run the exhaust out and away from the boat's immediate area, while having the generator semi-permanently housed on the boat ?

Put simply, no.  Suitcase generators are not designed to have their exhausts extended.  A GasSafe bod is currently in prison after doing so and killing both his partner and her daughter as a result.

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17 minutes ago, Higgs said:

 

I'd prefer to have an LPG converted generator, but could the OP run the exhaust out and away from the boat's immediate area, while having the generator semi-permanently housed on the boat ? I'm thinking of - not the interior of the boat, possibly front deck area. In my case, that's where the gas locker is. 

 

 

 

1) A home made exhaust will invalidate any warranty.

2) It was a home made exhaust (made by a Gas-Safe engineer) that killed his wife and child due to leaking and CO entering the boat.

 

 

Extract from MAIB report

 

SYNOPSIS On Monday 1 April 2013, the emergency services attended the motor cruiser Arniston on Windermere, Cumbria, where a mother and her daughter had been found unconscious. The two females were taken by air ambulance to Lancaster Royal Infirmary where they were pronounced deceased. A postmortem concluded that the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning.

The subsequent MAIB investigation identified that:

• The carbon monoxide poisoning had resulted from the inhalation of fumes emitted from a portable generator installed in the boat’s engine bay.

The external exhaust system fitted to the portable generator had been modified to incorporate a silencer that had become detached from both the generator and the outlet pipe to the vessel’s side.

• The portable generator’s engine exhaust fumes filled the engine bay and spread through gaps in an internal bulkhead into the aft cabin where the mother and daughter were asleep.

• The portable generator was not intended by its manufacturer to be installed into an enclosed space, nor was it intended to be modified in any way.

• The improvised exhaust system attached to the generator was constructed from materials and using methods that were not appropriate for this application.

• The boat’s occupants were not alerted to the danger because two carbon monoxide sensors fitted to the boat at build were out of date and had been disconnected from the power supply

 

 

 

When the generator was bought and first fitted into Arniston’s engine bay in 2012, the owner connected a piece of flexible stainless steel pipe from the generator’s internal exhaust to a through-hull fitting using a ‘jubilee clip’ at each end. The generator was used on board Arniston during the summer of 2012 without incident, but was removed during the winter. On 31 March 2013, the owner re-installed the generator on the port side of the boat in the enclosed engine bay; it was placed on an anti-vibration mat but was not secured to the engine bay deck. The owner had removed the integral fuel tank from the generator and, in its place, he had fitted a rubber fuel pipe through Arniston’s aft bulkhead in order to supply petrol from a portable tank sited in a locker above the swim platform. Due to light-hearted comments from other lake users regarding the noise created by the generator during 2012, the owner modified the system for the 2013 boating season by adding a silencer into the exhaust line.

 

 

 

ARNISTON’S OWNER Arniston’s owner was 39 years old. After leaving school he completed a heating and ventilation apprenticeship, during which he gained City and Guilds qualifications in pipe-fitting and welding. He was also on the ‘Gas Safe Register’4 , which is the official gas registration for the United Kingdom. In 2007, the owner started a business installing and servicing heating and ventilation systems in commercial premises. The owner had a long association with Windermere. He had enjoyed boating activities on the lake from early childhood on a variety of craft including sailing yachts, small speedboats and larger cruisers. The owner did not hold any formal boating qualifications.

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2 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

I hope you mean that you will be running the Generator ON THE BANK SIDE at the front of the boat, and NOT in the boat.

 

Running a generator in the boat is potentially very dangerous,

 

Use the (normally orange) shore-line that you use when you connect to the mains, but instead of connecting it to a bollard, connect it to your generator.

Purchase a battery charger and install it next to the batteries and wire it into the mains circuit.

I originally intended to run the generator from the strong box (on the front deck) I have designed for  it, with plenty of ventilation. But after reading about the horror story on Windermere I realise this won't be wise.

I think i will go with your advice alan and put in a charger near the batteries, but after the rcbo as woteva highlighted.

 

2 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

The following does not apply to using the generator but it you use a shoreline without an isolation transformer or a galvanic isolator then your hull is at risk  from electrical corrosion.

Why will I not get corrosion on my hull when using the generator?

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21 minutes ago, Sam226 said:

Why will I not get corrosion on my hull when using the generator?

You need a IT when connected to a shoreline because the earth is common between you and other boats which can set up an electric current and erode your metal parts.

 

You can set up a 'current flow' between (say) your bronze prop and the adjacent boats aluminium prop.

 

 

The generator is 'yours alone' (not thru a common earth) so you do not get the problem.

 

 

 

Galvanic Corrosion.gif

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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Just now, Alan de Enfield said:

You need a IT when connected to a shoreline because the earth is common between you and other boats which can set up an electric current and erode your metal parts.

The generator is 'yours alone' so you do not get the problem.

 

 

 

Galvanic Corrosion.gif

Nice, thanks

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55 minutes ago, Sam226 said:

I originally intended to run the generator from the strong box (on the front deck) I have designed for  it, with plenty of ventilation. But after reading about the horror story on Windermere I realise this won't be wise.

I think i will go with your advice alan and put in a charger near the batteries, but after the rcbo as woteva highlighted.

 

Why will I not get corrosion on my hull when using the generator?

Not unless you stick an earth spike for the generator into the soil or water. Any main power source properly installed ON THE BOAT will be earthed to the hull so there is no path through the water. The mains or a generator earthed to the bank has  an earth connection in the bank or fairly close by. The mains may have several such earth points. The mains wiring on the boat will be earthed to the hull so if there is any difference in electrical potential between the hull and bank will allow current to flow through the water and eat away at the hull. Faults on other boats nearby is likely to do the same - hence the need for an IT or GI.

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10 hours ago, Sam226 said:

Hi, relatively new to the water and trying to improve my electricity situation

I have a Honda eu22i generator and I'm hoping to use it to keep my batteries topped up.

It has an lpg conversion, so I will be using it at the front of the boat where my gas locker is. Unfortunately my battery bank is at the back.

From reading I have learned that I will need a decent 3 stage charger (and I can't see one yet installed)

I could go via the shoreline plug at the back of the boat but I don't think this is wired to the batteries - it just goes straight to the 240volt plugs on board. Perhaps I should add a charger in here.

The two other options I have considered:

1. Plug a charger into the 240v of the generator and run a cable down the Inside of the boat to the batteries 

2. Set up a new battery bank at the front of the boat. This seems excessive.

Any advice would be much appreciated

Thanks

 

 

 

You need a good quality marine 3-5 stage battery charger, correctly fitted.

The generator must be run only on the bank, with the exhaust down wind of yours and any other boats.( the gas cylinder for the generator will have to be removed from the Gas locker, and taken to the generator.)  It is very advisable to chain and padlock the generator, against theft.

The Honda has a "battery charging socket", this only provides about 8 amps at 12 volts, and is totally unsuitable for your purpose.  Think dozens of hours running per day.

LPG generators have a great advantage over petrol run ones, when the gas cylinder is removed, there is no fuel in the generator, which means it can be stored safely in places where a petrol one could not.

Be aware that it will take time and possibly a set or two of batteries, to learn the amount of generator time requried to replace the electricity that you use.

Invest in a decent volt meter, and Amp meter to assess the state of charge of the batteries.

 

Bod

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11 minutes ago, Bod said:

 

The Honda has a "battery charging socket", this only provides about 8 amps at 12 volts, and is totally unsuitable for your purpose. 

 

And its unregulated so if its ever run long enough the voltage will go so high (20V+) it would wreck the batteries.

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