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Ray55

Generator to pro combi s

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Hi I'm Ray I'm new to the forum so excuse me if I make any elementary mistakes! I've recently moved from a marina onto the canal. When I was in the marina I was plugged into shore power and no problems. On the canal when I plug my generator into the shoreline socket the batteries charge but 240v to the boat trips out and won't allow me to switch it back on? The generator is a Honda eu20i. Is this normal? Any help greatly appreciated. Cheers Ray

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Is your battery charger powered from a 240v socket ?? You will probably find that the Honda will only have enough oomph to either charge the batteries, OR run 240v kit, not both.

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Following on from Matty's question, what are you trying to run on 230v ?

 

On the shoreline you have 16 amps to use, with your genny you only have about 6 amps. (for example an electric kettle will probably be 8 amps)

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Thanks Matty for prompt reply!

I was wondering that? The supply goes straight to the inverter/charger and then to 240v DB. Once the charger goes into float - should I then be able to get 240? Thanks again Ray

Just my fridge/freezer, which when the compressor is running is pulling 3-4 amps according to my battery monitor. 😊 Think I've just answered my own question! Bigger Generator or 12v fridge required 😂

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19 minutes ago, Ray55 said:

Thanks Matty for prompt reply!

I was wondering that? The supply goes straight to the inverter/charger and then to 240v DB. Once the charger goes into float - should I then be able to get 240? Thanks again Ray

Just my fridge/freezer, which when the compressor is running is pulling 3-4 amps according to my battery monitor. 😊 Think I've just answered my own question! Bigger Generator or 12v fridge required 😂

Before you go spending loads of money:

 

I had a Honda EU20i and a Sterling Pro Combi S inverter charger. Nothing ever struggled when I was charging and drawing from the inverter at the same time. In fact, given that the charger function draws enough power to charge from the genny, and the inverter draws its power from the batteries. I would think the inverter would be fine until the batteries were “flat”, and the charger/genny can’t keep up with the inverter draw.

 

My experience with my current Honda EU10i is that, if the system tries to draw too much from the generator,  the genny shuts down, and a little red light comes on.

 

One thing I eventually did with my 20i, and which is recommended with the 10i in the manual, is to join the Earth and Neutral in the plug that goes into the genny.

 

If you do this, you must never plug this plug into the shore mains on the pontoon!!! It’s best to have a short extension lead marked only to be used with the genny.

 

I am no expert, but it is to do with RCD, and stuff. Hopefully someone else with more knowledge will be able to explain things, but is possible that your 240v system doesn’t like the way the power comes to it from the genny.

 

So the solution may be as simple as a new short extension for your genny with a short wire joining N and E in the plug..... or it might not.

  • Greenie 1

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Let’s be clear though, amps at mains voltage and amps at 12 volts are not the same thing. 6A at mains voltage is worth about 120A at 12v.

 

When you say “240v to the boat trips out” what exactly is tripping out?

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1 hour ago, Ray55 said:

The supply goes straight to the inverter/charger and then to 240v DB. Once the charger goes into float - should I then be able to get 240? Thanks again Ray

Just my fridge/freezer, which when the compressor is running is pulling 3-4 amps according to my battery monitor.

 

Every time the thermostat in your fridge freezer clicks in and the compressor motor starts it will be drawing much more current than that for a few milliseconds.

What exactly is tripping out?

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Thanks Richard that's really interesting and I didn't realise that. I will definitely give that a try! 

Hi Nick the breakers in the 240v DB/consumer unit trip out. I do have a basic grasp of Ohms law but if you can shed any light on this I would be grateful 👍

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7 minutes ago, Ray55 said:

Thanks Richard that's really interesting and I didn't realise that. I will definitely give that a try! 

Hi Nick the breakers in the 240v DB/consumer unit trip out. I do have a basic grasp of Ohms law but if you can shed any light on this I would be grateful 👍

Can't shed much light but 240V consumer units usually have an RCD plus circuit breakers or possibly RCBOs that do both jobs. If its the RCD that is tripping I would suspect its to do with the earthing.

 

Just seen they are RCBOs. More difficult to diagnose but if they are 16 amps to trip then I still suspect its to do with earthing.

Edited by Tony Brooks

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Thanks Tony, I think you could be right because I have two (one for each side of the boat) and even with no load on one side of the boat, I still can't engage that RCBO. Off with my head tourch to trace some wires!

 

Edited by Ray55
Misspelling

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So a few things to consider:

 

1/ the generator isn’t tripping out, so it isn’t being overloaded.

2/ the Combi is charging OK.

3/ RCBOs can trip either due to overload, or due to an earthing/wiring fault.

 

I think if the RCBO was tripping out due to overload there would be some effect on the generator - you would hear it momentarily complain in the milliseconds before the breaker tripped.

 

So most likely it is tripping out due to a wiring issue. What is odd is that it worked before.

 

Do the mains sockets work ok when powered from the inverter?

 

How long since you left the marina?

 

Are you using the same, or different lead between shore socket and genny, as you were using between shore socket and bollard in the marina?

 

RCDs trip because there is an imbalance in the currents in the live and neutral wires, caused by some current flowing in the earth wire that shouldn’t be, however they can only detect this downstream of themselves (ie between the RCBO and the sockets). So I’m struggling to think what it could be.


Can you try a different shore power cable?

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This is the first time I've used the generator, as always had shore power before and no problems.

Mains sockets work fine off the inverter but it is a different lead to the one I used for shore power at the marina, so you could be onto something there🤔. Will try a different one tomorrow before I charge up and also try the earth - neutral link as suggested by Richard.

Really appreciate all your help guys - what a wonderful community we have!

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4 hours ago, Ray55 said:

and also try the earth - neutral link as suggested by Richard.

 

I thought long and hard before actually doing this. Please don't do anything rash merely on my say so. If you have got a manual, there should be a page that describes what I'm talking about. And it would be good if someone who knows what they are talking about confirms that it's an OK thing to do.

  • Greenie 1

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Hi Guys thanks so much for all your advice. I've managed to sort out the problem! 

I replaced the RCBO'S with MCB's and an RCD and low and behold the problem solved 🙂

Many thanks for all your help, Happy New Year Ray

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Thanks for the feedback and pleased you seem satisfied. Personally I fear you might have only hidden whatever was causing this. I suspect the new  RCB may break at a greater degree of unbalance than the RCBOs but then why did all the RCBOs open (if they did) and not just the one one feeding the circuit with leakage. I hope out AC experts will be along to give an opinion.

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2 hours ago, Ray55 said:

Hi Guys thanks so much for all your advice. I've managed to sort out the problem! 

I replaced the RCBO'S with MCB's and an RCD and low and behold the problem solved 🙂

Many thanks for all your help, Happy New Year Ray

Good to hear, but heed Tonys words.

 

I only discovered an "issue" with my generator supply because I had a little plug gizmo that you can plug into a 240V socket to see whether things are connected properly. Mine showed that I didnt have any earth protection, (or something like that - 8 years ago! :) ), so I started to investigate...... everything worked OK. The solution was to connect the earth/neutral in the genny plug. As mentioned, I use a short extension lead that only gets used with the genny, (not that I ever get to use a shore mains).

 

So it is possible that the previous RCBOs were detecting an earth issue and shutting down, whereas the new things are not.

 

As previously, I am a lay man with a bit of experience, so am guessing.

 

This is the kind of thing I used.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=mains+tester+plug&adgrpid=56026876994&gclid=Cj0KCQiA88X_BRDUARIsACVMYD-IzkVni4rwjwmMoQUNGCuJrjZ2kCLACnpqB6_Ye_96EyaBr2hIvREaArZWEALw_wcB&hvadid=259039053510&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9046455&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=9525776761171375833&hvtargid=kwd-307287800311&hydadcr=28152_1724844&tag=googhydr-21&ref=pd_sl_5acvlahgs3_e

 

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On 31/12/2020 at 13:42, Richard10002 said:

 

 

One thing I eventually did with my 20i, and which is recommended with the 10i in the manual, is to join the Earth and Neutral in the plug that goes into the genny.

 

If you do this, you must never plug this plug into the shore mains on the pontoon!!! It’s best to have a short extension lead marked only to be used with the genny.

 

I am no expert, but it is to do with RCD, and stuff. Hopefully someone else with more knowledge will be able to explain things, but is possible that your 240v system doesn’t like the way the power comes to it from the genny.

 

So the solution may be as simple as a new short extension for your genny with a short wire joining N and E in the plug..... or it might not.

 

I don't think that makes any difference to the waveform produced by the generator but if you do bond N to E either at the generator output or on the cable then you must go through the boat's consumer unit/breakers and never run direct to power tools. Just as importantly your boat's AC system earth must be bonded to the boat's hull (it should be anyway regardless of the generator) and the chassis of the generator itself should also be earthed to the hull.

 

Like many portable suitcase generators the Honda EU20i has a "floating earth" as standard. If you're unsure of the earthing arrangements on your boat then don't mess about with the generator or the cable or you may end up with no fault protection at all.

Edited by blackrose

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