Possible incompatibity between gennie and battery charger

Submitted: Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 14:42
ThreadID: 34095 Views:2293 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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I have a Projecta 3500 mA battery charger in our bus. I have recently purchased an Engel SHX1000 generator to be used to charge batteries in bus. My system works well on house power.I have a surge power board which it has two lights green /orange latter for earth BUT when connected to genny orange light does not come on and chargermake noises which in turn reduces the green charge light on charger back to orange charging light on charger. What could it be?
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Reply By: Flash - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 16:08

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 16:08
Don't know the gennie....
But possibly a very poor sinewave pattern from the generator is upsetting the charger.
This is normally the case with anything other than an inverter genny such as a Kipor or Honda or Yamaha.
AnswerID: 173796

Follow Up By: Muzzgit (WA) - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 23:17

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 23:17
The Engel gennie is made by Honda. Judging by the price $1299.00, I would hope it is the same quality as the ridgy didge Honda.
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Follow Up By: Nav 8 - Monday, May 22, 2006 at 11:10

Monday, May 22, 2006 at 11:10
I agree with Flash and I am sure its a sine wave problem. I too have a battery charger that will not work off the Genset and have been told there is a type of charger you can buy that will work. I am no expert on this but I think its the Switch mode type chargers and inverters that do not work of the Genset because they require a Pure sine wave as produced by mains power. If anyone can give me a more detailed explanation on this please do. Nav.
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Reply By: DiD 05 Paj - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 17:51

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 17:51
Does it work with out the surge arrestor connected?
It maybe due to the floating earth??
AnswerID: 173811

Reply By: avro - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 18:00

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 18:00
Many battery chargers present themselves as an inductive load which many generators do not recognise properly. Connect a 60 watt (or bigger) incandesant light globe(not a flouro) as well and see if that makes any difference, it often does.

Hope this helps avro
AnswerID: 173812

Reply By: LHOTH - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 18:25

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 18:25
I have tried without surge protecter and with 6 x 25 watt lights on, same result. I also have tried power lead going from genne direct to charger with lights on same result.THANKS for replies
AnswerID: 173814

Reply By: LHOTH - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 19:55

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 19:55
DID, sorry mate...BUT I do not know what a floating earthis.When I connect the domestic power the orange earth light is on .But when I connect the genne the orange light doesnot come on and the charger makes this noise The genne is so I was told a invertor / sine wave type.Thanks again.
AnswerID: 173826

Reply By: Geoff M (Newcastle, NSW) - Monday, May 22, 2006 at 09:58

Monday, May 22, 2006 at 09:58
Hi LHOTH,
Your statement, "BUT when connected to genny orange light does not come on" pretty much sums up what I see as the problem.

Someone above mentions the term "floating earth" which I too believe is the problem. I know you mention you don't know what that means, that's fair maybe I can help.

I found the same problem with my Honda EU10i when using an ELCB (Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker) on the output of the generator. I wanted an ELCB to protect mine and my mate’s children when using generators around camp.

My solution was to create the same electrical installation on the generator as we use in our houses. Our houses use what’s called an MEN System (Multiple Earthing Neutral) a flash term for the neutral and the earth being joined together at the switchboard in every electrical installation.

My solution was to create a portable version of this for use ONLY ON THE GENERATOR, never to be used at home. I have an inline ELCB which has a 3-Pin plug on one end and a 3-Pin socket on the other. I removed the moulded 3-Pin plug and replaced it with a new one, with one variation. I installed a bridge wire between the NEUTRAL and the EARTH. You must be absolutely sure you have joined the Neutral and the Earth, NOT the Active and the Earth.

What this does is tie the earth to neutral just the same as a home electrical installation. The earth is no longer “floating” in space it is “tied” to a reference voltage. In this case it is tied to the zero volts of the neutral.

I would strongly recommend using an ELCB with a camp generator as the installation of extension leads and appliances around camp is never perfect.

To make the installation even safer and more positive drive an earth stake into the ground next to your generator and wire the stake to the earth terminal on the Engel. As a side note, the only way you can get approval to use a generator on a mine site is with an earth stake and ELCB as I’ve described above.

Geoff.

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AnswerID: 173924

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, May 22, 2006 at 12:14

Monday, May 22, 2006 at 12:14
G'day Geoff,

Thanks for that, I was wondering why my ELCB wasn't working in the camper and now I know. As I use a 2 way switch to change from genie to mains in the camper (when at home) - I have a 3 way charger connected all the time to keep the batteries topped up. Can this earth/neutral bridge occur in the male plug at the genie end? I have a simple male plug to connect the genie in case I want to remove it from the camper so this makes for the best place if it makes sense.

Kind regards
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Follow Up By: Geoff M (Newcastle, NSW) - Monday, May 22, 2006 at 12:36

Monday, May 22, 2006 at 12:36
Hi Beatit,

“Can this earth/neutral bridge occur in the male plug at the genie end?”
Yes, best spot for it. But once you do put the bridge in, make sure the lead is used only for this purpose.
“I have a simple male plug to connect the genie in case I want to remove it from the camper so this makes for the best place if it makes sense”
Yep, does make sense.

First and only thing plugged into my Honda is the 3-Pin plug with the bridge in it.

Geoff.

Geoff,
Landcruiser HDJ78,
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, May 22, 2006 at 13:35

Monday, May 22, 2006 at 13:35
Hi Geoff,

Thanks mate, another job before I go camping next time.

Kind regards
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