Generators and Battery Chargers

Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 19:10
ThreadID: 68578 Views:2299 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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I have a question about use of battery chargers when camping from a generator 240 volt power source.
My battery charger has a terminal with the ground symbol
Like this
and it is labelled chassis ground

I am not talking about the black or neg. wire which goes to battery neg. terminal.

I am considering buying a generator , a Honda or Yamaha only
And I see that they also have the same ground or earth symbol on the control panel

Now I reckon lots of users will not have used these terminals but should they be used?

And how should they be used to ensure safe operation and not damage the charger or generator.

Not all chargers will have that terminal ( Ctek is one example )
And I have been led to believe that that they cannot be used from an unearthed power supply like a generator.
Can any electrical expert please clarify this

I have tried to insert the ground or earth symbol in the post but it would not copy across

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Reply By: ABR - SIDEWINDER - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 22:43

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 22:43
Hi Garry

If using a portable AC generator or device care should be taken with earthing the equipment. Ctek is in a plastic case but care should still be taken if it is used on a generator or power point that does not have earth leakage protection. Where possible always earth the equipment.

Perhaps this guide can help you from QLD Gov.



Derek from ABR
AnswerID: 363598

Reply By: Member - Smiley Bill - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 22:52

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 22:52
Hi garryk,

Is it possible for you to put a couple of pictures of these terminals in a reply, i'm having a bit of trouble visualising what you are talking about.

Maybe you are talking about terminals to earth the chassis of the generator. This practice is not recommended these days, earthing is taken care of by the internal windings of the generator.

If the body of your battery charger is plastic you may not need an earth because it is a Double Insulated appliance. Even if the body is metal this may be the same. There are so many different ones available its hard to tell.

If you buy a new Honda or Yamaha you will be pretty right there, your concern may be the charger you use, modified or pure sine wave.

Best of luck.


AnswerID: 363600

Follow Up By: garryk - Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 07:42

Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 07:42
G'day Bill
I tried to post an image but no luck but here is a link to the images

FollowupID: 631264

Follow Up By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 07:52

Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 07:52
FollowupID: 631270

Follow Up By: Member - Smiley Bill - Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 21:54

Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 21:54
Hi Nick,

Unfortunately i couldn't open or view your response. I'd be interested to have a look.

FollowupID: 631425

Reply By: Member - Smiley Bill - Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 21:47

Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 21:47
Hi garryk,

I dug around here at home and i found a Yamaha generator brochure from last year.

In the various pictures i can see the earthing terminal you refer to.

By law in Australia a 240v socket must be earthed so you can plug either an earthed appliance in or a double insulated appliance (in which case the earth pin/socket is not used). There is no difference whether the socket is mounted on a generator or the wall of your house.

As i said in my initial reply the earthing point is made in the internal windings of the generator. This earthing terminal may be there because it is used overseas for some reason?? I can't think of a reason why it would be used here because as i said before running an earth wire from the chassis of the generator to an earth stake stuck in the ground is not good form these days (Aust Standards, Portable Generators, small).

I certainly haven't used it before myself and personally i wouldn't be bothered by it.

I would be more concerned about the type of charger you are using. These latest generators produce the proper "clean" power which will allow you to run electronic appliances without a worry.

The 12v socket is only used to run 12v items. Remember that you need 14-15v to charge batteries, plug in a 240v charger!

Hope this helps.

AnswerID: 363761

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