Charging from Portable Generator

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Medicmatt
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Charging from Portable Generator

Post by Medicmatt »

Wonderful weekend. We launched our new to us PDQ 32 #48 "Takmoh", and sailed her from Plymouth, MA to Newburyport, MA. About 70nm. 6-8 foot swells and a stiff breeze made things sporty, including shooting the mouth of the Merrimack, with some big breakers.

Most things worked. The reefing lines are a mess, and I need to disassemble the boom to repair.

I had purchased a yamaha small 2000w generator. I wanted to use this to top up the batteries. Plugging the generator into the shore line with an adapter, my Link 2000 connected to a Xantrex, shows the red charge light. However, no amps are flowing into the battery. It worked fine on shore power. I do have a bonding plug installed, and the boat AC panel does NOT show reverse polarity.

Any ideas?

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Serenity
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Re: Charging from Portable Generator

Post by Serenity »

Mike & Rebecca on Zerotocruising.com had a generator on their PDQ32, and discussed on their blog how to wire it... i seem to remember that they had to make a custom cable, maybe?

Where are you keeping the boat? Newburyport? We have thought about that because it would be an hour closer to our NH home (than our current mooring in RI) and we love Newburyport/Plum Island.
Serenity 1998 PDQ32 #34
Portsmouth, RI
http://www.sailingserenitysquared.com

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thinwater
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Re: Charging from Portable Generator

Post by thinwater »

You don't need to disassembly the boom to fix the reefing lines. The blocks put a twist in them and as a result, they wind up in the middle. You can untwist the lines working with a flashlight from the boom end (because that is where 6the twist came from). This needs to be done every few years if you reef often. It really helps!

Honestly, I'd switch to LEDs and add more solar before I fooled with a gen set. Unless you are running AC, there should be no need with a well designed system. I'd aim for about 300W, which should fit on the hard top.
Writing full time since 2014.
"Rigging Modern Anchors,"Seaworthy Press, https://www.amazon.com/Rigging-Modern-A ... 1948494078
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Medicmatt
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Re: Charging from Portable Generator

Post by Medicmatt »

Ill check out zero to cruising.

We are at the Merri-Mar yacht basin. Very reasonable price for a mooring, and a lovely new facility. We copied your graphic layout for our boat, w/ the name on the side of the stern, and logos on the bows.

Ill try untwisting. Do the lines need to be certain lengths? Seems really messed up at this point.

Matt

tallcuss
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Re: Charging from Portable Generator

Post by tallcuss »

How does one "switch to LEDs"? Has anyone found LED lights that are a good replacement (size compatible) for the PDQ 32 fluorescents and incandescents?

Medicmatt
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Re: Charging from Portable Generator

Post by Medicmatt »

I was able to switch every bulb over to led. All commercially available. The exception was the fluorescents. These I just replaced with new fixtures.

Jwood1
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Re: Charging from Portable Generator

Post by Jwood1 »

I have a Honda EU2000 that I use sometimes to charge the bank, as you describe. It works very well. With the correct cable, the output of the gen plugs into the shore power inlet. The AC output of the generator looks the same as shore power and your Xantrex should detect it. There is a charge button on the Link 2000 panel, you may need to press that. You should also see a green AC power light on your Link 2000 if it is sensing the generator output. You also should see 120V on your AC Main panel. If not, check your connections, and make sure your generator is putting out AC. What kind of battery bank do you have? Make sure there are no isolation switches that may prevent your bank from receiving a charge. How do you know there is no current going into the batteries? If the bank is fully charged, they won't accept much current and the Xantrex will switch to float. If as you say, the shore power gives you battery charging, but the generator does not, I would suspect the cable or the generator output.
Terrapin
1997 PDQ 32 LRC #26
Punta Gorda, FL

http://terrapinsailing.com/

Medicmatt
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Re: Charging from Portable Generator

Post by Medicmatt »

Yeah, I have 120 on the ac side and the charge light is on. I’m thinking my generator doesn’t put out pure sine wave, and that’s the problem.

duetto
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Re: Charging from Portable Generator

Post by duetto »

hi,

years ago we had a xantrex. you could put it in a mode where it "got out of the way". in this mode electricity just bypassed it.

i would test a 110v light bulb in any socket with your charger/inverter shut off. if the light bulb works then electricity is flowing past the xantrex. if that's the case it maybe the sine-wave problem. does the xantrex require pure sine wave input? do you know what kind of wave the yamaha puts out?
john & diane cummings
duetto mv34 #23

Jwood1
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Re: Charging from Portable Generator

Post by Jwood1 »

I presume your Xantrex is a Freedom 20, like mine? Do you have the manual? If not I can send you a pdf for both the Freedom 20 and the Link 2000. There is nothing in the manual about requiring a "pure sine wave" input. The manual does say that it is sensitive to reduced voltage input, so if there is less than 120V, you won't get good battery charging, but you say you have 120V so probably not the problem. The Xantrex also automatically switches between battery charging and powering a load, with priority for powering the load. So, make sure there is no other load when you are trying to charge your batteries. The manual also describes some push button circuit breakers on the Xantrex unit itself. One of them "protects the incoming AC leg which feeds the battery charger". This might be worth checking.

That's all I can think of, good luck.
Terrapin
1997 PDQ 32 LRC #26
Punta Gorda, FL

http://terrapinsailing.com/

Medicmatt
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Re: Charging from Portable Generator

Post by Medicmatt »

Thanks! I will look through these things.

SV Minaki
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Re: Charging from Portable Generator

Post by SV Minaki »

We charge our batteries regularly using our Honda 2200. We have an adapter for the 30 amp cord that converts it to a standard household type plug. Our Heart Interface (Xantrex) works with no issue but you may have to set the incoming amps to 15. I’m sure you’ve solved this
Problem by now but I thought I would post anyway.

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