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Old 11-14-2011, 05:31 PM   #1
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Angry Generator Overload

I was using our Honda 2000 and its companion this weekend on our 2012 Flying Cloud. The overload lights came on and I am not sure why. We were using the TV, Blu Ray and Sony radio, the refrigerator, Comfort Control Center and the lights. The Eco switches were on. Were we running to many items off the generator, would this have been a problem if the Eco switches were in the off positions?

I did run them later with the Eco Switch in the off position but was not using the Blu ray or the CCC. and had no problem.



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Old 11-14-2011, 05:44 PM   #2
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What was the CCC operating? If it was the heat pump, then yes, you may have been operating too many items.


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Old 11-14-2011, 06:26 PM   #3
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As I understand it the Hondas do not like to be in Eco mode when running the higher draw items like AC or Heatpump. I always leave Eco off when we need to have AC. When we need AC is the only time we need to run parallel....otherwise there's enough with one to run everything. There should have been enough juice for everything you were running under normal conditions without the AC or Heatpump on.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:05 PM   #4
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One other thing that was probably operating is the converter/charger. Depending on what state of charge the batteries were in (like low, as if used overnight) you could be taking up to 1000 volt-amps with it alone. I say volt-amps, as the modern solid state switching converter/chargers have a very significant problem with power factor, making the load the generator "sees" much higher than the watts that we usually calculate. The Honda's are actually rated in volt-amps output, not watts, and although in many cases they are the same when the power factor of the equipment is low, you can think you have a load within the capacity of the Honda, and in fact you are not.

I ran into this with a Inellapower 9160 (60 amp output) when trying to use in on my 1000 watt Honda inverter generator. It was the only load, so I figured that even at full output of 60 amps 13 volts it would be under the generator rating. 60 x 13 = 780 watts, some inefficincy, maybe 800 to 850 total. Well, the Honda triped out. I finally put my Kilo-Watt meter on the converter, and set it on Volt-Amps scale. (not watts). When charging an almost dead battery set, I fount that the converter took something like 1150 volt amps, which is over the max 1000 that the generator is rated for. Now, on watts scale, it appeared to be around 800 watts, but the Honda "saw" it as 1150 volt-amps.

So, once again the world is more complex than we thought. Power factor and volt-amps vs. watts, while not often an issue, can be involved these days with equipment which has switching power supplies. That includes many kinds of electronics. Even your TV and DVD player may take more than you think, when you actually measure their volt-amp draw.

Ah, for the bad old days, eh?
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:37 PM   #5
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I agree with idroba. Volt/amps is used when calculating the power in an AC (alternating current) circuit The true power of an AC circuit load will include the power factor as well as the fraction(s) used to determine the actual power used. Apparent Power is .707 x I x E where as real power (a DC equivalent) is .636 x I x E if my memory serves me correctly.Typically the calculations for power factor are used when there are inductive or capacitive devices involved.
There are significant differences between AC and DC circuits when it comes to power. In AC circuits terms like "apparent power" and " real power" are used to identify the actual load or capacity of an AC device.
Where purely resistive loads are involved the power factor is "unity". Meaning "1".
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:54 AM   #6
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y thanks to all for their responses.

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