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Old 03-09-2013, 11:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Road Geezer View Post
Both Yamaha and Honda offer versions of the 2kw gen sets that can be connected to provide enough juice to power the Airstream AC. The technology may be complex, but they do it for about the same price as the inverter models.
The Yamaha 2000is (that the original poster mentioned) is "an inverter model".

Yamaha Inverter EF2000iS Features & Benefits

For my money, the best feature of generators such as these is that they generate clean 60 Hz power at low RPMs at low loads, allowing them to be very quiet and enabling excellent fuel economy. The ability to synchronize more than one of them is nice, if you want to buy two of them.
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:32 AM   #16
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Wazbro,
Since there is some interest in how this is done and what is going on, I'm venturing out to try to give a straight-forward, accurate explanation. I'm now retired, but during my working career, I was an aviation electronics engineer for an aircraft manufacturer and worked with this sort of thing among others.

Actually, two or more pure AC generators can be phase-locked (synchronized) and two or more AC or DC generators can be voltage matched to run seamlessly together without the inverter part of things, but only if they have control circuits that are specifically designed to run together. Examples of this sort of thing are the generators in hydro-electric dams, other power grid applications or airplanes or ships with multiple generators, multiple diesel-electric train engines, etc. But, when it comes to portable generators like those used with travel trailers, the only ones that can generate AC in a synchronous manner are inverter generators (industry term, could have also be called generator inverters as you suggest and would perhaps have been more correct).

Here's a basic description of how an inverter generator works:
1. The engine crankshaft turns the rotor of an alternator (internally produces AC power) that has diode rectification and ends up putting out DC power after this rectification. This is exactly how your vehicle alternator works.
2. The engine speed (and therefore horsepower output) is controlled by an electronically controlled throttle that maintains the output voltage at a regulated value (let's say for the purpose of explanation about 165 Volts DC). Actually, let's take this a step further and say that the alternator puts out two outputs + 165 VDC and - 165 VDC for a 115 VAC system.
3. The plus and minus 165 VDC outputs feed the inverter which then converts the output into a stable 115 VAC electrical power. This process starts with a 60 Hertz sine wave oscillator that puts out a tiny amount of 60 Hz AC power (maybe 1 Watt or less). The small 60 Hz signal is then amplified through a series or cascade of amplifiers using the positive DC input for the positive portion of the AC power and the negative DC input for the negative portion of the AC power.
4. As you turn on more appliances in the trailer and the AC electrical load goes up, the inverter demands more DC input power from the alternator. This demand for more DC power from the alternator decreases the DC voltage output and the engine speed increases to supply more power and return to the regulated voltage. A decrease in the load will result in the a decrease in engine speed.

Now to the part about paralleling two inverter generators, for those who are still with me!

The second (slave) inverter generator works just like the first (master) inverter generator as far as steps 1 through 4 are concerned...well almost. In step 3, instead of using a 60 Hz oscillator as the reference for AC generation, the slave inverter generator uses the sine wave output of the master inverter generator. The slave inverter generator also matches it's output AC voltage to the master using the same electronic throttle feedback control loop as described in step 2.

Hopefully, this isn't too much detail. But since it's being discussed, I just wanted to try to put out some information on the process.

Steve
This almost makes sense! I must be dreaming....
Actually it is the first time I have ever seen an explanation as to how these work. Thanks!
Bruce
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:17 AM   #17
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The limit on the outlet at the tongue is 20,000 btu. If you can find out how many btu the generators are, that will tell you if it can be one or not.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:54 AM   #18
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I have considered the option of using the tongue mounted propane supply to run my Honda 2000i sets.

I figured an upgrade of the factory regulator would be required. Not for more than the the 11" WC, but as Terry mentioned an increased btu flow.

On the other hand, if one needed to run both sets it would be to have AC, so use of the other big propane user, the furnace, would not have to be considered. So the stock regulator might be enough.

I have no experience with 2000i sets on propane, so I don't know how much fuel they consume. In my work we use 10-15 KW sets to power mission critical radio systems during grid outages. They will run about 4 24hr days on a 250 gallon fixed propane tank. We had to upgrade some sites to larger storage tanks, as these sites are remote and are the last things to have powered restored after large outage storms and events. They would run out of fuel with the 250 gallon tanks. The test site used a 100 lb bottle, and that was a total failure.

So, I'm not sure dealing with the propane is any better than gasoline. It may be cleaner and smell less, but cylinders are a PITA too. Swapping them out on the tongue is even more un-handy with the AS box.

My tow vehicle is a pickup, so I have no issues with carrying gasoline . If I used a SUV or van, it might change my mind. But with good containers, it is manageable for us.


Anyone with propane conversions, I would like to hear your success story. The idea of simply hooking up a quick coupler hose to a fixed port on the trailer is still appealing.

Regards,

JD
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:11 AM   #19
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Steve thanks for the explanation, makes sense, I didn't really think about industrial generators or I might have realized they were hooked together.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:15 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
I have considered the option of using the tongue mounted propane supply to run my Honda 2000i sets.

So, I'm not sure dealing with the propane is any better than gasoline. It may be cleaner and smell less, but cylinders are a PITA too. Swapping them out on the tongue is even more un-handy with the AS box.

My tow vehicle is a pickup, so I have no issues with carrying gasoline . If I used a SUV or van, it might change my mind. But with good containers, it is manageable for us.


Anyone with propane conversions, I would like to hear your success story. The idea of simply hooking up a quick coupler hose to a fixed port on the trailer is still appealing.

Regards,

JD
I haven't done a propane conversion, but the biggest advantage I see with it is less chance of carburetor problems.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:43 AM   #21
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I use two Honda 2000 connected to a single outlet from my mounted tanks, connection must be after the system regulater to prevent damage to the gen regulaters. System works fine.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:05 PM   #22
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I use the Honda 3000 Handi...137 lbs so I can lift it into my van...yes it uses gas, but I don't need to carry and service two units....less complicated
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:23 PM   #23
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As I'm sure many, many others have done, and as discussed in other threads, two Honda 2000i's indeed provide a full 4kw at 30A to power AC, microwave, and everything else in your standard trailer (mine is a 28' International). Just be sure one is the "companion" model and pick up the bridging cable, very easy. The companion model has the single 30A plug that your trailer goes into with a small adapter. I think the companion generator is perhaps $100 more.

BTW, on a personal note, when we here in the D.C. area got hit by Sandy, we were out of power for over 48 hours. A single 50 lb 2000W generator came EXTREMELY in handy, not just to keep our fridge and freezer going, but going around and hooking up neighbors sump pumps.

Lastly, I built a long-run gasoline tank system using a marine 5 gallon flat can and creating a split fuel line and special airtight generator fuel caps. I've been meaning to post about it with pictures, plan to do so when I set it up at the BASH rally in July.

Cheers,

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Old 03-10-2013, 04:02 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by jkcru View Post
I use two Honda 2000 connected to a single outlet from my mounted tanks, connection must be after the system regulater to prevent damage to the gen regulaters. System works fine.


What is your run time?

Do the generators consume enough fuel to make changing bottles on the tongue a pain?


Thanks,

JD
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:09 PM   #25
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Thanks folks, the explanation is just part of the deluxe standard service here at Air Forums!

All my best,

Steve
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:06 PM   #26
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...Steve, thanks for the terrific explanation of how these inverter/generators work. I have the Honda 2000's (one is the companion model). I bought them based upon the terrific reviews on AirForum, and haul either one or two, depending on the season. If I am not going to need A/C or use the microwave/convection oven, I haul just one. I did consider the propane option, but it's easier to buy a few gallons of gas (and these generators are very fuel efficient, especially if you're just recharging the batteries)...than to have to deal with the change in carbs, find propane (not always available at a moment's notice), etc. Easy to maintain them and it doesn't kill me to lift them into the back of the SUV. Also have the extended range fuel tank .... which I haven't used yet. Made a lot of use of the 2000 last summer as I spent a fair amount of time in Minnesota State Parks....and I prefer to avoid the hookups as I found the boondock sites were more natural. Anyway, thanks again for the great explanation.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:17 PM   #27
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We have a Yamaha 2400. It runs our AC no problem. One unite is easer to deal with than 2
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:27 PM   #28
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Steve Bryant
What system do you run?
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