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Use of Older Honda Generator with modern MH


Ocsid

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Having failed to get any answers on another site can I ask here please:

 

I have for years used my Honda EX650, pre inverter generator with my previous Hymer that featured a 2002 vintage Schaudt Electroblock unit. All without blowing anything and before that used the gen with the caravan.

 

We have now a 2008 Hymer and that features a Schaudt CSV 409 unit.

I read worrying stories of people blowing their controller units so have been too scared to couple up the old Honda. But as winter approaches, the solar cell's output wanes and me generator lays in the garage unused it seems a pity not to put it back into action. Obviously when and where it cant upset anyone but the birds and rabbits I hasten to add!!

 

I have corresponded with Schaudt and got a guarded "probably ok" sort of answer but guidance towards investing in one of their circa £110 "OVP-1" over voltage protection units. For its limited use that's a bit steep in our case, it buys a fair bit of EHU.

 

Anybody out there using a Schaudt CSV with a quality but older technology generator and knows if its safe, or more importantly its not safe??

Cant face £360 replacement cost and all the hassle.

 

Thanks Ocsid

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The trouble with older generators is that as the load changes so the throttle gets opened or closed to provide more or less power as required, this leads to brief moments when the output can alter in frequency and voltage and these brief high voltage higher frequency surges can cause problems.

 

I'd be inclined to look at the Schaudt over voltage protector from a different perspective, i.e. can you actually afford to not use one? You have a nearly new motorhome that has cost you in excess of £40,000, a voltage spike could cause £360 plus of damage but it can be protected against by fitting a £110 unit...................................

 

To me that's a no brainer, its got to be worth the £110 for peace of mind and the ability to use your existing genny whenever you need to.

 

D.

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Thanks Dave;

That endorses my concerns really; if I use the generator I ought to have the OVP unit as there is an appreciable risk.

I could try to mitigate load changes as much as possible and could even switch the fridge to gas whilst giving the batteries a two hour boost, but I am gambling which is not my style. The old Electroblock coped and this aspect was never considered. I always started off load and ensured the fuel did not run out but that was the limit of my concerns at that time.

 

I am left with the issue of whether the ability to use the generator is worth the additional cost given that any use will be very limited. However only we can answer that particular one. Pity the £ is so sick at the moment, should of thought about this when we ordered the new Hymer way back in 2007 !!!

 

Thanks again Ocsid

 

Edit: Just rereading this a penny has dropped I could of course simply put the genny through my CTEK 3600 to the habitation battery; but that will only charge at 3.6 not the Schaudt's 28 Amps.

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A further point please:

 

Schaudt's reply said it was imortant that the generators output was a true sine-wave, with or without the OVP-1.

My understanding was that any of the older rotating machinery generators would be; I could see some cheaper inverter based ones might be modified sine wave and thus be totally out.

Thoughts please?

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Dave,s advice is sound.

Older generators produce the power by rotating an electromagnet within a coil of wire, just like they do at the ppwer station. So the likelyhood of the waveform being close to sinusoidal is quite high!

 

BUT

Off all the electrical systems fitted to motorhomes the Schaud Electroblock kit is the most sensitive to voltage transients and is the only system you see regularly failing on this and other forums. And failures not attributed to the use of generators either.

 

C.

 

 

 

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Clive - 2009-10-07 11:14 AM

 

Dave,s advice is sound.

Older generators produce the power by rotating an electromagnet within a coil of wire, just like they do at the ppwer station. So the likelyhood of the waveform being close to sinusoidal is quite high!

 

BUT

Off all the electrical systems fitted to motorhomes the Schaud Electroblock kit is the most sensitive to voltage transients and is the only system you see regularly failing on this and other forums. And failures not attributed to the use of generators either.

 

C.

 

 

Is that right Clive? Don't they all produce power that way? I thought the difference between an old style generator and the new inverter ones, is that the old ones produce a 240 AC voltage that is regulated at the correct frequency/voltage by having a load sensing throttle to hold the speed at 3000 rpm. Which if the load suddenly changes can cause the throttle to over compensate, causing a voltage spike which has to be electronically chopped giving a square wave output. (not sinusoidal)

On the the hand the new inverter types output a DC voltage which is then processed through an inverter to give as stabilised true sine wave 240 Volt output. So not upsettng sensitive electronics connected to it.

I may be wrong, but that is my understanding.

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Thats the claim,

If an engine over revs or if the load is removed quickly then yes the voltage will rise for a moment. But its easier to make smooth waveforms waggling magnets in front of coils than it is by chopping up DC at high frequencies with field effect transistors and reassembling the bits into a digital sine wave.

 

The biggest advantage of the inverter generators is that you can save money and save weight because you can use a smaller engine and rev it faster to get the power out of it.

 

C.

 

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Clive - 2009-10-07 10:07 PM

 

Thats the claim,

If an engine over revs or if the load is removed quickly then yes the voltage will rise for a moment. But its easier to make smooth waveforms waggling magnets in front of coils than it is by chopping up DC at high frequencies with field effect transistors and reassembling the bits into a digital sine wave.

 

The biggest advantage of the inverter generators is that you can save money and save weight because you can use a smaller engine and rev it faster to get the power out of it.

 

C.

So are you saying the older gennies are better than the new digital ones? If so why have Honda et al gone over to the latter? Is it not true that th old ones deliver a square wave that upset some electronic gear and the digital ones deliver a true sine wave?

what you are now saying contradicts the reason you gave for not using an old style gennie with a modern M/H.

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The older style gennys produce a pure sinewave output as a direct result of the bits of wire moving through magnetic fields stuff. The downside is that the frequency and voltage is directly proportional to the rotational speed of the engine and therein lies the problem with SOME modern equipment that is sensitive to either voltage or frequency fluctuation.

 

Modern gennys use an inverter to produce a stable voltage and frequency. Cheaper units use quasi sinewave inverters which SOME equipment won't like (but perhaps not as much as they don't like over voltage or over frequency :-S ) while the more expensive gennys (Honda for example) use a pure sinewave inverter to give a stable voltage and frequency output with a proper sinusoidal waveform that shouldn't upset anything other than a human body.

 

D.

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