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Parallel 3 Hondas - no problem!


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Added a 1000 to my two Honda 2200s today.  Parallel just fine (with homemade wires). 

Why did I do this?  The 2200s weren't quite enough to run air and MW at the same time without surging, but adding the 1k is just the antidote.  And the 1000 is SO quiet and light and cute, I may use it for occasional charging when the sun is away. 

So why do I need to run MW and air at the same time?   Dinner time is usually hot in the summer, and I often need MW for that, and I don't want to lose AC.

Edited by hemsteadc
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  • hemsteadc changed the title to Parallel 3 Hondas - no problem!
6 hours ago, lappir said:

If I could only get 220 volts by doing so I'd be all over wanting info. I'm sure there is a way with some sort of a transformer, but it's not yet that urgent of an issue. 

I have been watching the market for a small generator that has switchable 120 only or 120/240 split phase. I haven't come across anything that checks all the boxes:

Electric start

Switchable 120 only or 120/240 split phase

~4000w (close to that or over running, 4500-5k starting)

Inverter

Dual fuel or tri-fuel (gas/propane at least, if not Natural Gas ready)

Out of curiosity - do you need 220/240v for running a device on that voltage? Or are you wanting 2 legs of 120v which you get off a traditional 240v split phase alternator on a rotary generator (same as house power)? If you need 240v - for what? I have been curious about that because the only devices I have that run 240v are mostly too large to run off a "small" generator - electric dryer, whole house AC, and welding machines. I don't know of anything that an RV would have that would need 240v - hence my curiosity.

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I need 240v. Mini split. So I pulled my wire out of panel and added a plug. Plugged that in to a step up/down transformer. Now all i need to supply is 120v for my 240v mini split to run. Problem solved. It is neat the way you paralleled those 3 together.

Edited by GlennWest
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15 hours ago, hemsteadc said:

Added a 1000 to my two Honda 2200s today.  Parallel just fine (with homemade wires). 

I would be interested in knowing more about this. While I don't have Old John's engineering degree, I do have a lot of electrical background and many years ago I spent a lot of time (my Navy days) operating alternating current generators in parallel, bringing them online & offline, managing load sharing and all of the associated things that went with that job. It was a long time ago and I'm sure that I have forgotten a lot but I do still remember some things like phase angle, wave form, & voltage amplitude which had to be managed. I would love to hear more about the device you came up with. Was the additional 1000 parallel capable already? 

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

I would be interested in knowing more about this. While I don't have Old John's engineering degree, I do have a lot of electrical background and many years ago I spent a lot of time (my Navy days) operating alternating current generators in parallel, bringing them online & offline, managing load sharing and all of the associated things that went with that job. It was a long time ago and I'm sure that I have forgotten a lot but I do still remember some things like phase angle, wave form, & voltage amplitude which had to be managed. I would love to hear more about the device you came up with. Was the additional 1000 parallel capable already? 

 To add a bit to Kirks good information above, the parallel cord and necessary configuration for running say two Hondas IS TO CONFIGURE THE TWO AC SINE WAVE OUTPUTS IN PHASE WITH EACH OTHER. The sine waves obviously need to be in sync so both are + and - at the same time but you increase the current capacity. 120/240 Volt Single Phase Three Wire Household electrical service is derived using a 240 volt Secondary Line to Line L1 to L2  transformer which is tapped in the center whereby its only 1/2 or 120 L1 OR  L2 to that center tap. The center tap is bonded to a Grounding Electrode (for surge and lightning protection and a common low voltage mother earth reference) and serves as the Neutral current return path for both L1 and L2.

 That being said, its possible for a portable genset to be designed similar with true 120/240 volt Single Phase Three Wire output such as some larger units that may have a 50 amp 120/240 volt NEMA 14-50R receptacle same at a 50 Amp RV power pedestal. HOWEVER smaller gensets have ONLY 120 volts available, maybe with a 30 Amp NEMA TT-30R Receptacle. To increase current capacity either of these two gensets could be used in parallel. Now if you actually required 240 VAC ?? such as a Water Heater or Dryer or Mini Split, not that typical in an RV,  NOT two legs of 120 like most 50 Amp RV's use, but you only had 120 available such as one or two Hondas in parallel, you could use a 120 to 240 Volt Dry Transformer such as our friend Glenn has done.    Such could be straight 120 In 240 OUT L1 to L2 NO Neutral...

 Sorry for long wind lol but its just in my Electrical DNA, Im long retired but still love this stuff as it was much of my lifes work

Best wishes yall have a Happy Independence Day

John T

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6 hours ago, Kirk W said:

I would be interested in knowing more about this. While I don't have Old John's engineering degree, I do have a lot of electrical background and many years ago I spent a lot of time (my Navy days) operating alternating current generators in parallel, bringing them online & offline, managing load sharing and all of the associated things that went with that job. It was a long time ago and I'm sure that I have forgotten a lot but I do still remember some things like phase angle, wave form, & voltage amplitude which had to be managed. I would love to hear more about the device you came up with. Was the additional 1000 parallel capable already? 

Parallel capable Honda inverter generators self-sync if there's 120 VAC on their output when they're started.  No phase matching needed.  The way it works is you connect them in parallel and start the first generator.  When you start the second, it automatically phase matches to the running generator.

What you do have to be careful of is current matching.  Identical generators have similar voltage vs. current curves so they'll load balance themselves.  I'm surprised a Honda 1000 contributed useful power to a pair of EU2000s.  When I tried matching a single EU1000 with an EU2000 the 1000 overloaded before the 2000 was at full output.  In other words, the combo had little or no additional power compared to a solo 2000.

The same thing happens if you try to parallel a Honda generator with another inverter generator like Yamaha or Harbor Freight.  Each has different voltage vs. load curves so one generator will assume the majority of the load and will trip out before the others reach full power.

Edited by Lou Schneider
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2 hours ago, Lou Schneider said:

 I'm surprised a Honda 1000 contributed useful power to a pair of EU2000s. 

It seems to work fine.  And they're 2200s.

If you need some data, the voltage with a/c running on 2 2200s is 122.  With the a/c and micro running with the same 2, the voltage is 116, and the surge is noticeable as they spool up to start the micro.

With all 3 gens running, the voltage with both a/c and MW is 118, and there's little if any surge dip.

Edited by hemsteadc
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I'll keep watching this post and maybe will learn some things. It's all over my head at the moment.  My need is to run my mini split HVAC unit. Found out the hard way I was no longer able to plug into a 30 amp plug. Was lucky the pole had two feed lines and I had no neighbor. Was able to plug in two 30 amp plugs to a 50 amp receptacle to get my 240 volts. Worked trouble free for at least 13 weeks, thankfully. Haven't had to use it again, but was thinking of trying to figure out a way to get 240 out of my two Honda 2000's, for the unusual emergency setting, but then I'd have to bypass my surge protector/voltage monitor. I've decided to wait and spend the time and money on solar, batteries and the appropriate inverter setup. If I could only save the money. 

Rod

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In your house or the RV 50a cord, the 240v is two 120v supply lines that are 180 degrees out of phase which gives the effect of one pushing 120v and the other pulling 120v giving you an effective 240v. To do that with 2 small generators they would need to be that way. A parallel kit links them to be exactly in phase, or the peaks and lows are exactly the same size and time. 

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2 hours ago, lappir said:

I'll keep watching this post and maybe will learn some things. It's all over my head at the moment.  My need is to run my mini split HVAC unit. Found out the hard way I was no longer able to plug into a 30 amp plug. Was lucky the pole had two feed lines and I had no neighbor. Was able to plug in two 30 amp plugs to a 50 amp receptacle to get my 240 volts. Worked trouble free for at least 13 weeks, thankfully. Haven't had to use it again, but was thinking of trying to figure out a way to get 240 out of my two Honda 2000's, for the unusual emergency setting, but then I'd have to bypass my surge protector/voltage monitor. I've decided to wait and spend the time and money on solar, batteries and the appropriate inverter setup. If I could only save the money. 

Rod

Did you see my post about the step up/down transformer?

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21 hours ago, lappir said:

Was able to plug in two 30 amp plugs to a 50 amp receptacle to get my 240 volts.

If you got 240 Volts, that's because in a NEMA 14-50R 3 Pole 4 Wire Grounding Receptacle (subject to how and what its wired to) the two hot lines L1 & L2 are at opposite ends of a 240 Volt winding. IE its 240 from L1 to L2. One other way you might get 240 using 120 volt 30 amp plugs is iffffffffffff each were on separate out of phase legs, one L1 other L2 of a 240 volt center tapped winding whereby its 240 L1 to L2 or 120 either end/L to Neutral/Center.

 HOWEVER in the dead center of a 240 Volt Single Phase household or 50 Amp RV pedestal service that winding is tapped, whereby either end L1 or L2 to that mid center point is 1/2 or 120 Volts. L1 and L2 are merely the outer ends of a single 240 volt winding. Don't think so much along the lines the 240 is the addition of two 120 volt windings, even if there was  NO CENTER TAP, you still get the 240 L1 to L2. The 120 is ONLY because you tap into the center of a single 240 volt winding.........Unlike a homes 120/240 just described, a portable genset could have separate windings from which you only get half the power if one were used but double if both are.  

 SOOOOOOOO in a 50 Amp RV plugged to a NEMA 14-50R Receptacle which has 240 L1 to L2 or only 1/2 that or 120 from either L1 or L2 to center tapped Neutral, you have one leg L1 to power one 120 Volt AC unit and another leg L2 to power a different one, yet its still 240 L1 to L2.  

 To get 240 from two different 120 volt gensets each would have to be set 180 out of phase with the other so when one is PLUS 120 the other is MINUS 120 or 240 from one to the other. (Thats opposite of how you parallel two Hondas for twice the power IE they are IN PHASE) To get 240 from a 120 volt only genset (or even two 120's in parallel in sync for twice the power) you could use a 120 to 240 volt step up transformer, easy peasey.  

 If you want to spend money on solar and batteries and inverters enough to run an AC or some sort of a 240 load high power appliance ITS GONNA TAKE A LOT OF MONEY AND EQUIPMENT,  Orrrrrrrrrrr buy a genset with a 240 Volt outlet,  Orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr buy enough smaller 120 volt only gensets and use a dry transformer to get your 240.

Best wishes post back any questions

Happy Independence Day everyone, God Bless America

John T  Long retired n rusty electrical power distribution design engineer so noooooo warranty but believe this is still true

Edited by oldjohnt
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