Portable generators

Aug 17, 2019
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Hi just bought a hyundia suitcase generator for our weekends away and longer stays away always go off grid so its just a back up really but just wonderd what was the best way to put a bit of power back into the battery was it use the hookup and go though the caravan charger or get the cables that go straight to the battery from the geni we have a solar panel on the van too and will it affect that working we camp all year round so like i said its just a back up
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Through the charger it will be controlled so you will not overcharge the battery, but the charge rate might not be as high.
My built in charger has a high output if required and a characteristic profiled for the van's gel technology battery, so that is what I use, knowing it will not abuse our battery.

As charging by the built in charger, the generator will not cause issues with the solar system, just make it unlikely to contribute, whilst on a generator charge.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Hi Plug,

My preferred method is to:
a) disconnect the solar panels from the battery.
b) attach a battery charger to the generator (I prefer a minimum 20amp auto\manual charger for this and not a fully'smart' 6\7 stage charger).
c) connect battery charger to battery terminals via the crocodile clamps.

I am guessing that your new Hyundai 12v DC battery charging outlet will have a maximum of around 8amps output, depending on the state of charge and time taken to top up my 115amp battery I sometimes prefer a bit more amperage.

It so happens that this morning I ordered a new 20amp charger for this purpose, my existing 200amp capable charger being less than ideal owing to it's size and weight, the new one that I have ordered is relatively compact and weighs only 1 kilo, PM me if you would like details.
 
Aug 17, 2019
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Hi Plug,

My preferred method is to:
a) disconnect the solar panels from the battery.
b) attach a battery charger to the generator (I prefer a minimum 20amp auto\manual charger for this and not a fully'smart' 6\7 stage charger).
c) connect battery charger to battery terminals via the crocodile clamps.

I am guessing that your new Hyundai 12v DC battery charging outlet will have a maximum of around 8amps output, depending on the state of charge and time taken to top up my 115amp battery I sometimes prefer a bit more amperage.

It so happens that this morning I ordered a new 20amp charger for this purpose, my existing 200amp capable charger being less than ideal owing to it's size and weight, the new one that I have ordered is relatively compact and weighs only 1 kilo, PM me if you would like details.
Good evening enseo i can understand your method but why disconect the solar panel surely my solar regulator would shut off if the battery was getting chared by another method i think hyundia have made a bo bo i orderd a 1000w geni but they sent me a all singing 2500w one instead £200 more expensive the one the sent me has a 12v chargeing point and a cig lighter chargeing point to which would be the best option ???
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Using a portable generator to recharge a battery is about as inefficient as you can get, but sometimes needs must.

Given your scenario you need to choose between fast charging with poor control direct from the generators "12V" out put and a more controlled charge through the generators 230V output to the caravans built-in charger.

The simplest and probably safest will be to use the generators 230V ac out put, as you won't have to mess around making battery connections each time.

But you might be able to avoid needing to do too many recharges by careful management of the power you do use. For example run the fridge on gas, not only is it quieter its also considerably more efficient, the same for water and space heating.

Make sure you only run the lights you need and turn off those you don't - Limit how much TV is used, simple energy saving and you may find the solar panel is all you need.

In the past we have some basic calculations and in essence most caravanners will find teh between 50 and 100W of soar panels in conjunction with a 110Ah battery will see them through almost indefinitely.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Good evening enseo i can understand your method but why disconect the solar panel surely my solar regulator would shut off if the battery was getting chared by another method i think hyundia have made a bo bo i orderd a 1000w geni but they sent me a all singing 2500w one instead £200 more expensive the one the sent me has a 12v chargeing point and a cig lighter chargeing point to which would be the best option ???

Hi Plug,
In answer to your first point, I agree that leaving your solar panels\charge controller connected should not cause any issues, I just like to play it safe.

I just don't see any point in leaving the panels connected when I know that my generator and battery charger set-up will be inputing as much amperage as I want the battery to be able to safely tolerate.

I can monitor the battery condition state via the charge controller panel or via an app on my phone, but just as easily I can monitor the state of charge via the battery charger display panel, I am not suggesting it is the correct way or the only way it should be done, it's just my preferred way but always happy to hear of better options :).

On the second point, lucky you on receiving a higher specification model.

If it is the P1PE 2500 I think the images tell me (the photo's are not clear) that both outlets are 5 amps, but the user manual should clarify this.

Personally I do not think 5amps is enough (perhaps OK for a 50 h battery) and the reason why I prefer to charge via a battery charger is that it gives me greater flexibility regarding amperage output.
My generator 12v DC output is only 8amps and I do not find that is adequate or quick enough on my 115Ah battery (at least on some occasions).

I can only suggest that you use whichever of the two 12v dc output ports has the highest amperage.
 
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