rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: Two honda generators in tandem  (Read 583 times)

Edekgb

  • Posts: 4
Two honda generators in tandem
« on: August 13, 2019, 09:57:04 PM »
How come my 4400 watt honda generator (2200 companion and 2000 in tandem) wont power my 1350 btu air conditioner? I am at 5280 ft (Denver).

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7677
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: Two honda generators in tandem
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 12:05:28 AM »
First check the output of the two gens when they are connected together. The starting wattage of the AC should be about 2800-3000 watts.  Either you are not getting full power out of your connector cable, or the AC plug that you have plugged into the gen is faulty.

Does your gen cable say that it will sync two gens of different wattage's?
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
2018 JLU Jeep Sahara
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Lou Schneider

  • Global Moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 9776
Re: Two honda generators in tandem
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 04:50:23 AM »
Honda says you can parallel a 2000i and a 2200i generator, so I doubt that's your problem.  If both generators load up when you try to start the air conditioner the paralleling cable is OK.

More likely is the generators develop less engine power at high altitudes, so they will overload more easily than at sea level.  Inverter generators have a hard and fast maximum power limit, they don't degrade gracefully like conventional generators when you approach their maximum power limit.

Engines lose about 3% of their power for every 1000 ft. above sea level, causing the generator's maximum output power to degrade a like amount.  At 5200 ft. you've lost about 15% of your generator's low elevation capacity.

Make sure both generators have their Eco Mode switches turned off so the engines are running at full speed.

Other things that are on may demand part of the generator's output, reducing the amount of power it can send to the air conditioner to overcome it's starting surge.  One item often looked is switching the refrigerator to Gas Mode to save the 300-400 watts used by it's electric heating element.

Higher temperatures also increase the amount of power needed to start an a/c.

If this doesn't help, you may have to get a hard starting capacitor for your a/c compressor to reduce it's starting surge.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 05:11:32 AM by Lou Schneider »

UTTransplant

  • ---
  • Posts: 2005
  • Cedar Falls, Iowa
Re: Two honda generators in tandem
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 06:54:58 AM »
I would double check the connection between the generators and the output voltage, as Lou said. We ran ours together and powered probably the same AC at a bit over 6000.
Pam and Kevin plus Lily the cat
2018 Tiffin 37PA
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk toad
https://toobusyforwork.com

Larry N.

  • ---
  • Posts: 6340
  • Westminster, CO
Re: Two honda generators in tandem
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 07:20:22 AM »
Quote
Engines lose about 3% of their power for every 1000 ft. above sea level, causing the generator's maximum output power to degrade a like amount.  At 5200 ft. you've lost about 15% of your generator's low elevation capacity.
Actually, it's worse than that on a hot day. That 3% is for density altitude, which is altitude adjusted for temperature and humidity. So at 5200 feet and 90 F with the barometer at 29.92 Hg" the density altitude is 8540, so using the 3%, that's 8 thousands, or 25% you've lost.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 68932
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Two honda generators in tandem
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019, 07:41:44 AM »
Since the generator engine seldom has to run at maximum output, I think in most cases the degradation is not an important factor.

Edekgb didn't say what happens when the a/c attempts to start and that critical to the diagnosis.  Do the generators simply quit (inverters overloaded)?  Or bog down, with the engine struggling to meet the demand of the inverter? Or maybe the gensets run fine but the a/c simply doesn't start. If the latter, does the fan run without the compressor, or does it not run at all?
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

lynnmor

  • ---
  • Posts: 1351
Re: Two honda generators in tandem
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019, 08:49:24 AM »
Honda says you can parallel a 2000i and a 2200i generator, so I doubt that's your problem. 

Only certain serial numbers of the 2000 can be paired with the 2200.

NewmanRacing

  • ---
  • Posts: 116
    • Norms Carpet Cleaning
Re: Two honda generators in tandem
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2019, 01:23:48 PM »
How many hours on your generators? Have you cleaned the spark arrester?
1993 Fleetwood G30 21' Jamboree
1976 Dodge Class C - Deceased
1969 Starcraft Starcruiser- Deceased

Do not wait til you're half dead to live a full life.

Senator

  • ---
  • Posts: 244
    • No NonsenseLandlord
Re: Two honda generators in tandem
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2019, 10:19:33 PM »
When an A/C starts, it uses a lot of amps for a very short time.  I can run a 15K BTU from one of my 2200 Hondas.  I also have an Easy Start by MicroAir.
2015 Keystone Alpine 3536RE
2017 Ford F350 Platinum, SRW, CCLB

Edekgb

  • Posts: 4
Re: Two honda generators in tandem
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019, 10:29:11 PM »
Yea my first generator - the 2000 watt honda i bought a year ago falls in the serial number series. Something seems wrong although - the 16 to 25 percent loss from altitude is significant.
I was also thinking the cord from one to the other generator could be faulty? The cord from my trailer to generator is fine or at least very unlikely the problem.
Both generators the eu2000i and 2200i companion are both new with less then 10 hours on them.
The trailer is new and the ac seems to work fine. The generators bog down and then hits overload after about 3 to 5 mins after i turn on ac. It may be the generator that the trailer is plugged in to (the companion) that is the only one overloading. I was just thinking about this and will have to watch to see if one or both overload.

Edekgb

  • Posts: 4
Re: Two honda generators in tandem
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2019, 10:44:47 PM »
Thank you all - honda dealer that sold me the companion honda couple months ago said to bring them both in, the trailor - basically the whole set up to their parking lot to see whats wrong. They feel confident that it should run the ac. Problem is that hooking up the trailor to go all the way over to honda is far and a hassle. Any ideas are much appreciated. All other things are turned off when i try to power up ac. Except i dont mess with any breakers or fuses to turn off battery draw. I have a battery cut off switch should i mess with that on or off?
One more thing to mention. It is hot around here lately when i try to turn it on. Like in the 90s so i turn on ac on low setting and try to start at like 80 and then every 15 mins move to 78 degs then 76 after 15 and so on trying to get it to about 72 or something comfortable - it will go ok like this for a while but then somewhere during the process of bringing it down in tamp, generator bogs and overloads. Other times it just bogs and turns off within the firat few mins. Should i have to start in the morning before it warms up and little by little bring temp down as the day progresses? This dosent seem practical as i would have to have gens running all day in the summer.
These problems are here at my house in the city. I loke to go camping alot at higher elevations even up to 8000 and 9000 feet.

Lou Schneider

  • Global Moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 9776
Re: Two honda generators in tandem
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2019, 10:58:39 PM »
T It is hot around here lately when i try to turn it on. Like in the 90s so i turn on ac on low setting and try to start at like 80 and then every 15 mins move to 78 degs then 76 after 15 and so on trying to get it to about 72 or something comfortable - it will go ok like this for a while but then somewhere during the process of bringing it down in tamp, generator bogs and overloads.

Gradually turning down the thermostat doesn't make it any easier on the air conditioner, and in fact will make it work harder if the compressor shuts down before you turn down the thermostat and call for more cooling.

Stopping and starting the compressor within a short period of time is called short cycling, and causes a large starting surge when it tries to restart.  This is likely what's bogging down the generators in the middle of the run.

Start the air conditioner and set the thermostat to the temperature you want to achieve, then let it run.  Don't inch it down a couple of degrees at a time.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 11:00:30 PM by Lou Schneider »

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 68932
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Two honda generators in tandem
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2019, 09:26:01 AM »
Per the Honda Parallel Cable instructions, an EU2000i/EU22001 pair is rated for 3400W continuous and 4200W peak. That's a 35A peak and far more than sufficient for a single RV a/c unit, so something isn't working right.   Even if your battery converter/charger is drawing an amp or two at the same time. The breaker in the RV should trip before the Honda overloads.

I realize you checked the EU2000I serial numbers, but the symptoms you report are pretty much what Honda forecasts if the 2000I is NOT one of those in the right serial range.  See the Honda bulletin at:
http://cdn.powerequipment.honda.com/pe/pdf/misc/EU2200i-EU2000i-Parallel-Operation.pdf

https://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/manuals/EU2000companionparallelinstall.pdf


Your EU2200i Companion has a 30A outlet, right? And the Eco switches are off on both?  Have you tried to run the pair at lower altitude, e.g. your yard at home? It would be good to eliminate the possibility that it is simply altitude power loss. I don't think that's the problem, but it's always wise to verify.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Edekgb

  • Posts: 4
Re: Two honda generators in tandem
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2019, 09:41:57 AM »
The 2000i gen falls in the serial number range - talked to honda customer service line and had a long conversation with honda dealer before i bought.

I have been doing these trials at home in my yardhere in denver at 5300 ft. And havent tried it higher but failing here so prob worse at elevation i camp at. The companion has a 30 amp outlet that i plug trailer directly into and both eco switches off.

I am perplexed and frustrated but appreciate the help - thank you

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 68932
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Two honda generators in tandem
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2019, 10:52:27 AM »
Sorry to keep asking you about the "dummy" things, but trying to eliminate the simple & potential external causes before deciding that something is malfunctioning.

1. You have made sure that neither the fridge or water heater is on 120vac power, right? I ask because appliances with thermostats can switch themselves from almost zero to full demand at any time, producing an unexpected overload.  No, you need not worry about disconnecting batteries - the charger function rarely consumes more than 1 amp @ 120v.

2. The Overload light on the companion comes on, right?  But NOT until the a/c has been running for a few minutes?  Then 4 seconds later the Output light goes off?    Has Honda explained how that works in conjunction with the Parallel kit?  Same, or some higher output level?  The standard document says  it comes on any time the Companion output exceeds 2200 watts, which doesn't seem likely once the a/c compressor is running. Output should drop to around 1500 watts once the initial surge passes.

3. How about putting a Kill-A-Watt device between the trailer and the genset, so you can see the wattage and such as it happens?  Only good for 15A, but good enough for just the a/c.


4. Honda has different carburetor jets that are recommended for 5000 ft and above.  You lose low altitude capability, though. Learn about them here:

http://cdn.powerequipment.honda.com/pe/pdf/pubs/pci54675.pdf
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 11:04:09 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL