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Old 10-14-2014, 07:53 PM   #1
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Heart 2000 Inverter/Charger

We have a Heart 2000 watt inverter charger that we use as our primary charger and the inverter to keep ac frig going. Here is my dilemma ....on ac power 30 amp the charger in the bulk mode puts out 100+ amps allowing the battery bank to get to 14.4 volts. When on the generator, Westerbeke 5000 watt, 42 amps...the max current output of the charger is right around 50 amps allowing the battery bank to get to 13.3 v. Another tidbit if I load the generator, put hot water heater on I get a few additional amps. My question is why cannot I get the full output on the generator?. Any insight would be helpful...

Thanks Wally
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:45 PM   #2
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inverter

When you are plugged in, you are not using your inverter to do all the work. It's more or less an interphase to direct the current to the charger, fridge, A/C and such. The genny is 5K, not very big. Most new boats can come with gennys up to 12K, but usually 8K. At 5000 watts divided by 110v, you get 45 amps. You have resistance in the wires and all the stuff on the boat, so you actually have something less then that. A water heat really sucks the power and with the A/C running you will probably trip the breaker. It should run the A/C plus charge the batteries and the fridge, but I would turn off the hot water. Just heat it up with the engine if you have to??
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Old 10-15-2014, 05:02 AM   #3
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We have a Heart 2000 watt inverter charger that we use as our primary charger and the inverter to keep ac frig going. Here is my dilemma ....on ac power 30 amp the charger in the bulk mode puts out 100+ amps allowing the battery bank to get to 14.4 volts. When on the generator, Westerbeke 5000 watt, 42 amps...the max current output of the charger is right around 50 amps allowing the battery bank to get to 13.3 v. Another tidbit if I load the generator, put hot water heater on I get a few additional amps. My question is why cannot I get the full output on the generator?. Any insight would be helpful...

Thanks Wally

Is the alternator on the genset charging the same battery bank as the charger? If so the regulator for the inverter/charger could be reading the alternator and reducing output.

Another item to look at is the AC draw of the inverter/charger when it is on shore power versus the genset. Is the inverter/charger getting the full wattage from the genset?
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:08 AM   #4
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Westerbeke 5000 watt, 42 amps

You ARE getting full output from the noisemaker , its just the wave form , the actual power aviliable , inside the wave form is less than the power hose at dockside..

About 10-12KW the noisemakers will frequently match dock power , this is normal.
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:38 AM   #5
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:27 AM   #6
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This isn't making sense. If you're reading the full 120V, and not tripping any breakers, then the AC power from the generator is no different from shore power. The shore power breaker will trip at 30A, while your 5000W generator will produce over 41A (W=A*V). Everything that runs on shore power should run on the generator, and then some.

If the charger is putting out 100 A at 14.5V, that's 1400 W. Even if you throw in conversion losses, it's never going to tax the capability of the generator.

Your water heater MAY use 1500 W, although it could be only 750.

Something else is going on here. Bay Pelican offered one possibility. I would also review the inverter/charger manual. My house bank has to be really low for mine to put out anything near 100A. It ramps down pretty quickly after that, so it's not unusual to see it at 40 or 50A after it's been charging for a little while. There could also be logic in the inverter/charger to reduce output based on other loads, and that option could be set too low. Finally, some chargers use a temperature sensor that reduces the charging rate as temperatures go up. Maybe running the genset warms the ER up enough to affect that.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:13 AM   #7
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I have the same setup and have also wondered the same thing. My genset is in a separate area of the boat and isolated by my fuel tank from the engine room so temperature doesn't seem to be an issue. I once ran my generator all day just to see if I could get a full charge but never got there. It seems my alternator does a better job of charging the batteries. I've even considered installing a separate charger just for the house bank to see if that makes any difference.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:26 AM   #8
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yes, as other's have said, the one thing that is unclear here is the state of your battery bank when you turn on the gen to start charging. I have the same inverter/charger and within minutes it will be charging at less than 50 amps unless the batteries are near 50%
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:46 AM   #9
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In my case I have 4 AGM x 8D batteries and start charging usually when they're around 12.2 volts.
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:14 AM   #10
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One other point, I've noticed that after giving some time for the voltage to settle out after charging that the voltage meter often indicates 12.6 volts. So even if it doesn't trigger the Heart 2000 panel to indicate a full charge I've come to accept that as fully charged. That's why I never did bother to install another charger. It's close enough for me.
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:45 PM   #11
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Are you using an external controller on the Heart Inverter/ Charger if so which one? Do you have the battery type and the amp hours for your house bank set properly? Does your unit support load shedding?
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:29 PM   #12
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I have a remote controller if that's what you mean. I've never read up on the unit and don't have any information or knowledge of making adjustments to suit different battery types. After I learned how to set my Balmar regulator I had a look at the panel to see if similar adjustments could be make but didn't see any obvious way to change it. Not too sure what you mean by load shedding. It works perfect when the boat is plugged in at the dock just not off the generator. But if the batteries are showing 12.6 volts it's got to be so close to fully charged that I'm not bothered if the Heart says they're not.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:49 PM   #13
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I used to have the older 2500 watt Xantrex that looked like the Heart I used a Link2000R controller with mine. It had to have a shunt installed in the negative lead, from the display. It required setting the house bank's total AH's, battery type, % of AC load shedding and the Perkeurts equation. If the Peukerts was set wrong it could completely throw off the various battery set points of the charger function. This could fool the charger into thinking the battery bank was either fully charged or not charged enough if set wrong.
In fact I think AC load shedding couldn't be set on the Freedom 2500 just the other models. Also I assume the inverter is a modified/ Quasi sine wave?
I ended up purchasing a ProMariner 2000PS TruePowerCombi. It is a 2000 watt pure sine wave 110VAC inverter and a 70 amp peak 12VDC 3 stage charger for my Gulfstar which may or may not ever go in that project.
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:34 PM   #14
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Fred's theory, that the wave form from the generator results in the charger producing less current to the battery, makes some sense. But that hasn't been my experience.

I have had two boats with generators and both with Freedom 2000 inverter/chargers. One was a Northern Lights 5kw which is supposed to have a good AC waveform. The current boat has a NextGen 3.5kw which is supposed to have a lousy waveform. Both can drive the charger near 100 amps.

But maybe there is something unique about the Westerbeke's waveform that the charger doesn't like.

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Old 10-16-2014, 05:46 AM   #15
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Every one seems to understand the hassle when a chop chop (square wave ) inverter can not power a heavy motor the way a sine wave inverter does.

Tiny noisemakers have the same hassle , the sine wave shows the 60cps and the voltage is 120v but there is fat less power.

This , like the inverter is due to the SHAPE of the wave form.

Power is the area inside the sine wave , and a nice fat wave at the dock has more power to use than a skiney wave form so things will operate , but not as strong , like some batt chargers , only 1/2 the output.
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:35 AM   #16
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Fred's explanation was how it was explained to me by him and also by tech services at the old Heart Co.

The last 2 boats we have had a 5 kw and 8 Kw NL generator, one, with a Heart 2500 inverter/125 amp charger and the other, an OutBack VFX2812M inverter/125 amp charger. Using the generators, I have never been able to reach the rated charger outputs. When the battery bank is down, I usually get ~103 amps or so and that's it. When we calculate runtime for recharging the batteries off the generator, we use 100 amps not what the manufacturer says.

The first pic shows the house bank down 257 amps out of 1100. The second picture, I had just turned the generator on to recharge.
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:54 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
Fred's explanation was how it was explained to me by him and also by tech services at the old Heart Co.

The last 2 boats we have had a 5 kw and 8 Kw NL generator, one, with a Heart 2500 inverter/125 amp charger and the other, an OutBack VFX2812M inverter/125 amp charger. Using the generators, I have never been able to reach the rated charger outputs. When the battery bank is down, I usually get ~103 amps or so and that's it. When we calculate runtime for recharging the batteries off the generator, we use 100 amps not what the manufacturer says.

The first pic shows the house bank down 257 amps out of 1100. The second picture, I had just turned the generator on to recharge.
Just to be clear, in that same situation, if you'd plugged in shore power when 257 down, with the batteries and charger at the same temperature as when you took those pics, you'd get closer to 125A out of the charger? I ask because I haven't noticed any difference; I get nearly full Amps out of my charger when first powered on, whatever the source.

I just assumed that a rotating generator would produce a reasonable sine wave, whether it's my tiny 7.5KW genset, or the 13,000KW turbine-driven one in the local nuke plant. Both work essentially the same way, right?
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:20 PM   #18
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No the wave form from a small generator won't necessarily look like the one from your utility grid.

Victron Energy analyzed a dozen small marine gensets and looked at their wave forms with resistive loads and with inductive loads. The Victron report can be found here Marine Generator Test - Victron Energy. Click on the generator test report link near the top to download a pdf. The waveform analysis starts at about page 30.

Some generators produced a tall and thin waveform with distortion. I can believe that this type of wave form will not drive a charger to its rated output.

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Old 10-17-2014, 03:43 PM   #19
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Here's what I tried today. I unplugged from shore power. At -47.4 amps on the house bank (1100 amp hour cap), I turned on the charger via shore power and saw 113 amps as per the Link 10. I have never see this high amperage charging via the generator. The 113 amps has been higher when the batteries are at a lower state of charge and when all DC loads are off (refrigerator, freezer) when charging from shore power though. It took me a long time to accept that charging from the generator, I would get ~20% less of the rated manufacturer's output.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:21 PM   #20
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The problem may be with the voltage control on the genset. We had a small genset, don't remember the brand, but it had the open core transformer regulator, not an active regulator. Just running the A/C, the A/C would complain about low voltage and shut down. Adding a resistive load like a water heater and the A/C ran just fine. Those types of regulators appear to be sensitive to the power factor of the load.

Just a thought,

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