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Old 18-04-2024, 07:57 AM
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Battery charging question.

I live off grid with a very basic solar set up and charge my batteries with solar and a Honda genny.

With the wet weather the genny is in constant use.

I received advice, second hand, that when charging the genny should be run at full pace as opposed to ECO mode as something something that's best...now my amp metre says 30 amps is coming either way...and ECO mode is more fuel efficient...can anyone comment here...which mode and why.

alex
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Old 18-04-2024, 10:15 AM
gary
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Hi Alex,

I am an electrical engineer, I happen to own a Honda generator with the
ECO mode switch, but I don't run off-grid or need to charge batteries with it.

I have pondered your question.

Whenever I use the generator I put it in ECO mode.

As you are aware, it adjusts the speed of the motor to produce the electrical output required.
The whole idea of ECO mode is to save fuel.

See https://powerequipment.honda.com/gen...s/eco-throttle

The other day they replaced the power lines in the street and I had it on
all day powering the refrigerator. If I plugged in, say, the coffee pot and
drew additional load, you would hear it rev up, which you would be
intimately familiar with.

Unless there is some other specification that puts a lower limit on
the number of amps you can draw in ECO mode, then my first thought
is that whatever the load sis drawing, if that is within the rated output
spec of ECO mode, it should simply rev-up and match that demand.

I guess ECO mode is well suited when the load is lower than the maximum
supported load or when the load keeps changing. For example
when you go to make toast.

If the current draw of the load was close to the maximum rated output
and was that way essentially for hours, obviously ECO mode would become
moot.

If you learn anything more, I would be interested to know. Otherwise
I would put it in ECO mode unless it sounds like it is struggling.
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Old 18-04-2024, 11:00 AM
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Thank you Gary.

Finally one must be able to think the ampmetre can't lie...I have 30 amps either way.
Even when I run the air con as well ECO mode works...30 amp charge because I figure that is appropriate for my small bank.

I think it may come from some folks notion that you must keep a load on the genny...which I find odd also...I find so much stuff up here is just bunk...you have to establish things are not just plucked out of thin air...

Thanks again

alex
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Old 18-04-2024, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xelasnave View Post
I received advice, second hand, that when charging the genny should be run at full pace as opposed to ECO mode as something something that's best...
Im just speculating,but your source may be conflating a few things....

Any simple ICE has a rev range where they running with most efficiency...
ie for a given amount of fuel, a certain amount of power is output.
This fuel to power ratio is not constant across the rev range, and there is a 'sweet spot' where the most power is output for a given amount of fuel...

It has to do with how much and how long the inlet and exhaust valves are open for...


For most cars - this is usually designed to be where the engine spends most of its time...unless its a performance car that needs to be efficient where it also makes the most power - but i digress.

For the Genny - the most efficient part of the rpm range might well be at the top end (i dont know if this is true) .....but if you dont use the electricity coming out the other....its wasted fuel...

For mine - Eco mode all the way!

The little on board dooverlacky works out how hard the genny needs to work to supply the current you need by sensing if there is a voltage drop due to increased load - thus avoiding said fuel wastage...
and potentially extending the life of the engine....
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Old 18-04-2024, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkbite View Post
Im just speculating,but your source may be conflating a few things....

Any simple ICE has a rev range where they running with most efficiency...
ie for a given amount of fuel, a certain amount of power is output.
This fuel to power ratio is not constant across the rev range, and there is a 'sweet spot' where the most power is output for a given amount of fuel...

It has to do with how much and how long the inlet and exhaust valves are open for...


For most cars - this is usually designed to be where the engine spends most of its time...unless its a performance car that needs to be efficient where it also makes the most power - but i digress.

For the Genny - the most efficient part of the rpm range might well be at the top end (i dont know if this is true) .....but if you dont use the electricity coming out the other....its wasted fuel...

For mine - Eco mode all the way!

The little on board dooverlacky works out how hard the genny needs to work to supply the current you need by sensing if there is a voltage drop due to increased load - thus avoiding said fuel wastage...
and potentially extending the life of the engine....
Thanks for taking your time to offer sensible input.
The genny is running now on ECO and it is pouring rain so all is good with the world.

alex
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Old 19-04-2024, 06:18 AM
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Alex we have been using a Honda Generator for many years during our travels and the charging of the batteries do so in either mode, you don't need to run full steam, so to speak.

Our batters used to top up while we were connected to the Generator and whilst using power else where for the running of the things in the 5th Wheeler.

So just plug it in and save fuel, all will be fine.

Leon
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Old 24-04-2024, 07:03 AM
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I have the EU20i and run in eco mode, fridges, serious power tools, no problems. The inverter does the regulation so the revs are not important like in the old days. One thing though, I was a lawn mowing contractor for 25 years running Honda HRU 216, 6Hp mowers, and an avid motorcyclist. Engines, of all types, need to have the cobwebs blown out, so I run it full power every now and then to blow off any carbon that may have built up on the valves or in the exhaust system. Running 95 is the best we -contractors- believe for these little engines. I run 95 in everything, and give everything a bit of 'stick' from time to time
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Old 24-04-2024, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KG8 View Post
I have the EU20i and run in eco mode, fridges, serious power tools, no problems. The inverter does the regulation so the revs are not important like in the old days. One thing though, I was a lawn mowing contractor for 25 years running Honda HRU 216, 6Hp mowers, and an avid motorcyclist. Engines, of all types, need to have the cobwebs blown out, so I run it full power every now and then to blow off any carbon that may have built up on the valves or in the exhaust system. Running 95 is the best we -contractors- believe for these little engines. I run 95 in everything, and give everything a bit of 'stick' from time to time
Thanks very much for your input expert commentary I greatly appreciate you taking your time to help me.
alex
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Old 24-04-2024, 10:29 PM
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You're welcome Xe. One added thing, any two stroke engines you run are particularly susceptible to carbon buildup, that's why it's recommended to run them at full revs. With chain saws this is easy but not with whipper snippers used on domestic yards. At the end of every day I would pull in most of the line (reduce drag) and then run the engine full bore for 60 seconds or so to burn and blast out the carbon. The first time you do this you'll feel flecks of carbon shooting out of the exhaust if you wave the palm of your hand past it. Obviously you don't hold your hand in front of the pipe lol.
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Old 24-04-2024, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KG8 View Post
You're welcome Xe. One added thing, any two stroke engines you run are particularly susceptible to carbon buildup, that's why it's recommended to run them at full revs. With chain saws this is easy but not with whipper snippers used on domestic yards. At the end of every day I would pull in most of the line (reduce drag) and then run the engine full bore for 60 seconds or so to burn and blast out the carbon. The first time you do this you'll feel flecks of carbon shooting out of the exhaust if you wave the palm of your hand past it. Obviously you don't hold your hand in front of the pipe lol.
Thanks again..I raced two stroke 250 cc class motocross and know and love the two stroke...I ran castor oil in the fuel so used to pull carb down between events..spark plugs new each event..fifty cents each so it was expensive there were two in the head..a hot and cold..one to use when starting then you switched up...but stop the motor rather than grab the lead

I get a guy in..hippy..who uses electric brush cutter and so my nice little Honda four stroke sees no action but man I am surprised just how good his cordless is...he did a car trailer loaded 5 foot high when stacked...for his goats..and work like no other ..and at the end of the day we play guitar together..worth every cent.

Thanks again.

alex
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Old 26-04-2024, 12:47 PM
Leo.G (Leo)
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Which 2 stroke 250s did you race Alex?
I liked the Yamaha TZ series, the 250, the 500 and particularly the 750 but couldn't afford them.

My father rode a Yamaha RD200 back in the 70s when I was a young kid and it went like stink. My father was 6'4 and 23 stone yet that little 200 carried him everywhere, always screaming.
I used to motocross on a two stroke RM suzuki in my teens and a few club road races on my road bike but it was way too expensive on my wage ($36.00 per week net for 40 hours work at 17) to make it anything more than a part time hobby at best.

I was offered full sponsorship by a major oil company in my 20s to race (road) in a European series but turned it down due to health (migraines, I don't ride when I can't even see or think).
I do and don't regret turning down the offer. I always said if I killed myself because of a sudden onset migraine no big deal but if I injured someone else I'd have to live with that. I was told I could get injections to race but that just didn't seem right.


Speaking of two strokes, my mower is a 1965 Victa Mayfair (Walton's brand) with a hand wind starter mechanism, wind the handle exactly 4 times, prime the carburettor and pull the little release lever. It sat under my house for 3 years not used (I have an old Toro wheelhorse ride on I use and a good brush cutter), I pulled it out recently, put fresh fuel in it, it started first go. I've never even changed or cleaned the spark plug in the thing. It never misses a beat and looks in near new condition. It's my favourite mower and so reliable plus it goes through grass better than any 4 stroke unit and is a considerable amount lighter.
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Last edited by Leo.G; 26-04-2024 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 26-04-2024, 01:38 PM
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Just as a footnote the Honda generators such as the EU20i are four stroke.
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Old 26-04-2024, 01:54 PM
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Hi there Leo,
I raced Husqvarna 250 crs and later Yamaha mono shock 250.

I was, as always, just a mug having a go but I loved the game and I took so much away that was of benefit...like anything can be done in the time before the next race

As to two strokes laying about...I had a 4 hp Seagull out board in the garage for five years which started first pull without attention to plug...fresh fuel however as I would never leave fuel in a motor that would sit around.

Thank you for your interesting account.

alex
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Old 26-04-2024, 02:23 PM
Leo.G (Leo)
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Husqvarna made the best bikes back in the day, nothing could come close power for weight and the suspension made all of the Japanese stuff feel more like you were bouncing on a pogo stick.


With the fuel, my mower always gets the carby emptied via the tank cock before putting it away. Last time I pulled it out it hadn't been used in 3 years and had been submerged with water over the deck (under my house is like a river when it rains, higher back yard sloping down and house raised at the front. Water gets to around 12 inches deep. We've drilled holes in the brick work at the small gate to allow it to drain). I flipped the mower over and checked the crank turned freely (after removing the plug lead) and when it did I drained the tank, put new fuel in it and it started first crank, amazing old thing made to last.


Quote:
Just as a footnote the Honda generators such as the EU20i are four stroke.
I think everything is 4 stroke now Gary, the old oil burners are sadly a thing of the past (maybe still common in outboards I think) but to motorcyclists they were what made the eyes pop. Nothing in 4 stroke of the day could get near their equivalent capacity 2 stroke machines. When the Moto-GP changed the rules (and banned the 2 strokes possibly) the 500cc capacity got opened up to 1,000cc for the open class. Now we have lighter, higher revving, faster 4 stroke motorcycles so I guess some good came of it but the older members here who got to do some miles on the 2 stroke machines of the 70s and 80s will never forget them.
I got to enjoy several rides on my house mates Yamaha RZ350, once the tachometer hit 6,000 RPM it was hang on. I learned the scary way while leaned over in a corner at an intersection, first gear, opened it up and lifted the front wheel while still cranked right over, wife on the back. My friend used to swap it for my Honda CX500 for rides because he got booked too many times on the Yamaha. He came home from visiting his then GF riding my Honda annoyed, he got a ticket on my 500. I've never had a ticket.

Last edited by Leo.G; 26-04-2024 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 26-04-2024, 06:54 PM
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I had a old 40hp two stoke Evinrude outboard, that i bought from a dodgy second hand dealer in Sydney. It pushed my 16foot Bill Bollard timber runabout around for many years and never failed to start.
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