Power Equipment Forum banner

1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm new here. In light of the recent blackouts in California due to all the fires I went and bought a pair of Honda 2200i generators to run in parallel with the intention of powering my entire house. I don't have electric heaters, or electric furnaces or anything like that. The stove is gas, the water heater is gas, I have a wood stove and the furnaces are gas. Electrically, I'm only powering the fridge, lights and the relay for the gas stove. The fridge uses between 12-15A, so in reality I do need two of these things to get enough power for the house.

We had a blackout the other day, but I ran only one of the generators, just for the fridge. I haven't opened the other one and I was thinking about taking it back and exchanging for the Companion unit. The reason being, for now I'm running extension cords... so using two identical generators is fine. But eventually I plan to install a transfer switch and run straight into the house. For that, it's better to have the 2200i + 2200i Companion, with the parallel cords, since the Companion unit allows for a single 30A plug out. Otherwise, according to Honda, I have to balance two 15A cords... one for each side.

I've seen people that have made custom harnesses to run two identical 2200i's into a junction box in parallel and from there, a 30A out into the transfer switch. With a little research, I could build that. But given I haven't opened one of the boxes yet, I think I'm better off just exchanging it and getting the Companion unit.

What do you guys suggest? Is there a benefit in having the two identical units that I'm not seeing? Or is it clearly better to have the 2200i + 2200i Companion?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
My understanding is that you need the Companion model to be able to twin to another eu2200 (or some eu2000). I would exchange the regular 2200 for the Companion model, especially since you have one in an unopened box to trade in. Also get the cables required to link the two Inverters. My two cents. Dutchy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
I guess I'm not understanding how you're planning to connect 2 120V generators (parallel or not) to a 240V residential panel. The two 120V legs in the panel are 180 degrees out of phase. Paralleling 2 EU2200s for a 120V 30A RV input is one thing, but you'll need to do a 120V transfer switch sub panel for only your critical items in order to use the 120V output in a typical house scenario: http://www.steadypower.com/products.php?product=Reliance-306A1-Indoor-Transfer-Switch-%2830A%252d120V%29
You can't do a "whole house" transfer switch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
I have a pair of EU2000i, set up for parallel operation. I bought a Harbor Freight parallel kit, it plugs into each generator (using the individual plug-in connectors), and provides a 30A outlet receptacle.

https://www.harborfreight.com/RV-Ready-30A-Parallel-Kit-for-Predator-2000-Inverter-Generator-62564.html

It fit my Hondas without issue. I can't speak to the newer 2200i, but it may still be a worthwhile option.

The benefit to me is I was able to buy used "normal" units, which are more common than Companions. And each can be used (or sold) individually, without issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
They are the exact same generator. If you look at the wiring diagrams, the only difference is that one has the 30 amp plug and one has the 12v board and plug. Both of them have the ability to pair with another one. The generator that comes online first acts as the “Master” for the frequency, and the generator that comes on second acts as the “slave” for the frequency and matches the master. But either of them can be started first. All the sync kits do is connect the hot, ground, and neutral of both generators together, and the companion one has the higher rated 30 amp plug.
So you can use two companions, two non-companions, or one companion and one non-companion and they will pair just fine, then it’s just a question of how you want to plug things in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I have a pair of EU2000i, set up for parallel operation. I bought a Harbor Freight parallel kit, it plugs into each generator (using the individual plug-in connectors), and provides a 30A outlet receptacle.

https://www.harborfreight.com/RV-Ready-30A-Parallel-Kit-for-Predator-2000-Inverter-Generator-62564.html

It fit my Hondas without issue. I can't speak to the newer 2200i, but it may still be a worthwhile option.

The benefit to me is I was able to buy used "normal" units, which are more common than Companions. And each can be used (or sold) individually, without issue.
This kit would work fine for two 2200s IMHO. Or you could build your own similar thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Pairing up EU2200

I just bought a pair of 2200 units, and plan to use them to power my RV-Car Hauler project.

The standard plugs on the Non Companion model, and the standard plug on the Companion model are both fused with a 20 amp breaker.

The 30 amp plug, as well as the Parallel ports on both units are not run through a breaker (at all). This allows the factory recommended pairing to actually exceed 30 amps transiently without tripping a breaker. If you use the HF unit, you will be limited to 30 amps unnecessarily actually.

I find this aspect interesting, that the pair of 2200 can kick out 37 amps transiently, so Honda DOESN'T fuse the "30 amp" plug on the companion.

Since my RV has a fuse box, I will simply use a parallel plug kit off amazon to tie my two non-companion units together, and not be limited to 30 amps either.
(Atima Generator Extension Power Cord Cable AGC103 Parallel Kit)
By the way: As I set this up, I have also bought a pair of hour meters to install on the units, ones triggered by 12V, not induction of spark plug wire and not relying on an internal battery in the meter. This will allow for proper maintenance.
(Searon DC 12V 24V 36V 48V 60V 72V Mechanical Engine Hour Meter Generator Hourmeter 6-80 Volt)

Honda once sold a Honda labelled box similar to the HF one mentioned, but UL approval was available only if they also approved the gensets (logical) but Honda didn't want to go that route. So Gen Tran still makes a clone of this, not labelled Honda, but Honda only sells the parallel wire sets, not a full kit.

Once nice tip for any of the parrallel kits is that the ground lead that has to be fastened to the front panel is tied to the ground of the standard plugs. So, to keep things easy and plug-n-play quickly, you can put that green lead into a standard plug using JUST the ground wire, and plug it into one of the two outlets to make taking the wire harness on and off very simple.

Amazon Wire Harness to Plug: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074J6SW9H/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Amazon Hour Meter: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CNI7I2Y/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Alex Lipowich
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I find this aspect interesting, that the pair of 2200 can kick out 37 amps transiently, so Honda DOESN'T fuse the "30 amp" plug on the companion.
I like this aspect with mine, but I’ve always wondered how Honda manages to “get away” with this? The 30-amp plug is limited by specs to 30 amps. It seems like they are setting up the system in a way that they can send more power through the outlet than what it (or the 30 amp 10-gauge cords you plug into it) can handle by specification?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I like this aspect with mine, but I’ve always wondered how Honda manages to “get away” with this? The 30-amp plug is limited by specs to 30 amps. It seems like they are setting up the system in a way that they can send more power through the outlet than what it (or the 30 amp 10-gauge cords you plug into it) can handle by specification?
Two thoughts on this:

First, it may well be that the reason Honda didn't get UL approval on the generators is this reason specifically. They wanted the paired generators to be able to allow start up surge needs to exceed 30 amps, but didn't want to put a 50 amp uncommon outlet on the generators as they don't come anywhere near 50 amps.

Second, if I recall correctly, if you tried to draw 37 amps for a prolonged time, 30 minutes, there is a shut down built into the generator to prevent that. Possibly any cord rated for 30 amps has to allow for up to 30+X for a short time, say, an hour at 40 amps before failing, and Honda knows that it will shut down the output from that outlet well before a cord rated for 30 amps will fail. Pure supposition on my part. Sort of a software breaker that only kicks in after 30 minutes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
As @tabora said, you can't get 240vac from this paralleling arrangement. Don't know if that's a concern to you or not, but just FYI.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
We live in CA and had the same issues with the power outages.

My wife wanted power, especially for the garage refrigerator to work and didn't want to deal with refueling the honda so often.

I bought one of these 1x3s instead. It is essentially a UPS that can charge from solar or 120 vac.

The way it works:
- Plug the refrigerator into the 1x3
- Plug 1x3 into the wall (or generator)
- Plug the 1x3 into some solar panels (in my case, I put 2 in front of the house and 2 in back)

95% of the time, the garage fridge is now off grid solar powered.

The generator will only come out when that isn't enough power for stuff.

This isn't 240 vac either - it is all 120.

https://wirlnet-inc.square.site/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
I am trying to figure out how he was able to make this work.

He is showing that he used:
- 2 each honda 2000 size
- 1 each honda 3000 size

"Paired" all three together so that they are running with matched frequencies.

I looked at the honda site and they claim that it is intended for matching 2 essentially identical units, or you risk having lower voltages. I am speculating it is because they don't completely synchronize - but that is a guess on my part.

https://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/generator-parallel-capability

The auto transformer idea works, in that it creates a 240 vac (hot pair) to run a pump from the 120 vac input. AFAIK, it does not create a neutral though, so it still would not work to power a home.

A home is not really 240 vac like that. It is "split phase". Some electrical engineers refer to it as "2 phase", as it 2 each, 120 vac hot wires that are 90 degrees out of phase, a neutral and a ground. This compares to 3 phase, 208 vac, which is 3 each, 120 vac hot wires that are 60 degrees out of phase, a neutral and ground.

edit - see correction from Tabora below on the phase angles.

I could be entirely wrong - that is my understanding of it.

Harry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
You are right. Thanks for the correction.

So 240 vac is 180 degrees out of phase, and 3 phase is 120 degrees out of phase?

Thanks
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
Top