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I'm wondering if it would be ok/ advisable to charge a liesure battery with a small generator like:

HONDA EU10I 1.0 KW QUIET RUNNING SUITCASE INVERTER GENERATOR (PETROL)

and if not why?

  • What do you mean with 'leisure battery'? A 12v lead-acid battery or something different? – MadMarky Feb 21 '18 at 16:27
  • @MadMarky i guess theres lots of different kinds but yes a 12v lead acid would be a good example – ldgorman Feb 21 '18 at 18:38
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Yes the Honda eu10i in my experience is good for charging batteries but it generates Ac voltage and your batteries will need a 12vDC (assuming you have a 12v set up) battery charger. So you would want to plug your battery charger into the generator.

Some generators have a small (approx. 8 amp) DC charging circuit which you can connect straight up to a battery but apparently this is ill advised as the quality of the charge is poor, it is a very small charge compared to the rating of the generator and generally gives a bad, too high and poorly controlled charge (can boil batteries). I've read many times before that these 12v DC circuits should only be used in an emergency or to get you out of a fix.

So, you've got a descent little genny - now it's down to the charger. You might be surprised how little amperage you can get through a charger generator set up as there are lots of losses in the line. The key feature here to look for in a charger to maximise the use of the generator is "PFC" (Power factor corrected). This can make a substantial difference apparently. However smart (or intelligent) chargers with multi stage charging and also a focus on PFC do not come cheap but depending on your circumstances can easily pay for themselves.

Generators (even "silent" ones) are still noisy, polluting and can cost some in fuel. What's more you have to consider that the fuel has to be obtained and stored safely and so - it's use, you might want to keep to a minimum. Again it might pay getting an efficient charger. What's more generators (like car engines) don't like to idle for long periods of time (classic case a generator being used to run a light bulb) so again it would pay to have an efficient set up.

There are many matters of safety to consider when charging batteries and using petrol generators. Make sure you do your homework to ensure you know what you are doing and bear in mind that different battery chargers can be designed for an array of different battery types. Using petrol is extremely dangerous and requires focus knowledge and care.

  • I was going to ask another question about the 12v output, but you answered that too. Great info, thank you – ldgorman Feb 21 '18 at 21:41
  • could you link me to an example of a charger? – ldgorman Feb 22 '18 at 13:50
  • @idgorman try googling Sterling Power Pro Charge Ultra 12v 20a charger – Michael Sherpa Feb 22 '18 at 13:55
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Check generator's owners manual first! Then check leisure battery if it can take that charge. Matching voltage and is rechargeable.

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