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Old 12-04-2014, 08:21 AM   #1
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Generator Amperage Too High

Generator is supplying more than the 120 amps needed. It exceeds the 130 amp mark on amperage meter inside RV. Is there a converter in RV that needs to be replaced or checked ?
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:46 AM   #2
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The converter coverts AC to DC voltages.
What is your chassis mfg? (Ford, Chev, ...)
Are you looking at the stock dash gauge in the cluster?

If you are looking at the stock dash gauge in the cluster that is not amps but volts and ~13 volts is OK. 12 is ~ normal for the engine not running with the key on.
You do have a 130amp AC Generator on the engine that puts out DC voltages if it is a Ford.
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:28 AM   #3
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Are you referencing your vehicle alternator or voltage output from your coach generator? How are you measuring amps and from what?
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:38 PM   #4
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A wild guess is that he is talking about his Couch, AC generator, just has amps and volts mixed up.


If that is the case, you need to get your generator engine speed control checked. If the engine is going to fast, your volts will be high and you could blow out all your AC voltage stuff.


If you are talking about amps from your motor home drive engine, you will get high amps from the alternator, if the batteries are run way down. But that should only last a few minutes before it starts to taper down.


In any case, more info is needed
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:46 PM   #5
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subford said:
You do have a 130amp AC Generator on the engine that puts out DC voltages if it is a Ford.
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That is not correct: it will be an AC alternator ( Alternating Current ) with internal Diodes that convert the AC to DC. All modern charging systems are this way, and the units are called Alternators.


Back before Alternators were popular Generators were used to charge batteries. They produced DC ( Direct Current ), but were much less efficient then todays alternators.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:47 PM   #6
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Are you sure you mean 120 amps? are you meaning 120 volts. with no load on the generator it can go to 130 volts.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by WESain View Post
Generator is supplying more than the 120 amps needed. It exceeds the 130 amp mark on amperage meter inside RV. Is there a converter in RV that needs to be replaced or checked ?
Ummmm, your generator is supplying too much power? They don't do that sir. Take a deep breath and check your measurements. Also check your type of measurement. Are you really looking at Amperage (electric current flowing) or Voltage (electric pressure).

In my antique home with an equally antique Onan, 132VAC (Volts Alternating Current) can be normal with an unloaded generator, a situation not normally seen with normal operation. If I try to charge my batteries, always connected, run my 1500 watt (Volts X Amps) heater, my electric tea kettle and my convection oven the 30 Ampere circuit breaker on the generator will trip.

Enough information or too much?
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:10 PM   #8
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All 120v AC rated electrical devices are designed to safely operate at plus or minus 10% of 120v or from 108v to 132v. You will find that range is common for most all non-inverter generators. Their engine speed governor is not able to maintain the exact rpm required to maintain 120v under varying load conditions. A no load or minimum load voltage up to 132v is normal and not harmful. The newer inverter generators like the Honda EU series or Onan QD series maintain 120v electronically and engine speed doesn't matter.

If you monitor your generator voltage beginning with nothing on and start turning things on you will see the voltage drop as the load increases-normal.

I know you meant volts not amps (-:

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Old 12-04-2014, 01:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
subford said:
You do have a 130amp AC Generator on the engine that puts out DC voltages if it is a Ford.
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That is not correct: it will be an AC alternator ( Alternating Current ) with internal Diodes that convert the AC to DC. All modern charging systems are this way, and the units are called Alternators.


Back before Alternators were popular Generators were used to charge batteries. They produced DC ( Direct Current ), but were much less efficient then todays alternators.
Ford calls it an AC Generator in all of its diagrams as the word alternator could not be used as Chrysler had a patten on it.
It is the same story with GM, they called the GM generating device a Delcotron generator.

Example diagram with Ford calling it a Generator in 1996.

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Old 12-04-2014, 01:15 PM   #10
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I think you are trying to say that the generator is putting out over 130 volts. The max out put of a Onan is 131 volts with zero load. If you are using one of the $15.00 meters with the needle, they are terribly inaccurate.If you are using a digital meter, they are usually accurate. Turn on the Air conditioner or microwave and see if it goes back to 120 to 125. If it stays high, take it in and have it repaired.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:47 PM   #11
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An increase in generator RPMs might result in an increase in voltage, but more likely an increase in cycles per second. A good tool for this poster would be a Kill A Watt meter. It plugs into any outlet and measures line volts, amp usage of things plugged into it, and cycles per second.

http://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Elect.../dp/B00009MDBU
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:57 PM   #12
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181,

There is no doubt about it a increase in RPM with a non-inverter generator WILL increase voltage but also cycles. A good way to adjust a non-inverter generator for proper voltages from no load to full load is with a Kill-A-Watt. Set it on cycles and try for 62 cycles with no load to 58 cycles at full load. Often a bit of lubrication on the throttle linkage will help get it where you want it.

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Old 12-05-2014, 06:59 AM   #13
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Ford calls it an AC Generator in all of its diagrams as the word alternator could not be used as Chrysler had a patten on it.
It is the same story with GM, they called the GM generating device a Delcotron generator.

Example diagram with Ford calling it a Generator in 1996.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


OK, you go into any Auto Parts store and ask for an AC Generator for your M/H. They are not going to give you the 30 pound belt driven thing on your drive engine, without explaining what your talking about.


Even my 1984 Volvo Penta marine diesel engine, parts book calls it an alternator.


I am trying to help people with real world problems, not teach them the history of alternator patents.


The O/P seems confused about Volts and Amps and your comments could possibly add to the confusion.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:05 AM   #14
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Holy Smokes! The OP was probably mistaken on calling volts amps. The leap to also think he was referring to the engine alternator and not the generator seems a stretch to me. Then to engage in give and take about the history, patents, and nomenclature of the alternator is not doing anyone service. WESain asked if there was a converter that needed to be checked or replaced. Short answer, NO. There isn't a converter controlling amperage or voltage in the generator circuit. The generator has a voltage regulator, or control board, that adjusts generator speed to control it's voltage output. As has been said, with no load the generator may read a little high in voltage, but should stay within a safe range when a load is applied.
In your RV, you might have a converter, but it is to change 120 volts AC to 12 v DC for operating your 12 v power systems. Most converters also have a charger built in to keep batteries charged. This should not influence your 120 v AC system.

You might want to read The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1) to learn about your electrical systems in your RV.
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