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Home charging on a generator

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:59 pm
by WetOne
Out West we lose power overnight routinely when the winter storms come in off the Pacific.
If I need to charge my Spark when the main lines are down, will I be able to plug it into a small generator? It shows it is rated at 120 volts, and 13.3 amps. If my math is right, this is 1600 watts. Will this be enough to charge a Spark overnight?

Re: Home charging on a generator

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:02 am
by wutangmo15
The 120V charger included with the Spark can only charge at 8 amps or 12 amps if you set it in the car to charge at 12 amps. At the 12 amps setting (1.44 kw), an 8 hour charge will net you a theoretical charge of 11.52 kwh. That is a little more than half the capacity in the Spark. To answer your question of it being enough to charge overnight, it depends on how much battery you used the previous day. If less than half, then theoretically yes you can.

Re: Home charging on a generator

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:47 pm
by TonyWilliams
Many times, the "briefcase" generators like Honda and Yamaha won't charge an electric car if the EVSE can't sense a ground. With a simple plug in any outlet of the generator wired to have a teeny, tiny path of current from hot to ground, this will enable the generator to sense ground, and therefore charge the car.

The easy way to make this work is take a NEMA 5-15P plug and install two 1/2 watt 100k ohm resistors. One from neutral to ground (usually green), and the other from hot to ground. Then simply plug this into any outlet on the generator, and your EVSE into the other outlet. This will safely pass the ground detect on the EVSE, while not being a hazard in any other way.

If charging from a 240 volt generator, connect both hot legs and the neutral to ground. Then earth is then properly floating in the "middle".

Re: Home charging on a generator

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:44 pm
by SanDiego
Owner's manual says specifically not to use a generator for charging, but gives no explanation. I suppose this is just Chevy covering the chance that a generator is going to vary it's rate & the car's safeguards won't protect it?

Re: Home charging on a generator

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:14 pm
by TonyWilliams
SanDiego wrote:Owner's manual says specifically not to use a generator for charging, but gives no explanation. I suppose this is just Chevy covering the chance that a generator is going to vary it's rate & the car's safeguards won't protect it?
Some will say "don't use unapproved charge stations", or "don't use an extension cord" or other Cover Your Ass (CYA) statements.

Obviously, if the generator isn't up to the task of supplying 8 or 12 amps continuously with a proper 60hz AC 120 / 240 volts, then don't use it.

Re: Home charging on a generator

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:26 pm
by stevon
posted my solution here: L2 portable generator charging

http://www.mychevysparkev.com/forum/vie ... f=7&t=4149

Re: Home charging on a generator

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:41 pm
by ycdocs120

Re: Home charging on a generator

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:30 pm
by MrDRMorgan
ycdocs120 wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:41 pm
https://youtu.be/n1u4QVkqhUE
I have often wondered about doing this. What are the specs on your generator? I have two Honda 1000 watt pure sine wave generators that can be paralleled to produce 2000 watts at 120 VAC. Combined, they should be able to easily supply 12 amps at 120 VAC. I would think the generators would also have to be directly connected to an earth ground.