Generators and Motors
[Home] - [HELP] - [Forums] - [Library] - [Photo Gallery] - [Groups] - [Classified Ads] - [Subscribe] - [Links] - [Books] - [Sponsors] -

Go Back   SmokStak > SmokStak® Vintage Electrical Equipment > Generators & Motors General Discussion > Onan Generators
Forgot Password? Join Us!

Notices

Onan Generators Restoring, operating and maintaining vintage Onan generators.

Onan Generators

Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel


this thread has 20 replies and has been viewed 639 times

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-14-2017, 09:39:14 AM
Elkhead Elkhead is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Lafayette, Colorado
Posts: 5
Thanks: 8
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

I am new to this, hope i am doing it correctly
I have a remote cabin NW Colorado and wanted to connect my generator to a breaker panel
I don't believe i will be needing 240 volt for any thing
Am i better off wiring the panel 120 volt or use both legs in the panel
I understand if doing so you need to to keep each leg equal, but that could be difficult
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 03-14-2017, 10:14:06 AM
Billy J Shafer's Avatar
Billy J Shafer Billy J Shafer is online now
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Centerville, Texas
Posts: 16,122
Thanks: 8,206
Thanked 13,414 Times in 6,331 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

Depends on what load you may need in the future. To balance a load is not that hard. Doesn't have to be perfect. Just get each side as close as you can.
__________________
I don't talk to myself. This early in the morning. Why the hell should I talk to you.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-14-2017, 10:45:54 AM
armandh armandh is online now
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Suburban St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 2,602
Thanks: 163
Thanked 615 Times in 496 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

when you say remote I assume no commercial power.

a 6.5 KW generator delivers 54 amps at 120 volts
and 27 amps on two 120 volt split 240 legs.

what one usually finds as the primary generator breaker[s] is a 50A or 2 at 25A
which do you have???

working with 6 or 8 ga wire is a PITA.
if you have the 2 @ 25 use 4 conductor 10 Ga wire to
a 4 breaker box for 4 15 amp circuits [using 14 Ga wire thereafter]

if you have the 50A breaker on the generator, locate the panel near the generator
and 3 conductor 8 Ga a short distance to the panel 6 Ga if longer distance

the box should have an isolated neutral as the generator is most likely bonded
the generator should then be grounded [frame to a ground rod]

if this is confusing seek professional assistance
mistakes can be deadly

Last edited by armandh; 03-14-2017 at 10:56:05 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to armandh For This Post:
  #4  
Old 03-14-2017, 10:47:44 AM
Elkhead Elkhead is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Lafayette, Colorado
Posts: 5
Thanks: 8
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

Thank you
My cabin is small and the large loads only consist of the mircowave for a few minutes at time
coffee pot and when i use the propane oven there is a heating element to keep the fire lit
Main consistent draw is charging the battery bank with a 30 amp charger If i understand correctly, run 2 120 volt legs to panel and split the loads as equally as possible
Thank you for your input
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-14-2017, 11:27:28 AM
Jim Rankin Jim Rankin is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Faunsdale, Alabama USA
Posts: 4,436
Thanks: 71
Thanked 1,186 Times in 969 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

The question of having the neutral bonded to the ground/breaker panel box is important if you have ground fault breakers installed in your generator or main panel. Having the neutral bonded in the panel and also at the generator will probably cause a ground fault breaker to trip because there are two paths the neutral/return current can flow returning to the generator winding. Ground fault breakers (GFCI devices) compare current "out" to current "back" and trip when there is a difference greater than a few millivolts. The solution is to remove one bonding point or the other .......but not both!

Note, this discussion is only about bonding between the neutral and ground. A neutral connection is REQUIRED from the 120 volt circuits all the way back to the generator winding or you will have severe voltage fluctuations between the two 120 volt lines as the 240 divides in inverse proportion to the load on each "120". The correct way to do this is to use a 4 wire cord to connect your generator to the panel, keeping L1, L2, N and G separate except for the intended bond point.

It will WORK using a 3 wire cord (L1, L2 & G ) to feed 120/240 if you have neutral bonded to ground at BOTH main panel and generator. You will not be able to use a ground fault breaker at the generator or main position in the panel since the neutral current flows on the Ground conductor of the 3 wire cord.

If you have a ground fault breaker feeding a branch circuit in the panel or perhaps in a receptacle at a bathroom or kitchen counter, it should not care about two N to G bonds, but one installed at the generator or as the main in your breaker panel will usually trip unless one bond is lifted.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jim Rankin For This Post:
  #6  
Old 03-14-2017, 01:39:17 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Mission Viejo, California
Posts: 3,087
Thanks: 3,803
Thanked 1,279 Times in 867 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

I think we need some more information to ensure we're giving the best advice possible. For instance:

Is this a stand alone system, with no other power sources, such as a utility connection?
I'm gathering that this is the case, but it's always best not to assume.

How far is the generator from the cabin?
Whether you go with a 120 volt, two wire, or 120/240 volt, three wire arrangement, you want the panel as close as practical to the loads, as that will deliver the best voltage regulation in all cases. If the generator is far away, 120/240 volt, three wire will deliver better voltage regulation, and will do it with less expense in copper.

Balancing does not matter to the generator, so long as the maximum current on one line is not exceeded. Indeed, no one will tell you this, but if one line has less than rated load on it, the other can have more than rated load, but by no means on a one for one basis! Best course is always to avoid any overload. Balancing does improve voltage regulation, especially with a generator that is far from the load, and so a reasonable attempt should be made.

The battery charger that is "30 amp". Does it require 30 amps at 120 volts?
If that is the case, that alone a compelling reason to go with a 120 volt, two wire connection.

Bonding. The guys are correct about bonding, it's supposed to be in one place only. You'll want to study Stand Alone Power Systems (again, assuming that's what you have) to learn how to properly install yours. NEC is good place to start, and your local jurisdiction may have more specific requirements. If you are the inspector, be careful, follow the NEC to the "T", and have a qualified electrician at least look over your system and / or give advice if you're not certain about something. There are many qualified folks here as well.

GFCI devices don't care about grounding or bonding upstream of the device. They don't reference ground, or even have a connection to ground. ALL they do is compare the current on their load line and neutral. If they're different by more than a few milliamperes they trip. It is, however, paramount that you NOT have a neutral to ground connection DOWNSTREAM of one. If that were the only neutral to ground bond, the GFCI would not protect against shocks between line and ground. If there is another neutral to ground connection anywhere else in the system, the GFCI will trip.

So, help us out with a little more information about your installation.

It sounds like you have a mighty large generator for the load to be served, which will result in significantly greater fuel consumption.

Keith
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Vanman For This Post:
  #7  
Old 03-14-2017, 02:04:42 PM
Elkhead Elkhead is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Lafayette, Colorado
Posts: 5
Thanks: 8
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

It is off grid, nearest power pole is 7 miles away
I am thinking of putting the genset about 15-20' away inside an enclosure
The battery charger has a charge rate of 30 amps 12 volt
The gen might be larger than i need, but i got free
Just had to rebuild some things on it
Sorry i do not know what the term bonding means
I am learning a lot from this site
Thank you
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-14-2017, 02:53:51 PM
Carteret Carteret is online now
Registered
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Edison, New Jersey, USA
Posts: 19
Thanks: 238
Thanked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

You can scroll to the bottom of this page and find a search box.Enter bonding, you will find multiple responses.
Your battery charger will draw about 3 Amps @120volts. 120/12=10,,,,30/10=3
How many wires do you have for gen.output?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-14-2017, 03:20:23 PM
Jim Rankin Jim Rankin is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Faunsdale, Alabama USA
Posts: 4,436
Thanks: 71
Thanked 1,186 Times in 969 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

Bonding is a connection between the neutral connecting bar and the panel box and the ground bar. Can have just one bar in there (or one on each side) but connected together and to the box itself. That would be for a main panel where the utility service would have the first disconnect (main breaker usually) and would have the neutral and grounding systems "bonded". If you have a mix of bare copper and white neutral wires on the same bar, that should mean your panel is configured as a "main" and the neutral and ground are bonded by being connected to the same bars which are connected to the box itself by screws.

Other times there are ground bars in a panel box for the uninsulated ground wires to land on and also separate neutral bars that are insulated from the box by a strip of plastic. The whites from 120 volt circuits land there. In this case the box came with a spare bonding screw inside on a piece of cardboard or in a package. That spare ( green) screw is installed through a neutral bar to penetrate the plastic insulator and bond the neutral bar to the box and the grounding system of conductors. This converts the box from the "subpanel" configuration to a main panel configuration. If you see that all the bare ground wires are on separate bars from all the white neutral wires, look for the green bonding screw that may or may not be installed through the neutral bar.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jim Rankin For This Post:
  #10  
Old 03-14-2017, 05:55:35 PM
armandh armandh is online now
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Suburban St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 2,602
Thanks: 163
Thanked 615 Times in 496 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

If your NH is bonded and I suspect it is [mine was]
then a small breaker panel with an isolated neutral is what works correctly.

30 amps at 12 volts is a lot less load than 30 amps at 120 or 240
360 watts vs 3600 or 7200
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to armandh For This Post:
  #11  
Old 03-14-2017, 06:34:30 PM
Motorhead's Avatar
Motorhead Motorhead is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Coast, California
Posts: 3,190
Thanks: 1,380
Thanked 2,050 Times in 1,106 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

What type of fuel were you intending to use? Gasoline, Propane? Best fuel from a dependability point of view, if you are not at the cabin full time, would be propane vapor. Generators de-rate in wattage output as you get higher in altitude due to horsepower loss at the engine. They de-rate some on VAPOR fuels. What altitude is this cabin at? Can you post a picture of the generator set AND the model and serial number? If you have it mounted in an enclosure, you need to ensure, depending what type of air cooling system the set has, that the generator has ample COOL intake air and a dedicated exhaust cooling air access so the two don't readily mix to prevent over-heating. The enclosure definitely needs to be critter proof from little four legged type rodents. They JUST LOVE to nest in Onans, chew on the wiring and PEE on the whole set! To run your 12 volt, 30 amp @ 12 volt charger, you might be much cheaper, if you have NO other power needs, to use a small Honda 2000 inverter generator to run the charger. It will do the job with a lot less fuel consumption than the Onan.
__________________
Back of 1958 5CCK
Contractors model
On trailer owned by
"Ma" Bell.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Motorhead For This Post:
  #12  
Old 03-15-2017, 07:36:42 AM
Elkhead Elkhead is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Lafayette, Colorado
Posts: 5
Thanks: 8
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

I really appreciate the info, Since my place is so isolated, it is hard to get any one up there
so i wind up doing everything myself The elev. is 7800 ft. I am hoping to covert to propane before i take it up there. I saw where US Carburetor sells a tri-fuel conversion
for about $270.00. If any one knows of a better system, please let me know I will try to send pics. of the unit later today after work
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-15-2017, 09:18:26 PM
Jim McIntyre's Avatar
Jim McIntyre Jim McIntyre is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Mooresville, Indiana, USA
Posts: 3,802
Thanks: 614
Thanked 2,003 Times in 1,178 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elkhead View Post
...I don't believe i will be needing 240 volt for any thing
Am i better off wiring the panel 120 volt or use both legs in the panel
I understand if doing so you need to to keep each leg equal, but that could be difficult
The best connection would be to wire the generator itself for 120V only. That way, you get the full rated power at 120V, and 'balancing' your load is not a concern...
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Jim McIntyre For This Post:
  #14  
Old 03-15-2017, 10:06:34 PM
Billy J Shafer's Avatar
Billy J Shafer Billy J Shafer is online now
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Centerville, Texas
Posts: 16,122
Thanks: 8,206
Thanked 13,414 Times in 6,331 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

If you will not need 240. Then I would go with 120. More power that way.
__________________
I don't talk to myself. This early in the morning. Why the hell should I talk to you.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Billy J Shafer For This Post:
  #15  
Old 03-15-2017, 10:47:33 PM
Motorhead's Avatar
Motorhead Motorhead is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Coast, California
Posts: 3,190
Thanks: 1,380
Thanked 2,050 Times in 1,106 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

You will lose about 1000-1300 watts due to altitude. So you will have between 5200-5500 watts at 7800 ft altitude. You can do a lot with 5000 watts. I used the tables in the Onan T-015 bulletin. You will be between 80-85% of rated output.
__________________
Back of 1958 5CCK
Contractors model
On trailer owned by
"Ma" Bell.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Motorhead For This Post:
  #16  
Old 03-16-2017, 07:51:40 AM
armandh armandh is online now
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Suburban St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 2,602
Thanks: 163
Thanked 615 Times in 496 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy J Shafer View Post
If you will not need 240. Then I would go with 120. More power that way.
really??? more power????

more useful power for a large 120V load and only if balancing issues arise.

and if the engine is de-rated 1000 watts due to altitude
there is an extra power available for out of balance load

ie. gen max 6.5 KW engine max 5.5 KW that could be split 3.25 / 2.25 KW

but yes; with no 240 volt loads,
if it is 120V now .... leave it.

Last edited by armandh; 03-16-2017 at 12:26:38 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to armandh For This Post:
  #17  
Old 03-17-2017, 09:52:29 AM
Elkhead Elkhead is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Lafayette, Colorado
Posts: 5
Thanks: 8
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

One last question, in your opinion can i use aluminum wire to the panel
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-17-2017, 11:42:17 AM
armandh armandh is online now
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Suburban St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 2,602
Thanks: 163
Thanked 615 Times in 496 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

yes provided you connect to the cable with devices rated for AL

also be sure you use the correct gauge
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-17-2017, 02:16:57 PM
Motorhead's Avatar
Motorhead Motorhead is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Coast, California
Posts: 3,190
Thanks: 1,380
Thanked 2,050 Times in 1,106 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

Make sure you use the grease that is used on the connections that keeps the aluminum from oxidizing.
__________________
Back of 1958 5CCK
Contractors model
On trailer owned by
"Ma" Bell.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-17-2017, 02:25:57 PM
squidtrap squidtrap is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Forked River, New Jersey
Posts: 1,050
Thanks: 1,546
Thanked 501 Times in 345 Posts
Default Re: Onan 6.5NH connecting to panel

I like Noalox for aluminum.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

F o r u m Jump

Similar Threads Chosen at Random
Thread Thread Starter F o r u m Replies Last Post
Onan 7.5JB-3CR - Panel Door nyetman Onan Generators 11 07-14-2014 08:00:59 PM
Onan Meter Panel Viking66 Onan Generators 7 04-30-2014 12:40:58 PM
Onan 12.5JC meter panel curtis.stanley Onan Generators 6 09-06-2013 06:52:33 PM
Onan Generator and Panel pennytugboat Onan Generators 17 04-13-2011 08:42:07 AM
Onan Control Panel danny carter Onan Generators 4 07-17-2009 09:21:17 PM


Use "Ctrl" mouse wheel to change screen size.
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:54:25 PM.

Smokstak and Enginads site search!


All use is subject to our TERMS OF SERVICE
SMOKSTAK® is a Registered Trade Mark - A Community of Antique Engine Enthusiasts
Copyright © 2000 - 2016 by Harry Matthews P.O. Box 5612 - Sarasota, FL 34277