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Portable 230/240v power

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Pyromaniac, 30 Apr 2010.

  1. Pyromaniac

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    I am guessing this is best put here as it involves 230/240 v supplies.

    I have a 3000w output generator of no name (old- no stickers or stamps) which has 2 connections on it as the builders use - the round style sockets.

    1 x 110v and 1 x 230v

    I want this to feed 230v to the back of my van to power key cutting machines and one tool battery charger.

    Effectively I want 3 x household type sockets installed into my van.

    I have no cables for this generator, and I also want the option of powering these sockets from a customers mains supply via an extension cable.

    How would I best acheive this without electrocuting myself or anyone else who is nearby and without inadvertently making my van 'live' ?

    There is an earth attachment point on the generator to which I assume a spike is attached to insert into the ground, but of little use on tarmac, but on tarmac I should be in reach of a mains supply via extension lead to my sockets.

    Is there a safe way of connecting the generator to 3 x sockets
    Is there a safe way of connecting external mains to 3 x sockets
    That I can change around as required.

    I dont want to have cables with exposed live from generator or extension leads to plug into something to power my sockets, as I can see this being an accident waiting to happen. And I guess I will need some type of protective device between me and the incoming connection.

    Thanks

    Gerry
     
  2. Pyromaniac

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  3. ricicle

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    Your best option would be to have one single socket off the generator and run one appliance at a time. This would provide electrical isolation and does away with the need for an earth spike so you can use the genny anywhere.
     
  4. bongos

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    You could try something like this if you wanted to plug the extension you linked to into a house. This would limit your extension to 13A.

    I think ricicles idea sounds better!
     
  5. ericmark

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    As already pointed out the scenario is similar to people with tents or caravans and I would expect similar methods will allow safe operation.
    So in van you need say three sockets and these will either plug into house or generator.

    First the house since you can't be certain that the house already has a RCD then I would use a RCD plug [​IMG] and this will reduce any problems to within an acceptable level.

    The generator needs earthing to the van. It will come under section 717 of BS7671:2008
    this again shows 7e if required see below:-
    Key to Figures 717.1 to 4
    1a Connection of the unit to a supply through a transformer with simple separation
    1 b Connection of the unit to a supply in which the protective measures are effective
    1c Connection to an LV generator set in accordance with Section 551
    2 Class II or equivalent enclosure up to the first protective device providing automatic disconnection of supply
    6 Socket-outlets for use exclusively within the unit
    7 Main equipotential bonding in accordance with Regulation 717.411.3.1.2 7a to an antenna pole, if any
    7c to a functional earth electrode, if required
    7d to the conductive enclosure of the unit
    7e to an earth electrode for protective purposes, if required
    8 Protective devices, if required, for overcurrent and/or for protection by disconnection of supply in case of a second fault
    10 Socket-outlets for current-using equipment for use outside the unit
    13 Current-using equipment for use exclusively within the unit
    14 Overcurrent protective device, if required 14a Overcurrent protective device, if required
    15 Overcurrent protective device
    16a RCD having the characteristics specified in Regulation 415.1.1 for protection by automatic disconnection of supply for circuits of equipment for use outside the unit
    16b RCD for protection by automatic disconnection of supply for circuits of equipment for use inside the unit
    18 Main earthing terminal or bar

    I would say normally an earth is not required is generator is close to your van only if you have it away from van do you really need an earth. I would myself have a steel cable which will bolt onto generator and van so it forms both earth between the two and anti-theft device. Electric wise 4mm earth wire is enough.

    There are 4 pages of regulations just for vans like you are using can't really cut and paste all on here.
     
  6. Pyromaniac

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    So I cant just buy the above 3 socket kit, fit a blue socket to an extension lead and use that to use a customers electricity supply ?

    Ref generator earthing - how does any current go to ground if you earth it to the van ?

    Or is this working the opposite way - genny supplies something inside the van which has a fault - so the earth link to the generator carries current from the van > generator > earth ?
     

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