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Old 29-12-2015, 18:48   #1
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Best Inverter

I would like your opinions on the best inverter. We have an 8 year old xatrex 2500 watt that we haven't had any trouble with but we're wondering if there is something better to look at. This is for a 40 ft. Trawler with dual 210 hp cummins. Thanks for your input.


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Old 29-12-2015, 19:44   #2
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Re: Best Inverter

You will get some flak on "best", it really depends.
Might help if you state some desires, like do you want it to have a big charger, how big of an inverter etc.


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Old 29-12-2015, 19:45   #3
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Re: Best Inverter

I've been pretty happy with my Victron inverter/charger overall. Looking at the guts during installation it is beautifully assembled. A few complaints. The DIP switches for changing the charging mode did not work, but the free software and Ethernet cable to change the setup solved all that.

Whichever inverter you get I highly recommend one with boost mode. Victron, Mastervolt and Magnum offer models with this feature.
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Old 29-12-2015, 20:05   #4
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Re: Best Inverter

Stick with what you have if it works IMO.

The main "modern" inverter features that you probably don't have are:

- generator load limiting by the charger function. Helps when charging batteries and power is needed elsewhere.

- generator "boost assist" to help support short duration loads the generator would otherwise not handle by itself. Allows installing a smaller generator sized for "nominal" loads without need to worry so much about peak loads.

- pure sine wave output.

There are other "kewl" features but these are the big three. Several units have these features. Mastervolt & Victron are two names.

But really ask yourself if you "need" these features. It is easy to upgrade a perfectly working inverter system and reduce reliability.
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Old 29-12-2015, 20:40   #5
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Re: Best Inverter

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Originally Posted by thebootlegger View Post
I would like your opinions on the best inverter. We have an 8 year old xatrex 2500 watt that we haven't had any trouble with but we're wondering if there is something better to look at. This is for a 40 ft. Trawler with dual 210 hp cummins. Thanks for your input.


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The answer to your question depends a lot on what type of cruising you do and how much you depend on your inverter. What would be your level of inconvenience if it failed, and how long would it take you to replace it? The older Xantrex inverters do not have a great track record for durability or service. That said, ours lasted 8 or 9 glitch filled years until it finally went down for good. I replaced it last year with a Magnum based on good reports from others. You'll also need a remote panel for configuration and monitoring. If your Xantrex continues to work and you could be without it for a while, I'd just continue with it, perhaps with a backup inverter on board if you have space for it.

Since purchasing the Magnum I've discovered another inverter I like at a much lower price point:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I36K1VQ

I first bought one of these to use at home as a heavy duty computer UPS system and liked it so much that I ordered a second one to carry aboard the boat as a backup unit. It is very rugged and feature rich but the manual requires some careful study to fully understand the configuration options.
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Old 29-12-2015, 21:30   #6
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Re: Best Inverter

I use a Magnum PAE. It has 2-120v legs for 120v or 240v needs in 1 inverter. Incoming AC supply passes thru the inverter to my main AC panel. When shore power or generator power is cut off, the inverter switches to batteries and supplies needed AC. When the inverter is off, no battery power is used. With shore power or generator power the inverter charges the batteries.
I like it because everything is contained in the main wiring. No switches, no changing plugs, no complicated wiring.
I have 2 Detroit 671 mains. One has a 12v alternator that maintains starting batteries and a backup 12v inverter bank and the other main has a 48v alternator for the Magnum inverter banks.
While I have 2 generators, when running the mains, I don't need a generator running to have AC.
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Old 31-12-2015, 10:47   #7
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Re: Best Inverter

I had a Heart Interface 2000 which was the precursor of yours and it worked fine for many years. Based on what I have read from users on this site and looking at other sites and the manufacturers' sites, I am leaning to get a Victron I/C. I don't think I would get a Victron standalone charger though. Some people are very happy with Outback, and Magnum, and Mastervolt, etc. My old Prosine I/C is still chugging along but I would really like a backup for it as it will eventually fail. I would go with a pure sine wave in any case though.
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Old 10-01-2016, 19:45   #8
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Re: Best Inverter

I did a lot of internet research. My compromises were mostly based on cost, but reported dependability came into the discussion. I purchased a Samlex 2000 PSW. I have used it for microwave, coffee pot, and toaster. About six months, so far. It does not have a charger as I feel each device should specialize in it's function and not compromise. I have a separate ProMariner charger.
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Old 10-01-2016, 19:50   #9
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Re: Best Inverter

We've had good luck with Victron, Mastervolt, Magnum, and Outback and very poor luck with Xantrex.


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Old 11-01-2016, 05:51   #10
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Re: Best Inverter

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Originally Posted by Zil View Post
It does not have a charger as I feel each device should specialize in it's function and not compromise. I have a separate ProMariner charger.

There is no compromise - the charge function is just the reverse of the invert function. It is only semantics that separate them, and both functions are equally "specialized".

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Old 11-01-2016, 06:49   #11
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Re: Best Inverter

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There is no compromise - the charge function is just the reverse of the invert function. It is only semantics that separate them, and both functions are equally "specialized".

Mark
I think his point may be that a stand alone charger is more "feature rich" for charging than an inverter / charger?
I have a Magnum inverter / charger and a Sterling charger, the Sterling has some features the Magnum does not and vice - versa, so I can see how it would appear that the stand alone charger may appear to be more programmable?
Both seem to be excellent chargers, although they handle the switch to float differently etc.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:14   #12
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Best Inverter

I can't imagine which charger features are missing from a good combo unit. Our Outback and Victron units allow fine and total control over every parameter including incoming AC current. Likewise for the inverter functions. They will even automatically start up and stop the generator upon reaching a user-defined parameter set if I want them to.

I'm pretty sure they have MORE functionality and control than any stand alone charger or inverter.

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Old 11-01-2016, 08:53   #13
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Re: Best Inverter

It's hard to imagine a more feature rich charger than the Victron Multi Inverter/Charger. Better, their laptop configuration software is very easy to use and a free download (you do need the MK2 USB to Victron network adapter for about $70).

I greatly prefer this software to the dip switches or cryptic one line messages and complicated button combinations required with most charger control panels.

For a sense of the features, here's the software manual:

https://www.victronenergy.com/upload...nfigure-EN.pdf

You can also download the software and play with it in a "demo mode" without owning a Victron. Click on VE Configuration Tools

https://www.victronenergy.com/suppor...loads/software
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