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Old 25-11-2012, 19:19   #1
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Location: now in Marathon..Boot Key Harbor
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Charger or charger/invertor?

I have a Lagoon 410 that currently charges the batteries either by one solar panel or running the engines. This was fine for the PO who cruised occasionally. Now we live aboard full time and consume more energy then the one panel can keep up with and I hate running the engines just to charge batteries. The boat has no charger at the moment, so even at dock on shore power i have to run the engines. I can't decided whether to purchase just a battery charger and a Honda 2000 or a charger/invertor and a Honda 2000.
My thoughts are at the dock on shore power the charger would keep the bats topped up and the AC needs would be met as well. Away from the dock on the hook, the solar panel and Honda would keep things topped up. Of course while motoring the engines would charge the batteries. When I needed AC I could just fire up the Honda for the microwave, hair dryer, vacuum,etc. I assume I can hook the Honda up to the shore power inlet on the boat, right?
With the charger/invertor combo I can't figure out if I would run the genny any more or any less. And how do you tie the invertor into your 110 system? Do you run the 110 line from the invertor the the inlet side of the 110 breaker?
Lots of questions and any opinion is appreciated.

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Old 26-11-2012, 04:57   #2
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Location: St. Georges, Bda
Boat: Rhodes Reliant 41ft
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Re: Charger or charger/invertor?

Most inverter/chargers pass the 110VAC line thru the unit and on to the AC breaker panel, taking off whatever current is needed to charge the batteries when asked to do so.
This line is taken off of the output side of your selector switch.
The I/C can then get its power from whatever incoming (shore or Gen) source you select.
There are many good threads here arguing the pros and cons of combined I/Ch .v. seperate I and Ch.

so many projects--so little time !!
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Old 26-11-2012, 07:06   #3
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Re: Charger or charger/invertor?

Lots of questions. Here are some answers:

Chargers are a lot less expensive per amp of charging capacity than inverter/chargers. So make your decision based on utility vs cost. A stand alone 1,000 watt Chinese made inverter might cover limited inverter needs and they are cheap.

A Honda 2000 will only put out 13 amps continuously. A Freedom 25 inverter/charger (100 amp charging capacity) pulls as much as 20 amps while charging. So that big of a charger won't work.

So it is best to size the charger or inverter/charger to match the Honda for maximum charging capability. Some are more efficient than others. For a stand alone charger, the Iota 55 amp is very efficient and just meets the 13 amp limit.

Yes you can plug in your shore power cord to the Honda.

But if you have room, consider more solar panels. The Honda plus Iota is going to cost $1,200+. You can buy a lot of panel capacity plus a new controller for that much money.

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Old 26-11-2012, 07:55   #4

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Tampa to New York
Boat: Morgan 33 OutIsland, Magic and 33' offshore scott design "Cutting Edge"
Posts: 1,594
Re: Charger or charger/invertor?

You will love the quiet very low maintenance of the solar. On my current trip been without any other means of charge. I have a bunch of solar around 600 watts and it carried me through 5 days and nights of solo sailing. I carried a generator for a while but detested running it as much as the engine for charging. Otoh I miss the wind generator and it will be replaced asap. People complain about the noise of wind gennies but its music to my ears.
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