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Old 23-05-2018, 06:41   #1
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Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

I replaced my charger/inverter last month and now have discovered that the power to my outlets and microwave must go through the inverter. So even if I run the generator I need to turn on the inverter/charger to get power to the AC outlets or microwave. The only item of that same AC bus that doesn't get power from the inverter is the hot water heater. Now I never noticed this in the past because the old unit automatically turned on if there was AC supply power. I haven't gotten out the diagram yet but bet I going to find the same thing applies if on shore power.


Is this a normal thing? Is there some reason that it needs to be this way? The inverter has a separate line for AC In and AC Out, but I could easily move the wires around so that the generator can directly supply the outlets and microwave. If I do this does the AC In line for the inverter/charger need to be moved to a separate breaker?
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Old 23-05-2018, 06:58   #2
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Re: Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

Sorry for the short answer but, RTFM.
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Old 23-05-2018, 08:09   #3
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Re: Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

Charley is being a bit short with you but I agree. Figure out how the new unit works. Then think about how you want the system to work and make any necessary changes. Your a smart guy. You will get it right.
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Old 23-05-2018, 09:00   #4
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Re: Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

I know how the new unit works, it’s been operating a month.

If you can’t read well enough to understand the question, and actually have an interest in answering it, ask a question or for a rephrase. If not just save some of the valuable time you are wasting here and just move on.

Otherwise this place is just getting to be a waste of time as a resource.
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Old 23-05-2018, 09:04   #5
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Re: Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

I think the answer is that the IC does't want you to overload the draw on the shore power line. So it manages the AC current on the boat to stay within safe limits, turning down the charge rate to the batteries if other devices are demanding a lot of shore power. Makes safety sense to me, but it does take away some of your control.

Let us know what you learn from the manual.
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Old 23-05-2018, 09:10   #6
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Re: Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

Most I/Cs have OPTIONS for installation. My Freedom 15 has, like, six of them. The simplest is the one I chose: AC IN first to the I/C and its BUILT-IN ATS, and then to the AC bus. As a result, ALL of my onboard AC is connected to the shorepower and when shorepower is absent from the inverter. This requires me to MANAGE the downstream AC when shorepower is not available: I MUST turn off the water heater. It is simply a management issue. I could have wired it differently by physically separating the water heater circuit out of the inverter-supplied AC power to assure it ONLY ran on shorepower; I chose not to. My AC loads are water heater, microwave and outlets.

I do not have a generator.

I think this is what Charlie meant, in his own way. Another reason for this is that we do NOT know how you have it wired: only YOU do.


For example: does your generator output go into your shorepower inlet or is it wired up inside? We just don't know.
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Old 23-05-2018, 09:33   #7
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Re: Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I replaced my charger/inverter last month and now have discovered that the power to my outlets and microwave must go through the inverter. So even if I run the generator I need to turn on the inverter/charger to get power to the AC outlets or microwave. The only item of that same AC bus that doesn't get power from the inverter is the hot water heater. Now I never noticed this in the past because the old unit automatically turned on if there was AC supply power. I haven't gotten out the diagram yet but bet I going to find the same thing applies if on shore power.


Is this a normal thing? Is there some reason that it needs to be this way? The inverter has a separate line for AC In and AC Out, but I could easily move the wires around so that the generator can directly supply the outlets and microwave. If I do this does the AC In line for the inverter/charger need to be moved to a separate breaker?

Which make/model inverter/charger did you end up buying?

My inverter/charger has 2 AC output circuits.

AC1 does not use the internal transfer switch and is only active when the inverter/charger is on (connected to shore power that is to say)

AC2 does use the internal transfer switch and will switch between shore power and inverter power when the inverter section is on.

When my inverter is "off" but connected to shore power the transfer switch defaults to shore power on AC2. This is the normal function on my unit and may be a direct answer to your question.

My unit also has dual AC inputs and about 8 ways of hooking it up.

I'm not sure if this will help but there you go.
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Old 23-05-2018, 09:54   #8
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Re: Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I replaced my charger/inverter last month and now have discovered that the power to my outlets and microwave must go through the inverter.
My Victron IC is the same - shore power goes through it. I understand thatís to enable the inverter to augment shore power current when required, which it does seamlessly. However, itís a pain if/when the unit fails as the default condition is to disconnect shore power from the boats AC circuit. I have considered, but not yet implemented, putting some form of bypass switching in place to overcome this potential issue.
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Old 24-05-2018, 10:18   #9
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Re: Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

Alrighty, I'm going to try to answer your original question. All modern inverter/chargers have an automatic internal transfer switch such that when a.c. mains power is available (that is, when you are on shore power or the generator is running), power from the mains is transferred to the outlets/appliances connected to the a.c. output of the inverter/charger. Also when connected to mains power, the inverter/charger charges your batteries. When mains power is NOT available and the inverter/charger is in invert mode, it will covert d.c. from your batteries to a.c. to supply power to any appliances connected to the a.c. output of the inverter. It is usual to not connect high wattage appliances like air conditioners and hot water heaters to the inverter output because doing so will quickly flatten your batteries.

If you wire things up so that you have no high wattage consumers on the output of the inverter, you won't have to think about turning those things off when using the invert function of the inverter/charger.

The other reason to have your generator powering the inverter/charger is so that when you run the generator the inverter/charger charges your batteries.

I hope that answers your question. 

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Old 24-05-2018, 10:47   #10
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Re: Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

One more thing: you definitely do NOT want to connect the output of you generator to the output of the inverter. If you were to inadvertently run both at the same time they would not be in phase and serious fireworks would result.

That's what the inverter/chargers internal transfer switch is for. It automatically switches between power sources.
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Old 24-05-2018, 11:14   #11
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Re: Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

I live aboard. My Magnum inverter is on all the time. The AC power goes thru and if interrupted, the inverter takes the load. When there is AC power the inverter charges the house battery banks. I have a separate charger for the starting batteries. If the batteries become low the inverter starts a generator. On shore power or generator the power passes thru automatically. I love the system.
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Old 24-05-2018, 12:30   #12
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Re: Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

Another advantage of running power thru the inverter is the power assist feature. if you have a 30 amp panel and only 20 amps available from shore power or maybe a small generator...the inverter will make up the difference.
like starting my water maker draws more inrush current than my generator will produce so the inverter makes up the difference.
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Old 24-05-2018, 12:35   #13
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Re: Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

The water heater normally doesn't come thru the inverter because it draws so much power that it would run the house bank down very rapidly. This is a common wiring approach.
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Old 24-05-2018, 12:36   #14
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Re: Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

Well, you got your answer, somewhat repetitively.

Yes, it's normal.

Yes, this configuration is beneficial for several useful functions of modern charger/inverters which other posters have explained.

Yes, you lose AC power completely if the charger/inverter goes down.

No, it's not a big deal if this happens -- just remove the output cables from the output terminals and put them onto the input terminals together with the input cables.

Yes, I'm speaking from hard experience
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Old 24-05-2018, 12:49   #15
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Re: Inverter/Charger & AC Bus

Inverter / chargers, when shore power is connected will charge your batteries and also bypass the AC shore power to the loads normally connected to the inverter. As mentioned earlier large loads such as a hot water heater are usually not connected to your inverter output and would overload the bypass relay which is typically rated for 30 A max. We would strongly recommend making sure that no large loads passed through your inverter when in this mode as it can overload the internal bypass relay and cause an early failure and can be a potential fire hazard.
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