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Old 16-04-2019, 18:52   #1
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Inverter-Charger vs. separates

I'm trying to decide between an inverter-charger or separate units. House bank is 550 AH of Lifeline AGM for now, but eventually will likely switch to Lithium Iron. It's a US boat, but I plan to cruise far and wide, so options for shore power could be important, but not often. I had been planing on a Victron Multiplus 3000 as it ticks off many boxes, but then began considering separate charger and inverter for other reasons.

Inverter/Charger (Victron)
Pros: Simpler install and wiring. Certainly adequate for the job. Integrates nicely with the entire Victron family. (Will likely be using Victron solar controllers). "May" have some advantages when I convert to Lithium.

Cons: The charger is 120 VAC only, so can't be used elsewhere without a transformer. I considered an isolation transformer, but for the limited times I'd spend in marinas (really anywhere), I don't think it's worth the weight and space it would take. The only real advantage I see (beyond the obvious isolation aspects) is that I "may" be able to run my A/C in foreign ports. But there remains the 50 Hz. issue, so perhaps not really.

Separate Charger and Inverter (likely Promariner / Sterling gear)
Pros: The charger is universal input, so I can charge anywhere. Also, as the Promariner/Sterling run just fine as power supplies when not connected to batteries, so when I convert to Lithium, the batteries can be disconnected when charged, leaving house loads running from the charger. Not all chargers can do this. Also, keeping chargers and loads separate has advantages in a lithium system with the ability to disconnect loads and chargers separately.

Cons: The charger is only 60 Amps. I won't be on shore power often. My main charging will be via large alternator and solar. The charger is really only for the rare times in a marina. But 60 Amps still seems lite for this bank. I could go with 2x chargers for 120 amps. The complexity goes up, but maybe what's needed. These chargers may not play as well as Victron with Lithium.

So I thought I'd ask here to get some opinions. I'm open for discussion.

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Old 16-04-2019, 19:00   #2
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Re: Inverter-Charger vs. separates

the inverter charger has many advantages when staying with same power. but if you want to be able to plug into 50hz and 60hz. get a seperate large charger (100-200a) that will take either freq. and separate inverter. that way when you want to plug into 50hz. the charger charges the batteries. and the inverter powers the boat. and all the plugs stay 120v 60hz. that is the cheapest way to set up the boat to use other power.

easiest way is it be able to plug the charger only to dock with seperate cord when in other power countries.

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Old 16-04-2019, 21:18   #3
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Re: Inverter-Charger vs. separates

Universal shore input is IMO compelling all by itself.

Also for LFP allowing for charge isolation while feeding loads, or v/v is important for design flexibility and multi-layered bank protection.
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Old 17-04-2019, 14:37   #4
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Re: Inverter-Charger vs. separates

This season I made a wireing error and blew up my inverter. I f I had a combo I would have been really pooched
“Growing older but not up”
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charger, inverter

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