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Old 08-08-2016, 06:55   #1
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Inverter-Only Options

Over the past winter, I revamped the DC system on our Navigator 4200 to 8 GC2 golfcart batteries and a Sterling charger. While we have a nice (and pretty quiet) 9KW genset, I still want to install a small-ish 2000W inverter this coming winter just to run a few small things like a fan to sleep with and maybe to make coffee in the morning. Even as quiet as the generator is, it would still be hard to sleep to and not keep the rest of the anchorage awake. However, the most recommended and highly rated brands all have built-in chargers. I just don't need or want that. I am more of a one appliance for one purpose kinda guy and I like my Sterling charger.

As a side note, considering past experience, I am not really interested in a Xantrex, but I don't know anything about Go Power.

Can y'all point to a few options for me?

THANKS!
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:45   #2
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Re: Inverter-Only Options

There are inverters out there without the charging function, just shop around.


As far as using an inverter to run a (I assume 120 volt AC) fan, It's more efficient to just get a 12 volt DC fan. Same for many other appliances such as a TV.


You will need 120 volts AC for that coffee pot or heating appliance though. The 12 volt DC ones are not very good.
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:01   #3
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Re: Inverter-Only Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom.B View Post
Over the past winter, I revamped the DC system on our Navigator 4200 to 8 GC2 golfcart batteries and a Sterling charger. While we have a nice (and pretty quiet) 9KW genset, I still want to install a small-ish 2000W inverter this coming winter just to run a few small things like a fan to sleep with and maybe to make coffee in the morning. Even as quiet as the generator is, it would still be hard to sleep to and not keep the rest of the anchorage awake. However, the most recommended and highly rated brands all have built-in chargers. I just don't need or want that. I am more of a one appliance for one purpose kinda guy and I like my Sterling charger.

As a side note, considering past experience, I am not really interested in a Xantrex, but I don't know anything about Go Power.

Can y'all point to a few options for me?

THANKS!
Here you go:

https://www.victronenergy.com/inverters

Anything you want, without any charger, up to 5kW.


However, combined inverter/chargers have a lot of advantages, like power boosting shore or generator power to cover short term overloads, also limiting shore or generator draw to keep from popping breakers etc. So you might consider that.

In any case, your idea to NOT run your generator all night just to run a fan (!) is a good one. You will kill your generator that way, and also burn a ton of fuel unnecessarily.

A good inverter (or even better charger/inverter) will help you manage your power so you only run your generator to charge intensely, and otherwise leave it off.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:32   #4
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Re: Inverter-Only Options

I have the Xantrex marine model.

Pros:
Works perfectly for the two banks of 4 golf cart batteries I have. (when it works)
Remote monitor works great.
Inverter will run most things like coffee pot, 120 volt box fan ( very nice )
Will start and run a small 120 volt air conditioner.

Cons:
Surge power for the 2000 watts will only start my small air conditioner.
Expensive
NO support unless you want to spend big bucks.
It is Very heavy.
No parts available.

I bought 2 "For parts only" ones off of ebay and fixed the one I had, it is a component based system but there are multiple versions of the components and there is no road map I could find.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:55   #5
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Re: Inverter-Only Options

As noted above, there are several options available for inverters. I would suggest you only get one that is sold to the marine market. They have one safety feature you would want that is not found in most non-marine makes - they bond the neutral to the ground when in operation. You should not do that at your panel (at least per US standards).
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:11   #6
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Re: Inverter-Only Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Here you go:

https://www.victronenergy.com/inverters

Anything you want, without any charger, up to 5kW.


However, combined inverter/chargers have a lot of advantages, like power boosting shore or generator power to cover short term overloads, also limiting shore or generator draw to keep from popping breakers etc. So you might consider that.
Thanks! Victron units tend to be pricey, but I will take a look. As for the rest, I will consider it. Maybe I could invest in a good inverter/charger, but with the DC upgrade just done, it is hard to want to replace something I just installed.

**EDIT** Wow... a 12/800 (1600W) is only about $400. That should be just about right.
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Old 08-08-2016, 15:30   #7
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Re: Inverter-Only Options

I have a Victron 1200/12 on my boat. Even runs my expresso machine which when going eats 183 amphours


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Old 08-08-2016, 15:37   #8
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Re: Inverter-Only Options

I have used inverter power for our boat exclusively because we don't use a generator. Most everything aboard is 12 volt, but we use 120 volt power for our air conditioner on extremely hot days without wind, to power our Internet set up, and for plugging in our computers, or power tools and such. It is a 3kw Aims Inverter. I've had "Marine" inverters before and think they are a total rip off. I've had this inverter three years now with zero issues and BTW, it comes with a remote start switch and is wired into our main 120 volt electrical panel.

The one thing I would highly suggest to be more important than buying a marine inverter is making sure you purchase a pure sine wave inverter. This will insure you can charge cordless batteries, run high tech televisions or computers without burning them up as will happen if you use a modified sine wave inverter. You will also find that a good quality pure sine wave inverter will cost about the same as a modified marine inverter.
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Old 08-08-2016, 23:13   #9
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Re: Inverter-Only Options

with a 900AH battery bank and a 9k genny get a charger / inverter and run both chargers together. you should have 200+ amps of charging on that size bank off a gen that big. I have boats with 300+ amps charging from gen. why charge for 3 hours/ day when you can charge for 1.
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:09   #10
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Re: Inverter-Only Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom.B View Post
Thanks! Victron units tend to be pricey, but I will take a look. As for the rest, I will consider it. Maybe I could invest in a good inverter/charger, but with the DC upgrade just done, it is hard to want to replace something I just installed.

**EDIT** Wow... a 12/800 (1600W) is only about $400. That should be just about right.
You might want to also check out the Sterling ones. They are quite a bit cheaper than Victron, and have a good reputation.

Be very careful not to undersize the inverter. Their capacity is often exaggerated (quoted in VA instead of watts, and with fine print showing that they are further derated in warm, that is normal temperatures). They won't live long if you overload them.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:09   #11
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Re: Inverter-Only Options

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Originally Posted by Jsta_Rebel View Post
I have used inverter power for our boat exclusively because we don't use a generator. Most everything aboard is 12 volt, but we use 120 volt power for our air conditioner on extremely hot days without wind, to power our Internet set up, and for plugging in our computers, or power tools and such. It is a 3kw Aims Inverter. I've had "Marine" inverters before and think they are a total rip off. I've had this inverter three years now with zero issues and BTW, it comes with a remote start switch and is wired into our main 120 volt electrical panel.

The one thing I would highly suggest to be more important than buying a marine inverter is making sure you purchase a pure sine wave inverter. This will insure you can charge cordless batteries, run high tech televisions or computers without burning them up as will happen if you use a modified sine wave inverter. You will also find that a good quality pure sine wave inverter will cost about the same as a modified marine inverter.
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All "marine" gear is a "rip-off". Why put stainless on your boat when good old mild steel will work? The issue is not whether a non-marine inverter will "work" or not. It has to do with having a floating ground on your boat. A boat is the one place you do NOT want a floating ground. If you don't understand that you shouldn't be giving advice. IMHO. I don't mean to be disagreeable except that on this kind of stuff I tend to be. If you don't care that is fine.

There are other ways to wire a transfer switch external to an inverter. It is just a electro-mechanical device. A good marine inverter/charger has one already. It's a safety issue for life and safety. Otherwise, who cares?

I understand the OP's issue about redoing anything in something just changed. Frustrating! I have a perfectly fine inverter/charger. If all I am going to do is coastal/inshore boating I'm OK with only this gear. I intend to go offshore again and I also want to add a separate battery charger. The reason is that these types of devices tend to go inop on you at the least pleasant time. My "extra" charger will be a backup to my inverter/charger when it goes bad and I need to replace it or have it repaired in places where it may not be fun to do. On the other hand, a good charger may last the lifetime of the boat so it is a calculated risk and directly related to the quality of the charger. A calculated risk.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:25   #12
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Re: Inverter-Only Options

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Originally Posted by Jsta_Rebel View Post
............ I've had "Marine" inverters before and think they are a total rip off. I've had this inverter three years now with zero issues and BTW, it comes with a remote start switch and is wired into our main 120 volt electrical panel.

The one thing I would highly suggest to be more important than buying a marine inverter is making sure you purchase a pure sine wave inverter. This will insure you can charge cordless batteries, run high tech televisions or computers without burning them up as will happen if you use a modified sine wave inverter. You will also find that a good quality pure sine wave inverter will cost about the same as a modified marine inverter.
Power Inverters, DC To AC Inverters & Solar Panels | AIMS Power
Just because your "non marine" inverter hasn't given you any problems doesn't mea a marine inverter is a "rip off". An inverter designed for marine use is what you should be using for safety sake.

My inverter is not a pure sine wave inverter and I haven't had any problems charging batteries or burning up computers. And, sine wave inverters are not the same cost as modified sine wave inverters. They cost a lot more.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:48   #13
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Re: Inverter-Only Options

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Just because your "non marine" inverter hasn't given you any problems doesn't mea a marine inverter is a "rip off". An inverter designed for marine use is what you should be using for safety sake.

My inverter is not a pure sine wave inverter and I haven't had any problems charging batteries or burning up computers. And, sine wave inverters are not the same cost as modified sine wave inverters. They cost a lot more.
Indeed.

And actually if you spend a lot of time on your boat and use electrical gear a fair amount, this is not really the place to save money.

A really good charger/inverter costs only a couple grand, and is worth its weight in gold to you in terms of life on board -- it's the nerve center of your electrical system -- the main unit of it. It's the nexus between AC and DC power. A really good one will produce a pure sine wave which is guaranteed not to bother any possible gear you might use, and will charge your batteries well, and will let you use dodgy shore power, and protect your generator from being overloaded. It will let you shave peaks off demand in order to efficiently use limited shore power or a smaller generator. In my opinion, it's some of the best money you will spend on your boat. It will pay for itself practically the first time it saves a set of batteries.
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:06   #14
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Re: Inverter-Only Options

A 120V single phase inverter does not really have a neutral. They will call it neutral... But you would need a 120/240V inverter with neutral tied to the center tap/zero cross point to have a true 0V neutral. That is how north america power companies do residential power . That makes it neutral.

Most single voltage marine inverters simply tie one leg to ground and call it neutral. But it is not at zero volts, as reference to earth. Though it works sort of the same way.

You can verify that by looking at the inverter transformer inside the inverter. If the secondary side has 3 wires then you have a center tap. Two wire secondary (which I'm betting all 120V inverters are) means that each leg is hot, but only referenced to the other leg. While it works as 120V power, it is not exactly the same as shore power. Which is why there is a disconnect relay in marine units.
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Old 09-08-2016, 13:01   #15
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Re: Inverter-Only Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Just because your "non marine" inverter hasn't given you any problems doesn't mea a marine inverter is a "rip off". An inverter designed for marine use is what you should be using for safety sake.

My inverter is not a pure sine wave inverter and I haven't had any problems charging batteries or burning up computers. And, sine wave inverters are not the same cost as modified sine wave inverters. They cost a lot more.
No need to get your panties in a wad.. I was simply stating factual information along with a personal opinion that Marine inverters are a rip off. If you don't agree, then fine.. Go pay top dollar for the word "Marine" because the word "Marine" will be the only difference with todays inverter technology. BTW, There is a huge difference between Pure sine wave inverters, and modified sine wave inverters. Everyone knows this, and the possible perils when using a modified sine wave inverter with chargers, computers, and sensitive electronics. If you want to use it, then go ahead but it is still factual information. Click a link and see for yourself..
https://www.altestore.com/blog/2015/...he-difference/
http://www.xantrex.com/documents/tec...-universal.pdf
Solar power - Pure/true vs modified sine waves and inverters
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_inverter
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