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Old 24-03-2011, 13:29   #1
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inverter opinions?

hey folks,

I have somewhat specific needs for an inverter, and I was wondering if maybe I could get some feedback on them...

I don't use much electricity, but what I do use is for electronics. I am currently using a modified-sine inverter but I suspect that it is causing some problems.

I only have a 400w inverter and honestly it handles almost everything I need - admittedly it would be nice to be able to run a power drill or a vacuum cleaner, but my every-day needs are very, very low.

My *biggest* complaint with the current inverter is the incredibly annoying low voltage alarm... it goes off LOUD and LONG at 11v. it would be nice to have an inverter that could either handle slightly lower voltages or that had some kind of ability to change the alarm somehow.

So yeah. I am shopping for a pure sine inverter - nothing crazy, maybe 1000w. A little bigger wouldn't be a problem, as long as the quality was high and the current draw was reasonably low when the inverter usage was low or non-existant.

I'm looking at the Xantrex ProWatt SW inverter. Thoughts on this? Other alternatives?
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Old 24-03-2011, 13:32   #2
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Re: inverter opinions?

I would only look at inverter/chargers if it were me.... makes the boat on a sort of giant uninterruptible power supply (automatically switches to inverter when shore or gen is lost)
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Old 24-03-2011, 13:36   #3
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Re: inverter opinions?

Running at 11v is badfor your batteries, running at a lower voltage would be even worse.
Personal choice for me would be either Mastervolt or Victron and definitely look at Inverter chargers if you have mains electric supply.
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Old 24-03-2011, 14:22   #4
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Re: inverter opinions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drew23 View Post
I'm looking at the Xantrex ProWatt SW inverter. Thoughts on this? Other alternatives?
Noooo!!!

I bought one, it was DOA. Fans went on, it got hot and there wasn't even anything plugged into it. Every time I turned it on, it had a different error message.

Being a retired electronics tech, I sneaked a peek inside.

It looked like the soldering job had been done by a blind drunk who had never soldered in his life!

I sent it back.

Then I made my second mistake.

I purchased a used Xantrex Prosine.

I have already posted that travail, so I won't bore you...
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Old 24-03-2011, 14:23   #5
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Re: inverter opinions?

I should be clear; I already have a brand new 50a charger that I am very happy with. I don't want to use an inverter/charger because I don't like putting all my eggs in one basket. I'm never on 'shore power', but I do run my Honda generator daily to charge my batteries.
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Old 24-03-2011, 14:24   #6
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Re: inverter opinions?

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
Noooo!!!

I bought one, it was DOA. Fans went on, it got hot and there wasn't even anything plugged into it. Every time I turned it on, it had a different error message.

Being a retired electronics tech, I sneaked a peek inside.

It looked like the soldering job had been done by a blind drunk who had never soldered in his life!

I sent it back.

Then I made my second mistake.

I purchased a used Xantrex Prosine.

I have already posted that travail, so I won't bore you...
Good to know!!
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Old 24-03-2011, 14:39   #7
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Re: inverter opinions?

I too have a Honda as backup. When I installed my 2kw Heart inverter/charger (I know they changed names but my senile brain isn't sure of the new name, Xantrex?) I also had a Procharger 40. It works fine, so I kept it. As set up right now, the inverter/charger is set to deal with the house bank and the Procharger is set to deal with the engine bank. Using selector switches I can vary the arrangement assuming one of the chargers goes belly up. I like the backup and flexibility.

One of these days I'll replace the inverter with a sine wave but so far the only problem has been that it won't power an electric blanket. Who'd have thunk a resistive blanket needs a sine wave to run? Hmm? Maybe on those cold winter nights I'll just use the Honda. For that kind of draw a gallon will last all night.


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Old 24-03-2011, 14:40   #8
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Re: inverter opinions?

11v volts is a worry. Either the battery is low or the voltage drop in the wiring is high. A loud alarm at this voltage is not a bad thing.
If you fit a larger inverter remember as a general rule the efficiency is better close to the maximum power, so you may consume more power even if the standby current is identical.
Motors in things like vacuum cleaners require a larger inverter than their power rating in watts suggests so make sure if you do get a larger inverter it will power the appliances that you what you want it to.
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Old 24-03-2011, 14:54   #9
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Re: inverter opinions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
11v volts is a worry. Either the battery is low or the voltage drop in the wiring is high. A loud alarm at this voltage is not a bad thing.
If you fit a larger inverter remember as a general rule the efficiency is better close to the maximum power, so you may consume more power even if the standby current is identical.
Motors in things like vacuum cleaners require a larger inverter than their power rating in watts suggests so make sure if you do get a larger inverter it will power the appliances that you what you want it to.
Good point, the surge capacity of many cheap inverters is very low. Our Mastervolt 2.5kw inverter had a surge capacity of 6kw, it would happily run our domestic washing machine and central heating without tripping.
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