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Old 19-12-2017, 13:11   #1
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Running Air Cond off Inverter

Yes, I know it's cold outside.... in North America anyway. However, I live in a very warm climate (most of the year) and have been trying to figure out how to run a 16,500 BTU AC off a Honda 2000 for a long time. I've read many threads regarding this but none have a definite answer. I'm aware of the dometic smart start, but some say it doesn't work. So.....

If I purchase an inverter, with 4000 amp surge, 2000 running capacity (or larger) and plug the Air Conditioner directly into the inverter then plug the inverter directly into the honda 2000, of course tied to the batteries, would it handle the surge?

Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...H69Q9A21&psc=1


Thanks,
Greg.
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Old 19-12-2017, 13:26   #2
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Re: Running Air Cond off Inverter

No, the air conditioner will require far more than 4000 watts to start.

The exact amount of kw (or kva) required to get an air conditioner to start is hard to determine exactly and is dependent upon weather conditions. They are generally harder to start in hot weather and with high indoor temperatures. The only way to know for sure is to measure it with a meter, and even then the kva required may depend on other factors such as the power quality, with a lower kva generally being sufficient if the voltage stays high.

Here's a reference to consider. Typically a larger A/C like that has the equivalent of a 1.5HP motor:

https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/l...ode-d_917.html


I've measured the start current on my 15,000 BTU/h A/C and it draws around 60 amps, or 7200 watts, according to my meter. Less than the chart might tell us, but still a lot.

Your best bet would be to get a Honda 2000 companion and run them in parallel. Even once it starts, the running amps are going to be right up to the output limit on a single Honda 2000.
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Old 19-12-2017, 13:46   #3
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Re: Running Air Cond off Inverter

you can't plug the inverter into the honda. you need an inverter with boosting capability like a victron multiplus. the cheaper and easier method would be 2 gens as mentioned above. since you are running one anyways.
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Old 19-12-2017, 13:48   #4
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Re: Running Air Cond off Inverter

I have Magnum MS-PAE inverters. Up to 4 can be ganged. A single provides up to 4 kw in both 120 and 240 volt. I have run many high amp items on mine - 50 gallon water heater, anchor winch, space heater, etc. You just need enough battery bank.
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Old 19-12-2017, 14:30   #5
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Re: Running Air Cond off Inverter

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No, the air conditioner will require far more than 4000 watts to start.
Some do, some do not. I ran 16000 BTU Webasto aircon, which uses slow-starting motor, off 2000 W cheap sine wave Xantrex inverter supplied by LiFePO4 batteries. Worked like a charm.
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Old 19-12-2017, 16:10   #6
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Re: Running Air Cond off Inverter

Have you tried to run your AC on the Honda?
My dock neighbor runs his 16k unit with his Honda. I was shocked when he told me he did, so I asked if I could try his Honda to run my 16k unit.
Guess what, it did. Of course I had everything else turned off when I tried.
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Old 19-12-2017, 16:12   #7
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Re: Running Air Cond off Inverter

An inverter with power boost will do this nicely. That's because the inverter capacity is ADDED to what the generator puts out, unlike the case with the simple inverter.

Adding a soft start (actually, what you want is the "SmartStart") will make it even easier.

There are reports that the Honda EU2000i will handle a 16k BTU air conditioner without either device. See: https://www.expeditersonline.com/for...tioners.66305/.

But I think it's best not to try the limits of these things. The power boost inverter is valuable for a bunch of other stuff, so I would do that in any case. And the SmartStart has got to be a good idea.
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Old 19-12-2017, 17:26   #8
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Re: Running Air Cond off Inverter

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No, the air conditioner will require far more than 4000 watts to start.
They will use more if available, but they donít require as much as you measure with an unlimited source. They will start on far less, itíll just take longer. I would guess 4000 watts will start a unit that runs on 13-1500 watts normal draw.
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Old 19-12-2017, 18:07   #9
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Re: Running Air Cond off Inverter

Some quick math. What does the A/C draw on 120V - say 12 amps. So the inverter will need at least 120 amps at 12V. Ignoring all the startup issues, are the batteries up to supplying 120+ amps for long periods of time?
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Old 19-12-2017, 23:17   #10
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Re: Running Air Cond off Inverter

All running an aircon unit off batteries does for you is buy a little time shifting.

Unless you only run during bright sun conditions off a large solar array, you'll have to burn dinojuice soon enough.
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Old 20-12-2017, 03:45   #11
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Re: Running Air Cond off Inverter

I have done this. Yes, with a large enough inverter it works. In my case, I can run a Dometic Turbo 12K off the inverter alone, though it will flatten the batteries (useable charge) within about 90 minutes. However, if hooked to a generator at the same time, the start-up surge on the generator is very small. Once started, the generator can easily handle the running load.

The other time I use this method is at certain marinas with limitied power at the dock. This will work with even a pretty long, skinny extension cord, because the inrush is low.

As others have stated, the batteries won't hold for very long, but that is not the question the OP asked. He only asked about starting.
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Old 20-12-2017, 04:28   #12
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Re: Running Air Cond off Inverter

As others have stated, the batteries won't hold for very long, but that is not the question the OP asked. He only asked about starting.

But if batteries are being constantly charged it still rums them down?
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Old 20-12-2017, 04:37   #13
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Re: Running Air Cond off Inverter

Our friend's genset died, they replaced it with a Honda 2000 companion ( large plug higher amps b4 popping the breaker) it starts and runs their 16k btu ac unit just fine. Not sure but imagine it has a soft start. The Honda companion doesn't put out more amps then the regular but the larger plug can handle a higher startup load b4 it throws the breaker.
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Old 20-12-2017, 05:58   #14
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Re: Running Air Cond off Inverter

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But if batteries are being constantly charged it still rums them down?
What's the charging current? You said plug the inverter into the Honda, I assumed that meant the 8 amp DC output. If you're running the Honda 120v to a battery charger that should work better. Depending on the duty cycle the a/c compressor is running, you're probaby looking at at least a 40 amp charger.
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Old 20-12-2017, 06:06   #15
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Re: Running Air Cond off Inverter

There are Kombi inverter/charger units.

Victron's and others uses the bank to combine, boost the mains (genny) power to carry transient over current draws, then when demand drops goes back to charging.
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