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Old 02-11-2012, 07:48   #1
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Schneider/Xantrex XW Inverters?

Hopefully we can avoid this becoming another Xantrex rant thread....but 4-5 years ago Xantrex came out with their XW family of inverter/chargers, solar chargers, monitors, etc. It was to replace the Trace SW inverter line that they got when they bought Trace about 15 years ago. That part of Xantrex was bought my Schneider Electric a few years ago, so it is no longer part of Xantrex. As an aside, the guys who founder Trace went off an started Outback Power after the Xantrex acquisition.

The Schneider/Xantrex XW line is primarily targeted to land power systems. It is not consumer grade crap. I've been using one to power my house (off grid solar) for the past 5 years and it has worked really well. There is integrated remote control, automatic generator start/stop control, remote alarm reporting, etc.

My question is whether anyone has used one of these in a marine application? I know some of the larger trawlers have been using the older Trace SW products for years, but they are no longer available.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:28   #2
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Re: Schneider/Xantrex XW Inverters?

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Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
Hopefully we can avoid this becoming another Xantrex rant thread....but 4-5 years ago Xantrex came out with their XW family of inverter/chargers, solar chargers, monitors, etc. It was to replace the Trace SW inverter line that they got when they bought Trace about 15 years ago. That part of Xantrex was bought my Schneider Electric a few years ago, so it is no longer part of Xantrex. As an aside, the guys who founder Trace went off an started Outback Power after the Xantrex acquisition.

The Schneider/Xantrex XW line is primarily targeted to land power systems. It is not consumer grade crap. I've been using one to power my house (off grid solar) for the past 5 years and it has worked really well. There is integrated remote control, automatic generator start/stop control, remote alarm reporting, etc.

My question is whether anyone has used one of these in a marine application? I know some of the larger trawlers have been using the older Trace SW products for years, but they are no longer available.

Thoughts?
My opinion, and my opinion only:

The biggest difference in land based electronics, and marine based electronics are the actual PCB's contained within them.

Land based PCB's (printed circuit boards) are built and put into whatever device they were intended for.

Marine based PCB's are built, and usually have an anti-corrosion sealing compound sprayed on them to prevent corrosion.

They can actually be the same product, but the marine version will be much higher in price. Not because the extra step cost that much, just because people will pay for it.

Some companies will sell the two identical products with no difference, but those marine products will fail within 5 years (especially in a salt water environment).

And no, it is not always simple enough to take the case off and coat the board with a corrosion preventative compound. If that were the situation, that is what I would do. There are thermal considerations on some parts, and those parts would be higher grade and not get coated, or get a thermal dissipating type coating.

It all depends on how long you think the item will last or be useful, or think the device should last your lifetime, which usually isn't the case anyway.

Just remember, the device will fail (no matter land or marine specs), just when you need it.

James L
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:36   #3
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Re: Schneider/Xantrex XW Inverters?

In general I agree, but the old Trace SW inverters are one-size-fits-all for land, marine, RV, etc. Same for Outback, and same for Magnum, all of whom are being used in boats now. I'll have to look into what sorts of protective coatings each of them claims to use.
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:49   #4
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Re: Schneider/Xantrex XW Inverters?

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In general I agree, but the old Trace SW inverters are one-size-fits-all for land, marine, RV, etc. Same for Outback, and same for Magnum, all of whom are being used in boats now. I'll have to look into what sorts of protective coatings each of them claims to use.
Usually in the "one for all" the entire production line gets the coating. It is actually cheaper, labor wise, to do so. They just increase the retail price to cover the extra processes.

Now....before someone goes and buys the off brand "Onetongcheese" and it fails in 9 months.....I'm not speaking of the off brands, but the reputable brands in the industry.

I doubt you will find the information you seek. Most of the time that information is considered "proprietary" and not spoken of.

I know this, for I design, build, program, and test PCB's. It is my self owned business.

James L
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Old 02-11-2012, 16:59   #5
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Re: Schneider/Xantrex XW Inverters?

Outback and Magnum actually sell marine specific, RV/mobile specific and home specific models. They are not one size fits all across their range.

One of the biggest differences is in how the transfer switch handles the ground connect/disconnect. This is an important consideration for a boat. Other than that, I don't know what the differences are in their products, and suspect they are the same.

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