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Old 14-10-2010, 23:39   #1
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Separate Charger and Inverter or Charger-Inverter ?

We have a 20-Amp shore power charger that seems fine.

We don't have an inverter and will need one. Should we keep the charger and add an inverter or is there any advantage in getting a combined charger-inverter and taking out the old charger ?

Thoughts ?

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Old 15-10-2010, 01:43   #2
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I have a freedom inverter/charger that took a dump so I am the same position you are. If I was in your position I would probably just add an inverter. Depending on the power you need, I just added a cigarette lighter type that will charge the computer,phones and camera. It was cheap and serves my needs now. I am interested what others will say because it will need to be upgraded in the future. From what I see an inverter/charger is easier to install and the cost is close but if one side or the other goes bad you have to replace the whole unit. Also in your case if you need to equalize your batteries I don't think your current charger is up to the job.
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Old 15-10-2010, 02:00   #3
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All I have, and need, is:

300w 120v inverter, generic, cheap, efficient.

10A 240v charger, generic, cheap. If I ever see 120v again I'll get a 120v 10A charger.

But the charger is never used as the solar does just fine by itself. Simple.

A bigger inverter is a slippery slope...next comes hair driers, drill motors, vacuum cleaners, blonde bimbos....all the trappings of the dreary life left behind years ago.
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Old 15-10-2010, 03:46   #4
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Kind of depends on how you use AC power on board, doesn't it?

90% of our AC power needs on board are covered by a cheap 300w cigarette lighter plug thing like Daddle's.

On the other hand I have caught myself cranking up the generator to make toast to go with that mushroom omlette, and that's not a good way to use that particular equipment.

I plan to install a Victron combination inverter/charger when I get that far down the list of things to buy for the boat.

The reason I chose that particular unit, although I have a perfectly good Newmar charger already, is because it has the fantastically useful function of supplementing AC shore power (or generator power) with inverted battery power when a short-term load (like motors starting up, AC starting up, etc.) exceeds the shore power capacity. This means you can size your generator and/or shore power for the continuous, not momentary loads. That means my 6.5kW generator will be plenty for air conditioning the whole boat -- and it would not be plenty if it had to cover startup loads. And it means I will stop blowing the circuit breaker on my isolation transformer.


2Daddle: "blonde bimbos . . . dreary life . . " What?! I always thought it was the absence of blonde bimbos which was a sign of a dreary life . . .
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Old 15-10-2010, 04:21   #5
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Heh. Yeah, I'd probably buy a big inverter and genset if a blonde bimbo showed up here. So I could make her toast in the morning...on the slim chance she stayed around that long.
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Old 15-10-2010, 05:56   #6
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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Kind of depends on how you use AC power on board, doesn't it?

90% of our AC power needs on board are covered by a cheap 300w cigarette lighter plug thing like Daddle's.

On the other hand I have caught myself cranking up the generator to make toast to go with that mushroom omlette, and that's not a good way to use that particular equipment.

I plan to install a Victron combination inverter/charger when I get that far down the list of things to buy for the boat.

The reason I chose that particular unit, although I have a perfectly good Newmar charger already, is because it has the fantastically useful function of supplementing AC shore power (or generator power) with inverted battery power when a short-term load (like motors starting up, AC starting up, etc.) exceeds the shore power capacity. This means you can size your generator and/or shore power for the continuous, not momentary loads. That means my 6.5kW generator will be plenty for air conditioning the whole boat -- and it would not be plenty if it had to cover startup loads. And it means I will stop blowing the circuit breaker on my isolation transformer.


2Daddle: "blonde bimbos . . . dreary life . . " What?! I always thought it was the absence of blonde bimbos which was a sign of a dreary life . . .
Would you post a link to that Victron?
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Old 15-10-2010, 06:30   #7
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Would you post a link to that Victron?
Sure -- here you are -- Quattro / 3kVA - 5kVA - 8kVA - 10kVA - Victron Energy

It's called a Victron "Quattro" -- quattro because it has two separate AC inputs.

If you don't have a generator, then you won't need the second AC input and you can use the "Multiplus" or "Easyplus" (also on the Victron website).

They are relatively expensive but very high quality equipment.
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Old 15-10-2010, 06:43   #8
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We use a Truecharge 40a charger and a Invertek 1500w true sine wave inverter.

I like the units separate in case one should take a dump.

The benefit of having them together is usually lower cost and less space.
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Old 15-10-2010, 07:04   #9
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The Victron Quattros are battery chargers/power supplies, not inverter/chargers.

The Victron MultiPlus series is the one referred to:

MultiPlus / 800VA - 5kVA - Victron Energy

Bill
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Old 15-10-2010, 07:49   #10
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inverter charger for sale

When a sailed the Bahamas 10 years ago we fried our Heart Interface inverter/charger. As a result of confusion between us, West Marine and Heart we ended up with TWO replacements: one new and one remanufactured. I installed the new one and still have the remanufactured one.

FOR SALE
Never out of the box
2001 Heart Interface Charger/Inverter: Remanufactured by Heart
S/N 220049
P/N 81-1511-12
75 amps -- 1500 watts

$200 plus S&H; shipping weight is about 50 lbs

Respond off-line to buck@temple.edu
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Old 15-10-2010, 08:30   #11
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The benefit of having them together is usually lower cost and less space.
That's all I could come up with and in our case it wouldn't justify replacing the current charger, other than the blond bimbo effect.

When looking at the specs as a rule I don't see inverter efficiency or either RFI or audible noise listed. Are they all pretty much comparable for efficiency and noise is not an issue ?

Thanks,



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Old 15-10-2010, 08:44   #12
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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
The Victron Quattros are battery chargers/power supplies, not inverter/chargers.

The Victron MultiPlus series is the one referred to:

MultiPlus / 800VA - 5kVA - Victron Energy

Bill
Umm, I don't know what you mean by "power supply" -- isn't it the same thing? The Quattro, like the Multiplus, acts as an AC power supply, powered by your boat's DC batteries. The only difference is that the Quattro has two separate AC inputs.

Victron calls the Quattro an "inverter-charger" (http://www.victronenergy.com/upload/...5%20-%20EN.pdf)

It will produce and supply 120V AC power by using DC power from your batteries.

The Quattro is for boats with generators. The Multiplus is for boats without generators. Otherwise functionality is identical.
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Old 15-10-2010, 10:05   #13
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I haven't found combo inverter/charger devices to be cheaper than buying individual. The auto changeover offered with many (AC to battery as power source) adds a lot of complexity & cost. I imagine only a few would benefit from it.

When the inverter on my Victron Combi burnt out I replaced it completely with separate charger & inverter. I wired AC distribution with manual three way switch as shown to provide shore or generator power to all AC sockets, or to a limited number when using inverter.
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Old 15-10-2010, 17:59   #14
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Dockhead,

Absolutely correct. Sorry for the misstatement on my part.

I was thinking of the Centaur, not the Quattro. A senior moment.

My apologies.

Bill
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Old 15-10-2010, 18:14   #15
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I'm a fan of " n+1 " invertor tech. Build a 3Kw one from 3 synchronising 1kw ones. Redundancy and low standby current

Dave
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