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Old 23-09-2014, 10:06   #1
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Sizing an Inverter

So looking for a bit of advice on sizing an inverter for our new boat. It is a Bene 50 with all the trimmings. 10kw Generator, AC, water maker, etc. while we plan to have it in a slip to begin with ultimately we want to be totally self sufficient for long periods away from the dock. We will be adding solar and some more amp hours within a year or so but want to get started with the inverter first. We were thinking the Xantrex Freedom 3000w. Not really sure exactly what we would need but it would be nice to make coffee or run the microwave without running the genny. Any thoughts? Just want to make the right choice now so we are not having to replace later.

Thanks in advance!

Will and Danielle
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Old 23-09-2014, 10:21   #2
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Re: Sizing an Inverter

The 2000 will run the microwave. Get a 2000 with the 100 amp charger. In the final analysis the size of your battery bank and methods of charging (solar, wind) will determine how long you can go without the genny.
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Old 23-09-2014, 10:49   #3
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Re: Sizing an Inverter

We basically have the same setup as you plan on a 55 ft live aboard.

We have the Freedom Xantrex 3000 but the coffee maker, toaster and big microwave just pull too much from the batteries so we always start the generator to run them. We always need to charge the batteries anyway so starting the gen serves both purposes. With the power draw you are likely to develop you need the 3000 for it's 150amp charger.

Of course if you get smaller more sensible appliances then you can use the inverter.

If you have a big battery bank, over 1000 amp hrs you also need the Xantrex 'LinkPro' battery monitor the smaller and cheaper 'LinkLite' can only be programmed for 999 amp hours.

I fitted a second smaller inverter for the TV and DVD player

You need lots of solar...we have 405 watts and plan to add another 2-300 watts

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Old 23-09-2014, 23:08   #4
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Re: Sizing an Inverter

stay away from the current xantrax crap. it's junk.

we've had good luck with the magnums. the ms 2000 or 2800 watts are nice.

the magnums have a add on battery monitor too if you don't already have one.

how big is your battery bank?

since your gen is so big I'd add more battery chargers too.

IE if you have a 1000+ah bank add another 100a charger for 200+ amps total. so you can recharge faster and run the gen half as long.
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Old 23-09-2014, 23:19   #5
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Re: Sizing an Inverter

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
stay away from the current xantrax crap. it's junk.

we've had good luck with the magnums. the ms 2000 or 2800 watts are nice.

the magnums have a add on battery monitor too if you don't already have one.

how big is your battery bank?

since your gen is so big I'd add more battery chargers too.

IE if you have a 1000+ah bank add another 100a charger for 200+ amps total. so you can recharger faster and run the gen half as long.
Agree about the X brand and about sizing.

Go with Magnum, Sterling, or Newmar.

I would not do anything smaller than 3000 watts nominal. If you read the fine print, this is often not watts but VA, so with power factor 2500 or so. Except that that is at 15 degrees C or something unrealistic. At realistic temperature -- you guessed it -- more derating. At the end of the day, a so-called 3000 watt inverter will not actually be comfortable with loads over 2000 real watts. I have a 3000 watt (actually VA) Victron which is barely enough on a big boat with lots of electrical gear (microwave, kettle, coffemaker, washer/dryer, etc.). And with such a big generator, I think you'll regret not having more charging power.

Good luck.
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Old 24-09-2014, 04:50   #6
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Re: Sizing an Inverter

Hi
I have the 3100 Magnum. Works fine. You should check out the specs though. If you are planing to be in the hot part of the Carib the Magnum derates above 70 degrees. I think the others do to. It might be enough to make a difference.
Bob
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Old 24-09-2014, 05:19   #7
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Re: Sizing an Inverter

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
stay away from the current xantrax crap. it's junk.

we've had good luck with the magnums. the ms 2000 or 2800 watts are nice.

the magnums have a add on battery monitor too if you don't already have one.

how big is your battery bank?

since your gen is so big I'd add more battery chargers too.

IE if you have a 1000+ah bank add another 100a charger for 200+ amps total. so you can recharge faster and run the gen half as long.

I have a great video that I am getting really, really, really close to uploading to YouTube.

I am however giving Xantrex the option to make this situation right for the customer. Promises, promises, promises for well over a year. Oh and of course I am the only one to have ever had this problem... Right!!! Problem is I know few other marine electricians who have had the identical issue I have with the SW series..... Plain and simple, they lied!!

Oh and I have already been told they will in no way pay any labor to fix this issue just supply the parts, which have been promised now for well over a year....

I won't even go into how bad the SCP display is or how user unfriendly it is... My poor customer, a very successful and very smart guy, can't even figure it out.

Lucky for me I tried to talk the customer out of the Xantrex and into Magnum but he insisted on Xantrex. Now he knows why I did that....

As for the OP you first need to address the "what can my batteries handle" question before you buy an inverter... A 3000 watt inverter, in peak conditions, can draw upwards of 290A from your battery bank. Many typical factory banks won't handle this for very long before tapping out on low voltage.
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Old 27-09-2014, 15:57   #8
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Re: Sizing an Inverter

Thanks everyone for the good info. I'll be at the annapolis show in a few weeks to do some shopping. We definitely want an additional charger as our genny seems to be larger than the norm. We wil be back on the boat next week and we will see exactly what we are using day to day. Think I will stay away from xantrex though. How do you determine how much charging capacity the genny has. It did not come with any paperwork. It is a Westerbeke 10kw

Anyway thanks again
W
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Old 27-09-2014, 19:21   #9
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Re: Sizing an Inverter

Get the smallest inverter possible.

An inverter sucks lemons through a garden hose when it fails. The larger the inverter, the more it sucks.

Use the gen when required and get a small inverter for small / handy AC power, phone charging, laptop charging, television and other handy stuff.
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Old 27-09-2014, 22:54   #10
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Re: Sizing an Inverter

What? Who wants to run a gen. They are loud and annoying. Run for 30 mins a day to make hot water and charge batteries. Use inverter for 23.5 hours a day

The gen has no charging. It powers ac chargers.

It will charge it's own gen battery with a small alt. But I would not use this to charge anything else. Gen battery should be isolated.
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Old 28-09-2014, 06:22   #11
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Re: Sizing an Inverter

Been working in off grid Solar for the last few years, I have worked on other manufacturers but Outback has proved to be the best, Reliable, Field serviceable (3 internal boards, change all of them in half hour) Good surge capability & performs beyond spec , 5yr guarantee with good tech help & support, Have a look at Outback Power Inc. - Mobile/Marine

Tim
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Old 28-09-2014, 09:06   #12
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Re: Sizing an Inverter

I'm considering two inverters. I have a Victron 2000 which has so far been adequate for my intermittent AC needs, microwave and such. However, the standby draw is a bit more than I like. Thinking about a 500-800 Watt unit to run for all day for charging cell phones and such.

Yes I know the better option is to get 12V chargers for all devices but some things I have don't have that option (Braun electric shaver for one) and guests don't always bring a 12V charger for all their gadgets.
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