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Old 25-07-2011, 17:24   #1
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Wiring Small Inverter into AC Panel

Hey all,

We're replacing our recently dead 2kW inverter. We have no need for a large inverter system so we're looking at a smaller Victron 750W inverter for way less cake.

Victron Phoenix 12/750 pure sinewave inverter - 120V/60Hz

The question I have is that the Victron inverter we want has a three-prong AC output that receives a standard 120V plug. What I'd like to do is run my AC panel off this inverter when we're off shore power. What's the general consensus on hard-wiring a three prong plug output into an AC breaker panel (via an AC source selector switch to switch between shore power and the inverter)? It seems slightly ghetto - which I'm OK with - but I want to make sure it's not dangerous - which I'm not OK with.

Like so:
inverter --> AC source selector switch --> AC breaker panel

Thoughts?
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Old 25-07-2011, 17:32   #2
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Re: Wiring small inverter into AC panel

I guess it is doable but you must know exactly what you are doing. You need a transfer switch, essentially like a genset transfer switch, that makes it absolutely impossible for the inverter output to go to the same terminal as the shorepower input. Most inverters go up in smoke when you do this.

And you will have to be rigorous in your use of the inverter. Never ask that little inverter to power your hot water heater or your battery charger or even your microwave (except for a low power one).
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Old 25-07-2011, 17:35   #3
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Re: Wiring small inverter into AC panel

Yes, it's a poor idea without a fool-proof transfer switch.
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Old 25-07-2011, 17:42   #4
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Re: Wiring small inverter into AC panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I guess it is doable but you must know exactly what you are doing. You need a transfer switch, essentially like a genset transfer switch, that makes it absolutely impossible for the inverter output to go to the same terminal as the shorepower input. Most inverters go up in smoke when you do this.

And you will have to be rigorous in your use of the inverter. Never ask that little inverter to power your hot water heater or your battery charger or even your microwave (except for a low power one).
Agreed. I'm envisioning installing something like so between the inverter and the AC breaker panel:



We've always been careful about inverter use so that shouldn't be a problem. Turning on the battery charger is particularly concerning. I feel like turning on a battery charger fed by an inverter off that battery bank might just open up a worm hole.
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