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Old 26-09-2020, 15:41   #1
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Inverter/charger wiring

I installed a Xantrex Freedom XC1000 inverter/charger a couple of years ago and have never been happy with the way I did it. I have a simple AC system. A single 8 circuit Bluesea AC panel. I have five AC outlets throughout the boat separated into two 15amp circuits. To avoid having to install a full sub panel for the inverter I simply cut the AC hot buss bar to create two separate buss bars and added a separate neutral buss bar. The only thing I had connected to the inverter was two of the five AC outlets.
The problem with this solution is that Iím then only left with three AC outlets on a single 15amp breaker. Shore power in is 30amp. This means I only have 15amps to play with with devices that are plugged in which gets very frustrating in the winter when I have a heater running.

This seems like it should be such a simple configuration but I canít for the life of me find the answer online or anywhere else. How do I have the 5 outlets on board powered by either the shore power or inverter other than running all new wiring and installing some inverter-only outlets? I feel like I must be missing something very obvious here. The only other AC circuits I have are a water heater and the battery charger which is integral with the inverter. The instructions for the inverter/charger simply say to install a sub panel for inverter only loads.

Thanks,
Dylan
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Old 26-09-2020, 16:11   #2
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Re: Inverter/charger wiring

A transfer switch rated at 30A. A simple, manual one should cost you less than $50, automation somewhat more. You wire the inverter output and the shore power to the two inputs of the switch, then wire the single output of the switch to all your boat AC. With a simple break before make transfer switch you will lose power for a few seconds when switching over from shore to inverter or vice versa. If that’s OK then all good. If you need to maintain power it becomes quickly more complicated.

[Edit] Here’s a link to one. More expensive than it should be at 30A but it will give you the idea.

If you don’t want any chance the inverter can try to run the water heater then you split the shore power; water heater and transfer switch, and the output from the transfer switch only goes to the receptacle circuits.
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Old 26-09-2020, 16:24   #3
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Re: Inverter/charger wiring

According to the Xantrex XC 1000 manual the inverter already has an internal transfer switch.

Follow everything in the manual.

Connect shore power to the input. Connect the eight circuit Blue Sea circuit panel to the output. Everything connected to the Blue Sea panel will have either shore power or inverter power.
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Old 26-09-2020, 16:40   #4
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Re: Inverter/charger wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingless View Post
According to the Xantrex XC 1000 manual the inverter already has an internal transfer switch.

Follow everything in the manual.

Connect shore power to the input. Connect the eight circuit Blue Sea circuit panel to the output. Everything connected to the Blue Sea panel will have either shore power or inverter power.
Ok I think is where Iím getting confused. In the Xantrex the wiring diagram it shows shore power into the AC panel, then to the inverter/charger and out to a sub panel. The way I interpreted that was to have shore power to the main double breaker on the panel, then a separate single 30amp breaker to the inverter/charger and back out to another 30amp single breaker in the panel to power the inverter loads. It never really made sense to me but itís the way I interpreted the diagram.
So if I understand you and the diagram correctly, I simply have the shore power come into the main double breaker on the main panel, and instead of the power going directly to the circuits on the panel via the buss bars, I go to the inverter/charger input first then back to the main panel into a separate 30amp breaker which then powers the buss bars? Do I still need a separate neutral buss bar or does the switching in the inverter/charger take care of that?
This would make a lot more sense to me than the way I originally did it.
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Old 26-09-2020, 16:54   #5
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Re: Inverter/charger wiring

The inverter charger has a passthrough built in. Plug stuff into the inverter outlets right now. It will be powered from shore. Untill you unplug the boat. Then it will start inverting those plugs. This is how every inverter charger is wired. It already does what you want

Now if you fed the inverter charger with a 15a breaker. The inverter outlets can only use 15a - charger power being used.

Ideally it would be fed from a 30a. Breaker on the panel say below the hwt . (You’d have to check the passthrough rating of the 1000). Then it’s output would go to both outlet breakers (bus cut). And both outlets will either passthrough on shore power or invert when not. It’s built into it already.

30a main. —>. Hwt and inverter breaker. —>. Inverter. —> outlet breakers.

Outlet circuits need own neutral bus from inverter output.
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Old 26-09-2020, 16:56   #6
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Re: Inverter/charger wiring

Follow the instructions in the manual. Follow ABYC.

On my boat that the AC service entrance, there are also breakers to provide over current protection, for the span from the inlet to the main AC panel.

Assuming yours also has over current protection at the inlet, run the AC directly to the inverter. Run the output from the inverter to the main circuit panel.
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Old 26-09-2020, 16:57   #7
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Re: Inverter/charger wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingless View Post
According to the Xantrex XC 1000 manual the inverter already has an internal transfer switch.

Follow everything in the manual.

Connect shore power to the input. Connect the eight circuit Blue Sea circuit panel to the output. Everything connected to the Blue Sea panel will have either shore power or inverter power.
No. You do not want the whole boat inverted. The Hwt would just blow fuses or cause shutdowns on a 1000w inverter.. Cutting the busbar and only feeding some breakers from the inverter is normal.
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Old 26-09-2020, 17:10   #8
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Re: Inverter/charger wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingless View Post
Follow the instructions in the manual. Follow ABYC.

On my boat that the AC service entrance, there are also breakers to provide over current protection, for the span from the inlet to the main AC panel.

Assuming yours also has over current protection at the inlet, run the AC directly to the inverter. Run the output from the inverter to the main circuit panel.

So when you shut off the ďMAIN BREAKERĒ on the main ac panel your charger is still powered and charging? Hmmm.... something doesnít seem right there...
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Old 26-09-2020, 17:15   #9
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Re: Inverter/charger wiring

Yes, follow the instructions from Xantrex.

I have wired my Magnum (and a previous Freedom Inverter charger) thusly:
  • Shore power connection to a double AC breaker, (labeled "AC Main Breaker) (there is an indicator light showing AC Present)
  • From the AC Main breaker to the AC Input on the Inverter/Charger
  • From the AC Output of the Inverter Charger directly to the AC Load panel (there is an indicator light also on that output)(No breaker between the Inverter Charger and the load panel)
  • All AC Loads, including the outlets are on breakers on the panel

There is no manual switching other than the main AC Breaker. If AC is present on the boat, and the breaker is "ON", AC goes to the Inverter/ Charger, nowhere else.

The Inverter/charger passes it through to the AC Panel, or, if no AC is present, inverts the DC and supplies the panel.

The Inverter function can be switched off at the Inverter/Charger control.

This works brilliantly. It is automatic, instantly switching when shore power is lost or gained, and the Inverter/Charger validates the AC before passing it to the loads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
So when you shut off the ďMAIN BREAKERĒ on the main ac panel your charger is still powered and charging? Hmmm.... something doesnít seem right there...
This also resolves your worry about the charger being powered when the 'MAIN BREAKER" is off. With the wiring I've suggested if the "AC Main Breaker" is off the AC goes nowhere, including not to the inverter charger.
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Old 26-09-2020, 17:28   #10
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Re: Inverter/charger wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingless View Post
.....................
.................................................. ...........


#1 On my boat that the AC service entrance, there are also breakers to provide over current protection, for the span from the inlet to the main AC panel.

#2 ......<snip>.............run the AC directly to the inverter. Run the output from the inverter to the main circuit panel.

I don't have #1, a good idea but not pertinent to the basic way to connect the I/C.


wingless is right on #2, simplest. It's basically this: input AC first to the IC, then from the I/C inverter output to your electrical main panel breaker. This is where the incoming AC used to go. Think of it this way: EITHER the inverter OR the incoming AC feeds your existing AC main breaker. The inverter's ATS determines which one does it. That's why the incoming AC has to, now, go to the inverter first.



Then, the loads YOU place on the inverter are based on the breakers YOU turn on at your panel.


It becomes a management issue.


Just don't turn your water heater on.


Good luck.
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Old 26-09-2020, 18:33   #11
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Re: Inverter/charger wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
Yes, follow the instructions from Xantrex.

I have wired my Magnum (and a previous Freedom Inverter charger) thusly:
  • Shore power connection to a double AC breaker, (labeled "AC Main Breaker) (there is an indicator light showing AC Present)
  • From the AC Main breaker to the AC Input on the Inverter/Charger
  • From the AC Output of the Inverter Charger directly to the AC Load panel (there is an indicator light also on that output)(No breaker between the Inverter Charger and the load panel)
  • All AC Loads, including the outlets are on breakers on the panel

There is no manual switching other than the main AC Breaker. If AC is present on the boat, and the breaker is "ON", AC goes to the Inverter/ Charger, nowhere else.

The Inverter/charger passes it through to the AC Panel, or, if no AC is present, inverts the DC and supplies the panel.

The Inverter function can be switched off at the Inverter/Charger control.

This works brilliantly. It is automatic, instantly switching when shore power is lost or gained, and the Inverter/Charger validates the AC before passing it to the loads.



This also resolves your worry about the charger being powered when the 'MAIN BREAKER" is off. With the wiring I've suggested if the "AC Main Breaker" is off the AC goes nowhere, including not to the inverter charger.

Iíve wired it as you described other than including a single 30amp breaker on the return from the inverter as the instructions say.
There were jumpers from the main double 30amp AC breaker to the hot and neutral buss bars. I removed those.
1- shore power in to double main breaker.
2- hot and neutral to input of the I/C
3- output of I/C to single 30amp breaker on main panel with the hot being on the common hot buss bar and the neutral to the common neutral buss bar

Wired like this it all works. Water heater is on the same circuit but it immediately shuts down the inverter if itís on and shore power is turned off. Only problem now is that there is a slight ticking noise coming from the inverter. It wasnít making that noise in the previous configuration when the inverter and shore power buss bars were separate... Any ideas?
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Old 26-09-2020, 19:27   #12
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Re: Inverter/charger wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylancs View Post
...Only problem now is that there is a slight ticking noise coming from the inverter. It wasnít making that noise in the previous configuration when the inverter and shore power buss bars were separate... Any ideas?...
No, I am not familiar with that Xantrax unit. Several steps can be taken to debug this:

Is there a light flashing when the I/C ticks?

Does the manual offer any trouble shooting steps, or explain any flashing lights, if present?

Can you call Xantrax?

If none of the above are helping, then:

Turn off all other charging sources and all AC Loads, does this stop the ticking? If so, go back one at a time and see what is causing it. Perhaps another charging source is causing the Xantrax to turn the charger off and on. You have to go down every path until you find the issue.

Maybe another CF member has an idea.

BTW, don't turn on the water heater when you are on Inverter, it won't handle it. but the shore power flow through should do it OK.
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Old 26-09-2020, 20:17   #13
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Re: Inverter/charger wiring

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Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
No, I am not familiar with that Xantrax unit. Several steps can be taken to debug this:

Is there a light flashing when the I/C ticks?

Does the manual offer any trouble shooting steps, or explain any flashing lights, if present?

Can you call Xantrax?

If none of the above are helping, then:

Turn off all other charging sources and all AC Loads, does this stop the ticking? If so, go back one at a time and see what is causing it. Perhaps another charging source is causing the Xantrax to turn the charger off and on. You have to go down every path until you find the issue.

Maybe another CF member has an idea.

BTW, don't turn on the water heater when you are on Inverter, it won't handle it. but the shore power flow through should do it OK.

There are no fault lights and nothing happening concurrently with the ticking. Itís very faint and I canít find any reference to it in the manual. The inverter seems to be working as it should. The auto transfer between shore power to inverter is instant. Thereís no ticking noise when only the battery charger is on. Iíll see if I can call Xantrex on Monday.
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Old 26-09-2020, 21:31   #14
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Re: Inverter/charger wiring

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Originally Posted by Dylancs View Post
There are no fault lights and nothing happening concurrently with the ticking. Itís very faint and I canít find any reference to it in the manual. The inverter seems to be working as it should. The auto transfer between shore power to inverter is instant. Thereís no ticking noise when only the battery charger is on. Iíll see if I can call Xantrex on Monday.
After giving it some more thought, I think I will remove the single 30amp circuit breaker that is after the inverter. The manual doesnít call for one and Iím wondering if having this second circuit breaker after the main double 30amp breaker may be causing some issues. Iíll try it out tomorrow.

Thanks for all the input. I wish I had posted this when I first installed it.
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