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Old 26-02-2017, 11:33   #16
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

Avoid the Charles brand. I have had nothing but trouble even after sending back to the factory for repair.
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Old 26-02-2017, 12:29   #17
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
I know there have been lots of discussions on this, but as products change and get more efficient, data changes. Plus wanted input as to my specifics, so reason for a new thread.

My boat is 1 season old, I have 3 x 140 wet cell, 2 starts, and 560 w of solar off the davits, with a cristec 40A charger and 110 input. The boat didn't come with an inverter. I want to add one, not quite sure what size, thinking of either 2 or 3k. Boat has no generator or AC.

Main panel has switches (I am assuming not breakers) to enable charger and AC outlets.

I am thinking that putting in an inverter/charger might be pretty simple? Or get plain inverter, leave charger in place. Not sure how to prevent AC from dock to not be switched through if Inverter is going to be used?

Thoughts from experts here on whether I should get combo unit, and what brand and size. Also thinking of adding 1 more battery of another 140, so have 560 AH total, 280 useable vs. 210. Use about 100Ah daily.
I'm a fan of combo units for their simplicity and convenience. I have installed a number of Xantrex units, professionally.

The Xantrex HFS -1800 provides a pure sine inverter with integral 30 A shore power auto transfer relay, for wiring directly into the vessel shore power system. This will run most small AC appliances like a Kerig or most 750W microwaves, as well as most power tools 10 A or less. It also provides a 55A single bank 3 stage smart charger. If all batteries are
same technology, you can use ACRs to isolate / charge the start batteries.

The unit can be mounted in the bowels of the vessel with integral display removed and mounted remotely at the nav station with supplied 25 ft cable.
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Old 26-02-2017, 13:20   #18
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

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Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
Not sure I understand this. Are you saying that the quiescent load from the inverter to the batteries when NOT using AC, but just the inverter turned on is high for the 2k/3k and will have a large parasitic drain on the batteries?



I would want to run a hair dryer for 3 minutes, or possibly a small microwave for 5 minutes. Nothing simultaneous. A 600w microwave uses 50AH @ 12V for an hour, I would use up 5AH with it.



I already have a small inverter that plugs in a 12 V adapter, runs small stuff. Need something bigger.


I was referring to the load of appliances used for long periods of time consuming a bunch of amps. Probably more than any solar only bank could handle consistently day-in, day-out, outside of LiFePO4 bank with a bunch of solar (thinking Third Days' set up).

But the parasitic loads of the combo unit are not to be dismissed. I think my Victron uses nearly 1 amp DC to simply keep the inverter on and ready to go when not connected to shore power. That is 24 amp hours a day, assuming you keep the inverter on all day, but didn't use it. The Victron, and others, have a stand by mode that reduces the drain by at least 50%. I'd bet a stand alone inverter has even less drain, but don't quote me. Or you could just turn the inverter off, of course.

On the microwave, the rating is power to the food, not the power used. A 600 watt rated microwave may use 800 watts AC. With the inverter inefficiency, perhaps you are near 900 watts DC. Agreed that the amp hours used for five minutes is still pretty small. Not sure why people think they are power hogs, once you have the pure sine inverter in place.

Honestly, if that is all you want to power, it sounds like a 1500-ish pure sine inverter is all you need, if you want to save some cash. Will give you head room for when the boat is hot and the inverter is really only capable of producing 1200 watts. (My Victron 2000 is only rated at 1600 at 90 degrees F.)

But if you have the cash and like nice things, go for it. You won't be disappointed.
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Old 26-02-2017, 13:55   #19
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

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One thing I didn't see mentioned was inverter efficiency. Generally speaking, inverters are most efficient when running near their rated load. Running a 3KVA inverter to charge a laptop will push you down on its performance curve to efficiencies as low as 60%, versus 90%+ when running 2-3KW. It's just one more tradeoff to think about when selecting the inverter.

I'm in the process of selecting an inverter/charger for my own boat. Realistically, most of the time I'm using less than 25 watts through the inverter to keep a laptop running as a backup chart plotter, so I really don't need much. However, the same 350 watt inverter will not let me run an electric drill due to the inrush current for the motor. In my case I'm wrestling between a 1KW or 2KW inverter/charger with the primary motivation being consolidation of the charger and centralizing the 120VAC supply in the boat.

Hope this helps!
Understanding the concept of inrush amperage is an important part of making the right inverter selection. Even though the running amperage of it is just 6 amps, I can't "kick" our A/C without a capacitor-type unit such as the Dometec Soft Start because the pump and A/C want 17 amps at the start of the cycle. I can and may do it with two Honda 2000s, or maybe just get more fans and save it for shore power.

I have a Xantrex RS2000, which has proven to be (despite a reputation for issues I discovered after I bought it well in advance of its installation) a really good unit able to bring a big bank to "float" quickly. I've run a Shop/Vac and a drill while inverting, so it does all right with that, too, but realistically, I don't need more than a way to run a few power tools and the microwave. I prefer DC-DC units to charge radios and laptops...it's more efficient.

You may find this blog post of interest: The world encompassed: Getting the lead in, Part 3: Powering up
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Old 26-02-2017, 13:57   #20
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

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Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
The Xantrex HFS -1800
...
It also provides a 55A single bank 3 stage smart charger.
The charger on 1800 HF is 40A I believe.

1000 models usually 20 A, the 1055 HF model is 55A.

You see these used sometimes, great deal if you can pick one up for a couple hundred.

I would NOT advise paying $500+ for a new one unless you find a repair shop cannibalizing old ones for parts willing to give you service.

Xantrex itself considers these consumer-level throwaways, even authorized repair centers get no support unless it just needs a new panel/remote or something. Maybe you'd be lucky, good units, some last for years...

But IMO worth paying more for good after-sales support like Victron.

MasterVolt is premium in Europe, but IMO overpriced, not so well supported here.

Lots of interesting DC tech from Australia, usually very robust, but also service issues.
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Old 26-02-2017, 15:34   #21
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post

The charger on 1800 HF is 40A I believe.
The Freedom HF series is modified sine.

The Freedom HFS series is true sine.

(The difference in price is so minimal these days, I now always recommend true sine models.)

My mistake on model #; the model I was referring to is the Freedom HFS 2055.

2000 W inverter / 55 A charger.

(It looks just like the original mod sine HF 1800, but is way better.)

Great unit.
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Old 26-02-2017, 15:47   #22
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

Another consideration not mentioned yet, the higher the inverter rating, the heavier the cables needed, and cost goes up exponentially with each cable size larger.

While the jump from a 2K to 3K inverter may be an acceptable unit cost increase, the increase in cables may put it beyond worth getting, if you really believe 2K will do the job.

FYI, we recommend leaving the inverter turned off when no in use, (displaying battery voltage) turning it on only when using AC appliances, to avoid the battery drain in inverter "standby" mode (plus powering all the GFCIs that are connected to it).
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Old 26-02-2017, 15:50   #23
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

I would recommend a combi unit that best fits your size and space needs as that multifunctional inverter/charger technology is well proven.

Why take up double the space and weight for basically a 2 way unit
(My Victron Mult 3000/24/70 has worked flawlessly for 7 years!

You already have a small backup inverter that can be left to run off an extension cord in an emergency
A small charger can do the same.

I wired my Multi with a simple AC selector switch /Shore/Gen/Invertor/ so as to not compromise my AC distribution, if the Multi had problems
I think this shore management with iffy power has been the cause of a few of the Victron failures I've heard about.
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Old 26-02-2017, 16:00   #24
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
Another consideration not mentioned yet, the higher the inverter rating, the heavier the cables needed, and cost goes up exponentially with each cable size larger.

While the jump from a 2K to 3K inverter may be an acceptable unit cost increase, the increase in cables may put it beyond worth getting, if you really believe 2K will do the job.

FYI, we recommend leaving the inverter turned off when no in use, (displaying battery voltage) turning it on only when using AC appliances, to avoid the battery drain in inverter "standby" mode (plus powering all the GFCIs that are connected to it).
This is good advice and yes, you have to match the charger/inverter spec. Even for my 2000W model, this meant 4/0 ga. from the unit to the main bank, and 2/0 ga. for the series/parallel cabling. I also disable the inverter unless needed.


By the way, the curious loop in the 4/0 ga. cable is to keep each cable the same length. All the 2/0 ga. cables are also the same length.
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Old 26-02-2017, 17:04   #25
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

For those of you pondering the cost of 2/0 and 4/0 AWG Wire:

$6.33 by the foot
2/0 AWG Gauge Battery Cable Tinned Copper Marine Wire
Marine Grade Wire, AWG Tinned Copper Boat Cables Made in USA Genuinedealz.com

$9.72 by the foot
4/0 AWG Gauge Battery Cable Tinned Copper Marine Wire
Marine Grade Wire, AWG Tinned Copper Boat Cables Made in USA Genuinedealz.com

I never have purchased from Genuinedealz.com before this just a posting on possible wire cost.
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Old 26-02-2017, 17:25   #26
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

Wire cost should not make much overall difference as the inverter/charger should be installed 5' or less from the battery bank. This makes the cost difference just over $50 for the 3 lengths required - positive, negative, and chassis ground if 4/0 is chosen. A small number compared to the total cost of the project.
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Old 26-02-2017, 17:25   #27
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
I know there have been lots of discussions on this, but as products change and get more efficient, data changes. Plus wanted input as to my specifics, so reason for a new thread.

My boat is 1 season old, I have 3 x 140 wet cell, 2 starts, and 560 w of solar off the davits, with a cristec 40A charger and 110 input. The boat didn't come with an inverter. I want to add one, not quite sure what size, thinking of either 2 or 3k. Boat has no generator or AC.

Main panel has switches (I am assuming not breakers) to enable charger and AC outlets.

I am thinking that putting in an inverter/charger might be pretty simple? Or get plain inverter, leave charger in place. Not sure how to prevent AC from dock to not be switched through if Inverter is going to be used?

Thoughts from experts here on whether I should get combo unit, and what brand and size. Also thinking of adding 1 more battery of another 140, so have 560 AH total, 280 useable vs. 210. Use about 100Ah daily.
With your battery bank, 600w inverter is good... peaking to 1000W under solar push.
Otherwise, batteries will go down fast.

Why buying a combo, if your charger is ok!?

Select carefully your AC appliances/needs :-)
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Old 27-02-2017, 18:16   #28
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

Just be aware that a microwave does not draw the power it says it does. A 600w microwave (cooking power) may actually draw 1200w (Input Power). As with all electronics devices, the Inverter may actually see a higher value than what the device is rated at.
It is an interersting topic
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Old 27-02-2017, 18:35   #29
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

And for many types of devices, startup amps may be 3-5 times their continuous draw.
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:14   #30
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Re: Inverter vs. Inverter/charger and which brand

It's not marine rated as spark free but it is sinusoidal, 3,000 watts and under $300 at Amazon.
PowerTech On Advanced Technology PURE SINE WAVE Inverter 3000W Cont/6000W Peak, 12V DC to 120V AC w/ Black&Red Cables w/Ring Terminals, Remote Switch
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I just purchased it in January for working on my boat on the hard. I replaced a Xantec modified sine wave that I was beginning to worry might damage some power tools. The highest current device the new inverter has driven was a shop vacuum rated at 12 amps or 1440 watts. No idea what the surge current might be.

The down side is it only has three standard ac plugs and no provision for hard wiring it into an electrical system. It also has a 5 volt usb charger built in which for me is pretty useless.

you pays your money and you takes your choice!
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