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Old 08-07-2014, 01:23 PM   #1
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Inverter placement in a 34lrc

I am about to install a 3KW inverter in my 34LRC. There is plenty of room to install it in the engine room but I am reluctant to do so since it is quite warm dowm there, and that can't be good for the inverter. I supose I could enclose it and fan force air into the enclosure from the outside. That would be a big project though. I want to keep the 12V feed wires to a minimum length. The inverter will get power from the battery switch which is located behind the ladder near the floor on the oposite side of the shower stall. I might have room that is not too far away under the bunk in the mid cabin but that would be a PIA place for access. I'm sure there are others with a 34LRC and an inverter, or somthing similar. Where is yours?
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:31 PM   #2
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Having the same issue. Needs to be dry, not under any water line joints, and someplace cool. I had in a dry place in previous boat but was not cool enough. As u I want to minimize 12 volt wiring length. Good luck.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:49 PM   #3
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The inverter needs to be close to the battery bank, but not over 3 or 4' away. At the same time, it is not good to locate them in the same compartment with the batteries. If the batteries are off gasing the vapor could be ignited by the inverter. To solve this problem on Moonstruck, I located the inverter almost directly overhead of the batteries in a compartment under a settee on the helm deck. Then 2 vents were cut in for cooling. Cool, close to batteries, and isolated. Works for me.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:46 PM   #4
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I've seen lots of inverters in engine rooms, apparently doing ok. Also, some are noisy. Engine rooms stay fairly cool with engines running, and only really bake right after shutdown. If you mount it low in ER, temps are cooler there.

Check inverter specs for allowable ambient temps. I doubt most ER's get over 130F, and then only for a few hours after shutdown.
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:39 PM   #5
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put it in the engine room close to the batts as the preferred location....if it overtemps...build a box around it with a muffin fan providing cool air to it.

too far from batts and it's an uphill struggle on many fronts.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:27 PM   #6
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Your inverter probably came with installation instructions and the instructions probably placed a limit on cable length from the batteries (as well as specifying the minimum cable size). That cable length could be as short as five feet (each cable) so you'll have to find a place on your boat that's within that maximum distance from the battery connections.

It's OK to go through a wall or bulkhead but remember to install chafe protection. You might also want to seal the opening after installing the cables to prevent fumes from escaping through the hole. If it's a gasoline powered boat, you really should seal the hole. Home centers will have spray products for this in the electrical section.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:25 PM   #7
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If you have gasoline engines you must not put them in the engine compartment because very few are ignition protected. There is one ignition protected model inverter on the market but I can't remember which one.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
put it in the engine room close to the batts as the preferred location....if it overtemps...build a box around it with a muffin fan providing cool air to it.

too far from batts and it's an uphill struggle on many fronts.
had mine in the engine for 8 yrs and never had a problem
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonstruck View Post
The inverter needs to be close to the battery bank, but not over 3 or 4' away. At the same time, it is not good to locate them in the same compartment with the batteries. If the batteries are off gasing the vapor could be ignited by the inverter. To solve this problem on Moonstruck, I located the inverter almost directly overhead of the batteries in a compartment under a settee on the helm deck. Then 2 vents were cut in for cooling. Cool, close to batteries, and isolated. Works for me.
Thats what I did as well.

I also have a low speed computer fan venting the compartment. Cant hear the fan and it keeps the inverter cool enough not to have an issue.

Without the fan, on hot days the inverter had issues when charging at max output.
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:31 AM   #10
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Craig,

I only have a 1000W inverter, but followed the same track as Moonstruck and Ksanders, sans the cooling fan. I placed the inverter in the cabinet under the settee, directly to port of the lower helm. My batteries are located directly below on centerline, just aft of the fwd ER door.

Since mine is only 1000W, it doesn't generate enough heat to need forced circulation. In fact, I'm on the boat now with the inverter running for the past 2 days, so I've placed a temp probe in the cabinet and will let you know its temp when it stabilizes. I suspect a 3000W inverter would need added cooling, but a simple AC fan powered by the inverter would be a simple solution in that location.

An idea I got from CHC on his 34 LRC is to cut an access panel into the top of that same cabinet, under the cushion. He did this on his 34 LRC and it made perfect sense. It would ease the installation job to have access from above. Here's a shot of his modification.

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Old 08-08-2014, 02:23 AM   #11
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The cabinet temp plateaued at 85 degrees....10 degrees above ambient temp.
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:29 AM   #12
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If you are concerned install a AC vent grill on the compartment that you install the inverter. This is what I did and it really alleviated the heat build up. I assume your inverter has fans that kick on when it gets loaded and warms up. Mine does so the vent grill works great. Good luck...
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:15 AM   #13
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If you have gasoline engines you must not put them in the engine compartment because very few are ignition protected. There is one ignition protected model inverter on the market but I can't remember which one.
Very important and something I forgot to mention.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:33 PM   #14
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Al, it took me a wile to to comprehend where your pictures where taken, After the confusion, I figured it out. I hate to loose valuable storage, that where we keep more than we need paper towels and TP. But I don't know why I couldn't use the the corner area of the settee. I already have a air conditioner unit under there, so it would be in good company. I would probably add a pancake 120v cooling fan to the area, run off the inverter output. That would benefit the inverter and air unit as well. If I mount it it in the engine room, It would only be under the condition that it didn't protest the heat. If that were a problem I suppose I could enclose it in a plexiglass enclosure with cooling air fan forced fed from the outside. I haven't made up y mind which path to follow, but will spend some quality time in the boat ties weekend.
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:56 AM   #15
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I see no reason why your use of the cabinet under the settee wouldn't work. I like the idea. It's an area I use for my subwoofer.

Where are your batteries located?
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:50 AM   #16
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heat

To answer the heat question you have to look at how you will be using the inverter. I have a generator and if I were to install an inverter it would only be to run the microwave for a few minutes or to make a cup of coffee with the Kreurig. Short run higher power devices.There might be times where I would run it much longer but it would be on very low power devices like the flat screen TV. I only have 2 8D batteries and think I would not want to tax them more than that type of usage anyway. I would think an inverter used in this manner would not develop enough heat to be an issue. Your plans may be different.
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:15 PM   #17
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Did you ever complete this, Duvie?
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:41 PM   #18
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No inverter for me for now

FlyWright, I am not planning on installing an inverter anytime soon.
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:10 PM   #19
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Of course...it's Capn Craig who's the OP. My bad.

Did you do it Craig?
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:36 PM   #20
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Our Heart 2K inverter/charger is in the ER; down low, as far forward in the ER compartment as possible. We have owned the boat since'05 & it was there when we bought it. No problems to date. Engines are Detroit 8.2's
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