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Old 08-17-2015, 09:00 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by grahamdouglass View Post
My water heater only works on shore power or generator power and is not run through the inverter. It is kept totally seperate.
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+1, also my A/C does not run through the inverter.
Yes and yes.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:03 AM   #22
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Our water heater is 240 VAC but I see no upside to having it or the house water pump on when the boat is unattended. Even though we have an auto flush on one of our watermakers I still donít like leaving the water pump on.


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Old 08-17-2015, 11:53 AM   #23
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You aren't missing anything. The relay should be "downstream" of the heater breaker and a single pole on the hot lead is all that is needed.

Here you go ... $6 on ebay:
1pcs Soild State Relay SSR 25 AA AC AC 25A 250V 80 250VAC 24 380VAC | eBay
Well, that's what I would hope would be the case, but was not clear from the OP. Add in the hassle of now running another lead from the shore power inlet (before the inverter), and another breaker, and I guess I just don't understand the complication and additional point of failure vs just breaking out the WH circuit from the inverter-driven buss. To each their own!
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:31 PM   #24
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FWIW we also heat the domestic water via our hydronic Hurricane furnace. We have a large battery bank and 3kw MSW inverter, but removed the generator. With an "aquastat" we can have unlimited hot water without running an engine. It also scavenges engine heat through an exchanger into the hydronic loop. I originally set it up to keep the engine warm in winter but stopped using that feature (which required a small engine circulation pump).
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Old 08-17-2015, 03:07 PM   #25
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Well, for many boats, it will take a double pole relay to switch the feed to the water heater and the air conditioner, two appliances that you probably don't want to power with an inverter.

Splitting the main panel buss isn't that hard. Hopefully the two big power users that you don't want to run from the inverter are on one end of the heavy brass DC buss that supplies the breakers. You cut that buss with a hacksaw to separate it from the other breakers. Make sure that the gap is significant, maybe a 1/4" because if that gap closes it will fry your inverter.

If it is on the end that feeds the buss, fine. Otherwise you will have to separate the buss from the main breaker feed and run heavy 10 gauge wire to feed those two breakers and leave the others disconnected from the main breaker.

Now feed the AC input to the inverter's transfer switch from the main breaker. Run the inverter's AC output back to the main panel and connect it to the buss that feeds the remaining breakers.

If the two heavy load breakers aren't next to each other at the end of the buss you can try moving them or worse case jumper wire them to the output of the main DC breaker.

This is all difficult to explain in words. Xantrex and Freedom before them used to have a diagram of how to do it in the Freedom 10/20/30 installation instructions, but I haven't looked in a long time to see if it is still on line.

This way you have a mechanically sure wired way to separate the big loads from the inverter that doesn't depend on any relays.

David
Don't forget to isolate the neutrals on the inverter output with the above configuration. Xantrex inverters can not have the input and output neutrals combined or it creates a cycling issue. You would need to add a separate neutral buss bar on the output side of the inverter for the loads passed through or powered by the inverter.
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:02 PM   #26
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You can make an inverter "sub panel" by ganging the inverter circuits. Cut the neutral bus bar. The inverter circuits cannot share a common neutral with the main panel. I ganged my inverter fed circuits in the bottom right corner of my panel. The neutral for those circuits tie back to the inverter. In my case the inverter is grounded to the DC ground bus. It is very important to follow the instructions for your inverter. If you connect to a common neutral with the main panel it will fry the inverter.

Also it is important to place a warning that there are circuits fed by an inverter. The inverter will need to be disconnected or 115 volt AC will still be present even if the shore power is off. Could cause a problem.
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:40 PM   #27
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All this inverter switching wiring is making my eyes cross!

I route all my AC through the inverter (actually through an isolation transformer prior). So, yes, I have to remember to cut AC to water heater when anchored, but that's when I go around shutting things down anyway. Running it gets heated via engine or furnace.
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Old 08-17-2015, 05:29 PM   #28
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All this inverter switching wiring is making my eyes cross!

I route all my AC through the inverter (actually through an isolation transformer prior). So, yes, I have to remember to cut AC to water heater when anchored, but that's when I go around shutting things down anyway. Running it gets heated via engine or furnace.
That's why I found it so much easier to just have the circuits fed by the inverter on their own panel(s). I was blessed with plenty of room to put it right above the main sub-panel it was tied to, as well as having the inverter control right next to it. Made the whole system a no-brainer and easy to teach others. {and yes, we straightened every thing up before final install; it's sitting on the helm seat in this pic...}

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Old 08-17-2015, 08:39 PM   #29
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Well, that's what I would hope would be the case, but was not clear from the OP. Add in the hassle of now running another lead from the shore power inlet (before the inverter), and another breaker, and I guess I just don't understand the complication and additional point of failure vs just breaking out the WH circuit from the inverter-driven buss. To each their own!
I guess I am confused now ... what is complicated about putting a matchbox size SSR a few inches downstream of the existing heater breaker? Use two of them (one on each leg) if your heater is 240V. The control power cable (a pair of #18 wires) would be all of about a foot long and connected to the shore power switch.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:39 PM   #30
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Inverter and Water Heater

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That's why I found it so much easier to just have the circuits fed by the inverter on their own panel(s). I was blessed with plenty of room to put it right above the main sub-panel it was tied to, as well as having the inverter control right next to it. Made the whole system a no-brainer and easy to teach others. {and yes, we straightened every thing up before final install; it's sitting on the helm seat in this pic...}

I can't quite make out the labeling, but I don't see the water heater. And other than possibly that one item, I can't imagine what 120VAC item you would NOT want while cruising. And if there were such an item, why it would be unreasonable to simply not use it. Or turn its breaker off. But have no possibility of using it? I don't get that.
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:00 PM   #31
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Clarification on the smaller 25 Watt inverter. Yes, the cell and Ipad can use the UBS, my electric razor and hearing aid charger not so much.

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Old 08-17-2015, 11:36 PM   #32
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FWIW we also heat the domestic water via our hydronic Hurricane furnace. We have a large battery bank and 3kw MSW inverter, but removed the generator. With an "aquastat" we can have unlimited hot water without running an engine. It also scavenges engine heat through an exchanger into the hydronic loop.
So you are running a propane gas water heater? Any issues with it?
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:21 AM   #33
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I can't quite make out the labeling, but I don't see the water heater. And other than possibly that one item, I can't imagine what 120VAC item you would NOT want while cruising. And if there were such an item, why it would be unreasonable to simply not use it. Or turn its breaker off. But have no possibility of using it? I don't get that.
All the stuff not powered by the inverter is on other panels. In our case, stove, water heater, AC, laundry dryer, dishwasher, 3 non-inverter battery chargers, and miscellaneous stuff.
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:24 AM   #34
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I guess I am confused now ... what is complicated about putting a matchbox size SSR a few inches downstream of the existing heater breaker? Use two of them (one on each leg) if your heater is 240V. The control power cable (a pair of #18 wires) would be all of about a foot long and connected to the shore power switch.
I think you answered your own question ;o)

You forgot protection for the trigger wire from the shore power.

You can accomplish the OP's mission without adding any new devices or connectors.
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:53 AM   #35
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All the stuff not powered by the inverter is on other panels. In our case, stove, water heater, AC, laundry dryer, dishwasher, 3 non-inverter battery chargers, and miscellaneous stuff.
Ah, now I get it - you have a generator for those away from shore power.
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:59 AM   #36
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I went the simple route. My inverter powers my entire 30A AC panel, so some operator attention is needed. Switch off the big loads like aircon, WH, air comp. Turn off fridge so compressor can bleed down. Switch to inverter, after five min turn on fridge. No relays, but operator has to think a bit.
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:00 PM   #37
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So you are running a propane gas water heater? Any issues with it?
Ah, no - it's a 120VAC Torrid with a heat exchanger loop to the Hurricane with another in-line exchanger to the engine cooling system.

The aquastat calls for heat and - if the hydronic loop is warm enough while cruising - it scavenges from there, otherwise fires the Hurricane.

Semi-related, we have a 400w Insta-hot in the galley. Most quick needs for hot/warm water are handled there and it's only when showering / washing up that the water heater comes into play.
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Old 08-18-2015, 01:16 PM   #38
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No relays, but operator has to think a bit.
We try to reduce requirements for operator thinking as much as possible , given the capacities of the operators in question.
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Old 08-18-2015, 08:53 PM   #39
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All substantial loads on our vessel are non-inverter loads. This included the microwave. When I installed the new magnum 2812, the electrician put the microwave on the inverter side of the panel so we,can do small cooking jobs. I turn the inverter off most of the time unless required. Space heaters in the winter...power off...not a good situation.


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Old 08-18-2015, 11:22 PM   #40
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I turn the inverter off most of the time unless required. Space heaters in the winter...power off...not a good situation.
Well I just turn the inverter off at the dock. Different strokes
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