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Old 04-12-2014, 08:11 PM   #21
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City: Hilton Head, SC
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Vessel Name: Irie Daze
Vessel Model: Albin 43 Sundeck
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I mean no disrespect to anyone or their skills however commercial electricians would have no knowledge of DC systems because they deal with AC single phase systems and maybe AC three phase systems. My background is industrial and as I am IBEW (international Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) electrician. I was exposed through training as an apprentice both on the job and through extensive formal classes on all electrical systems. I have worked and maintained huge DC systems in chemical plants and have been exposed to just about every electrical power system in existence. A DC system is basically the same whether it is a marine application or on the space shuttle. The application will of course have special design specifications but a DC system is a DC system. Just because it is a marine application does not make the physics change. The wiring codes will be marine specific but it is still Direct Current.
My father was an electrical engineer and I built my first DC motor at the
age of 10 that was battery powered.
That reminds me of a quiz. What is the most dangerous type of electricity? It is neither AC OR DC it is static as in lightning.
The update is that I now have 110v on the boat and watched a little NASCAR on the TV. I took my inverted circuits and tied them into my main power panel
I will continue to evaluate inverter/charger options but not in a hurry.

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Old 04-13-2014, 07:05 AM   #22
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City: North Carolina for now
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Glad to hear you are operational. I think we can offer better advice if we knew a bit more about how your system was/is wired.

Where are the batteries relative to the inverter, how are they charged, are they used for anything else (house loads, starting, electronics)?

You description of your problem makes it sound like your inverter was completely free standing, that is it was not hooked into shorepower/generator? Therefor power was not passed through when the genny or shore was in use? (This is unusual, given the use of a Link 2000 indicates one of Xantrex' better inverters was being used). Or was it, and the internal transfer switch is no longer operational?

If we had the model of the old inverter, that would help; the fact that you referred to it as a "Link 2000" inverter was confusing, since a Link 2000 is a remote control and battery monitor, not an inverter.

I know you consider yourself to be an expert, but a great way to understand these type marine systems is to pick up a copy of Nigel Calder's "Boat Owner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual". He goes into the whole business of inverters, batteries, charging systems clearly and in detail. Plus there is a plethora of good information about everything else on your boat beyond the electrical system that you will find invaluable.

I think you will find that the electrical issues on the boat are a bit different than the space shuttle or cars or houses. Just my guess, based on my own experience (I come from the electronics business) and that of many other cruisers including electrical engineers. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) as they say...


"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:21 AM   #23
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City: Hilton Head, SC
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Vessel Name: Irie Daze
Vessel Model: Albin 43 Sundeck
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 62

Thanks for the feedback and I will look for the book. I do not consider myself an expert on boat mechanical or electrical systems but do consider myself to have an above average knowledge of electrical systems of all manner. My point is that just because a DC system is on a boat does not somehow make the laws of physics change. All DC systems are inherently the same. The only things that will change is the specific application and the wiring codes and methods. My weak point of knowledge is electronics and even though they have made life grand I am old school and prefer mechanical relays and contacts in electrical systems.
As far as my inverter it is a Xantrex / Freedom and is not stand alone. The AC input is from shore / generator. At this point I am not sure if the transfer switch has failed along with the inverter function. The batteries are remaining charged but I do have solar panels that contribute to the charge circuit. I am thinking the charger must still be functioning.
At this point I am rethinking the whole inverter concept. I know eventually we will be anchoring out but right now we are not and during cruise mode we run the generator. The inverted circuit supplies convenience 110v and the fridge power although the fridge is also 12v capable. It is just one 20 amp circuit that was inverted and I took it to the main panel to the spare breaker that used to house this circuit that the PO removed and made into an inverted circuit. Speaking of the PO he was an electrical engineer and left great documentation of all the boat installations. He hand drew all schematics of all electrical additions and kept great documentation. The only downside is that he didn't reference location so it is taking some time to identify location of components.
I can see a need for an inverter if spending considerable time on the hook but that is not in our plans right now.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:09 AM   #24
City: Carefree, Arizona
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Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
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Even though the IBEW and an electrical engineer are involved, a nice nautical inverter would be the icing on the cake. Some of the greatest boating experiences come from being on the hook watching the storm clouds pass or the kids frolic in the sand. You did ask the question ----
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Old 04-13-2014, 10:37 AM   #25
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,385
My Xantrex inverter has a built in transfer switch. I installed the inverter to power only the 120 volt convenience outlets (one circuit on my boat). AC goes from the original circuit breaker to the input of the inverter. The output of the inverter goes to an additional circuit breaker on the panel and to the outlet circuit. On shorepower, the transfer switch (internal to the inverter) passes the 120 volt power through to the second breaker and the outlets. Without shore power, if I have the inverter turned on, it supplies the outlets.

When I removed the inverter for service I connected the hot, neutral and ground conductors from the input and output together with wire nuts (temporary) and had power.

BTW: I wondered (for six years) why the inverter's cooling fan would run occasionally even with the inverter switched off. I recently found out (on an RV forum) that the fan is cooling the transfer switch relay which is powered whenever shore power is present. Makes sense but it could be a better design.

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