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Old 07-12-2011, 05:47 PM   #1
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Setting up inverter

Seahorse II wrote:
Quote:
I had a similar happening a few years ago. House batts were dead but starting batt (not connected with house batts) was fine!
Quote:
Solution: I don't have a generator on the boat & I left my inverter on when I left the boat & the batt charger (110v) was still on! The inverter continued to invert and run the batt charger until the house went dark.
Quote:
I have learned to turn the breaker to the charger off* when I'm running (I need 110v for the refrig, coffee pot, TV, etc.) or at anchor and can last 3 full days on the inverter alone.
Walt, here is how I set my electrical panel up to have the inverter separated without adding a sub panel for the inverter.

Of course there is a 115V feed running through the inverter when on shore or generator power.* That breaker is in the AC group of breakers.* I only run the TV, icemaker, refrigeration, and one outlet off the inverter.* Those breakers are in the lower right hand corner of the main AC panel.* The chrarger is not connected.

The inverter breakers are totally isolated from the 115V breakers.* I did this by cutting the bus bar with a large gap between and separating the grounding so that the inverter breakers are grounded with no connection to the main panel ground.* Of course the inverter breakers come straight off the inverter, and are not connected to the main panel.

This allows running refrigeration and icemaker underway with no generator running.There is a dedicated 90amp aternator for the house bank when underway, and a 90amp for the starting batteries.

Probably many other ways to set them up.* That was mine.* Anyone else?
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:36 PM   #2
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RE: Setting up inverter

My Californian is mainly 12V with propane stove/oven, portable heater and portable grill. I use 110V from the inverter for primarily microwave and coffee maker. My 1200 watt inverter is completely isolated from any charging or house 110V circuits. It is connected to my 660H house bank and the output runs through a single plug extension cord to the appliance counter. When we want microwave power, we plug the MW into the cord. When we want the coffee maker, we plug in the coffee maker. We run one appliance at a time and nothing more.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:56 AM   #3
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RE: Setting up inverter

My inverter is also used for a microwave, coffee pot, and other plug in devices that might find their way to the boat. There is only one 120 volt recepticle circuit on my boat so I just broke the connection and inserted the inverter with its built in transfer switch. I made sure I had the proper overcurrent protection as well.

Inverters have a standby current drain even with no active load so I installed the remote switch that came with it to turn it off when I'm not using it.

I bought a 12 volt DC TV so I wouldn't have to use the inverter for it. Refrigerator is AC/DC.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:18 AM   #4
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RE: Setting up inverter

Quote:
FlyWright wrote:
My Californian is mainly 12V with propane stove/oven, portable heater and portable grill. I use 110V from the inverter for primarily microwave and coffee maker. My 1200 watt inverter is completely isolated from any charging or house 110V circuits. It is connected to my 660H house bank and the output runs through a single plug extension cord to the appliance counter. When we want microwave power, we plug the MW into the cord. When we want the coffee maker, we plug in the coffee maker. We run one appliance at a time and nothing more.
This is the way I was thinking of doing it when the time comes to install an inverter on Skinny Dippin'. However, one other plan was it to do two smaller (and cheaper) inverters on either end of the boat. I was considering an 800W to 1000W near the galley and one in the salon. No transer switching or anything like that. Just a 'plug-in-as-you-need-it' install. Good or bad?
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:07 AM   #5
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RE: Setting up inverter

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GonzoF1 wrote:
....However, one other plan was it to do two smaller (and cheaper) inverters on either end of the boat. I was considering an 800W to 1000W near the galley and one in the salon. No transer switching or anything like that. Just a 'plug-in-as-you-need-it' install. Good or bad?
Remember you still have to run adequate wire from your battery bank to each inverter with over circuit protection.* It is actually pretty easy to install an inverter.* Here's a link that shows a simple installation from BlueSea System.*

http://bluesea.com/files/resources/a..._inverter2.pdf

Most marine inverters all have automatic transfer switches.* On Hobo, all the AC outlets, microwave, washing machine are all wired off the inverter.* If we are running shore power or the generator the AC*is automatically switched*through the inverter.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:28 PM   #6
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Setting up inverter

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GonzoF1 wrote:FlyWright wrote:
My Californian is mainly 12V with propane stove/oven, portable heater and portable grill. I use 110V from the inverter for primarily microwave and coffee maker. My 1200 watt inverter is completely isolated from any charging or house 110V circuits. It is connected to my 660H house bank and the output runs through a single plug extension cord to the appliance counter. When we want microwave power, we plug the MW into the cord. When we want the coffee maker, we plug in the coffee maker. We run one appliance at a time and nothing more.
This is the way I was thinking of doing it when the time comes to install an inverter on Skinny Dippin'. However, one other plan was it to do two smaller (and cheaper) inverters on either end of the boat. I was considering an 800W to 1000W near the galley and one in the salon. No transer switching or anything like that. Just a 'plug-in-as-you-need-it' install. Good or bad?

*

This was touched on in the post above.* An inverter draws a large amount of current at 12 volts to produce a smaller amount of current at 120 volts.* A little over ten times as much.* This would require large cables (not "wires") from your batteries to each inverter.* As a practical matter, for an inverter capable of powering a small microwave, for example, you need to have the inverter within five feet or so (cable wise)* of the batteries and it still needs to be a #2 gauge cable. (all this is from memory so it's "more or less").

You are far better off keeping the inverter as close as possible to the batteries and running the #12 triplex cable for 120 volts to where you need it.* In many cases, you can tie it into the boat's 120 volt system with a transfer switch and make things easier.* Just don't try to run an electric water heater, stove, or airconditioner.

*


-- Edited by rwidman on Monday 18th of July 2011 06:29:16 PM
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:14 AM   #7
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RE: Setting up inverter

Quote:
rwidman wrote:
*

This was touched on in the post above.* An inverter draws a large amount of current at 12 volts to produce a smaller amount of current at 120 volts.* A little over ten times as much.* This would require large cables (not "wires") from your batteries to each inverter.* As a practical matter, for an inverter capable of powering a small microwave, for example, you need to have the inverter within five feet or so (cable wise)* of the batteries and it still needs to be a #2 gauge cable. (all this is from memory so it's "more or less").

You are far better off keeping the inverter as close as possible to the batteries and running the #12 triplex cable for 120 volts to where you need it.* In many cases, you can tie it into the boat's 120 volt system with a transfer switch and make things easier.* Just don't try to run an electric water heater, stove, or airconditioner.
*



-- Edited by rwidman on Monday 18th of July 2011 06:29:16 PM

*Good advise, except, the installation of many inverters should not be in the engine compartment because of the heat and many of us have our battery banks in the engine compartment. We did a post on installing the inverter on Beach House, including the transfer switch here,<a href="http://trawler-beach-house.blogspot.com/2010/02/installing-power-inverter.html">
</a>

http://trawler-beach-house.blogspot....-inverter.html

*

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Old 07-20-2011, 09:49 AM   #8
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RE: Setting up inverter

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Capn Chuck wrote:*
-- Edited by rwidman on Monday 18th of July 2011 06:29:16 PM*Good advise, except, the installation of many inverters should not be in the engine compartment because of the heat and many of us have our battery banks in the engine compartment. We did a post on installing the inverter on Beach House, including the transfer switch here,<a href="http://trawler-beach-house.blogspot.com/2010/02/installing-power-inverter.html">
</a>
*Good point,* Capn Chuck.* Two reasons to be out of the engine room.* One is as you mentioned---heat.* The other is that some are not ignition protected.* Even with diesels out gasing from batteries is a concern.* Flooded batteries are prone to this.* I have AGM batteries, but even under extreme conditions they can also out gas.* It is best to have the shortest run possible from the batteries to the inverter.* The positive side*battery cable should be fused and have a disconnect swith.* My inverter is locaed directly above the house batteries under a bench seat on the helm deck.* Two vents were cut in for air flow.

Inverters can surely make life more comfortable.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:19 AM   #9
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RE: Setting up inverter

I'm not sure there is an ideal place to mount an inverter outside on the engine room and still have it be close to the batteries. I guess the question is how hot is too hot? I assume that depends on the unit.

Do the same suggestions/rules-of-thumb go for chargers as well?
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:01 PM   #10
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RE: Setting up inverter

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:
I'm not sure there is an ideal place to mount an inverter outside on the engine room and still have it be close to the batteries. I guess the question is how hot is too hot? I assume that depends on the unit.

Do the same suggestions/rules-of-thumb go for chargers as well?
*Tom, marine battery chargers are usually ignition protected, so that is not usually a problem for them.* Locating them outside the engine room may make them a little cooler, but usually they are not charging when underway unless you are running the generator.* Engine room locations are OK for them.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:07 PM   #11
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RE: Setting up inverter

The larger (2800-3500 watt)*marine inverter/chargers have a*typical operating temperature range of -4 to +140 degrees F (60 C).* The efficiency does start to decrease after 77 F.*

How hot is hot?* Someone once said that if you can put your hand on an item and keep it there, it is less than 115-120* F.
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