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Old 01-14-2022, 12:10 PM   #1
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Inverter Question(s)

wanting to at a minimum run a coffee pot (~1200w) and small plug-ins, but also possibly run the 'built-in' microwave/oven (~1500w), and not all at the same time. Thinking 2000w inverter is good (comments welcome).

Question is - should I get a system than can be tapped into the current AC plugs and the microwave (hardwired) which also has an automatic transfer capability (I think there is such). Or should I keep it simple and just run one or two inverter-only plugs into the Galley and Salon?

Already having adequate battery chargers, thinking just the inverter vs inverter/charger.

Lastly, I think it would be good to get a system which has remote monitoring and better alarms than my small inverters (for TVs). Agreed?

Thanks, Scott & Nancy
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Old 01-14-2022, 12:17 PM   #2
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Based on the info you have given, you will receive every possible answer. What is your real end goal? Lowest possible expense or greatest convenience? Inverter/chargers often charge twice as fast as standard chargers so this is a consideration. Space can be a consideration.
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Old 01-14-2022, 12:31 PM   #3
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Yeah, lots of options... and much depends on your 'druthers. And your real energy budget. Want room for expansion? Is it easier to run inverter-only plugs to the galley? Et cetera...

We used a 200W PSW inverter/charger (with it's own dedicated battery bank and an auto transfer switch) much as you've described, energizing every target 120V outlet on our main panel; worked fine. That was "outlets" plus microwave, entertainment center.

We too started with "adequate" charging, but found splitting off one bank from the original charger -- and then charging that bank with an inverter/charger -- gave us faster recharging (at anchor, using the genset) on both big banks.

We're just now getting close to similar installation of a 3000W PSW inverter/charger because on this boat the fridges and freezer at 110V only.

Remotes can be a good thing.

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Old 01-14-2022, 12:41 PM   #4
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There are several ways to wire inverters.

The simplest is to wire the AC output is wired to a couple of dedicated outlets that serve the microwave, coffee pot, etc. But doing it this way always requires using the batteries, even when plugged into shore power or running a generator.

The second way is using an inverter with an internal transfer switch and wire the main shore power into the inverter and wire the inverter's output in place of the shore power. That way shore power is used when it is available and inverter power when it is not. The disadvantage is you that everything is inverter powered when shore power isn't available and forgetting can run down your batteries when you turn on big, longer-term loads like the battery charger or water heater. You can avoid the battery load if the inverter also has a charger and is your only source of charging. Inverter/chargers aren't much more expensive than inverters alone and as noted above, often perform better.

The third and best way is to split your DC panel so most is powered by the inverter but big, long-term loads are not. This is discussed in an article I wrote that you can find in the Library (use upper right icon on this page).

All of the above is based on a simple single phase, 30A AC shorepower system. It gets more complicated with 50A/220/110 shore power.

David
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Old 01-14-2022, 05:47 PM   #5
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Hi Scott. A few thoughts from both boat and van builds.

First, you will want a 2000w inverter minimum for microwave. Having a remote on/off switch is very handy. Issue is they come in different sizes so if you need to replace, any hole you made may need adaptation.

Second, inverter needs proper cabling and fuse installed or course. As close to batteries as possible.

Third, don't skimp on cables. And go at least a size bigger in case you ever want to upgrade. Cables are expensive, but they are a one time cost. Having too small cables results in voltage loss. Same issue with battery banks that are too small for the load.

Finally, while you could certainly go with an inverter/charger and such, bang for the buck would be a decent quality PSW inverter ($300-ish for 2000w) and run conference table outlets instead of extension cords. Will plug into your inverter directly. Very slick mounting that looks professional. Does require holes though.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071ZG9Q45...WGEGQYA1K17A90

Good luck.

Peter
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
Hi Scott. A few thoughts from both boat and van builds.

First, you will want a 2000w inverter minimum for microwave. Having a remote on/off switch is very handy. Issue is they come in different sizes so if you need to replace, any hole you made may need adaptation.

Second, inverter needs proper cabling and fuse installed or course. As close to batteries as possible.

Third, don't skimp on cables. And go at least a size bigger in case you ever want to upgrade. Cables are expensive, but they are a one time cost. Having too small cables results in voltage loss. Same issue with battery banks that are too small for the load.

Finally, while you could certainly go with an inverter/charger and such, bang for the buck would be a decent quality PSW inverter ($300-ish for 2000w) and run conference table outlets instead of extension cords. Will plug into your inverter directly. Very slick mounting that looks professional. Does require holes though.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071ZG9Q45...WGEGQYA1K17A90

Good luck.

Peter
Looks rather nice except for the extension cord to plug into a outlet.
I wonder if they make a unit that can be hard wired into the house circuit.
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:45 PM   #7
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Rule #1: Gotta have the necessary healthy batteries to support the size of inverter you have selected.
Rule #2: Watch your battery voltage when you use your inverter. Also the voltage 'recovery time' when you shut off the inverter load.
Rule #3: Consider a small dedicated inverter for a dedicated, electrically isolated piece of equipment, ie. coffee pot or TV.

Lastly, use common sense. You can only suck so much through the electrical straw without the straw collapsing.
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Old 01-14-2022, 09:19 PM   #8
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Beneteau installs a 2,000w inverter option. I have it. Its great. It powers all of the outlets. I even had an extra outlet added outside. If 1,500w is the max you will use at a time, and maybe a TV, charging phone, etc, 2,000w should be fine. If you plan to run multiple power hungry things simultaneously, then add it up, and go larger. I build a custom 880aH house bank. Running off inverter eats power, especially a high watt appliance. Make sure to also install a battery monitor and don't discharge your batteries too far. Deeper discharges and more cycles = less battery health/life. Finally, our inverter came wired so you can leave it on and switch between shore power and generator without losing power to the outlets. That was very cool when we had networking equipment but eventually we moved that to DC.
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Old 01-15-2022, 01:21 AM   #9
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In a boat like the ST44 I would install a auto switching inverter / charger that powers the existing AC outlets. You likely have to upgrade your house batteries as well. If/when you sell the boat on this is what buyers would expect on a boat of that size. On ours everything but the high wattage water heater and engine heaters are on the inverter. This is mainly outlets and the microwave.

I recommend a certified marine electrician do the installation so that it works as intended. Why the inverter/charger? Well I don't know what you consider adequate chargers but my 2500w inverter is also a 100A charger for the batteries which comes on as soon as we go on shore power or light off the generator. Yes this is more expensive but these things last a long time.
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
Looks rather nice except for the extension cord to plug into a outlet.

I wonder if they make a unit that can be hard wired into the house circuit.
Probably less than 10% of the inverter-only devices i found had ability to hard-wire AC, at least in the 2000w size range. Hardwire is preferred as you get the full power (16.6 amp and 120vac) vs a 15 amp breaker on individual outlets on the inverter. Of course you then need to add circuit pretection in the now-naked AC line so maybe not worth it for the small gain in output.

This Wagan is a decent inverter rated at 2000 watts continuous and has hardwire option. I've installed a Wagan and seems like decent kit.

https://invertersrus.com/product/wagan-3808/

I am a strong proponent of a quality marine inverter/charger in the 3000 watt range plus 100+ amp charger. But total install with the box plus cabling and switching will easily replace run $3000-$5000 depending on what it takes to integrate into the boats AC system. Possible Beneteau did some pre-fab work since I'd guess few of these boats are ordered without an inverter/charger so might be easier on this boat. Of course assumes the boat has enough battery bank to support 3000 watts of draw

Quality of smaller PSW inverters has really improved in last few years, mostly driven by RV/solar and VanLife installs I suppose. If all you need is to run a coffee maker and ocassionally the microwave, hard to justify a full feature traditional marine inverter/charger at $2000 and up for parts (and is likely to require professional installation ) when you can get what you need for around $750 in parts and is relatively easy to DIY install.

Peter
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Old 01-15-2022, 09:37 AM   #11
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PS. Beneteau used a Mastervolt on my boat. Only issue was I had interference with my VHF which is a big deal. I am guessing some wires were running next to each other somewhere. Easy fix was installing a 12/12 power transformer where the VHF is and it cleaned up the power, no more issues.
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Old 01-15-2022, 10:33 AM   #12
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I installed a 3000w PSW stand-alone inverter a few years ago. Hard wired to cover three circuits - refrig, icemaker, and all 100 outlets. Had the 'marine electrician' install a rotary switch that allows me to power those three circuits from either the panel (110 breakers) or from the inverter, but it will not allow power from both at the same time - fool proof - ie me proof The inverter is powered by 4 Trojan 6V GC batteries. Works perfectly. Also have a Kohler 9k gennie. When we are cruising we always need 110 power for refrig and icemaker, so either the inverter or gennie is always on.
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