Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Welcome to my Power Inverter Blog

I welcome you to my blog. My name is Jon and I work for www.DonRowe.com. I decided that with all of the questions that I get on the phone with customers I would bring them here and post some of the more interesting ones and possibly help someone else that may be having the same problems with their power inverter. I welcome any questions that anyone may have regarding power inverters.

153 comments:

Anonymous said...

what does an inverter do?

jon said...

A power inverter is a a device that will convert DC (battery power)into usable AC (Household power) to run appliance such as Microwaves and TV's or anything ese that you plug in to your house. You can use them as home back-up or in a vehicle or recreation vehicle in place of a generator.

Anonymous said...

I have an xpower 1500,I use 2- 6 volt die hards wired together I am trying to determine what size tee fuse to use,any help would be much appreciated.Thanks

Mark said...

Hi,
Maybe you can help me. I have an Ice Cream truck (1987 Ford E-350)

5.8 engine 70 AMP (Alt). I'm trying to hook up an inverter (3000 watt)

to run a Slush machine (runs on about 1100 watts.
Everything is installed in the cab of the truck (trying not to over

heat anything from the engine. The inverter is only 10" from a marine
battery and grounded to the chassis. (Battery grounded to the body of
the truck) The Isolator is about 2 1/2 feet from the battery. The 50
amp
breaker is about 2-3" from the battery. Isolator to breaker is 8 gauge

wire.( 2 1/2 feet) But the breaker to the battery is about 12 gauge (
the wire came on the new battery cable about 2-3") Alt wire to
Isolator
is about 3 feet (if that long). Battery wire also about the same size

(From engine battery to Isolator) The only thing I'm not sure of is
that
the Isolator is grounded to the body (not sure of it matters)
Here is the problem. When I turn the Slush machine on everything
is
fine. But after about 10 mins. The breaker is clicking on and off
(short
cycling.) And than the marine battery isn't charging till I shut the
slush machine down. Than 15 mins. later the whole process starts
again.
I by passed the breaker (hooking them together) Everything worked
great. Till about a week later the Isolator died. (That was a Sure
Power
70 amp) I went and purchased a NOCO 90 AMP isolator. Same problem with

the breaker (short cycling) so again I hooked it direct. This time it
died within hours.
Hope you can help me. Or guide me in the right direction
Thank you
Mark maypos1@yahoo.com

jon said...

The fuse size that is recommended by Xantrex for the xpower 1500 is 200 amp class t or anl. Your best bet for the fuse is to go with a class t.

Anonymous said...

Hi.Want to wire in rs 400 xantrex invert Please show a wire diagram for this. I understwnd the dc side it is the ac side with hard wire that has me confused.

Anonymous said...

You haven't answered me. !20 volt side.Does all the amps come in to the inverter from the 115 volt cord. And is the cord rated at 30 amps? With two 115 volt plugs in invertside it must also be abe cary the 30 amps on the one 115 side.I assume the the out put would be the same in eather inverted or straigt through at 115.

jon said...

The RS 400 is only capable of producing 3.47 amps @ 115vac. The rating on the cord is 15 amps. The outlets on the inverter are rated for 15 amps also. The limitation is the inverter. It is only capable of producing 400 watts or 3.47 amps. This is true even if the unit is hardwired. I do not have a wiring diagram for the RS400 but i do have one for the upgraded model the XS400. You can see it in the manual at http://www.donrowe.com/document_library.html. Just copy and paste the link into the address bar. This is a PDF file so you will need acrobat reader. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

victor said...

hi, jon i have recently purchase a tripp-lite from a friend, But I dont know the capacity of it, neither did my friend, it has 4 spaces for car fuse # 30 on all and it only has a double outlet. I have used it with my car running during a 15 hour black-out,and it ran good, But am interested in knowing the wattage and knowing if it is a inverter/charger, which by the way I will like some info on it, will like to eventually hook one up in my residence in Puerto Rico. Thanks.

victor said...

Hi, jon I will like more info on the inverter/charger and the price, will love to buy one I have recently moved to Puerto Rico and have already experienced a black-out, however I have a tripp-lite that I bought from a friend but dont know what capacity of wattage it has, is kind of big and heavy,it has four spaces for #30 car plastic fuses, and a double outlet. dont know much more on it.

Anonymous said...

I want to use an inverter to run a coffe maker in my motorhome. Will an inverter use power all the time or just when it is in use?

Anonymous said...

I have an 800 watt inverter powered by a 12 V deep cell battery. I am using it for occasional use at a remote out building for lighting or small tools.I would like to leave it connected to the battery with the inverter switch off.I notice a small arc when connecting to the battery with the switch off.Does this indicate a constant drain or just a momentary one. Is it ok to leave it connected to the battery without killing it ? Thanks Ted

Cath said...

hello, I want to know how a power inverter works, i mean, the mechanismc and what is inside it. Please, i beg you to be specific, i need an specific answer (it's for a project). Thank you!

Cath said...

Please! answer to my question! is an emergency!

jon said...

Cath, Sorry for the delay in my response. To keep it simple i have a link that may help you out with your project. The link is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverter_%28electrical%29 All you need to do is highlight, cut and paste into the address bar. Please let me know if this helps. Thank you.

jon said...

The Power Inverter will only draw power fromt he batteries when it is on. If the inverter is in idle ( idle meaning turned on but no appliances running) it will draw a no load draw off of the batteries. This is typically less then 1 Dc amp. If the coffee maker is on and running the inverter will only produce what is needed to run the appliance. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

jon said...

The Arc that you saw is the capacitor charge. This is a momentary drain on the battery when the inverter is off. The charge with the battery off indicates that the inverter is new or has been stored for awhile. It should not arc every time you hook it up with the switch in the off position. Sorry for the delay in my response. Thank you.

Cath said...

Thanks! You helped me to finish my project!

atong said...

just bought a xantrex RS 3000 inverter charger to replace my other inverter. a/c input can be either a split-phase or a dual-phase(2 lines, 1 negative and 1 ground)source. my original inverter/charger has only 1 line, 1 negative and 1 ground. how can i have the 2 lines, a neg. and a ground?

Anonymous said...

I noticed that the Inverter FAQ page specifically warns against using power inverters for cordless tool battery charging. Is this a real issue? If so, are there any models of inverters out there you would recommend for cordless tool battery chargers? Specifically Dewalt DW9116 7.2V-18V NiCd chargers.

Anonymous said...

I am in the process of installing a 400 watt inverter in my camper van. The inverter will be installed in a side compartment which is accessible only from the outside. The actual wiring is no problem but I'd like to be able to turn the inverter on/off from inside the van - the inverter power wires are connected just below the wardrobe and are accessible through an access hatch in the floor. What type of remote switch should I use on the positive lead to the inverter?

MATCU said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
pachri7 said...

I have a Mobile Power 2500-5500W Power inverter that came with 26" ring cables.

What do I do to connect this to my car, and what are the precautions? This would be used only in short term power outages in our area. I don't have any experience with this, but I've been reading a lot. Do I need to do something to ground this device when I connect to my car battery? And is my car battery sufficient?

Thanks!
Pachri7

pachri7 said...

OK...I just learned that I should have a deep cycle battery to power up a 2500-5500W Power inverter. Can I use a deep cycle (dual)in my car (Toyota Camry)?

Or if I buy a deep cycle battery as standby, does the solar battery charger work to keep it properly charged? Thanks! PC

Dewey said...

The high school band uses a 1750 watt inverter and batteries to power audio equipment on football fields when they don't have access to shore power. The inverter powers 2 powered speakers and a Behringer audio mixer and there is an annoying buzz in the audio. Someone told us this was because the current from the inverter is a square wave as opposed to a sine wave and we need power conditioning filter to fix that. Does that make sense? Any other suggestions? The equipment works fine when plugged into standard AC power. Thanks1

Anonymous said...

hello, we had a power surge at our campsite and my inverter was acting up. It would not recognise shore power at times and batts. show 10.5 v. then I start eng. and inverter "comes back on line w/ all green led's its a trace 1000. I pluged the coach in @ home and it appears to be working fine?? I am not comfortable until I find out if the inverter "reset" or w˙at? any info would help b4 I spend $$$ to get looked at.

Terry Walker said...

Jon,

Purchased an Aims #PWRINV5000W but can't mount it inside the same enclosure as the lead acid batteries. Do not want to have any nasty explosions! But the closest mounting point to the batteries is 12' away. I know, not ideal! But what wire size do I need between the battery bank and the inverter to support a 5000 watt 42 amp load?

Where do I get some nice limp wire of that size? Hardware store wire is too rigid and too few strands per AWG. Will the wire the audio nuts use work or do I need to head to the welders supply house? What wire do I use if I want to connect both positive lugs on this unit to a single wire and the same for the negative lugs?

Also at this AC load on the inverter, what mathmatic formula do you use to determine the DC load on the batteries?

I was told by the manufacturer of my battery isolator that the DC load is not 42 amps but 400 amps! Ouch, I could commit capital punishment with that.

Will my 145amp altenator and pair of rc 205 min @ 25amps, 115ah capacity batteries keep up?

Terry Walker
biblcallyravinous@yahoo.com

jon said...

I noticed that the Inverter FAQ page specifically warns against using power inverters for cordless tool battery charging. Is this a real issue? If so, are there any models of inverters out there you would recommend for cordless tool battery chargers? Specifically Dewalt DW9116 7.2V-18V NiCd chargers.


This is true if you are using an inverter that has modified sine wave output. You can use a pure sine inverter to charge tools and not cause any harm to the batteries. You can find pure sine inverters at www.donrowe.com/puresine.html Please let me know if there is anything else i can help you with.

jon said...

I am in the process of installing a 400 watt inverter in my camper van. The inverter will be installed in a side compartment which is accessible only from the outside. The actual wiring is no problem but I'd like to be able to turn the inverter on/off from inside the van - the inverter power wires are connected just below the wardrobe and are accessible through an access hatch in the floor. What type of remote switch should I use on the positive lead to the inverter?

One way to do it is use a DC breaker inline with the positie cable and make sure the breaker can be reached from inside the vehicle. You can find a DC breaker at just about any custom car audio shop. The breaker size you will need is 40 amps DC. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

jon said...

pachri7 - Yes a Deep cycle battery should be used for any inverter over 500 watts. As far as keeping up with the draw of the inverter. The Toyota does not have a large enough alternator. Also, If you decide to do solar in your vehicle the solar panels available are not large enough to keep up. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

jon said...

Dewey - Yes that does make sense. You could use a line conditioner to filter the noise this would be a very inexpensive way to do this. However, a Pure Sine inverter is going to work perfectly. Please write back if you have any further questions.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have always wondered if this would work at all...I have a 450w inverter on my boat, connected to two deep cycle batteries which are re-charged by the boats alternator. Is it possible to plug an automotive battery charger (2amp or more)into the inverter and connected the charger cables to the deep cycle batteries to continously charge the batteries??

Anonymous said...

Jon, I have a sump pump that I need to power for a short time (<3 minutes at a time, at most 10 times/hour). Assuming an inverter of sufficient capacity, can I plug the sump pump into the inverter, wire the inverter directly to the battery terminals, connect the battery to a 110 v battery charger (the type that can be hooked to the battery all the time), and plug the battery charger into the wall? That way, the inverter always runs the sump pump, and the sump pump turns itself on and off with its float switch. If the power goes off, the sump pump will run as long as there is sufficient battery charge. Can I hook it up that way without any protection devices between any of the components?

Anonymous said...

I just bought a motorhome that has a modified sine wave inverter. Our coffee pot with auto grinder will not work in the motorhome. Can I buy a piece of equip. that I can plug into the 110v line that feeds the coffee pot that will produce a pure sine wave, or do I have to replace the inverter. Since this is the only thing that don't work, I hate to spend $3,000 for a new inverter for the whole motorhome.
Thanks
Glenn Patch
glennpatch@hotmail.com

meanbone79 said...

I have a 2000watt converter. I ran a 10 amp skill saw for 5 minutes and the cooling fans never came on. The unit was very hot to touch. I this normal or should I have some fan action by now ?

Anonymous said...

Jon:
Can I hook the outputs of two xpower 1500 watt inverters together and have 3000 watts available

Thanks Dave

jon said...

Meanbone....Some inverters have thermal fans which means that they will come on at a certain temp and some inverters have fans that run all the time. If the case is really hot and almost burns you when you touch it contact the manufacturer and ask them what type of fan it has in it. What kind of inverter do you have?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Jon has taken a long vacation. I posted a question 2 weeks ago.
Glenn

Anonymous said...

I would like to have an inverter as power for our home's sump pump but I don't know the amperage of the pump. Is it safe to use the 1500 w inverter?

Anonymous said...

I have a 200KW wind generator that charges a 120V DC battery bank. I need a 120V DC to 120V AC inverter. Don't need high wattage; only running TV, small appliances. Does such a thing exist at reasonable cost?

Norm said...

I have a 200KW wind generator that charges a 120V DC battery bank. I need a 120V DC to 120V AC inverter. Don't need high wattage; only running TV, small appliances. Does such a thing exist at reasonable cost?

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Question:I want to sleep in my Suburban when I hunt in remote areas.The outside temperature gets down to 10- 20 degrees F at times.Although I have a good sleeping bag,I want to use a small ceramic space heater with an inverter connectd to my 12V deep cycle trolling batteries.
Any suggestions on the ceramic heater,inveter to do the job?Thaks for you help
UNHandy

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

inverter problem ( post #1)

I have an inverter/atx compatibility problem.

Thanks in advance for reading this post!!

The inverter is a modified sine wave Coleman Power mate 2000w/4000w model with GFCI. Oh, BTW, Coleman's technical helpdesk was not helpful. Using 6 x 6v batteris in a series/parallel config to yield 12vdc. wired two batteries in series and had three of these banks parallelled.

Frequently during the day, when commercial power is transfered from local gas plant to the nuclear facility, bumps occur in the power. Linux really loves these unplanned interuptions:D yes, I could use a vanilla UPS, but my plans are to put my home entirely off the grid.

The inverter ran two of my cisco 4000 routers for load testing of the batteries. I was using a desulfator to reclaim some older batteries. the batteries will hold up two cisco's for several days. Runs a table saw with no delay or drag, although it does suck a lot of juice from the batteries.

I initially had trouble setting everything up. the inverter kept detecting ground fault when everthing was wired per NEC (National Electrical Code). I do know how to wire this stuff up. After all, I was an electrician for years.

I tried a sacrificial lamb power supply to start performing diagnostics. plugging the power supply into the inverter removed the ground fault so long as the power supply was completely isolated from earth and only used the ground from the powersupply cord.

the inverter ran the ciscos on and off for more than two months, but I am sure this cannot be a good thing to continue with this practice.

The diagnostics revealed voltage on the power suppy case to ground, tried two different ones. The ciscos have the same voltage on the case to ground when tested later. I tried another cheaper inverter and have the same results. Friends tested their inverters and discovered the same. All of the ones tested are transformerless inverters. each show 67vac hot to ground 67 vac neutral to ground & 120 hot to neutral.

I do realize that the neutral wire in this case will be a load carring conductor instead of a phase balancing grounded conductor as it is with true single/three phase. but, I did not expect to have voltage floating around on both power supply cases.

I tried the power supplies on commercial power to test for changes and they did not have voltage from the case to ground which is what I had expected.

Thus, I summized that all inverters will operate with a bastardized version of single phase and that ATX power supplies are designed for 3wire single/three phase. I consulted with a guru of sorts about what I had observed and has summized. He did not know what to make of the results either or why they would be behaving in this manner. He tended to agree with my assement for lack of any better explaination.

The two solutions that I have thought about are:

1) Replace the inverter with two that are stackable that would give a true 3wire + ground single phase environment

2) or add a center tapped transformer to the existing inverter to step the voltage to 220 3wire + ground single phase environment.

3) try some type of power/line conditioner

Any thoughts?:study:

Jerry said...

I have a gid-tied system using 8 Siemens 300 W panels in series to a Sunny Boy 2500. It's my understanding that teh Sunny Boy needs to see an AC source to synch to and operate.Is there a way to use the system if the power company has a serious outage?

Anonymous said...

I run a 300Watt Inverter in my caravan powered by a 12 volt 120 Amp hr leisure battery.Here in the UK we work on 230 volts AC.One thing that has puzzled me is although it runs my small TV(40 Watts,230 volts) fine when I take a Ac reading with my multimeter(regular digital readout type)at the inverter AC cable outlet the multimeter only indicates 180 Volts.Any idea why this is please?Thanks for reading this.

jon said...

The reason that your meter is not giving you a good reading is because it is not a true rms meter. What you will want to do is get a Fluke 110 series or 170 series digital multimeter. Both of these meters give a true rms readout. I hop that this will help.

Anonymous said...

I have a portable Coleman generator with a push button,plug in to AC outlet type, electric starter. I got it for emergency power, but trouble is , my wife cannot pull start it if I am away. Is it possible to use an inverter, and if so, what size?
It's an 8hp engine with a 3500 watt generator.

Thanks, mg

jon said...

I have a portable Coleman generator with a push button,plug in to AC outlet type, electric starter. I got it for emergency power, but trouble is , my wife cannot pull start it if I am away. Is it possible to use an inverter, and if so, what size?
It's an 8hp engine with a 3500 watt generator.


Hello,

Are you wanting to run the generators electric start with the inverter or are you wanting to use the inverter to run the appliances that the generator is running?


Jon

Anonymous said...

Jon,
Sorry I wasn't clear. I want to use the inverter to run the electric starter, if it's practical. It seems that the bigger inverters are pretty expensive.
Thanks,
mg

Anonymous said...

Jon, I have a sump pump that I need to power for a short time (<3 minutes at a time, at most 10 times/hour). Assuming an inverter of sufficient capacity, can I plug the sump pump into the inverter, wire the inverter directly to the battery terminals, connect the battery to a 110 v battery charger (the type that can be hooked to the battery all the time), and plug the battery charger into the wall? That way, the inverter always runs the sump pump, and the sump pump turns itself on and off with its float switch. If the power goes off, the sump pump will run as long as there is sufficient battery charge. Can I hook it up that way without any protection devices between any of the components?

Jon, I didn't see a response for this entry but it is exactly the question that I wanted to ask.

Thanks,
PJ

nyjets53 said...

Have a xantrex RS400 that was hooked up backwards, changed the internal fuses and still does not work (out of warranty)...Does anyone have a wiring diagram so I can see if there are some power diodes that offer more reverse polalitity protect that I can change...email me at optonline.net

jon said...

Anonymous said...
Jon, I have a sump pump that I need to power for a short time (<3 minutes at a time, at most 10 times/hour). Assuming an inverter of sufficient capacity, can I plug the sump pump into the inverter, wire the inverter directly to the battery terminals, connect the battery to a 110 v battery charger (the type that can be hooked to the battery all the time), and plug the battery charger into the wall? That way, the inverter always runs the sump pump, and the sump pump turns itself on and off with its float switch. If the power goes off, the sump pump will run as long as there is sufficient battery charge. Can I hook it up that way without any protection devices between any of the components?

Jon, I didn't see a response for this entry but it is exactly the question that I wanted to ask.

Thanks,
PJ


Hello,

Yes you can use a battery charger like the Samlex chargers that are found on our website at http://www.donrowe.com/battery_charger/samlex_batterycharger_12v.html
These Samlex battery chargers have a switch that can allow the battery charger to turn off and on while maintaining the settings needed for you specific battery type. This has been done and has worked for many people. If you have further questions feel free to e-mail me at jon@donrowe.com. Thank you and have a great day.

Jon

Marty said...

I own two 1500 watt Tracker brand inverters; one in each of my my vehicles. Is it possible to combine the two and produce 3000 watts of AC? Thanks

jon said...

Hi Marty,

I am not to familiar with the Tracker inverters. The only way that you could put them together is if they have parallel stacking capability. You will want to contact them to find out if your inverter's are able to be stacked that way. Sorry i am not able to help more.

Jon

Anonymous said...

I want to power our cabin with an inverter to run small fridg,t.v.,coffee machine ,rv pump,lights is it possible and what size should i get ?

What Is Solar Energy said...

Hi there! Glad I found this place with like minded people. Doing a good job looks like.
All the best, Fuel Cells

Anonymous said...

Hola no puedo escribir en ingles, pero necesito saber lo que debo tener para tener un sistema de energia electrica que provea de energia electrica cuando esta no este disponible. Esto sucede con mucha frecuencia en la Republica Dominicana donde vivo. Deseo saber que "power inverter" debo comprar y cuales y cuantas baterias son necesarias. My name is Jose Vazquez,and my telephone 1-787-746-0641 Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Will an inverter take a VARIABLE DC input voltage and invert it to a VARIABLE AC voltage?

jon said...

Jose Vazquez



Tenemos inversor de la energía que funcione para sus necesidades en la República Dominicana. El inversor más común que vendemos para el uso allí es la serie inverter/charger del dr de Xantrex. Ésta es nuestra solución automática para la energía de reserva. También tenemos trabajo de la voluntad del otro del soporte inversor solo de la energía. Las mejores baterías a utilizar son baterías del carro del golf de 6 voltios atadas con alambre en serie. Éstos le darán el tiempo de pasada más largo y son una solución muy económica. Déjeme por favor saber qué clase de aplicaciones que usted quisiera funcione cuando sale su energía. Gracias por leer mi blog. Usted puede también ver qué inversores tenemos disponible en www.DonRowe.com. Tenga un gran día. Jon

jon said...

Will an inverter take a VARIABLE DC input voltage and invert it to a VARIABLE AC voltage?

I do not currently know of any inverter's that are capable of accepting varible DC voltage and inverting to 120/240vac. I will look into this and see if i can find anything that may work. But i doubt that there is anything available. Please let me know if you have any futher questions. Thank you and have a great day.

Jon

jon said...

I want to power our cabin with an inverter to run small fridg,t.v.,coffee machine ,rv pump,lights is it possible and what size should i get ?

Do you have the specs on the appliances you are wanting to run. I will need the amps of each unit to size you into an inverter that will work. Please e-mail me at jon@donrowe.com. Thank you for reading my Blog.

Jon

jon said...

Jon,
Sorry I wasn't clear. I want to use the inverter to run the electric starter, if it's practical. It seems that the bigger inverters are pretty expensive.
Thanks,
mg


Sorry i did not get back to you sooner. I looked into this further and from what i found this will not work with a modified sine wave inverter but it will work with a pure sine inverter. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Thank you.

Jon

Anonymous said...

Sorry I wasn't clear. I want to use the inverter to run the electric starter, if it's practical. It seems that the bigger inverters are pretty expensive.
Thanks,
mg


Sorry i did not get back to you sooner. I looked into this further and from what i found this will not work with a modified sine wave inverter but it will work with a pure sine inverter. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Thank you.

Jon

11:51 AM

Thanks, Jon.
The only question I have is how large an inverter will I need? They all appear to be rated in watts.
Thanks,
mg

jon said...

Hello MG,

Are there any7 spec's on the unit itself? If not i would contact coleman and find out if they know the specs. Once you get the specs you can e-mail me direct at jon@donrowe.com. Thank you


Jon

Anonymous said...

Saludos Jon, gracias por responder a mi pregunta anterior. Entiendo que mi necesidad son de 3k[3,000w],para proveer de energia a una nevera y un aire acondicionado de 12,000btu [120].Mi interes principal es saber de cuanto wats debe ser el inversor;cuales son las baterias y cuantas baterias deben ser. El sistema que quiero instalar debe ser uno que se inactive cuando regrese la energia electrica a la casa y se active cuando la energia se vaya. Ademas que me cargue las baterias mientras el inversor no este funcionando. Me recomendaron dos[2] baterias de gel. Cual es tu opinion. Gracias. Mi nonbre es Jose y mi correo:www.machin047@yahoo.com.

sunprince said...

hi..i have le marche 5k power inveter which bought through ebay.
i have tried to get the la marche corp. to sell me a schematic of the unit but no luck...i wonder if you are familiar with their products? if you do. i like to ask some questions and maybe help me solve my problem...thanks...

Solar Power Energy said...

Hi There! Really cool site . Ok so I'm always searching for this kind of stuff.
I have this fascination thing. Keep up the good work!
All Blessings,Solar Power Energy

spasameg said...

I need a ac inverter for my car. just for small things like cell phone , blow dryer, camera, battery charger, ect. dont know a thing about them. what would you suggest. only would be using one item at a time so only need one outlet.
any input would be appreciated

graham said...

Will AIMS 5000 24V run on 32V? The spec. sheet states 20V to 30V. I have either 24V or 32V available.

Anonymous said...

Portable Generator are found abound everywhere. However, when one needs to find out more about Portable Generator, it is better to search here.

Anonymous said...

Jon - Hey what a great idea. I'd try this for computer questions but I'd never have a break. I was given a used Coleman 800W (1600W burst) inverter. With inverter power switched off (or on), I get a spark when attaching the 2nd clamp whether + or -. I'm no electrician, but know enough to see something is messed up. There's a draw from the inverter itself, apparently. Fault light gives me a little flicker when switching unit off, but is otherwise not on. Outlets have no power. Any ideas? This thing would be cool to have working. Thomas, Scottsdale AZ

Anonymous said...

Can you plug a surge strip into a inverter and plug in more items?

greg b said...

Hi Jon
I have two dr series xantrex inverters which I want to stack for 220v.
I just cant bring myself to pay $80 for the rj11 style interface cable.
Is it a straight pin to pin (six pins) configuration? Or, is it somthing else? Inverse? If I knew it's simple to make my own.
thanks for your time.

radiolouis said...

Hi Jon, I have a van that I want to install a aiwa home receiver in and have power for my laptop as well. I have calculated 125 watts for the receiver. I know to calculate for 90% efficiency so that would be a 150 watt inverter would give me 135 watts. I know I need a pure sine signal...My question is do I have to tap into the battery and construct an isolator circuit with an additional battery or will out of a 12 volt source do?

Chuck MacMahon said...

Jon,
This question and usage is marine and comparing pure sine wave to modifyed. Inverter operating a 110 VAC refrigerator (225 watt peak) and 110 VAC ice maker (270w peak) with a rare additional item via a wall plug. During typical operation inverter will be powered from the vessels 12 VDC engine driven alternator. That alternator charges a 1750 amp hr wet cell 8D battery. Will the modifyed sine wave inverter operate the 2 appliances adequately?
Chuck

Anonymous said...

can i have an assistant from your organztion on construction of 150watts inverter

Anonymous said...

we have atrace dr3624 in domenican republic,in the morning that we were leaving for the airport,the fat board burn up. the technician tell us thet to replace that board will cost over there $220 dollars,the other control board is not working very well.the prices of areplacements boards in US are being quoted as $375 and $180;does this sound right to you?

Anonymous said...

hi a am carlos bosque in the fathers day i have an inverter vector voc051c and i would like to conect in the house wire,but in the manual said something abour the ground that i dont understand so i need your help to install in the house wire, thanks
my e-mail Kinbosque@yahoo.com

I want to know were i find the remote swich.
thanks, carlos

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Using a deep cell marine battery .... I would like a power inverter that has ac as well as dc outlets. Where can I find these?

Anonymous said...

Good Day,

I have just moved to Africa, and am experiencing power outages on a daily basis.

I am looking for a +/- 2200 Watt Inverter with inbuilt Charger, that will connect to the utility power on one end, and to our home wiring on the other, and would supply backup power, during the daily power outages.

I have seen a few models (Inverter + Charger) but they are 110V, whereas i would need 220V 50Hz.

Would you know where i could find one, or would i need to change my configuration and use a seperate Inverter and Charger

Anonymous said...

Hi
i have a 3000watt inverter.
I used the deep circle battery but the battery last for only two hours. do have an idea of what kind of solar battery charger i will need to charge the battery and also power the inverter at the same time? Thanks

FredLS3 said...

I bought a 1000 watt (2000 surge) modified sine wave inverter and a deep cycle battery to run my furnace during power outages. The inverter works fine with lighting, fans, drills, etc. but won't operate the furnace. When attempting to run, the Honeywell control starts the furnace on purge, the exhaust blower works, but when it is time for the air circulation fan to go on, I hear a click and the system reverts to purge. On house current, the fan operates normally. Honeywell couldn't help, since they haven't tested their controllers with an inverter.
I think the fan should draw less than 5 amps when operating. A voltmeter shows the control is getting the 24 vac it needs. Anyone have an idea?

Anonymous said...

Question for you:

I live in a large travel trailer, and would like to use a power inverter to provide backup power for my trailer. My electrical system has a 45 amp converter/charger which keeps the battery charged when shore power is on. If I were to connect a power inverter to that same battery, would it keep the battery charged in the same way that shore power does? I would like to hard wire it to the circuit that carries the converter/charger. What do you think?

Thanks

Steve G said...

Can you tell me why an invertor I have used successfully for several months now heats up on one of the terminals so hot you can't touch it. One invertor does it on the positive terminal, one does it on the negative. It's starting to melt the insulation around the terminal. I have cleaned and tighted the connections but it's still doing it. What's going on?

JERRY said...

I HAVE A SMALL 50 WT FAN. WILL AN 150 WT AIMS MOD SIGN INVERTER BE OK. I AM USING THIS ON A GOLF CART, HOOKED UP TO GIVE 12V.

Phygmint said...

Jon -
Your FAQ says that you can only use 400 or less watt inverters in the cigarrette lighter, yet the Vector Power On Board 500 watt comes with the lighter attachment as well as the clips.

I have a laptop that I need to plug into the cigarrette lighter so that I can keep it charged while I'm driving and doing my job. Would you recommend against the above mentioned inverter? Should I get something 400 or less?

Thanks for taking time to do this blog and help everyone with their questions!

Bill S. said...

Jon,
I have a garage that I have installed a 30 amp plug to supply power to my 5th Wheel. The 5th Wheel has a Heart 2000 Watt Inverter. When I turn on the breaker and turn on a radio in the garage, I get a lot of noise on the radio. I have had no problems in the 5th Wheel. I have tried the Radio Shack solutions, snap together ferrite cores and line filters. Neither have helped. Do you have any ideas on the filter that I need. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Can you give details about how I would go about setting up a TV at a tailgating party? I have come this far to know that I need an inverter, but I have no idea how an inverter generates power and what else I would need to pick up channels on the TV.

Thanks for your help and offering your expertise.

Anonymous said...

i have a vector maxx sst 1200watt inverter . inever installed one before or know very little about them.the question i have is what size fuse do you use for this unit the manual does not say.

Anonymous said...

jon,
I have built a 200sq ft. log cabin in the high mountains, which is off the grid. I do have a generator and am ready to move forward to a inverter system. Please explain in simple english all that is reqired to purchae for a system which might use a max of 800 watts at one time. Thanks Chaco

Anonymous said...

hi there i bought a genius g12100 (1000watt)inverter to work my 700 watt microwave but microwave cuts out straight away.Should i buy a smaller watt microwave or do i need a bigger inverter for my campervan ? THANKS.

Anonymous said...

Hello.
I have a LQ Horse Trailer. It has two 27 Deep Cycle Batteries, Shore Power and a Onen Gen Set. I have a Xantrex 1750 Inverter that I want to wire into the trailer.
1) Can I safely add 2 additional sealed batteries in the interior of the trailer?
2) How do I wire the inverter to send AC thru the exsisting 110VAC outlets?
3) How do I wire the additional two batteries so they charge from shore power or Gen set?
Thanks
Dave

Dave said...

Hello.
I have a LQ Horse Trailer. It has two 27 Deep Cycle Batteries, Shore Power and a Onen Gen Set. I have a Xantrex 1750 Inverter that I want to wire into the trailer.
1) Can I safely add 2 additional sealed batteries in the interior of the trailer?
2) How do I wire the inverter to send AC thru the exsisting 110VAC outlets?
3) How do I wire the additional two batteries so they charge from shore power or Gen set?
Thanks
Dave

mike said...

Hi Jon, I am wondering how I might use an inverter to keep my steam boiler going in my house during a power outage. This steam system has no pumps or ciculators and requires only 110v to supply a 24v transformer for the thermostat to gas valve. Any ideas? Thanks.Mike in Toledo

Anonymous said...

jon i have a 2500 mobile power inverter. the inverter is in my boat. its 12 feet from the battery. i used twice. the inverter blew and not it will power up but would not power up anything that is pluged in . also i was told it should be grounded is this right

Anonymous said...

I have a new sailboat that has a TV and microwave oven run by shore power. It also has a Xantec battery charger for both the starting and house batteries. If I install an inverter will I be able to run both the TV and the microwave and also use other AC outlets?

jon said...

I have a new sailboat that has a TV and microwave oven run by shore power. It also has a Xantec battery charger for both the starting and house batteries. If I install an inverter will I be able to run both the TV and the microwave and also use other AC outlets?

Hello,

If you get an inverter system with AC hardwire capability you will have the ability to run an AC distribution panel off of the inverter. This would allow you to run the circuits that the microwave and TV are on. This would only work if the inverter is large enough to do so. You will want to figure out what size of an inverter you need by getting the amp rating off of your appliances and multiplying them by volts. Thank you for reading my blog and have a great day.

Jon

Insight said...

Hi Jon,
I bought a Vector VEC051D power inverter and want to install it in my Jeep Wrangler. The question I have is why does the unit have two positive and two negative input terminals? The install wiring diagram shows a single line even when using several batteries. Thanks for your help.

jon said...

Insight,

The Vector "D" model does require two DC input connections from the battery bank, this is not outlined in the manual. I think primarily the reasoning behind this is you are able to use a smaller cable. Thanks for looking at the blog and have a great day.

Jon

O-day 28 said...

Jon,
I have recently purchased the Xantrex XM1800 Pro Series Inverter I'm installing in my sailboat with a house battery labeled(1) and my starter battery labeled(2) The boat has a switch which is noted as 1, 2 or all I'm confused where to put the DC positive cable on the switch do I place it on the Battery (1) being that is my house battery or do I place in the (all position) on the back of the switch. As to the negative DC wire coming out of the inventor do I place on the negative terminal on the house battery then. The ac setup I understand how that goes together. Thank you for your time.

jon said...

O-Day,

You will want to hook the positive to "1" position. This will allow for a second battery to be installed in the future.

You will want to leave the switch in the
"1" position while using the inverter.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any additional questions.

Jon

Anonymous said...

I am trying to run a laptop (Charger), 2 Dewalt Chargers for 18 volt batteries and cell phone charger all at the same time. I figure this at about 610 watts. First question is, is that in the ballpark for watts? Second question is, does anyone have an inverter that has 4 AC outlets?

Jon Hardwick said...

Anonymous said...
I am trying to run a laptop (Charger), 2 Dewalt Chargers for 18 volt batteries and cell phone charger all at the same time. I figure this at about 610 watts. First question is, is that in the ballpark for watts? Second question is, does anyone have an inverter that has 4 AC outlets?


In order to get an accurate power requirement you will want to check the amp rating on the devices, this will be located on the AC power adapters. Yes, there are quite a few inverters with four AC outlets. However, the unit does not necessarily have to have four outlets, you can use a power strip to get additional outlets. Hope this helps, and thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

I am struggling to find the know how to power a coffee van of inverter via engine and battery bank. I have a big power load at max output due to coffee machine up to 6.5kw. Can you please help!!!!! I know it can be done and it will be expensive but I just want to know how?

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jon Hardwick said...

Please direct your question about running the coffee truck directly to my e-mail at: jon@donrowe.com. Thanks.

-Jon

Inverter battery said...

Two factors determine how a power inverter works: wave output and wattage output. Wave output describes the physical appearance of electrical signals as they move across an oscilloscope. Square waves appear exactly as their name specifies: like squares on a grid. Pure sine waves, also called true sine waves, appear as visible waves on the screen. Sine wave car power inverters work better than square wave power inverters when uninterrupted power flow is a critical issue. In fact, true sine output is sometimes slightly superior to that of public utility power grids!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark -
I am in the process of building a portable power pack for my Photo Gear. A number of people have built these using a 300 watt pure sine wave inverter with very good results. The question I have is - Since the draw to charge the photo lights is large - in excess of 1600 watts, how does this not blow the inverter that is only rated at 300/500 surge watts? Do these have current limiters built into them.

Anonymous said...

I have a problem with voltage regulation on a solar panel. Would I use an inverter for that? Right now I am using a normal sla battery charger. Any words of wisdom?

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chris said...

Jon, I have a remote cabin currently powered with generator and wish to be able to use 12 volt dc from batteries via an inverter so I can power the lights and T.V. I just bought a 1000 watt /8.5 amp inverter from Canadian tire. What type of battery(s) should I purchase ? Car batteries or deep cycle batteries. What is the difference between the two and their applications ? Any assistance would be appreciated.

chris said...

Jon,

As I was reading through your blog I came across this response of yours to someones question.

Jon said:

If you get an inverter system with AC hardwire capability you will have the ability to run an AC distribution panel off of the inverter. This would allow you to run the circuits that the microwave and TV are on. This would only work if the inverter is large enough to do so. You will want to figure out what size of an inverter you need by getting the amp rating off of your appliances and multiplying them by volts. Thank you for reading my blog and have a great day.


What do you mean by AC hardwire capability and the ability to run an AC distribution panel off the inverter.


Jon at my remote cabin I have a small panel with approximately 3 circuits using 14/2 wire for kitchen lights , T.V. and bed and bathroom lights. On top off the panel I have an approximately 16-18 foot cord with plug which came off a hard top camper and I used this to plug into my generator. Now I want to be able to plug into the AC outlet on my 1000 watt inverter and have the electricity run through as if I was plugged into my generator.

Jon is this possible?

Jack Visage said...

So suprising to know that solar power can run laptops! Well, I think its always better to consider to use a power inverter to equally distribute the energy to your appliances.

Amber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PONY said...

While servicing my battery bank in my motorhome, I shorted out my inverter a Vector MAXX/SST 1000w (VEC049D. I do have an inline fuse but created a short beyond the fuse. Upon inspection, I've blown all four internal blade fuses. They are dull green and have the letters "SE" on them. I can't seem to find a supplier or any info on them. Any Ideas??

Anonymous said...

Jon, I am installing my Xantrex power Hub 1800. A couple of questions I need answered. I connected the panels together, then I was left with one positive and one negative wire coming out of the panels, so here is the first question. When I plug in the next MC4 connector does the positive side then become negative?(Since it is negative side connector going into the the solar panels) The solar panels(4) are attached to two pieces of Unistrut, in grounding them is it ok to ground with the same # 10 wire to just one solar panel? I installed a disconnect (NOT fused) and was wondering when the pull out (on /Off)for the disconnect is to be reinstalled? Would that be after the grounding and attaching the positive and negative to the HUB?
Then would I go thru the power up procedure?

Jon Hardwick said...

Re:

While servicing my battery bank in my motorhome, I shorted out my inverter a Vector MAXX/SST 1000w (VEC049D. I do have an inline fuse but created a short beyond the fuse. Upon inspection, I've blown all four internal blade fuses. They are dull green and have the letters "SE" on them. I can't seem to find a supplier or any info on them. Any Ideas??

I have found that once the fuses are blown internally the unit will typically not operate even after the fuses have been replaced. However, if my memory serves me right. I believe those are 25A spade fuses. You could pick them up at any auto parts store.

Hope this helps, thanks for the support.

Regards,

-Jon

Jon Hardwick said...

Jon, I am installing my Xantrex power Hub 1800. A couple of questions I need answered. I connected the panels together, then I was left with one positive and one negative wire coming out of the panels, so here is the first question. When I plug in the next MC4 connector does the positive side then become negative?(Since it is negative side connector going into the the solar panels) The solar panels(4) are attached to two pieces of Unistrut, in grounding them is it ok to ground with the same # 10 wire to just one solar panel? I installed a disconnect (NOT fused) and was wondering when the pull out (on /Off)for the disconnect is to be reinstalled? Would that be after the grounding and attaching the positive and negative to the HUB?
Then would I go thru the power up procedure?

Could you please send me an email at:

jon@donrowe.com

Thanks!

-Jon

PONY said...

A couple posts ago I asked about some blown fuses that said "SE" on them. I went to replace the fuses today, had all the screws and old fuses in a baggie, and Low and Behold. What an IDIOT I AM!!
SE = 35 when you look at the fuses right side up! Oh Well.
I replaced them with some 30amp fuses that I had and the Inverter works. I'll round up some 35's and keep an eye on it. Thanks for the help.

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Andrew Oddo said...

Hi, I would like to use a 5000 watt inverter to provide back up power to my home during rare power outages. Would pulling about 4000 watts constant load off of an inverter hooked up to my minivan's 12 volt battery with the van constantly running(100 amp alternator)burn out my alternator after 2 or 3 days? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

i have an offgrid system at my camp using a trace dr3624 inverter and my digital alarm clock goes 3 x faster than it should, but everything else seems to work fine . it has always worked ok in the past . any ideas?

Thomaszing said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Don said...

Hi Andrew Oddo, your alternator running at maximum capacity would not be able to keep up with the 4000watt load. If the alternator ran at the full 100amps you would get about 1200watts worth of current out of it. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Don said...

i have an offgrid system at my camp using a trace dr3624 inverter and my digital alarm clock goes 3 x faster than it should, but everything else seems to work fine . it has always worked ok in the past . any ideas?



Hi, that unit is a modified sine wave. It is not uncommon for digital clocks to have issues when on a modified sine wave, like not keeping correct time. Has the digital clock worked correctly in the past?

Eric F said...

I have a tracker 1500 watt Inverter. It will not turn on. do you know where I could get a schematic diagram for it ?

Don said...

Hi Eric F, I am not familiar with the Tracker brand inverters. I would recommend calling Tracker for your inquiry. Sorry I could not be of more help.

advantages of solar power said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

My 2000 watt power inverter is making a loud beeping noise when I plug something into it. What is this?

Don said...

I would verify in the inverters manual what the audible alarm represents, what model inverter do you have? Often the audible alarms is a low voltage alarm and the reason it is happening when you are using a load is because the current being drawn by the load is causing the voltage to drop. I would verify the battery is fully charged.

dj11765 said...

hi is it safe to connect the 800w inverter to the battery while driving on a long trip to plug an oxygen concentrator into? are there any dangers in this? we have the 800 watt inverter that clamps to the battery posts.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Don said...

Hi dj11765, usually there is not a problem with using an inverter on a vehicle battery while the vehicle is running. I am concerned about the clamps coming loose due to vibrations and bumps. I recommend looking into a more solid connection and incorporating a fuse on the positive cable. If you have further questions feel free to email patrick@donrowe.com

Mark said...

Hi I have a 26 foot Sandpiper 5th wheel its a1994 I can only get the electrical plugs to work when im pluged in on my house power, but when i run off the battery every thing works inside except for the electrical outlets allof the inside lights work along with the waterpump. So i changed the Gfi in the bath room but it will not re set unless i am on house power and it wont reset on battery power any help would be appreciated thanks Mark

Don said...

Hi Mark, your inverter may be having an issue. The lights and pump could be running off the DC, which would explain why they are still working. Do you know what model inverter is in your RV? Please feel free to email patrick@donrowe.com for further assistance.

Rajesh said...

Hi, i have 800 KVA invertor. Could any one assestant for wire connection from Invertor to AC supply (input & output)

Don said...

Hi Rajesh - It is recommended to have an electrician or licensed professional assist you with AC wiring. You can email Patrick@donrowe.com for more questions.

Anonymous said...

Can you shed some light? I have a semi truck with a large sleeper, like an rv. The ac power runs from a diesel generator thru a typical household type ac 100 amp service panel. I have a 1500 watt Cobra inverter I would like to use to power small items like the tv, laptop etc without having to run the generator. Is there any danger to running the output from the inverter directly to the service panel so it will energize the outlets when turned on, as long as the generator isn't running at the same time. I test wired it, without the 12 volt power hooked up, and thee is about 1.4 volts reading out of the 12 volt side of the inverter when the generator is running. Any dsnger or issues with this?

Tod said...

Or, referring to my previous generator/Conrad inverter question, could I use a simple disconnect switch to interrupt the hot wire only from the inverter to panel? That way, no power coukda back feed they the inverter. Tod

ken said...

I HAVE A a peak tailgate power inverter but it wont run my sylvana space heater in ym car. it ights up the warning light and wont heat up. Is there a way top over ride this on the tailgate device. i have a four year old and its frezing out its a small heater not a big baseboard or radiator type. please help...desperate

ken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ken said...

oh realy? I guess its ok to have to typemy qurstion 20 times and not go through due to "security" cna you help with my orignal pozst or not?

Don said...

Hi Ken, I apologize in the delay in getting back to. I monitor this Blog regularly while in office and I am out of office through the weekend. I would like to get some additional information from you so we can work on a solution. What size is the inverter? How is the inverter hooked up to your vehicle? Please contact me at Patrick@donrowe.com.

dream said...

hi

i buy a 8000/16000 peak power watt pure sine wave inverter and connected 3 * 12 volts 65 amp each battery to the inverter
but when i try to use some equipment at my home like my vacuum cleaner thats only use 1500 watts then the inverter stops and give a alarm and also i experince that the power invert don't pruduce a pure sine wave it is just modified.
Why people say that the inverter is produce pure sine wave if it just modified and not pure

Don said...

Hi Dream, the alarm typically is a low voltage alarm. A 1500 watt load on a 195 amp/hour battery bank is going to run about 30-45mins. How long are you running that vacuum cleaner? I do not have any direct experience with Peak Power Inverters but, if it is advertised with pure sine wave that should be the output. How are you testing the sine wave output?

dream said...

Hi Don,

First sorry for my late responce and thanks for asking
I tested the inverter by a friend, he is a electrician and produce ups he have a Oscilloscope where we saw the wave from the inverter.

the problem is i got this inverter from germany thats why i can't gived it back because it was more then 2 months before i cut tested it, anyway.

when i plug in the cleaner it is just 2 sec and then started the alarm and power cut down

Don said...

Hi Dream,

There may be a problem with the inverter if it is not producing a pure sine wave, I recommend contacting Peak Power. The inverter could be going into low voltage alarm and shut down for a number of reasons. I would like to go through the specifics of your application, please contact Patrick@donrowe.com.

dream said...

thanks for your advise but before i will go true this way i think it would be better to buy another inverter thats really output Pure sinewave and that can handle any equipment up to 7000 watt's

Charu Kumar said...

Great post. yes there are various inverters and their batteries, one should buy them from a reliable dealer only.