Advice Please on Inverters.

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by beacons, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. beacons

    beacons Funster

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    We are looking to purchase an inverter we would like
    one thats suitable for kettle .toaster. my hairdryer .straightners etc .and the possibility of heaters like halogen. fan heater.so one that isnt too small. but not
    one that we wouldnt need .we would use just for rallys .w/ends .and a bit of wild camping .many thanks.
     
  2. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    You're asking for quite a lot to run some of the items - what size battery bank have you got?
     
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  3. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Hi Beacon
    welll.. Lets just take one item .. A fan heater
    Most are 1 to 2kW
    Using one on 1 kW will draw about ( all rough figures ) 100 amps in an hour
    So just running one of the items on your list will drain a couple of decent 110aH batteries in a little over an hour

    To run all the items you list ( one at a time of course ) you will need to look for an inverter of at least 2.5kW
    You will also need a REALLY serious battery bank and I would suggest a matching solar panel set up too.
    Perhaps 4 x 110aH batteries at an absolute minimum MIGHT get you through providing you were careful

    Personally I would look at getting a 2k+ generator .. I think that would be a far better, cheaper and easier option for you
     
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  4. jollyrodger

    jollyrodger Funster Life Member

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    Any Good

    $_35.JPG :D
     
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  5. beacons

    beacons Funster

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  6. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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    I know I like a bit of rough but for me, these just don't go together :LOL:
    More like this really in our MH [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
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  7. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I would rethink your plans - Jaws has pretty much said it all.
    If you decide to go down the inverter route, be aware that some hair straighteners do not like quasi-sine wave inverters and require pure sine wave power. A 2 - 2.5 kw pure sine wave inverter is going to cost somewhere in the region of £750 - £1,000 for a good quality make such as Waeco or Victron.
    I would not think about using an electric kettle or space heater unless on mains power; gas is a much more efficient way to heat water and the van when not plugged in. The toaster poses a bit more of a problem but we get on fine with one of these: **

    It does mean clearing up crumbs from the hob and the likelihood of a bit of smoke if you do not watch it like a hawk, but for us, it's much more practical than lugging around an electric toaster for the odd occasions when on hook-up.

    There is another practical issue regarding the use of a large inverter in your case. You have a Hymer and unless it is a vintage model (80s - early 90s), it will be fitted with a Schaudt Elektroblock (EBL) charging and 12v distribution system. The EBL contains the shunts across which it measures current drawn from the battery. If you start drawing a lot of current direct form the habitation battery (as you must with a large inverter) the EBL will not measure that current drain and can get confused when it detects a much lower voltage at the battery than it can account for by the current drain that it has measured. This can lead to sudden shut-down of the 12V system as the EBL decides that an emergency low-voltage situation exists and the hab. battery(ies) need protection. This situation is much more likely as I understand it, with the more recent digital control panel models. Having said all that, it is quite possible to use an inverter with an EBL (I have a 150W PSW model connected to my batteries and an EBL99) but with the likely currents that your planned usage would draw, I would expect problems.

    ** p.s. for some reason, the Amazon link to the toaster does not seem to work. Go to Amazon UK and search for 'Yellowstone Folding Camping Toaster'
     
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  8. meanders

    meanders Funster - Life Member Life Member

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    And to be honest, even on hookup you couldn't use all these together. Kettle = 8-12 aAmps, toaster = 4-6 Amps, hairdryer 2-3 Amps, any heater... 4 - 12 Amps. Total draw = 18 to 33 Amp!

    Many hookups are 10 Amp and less.
     
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  9. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    Hairdryer, straighteners and even a kettle 700watts can be done, however as already pointed out above there are loads of factors you need to consider.
    I have 2000watts quasi-sine wave inverter and the straighteners don't like it, but they work. I have 3 x 110 amp batteries and they can take the load fine, however I have 200watts of solar which on a good day in Spain will replace the power in a few hours directly after taking power out, but UK sun you will struggle after 3 or 4 days and they batteries will die.
    I also have a B2B so if needed having not moved for weeks can run engine and fully charged ( NOT top'd UP ) batteries in about 20/30 minutes. Lots to consider. I do 100% time off grid unless in the site fees at the right price.
     
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  10. beacons

    beacons Funster

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    We have 2 leisure batteries and a 100w
    solar and soon adding another I wouldn't
    be using all at same time only one and that would be a hair dryer the other items that I
    mentioned would be maybe s we always
    use gas kettle and Only halogen heater
    rarely what I should have said was I wanted an all rounder choice sorry to be misleading and thank you all for your time in making kind replys jan.
     
  11. DABurleigh

    DABurleigh Funster

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    I have always said as a general guide don't use batteries for space or water heating or cooking. As I love the odd full English breakfast in the open air and most of the time would not have the gas barby set up, then I have succumbed to an induction plate. But I have 450Ah batteries and 300W solar so can cope.

    Hair straighteners, a 600W - 1000w hairdrier used prudently, and a toaster if you really must are all quite possible, but you will need some good batteries and thoughts on how to replenish them if staying put.

    Dave
     
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  12. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Gas hair straighteners here:


    and a gas styler/brush which can be used to dry hair as you brush it):

    and a 'turby towel':


    Use the towel first - just leave it on the hair for a few minutes to absorb the moisture (it's surprising just how much moisture is absorbed), then use the gas styler/brush to finish off drying and finally the straighteners.

     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
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  13. beacons

    beacons Funster

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    Thank you for that ihardly dare admit I do use gas ones in the van I shouldn't have put about electric ones I use them at home and
    I was too general in my post . Jan.
     
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  14. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    I would go for a pure sine inverter then you don't need to worry about what you plug into it, we use a Merlin 2kw fitted as close to the batteries as possible and it has a remote start/stop inside the van, it works great but you do need to be aware of how you are going to replace the power you have just taken from your batteries.

    Martin
     
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  15. Stealaway

    Stealaway Funster

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  16. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Once you have decided that you want/need an inverter the next big decision is pure sine or quasi sine wave, if nothing else there is quite a big difference in the price of the two different styles.

    Our van came with a quasi sine wave inverter fitted but it was pretty useless at running the microwave and totally useless with the Nespresso coffee machine, I changed it for a pure sine wave and now everything works just as it should.

    I believe some quasi's are better than others and possibly ours was particularly bad.

    Martin
     
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  17. Clarky

    Clarky Funster

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    May I ask what size battery bank you have in the van.
    I want to run a similar coffee machine but think it may kill the 2x90ah gel batteries.

    Richard.
     
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  18. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Hi Richard

    For the last 4 years I have been running 2 x G80 EXIDE gels I think they rate them at 80ah but that is on the 5hr discharge rate, most other batteries quote the 20hr rate which would make these about 100ah. I recharge with 320 watts of solar and through the summer very rarely go on hook up. While we were away last year I thought these batteries were not performing as well as they had previously and it might be time to change them (they might be original which would make them 10 years old) so as they were € for £ in Germany I bought two more, when I got home the old ones seemed as good as new again as they had been on hook up for 4 days in Amsterdam, anyway cutting a long story short I now have 4 of them on with the second two as a backup with an isolator but have not been away to try them in this configuration but can't help but think they will just be twice as good as they were before.

    I will add that the coffee machine takes very little out as it only heats a small amount of water, it's the microwave for the milk that takes just under 4 minutes which takes a lot more out.

    I know GEL's are not everybody first choice but they get my vote.


    Martin
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
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  19. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    Gel would be my first choice, but wife would kill me......... need I say any more.:rolleyes:
     
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  20. Doctor Dave

    Doctor Dave Funster

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    Try this.

    (You may have to disable "ADBLOCKER" if using Windows 10 and Edge)

    Dave
     
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