Electric help please.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by haganap, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    I am trying to make some arrangements for improving the length of stay on aires.
    I have a generator which of course I can use but it uses petrol.
    I have gas heating but there is only so much gas you can take.
    So my plan was to buy a small oil filled rad at 600w and operate it through an inverter. for a few hours a day, then top the batteries up with the Genny for a couple of hours before getting the gas on to keep warm at night. (sorry should say this is for extreme winter in the alps skiing)

    So I thought I would buy say an 800 wat inverter. However I then thought about it and I have in my van a 2000w inverter built in to run an air conditioning unit. Now presumably this is to be able to use the air con on 12 v (although it very quickly kills the batteries even when driving) whilst on 12v or on the move. AS I never use the air con unit other than when sited or occaisionally whilst moving in the summer, I thought I could put the inverter to use for my winter plan. However when I had a good look at it I could see the plug from the aircon was a weird looking plug. It has 2 pins and a pin stays in the inverter, sort of like a continental plug. Anyone know if this can be adapted? is it just an ordinary continental plug? thanks in anticipation. Its a waeco inverter.

    heres a link I found to a similar plug http://marinestore.co.uk/Merchant2/...gory_Code=electrics-inverters&Store_Code=mrst
     
  2. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Doing bit of maths gives us:

    600w at 240 v = 2.5 amps

    Same unit will force an inverter to draw about 130 amps ( all these are ball park figures and presuming 100% or there about efficiency )

    So a couple of hours a day will flatten a pair of BIG batteries

    Most on board chargers run at a max of 10 amps though some can dump more in..

    To recharge the batteries will take about 13 hours per battery ( split charge so 5 amps in each = a total charge time of 26 hours.

    If you are going to run the genny for a couple of hours to charge the batteries I think it might be prudent to simply run the heater from the genny :Smile:

    you know the old saying, you get nowt for owt :Smile:
     
  3. The Wallace

    The Wallace Read Only Funster

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    Every time you convert energy from one kind to another you lose (big time)
    So, Petrol to rotary to electrical to battery charger to inverter to heater with 50 % loss at each stage and you get - not a lot of heat for a lot of petrol and noise.
    For best efficiency forget the genny and just make a fire from the petrol!!!!!

    Gas heating with a radiant fire is probably the most efficient you will find - feels good too since you can 'feel' the heat and with an LPG tank gas storage is not a problem.

    Any attempt to heat via battery power is doomed to failure unless you have a huge battery bank and the means to charge it.
    On second thoughts maybe an oil fired heater fed from an inverter would work - you could get a reasonable heat from the inverter.

    Come on guys - you are CAMPING - wear more clothes and use your gas fire.
     
  4. Diabalo

    Diabalo Funster

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  5. robinmclaren

    robinmclaren Read Only Funster

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    hi paul

    i think the load you suggest will draw around 52a/hour from battery (600w / 230v x 20 inverter voltage to 12v ratio ) and inverter will shut down on under voltage within a few hours maximum which may effect other equptment running
    i would leave gas on tickover, we all did this at disney new year and used around 3/4 bottle all week inc cooking and fridge
    if you want to test this i would do it with a seperate inverter but be sure capable of running a heater element as most 1/2 sine wont last with this type of load
    i have killed 5 invertors ( under warranty ) and just about to replace with ring 2.1kw unit as designed to run heaters, kettle, hairdryer etc
    good luck , let us know how it preforms , anything for free is good
    :thumb:
     
  6. G2EWS

    G2EWS Funster

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    Hi Hagnap,

    I agree with the statement that heating via batteries is a pointless excercise.

    You could go downt he boat route and find a drip fed diesel heater. This will be the most effecient. Not got time to search for you but should not be hard to find on the internet.

    Regards

    Chris
     
  7. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Embarrassingly I actually have one but didn't give it much thought to using it :Blush:

    Thanks the Wallace, however there's only so many colthes you can wear on top of each other before being unable to move. LAst year the temp dropped to -30 so thats an awful lot of clothing :Rofl1:


    Thanks Robin, Our gas useage is consideraby more than that. Probably due to Nikki not being out for most of the day but sat in the van admiring the view and reading a book..

    Thanks for all the answers guys,,, all very helpull. However just one thing,,,,,,

    IS THERE AN ADAPTOR FOR THIS PLUG TO BE ABLE TO CONVERT IT FOR NORMAL TV ETC:Rofl1:
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Well you know now that this is a non starter but to back this up, I'm working in ours today, it's not terribly cold but a fan heater on 1500W ( = 1500/12=125A plus) does not put out enough heat for me, it's running for ages. Needs 3Kw to give a burst then stop for a while.

    I think you'll have to think of more imaginative ways of warming up your wife. A choice of 4 fluids comes to mind.
     
  9. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    errr ok thanks Bryan:Blush:

    However being you are the knowledge of these things and no one is yet to answer my question (despite the great advice:thumb:) can you please look at the photo in my first post and just tell me if it is a euro plug or a special plug PLEASE:Eeek:
     
  10. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Tricky, but it does look like a domestic French plug to me based on the earth wiper at the bottom.

    http://uk.rs-online.com/web/search/searchBrowseAction.html?method=getProduct&R=0327169

    I've made some monumental errors buying connectors from pictures, it looks RIGHT then when it arrived it's 6mm diameter instead of 25mm diameter.
     
  11. G2EWS

    G2EWS Funster

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    Hi Hagnap,

    I cannot tell from that picture. I take it you mean socket rather than plug and it is on the existing invertor and looks like the one in the picture?

    The simplest thing would be to borrow or buy a continental adaptor they are cheap enough and see if that will fit in the socket. Chance are you have one for trips but have forgotten about it! If so then you have your answer. All you would then need is either to make an adaptor from a UK 13amp socket to a continental plug. Or you could change the plug on the heater to a continental one. So you would plug your heater into the 13 amp socket and the trailing lead with continental plug into the invertor.

    Hope that helps.

    Statement still holds, I would not use a heater on an invertor, but you could have the trailing lead for powering laptops etc!

    Regards

    Chris
     
  12. welsh winger

    welsh winger Read Only Funster

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    I have a knaus motor home fitted with that kind of socket, I use a travel adapter on the rare occasions I need to use it, hope this helps.

    Nick
    Welsh Winger
     
  13. imprint

    imprint Read Only Funster

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    I'll leave comments about the electrics to the experts, but a comment about the heater might be useful on the side.

    Back in December, we bought a 700 watt oil filled rad for our MH. (Tesco, Mini-heater, tho' the label just says "Donotcover" which is probably a Chinese firm). This was on advice from you bunch. We got back to Glen Haggis on 1 Jan, in a snowstorm, to find our central heating had turned tits up over Christmas. No probs with leaks, as everything's well insulated, but also no way in or out for nearly three weeks, so although the engineer's called, it'll be another two weeks before it's running.

    Anyway, we have a coal burning stove which deals with one end of the house, and a couple of large rads for the other end and our bedroom. My study though, is where I spent my working time, so we put the van's little heater in here. The dear little chap has poured out heat non-stop for the whole time- brilliant. (Now, how do we get a foot of insulation in the van roof, 6 inches in the walls and real double glazing?)

    So, thanks for the advice, and get a rad4van if you haven't yet got one. You'll need it for global warming.
     
  14. robinmclaren

    robinmclaren Read Only Funster

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    socket deff looks like a standand euro socket , if it -30 i agree with nikki stay in the van, our heated towel rail in bathroom is quite effective and very low power , have left it running some nights in cornwall to keep chill off
     
  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    hi paul,

    sorry to say jaws got it wrong.....600w @ 12v is 50 amps at 100% inverter efficiency.

    the socket will be a euro earthed type and the exposed pin is earth and fits in the top/bottom hole/slot in the plug.[​IMG]

    simply buy a euro plug with the earth wiper blade and fit that to the heater or make/buy an adaptor with an earthed euro plug and uk socket....or even just a travel adaptor.

    until the heater thermostat kicks in (if it has one) you will be pulling 50amps per hour so a single 110ah battery will last less than one hour before it is technically flat and using your onboard charger @ 20a will take around 2.5 hours(probably more)
    bigger No of batteries in your bank....less discharge per battery but same time to recharge...you can still only put 20a per hour back in.

    your genny will probably run for 3 to 4 hours on a tank and you can recharge the batteries while running the heater...two birds etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  16. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    I was always tort up in Yorkshire lad thar never gets owt for nowt...(meaning you never get anything "owt" for nothing "nowt") nar thats ar thar speaks Yorkshire old lad you was close wrong way round sithy :thumb:

    But it may be different in Narrfook ....a little lower down the country

    Mel
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  17. pinkgin

    pinkgin Funster Life Member

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    Vodka, bacardi, malibu and wine? Not forgetting rum, cherry brandy, caramel liquor and of course gin (but only if it's pink!)
     
  18. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    :) Remember I'm male. We work on a different wavelength !

    No.1 was LPG.
     
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