Generator or Battery Inverter

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Mickjohn, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Mickjohn

    Mickjohn Read Only Funster

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    Hello Guys and Gals,
    I am on the brink of buying a generator but have just read about those battery inverters; they seem to be available these days with quite a high KW output. Now I am perplexed!! Mainly I want to run the TV, SAT. REC., Laptop, and lights with occasional use of some kitchen appliances, maybe a low powered microwave for say, upto 20mins, and an electric drill. What do you think; a noisy(even silent suitcase type), expensive, polluting generator or an inverter???? I know this is a "how long is a piece of rope" question, but how long can one continually run an inverter connected to a fully charged leisure battery (which in turn is connected to solar panels)? What is the drain? The following examples could be used. 1. Small flat screen TV and Sat. Receiver with 2 lights and laptop computer. 2. As above but with an 800watt microwave running for 20mins and no laptop. The inverters would be, say, 1500watt, 2000watt or 3000watt rated (don't know which would be best!!).
    Maybe this piece of equipment is a non starter and a generator is still the way to go!!!!! What do you think???????
    Thank you!
     
  2. mollyold

    mollyold Read Only Funster

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    Gennie

    Personally, I have debated both in the past, not least that our girls seem to want to use hair straightners and hair dryers on the move!!
    We are not very carbon friendly and although we never did give them the power to run their face lift machines on the move we have invested in a generator.
    The basis for this is that even an inverter will run out of battery juice and therefore being able to provide a diffrent source of power helps us to keep everything topped up and provide the extra power when need at 240v
     
  3. Hayleylulu

    Hayleylulu

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    buy a generator the best money can buy got to be kipor
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    run a microwave on an inverter !!!!!

    you will probably need a 2kw inverter to cope with the start-up current needed.

    a 450watt microwave will use 65 amp per hour via an inverter, so a regular 900watt will use 130amps/hour.

    a 20 minute run.....43amps


    generator.....again, a reasonably big 'un to run a microwave.....but no flat battery or charging it for hours to put back what the microwave took out.
     
  5. mollyold

    mollyold Read Only Funster

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    3kw

    May I suggest a 3Kw gennie, at this size it will do anything you want and also, we used it in the house last winter when we lost power for 12 hours.

    We ran a small fan heater and some lights and worked well and the price for a 3kw compared to a 2kw is not massive
     
  6. CHRI$

    CHRI$ Funster

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    before you decide which genny to buy,work out your maximum needs and use that as a starting point,a 3000kva genny is a heavy beast,large,and noisy.
    also work out where you are going to keep it while on the move?
     
  7. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    The only item here that can't be run directly from 12v is the microwave. We decided to remove our microwave as it just took up space we could use for more useful stuff. For your electric drill, just use a cordless one which you can either charge with a small inverter (300-500w) or just wait till you have ehu.
    If the microwave is an essential to you then a genny is really the only way to go unless you have multiple batteries and a lot of solar panels.
     
  8. Squire

    Squire Read Only Funster

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    What about an Efoy fuel cell? They were all the rage a couple of years ago but I haven't heard much about them recently.
     
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  9. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    This is a subject that keep cropping up and my answer has to always be the same -

    How much power do you need?
    How many batteries will you need to provide it
    How many solar panels will you need to provide enough power to recharge them
    ______
    How much will all that weigh - is that within the limits /space of your vehicle
    When the sky is cloudy/raining / snowing will the solar panels keep up with your demands
    ----------------
    If not then you will need a generator to back up the panels.

    -----------------------
    A good generator only needs a service once a year - weighs similar to a 110amp battery - petrol is available world wide - sunshine is not.

    A 2.0i Honda genny is not noisy - will happily run a 850 watt microwave will easily recharge 2 x 110Ah batteries every day if needed and it has a 5 year warranty

    Only you can work out which is the most cost efficient for your purpose or your need for both but personally I would say 20 minutes running a microwave off an inverter would be the same as holding the starter running for 20 minutes and suspect it would knacker your batteries very quickly :Eeek:
     
  10. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

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    :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:




    Obviously never heard of Honda
     
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  11. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    Most stuff fitted in the van eg lights, waterpump etc is 12v, tvs,laptops can be run either on 12v with requirred adapters or a small invertor , remember that an inverter also takes power to run itself from the 12v system, 2 good batteries and a good solar setup should suffice for most things. drill - you can get good cordless ones these days and the microwave well most people rarely use them but for the days you did its either ehu (mains hookup) or a generator with built in inverter. these are available in most makes and are 4 stroke, honda,kipor,are the big names but a host of other gennies have the same inverter tech.
    I do have to say that honda is the quietest - and no i dont have a honda - but none of them are really noisy when running but as with all engines they do make a noise and you will always find someone that will complain

    http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/products/models.aspx?page=models&section=P2GG&category=sq

    you do have to secure a genny to your van as they are desirable and do have a tendancy to walk if you dont take precautions
     
  12. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

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    very secure
     
  13. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi everything you ask can be done without either invetor or genny except the microwave :BigGrin:Battery drill -12v tv etc- gas kettle :Doh: :Rofl1: To run the micro for 20 mins your only realistic option is the 2 kv suitcase genny :thumb: Be it Honda or kipor,clarke etc lots to choose from :thumb:
    terry
     
  14. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I agree broadly with the previous posters.

    My first question is why do you need so much portable mains power, are you planning a lot of off site camping. ?

    If not, don't waste your money on a large inverter or genny .. Most sites have ehu which is normally included in the pitch price.. even abroad, most aires have either cheap or free leccy.

    I carried a 2kw Honda genny around europe for three years, I could count on one hand the number of times I used it .. now sold ..

    If you need a small amount of mains power for watching tv then by all means buy a small 150 watt inverter, they are very useful for charging camera batteries , lap tops etc and won't kill your leisure battery .. but better to buy appliances that run directly off 12v as they are more efficient than an inverter

    If you are planning off site camping then consider adding a second leisure battery and a decent sized solar panel.. a much better use of your hard earned.. and less intrusive on the wild life ..
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  15. Mickjohn

    Mickjohn Read Only Funster

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    Thank you to everyone that took the time to answer; much appreciated! It's decision time now! Mick
     
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  16. Armando8100

    Armando8100 Read Only Funster

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    3Kw gennie,i'm totally agree with you man....you'r 100% good...at this size it will do anything you want.
     
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