Inverter question

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Chris, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    As generators are a bit taboo, could some wise soul answer me a couple of questions please?

    1. Does an inverter if fitted render all the sockets in your van suitable for 240 v or just one?

    2.Where does the inverter go in the van? is it big or small?

    3. if I was to boil a low wattage kettle off an inverter with enough water for say 3 cups of tea what sort of drain would that have on a standard leisure battery? Would it use up 10% or more?

    Thanks.:thumb:
     
  2. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Answers to your questions in order.

    1. It depends how you fit it. It is possible to arrange for an inverter to take over supply to the installed 230V sockets but that requires some complicated wiring with relays. Not a project for the casual amateur DIYer.
    Otherwise run a dedicated 230V socket from the inverter.

    2. As near to the supplying batteries as possible. It is important to keep the cable run between inverter and battery as short as possible to minimise voltage drop. The size of the unit varies with its power: large ones are physically bigger. Assume roughly 200mm x 150mm x 75mm for a medium-sized model.

    3. Assuming an 800W kettle, it will draw 800/12 = 66.6 amps (then allow roughly 90% efficiency for the inverter) so that brings it to 75 amps. Run it for 5 minutes and it will draw 6.25 Ah from the batteries. In my view, it's not worth using an electric kettle this way - far simpler and more heat-efficient to use gas.
     
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  3. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    Thank you.

    I should add that there is no prospect of me undertaking the project.

    I love my family too much to put them at the sort of risk my skills would generate:BigGrin:
     
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  4. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Don't you know a good lawyer for the court case then? :Rofl1:

    I bought an inverter purely for charging electric bike batteries. We have no other need for mains power.
     
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  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    A gas tank is the finest way of storing heat, you'd need a battery the size of your van to match it.

    BUT there is another argument, if you have masses of solar on offer, it's free so why not use it.
     
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  6. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Quite right. We use an inverter to run a kettle in the summer. By the time we've drunk the tea the solar has recharged the batteries.


    Did you hear David Bowie electrocuted himself with some DIY electrics.

    'The man who failed to earth':Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
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  7. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    My inverter runs all my 240 sockets. It does so by following technos guide and I managed it nearly by myself but with help from bungy
     
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  8. SUGGY

    SUGGY Funster Life Member

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    we have 2 x 110 A batteries , 250 watts of solar panels , 1 x £50 1500 watts inverter,

    We run :-
    a small travel kettle ,
    Washing machine,
    Spin dryer,
    Romoska,
    Travel hair dryer,
    Rice cooker,
    Fan heater just on cold air blow, ( handy in Morocco )
    Laptop / phone chargers ,

    It is a case of being sensible with the battery use and solar power , and not putting all of them on at the same time :Smile:

    we cook on the Romoska / Rice Cooker late afternoon to get max solar recharge .:Cool:

    We only use EHU if we are forced to pay for it in campsite fees as it is something we do not need :Eeek:,

    i don't need to put the van on electric at home anymore as the solar keeps all batteries charged , as I have also put a link cable between the leisure batteries and the Engine battery with a battery isolater switch so i can connect all 3 for solar charging and in emergency jump starting the engine , :thumb:

    Out of interest we fitted a 12kg Moroccan bottle on the van on the 8th February and it is still working ,
    That is 7 weeks in Morocco Spain and France and the Eden Camp weekend ,

    Just the saving on paying electric on campsites will pay a lot towards recouping the cost of the solar panels,and using gas for the fridge is a lot cheaper than paying 6 Euros a night in Benidorm to run the fridge @

    Bought one of these the other week , fitted and works great . it has soft start so i am able to use my Aldi High pressure Compressor as the start up current on it was too high for the 1500 watt unit ,

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2000W-Wat....m1850&_trkparms=aid=222006&algo=SIC.FITP&ao%

    Hope this helps ....
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
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  9. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    I have a Dometic inverter charger. It is a pure sine wave inverter, and although it will peak at 3500 watts, it is designed to run at 2000 watts. When it isn't inverting, it is a 100 amp multi stage charger.

    It also has a power support function. If the site can supply say 10 amps (220 VAC) and we inadvertently draw 16 amps, rather than "trip" the trip, the unit recognises that there is a shortfall of 6 amps.

    At this point it stops being a charger, and reverts back to inverting, supplying the "missing" 6 amps.

    Once the additional 6 amp load (usually Lyn's hair dryer :Wink:) is removed, the unit automatically reverts back to being a charger and replaces the power used to invert the missing amps.

    The sockets are wired through the unit, and it automatically deals with the power distribution.

    I have seven 130 Amp leisure batteries, 3 x 130 watt solar panels, 150 Amp battery to battery set up for on road charging and a built in Onan 6 Kva generator.

    I still disagree that there is no place for generators. We went to a site for Easter with two other vans. On Easter Sunday is was pee'ing down with rain, and in the middle of a tent field we ran our generator and no one even noticed with the noise of the rain, and the various car and van engines being run to warm/dry people out that were camping.

    I always do suggest though, that there is no place for a mains kettle in a motorhome and suggest that everyone buys a quick boil gas kettle.

    I do know that loads of people use slow cookers on their inverters to arrive with a delicious meal ready for themselves when the arrive, which seems a great idea.

    Eddie
     
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  10. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    What an impressive setup Eddie, but your power supply equipment and batteries would use up all (or more) of the payload of a lot of Funsters' vans :Eeek:

    Only jealous of your wonderful RV - guess I'll just have to console myself with knowing my modest Hymer can fit into smaller spaces and I can still afford to fill the fuel tank (just). :thumb:
     
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  11. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    VERY IMPRESSIVE :thumb: Eddie that little lot probably cost more than my entire van :Smile: I have both leccy kettle and gas but what's a quick boil gas one ?
    terry
     
  12. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    Everything in life is a compromise lol. Mind you at £0.70 per litre LPG makes the 10 MPG :Eeek: a little more bearable :cry:
     
  13. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    It's one of the ones with the big spring around the base.:Smile:

    Eddie
     
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  14. sadlonelygit

    sadlonelygit Read Only Funster

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    we have a 2/3.5kw unit that has an extension lead to the rear of the van and from the other output we fit the hook up lead.
    only ever used for swmbo hair dryer and the slow cooker on aires..............and a 220v feed to the door handles:Eeek:
     
  15. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    So do you plug your incoming main straight into your inverter?
     
  16. sadlonelygit

    sadlonelygit Read Only Funster

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    no, inverter to EHU
     
  17. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    You would be better just putting your 13 amp sockets on the inverter. Plugging your EHU in, everything including your 220 VAC charger will be trying to take power from your inverter.

    If you have a AES fridge, that will try to switch over, electric elements in water heaters, blown air all will try to run on AC from the inverter.

    I can email you a simple diagram if that would help?:thumb:

    Eddie
     
  18. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Would disagree with Eddie about the kettle though. When we are travelling and it's hot, the cab aircon just about keeps temperature comfortable, but light a gas ring on a tea/coffee stop and the interior temperature soars. We use our low wattage kettle and no problem.:thumb:
     
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  19. cmcardle75

    cmcardle75 Read Only Funster

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    1. Depends how you install it. It requires extra work, especially if you want them to swap automatically to the EHU when plugged in.

    2. Depends on the size.

    3. Don't bother. Is a gas whistling kettle that inconvenient?
     
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  20. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    [/HI]

    Not at all, I was just using it as an example. Makes sense though if you are able to use solar as opposed to gas though surely?
     
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