inverters

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Lord Mac, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. Lord Mac

    Lord Mac Funster

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    Can someone explain, in non technical language, what inverters are? Why use them and how do you use them? Any draw backs?
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    They convert 12v power to 220/240v Hammer batteries better to use 12v things where possible :BigGrin: ie 12v telly lights etc No hairdriers or other things that use 240v especially heavy power hungry items :Wink:
    terry
    edit forgot to say 1000 watt inverters are reasonably priced but are not usually big enough to power most 240v items and once you start looking at bigger the costs rise a lot and you need bigger battery banks to use them
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  3. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    How do they harm the battery ?


    Had been looking at one for phone chargers etc .
     
  4. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Small ones are fine but also use about 10 % more power than straight 12v -- did not say harm batts just hammer them :Wink: ---see my edit
    terry
     
  5. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    Cheers :Smile:

    So what rating would we need if we decided to power a laptop ?
     
  6. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    A small 300w (£20)one will run/charge item fine -will also run a tv etc but better to try and use 12v every time
    terry
     
  7. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    A box of tricks which is connected to your leisure batteries and when switched on converts the 12 volt output from them to 230/240 as if you were on domestic mains power. There are many sizes small and large, some of the smaller ones are portable and plug in to your vehicle cig lighter of 12 volt plug.

    I prefer a permanent fixture connected via an isolator switch to my leisure batteries and I have a 1000 watt inverter which produces 83 amps, therefore I can run any 240 volt appliance provided it does not exceed 83 amps (although the inverter can go unto 2000 watts for a short surge) This is just about OK for our low power toaster but you could not use a hairdryer. items that produce heat are not usually compatible with inverters but my toaster works ok for a short period.The 1000 watt inverter is large enough to power our laptop and charge mobile phones. The output from the inverter is routed through the motorhome to a double socket into which we plug the desired item. We have a solar panel which puts some juice back into the batteries on sunny days and we find we can be 'off grid' as it were more or less permanently in the summer nor having to worry about power consumption.

    An inverter can deplete batteries very quickly if left on so you need to make sure your batteries are in good condition and fully charged.

    There are two types of inverter the standard one which we have and a 'pure sign' inverter which gives a steady and purer flow of power. Some sensitive laptops need the pure sign type but for us the ordinary one is fine.

    As said there are many types and sizes, some may think my 1000 watt is overkill. However it only takes out of the batteries what it needs to power the item plugged in to it. I am sure others will tell you what setup they prefer.

    IMPORTANT. The 230/240 output from an inverter, if handled incorrectly will kill you just as sure as your domestic mains at home. If you are not sure what you are doing, get a professional to install for you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  8. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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  9. Steve

    Steve Funster Life Member

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    Hi, why go fro 12v to 230v then back to 12v?
    just get 12v adaptors for your device's. keep it simple:thumb:
    Steve
     
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  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    sorry, completely incorrect.

    A 1000watt inverter will produce a little over 4 amps @230v......1000w ÷ 230v = 4.347amps...

    but at peak output it will consume 83.33amps from your battery........1000w ÷ 12v (nominal) = 83.33amps
    In realty it will be higher due to electrical losses in the conversion from dc to ac volts, lost as heat which is the reason for inveters having a cooling fan, and is usualy in the region of 10% so could be around 92amps
     
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  11. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    Completely incorrect

    Quite so.

    The sentence, "I have a 1000 watt inverter which produces 83 amps, therefore I can run any 240 volt appliance provided it does not exceed 83 amps" should have read,

    "I have a 1000 watt inverter which USES 83 amps, therefore I can run any 240 volt appliance provided it does not EXCEED 1000 WATTS" In other words I cannot use an appliance which would consume more power than the inverter is capable of drawing from the batteries. i.e. 83 amps
     
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  12. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    cheap leisure batteries dont like higher power inverters as they are designed for a steady lower current discharge. a 1000watt inverter will draw 83amps per hour, so flattening a leisure battery of say 100amp/hour in a little over an hour. this will then take several hours to recharge

    using 12v chargers will use far less current from the battery and then allow it to recharge quicker
     
  13. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    I don't understand leccy, so will it draw 83 amps, no matter how much or litttle it's using ?
     
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    no, it will only draw 83 amps when used at its maximum...1000watts
    At 500watts it will draw 41.5amps and so on.
     
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  15. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    More like half hour or you deplete the battery's past the 50% drain kill limit :Wink::BigGrin:
    This is now getting way past the keep it simple :Smile:
    terry
     
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  16. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    We have a 2kw pure sine wave inverter running off 160ah battery bank, the pure sine wave runs a microwave much better than modified did and it runs the coffee machine and anything else that contains electronics where they would not run at all on the old modified sine wave. If we use 1kw for 10 minutes in the morning for coffee and porridge it only takes about 15 ah from the batteries so the solar panels can put this back in an hour or two.

    Martin
     
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  17. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

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    Have a 600watt non-sine wave Maplins inverter here if anyone is interested.

    £30
     

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  18. Wickolad

    Wickolad Funster

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    Hi,
    Regarding inverters, I recently installed a 1500watt pure sine wave inverter. This is sufficient to power a normal hair dryer if just the first setting is used, it also powers a set of hair straighteners (not GHD brand, for some reason).
    I have hard wired the inverter to the leisure battery via an inline fuse and a battery isolator which is placed adjacent to a 240v socket outlet connected to the inverter output, (both have been fitted into the seat locker base for ease of access).
    The inverter works a treat, and fulfills my wife's only request for mains power for her hairdryer and straighteners when camping without EHU.
    I would say that the power of the inverter required is down to the individuals needs, most appliances , i.e laptop, tablet etc will have a power rating on the label, it is worth edging on caution and choosing an inverter rated above that. Also worth noting, it is recommended that anything over 200watts is hard wired, some even state 180watts. Whatever you choose, the main thing to remember is to isolate it after use as they tend to draw sufficient power on standby to quickly discharge your battery.
    I would also agree with the previous post that inverters do tend to 'hammer' your battery for power and would say they are okay for short periods of time. It is also worth considering solar panels in conjunction with the fitting of an inverter in order to give your battery chance to recover charge. I have put up 2x 100watt panels feeding the battery via a 30A mppt charge controller that keeps on top of things.
    As mentioned in a previous post, charging phones and e-readers is better done with a 12v charger.
    When you weigh up the costs it is purely down to the individual and their needs, if you want to have the freedom of camping without the necessity of EHU, its the way to go. So long as its combined with solar panels if you want power to last more than a couple of days. I'm just happy that I have the freedom to do as I choose, and of course my better half is happy. I hope this helps, if anyone wishes any further advise, detail or even photos, I am only too happy to help where I can.
     
  19. PeterCarole29

    PeterCarole29 Read Only Funster

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    Hi,I am still in the process of the refurb of our van since we went to Malvern.My wife also had only one request.Hairdrier.I have fitted two traction 230ahr batterries with a pure sinewave 2500w inverter.Its a long story but thats what we have ended up with.
    I dont know wether to get a battery to battery charger for £380 or solar panel
    Any ideas please
     
  20. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    Bit pointless to convert 12v to 230v then back down again to 5V (which is the usual phone charging voltage). And there will be a lot of energy wastage along the way. Why not buy 12V/USB converter that fits into your ciggy lighter sockets?
     
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