Permanent Wired Inverter

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by haganap, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Hi all (especially hilldweller and papajohn, Right up your street) :Wink:

    I am going to wire an inverter in to my van. For those that helped on the previous thread of mine about the failure of the inverter to charge the laptop, thank you all very much for your funster help. However the answer was,,,,, give yourselves a pat on the back if you said simply that the Inverter was not up to the job, and too small. I know not why but that was the answer. Checked with a bigger inverter no problems charging in any condition.

    SO moving on. I have now purchased off a member here (thanks Gary) a 1.2 kw inverter for Nikkis hair. (its a low power hairdryer) which of course will meet all my other needs...... here is my current set up.....

    2x 85w batteries.
    i 80w solar panel (currently giving 2.9amps) (posh regulator says so.)
    And of course for those skiing times and wild camping for anything longer than a couple of days the trusty 1kw red honda whisper quiet generator. :BigGrin: ah bliss.


    So with the telephone help from Ash I am going to install my Inverter and wonder if anyone has any simple diagrammes? I want it wired to be constant in that when on, all the sockets in the van will be live.

    Im sort of sure how it goes and understand the relay behind the 230v but simplicity is the answer, in diagrammes. or simple words.

    TIA
    paul
     
  2. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    try and help a bit

    My generator sends its 230v (mine is a 110v as it is an American vehicle and I have a 4kw generator built in to the chassis the principle is the same even with 230/240v) to the batteries via a transformer (i.e steps it down to 12v bit like a model railway where you plug a 230 plug in to the mains and it comes out at 12v at the track) - the battery then sends it via the invertor i.e via the 12v batteries to the 230v sockets to be used by your appliances. My inverter has a battery charging facility (Sterling 1500 watt pure sin wave) built in so if I am connected to the mains it charges the battery and also allows the 230v sockets to be used. I use a switch to change over to the generator which then does the same thing. Van Bitz supplied and fitted my unit which works very well. Connected to the set up I have a NASA guage that tells me the state of my batteries and the charge or discharge rate in amps and volts and time left to charge or discharge.

    Of course I can use the 230v sockets when not connected to the mains or to the generator as the inverter just draws 230v out of the batteries stepping it up in the oposite direction.

    I hope that is clear. But you really need to have someone do the job who is qualified in electrics.

    One question if you have a 1kw generator why not just have a plug go from the genny to a 230 socket in the van? If you are going to use the 12v via the Inverter I can understand the need for it.

    I am always aware that if I am working on the 230v circuit on the van even when the power lead is disconnected from the van I must turn the Sterling off as it will deliver the 230v just the same as being connected to the mains. So be warned.

    Bob
     
  3. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    Hiya Paul,
    Ralph put ours on. Same time he did the solar panel . Dont have a clue about anything to do with it , at all :Doh:
    Apart from it works:Blush:
    But if no one else does you a diagram etc, I'm sure if you pm us your phone number , Ralph will give you a ring and tell you all you need to know.

    BTW his latest toy is a wireless Modem from Three.co.uk ( Huawei E 585 ) It lets you connect up to 5 WI-FI enabled devices. So the laptop , Nintendo DSi , Ipod touch etc can all be on. Great when your stuck in on a wet evening when fed up of monopoly etc and rubbish TV. Kids love it:thumb:
    AND we get peace:Rofl1:
    Bev
     
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Not quite as easy as you think. Bryan has been working on this for 2.4 years so far.

    The gotcha, if you thought of just breaking the incoming mains is you might power up the on board charger from the inverter and that would be the coolest way to flatten a battery ever.

    To conserve your batteries you want it off when not in use - probably.

    So KISS and have one inverter socket so you know to turn it on when you use that socket and switch off as soon as you unplug that socket.

    First thing to check is the quiescent current of the inverter, then you can judge whether it does need to be switched off when not needed.
     
  5. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Thanks Bob,
     
  6. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Brian , it cant be that difficult as so many have done it.? whys it taken Bryan 2.5 years to work out? :Rofl1:

    although reading your post again what your saying makes sense. In essence your saying that my inverter will draw power from the batteries yet at the same time be charging the batteries? is that right?
     
  7. olley

    olley Funster

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    As Brian says the simplest is just a single socket wired direct to the inverter. If you want it wired to all the sockets, then some method of preventing the inverter and the genny/ehu being connected to the sockets at the sametime, and a means of turning the charger off, you will also have to remember to stop your fridge changing to 230v from gas.

    I solved the first problem by running a wire from my inverter and plugging it directly into my ehu socket, that stops me having both connected at the sametime, and means the inverter can power all my sockets. I then fitted a switch to the charger so I can turn it off, and on the fridge I usually remember :Doh: to select gas instead of auto.

    Olley
     
  8. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Here is the simple solution - I put it in the downloads section. It refers to installing a small inverter powering a single socket, but the principle is the same for a bigger one. Just make sure you size the wires appropriately - there is a table in the document.

    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/dlcat-miscellaneous-13/ it's about the fifth one down the list

    Regarding wiring so that all the sockets are powered by the inverter, that's a more complicated task and beyond my capabilities. Clive Mott has written about it, but he puts a caveat in the paper that certain technical details have been left deliberately vague, because if you are competent to do it, you will know what they are and if not, you should not attempt the job.

    http://www.motts.org/INVERTER.htm

    Hope this helps.

    Philip
     
  9. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    what IU was saying is

    If you just want to camp wild a few times them you only have to connect the inverter to the batteries - a lot of inverters have a 230v plug face built in. If not you just take the out terminals to a 230 v plug socket. But make sure you have an inline switch as you do not want the 230v on all the time. The inverter it's self will draw power out of the battery if there is not a switch between the batteries and the inverter. I take it you will then charge the domestic batteries off your engine? or someother way like the generator?

    Bob
     
  10. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    are Now its making sense. Thanks Olley.

    So what you sort of done is this,

    Inverter connected to your batteries,,, on the output socket, plug and in too the 230v socket, but then a switch on the internal charger to prevent it from charging the batteries through the inverter. All of a sudden its clicked. :Wink:
     
  11. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    No Bob, its not as simple as that, trust me Im experienced enough in the realms of wild camping to have my reasons as to what I need to do.

    No the batteries are charged via solar panel and my moving on.
     
  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Problem 1: Note a tiny 30A ( 360W ) feed to the inverter. It all goes up market when haggers changes this to 1200W = 100A+. Bigger wires and bigger relay 2.
     
  13. olley

    olley Funster

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    That's it :thumb: as an added bonus my inverter has a remote off/on switch which sterling supply, on like a telephone lead about 10metres long, I fitted it on the dash.

    I did consider Clive's circuit, but it just seemed to much complication, when an easier, cheaper and 100% safe method was staring me in the face.

    Its easier to do this on an RV as all the electrics including the EHU are in a locker, so I always connect up the inverter before we set of, so if the wife wants to boil the kettle/charge phones etc. she can.

    Olley
     
  14. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Now to just move that Idea on by a few little Nanoes. why Cant I wire it up inside the van at the 230v and go to a relay switch, between the two, Ie if I want the inverter to work switch to it, with another switch for the internal charger? This way I wont have a electric plug on the outside of the van when Im travelling but the inverter will work?
     
  15. olley

    olley Funster

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    Hi yes you could do this, personally I would use a manual change over switch, not a relay. If you intend to use a relay, then you need to use a circuit like Clive's, there's always a danger with a single relay that one of the contacts will stick, Clive's circuit contains more than one relay to prevent this.

    Mixing ehu and inverter AC is not a good idea, I doubt your inverter would survive the meeting. :Smile:

    Olley
     
  16. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Thanks olley. thats what I thought, a switch would be better.:thumb:
     
  17. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Paul there are a number of problems.
    When on mains, a zig unit charges the batteries and fridge runs on 240V
    could well be the same on a generator.
    however when using an inverter ALL of your power needs come from the batteries. So you will not run the charger or the fridge. The easiest way is to run a second ring main giving you sockets where you want them powered only by the inverter. remembering to switch the inverter on ONLY when you specifically need it. Otherwise it eats up amp/hours sitting doing nowt.
    As to using 240V to boil a kettle with an inverter it is a big no no. Flat batteries in no time. So keep it seperate, simple and safe.
     
  18. olley

    olley Funster

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  19. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    you would still have the zig and fridge problem with a switch.
     
  20. gj1023

    gj1023 Read Only Funster

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    Well Paul , the way it was wired in my van, was with a car battery ?? in the wardrobe, with the inverter attached. There was the infamous yellow cable attached to the inverter that went down and out the van. It then ran along the underside and up into the van behind the fridge, then into the cupboard below the sink. The Ehu wire was cut and six wires were wired into the spilt relay. The three earths were all wired into one , via a electrical block

    With the help of Simann and PJ , I have rewired the Ehu wire back together and all works.

    Hope you get it all sorted

    Gary
     
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