Newbie here, need opinions on inverters

H_GH_G Registered Users Posts: 16 ✭✭
I may have posted this same question before but in the wrong section of this forum, if I did I apologize. 
I'm asking for opinions on which brand/power inverter to buy if I wanna run a fridge or small washing machine during an emergency. I have already installed four 100 watt panels, controller, fuses, kill switch and four 125 amp hr lead acid batteries in parallel. I own a 1200 watt square wave inverter from harbor freight, will it be enough for one of these appliances at a time and never simultaneously? If not, which brand/power inverter would you suggest that would be reliable in the long run? I've looked and xantrex and aims online. 
this system will be kept for emergencies only. 


  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,697 ✭✭✭✭✭
    In a pinch, you could use what you have, if there was problems with the washing machine starting while the fridge was running, you could turn it off for the hour the washing machine was running. It might be a little small for some fridges and large top load washing machines. If it was only going to be for emergency use, the square wave might be okay, particularly with older units. We have heard that modern washing machines have issues with square wave (computer control).

    I would go with the Xantrex, Most of the Aims aren't fit to be boat anchors...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former, 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • H_GH_G Registered Users Posts: 16 ✭✭
    Precisely what I've found on the Aims brand l, not dependable, thanks for the help. 
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Little late in jumping in but square wave inverters are not kind on induction motors, eddy currents from the abrupt collapse of the wave form manifest as heat, plug in a small electric fan and you will hear the growl. Square wave is suitable for restive loads where everything is disapated as heat and no windings or laminated  cores are used. Modified SW is a little better but PSW is the way to go. My experience is with Cotek and Samlex, both pretty good, as backup have a Chinese unit which seems ok but unlike the other 2 it generates radio interference, but I hate radio so no loss.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Battery Bodyguard BMS 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Daly BMS, used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 766 ✭✭✭✭
    Anything that is not modified sine wave junk.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2016 #6
    Unless the unit is very new/high end  I doubt it will run on < 2000W, but they have larger models
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • H_GH_G Registered Users Posts: 16 ✭✭
    Thanks guys
  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 448 ✭✭✭✭
    Modified sine is fine for most appliances. That said, modern electric blankets would not function due to the incompatibility of MSW current and electronic controls. Those induction motors will start and run, but are somewhat noisier. If you have the money buy PSW, if not run what you brung!
    Island cottage solar system with 2400 watts of panels, 1kw facing southeast 1kw facing southwest 400watt ancient Arco's facing south.Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Outback Flexmax 80 MPPT charge controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 28th year.
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