Run A/C from inverter?

Anybody know from experience whether I can run a 13500 BTU/hr AC, (Dometic) with a soft-start installed off of a Victron 2000VA Multiplus Compact inverter ? Given enough battery capacity to make it worthwhile.  


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,690 admin
    Given that a Honda eu2000i is supposed to be capable of starting/running a 13.5 kBtu A/C -- Especially with a good soft start conversion--It certainly sound possible.

    If a flooded cell lead acid battery, suggest a minimum of 400 AH @ 24 volts for a 2 kWatt AC inverter.

    A 12 volt battery bank would have to be in the 800 AH range, and even then, getting much more than 1,800 Watt inverter running on 12 volts is a bit of a pain. 12 volt systems, design for ~0.5 volt drop for DC wiring, and the circuit should be designed for:
    • 1,800 Watt * 1/10.5 volt battery cutoff * 1/0.85 AC inverter eff = 202 Amps @ 12 volt battery bank (0.5 volt 12 VDC wiring drop max)
    • 2,000 Watt * 1/21.0 volt battery cutoff * 1/0.84 AC inverter eff = 112 Amps @ 24 volt battery bank (1.0 volt 24 VDC wiring drop max)
    Remember the typical good quality AC inverter will surge ~2x its name plate Watt rating.

    But from a practical point of view--I do not have any experience to answer yes or no... Hopefully somebody else here does.

    Given that this is an RV--You might be looking at LiFePO4 or similar batteries--The AH rating of a lithium bank would be much less needed to support the surge current--But you have to look at the battery bank specifications to ensure that it can handle the running and starting surge current. You might be able to get down to 200 AH @ 24 volts pretty easily with Li Ion (light/small battery, but nowhere close to inexpensive).

    Some of the newer RVs are using Li Ion banks and dumping propane all together and using induction cook tops--And then have enough energy/power to also run the A/C for a while just from the battery bank.

    If you look at some of the RV forums, you can probably find the answer there.

    Of course, a smaller AH battery bank will run less hours in a day than a big old heavy lead acid bank.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,820 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    What is the running voltage /current of the A/C unit ? Theroitically it should be capable if the soft start significantly reduces inrush and initial surge. Not all A/C units consume the same amount of energy for a given BTU output, higher efficient refrigerants like R32 use significantly less than R34A or R410A for example so there is no blanket answer. Having two 9000 BTU myself  the  R32 running current is 2.6A, the R410 is 4.2A at 230V,  both can operate similtaniously on a 2500 VA inverter without issues, they are however  inverter based, so no inrush.

    The DC nominal voltage is important if 12V, which is often used in RV's, substantial conductors will be required to prevent voltage drop which could cause the inverter to shut down even if were' capable of supporting the load. The best way to find out if it will work is to try it out, assuming you have the inverter.

    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.  
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  • addcoaddco Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    Thank you for the feedback. Time to get some real-world amp readings with the A/C running. 
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 941 ✭✭✭✭
    Or most importantly A/C starting amp readings
  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 425 ✭✭✭✭
    I figure you could run your A/C off of the inverter but not for very long.
    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.
  • DZLDZL Registered Users Posts: 4
    The Victron Multiplus has a very robust surge current capability. I expect it would have no issues running a small A/C with a soft starter (or a minisplit which has low startup surge by design)
  • 12Will123412Will1234 Registered Users Posts: 1
    Had unit in Rv 3 years. Work great untill one day nothing. Check connections, breaker, and fuses in side of unit. Everything check good. Called tech at aims. He said they did not repair and could not supply me with information to fix unit. I ask where can I get it fixed? He said radio tv repair shop, but most of them went out of business years ago. The guy was somewhat rude. I thought he was having a bad day. I thought since I was within driving distance I would go to the aims HQ. There I met an even ruder person. He also sad they did not repair and would not supply a service manual or a wiring diagram. They consider the unit to be a throw away unit when it fails. I told him it cost $1200 and he did not care. I also informed him if I have to replace the unit it will not be with another aims unit. Since they already got my money for the unit he just plain did not care and walk off.. This is very poor customer service. If you buy anything they made, it is buyer beware
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