Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

fishfish Registered Users Posts: 6
Was all set to buy the Xantrex PROwatt SW 2000 - See that Samlex has the SSW-2000-12A out now. I like the extra surge rating (4000) , the "soft start" feature and it weighs less and smaller. Also comes with remote display. Are their any opinions out there yet?

Mods: If this is in the wrong spot, feel free to move it. My apologies ahead of time. It's not my fault - I'm new!
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Comments

  • keyturbocarskeyturbocars Solar Expert Posts: 375 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    Hello Fish,

    I'm not real familiar with either of those models. I have an Xantrex SW 1000 and it works OK.

    What's the price difference between the two? Also, any ideas where the Samlex is manufactured (China or elsewhere)?

    Edward
  • petertearaipetertearai Solar Expert Posts: 464 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    hi I have a xantrex ps1800 12volt inverter.It has operated flawlessly for 5 years.My neighbor also has one running without a hitch.So??? I purchased mine because it was the best priced quality inverter i could find for power and Quality I have not been disappointed.
    2225 wattts pv . Outback 2kw  fxr pure sine inverter . fm80 charge controller . Mate 3. victron battery monitor . 24 volts  in 2 volt Shoto lead carbon extreme batterys. off grid  holiday home 
  • fishfish Registered Users Posts: 6
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    Keyturbocars: Looks like the price difference will be around $60 - $75 dollars. Justified I believe. Not sure where they are actually made. Ships from Samlex in Canada though. ( Could be made elsewhere I know)

    petertearai:Thanks for the input. I did a lot of reading and Xantrex certainly is a quality product. The Prowatt SW 2000 has great reviews for sure. Just happen to see that it is getting a little old and started looking for something newer. The Samlex is brand new, just released.

    Hopefully their will be a review out soon of the Samlex. Take a look at the specs when you have time - looks like some thought went into it.
  • keyturbocarskeyturbocars Solar Expert Posts: 375 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    The specs look impressive on the Samlex.

    http://www.samlexamerica.com/customer_support/pdf/SlickSheets/SSW-2000-12A_Samlex_Specifications.pdf

    I suppose if you need to buy something soon, the Xantrex might be a safer bet because it's been out longer and has a longer track record. If you can wait for a while, then perhaps the Samlex will prove itself equally as reliable.

    Edward
  • BrockBrock Solar Expert Posts: 633 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    About 2 years ago I had both the samlex and xantrex in the 1000w size. I sold the samlex after about 2 weeks. The xantrex, despite having a lower surge capacity actually had a better surge capacity and could start things the samlex wouldn't. I would compare the samlex 1000w to the smaller xantrex I had in the 600w range for surge.

    I don't know if that translates to what is out there now but I thought I would share
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    WHile I don't think either appears to be designed for continuos use, hard wired into a fuse box, the xantrex has some pretty poor reviews at Amazon.

    Xantrex Sw 2000 Bad reviews at Amazon.

    The Samlex at 8.4 lbs It's pretty light for a 2000 watt inverter. I think my cheapy 1400 watt semi pure sine (lots of steps) weighted in at more than that, My hardwire prosine 1800 watt weights around 20lbs. (costs a good bit more)

    The only problem I can see readily with the Samlex is it has a high voltage of 15.3 and if you use flooded batteries, equalizing will tend to run @15.5.
    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 backup...lol), 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.
  • fishfish Registered Users Posts: 6
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    Photowit Thanks for the review link - Had not seen anything negative. Their was a great you tube demo proving the naysayers wrong though.

    Brock Thanks for you opinions - all input counts!

    I think I'll try to wait a while until I see a review of the new Samlex - If I can't wait maybe I'll review it first! lol
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    Well let me tell you a story while I'm at it....

    I was switching from 12 volt system to a 24volt system about 5 years ago, and didn't want the imediate outlay for a qualiity inverter, I knew I wanted a prosine as I had lived on the coast and had them recomended for my boat as being better able to deal withharsh climate, humidity, salt air, and I like to have backups anyway, and I have a job where I can check Ebay and craigslist regularly and look for deals...

    I saw a 1400 watt inverter called a semi sine wave inverter and they poster had a link to a reported curve, showing a pretty nice if choppy wave, they claimed it would be fine for electronics, so I caught one that was ending late at night and picked up a 24 volt inverter for @$120 or so. It worked fine but I wasn't sure it would kick over my small window A/C until a year later when I mover into my newly built cabin, it worked fine with the A/C, but the cooling fan died near the end of summer, during that time I had found a hardwire prosine 1800 watt inverter for $400 delievered (new never installed but 5 years of sitting around)

    While I didn't install the new inverter that summer rather pulled the case apart and ran a 6" O2 cool fan on the inverter until I was done with the A/C and waited to install the Prosine in the Spring.

    I went and checked after I read your post and the same guy is selling the semi sine wave inverters on Ebay, now he only has 2500 watt units. They are stackable so you can find them by searching for "stackable inverter" there are some auctions and some selling for $225 delievered. I have NO experience with these units and actually somewhat poor experience with the 1400 watt as the cooling fan failed, but over all I came out ahead.

    Now after all that, do you happen to be in central Missouri? I did pick up a 12 volt 1800 watt inverrter because the price was just too cheap(think half of what I paid for the other), locally. It looks newish and works fine, but I wouldn't sell it with out a trial period, so I wouldn't want to ship it.

    Hope this helps, Long winded Whit....
    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 backup...lol), 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.
  • petertearaipetertearai Solar Expert Posts: 464 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    Yes I think the Xantrex high voltage set point is 16 volts giving a bit of space when doing an EQ while inverter on.
    2225 wattts pv . Outback 2kw  fxr pure sine inverter . fm80 charge controller . Mate 3. victron battery monitor . 24 volts  in 2 volt Shoto lead carbon extreme batterys. off grid  holiday home 
  • nsaspooknsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?
    fish wrote: »
    Photowit Thanks for the review link - Had not seen anything negative. Their was a great you tube demo proving the naysayers wrong though.

    Brock Thanks for you opinions - all input counts!

    I think I'll try to wait a while until I see a review of the new Samlex - If I can't wait maybe I'll review it first! lol

    I have one connected with 3/0 cables. I tested it on a 400Ah battery pack for a hour at 1500W. It was warm with both fans running but never had a problem.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nsaspook/4399895762/in/set-72157622934371746/
  • fishfish Registered Users Posts: 6
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    Photowit: Thanks for the story and the offer. I'm a long way away from Missouri though. I'll search "stackable inverters" and check them out.

    nsaspook: Thanks for your photo link - quite a testimonial. Nice setup. I do like that SW2000 Xantrex!
  • OptiOpti Registered Users Posts: 10 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    If I can bring back this older thread to ask some follow up questions on the Samlex and Xantrex I'd like any clarification on the inverters I can get.

    The discussion of the Samlex 2000 inverter appears to be for the SSW-2000-12A model. The SSW models look to be the low end versions in their line up and if I compare the Samlex PST line it looks to be as good or maybe a little better??? than the Xantrex PROwatt sine wave line.

    The PST-200S-12A is rated at 4000 surge, 2000 watt continuous where the Xantrex PROwatt SW2000 is rated at 3000 surge, 1800 watts continuous. The PST model looks to be about $100-$200 more the the PROWatt but I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with the PST-200S as I've found no real review on that specific model?

    What would be a "soft start" technology on an inverter? I know of a soft start built into motors but not sure how an inverter would build that in.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    i would not go by the surge watts as it is the continuous watts that count and at 12v who cares if it would be a zillion watts as the losses in the lines would not usually permit it anyway. remember that 2000w at 12v is 166.7a and few would ever normally want to approach that for any real length of time let alone go for currents around 250a or more.

    as to soft starting i am going to guess the they stop or limit the current inrush because that can be hard on the electronics.
  • vcallawayvcallaway Solar Expert Posts: 157 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    I have spent WAY to much money on inverters and can offer some anecdotal info.

    I had one of those "stackable inverters" wired in my home for battery backup. There is a tread here about that. Was switched on and left on for several years. Worked great for just about everything except microwave and refrigerator.

    My motorhome has a ProwattSW 2k inverter. I purchased from Camping World . They currently have them for $389.99. Reason for buying there was two fold. One is they had the best price. Second I purchased the extended warranty from them. I've had good luck with their warrenties, got a problem, take it back and get another one.

    The Prowatt runs 24/7. I have the outlets for the TV, sat receiver and computer only run off the inverter. When we are on the road or not grid connected the entire coach runs off the inverter. The coach has a residential electric refrigerator. The inverter powers it and the microwave with no issues.

    The biggest problem with many of the inverters I looked at was the high voltage cut-off level. The stackable inverter would cut out when my IOTA IQ4 charger was in bulk charge mode. The RV has the same charger plus a Morningstar MPPT charger. Everything plays well together.

    I've never maxed the Prowatt. Biggest load is the microwave at 1100 watts. That never runs more than a couple of minutes and we rarely run it off inverter. Uses too much battery power. I would never even think of trying to run A/C off of it.

    It would be nice if the inverter had a remote display, but using a trimetric meter makes that a non-issue.
  • OptiOpti Registered Users Posts: 10 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    No plans to run above 1200 watts for very long periods but I do want to be able to start up and use some demanding tools such as a high amp worm drive or miter saw if possible for short periods.

    I plan on using the inverter connected to a lithium (LiFePo4) 100 amp hour battery pack which can output 800 amps for short bursts and 300 amps continuous so it should be able to handle 2000W/166.7A at 12V for short periods. And because a lithium battery has a little higher nominal voltage compared to a lead acid the high voltage cut off level is important too. The specs on the Samlex PST-200S-12v says it has a high Input Voltage Shut-down of 16.5V and low of 10V which should be ideal for a lithium battery. The PROwatt SW should work as well with a 15.5V high and 10.5V low voltage cut out.

    Size and weight are important to me which is one of the reasons I'm looking at these smaller inverters which are both under 14 lbs. If I goto any higher wattage inverter the price doubles and weight goes up at least 50% too.

    Thanks for both of your comments. I've had my eye on the Xantrex for some time but feel it won't give me the surge needed for my limited use high current loads. I've just not found anyone who has tried or used the Samlex PST model and would like some practical experience on it first before passing on the PROwatt SW which has a noted track record.
  • ywhicywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    I to am at this point as well.. has anyone done a review on the Samlex PST-2000 w models??

    Leaning heavily toward Xantrex SW2000 due to the pricing being , but then I heard customer service was not so hot.. Samlex I called last week and talked to what seemled like a knowledgeable person.. I called Xantrex and inquired about surge duration in seconds or whatnot and was told.. "I don't know maybe 3-6 seconds"...

    The Samlex SSW-2000 watt model is like $430.. the Xantrex SW2000 is like $340.. the Samlex PST-2000 is at $550 or so..
  • DillDill Solar Expert Posts: 170 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    FWIW, something is wrong with my ProWatt 1000. I notice CFL's flickering once and awhile, and my alarm clock is running about 7 minutes slow per week.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,113 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    Dill,

    Many/most battery only (off-grid) Inverters do not have precise frequency control. So most folks do not bother with AC operated clocks. Here we use Atomic, and small travel alarm clocks on AAs.

    Flourescent lights seem born to flicker. Here the CFLs are not the ones that flicker it is the 4-foot T-12 and T-8s that do. JMHO, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    I've had the Xantrex 1800/12 pure sine for a couple of years now Extremely happy with it, although when the fan does run, it can be a bit noisy. Surge supply is awesome in my opinion. No problem with starting motors, In fact, starts my 8 amp induction motor driven band saw quicker than the grid will. I only wish I could purchase the SW 2000 for $340! Our price here in Canada is over $1200. and to bring it in from the USA, by the time transportation and import duties etc are paid, I might as well buy it here for the full price and bypass all the hassle and added expense :cry::cry:
  • ywhicywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?
    Vic wrote: »
    Dill,

    Many/most battery only (off-grid) Inverters do not have precise frequency control. So most folks do not bother with AC operated clocks. Here we use Atomic, and small travel alarm clocks on AAs.

    Flourescent lights seem born to flicker. Here the CFLs are not the ones that flicker it is the 4-foot T-12 and T-8s that do. JMHO, Vic

    Dill, I dunno the Xantrex Pro SW1000 series (600-2000) are pure sine inverters.. so I dunno why the CFL's would give you issues.. maybe Cariboocoot will weigh in...
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,113 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    Here, none of the few CFLs in use flicker at all. The 4-foot flourescent fixtures flicker when something large starts, like the window A/C in the power room, or the 120 VAC refer. The fixtures flicker only when there is a surge from a motor starting and they are in cold rooms, and frankly are el-cheapo units bought on the basis of price only.

    The old Capsule Flourescent bulbs from the 80s used to flicker at the very end of life None of the LED lights/lamps, here, flicker, altho there are only a few in use just now. YMMV, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • DillDill Solar Expert Posts: 170 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    I'm going to be replacing the CFL's with LED's soon, so I'm not really that upset about the flickering, but the clock thing is what gets me. If I flick that circuit back over to grid power, the problem goes away. It's really strange that a pure sine wave inverter would have a problem like this, isn't it?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,019 admin
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    7 minutes per week / (60min per hour * 24 hours per day * 7 days per week) = 0.0007 = 0.07% error

    Most inverters are probably doing well if they have 1% error... And with a standard AC genset, it is lucky it is not over 3-5% error in frequency.

    Not to say that the Inverter Mfg. could not do better... But they typically do not.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • DillDill Solar Expert Posts: 170 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    well, it's not just CFL's...as a test, I replaced a few of my CFL's with incandescents, and they flicker too. Seems the frequency is off? I think I might rewire my bank for 24V, and try a 24V Samlex at this rate.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,019 admin
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    Flickering... It is not the frequency that is not correct (60 Hz +/- a couple of Hz)--It is usually AC voltage regulation.

    Your eyes will pickup flickers up to around 10-17 Hz maximum frequency or so (as I recall). And if the inverter is otherwise working OK, it may be some load you have that is drawing "current spikes" (high current, low voltage, "flicker" in light). If you are seeing flicker with incandescent bulbs, I would guess the frequency is much lower.

    Check your AC loads (disconnect all non-lighting loads--does flicker remain?). Then check your DC loads/charging (if there are "surging/variable" DC loads or even charging current from a PWM type charge controller--it is possible that the change in DC input voltage is affecting the inverter's AC output voltage).

    I have even seen flicker with my Grid Tied CFL bulbs. I had an outdoor lighting fixture with a couple of CFL flood lamps that were pointing close enough to the day/night sensor that the outdoor lights were turning on and off at dusk/dawn like 10x a second. 20 feet away, in my kitchen, I noticed my CFL's "flickering"... Went outside and saw the newly installed outdoor motion detector lights flickering too--Repositioned the sensor/lights and flicking problem went away (both outside and inside).

    I would not have thought a pair of 13 watt CFL bulbs flickering outside would have affected my inside CFL pair of lamps... But it did (my home is grid tied--did not have GT solar at the time).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?
    Dill wrote: »
    well, it's not just CFL's...as a test, I replaced a few of my CFL's with incandescents, and they flicker too. Seems the frequency is off? I think I might rewire my bank for 24V, and try a 24V Samlex at this rate.

    For the frequency being off causing your lights to flicker, it would have to be WAY off, like down to 25 or 30 Hz instead of roughly 60. Like BB said, 7 minutes out of 10,080 minutes is nothing when it comes to inverters. There may well be a problem somewhere, but it won't be the frequency being off that's causing your lights to flicker. Without seeing the exact extent of the flickering, it's hard to guess at the cause. It COULD be some problem with the voltage regulation circuitry within the inverter, or something as simple as a poor connection somewhere in either the DC or AC circuits. Or, it could be battery voltage sag whenever some device, fridge etc, fires up. I sometimes notice some very slight flicker once in a while with my Morningstar 300 watt inverter, it's so slight and so infrequent, it's not a problem for me, could be something as simple as the charger in my laptop turning on or off. I consider it just the nature of the system.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,019 admin
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    What Wayne said about checking your DC connections--Make them short, heavy, and check that they are tight+clean.

    Also, sometimes "home running" wiring will help.

    Instead of one cable that runs from the power source (inverter/battery bank/etc.), first to the washer then to the computer and finally to the lights... Try running the cord from the lights back directly to the Inverter directly (use an extension cord for a quick and dirty test). Sometimes that is enough to reduce the voltage drop from surging loads to stop the lights from flickering (i.e., inverter output is stable but the long wire run and voltage drop is the problem).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • DillDill Solar Expert Posts: 170 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    thanks, will give that a try. When this is happening is at night when I'm reading in bed. My monitor only shows a ~3amp load at the time. There is probably only 100 feet of cable involved, but I will check the voltages anyways, and try running an extension cord to see if that stops the issue.
  • WxboyWxboy Solar Expert Posts: 70 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    Dill, I have a Xantrex SW2000 and I get flickering as well. From what I can tell it's due to voltage fluctuations and it can be pretty annoying. I was worried that this would be bad for my electronics but they don't seem to care but I would rather not have it happening. I called Xantrex and they said it was the first they had heard of flickering with CFL's. For some reason the voltage on the Xantrex seems to jump around a bit even when the load isn't changing. I can understand seeing a voltage drop and thus a change in light output when adding a sudden load but when loads aren't changing I don't think it should be happening. Other than that I love the inverter. It stays well withing it's voltage specs but the lights don't seem to like the small sudden voltage fluctuations(1-3V) that happen.
  • ywhicywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?
    Dill wrote: »
    thanks, will give that a try. When this is happening is at night when I'm reading in bed. My monitor only shows a ~3amp load at the time. There is probably only 100 feet of cable involved, but I will check the voltages anyways, and try running an extension cord to see if that stops the issue.

    Maybe if thats the only load running the system sense low draw and cycles on/off.. I know certain other brands have a low-draw circuit (aka standby voltage sense).. maybe the 3 amps isn't enough.. is that 3 amps AC or 3 AMPS DC??

    WxBoy.. is that when you have that issue as well with just them running?? or other high power draw occuring??

    Specs from the Xantrex manual:

    Output voltage (nominal) 120 Vac RMS ±5%
    Output voltage range 104–127 Vac
    Output waveform True sine wave
    Output frequency 60 Hz ±0.5Hz
    Efficiency Approximately 85–90%


    Specs from the Samlex SSW manual:

    Output Voltage 115 VAC (±5 VAC)
    Output frequency 60 Hz (± 1Hz)
    Output waveform Pure Sine Wave
    Peak effiency 90%
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