A mistake in inverter choice?

santaigosantaigo Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭
I'm thinking I may have goofed in my choice of an inverter/charger:
Xantrex TR1520-120-60, a msw inverter (see thread on Bosch tool not working).
As far as I can see, I will never use the charger function. My gen set is a Honda EU2000 and the manual for the TR1512 says the following:

"The generator must be of the permanently installed type and not a portable type used for emergency purposes (i.e. no cord-connected generators are permitted). Small emergency-type (lower power) generators may not have a stable enough voltage for the inverter to synchronize to or provide enough current to fully charge the batteries."

If I follow this I will simply charge the batteries directly from the generator with a standard 25 amp 12v battery charger. A standard portable Xantrex 1500 watt charger costs about $150 instead of about $650 for my unit. I have a hard time believing that the $500 difference is only due to the charging capabilities and if so, there must be something about the inverting function that is superior to the $150 model. Is this right? What would you have done with the 'extra' $500?

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: A mistake in inverter choice?

    Just my opinion, but I think the boys at Xantrex were inhaling too much helium that day.
    I run my Outback from a Honda EU2000i - no problem. Will it provide the full 80 Amp charge capacity? Nope. You just program the input limits. If the TR1512 can't do this, what good is it? In my experience the Honda's inverter output is cleaner and more stable than many utility power connections.

    Keep in mind there is a difference in charge functions between an inverter charger and a standard auto-type battery charger. It's all about that 3-stage thing that deep cycles need to perform properly and last. The TR1512 should provide programmable functions for that too. If not, it's no good.

    You can buy a 1500 Watt pure sine Samlex for around $600 (not good with surges though) and Iota charger for about $150. Is that any better? You tell me; it's your money.

    If you need the 1500 Watts and the pure sine and the proper charge capabilities you have to spend the money.
  • santaigosantaigo Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭
    Re: A mistake in inverter choice?
    I run my Outback from a Honda EU2000i - no problem. Will it provide the full 80 Amp charge capacity? Nope. You just program the input limits. If the TR1512 can't do this, what good is it? In my experience the Honda's inverter output is cleaner and more stable than many utility power connections.

    I'm guessing you simply took a heavy duty extension cord and cut the female end off and attached to the Outback's A/C input terminals or made a small pigtail to do the same thing?
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: A mistake in inverter choice?
    santaigo wrote: »
    I'm guessing you simply took a heavy duty extension cord and cut the female end off and attached to the Outback's A/C input terminals or made a small pigtail to do the same thing?

    Yes; 12 gauge. Start gen, plug in, switches over. No worries! :D
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Re: A mistake in inverter choice?

    I still have a relatively small homebrew setup, but it works very well.

    Last year I bought a Xantrex PROwatt SW 2000 inverter for $349. Rated for 1800W continuous, 2000W for minutes, and a 3000W surge. No built-in battery charger, but is a Pure Sine Wave type inverter.

    I also bought an Iota 75 Amp charger on Ebay. Gently used, for a tad over $100.00 Works great.

    Being the geek that I am, all hardware gets tested. I have a 900W solar array, but if there's an outage due to a hurricane, can't rely on solar alone to replenish the battery bank. Plan B is a Yamaha EF2400iS generator, connected to the Iota charger, via a 12 ga extension cord.

    DSCN6134-1.JPG

    DSCN6132-1.JPG

    dscn4134-1.jpg

    I only use the Iota charger as needed. Solar takes care of the daily usage unless there's a major outage, and my critical loads are run for long periods on alt-power. My generator is a little larger than yours, but it EASILY provided 73+ Amps via the Iota charger. Don't see a reason the Honda 2KW wouldn't perform equally as well.

    MSW inverters work great with most items. They don't like inductive loads (motors, transformers, microwaves, etc), but will often still work with them. Motors will likely turn slower and hum, transformers will run warmer, microwaves take longer to heat foods and also hum. "Some" cordless too battery chargers won't work with MSW inverters at all. To avoid any potential issues, I also bought a 12V charger (has a DC-DC converter) for my 18V Dewalt tools.

    Some of my gear runs on 400W MSW inverters (indoor & outdoor lighting). The larger items (fridges, HDTVs, washing machine, etc) are operated on the PSW inverter.

    Prices have really come down on PSW inverters since I first purchased a 1500W MSW in the late 80s. I wouldn't buy a large MSW inverter these days.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: A mistake in inverter choice?
    2manytoyz wrote: »

    dscn4134-1.jpg

    I only use the Iota charger as needed.

    Uh, I hope so, looks like the cooling fan will be FIGHTING against natural convection flow? Or did I mount mine upside down ??
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: A mistake in inverter choice?
    mike90045 wrote: »
    Uh, I hope so, looks like the cooling fan will be FIGHTING against natural convection flow? Or did I mount mine upside down ??
    Was thinking the same thing. If it is mounted upside down, heat that would normally be escaping the vent holes via convection, would instead soak "up" into heat sensitive areas of the inverter, possibly shortening it's life.
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Re: A mistake in inverter choice?

    Per Iota: The IOTA Power Converter/Battery Charger can be mounted
    in any position within an enclosed or interior compartment. Provide sufficient air space to allow unrestricted airflow in and around the unit.


    Reference: http://www.iotaengineering.com/pplib/dlsmanl.pdf

    Having owned RVs, I can tell you first hand these are often put inside a basement storage compartment, with almost no airflow.

    Mine is mounted on a garage wall, with plenty of air circulation. "Ideally", it could be mounted the other direction so convection airflow could aid in cooling. Realistically, it barely gets warm in use, and AC wiring going in, and the DC wiring coming out, is on one end. Made more sense to me to have all the wires hanging down.

    Iota says it's okay, so that's why I mounted it as I did. ;)
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