Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing

2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
Not long ago, a pure sine wave inverter was a luxury item. Very expensive, so many of us bought modified sine wave inverters. They usually worked well, but there are always exceptions. Times change, technology improves, prices drop. Now for about $325, you can own a sine wave inverter.

The Prowatt series is pretty bare bones. You can get an optional remote power switch, but that's about it. No remote display, no power save feature, no built-in charger, no transfer switch, etc. For for the price, not found anything better.

The quality of the waveform is better than the grid at my house.

dscn4933.jpg

The no load idle current actually measures rather low. The specification says <0.8 Amps. Here's the actual current from mine. I checked it a couple of times, and verified a good zero between tests. It did initially spike near 0.8A, but quickly dropped to 0.32A, and stayed there.

dscn7736.jpg

Amazon had mixed reviews of this product. Some of the reviews claim it can't supply the rated wattage, some even claim it can't supply a 1000W, let alone the 2000W (5 minutes) or 1800W continuous. Tonight I decided to do my own full test.

[video=youtube_share;DxHfh91mcf8]

I'd love to have a fancy Outback setup with all the options, but that's beyond my budget. This inverter is well within my budget, and works great. I'm not affiliated with anyone, or any company. Just thought it was time this product got a fair review. :cool:

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,367 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing

    Nice review!

    Wish they made a 24V version, I'd have one as a spare as inexpensive as they are.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing
    2manytoyz wrote: »

    Amazon had mixed reviews of this product. Some of the reviews claim it can't supply the rated wattage, some even claim it can't supply a 1000W, let alone the 2000W (5 minutes) or 1800W continuous. Tonight I decided to do my own full test.
    :cool:



    Maybe Amazon just plugged anything in they thought was 1000W of load when it was something with a very low power factor ??

    If so, they could have been trying to power something that had a very high VA draw and so overloaded it that way ??

    Or, maybe they can't power the thing up correctly or just don't know what they're doing ??

    boB
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing
    boB wrote: »
    Maybe Amazon just plugged anything in they thought was 1000W of load when it was something with a very low power factor ??

    If so, they could have been trying to power something that had a very high VA draw and so overloaded it that way ??

    Or, maybe they can't power the thing up correctly or just don't know what they're doing ??

    boB

    To be clear, it wasn't the Amazon company that supplied the negative reviews, but rather customers posting reviews. It was a mixed bag. Some say it's great, some don't. But those who had a poor experience didn't list their setup. It's also not a forum, so people don't get to ask questions of the poster.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing

    the power factor was left out of the readings along with ac voltage sag if any. i'm quite sure the dc voltage sagged a good bit though.
    the only resistive load present is the heat gun's heating element as the rest will impose a pf.
    i like your plexiglass covers to help prevent accidents.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,367 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing
    2manytoyz wrote: »
    ...It's also not a forum, so people don't get to ask questions of the poster.
    You actually can ask questions of the reviewer, and some have asked about the setup. Not sure if I asked any questions while I was checking it out, I think for Al. I know one of the reviews was actualy for a 'prosine' rather than a 'prowatt' and most of the prosines I've seen are pretty bomb proof.

    Not sure if prowatt gives any problem code, but I'd guess all the 'problems' are from low DC voltage, from poor set up's.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing

    My neighbour has one. It didn't work worth beans.
    Until we removed the laddered bank of defective 12 Volt "bargain" batteries and replaced it with a couple of good ones.

    90% of the problems with these or any other name brand 12 Volt inverter can be traced to DC input mistakes such as insufficient battery capacity or (especially) wiring size.

    Can't get out what you don't put in.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing
    My neighbour has one. It didn't work worth beans.
    Until we removed the laddered bank of defective 12 Volt "bargain" batteries and replaced it with a couple of good ones.

    90% of the problems with these or any other name brand 12 Volt inverter can be traced to DC input mistakes such as insufficient battery capacity or (especially) wiring size.

    Can't get out what you don't put in.
    Right in line with my first experience with my then brand new Prosine 1800.
    Just wanted to be sure it was working OK before I went to all the trouble of properly installing it. So what did I do? Quick connected with automotive jumper cables! Well my heart sank. It wouldn't do much more than light a traditional 100 watt light bulb! What was I to do? Definitely a warranty issue, had to be. Thoughts of shipping it back through border customs and all that goes with that drove me to one final desperate test before I started that cross border nightmare. I used short cables and properly connected them to the batteries, turned it on and couldn't believe the results! That thing suddenly would do almost everything but start a Boeing 747! Was that ever an eye opener! Just hadn't realized the voltage drop using normal booster cable clamps. A real eye opener.
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing
    niel wrote: »
    the power factor was left out of the readings along with ac voltage sag if any. i'm quite sure the dc voltage sagged a good bit though.
    the only resistive load present is the heat gun's heating element as the rest will impose a pf.
    i like your plexiglass covers to help prevent accidents.

    Good observations. Followed up with this video tonight:

    [video=youtube_share;cwx5fWtHcs8]

    Is anyone with another setup (Outback maybe) able to perform similar tests? Just wondering how this cheap inverter compares to the high dollar ones.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing

    robert,
    was the 11.6 shown on the back of the inverter the voltage at the inverter as the video got stuck at that point? one can figure the v drop very easily from that if that is the dc voltage reaching the inverter. i am quite surprised by the pf the a/c gave. is there something there compensating for the compressor and fan's pf either in the a/c or external?

    while you are at it state the gauge of wire from the battery bank and its length so that others who wish to run 200a at 12v realize what a huge draw it really is and that shorter heavier cables would be needed to run this consistently.
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing
    niel wrote: »
    robert,
    was the 11.6 shown on the back of the inverter the voltage at the inverter as the video got stuck at that point? one can figure the v drop very easily from that if that is the dc voltage reaching the inverter. i am quite surprised by the pf the a/c gave. is there something there compensating for the compressor and fan's pf either in the a/c or external?

    while you are at it state the gauge of wire from the battery bank and its length so that others who wish to run 200a at 12v realize what a huge draw it really is and that shorter heavier cables would be needed to run this consistently.

    I've noticed when videos are embedded in messages on this forum, they tend to stutter. Wasn't sure if that was on my end or not. Plays fine on YouTube directly. Here's the link: http://youtu.be/cwx5fWtHcs8

    The battery bank was at 12.08V, the inverter was at 11.6V, as you indicated. I'm using 4/0 cable, about 5' long. There's also a 250A Class T fuse, and a Blue Sea power switch, and the 500A shunt for the LinkPRO meter in the circuit. Xantrex recommends 4/0 cable...

    dscn5725.jpg

    The power factor on the A/C is suprisingly good. It will vary some as the head pressure builds up, but it generally stays above 94%. It has not been modified, nor is there anything else compensating. I made a longer video a little while back, and the Kill-A-Watt power strip is periodically displaying PF. http://youtu.be/SxV7rv5wTUg

    My Iota 75A charger on the other hand, has a terrible PF!

    While my battery bank and inverter "can" run such a heavy load, this was merely a test of the system. My goal is only to run smaller loads (fridge, lights, tv, fan, computer, etc) during extended outages, and larger loads (shop power tools) infrequently.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing

    thanks for the tests robert as i'm sure many out there will benefit by seeing them. it is important that others realize that fuses and other items inline will often add to the v drop. it should also be noted that items with poor pf being run will diminish what one may be able to run. had all your loads been .6pf this may not have been the same outcome. in general, i'd say not bad for a cheaper psw inverter.
  • dhsoladhsola Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing

    Thanks for posting your tests of the SW2000. Helpful info since we just ordered this inverter for basically the same "smaller" loads as you stated. (We currently have the SW600. Three years, no problems).

    Update: The new SW2000 runs our old 1950's (manual defrost) fridge just fine.
    And that's with temporary 1 gauge interconnects and two, 4 ft. long, 2 gauge inverter cables per positive and negative connections (four 230 Ah, 6v Costco batteries).
    The PF on this fridge starts at about .65 and by the end of it's cycle it's at .5
    DC voltage drop with only the fridge load, .3
    AC voltage drop after startup (at the inverter outlet), 2volts (118.4)
    This was with the fridge plugged in to two, 25 ft, #12 extension cords
    Interesting, the Prowatt's digital readout showed the load to be quite a bit less than the kil-o-watt has showed in the past. Better re-check!
  • OceanOcean Registered Users Posts: 46 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing

    Hey Fellas, I'm new to this forum. I joined mainly because I noticed several of you have Xantrex Prosine 1800 inverters. I also have a Prosine 1800 (24V). I love my little Prosine BUT I did a terrible thing: I blew it out. I tried starting a compressor with it, (which I had done successfully in the past) - and this time the motor would not spin up, and my Prosine shut down with a DC-DC Fault. Of course I unplugged the compressor too late. But I thought "no problem" -just restart. But when I did restart something was wrong. Even though the display looks right, my equipment wouldn't operate.... so I checked the voltage coming out and discovered 65 volts instead of the normal 120. SOOOOO disappointed and sad!!! This thing has served me well for 5 years and I was hoping for 10 more. Anyways, I took the cover off to inspect for burn marks or anything... found nothing. However, I did notice two leads coming from the main POS - each going to a separate Toroidal Coil of wire, mounted to the heat sink. On the other side of that sink are two transformers. With the unit ON (no load, reading 65 volts), I put my clamp meter over each lead and discovered that one lead shows current, and the other shows none.

    Well, that's the story. I have since found a good deal locally on a Trace PS2524, which I am very grateful for... but I would still love to have that Prosine back in running condition. Anyone with any ideas??? How to determine the exact part that needs replacement... or who might be a good reliable source to do the work? Anyways, thanks and keep up the good work Going Solar.

    -Ocean
  • vcallawayvcallaway Solar Expert Posts: 157 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 testing

    Old thread but thought I would add.

    I put a prowatt 2k in my motorhome about 2 1/2 years ago. It has been on pretty much all the time. I run 4/0 cables into a bank of 4 6v (Costco brand) batteries. I have an IOTA dls90 iq4 charger and ~ 400 w solar.

    I did some load testing on mine when I first installed it and my wifes 1500 watt electric tea pot is about the only thing I tell her not to run on it. Mostly because it drains the batteries too fast.

    I run a couple of LED tv's, sat receivers, computers, printers and an electric refrigerator. My shop vac pulls 9 amps and also works great on this inverter.

    Great little inverter for the price. I agree with some of the previous posts. People who complain about this inverter are probably under wiring it.
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