Information about switch to protect inverter

halfwrighthalfwright Registered Users Posts: 15
I guess I have been lucky for 3 years. I have been remembering to turn off my inverter in my fifth wheel before using shore power or generator. It was easy because i was staying on one source or the other for long periods. Now, we are going to be set up in a spot with generator power and I will be changing to battery power at night so we won't have to listen to a generator. I will be doing this daily and don't want to forget. Is there am automatic switch I can put in front of the inverter to protect it from other power sources? The inverter is wired to both legs of the breaker box using 2 extention cords both plugged into the inverter.

You guys here were a great help when I built my system and it has been doing great for three years.

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Information about switch to protect inverter

    What you want is called an AC transfer switch. They can be automatic (pricey) or manual (less expensive). Examples: http://www.solar-electric.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=transfer+switch&cat=0

    Be sure to get one that fits the Voltage and current required.

    More expensive inverters have them built in.
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: Information about switch to protect inverter

    A simple double pole double throw "knife" switch with suitable amp rating is all you need.. Mechanical yes. but lifespan and reliability forever .+ or - 3 days.. Automatic manufactured ones are also usually ok if good quality
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Information about switch to protect inverter
    john p wrote: »
    A simple double pole double throw "knife" switch with suitable amp rating is all you need.. Mechanical yes. but lifespan and reliability forever .+ or - 3 days.. Automatic manufactured ones are also usually ok if good quality
    Only down side to a knife switch, or at least what we call a knife switch in this country, is all the exposed, electrically charged parts that could at times even be charged with both inverter power AND "shore power", which could make for some very interesting results if you're not very careful. The transfer switch encloses those otherwise dangerous parts, making for a much safer installation. I'd go with manual transfer, no need for it to be automatic. No big deal to flip a switch when you change to or from "shore power".
    Cheers.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,741 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Information about switch to protect inverter

    One more consideration: grounding. The shore power has its neutral bonded to ground.

    Where is the neutral bonded to ground in the RV? If it's in the RV electrical panel you may need a special transfer switch that breaks the RV bond between neutral and ground when you use shore power.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Information about switch to protect inverter
    vtmaps wrote: »
    One more consideration: grounding. The shore power has its neutral bonded to ground.

    Where is the neutral bonded to ground in the RV? If it's in the RV electrical panel you may need a special transfer switch that breaks the RV bond between neutral and ground when you use shore power.

    --vtMaps

    Or remove that bon and put one on the inverter's output before the transfer switch, provided said switch operates on the neutral line as well as the hot(s).
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