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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    1,402

    Default Learning inverter

    If you know nothing about inverter but going to have one in your van, what's the best place to learn. Is there a book or website for beginners?

  2. #2

    Default

    Pull up a manual online and the University of hardknocks. Is this a preowned, or new purchase? This would be helpful info. Generally speaking, alot of the use of the inverter will have to do with where you live and the climate. Will you have exhaust fans in your unit, hope so. Even in one of the hotest states in the Country (AZ) I can get a good 1000 hours saved on my generator per year by using the inverter. In most cases you can run everything except your AC or A high amperage dryer like K92. When you are ready to dry or want to turn on AC you need to switch over to generator power, dry the dog and turn the gen set off and your back to inverter power. If the outside temp is under 80 degrees or whatever your comfort level is and you got your exhaust fans circulating the air through your van, you're golden. Just have to charge the batteries every night.

    Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    1,402

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Petagreemobilespa View Post
    Pull up a manual online and the University of hardknocks. Is this a preowned, or new purchase? This would be helpful info. Generally speaking, alot of the use of the inverter will have to do with where you live and the climate. Will you have exhaust fans in your unit, hope so. Even in one of the hotest states in the Country (AZ) I can get a good 1000 hours saved on my generator per year by using the inverter. In most cases you can run everything except your AC or A high amperage dryer like K92. When you are ready to dry or want to turn on AC you need to switch over to generator power, dry the dog and turn the gen set off and your back to inverter power. If the outside temp is under 80 degrees or whatever your comfort level is and you got your exhaust fans circulating the air through your van, you're golden. Just have to charge the batteries every night.

    Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk
    Good info and i think the generator savings is great. I am going mobile and have much to learn about inverter too. I am probably buying used so hopefully I will get some instruction if they have a good working condition setup.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northern NV
    Posts
    4,266

    Default

    Really there isn't much too it. Know your loads (a simple amps to watts converter can help you there). It's as simple as a flip of a switch. Charge every night, and if like me you run on just your inverter, get an isolator or another device so you charge while driving. That has saved my butt. Wish I would have done it from the get go.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1,509

    Default

    I was looking at battery cars and they take around an hour or hour and half to charge fully. How long does it take to charge up an inverter system that was say pretty low before charging?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    672

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeedoodlepoodle View Post
    I was looking at battery cars and they take around an hour or hour and half to charge fully. How long does it take to charge up an inverter system that was say pretty low before charging?
    Generally longer then that by far. It depends on how much you draw the batteries down how big the battery bank is how well and how fast the charger works and the type of batteries will play a role as well. Also the temperature of the battery through out the charge cycle. The hour to an hour and a half you mention for an electric car is over simplified, it's a sales pitch. Cars use lithium ion batteries which are only fast to charge under the right conditions. The rest of the time the charge time increases. I would have to suspect most of the time for most people it is a good rule to leave the van on charge if it is not in use for a lot of reasons. The chargers should be the type that will detect the condition of the battery and do what is required. when the batteries are charged up the charger should sense the condition and stop charging. Batteries will self discharge to a very tiny degree just sitting not connected to anything. It's not enough to even notice unless it is left for a number of months. The thing to consider is cumulative effects. Left for long periods of time performance will diminish in the batteries ability to fully charge measured in capacity not voltage. That you will notice as a short lived battery. To be specific the number of years of service. If it was an RV or a boat you would be thinking about a charge maintainer to keep the batteries up over the off season which is for us old people a trickle charger. You would go a lot further too learn about batteries in more detail but it is time consuming and very hard to filter the wheat from the chaff of the information you will run into. I kept the answer as un science like as possible. Now if you want to go the other way, we can surely see if the internet can run out of space.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northern NV
    Posts
    4,266

    Default

    I have a bank of five AGM batteries and they usually charge in about six hours. Less if I've run the engine a lot during the day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,646

    Default

    But how many mobile groomers have a solar panel that does some charging during the day from their truck?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    672

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 123Linda View Post
    But how many mobile groomers have a solar panel that does some charging during the day from their truck?
    There was a gal who placed 4 ? panels on a trailer a while back. Large panels which nearly covered the roof . You might want to hunt her down and ask her some questions about how they performed in relation to a mobile. my personal experiences with panels on a rv was that the height of the vehicle limits the number of panels as much as the space. Then you have to consider the frequency which your not in direct sun light. seasonally the charging changes due to solar inclination. In the end for me it was a good learning experience but I didnt feel it was very practical nor was the performance due to the limitations. If i said "maybe one day when the tech improves" I would not feel comfortable knowing thats not true. Politics have held the technology back since the 70's. It's not worth the stress to even think about it. There is one thing worth thinking about. All the things you would need to improve to make solar a possible source of power can also be applied to reduce the traditional sources of power. That in my mind would be the first step because you can take from that what you save and apply it to the solar expense. I know your only thinking a panel or two to off set running the engine but one or two panels wont produce as much as the alternator in the end over the period of time you'll need it to. Plus you can install a higher output alternator in most cases.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    389

    Default

    I got good training from the people I bought both my first used unit and then my new unit. Should be part of the sale.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    671

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 123Linda View Post
    But how many mobile groomers have a solar panel that does some charging during the day from their truck?
    Don't know about trucks, but for vans - Not many.

    On a regular van between 2 fans and an air conditioner that doesn't leave you with much space for panels ,and no room for panels that wont be at least partially blocked at some point.

    They are always a good idea as long as use good wiring and controllers.

    Having some autonomy sitting parked not plugged in is good to protect against phantom loads and self discharge from killing your expensive batteries.

    Being able to keep the depth of discharge a bit lower during the day is helpful in terms of overall cycles vs lifespan.

    Good rule of thumb RV'ers use is you will get "about" 30 12V AH a day in the summer from an unblocked modern 100 watt panel and good controller and wiring.

    Rated against the size of your bank you can get relative idea on how much or little this means to you as a % of what can get.

    Example I have about a 440 AH bank. One 100 watt solar panel a full day in the sun in the summer will replenish "about" 6.8% of my bank at 100% depletion.








    UD
    Last edited by Uncle Dave; 10-30-17 at 12:34 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1,400

    Default

    My friends Odyssey some years ago did that.

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