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What exactly is an inverter?

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  • What exactly is an inverter?

    On Wagntails vans it offers inverter option. What exactly is it - is it worth it?

    Thanks

  • #2
    In simple terms
    a gene MAKES power an inverter STORES power.
    An inverter takes the power stored in a bunch of batteries and converts it into usable energy for your grooming equipment. It's quiet and I rarely see people complaining about their inverters. If I could I would have an inverter over a gene. Of course, being that it stores power and you have to charge it (different systems work differently) if you aren't careful sometimes you can run out. Some systems can charge off the engine while it's running.
    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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    • #3
      Thanks.

      Do you find its worth it? If you have an inverter and a generator...does it really make a difference overall?
      I am trying to figure out if it something that would be beneficial or something that is just and extra cost.

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      • #4
        My van has an inverter system with 10 deep cycle golf cart batteries. I can run pretty much all day on just stored power. After 6 months of plugging into client's homes, no water pump, no water heater, it is all fixed, (just have to test and maybe replace one or two batteries), I am good to go; haven't had any issues. Love the quiet; no gene, no exhaust.
        I just flip a switch and everything works.
        I plug in overnight at home to recharge the batteries.
        Deidre

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        • #5
          I hate to disagree with ya, Mylovelyladyfriend, but you are somewhat incorrect. An inverter does not STORE power; it converts power. Some inverters do come with their own on-board battery, but their purpose is to change the type of power, not store it.

          A power inverter is a device that converts Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC) safely. Direct current is the type of electricity that works simultaneously to positive and negative electrical poles. For example, it is the type of electrical current found inside a battery. Alternating current, is the type of voltage found in the home. The two types, AC and DC are incompatible. You cannot run an AC appliance with DC power - unless you have an inverter.

          An inverter allows you to use "plug-in" style appliances utilizing an automotive electrical system by converting the DC from the batteries (where the power is stored) to useable AC. You can buy small inverters that plug into your Honda's cigarette lighter and provide 2 to 4 outlets to plug in everything from a DVD player to a small refrigerator, depending on the capacity of the vehicle.
          Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
          George Sand (1804 - 1876)

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          • #6
            Puppyfluffer, you are correct and sooooo technical :-) In my van I have 2 inverters- 1 has 4 deep cell batteries hooked to it and it converts the 12v of batteries to the 120 my clippers, dryers, etc need. The other inverter I bought from Target for about $40 and it plugs into the cigarette lighter- it immediately converts the power from my engine battery to run my computer and 2 usb plug ins.

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            • #7
              I chose an Inverter

              system for my first convert...best decision I ever made. I'm still using the batteries, inverter and charger from that unit, and they are going strong. When my first mobile died, it took me just 72 hours of down time to have my back-up unit ready to roll, again with the inverter, charger and 8 bats... as I head into my 3rd project, they will be changed over once that unit is ready for the onboard power. I check them every 4-5 months, add water, and I'm good to go. That's it. Nothing else.

              I do use amp-wise equipment, and I am aware of when not to waste my on-board power. But never had an issue of running out of power or coming close to it. And I have done as many as 10 Bichons in a day with this system and still had plenty of power left over.

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              • #8
                So if a van has a commercial generator would it be wise or waste to invest another several THOUSAND dollars on an inverter? If this inverter covers just the outlets///but I would have to use the generator for a/c and the hv dryer...overall is that worth it?

                I like the idea of quiet and saving on using the generator...however...for several grand, and considering I still have to turn the generator on for the dryer and ac -

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                • #9
                  You technical little ..... LOL
                  I was trying to simplify what the inverter SYSTEM (I'm sitting here laughing ya know) is. The SYSTEM (which I forgot to specify LOL) is usually for us mobiles an inverter and batteries. The batteries store the power and the inverter converts it to usable energy. You are too funny, and thanks for catching that. LOL
                  What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                  • #10
                    LOL! Well, my in-laws live off the grid and rely completely on solar power to run everything from lights to computers. Wise power management is the watchword of the day and god help you if you leave the bathroom light on - you'll never hear the end of it. There's this 2 sq.ft. digital control panel on the wall of the kitchen that constantly shows the amps being drawn from the batts. I think my father in law watches that thing almost as much as the Weather Channel (which is MTV for old people). He also has a 6 kw diesel generator the size of a VW beetle that runs his 3-story wood/metal/auto shop. I know how that works, too.

                    See, he spent, llike, $10K on this ginormous battery bank and inverter set up. Oh, and he's a retired electronics and shop teacher. AND he's one of those people who will talk you into a coma if you get him started with a simple question like, "So, Dad....how does this work anyway?" Silly me. And I knew that, too.

                    I know more about solar power, electrical systems, generators, inverters, amps vs. amp hours, Ohm's law, wiring colors (black, brown, red, orange, young, green, blue, violet, gray, white), voltage, wattage, and other sundry terms than I ever wanted to. On the plus side, I can fix just about anything...
                    Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
                    George Sand (1804 - 1876)

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