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Author Topic: Alternator, Batteries, Inverter Question  (Read 4875 times)
NeoplanAN440
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« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2010, 01:40:28 PM »

if you dont have long times without power or driving,i still would go on a 200ah bank.

the cheapest starter battery bank would be 4 golf cart batteries from sams club. (about $70)a piece.
you have to have them vented outside or in a enclosed box with a good vent to the outside!
if you go with sealed the price goes up.

a set of these will run a normal fridge and other small things plus inverter search mode for about a 24h.
if you take out the defrost mode in the fridge (small timer next to the thermostat) even longer.

you have to watch the cable size and lenght,when placing your batteries.

for the sw4024 i went with 4/0 cable less then 10 feet. (the xantrex manual also covers a lot on this)
i have my battery box next to the inverter in the rear.also the wiring from the main bank or in my case i went from the 50dnshould be sized right!!!!!!
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Sean
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« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2010, 03:14:01 PM »

... Approximately how big or how small of a house battery bank would I need to do this setup to just run the a/c and fridge WHILE the coach is running? ...


As I wrote earlier, it really does not matter.  The only thing the batteries will be doing will be providing a quick bump of current when the AC or fridge compressor starts; otherwise, the alternator will supply all of it.  Anything used from the batteries in this way will be quickly replaced by the massive alternator.

A bigger issue is the drain while you are parked.  I know you said you can't imagine the case, but I can.  You are driving down the road, and decide to stop for lunch for an hour.  Or you pull into the Flying-J, where it takes you half an hour to fuel up.

While you may not be running air conditioners then (and as I wrote earlier I strongly recommend you set them up so that they shut down with the engine, unless you are plugged in), you will certainly want the fridge to stay running.  Plus the inverter itself has some idle current, and whatever other house loads you have running (vent fans, lights, alarms, etc.).

Of these, the fridge will be the biggest consumer.  If you can tell us more about your fridge requirements, we can guess at battery capacity.  Also, if you will not have a genny, then you need to make an estimate of the longest stop you'll need to make without being plugged in.  But to be honest, I think you are taking a big risk if you can't power your fridge and whatever else you normally use (besides A/C) for at least a full day -- you never know when you might be stuck someplace.

-Sean
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NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2010, 04:48:29 PM »

the old trace sw4024 has a 60 amp tranfer witch built in,  will sychronizee with campground ac, will start genny and sychronise it, and shut it down, if needed  just to name a few of the things it will do for you. Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2010, 05:14:34 PM »

I agree with the quality of the "old" Trace/Heart/Xantrex products.  For features they are my pic also.  Problem is that they are not repairable.  Don't take my word call the factory auth repair and tell them you have a Xantrex/Trace number XXXXX and ask for an estimate for repairs.  The most expensive replaceable item is a $200 PC board, not counting the transformer and they said they wanted the cost of a new unit for repair charges up front and they could not guarantee it wouldn't cost more.  This is more of that "we'll consolidate and pass the savings along to the consumer.  SURE!  I think all of Xantrex is made in China now.  Dick Wright QUIT selling Xantrex last time I checked and the reason was horrid fact support.  You might look at Magnum...Dick Wright sells those.  Dick Wright advertises in BCM and his shop is down the street from me and he will talk genny or inverter or battery bank or anything else anytime.


I think Outback is made in Australia and is he best available....I think.

John
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« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2010, 08:07:36 PM »

...Problem is that they are not repairable.

While Xantrex is loathe to touch these any more, there are quite a few independent shops that repair them.  If you have a problem with an SW series inverter, I have a guy who can fix it.  FWIW.

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....  Dick Wright QUIT selling Xantrex last time I checked ...

Dick sells new product.  Xantrex quit making the SW series years ago -- that's why Dick doesn't sell them any more.  Remember, too, Dick is in business to make money.  I would not read too much into what Dick does or does not carry.

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I think Outback is made in Australia and is he best available....I think.

"The outback" is in Australia.  Outback Power Systems is in Arlington, Washington, where Trace used to be (Outback was started by ex-Trace folks fed up with Xantrex).  Like all technology companies, their manufacturing is contracted globally, mostly to Asia.  I do not believe there is any Australian content in any Outback products.  FWIW, the restaurants have nothing to do with OZ either.

the old trace sw4024 has a 60 amp tranfer witch built in,  ...


I am a big fan of the SW series, but, frankly, the transfer switch is all but useless for conversions.  I have a long detailed explanation of why and how to work around this, but the short version is that it is a single-pole switch, and you need at least two and preferably three poles for it to be useful.

This is the reason why most conversion installations (including those by, umm, Dick Wright) don't even use the internal switch, and make use only of the AC2 input, with AC1 completely disconnected.  FWIW.

I keep thinking I ought to write an article about this particular shortcoming, since so many conversions are using the SW inverters.

-Sean
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« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2010, 11:16:21 PM »

Sean,

What are the sources that will repair a Heart Inverter.  I need help once again.

Thanks,

John
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« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2010, 12:09:49 AM »

John,

The guy I would suggest would again be Edo.  IIRC, you talked with him once about a Heart unit, although I know he is really a Trace guy.

Hearts are a bit more trouble than the old Trace stuff, for a variety of reasons.  The logic boards for many of the older units are simply unavailable now, unlike the Trace units discontinued more recently.

I know there are perhaps a dozen shops that work on older Xantrex gear, but I am afraid I don't have a list.

FWIW, I don't recommend Xantrex myself anymore, with the sole exception being the SW series inverters.  These units are long discontinued, so your only options there are used or refurbished, unless you stumble across a NOS unit.  And the only reason I continue to recommend these, even with all their drawbacks such as the nearly worthless transfer switch and the hokey ground/neutral bonding problem, is that they are still to this day the only units with the ability to do "load support."  We use that feature all the time here aboard Odyssey, and I wouldn't trade it for any one of the brand new models from Victron, Magnum, Outback, or anyone else.

For those who don't have this need, I generally recommend Magnum.  Outback, while a good product, has chosen to focus on the fixed AE market, which has different requirements.  Victron is focused on the marine market.

-Sean
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« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2010, 12:41:45 AM »

Sean,

Edo started off with such promise.  He sent me the wrong schematic and then wouldn't return my calls.  I was shoving money at him and wanted to hand carry the unit to his shop on appointment and have him test it.  Fell thru.

Can you identify a Heart shop anywhere in the CONUS?  Zantrex also made the Freedom Marine series under their own name as I recall.

Dick was talking with the Magnum factory a year ago and they were trying to get their new model out the door that would do the load sharing that you mention.  I can't imagine why that isn't a priority for them.  They would be the only game n town.

an you get a schematic for the SW series?  On for my Freedom would be worth money to me.

Thanks,

John
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« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2010, 01:16:50 AM »

Can you identify a Heart shop anywhere in the CONUS? 

I'm afraid I can't make a personal recommendation.  I would start with the list of authorized repair facilities from Xantrex themselves, available here (arranged by product):
http://www.xantrex.com/support/web/id/1088/support1.asp

You could also try:
http://www.inverterdoctor.com

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Dick was talking with the Magnum factory a year ago and they were trying to get their new model out the door that would do the load sharing that you mention.  I can't imagine why that isn't a priority for them.  They would be the only game n town.


I'm guessing the reason it is not a priority is that it is incredibly difficult and expensive to do, and there is really no market for it.  A handful of bus nuts hardly counts.

Remember that Xantrex developed the SW series for grid-tie applications, something which is not relevant (or legal) in a mobile environment.  The load-support feature depends on the non-islanding provisions of the grid-tie capability, and is more or less a side-effect of the utility-interactive design.  Magnum has no such incentive or market at present.

Making a listed RV model of the SW was an afterthought.  This is why it has the wrong kind of transfer switch and no neutral/ground bonding capability, as those features are not required for fixed applications.  In fact, other than submitting the hardware to environmental testing, the only thing they did to make the RV version was change some software parameters.

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Can you get a schematic for the SW series?  On for my Freedom would be worth money to me.


No, sorry, I don't have any sources for these items.  As I have written before, Xantrex considers them proprietary and keeps them closely guarded.

-Sean
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« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2010, 06:21:28 AM »

I don't know what side of the country you are on John but I have had really good luck with John Ashton in Calgary.  He has my Freedom 25 purring like a newborn kitten.  I've been in his shop and he is for real.  He's also trying to be retired and I haven't talked to him for about a year now but I suspect he is still in business.  Phone four oh 3 - 212 - one three eight eight.
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« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2010, 08:05:49 AM »

Thank you, Bob.  I will give him a call.

John
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"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
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—Pla
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