A/C input wiring for an inverter and separate battery charger

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by missinginaction, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    Hi folks,

    (PLEASE NOTE THAT A FEW HOURS AFTER I POSTED THIS I FIGURED OUT THE CORRECT WAY TO WIRE THIS.....FEEL FREE TO COMMENT ANYWAY....MIA)

    As I lay out the wiring for my electrical system there is one area that has me uncertain.

    Please take a look at the diagram attached.
    I'm installing a Xantrax 1800 XM inverter along with a Xantrax Truecharge2, 40amp battery charger in my Silverton. Two battery banks. The inverter incorporates an automatic transfer switch.
    I understand how to wire the two components, proper use of fuses and breakers and wire sizing so I don't need help in those areas.

    Where I'm a uncertain is in the A/C input wiring to the inverter and the battery charger.

    Although there is an automatic transfer switch incorporated into the inverter, it seems wise to me to insure that the inverter and battery charger can never be operating simultaneously when shore power is connected.

    I'm using Blueseas components (will call them for advise as well).

    I see that I can obtain source selector panels such as the one shown in my diagram. What I really need though is an output selector. I'm wondering if I can simply wire a source selector "backwards", but I'm thinking that there must be a more straightforward way to approach this.

    The thought has occured to me that I'm overthinking this issue and since there is a transfer switch in the inverter I might just wire both devices directly to the 30 amp main breaker. The charger is rated at 9A and the inverter doesn't list an AC input spec but calls for a 20A breaker to be installed in the AC input line. I can add the 20A breaker downstream from the main 30A breaker.

    Neither installation manual addresses this type of installation but Nigel Calder calls for some type of selector panel to isolate the inverter and charger in his book Boat Owners Mechanical and Electrical Manual.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts.......

    MIA
     

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  2. mitiempo
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    mitiempo Junior Member

    Hi
    What the transfer switch does is turn the inverter on when the shorepower is unplugged. There are 2 ways an inverter with a transfer switch is commonly installed.

    1. The main AC input from the shorepower inlet goes to the inverter first, and the inverter;s AC out powers the main panel. No selector switch required.
    Negatives - this means all AC items can be powered by the inverter and it may overload depending which high load items are left on such as water heater.

    2. The inverter is fed its AC input from a breaker on the main panel (20 amp) and the AC out of the inverter goes to a sub-panel that typically powers AC plug-ins only. This way there is less chance of an overload and makes it easier to manage.

    You do not need a selector switch.
     
  3. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    ...and remember, now that you have an inverter onboard, that removing the shore power does NOT shut down the AC of the boat cos the inverter auto switches.....many get a decent boot because they forget to disable the inverter as well as the shore power when working.
     
  4. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    CDK retired engineer

    Again my German opera singer neighbor comes to mind.
    He connected the inverter output to his battery charger and honestly believed his energy generating problems were forever solved.

    MIA, you figured it out already, so you know it is really very simple.
    The charger is connected to the AC input and so are AC loads the inverter cannot handle (if you have any).
     
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  5. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    Thanks to all for the input.

    So, CDK, your friend created his own perpetual motion machine. Would that it could be true, all of our problems would be solved.

    Regards,

    MIA
     
  6. mitiempo
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    mitiempo Junior Member

    CDK

    That's pretty funny.:D
     
  7. Dean Smith

    Dean Smith Previous Member

    xantrax or whatever were Trace? I ran a Trace 115vac x 4000watts non stop for 10 years, had to, cos shore power was 230 vac, wonderful
    the guys were the Brains at Trace Seattle left and started OUTBACK possibly the best system on the market today
    You have it sussed mate, the key is the cable size and the fuse links
     
  8. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Must have been hell :D
    Especially the German part (where's Hoyt :rolleyes:)

    Now why, of all the BILLIONS of people out there, has no single person thought of that.

    Most people get a bit of an awakening when they want to generate power, the second awakening comes when they begin to use inverters. You only need an inverter for one thing, and that's a microwave - everything else can be powered off 12V.
     
  9. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    CDK retired engineer

    Thank you for your empathy Fanie.
    To me the opera singer part is the most repulsive. The guy doesn't just sing but burns CD's and listens to himself in his car....
     
  10. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    LOL, I would choose the inverter every time over the singer, even if it smokes.

    I always say to the wife they put the guy's nuts in a vice and adjust the tone by the pressure of the vice. It's amazing how much suffering these okes are prepared to endure just to be heard. Maybe they were molested as a child... or obducted by aliens - or something really really bad... true masochists.

    Maybe you can get compensation from the government, buy a new (sound proof) boat perhaps.
     
  11. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    I agree with you about the microwave Fannie. I'll bet you're not married though. I designed the inverter in so that the micro was possible but also so that my wife would have access to some of the comforts of home like hair driers and curling irons. You have to keep the other half happy. :)

    A small inverter (1800 watts, 3000 surge) isn't too expensive anymore either.

    MIA
     

  12. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Hi Missing,

    Give her a PC fan and a candle... :D

    You're lucky your's is using those small hair dryers, you get some going to 3000W ! which is rediculous. The inverter is a monster on any 12V source, imo the energy can be used a whole lot more efficient. 1800W from 12V > ~150A... :eek:
    It's not about the price, it's about what you can use the energy for. LOL, if you want something cheap to consume power buy a small 3000W heater !

    Get a small petrol generator to run the blower from instead, it's just a few minutes and if she starts the thing herself it will help to keep her slim and fit at the same time ;)
     
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