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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Broads Boat Owners Q & A / Replacing a diesel generator with invertor
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Replacing a diesel generator with invertor

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henlowstu
Jan-16-2008 @ 3:21 PM                           Permalink
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I help run a 37' 6 berth cruiser and we have just removed the dodgy generator that supplied 240v for the microwave and hoover. As these items aren't used often I want to replace it with an invertor.

We have a solar panel to trickle charge the bank of batteries so that side is sorted. Im confused about the range of invertors avaliable, can anyone recommend an invertor and how much i should be looking to spend?

Thanks

Casper
Jan-16-2008 @ 4:13 PM                           Permalink
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There is quite a range of units available and you need to take the ratings with a pinch of salt. I guess that the heaviest load that you will be running will come from the microwave and this will probably draw 1Kw or more (650watt oven) but for a relatively short period of time.

I would recommend that you use a 1500watt inverter to provide this power. If you are going to run electronic equipment, or if the microwave is a modern one with lots of fancy electronics on board then you need to look for an inverter which produces a reasonable sine wave output.

This unit is going to draw a lot of amps from the battery, I suggest that you consider putting in a seperate battery bank for it (2 x 110AHr), so that you don't flatten your domestic or starter battery by mistake and the 12v cabling needs to be sized to carry the inverter input, in any case it should be on it's own circuit fused and switched. I guess that the input amps (from the battery) are going to be in the order of 120A - so big cables and switching - this will also flatten a 110AHr battery in about 30 minutes

If you don't yet have a shore power unit then perhaps think about a combined shore power/ battery charger / inverter unit - saves money / space and installation.

hope this helps

Alan

Alan & Gill

B17
Jan-17-2008 @ 3:03 AM                           Permalink
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Hi Stu,

We run an 1800w inverter off 4x 110amp batts (1x engine and 3x domestic). Our power consumption apart from the usual pumps lights etc is, an elecric fridge 1500w hair drier (mrs B17 likes her hair to be done), a 1400w hoover (dog sheds hair everywhere),  a bow thruster (Mr B17 too lazy to attempt to park a boat without) and warm air heating (all three of us like to be warm in the winter). We have no electric on home berth but do have 2 large solar panels which seem to do the trick.
In the budget for boat improvements 2008 we are going to be fitting a proper 240v system c/w battery charger and immersion heater for the water. The reason for this is that we have found that during winter cruising the current set up does deplete the bateries if extensive cruising is not done. During the summer this is not a problem and it is very easy during the winter to get on to a shore power mooring.

Cant comment about the cost of inverters as ours was already in place when we bought the boat.

Hope this is helpful.

Rod


Flag Officer NBF Rtd

BroadAmbition
Jan-17-2008 @ 3:11 AM                           Permalink
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Hi Stu,

We went bonkers on the electrics onboard 'B.A'

1800w - constant invertor, 240v shore power system, Huge solar panel, 6 x 110amp batteries, 2 x alternators giving 165amps, 1 x kw immersion heater, Blown warm air heating (Mikuni-Diesel), 12v and 240v charging systems, 240v onboard distribution system, etc etc.

Suggest you give 'Sterling Power Products' a ring as they really know their stuff and offered us plenty of free advice.

(See the restoration thread for more in depth details)

-  Griff

'Broad Ambition' - 'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Casper
Jan-17-2008 @ 10:44 AM                           Permalink
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Stu,

supporting what Griff says I would recommend Sterling Power we have their equipment, battery charger, alternator to battery charger (to max out the alternator output) and 1800w inverter.

Our battery set up is 4 x110Ahr domestic 1 x 85Ahr engine starter. These are monitored by a BM1 battery monitor.

This all works well although we dont use the inverter much, the electric fridge is 12VDC and the TV/DVD player is also 12VDC.

Usually an hour's running on the engine is sufficient to top the batteries back up, although we will plug into shore power and top up now and again.

In the winter we use an Ebash diesel heater or a fan heater if on a berth with shore power.

Alan

Alan & Gill

rads
Jan-18-2008 @ 9:21 AM                           Permalink
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£50 reduction on 18w solar panel at Maplins.

Maplin Solar Panel

May still not be cheap, or the "right thing", but thought it might be of interest to some.

David


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