vector 1000W inverter? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-18-2007, 05:28 PM   #29
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Steve, I recall seeing a clever Casita owner's mounting of the Olympian on the INSIDE of one of the kitchen cabinet doors, a relatively unused space -- Open door and the heater is deployed!
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Old 01-18-2007, 08:25 PM   #30
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(I believe that the natural convection furnaces which were sold in some Bolers (not mine, but Chester's I think) are substantially taller)

Yup mine is taller and works like a charm.No fan and heats the unit real well.
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Old 01-19-2007, 06:33 AM   #31
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One member mounted the Olympian to the bathroom door with a quick release gas fitting. However, as I grow older, a midnight trip to the "head" are a regular occurance and I like to keep the door open to let heat into that area.

I considered the optional legs so that I could set it on the floor but I worry about tripping over it in the dark.

Setting it on/in a cabinet door would seem to pose a similar problem with brushing it in the dark and, at best, singeing the hairs on my legs.

Must be time to dust off the ol' "circulating the hot water for baseboard heat" threads again.

Oh well, a brief flicker of hope for the perfect, low-to-no amp consuming cabin heater.
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:24 AM   #32
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Perhaps I should chime in here, because I use a Xantrex Link 10 battery meter which tells me exactly what is happening when you add a load to the batteries.

Over our dinette there is a conventional light fixture with a 14w compact fluorescent bulb in it (60w equivalent), driven with an old inverter, hardwired (150w, no fan, and no noise).

With no load on the inverter it wastes <.1 Amp (1.2 w). When the 14w bulb is added the total usage is 1.3 Amps or 16.38 watts which means about 2.4 watts is wasted in the inverter. I'm using an arbitrary 12.6 volts as a ballpark voltage level from the batteries.

I'm happy with the equation since I'm getting a 60w light level from a total of 16.38 watts.

Brian: I tried the 12v compact fluorescent bulb. It burned out in very short order. I'm guessing that my old Newmark converter messed up the 12v so badly that it fried the ballast. If I tried it again with the Intellipower unit now installed it wouldn't surprise me if a similar bulb would soldier on indefinitely. Much more expensive, however.
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:36 AM   #33
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Per: thanks for the heads up on the 12V CFL. My converter is the original 1979 unit, and the output may be very noisy (I haven't had a chance to put any useful instrumentation on it), which I agree might be hard on the integral power supply in the CFL when on shore power. I guess we'll find out... and maybe I'll make a point of reserving it primarily for use on battery power.
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:40 AM   #34
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Quote:
... a conventional light fixture with a 14w compact fluorescent bulb in it (60w equivalent), driven with an old inverter, hardwired (150w, no fan, and no noise).

With no load on the inverter it wastes <.1 Amp (1.2 w). When the 14w bulb is added the total usage is 1.3 Amps or 15.6 watts which means about 1.6 watts is wasted in the inverter. ...
This makes sense to me, as the smaller inverter has smaller idle consumption (compared to a 1000W unit), and a similar loss of about 10% under reasonable load.

I think the lesson is that if we are going to convert power through extra stages, we should at least try to match the inverter to the load. As I recall, other members have come to the same conclusion, using a collection of variously sized inverters for specific purposes. I have yet to use my 1000 watt inverter, and had only planned to use it for high loads of short duration - that's still the plan.
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:47 AM   #35
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Before someone with sharp eyes calls me on it: I copied my notes incorrectly. The correct data are now in my post. Doesn't change the overall picture much.

The little Xantrex inverter may be a little long in the tooth, but I appreciate the lack of fan noise. Since it is hard wired I have a conventional house light switch controlling it which makes it easy to use it only when needed. Watch some of the later units, because I have found some which require a push on the casing to get it started, meaning no remote operation possible.
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Old 01-24-2007, 05:01 PM   #36
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I've seen some inverters in stores which can be remotely switched, but you need to wire in a switch to remote control terminals, not just turn the supply of 12VDC power on and off. The Xantrex Prowatt 1000, 1750 and 3000 series is an example, although not exactly the one I have seen.

It does make sense to me to be sure that the mounting and wiring method makes it easy to turn the inverter off when it is not needed.
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:30 PM   #37
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Why use either? I put in one of those small 12VDC fluorescent fixtures that take either a connection to 12VDC or internal AA batteries (last I saw, the lights are $10 at Wally; also seen at home improvement stores as closet lights). I mounted mine right next to the Bargman light fixture and picked up the power lead from inside the overhead cabinet.

I don't know how much they actually draw, but I can go for weeks on my deep cycle battery using that light for my night time eating and reading.

Most expensive thing about it is the replacement bulbs, costing almost as much as a new fixture.
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:07 PM   #38
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Certainly, an inverter and a AC-to-DC power supply in the appliance (such as a lamp) have losses, so the efficiency of getting power to the end device by this method is less than the efficiency of connecting them with just a wire.

We got here because the comparison was between using 12V-specific fixtures, or making use of 120VAC fixtures... and if the 120VAC stuff is a lot more effective (e.g. fluorescent) than the available 12VDC sutff (e.g. incandescent light bulbs) then maybe all the inverting and converting can still come out ahead.

I think we all realize than in an ideal world we would stop by WalMart and pick up a high-efficiency LED or CCFL lamp designed for 12VDC operation for the same price as a household light bulb... but the world is very far from ideal. It does offer many opportunities for creative thinking!
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:59 PM   #39
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Umm, I believe the RV manfs use the incandescent bulbs because, in part, they always have and why mess with it, but mostly because they they don't have to mess with supplying an inverter (cost and complexity) -- They really don't care about power efficiency, just bottom-line assembled costs and follow-up repairs -- Helps sell RVs if they are brightly lit inside in the showroom.

I would **guess** that a 120VAC fluorescent lamp powered by a standalone inverter (I can certainly feel the waste heat and hear the waste fan) would use more energy for an equivalent amount of light from a 12VDC incandescent bulb (also lots of waste heat), but I would also **guess** that my 12VDC light uses less energy than either of the two.

Indeed, it does help to replace the original incandescent bulbs with lower wattage, same base, versions -- At one time, one of the Yahoo Scampers had a table of equivalents (like the #93 in place of the #1156, etc.) -- No doubt the RV parts manfs equip the fixture with the brightest bulb, not the most efficient one.
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Old 02-03-2007, 03:41 PM   #40
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Hmmm, something seems fishy around here...
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Old 02-04-2007, 03:18 PM   #41
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OK, that went over my head...
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Old 02-04-2007, 04:40 PM   #42
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Pete, I agree completely that factory equipment choices are driven by financial factors and showroom appeal, not efficiency. I have seen high-end RVs which have Thin-Lite 12V DC fluorescent fixtures, and their makers promote this as a valuable feature; over a large motorhome, it might represent hundreds of dollars of extra expense. If it won't make more sales, it's not worth spending money on it, and that's just life.

I think of the typical RV incandescent fixture as a placeholder; it works until the owner decides to replace it with something which suits them more (which may be never), and is so cheap that throwing it away isn't financially unreasonable.

Quote:
OK, that went over my head...
Pete, are you referring to Rich's comment? This thread was closed for a while, but now appears to be open again. I assume that is the "fishy" situation to which Rich was referring, but that's only my guess.
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