vector 1000W inverter? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-14-2007, 05:36 PM   #1
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I just bought a vector 1000W inverter and am interested to see who has one and if they like it. I am leaving next week for a 2 night trip and am going to run a small heater for a few hours and lights for a bit and maybe some extras for the fun of it. Please let me know any likes or dislikes for this setup. thanks
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Old 01-14-2007, 05:48 PM   #2
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What size battery do you have?

I can run my group 24 down in about an hour using 100 watts. (I don't do that anymore)
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Old 01-14-2007, 06:07 PM   #3
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Although I have a 1000W inverter, I haven't used it yet. I won't be using it to run a heater.

I think Gina's concern about battery capacity is very valid. Presumably, you are running from battery, or you wouldn't be using the inverter. 1000 watts at 12V would be 83 amps with perfect efficiency, and at least 93 amps with the losses in the inverter. If the battery had, for instance, 93 amp-hour capacity (reasonable for a group 27 deep-discharge battery at the 5-hour rate), that means exhausting it in one hour... and if you actually used it at anything close to that rate its effective capacity would be less (the battery rating is based on much slower discharge), so it would be gone even faster.

Of course, the heater might draw less, and the battery might be bigger, but even with a huge pair of 62 lb T-105 6V "golf cart" batteries at 25 amps (which would be less than 270 watts, not much of a heater) the life would be less than 7.5 hours.

Basically, the problem is that useful heating takes a lot of energy, so it is generally not practical with batteries. If you had to heat a little bit with electricity from a battery, it would make more sense to use a 12V car interior warmer, and bypass the inefficiency of going through the inverter, but really some sort of propane-burning appliance is much more practical.

(Battery specs are from Trojan; max 90% efficiency is as spec'd in the manual for my Xpower inverter)
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Old 01-14-2007, 06:26 PM   #4
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It's funny but the only 110V thing we have to have is a hair curler! Maybe a 12V one is available - donno.
So I got the Harbor Freight $19.00 one that fits in a cup holder size hole.
Glad I got off so easily from the beauty parlor requests. No hair dryer requested.
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Old 01-14-2007, 06:35 PM   #5
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This is not an appliance I would use, but there is a range of [b]butane-fueled curling irons, from Braun (and perhaps others - who knows?). My wife finds it useful to finish getting ready while we are going somewhere in the car. Knowing that it exists (and is common enough that grocery stores stock the butane cartridges), I would resist any proposal to get a 12V version.

Again, mobile heating appliance means fuel, not batteries.

Quote:
...So I got the Harbor Freight $19.00 one that fits in a cup holder size hole...
Jim, I'm guessing that you're referring to an inverter here, not a curling iron...
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Old 01-14-2007, 06:59 PM   #6
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Generally speaking, you are going to be disappointed (very quickly, I might add) with using a battery to power any appliance that produces heat.

1000Watts/12 VDC = 83 Amps; that will reduce a 120AmpHour battery to 75% in about 22 minutes (and you really don't want to go much below that for the battery's sake, even if the inverter didn't shut itself down because of undervoltage by that point).

I did see a fellow once who was powering his electric coffee perculator with a large inverter, but the inverter was mounted in his tow vehicle and wired directly into its charging system -- Before he made his morning coffee, he went out and started the tow vehicle and ran it until the coffee was done, so he was using the tow vehicle as a large, mobile generator...
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Old 01-14-2007, 07:15 PM   #7
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...I did see a fellow once who was powering his electric coffee perculator with a large inverter, but the inverter was mounted in his tow vehicle and wired directly into its charging system -- Before he made his morning coffee, he went out and started the tow vehicle and ran it until the coffee was done, so he was using the tow vehicle as a large, mobile generator...
That might be a reasonable approach for very short-duration uses, like the perc. I'm guessing he really had it for power tools, or some other application, not just for the coffee. GM billed its "mild hybrid" pickup trucks as well-suited to this sort of use, and built 120VAC inverters into them.

This raises an issue with these inverters: to minimize power loss, ensure that the high-current low-voltage wiring from the battery to the inverter is as short as possible, and cover the distance to the appliance with the low-current high-voltage AC wiring instead. That's what this guy did by mounting the inverter in the tow vehicle, not the trailer.
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Old 01-14-2007, 07:17 PM   #8
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Yep, thats what happened in mine. I was trying to RUN the laptop off the invertor and it shut down when the voltage dropped down below where the invertor would work (I forgot the threshold) The only electric I was using was that and I started at full charge.

I also resorted to plugging the car in to get the laptop charged and learned my lesson. The solar got the battery back up during the day, but I won't do that again. Wasn't paying attention.

Have you considered a portable propane heater? A Coleman Black cat or similar?
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Old 01-14-2007, 07:23 PM   #9
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Gina, I thought that was really fast to kill a battery with only 100W. I suspect that the "100W" laptop power supply puts out 100W, but takes in quite a bit more... just like the inverter. The HP/Compaq power supply currently sitting at my feet puts out up to 90 watts, but needs up to 150 watts to do it.

Also, the inverter may cut out before the battery is really exhausted, but I suppose if it's dead enough that it won't run your stuff, it's effectively dead.
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:18 PM   #10
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Mine is 70 watts.

Screen, power supply, fans, cpu etc.. draws a lot.

Just charging the battery without the laptop running is a quick endevour, and it is barely a nudge to the invertor/battery combo. I do it all the time, and have not seen enough voltage drop to bat an eye at. I suspect just running the invertor itself makes the biggest dent.

Yes, If there isn't enough power to run the invertor, it's useless.
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:51 PM   #11
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I have three small inverters: 70 W, 250W and 350W. They all shutdown when battery gets to about 11.5 or 11.7 volts. Inverters are useful if you want 120V A/C to power an appliance while driving down the road. As others have said, you don't have enough battery to provide the kind of amperage you are talking about. You will need to get a generator, or plug in somewhere to do what you are describing. Even running the fan for a propane furnace will seriously deplete a single group 27 battery in a nite or two.

There is no magic supply of electricity. Electrical storage and supply are governed by some pretty strict rules that nobody has figured out how to violate.

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Old 01-14-2007, 09:13 PM   #12
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I just bought a vector 1000W inverter and am interested to see who has one and if they like it. I am leaving next week for a 2 night trip and am going to run a small heater for a few hours and lights for a bit and maybe some extras for the fun of it. Please let me know any likes or dislikes for this setup. thanks
If I use an optima blue top deep cycle battery will it be good? I will only be using a heater 1 or 2 times a year and not even a real need, but in the summer I will want to run a fan and lights or maybe a tv for an hour or 2. will this work?
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:18 PM   #13
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All the items you mentioned are avalable in 12volt,BUT yes you could use your inverter.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:24 PM   #14
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Drew, I would look at 12v alternatives. TVs are readily available, as are fans.

Anything you can run direct is going to be way more efficient than inverting, regardless of the battery you have.

I know thats not what you want to hear, but, unfortunately, the collective real world experience here is wise to listen too.

Keep the invertor for such occasions when you do have a good way of making it work without killing the battery, such as when the car is running.

Even then, I wouldn't run a space heater off it.

My 1000w gen set will run my cube heater, but I have to start the heater in the low setting and work my way up so the generator doesn't see the surge.

I couldn't imagine how many fuses would get blown and how quick my battery would deplete with it.

Why don't you run an experiment? Try the invertor and heater with a fully charged battery in your driveway, or sometime or place that you DON'T need the battery. That will truely give you an idea if it works or not.
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Old 01-16-2007, 09:30 AM   #15
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My 400W has a cooling fan.
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:13 AM   #16
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If I use an optima blue top deep cycle battery will it be good?...
Every time I check, the Optimas have 10-20% lower amp-hour capacity than a less expensive lead-acid battery of the same size. This isn't the answer to the inverter issue.

I may have missed it in someone else's post, but a 1000 watt inverter being used anywhere near it's capacity would have to be direct wired into the battery. 83 amps of current would need a pretty large wire size, probably on the order of battery cables. Losses due to resistance at that high amperage with much smaller wire would be significant.
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:21 AM   #17
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Our electronics, including TV, run directly off 12v, and I have a 175w inverter for fluorescent light and miscellaneous rechargers. It is hardwired into the 12v system, is turned off/on with a wall switch and feeds several gray outlets which is a kind of color-coding to keep me from getting them confused with the white shore-power outlets.

At one time a 350w did this job, but it had a cooling fan and the smaller one did not, so I switched. Too much loss, the fan was noisy and I did not need the extra capacity.
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:27 AM   #18
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My little 70 watt invertor, that is about the size of a Chunky candy bar and is directly fitted into a lighter socket (No pigtail) has a teeny tiny fan.

I have the 70watt one for a little lamp, and a 100w smart invertor for the comp, and a 400 watts one for emergencies, I guess, it came with my solar panels.

They ALL have fans.

The 400 watt one got used for work a few weeks ago, to power a little guitar amp in a car for a promotional demo. The car was running at the time. It worked great, was quiet, but I usually leave amps at home when camping

If you HAVE to invert, use the smallest one available to do the job, with a small fudge factor. No need to run 1ooo watts to run a 60 watt item.
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Old 01-16-2007, 12:46 PM   #19
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As long as we're kinda, sorta raining on this particular parade, it might be time, again, to take a potshot at 12v DC versions of 120v AC appliances.

Pretty much any of them that involve heating something (like coffee, or microwave popcorn) pretty much s*ck.

On the assumption that they are the plug-in variety, they are mostly limited to 15 amps DC which is the amp limit for most accessory sockets. That is about, for simplicity's sake, about (12v x 15 amps=) 180 watts. Coffee perks take forever, and I'm thinking that a 200-ish watt microwave is not in any hurry to pop the corn either. Stuff a 20 amp fuse in the accessory circuit isn't adding much to the wattage.

(not counting electrical efficiencies, wiring losses, actual voltage in a running vehicle or charged battery, yada yada yada.)
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Old 01-16-2007, 01:48 PM   #20
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It's reply-to-steve day, since he has brought up some interesting points...

Yes, AGM batteries tend to have lower capacity than flooded batteries of the same package size, but they have offsetting advantages. They're all (including gel cells) lead-acid; it's just a matter of how the lead is structured and how the acid is contained. In a situation which does not benefit from the unique characteristics of AGM batteries, they are not likely to make practical or economic sense, and maxing energy storage may be a good example of where not to use them.

While very small inverters plug directly into lighter sockets, and small inverters come with attached DC input cords, the 1000W units (like mine) usually come with input terminals (no wire) and stern directives in the manual to use short and thick cable. I agree that this is important, and since the current is comparable to that for a starter motor, I think "battery cables" is a good comparison point.

I agree with the 12V heating appliances point, too. There was one 12VDC microwave we found and discussed earlier, and while it had cooking power comparable to the smallest home units and took a bit less power than the AC (via inverter) alternative, it was still a very large fraction of one hundred amps. Way beyond that lighter socket's capacity...
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