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Install Inverter between House Batteries and AC panel with a switch -thoughts?

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    Install Inverter between House Batteries and AC panel with a switch -thoughts?

    Hey guys,

    Kicking around different ideas and wanted to find out if anyone else had done something similar already (or knows if it is workable):

    I would like to put an inverter (or 2 in parallel) from the house batteries to the AC panel with a switch that would select between House Batteries or Shore Power. When at the marina I would have the 120V AC from shore, but when out on the water would like a little 120V AC from the 2 house batteries.

    Open to any and all feedback, thoughts, experiences, warnings.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Jim_Gandee; 11-19-2020, 12:46 AM.
    Rob and Jeanne
    1989 Bayliner Avanti 2950
    Dual 302 OMC with Cobra Outdrives
    Delta, B.C. - Riverhouse Marina

    #2
    It is very doable and has been done many times by members on the BOC I've installed three myself on two different boats. You would have a switch that switched between the 120 V AC shore power and 120 V AC from the inverter.

    Now they are are all lot of things to take into consideration The first is most inverters are not designed to be installed in parallel I would not even consider that as a possibility. Secondly with only having two batteries running one inverter is going to be somewhat limited. Also the inverter is only going to be able to power specific loads and not high current draw things like your electric stove , air conditioning or water heater etc.

    So you either have to manage what is powered by turning things off at the breakers or split your circuits so that only a portion of them are switched between shore power or the inverter power.

    Also due to the way inverters work you want to install a switch that will switch both the phase and the neutral between the shore or inverter power. Again depending on how you choose to set this up you may have to create a separate neutral bus for isolated circuits or manage what you have powered.

    I highly recommend bluesea products.
    Jim McNeely
    New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
    Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
    Brighton, Michigan USA
    MMSI # 367393410

    Comment


      #3
      Please listen to Jim.

      I'll also add that Inveters are very Amp Hour hungry, and are rather inefficient at producing 110 vac from a 12 vdc source.

      In other words..... we pay a premium price for this 110 vac power. They draw down our HLBB rather quickly, and in order to take good care of our HLBB, we must re-charge it sooner than later.

      As for the AC power source selection....... be it S/P, Generator or Inverter power........... I believe that what you want is a rotary transfer witch.

      This switch will allow you to chose between multiple AC "sources", and will eliminate accidental source combining.

      https://newcontent.westmarine.com/co...933525_LRG.jpg

      http://askjackrabbit.typepad.com/pho...zed/836601.jpg

      Side veiw

      http://shop.pkys.com/assets/images/BSS9019.jpg

      As Jim notes, your inverter will not power all of you O/B AC demands.

      So....... you may want to split your existing AC loads via a "slide bar" main breaker.

      This would allow you to power certain circuits ONLY while using Inverter power.

      Note how the slide leaves one breaker exposed, while it blocks the other breaker from being switched ON!

      This is where we can isolate certain circuits from Inverter use.


      http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...9&d=1363191905

      https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....SR300,279_.jpg
      Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
      2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
      Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
      Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
      Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you guys.

        The idea/goal is to be able to use the receptacles for things like a plug-in kettle, phone chargers, iPad. Fairly limited or short term draw on the house batteries.
        Rob and Jeanne
        1989 Bayliner Avanti 2950
        Dual 302 OMC with Cobra Outdrives
        Delta, B.C. - Riverhouse Marina

        Comment


          #5
          I installed one on my 3058... will post a pic later.

          any cooking related we use a portable butane burner.
          Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
          Uniflite 42 AC, DD 671N
          93 3058 sold
          92 2855 (day boat)
          91 Fourwinns 205 (lake boat)
          Longbranch WA
          Life is Good

          Comment


            #6
            This is how a recent addition was installed on a friends boat by a Marine Electrician, it is UK 240v ac but the principle is the same.

            Items:

            1x 2KW Pure Sine Wave Inverter c/w remote neon enable/disable switch

            1x Additional House Battery

            1x Total isolation switch

            1x 20amp 3 position/selectable power in to 1 common power out changeover switch (a 3 position switch ensures each circuit is completely isolated before the other is connected, a 2 position early break/late make configuration would also be ok)

            Installation:

            The house batteries are doubled up to two in parallel,

            The power feed to the inverter is via a double pole isolation switch with removable key, allowing the inverter to be totally isolated at any time,

            The power cable from the inverter and the remote enable cable is run through close to the AC control panel,

            The changeover switch, and the enable/disable switch is installed in a convenient location next to the AC control panel,

            The shore power cable was removed from the AC panel and connected to input position 1 on the changeover switch, the new Inverter Power cable is connected to input position 3 on the changeover switch, leaving input position 2 un-used, and the common out is used to re-connected the supply to the AC panel.

            Operation:

            Changeover Switch in position 1: Shore Power (only) feeds the AC panel and works totally as before,

            Changeover Switch in position 2: AC panel is completely isolated,

            Changeover Switch in position 3: Inverter Power (only) feeds the AC panel, the load needs to be selected/used carefully so that the maximum of 2000w is not exceeded at any one time, and the battery charger (ideally) needs to be turned off, if more than 1000w (50%) is being drawn from the Inverter, the engine needs to run to avoid rapid battery drain.

            Hope this is helpful.
            Current Boat: 2016 Bayliner VR6 4.5L 250
            Previous Boat: 2015 Bayliner 175 3.0L TKS 135

            Comment


              #7
              I thought long and hard about adding an inverter to our boat. In the end I decided against it. I think the key is to determine what exactly you want to power, and can it be achieved using the DC power source. iPad's, phones and most portable electronics can be charged directly from a DC source. Boiling water can be readily accomplished as Ruffryder says with a portable butane stove. The point being, for the complexity of tying into your existing electrical 120v AC system and the cost of an inverter (or two) as well as the penalty for converting the 12v DC to 120 VAC, just to convert it back to 5vDC to charge some devices seems overly complex. Wiring into your AC system safely needs serious consideration. If you have equipment that is only powered by AC and there is no substitute then it would make sense as long as the load is not great and only for a short period of time. And as Rick says, you still have to put the amps back into the batteries at some point.

              James
              1989 Bayliner 3888, 175 Hinos,
              Hurth 630's Onan 8kw MDKD
              Lowrance Electronics!
              Boating on Georgian Bay & the North Channel
              Completed the Great Loop 07/25/19
              AGLCA #8340
              MTOA# 7469

              Comment


                #8
                "MacPhid" post=819113 wrote:
                I thought long and hard about adding an inverter to our boat. In the end I decided against it. I think the key is to determine what exactly you want to power, and can it be achieved using the DC power source. iPad's, phones and most portable electronics can be charged directly from a DC source. Boiling water can be readily accomplished as Ruffryder says with a portable butane stove. The point being, for the complexity of tying into your existing electrical 120v AC system and the cost of an inverter (or two) as well as the penalty for converting the 12v DC to 120 VAC, just to convert it back to 5vDC to charge some devices seems overly complex. Wiring into your AC system safely needs serious consideration. If you have equipment that is only powered by AC and there is no substitute then it would make sense as long as the load is not great and only for a short period of time. And as Rick says, you still have to put the amps back into the batteries at some point.

                James
                These are all really good points to consider!

                Its really down to what you want to achieve, to replicate what Shore Power provides is possible, but very costly to install and maintain, you could very easily cook your batteries or significantly reduce their life span, so probably not worth it.

                However if you just want some limited/selectable AC power while away from Shore Power hook up, a good quality 1500w to 2500w inverter is IMO a great investment, if you stick to appliances
                Current Boat: 2016 Bayliner VR6 4.5L 250
                Previous Boat: 2015 Bayliner 175 3.0L TKS 135

                Comment


                  #9
                  One comment within this mentions choosing whether or not to have the battery charger on There is no reason if you're running from the inverter to have the battery charger on Essentially you would be trying to charge the batteries using the batteries.

                  "Hawk" post=819092 wrote:
                  This is how a recent addition was installed on a friends boat by a Marine Electrician, it is UK 240v ac but the principle is the same.

                  Items:

                  1x 2KW Pure Sine Wave Inverter c/w remote neon enable/disable switch

                  1x Additional House Battery

                  1x Total isolation switch

                  1x 20amp 3 position/selectable power in to 1 common power out changeover switch (a 3 position switch ensures each circuit is completely isolated before the other is connected, a 2 position early break/late make configuration would also be ok)

                  Installation:

                  The house batteries are doubled up to two in parallel,

                  The power feed to the inverter is via a double pole isolation switch with removable key, allowing the inverter to be totally isolated at any time,

                  The power cable from the inverter and the remote enable cable is run through close to the AC control panel,

                  The changeover switch, and the enable/disable switch is installed in a convenient location next to the AC control panel,

                  The shore power cable was removed from the AC panel and connected to input position 1 on the changeover switch, the new Inverter Power cable is connected to input position 3 on the changeover switch, leaving input position 2 un-used, and the common out is used to re-connected the supply to the AC panel.

                  Operation:

                  Changeover Switch in position 1: Shore Power (only) feeds the AC panel and works totally as before,

                  Changeover Switch in position 2: AC panel is completely isolated,

                  Changeover Switch in position 3: Inverter Power (only) feeds the AC panel, the load needs to be selected/used carefully so that the maximum of 2000w is not exceeded at any one time, and the battery charger (ideally) needs to be turned off, if more than 1000w (50%) is being drawn from the Inverter, the engine needs to run to avoid rapid battery drain.

                  Hope this is helpful.
                  Jim McNeely
                  New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
                  Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
                  Brighton, Michigan USA
                  MMSI # 367393410

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The most straightforward way to set this up would be to power the inverter from the house batteries and plug-in what you need to directly into the inverter and not try to tie into the boats AC wiring

                    If you're going to tie the inverters out put into the boats AC wiring you basically want to set it up so that you are either powering the receptacles from shore power or inverter power

                    None of the other onboard devices really can be powered from most inverters.

                    I'm talking about water heaters , stoves & air conditioning.
                    Jim McNeely
                    New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
                    Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
                    Brighton, Michigan USA
                    MMSI # 367393410

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you everyone for the thoughtful responses. Given a 3000W Inverter came with the boat (but isn't currently installed) I will probably just use that and run an extension off it for limited AC. Simple given my needs.
                      Rob and Jeanne
                      1989 Bayliner Avanti 2950
                      Dual 302 OMC with Cobra Outdrives
                      Delta, B.C. - Riverhouse Marina

                      Comment


                        #12
                        "Airxn" post=819083 wrote:
                        The idea/goal is to be able to use the receptacles for things like a plug-in kettle, phone chargers, iPad. Fairly limited or short term draw on the house batteries.
                        Phones and tablets are charged with DC (usually 5V). You're much better off using a 12V transformer to charge them (easy on Android since everything in the last 5 years uses USB, but Apple likes to use proprietary chargers).

                        110V AC is necessary for two things. (1) Things that need alternating current, like the AC motor in a hair dryer. (2) Things that need high amperage. Being at 110 Volts means you can draw 9x as many Watts over the same diameter wire as compared to 12 V (wire diameter is proportional to amps, and power = amps * voltage). Hair dryers, microwave ovens, air conditioners, etc.

                        "MacPhid" post=819113 wrote:
                        Boiling water can be readily accomplished as Ruffryder says with a portable butane stove.
                        I think he means the Asian style hot water kettles. They bring the water up close to boiling, then maintain it at that temperature indefinitely. Thus giving you boiling hot water on demand for things like tea, soup, instant ramen. I've measured the power draw from my home unit, and although it'll spike up to about 1300 Watts when I first pour water in, once it's got it up to 195 F, it only uses about 13 Watts to maintain it at that temperature. 13 Watts would easily be within the capability of 12 V wiring, but every one of these kettles I've seen has been AC, not DC.

                        Mine (high-end Zojirushi) uses a stainless steel vacuum chamber for insulation, not plastic insulation like many of the cheap models. If I unplug it, it'll keep the water piping hot for 8-12 hours. So an option with a unit like this would to just run the AC inverter in the morning to get the water temp up, then shut off the inverter (basically unplugging the kettle) and rely on the insulation to keep it hot for the rest of the day.
                        1994 2556, 350 MAG MPI Horizon, Bravo 2

                        Comment


                          #13
                          [img ]http://imgur.com/GJHQF8Y.jpg[/img]

                          Comment


                            #14

                            Attached files

                            Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                            2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                            Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                            Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                            Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                            Comment


                              #15
                              On my boat I have a 175 watt inverter. This can be just plugged into the 12 volt accessory socket. It can run a TV or charge cell phones or portable speakers. A larger inverter poses all sorts of problems most going back to insufficient battery storage.
                              2007 Discovery 246
                              300mpi BIII
                              Welcome island Lake Superior

                              Comment

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