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May 4, 2011 at 7:06 pm #36828
I’m pretty new here, but not so much to off-gridding and while I don’t do it at present after moving back from Ireland a couple of years back I am hoping to doing so again (either on a custom widebeam narrowboat or on some remote rural land) sometime this year.
To this end I am looking at inverters. I already have a cheap modified sine wave inverter and it works fine when I do use it, and worst case I do have a few APC UPSs knocking around that can be pushed into service worst case (the 15Watts power use when using them like this isn’t ideal though), but what I really want is a reasonably cheap sine wave inverter to start me off.
I’ve looked at many on ebay and even what some local PV installers are using and the market seems to be flooded with questionable quality chinese imports or rebadged APC UPSs. While I’m not knocking their application for this use, there have been at least a few horror stories surrounding some of them (PowerJack springs to mind), so buying a no-name chinese import is a little bit of a gamble for me.
My requirements are fairly modest, I want to be able to run up to 800Watts from batterybank with charging from a solar tracking PV array and wind turbine. I don’t mind using separate charge controllers for these (which will be retired from a friend’s system soon).
Any suggestions on manufacturers to consider and gotchas to lookout for would be welcome. I am familiar with most of the technology and terminology used, but am about 5 years behind the curve when it comes to brands and such.May 6, 2011 at 4:05 pm #41425
I suppose in the UK area they must have an inverter store like this one;
I just bought a little AIMS 180 watt($86 shpd). They also make bigger ones. I am using a Statpower ProSine1000 also(hard wired, $700 shpd). The main thing is getting the low idle power use ones, and protecting them from high humidity and especially water contact. The compartment should be shielded inside with shielding paint or thick aluminum foil to keep the EMI/RFI from interfering with radios and other electronics. Remote on/off is a nice feature to look for, too.May 6, 2011 at 11:13 pm #41427
The AIMS units look good, might have to keep an eye on them if I do off-grid in the US at all…
I thought that the Xantrex inverters were probably out of my price range, but maybe not. Still, if anyone has any cheaper suggestions, I am willing to hear them.
Remote on/off isn’t a problem, it will all be hooking into my (low power) home automation and monitoring system (mostly self designed hardware atm).December 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm #42111
I have been using a 2300watt 24vdc to 120vac inverter purchased from:
It is suppored by a 1000 watt solar panels and 500w wind generator and gas 3000 watt generator powering a 30 watt battery charger and this has been running our 2 bedroom house for 7 month now and we are really happy with the performance. I may mention that we have propane to run cook stove,hot water and fridge. So the battery system is running tv,LED/floresent house lighting,freezer,toater,micrwave oven,hair dryer,and misc small tool battery charging etc.
We are putting togeather a second larger system for another larger house which I have a few questions I will introduce to the form in another post.
regards RonDecember 28, 2011 at 5:04 am #42121
ive been runing outback(charge controler/inverter/ and transformer) 24volt system (4/trojan l16). typically this would be about 4500 plus batts. i was able to piece it all together 2000 bucks. i really have alot of confidence in outback. i though something was weird with the charge controler. when i told them what it was doing he said ill just send you a new one whats you address. never aske age how long it was installed serial. pretty kool. then to my surprise they upgraded me from mx 60 to mx 80. return postage lables inside . they were pros . when im looking for used gear i never see outback. its always aims and xantrex hmmmmm wonder why people pulled it off the wall???/ their inverters are also availible in marine grade.
there is also a company called Van America they have great deals on 4000watt sine wave inverters.
i blew up a go pro 2500 watt in a couple of weeks they wouldnt do anything to help out.
my 2 cents.
p.s. i’d take the sailboat option
cheersDecember 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm #42124
Another one is http://us.pv-contractor.com/us_store/index.php/us_us/inverters/the-tsw3224-stackable-inverter-charger.html if you want a pure sine wave inverter.
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