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Old 11-02-2005, 04:25 PM   #1
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Intelli-power

I have run my wires and am about ready to start constructing my electric system.

The first thing I need (I think) is a converter that will allow me to power my systems with "shore power" - if I understand correctly - the converter takes 120 and converts it to 12v to run my systems and charge my batteries. The amp rating on the intellipower is how many amps of 12v power it will run? Can I use this without batteries in place?

Later, I plan to add an inverter and a solar panel/charger. I will either use wet cell or AGM batteries. Can I just get the intellipower now, before the batteries, so that I can run my lights and plugs and things? Or is there some combination unit that I should think about?

Another question is a general inverter question. When I am running an inverter off my batteries can I run this 120 power through my circuits or am I limited to the built in plugs on the inverter itself?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-02-2005, 04:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcferguson
Can I use this without batteries in place?
I wouldn't advise it. The battery will be there to help with momentary "surges" that could overload your new intellipower, as well as it not being good for the unit in general. It will be making power, with nowhere to go, when everything is off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcferguson
Later, I plan to add an inverter and a solar panel/charger. I will either use wet cell or AGM batteries. Can I just get the intellipower now, before the batteries, so that I can run my lights and plugs and things? Or is there some combination unit that I should think about?
If you get yoiur intellipower, and you don't want to get the high dollar batteris right now, go to your local car battery distributer, and get a small "blem" battery to hook up along with your intellipower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcferguson
Another question is a general inverter question. When I am running an inverter off my batteries can I run this 120 power through my circuits or am I limited to the built in plugs on the inverter itself?
No. You will fry your 12v components quicker than you can say "Wally Byam". You can hook your coach up to the inverter, with the intellipower OFF, and power your outlets, but don't hook it up to the 12v side of the intellipower.

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Originally Posted by jcferguson
Thanks for the help.
You are welcome.
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jcferguson
. . Another question is a general inverter question. When I am running an inverter off my batteries can I run this 120 power through my circuits or am I limited to the built in plugs on the inverter itself?
I assume you mean to run the output of the inverter through your 120v circuit breaker panel.

You can do this. In fact, most inverters over 1000w have provisions for wiring to your breaker panel.

You must be very careful that the inverter is not connected to the circuit panel at the same time as shore power or a generator. One at a time, please.

You can do it with a transfer switch, or by poka-yoke, with a plug and receptacle that only goes to one source at a time.
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:45 PM   #4
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His question was kind of confusing, but I think between your answer and mine, we answered it. If not, there may be an Airstream-shaped mushroom cloud where he is at soon.
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:49 PM   #5
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Now you guys have me worried. Is it ok to have a load connected to an inverter which is connected to the batteries while the intellipower is connected to shore power?
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:52 PM   #6
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Now you guys have me worried. Is it ok to have a load connected to an inverter which is connected to the batteries while the intellipower is connected to shore power?
Yes, but why would you want to?
You can get power from your outlets in your trailer, just don't hook up the inverter to the outlets while you are hooked into shore power. Foom! You will let all the factory-installed smoke out of either the inverter, the intellipower, or both.
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
I assume you mean to run the output of the inverter through your 120v circuit breaker panel.

You can do this. In fact, most inverters over 1000w have provisions for wiring to your breaker panel.

You must be very careful that the inverter is not connected to the circuit panel at the same time as shore power or a generator. One at a time, please.

You can do it with a transfer switch, or by poka-yoke, with a plug and receptacle that only goes to one source at a time.
This gets at what I was curious about -- how about smaller inverters - is there a way to wire them into my breaker panel? I'm not sure if I will need much more than 600 watts. What I would like to do is have the inverter located with the batteries under the couch and have a remote switch to turn the 120 inverter power to my circuits on and off as needed.

Do some inverters come with an auto transfer switch or is this always an external component that fits somewhere between the shore power, inverter, and circuit panel?

Thanks for the help!

Carlos
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Old 11-02-2005, 06:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by guy99
Is it ok to have a load connected to an inverter which is connected to the batteries while the intellipower is connected to shore power?
In theory, yes. But as stated above I can't think of a situation where you would need to.
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Old 11-02-2005, 06:09 PM   #9
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Do some inverters come with an auto transfer switch or is this always an external component that fits somewhere between the shore power, inverter, and circuit panel?

Thanks for the help!

Carlos
Yes, lots of them have auto transfer switches, but I'm not sure about the smaller sizes like 600w. Depends on the brand also.
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Old 11-02-2005, 06:24 PM   #10
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Yes, but why would you want to?
You can get power from your outlets in your trailer, just don't hook up the inverter to the outlets while you are hooked into shore power. Foom! You will let all the factory-installed smoke out of either the inverter, the intellipower, or both.
What I plan to do is wire an inverter directly to the battery bank on my MH. Then install a couple of dedicated duplex outlets powered only by the inverter. These will be used for Satellite, TV, DVD, laptop and cell phone charger. I'd rather not need to switch outlets when on shore power and I don't want to install a transfer switch just for these outlets. I know some inverters have transfer switch functionality built in but I already have an inverter which doesn't have that functionality.
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Old 11-02-2005, 06:49 PM   #11
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You could wire the two duplex outlets to a junction box near the inverter. Attach a short pigtail with a plug from the junction box to the inverter.

Also install a shore power duplex outlet in the same general location. Then if you are parked somewhere for a long time on shore power, you can switch the two dedicated outlets from the inverter to shore power by just unplugging from the inverter and plugging into the shore power outlet.
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Old 11-02-2005, 07:12 PM   #12
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jcferguson,

You will be able to power your 12 volt system with the intellipower with or without batteries. It will not harm the power supply in any way to have it connected to your trailer with no batteries. Others will disagree with me but the fact is that this is a switching power supply and therefore it will put out the voltage without the voltage problems that a univolt would have with no batteries (or very low loads).
There is tons of good information on this type of power supply on the internet. I ran my intellipower for 2 months during our renovation with no batteries and I am happy to report that there was no problems with my system, my 12 volt powered stuff or my intellipower.
You can get a cheap battery to hook up to your system if you want but you will not notice any difference with it there or without it.

Your dedicated outlet connected to the inverter will be fine but you may want to be sure that you have a battery minder - something that tells you the state of charge of the batteries during use. The intellipower does come with a charge wizard that will tell you basic state of charge based on battery voltage. There are vendors that sell the intellipower and throw the charge wizard in for free.
Our Intellipower is here in service 2 months before we installed batteries.


Of course you know that if you leave the inverter hooked up you should find a way to turn it off when not in use because the no load draw can drain your batteries. I put a switch on our stero amp (250 watts per) because of that same problem.
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