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Old 07-25-2015, 09:29 PM   #15
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[QUOte=An excellent unit if you can get by with 300 watts.[/QUOTE]

As a user of this unit I have to wonder (1) what would you do with more power and (2) how long would the two standard Airstream batteries last?

Because we so rarely hook up when camping when we do the only things different are use of air conditioner and microwave. The inverter powers the TV and all small appliances fine.

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Old 07-25-2015, 09:49 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by HiJoeSilver View Post
The Morningstar 300 watt pure sine wave is an excellent unit and I have one myself plus 3 others in service at Forest Service Campgrounds that I do volunteer solar work at. They seem to be bulletproof, and have very low idle current draw compared to virtually all other sine wave inverters I have found. They also have a great search function which turns them on automatically when a 120 volt load of over 10 watts is turned on. When the load is removed, they go back to search, taking almost no power.

All in the campgrounds are turned on in the spring, and off in the fall. They simply work. In my FC 20 I leave mine on most of the time from spring to fall, but occasionally use the big clunky original 1000 watt WFCO to run the microwave or toaster. I have a switch which allows me to run the dedicated inverter outlets on either inverter.

The 300 watt Morningstar Pure Sine is a great unit.

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Old 07-26-2015, 10:10 AM   #17
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Thank you guys so much for all of your replies! It has definitely helped me get a better understanding of what is going on.

Let me be more specific about my needs and current equipment and hopefully that will better guide the advice.

During the day I would like to be able to charge laptop and cellphones, have the ability to run the fridge 24hrs and power two 12v fantastic vents 24hrs.
The fridge is a Haier mini fridge that pulls 2 Amps.
I won't have a major need for power in the evening mainly during day light hours.
I do not have a furnace, stove or other major appliance to power.

My current equipment:
2- 100w go electric flex panels mounted parallel
Full River G-31 12volt Battery 128@100hrs and 91@5hrs
WFCO 55 Amp Power Converter

As I mentioned ideally I would love to spend $300 but could do up to $500 or $600 if necessary. I just want to get it to the power level that will meet my needs.

Realistically what do I need?
Inverter size?
Should I get another panel and battery?

For my needs, can my current panels and battery handle the constant energy flow without draining my battery down below 50% during sunlight hours? Can my panels and battery keep up with the energy demand of laptop, cell phones, fridge and fans?
And will the fridge be able to stay on 24/7 without causing a battery drain problem.

I probably sound mentally challenged. This is just a new arena for us and want to do it right.

Thanks again for all of your help!!!
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:12 AM   #18
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Over $600 (for the inverter) will be tough for me to convince my wife...I'm sure you know how that goes.
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:05 PM   #19
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I am going to try to esmate your loads from the information you have provided.

I will do it in amp hours at 12 volts, that is 1 amp for 1 hour = 1 amp hour.

The Fantastic vent fans on low take about 1 amp each, medium about 1.3 amps and high about 1.6 amps.

Assuming you are running two on low for 24 hours you will use 2 amps x 24 hours = 48 amp hours.

The mini fridge, although small is an inefficient device. People think that small = low energy use but only if well made and designed efficient. The little dorm refrigerators are not built that way. I have made some studies and find that most of the little refrigerators take about 50 watts per hour on a 24 hour basis. Then there is an inverter loss to power them from 12 volts, which probably adds another 10 watts per hour. So, lets say 60 watts per hour average. 60watts / 12 volts = 5 amps on average each hour. (watts = volts x amps).

So the refrigerator takes 5 amps per hour x 24 hours = 120 amp hours.

It is hard to estimate your laptop and cell phone charging needs, but I am going to toss in another 15 amp hours for them.

Total is now up to 48 + 120 + 15 = 183 amp hours per day. As you can see the refrigerator is your killer. Even if I am off by 50% high, it is still a killer.

On average your 200 watt portable solar panels will probably deliver 70% of that rated number, or 140 watts. 140watts/12 volts = 11.6 amps per hour. Say 5 hours of sunshine gives you a production of 11.6 amps x 5 hours = 57 amp hours a day.

You can see that 57 amp hours per day will barely run your two fans on low for 24 hours. (48 amp hours).

Solar is great, inverters are great, batteries are only storage devices. Your loads and wants are too high for your production capacity. You must reduce your load, or increase your production capacity, or both to even come close. The inverter is not your issue as much as your other problems to deal with first.

Sorry to be a wet blanket here, but I hope the numbers help with your understanding.
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Old 07-27-2015, 12:29 PM   #20
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I tossed out my old converter, and wired in a XANTREX FREEDOM XMIC 1000 INVERTER CHARGER. It's about $336 at Amazon (just checked), so it's in your price range. I've liked it so far, but I have had to diddle with the install to get it to work right. I agree with the other posters in that you need to keep all of the heavy usage items away from the inverter, so I had to split my AC panel; one part for incoming shore power, and another part for inverted AC. I've installed a utility plug circuit on the shore power side that doesn't touch the inverter. This is for high power stuff like my espresso maker, ceramic heater, and toaster oven. My Xantrex doesn't like high loads, even when running shore power through it! I've color-coded the plugs to make it easier to distinguish them.

Had I it do over, I'd go with the 1800w model. You should also look into a good RV surge/dip protector. Some of these funky campgrounds deliver up some sketchy power!
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Old 07-27-2015, 04:49 PM   #21
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Idroba did an excellent job in helping you understand your energy requirements. Keep in mind though that the battery manufacturer recommends that you do no discharge your cell more than 50%. So for your battery, 100 A*hours becomes more than 50 A*hours of useful capacity. You should consider increasing your battery bank when adding an inverter.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:12 PM   #22
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Idroba did indeed do an excellent job in helping me understand. Thank you all very much for your replies and knowledge.

Here is my plan. Let's see if I learned anything.

I am going to add another panel. Right now my two panels are pulling 13.6 from 6am to 8pm and 14.4 when the sun is directly on them. I am in Southern California.

I am going to add another battery just like the one I have now.
Full River G-31 12volt Battery 128@100hrs and 91@5hrs

Here is the inverter I am looking at Xantrex PROWatt 2000 Inverter, Model# 806-1220

Well this get me off in the right direction?

1962 26' Overlander
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:20 PM   #23
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I need an Inverter, help me please!

Just a note, my Haier 10 cuft fridge only draws 1 amp when running on AC 120. (Which translates to 10 amp + 1 amp 12 DC, and the compressor does not run full time.

I run my whole trailer, (less the Air conditioner) on my bigger inverter, but through a 15 amp breaker, (1,800 watts) so your 2,000 amp should be plenty big enough.

Additionally, your tow vehicle should top off your batteries whenever you tow for more than a couple a few hours.

I have been using my setup for a couple of years now, and it has worked for me pretty well.

The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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