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Old 09-17-2015, 04:18 PM   #1
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Separate Sockets for Inverter Plugs?

Does anyone out there is Airstream land have any clue as to why Airstream installs a separate plug for inverter output. I know from a friend of mine that his sailboat has an automatic switch that first looks for shore then inverter and switches appropriately. It is a pain to have to switch outlets for tv and DVD depending on the source of power.
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:20 PM   #2
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Most inverters have quite limited power output and can be easily overloaded by the uninformed, or visitors (kids, etc). It makes sense to limit the outlets that are fed by the inverter to only certain ones.

In addition, it would be quite complicated to have a transfer system which excluded the refrigerator (which you don't want to run on the inverter) and the converter charger which would take the inverter power and try to charge the battery, chasing your tail.

So, although it could be done and certainly has been done, there are logistics and economics and power capacity issues which make it a not so good idea in the Airstreams.
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:44 PM   #3
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That's why I once use Magnum inverter/CHARGERS in my installations, the smallest of which is a 2000 watt sine wave unit with internal transfer switch.

All of the coach outlets are then energized by the inverter with the exception of the A/C. Everything is energized from shore power.

In the newer installations where there is sufficient solar capacity, a minimum 400 amp/hour lithium battery pack and a new hybrid inverter, the entire coach is energized including the A/C.


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Old 09-17-2015, 08:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
That's why I once use Magnum inverter/CHARGERS in my installations, the smallest of which is a 2000 watt sine wave unit with internal transfer switch.

All of the coach outlets are then energized by the inverter with the exception of the A/C. Everything is energized from shore power.

In the newer installations where there is sufficient solar capacity, a minimum 400 amp/hour lithium battery pack and a new hybrid inverter, the entire coach is energized including the A/C.


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Lew: And how do you handle the Automatic 120 volt refrigerator, and how do you exclude the converter/charger? The internal transfer switch in the inverter does not have the ability to isolate those two 120 volt loads so you must have some kind of a separate 120 volt panel too. It must also handle the AC unit.

And what cost? I expect you are talking about a system which is well over $6000 installed, that is inverter, solar, and lithium batteries.

What you can do vs. what is reasonable for most people are to be considered. I noted that in my response.
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Old 09-18-2015, 05:00 PM   #5
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Our inverter is plugged into a shore power outlet and it has a bypass. That way when on shore power both plugs work.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Lew: And how do you handle the Automatic 120 volt refrigerator, and how do you exclude the converter/charger? The internal transfer switch in the inverter does not have the ability to isolate those two 120 volt loads so you must have some kind of a separate 120 volt panel too. It must also handle the AC unit.

And what cost? I expect you are talking about a system which is well over $6000 installed, that is inverter, solar, and lithium batteries.

What you can do vs. what is reasonable for most people are to be considered. I noted that in my response.

Hey Rob,

Auto correct strikes again!!! The first line in my post above should read ' I only use Magnum inverter/CHARGERS.........'

I always use a main and sub panel for my inverter installations. This allow for separation of loads; some to shore only and some to inverter only. The pass-thru feature of Magnums will energize the 'inverter sub panel' when on shore or generator, thus energizing the entire trailer or coach. I have wired most 2000+ watt inverter installations to operate everything in the coach except the A/C and sometimes the refer 120VAC element.

If the refer is in proximity to the new power center that I add, then it's a breeze to run a new line from the main panel to the fridge 120VAC outlet for it's heating element. This way the 120VAC electric side of the fridge only works when on shore power. The A/C circuit is also placed on the new main bus so it will not attempt to start when on inverter only. Airstream does not isolate the fridge 120VAC outlet in it's wiring to the breakers.

I remove the converters, along with the AC and DC power centers when I install inverter/chargers, as the Magnum charging section is light years ahead of any converter. It's fully programmable for type and size of the battery bank and has full temperature compensation. The Parallax 'Temp-Assure', even with it's temperature compensation is STILL a single voltage charger!!!

This has changed a bit with the new hybrid inverters and the greatly increased energy density of lithium batteries. This new combinations get the A/C connected to the inverter sub panel, as the MSH-3012M will start and run a roof A/C for up to 3 hours from a 400 amp/hour lithium....significantly longer with a 600 amp/hour or larger lithium pack as there is no appreciable voltage sag (Peukert's Law) from very large loads like the A/C. It will also seamlessly supplement a low amperage power source like a residential 15 or 20 amp circuit or a 2000 watt inverter to allow for extended use of the A/C when you would otherwise not be able to do so.

Unfortunately, as with any new technology, these new components come at a fairly steep price. As all Magnums (including their MMS-600 inverter only) have internal transfer switches that will also power any separate 'inverter outlets' when on shore power as well as boondocking.

Hope I answered your question sufficiently. Please let me know if I didn't.
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