Wiring inverter

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 17:24
ThreadID: 11707 Views:1481 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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I am interested in others opinions on which battery I should wire my inverter to.
I will mainly be running a laptop with DVD, but bought a 400 watt inverter just in case I want to run something larger later. My intial thoughts were to run it off the cranking battery, as it will mainly be used while travelling. But then I thought if there was too much draw on the cranker, the solenoid might not bring in the auxilary battery to charge correctly. (which is running fridge etc.) I have got the ARB solenoid.

Any ideas?
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 17:38

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 17:38
I am running a 600w inverter from the second battery to run a laptop and also charge camera batteries while driving. To date no problems. The only other thing I did was to run two 150amp cables from the second battery direct to the inverter(one to + the other to -)
The ARB solenoid should cope with the power draw.

AnswerID: 52679

Reply By: Member - John- Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 18:19

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 18:19

Either battery will work fine with those loads but key thing is adequate cable size to handle the starting and running currents of the inverter. The std cables that usually come with the inverter assume very short cable lengths to the battery. If you are going a couple of metres you will need heavier cable minimise voltage drop.

AnswerID: 52688

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 18:47

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 18:47
G'day Andrew,

Just be careful that if you have your inverter wired through the key switched and a relay you could cause a problem. I wondered why my inverter would not work after it was switched on with the ignition key. Like a lot of electronic things of required switching off and losing a charge for 5 seconds after it had been switched off the first time as I went to start. The other option is to build in a delay switch.

If it is on, then switched off, then on within 5 seconds it just sounds like it is working but no 240v output is available, so no charging.

I have my wiring to the inverter from the second battery as above, but certaily not 150 amp cables!! Was 4mm or 6mm and not sure which, but through a relay just the same.

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AnswerID: 52692

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 19:00

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 19:00
John R,
The cables I used were from the Piranha Battery Management Systems. They are rated at 150 amp but only about 6mm in dia.
I was worred about the voltage drop with the cables going from the front of the Cruiser to the cargo barrier.
The inverter works fine and where it is mounted on the top of the cargo barrier it has a lot of cool air around it.

FollowupID: 314529

Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 19:45

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 19:45
goodday all
just a question about the invertors is it possible to mount them beside the battery and run a 240v lead into the car of choice ??????

AnswerID: 52701

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 20:13

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 20:13
I think the heat dust and water would mean a quick death to an inverter under the bonnet. Even with the unit not running it would suffer. Most of the time the inverter is running when the motor is running so the added problem of running the 240v lead from under the bonnet to inside the vehicle would also cause a problem.
To answer the question yes it could be done but it would not work for long.

FollowupID: 314534

Reply By: Member - Andrew R (VIC) - Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 20:21

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 20:21
Thanks guys,

I think I will run from the aux battery after all. The laptop won't be drawing that much power anyway. I bought 50 amp cable to run. I have learnt it is better to run large cable when playing with DC current.

Thanks again. It good hear of others experiences.
AnswerID: 52708

Follow Up By: Rosscoe - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 10:44

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 10:44
Wayne (NSW)

The 150A rating probably relates to the insulation specification. If you are using 6 mm auto cable it's probably about 4mm square but depends on the manufacturer. The larger the conductor the less the voltage drop from the battery to the DC input of the inverter. Go as big as practical but in my opinion not less than 6 mm square cross section conductor area
FollowupID: 314590

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 18:00

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 18:00
You are right, the cable is double insulated, however a yellow crimp terminal will ony just fit on the wire
I had the cable left over from a dual battery instulation job and seem a waste not to use it .

FollowupID: 314636

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