Power from Pure Sine Wave Inverters

Submitted: Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 21:28
ThreadID: 32903 Views:2343 Replies:7 FollowUps:14
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Hi all: try as I might, I do not understand inverters. I have searched the back threads and they are still a bit technical for me. Am I right in this simple statement? Are they like a storage bank? You run them from 12v in 4wd and the power converts/accumulates to be available to run items that require 230/240v to run. If so, how long does it take to create sufficient power to (say) charge a laptop or a digital camera battery?

We will soon have a camper trailer and want to know that we will have sufficient power. CT comes fitted with 105 amp hour deep cycle battery. Our 50 litre Waeco fridge will run from dedicated battery in the 4by. I have been told if not opened too frequently I will have sufficient fridge battery power for 3 days. I know I can run the 4by to recharge. But to help my understanding and reduce feelings of insecurity, what size PW inverter should I get to provide backup power for the fridge and how long would it last?

Thanks for your patience, any help much appreciated. Cheers, RayJen
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Reply By: Member - John - Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 21:50

Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 21:50
rayJen, nope, an invertor converts 12 or 24 volts DC into 240 volts AC, it does not store power, it just converts it. Have a look at the links under your question, they will give you more information.
John and Jan

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Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 22:17

Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 22:17
hey rayjen, look at it like this, any power you use in from the battery your 4by is like using the money in your wallet, plug in the Waeco and you start using money from your wallet, run out of money (i.e. run your battery flat) and you have to go back to work and get some more. An inverter will use the same money that you have in your wallet, but its clever and it changes the money so you can use it in the US or another country (in the inverters case it changes it to 240v like in your house) but to get that US money you have to use some of your own money from your wallet to change over.

So if you have used all your money running the Waeco then you try and use your inverter, you dont have any money left to convert, you gotta go get some more.

Now money doesnt grow on trees but you can top up your battery from the engine of your 4by or from the sun via a solar panel and when yiu have enough back in your wallet away goes your waeco again..

The funny thing about energy is that it cannot be created from nothing, only transformed, so you run your 4by off petrol which you put in the tank, the engine changed the petrol energy into electrical; energy which your battery stores, the solar call turns the suns energy into electrical but you always have to use some form of energy to make another, the nifty thing with the sun or the wind is that that energy is free. UNlike petrol. oh ...money isnt free either
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Follow Up By: Geoff M (Newcastle, NSW) - Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 23:49

Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 23:49
That Bonz is the best description in laymans terms of how a battery storage system works I have ever read.

Geoff.
Geoff,
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Follow Up By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 00:24

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 00:24
What if ya got an ENGEL?

Grrr!!!
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 08:18

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 08:18
Thanx Geoff

Crazy, ENGEL's wont run off money like Waeco's
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Follow Up By: Willem - Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 10:17

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 10:17
Ahhh................A man of science and letters. Well put, Bonz..................
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 12:01

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 12:01
i'm confused
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 12:12

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 12:12
Of course you are nudie, you understand fridges and aircon not money.
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 12:31

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 12:31
and i always thought it was swmbo was the reason that kept me broke...mmmm does this mean I have to appologise to her?......
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Follow Up By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 12:52

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 12:52
Dare I say it! My 110lt Waeco has never let me down - nor has my SOLENOID!

Grrr!!!
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Follow Up By: bindi5 - Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 19:44

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 19:44
if your not confused by bonz reply i certainly am, laymans term was required how can a layman follow that crap
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Follow Up By: wheeleybin - Monday, Apr 17, 2006 at 16:59

Monday, Apr 17, 2006 at 16:59
hey GeoffM it was a great expanation I agree so all you have to do is make it more efficient so your money goes further.
Wheeley
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Reply By: agsmky - Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 22:51

Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 22:51
Hi RayJen,

Your Waeco fridge will more than likely have a lead to run it straight off of 12V supply (if it is somewhat new, it will run from either 12/24/240).....don't worry about buying an inverter if that is all you want it for, especially an relatively expensive PSW type.

Andrew
AnswerID: 167080

Reply By: Keith_A (Qld) - Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 09:11

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 09:11
Hi Rayjen. As explained above, an inverter is not used for the fridge.

Most people carry an inverter to run other items - like a laptop computer (needed to store photos from the digital camera, or run mapping software); or a small mixmaster. The inverter _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx power from your camper battery and converts it into 240V immediately (does not store it), so you can run devices that need 240V.

It would be interesting to have forumites post a list of things they power with their inverter. It would make interesting reading.
regards.................Keith
AnswerID: 167106

Follow Up By: Willem - Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 10:14

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 10:14
I charge batteries(mainly camera batteries, torch batteries and GPS) and run night light off PSW inverter. Initially I bought the inverter to run the laptop but lappies are power hungry and inverter had diode failure.Repaired it. Now I run laptop off DC charger out of cig lighter
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Reply By: rayjen - Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 10:11

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 10:11
Thanks everyone for such helpful explanations for us new 4wd-ers. Great forum and great to get interested people helping each other.
AnswerID: 167111

Follow Up By: Des Lexic - Sunday, Apr 16, 2006 at 17:40

Sunday, Apr 16, 2006 at 17:40
How come you can't be Member Messaged cos I know your a member. What Bonz doesn't know about electrical stuff isn't worth knowing. I can tell you that an inverter can run an electric blanket so my very old sister won't get cold. Book etc is in the post (Thursday) Personally, my old chook has a hot water bottle although it's well known that I'm so hot in bed, she doesn't need the HWB for long.
Cheers
Demond
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Reply By: manzi - Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 12:08

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 12:08
As it says, it only converts the DC power from a battery to the AC (mains) power and the conversion is always with a loss (typical 5-15%) but they do not store power! There are items which will only run on AC power like mains motors, microwaves (use gas, cheaper!) and most chargers like for your video, shaver etc.
A sine wave converter does not only step up the incoming voltage but also converts the "flat" wave form to a "sine wave" by simulating the wave with as many steps as possible right up to the "pure" (multistep) wave which I consider too expensive, a waste of money and not needed at all in camping applications. Get yourself a "simulated" sine wave converter between 100 to 150W, they are cheap and do all things you will need, Jaycar has a cheap unit, 120Watts, converts the power to 3 steps and runs absolutely cold and is fully protected, like for shorts.
AnswerID: 167122

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 12:13

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 12:13
down south we dont wear shorts
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Follow Up By: agsmky - Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 14:09

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 14:09
Manzi,

Just as a hint.....anyone who doesn't understand simple concepts like the inverter will more than likely have absolutely no clue what a Sine wave has to do with electricity (or what is a sine wave) :-)

Not attacking your answer, just pointing out something i have learnt from being an electrician in a past life ;-)

BTW, i would be surprised if the Jaycar unit ran "absolutely cold" when there always will be heat generated.....

Andrew
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Reply By: macandrita - Sunday, Apr 16, 2006 at 19:25

Sunday, Apr 16, 2006 at 19:25
Rayjen,

I use a 12volt transformer cable, available at most electronic retail outlets, to power the laptop , and charge the internal battery. I also use rechargable batteries in the digital camera which i recharge with a 12 volt operated battery charger. Both AA and AAA. So I haven't yet found a necessity for an inverter.
Mac
AnswerID: 167254

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