Inverters again - new chum needs advice (again)

Submitted: Friday, May 12, 2006 at 17:59
ThreadID: 33835 Views:1863 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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G'day all: Just got a 300 watt pure sine wave inverter with alligator clips. I have never used one before and therefore a bit of a nervous nellie.

The 'manual' says it should be grounded to earth or vehice chassis with #8 AWG wire when in use and in camp. Inveter has a butterfly nut at the back. I can attach and detach clips to camper trailer battery terminals: so Questions:

Do you all ground the Inverter to earth? How ie by doing what? and could I use the inverter to run a 75 watt 240 v light each night while in camp for 4 or 5 hours?

Thanks for your help again: RayJen
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 18:09

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 18:09
I would not earth an inverter in a camping situation. It's a floating supply and, argueably, earthing it makes receiving a shock in a fault situation more likely.

How long and what power you can use the inverter for depends upon the capacity of your battery.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 172341

Reply By: tomtrish - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 18:24

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 18:24
Hey there, mate when they say ground or earth they generally mean making contact with the earth terminal of the battery. (The negative terminal on any car I know of). This completes the circuit. It can be clamped to any metal part of the car or motor or wire it up directly to the negative terminal of the vehicle. The reason they don't sugest clamping to the battery is if you accidently cause a spark it can be dangerous. (Battery gases are explosive)
As far as running a 75 watt light for 4 to 5 hrs I think you'll use about 6amps per hr. There are plenty of 12v lights which let out a lot of light with less draw (around 1amp). You'l pay about $90 for a good one.
Hope this helps.
Tom
AnswerID: 172343

Follow Up By: Longreach - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 18:31

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 18:31
Could be wrong here but in this sense I think grounding means connecting to earth in that it connects the earth pin of the 240 V AC socket on the inverter to earth ?
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FollowupID: 427955

Follow Up By: tomtrish - Saturday, May 13, 2006 at 08:03

Saturday, May 13, 2006 at 08:03
You are right I was thinking of powering thr Inverter itself, Cheers.
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FollowupID: 428045

Reply By: Longreach - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 18:26

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 18:26
A 75 watt light will use a lot more than a compact fluoro (~10 watts).
At 12 volts it will draw a little over 6 amps, so in 5 hours that will be 6 x 5 = about 30 of the amp-hours in your battery.
AnswerID: 172344

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 18:42

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 18:42
Hi Ray

Use the inveter for your laptop and camera batteries.

Rather use a 12V fluorescent light like the Torpedo light which emits about the same as the 75w bulb but will only use 0.4amps. (Note: There is a typo on the website that states it is a 13amp globe instead of 13 watt)

Don't worry about the earth wing nut. It is not needed in camp situations. Just don't get it wet.

Regards Derek.
AnswerID: 172347

Reply By: Kiwi Kia - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 19:31

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 19:31
They do mean a contact with terra firma.

An earth is for one thing only - to blow the fuse if there is a fault. Hopefully before you make contact with something that is alive.

Once the fuse is open circuit the device has no supply = no output, so no possibility of electric shock.
AnswerID: 172356

Reply By: Keith_A (Qld) - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 20:20

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 20:20
Agree entirely with Derick.
Use your inverter to run the Laptop, CD player, and recharge camera batteries etc.
For lighting, we use the Nelson 12V compact Flouros. (Bunnings)
They are 12W (=draws only 1 amp) but are equivelant to 70W bulbs.
There are many other 12V flouro options, and Flouros are many times more efficient than normal (incandescent) bulbs.....Regards.........Keith
AnswerID: 172363

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