Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1
    Platinum
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    36,859
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default When the Inverter Fails

    Got your attention, huh? Really the title should be "When the Inverter Runs Out of Battery."

    We're fortunate to live in a "24 Hour Zone." That means we have some power during any given "24 Hour" period. Seriously, we lose Edenorte power occasionally. No problem, the inverter picks up the slack. We have everything in the house except water heater, and 220v water pump and bedroom a/c running off the 3500w inverter and 4 batteries.

    It works well. However, on 6 occasions in 2 years the power has been off long enough to run out of battery. For some reason this has been going into the evening. On these occasions I've cranked up the portable 3500w gas genset (same size as the inverter) I've had, plugged in a mass of HD extension cords and house gang plugs/ surge suppressors/extension cords, disconnect electronics, plug them back into the mass of wires and gang plugs and run lamps and electronics. It works as a temporary solution but rather cumbersome and we can't run everything as we want. It's a hassle that works semi-OK. (Yes, yes, I know genset and inverter power is dirty and may damage sensitive electronics...)

    So this morning I had our electrician come out and install a much simpler and thorough solution to maximize the use of the genset on the rare times we lose Edenorte power long enough to drain the inverter batteries. I hardwired a cord to temporarily connect the inverter to the generator. When the batteries get nearly drained and the power is still out, I simply move the genset 4 feet, plug a custom cord into it, start the genset and flip a switch next to the inverter, and...VOILA...whole house power and battery charging from a simple portable genset for temporary emergency use.

    While the generator is running, it powers the house and charges the inverter batteries. It should take about 4 hours to fully charge the 4 batteries. When they are charged I can shut the genset off and just use batteries.

    How it works-

    This is the inverter and switch:

    The genset is connected to the "power in" side of the inverter. The switch allows us to break the connection when the power is "normal", otherwise the wire is hot in the out building where the generator lives. The large black wire next to the grey on the inverter goes to the genset.

    Closeup of the switch:

    Note the small light. It came from a spare wall switch with lighted toggles. When the street power is on, it's lit. No street power, no light. This allows us to know when the street power comes on when the generator is on, otherwise we wouldn't know.

    Opposite side of the wall from the inverter, the wire goes to the genset in an outbuilding.


    The outbuilding with the wire to the house plugged into the genset:

    The genset runs many hours on one tank of gasoline and is surprisingly quiet. The room is well ventilated.

    The drill will be: when we get the "low battery" warning on the inverter, I'll go to the outbuilding, drag the genset 4 feet, plug the wire in, crank the genset on, go to the inverter, flip the switch to "Planta"...and have temporary power for the house and charge the inverter batteries.

    Installed just in time for Irene!

    Total cost: RD$2500.

    A simple solution for not a lot of money.

  2. #2
    Platinum
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    22,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    That is the way my solar system works..... I turn on the planta to charge batteries and the house runs too.

    Some of my friends turn on the planta for ironing and other hi-energy pastimes....

    Very sensible of you... however you may be spared the "GoodNight Irene" scenario... I hope so.

  3. #3
    Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    56
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Where did you buy your "Wave" inverter?

  4. #4
    Platinum
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    36,859
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by grsher View Post
    Where did you buy your "Wave" inverter?
    Wave is made by Inverluz in Moca. They produce two lines: ProTrace, still somewhat analog, and Wave, all digital. The price differential was about 35%.

    They have a store with a display in Santiago on Padre Las Casas between Bartolo Colon and Estrella Sadala, a couple of blocks from Sadala. The store is "MegaTone".

  5. Likes grsher liked this post
  6. #5
    Platinum
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    28,726
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    For those on the north coast there is also a Megatone inverter store on 27 Febrero in Puerto Plata. A bit easier to get to than than Inverluz in Moca or Megatone in Santiago for those of us on the north coast.

    I have the same simple solution you just installed in Jarabacoa. It was put in just after I moved in permanently about 8 years ago. I may even have to use it today because when it rains like Irene is causing, the wires made of sugar melt and Edenorte does not like to work in the rain.

  7. #6
    Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    56
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thanks. Do they have a low battery shutdown and a battery equalizing function? I saw your other thread on the inverter, it was well done. I couldn't find much information about the specs by searching Inverluz.

  8. #7
    Platinum
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    36,859
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JDJones View Post
    That's the way it's done.

    One step further would be to have an automatic transfer switch with timers, but then you need an auto starting generator.

    With that set up, the electricity goes off, a timer starts, then after whatever time you chose, the generator starts. The generator starting starts another timer, that shuts the generator off after whatever time you chose.

    It will do that forever, or until the regular electrical service comes back.

    Takes the "manual" part out of the equation entirely.

    Mine actually had 4 timers; 2 as above, plus one that allowed running time without a load before shut off, and another that postponed switching back to CDEE until their power stabilized. (to avoid the "offies and onnies" from messing things up)
    Nice.

    Camp Moto has the "campotech" system. The power is pretty OK here. I just have the genset for extreme situations. Kinda low tech plug and play. The genset cost $300 (I brought it from the states), the installation under $70. I'm the unpaid Manuel Component, and I'm OK with that...

    I had a propane 13kw system in FL that cost many thousands to set up. This one? $370.

    Soy Dominicano...

  9. #8
    Platinum
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    36,859
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by grsher View Post
    Thanks. Do they have a low battery shutdown and a battery equalizing function? I saw your other thread on the inverter, it was well done. I couldn't find much information about the specs by searching Inverluz.
    Yes to both.

    In fact when the batteries get low it alarms for 5 minutes before shutting down. Hard to miss the alarm.

    I'm 100% happy with the Interluz Wave inverter. We've had it for 2 years without one problem. And the batteries (US Battery) have served us very well. All we've done is top off the water every 4-6 months when they need it.

    All in all the inverter system was both very reasonably priced and functionally is worth more than we payed. You can pay a LOT more for an inverter/battery system, but IMO you'd not get a better value by any measure.

  10. Likes grsher liked this post
  11. #9
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,553
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Cobraboy - those are NOT ordinary Bateries - are they GEL cos they are much bigger than avarage DR batteries!

    OLLY

  12. #10
    Platinum
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    28,726
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I have both Trace DR series inverters and a Wave inverter from Inverluz. The only thing missing from a Trace DR series inverter in the Wave inverter is a search function. That means if there is nothing drawing current, the inverter shuts off saving some battery power. Not having that function is not an issue for most people. Other than that it is identical in function to the original Trace DR series inverters (now called Xantrex) at a much better price.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •