Inverters Made in the DR

Status
Not open for further replies.

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
40,964
922
113
First of all, thanks to AZB/Aftab for his sage advice in another thread about inverters made in the DR. He was spot on.

Inverters are as much of life in the DR as a car is. You simply cannot exist in any modern fashion without one.

There has been much discussion on brands of inverters and whether the imports are superior to the ones made in the DR. The discussion is certainly important because the imports-Trace being the #1 brand-are significantly more expensive than the Dominican brands.

And since we've been having ongoing problems with the 1.5kw already in our house, I did my homework and wanted to offer some insight into what I have learned from engineers, what I have found about the Dominican brands and some insight into our recent purchase.

1.5kw isn't diddly if you want continuous power to most appliances in your abode. We want to run everything but the bedroom a/c, the water pump and the water heater. We have considerable computer and tech equipment but no plasma TV's or heart/brain monitors. A quick calculation showed that a 2.4kw would suffice; but because the price differential between a 2.4 and 3.6 was very minor, a few hunders pesos, we opted for the larger. We chose a 3.6kw with 24 volt input (called a 3624 in the inverter world, a 2.4 with 12 volt input is a 2412, etc.)

5 years ago there may have been a need for a pure sine wave inverter on sensitive electrical equipment. But not so much any more. Laptops already have an ac/dc adapter and modern power supplies with most (not all) modern appliances (including TV's and audio equipment) don't really rerquire it-nice, but not necessary. A check with two electrical engineer friends, both geeks, one a trusted Dominican family member, led me to refining our requirements to a good modified sine wave unit. One reason is that the pure sine wave units can be three times the price of a mod. sine wave unit. Anecdotally, the Dominican engineer, an experienced tech supervisor at Codetel in the DSL division, said he hasn't seen damage to equipment because of a bad inverter in several years and that there is more danger in the surges from the sudden power-on than from inverters. Makes sense.

So I went researching, looking for the best quality and function at the most reasonable cost.

I found that one company makes MOST of the circuit boards in both Trace as well as several Dominican brands of inverters. The circuit board is the heart of an inverter, period. With that info, we eliminated Trace based on the significantly higher cost. Don't get me wrong, no doubt they make a quality, top-shelf unit. But we wanted to find comparable quality at much better prices. So we went researching Dominican inverters.

And this is where things got interesting.

As AZB pointed out, all Dominican inverters are NOT created equally. I give you a perfect example, our old 1.5kw unit:

Our electrician, an actual pro who knows his stuff, says it's very typical. It's a mishmash of cobbled together components and hand-made bad circuit boards with solder joints from hell. These are cheapcheapcheap...and are in many Dominican homes. I suspect these are the type that will fry sensitive electronics. I can tell you the quality of power coming from that unit was just aweful.

There are many local inverter companies who offer different private labeled Dominican made inverters and some who sell Chinese imports. But we chose to investigate manufacturers who sell them directly. The rationale was knowledge of the units and direct parts and service support especially under the warranty period.

One brand we heard mentioned often was ProTrace made by Inverluz in Moca. I posted a promotional video about them in another thread. When we called the factory the representatives were very helpful and ready with technical specifications. We found 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".

Again, the store personell were very helpful, knowledgeable and were clearly proud of their product. They allowed me to take all the pictures I wanted.

This is their circuit board, the heart of their system. The white box shows the controls, adapters and diagnostic lights you see on the outside of the unit:


A display of some of their units:


This is a see-through 36/24 unit to show the quality of construction:



The 3624 unit no longer has the external voltage meter. The cost, with a 2 year full warranty, is $RD16,000 (which includes a $RD800 discount). We also purchased 4 220ah U.S. Batterys @ $RD3500 ea. with a 15 month full warranty/9 month prorated warranty. So the total cost of a quality inverter and batteries was $RD30,000. Not bad at all.

I might add that Inverluz also makes pure sine wave inverters in their Wave line. The price for a 4024 is $RD53,000.

We had the unit installed by our electrician here in Jarabacoa. He commented on the quality. Installation was a snap and the unit has worked perfectly. Good thing, because the power from Edenorte has just sucked recently.

There are also other solid Dominican brands out there. Inverluz is just one.

One more important note: an inverter can act as a surge suppresser and short curcuit preventer ONLY IF the house electrical system is grounded. Many if not most in the DR are NOT grounded. Ours wasn't. It is now. We ad it done with the inverter installation...at a total cost of $RD2000 including the 4' long 5/8" thick copper rod. Make sure your house is grounded!

Again, thanks AZB. And special thanks to Waytogo and Chip. Team effort. Hope y'all found clearing up the mystery of Dominican inverters helpful.
 

waytogo

Moderator - North Coast Forum & Covid
Apr 3, 2009
6,407
569
113
Santiago DR
Excellent information. This is the quality of thread that is most welcome. I have been waiting for you to post info on your recent purchase so I now can purchase a quality local system. Two questions, where did you purchase the copper grounding rod? And could you give us the contact info on your electrician. I have one but he is very expensive. Sounds like you purchased a great system for a great price.
 
Last edited:

bob saunders

Platinum
Jan 1, 2002
28,090
1,706
113
dr1.com
Excellent post, so for just under $1000 US you got a good inverter, 4 batteries, and the electrical system grounded. When you consider the price and inconvience of replacing valuable electronic equipment, and the possibility of loosing valuable data it's money well spend. Thanks for the great information.
 

J D Sauser

Silver
Nov 20, 2004
2,929
357
83
www.hispanosuizainvest.com
Truly insightful post!
Also, a properly grounded home ,is the ticket to being now able to utilize surge protectors (often part of UPS systems) to their full potential... which could, over a short time period well pay for the inverter and installation in savings.

... J-D.
 

J D Sauser

Silver
Nov 20, 2004
2,929
357
83
www.hispanosuizainvest.com
...
So I went researching, looking for the best quality and function at the most reasonable cost.

I found that one company makes MOST of the circuit boards in both Trace as well as several Dominican brands of inverters. The circuit board is the heart of an inverter, period. With that info, we eliminated Trace based on the significantly higher cost. ...

I was amazed at the quality and layout of the PCB assembly of your ProTrace inverter shown on your picture.
MegaTone rings a bell, as it is a Korean manufacturer who designs, prototypes, manufactures and distributes PCB assemblies for all sorts of applications all over the world (including Latin America and the US). They also make parts for inverters:

www.megatonecorp.com

This is in no way diminishing the efforts or our Mocanos assembling your inverter or their product's quality. Actually, it is a guarantee of quality and proven professional design, that even should the local builders ever fold, one would stand a chance to find a replacement control board.






... J-D.
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
18,946
504
113
Grounding rods can be found in m ost major hardware stores: Deposito ferretero in POP, Ochoa, Bellon in Santiago etc etc They run around RD$1000-RD$1200....

Get one!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HB
 
Jan 9, 2004
9,162
503
113
Realizing appliances and electrical devices all consume varying amounts of energy, could you broadly outline what appliances/electrical devices you can/or do have connected to the inverter system you have purchased/installed.

Thanks in advance for your reply.


Respectfully,
Playacaribe2
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
40,964
922
113
Realizing appliances and electrical devices all consume varying amounts of energy, could you broadly outline what appliances/electrical devices you can/or do have connected to the inverter system you have purchased/installed.

Thanks in advance for your reply.


Respectfully,
Playacaribe2
20cf Fridge, a water cooler, some floor and ceiling fans (not on at the same time), a dozen or so lights off and on at different times, 3 computers/printers/modems/routers, 2 radios. Not a whole lot.

If I had more power needs, I'd add a second system or a larger inverter.
 

AZB

Platinum
Jan 2, 2002
12,270
488
83
I have dominican made inverters in my office and in my house for over 9 yrs. The office one broke a couple of times because of my abuse but the repair was less than 500 pesos (like 14 bucks). Big deal. The home version is a solid one, made by eddy in santo domingo. It worked like a charm all 9 yrs without faults. Only once it broke down when a lizzard sneaked inside and got zapped. This blew out my transister; again the repair cost was less than 500 pesos. Imagine if trace unit had burnt out? Oh god. I am afraid to think of the repair costs.
AZB
 

AZB

Platinum
Jan 2, 2002
12,270
488
83
20cf Fridge, a water cooler, some floor and ceiling fans (not on at the same time), a dozen or so lights off and on at different times, 3 computers/printers/modems/routers, 2 radios. Not a whole lot.

If I had more power needs, I'd add a second system or a larger inverter.

you may want to add 4 more batteries to your system. I believe you have only 4 connected. You have a heavy load and I have seen your house, its a castle.
AZB
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
40,964
922
113
Cobraboy, what is the battery model number and where did you purchase the 220AH US Battery model for 3,500 pesos each?

To my knowledge US Battery makes a model 1800 which is 208 AH and a model 2200 which is 232 AH, so I want to make sure of which one you got and where.

U.S. Battery-US 1800 XC

U.S. Battery-US 2200 XC
Neither. The model is US 245 and it's made by U.S. Battery. It looks exactly like the U.S. 2200.

I bought them with the inverter @ the Inverluz office in Santiago.
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
40,964
922
113
you may want to add 4 more batteries to your system. I believe you have only 4 connected. You have a heavy load and I have seen your house, its a castle.
AZB
Well, we moved to more modest digs.

My calculations were for a 24 hour outage with normal electrical consumption. If it goes beyong 24 hours, I'll hook up my 6500w gas generator to charge the batteries.

4 more could be in the plan if the current 4 don't provide real-world use.

We had a 3624 at the old house with 8 crap batteries, and we never came close to maxing them out. The longest balckout we've had here in 1.5 years is 18 hours.
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
40,964
922
113
Excellent information. This is the quality of thread that is most welcome. I have been waiting for you to post info on your recent purchase so I now can purchase a quality local system. Two questions, where did you purchase the copper grounding rod? And could you give us the contact info on your electrician. I have one but he is very expensive. Sounds like you purchased a great system for a great price.
The electricians got the supplies. And I failed to report the parts...3 bridge cables, 2 new Heavy Duty longer cables, grounding rod, coupler and wire was $RD1200 from the local ferreteria.

The electrician and his helper are local Jarabacoa boys with plenty to do here. I doubt they'd moto to santiago.
 

J D Sauser

Silver
Nov 20, 2004
2,929
357
83
www.hispanosuizainvest.com
Make sure the bride cables used to interconnect the batteries have real lead or REAL copper connectors (scratch with a pocket knife). They sell some here with connectors which are made of some metal which corrodes and blows up like puff pastry dough.

... J-D.
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
40,964
922
113
Make sure the bride cables used to interconnect the batteries have real lead or REAL copper connectors (scratch with a pocket knife). They sell some here with connectors which are made of some metal which corrodes and blows up like puff pastry dough.

... J-D.
Agreed. I'm a stickler for maintenance anyway. I'll be eyeballing the batteries routinely.
 

ExtremeR

Silver
Mar 22, 2006
3,078
320
0
Well, we moved to more modest digs.

My calculations were for a 24 hour outage with normal electrical consumption. If it goes beyong 24 hours, I'll hook up my 6500w gas generator to charge the batteries.

4 more could be in the plan if the current 4 don't provide real-world use.

We had a 3624 at the old house with 8 crap batteries, and we never came close to maxing them out. The longest balckout we've had here in 1.5 years is 18 hours.

You use the refrigerator with the inverter?? if so, there is no way your inverter would last 24 hours on it, it doesn't matter any calculations you could have made on it, by experience I'll tell you is impossible. Even without the refrigerator you will have to turn off several appliances and lights to reach the 24 hour mark.
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
40,964
922
113
You use the refrigerator with the inverter?? if so, there is no way your inverter would last 24 hours on it, it doesn't matter any calculations you could have made on it, by experience I'll tell you is impossible. Even without the refrigerator you will have to turn off several appliances and lights to reach the 24 hour mark.
You are incorrect. I'm somewhat of a geek in many ways, and my research is very certain. I have tested my fridge and it draws 18 amps at startup, 10.5 at running. That equals, at 110v, 1980 watts at start and 1155 while running.

It runs about no more than 1/3 of the time; I keep the inside at 40 degrees and the freezer at 15 degrees. It is a modern Samsung unit that is effecient and well insulated.

I use a total of 550kw a month according to Edenorte, and that includes an a/c unit in our bedroom running 8 hours a nite, a water heater used 30 minutes a day and a pump from the cistern to the tinaco...none of which are connected to inverter circuits.

Therefore, I consume a tad less than 18,500w a day, including the three biggest energy hogs, about 170amps. With a 10% loss of efficiency due to the inverter, my 880 ah bank has a usable capacity of 396 amps.

I'm pretty certain I have it covered.

I had to do the same calculations in sizing a power/inverter/charging/battery system for a larger sailboat, and I was spot on with the amount of time I had between engine charges.
 

ExtremeR

Silver
Mar 22, 2006
3,078
320
0
Oh well, Sometimes calculations are just that, calculations, I am talking by experience here, not just babbling stuff, We've had an inverter since 2000 first with 8 batteries and then with just 4 (really expensive to change 8 every 2 years). And the longer blackout we had was one time when Edesur disconnected us from the main supply as somebody forgot to pay the bill, with 8 batteries and the fridge running (Mabe) the inverter lasted exactly 19 hours, by then we had an small apartment with only 6 lights on, 2 TV's, couple of ceiling fans and a desktop PC.

Now with only 4 batteries we don't bother connecting the fridge with the inverter as we know by experience that will last 5-6 hours at most (bigger apartment may have something to do with that too).

Let's wait the real test to see if it matches your calculation sheet.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.