Inverters

philly

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Feb 14, 2003
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ok i have read many posts by all the inverter fans...i am sold...help!...where do i get one? and how much is it going to cost?

house is in santiago and probably looking for a 2kilo(2 computers, frig, dsl, tv/stereo, 3 fans??)

or can i buy the inverter here in the states for less? and bring it there and buy the batteries there? would it be worth the effort?

what should you look for in an inverter to know you have a quality one? i have read that a surge capacity is a good idea as well as deep cycle batteries...

thanks for the tips
philly
 

Criss Colon

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Jan 2, 2002
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2.5 kilo should do it!

If you have the money,I would by a "TRACE" unit,with 8 "Trojan" batteries.The batteries are about 2,800 pesos each at Plaza Lama yesterday.(you can use 4,but you will get less "Time")The Trace 2.5 inverter must be about 1000 US by now!I had a friend who bought one there,but had to send it back "there" to get it fixed under the warrantee.Giant Problems! I have a Trace 3.6 with 7 years of use ,never a service call! They are widely available in the DR.The 8 batteries will give you lots of time when the power is off.Problem is,that lately in Santiago,the power is never on long enough to re-charge the batteries completely! Now people are also bying "Generators" to charge their invertors!
What A Country!!!!

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XanaduRanch

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Sep 15, 2002
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Try sending a PM to MRMIKE who posts on this board. He has a shop in Santiago selling inverters and batteries, etc.

We have a Trace Dr model 2.5 KW inverter. I haven't been as lucky as CC on the service calls, but then this one came with the house. Still has worked 99.9% of the time and I attribute the few breakdowns to the fact that Dominicans repaired it. LOL.

When it's working optimally, with 8 good batteries, we get 12 hours to 15 hours from the system before the batteries die. That's with a couple of refrigerators, 4-5 computers and monitors, fans, a couple of 20" TV's a 30" TV, etc. Not all on at once of course, but we don't conserve just because the inverter has kicked in. Usually we would cut in the emergency planta at 12 hours. Problem lately has been not enough power to charge the batteries, and the 5KW planta can't run the house and charge the batteries very well at the same time. So we're installing a big diesel monster now just like CC said.

Tom (aka XR)
 

lhtown

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Jan 8, 2002
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Depending on your needs, you can vary the number of batteries connecting them both in series and parallel. For example, if your inverter needs 24 VDC, assuming you have 6 volt batteries like everyone else, you have to have 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24 etc. batteries. Most people don't buy more than 8 but there is certainly no reason you can't and there are advantages to having more. If your inverter is 12 VDC, you could have 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, etc batteries. Some larger inverters are 36 or 48 VDC.
 

philly

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Feb 14, 2003
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thanks for the information

Our budget for an inverter is around 1000 dollars so not sure if we'll be doing the trace(1000+) plus the batteries(4x2800!!) although I believe you when you say it is worth it maybe we can stretch it

Question: does anyone use a regular inverter and then a seperate battery charger in thier system?
 

andy a

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Feb 23, 2002
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Philly,

A minimal inverter system can be bought for about $200.

It would consist of a 10 amp charger and large 12v deep cycle battery available at Ochoa hardware (Santiago, for example), as well as a 400 watt inverter bought at Sam's Club and taken down. I believe you said that you are stateside now. I've never seen a decent, economical, small inverter for sale in the DR, but maybe someone else has (MrMike, for example).

Such a system, more precisely the charger, can be plugged into any standard wall outlet. When fully charged, it will power a computer, monitor, light bulb, and fan (all the essentials except a fridge) for more than 3 hours.

The battery I have in mind is maintenance free and has a color coded indicator for the amount of charge. Even the housekeeper can use it. If you want to be slightly more ambitious, you can go for two 6v batteries instead of a single 12v one, although it might be hard to find 6v batteries that have the same features as the 12v Delco one.

Back to the inverter, it is somewhat fragile, so you might consider an upgrade to Sam's Club's next bigger one in the 600-700 watt range at a price of about $60 ($30 for the little one).

I think everyone should have such a system anyway, even as a backup for the main one. Also, there's no reason one couldn't have multiple ones with different appliances connected. It will even power a washing machine, but not a fridge, or iron.
 

lhtown

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Jan 8, 2002
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Washing machines can indeed be run on some inverters(I run mine on my inverter). However, American style machines draw a lot of power on spin cycle-and don't forget to count the initial wattage to start the motor.
 

philly

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Feb 14, 2003
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thanks

yeah i've already sunk a lot of money into this house and not too mention the other things we have to buy so if I could set up a system for much less then our maxim budget that would be great...it won't take long to spend that savings on something else!

I believe I can get a good inverter here (pa) for relatively cheap and then buy the battery charger and batteries there...

I noticed that the trace had a 3 stage charger and a switch that automatically goes from battery/grid depending on the situation that would be nice too so the thing would just operate on auto pilot

I am not going to be living there all year so if I can make it through the vacation I'll be happy with something less expensive...

good suggestions THANKS!!!
 

Criss Colon

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Jan 2, 2002
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The "Invertor",is also the "Charger"!!

You don't need a separate charger!

My advice is to buy the biggest invertor you can afford,and get 8 batteries to go with it! I have NEVER been sorry that I bought a 3.6 with 8 batteries!

Cris
 

AZB

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Jan 2, 2002
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Send a PM to Mr. Mike. he has some decent inverters at very attractive prices. He also stocks a large number of batteries at cheaper prices than anywhere. If you like to buy PC, he is the man. I was impressed at his knowledge and inventory. He is a good man and certainly trustworthy.
Send him a PM and stop searching any further.
Regards.
AZB
 

andy a

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Feb 23, 2002
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To clarify a couple of issues.

The charger I describe is only a charger, and used to cost about $60. It can be used for continuous (sutomatic) operation with a separate inverter. It is 10 amps already, so nothing bigger can be used for a standard outlet.

The big 12v Delco deep cycle battery used to cost about $85. It is maintenace free, the only kind I would use indoors. It even has a carrying strap for easy movement. Even the maid can move it easily by dragging it. I think that I have also seen such 6v batteries (made by Exide) at the Delco store (Texas Plaza?) in Santiago.

The six volt batteries (2) instead of the single 12v one would cost more (maybe about $50 more), but would also give more stored energy. Any more batteries I think would be a waste for this charger. There could be other such systems in the house, though.

The money is by no means wasted. The system can be dedicated to the computer - no other UPS needed. It can also be used for other functions for emergencies.

This is the system that I use - works great.