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Old 07-07-2006, 09:04 PM   #1
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Schimatics or plans for Inverter

I want to build a 4000+ watt inverter, anyone know of free plans/schimatics for this? Inverters are expensive as hell! Im sure I could build one myself cheaper. I have electrical and soldering expereince so Im not scared to do it myself,.
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Old 07-07-2006, 09:39 PM   #2
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you can buy a 2000 watt inverter for under 200 bucks.

I don't know of any plans to build your own.
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Old 07-07-2006, 09:59 PM   #3
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If you stay away from the pure sine output (fancy) ones they can be had cheap. My 1200 watt inverter was only $140 new. Shop around and I'm sure you'll find one for a reasonable price. What about ebay?

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Old 07-08-2006, 12:34 PM   #4
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To your question:
otherpower.com has some stuff on this, probably would lead to others.

Gratuitous rambling:
When you total up your savings don't forget to include the cost of a hitch for your bus, 'cuz your gonna need to pull around a trailer load of batteries to run that inverter more than 10 minutes or so ...

Just a little food for thought, my 700 watt inverter uses 1RT3205 switching transistors (xref's to NTE2991 at Allied Electronics, the only place I could find with a less than $100 minimum single part order), $3.52 a piece - mine has 18 of them, that's already 63 bucks, mulitply that by 6 for 4kW for a rough estimate, toss in another hundred or so to burn a custom board, yada, yada, yada ...
All you're saving is the labor and you're competing with 30 million people in China that also know how to solder, and you'll lose all that and more paying 3 or 4 prices for buying the parts in onsies and twosies .... so now you've spent 3 times as much on parts and 30 hours putting this thing together perfectly (no cold joints, solder bridges, electrolytics all going the right way, etc), plug it in and all the smoke comes out of the power transistors ... email the source for your schematic - replies "Oh yeah, all the 10 watt resistors should have been marked 20 - it's a typo, I'll email you a new one right away" - as you write that second check to Allied for a coupla hundred bucks you can enjoy the additional savings - you got TWO schematics for the price of one! I could go on with all the things that could make this very costly (not oddball things that COULD go wrong, but things that are LIKELY to go wrong) - design testing, manufacturing testing, longetivity testing, all of which has been already paid for by Xantrex or Trace or whoever, but you get the idea .... The whole thing is like building a car from a Haynes manual and the NAPA store ....

Don't know if you've consdered it, but if you don't need the 4kW to a single load, think about splitting up your circuits and running them off of individual, smaller inverters that can be had for little money on eBay and buy them as you can afford them. I got a 1200 watt Xantrex for $80 there, not much more than the cost of the switching transistors bought in small quantity.

Of course, I'd be tempted to build one for the fun of it ...

There are a few other sources for schematics, but most are selling them, not free. You'd probably need a plan also, rather than a schematic, design of the heat sinks on something like this is pretty critical ...

Tom
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Old 07-08-2006, 08:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtd
When you total up your savings don't forget to include the cost of a hitch for your bus, 'cuz your gonna need to pull around a trailer load of batteries to run that inverter more than 10 minutes or so ...

Tom

I agree. 4K watts @ 120 volts from an inverter equals at least 400 amps @ 12 volts....not to mention the loss due to heat, so maybe more like 450 amps. That is more current than you need to weld a plate of 1/2" cold rolled steel.

but at the same time i'm pretty amused by the idea of making an inverter from scratch. That would be far beyond my ability. If you want to build your own, i say go for it! Who cares if it does end up costing more, I think the adventure is worth it.
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Old 07-08-2006, 09:59 PM   #6
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Mostly I want to build one for fun...but it would be usefull to have. However Ive taken note of the suggestions here, so Im not sure yet. Id deffiently like to try.
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Old 07-09-2006, 12:30 AM   #7
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i think it's yamaha's inverter/genie that utilizes the starting battery from the unit to help transition from no load to a big load. I would immagine that one would be easy to modify.

Eventually there will either be a conversion kit, or the companies themselves will make a geni that employes super efficient inverter technology with a battery bank, and a low voltage auto startup feature for the best of both worlds.

here's a quote from the yamaha sales site

Quote:
The Boost Control Unit in the generator automatically senses when additional boost is needed and it uses power from the internal 12-volt battery to produce additional amperage. In fact, the additional amps boost the alternator's 3000-watt output for up to 10 seconds, increasing the output so it's comparable to a conventional 3500-watt generator. Supplying that extra boost for 10 seconds is ample time to power equipment that may need that extra kick to start quickly and efficiently, such as a 13,500 btu air-conditioner or other trailer appliances
here's the link to the site

http://www.cahills.com/dlrindexsend_..._EF3000iSE.htm

I would immagine that this generator would be easily upgradable to battery only mode.
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Old 07-09-2006, 12:40 AM   #8
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Can't quite get my mind around what you mean by AC-AC inverter - inverters change DC to AC, if you change one AC voltage to another, it's just a transformer.

That's a really interesting idea about the inverter in the generator ... I only know what I've read about those generators, they're a little pricey for what I need, but they just seem do be a plain jane (electrically) DC generator run through an inverter - those two can't be particularly deeply integrated and I wouldn't think that it would be particularly difficult to isolate the generator and the inverter and add a transfer switch ... now finding someone willing to risk one of the things ...

Tom
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Old 07-09-2006, 04:34 AM   #9
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Makes sense now, thanks.
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:50 PM   #10
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I just wanted to second the idea of using more than one inverter. I personally run two of the eBay inverters that a bunch of us bought a few months ago. I paid $80.08 after shipping for two 700 watt (the guy claims 750, but the label says 700....I'm not concerned about 50 waatts max output) inverters and couldn't be happier. My bus doesn't have an actual panel which I know will probably get me a good flaming, but it really doesn't need one. Every circuit is on a different color wire (extension cord wire) and comes into a compartment under the bus where the inverters are. I can mix and match what load I put on each inverter by simply plugging in my circuits to different outlets. I currently run two circuits (lights and one outlet front and rear) on one inverter and the two front outlets where the fridge, TV, etc plug into onto another inverter. My shore connection is then a box with a 10 guage wire feeding it and room for four plugs.

The beauty of this system? Simplicity, low cost, and versatility. A monkey could figure it out, I can run any combination of shore and inverter power I want, and it cost hardly anything.

That said...build the inverter and tell me how it works before I dive into a project like that. I like building stuff, but get entirely too frustrated with electronics.
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