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Old 10-20-2020, 08:58 PM   #1
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Inverter VS Conventional Generator

Question: If you have an inverter with your solar panels and battery bank, do you need to buy an inverter generator? Or is a conventional generator ok?
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Old 10-21-2020, 12:05 AM   #2
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Question: If you have an inverter with your solar panels and battery bank, do you need to buy an inverter generator? Or is a conventional generator ok?

As far as I know, the word 'inverter' in 'inverter generator' is completely unrelated to the component in your electrical system called an inverter.



It is not meant to imply compatibility with an inverter or something like that.


That said, I believe there are many benefits to an inverter generator, some of which may benefit the charging side of an inverter/charger. But I'm not positive on any specifics, I don't know much at all about generators.
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Old 10-21-2020, 12:40 AM   #3
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An "inverter" is something that takes DC and creates AC. AC is Alternating Current, which alternates between positive and negative voltage, whereas DC is Direct Current is always positive voltage. Thus an "inverter" takes positive voltage and alternatively inverts it to negative voltage creating AC.

A solar inverter takes the DC coming from solar panels and create AC that is common in household appliances, etc. A Generator is independent to this, so you can use whatever one you want, inverter or traditional generator.

There are two kinds of generators, a traditional generator has a motor with windings that produces AC as it spins. Because household AC operates at 60hz (the voltage alternates between positive and negative 60 times a second), a two-pole generator (the cheapest kind) must be spun at 3600rpm to produce a 60hz AC. An Inverter Generator takes whatever AC is coming from the generator, converts it into DC, increases its voltage for 120V AC, and then inverts that DC into AC. So it works independent of the generator RPM. This allows an inverter generator to spin much slower than 3600 rpm when less power is needed, and thus is much quieter at low power draws, at high power requirements it spins it much faster increasing the sound it produces. So inverter generators can be much quieter and most people really appreciate that feature. Downside is they have more components that can fail.
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Old 10-21-2020, 02:01 AM   #4
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An inverter as such, the noun

has nothing in practice, functionally, to do with a generator, of type inverter used as an adjective

Like saying having a vibrator means you don't need to buy a vibrating sander
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Old 10-21-2020, 02:40 AM   #5
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its Like saying having a vibrator means you don't need to buy a vibrating sander

I don't have a vibrator but do have a vibrating sander, you are saying I could use the sander for both applications right?
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Old 10-21-2020, 06:52 AM   #6
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I don't have a vibrator but do have a vibrating sander, you are saying I could use the sander for both applications right?
Might be a help to remove the sand paper firdt
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Like saying having a vibrator means you don't need to buy a vibrating sander
Quote:
Originally Posted by dzl_ View Post
I don't have a vibrator but do have a vibrating sander, you are saying I could use the sander for both applications right?
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
Might be a help to remove the sand paper first
Where is your sense of adventure?

This is a broken analogy. You could wrap sandpaper around your vibrator and you wouldn't need a vibrating sander...

If you wrap sandpaper around your inverter, it won't make it an inverter generator.
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Old 10-21-2020, 11:56 AM   #8
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I can see why this thread might not be made a sticky---
Jack
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Old 10-21-2020, 12:20 PM   #9
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Might be a help to remove the sand paper firdt

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Old 10-21-2020, 12:32 PM   #10
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Yesss! In on page one.
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Old 10-21-2020, 01:38 PM   #11
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You might want a Human Inverter to go with the Solar and Generator

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Old 10-22-2020, 02:06 AM   #12
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Just how did this thread get so inverted?
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Old 10-22-2020, 07:12 AM   #13
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Just how did this thread get so inverted?
You so punny!

I don't know but it generated a lot of laughs!
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:59 PM   #14
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this thread though...

but seriously, you use an inverter from your solar battery bank to supply power to AC powered appliances in your bus. If you have enough solar and battery bank, you can use this (with appropriately sized inverter as well) to power everything from your iphone charging to your rooftop air conditioner. in practice, the latter would take a whole lot of solar.

we use an inverter from the solar battery bank to power our fridge, a vent fan in the roof, and some outlets for coffee maker/phone charging.

our rooftop AC unit is wired to a panel that is powered either, only when plugged into shore power at home or camp site, or, when power source is switched to power from an inverter connected to our actual bus engine batteries. This can only be run when the engine (and alternator) are running or you will deplete the engine batteries quite quickly.

alternately, our rooftop AC unit was previously powered from a panel that could be plugged into an "inverter generator". good idea in concept, but in practice not as useful. Regular RV's use these all the time thouth and run them as they drive to power their stuff. on a skoolie I think its trickier and expensive to do this, but some people have invested in high dollar Onan generators to run while they drive. a quiet honda inverter genny could do it, but still $$$$ for enough power to handle your AC. make considerations for noise and exhaust etc. if you do. of course, you could just pull the generator out and run only when parked somewhere, eliminating some of the storage and safety issues.

you're also going to need to look into solar charge controllers. solar panel--solar charge controller--battery bank--inverter--AC appliance. lots of math needs to be done to size your solar panels and battery bank and inverter to your power needs.


you can do it!
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:08 PM   #15
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^ Well said
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Old 10-28-2020, 09:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I can see why this thread might not be made a sticky---
Jack
Depends on weather or not you remove the sandpaper first.
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Old 10-29-2020, 12:26 AM   #17
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Main difference i have heard is that an inverter is a pure sine wave and safe for electronics. A traditional generator is more raw and fluctuating power which can damage electronics.
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:13 AM   #18
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Question: If you have an inverter with your solar panels and battery bank, do you need to buy an inverter generator? Or is a conventional generator ok?
Conventional gas generators make AC directly and the load determines the RPM of the generator. These kind tend to be loud since they basically have to run full throttle to generate.

Inverter generators make 3 phase AC, convert to DC, then back to a pure sign wave AC. They tend to be more compact, run longer, and much much quieter than conventional generators. They also have the ability to be parallel run with another generator to increase output. I read an article about the new Cummins Onan 4500i and 2500i inverter generators where they explained you could have both and be able to generate 20 amps, 30 amps, or 50 amps depending on which way they were configured/used. I thought that was a great idea since most times you don't need the full output of your generator and you could save fuel by picking a lower output.
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Old 10-29-2020, 02:12 PM   #19
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For me once I tried a Yamaha and Honda “inverter technology generator” there was no going back to conventional. I still have my old Honda conventional generator but haven’t used it in 3-4 years. My Outback inverter/charger is a grid-tied model and is sensitive to total harmonic distortion when connected to a generator. It will disconnect from a conventional generator and even sometimes from my inverter technology generator. Off-grid inverter/chargers are less sensitive to harmonic distortion but I’m not sure exactly how well they perform with conventional generators.
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Old 10-31-2020, 02:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captnredbeerd View Post
this thread though...

but seriously, you use an inverter from your solar battery bank to supply power to AC powered appliances in your bus. If you have enough solar and battery bank, you can use this (with appropriately sized inverter as well) to power everything from your iphone charging to your rooftop air conditioner. in practice, the latter would take a whole lot of solar.

we use an inverter from the solar battery bank to power our fridge, a vent fan in the roof, and some outlets for coffee maker/phone charging.

our rooftop AC unit is wired to a panel that is powered either, only when plugged into shore power at home or camp site, or, when power source is switched to power from an inverter connected to our actual bus engine batteries. This can only be run when the engine (and alternator) are running or you will deplete the engine batteries quite quickly.

alternately, our rooftop AC unit was previously powered from a panel that could be plugged into an "inverter generator". good idea in concept, but in practice not as useful. Regular RV's use these all the time thouth and run them as they drive to power their stuff. on a skoolie I think its trickier and expensive to do this, but some people have invested in high dollar Onan generators to run while they drive. a quiet honda inverter genny could do it, but still $$$$ for enough power to handle your AC. make considerations for noise and exhaust etc. if you do. of course, you could just pull the generator out and run only when parked somewhere, eliminating some of the storage and safety issues.

you're also going to need to look into solar charge controllers. solar panel--solar charge controller--battery bank--inverter--AC appliance. lots of math needs to be done to size your solar panels and battery bank and inverter to your power needs.


you can do it!

To invert or not to invert... that is the question.
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