School Bus Conversion Resources

School Bus Conversion Resources (https://www.skoolie.net/forums/)
-   Electrical, Charging and Solar (https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f49/)
-   -   Inverter/ Charger (https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f49/inverter-charger-30197.html)

SSPAdventures 02-01-2020 02:48 PM

Inverter/ Charger
 
What brand is everyone using with good results? Im shopping for around 2000 watts inverter/charger. We wont really be boondocking alot and will need to charge from the inverter as well as the alternator as we head down the road. Its not going to be a big system. A small agm bank and 2 main 110 circuits. Let me know what all you guys have had success with. Theres lots of "amazon specials" but then theres the big guys like Tripp lite, and AIMS, and xantrex. Ive never purchased one but have installed a few. Thanks!

Drew Bru 02-01-2020 05:01 PM

We just had our AIMS 2000w inverter/charger fail after less than a year in use and the tech support was of no use...needless to say, I wouldn't recommend them. The power saver mode was broken right out of the box, so I used it in always-on mode. The charge mode started failing us towards the end. I think AIMS has a good social media presence, but their support is pretty lacking.

I bought a Xantrex 2000w inverter/charger to replace it and it was only 75 bucks more than the AIMS (I bought from Northern Arizona Wind and Sun at their warehouse, so it was cheaper than their website). It's got a 2 year warranty and IMO is a nicer unit. The guy I talked to at NAWS told me that AIMS is a rebranded inverter, they don't do their own manufacturing. He said he's heard more stories like mine than he can count.
You might be able to get away with less than 2000w, depending on what your energy use is going to be.

SSPAdventures 02-01-2020 06:43 PM

Thanks for the info! We could probably get by with a smaller unit, but i think doing it once is better than needing to upgrade later. Really all we're powering is a fridge, and a couple outlets for charging devices and a tv.

PNW_Steve 02-02-2020 10:51 AM

IMHO:

I will not use an Aims inverter in any application that I have to rely on. Xantrex all of the way. If your budget absolutely won't accommodate Xantrex then I would take a look at Samlex.

I maintained several remote communication sites that we installed Samlex around 13 years ago. They have been supporting 24x7 loads for thirteen years.

SSPAdventures 02-02-2020 05:58 PM

Thankyou for the info. I want to do it once, so I'll stay away from AIMS.

Iceni John 02-02-2020 09:50 PM

I have a Magnum MS2000 - solid, made in USA, fully field-serviceable, hopefully the last big inverter I'll ever need to buy. The only slight downside is that its power consumption in Sleep mode is higher than most of the Samlex/Cotek inverters, so I'll use one of them for my 24/7 fridger and keep my Magnum for other occasional AC loads whenever required.

Another reason I chose the Magnum is that its built-in 100A charger is PFC, with a Power Factor greater than 0.95; it also has battery temperature compensation (important in hotter weather). The Magnum is also able to easily power difficult reactive loads better than some other makes - not all Sine Wave inverters are the same!

John

2kool4skool 02-03-2020 08:56 AM

2000 Xantrex inv. been working perfectly for 5 years now. Have a separate 55a Powermax convertor/charger. Yamaha 2000 gen mounted under the bus.
400w solar through a Renogy Rover into 650ah AGMs. No hookup to the bus alt and the batts power a 4.5cf elect fridge, tv, dvd, xm, lights no issues.
If cloudy I run the very thrifty gen for a while. 10g tank for the gen, I fill twice per year, never takes more than 5 g.

70% mornings mostly after late night tv etc.

kazetsukai 02-03-2020 10:14 AM

Victron Energy Multiplexes I've heard are great products. They solve three problems of inverter/shore charger/solar charger and provides an upgrade path to split phase if you want it. Completely configurable.

If you want to install actual outlets in your rig, going through an AC breaker panel, I would suggest not going below 2000W. That way your outlets will behave like "true" AC outlets in that they can run any single 110V appliance you plugin without worry, and you can install 15A (or 20A at 2500W+) outlets and breakers that will trip before your inverter gives up trying to supply a load.

Doktari 02-15-2020 04:29 PM

Good suggestions.
I had no issues at all with my Victron Multiplus. I like a 3000 watt inverter so I can plug in a big load like a toaster without turning everything else off every time.
This time around Im gong to try a Sterling Power inverter charger I found. Its only 2100 watt but Iíll manage the loads.
Samlex and Cotek have good reviews. Iím considering a small Samlex in parallel wth the Sterling. Morningstar also makes a great little inverter.
For cheap units be been reading some decent reviews of Reliable and Giandel inverters. They have no charger but are very affordable. I have no first hand experience with these brands.
I donít work or have any affiliation with any of these companies.

SSPAdventures 02-15-2020 05:18 PM

Im now kinda focused on the inverter/chargers from Renogy. They seem to be one of the go-to solar companies. Has anyone used their stuff? I see lots of their setups out there.

2kool4skool 02-15-2020 06:08 PM

Have Renogy 100w solar x 4 and a Rover mppt.

SSPAdventures 02-15-2020 07:19 PM

Im just wondering if their inverters are as good as the solar components.

Doktari 02-15-2020 08:20 PM

Iím wondering if Renogy inverter chargers are relabeled? Who builds their stuff? I have some Renogy gel cell batteries and donít know who actually makes them. Once a company subsidizes overseas its difficult to tell. Iím near Arlington, WA. This was the home of Trace, then Xantrex, Outback, Midnite, Magnum, Balmar, etc., but once they grew and became multinational itís impossible to tell.
Ive heard mixed reviews regarding a Renogy support. It took a month for them to return my email but they did eventually without me sending another. And they apologized for the late response.

kazetsukai 02-16-2020 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SSPAdventures (Post 373142)
Im now kinda focused on the inverter/chargers from Renogy. They seem to be one of the go-to solar companies. Has anyone used their stuff? I see lots of their setups out there.

My first solar charge controller was a Renogy Tracer 40A MPPT. I used it in a 12V configuration (and later a 24V configuration to accommodate more panels) on a setup to drive water pumps for an aquaponic greenhouse. It was operating outdoors for most of the year... After the project ended, I moved the array to the bus along with the charger.

Why I stopped using the Renogy: When I re-evaluated battery requirements for the bus based on appliance ratings, I found I needed quite a bit more in battery size/weight than I was comfortable putting into the storage bays. That lead to researching lithium, etc - > I ended up with Tesla batteries as my target solution. I needed fully configurable voltages and not just chemistry profiles, therefore I got my Victron 150/100.

The Renogy moved into my van conversion (2011 Transit Connect) when I split my array. I put two of my panels on the van. Its still going strong, built tough but a bit bulky I think. I'm going to reconfigure the setup soon and if I get rid of the Tracer it will be due to size, not function. I'll likely keep it if it fits under a seat.

TL;DR: Renogy Tracer 40A 12V/24V still going strong after 5+ years of service largely outdoors with huge humidity and temp variations. Get the external screen add-on.

Rock-N-Ruth 02-16-2020 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SSPAdventures (Post 371444)
What brand is everyone using with good results? Im shopping for around 2000 watts inverter/charger. We wont really be boondocking alot and will need to charge from the inverter as well as the alternator as we head down the road. Its not going to be a big system. A small agm bank and 2 main 110 circuits. Let me know what all you guys have had success with. Theres lots of "amazon specials" but then theres the big guys like Tripp lite, and AIMS, and xantrex. Ive never purchased one but have installed a few. Thanks!

https://www.ebay.com/p/7034198334
Been using it for about 3 years. It's very efficient. Doest complain when I make coffee, run the AC, turn on the microwave, and then the freezer kicks in. Has a Huge transformer. Was less than 300 bucks when o bought it. I think it is around 310 now. A real good price for an inverter that has no trouble with motor startups.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:02 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.