2000w Inverter Install

Discussion in 'Prime Accessories and Modifications' started by Insighter, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

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    No, I think you're still talking about connecting this to my home's electrical system. I don't plan to do that. I only plan to plug things directly into the inverter (using extension cords). My kitchen, home office and bedroom are very near my garage (only one wall separating all of them from the garage). I would run a hose from the tail pipe to the outside of the garage, and leave the side door to my garage open (it has a security "screen" door that allows for a lot of air to pass in and out.
     
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  2. Andyprius1

    Andyprius1 Senior Member

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    OK sounds good. Congratulations!
     
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  3. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

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    I just spoke to a tech rep at the company that makes the inverter (AIMS). Many of you who so kindly responded to this thread probably already know much of what he told me, but I thought I'd put what he told me here for people who don't:

    (1) This inverter can put out a max of 16 amps AC, and draws about 160 amps from the battery.

    (2) The maximum fuse they recommend (the max it could need) is 200 amps. That's larger than the 160 amps the inverter draws under heavy load because some devices, like refrigerators, can draw 3-4 times as much juice when they are started.

    (3) The inverter only draws as much power as is necessary for the AC load put on it. So, running the same devices on a 2000w or 1000w inverter is going to draw the same amount of electricity from the 12v system.

    (4) I had thought that it might better to put the same load on a a higher wattage inverter because it would run cooler and maybe make the inverter last longer. The AIMS tech rep said that isn't so. That makes me consider returning mine and swapping it out for a 1000w (2000w surge) model from the same company, but I won't do that for a few reasons: First, this 2000w (4000w surge) unit I have is ETL listed (like a UL listing). Second, the one I have has GFI outlets and the smaller one doesn't. Third, the one I have has two cooling fans (compared to just one on the 1000w unit), and even if that doesn't help keep it cooler (it still seems to me it would have to and that would be good), it does mean that if one fan gave out while I was using the inverter, the other one would continue to cool. Weighing in favor of switching to the smaller one are the facts that it would be a $130 savings and the fact that it is significantly smaller (which I would like).

    Based on what he told me, and what others have said here, I will certainly downsize the inline fuse to 100 or less amps.
     
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  4. ct89

    ct89 Active Member

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    Nice to know it doesn't draw 160 amps all the time. But it also will draw more than zero with nothing plugged in.

    This is probably only true to a first order. Inverters typically have relatively poor efficiency at low utilizations but then get pretty good at higher utilizations. If you try to draw 100W, I suspect the inverter will draw more like 200W from the battery...Crank it up closer to the 2000W rated output and maybe the battery draw is also pretty close to the 2000W (160A) but even there it will not be 100% efficient.

    Now are the two inverters exactly the same efficiency at all points on the curve? Probably not but maybe the difference is smaller than you care about.

    Do be careful not to leave it on even if not using it. In my experience even the idle power draw can be enough to drain a battery pretty quickly.
     
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  5. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

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    Oh, I won't be leaving it on. It won't even be in the car 99% of the time, and it will only be connected and on when I'm using it.

    If what you are saying is true, I guess I'd be better off with the 1000w inverter because, under the same load, it would be closer to its maximum utilization (since that max utilization is lower), and thus more efficient?
     
  6. Estew808

    Estew808 New Member

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    I'm super happy to have discovered this thread. Thank you to all of the collective wisdom shared here. Great Install.
    I had been curious if the PP was different than the other models as it relates to this Mod.
    Having seen the YouTube videos of people camping/living out of their Prii with these Inverters installed... I have grown excited to do this with my PP.

    Thanks again. :):):)
     
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  7. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Many people, like our resident expert @bwilson4web say not to exceed a 1000 watt inverter.

    Since he has installed one into a Gen 3 and now has a Prime, perhaps he can shed insight on any differences he sees. His Gen 3 with inverter is still going strong with a new owner, IIRC.
     
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  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I'd be pretty comfortable with a 2kw inverter de-rated by way of an undersized fuse on the input side, and I agree that 90-100A would be about right. I would prefer that to a 1kw unit running full-out. The certification, breaker type and fan count are all positive elements worth keeping.

    I can't speak for the AIMS inverters, not having worked with one, but as a class the 1-2kw PSW inverters on the market have a fairly flat efficiency curve. In other words, you might get 90% out of a 1kw rig running in the sweet spot and only 85% out of a 2kW at half-load. It's something, but I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. Most inverters are supplied with at least a couple of efficiency measurements published in the manual so you can look up your own and decide for yourself.

    I have a 2kW inverter for an off-grid vacation home. It replaced a 1kW unit. We've been using solid state inverters out there since the 1980s, so we've had a little time to work through the finer points of the technology.
     
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  9. douglasjre

    douglasjre Active Member

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    W=VI
    So 2000=12*I
    And 200/12=166.67Amps
    But, surge is double
    Or 323 Amps
    So, quick bow v slow blow...
    That picture shows quick
     
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  10. douglasjre

    douglasjre Active Member

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    Don't listen to "folks." Most folks are idiots. Just find the one who is right. Ask an electrical engineer. Stop listening to folks
     
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  11. Andyprius1

    Andyprius1 Senior Member

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    Just a comment on reviewing this thread again. If one extension is plugged into any good wall outlet, using the inverter, all outlets are now live, but there’s no current flow , you only want vital loads on the inverter,ie: Computer, heater, set low, refrigerator, a light. Use a good extension. All loads could be off at night, inverter disconnected, car off ( depending on ones particular temperatures.) I’m not a EE but I threw the main CB off while conducting my experiment for safety sake. If sources are out of phase with each other, total impedance could get out of hand. You don’t want that while your sleeping. Any sign of excessive heat should be noted and that load disconnected.
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    my electrician said it is illegal to connect a secondary power source to the house wiring without disconnecting the street.
    he installed a bypass switch on our generator which cuts the street connection before starting the generator
     
  13. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Electric code requires a transfer switch, so that your house cannot be connected to the utility and your own generator/inverter at the same time. This is to prevent any backfeed from your generator to the utility line, which could electrocute any line workers or others working with the utility lines while they are (supposedly) dead.

    A simple flip of a circuit breaker is not enough, as it is too easy for human forgetfulness to eff this up.

    Grid-tie solar systems have an exemption to this requirement because they are built so that they cannot drive the power line themselves. They can function only by piggybacking on the utility source, and automatically shut down when the grid supply goes down.
    When sources get significantly out of phase with each other, something blows up, and it won't be the utility grid itself. If you are well protected, it will be a popped fuse or circuit breaker. If not, you may permanently let the smoke out of your inverter, or worse.

    Impedance is a normally a fixed characteristic of the circuit, not something created or altered by source phasing.
     
  14. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Though it looks to be worth pointing out that member Insighter was never planning to connect this inverter to his home system, other people may wish to do so. And in those cases it is worth doing it the right way.

    When I put a new panel in my house I included a mechanical interlock so that the utility and my emergency input connectors are mutually exclusive. There are fancier and more automatic ways but safety is paramount in these endeavors.
     
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  15. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    Recommending a 323 Amp fuse, which really means a 325 Amp fuse on a 2000w inverter is Bad Info plain and simple. If anyone listened to you, they could suffer from damage or fire when that 325 Amp fuse does not trip first.


    Rob43
     
    #55 Rob43, Feb 15, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
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  16. douglasjre

    douglasjre Active Member

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    Is see your point. Lower amperage but slow blow? How many amp fuse is recommended and what type is recommended for this circuit?
     
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  17. George W

    George W Active Member

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    In the Gen 2, a Prius will not charge a 12v battery if it's 'at rest' voltage is low.

    I am guessing the Gen 4 overcomes this limitation?
     
  18. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Can you clarify your goal? the thread seems to be fragmented between a few different ideas, so in the interests of safety would you mind (re) stating your intention?
     
  19. Andyprius1

    Andyprius1 Senior Member

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    Any circuit protection can be calculated by Ohms law, E= IR Voltage and current can be measured with a multimeter. Or just experiment with different fuses. Always go lower, if in doubt. If a too higher is inserted you could end up with equipment damage. smoke, fire, explosion, etc.
     
  20. Andyprius1

    Andyprius1 Senior Member

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    That’s not fair, You have your own Electrician ! I have never had a street connection. Does the City of Boston know you are using thier street connection?
     
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