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dswhite

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We're thinking of going the solar route. While doing research

we have received conflicting information in reference to installing

a 2000 watt inverter. Some have said pure sine wave, others

modified sine wave. Some have said to get an inverter / CHARGER

and some say just the a plain inverter. The batteries & solar panels

are pretty straight forward so no problem there.

Lots of conflicting opinions so I thought I would ask the un-biased

experts. Any advice?

Thanks,

David

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DS, Although a long retired electrical engineer, Im OLD SCHOOL lol and not up to date on the latest electronics and there are many many here much more solar experienced then myself, but that's being said here are my opinions based on my own education and experiences "solarizing" my motorhome.

 

I have seen, read about and even experienced harmful effects trying to use Modified Sine Wave (MSW) Inverters to power "certain" equipment, HOWEVER I have NEVER seen or read about a Pure Sine Wave (PSW) causing any problems. I RECOMMEND USE OF A PSW to avoid any problems, that's the route I went AFTER trying some cheaper MSW units and they are not all that much higher then a MSW inverter. Why not go the best technology to start with versus a cheaper MSW that may cause problems with "some" equipment???

 

Charger/Inverter: Here's the deal. Sure you can buy a quality Charger and I recommend a "Smart" 4 Stage (Bulk, Absorption, Float, Equalize) unit. Sure you can buy a quality PSW Inverter. HOWEVER you can pay some bucks and buy a quality INVERTER/CHARGER so you have both units in one which makes sense and saves space and eases wiring and installation. I happen to have two units myself, a PD Smart 4 Stage Charger and a PSW Inverter, but that's because I have added to and upgraded over the years. If I were starting over and had neither, I think I would opt for an Inverter/Charger in the first place.

 

I learned from experience and great advice from the fine gents here to go with a quality "Smart" 4 stage MPPT Solar Charge Controller versus a cheaper unit.

 

NOTE folks here can give good advice and make recommendations which is all good, BUT COST MAKES A DIFFERENCE so if you don't want to spend the big bucks you can still get a good system without all the high end bells and whistles, your money your RV, your choice.

 

Again if I were starting over Id go the Inverter/Charger route (convenience, space, wiring) and for sure Id use a PSW versus a MSW in either case.

 

John T

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Good advice above. PSW and inverter/charger would be my recommend as well. I don't know of anyone that would 'recommend' MSW. You can get away with MSW in a lot of applications, but It's certainly not "preferred" and it's fairly harsh on electronics that actually 'will' run on MSW. One other aspect with an inverter/charger not mentioned is their ability to "talk" to each other. You will generally get a much better charge cycle, and more efficient inverter with todays package units. That is assuming too that you employ the shunts and sensors available with upper end units like that.

 

I think a lot of the choices boil down to budget. PSW with a inverter/charger hybrid is probably first choice with anyone upgrading their power systems or installing solar... then you have to work your way down to what you're actually willing to spend. For me, I'm a full time boondocker, so my power systems are worth every penny I sink into them. It certainly isn't "affordable" by any stretch of the imagination, but It allows me the freedom I want. If I only spent a few weekends out of the year dry camping, my power equipment choices would have been much different.

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PSW inverter charger as above, having the charger built in can be handy when you are charging off a generator and want a fast charge or when you want to do a battery equalization.

 

Do keep your existing converter if it is a decent one, you may find yourself in a situation where you don't have much power available or over/under voltage. In that case plug the converter into the bad power if it is within acceptable ranges (80-135 volts or so) and will supply the amps the converter needs. The converter will charge your batteries 24x7 and likely stay ahead of your use. With that setup I've reached out over 200 feet using orange weed-whacker cord to a fused, shared 15 amp outlet with no issues.

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