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3500W Inverter for 12k split AC


Jeff.Sloan
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I'm leaning toward getting this 3500W inverter to power my 12k mini-split AC while driving down the road:

81xShUPnvZL._SL1500_.jpg

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000NHS9R6/ref=dra_a_rv_bb_hn_xx_P1400_1000?tag=dradisplay-20&ascsubtag=9ebb96cddaee656ec6809c176dfa6d4c_S

I don't plan on running it with the ignition off and I'm 99% sure that the Volvo's alternator is strong enough to supply it when running, but yeah want to see if you guys have any thoughts before I buy it and wire the thing up ;-)

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37 minutes ago, Jeff.Sloan said:

I'm leaning toward getting this 3500W inverter to power my 12k mini-split AC while driving down the road:

81xShUPnvZL._SL1500_.jpg

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000NHS9R6/ref=dra_a_rv_bb_hn_xx_P1400_1000?tag=dradisplay-20&ascsubtag=9ebb96cddaee656ec6809c176dfa6d4c_S

I don't plan on running it with the ignition off and I'm 99% sure that the Volvo's alternator is strong enough to supply it when running, but yeah want to see if you guys have any thoughts before I buy it and wire the thing up ;-)

One thing that you might consider .......your truck alternator is rated at a specific operating temperature and above that rated temperature the amps drop rather steeply so be careful what amperage you THINK you have when in the real world a 160 amp alternator might only have 95 amps total on a hot day.

 

Drive on......(Hot = less amps)

..

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I am with Dolly Driver on this, you will toast your alternator and it is undersized for that size constant load.    With a dedicated battery bank maybe and, as Nuke-E mentioned a 12K should be more around 950-1200 watts.    It really depends on the AC as well if it will like modified sine wave, most inverter units don't.

 

Steve

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18 hours ago, Dollytrolley said:

One thing that you might consider .......your truck alternator is rated at a specific operating temperature and above that rated temperature the amps drop rather steeply so be careful what amperage you THINK you have when in the real world a 160 amp alternator might only have 95 amps total on a hot day.

 

Drive on......(Hot = less amps)

..

And about  (check specific alternator output chart) amps at 1176 cruising rpm in road gear.  Possibly not 160....

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What is the LRC or starting current of your mini split?  Getting it started will be a major concern, not sustaining it.  Inverters of the type shown do rate surge current at approximately double the continuous current but that surge is only for a few milliseconds as the capacitors discharge which is often not long enough to get the compressor running.   The second issue is with a MSW inverter the starting capacitor in your compressor unit will not reach the value provided by a true sine wave inverter thus it will not provide the "kick" needed to start the compressor.   You may also have a slower fan speed that includes a humm with a MSW inverter.  Your money would be better spent looking at a higher end inverter with a specified surge current of 10 seconds or more.  Keep in mind should you reach the 3500-watt rating you will need over 277 amps at 12.6 volts.  What is the nominal amperage or wattage of your mini-split with the fan speed on high at 120 VAC?  If not found on the nameplate measure it with an inductive amp meter while on shore power.   Better yet, a meter that will record the initial peak starting current.

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My 12,000 btu mini splits draw about 2 amps on start up and very slowly clime to about 7 running full. I once did a test on a 1500 watt sine wave inverter, similar to that one, and it ran one AC fine until the house batts ran down. I was not running the engine. 

I now have a Xantrex 3000 sine wave inverter charger, my engine alternator is 320 amps. That setup will run both ACs.

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Sorry for the delayed reply, been super busy with the company this week.  Thanks for all the input, this makes a lot of sense.  I dug up the receipt, and learned that it's not a 12K at all (doh!).  I had remembered wrong.  It's a RAMSOND MODEL 27GW3 9500 BTU SEER 13:  http://www.ramsond.com/r27gw3/

The technical specs are about 75% of the way down that page.  I think I see 7.3A cooling current input.  

I have this Northern Tool 1500W inverter that can with my 630 when I bought it from Ray.  I tried running the AC with it, but it would not start the compressor, only the fan: http://www.northerntool.com/images/downloads/manuals/4572000.pdf

So maybe a pure sine wave inverter in the 2000 watt range is what I should be looking for?  Anyone have a used one they want to sell?

Edited by Jeff.Sloan
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Jeff,

I don't see any mention of it being an inverter-type system, so it may be fixed speed--in which case you'd have to allow for a bigger startup draw.  13 SEER also suggests that it isn't, as most of the inverter-type systems are in the 16-25 SEER range.

Since you have it already, I'd get it up and running, and take some measurements.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally had a chance to do some testing.  I bought one of those energy testers that has a peak capture ability and hooked it up.  At startup, the split AC draws around 400W, then climbs steadily to around 1,000W after an hour of running.  Sooooo . . .  with that said does a 2,000W PSW inverter still sound like a good option?  I'd like to have some head room to plug other small items into occasionally (cell phone charger type devices).  If so, any particular brand that you'd recommend?  I was looking at the Xantrex PROWatt 2000 Inverter, Model# 806-1220 as it has a wired remote switch option that I can put somewhere on the dash to make turning it on and off easier.

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If you got something like this or one like this with a battery charger and used it to run a portable air conditioner only when you were parked and the truck was off and the inverter was off going down the road would it put any extra pressure on the alternator? Once again inverter is off going down the road and only hooked up to Shore power units at campgrounds, would there be anything to worry about?

Later,

Vegas Teacher - Cory Ossana 

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