Originally Posted by UnionPacific
I have crunched the numbers.
Initially I wanted the biggest inverter I could fit into the budget.
However when I did my power consumption the biggest thing I will be plugging in is the toaster oven, and only rarely. Mostly it will be running the PC's and the entertainment system.
1500 watts is the biggest I really need. When I fire up the AC units I will run the generator, then the inverter just needs to help start the AC units.
It also looks like the magnum is $2300 for the unit I would need with "load support" thats far to expensive for just the inverter charger.
I have to be careful too. It looks like easysolar comes only in 240 volt. unless they release a 120volt version I cant use it...
If you need load sharing then you will likely want a larger battery bank.. Most inverters will handle the inrush of starting an AC but AC should really never be run off batts unless you have Lithium... That is what the genset is for.
Personally I much prefer separate units. Pick the best MPPT, the best inverter/charger and move on. Personally I even prefer separate inverters and chargers....
I have pretty much moved back to Magnum for I/C's. I use Midnite, Outback, Morningstar and Rogue Power Tech for larger solar arrays. For small arrays I use Genasun, Midnite, Morningstar and Rogue.... The Rogue controllers represent a tremendous value if you don't need one larger than 30A....
Victron makes nice stuff but if in the US consider that the US Victron guy really knows very little in the way of detailed tech support.. If you have a bug or software glitch, it happens, and you need to get in touch with someone who knows what they are doing, like Matthijs, this could be a 3:00am deal...
I am not as sold on the load sharing
as some are. In theory smoothing out the dips and bumps in frequency is a great thing but the reality is that these devices have more stuff to go wrong with them then does a simple inverter charger. With the Victron they can make up for lack of genset power by bumping out of charge mode and going into invert in tandem with the genset. I know of one situation where an aft stateroom AC kicked on and the owner was unaware. The genset could not handle both units plus other boat loads so the inverter borrowed from the battery bank, to add to AC needs, and depleted much of the capacity "load sharing". It was not the end of the world but the owner was surprised. I prefer to know when a large load is pulling from my bank not just allowing it to do it automatically.
If possible computers and entertainment systems are best run directly of DC with DC > DC converters. This can save you 25-45% in efficiency over using DC>AC>DC..
With Magnum they answer the phone, make the product in the US and support it extremely well. Don't get me wrong Victron makes some great products but when you need support it can be tough and this stuff is getting very technical and software issues and other glitches can and do happen.