How big of an inverter to run AC/Heater? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-29-2013 Thread Starter
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How big of an inverter to run AC/Heater?

I tried to run the heat whilst away from dock power without success. The A/C & Heat system uses a heat pump. The capacity is 16,000 BTU.

The system starts up and as the compressor kicks in, a Compressor Fault shows up on the control unit.

I have a 2500watt inverter and I get the same result on engine and on battery alone.

any idea about how much power is needed to run this thing?

Attached are images of some of the essential pieces.

Thanks in advance
/ed
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: How big of an inverter to run AC/Heater?

Here are the images:

Part in Bilge


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post #3 of 15 Old 04-29-2013
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Re: How big of an inverter to run AC/Heater?

This is not a practical thing to do. Even if you have a large enough inverter (which you do not) it would kill your batteries in short order. If your system is wired up so that you can even turn on the AC from the inverter your system is wired wrong and you need to have it checked.

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post #4 of 15 Old 04-29-2013
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Re: How big of an inverter to run AC/Heater?

It'll run better if you run a coffee maker and a microwave at the same time.

But seriously, you will not be able to run a heat pump off your batteries and an inverter. What motor do you have?

Honda 2000 or propane heat as a solution?

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post #5 of 15 Old 04-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: How big of an inverter to run AC/Heater?

Thanks for the quick replies.

It's a 50 hp yanmar.
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Re: How big of an inverter to run AC/Heater?

Even a Honda 2000 won't run a 16k BTU unit.
Agree with everyone else, trying to run that large a AC unit on batteries is not a good idea. Maybe a 5000 BTU unit with a large house bank of batteries would work.

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post #7 of 15 Old 04-29-2013
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Re: How big of an inverter to run AC/Heater?

I checked on another forum and the start amperage for a 16K A/C is around 55 amps at 120 volts. That's 6600 watts. The run amperage is 13 amps and if the inverter were 100% efficient, which it is not, that would be 130 amps at 12 volts.
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: How big of an inverter to run AC/Heater?

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Originally Posted by ebs001 View Post
I checked on another forum and the start amperage for a 16K A/C is around 55 amps at 120 volts. That's 6600 watts. The run amperage is 13 amps and if the inverter were 100% efficient, which it is not, that would be 130 amps at 12 volts.
That's the technical info for which I was looking. I'd estimate that I have a 50-75 amp alternator/generator, but, even at that rate, the deficit will run the batteries down too quickly. Furthermore, it's not worth upgrading the inverter and associated wiring to support that initial power draw.

So, I'll give up on that idea. ( and also figure out why I was able to turn the heat on without shore power. )

Thanks for the input and discussion!
/ed
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-29-2013
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Re: How big of an inverter to run AC/Heater?

When the compressor runs in the heating cycle it draws way way less amps then when it's in cooling mode. If it's rated to run at, say 10 amps in cooling, in heating it would draw about 3-5

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post #10 of 15 Old 04-30-2013
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Re: How big of an inverter to run AC/Heater?

Even if you were able to get the unit started, it would suck even a good sized house battery bank down in a short time. Only practical way is a properly sized generator.
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