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Old 11-14-2011, 10:29 AM   #1
ct-ktm OP
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Inverter for backup

Picture electricity for dummies,.. then make it easier

Can someone answer a couple questions?
If I took 2 or 3 marine deep cycle batteries with my 2000 watt inverter would that be good enough to power my oil burning furnace.?.everybody says the furnace does not need alot of juice...Runnig of a small car you can only produce so much but with a few batteries for storage you would be able to do bigger thinds correct.?
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:41 AM   #2
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You need to find out what your furnace requires to run and more importantly, to start up to really say for sure. That should be on a small metal tag somewhere.

That said, that 2000 watts (if true) is 16 amps and should be enough to run, if not start it.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:15 AM   #3
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ALL inverters, especially the chi com ones, are WAY overrated. Even if you take peak into account, they are still over rated. So, get one rated at three to four times the necessary load or you'll be very sorry. Look at load for the furnace, then triple it and buy a good quality made inverter. And a few extra batteries. Efficiency is also something to look at when buying an inverter and most are less than 75% efficient and probably over rated in that department as well.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sniper X View Post
ALL inverters, especially the chi com ones, are WAY overrated. Even if you take peak into account, they are still over rated. So, get one rated at three to four times the necessary load or you'll be very sorry. Look at load for the furnace, then triple it and buy a good quality made inverter. And a few extra batteries. Efficiency is also something to look at when buying an inverter and most are less than 75% efficient and probably over rated in that department as well.
I'll give you the cheap Chinese inverters may have the wrong stickers on them, but ALL inverters are not overrated. I've been running a 1.5hp compressor off a Trace 1500w inverter regularly. 3,000w surge capacity, 90% efficient, 12 years old. Not all inverter manufacturers lie.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:57 AM   #5
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Everything I read about inverters has to do with solar,I just want to make sure a couple batteries will hold enough to make it work..

How much electricity does a small car put out.?
Could you charge 3 batteries just idling.?.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ct-ktm View Post
Everything I read about inverters has to do with solar,I just want to make sure a couple batteries will hold enough to make it work..

How much electricity does a small car put out.?
Could you charge 3 batteries just idling.?.
I think you're confused. Are you thinking of powering your house's oil furnace with your car through an inverter? Where are you imagining the batteries coming into play?

There're plenty of battery backup systems out there that can do backup power for things like sump pumps, & I suppose heat. And plenty of those can tie into DC generators, to keep the batteries operating within healthy range. Or, alternatively, you can forego batteries & just go for a generator. This'd be the first time I've heard of an interest in using a car as a make-shift generator...is that what you intend?

DriveShaft screwed with this post 11-14-2011 at 12:59 PM
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:32 PM   #7
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No.. I am not confused of what I want to do , just if it will work..haha
The batteries come into play to act as storage so you have enough power...look at solar you just add and add to the battery.
Using a car is not the best solution I know but I don't have a generator but I do have many ,many vehicles to produce 12 volts.

You have never seen an inverter at a campground for lights,blenders.etc...

My buddy did his and a neighbors fridge for a few days,untill he bought a generator.
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:09 PM   #8
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No.. I am not confused of what I want to do , just if it will work..haha
The batteries come into play to act as storage so you have enough power...look at solar you just add and add to the battery.
Using a car is not the best solution I know but I don't have a generator but I do have many ,many vehicles to produce 12 volts.

You have never seen an inverter at a campground for lights,blenders.etc...

My buddy did his and a neighbors fridge for a few days,untill he bought a generator.
Ok, so you are indeed interested in running the house off of your car like a giant RV. Just wanted to make sure. I've seen plenty of RV systems. I've never seen anyone hook their RV up to their house to power the house. I've seen a handful of home back-up power arrangements too. None of them included a car, which is why I wanted clarification.

Well...Tweaker's first question holds true. What's your furnace made of, and how does the heat get circulated?

Generally speaking, I'm skeptical if 3 marine 12v batteries is going to do squat for you, if you've got any significant current load, like a blower to run. First, you should realize...the batteries act as storage, but only sufficient for a light load, or a short amount of time...oooor you get a really really huge bank of batteries, which is a maintenance headache in and of itself, if you don't have the proper maintenance and monitoring tools to figure out which ones have sulfated & crapped out, and to keep them trickle-charged. The ones I've seen use household power to keep the batteries charged & maintained...not a car. Really, if "occasional backup" is what you're interested in, then what you really want is a generator, if you've got large loads.

Yes, I'm sure you could figure out how to get a car motor to run as a generator. Some folks drop in dual alternator arrangements, to power their RV type setup (or serious audio/visual equipment). That and an inverter--properly sized-- would get you started. You should be careful about gerry-rigging something, though. You need to build in the proper transfer switch or you could literally kill a linesman working on a down powerline.
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweaker View Post
I'll give you the cheap Chinese inverters may have the wrong stickers on them, but ALL inverters are not overrated. I've been running a 1.5hp compressor off a Trace 1500w inverter regularly. 3,000w surge capacity, 90% efficient, 12 years old. Not all inverter manufacturers lie.
Have you actually tested it? I can say that the reason it is probably "working" is that the compressor is rated at peak draw, and it is rarely drawing that. So it is drawing less than the inverters max output ever sees. Plus, an inverter will run at slightly higher than it's max but not for long....
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ct-ktm View Post
Everything I read about inverters has to do with solar,I just want to make sure a couple batteries will hold enough to make it work..

How much electricity does a small car put out.?
Could you charge 3 batteries just idling.?.
No, a standard car's alternator is usually in the 70 amp area of output...or so. That is at about 3K rpm, at idle, it is probably JUST putting out enough to keep the battery from loosing amps and volts. If you intend to charge the batteries, and do ALL this in the outback, you need to get a high output alternator and a way to make the car run at above idle. What EXACTLY are you trying to do?
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:32 PM   #11
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Here's what you need to do FIRST. Look at the label on the furnace, and se what peak power usage is. Let us know, then we can all get together and tell you what you will need to pull it off between us.
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:37 PM   #12
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Harbor frieght has a $89 generator that will probably run it. Besides that price three marine grade batteries...just go buy a generator.

I bought one of the cheap ones from harbor frieght and it runs a good bit. If your talking a blower then it may not be enough but it will run lights etc fine.

The fan on your furnace would be the biggest draw and only at startup. If you switch it to always on it probably would be better. It may be enough but who knows. If your buying 2-3 marine batteries you could probably just buy a generator for the same cash.
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:43 PM   #13
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OK, here's what you should do.

Buy an inexpensive 3000w generator, use it to charge a bank of quality marine grade batteries, at least 4 if not 6. Make sure they are 850~1000 crank amp rated, and DEEP CYCLE. Use 0 gauge hook up cable for the batteries, and quality connectors for them. Make sure you hook pos to pos neg to neg or it'll be higher voltage. Get a good 5kw power inverter, you don't want it getting hot or lowering it's life by overtaxing it. Plug in the furnace and re-charge the batteries every day.
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:46 PM   #14
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Oh yeah, you could always build a wind powered alternator like I did. A propeller, mount, 180amp alternator (one wire) and a few batteries. You'll need a good VOM to see the state of the batteries or a switch to shut the power to them off when they get charged.
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Old 11-14-2011, 03:54 PM   #15
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Detail, details...

The blower motor is almost certainly and induction motor. These rely on the smooth sine wave form of AC power. The inverter is a "modified" or quasi sine wave, meaning it steps the DC power incremently like stair steps. This is less efficient for the motor and will make it use MORE POWER that the nameplate rating. It may not run at all.

I haven't tested this specifically, but I though the rule was if you have to run induction motors, you have to have true sine wave output inverters.

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