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Old 10-26-2011, 08:18 AM
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M.T. Pockets M.T. Pockets is offline
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Power Inverter

I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction for a power inverter. I'm looking for just emergency backup electricity for the winter months, jut enough to run a couple lights and a radio. No heavy stuff like running a freezer or stove. I don't want to buy a generator. I have a couple deep cycle batteries in my boat that I'm thinking would store enough juice to run lights and a radio for a few days if needed. Does anyone have any experience with power inverters ? If so, would you have any recommendations ?

Thank you.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:46 AM
powell&hyde powell&hyde is offline
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Ice Storms out here do happen and the last time 3 years ago we lost power for 9 days, due to snapped electrical poles all over. I had 5k watt gas generator with a full tank plus 10gals of fuel. When the fuel was used up, had no choice but to buy a new car battery and hook it up to 2500 watt dc/ac inverter to power the furnace (boiler type), We also had a small portable 115v portable burner so we could make our food. We had about a months supply of non-perishables on hand also and a well in the back yard that is hand pumped.

The inverter I have was made by cobra, model cpi 2550 and I'm thinking I paid between $150-$175 for it. It saved our butt when we couldn't buy fuel for the generator (no power at pumps).
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:30 AM
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Thanks for the advice, that looks like exactly what I had in mind - in my price range too. I have wood heat and can cook with lp gas, but the nights get awful long in northern MN in the wintertime and some lights and a radio would when the power goes out would be nice. Kerosene & candles give me a headache and I think the battery backup plan would work nicely. I think 2500 watt would be plenty for what I have in mind. I haven't shopped for an inverter yet, but I'm thinking they should be at most larger hardware stores.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:44 PM
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just out of curiosity how long do you get off of a single car battery on a 2500w power inverter

GoodOlBoy
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"The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed." - 40th President of the United States Ronald Reagan 1911-2004
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:10 AM
powell&hyde powell&hyde is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodOlBoy View Post
just out of curiosity how long do you get off of a single car battery on a 2500w power inverter

GoodOlBoy
Probably for as long as I wanted to since I plugged in a 10amp battery charger to the inverter to charge up the battery every other day.
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:15 PM
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interesting, I have been thinking about buying a 45 watt solar cell kit from harbour freight, hooking it up to a spare old marine battery (still tests good) that I have and hooking a inverter up to it. solar cell charges the battery during the day, inverter allows me to run xyz off of it. basically it would be my hurricane and winter storm alternative to a fuel generator. If it worked out well I might even start scrounging batteries to put in series and add another 45 watt kit next year etc etc etc

GoodOlBoy
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For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16 KJV

Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 8:15 KJV

"The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed." - 40th President of the United States Ronald Reagan 1911-2004
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:57 PM
skeet skeet is offline
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I have used one of those systems to charge batteries and use off grid. We have a well with a solar pump on it..works great. Just for watering critters ya know. If i remember right You can charge up to 5or 6 batteries with that 45 watt cell. But you have to have a blocking diode for night..or it will discharge.To go to all solar energy on my place it would cost in the neighborhood of 25,000 bucks.. and work well for 25 yrs or more. But if the price of electricity continues to go up as Nobama wants it to..you will save money in the long run..
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:50 PM
powell&hyde powell&hyde is offline
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As far as solar panels go, I have built 3 so far and will be building a few more. The one that I built uses the newer type solar cell which puts out almost 1.3 times the amount of energy verses the original type solar cell. The pic shows the first panel I built using the newer cells and to the left of the panel shows the older type cells which are more fragile then the newer type.

The total output of the panel is between 55-60 watts at 17.5 open volts dc. I built the panel using cells bought from a solar company out of Texas and made the glass and frame and store bought aluminum. The total costs for me was $65.00. Now I'm working on a small regulator with room to spare for additional panels.

All the regulator parts will be bought from radio shack. Remember, if you build your own, it will be cheaper, but more labor intensive. I think the next panel I build since I have enough cells will be a 200 watt panel which will use up all my cells, after that I can look at buying more cells to get in the 500 to 600 watt supply.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:28 PM
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Cool I have thought about building my own but I know zip about it. Skeet if I am running a inverter off of the battery(s) how big a setup would I need to run say a 750w inverter at load during the day and still keep the batteries at charge. IE I don't know the formulas.

GOB
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For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16 KJV

Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 8:15 KJV

"The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed." - 40th President of the United States Ronald Reagan 1911-2004
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:33 AM
skeet skeet is offline
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Depends on the amount of wattage you would use during the day..Ain't no free lunch as they say...to stay even at 750 watts at least 3 batteries..unless you add more solar cells..Battery size adds to the equation..condition also..Just breaking even would not work for use in the evening too.. That is why solar and "green energy" is so expensive.. You have to over engineer for unforseen usage or unforseen low charge times..usually by 50% up to 100% more than average usage..small systems even more. I know a guy that thought running a battery charger off the inverter would keep the batteries charged..won't work. As I said..no free lunch...If that would work we'd all have free energy. LOL Law of conservation of energy is always at work..Physics ya know
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:45 PM
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Well yeah and even if that loop would work you still loose energy depending on how far the energy has to travel. That's why wire's get warm, inverters get hot etc, you are losing energy in the form of heat.

I am also looking at a 200 watt wind generator that harbor freight has with a tower, but it's $1100 plus chipping and damaging.

GoodOlBoy
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For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16 KJV

Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 8:15 KJV

"The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed." - 40th President of the United States Ronald Reagan 1911-2004
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:23 PM
skeet skeet is offline
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Well there are cheaper wind generators. Heck even costco had a decent one for 850..No tower but just a piece of drill pipe would work. I know it sounds weird with me living in Wyoming..but we don't have enough wind at our place to use one efficiently..Go to Cody or especially out to Clark Wy..and oh good grief..I could get rich with a couple of big ones Going to try to put a turbine in the irrigation canal next year..Just a small one. For 6 months of the year..24 hours a day...electricity.. I'll need at least 50 batteries....Speaking of batteries. Have y'all seen the cost for a core charge when you buy a new one?? Heck even the scrap dealers are paying up to 10 bucks each.. BTW you bullet casters..never try to melt the lead in batteries down these days..gases are produced that will kill ya..quickly..
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:56 PM
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yeah I have a old marine battery in a trihull boat I am going to use, and looks like we will be replacing the dead (but chargeable) battery in the ford tractor soon per my grandmother, I figure those to should be some pretty hefty batteries.

GoB
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For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16 KJV

Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 8:15 KJV

"The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed." - 40th President of the United States Ronald Reagan 1911-2004
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