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Inverter vs Genset

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by 3 ROYS, May 6, 2020.

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  1. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I don’t see the point. Why would you want to have the generator frequently starting and stopping. A large number of cycle on a small bank will drastically shortened its life.

    generator on manually for AC, cooking and recharging then turning it off is any higher better option. Install a bank large enough to run 18 hours a day so it doesn’t sucked as much and over discharge, two battery killers
  2. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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  3. SeaLion

    SeaLion Senior Member

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  4. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    IDK ; I’m a simple stupid boater, with more emphasis on the stupid part.

    all this talk about inverters and what not that you’re trying to accomplish requires too much thought and Maintenance in my opinion.

    The inverter would be nice just for the TV computers and lights that’s about it.
    The generator would be great for everything else and also would increase the lifespan of all your compressors pumps and motors because those things don’t like sudden on and off surges of electric when switching over from inverter to generator , to shore power it kills the lifespans of those things.
  5. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Senior Member

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    It's one of the age old problems today - no one can fix anything. In the old days my Dad would make the part and give to me to install it. Can't be done now. The industry is so afraid of COPD and related illnesses it can't afford to hire welders or tool/die makers anymore. The world is dependent on replacement parts. Learn to weld and do it yourself.

    My 44 catamaran has two gensets - 7kw ea that operate my electrics motors and recharge my batteries. I only need a 1kw inverter.
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    but no Air con ....
  7. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    That's when they fail..
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    No air con in South Florida is about equivalent to dieing…….Camping would be more comfortable.
  9. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Senior Member

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    When I built it I was living in Iceland - no need for air con~
  10. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    Thanks for that link. My friend had a similar problem which made me shy away from the charger/inverter on the entire system.

    The article you linked to is from 2013, has the technology improved much since then ?

    + 1 on the Phasor. I replaced my Onan with one.
    Although I only have a couple hundred hrs on it, it is more quiet and has been reliable so far.
  11. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    A few years ago, on a 70 footer with pass thru inverter (Magnum 4kw) I lost all most electrical because the pass thru relays on the inverter failed. We were at the dock but on charter and about to serve dinner .... had to disconnect the wiring at the inverter and spliced the input and output.

    so automatic transfer is nice but not when it fails. When I install an inverter again on my 53 it will be hooked up manually as a source like the gen. Not automatic

    that blog story raises a number of question Loosing AC power on a boat underway (whether gen or inverter) should be an inconvenience not an emergency... electronics and some lights should not be affected. Then how does an engine room get too hot with the engines running and pulling air thru? Finally no GPS back up like an iPad or iPhone?
  12. MBevins

    MBevins Senior Member

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    Pascal

    I agree with your comment about inconvenience of pass through relay failure.
    I solved that issue but installing a manual bypass circuit. If the inverter fails I just rotate the switch. It allows the best of both.
  13. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Hah, relays , they seem to be the nemesis of all things electrical, but they are everywhere, can’t live with them and can’t live without them.

    As far as inverters go, I like the idea of a bypass switch or the simplicity of a stand alone item, it is a sure bet that at one time you will experience a unit failure as stated above.
  14. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    That’s a nice option.
  15. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Victron had a nightmare with those transfer relays. Finally started offering models with 50A relays and problems went away.
    I understood other inverter companies learned the same lesson; instead of saving a few pennies, install a better (sealed) relay.

    In re-typing #27 above; It's not if they fail, it's when they fail. Always have a bypass handy.

    Pascal is a proud chef. You think he enjoyed working on an electrical issue when he was to be serving guest another creative meal.

    You want to be working on an electrical issue when your to be mixing margaritas??

    Oh, that's a Mothers Day idea,, Come by and enjoy one of my margaritas, no excesses that I don't have any ice or mixer...
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    On the Hampton I managed, they put all of the inverter powered items on one section of the AC panel and they had 2 breakers with a lock out bar, so you could only choose inverter, or inverter bypass. It was a nice way to do it. Similar to the transfer breaker setup of shorepower or generator on a lot of boats and right on the main panel.
  17. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    We all do this but still going to point it out. We have a problem. A six year old would tell you immediately what to do. Yet, the more we learn, the more we try to figure out alternatives to the simple, straight forward answer. Genset has a problem, either repair or replace. Inverters aren't involved, batteries aren't involved, your main engines aren't involved, the genset is broken. Fix or replace. You can come up with a thousand alternatives but none will work as well.
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    This is the truth.
  19. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    This is the truth.
  20. v10builder1

    v10builder1 Senior Member

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    No one suggested that the original poster operate without a generator, and no one suggested he should operate the boat's solely on an inverter. I don't believe anyone suggested that there should not be ample bypass and manual backups built in. Even so, at least from my view, we have been discussing generators/inverters in the context of convenience, not safety - then chesapeake46 linked us to the Nordhavn blog entry.

    Along with what Capt J pointed out, are the bridge electronics on Nordhavns 115V powered? Seems crazy to me. Seems like if Nordhavn put 2 alternators on the main engine (or one each on the main and the get-home) they would have kept the nav/electronics/AP on the 12 V system. Also seems like some design issues (like incorrect overload protection on inverters and builder equipment choices) were present that should not have added to the operator's load in the rough sea conditions.