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Old 02-28-2018, 08:57 PM   #1
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Inverter now being installed

For those who may be interested, I have confirmed with ETI that the inverter which would be installed in our July 24 delivery 21 would be the following:

http://gpelectric.com/files/gpelectr..._GP-HS1500.pdf

This is the link to the product manual, which coincidentally, is not bad at all. The unit looks quite good as far as the specs and description appear to me. This is the unit that would be supplied with the system transfer switch, likely the same one without the switch, but I did not ask that.

I noted in the manual that if you make the mistake of tying this unit into the ac at the same time as you are plugged in to shore power, you will destroy the inverter, and warranty will not apply. Destruction will ensue whether or not the inverter is turned on at the time. Those considering their own installation might want to keep this in mind. All considered, the costs that ETI are charging seem very reasonable, and the transfer switch seems like a very good idea. If the other half can be brought around, we will order the whole shebang, switch and all.

If there is any specific experience out there with this or its immediate predecessor, positive or otherwise, I would be most interested in hearing about it.
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:17 PM   #2
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Inverter now being installed

We have the same unit in our 2017 19. It works well and we’re happy with it, but for one thing. This particular inverter has a max input voltage if 15V, which is ok, unless you have a fancy MPPT solar charger with temperature compensation that allows you to charge at Interstate’s actual recommended voltages, which in cold temps can exceed the inverter cutoff of 15V. Granted, most people are never going to have this problem, and it’s not due to any design issue with the inverter, but rather a systems integration issue. Our solution was to install a cutoff switch between the roof solar panels and the solar controller, so that if the controller wants to ramp up the volts while we are trying to use the inverter we can just temporarily turn the solar off.

Otherwise, happy with the inverter.
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:46 PM   #3
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What do you mean "tying this unit into ac"?
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:51 PM   #4
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What do you mean "tying this unit into ac"?
Here's the warning. Kind of a "duh".
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:02 PM   #5
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Ok, so with proper installation this will not ocurr it would seem.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:13 PM   #6
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Here's the warning. Kind of a "duh".
For a lot of us, yes... but I would not be surprised if someone where to just parallel the inverter output and shore power, on the basis that they would never be turned on at the same time. Unfortunately, in addition to that not being a safe assumption, the inverter is vulnerable even when off. I think including the warning is prudent.
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:01 AM   #7
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For those of us who are electronic Luddites, I'm still not sure what this means for us with boots on the campsite. Does this mean for example that, if we are connected to shore power, and we turn on the transfer switch, we fry our inverter? The same when we're connected to a generator?
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:14 AM   #8
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For those of us who are electronic Luddites, I'm still not sure what this means for us with boots on the campsite. Does this mean for example that, if we are connected to shore power, and we turn on the transfer switch, we fry our inverter? The same when we're connected to a generator?
You don't actually turn on the transfer switch - that's automatic. You just turn on the inverter.

In this case though, it's not about the inverter being on or off , but how it's wired during installation. As Brian points out, someone may incorrectly parallel the inverter and shore power. The inverter isn't part of shore power and should never be wired with it. It's purpose is to provide AC power to AC outlets only, getting it's power supply from the batteries. If it's wired in a way that doesn't isolate it from shore power, the inverter will be damaged by shore power even if it's turned off.

I think any installer who knows inverters would already know that, but stranger things have happened I guess, and thus the warning.
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ksitte View Post
For those of us who are electronic Luddites, I'm still not sure what this means for us with boots on the campsite. Does this mean for example that, if we are connected to shore power, and we turn on the transfer switch, we fry our inverter? The same when we're connected to a generator?
With the all outlets inverter set up there is no risk because the transfer switch that is included is automatic. You don't "turn it on". This device prevents power from the grid/generator and inverter from being supplied simultaneously. If you get the inverter option with just one outlet there is no risk of paralleling the AC power because that option has just one dedicated outlet that is not powered when plugged in to shore power.

The point that is being made is that if one is wiring up their own inverter they cannot just rely on the inverter being off to be safe and protect the device. It needs to be isolated from the generator/grid power on the AC side. The transfer switch takes care of that.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
What do you mean "tying this unit into ac"?
Although this may be clear from other comments, I meant that if someone wired the inverter themselves to the ac distribution panel to supply all plugs in the trailer, and did that without installing a transfer switch to isolate the inverter, the inverter would be destroyed by the shore power ac when the plug connection was made. This would be the "parallel" wiring mentioned by another commenter above. Bottom line here is if you somehow feed another 120 volt power source into the output wires of the inverter, you will destroy it.

The inverter comes with a couple standard receptacles on the front, and as long as these are used directly, or used to only supply a dedicated receptacle elsewhere that is never connected to shore power, there would be no problem not having a transfer switch. If any receptacle is to be shared by both shore power and the inverter, a transfer switch is absolutely required in order to protect the inverter.

At the risk of stirring up more hornets here, there is another reason why transfer switches are necessary. If there is a power outage on the shore power side, and an inverter or generator is feeding voltage back into the shore power line, staff attempting to repair the damaged shore power system could be electrocuted by a line that they incorrectly assumed was dead. Poor assumption for a professional to make, but the risk is real.
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