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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #1  
Old 10-04-2009
MRPutz's Avatar
MRPutz MRPutz is offline
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Default Inverter - Beating a Dead Horse

Hello All, Yup.. another inverter question.. hee hee hee

I know lots of people have put inverters into storage bays. In my friends SP90 the factory location was in a sealed bay with no vents under the passenger seat area.

My concern is heat. Living in AZ I know the outside temps can reach 115 degrees so can only imagine how hot it must get inside a sealed box??? I decided to mount mine under the driver's side couch inside the coach. My concern was distance from batteries, keeping it clean, saving storage area, and keeping it ventilated.

From Xantrex the specs are;

Storage ambient temperature range
-40°F − 158°F (40°C − 70°C)
Optimal operating temperature range 32°F − 104°F (0°C − 40°C)
Operating ambient temperature range -4°F − 140°F (-20°C − 60°C - derated above 40°C)

Now I'm wondering if I should install a 120 muffin fan to move air into the couch area to keep the unit from circulating its own heated air? Anyone have any issues with heat and their inverter installations? The couch area has a large volume of air and two vents to supply air to the heaters there. But with the bus sitting in the desert sun and no air movement I'm concerned about the inverter heating up that area too much. Comments?
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2009
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
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How much heat does it really produce? I mean, I know it's going to produce heat, but how hard are you going to work it? I know it's a new higher end one, so it may not put out that much. Keeping the heat out of the coach will make it easier to keep the coach cool. Since it's on the floor, normal convection may be enough. Try it and use your IR gun to check it. That all being said, the 2 Freedom 25's mine has have 4 factory muffin fans! I haven't decided if that's to help cool the 130A chargers or just to pull dust into the box!
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2009
davidmbrady
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Mike,

I've traveled in the deserts with wine stored in my basement, no cooler. I'd monitor the basement temperature with a remote thermometer, and even with outside ambient well over 100deg F, the basement stayed around 85. No greenhouse effect in the basement, unlike the living area of your coach, and hot air rises. I have 2 3000W Trace inverters mounted in the basement. They're in the street side third bay from the front. This bay also joins with bay 2 and the bay 1 (the pass thru bay), lot's of air, but no fans (except for AH heating registers). The inverters are put in a steel cage with a center shelf mounted one on top of the other.

Problems with mounting in the interior:
1) living space can get hotter,
2) protection from kids/animals poking around,
3) audible hum from the inverter,
4) flashing LEDs from the inverter,
5) no faraday cage, like I have in my basement, you may get 60Hz hum elsewhere, HiFi etc,
6) access to the inverter,
7) dangerous high amperage in living space, vehicle accident concern.
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2009
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iamflagman iamflagman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtpn60 View Post
Now I'm wondering if I should install a 120 muffin fan to move air into the couch area to keep the unit from circulating its own heated air? Anyone have any issues with heat and their inverter installations? The couch area has a large volume of air and two vents to supply air to the heaters there. But with the bus sitting in the desert sun and no air movement I'm concerned about the inverter heating up that area too much. Comments?

I noticed every time I opened my Inverter / Battery Charger compartment that there was a heat build up in there, to help get some cooler air into the compartment and remove some of the hot air I started by cutting two 3 inch holes in the door and then covering them with 3 inch spot soffit vents from Lowe's, so that there would be a fresh air inlet even with the door closed, whenever I'm at home or staying in one spot for while I prop open the door.


http://www.pbase.com/iamflagman/image/108945742.jpg

I decided to add two muffin fans in there to help circulate fresh air through the compartment. I placed one that cannot be seen in the picture over the opening in the lower shelf back wall of the compartment to remove air from the compartment and the other to help circulate air heated by the battery charger down from the upper shelf. I decided to not cut another hole at the back of the top shelf after having to replace a section of heater hose that runs behind there, that was punctured after one of the mounting screws for the battery charger that an RV tech. mounted to the back wall, it was installed to replace the battery boiler.


http://www.pbase.com/iamflagman/image/114488014.jpg

I mounted on the roof of the compartment and in-line on the fans 12 volt fused power source directly from the battery bank a Hayden - Econo Adjustable Electric Radiator Fan Thermostat and by using a infrared thermometer on a hot summer day adjusted it to engage the two muffin fans at 100 degrees, this has worked great for me.


http://www.amazon.com/Hayden-Adjusta.../dp/B000ANXQ58
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2009
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My inverter (Prosine 2.0) is installed where the original inverter and converters were, which is a relatively small non-vented space.

My experience in Q is that, when the sun is on that side (and we are talking in the winter!) the heat gets high enough during charging that the unit will severely restrict charging amps, thus prolonging the amount of time the generator has to run. I haven't done anything permanent about it (yet), but just opening the door takes care of it.
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  #6  
Old 10-04-2009
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John, Sounds like you covered it. My concern is vents alone will not circulate enough "fresh" air to the compartment. I'm thinking of adding a muffin fan to mine also, but think I'll use a 120v model. I also will incorporate a themostat for my fan.

My logic is that when the bus is parked for long periods with the batter charger needed I'll have 120v to the bus. When dry camping it won't run the batteries down and will not be needed as only the inverter will be used for brief periods on demand.
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78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'90 GL1500 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2009
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MRPutz MRPutz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxdwg View Post
How much heat does it really produce? I mean, I know it's going to produce heat, but how hard are you going to work it? I know it's a new higher end one, so it may not put out that much. Keeping the heat out of the coach will make it easier to keep the coach cool. Since it's on the floor, normal convection may be enough. Try it and use your IR gun to check it. That all being said, the 2 Freedom 25's mine has have 4 factory muffin fans! I haven't decided if that's to help cool the 130A chargers or just to pull dust into the box!
Actually John the issue is thermal run-a-way. As the unit produces heat in a contained area it now starts using the heated air to cool itself. As the efficiency drops from cooling with heated air the unit gets hotter producing more heated air. The cycle continues until it reaches unsafe temperatures. Heat is the #1 reasons electronic components fail, so I'm trying to be pro-active. If a unit shuts down or limits itself due to heat then it's already too late, that's hard on the unit.
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78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'90 GL1500 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
eMail=Mike.Putz@cox.net | Web=http://mikeputz.com/
Solar = https://www.solarpenny.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=257

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