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Hooking up Inverter to load center

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Posted by swattsup on June 7, 2006, 2:35 am

I would like to hook up an inverter to the home wiring through one of
those generator-type sub-panels.  From what I've read,  it seems that
most inverters can't handle this.  I'm talking the Vector type
inverters and not the $000 Outback types.

I understand that the problem has to do with that the neutral and
ground are bonded at the load center combined with many inverters have
the neutral on the output somehow bonded to the input.

Would hooking up an inverter to a 1:1 center-tapped transformer solve
this problem?  Or even using a 1:2  transformer to get 220 and
energizing the entire load center? With appropriate disconnects of
course and realizing you ain't going to power the water heater and
central AC this way.

Are there any <$00 inverters (sine wave nice but not mandatory) that
can handle at least 1k Watts that will work?

Will a 1500VA computer UPS work as an inverter (ignoring the pitful
recharge rates they have?)

Just bouncing some ideas around.


Posted by sspence@green-trust.org on June 7, 2006, 10:31 am

The $69 2500/5000 12vdc unit from BJ's Wholesale (AC DELCO Brand)
works fine.

We run our whole house on it. See it at

Steve Spence

swattsup wrote:

Posted by swatts on June 7, 2006, 12:00 pm

Nice pictures!

Unfortunately, your house is completely off-grid and basically acts as
a big extension cord for your inverter.  Most homes have issues like
earth/ground bonding, 2 split 110V circuits, 220v appliances that cross
over the legs, etc.

sspence@green-trust.org wrote:


Posted by DJ on June 7, 2006, 1:31 pm

swatts wrote:

Actually, most of us off-gridders have that, too. We do try to go light
on the 240v AC stuff, usually limiting it to water pumps.

But yep, when you get into a conventional residential on-grid
electrical system, you need  a REAL inverter ;-).


Posted by Derek Broughton on June 7, 2006, 2:09 pm

DJ wrote:

Water pumps?  Go DC...


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