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Posted by You on July 6, 2009, 5:14 pm
 


Just consider the source of the above.... this Yahoo is posting form an
AOL Account.....  Nuf said....

Posted by Ulysses on June 25, 2009, 3:42 pm
 


Those are the only two I'm aware of for serious off-grid use.  Both seem to
have their advantages and disadvantages.  OB has a reputation for much
better customer service but I hate their battery charging system.  They have
automatic transfer switches that, as far as I can tell, cannot be
deactivated.  Hence when you connect a generator you are charging the
batteries and running everything from the generator.  That means you need a
generator that's quite a bit bigger than your loads and charging should
require because the efficiency is only around 70%, if that.  OTOH I can run
my well pump (1 1/2 HP) plus some other loads from a single VFX3648 (3600
watts, 48 volts) by using their X240 autotransformer.  I have only had one
shutdown due to overload and that was with a 240 V air compressor.  I just
don't use it any more.  With Trace/Xantrex supposedly you can parallel the
outputs of the generator and inverter which will give you a higher combined
output, but I've never used the Trace.  I prefer to use an engine-driven
alternator to charge my batteries directly thus bypassing OB's system but
lately I'm having problems with my charger so I have to use a 5000 watt
generator.  The refrigerator sounds funny, the microwave won't heat, and the
garbage disposal sounds like it's going to kill the generator.  On the plus
side it will maintain the specified charging voltage when other loads kick
in, something that my alternator-charger can't quite do.  When a load kicks
in with the OB charger it "backs off" the charging amps but it doesn't quite
work the way it's supposed to.  At the moment that it either backs off or
returns to charging there is a huge surge that can destroy generators.  OB's
solution is to use a generator that is twice the capacity of the total of
the inverters.  I have two VFX3648s so that would mean a 15,000 watt
generator.  While that would seem to be able to charge my batteries very
quickly in reality somewhere around 6000 watts is all that I can utilize due
to the limitations of the OB chargers.  Not very efficient, especially when
the batteries are nearly full and the amps are way down there.  BUT,
everything is just fine and dandy if I simply use a seperate charger.  I run
my whole house from a single OB VFX3648 and the other one is kinda
just-in-case.  They can be programmed for either parallel or series (240
volt) operation and you can connect up to ten together in several different
configurations.  I would not rule out "Brand X" but you'll have to get more
info from someone who is actually living them them.

Yesterday my daughter did three loads of laundry.  By the time she was done
my batteries were fully charged.  But my generator sounded like it was
suffering.




Posted by Curbie on June 25, 2009, 4:59 pm
 Ulysses,

Thanks for all your help and time, assessments from users are at least
as value to me as the spec-sheets. The only other recommendation I've
found so far is from the OtherPower board (Kipoint), but I'm still
searching the boards.

Thanks,

Curbie


Posted by wmbjkREMOVE on June 25, 2009, 10:46 pm
 wrote:


I've used a pair of Trace (now Xantrex) SW4024s for nearly 14 years.
Very happy, particularly since they've stood up to serious use with
heavy loads like welding. They have the same basic issues with
charging as Ulysses mentioned, and I mostly use a DC charging setup
for the same reason. The built-in chargers are nice to have though,
even if it's just for backup to the backup. They're automatic and make
backup charging a more streamlined operation than a DC charger. If I
was buying today I'd be giving preference to the Outback line so long
as I could get some verification that they could stand hard use like
the Trace units.

Wayne

Posted by Curbie on June 26, 2009, 1:41 am
 Wayne,
 

The SW4024 seems to be a discontinued unit, if I interpret Trace's
model coding correctly are those 24V 4K units?
 

For what reasons?

Thanks,

Curbie


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