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bernie963 08-12-2011 08:48 AM

dc/ac power inverter on a boat
My brother-in-law has a boat in which I would like to install a power inverter for light ac use. The boat has no separate generator (but wish it did). What I want to do is run from the battery to a circuit breaker, then to an on-off switch to the inverter. I have 3 inverters I could use, 1000W, 750W and a 400W unit. I have read that if using an inverter for low wattage load they become very inefficient. Therefore, I am thinking of using both the 750 and 400W units separately. This will allow the running of a fan, etc while under way. No heavy loads are anticipated, as the dual batteries would not handle it. approximately 1000w = 120v * 9 A. that = 90 A at 12vdc assuming 100% conversion (not).

I have several airpax and heinemann industrial panel mount legacy breakers. Some are rated 250VAC hold 50A trip 62.5 A. Any thoughts on using them for the DC breakers?

Any thoughts on what to use for on-off switching?

thanks for any input.


mpoulton 08-12-2011 10:32 PM

Definitely do not use AC breakers for DC. Unfortunately, DC circuits are much harder to interrupt than AC, even at lower voltage. An AC breaker may not reliably interrupt the fault. It may just arc across the contacts and catch on fire instead. Fuses are easiest for this application. Car audio shops have fuses and distribution blocks that are ideally suited for this type of application. Most inverters are intended to be connected to the battery permanently and draw essentially no current while turned off. The built-in switch is all that's required to turn them on and off. If you want remote switching, remove the switch and wire it remotely - it's usually not hard to do.

vsheetz 08-13-2011 04:03 AM

I would suggest to mount the inverter closer to the battery, with fuses in the DC lines to the inverter. You can get an inverter with remote on/off switch capability - such as those designed for RV use.

Superrick 08-16-2011 10:12 AM

Use #2 (110 amp capacity) copper starter cable or welding cable with crimp ends (available at NAPA, Autozone ect) fuse the plus as close as possible to the batteries then a battery switch (300 amp capacity,Off, battery1,battery2,both, available at west marine or possibly NAPA) to the inverter 12 volt in plus. Then if the inverter has built-in overload protection a switch and receptacles located where you like in the high voltage side. If no built-in protection in the inverter run to a breaker first. Be cautious about not mounting anything which can produce a spark in the engine/fuel area.

gregzoll 08-16-2011 11:28 AM

You can check out Clayton power for marine power inverters

Other Marine power inverter sellers;_ylt=...param=&rd=pref

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