View Full Version : Inverter for emergency power
03-05-2009, 06:21 PM
This is for my home, put it in back in '99, had many power outages, as we are at the end of the transmission line, also have two electric start generators. Now we have few outages, mostly just when the Tornado season hits us.
03-22-2009, 05:19 AM
Nice inverter. Haven't seen a DR series in ages, but they're very reliable units. Just be careful with the modified sine-wave power. I've seen quite a few rechargeable tool batteries & chargers destroyed by mod-sine. I like the tri-metric. Always wanted to get one but never got around to picking one up. What size battery bank do you have? Those look like L16s but it's late so I could be seeing that wrong.
A couple of suggestions:
1) Cover those battery tops with plexi or some form of cover. Ever see a screwdriver or wrench or water leak dead-short a battery? It's not pretty.
2) Venting. Batteries off-gas hydrogen gas when charging. Vent those puppies outside. Not a pretty sight when this gas builds up and static electricity causes an arc. Yes, I've seen this happen as well. Fortunately the battery enclosure contained the explosion.
3) Transfer switch -- I didn't see one. Shutting off the main breaker CAN work, but it's bad practice. All it takes is one misstep to have live voltage going out the lines and then you're either trying to power the neighborhood or possibly electrocuting a lineman or electrician who is assuming the lines are dead. At the very least, pick up a cheap manual switchover panel and move your critical loads over to it. I've had beautiful disaster-preparedness plans go horribly wrong when I wasn't home and the people at the house tried to power everything off generator. It worked beautifully initially. Generator powered everything, including landscape lighting, air con, water heaters, washers & dryers, etc. Ran 3 days that way. Unfortunately the outage was 7 days. Oops.
4) Cover the exposed connectors. Just good practice. Just one less thing to go wrong and it'll make the inspectors happy. It's still legal to leave yourself a hole large enough to put a test lead through. All of the power gear used in show business/concerts has such test ports and I've never seen an inspector gripe about it.
5) Brother P-Touch -- use one. Label everything. Goes hand-in-hand with #3. The more documentation that exists, the better off everyone will be.
03-22-2009, 08:10 AM
Good suggestions, you are obviously no stranger to the systems.
I have a rubber sheet that usually covers the batteries, I was worried about shorts also, I took it off to take the picture.
We have a check-sheet we follow when switching over, all the individual breakers, then the main, then we take the clip off the switch, flip it on, then the breaker to the Inverter supply, then selected individual circuits.
I agree that the transfer switch would be best, and would advise others to do so.
The silent power is very nice, I have 12 volt lines and lights all over the basement.
If I had it all to do over again, I wold have bought a nice natural gas stand- by generator, all automatic.
Live and learn.....
Still may buy and install one someday.
03-24-2009, 12:37 PM
Thanks, I have it powered down now, haven't had a brown-out for a long while.
(I would have to say that, with the Spring Tornado season here now, in the mid-west..)
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