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Old 12-24-2011, 03:40 PM   #1
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50 or 30 amp on inverter

Saw something on another thread and didn't want to hijack it, so here's the question. If I'm plugged into 50 amp shore power and have the inverter set at 50 would I draw less electric (KWH) if I set the inverter to 30 amps and stay plugged into 50 at the shore power????????????????
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:53 PM   #2
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Do you mean Inverter that changes 12VDC to 120VAC or a converter that changes 120VAC to 12VDC?
Either way, I have never seen or heard of an inverter or converter that is switchable. Exactly what is it that you are trying to accomplish?
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:56 PM   #3
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Don't have my notes with me but the answer is no. I believe that 30/50 amp selection on the inverter side is for load protection/shedding
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:27 PM   #4
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I'm thinking that's referring to the converter section and limiting the max (50Amp) output to 30. That would lengthen the battery bank charging in some cases. Regardless though you will still consume the same amount of energy but at a lower peak. Not sure why you'd need this unless the inverter does not have a battery temp sensor and you're in a hot climate. Otherwise reducing 120 VAC to 12 VDC saving 20 amps is negligible.
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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Your inverter uses shore power (or generator) to charge your batteries. It will charge them in the programmed modes until they are fully charged and generally use a float charge to keep them charged. As you use battery power for the refrigerator and lights, it will continue to recharge the batteries. If you unplug from shore power, the inverter now changes modes and inverts 12V DC to 120V AC to power your devices. When you plug in again, the inverter will recharge the batteries.

If you change your inverter input from 50 to 30 Amps, it will just take longer to recharge. Your overall useage will remain equal.
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
Your inverter uses shore power (or generator) to charge your batteries. It will charge them in the programmed modes until they are fully charged and generally use a float charge to keep them charged. As you use battery power for the refrigerator and lights, it will continue to recharge the batteries. If you unplug from shore power, the inverter now changes modes and inverts 12V DC to 120V AC to power your devices. When you plug in again, the inverter will recharge the batteries.

If you change your inverter input from 50 to 30 Amps, it will just take longer to recharge. Your overall useage will remain equal.
I don't want to be picky, but an inverter will not charge anything. It must be a combination inverter/charger in order to charge the batteries AND change 12v to 120v AC.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:30 PM   #7
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Thanks, you've answered my question. I was just wondering if I would draw less KWH by doing that, thus saving on the elect bill.
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Old 12-25-2011, 03:24 PM   #8
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You have an inverter that passes 50 amps?
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:30 PM   #9
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Maybe I used the wrong wording on this. On my wall in the hall is a panel and it has a list going down showing 50, 30, 20, 15 and 5. Above it it says incoming AC breaker amps. I was asking if I'm plugged into 50 amp shore power would I save on electric usage if I placed the incoming amps to 30 instead of 50 on this panel.
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:38 PM   #10
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Joe, the option comes into play if you plug into shore power that is 30 amps or less. You can then reset your inverter/charger down to 30 amps or less so that you will have more readily available power for other uses in the coach. It will take a little longer to charge your batteries back up but if your sitting you really don't care. You do want to keep the fridge cold, watch a little TV, run an ac or heater, or maybe pop a little something in the microwave. If your charger is sucking half your power you can start popping circuit breakers in a hurry. If you have it set at 30 it won't necessarily draw 30. But it will take what it needs up to the 30 to recharge the batteries. Of course once the batteries are charged you have all the power available for other uses. When I'm on 30 amp shore power I normally set my charger at 10 amps so that I will have at least 20 amps available for our uses while the batteries are recharging.

On edit (you posted again while I was typing). No, you will not save anything under those circumstances.
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:49 PM   #11
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Wouldn't that just limit the amount of amps the RV was able to use?
I suspect if you had the selector set to 30 amps and you needed to run both a/c's, and a few other accessories it would automatically shed the load and limit the RV to use only up to 30 amps.
So yes it could save you some money at the expense of loosing the ability to run all the electrical items you might want to use.
Probably easier to just shut off the accessories that you don't need that are wasting energy.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:37 AM   #12
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I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so here goes...

Say you have 200amp service box in your home. That box (actually the combined total of the load protecting circuit breakers) limits your TOTAL amp usage to 200 AMPs. Say you go away for a month and turn everything off, when you get home, you have used 0 kwh.

You could take 1 leg 120VAC (1 of the 2) from the electric pole outside your home directly to a 15amp outlet and plug in a 3amp electric drill and run it all day long without a bit of problems. However, because there is no circuit breaker, that plug could pull 2000amps if you had something that could pull that much. Of course if you started pulling much over 15-20 amps, the outlet would start melting as it's only rated for 15 amps.

The bottom line is, you could have 1,000,000 amps available but, you are only going to use what your lights, appliances, etc use. The ONLY way you're going to save any electric is limit their use.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtjoe View Post
Maybe I used the wrong wording on this. On my wall in the hall is a panel and it has a list going down showing 50, 30, 20, 15 and 5. Above it it says incoming AC breaker amps. I was asking if I'm plugged into 50 amp shore power would I save on electric usage if I placed the incoming amps to 30 instead of 50 on this panel.
That appears to be your EMS (Energy Management System). It's designed to be set at what your are plugged into. That way the system can manage what is available to it. If you had it set for 50 and you only had 30, You could pop circuit breakers instead of the EMS shutting down overloaded circuits and bring them back when enough amps are available.

My old EMS is only switchable between 30 and 20 amps and works as advertised. I also have a digital read out which tells me how much total amps the rig is drawing....which is nice to know.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:41 AM   #13
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You are describing an EMS panel, not an Inverter panel.

For the record: SOME inverters have both a charger module and AC pass through (MINE does for example. though I do not use the charger as it seems to have a fault)

On these units,,, There is a setting for AC BREAKER SIZE,, What it does is this... If the batteries are very low, it will "Throttle" the charge module so that as demand of pass through loads increases, the charger draws less and less in an attempt to keep the total demand to less than xx amps. I do, on occasion, throttle mine down to say 10 amps. Which effectively disables the charger if I use the microwave.

But that's all

OF course if the batteries are fully charged and all the converter is doing is powering a few amps worth of light bulbs. and the control board in the fridge and water heater.... It won't make enough difference to matter.

But the EMS (Energy Management System) is a whole nutter device.. The job of the EMS is to control loads so if you are on a 30 amp (or less) "park" (or home) outlet you don't trip the breaker for that outlet. IT will do this by, for example, letting only one air conditioner run and perhaps even shutting that off when you fire up the Microwave.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:47 AM   #14
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The Tradewinds has a pass thru inverter. It is best to set the inverter to 30 amps to limit the charger section.

Do you have the inverter on while hooked to shore power? If so, you are accomplishing nothing. There is no need to have the inverter on as the charging circuit is independent of the inverter section.
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