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rawidman

RO# 25110

Posted - Mar 31 2008 :  19:41:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am installing a Xantrex 1800 watt inverter in my "new" boat. Even though Xantrex markets these inverters for RV or marine use, the installation instructions call for grounding the inverter case to "chassis ground". This inverter has an automatic transfer switch built in and I wired it to transfer the AC outlet circuit for the entire boat from shorepower to inverter power when shorepower is off and the inverter is on.

I connected the ground wire to the boat's negative bus but now I'm thinking that I may be bypasing the galvanic isolator by doing this.

Should the inverter ground be connected to the ground conductor from the shorepower inlet instead?
Ron
2000 Camano Troll

Homeport: Charleston, SC

PascalG

RO# 12212



Posted - Mar 31 2008 :  23:41:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Xantrex install instrutions are usually pretty straight forward. Mine has a lug on the case, which I connected to the Ground bus on the electrical panel.

that's downstream of the galvanic isolator, makes no difference. the isolator is between the ground bus and shore power.

"This inverter has an automatic transfer switch built in and I wired it to transfer the AC outlet circuit for the entire boat from shorepower to inverter power"

I'm not sure i understand that part... connecting the output of your inverter to the entire panel is less than ideal since it can't deal with all the loads. Air Con, stove/oven, battery charger and water heaters are some of the load you dont' want the inverter connected too, although you can manually turn these breakers off prior to disconnect. But if one day, you're at the dock and loose power, the inverter will transfer under a full load and pop breakers.

also, your boat probably has dual shore power( two legs), how can you connect one output to tow legs?


Pascal
1970 Hatteras 53 MY
26' Starfish sloop
12' Westphal Catboat
16' Hobie Cat
13' Sandbarhopper

Homeport: Miami, FL Go to Top of Page

rawidman

RO# 25110

Posted - Apr 01 2008 :  09:00:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, ground bus on the electrical panel (the AC ground or "green") right, not the DC ground.

Not the entire boat, there is one circuit for all the 120 electrical outlets (6) with a 15 amp breaker. I fed that circuit (after the breaker) to the "line in" on the inverter tranfer switch and from the "line out", went to another 15 amp breaker and on to the outlet circuit. Only the outlets (which includes the one the microwave is plugged into) are powered by the inverter. None of the other electrical loads. I can plug in a TV, DVD player, hair drier, ect. to any of these outlets, being mindfull of the total current draw.

The electrical system is just 30 amp, 120 volt.


Ron
2000 Camano Troll

Edited by - rawidman on Apr 01 2008 09:03:45

Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

PascalG

RO# 12212



Posted - Apr 01 2008 :  09:43:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
yes, AC ground, green wire, bus on the electrical panel.

you also need to split the neutral, which in this case is just one wire... find the neutral for your outlet circuit, remove it from the main neural bus and connect it to the inverter Neutral output. This is how Xantrex recommends installation.

one could argue that it doesn't matter because neutral and ground are bonded when the inverter switches over to inverter mode so all G and N end up being connected together... make sense but it doesn't hurt to follow installation instructions.

surprised you only have one 30amp shore power feed on that boat, what is it, 36?


Pascal
1970 Hatteras 53 MY
26' Starfish sloop
12' Westphal Catboat
16' Hobie Cat
13' Sandbarhopper

Homeport: Miami, FL Go to Top of Page

rawidman

RO# 25110

Posted - Apr 01 2008 :  16:30:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's a 31'.

Yes, I just took the triplex cable from the breaker that was feeding the nearby GFCI outlet and fed it to the transfer switch "line in" terminals (hot and neutral). Then, from the transfer switch "line out" terminals back to a new breaker on the panel and on to the GFCI. That protects the entire circuit but I have two breakers so I put them adjacent to each other and I'll get the rod that connects the handles just for clarity.


Ron
2000 Camano Troll

Edited by - rawidman on Apr 01 2008 16:31:18

Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

PascalG

RO# 12212



Posted - Apr 01 2008 :  17:56:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
and where do you connect the neutral from the inverter? to the GFCI? that shoudl work... i dont' think you want to connect the N to the N bus

Pascal
1970 Hatteras 53 MY
26' Starfish sloop
12' Westphal Catboat
16' Hobie Cat
13' Sandbarhopper

Homeport: Miami, FL Go to Top of Page

rawidman

RO# 25110

Posted - Apr 01 2008 :  18:05:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The hot, neutral and ground from the inverter transfer switch (output) go to the GFCI which protects all the AC outlets. I guess I should have pointed that out.

Ron
2000 Camano Troll

Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

mandm1200

RO# 29581

Posted - Apr 01 2008 :  18:10:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Got me a little confused. I looked at their inverters and assuming you have the PRO Series Inverter 1800. The tranfer switch is rated for 25 amps. I would run a wire from the breaker (after the breaker) that feed your outlet circuit to the line in of the transfer switch. Note: that breaker should be a maximum of 25 amps. That would allow your AC draw on shore power to be 25 amps. I would then run a wire from the line out of the inveter to the outlets. The inverter has its own 15 amp circuit. Using the inverter would limit your load to 15 amps. I'm not so sure if you would need another breaker at the AC panel. If you add one, perhaps for convience, it should not be for more than 15 amps. You now have limited your ampacity to 15 wether on shore power or inverter power.

"If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes."

Homeport: Lewisberry, PA Go to Top of Page

rawidman

RO# 25110

Posted - Apr 01 2008 :  19:26:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mandm1200

Got me a little confused. I looked at their inverters and assuming you have the PRO Series Inverter 1800. The tranfer switch is rated for 25 amps. I would run a wire from the breaker (after the breaker) that feed your outlet circuit to the line in of the transfer switch. Note: that breaker should be a maximum of 25 amps. That would allow your AC draw on shore power to be 25 amps. I would then run a wire from the line out of the inveter to the outlets. The inverter has its own 15 amp circuit. Using the inverter would limit your load to 15 amps. I'm not so sure if you would need another breaker at the AC panel. If you add one, perhaps for convience, it should not be for more than 15 amps. You now have limited your ampacity to 15 wether on shore power or inverter power.



Yes it is a PRO Series Inverter 1800.

Let me simplify:

The electrical panel of the boat as designed has a 30 amp input and branch circuits for AC, battery charger, water heater, and "AC Outlets" (six of them, one GFCI and five others downstream from it).

In effect, what I have done is cut the cable from the 15 amp "AC Outlet" breaker to the GFCI and wire the transfer switch between the cut ends. Because the inverter can provide more than 15 amps for a short period while in the "inverter mode" I added an additional 15 amp circuit breaker to the output side to protect the boat wiring.

So, I only have inverter power to the AC outlets, not the water heater, AC, etc. but that's all I want and realistically, all the batteries could handle.


Ron
2000 Camano Troll

Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

Billylll

RO# 24494



Posted - Apr 01 2008 :  21:06:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Seems sensable to me. This way you only have the AC outlets on the boat on the inverter. If the transfer switch in the inverter were to go bad you would only loose your outlets. You should be fine with that set up.

Bill


WIRELESS ONE,
36 Gulfstar
Trawler
Little Egg, N.J.

Homeport: Tuckerton, N.J. Go to Top of Page

mandm1200

RO# 29581

Posted - Apr 01 2008 :  21:22:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ron:

Makes sense to me now. At first I was unsure if you had the line side of the transfer switch protected. I am just a di-it-yourselfer; not an expert/professional. I will be installing an inverter in the next week or two. Mine doesn't have the transfer switch, but then again don't have a slip with power to plug into (on a trailer). I am going to install a Blue Sea 3 position switch so that the possibility of having 2 AC sources connected at one time doesn't exist; either shore power, inverter power, or no power.
I am not trying to hi-jack the thread but maybe you or someone else can answer this. I just want things done right the first time. I unhook the existing hot and neutral lines from the main breaker and hook them up to one side the Blue Sea switch. Hook the hot and neutral wires from the inverter to the switch. Then hook hot and neutral wires to the input of the main breaker. I assume my boat has a galvanic isolator, but have never seen it. It may be behind the AC panel. Which side of the isolator do I tie in to. The boat side or shore side? Do I have to run a seperate ground wire from the inverter chassis to the panel or can I fasten it to the engine ground? Should I double check to ensure the AC ground and DC grounds are tied together?


"If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes."

Homeport: Lewisberry, PA Go to Top of Page

rawidman

RO# 25110

Posted - Apr 02 2008 :  08:26:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mandm1200

Ron:

Makes sense to me now. At first I was unsure if you had the line side of the transfer switch protected. I am just a di-it-yourselfer; not an expert/professional. I will be installing an inverter in the next week or two. Mine doesn't have the transfer switch, but then again don't have a slip with power to plug into (on a trailer). I am going to install a Blue Sea 3 position switch so that the possibility of having 2 AC sources connected at one time doesn't exist; either shore power, inverter power, or no power.
I am not trying to hi-jack the thread but maybe you or someone else can answer this. I just want things done right the first time. I unhook the existing hot and neutral lines from the main breaker and hook them up to one side the Blue Sea switch. Hook the hot and neutral wires from the inverter to the switch. Then hook hot and neutral wires to the input of the main breaker. I assume my boat has a galvanic isolator, but have never seen it. It may be behind the AC panel. Which side of the isolator do I tie in to. The boat side or shore side? Do I have to run a seperate ground wire from the inverter chassis to the panel or can I fasten it to the engine ground? Should I double check to ensure the AC ground and DC grounds are tied together?



Well, I wouldn't recommend doing it that way because as pointed out by others, you cannot expect most of the items connected to your electical panel to run very long from an inverter and battery bank for very long if at all. The AC is not going to start, much less run, the water heater won't run long enough to get one tank hot withoout depleting the batteries, you can't charge your batteries with an inverter running on the same batteries, etc.

You can do as I did using the manual switch instead of the automatic switch for your AC outlets or you could take the easy way out as I did on my old boat and just plug your microwave or whatever into the AC outlets on the inverter.

The AC ground needs to be continuous for safety and should be grounded as from the factory. The inverter chassis ground is (according to the instructions) grounded to the vehicle chassis. On a boat, that's the motor or DC negative.

It will work like that and be safe, the issue with a boat in a slip is galvanic corrosion, that's what the isolator is instaled for. Connect the ground wire to the wrong side of the isolator and everything will work fine but you may have taken the isolator out of the circuit and the underwater gear will no longer be protected. It won't matter while it's on a trailer or running in the water, just if it's plugged into shorepower while in the water.


Ron
2000 Camano Troll

Edited by - rawidman on Apr 02 2008 08:28:47

Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

PascalG

RO# 12212



Posted - Apr 02 2008 :  08:44:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the easiest way to install an inverter with built in transfer switch is how Xantrex recommends...

split your panel in two groups. Circuits that will not be powered by the inverter (ACs, water heater, battery charge, stove, etc...) and circuits that will be inverter powered. Normally, it's as easy as moving breakers around then cutting the bus bar between the group. Split your neutral bus in two groups as well.

Add a 30amp breaker to the first group (or whateever the pass thru capacity of your inverter may be)

Send power to your inverter line in from that breaker.

Connect the ouput from your inverter to the second group of breaker and the second neutral bus.

Done!

if your inverter has dual switches and you have two legs, you can connect the second line in to a breaker on your second leg to allow simultanous full capacity pass thru AND charging.


Pascal
1970 Hatteras 53 MY
26' Starfish sloop
12' Westphal Catboat
16' Hobie Cat
13' Sandbarhopper

Homeport: Miami, FL Go to Top of Page

rawidman

RO# 25110

Posted - Apr 02 2008 :  08:47:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, after some research, galvanic isolators are just diode systems and have two terminals and the AC ground and inverter chassis ground go to one of them and the other goes to the boat's DC ground, bonding system, etc. Simple enough except my isolator haas three terminals!

I'll have to go to the boat and figure it out and/or trace wires. I do know it's hooked up wrong now.


Ron
2000 Camano Troll

Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

mandm1200

RO# 29581

Posted - Apr 02 2008 :  10:04:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the info. I should have shed a little more light in my post. I do not have air cond. I have a water heater with engine heat exchanger; I don't use the AC water heater unless I run off a portable genny. Fridge is DC only but is primarily used a can storage and not turned on (approx 37 amps DC); cooler with ice is brought aboard. If stove is needed I run alcohol instead of electric.
Why have an inverter? My main uses will be microwave although I don't use it much, LCD TV/DVD, computer, coffee maker, portable electric heater to keep cabin warm on cooler nights. I know heaters consume a large amount of power, but I do not boat in cold weather. I figure if the night time temps drop into the 60's or mid 50's it will off most of the time; I only have a 26 footer and hate to wake up in a damp boat. A little heat will give me a few weeks extra boating time and a little more comfort. In fact the reason for the AC inverter is just that; more comfort. I don't cruise long enough to charge the batteries so I'll have to take them home unless I am lucky enough to be trailered where the marina has AC outlet. My plan is to have to have 2 battery banks, each being 2 batteries, for the inverter/house. If the usage is minimal, I’ll only have to take a pair home at a time.


"If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes."

Homeport: Lewisberry, PA Go to Top of Page

CPSS

RO# 13031

Posted - Apr 02 2008 :  15:05:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is copied from my Xantrex inverter manual:

The neutral (common) conductor of the inverter AC output circuit is connected to the chassis ground. Therefore, when the chassis is connected to ground, the neutral conductor is also grounded. This conforms to National Electrical Code requirements stating that separately derived AC sources (such as inverters and generators) must have their neutral conductors tied to the ground in the same way that the neutral conductor from the utility line is tied to the ground at the AC breaker panel.

Marine Use: Connect the CHASSIS GND screw to the boat’s DC grounding
bus or the engine’s negative bus using 2 AWG copper wire that is bare or
has insulation rated at 90º C.



1989 Avanti 34'


Homeport: Clifton Park, NY Go to Top of Page

rawidman

RO# 25110

Posted - Apr 02 2008 :  17:15:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CPSS

This is copied from my Xantrex inverter manual:

The neutral (common) conductor of the inverter AC output circuit is connected to the chassis ground. Therefore, when the chassis is connected to ground, the neutral conductor is also grounded. This conforms to National Electrical Code requirements stating that separately derived AC sources (such as inverters and generators) must have their neutral conductors tied to the ground in the same way that the neutral conductor from the utility line is tied to the ground at the AC breaker panel.

Marine Use: Connect the CHASSIS GND screw to the boat’s DC grounding
bus or the engine’s negative bus using 2 AWG copper wire that is bare or
has insulation rated at 90º C.





Well, that sounds fine, but the way I see it, this completely bypasses the galvanic isolator, rendering it useless.


Ron
2000 Camano Troll

Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

PascalG

RO# 12212



Posted - Apr 02 2008 :  17:53:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the galvanic isolator is between your shore power inlet and your ground bus. There is NO NEED for it to be in the picture when running off genny or inverter...

" This is copied from my Xantrex inverter manual: The neutral (common) conductor of the inverter AC output circuit is connected to the chassis ground."

you need to tell us which model... is it a marine model? No way i'd connect the neutral output to the inverter ground...

the instructions for my freedom 30 (marine) state... "for safety purposes the chassis of your inverter must be connected to your AC ground system."

do not connect your neutral output to chassis and do not connect your chassis to DC ground/ engine negative !!!


Pascal
1970 Hatteras 53 MY
26' Starfish sloop
12' Westphal Catboat
16' Hobie Cat
13' Sandbarhopper

Homeport: Miami, FL Go to Top of Page

rawidman

RO# 25110

Posted - Apr 02 2008 :  18:11:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PascalG

the galvanic isolator is between your shore power inlet and your ground bus. There is NO NEED for it to be in the picture when running off genny or inverter...


True, but when you wire in the transfer sitch and connect the ground wires on the in and out triplex cables to the ground terminals, you have now connected the inverter case to AC ground. If you then connect the inverter case to the DC negative/ motor ground, it's a direct connection around the isolator. Right?

Now possibly, if one did not connect the ground wires from the triplex cable to the inverter ground screws, but just connected them to each other, it might not bypass the isolator.

Now if we just had an actual schematic of the inverter and switch ................


Ron
2000 Camano Troll

Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

CPSS

RO# 13031

Posted - Apr 03 2008 :  12:15:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The neutral (common) conductor of the inverter AC output circuit is connected to the chassis ground. Therefore, when the chassis is connected to ground, the neutral conductor is also grounded. This conforms to National Electrical Code requirements stating that separately derived AC sources

This is the way all inverters and generators are wired. It's an internal connection. The NEC requires this on any "separately derived system".


1989 Avanti 34'


Homeport: Clifton Park, NY Go to Top of Page

rawidman

RO# 25110

Posted - Apr 03 2008 :  13:40:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PascalG

the galvanic isolator is between your shore power inlet and your ground bus. There is NO NEED for it to be in the picture when running off genny or inverter...




Good point, one that I missed at first. Next time I go to the boat I'll trace the wires and figure it out.


Ron
2000 Camano Troll

Edited by - rawidman on Apr 03 2008 13:41:55

Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

PascalG

RO# 12212



Posted - Apr 03 2008 :  17:25:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
actually, according to NEC code quote in the Freedom series manual, Neutral and Ground should only be bonded when the inverter is either OFF or in inverting mode. When AC is present teh N to G bond is released. that's the difference with marine inverters.

Generators, yes... N to G is always bonded.


Pascal
1970 Hatteras 53 MY
26' Starfish sloop
12' Westphal Catboat
16' Hobie Cat
13' Sandbarhopper

Homeport: Miami, FL Go to Top of Page
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