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Old 03-03-2016, 11:50 AM   #1
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Who knows the most about Full Sign wave vs Modified sign wave inverters?

Ladies and Gents,
Got a question about Full sign wave inverters. It's a long story but, this is the ultra short version. While camping recently in Qualcom Stadium in San Diego for the Big Three Swap Meet, a buddy was having battery issues, along side us. Well, another buddy and I started helping with the others issues. He and, my other buddy there, both have full sign wave inverter/chargers. Mine is a Magnum modified signwave.

But, what I've found out, about both of those boys coaches and, their type inverter/chargers is, it appears that, their inverters have to be ON, 24/7 even when plugged into shore power, in order to have 120VAC available inside the coach(s). Ours, the Magnum 2012ME, is only ON, when we need 120VAC.

But, one of my buddies stated that, what his and, apparently the other buddies inverter/charger does is, when 120VAC is needed, it (both of their inverters) will bring in 120VAC from say, the generator, then, send it, THROUGH THE Charger, to the batteries. Then, it will take 12V from the batteries and, invert it to FULLY SIGN WAVED 120VAC to the coaches outlets.

And that's how both of their coaches, consistantly receive fully sign waved power.

But, the problem is, when either one of those boys shuts down the inverter, that is, TURN IT OFF, both of their coaches go completely dead. There is no 12VDC power to anything, in either coach. Hmmmmm. Not have ever dealt with full sign wave inverter/chargers, I thought this to be quite odd.

In ours, 12VDC is there all the time, unless my house battery switch is turned off. And, if and when I want 120VAC without shore power or, the generator running, I turn the inverter ON and, that inverts 12VDC to 120VAC.

So, do any of you that have Full Sign Wave inverter/chargers, have to have your inverters on, 24/7 even when you're not running the genny or, on shore power, to get even 12V from your house batteries?
Scott
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:57 AM   #2
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Our 120 power is always on when using the generator or shore power no matter the state of the inverter. 12V power is always on no matter what unless I turn off the main (salesmans) switch or the battery switches them selves.
We have the Xantrex RS3000 Inverter/Charger which is a SW inverter.
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:36 PM   #3
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Scott-

Here's a page from the Magnum MS-series manual.

Mark
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:39 PM   #4
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Inverters designed for RV use such as the Magnum line and even my older Dimensions have an internal AC transfer switch. You leave the Inverter/Charger on standby - if you are running the genset or on shore power, the transfer switch passes the power through. While doing this, the charger also charges your batteries. If there is no AC supply, the unit operates in the inverter mode feeding power to the inverter outlets.
Key points:
- The unit cannot invert and charge the batteries simultaneously
- not all inverters have the transfer switch. Generally if you added an inverter, it is just hooked up for that purpose.
- whether it is a sine wave or modified sine wave has nothng to do with how the inverter or charger work from a functionality perspective
- if you have an inverter with the transfer switch, you will have two electrical panels ( or one sectioned off) for the outlets fed directly and the second will be for the outlets fed thru the inverter/ inverter transfer switch.
The wiring is screwed up in your buddies coaches or their batteries are dead if the do not have 12v available when the unit is turned off as the 12v feed to the coach is essentially independent of the inverter/charger.
Good luck,
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:42 PM   #5
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If I am understanding what you are saying about your buddies coaches is that they run the generator to charge the batteries and then use the batteries to get their 120v through an inverter. Question, why don't they just use the generator for their 120v? Sounds like what may be happening is they are not turning off the charger and the batteries are trying to charge themselves.
I have a 2000 Watt Xantrex pure sine wave inverter and I still have 12v to all my coach. Sounds like something is hooked up wrong or they have just run the batteries dead which will certainly happen if they don't turn off the charger. It most likely is not the charger in the Inverter/charger unit but the house charger. Also make sure they don't have their fridges set to automatic because soon as it sees electric it will switch from propane. The house charger and fridge are the biggest killers of battery.
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Ladies and Gents,
Got a question about Full sign wave inverters. It's a long story but, this is the ultra short version. While camping recently in Qualcom Stadium in San Diego for the Big Three Swap Meet, a buddy was having battery issues, along side us. Well, another buddy and I started helping with the others issues. He and, my other buddy there, both have full sign wave inverter/chargers. Mine is a Magnum modified signwave.

But, what I've found out, about both of those boys coaches and, their type inverter/chargers is, it appears that, their inverters have to be ON, 24/7 even when plugged into shore power, in order to have 120VAC available inside the coach(s). Ours, the Magnum 2012ME, is only ON, when we need 120VAC.

But, one of my buddies stated that, what his and, apparently the other buddies inverter/charger does is, when 120VAC is needed, it (both of their inverters) will bring in 120VAC from say, the generator, then, send it, THROUGH THE Charger, to the batteries. Then, it will take 12V from the batteries and, invert it to FULLY SIGN WAVED 120VAC to the coaches outlets.

And that's how both of their coaches, consistantly receive fully sign waved power.

But, the problem is, when either one of those boys shuts down the inverter, that is, TURN IT OFF, both of their coaches go completely dead. There is no 12VDC power to anything, in either coach. Hmmmmm. Not have ever dealt with full sign wave inverter/chargers, I thought this to be quite odd.

In ours, 12VDC is there all the time, unless my house battery switch is turned off. And, if and when I want 120VAC without shore power or, the generator running, I turn the inverter ON and, that inverts 12VDC to 120VAC.

So, do any of you that have Full Sign Wave inverter/chargers, have to have your inverters on, 24/7 even when you're not running the genny or, on shore power, to get even 12V from your house batteries?
Scott
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Do you mean PURE SINE Wave??
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:42 PM   #7
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I think your buddies are running off the charger only. Their batteries are stone dead or they are switched off.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:50 PM   #8
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Scott-

Here's the following page from the Magnum manual. I should've included it the first time.

There's definitely something unexpected here, and as "bobmac" said it should have nothing to do with whether the inverter is a modified or pure sine wave design. An inverter (typically) is not wired between the batteries and the 12VDC loads; instead, it sits "off to the side" in the same fashion that a converter does.

Can you supply some more information on how those coaches are wired, and which inverter manufacturers/models they use?

Mark
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:59 PM   #9
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First off, I want to thank all of you for responding here to a problem or, issue that's not even mine. Since I'm always trying to learn about these rolling Kleenex boxes, if and when I come up on something I don't know about and or, understand, I like to find out how things work. Thanks again.
Scott


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Our 120 power is always on when using the generator or shore power no matter the state of the inverter. 12V power is always on no matter what unless I turn off the main (salesmans) switch or the battery switches them selves.
We have the Xantrex RS3000 Inverter/Charger which is a SW inverter.
Mr_D,
I have a question for your specific coach. My buddies, the one with the original problem, is also an '07 CC (Tandem axle 40' Allure model) and, he also has the Xantrex Inverter/charger although I have no idea what model the Xantrex is. When I was inside his coach, and looking at the battery/tank/Control center in the center of the coach, for the life of me, and my other buddy, we could not find anywhere on that panel, either the tank/battery panel or, the Xantrex remote control panel, the actual voltage of the House batteries.

I could see the voltage of the chassis batteries in the tank/battery panel but, no house batteries voltage display. Do you have anywhere, in that section of you coach, that shows the house battery voltage? Thanks.
Scott

Quote:
Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
Scott-

Here's a page from the Magnum MS-series manual.

Mark
Mark,
Thanks for the link. Yep, that's the exact way mine operates word for word.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightab View Post
If I am understanding what you are saying about your buddies coaches is that they run the generator to charge the batteries and then use the batteries to get their 120v through an inverter. Question, why don't they just use the generator for their 120v? Sounds like what may be happening is they are not turning off the charger and the batteries are trying to charge themselves.
I have a 2000 Watt Xantrex pure sine wave inverter and I still have 12v to all my coach. Sounds like something is hooked up wrong or they have just run the batteries dead which will certainly happen if they don't turn off the charger. It most likely is not the charger in the Inverter/charger unit but the house charger. Also make sure they don't have their fridges set to automatic because soon as it sees electric it will switch from propane. The house charger and fridge are the biggest killers of battery.
Knightab,
Yep, that is the question. But, the way it was explained to me is, with both of their inverters, and, the way the internals are wired and whatever kind of computer boards are in them, the inverters decide what kind of electricity is sent to all the outlets in the coaches. Or, in other words, basically, if they have modified sign wave coming into the coach, either from shore power or, the genset, their inverters see that kind of electricity and, automatically converts it to Pure Sign wave electricity before it gets to the outlets. That way, each owner gets pure sign wave, no matter what's coming into the coach, as I understand what they are telling me. Hope this helps.

By the way, what exactly are you referring to as the "House Charger"?
Scott


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Originally Posted by mel s View Post
FIRE UP
Do you mean PURE SINE Wave??
Mel
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Mel, Yep, that's what I meant. I was having a brain fa.. when originally typing my post. Thanks for clarifying that.
Scott
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:21 PM   #10
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FWIW It sounds like some folks only have a clue. It stops there. They need to read the manual again.

I would expect any multi stage whole house inverter charger would automatically pass whatever 120 VAC was coming into it back out to the AC loads. When it is sensing incoming AC it also taps that source for power to charge the house batteries. When the AC is removed the Inverter/Converter switches to Inverter mode disconnecting the AC output from the AC input and connecting it to the Inverter so the house gets inverted DC boosted to ~120 VAC @ 60 Hz. That is the only time it makes power from the batteries.

The inverter does not know or care whether the AC input is from the power line of generator.

If you turn off the inverter it will not charge the batteries or make AC from the Battery DC. It may or may not pass 120 AC through depending on how the internal relays are connected.
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:25 PM   #11
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From google,

To answer that question, let’s begin by looking at what AC is. For starters, it’s short for*alternating current. In other words, it denotes a current that repeatedly changes direction. This goes for the output of both pure- and modified-sine-wave inverters. Both are AC. What sets the two apart, is how the current changes direction and how long it stays level. Have a look at the pictures below.
As you can see, the pure sine wave features a smooth, flowing rhythm. It’s similar to what you’d think of as a “wave”. Consequently, it’s also called a “true” sine wave. This is more or less what you get in your power point at home, and it is what most household appliances are designed to run on.***In contrast to this, the modified sine wave features prolonged highs and lows as well as plateaus at zero voltage, giving it a rather squarish look. Not surprising, then, that it’s also called a “square” sine wave.*

Shore and generator power is sine wave.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
...
Shore and generator power is sine wave.
Shore power is pure sine wave. Generator power may be modified sine wave (typically less expensive) or pure sine wave (typically more expensive).
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Mr_D,
I have a question for your specific coach. My buddies, the one with the original problem, is also an '07 CC (Tandem axle 40' Allure model) and, he also has the Xantrex Inverter/charger although I have no idea what model the Xantrex is. When I was inside his coach, and looking at the battery/tank/Control center in the center of the coach, for the life of me, and my other buddy, we could not find anywhere on that panel, either the tank/battery panel or, the Xantrex remote control panel, the actual voltage of the House batteries.

I could see the voltage of the chassis batteries in the tank/battery panel but, no house batteries voltage display. Do you have anywhere, in that section of you coach, that shows the house battery voltage? Thanks.
Scott
We have the optional 400 watts of solar. The charge controller for it will give me both house and chassis voltage and it's mounted in the same area as the monitor panel in the bath area. As I remember the VMS will give me house battery voltage and not the chassis batteries. I'm at work right now so I can't run out and look.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:39 PM   #14
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Shore power is pure sine wave. Generator power may be modified sine wave (typically less expensive) or pure sine wave (typically more expensive).
I have yet to see a MSW generator in an RV though. Even the Generac propane unit in our '00 Dutch Star was PSW.
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Old 03-04-2016, 03:53 AM   #15
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Shore power is pure sine wave. Generator power may be modified sine wave (typically less expensive) or pure sine wave (typically more expensive).
This is mostly wrong.

The conversion of mechanical power to electrical power is generally done by moving a conductor through a magnetic field. The field has two polarities so the resulting output voltage is a sine wave due to the changing field strength caused by the relative distance of the conductor to the field pole at a given instant in time. That is your power line generator system with some exceptions. It is also your typical low cost AC generator like the contractors grade or the typical 4000 W Onan in most smaller Motor Homes or the $99 special. They are all pure sine wave allowing for some noise due to dirty contacts in the sliding connection. They all have the same problem of controlling speed to control the frequency of the generated output.

The search for better efficiency combined with the availability of better cheap electronics lead to the development of the Inverter Generator like the Honda line. By changing the mechanical configuration of the generator they get DC out and feed it to an inverter that turns it into AC. That makes frequency independent of motor speed so the motor can slow under light loads using less power and with less noise. Now my $99 special costs $990 and may be a sine wave or something else at the output. I see they are doing the same with "top line" generator sets up to 10 KW or so with equivalent cost differentials.

FWIW I have not looked into it but given the cost spread of MSW vs PSW Inverters that might partly explain the spread in cost of similar rated combination units. If I was buying one I would be looking at how clean the output power was. Personally I have a hard time paying for the combination units because noise does not bother me as much as all the cost and complications needed to lose a few DB.
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Old 03-04-2016, 04:17 AM   #16
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Shore power is pure sine wave. Generator power may be modified sine wave (typically less expensive) or pure sine wave (typically more expensive).
I stand by my statement that generator power is sine wave.

It is produced by rotating magnetic fields.
How PURE it is, is up to the RPM control of the engine.

In simple terms, MSW inverter power is produced by electronic componets, switching a square wave output 60 times per second.
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:39 AM   #17
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I stand by my statement that generator power is sine wave.

It is produced by rotating magnetic fields.
How PURE it is, is up to the RPM control of the engine.

In simple terms, MSW inverter power is produced by electronic componets, switching a square wave output 60 times per second.
I'll accept that. The info I was basing my original statement on seems a bit questionable.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:27 PM   #18
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A/C DC modified or pure

1 Any generator, Gasoline, Diesel or propane. With a field coil and armature is set to rotate at 3600RPM (non inverter models) thus making 60 Hertz (Cycle) alternating current. Voltage is another story, as it is determined by the number of coils in the generator windings. Most common generators produce 120 Volts or 240 volts, but all at 60 Hertz (Cycle)

2 inverters can be modified sine wave or pure sine wave (costs more), but most things will run quite well on modified sine wave, except larger electric motors, complicated electronics and tiimers. Both types of inverters should have a "Pass-thru" feature that allows power from the generator or Pedestal to pass through the inverter when inverting is not needed

3 Converters (Battery chargers) are built in to more expensive inverters thus (inverter/charger/ Later year units have quite good multi stage battery chargers. Any time 120 volt AC power is connected (Generator or Pedestal)
the inverter /charger will recognize it and transfer a DC charge to the batteries. Charge rate in "Amps" will be determined by the setting on your charger

4 On most coaches (Not All) the inverter charger, generator or pedestal 120 volt power will only charge your house batteries and not the coach "engine starting batteries". You need a dedicated Maintainer/Charger to keep these batteries maintained. When the coach engine is running, coach batteries are charging. Another method is to have a "Trickle Start" unit installed, This unit is connected to the house batteries and takes about a 5 amp charge from them and sends it to the coach batteries

5 Could go on and on about the modern coach electric system, but this is the basics.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:00 PM   #19
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To add to it. The newest Hybrid inverters can "boost" a 20 or 30 amp service if needed for a short time as in a Hair dryer or coffee maker that would blow the breaker normally. the inverter/Charger can use the 12volt batteries and inverter to "match" the incoming power and add to the incoming amps. When the load drops the inverter/charger Hybrid goes back to charging the battery, "refilling" what it took out.
I'm one in My Marquis that has to have the inverter on at all times , for it to pass the shore power to the Inverter panel circuits. as already said it doesn't do anything to that outside power other than passing it through.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:01 PM   #20
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1 Any generator, Gasoline, Diesel or propane. With a field coil and armature is set to rotate at 3600RPM (non inverter models) thus making 60 Hertz (Cycle) alternating current. Voltage is another story, as it is determined by the number of coils in the generator windings. Most common generators produce 120 Volts or 240 volts, but all at 60 Hertz (Cycle)
.
There are 1800 rpm generators. Cost more to build, need more power to turn for same output as 3600 rpm.

I believe there are 900 and 2700 rpm types also.
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