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Old 08-18-2009, 09:20 AM   #1
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Portable Inverter

Is it safe to put a portable inverter in the battery box?

Thanks,

Ron
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:49 AM   #2
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I don't think I would. Batteries produce Hydrogen gas when charged and discharged. Any small spark can cause problems.

I would put it in a compartment that is isolated from the batteries.
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:24 AM   #3
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A ditto for me on this.

Ken
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:57 AM   #4
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Even if the battery box is well ventilated?

Thanks Ron
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:09 AM   #5
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Even if the battery box is well ventilated?

Thanks Ron
I also wouldn't do it. I would think it would be pushing your luck. But it is your choice.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:19 AM   #6
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I agree with the others, hydrogen needs to be diluted with the atmosphere to be safe. A cold day without a breeze and you could have a problem. An overcharging problem with the coach or house batteries and it could create a dangerous situation. Having worked on cryogenic vacuum pumps, hydrogen was always a safety threat during regeneration of the systems. Injection of lots of Argon, an inert gas, was the only way we could insure safety. Not worth taking a chance, mount it in the bay next to the battery box and run the wires to the batteries.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:47 AM   #7
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Switch to AGM batteries and you should be fine.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:37 PM   #8
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Hydrogen is explosive (!) in concentrations of 4%-75% concentrations in air. Even diluted with air, it can still be dangerous.

By comparison, propane is flammable from 2.1-10.1%.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:08 PM   #9
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Switch to AGM batteries and you should be fine.
What is AGM battries?

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Old 08-18-2009, 05:47 PM   #10
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Hi Ron & Dee,

AGM stands for Absorbed Glass Mat. Used now as aircraft batteries instead of NiCads. Completely sealed, the fine glass mats wick up the acid solution till they are 98% saturated so there is no free solution in the cells.

Generally, there doesnít need to be a space left at the bottom for flaked off material to collect and since the sandwich of plates and glass mats are compressed to fit down into the case, everything is very tight inside the battery. This means they are very rugged and you get more battery for slightly less weight then with flooded.

Performance is similar to flooded lead acid except that they can handle much higher charge currents and they can cycle deeper and more times then even standard deep cycle batteries. The only way I know of to get them to outgas with a normal charge is to charge them at more than C*5 which for a 105 Amp./Hour battery would be 525 Amps. If you have a charger that can get close to that, I want one!

Their design means you shouldnít have to equalize them either (the operators manual does list a way to equalize but I donít think it is ever needed) which is okay since this is another way to cause them to gas a little. Other than that, just donít over voltage them during charge, but this applies to all batteries anyway.

The way they are made and the fact that they are sealed means that they can be operated in any position. On end, on their sides, even upside down.

Here is a link to the batteries I use and also a link to a picture of mine installed in our coach. I have been using them since we had the Journey back in 2003. Yes, they are expensive. But as they say, you get what you pay for, and if performance is your goal then AGMs are the solution.

http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/

http://www.irv2.com/attachments/photopost/data/500/AGM_batteries_440_Amp_Hour.JPG
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
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What is AGM battries?

Thanks,

Ron
ron,
is your battery box under the stairs like mine is?
i got my lifeline agm batteries from bd batteries online. they were expensive but their price includes shipping. they should last over 10 years. they are "valve regulated" which means that they can outgas some.
i would not chance putting them in a sealed compartment with electronic equipment. the typical moho battery compartment is not sealed and is well vented.
if your battery box is like mine, i would add a 12v computer cooling fan for positive ventilation before installing a battery charger, inverter, etc in the box.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:44 AM   #12
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Is it safe to put a portable inverter in a battery box

Yes: Provided the batteries are in a DIFFERENT box

AND: You don't pull more than about 1/4 it's power rating (The exact amount depends on the size of the box and the size of the inverter)

Reasons:

Battery fumes and electronics: Bad mix, do not play nice together.. Though it is "Safe" from a safety standpoint, it's costly from a "need to buy a new inverter" standpoint.

And the inverter generates a lot of heat, thus since it is air cooled, it needs good air circulation Thus if you "box it up" in a small confined space.. You may see it shutting down due to overheat.

So all in all, Safe: yes, Good Idea, No.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:27 PM   #13
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Thanks for all of the feedback and good suggestions. My battery box is under the stairs, well ventilated, and I had thought of puting a fan in for more ventilation.

I think I will go with plan B and put the inverter some place else where I won't have to worry about Hydrogen and a spark mix

The AGM batteries sounds good and I might consider them when my present house batteries need replacing.

Ron
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:29 AM   #14
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AGM's have both advantages and disadvantage. (well perhaps 2)

The major advantages are:
All AGM's:
Maintenance free. Not only do you not need to add water, You can not

Mounting: Top up, sideways, upside down, on end, don't matter

Venting: Very low gas emmissions mean less venting requirements

LIFELINE AGM: Very fast re-charge (Up to 300 percent of the 20 hour amp hour rating, that is you can charge 200 amp hour batteires at up to six hundred amps) Others I recommend 30 percent (60 amps for the same 200 amp hour batteries) which by the way is the MINIMUM recoommended by lifeline.. Source, Lifeline web page.

Disadvantages: I"m not sure of how long the batteries last (years or cycles, not per-charge) and COST. COST is the biggie, all Maintenance free battereries cost more

On the life issue: A proper converter/charger is a MUST since one of the two principle causes of early battery death is a bad or wrong charger.
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:02 PM   #15
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power inverters

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Originally Posted by Ron & Dee View Post
Is it safe to put a portable inverter in the battery box?

Thanks,

Ron
Hope this is not too off-topic!! But I just joined...I'm sure a lot of people are interested in getting inverters (or where to get them from a good place &tc).

I like these guys for power inverters. They have all kinds. The Power Bright inverters at Battery Tex - Your Source for Batteries are really good products...though I'm sure a lot of people know that already.

Keep motorin'.

-D
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:47 AM   #16
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Temporary Hookup?

Donator,

I couldn't get your Power Inverter link to work.

I have already ordered a Cobra CPI 1000 and need some suggestions on a temporary hookup.

All I'm interested in running is my TV for a couple of hours in the evening to watch the latest news

I don't want a permanent hookup and it is too much trouble to find where my TV and entertainment center is plugged in.

This is my plan: Turn off all of the electrical breakers, plug my shore line with 20 amp adapter into the inverter, hook the inverter to my spare deep cycle battery, turn on only the receptical breaker that supplys current to the TV.

Any reason this will not work?

Thanks,

Ron
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Donator,

I couldn't get your Power Inverter link to work.

I have already ordered a Cobra CPI 1000 and need some suggestions on a temporary hookup.

All I'm interested in running is my TV for a couple of hours in the evening to watch the latest news

I don't want a permanent hookup and it is too much trouble to find where my TV and entertainment center is plugged in.

This is my plan: Turn off all of the electrical breakers, plug my shore line with 20 amp adapter into the inverter, hook the inverter to my spare deep cycle battery, turn on only the receptical breaker that supplys current to the TV.

Any reason this will not work?

Thanks,

Ron
one reason is that you cannot turn off your converter. that is the device that takes 110v shore or generator power and makes approx 13.5 vdc to power 12v lights, etc, and charge coach batteries. it will not operate well from an inexpensive modified sine wave inverter. the converter may be ok with an expensive pure sine wave inverter, or not.
you should just use an extension cord for your inverter hookups.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:07 AM   #18
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Dan,

Quote:
you should just use an extension cord for your inverter hookups.
Can I feed the receptacle circuit backwards? I think the one by the passengers seat is on the same circuit that my TV is on.

Thanks,

Ron
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:13 AM   #19
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Dan,



Can I feed the receptacle circuit backwards? I think the one by the passengers seat is on the same circuit that my TV is on.

Thanks,

Ron
even if tv is all that is on that circuit, you will have to make a cord that has 2 male ends on it. that is an unsafe proposition.
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:51 AM   #20
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even if tv is all that is on that circuit, you will have to make a cord that has 2 male ends on it. that is an unsafe proposition.
Why would that be unsafe as long as the polarity is correct?

I think the entertainment center is also on the same circuit as the TV, but I could switch the entertainment center off

Thanks,

Ron
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