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Inverter fan question

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Nick Hull, Oct 22, 2004.

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  1. Nick Hull

    Nick Hull Guest

    For backup lighting I use a cheap 300 watt inverter w/golf cart
    batteries to power some 13 watt CFs. This replaces a 12 vdc flourescent
    light that worked poorly and burned out bulbs fast. The 300 watt
    inverter is kept running 24/7 to have one light come on automatically
    after 10 sec of power failure.

    One problem I have had is that certain transients sometimes trip the
    inverter off when the power fails, not good for emergency lights. I
    bought a second 300 watt inverter to see if it was more immune to
    transients, but it has a fan that runs 100% of the time. This presents
    2 problems; the fan is noisy and I'm worried it will simply wear out
    running 24/7. I could live with the noise but would prefer not to.

    My proposed solution is to install a line powered relay to keep the fan
    off, so it will come on (and probably stay on) whenever there is a power
    failure. I will also mount the inverter vertical with the fan blowing
    up and put a chimney on to encourafe thermal circulation. There should
    be little heat generated since the only permanent load is a 1/4 watt
    neon bulb power indicator. What trouble will I be getting into if I do
    this? I don't want to re-invent the wheel.
  2. j.b. miller

    j.b. miller Guest

    One thing is that the Fan may be 'smart'. It may have a tach in it like the
    PC fans. If the fan stops or slows down, your invertor may stop as well to
    prevent overheating.
    Have a look and see how many wires are on the fan. 2 you're ok, 3 you have a
  3. You could always go to a cheap 600w inverter where your load will not pull
    the fan on....
  4. Nick Hull

    Nick Hull Guest

    That might be a real good idea, but how can I tell which inverters have
    a thermostat operated fan and which just run the fan all the time? That
    feature doesn't seem to appear in the descriptions.
  5. #800 customer service is your friend

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