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Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Toby, Jan 26, 2004.

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  1. Toby

    Toby Guest

    Hello all,

    I just purchased a Xantrex 1000W inverter for $69 at Costco. I did a
    temporary install in my stepvan to test it, and I'm pleased so far. Now the
    task of designing and building a more permant senerio. I have a space
    approximately 40" wide x 24" deep x 6' height. I'd like to build this area
    into a power/ office work space cabinet type thing My original thoughts
    were to put the batteries on the floor, mount the inverter vertically on the
    side wall above the batteries. Put a slide in shelf between the batteries
    and the inverter. This gives me a large shelf above the batteries to keep my
    printer, and above that at approx 40" height a countertop to house a
    microwave and my laptop, above that another smaller shelf. I was going to
    build this in the form of a floor to ceiling cabinet with double doors. I
    live in the foothills nearly a mile off pavement and the amout of dust that
    collects inside the van from driving is scary. I was hoping to seal out
    alot of this dust from the computer and printer with the doors, and also to
    prevent them from slideing off the shelf while driving. (the cd-rom drive on
    my laptop no longer works properly because of this stupid oversight).

    Until I started reading this newsgroup I would have never even thought about
    any risks of fire due the batteries being in a closed cabinet with all the
    other electrical equipment. I currently have 18" cables between the
    batteries and the inverter, if I put the shelf in as described above and
    leave the bottom section open without doors will I be OK for ventilation
    purposes. The interior of the van is far from airtight so I'm not concerned
    about gases building up inside the vehichle.

    Next. I have not hooked up to the vehicles alternator for charging yet. My
    thoughts are to use 8AWG braided copper to run from the batteries to the
    alt. approx 7' run. Napa has a continual duty solenoid that closes when
    enrgized that will be wired to the ignition switch to act as an isolater.
    Does this sound ok so far?

    Last night when I did my temporary install and test I noticed a very
    distinct hum coming from the outlet receptical that my printer was plugged
    into. My van is wired for A/C like a house with steel outlet boxes. I
    currently use a 12AWG extension cord wired into one of the boxes which I
    either plug into shore power or my generator. The printer and outlet were
    silent when plugged into shore power, but the outlet hums when I plug into
    the inverter. I can't hear myself think when I plug into the generator so I
    don't know what happens under those conditions. Plugging the microwave into
    the same outlet there was no noise. Plug the printer back in and it hums.
    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts or advice.
  2. SQLit

    SQLit Guest


    Batteries in a confined space can be trouble. The inverter needs to breath
    as well. As for your computer dirt is a real issue. I would suggest you put
    your thinking cap on and try to come up with some sort of forced fresh
    filtered air into the computer/printer area. Some molding on your doors
    might not hurt as well. Draw the fresh air from the top of the van and then
    into the computer area, and possibly vent out the battery compartment. Like
    the air scoops for pickup toppers. Point it backwards, so you do not end up
    with a ram air situation. just a suggestion

    You will have to figure out the wiring, 8 seems a little small for what your
    doing. IMO
    Your printer may not like a modified sine wave. It is possible that that is
    the issue. Check your grounding. You could have some issues if you switch
    from your extension cord to the inverter.
  3. George Ghio

    George Ghio Guest

    Ok forget the inverter.

    Lap top - power supply from 12 V at <>

    Printer from canon - BJC 210 Runs on 13 volts

    Batteries Use gell cells No gassing in normal use No storage problems No

    Think out side the box.

  4. Chris Hill

    Chris Hill Guest

    Get agm batteries; they cost more but don't vent or spill.
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