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Chinese Inverter/MPPT Chargers

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by BenP, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. BenP

    BenP Monkey++ Site Supporter+

  2. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Not just no, but he'll now.
    These things are so cheaply made and over rated they never work as advertised.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  3. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Not familiar with it.
    A number of inexpensive so-called MPPT charge controllers are not MPPT. They're re-labeled, less efficient PWM charge controllers.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  4. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    The cheap chinese no name brands are known for this.
    They will put an mppt sticker on a pwm pos just to up the value.
    Actual no shit real mppt units are around 98% efficient.
    Typically pwm setups are 60 to 80%.
    I have seen my real mppt charge controllers produce charging current with just above half of the batteries resting voltage coming off the solar panels with early dawn light.
    With a pwm you get no charging until array voltage exceeds battery bank voltage.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  5. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Do your wallet a big favor and steer clear of the chinese offerings. Even if you get one that "works" it won't for very long.
    Gator 45/70 and Cruisin Sloth like this.
  6. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    These companies know the if your buying something like that from them you don't know much about electronics so you learn to accept their performance as standard .
    It may seem like it requires a degree in rocket science , I am no authority in electronics but I have learned enough to get me by , by having the meters to test things and learning how to use those meters and learning how to test components and switching.
    Some people know electronics and can talk over your head with out thinking the trick is learning to convert high tech verbiage to one's own understanding. Or simply do things simply .
    Having an amp meter I know that my air compressor pulls 70 amps on the start, having an "Amp Meter" Starting amperage is the highest part of the load because it is "STARTING" .
    Your inverter needs to be capable of providing the amperage for the things you plan on starting/running on it. .
    the size of the wire and it's length and connections all play a factor in it's ability to transmit energy. wire "gage" is similar to shot gun gage ,the higher the number the smaller the wire gage. #12 gage wire is larger then #16 gage wire. the larger the wire the better it can handle the energy ,smaller wire creates more resistance to it's flow, the same as what a resistor does.
    If you create too much resistance your appliance suffers and the demand creates amperage demand that creates heat and the degradation of components . .
    IMO a battery bank literally is your bank several different sources, solar , wind, water turbine, grid, make contribution/deposits . and I would have separate inverters for separate appliances. if there is a failure it is not catastrophic .
    In my own system I have switches and meters so that every single component can be observed . Every solar panel every battery , wind mill, generator , every thing is on a 3 position switch including between meters . high and low voltage high and low amperage . By the way too, every thing is also on fuses .
    Color code your wire do not rely on numbers they fall off in hot weather. make a map and obey your rules for wiring .
    If you are using black for negative do not compromise this for any thing. trying to remember what you did 10 years later can be frustrating.
    Altoidfishfins, Gator 45/70 and duane like this.
  7. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Slightly off topic, but customer brought in newer generator made by name brand co. They used to use Italian heads and Honda engines, now use Chinese copy of both. He was using it to power a welder, which like a motor starting, has wildly varying draw. Instead of a single starting surge, it has a surge every time the arc is struck. The poor voltage regulation and the resulting voltage spikes set fire to the welder and when it blew up, the rod came out the side of the engine. I don't know what shape the gen head is in, I didn't get involved. Perhaps there is a reason that a good gas engine welder costs big bucks.(y) What gets me is when some one pays $1200 for a China built, or USA assembled from China parts, and expect it to be much better than a $450 Harbor Freight one.
    Gator 45/70 and oldawg like this.
  8. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    I TOFTT and lost a few grand plus a freezer ,, no food due to I have spare freezers ready to go ..

    Dealing with the warranty system , was a total joke !!

    Deal with the boys from Arlington WA .
    What are you looking for . ??

    .TOFTT = Took One For The Team !!
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
    Gator 45/70 and BenP like this.
  9. Big Ron

    Big Ron Monkey++

    I am looking at 24-volt to 110 inverters myself. They all appear to be Chinese. Does anyone know of a good brand name?
    Some prices are insane for this stuff.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  10. BenP

    BenP Monkey++ Site Supporter+

    Sloth Translation:

    Sloth bought one and it failed, it also killed one of his freezers in the process but he had a backup freezer so he did not loose the food in it.

    Buy a product from Midnight Solar.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  11. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I took a chance and bought an AIMS 3 kW low frequency inverter / charger last year for powering my Travel Trailer at the BOL. Yep, I'm a tinkerer and love to experiment.

    So far it seems to be holding up. Last time I was there I ran the Travel Trailer's air conditioning unit on it for four hours, just to see if it would do it. It did and handled the surges from the compressor starts with ease, all the while operating inside an enclosed metal rainproof cabinet in full afternoon Arizona sunlight.

    I can't run the A/C daily because there's just not enough solar charging for that and eventually it would run the battery bank much lower than I'd like.

    I have a cheap Charlie Chinese generator rated at 3500 watts running / 4000 surge (single phase 120 volt only) and it struggles with the A/C compressor starts. It's best left for lighter loads until throws a rod some day. Hey, what do you expect for $250 for a brand spankin' new dual fuel (propane / gasoline)?

    The AIMS inverter's built-in charger and transfer switch work well, but the charger is claimed at 30 -35 amps (24 volt) and I'm lucky to get 22 amps out of it before it cuts out (it's easily adjustable). Need to check the dipswitch settings again. Depending on the input, it has a narrow / wide tolerance for voltage/frequency. If either goes too high or too low, it shuts input power off to the unit to avoid damage.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm building a house up there some day and I would never choose such an inverter to power that. For a house or a cabin, I'd go with Outback or Magnum. And oh yeah, I'll invest a grand or two in a better generator.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
    Cruisin Sloth and Gator 45/70 like this.
  12. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Powering a welder from a generator is stupid.
    I built my own welder from a 6.5hp honda engine, a real honda not a chicom knockoff and a heavily modified DR44G alternator.
    It works amazingly well. All because it generates the required voltage and amps in 3 phase form, rectifys it to DC. No single phase high voltage, stepped down to welding voltage and trying to turn it to dc. My simple alt welder lacks the inefficiencies a generator to welder setup.
    The honda engine cost me $450, a non working DR44G cost me $40, all the shit to convert it to a welder cost another $150, it could be done cheaper but I made mine really robust.

    The insane priced ones are what you want.
    Eventually you will ended buying insanely expensive midnight, samlex, outback, schnider products anyway.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
  13. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    [QUOTE="oil pan 4, post: 593341, member: 14471”]
    Eventually you will ended buying insanely expensive midnight, samlex, outback, schnider products anyway.[/QUOTE]

    Or you can look around for used Trace/Xantrex SW series inverter/chargers...tough and available in 12, 24 and 48 volt versions, and can be run in series or parallel to either provide single phase 220 or double the 110 wattage. I would not recommend using it as a grid-tie system as is...they don't disconnect fast enough to meet modern regs...but they will autostart many gensets and can be set to allow the grid to charge your batteries during off hours if required.

    For a "cheap" charge controller, I've seen some Midnite Classic 250 being sold for between $250 & $300, new. 63 amps max, mppt, but lacking some of the features of the Classic 150.

    Just a couple of random thoughts that may (or may not) help... :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2019
  14. Big Ron

    Big Ron Monkey++

    I kind of thought that. Thanks.
  15. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    So True and save yourself $$ from my TOFTT = Took One For The Team !!
    I have a SW4024 stack that I removed from the creators house !! I'll be removing the Radion next and In go's a B17 .
    Double stack of Trace Engineering SW4024's on a back panel. It has the DC250 It even has a Trace communications adapter for the SW's. Picture attached as it stood . It is still intact. . Craig Went thru the unit for servicing . He lives in Snohomish WA & I took down before listing . Craig was a warranty tech at Trace back in the good old days .I up graded to a pair of stacked 6848 Conext .
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