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Old 04/14/2002, 06:54 AM   #26
Ermin
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Playfair,

The item you labeled "mode switch"....what is that for??

I finally rigged my backup system together thanks to you. It is modified slightly from your design, so I'm still in the testing stage of its reliablity.

I used a 120v Quad Pole DT relay. And since I am using a inverter similar to yours, I also connected the inverter power line in series to the relay. Initial test running a 60w bulb off the system was fine for 15 min. So I took the unit into the house and plugged it to an Ampmaster. The setup worked for 10 sec and it stopped....no power from the inverter. Upon checking the wiring, I found on the relay, the terminal where the inverter power line was connected to had "melted".

My relay is the KEST KR1205N. Since it is the clear cube type, its easy to see the inside. It is rated at 5A 240VAC, so it is 10A at 120VAC. The Ampmaster draws about 150W. 150W divide by 12V= 12.5A. This is my deduction why the relay melted. The contacts couldn't take such high amperage.

Then the choices are either: A) to use another DPDT with a higher contact amperage or B) to double up on the contacts. I chose solution B. Instead of using one wire in running the power wire to the relay for the inverter, I split the wire into two and used two of the four poles on the relay. As a result all for poles on the relay was used. This split the amperage down to 10A each. I'm hoping this will solve the "melt down" problem. So far I've only tested the new wiring with two 60W light bulbs running off the inverter. Worked for 20 min so far. I'll test it on a pump tomorrow to see if that did it.

Another thing I've found is the input power wires of my 300W inverter getting very warm after running a 150W load for 2 hours. What size wires should I use for the inverter? I'm assuming when there is more output on the inverter, there is more current drawn and hence more heat buildup on the wires. At first I thought a 300W inverter will draw the same amount of amperage regardless of whether idle at no load or full load. This doesn't seem to be the case.

All this info may be common sense to electricians or people like you Playfair and Odenwell. For me it is still a brand new ballpark...so I figure I'll share this with others who are also building this unit....to save them from the same mistakes I had made.


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40G frag tank @ 2: (2 sets of DIY LED fixtures on each)
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Old 04/14/2002, 08:54 AM   #27
Ermin
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Something else I just realized.....if I want to run loads up to 300W off the inverter. That would be 300W/ 12V= 25A. Assuming each pole on the relay can handle 10A.

In order for 25A worth of current to pass, I would then need 3 relay poles at 10A each...is this correct?? If not, when the inverter is outputing max 300W, the relay will melt again?


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Old 04/15/2002, 02:48 AM   #28
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I think your calculations are wrong for the relay to the pump. The pump is drawing at ~110V not 12V so 300W @ 110V = 2.7A. This would be the current through the relay from the inverter to the pump.

The current into the inverter, however, would be 25A. Just relay the power switch for the inverter, not the input to the inverter, otherwise you would need a heavy duty relay.


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Old 04/15/2002, 06:53 AM   #29
Ermin
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Crypto,
I should have clarify that....yes, you're right about the calculations, I neglected to mention I was hooking up the inverter input power to the relay. So inverter output is at 2.5A and input at 25A.

By the way, do I calculate with 110V or 120V for AC?

You mentioned to relay the power switch of the inverter.....how do I do that? Open inverter and desolder the switch? Please bear with me on this, I'm not an electrician, just a DIY freak...hehe...


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Old 04/15/2002, 07:40 AM   #30
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Ermin- WHOA! Wrong leads to the relay!! Crypto is right, it's the very low current power switch that get's hooked to the relay, DEFINITELY not the input DC!!

Get a NEW relay, as yours sounds pretty toasted. I used 3 of the 4 poles; one each for the neutral and hot leg of the powered outlet, and one for the inverter power. You must open up the inverter and just run a pair of wires in SERIES with the power switch. The built in switch will have to be on to operate, but in the even you are running the unit and you need to shut off AC quickly, all you have to do is flip the switch.

Don't worry man, you are almost there, but email me if you are unsure about something! BTW, the mode switch silences allows the thing to be in standby, or to put it in a "test" mode, or to just silence the alarm buzzer when in use (let's me know it's running off battery) You can add that stuff later maybe...


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Old 04/15/2002, 08:50 AM   #31
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Playfair,

Everything made sense to me until I really come to build it myself....whew...that was it!! Just modify the switch.... I tapped it at the input wires instead. Now I think about it...I think that's what you said to Odenwell,

"The only major difference in our designs is that I use a 120v relay to cut both neutral and hot to the pump as well as switch on/off the inverter through the low amperage power switch instead of cutting the main supply leg (25 amps!). This allows me to run equipment off the same outlet for both house power and backup power. "

I'll post some pics of my setup later. Definitely not as clean looking as yours...but it will do the job!


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Old 04/15/2002, 09:01 AM   #32
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Just a quick thought ..


A freind of mine once had a very large ups unit
that ran off semi batterys ..

now in this ups it had fans to disapate gases and stuff .

so heres the idea based on that ups
get a plastic box to hold your batterys, inverts , and so forth. put some vent holes in the box for a fan and exashust hole big enough to handel a 2 inch pipe bigger and run it to the ouside world
like the dryer vents are in your house


just a quick thought for those wired about the gases


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Old 04/15/2002, 10:32 AM   #33
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i think you got it, i dont know what your inverter is like but yeah you would have to find the power switch inside the inverter. you should probably choose 110V to calculate current vs. 120V just to be safe. just my 2 cents.


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Old 04/15/2002, 09:08 PM   #34
Ermin
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I just finished rerouting the wire. This time it is to the switch. Should work now, but I'm testing it outside the house in case it frys again. I plugged two 40W bulbs and a pond pump to it. That should be at least 110W of load. I'll see how long would that last.

I have another idea.... would it be worth it to plug the 12V battery charger also to the output? The original charger will have to be either rerouted or a second charger may be needed. But the idea is to "recirculate" some of the power back to the battery. The only catch is the current draw from the charger vs its output power. If the charger takes 1A to run and only put out 750mA, then it will be counter productive.


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Old 04/15/2002, 09:57 PM   #35
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no such thing as a perpetual motion machine, i.e. you cant keep the battery charged by charging it from itself. the efficiency will be (much) less than 100%. all you would be doing is making an expensive and poor heater since the lost energy would be converted to heat.

the inverter will only be pulling from the battery what is needed, so even if it is rated for 300W its not pulling that unless you have a 300W device on the output.


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Old 04/16/2002, 09:22 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by jadams18
so heres the idea based on that ups
get a plastic box to hold your batterys, inverts , and so forth. put some vent holes in the box for a fan and exashust hole big enough to handel a 2 inch pipe bigger and run it to the ouside world
like the dryer vents are in your house
Thats a great idea, you could connect the "vent" fan to the charger so the fan only runs when the batteries are charging. You would have to hack the charger to connect into the "on" indicator (wouldn't do you much good to connect it to the charger's output ).


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Old 04/17/2002, 06:13 AM   #37
Ermin
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I finally got my to work!! Thanks Playfair and Crypto!

How do I attach photos to be viewed directly on this post instead of a link to click on (like what you had done above, Playfair)? What's the html code for that? Thanks.


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40G frag tank @ 2: (2 sets of DIY LED fixtures on each)
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Old 04/17/2002, 07:33 AM   #38
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Congrats!
Just scroll down to the bottom of your reply page, and there's a box for "attatch file". Browse and put your image in there (only 1).


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Old 04/17/2002, 09:25 AM   #39
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schwaggs

you could hack the inside of the charger to hook on up ther

or get a 110 muffin fan and plug it straight in to the the wall out let , so when poor goes out
fans turn off , when power comes back on and batterys start charging again fan kick on and suck out blow out gasses and help cool the inverter back down

or add a 12 volt fan like those clip on one you can get for cars and wire it in ,,, and if you want longer run time , add a second battery in parrell with the first


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Old 04/17/2002, 09:26 AM   #40
Icepic
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schwaggs

you could hack the inside of the charger to hook on up ther

or get a 110 muffin fan and plug it straight in to the the wall outlet , so when powor goes out
fans turn off , when power comes back on and batterys start charging again fan kick on and suck out or blows(person preference) out gasses and help cool the inverter back down

or add a 12 volt fan like those clip on one you can get for cars and wire it in ,,, and if you want longer run time , add a second battery in parrell with the first


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Old 04/17/2002, 09:47 PM   #41
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Glad to hear it works.


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Old 04/18/2002, 04:24 AM   #42
Ermin
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Pictures of my DIY backup










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150G reef: SPS dominant (4 sets of DIY LED fixtures; with 36 CREE on each)
40G frag tank @ 2: (2 sets of DIY LED fixtures on each)
8G freshwater shrimp tank; 20G and 40G planted tanks

Last edited by Ermin; 04/18/2002 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 04/18/2002, 04:33 AM   #43
Ermin
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edit


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150G reef: SPS dominant (4 sets of DIY LED fixtures; with 36 CREE on each)
40G frag tank @ 2: (2 sets of DIY LED fixtures on each)
8G freshwater shrimp tank; 20G and 40G planted tanks

Last edited by Ermin; 04/18/2002 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 04/18/2002, 04:34 AM   #44
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150G reef: SPS dominant (4 sets of DIY LED fixtures; with 36 CREE on each)
40G frag tank @ 2: (2 sets of DIY LED fixtures on each)
8G freshwater shrimp tank; 20G and 40G planted tanks

Last edited by Ermin; 04/18/2002 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 04/18/2002, 10:19 AM   #45
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Nice job, looks professional. Thats a quality battery charger ( I have one for my spare car battery).


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Old 04/18/2002, 12:04 PM   #46
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Looks Great!!
You even put that little indicator light on your outlet!

FYI, to have pics display automatically, you need to upload them to your own server space, then link to them using the IMG button.


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Old 04/23/2002, 05:20 PM   #47
Ermin
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A bump on the road.....

I've tested out the backup system running an Ampmaster without any problem. Now I also added two heaters to run off of it. It works for about 5-10 min, then the fuse on my outlet box blew.

Total load on the circuit is as follows using an ammeter for load test:
Ampmaster: 112W continous/ 286W start
Ebo Jager Heaters: each 156W; total 312W
Temp controllers: each 7W; total 14W
pH monitor: 5W

When adding all the watts together, it is 443W or 617W, depending on whether I am considering the startup on Ampmaster. My inverter is capable of outputing 600W continous and 1800W peak. So, I'm safe within this range.

The glass fuse I have on is 3A @ 250V. At 120V, is that approximately 5A-6A? Definitely correctly me on this....if it is 5A, the fuse should be capable of passing at least 600W through without blowing?

It doesn't blow right away, but after about 5 min. I had the Ampmaster running first for 1 min, then I plug all the rest of the equipment into the circuit. At startup, the pump takes a lot more wattage to run. I let it stabilze for a bit first, so total wattage running through should only be 443W, isn't it? I don't understand what the fuse kept blowing. Should I just up-size the fuse? I want to get all your feedback before I set something on fire!


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40G frag tank @ 2: (2 sets of DIY LED fixtures on each)
8G freshwater shrimp tank; 20G and 40G planted tanks
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Old 04/23/2002, 09:11 PM   #48
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I could be wrong but I know inverters sometimes can only power certain devices. In the manual it might say something like "no hair dryers, heaters, or other devices with heating elements". I don't know the exact reason but maybe check on that.


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Old 04/23/2002, 10:13 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ermin
The glass fuse I have on is 3A @ 250V
The 3 Amp is at ANY voltage, the 250 just means that is the MAXIMUM voltage the fuse WON'T short at. (Max open circuit voltage it can keep open, when it blows without arcing).

Therefore- the fuse will blow at 3+ amps, even at 120 volts. Depending if it is a fast-blow or a slow-blow fuse, it could go in a fraction of a second, or 30 seconds or longer, also depending on the exact amps going though it.

My guess is that you need at least a 7 amp slow blow fuse, and might be able to use a 10 amp. Fuses are supposed to be oversized by 20% or so.

HTH-

Zeph


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Old 04/24/2002, 12:54 AM   #50
Ermin
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Zeph,

Thanks! That's where my mistake is at... 250V. I think my glass fuse is the quick type. It has a approx. 1/64" filament inside. Slow blow has a thicker filament, correct? Something of 1/8" or 1/4" even?

Besides quick-blow fuse = fraction of a second and slow-blow = 30 sec....what are the differences between the two types of fuses? I would assume a quick-blow to be better? In 30 sec of overload, a fire can start. If it is instant, not much damage will be done. But I'm sure there are other benefits in using a slow-blow fuse. Can you clarify this for me? Thanks again!


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40G frag tank @ 2: (2 sets of DIY LED fixtures on each)
8G freshwater shrimp tank; 20G and 40G planted tanks
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