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Old 04-08-2011, 07:10 PM   #11
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To answer the original question.

Yes you can run the inverter while the charger is working.

The alternator (equivalent of the charger) is doing that in a car all the time (hopefully). Cars can have a huge draw as well (engine, heated seats, lights, etc). The same for any RV as nobody turns off all the 12V appliances when charging.

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Old 04-08-2011, 07:15 PM   #12
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Here are the smokers...

Fast Eddy's by Cookshack Model FEC100
Memphis Pro

Both use food-grade wood pellets for fuel and a computer-controlled feed system to maintain temperature. I set the temperature (or a temp profile) that I want to cook and and the computer feeds the pellets into the firebox as a controlled rate to maintain temperature, so the power is essential. It's not needed for timing, but rather temperature control. If I lose power for more than 30 seconds or so I lose the temperature settings (not a big deal), but if I lose power for more than a few minutes there is no fuel feeding the fire and the fire goes out. That IS a big deal

I probably would have time to unplug from the camper and plug into the inverter, but, as Murphy would predict, the power outages seem to happen more frequently at night . I've been using a power failure alarm (typically some at the hardware store) that emits an annoying sound when power fails, and that wakes me up so i could move the extension cord fairly quickly, but if the power fails when we are away from our site (cooks meeting, visiting friends, etc.) then having the inverter permanently connected and always feeding the smokers, or using an automatic transfer switch would be essential.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I could probably explain all of this in person with a drawing or two and it would take 5 minutes, but trying to do it in writing is more difficult.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reinerka View Post
To answer the original question.

Yes you can run the inverter while the charger is working.

The alternator (equivalent of the charger) is doing that in a car all the time (hopefully). Cars can have a huge draw as well (engine, heated seats, lights, etc). The same for any RV as nobody turns off all the 12V appliances when charging.

Reiner
Good point. I didn't even think of that
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:23 PM   #14
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That is some interesting hardware you have there. Would love to try one of those things out one day.

30 seconds is a long time for a failover relay but a blink for a human to realize what is going on and run to unplug and plug it in somewhere else. I wouldn't try to go the manual route at that point. Especially if that happened at night I doubt anybody is going to do that in such a short time.

What I would view as the optimum setup is:

- Outlets power from the TH
- Inverter for backup in case external power fails
- Remote Control Panel that can automatically start the generator if batteries get low

Expensive but you could sleep all night without ANY worry. As it that setup failed (i.e. no more gas for the generator) there would be no option left.....

The original drawing you had will be fine for what you describe. Just don't expect to run the TV all night (or even a few hours) on the same inverter ;-)

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Old 04-08-2011, 07:23 PM   #15
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Well, I did read 5 amps at 120 VAC.
That is 600 watts PER UNIT last I checked.
Are you sure that is the model you are using?

How did you come up with 400 watts total for two?
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Well, I did read 5 amps at 120 VAC.
That is 600 watts PER UNIT last I checked.
Are you sure that is the model you are using?

How did you come up with 400 watts total for two?
Two ways... Actual measured power consumption during use (with a Kil-a-watt) and also talking extensively with Eddy Maurin, the guy who designed the FEC-100 and the engineering team at Hearthland products. The ignitor that both products use is the same and draws 400W when on, and the ignitor in both is turned on for the first three minutes after starting the smoker to ignite the pellets. They both use similar auger motors, fans and controllers and both consume approx. 50W once the ignitor is turned off (the FEC-100 is actually about 46W and the Memphis Pro is about 53W, so I rounded to get a total of 100W.

I've been running the FEC-100 off of a group 27 battery for the past three years when we were using our cargo trailer. It didn't have a converter/charger so I used the inverter/charger/transfer switch combo unit with out issues. Now that we have the TH I'm trying to figure out the best way to do things.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reinerka View Post
That is some interesting hardware you have there. Would love to try one of those things out one day.

30 seconds is a long time for a failover relay but a blink for a human to realize what is going on and run to unplug and plug it in somewhere else. I wouldn't try to go the manual route at that point. Especially if that happened at night I doubt anybody is going to do that in such a short time.

What I would view as the optimum setup is:

- Outlets power from the TH
- Inverter for backup in case external power fails
- Remote Control Panel that can automatically start the generator if batteries get low

Expensive but you could sleep all night without ANY worry. As it that setup failed (i.e. no more gas for the generator) there would be no option left.....

The original drawing you had will be fine for what you describe. Just don't expect to run the TV all night (or even a few hours) on the same inverter ;-)

Reiner
Thanks... The only thing that would run on the inverter would be the smokers. They are more important than the TV or just about anything else.

I don't think there is a way to start my generator automatically. The Honda 3000is Handi is a pull start only. But, as long as i have a way to keep things powered for the time it takes me to get the generator running I'm fine.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:59 PM   #18
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Ron, you have certainly done your homework. Now that I am up to speed on your equipment and your needs, I think you would have absolutely no problem running the smokers completely off the inverter ALL the time.

Your converter is most likely a 55 amp converter, so it can supply 55 amps DC to your entire rig at a higher voltage than the battery.

Plug the smokers into the inverter, the inverter into the battery bank and leave the battery bank hooked up to the camper's converter.

When on shore power, the converter will run your smokers through the inverter since it will be supplying the higher DC voltage. When the shore power quits, the batteries will take over powering the inverter without a hiccough since the inverter has been doing it all along.

My computer does not even reboot when the generator runs out of gas because that extension cord off the inverter runs the computer, monitor and TV when we dry camp.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:10 PM   #19
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Another thought by doing it this way is that if the power does go out in the field, the batteries will hold the settings and keep on cooking until you get the generator out of the truck and get it fueled and started. Then unplug the shore power cord from the campground and plug it into the generator. Then the generator will be powering the converter.

When the lights come on next door; reverse the procedure.

The smokers will never see a power outage through all of that.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:25 PM   #20
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Sounds perfect Thanks!

I'm a habitual over-researcher You should see my competition schedule. I have a spreadsheet that includes everything that I have to do from the meat inspection when we get on site up to popping a beer after the last turn in Friday afternoon and evening is pretty calm, but we get pretty focus come Saturday morning up until 1:30pm when the last entry is in the hands of the judges.
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