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Old 12-14-2019, 09:28 AM   #1
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Inverter

Sorry if I missed this kind of post somewhere else but I was tired of while boondocking not being able to use my Keurig coffee maker at 5am when I usually wake up camping. The wife and my dog Bella sleep in a little longer. Installed a 3000w inverter. So now while boondocking I dont have to wait till 8am to fire up the generator to work my coffee maker and or microwave. Anyone else do a similar mod?
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:46 AM   #2
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Not quite the same, but when I put together our custom solar system (I bought all the parts myself and put it together) I sized it to run everything possible except A/C, and that included our traditional electric coffee maker. We did try the Keurig but decided it pulled a little too much power when we saw it pulling over 100 amps DC (using the Bogart battery monitor). It might have worked but we were happy enough with our regular coffee maker. Our system has 2x235W panels and 4x225ah golf cart batteries feeding a 1500W inverter.
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Old 12-14-2019, 11:04 AM   #3
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Roger that, Ill be working on a solar panel set up the spring just enough to keep my double batteries charged up while were gone sightseeing
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Old 12-14-2019, 11:38 AM   #4
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No, I use a MyJo K-cup coffee press. I just heat water and pour it into the MyJo with the K-cup of my choice.
Never need to use electricity.
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Old 12-14-2019, 11:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by camaro80 View Post
Not quite the same, but when I put together our custom solar system (I bought all the parts myself and put it together) I sized it to run everything possible except A/C, and that included our traditional electric coffee maker. We did try the Keurig but decided it pulled a little too much power when we saw it pulling over 100 amps DC (using the Bogart battery monitor). It might have worked but we were happy enough with our regular coffee maker. Our system has 2x235W panels and 4x225ah golf cart batteries feeding a 1500W inverter.
100 amp draw while running the Keurig may sound like a lot but how long does the heater actually run? When I start mine up in the morning at home it only heats for a few minutes. Yes the current draw is high but let's say it runs for as long as 15 minutes, the actual "energy drain" on the batteries is only 25 amp hours. If it takes less time to heat and you turn it off after your first cup, even less.

For me I find just heating water on the stove and using a "My Joe" coffee maker is even less draw on the batteries.




I keep going back and forth on whether or not to upgrade my inverter but every time I think I will I realize I have less need. My stove works so well
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Old 12-14-2019, 11:51 AM   #6
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Sounds like you have a similar situation to me. I'm an early riser but my family is not, but I still want my coffee in the morning. I went with two 6 volt batteries, a 3000 watt inverter, and 350 watt solar panel. the solar panel is more than enough to replace any amps I use with the coffee pot in the morning. I guess the one of the best move I made when building my system was being able place the solar panel anywhere Within about 70 feet of the trailer. That way I can park in the shade and still access the Sun. My camping trip the pictures are from we went four days camping never had to run my generator once. We ran our Traeger 4 to 8 hours each day and Put 4 to 6 cups of coffee through the Keurig each morning. I paid attention to my battery monitor when the coffee was being brewed each time and the batteries didn't seem to mind the draw.Click image for larger version

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Old 12-14-2019, 12:53 PM   #7
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Sounds like you have a similar situation to me. I'm an early riser but my family is not, but I still want my coffee in the morning. I went with two 6 volt batteries, a 3000 watt inverter, and 350 watt solar panel. the solar panel is more than enough to replace any amps I use with the coffee pot in the morning. I guess the one of the best move I made when building my system was being able place the solar panel anywhere Within about 70 feet of the trailer. That way I can park in the shade and still access the Sun. My camping trip the pictures are from we went four days camping never had to run my generator once. We ran our Traeger 4 to 8 hours each day and Put 4 to 6 cups of coffee through the Keurig each morning. I paid attention to my battery monitor when the coffee was being brewed each time and the batteries didn't seem to mind the draw.Attachment 220551Attachment 220552
Curious as to what size wire you use for your "extension cord" and if you are using a PWM or MPPT controller.

My solar setup is about half the size of yours but I wired panels in series and use an MPPT controller mounted in my TT. The extension cord is a piece of #10-4 SO cord (used for heavy outdoor machinery power). I "paired" wires so I have two #10 wires carrying each "leg" which gives me the equivalent of a #7 wire for positive and negative side. Voltage drop between my panels and the controller is less than 1%. Because my panel size is small, I want to use ALL of it

According to my Victron Smart MPPT controller I average 155 Wh from my 160 watt "array" when not overcast. Also, since panels are portable I can re-orient them several times a day if I want to maximize exposure. On a good day I can put 80 Ah back in my batteries (Battleborn LiFePo).
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Old 12-14-2019, 02:27 PM   #8
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We use a single serve K-cup coffee maker in our TT that runs at 800 watts to heat the water. Our Keurig K575 at home uses 1,500 watts to heat the water when cold and 200-400 to keep it hot. I suggest switching to a small single serve.
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Old 12-14-2019, 02:58 PM   #9
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for us, it's generally best to run the gen when needing to use a 'heat'-based appliance, such as the coffee maker or toaster or hair-dryer, but having said that, an Inverter can easily supply the needed amps for the coffee maker, like our regular one, since the actual heater within the coffee maker does not 'heat' constantly, but in spurts. If you look at your Inverter's VOLTS readout while it's perking, you'll see it drop to 11.5volts, or even lower, while the 'heater' is working, but may pop back up to 12.5, or higher, when it is not, all while the coffee maker is 'ON' and making coffee, or otherwise making 'hot water', which is essentially it's only job.

Now, while making coffee like this while only on the inverter is feasible, the issue can arise where the 'heating' process can temporarily bring down the VOLTS reading for more than 30seconds below the LBCO(low battery cutoff) setting within the Inverter, causing the Inverter to shut down, totally, and UNTIL the Volts come back up and above 12.5. This can mean that, if this happens, you lose the coffee maker, everything plugged into outlets, and you'll need to start your Generator in order to provide battery charging until the VOLTS are back above 12.5volts, when the Inverter will then cut back on automatically.

Some inverters come stock with a 10.5Volts LBCO 'default' level. Some can be customized to a higher volts setting, others cannot. I like that our Magnum can, since I want the Inverter to cut off in the event the Generator can't be started by the AGS, or in the event I have some high-draw device, like a space heater, plugged in and ON when the Inverter is operating, such as what happens when you lose shore power during the cold months. You want to be able to automatically 'preserve' the battery bank from being completely and overly discharged simply because a heater was plugged in when power was lost.
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:45 PM   #10
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for us, it's generally best to run the gen when needing to use a 'heat'-based appliance, such as the coffee maker or toaster or hair-dryer, but having said that, an Inverter can easily supply the needed amps for the coffee maker, like our regular one, since the actual heater within the coffee maker does not 'heat' constantly, but in spurts. If you look at your Inverter's VOLTS readout while it's perking, you'll see it drop to 11.5volts, or even lower, while the 'heater' is working, but may pop back up to 12.5, or higher, when it is not, all while the coffee maker is 'ON' and making coffee, or otherwise making 'hot water', which is essentially it's only job.

Now, while making coffee like this while only on the inverter is feasible, the issue can arise where the 'heating' process can temporarily bring down the VOLTS reading for more than 30seconds below the LBCO(low battery cutoff) setting within the Inverter, causing the Inverter to shut down, totally, and UNTIL the Volts come back up and above 12.5. This can mean that, if this happens, you lose the coffee maker, everything plugged into outlets, and you'll need to start your Generator in order to provide battery charging until the VOLTS are back above 12.5volts, when the Inverter will then cut back on automatically.

Some inverters come stock with a 10.5Volts LBCO 'default' level. Some can be customized to a higher volts setting, others cannot. I like that our Magnum can, since I want the Inverter to cut off in the event the Generator can't be started by the AGS, or in the event I have some high-draw device, like a space heater, plugged in and ON when the Inverter is operating, such as what happens when you lose shore power during the cold months. You want to be able to automatically 'preserve' the battery bank from being completely and overly discharged simply because a heater was plugged in when power was lost.
With the voltage drop you indicated it would appear that larger wires from battery to inverter would help. I calculate around 8% from these numbers.

One solution if you don't want to run new wires of a much larger size, just run one more for pos and neg of the same size. This will help immensely with the low voltage cutoff too. Also double the "Jumpers" with another same size wire. One for series, both for parallel.
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:53 AM   #11
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Curious as to what size wire you use for your "extension cord" and if you are using a PWM or MPPT controller.

My solar setup is about half the size of yours but I wired panels in series and use an MPPT controller mounted in my TT. The extension cord is a piece of #10-4 SO cord (used for heavy outdoor machinery power). I "paired" wires so I have two #10 wires carrying each "leg" which gives me the equivalent of a #7 wire for positive and negative side. Voltage drop between my panels and the controller is less than 1%. Because my panel size is small, I want to use ALL of it

According to my Victron Smart MPPT controller I average 155 Wh from my 160 watt "array" when not overcast. Also, since panels are portable I can re-orient them several times a day if I want to maximize exposure. On a good day I can put 80 Ah back in my batteries (Battleborn LiFePo).
I'm running #6awg wire but the "extension" is Windy City #10 awg Solar wire (and MC4 connections)with a MPPT controller. Truth be told I didn't figure out how much drop I would have but I bought it because I needed it for a trip and ran out of time. I figured I would just upgrade the wire once I had money and time. But I've been using it for over a year and the Lost in efficiency has never been enough matter. Also I don't always use 50 foot extension wire. As I have a pole mount on the front and back of my trailer that doesn't require the use of the extension wire.
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:57 AM   #12
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I'm running Windy City #10 awg Solar wire (and MC4 connections)with a MPPT controller. Truth be told I didn't figure out how much drop I would have but I bought it because I needed it for a trip and ran out of time. I figured I would just upgrade the wire once I had money and time. But I've been using it for over a year and the Lost in efficiency has never been enough matter. Also I don't always use 50 foot extension wire. As I have a pole mount on the front and back of my trailer that don't require the use of the extension wire.
Sounds like you have a nice setup with the pole mounts and all. I just place mine on the ground and because of it's smaller size I wanted to extract every watt I could from it.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:51 AM   #13
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Sounds like you have a nice setup with the pole mounts and all. I just place mine on the ground and because of it's smaller size I wanted to extract every watt I could from it.
Thank you, I like to "McGyver" and repurpose things to solve problems. They may not look high-end or store-bought but they all work the way they are intended. The main reason I mounted the solar panel on a pole is because its a 60 cell panel (the kind most people put on their homes) and I wanted it up and out of the way. Having it up and out of the way also deters people from walking off with it when I'm not around. All it was was an old satellite dish pole mount I had lying around some aluminum angle iron to make a frame on the solar panel and some aluminum lighting truss clamps for DJ lighting to hold the pole. Total cost less than $50.
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Old 12-16-2019, 10:45 AM   #14
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Found this on Ebay, dirt cheap.
Works like charm, use it when boondockin!Click image for larger version

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Old 12-16-2019, 11:31 AM   #15
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Found this on Ebay, dirt cheap.
Works like charm, use it when boondockin!Attachment 220626
Interesting. How long does it take to heat up?

As I understand the max output for a USB charging outlet is 3 amp which is 37.5 watts @ 12.5V.

I'm used to those little immersion heaters that you plug into 120 V and heat a cup of water but those are 300 watts (on average) so 1/10th the wattage seems like it would take quite a while?

Just curious as it certainly looks like a "space saver".


Added by edit:

Looked at this unit online. Answered my question. Water is heated as fast as your stove or microwave will heat it. This unit does not heat, it appears that it merely "assists" the water flow through the cup as you have to turn it upside down after adding hot water.

Not a lot different than the "MyJoe" only the MyJoe doesn't need ANY power other than your hand.
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:05 PM   #16
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I should have mentioned you need to boil your water and then add it. That's why it does not use up much power. It uses minimal power to stream the water through the K-Cup. It actually comes out better than my full size Keurig machine at home. Only takes about 30 seconds to push the hot water through the cup.
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