sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Inverter Installation: Troublshooting 101
Inverter Installation: Troublshooting 101


'Installing our inverter - have you been through this?'    .

So you want to install an inverter, but with all the features and complexity of today’s more sophisticated units, you’re hesitant to take the plunge? Or, perhaps you’ve had some problems with your inverter, and you’re not sure if it’s a faulty unit … or a simple installation problem?

Let the Tech Doctor help! This issue offers up some basic troubleshooting tips to help ensure your inverter is installed correctly in order to deliver maximum, trouble-free delivery. Success in this area will save aggravation and potentially money associated with having to engage a support technician for unwarranted and unnecessary repairs.

Let's get started:

First, an overview. When working with electrical circuits, you must always ensure the circuit is powered down and cannot be re-energized while you are working on it. If you’re not entirely comfortable with this task (or any other cited in this article) then by all means, leave it to the experts. Your attention and compliance to all safety directives must always be first and foremost!

The Basic Benchmark:

If for any reason, things don’t seem to be working as they should with your inverter, understand that these types of products simply don’t 'kind-of' fail. When an inverter goes bad, typically nothing will work … or, one of the features simply won’t work consistently.

Strategies for inverter installation success:

1. Revert all settings to factory defaults.

This may seem obvious, but the factory default settings are usually default for a reason. They are the values that allow the inverter to work in the vast majority of environments. While you don’t want to leave these settings to factory default in the long term, for a quick test, it’s ideal. After completing the test, then you can easily readjust the settings to meet your specific needs. Check the settings, one by one, until the problem is identified, or the settings are adjusted to work. Note: If the inverter came installed with your vehicle/vessel, the manufacturer would likely have changed the factory default settings to custom settings to suit the design and application. In such circumstances, once you reset the inverter to the default OEM/manufacturer setting, you may not need any further changes.

2. Disconnect all loads.

This action will remove the installation as a possible cause of the problem. This is also a good time to disconnect the battery, wait a few minutes, and then reconnect, in order to reboot the inverter’s processor.

3. Power up the inverter.

If this works, bring the loads on-line, one by one.

4. Watch the DC voltage at the inverter and make sure the voltage stays within the DC voltage range of the inverter.

This eliminates the possibility that an ineffective circuit from the battery is causing the issue. If the voltage is erratic, solve that problem by tracing the cause of the erratic voltage and fixing it, and then get back to the inverter. Recommendation: if you don’t have a spare DC fuse on board, get one!

Also, read up on and review the features of your inverter. Some perceived problems actually arise from features in the inverter like idle mode, or power save. Such features, when enabled, allow the inverter to turn off when the load is low, but can create the very real perception of a problem.

Remember: inverters don’t produce energy; they simply convert what they’re given. If you have a combination inverter/charger, and the inverter doesn’t work, but the charger is humming along fine, then check the DC voltage at the inverter when inverting to gauge whether it is within the inverter’s DC range. If the inverter works, but the charger is problematic, then check the AC input voltage at the inverter and ensure it is within the inverter’s AC range. With a sound read of what the unit is receiving, you can eliminate most causes of perceived failure.

A final troubleshooting review:
1. For the most part, inverters either work, or they don’t.

2. From my own experience and in working with dozens of tech service centers, I have concluded that more than 80% of inverters that are returned without hands-on troubleshooting have absolutely no issues on the bench. The problem in at least 20 percent of the returns correlate directly to faulty installations.

3. Erratic behavior, or inconsistent problems, are almost always a loose connection…somewhere. While it’s not easy to find them, it’s worth the time and the effort.

4. A quality volt-meter is worth the investment. While there is a cost associated with ownership, it may pay off in eliminating shipping and diagnostic bench time at the service center that is unnecessary.

5. Safety first!. Power down as much as reasonable when working with circuits. Always use one hand when working with wiring. If you’re not qualified, or are not 100% confident in the process you’re attempting, hire a qualified electrician

Summary:
Remember, inverters are nothing more than an appliance that does what it’s told to do. If it doesn’t receive the right instructions, or can’t interpret its input, it likely will not perform to your expectations, through no fault of its own. Take the time to ensure the proper installation in order to maximize the performance of your hard-working inverter! Then, you will realize its ultimate return on investment.

Sail-World Cruising would like to thank Xantrex Technology for this informative article


by Don Wilson

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=109726

9:16 PM Tue 21 May 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Practical

Related News Stories:

21 May 2013  Yacht Track Library - an ingenious new tool for cruising sailors
18 May 2013  Digital Media Locker plus Blue Tooth connection for a dry iPhone
15 May 2013  Ten quick tips to make boat cleaning less of a chore.
11 May 2013  Fuel filters recalled by Osculati
07 May 2013  Choosing a chartplotter program for ActiveCaptain users
28 Apr 2013  Words of wisdom from a Cruising Guru
16 Apr 2013  Love your sailing boat's belts and they will love you in return
06 Apr 2013  Something to ponder - Is your GPS system 100% safe?
05 Apr 2013  World's tiniest PLB now certified for use
05 Apr 2013  World's tiniest PLB now certified for use
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

America's Cup: Five Challengers sign-on for 35th Match by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,




















AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos by American Windsurfing Tour,
















America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,








Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia by International Maxi Association,




















America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-world.com/nz,


Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3
Roble and Wilson still number one match racers in the U.S.
2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium
IFDS Worlds - Former president presented with ISAF awards medal
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Improvements aplenty in Byte CII fleets
America's Cup: New Zealand loses top coach to Artemis Racing
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Day 9 - Swish on record pace
2014 CORK Olympic Classes Regatta - Day 3
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 2
2014 IFDS World Championship: Opening Ceremony images
Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery
Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships
Hamilton Island Race Week: Everywhere there's smiley people
IFDS World Championships - US Paralympic hopefuls ready for racing
Sopot Match Race - Poland's Tour debut deemed a triumph
Vineyard Race celebrates 80th running of the East Coast classic   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games: Young sailors begin racing on Lake Jinniu   
AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Victory for Morgan Noireaux   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Day 8: Test of endurance   
Bart's Bash: Over 2300 entered from 588 yacht clubs - Join here   
Halifax ready to welcome the world at 2014 IFDS World Championships   
RC44 World Championship title to Bronenosec + Video   
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Day 2 Images by Crosbie Lorimer   
IFDS Worlds - Gary Jobson to attend opening ceremonies   
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Dalton DeVos crowned champion   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games trailer   
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Canfield wins   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Varuna takes overall lead   
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; Crosbie Lorimer Day 1 Images   
Fisher's View: Hamilton Island Race Week - Day 1 - Stayin' Alive   
CORK Olympic Classes Regatta 2014 - Day one   
Youth Olympics: practice over, athletes welcomed, time for YOG sailing   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record for Artemis-Team Endeavour   
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 2   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland: Artemis sets fourth course record   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL VIR US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT