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Can anyone help me decide the best way forward with invertors. I was looking at a victron invertor 12/3000/120-16 at around £2k, however someone mentioned in passing that getting small invertors which would connect to each plug socket would be 1) less draining on the battery power as these large victron actually use lots of power, and 2) would work out a lot cheaper as you can pick the small invertors up for around £20 each.
I have got quite confused about it all and would be grateful for any advice or ideas.

Asked by: pippa wood  | 3.32pm, Saturday 13 February

WW says:

Very small inverters tend not to produce a pure sinewave output, but a much more crude version. This means that, for instance, if you plug in a TV or DVD player, it might work unexpectedly (such as having interference lines across the screen).
Appliances with microprocesser controls, such as many waashing machines, will not work with anything other than a pure sine-wave output.
All inverters draw current when then are off-load (i.e. switched on and not working). This is very similar, whatever the size of the inverter. Larger invertors, and the more expensive ones, also tend to be able to "switch off" when not under load, so they draw almost no current at all.
Bear in mind that if you fit a set of small inverters, you will also need large cable runs of suitable 12V cabling, to cope with the large current. For example, a 200W invertor will draw a current of at least 17A, probably 20A- and so will need quite subsstantial cables, to avoid voltage loss (which would shut down the inverter- or potentially overheat the cables...!).
Also, many appliances need a start up current greater than small inverters can draw- anything with a motor may require 25% and above current draw when they start, above the rating on the plate.
Incidentally, much cheaper pure sinewave inverters are available, as the Victron model you mentioned is a "combi"- i.e. it is also a mains-powered battery chager (giving up to 120A charge, when connected to a 230V shoreline)
Hope that helps!

Mark Langley  | 1.55PM, Monday 15 February

Readers say:

suggest you talk sterling power as they sell 1800watt quasi inverters for £299.90 but it all depends on what you are going to use it for, there ad is always in waterways world

mick turner  | 5.06PM, Saturday 13 February

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