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Upgrading inverter


saflyer
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I have a Magnum ME-2012 modified sine wave inverter/charger with an ME-ARC remote and BMK.  Thinking about upgrading to a pure sine inverter.  Most probable choices are Magnum MS2012, MS2812 or the hybrid MSH3012.  The second is 20% more expensive than the first and the hybrid is 13% more than the second.  I believe but will double check that 2000watts is adequate but am leaning to the 2800 or 3000 watt units.  First question, would the MS2812 have the same or a higher current draw at idle.  IOW, is the efficiency the same, better or worse, if that is the same question.

Next, I understand the concept of the hybrid unit versus the standard but wonder what use that would be to me.  Under what circumstances is the hybrid useful under?  One thing I read was where the writer said when at RV parks with 50a connections where he is paying for electricity he sets the inverter to come online when needs exceed 20a or 30a then draws from batteries for any more power needed.  But I wonder about this.  The energy from the batteries will still need to be replaced from shore power at some point so how does he save money?

Ed  
’05 HR Ambassador 

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I upgraded the inverter in our 2004 Holiday Rambler Imperial PDT (we traded it in earlier this year for a Monaco Signature) from the ME2012 to the GP-MS2812-PKG 2800 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter due to the electronics we were running (in addition to the 4 ea 305 watt solar panels)

 

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I installed a new MSH3012 hybrid inverter.  I wanted a pure sine inverter and I found a great price on the MSH3012, so it looked like the best option.   I do like the hybrid design as I can switch from shore power to generator and back without my computer (or anything else) going offline.  I can also use a small Honda generator instead of the large 12,500 Onan and the hybrid inverter helps out when the AC systems start up. 

Usually you look at your battery bank to decide what size inverter is right.  

You can do a search on idle current draw, but they are pretty similar.  

One caution on the MSH3012 hybrid is that it uses a single 50-60 amp supply wire where your ME-2012 uses two separate 20 amp legs.   The MS2812 will also use two separate legs of 30 amps each.   If you decide on the MSH3012, send me a message and I can send you a detailed how to.  

Magnum Inverter installed.jpg

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2 hours ago, saflyer said:

I have a Magnum ME-2012 modified sine wave inverter/charger with an ME-ARC remote and BMK.  Thinking about upgrading to a pure sine inverter.  Most probable choices are Magnum MS2012, MS2812 or the hybrid MSH3012.  The second is 20% more expensive than the first and the hybrid is 13% more than the second.  I believe but will double check that 2000watts is adequate but am leaning to the 2800 or 3000 watt units.  First question, would the MS2812 have the same or a higher current draw at idle.  IOW, is the efficiency the same, better or worse, if that is the same question.

Next, I understand the concept of the hybrid unit versus the standard but wonder what use that would be to me.  Under what circumstances is the hybrid useful under?  One thing I read was where the writer said when at RV parks with 50a connections where he is paying for electricity he sets the inverter to come online when needs exceed 20a or 30a then draws from batteries for any more power needed.  But I wonder about this.  The energy from the batteries will still need to be replaced from shore power at some point so how does he save money?

Ed  
’05 HR Ambassador 

Ed, a couple things to consider.  First, if you go with a larger (more wattage) Inverter/Charger, you will likely have to rewire.  You'll need to increase the wire size from the batteries to the inverter/charger to accommodate the 50% increase in  power.  You may also have to rewire the output 110 VAC side as well to accommodate for additional current and possibly additional circuits.  Note that you likely have two 110 VAC outputs from you inverter now (one for the microwave and one for all the inverter supported outles).  Some of the new higher power inverter/chargers only have a single output, but likely rated higher.   Many have had to add an inverter output sub panel.  This is not hard if you only want the same functionality as you currently have.  But if you want to add or divide circuits then rewiring is more extensive.  Also, you may have to replace the Circuit Breaker in your existing power panel with a larger one and new wiring from that circuit breaker to the inverter input to support the potential greater charger and pass-through capacity.

 

Regarding the hybrid function, it is not much use in our coaches.  Where it really come into play is where ALL AC is routed through the Inverter.  That would include the A/Cs (air cond) too.  In that case, if the shore power wasn't sufficient to support all the power you were requesting, then you could draw from the batteries to supplement.  But, that would be only useful for temporary power surges.  For example if a second A/C tried to start, and that would trip a breaker under typical conditions, the inverter could supply the extra surge temporarily until the A/C got up to speed.  I'm not saying that the function only works for a temporary condition, but remember in order to supply that extra power, it must consume that from your batteries.  You don't really want to run your A/C all day on your batteries.   You are correct that he will have to pay to replace the power he used by using batteries to supply the inverter at some point in time.  He is fooling himself.  Someone also mentioned that having the hybrid function saved his computer from rebooting.  That is more likely due to the new inverter and faster switching than the hybrid function.  For it to be associated with the hybrid function, that computer would have to be on the inverter power (not pass-thru) when the switching occured.

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The hybrid function is good when plugged into lower amperage services and you need a higher load.  I don't see it for monster loads like helping A/C start; I see it to help boost your power when plugged into a 15A garage circuit in some family member's driveway and you happen to run the coffee pot and the hair dryer at the same time (we've done that!).  As long as you've got the input limit set, the hybrid will support power above that.  And yes, it will be coming out of the battery bank, but as soon as the microwave or hair dryer goes off, the inverter will put that power back into the batteries (so agree, no overall electricity saving).

However, as Rick/Waterskier_1 said, the hybrid model only supports a single line in and out on the AC side.  Our 03 Windsor already used dual in/dual out, with a full subpanel on the inverter load side.  I didn't want to mess with that, so when I replaced mine a couple years ago, I skipped the hybrid and went with the Magnum MS2012  (2000W inverter with dual in/dual out support).  I resisted going to a 2800 or 3000W model because the existing wire size and distance was the limit for 2000W (or even a tad undersized).

Now looking back on it, I wish I made the jump and switched the inverter and batteries to 24V (to reduce the current loads overall), but that's a much larger project.

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Yeah, I labored over these same choices and  then settled on ms2012. 
3000w of inverter is not useful unless your battery bank (and cabling) can supply 300a at >11v . Even 200 is a stretch with my configuration. Huge project to change that   

And the original xantrex was set up to pass through and feed 2 legs of power. As far as I can tell, the ms2012/2812 are the only ones available with that setup. I wasn’t willing rewire  

Cheers

Walter

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2 hours ago, wamcneil said:

Yeah, I labored over these same choices and  then settled on ms2012. 
3000w of inverter is not useful unless your battery bank (and cabling) can supply 300a at >11v . Even 200 is a stretch with my configuration. Huge project to change that   

And the original xantrex was set up to pass through and feed 2 legs of power. As far as I can tell, the ms2012/2812 are the only ones available with that setup. I wasn’t willing rewire  

Cheers

Walter

Does anyone know if the connections and mounting footprint for the MS2012 are the same as the ME2012 it will replace? IOW, do I just pull the ME2012 out and plug in the MS2012 using the same connections?

Would it be the same for the MS2812 after upgrading the cables?

Ed

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35 minutes ago, saflyer said:

Does anyone know if the connections and mounting footprint for the MS2012 are the same as the ME2012 it will replace? IOW, do I just pull the ME2012 out and plug in the MS2012 using the same connections?

Would it be the same for the MS2812 after upgrading the cables?

Ed

Footprint is the same. As mentioned Magnum recommends 4/0 versus your current 2/0 and the 2812 only has one output. I found a two pole Square D mini breaker panel At Home Depot I’m planning on using.

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Guest Tim503

Just use the fuse you have now. If it starts to blow then replace it later. Your not using more power you just want clean power so the TV doesn't buzz and the clocks and printers work right. It is nice getting rid of the TV buzz.

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8 hours ago, wamcneil said:

Magnum owners manual recommends 300a with ms2012 and 400a with ms2812.  The two have the same physical dimensions and wiring layout. 

One difference in wiring is the 2812 only has one output.  The 2012 has two.

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That’s good news, I hope.  You would think the MS2012 and MS2812 would be identical other than capacity and hopefully same wiring as my current ME2012.

I tested my system on inverter with the refrigerator compressor running and few other loads. About 25a.  Adding the microwave it goes to about 125a.  Add a few lights and the TVs and would be pushing that 2000w limit of the MS2012, if I am right.  Would really like to go with the MS2812 if it’s not too complicated.

Ed

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4 hours ago, saflyer said:

That’s good news, I hope.  You would think the MS2012 and MS2812 would be identical other than capacity and hopefully same wiring as my current ME2012.

I tested my system on inverter with the refrigerator compressor running and few other loads. About 25a.  Adding the microwave it goes to about 125a.  Add a few lights and the TVs and would be pushing that 2000w limit of the MS2012, if I am right.  Would really like to go with the MS2812 if it’s not too complicated.

Ed

I believe the 2012 and 2812 are physically identical except for their weight. You can download the manual on their website that covers both models.

https://www.magnum-dimensions.com/sites/default/files/product/manual/64-0007 Rev F (MS Series)_Web_1.pdf

Look at the wattage of the devices you need to run, and then determine if you need 2800 watts. 

The inverters can deliver far more in surge than the continuous 2000/2800w ratings (see attachment- 5 sec surge is >150% of continuous rating), so don't  worry too much about peak startup currents. And  don't think that your refrigerator compressor starting while the microwave is running will somehow overload the inverter. 

2800 watts of output is equivalent to >235A at 12v. Probably well over 250A accounting for losses. The spec sheet says max continuous current rating for the MS2812 is 373A. It takes a BIG lead-acid battery bank to keep that up for very long. Personally, I'd rather resign to only running one big load ( like the microwave OR the hair dryer) and not try and upgrade the 12VDC system to support the bigger inverter.

If your batteries and wiring can support 250A, then there's certainly no harm in having a bigger inverter. But if your battery and wiring isn't up to the task, then might as well save a few $$$ and get the smaller inverter. I found a smoking deal on a brand new MS2012 on ebay, but there were very few deals to be had on the MS2812: I assume because everybody is thinkin' "bigger is better" and wants to upgrade to the MS2812. If you're buying through standard retail channels the price difference is much smaller of course.

When you load down the inverter and your batteries/wiring won't supply enough amperage at 12v, the voltage will drop and the inverter will hit the low-volt cut out. And I discovered that Magnum's accessories like AGS and BMS will drop offline earlier and reset anytime the voltage drops to about 11v. So I found that if I really load down the MS2012 (with 4 golf cart batteries), the voltage doesn't drop low enough for the inverter to cut out, but my BMS will reset and then I lose my state-of-charge calculations until after there's been another charge cycle and it can recalculate. Very annoying.

I've got a plan to bypass my original high-current circuit breakers and a bunch of other wiring connections to make a shorter electrical path between the inverter and my batteries, which should help. But ,I'm just struggling to get good power for 2000w. My point here is that the original Monaco electrical system might be a big bottleneck to overcome if you're needing more than 2000w of inverter power.

Cheers,

Walter

 

ms_inverters.jpg

ms_inverters2.jpg

Edited by wamcneil
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Wamcneill, thanks,

Good information.  I think you are right that the MS2012 is adequate and cheaper. I just thought about doing something that should take enough load off that inverter to be sure it can do the job.  I can add a small inverter just for the refrigerator.  Just need to find a path for the wiring.

Ed

One point made by someone is my inverter is fed by 2/0 wiring but should have 4/0.  All of the wiring of my batteries and batteries to the coach is 2/0.  I’m the second owner but can only assume this is what HR factory specified.  How can I determine if the wiring needs/should be 4/0?
Ed

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I doubt you'll benefit from a 2nd inverter. You've got a 2000w inverter now, right? Has that proven to be inadequate?

Just make sure not to run the microwave AND another big consumer like hair dryer or  coffee maker at the same time. Everything else, including the refrigerator is tiny in terms of the load on the inverter. My residential refrigerator normally draws 104w, somewhat more while defrosting. 

I can see a good argument for adding a small sinewave inverter for the fridge when the main inverter is square wave. But then only to keep from having to buy the big sinewave inverter.

W

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On 7/3/2020 at 2:03 PM, vito.a said:

I installed a new MSH3012 hybrid inverter.  ..

One caution on the MSH3012 hybrid is that it uses a single 50-60 amp supply wire where your ME-2012 uses two separate 20 amp legs.   

Hey Vito:

I just found this on the Magnum website: Check this out! 

MagnaSine Hybrid MSH3012RV. Is this new? 

I sure didn't find this option back when I was researching inverters. This RV model appears to be the best of both worlds: a hybrid inverter with TWO IN and TWO OUT!

https://www.magnum-dimensions.com/sites/default/files/product/manual/64-0089 B Owners Manual%2C MSH3012RV Series.pdf

 

MSH3012RV2.jpg

MSH3012RV1.jpg

MSH3012RV3.jpg

Edited by wamcneil
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52 minutes ago, wamcneil said:

I doubt you'll benefit from a 2nd inverter. You've got a 2000w inverter now, right? Has that proven to be inadequate?

Just make sure not to run the microwave AND another big consumer like hair dryer or  coffee maker at the same time. Everything else, including the refrigerator is tiny in terms of the load on the inverter. My residential refrigerator normally draws 104w, somewhat more while defrosting. 

I can see a good argument for adding a small sinewave inverter for the fridge when the main inverter is square wave. But then only to keep from having to buy the big sinewave inverter.

W

I was looking at the most draw I might need under normal circumstances.  Microwave, TVs/Wally’s, a few lights might approach the 2000w capability.  I’m probably OK, just thought a separate refrigerator inverter would guarantee no problems. 
Ed

Wamcneil,

What do you think is the difference between the MSH2012M and the MSH2012RV

Ed

The system is merging my posts.  Hope everyone notices all of my questions/thoughts. Don’t like it.  Stuff’s going to go unnoticed  I think.

Ed

Edited by saflyer
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1 hour ago, saflyer said:

Wamcneil,

What do you think is the difference between the MSH2012M and the MSH2012RV

Ed

 

I think you mean MSH3012M and the MSH3012RV?

Installation diagram of MSH3012RV posted above. Here's the one for MSH03012M  (MSH03012M Installation diagram below)

I haven't scrutinized the documentation, but it looks like MSH3012RV is similar to MSH3012M except it has 2 legs of 50A pass-through. It looks like only one of the legs is powered on inverter. 

It's still not quite the same as 2-in /2-out like the MS2X12 inverters. The MS2X12 inverters bridge both  output legs together when inverting, so both output circuits are powered. I believe the MSH3012RV is only powering one leg of output while inverting.

Edit: 

No, that's not right. It combines the two output legs with relays while inverting just like the MS2X12 inverters (MSH3012RV internal Power Flow diagram also attached below).  The AC Output Relay is connected to  AC HOT 1 OUT and in inverter mode AC HOT OUT 1 is bridged over to AC HOT 2 OUT.

And I think the diagram also indicates that the 'hybrid' features would only apply to AC HOT leg 1, which makes sense. It's not a 240v inverter, so like any of these inverters, it's only capable of inverting a single leg of 120v.

Walter

 

MSH3012M.jpg

MSH3012M2.jpg

Edited by wamcneil
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3 hours ago, saflyer said:

One point made by someone is my inverter is fed by 2/0 wiring but should have 4/0.  All of the wiring of my batteries and batteries to the coach is 2/0.  I’m the second owner but can only assume this is what HR factory specified.  How can I determine if the wiring needs/should be 4/0?
Ed

Sorry, just saw this question.

Voltage drop is pretty straightforward to calculate. I tend to use the Ancor marine voltage drop and ampacity charts on westmarine.com, but there are plenty of online calculators that all do the same thing. Less than 2% voltage drop is considered good for most applications.

  • Estimate your distance ( the West marine tables are round-trip, not one-way)
  • Estimate the max amperage
  • Look up the required wire gauge in the table

Magnum's manual doesn't get into max voltage drop specifications, but recommends (attached):

  • MS2012- if you've got 5' or less between the batteries the inverter, the cables should be 2/0. If it's between 5-10' they should be 4/0, 10-15' should be double 4/0.
  • MS2812- if you've got 5' or less between the batteries and inverter then 4/0, 5-10' then double 4/0, and farther than 10' is "not recommended".
  • And if you're cables in conduit (ie- bundled with other wires where the resistive heat builds up...), the cables should be even larger.

So the short answer is that your existing cables are probably at marginal (at best...) even for your old 2000w inverter. That's why I keep harping on how hard it is to feed a 3000w inverter. And it's why folks were talking earlier about going to 24v system rather than beefing up their 12v systems (1/2 the amperage to deal with).

The longer and skinnier your battery cables are, the more voltage will drop on its way to the inverter. And the more battery energy you'll lose in heating up the cables instead of running the appliances.

If you've got 600AH worth of lithium batteries and they are literally right next to your inverter, then it's pretty easy to feed the inverter 300A. But if your rig is set up like mine (4 GC batteries all the way at the back, inverter in the middle of the rig on the other side) then it can be a big deal. 

Cheers,

Walter

awg.jpg

Edited by wamcneil
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The dual in/dual out is interesting.   Our MSH3012 inverter only has a single AC input (50amps).  According to Glen (the Magnum tech), it is designed this way so the hybrid inverter can sense the AC throughput.   For input wiring, I already had two 10 gauge wires running from the main breaker panel to the inverter in the basement.   Instead of rewiring and adding a single 8 gauge wire, I ran the two 10 gauge wires in parallel.  

As far as 12v cable size from the batteries, it only matters if you are running  a heavy amp draw from the batteries.   I have no plans on running my A/C units from battery power and I do not like to run the microwave on inverter power.  The startup amperage for the microwave is hard on the inverter system as well as hard on the microwave.  It's just easier to start the generator.  

However, I think the larger Monaco coaches come with 4/0 cables.  

saflyer, you can install an MS2812 (or MSH3012) using your existing wires, just make sure you size your breakers according to the wire size.  If later you decide you want more available amperage, then you can add more batteries and pull new cables.  

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3 hours ago, wamcneil said:

I think you mean MSH3012M and the MSH3012RV?

Installation diagram of MSH3012RV posted above. Here's the one for MSH03012M  (MSH03012M Installation diagram below)

I haven't scrutinized the documentation, but it looks like MSH3012RV is similar to MSH3012M except it has 2 legs of 50A pass-through. It looks like only one of the legs is powered on inverter. 

It's still not quite the same as 2-in /2-out like the MS2X12 inverters. The MS2X12 inverters bridge both  output legs together when inverting, so both output circuits are powered. I believe the MSH3012RV is only powering one leg of output while inverting.

Edit: 

No, that's not right. It combines the two output legs with relays while inverting just like the MS2X12 inverters (MSH3012RV internal Power Flow diagram also attached below).  The AC Output Relay is connected to  AC HOT 1 OUT and in inverter mode AC HOT OUT 1 is bridged over to AC HOT 2 OUT.

And I think the diagram also indicates that the 'hybrid' features would only apply to AC HOT leg 1, which makes sense. It's not a 240v inverter, so like any of these inverters, it's only capable of inverting a single leg of 120v.

Walter

 

MSH3012M.jpg

MSH3012M2.jpg

You’re right.  I do my best proofreading after hitting “Send”.

Thanks

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2 hours ago, wamcneil said:

Sorry, just saw this question.

Voltage drop is pretty straightforward to calculate. I tend to use the Ancor marine voltage drop and ampacity charts on westmarine.com, but there are plenty of online calculators that all do the same thing. Less than 2% voltage drop is considered good for most applications.

  • Estimate your distance ( the West marine tables are round-trip, not one-way)
  • Estimate the max amperage
  • Look up the required wire gauge in the table

Magnum's manual doesn't get into max voltage drop specifications, but recommends (attached):

  • MS2012- if you've got 5' or less between the batteries the inverter, the cables should be 2/0. If it's between 5-10' they should be 4/0, 10-15' should be double 4/0.
  • MS2812- if you've got 5' or less between the batteries and inverter then 4/0, 5-10' then double 4/0, and farther than 10' is "not recommended".
  • And if you're cables in conduit (ie- bundled with other wires where the resistive heat builds up...), the cables should be even larger.

So the short answer is that your existing cables are probably at marginal (at best...) even for your old 2000w inverter. That's why I keep harping on how hard it is to feed a 3000w inverter. And it's why folks were talking earlier about going to 24v system rather than beefing up their 12v systems (1/2 the amperage to deal with).

The longer and skinnier your battery cables are, the more voltage will drop on its way to the inverter. And the more battery energy you'll lose in heating up the cables instead of running the appliances.

If you've got 600AH worth of lithium batteries and they are literally right next to your inverter, then it's pretty easy to feed the inverter 300A. But if your rig is set up like mine (4 GC batteries all the way at the back, inverter in the middle of the rig on the other side) then it can be a big deal. 

Cheers,

Walter

awg.jpg

I’m sure my battery to inverter cables are less than 5’ long but it might be close since I have a slide out battery tray and the cable is long enough to accommodate this.  I’ll check.

Ed

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