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Self-driving travel and motorhome must read: the selection, installation and use of car inverter

Jan 27, 2021

Self-driving travel and motorhome must read: the selection, installation and use of car inverter


The selection criteria for RVs are safety and applicability. As for the luxury and high-end that others fancy, it is meaningless to ordinary people. Electricity for RVs is the first priority for safety, especially in the case of frequent accidents of ordinary lithium batteries in recent years and lithium iron phosphate is not popular. Even now, the use of large-capacity batteries and large inverters still requires great caution.


The principle of use and selection should be: the battery power is enough, and the safety protection is high enough.


Let's look at the following aspects:


The battery power should be safe and moderate, not the bigger the better.


Two Three criteria for inverter selection: safety, safety, or safety


Three taboos in the installation of inverters


Four use of inverter



The battery power should be safe and moderate, not the bigger the better.


In fact, the choice of battery is a separate issue, and you can write another one. We only talk about the simplest and inverter-related content here.


The first thing to say is that the choice of battery is not the bigger the better. No matter which battery material you choose, ordinary lead acid, winding, ternary lithium or lithium iron phosphate, you must first estimate the amount of electricity you need. (If you are interested in knowing how to estimate and calculate the electricity consumption, please pay attention to the later content of this number) The battery is not the bigger the better. This is not only considering the space, weight and cost of the battery, but also safety.


Secondly, the size of the battery should basically match the power of the inverter. Using a battery that is too small to drive high-power inverters and electrical appliances will cause the battery to instantaneously discharge with high current and affect the battery's life.


Therefore, you will understand now that the various facilities of the RV, including the RV itself, all need to follow the same principle, that is, it is good to apply, and there is no need to pursue the best. Of course, if you really don’t understand these, you can consult the merchant before purchasing. I believe that every responsible merchant will give you a reasonable recommendation.


Two Three criteria for inverter selection: safety, safety, or safety


Now that the inverter technology has already matured, there is no doubt about this. As long as it is a regular manufacturer that controls the quality of production, I believe there is no problem. This is just like our current conventional electrical appliances such as refrigerators and TVs.


However, the current inverter production does not have many major brands to choose from like refrigerator TVs. It is not ruled out that some fish and fish are mixed and cut corners, so the choice of formal manufacturers is very important.


The safety of car inverters is very important. This is not only because it involves electricity, but also because incorrect selection and use are likely to cause fire or even more serious problems.


The function of the inverter is to convert low-voltage direct current into high-voltage alternating current to facilitate our use of conventional household appliances. In this conversion, the DC current will be very large, especially when using high-power appliances. If the quality of the electronic components used in the inverter is not good enough, the wires are not good enough, or the safe current-carrying capacity is not up to the requirements, it will cause the inverter and wires to have too high temperature, sparks and even spontaneous combustion. However, the space in the car is small and the installation location will not be difficult to find in conspicuous places, which will be a great safety hazard.


Therefore, safety, stability and reliability are the first priority. Don't choose products that cut corners and materials. Such products are often at a relatively low price. Don't try to be cheap. Do not choose a small workshop product unless you confirm that it is very reliable. If you really don’t understand, one of the easiest ways to distinguish is to hold it in your hand. The inverter of the same power, the big, heavy copper wire and the thicker one is better (of course it is to prevent fraud).


After talking about the most important safety issue, let's talk about the choice of inverter.


The inverter we are talking about here specifically refers to the inverter from 12v or 24v to 220v, which will not be explained below.


Simply put, inverters are divided into sine wave inverters and square wave inverters. In order to take into account the use of as many electrical appliances as possible, it is better to choose a pure sine wave inverter when we use it in the car. The reason is more complicated, so I will ignore it here.


Regarding the choice of inverter power.


The principle is still applicable, too small to carry, too large is unnecessary. The inverter itself consumes electricity when it works, and the electricity in the car is precious, so don't choose an oversized inverter.


Remember, the nominal power of the inverter is not equal to the input power on your appliance. Why do you say this actually involves a more complicated issue, which is omitted here. So just say a simple method below:


Choose a pure sine wave inverter, then determine the brand of the merchant, tell the merchant the type and approximate power of the electrical appliances to be used in your car, and let the merchant recommend an inverter with the right power. Or ask someone who knows electricity around you.


(The picture below is only a test scenario, not a formal installation)



Three taboos in the installation of inverters


As mentioned earlier, the safety of the inverter is the first priority, so the correct installation of the inverter is also a guarantee of safety.


First, do not arbitrarily replace or extend the cables provided with the inverter. At least the wire provided by the manufacturer meets the safety requirements, so do not replace it at will. If you are really dissatisfied, you can only replace it with a thicker, flame-retardant wire with a better material (more safe current carrying capacity). If you want to lengthen it (not recommended in principle), it must be a better and thicker wire. If necessary, consult a professional.


Second, the inverter and the battery should be as close as possible. In other words, the shorter the DC transmission distance between the inverter and the battery, the better. Because the farther the direct current is transmitted, the greater the loss, and the wire is also prone to heat. Preferably, the distance between the two is within the range that the standard wire of the inverter can be connected. If you really want to lengthen it, please change to a thicker wire, and consult a professional if necessary.


In addition, although the inverter can be used mobile, it is better to have a fixed location for safety, so as to reduce the possibility of short circuit or wrong wiring.


Third, the connection must be firm and reliable. All connectors, terminals, nuts, etc. must be tightened firmly to ensure that there is the largest contact area between the wire and the copper column and where the current goes and will not slide to avoid dangerous situations such as excessive temperature and fire.


Of course, the positive and negative poles must not be connected wrongly, which is the most basic.


It is best to check the power again after the connection is completed.



Four use of inverter


It is relatively simple to use.


1 Turn off the inverter in time. The inverter has its own consumption, and it is safer to shut it down.


2Don't use oversized appliances


3 Pay attention to the temperature change of the inverter, the temperature abnormality and aging phenomenon of the DC wiring, and various alarms of the inverter, and find the problem in time


4 Keep the environment of the inverter and battery pack. It is best to have a relatively independent heat dissipation space, and do not accumulate flammable materials and metal objects.