DC to AC 110V inverter problem.

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thebutcher1942

New Member
Happy Thanksgving everyone. I am new here sorry if this is the wrong place to post. I am a novice in electronics (as in fixing circuit boards, building electronic stuff). But I know a little bit, like how to build a computer, soldering, I know when a Capacitor is blown ect...

Anyway, I am working on a project, I have a small closet space pop up green house that I need to warm for my tomato plant and others, I am in the Philadelphia. This is how my system works for heating it up. I have 1 12v deepcycle 32ah and 3 12v 12ah batteries in parallel. I will be hooking these up to a DC to AC converter. The heat is coming from two 55w ceramic chicken coop heat lamps or 100w bulbss if I can get pass my inverter problem.

I went through about 7-8 Inverters (returned them, price range $15-$70 150w-750w) that all sound an alarm then shut off after the voltage drops to 11.5 and some 10.5. This is meant so people can start there cars, but I am using stand alone batteries and just want to drain them the most to a safe level to get extra time. I need them to run for about 12 hours over night and them will switch and charge during the day since it gets warm with the sun as needed.

The inverter arrives tomorrow the other sometime next week and is a 180 watt dc to ac the other 150 watt. Is there a way of disabling these shut offs or alarms if I take some photos when i get them and let me know where the solution could be? Has anyone here had experience with working with DC to AC inverters?

Thanks All

Pommie

Well-Known Member
A simpler solution would be to just use the 12V direct. Use 3Ω 50 watt resistors (See here) and 12V computer fans. Three resistor/fan combinations can be spread around for more consistent heating. Note this will take 150/12 = 12.5A and will flatten your batteries in about 5 - 6 hours. Letting lead acid batteries go flat severly shortens their usable life.

Edit, I see you only need 100W of heating so your batteries will last around 7-8 hours.

Mike.

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thebutcher1942

New Member
Thanks, Mike I'll look into that

Well-Known Member
The ability to disable inverter low battery function will vary from inverter to inverter. My suggestion would have been before buying an inverter to contact a known reputable company like APC (American Power Conversions) and speak with (or email) one of their applications engineers. These are the guys who are happy to suggest an entire system (inverter and batteries) to meet and exceed your needs. The deep cycle batteries are the way to go as they are designed with deep discharge in mind. The problem with disabling the shutoff feature is different units use different sensing and some allow the user to disable the feature or set the shutdown voltage. So it really comes down to who made the inverter. Beyond just running down a battery so a vehicle won't start there is more to it. A typical 12 volt SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) battery when fully charged will be about 12.6 volts. The numbers actually look a little like this:

Voltage State of Charge:
12.6+ 100%
12.5 90%
12.42 80%
12.32 70%
12.20 60%
12.06 50%
11.9 40% This is a cardinal point.
11.75 30%
11.58 20%
11.31 10%
10.5 0%

Running a 12 volt SLA below that 11.9 volt level starts to become detrimental to the battery. Battery Stuff has a few good reads on the subject and Battery University is another very good source for information.

Wish I could help further.

Ron

thebutcher1942

New Member
Thanks Ron, I should of done a little more homework before I purchased. Ohwell, I will get this and learn alot along the way especialy here now. My 100 watt chicken coop heat lamp lasted 3 hours on the deep cycle until the alarm shut down at 11.5. So then I had the idea of running 2 50 watt bulbs one after the other. I am hoping to get 6 hours off the deep cycle and same with the 3 parallel.

And today I had the idea of getting a light timer where you can make it go off and on (the one I gotdoes it up to 10 times per day). So if I time it right giving the battery a break like 30 min intervals it may do justice. I even bought a two remote control power on and off switches so i can turn off and on from the house (prior to learning about the the timer) and have a remote control thermonitor that tells me the temp in the small green house. It is 6ft high, 5 ft wide and 3ft side and kind of insulated.

Ron

michael8

New Member
You said "during the day since it gets warm with the sun as needed". I'd recommend saving heat from when the sun is up and using that during the night. This could be much cheaper than storing the energy in batteries. How do you get the batteries recharged anyway?