Power Inverter & Solar Blog

Remote Cabin Inveter

Cobra Power Inverter Runs Remote Cabin in Baja, Mexico

A customer of Inverters R Us recently wrote us and shared his power inverter setup. He uses the Cobra CPI-2590 inverter to power the entire cabin and a water pump. If you would like to share YOUR inverter setup with us, please use this form and we will send you a $10 Starbucks card for your efforts!  If you have any questions about the Cobra 2500 watt mentioned in the example below, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

 

The System is located in the high sierra of Baja, Mexico in a very remote location. Power inverter is a Cobra 2500 watt modified sine wave unit with a MorningStar 45 amp MPPT charge controller. The equipment is mounted in a weather proof cabinet outside on a wall under a large overhanging eve just above the battery bank. A remote on-off switch is located inside the house as is an extension USB cable. The inverter powers the cabin, submersible water pump and has provided energy to complete the construction of the interior of the dwelling. It has remarkably powered worm drive, heavy duty saws, rotary hammer drills, charged cordless power tools and all manner of finish carpentry power tools. I am very impressed with the durability and quality of the machine and highly recommend it. This is the 4th such installation in the past year. Cobra rocks!

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Pellet Inverter

Our Power Inverter Lets Us Demonstrate Our Pellet Grills at Farmers Markets & Fairs!

“We sell our electronic wood-pellet grills at shows all over the country and we don’t always know if we will have access to electricity, so we always bring our power inverter.” -Michael D.Z., Wichita, Kansas

We developed a BBQ that grills meat and vegetables and produces flavors people have likely never experienced before: slow-cooked spare ribs that melt off the bone, whole juicy chickens that produce enticing aromas and cedar-plank salmon that makes non-seafood lovers fall for fish. Our small wood-pellet grills use electricity to feed the wood pellets into the fire, regulate heat and present LED displays. Our audience of potential buyers can be found at fairs, home-and-garden shows, boat shows, cookout events and farmers markets. We travel a lot to be a part of these shows and markets, and we see a lot of different types. If it’s a show we’ve never done before, we don’t always know how accessible power will be. Or, even worse, sometimes the coordinators charge extra for power. So, we always bring our own power inverters.

When people approach our booth, they expect two things: 1. To see how our grill works. 2. Free food.

If we don’t have power, we can’t show off our grills. We wouldn’t be able to fill the area with delicious smells and captivate the hungry stomachs of those who pass by. No one is going to buy a grill if they can’t see how it works or taste some flavorful food grilled on it. It’s one thing to talk about how great something is; it’s quite another to let them smell, see and taste it.

With our power inverters, we can hook up normal deep-cycle batteries and have mobile power wherever we go. The power from our pure sine power inverters provide us with electricity that’s nearly identical to the electricity that comes out of electrical outlets. It’s easy as can be. We simply make sure our batteries have a full charge before we head out, then we set up our booth so we can plug right into the power inverters, which are converting power from the batteries. Because we like to have multiple grills spread out (so we can cook different dishes simultaneously for our audience), we elected to go with multiple power inverters; we bought two. Each of them pulls from it’s own battery bank. We could have ran a  larger bank of batteries with one power inverter with a higher capacity, but we decided against it in case we needed to do two separate shows on the same day. If that’s the case, we can both take one inverter.

If the show provides power, we simply leave the power inverters in the trailer. After all, if free power is available from the show, we’re going to us it!

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Inverter for Ice FIshing

Upgrade Your Ice Fishing Cabin, Use Quiet & Clean Power!

Power for Our Ice Fishing Cabin Without the Fumes and Noise

 “Winters in Minnesota may be frigid cold, but that doesn’t stop the fish from biting. Our ice-fishing cabin has been in our family for 35 years. Getting out there lets you get away from it all, which is incredible … as long as the cabin stays warm and the Minnesota Wild games play on the TV.”

-Matt S., Mahnomen, Minnesota

 

Our ice-fishing cabin is located on the west side of the Lake of the Woods, between Long Point—in the United States—and Buffalo Point—in Canada. During the summer the lake melts and we drag the cabin on “skis” back to dry land until the next deep freeze hits. My father and grandfather built the cabin 35 years ago and it remains in great shape. The insulation is top notch and the small upgrades we’ve made over the years continue to make it a more enjoyable getaway. We have a wood-block table for setting up a small stove to heat coffee, a few chairs that stack up out of the way if no one is using them and there’s even a small cot that folds down from one of the walls if you need to lie down.

 

For years everyone was content with listening to a battery-powered radio, talking, playing cards and having a couple drinks while we fished. However, the nonstop shivering made the experience less tolerable, especially if you wanted to stay more than a couple hours. My dad used a kerosene heater, which worked fine for a while, but it acted up quite a bit and the odor of kerosene keeps fish away (if you get it on your hands and then tie your bait on). When that heater finally blew its last flame, we looked into other options, namely electric heaters. Knowing we didn’t want a rattling, fume-y, gasoline-powered generator, we looked into battery power. It made complete sense to pull power from a deep-cycle battery that could perform in cold temperatures, and to do so all we needed was a power inverter, to convert the DC battery power into AC power for using various electronics, like space heaters and lights. We bought our power inverter from Inverters R Us, they had a ton of different options.

 

Since our inverter had plenty of power, I started bringing other electronic devices and more batteries with me when I’d visit the cabin. During hockey season, I now bring a small TV with a satellite dish and receiver so I can watch the Minnesota Wild games. These days, when I go out to the cabin with my son, we are warm, we have hockey, we can cook lunch on a hot plate and drink coffee and hot chocolate while we fish. So, as long as the fish are biting, we’re staying put. Plus, mom doesn’t really want us home unless we’re bringing a catch of walleye or sauger for frying.

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Boat Dock Inverter

Power Inverter Runs Boat Dock Lift, Fans & Lights!

After three years of building and going way over budget, our dream house on the marsh was finally finished. We had a wide open view of the inter-coastal waterway and constructed a shared walkway with our neighbor to our dock house with boat lift. Our walkway is 1400 feet in length.

Running water there was not difficult but electricity was another matter. The electrician said it would be over eight thousand dollars just run the electric to the dock. Connecting the lift motors and outlets was additional. We looked for another alternative. That’s when I came across Inverters R Us

We had two 12A 120 Volt motors to run a 10,000 lb lift in addition to any power tools ( we had to finish the screen porch) and lights.

I decided to purchase the Aims 5000 watt inverter, two lifeline GPL-8DL batteries and a air X marine wind generator. This was the only inverter I could find that could theoretically supply the over 30 Amp initial motor startup current by only using one plug tied to the motor control box. I was told that the four outlets could support up to 40 Amps either together or individually.

Well after a couple days of receiving my goodies in the mail we had it hooked up to try. To my surprise the lift motors started and ran just fine. I was able to raise and lower the lift about ten times before I received that irritating chirping telling me the voltage was too low in the batteries. As it turned out the limiting factor in my whole setup laid in the generating of power.

While there is always a breeze across the marsh, most of the time the amperage generated was between 2 to 4 . I finally added a 120W solar panel which significantly helped to recharge the batteries. We can now run lights and ceiling fan whenever we want at the dock area. It sure would be nice to run a tv or computer out there. To be safe we would need to use a true sine wave inverter for this equipment. Well maybe some day.

Rick McEwan

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Prius Power Inverter

Prius Owner Runs Power Inverter For Days After Storm!

Written by: Inverters R Us Customer, G.V.

I own a Toyota Prius. It has a 12-Volt battery, but it’s not under the hood; it’s in the passenger compartment, next to the spare tire. That makes it easy to permanently install an inverter next to the battery. It’s a bit tight, but you can fit a small inverter between the battery and the spare tire, and you can attach it to the body of the car with self-piercing metal screws after drilling small pilot holes in the body.

I did this for the first time several years ago with my first Prius. I replaced that car this past Summer with a new Prius and, soon after taking my new Prius home, I installed an inverter in it. The installation requires sawing away a piece of the styrofoam baskets that hold the tools. It felt a little strange taking a saw to my brand-new car, but it was for a good cause.

The Prius engine, as in most hybrid cars, does not idle in the conventional sense. The high-voltage traction battery powers the car under normal conditions without the engine running. The engine starts from time to time and runs for a few seconds, as needed to keep the traction battery charged. The engine in my Prius runs for only about thirty seconds every five minutes or so when it’s in “Park” with no accessories turned on.

The Prius has a 12-Volt electrical subsystem for compatibility with conventional cars. That way, it can use standard components such as light bulbs, windshield-wiper motor, etc. that are made for automotive use. However, unlike conventional cars, it does not have an alternator mechanically coupled to the engine for recharging the 12-Volt battery. Instead, there is a DC-DC converter that emulates the behavior of an alternator. Whenever the car system is “on” the DC-DC converter draws power from the traction battery to charge the 12-Volt battery; the voltage across the 12-Volt battery is kept at a constant 14.1 Volt when the car is “on”, as would be in a conventional car with the engine idling. In the Prius, this is so regardless of whether or not the engine is actually running.

I had to decide how big an inverter I could attach to the 12-Volt battery without overloading the 12-Volt system. In a conventional car, the 12-Volt battery has to be large enough to start the engine, and the alternator must be powerful enough to recharge that battery; but, in the Prius, the 12-Volt battery is much smaller because it does not have to start the engine. How much power can I safely draw without damaging the system? I approached the problem in two different ways. First, I located the circuit diagram for the Prius and I found that the 12-Volt system is protected by a 150A fuse. Certainly, I should not exceed (or even get close) to that limit. Second, I estimated how much current might be drawn, under normal conditions, by the car’s subsystems: headlights, audio system, rear-window heater, A/C fan, etc. If I don’t use any of those while I am using the inverter, that power is available for the inverter. I decided that I could probably draw nearly 1000W without trouble. This corresponds to a current of about 85A at 14V, assuming 85% for inverter efficiency.

I bought an 1100 watt inverter  for around $100, the price even included heavy-gauge wires!

As I mentioned, the inverter can be permanently installed in a Prius right next to the 12-Volt battery. This is good because the wires can be made very, very short: one wire is 6″ long and the other wire is 10″ long. With such short wires, the voltage that the inverter sees, even under heavy load, is virtually the same as the voltage across the battery; essentially, the inverter always gets a solid 14V when the car is turned on. This gives the inverter a good operating margin and makes it better able to handle surges with high efficiency. One thing to be careful about: one should remove the styrofoam baskets when operating the inverter to make sure that there is adequate air circulation for cooling.

I completed the installation this past Summer, shortly after buying my new Prius and… two weeks ago, on October 29, hurricane Sandy arrived (I live in NJ, near the coast). We were lucky not to suffer major damage, but we lost power, together with some six million of our neighbors.

When the lights went out, I had already set up my Prius in our detached garage, with a cable running from the inverter to our breaker box. All I had to do was to start the car, throw the transfer switch in the breaker box, turn on the inverter, and voila’ the lights were on. Well, to be honest, before getting to that point I had to turn off quite a few things in the house. After all, 1100W is not exactly a lot of power for an entire house; but in the following days we were able to have a relatively normal life with refrigerator, hot water, heat, lights, internet and television, all on 1100W!

We didn’t leave the house for over a week, but through our television we were able to see the incredible devastation that had swept our area. It was sobering and very sad to see how many people had lost so much. Our immediate neighborhood was lucky because no-one suffered major damage or injuries, but we were out of power for many days, and ours was the only house with lights on.

On the second day after the storm, we invited our neighbors over for dinner. People brought food that was spoiling in their refrigerator. Everybody was happy to meet their friends, enjoy some warmth, recharge cellphones, and watch TV. Most of our neighbors had not yet seen images of the storm’s damage. They were stunned.

After a couple of days of outage, some of our neighbors got generators. And then the gas shortage came. That’s when I realized that the Prius-with-inverter set-up had a major advantage over a generator that I had not envisioned: I had filled the Prius tank the day before the storm, and, by the time power was restored several days later, I still had almost half a tank of gas left. And I had kept the inverter on without interruption, 24 hours a day, through the entire power outage. My neighbors with generators were going through a five-gallon can of gasoline in less than a day!

The one inconvenience with my inverter was that, whenever I overloaded it, it turned itself off to avoid damage, and I had to manually reset it. This is normal behavior for an inverter, but it happened frequently, especially at the beginning as I figured out what loads it could and could not handle. We have a detached garage, which is good because I could leave the car turned on without fear of fumes entering the house; but resetting the inverter involved going from the house to the garage every time it happened. I had to do it many times during the height of the storm, and I confess that being outdoors at that time was rather terrifying.

So, when things went back to normal, I went on the inverters-r-us web site and I found, to my delight, that they sell inverters with a remote switch!! I quickly ordered one. I made sure that the size is small enough to fit in the space available in the Prius. Now, when the next storm comes, I will have power and I can trip the inverter as many times as I want without having to go out in the storm to reset it!

Click here to see some PSW inverters that will work with a Prius!

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CPAP Power Inverter

CPAP User Sleeps Easy Using A Power Inverter!

I’m no different than the others; MY inverter is a life saver…. The main thing I use my AIMS inverter, is to power my CPAP machine at night, (cpap is for sleep apnea) it is invaluable, we were unable to rough camp prior to buying an inverter, as I must have 110v to run it, and the whole idea of rough camping is the quiet and solitude, (running a generator is neither quiet nor by any means solitude).

This has free’d up my life, allowing us to go anyplace, and enjoy the great outdoors. During the day, our inverter is used for radio, and or TV, we have the best of both worlds!

I wish to thank you for making this possible, you have provided a venue that allows everyone to enjoy the uses of an inverter, by offering pure sine wave power inverters at a reasonable price, and with great quality too!

Now with the price of gas gone shy high, this allows us to use battery power, instead of firing up the genset, again, saving money and helping everyone enjoy the great outdoors!
One additional feature that we recently experienced was a power outage, for over 12hrs!

I was able to use my inverter, connected to a battery, and get my much needed beauty sleep (I’m 56yrs old, and my wife says I’m crazy, that nothing will ever help!).

Thanks!

L. Wxxxxxxx

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Inverter Powered Mobile Landscaping

Running a Mobile Landscape Business on Battery Power

“I’ve operated my own landscaping business for five years. During the summer two years ago a client asked if I ever thought about moving my business toward solar power—something I’d never considered … but it piqued my interest.”

-Craig V., Albuquerque, New Mexico

The more I thought about running a solar-powered landscaping business, the more I wanted to really do it. I can’t say there aren’t some discouraging obstacles in the way, most notably cost, as battery-powered power tools for landscaping typically run significantly more expensive. The other drawback is the loss of power. Sometimes the horsepower needed to complete a job can only come from gas-powered equipment. But, the more I started considering all the types of jobs my business provided, the more I identified as being possible with tools ran by man power, like shovels, hand trimmers and shears. Sure, it might take a little more effort and a little more time, but if it’s something my clients value, that’s what I want to stand for.

This year, I’ve taken big steps toward this solar vision by purchasing a panel of batteries and a power inverter. I’ve also sold many of my gas-powered tools and moved toward battery-powered options. We also invested in the nicest “man-power” hand tools as well. I’ve shared this vision with my clients and some of them are very encouraging, while some of them don’t seem to care as long as the job gets done correctly. I have received more referrals this year than any year prior, and they all mention how they value a company that’s taking efforts to reduce its “carbon footprint.”

Sure, I haven’t installed both of our trailers with solar panels, voltage regulators and sufficient battery backups, but that will happen in phases. For now, both of our trailers have more battery-powered or electric tools than gas-powered tools, which is a great start. I have battery setups that provide power that is converted through a power inverter. We plug in our electric tools and use heavy-duty extension cords to get the job done. A few of our clients have even volunteered their own home’s electricity while we work on their landscaping, which I didn’t see coming. It’s amazing that a number of our clients will now pay a little more for our services AND let us pull power from their homes while we work. I never saw that as possible. Plus, our savings in gasoline purchases alone has really cut down our overhead.

Moving to solar is a big investment, but I am really excited in the direction my small landscaping business is headed.

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Inverter For Beach

Freshly Blended Margaritas at the Beach? Yes Please.

“We spend a lot of time with our friends at the beach. Living within an hour’s drive of majestic Lake Tahoe means summer-long access to some of the most serene fresh-water beach landscapes in the country. We bought a small power inverter to run our radio and a few fans … then we remembered the blender.”

-Michelle G., Reno, Nevada

Summertime means lake days, and it has since high school. The blue waters of Lake Tahoe—although quite chilly year-round—have a magnetic way about them, as they seem to call at you on sunny days when you’re off work. I also have to admit I may have even called in “sick” to work a time or two when the Lake’s call was especially strong.

My boyfriend and I have been the heads of more than our fair share of lake adventures during our time together. We have a Facebook group of friends dedicated to lake outings. Of the 72 miles that make up the perimeter of the natural lake, we’ve explored, well, all 72. The variety of beaches is remarkable.

Having been to the Lake’s beaches as many times as we have, we’ve learned a thing or two about what makes the days at the beach all they can be. On one particular beach outing, we shared a small section of sand in an isolated cove with a family of six. The family hauled down quite the buffet and spread it out across two folding tables. What caught our attention was their series of George Forman Grills cooking up steak and shrimp sandwiches, which were delicious. In addition to the grills, the family also had a few cooling fans and a stereo plugged in. After talking with the dad of the group, we learned that he’d been bringing his power inverter and battery setup to the beach since his kids were babies. He plugs in the air pumps for their inner tubes and other float toys too. He showed us how simple the setup was to use and told us how he charged it back at the house. He carried it down in a tote bag, hooked it up and had immediate power to plug into.

After that day we were determined to get one for ourselves. We put it off for a while for some odd reason, but then were persuaded to make the investment (which was minimal) the day before we were heading out to a secluded beach for an overnight trip. On this trip we powered two fans during the day, but then also had a big light that we powered up at night. We also blew up the airbed in our tent with an electronic pump. Now we were on to something. Our setup was simple: a 500-watt power inverter and a small battery. We bought a regular car battery, but later found out it likely wouldn’t last long if we drained it all the way down and then recharged it over and over again. For that kind of abuse, a guy recommended a deep-cycle battery. However, our first battery still does the trick, even though we can tell it doesn’t hold as long of a charge any longer.

Staying cool with the fans and having light at night is nice, but you know the real kicker? Freshly blended drinks on a hot day. When we flip on the blender we become the life of the beach.

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Power Outage Inverter

The Cost of NOT Having Backup Power

“My husband and I can live through a power outage just fine, but the food in our refrigerator and freezer can’t. We are now prepared for the next one”

-Natalie S., Arlington, Texas

Because it’s only my husband and me living in our home, power outages don’t drive us all that crazy. It’s not as if we have small children or technology-addicted teenagers or aquariums. We can survive just fine without power, and have on multiple occasions. However, there’s an expense we never considered until late last summer: The cost of having to replace everything that spoils in the refrigerator.

The summer was going along quite smoothly, although it was HOT—even hotter than usual. Then, in the middle of August we got hit with a series of thunderstorms, which is quite common for our location in Texas. The summer had mostly been a drought and then the heavy storms came. Because of the dry weather that preceded the storms, flooding broke out all over town. When a particularly windy thunderstorm struck, our power was knocked out after a frenzy of lightning. Because of the flooding, there was quite a bit of damage throughout the area and it took a few days for the electric company to restore our power, as it just so happened our neighborhood was among the first to lose power and the last to regain it. In total, we were out of power for a little more than 80 hours.

In that amount of time—and with the high heat we were experiencing—everything in our refrigerator spoiled and nearly everything in our freezer thawed. After trying to salvage some questionable condiments, like mayonnaise, we decided to be safe and throw everything out. Before the power came back on, we purchased some bags of ice to keep frozen meat cold in a cooler, but the ice all melted and the meat became waterlogged.

When all was said and done, we were left with an empty, and smelly, refrigerator—not to mention a messy freezer with puddles of melted ice cream. Not only did we feel awful throwing all that food out, but we had to also “eat” the replacement costs to restock the refrigerator. In our estimation, we were out close to $350 of meat, vegetables, dairy, desserts and frozen fish. When you add in our grocery store bill of $225 to restock, we were looking at a total expense of $575 after that costly power outage. Therefore, we decided that even having to replace one refrigerator full of food after an extended power outage could make an investment into backup power well worth it.

A Good Power Inverter to Keep Your Goods from Spoiling
After cutting our losses from the damage last year’s power outage caused in our refrigerator, we talked with our neighbors, who had invested in backup power the year prior because of their young children. They told us about an inexpensive power inverter and battery setup they had purchased for use during times when they’re left in the dark. They had a 1,000-watt power inverter with enough battery supply that they plugged in their refrigerator, lights and even let their kids plug in their electronics when the power stayed off for prolonged periods. We loved the idea and once we looked into it, we figured it was a relatively small investment (we spent about $200), especially when compared to the $575 hit we took last year after one long patch of powerlessness.

We haven’t been without power since, but now we feel much better that we are prepared. We’ve plugged our refrigerator into the power inverter, along with some other appliances, and we’re confident that it’ll keep us from being vulnerable during the next power outage.

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Aims PWRINV300012120W

August Power Inverter Giveaway

Another month, another FREE power inverter giveaway!  This month, you guys are in for a treat!  Aims has just released a new 3000 watt, 12 Volt, modified sine wave inverter to replace one of it’s all time best sellers.  The latest model (PWRINV300012120W), is ETL Listed to UL458 Standards and CSA Standard C22.2 No. 107.1-01 Canada, so you know it’s built right.  This inverter can be hard-wired through it’s AC terminal block located on the front of the inverter, or plugged directly into via its dual GFCI outlet.  The PWRINV300012120W has all the standard protection bells & whistles you’ve come to expect from Aims and has a 90% efficiency. You can view all of it’s specs HERE.

We’ll be drawing the winner’s name on 8/19/2016, just in time for Burning Man 🙂   Enjoy & good luck!

 

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