Advice on Selecting an Inverter/Charger?
Can you provide guidance on how to best choose an inverter and charger for my Beneteau Oceanis 400? What should I consider?
Choosing an inverter and charger is very boater specific. Basically the choice you make depends on many factors, including your boat size, your boating habits, and your budget to name a few. Without more specific info we’ll provide you with some general principles on how we advise our own clients on selecting an inverter/charger best suited to their needs:
- Find out the wattage of the AC loads you want to run on the inverter. For instance, do you want to run a laptop, a microwave, a bread-maker, or even a hair dryer while away from the dock? You will also want to add a margin of error to your wattage calculation. AC loads differ in their wattage and will ultimately influence the size (measured in watts) of the inverter you’ll choose.
- What type of loads are you planning to use? Some loads like bread-makers, blenders, and even DVD players are susceptible to modified (i.e. square) sine wave as opposed to a pure sine wave that you get in your home. If you are replacing an existing pure sine wave inverter, it would be best to make sure your new inverter is a pure sine wave inverter also. The only reason to choose a modified sine wave inverter is their reduced price.
- How quickly do you want to re-charge your batteries while connected to an AC source (e.g. how long will you be connected to shore power or how long do you want to run you generator)?
- Another limiting factor is your battery capacity. Battery loads and charging are limited by both your battery capacity (i.e. amp-hours) and the type of battery you have (i.e. gel, flooded, or AGM).
All these factors help us advise our clients on the best type of inverters/chargers for their needs. Our most popular models with our clients are the Magnum: MS 2000W & MS 2800W True Sine Wave inverter/charger.