View Full Version : New inverter batteries or portable generator?

04-27-2015, 01:10 PM
In the Spring of 2012, I forked over $1k for 8 new AGM batteries. I conserve juice as much as possible at night, but the dumb things go from full charge at bed time (~10PM) to dead by around 6:30AM. Now the batteries seem to be doing worse and I'm wondering what I should do this year. Most of the folks on my dock remedy this problem instead by installing a portable generator / inverter, like a Honda 3K watt. Instead of 1.25 gallons of gas per hour with my 12.5KW Westerbeke, the Honda can run for 4 hours on a single gallon! I only aim to keep my 110V going and know that I won't be able to run the AC / Stove / etc b/c they're 220.

Let's all assume I'm not completely ignorant about the emissions hazards of the portable generator. It will be placed on my swim platform on the back of my pontoon houseboat with lots of air movement around it. In fact, all my neighbors have large fans blowing the emissions further off boat as well.

How could I go about hooking this thing up to my electrical system, if I should decide to get one? The guy across from me tells me I just get a male-to-male plug and simply plug the portable generator into an outlet on the back porch. Another option would be to hard wire into the control panel, but this would be much more difficult.

How would either of these methods affect my house Xantrex inverter, which automatically begins charging the batteries once it senses current?

Thanks for the feedback.

04-27-2015, 02:09 PM
Will be keeping up with this. I have the same question(s). thinking of going with a combo but like you going to shed the big generator for sure. Nothing but trouble out of those and the little Honda just runs and runs. Thinking of keeping the inverter/batteries because of the noise of a generator.

04-28-2015, 04:54 AM
What type of amp hours did you have? Are they 6 or 12 volts? I had a much smaller boat with less household appliances but my battery bank of 8 6 volts was able to handle 3-4 full days of fairly heavy drawdown.

04-28-2015, 05:34 AM
This is all based on my experience - your mileage may vary.

First - AGM batteries want to be discharged, then FULLY charged. If you were discharging them and not fully charging them before the next discharge, then you will not get a decent life out of them. If you want to stay with your inverter, then I suggest 6 volt golf cart batteries. Yes, they are lead acid and you have to check the water level 3-4 times a year, but they will take a beating and keep on working. I have 12 6 volt golf cart batteries wired in pairs to make 12 volt batteries, then all the 12 volt batteries are wired as one big bank. Like JTAlberts, I can power my normal 12 volt and 120 volt loads for several days.

Second - if you want to go the Honda route, then I would not back feed it through a plug like your dock neighbor told you. I would get the correct adapter and plug it into your shore power receptacles. If you are worried about your Xantrex inverter/charger, then simply turn it off at its control panel.

That being said, I do not understand people having trouble with their generators. I have a 15 kva Westerbeke with 1600 hours. Give it decent gas, change the gas filter, oil filters, oil, and impellers and most importantly run it like it was meant to be run and it will be good for thousands of hours of service. I can buy a lot of gas for what you are going to pay for your Honda generator.

04-28-2015, 06:50 AM
I could buy a Ryobi 2,200 from a friend for only $400, but I don't suspect it would be enough to power all my 110 stuff. I could get a brand new Yamaha 3200 for $1,700, but that's more than I want to spend on all this. Am thinking of just biting the bullet and buying 8 new batteries and running the gennie more. My Westerbeke only has 350 hours on it anyway. I run it regularly during the season, but I just don't let it run all day / night long.

04-28-2015, 09:26 AM
If you do batteries, go to 6 volt golf cart batteries. I got mine at Sams. They take a ton of abuse and keep working. If you are concerned about how to wire them, look at some of the solar power sites. You will get more information than you can absorb. AGMs are neat technology, but are finicky. Discharging without fully recharging kills them.

04-28-2015, 10:34 AM
It sounds like your power difficulty is during the night. A generator may not do much good then. I have a Honda EU3000is on my boat. At 49 to 58 dB(A), it is the quietest generator Honda makes and there's no way I would even consider running it all night. A lake is a pretty quiet place where sound travels far and even a quiet generator would be more noise than I would want to inflict on myself and my crew. I would also never want to be "that guy" at the lake. Maybe your lake is different than mine, but at my lake a common joke is that running your generator or loud music at night tends to cause vibrations that will make your drain plugs fall out in the middle of the night.

If you are like most boat owners and want to rely on batteries at night, here are some things that will help you get a better lifespan out of them. Buying batteries is just buying a given number of "cycles." A cycle is just going from full charge to discharge and back to full charge. How many cycles you get is a function of how deeply you discharge your battery bank with each cycle. Here is a chart from one AGM manufacturer:

http://i1137.photobucket.com/albums/n511/endurance12/dod_zpsh0dxrkmz.gif (http://s1137.photobucket.com/user/endurance12/media/dod_zpsh0dxrkmz.gif.html)

This chart would predict that if you're taking your batteries to dead each cycle, you'll get about about 500 cycles. If you can discharge 30% and leave 70% in your batteries each cycle, you would get over 2000 cycles, which quadruples the life of your batteries. You might want to up the size of your battery bank so that your discharge cycles aren't so deep.

If you're like me on my first set of batteries, your answer to how much charge percentage you're leaving in your batteries each cycle is, "What? How would I know that?"

After I killed my first $1,000 set of batteries, I began to see what a bargain it was to spend a hundred or even $300 on a good battery meter. I bought a Blue Sea Systems VSM, but a lot of people swear by a Bogart Trimetric. Meters like this mount permanently on your wall or on an instrument panel. Either one will give you an instant readout of percentage of charge left in your battery bank. It is good to check each morning to see how much you pulled out of your batteries over the night. It is also good to know you are at 100% before you start the night's discharge. As East TN said, that is important.

Battery balance is another key to a long life. If you have eight 12v batteries, it would be all but impossible to keep them in balance because you have so many parallel connections. Even if you have eight 6v batteries, you want to make sure you pull power from two corners of your battery bank rather than from the same end. Here is what wiring would look like for eight 6v batteries wired to work as a 12v battery bank:

http://i1137.photobucket.com/albums/n511/endurance12/battery-bank2.jpg (http://s1137.photobucket.com/user/endurance12/media/battery-bank2.jpg.html)

You will notice the positive lead in the upper left corner of the picture and the negative lead in the lower right corner of the picture. If you already have golf cart batteries and want to up the size of your bank, you could do that by buying something like L-16 batteries. Six L-16 batteries have about the same storage capacity as twelve golf cart batteries. That's what I did on my boat:

http://i1137.photobucket.com/albums/n511/endurance12/Solace%20Batteries_zpsuhaibhnq.jpg (http://s1137.photobucket.com/user/endurance12/media/Solace%20Batteries_zpsuhaibhnq.jpg.html)

Just like the eight battery bank, the leads come off the corners of the bank. My inverter runs a 120v residential side by side fridge all night. I usually have about 80% charge left when the sun comes up in the morning and my solar panels can start making power.

One final thing you might consider is adding solar panels instead of another generator. Generators do a great job of dumping a lot of amps into a battery bank when the battery bank is low and can take a lot of amps. On a three-stage charger, that's called "bulk charging." But as a battery bank fills, it moves to "acceptance charging" and "float charging." During acceptance and float charging, a generator is still using fuel and making noise like it's doing a lot of good, but it's not because the batteries can take little more than a trickle as they near full charge. At the risk of making a bad pun, that's where solar panels shine.

04-28-2015, 03:02 PM
All good advice. I also might add, did you make sure the charger you are using is designed for AGM batteries? AGMs as someone said are finicky especially about how they are charged. They are temperature and voltage sensitive. Too low a voltage and they will never fully charge, too high a voltage and it will slowly destroy your batteries. If the battery gets too hot it will also boil off the gel and wreck them.

A portable generator on yur boat is a bad idea. Unfortunately it has become popular and is a disaster waiting to happen. Especially if you do as your friend advised and backfeed into the system. That's an electrocution waiting for a victim. If you are going to do it, do it right. There are valid reasons why on board generators are required to meet US Coast Guard rules for fuel and electrical standards. Those portables do not meet those rules. See http://newboatbuilders.com/docs/portable.pdf Portables? Pro and Con.

If you are having problems now with batteries overnight, running AC appliances off an inverter will just make it worse. AC equipment draws far more Amps than DC. Running you AC fridge off your batteries can kill your batteries in a few hours.

PS if you do go the Portable route, as easttnbbboater said get a shore tie connection, and plug it into the shore power plug. Then it will be properly grounded, there will be no back feed and your inverter will automatically sense current and charge your batteries.

04-28-2015, 07:51 PM
No matter what you decide DO NOT back feed thru an outlet. This is beyond dangerous. If something bad happened you could be sued with no recourse.

04-29-2015, 07:06 AM
I have a Xantrex Inverter with multistage charger and it allows for several types of batteries, including AGMs. My biggest complaint is that it does not have an instant voltage meter. It has an auto cutoff feature that shuts down the inverter at X amount of charge. Can't remember off the top of my head, but several people told me that it's set properly. Maybe I'll ask my battery guy about the golf cart batteries this time. I can say that when out on the water, I might not have charged them fully when the inverter shut down. I typically did, but I would shut the generator back off once it went from BULK charge, to medium (can't remember what it's called) charge, and then finally FLOAT charge (it's full). I'd shut it down at the medium charge point b/c it can take a while for the batteries to go from ~90% to 100%.

When I bought these 8 - AGMs in 2012, I spent $1K and had custom 4 gauge connectors built. That would put me at $125 a battery. What could I expect to spend for the golf cart batteries? What voltage should I look into?

04-29-2015, 08:03 AM
I have a Xantrex Inverter with multistage charger and it allows for several types of batteries, including AGMs. My biggest complaint is that it does not have an instant voltage meter. It has an auto cutoff feature that shuts down the inverter at X amount of charge. Can't remember off the top of my head, but several people told me that it's set properly. Maybe I'll ask my battery guy about the golf cart batteries this time. I can say that when out on the water, I might not have charged them fully when the inverter shut down. I typically did, but I would shut the generator back off once it went from BULK charge, to medium (can't remember what it's called) charge, and then finally FLOAT charge (it's full). I'd shut it down at the medium charge point b/c it can take a while for the batteries to go from ~90% to 100%.

When I bought these 8 - AGMs in 2012, I spent $1K and had custom 4 gauge connectors built. That would put me at $125 a battery. What could I expect to spend for the golf cart batteries? What voltage should I look into?

I bought 8 - 6 volt batteries from Sam's. I believe they ran about $85. I wired them in parallel and series. You basically make a 12 volt battery with a pair of 6 volts and then you tie all the pairs together. You have to buy an even number. Endurance has great info in the post above.

With my 8 bank of batteries I was able to run 2 mini refrigerators and 2 industrial fans for about 3 full days.

04-29-2015, 08:52 AM
Some years ago I attempted to charge my batteries by plugging my Honda into the shore outlet. It went fine for a while as the charger was in "bulk" mode. However as the batteries started coming up to full charge the charger went to switching on and off (normal for that charger). The sound of the little generator going from full power to no-load and back again (and again, and again) was maddening. That's when I went to Solar.

04-29-2015, 10:57 AM
What voltage should I look into?

The short answer is that you will probably find 6v batteries to be best for your situation. If you're interested in the reasons why, read on.

The way you measure the storage capacity of a battery or bank of batteries is in Amp hours (usually abbreviated Ah). To get Ah, you just multiply the Amp draw on your battery bank by the number of hours you're pulling from your battery bank. Let's say that you are drawing 30 Amps from your battery over a 10 hour night. That would be 30 Amps x 10 hours = 300 Ah.

In addition to the number of Ah a battery has, it matters at what voltage you get your Ah. Two batteries might have the same Ah, but if one of them gives its Ah at twice the voltage, it is storing twice the energy because of the higher voltage.

The way you get different Ah and volts out of a battery bank is by making parallel and series connections. A parallel connection looks like this:
You will notice that the positive terminals are hooked together and the negative terminals are hooked together. When you make a parallel connection, you add the Ah of the batteries you are combining but the voltage stays the same. If the two batteries in the picture are 100Ah 12v batteries, the parallel connection will give you 200 Ah at 12v. You can make many parallel connections to increase the Ah capacity of a battery bank by combining a lot of batteries.

A series connection looks like this:
Here, the positive terminal on one battery is hooked to the negative terminal on the battery next to it and the cables going to the load attach to the two terminals that are left over. When you make a series connection, you add the voltages of the batteries you are combining but the Ah stays the same. If the two batteries in the picture are 200 Ah 6v batteries, the series connection will give you 200 Ah at 12v. You can make a lot of series connections to get higher and higher voltages.

Usually, battery banks have both parallel and series connections. That looks like this:
Just as you would expect, you have a couple of series connections and a couple of parallel connections. If the batteries in the picture are 200Ah 6v batteries, the series/parallel wiring shown would give you 400Ah at 12v. You might also describe this bank as two parallel strings of two batteries. The more series connections you make, the higher the voltage; the more parallel connections you make, the higher the Ah.

Parallel connections and series connections are not equal in how they affect battery life. For good battery life, series connections are good; parallel connections are bad. The reason is that series connections force the current to flow through multiple batteries, which keeps them in balance. With parallel connections, the electricity follows the path of least resistance. That makes some of the batteries do more of their share of the work while others do less. The batteries that have the positive and negative leads attached to them work the hardest and the ones that just have jumper wires attached to them work the least. That's why it's best to connect the cables going to your loads to opposite ends of your battery bank so you spread the work out among the batteries as much as you can.

Given this background, let's say we are making an 800 Ah battery bank and that the bank is going to operate at 12 volts. You could do that with 12 volt batteries, 6 volt batteries, or 2 volt batteries.

If you had 100 Ah 12 v batteries (a pretty typical size for group 27 batteries), you would buy eight of them and wire them all in parallel. That would give you 800 Ah because 100Ah x 8 is 800Ah.

If you had 200 Ah 6v batteries (a pretty typical size for golf cart batteries) you would buy eight of them and make four strings of two batteries each. Each set of two in series would make 200Ah at 12v because 6v x 2 is 12v. You would have four sets of these. That would give you 800 Ah because 200 Ah x 4 is 800 Ah.

If you had 800 Ah 2v batteries (there is no typical for 2v batteries) you would buy six of them and hook them all in series. That would give you 800 Ah at 12v because 2v x 6 is 12v.

Since series connections are good and parallel connections are bad, the battery bank with 2v batteries is the best and will last the longest. The bank with 6v batteries is second best and will last the second longest. The one with 12v batteries is a poor design and will have the shortest life of the three. If for some reason you get a good deal on 12v batteries or otherwise need a bunch of parallel connections, there is one way to make those connections with a bus bar system and a lot of fuses. But that is a discussion for another day.

Armed with this knowledge, you would then go out battery shopping. Thanks to the solar industry, 2v batteries are getting more common and cheaper. But you will probably still find them harder to find compared to 12v and 6v batteries and still pretty expensive. Since you will probably pay about the same for eight group 27 12v batteries as you would for eight 6v golf cart batteries, you will wisely steer clear of the 12 v batteries and buy the 6v ones. I hope the day comes when 2v batteries get cost effective. But until that day comes, I am confident that you will find 6v batteries to be your best bet.

04-29-2015, 11:05 AM
Never really thought of solar panels for my boat...now I am asking myself why? I have an aluminum flat cover over the back. It gets sunlight from mid day to dark in the summer. Inverter sounding more like the way to go!

04-29-2015, 01:01 PM
Great post. Thanks.

04-29-2015, 06:45 PM
There are 2 major types of batteries. The typical battery we think of most is a starting battery. These are made to give high amounts of current for a short amount of time. The second type is the Deep Cycle battery. They are designed to store large amounts of energy and disperse it over long periods of time. Construction of these batteries is robust, The plates are thicker and they last a long time in their intended service. They are used in Golf Carts, industrial machinery, bulk storage in solar power installations etc. They are ideal for your boat house bank. Life, if properly maintained can be 5 years of more. The "flooded" type. 100 AH 12 volt typically weighs 60 pounds 150 AH weighs 80. A 3rd type currently popular is the MDC - Marine Deep Cycle. These are popular as a starting and house battery bank service in many boats. These are a "price point" product that gives adequate service in many installations but are not the optimum for bulk storage. Typical life is 3 years.

If you have the space and don't mind the maintenance of flooded batteries the Golf Cart Deep Cycle batteries are the best for bulk storage. The Trojan T1275 is a 150AH 12 volt battery in a size 31 case and weighs 80 pounds. East Penn DEKA has equal models. Series parallel 6 volt units are also a good setup just a little more involved wiring wise. The QUALITY flooded batteries from Trojan And East Penn give the most bang for the buck over time. They do require maintenance but will normally give 5+ years of service. Flooded batteries are the most rugged and tolerant batteries you can buy and will stand the most abuse. In most cases the best "Bang for the Buck" overall.

If you want less maintenance AGM and GEL's are sealed so there is no water make up. HOWEVER connections have to be inspected periodically and the proper charger and charging protocols are MANDATORY. A proper system using these batteries will, in most cases, last longer than your ownership of the boat. First cost is the downer. Most existing chargers don't have a charging algorithm for GEL's or AGM's and will have to be changed out in addition to the high cost of the batteries. Many of these batteries have failed prematurely because of the wrong charger or settings. (charge cycles are milder. Flooded batteries need to gas a little bit to stir the fluid and prevent stratification. In AGM and GEL high charging rates dry them out and shorten the life)

04-30-2015, 05:36 AM
I bought mine at Sam's - they were in the $85 dollar range.

04-30-2015, 09:37 AM
Taking all you've said about your boat, here is a suggestion for what it's worth. If an eight battery bank is sufficient for your needs, you could go to Sam's and buy eight of the golf cart batteries like East TN bought. You would wire them exactly like the photo in my first post. Yes, you have to put distilled water in them once in a while but you strike me as someone who stays on top of things like that. Next, buy a Bogart Trimetric meter. As the name suggests, it is metering three things. One is state of charge in a percentage, second is how many amps you're putting into your bank when you're charging or taking out when you're discharging, and the third is the instant voltage readout you've been looking for. Next purchase is a solar charge controller like a Morningstar Tri-Star MPPT 45 and about 700 to 800 watts of solar panels. These are higher voltage panels that you would usually buy for less than $1 per watt. The higher voltage is good because the MPPT controller converts that down to the 12 volts (nominal) that your batteries need. From the picture in your avatar, it looks like you have plenty of space on your shade top for something like three 250 watt panels.

The best part of this is how the different parts of this charging system would integrate. You would get up each morning and check your Trimetric meter to see how much power you used in the night. Let's say that you find yourself at 50%. You then fire up your Westerbeke generator. Yes, it uses a fair amount of gas and makes a some noise, but that's not that big a concern because it's breakfast time and you wanted to run your coffeemaker and electric griddle anyway. Besides, you're only going to run it an hour or two and because your batteries are at their low point of the day, they can take some good bulk charging. I don't mind putting gas in and listening to a generator if I'm getting a good bulk charge out of it. About the time your charger switches to acceptance charging, you turn off your generator and enjoy the quiet. The solar controller and panels I mentioned are capable of providing a 45 Amp charge, but if it is a little overcast and you are only getting 20 Amps, that's fine because the solar system literally has the rest of the day to take your batteries through acceptance and float charging. Your generator is doing what it does best -- big time charging done quickly when your batteries can take a lot of Amps. Your solar panels are doing what they do best -- slow sustained charging at a time when your batteries want slower sustained charging.

At some point in the afternoon, you check your Trimetric meter and see that you're at full charge or near to it. Maybe you run your generator a bit at dinner time but that would be just to run a stove since your batteries are sitting well between 95% and 100% charge. You then go to bed and enjoy the quiet of the night and the good feeling that comes from knowing you will still have your electrical system working and reasonably charged in the morning when you awake.

Here is a cost breakdown (I rounded odd numbers upward):

Eight Sam's Club batteries: $700
Bogart Trimetric Meter: $150
Morningstar TS-MPPT-45 Solar Charge Controller: $400
Three 250 Watt Solar Panels: $750

Total Cost is $2,000. By an odd coincidence, that's what a Honda eu3000is generator costs. You would have some wire and maybe a few breakers to buy, but you would have to buy some of that kind of equipment anyway if you safely wired the portable generator. I think you'll be more happy with the solar panels with new golf cart batteries than you would with a portable generator and your old batteries. There are getting to be some good solar suppliers out there. My favorite is Northern Arizona Wind and Sun.

Again, just a suggestion. There are several ways to improve things for this season and this is just one of them.

04-30-2015, 11:03 AM
Wow! That's a lot of info to digest! Getting the solar power from the panels down to the batteries would require some wires to be run between the 2 and I have no idea how to tastefully get that done. This is a LOT of stuff to think over.

Isn't degassing on the golf cart batteries a concern? They sit under my master bed in a compartment that has a Coke-can-sized vent hole in the floor. I seem to remember the gasses from the unsealed batteries being a concern when I was buying batteries the last time. I was told to go with AGMs for this reason. Unfortunately, my pontoon houseboat has no other storage location available for the batteries. I have other items stored under the bed as well, so there's plenty of room for even more batteries, but I need the storage at this time.

A dock friend of mine owns a battery distribution company, so I'll talk to him the next chance I get and get some pricing for the different battery types.

Thanks for your help and advice guys! I love this site!!

04-30-2015, 12:04 PM
If your batteries are inside your cabin, AGMs are a must. Flooded lead acid batteries inside would be about as unsafe as a generator wired into an outlet with two male plugs. AGMs will cost more. On the bright side, you won't ever have to check water in the AGMs.

Thankfully, golf cart sized batteries (usually GC2s) come in AGM as well as flooded lead acid. If you're working with a battery distributor anyway, you might want to price L-16 size batteries as well as GC2 size. One L-16 will about equal two GC2s. If the total dollar cost is even close and you have room for the L-16 size, I would go with the L-16s because that would cut your number of jump wires in half. That is easier to wire and will result in better battery bank balance compared to twice the number of GC2 size.

Speaking of jump wires, did you mean it when you said that your jump wires are 4 gauge? Unless you have an inverter around 500 watts or have a bus bar system, that's too small. To keep batteries healthy, jump wires need to be the same size as the main cables that feed your inverter. Even a 1000 watt inverter five feet away from the batteries would need 2 gauge. If your inverter is larger or farther away than that, you would need to go bigger like 0, 00, or even 0000. I am wondering if you meant that you have 0000 jumpers. Most people pronounce 0000 as "four aught," which would be pretty easy to confuse with 4 gauge.

04-30-2015, 05:15 PM
this is all way to much to absorb.i love my generator!

05-01-2015, 05:06 AM
Little high now..ok alot high for our needs but the Powerwall is maintenance free and warrantied for 10 years. Soon to be out.
Solar will more than likely be the power of choice for many homes as the cost of using it comes down and the ease goes up.

05-03-2015, 02:27 PM
Something to remember about AGM and Gel Batteries; they are called Sealed Valve Regulated. They are advertised as sealed and not subject to outgassing. This is true to a point. The point is if they get too hot or are overcharged, outgassing will happen if you do not follow the strict charging protocols. They have a small valve in each cell that will open and release gas if they overheat or are overcharged because the pressure builds up inside the battery and must be reduced. The moral. They must also be in a vented space. The vent doesn't have to be very large. Hydrogen gas disperses very rapidly, faster than it took to write this. The USCG, ABYC, ISO and other rules all require AGMs and Gel Cell to be in a ventilated space, the same as conventional Lead Acid Batteries. There have been some spectacular explosions when this was not followed. Putting them under your bed is ok if the space has a vent, above the top of the batteries. Even so I don't advise smoking in bed.

07-02-2015, 10:58 PM
In my opinion honda generator 3000 (http://www.aapowersales.com/Honda-EU3000is-p/eu3000is.htm) is the best portable generator available in market. I just compared all features of this generator with numerous brands and found this one as the most reliable among all.

07-13-2015, 03:14 AM
Generator is a device that converts mechanical energy provided by the engine into electricity. It requires a fuel source such as kerosene, diesel, or petroleum to run this engine. Generators come in all shapes and sizes and their capacities also range from a mere 500W to many kilowatts so one can run all appliances at home with the help of a generator.

An inverter is a device that makes use of the electricity that is being supplied to your home by converting it into DC to charge a battery that is supplied along with the device in the case of a power outage, the same battery becomes a power source and the DC electricity from it is converted in AC before supplying it to household appliances.

A battery can change chemical energy to electricity by putting certain chemicals in contact with each other in a specific way. Electrons, which are small parts of an atoms, will travel from one kind of chemical to another under the right circumstances. When electrons flow, this makes an electrical current that can power something. What a battery does is put the right chemicals in the right relationships, and then puts a wall between them. Only when the two sides of a battery are connected by a wire or another conductor can the electrons flow.

Difference between Generator and Inverter

• There is literally no time gap in the onset of power, once there is a power outage, in case of inverter, whereas starting a generator takes considerable time.

• Inverters are soundless, whereas even silent generators make a lot of noise.

• Generators require a power source (kerosene, diesel or petroleum) to run, whereas an inverter charges the battery with the electricity itself.

• Generators require effort to start, whereas invertors start on their own, once power is gone.

• Generators are available in high capacities, whereas inverters are available in lower capacities.

• Inverters require installation and wiring, whereas one can start generator right out of the box.

• Generators prove advantageous in places with long power cuts, whereas inverters are more convenient in places with short power cuts.

Buying inverter batteries is a tiring and time consuming task. This is so because of the fact that you have to compare several batteries and several stores before finalizing the right one. This results in wastage of time and additional costs (in going to the store). Most of us live a very busy life these days and finding time for tasks like these is very difficult. Generator Batteries are charged for long periods and deliver high cranking power (starting current). Most of the Generator Batteries are manufactured as sealed and maintenance-free.

07-13-2015, 05:20 AM
Spam but actually a decent read!

07-13-2015, 07:13 AM
Fixed it.

Spam but actually a decent read!

07-13-2015, 07:25 PM
Lol. Isn't it funny how you can get all those tips your really not asking for,

04-24-2017, 07:25 PM
Where did you get your massive battery cables? Our 8 six volt battery bank is set up with a 300 amp 12 volt fuse. I like the color coding. Our present setup uses a copper contact bar that is 1" x 1/8 - 3/16 " thick. I think our inverter connections are 6 - 0 but might be 5 - 0. What vendor did you use? Would love to chat with you some time. Are you based out of Page or Bullfrog???

04-26-2017, 02:25 PM
I live in Salt Lake City and haven't found a good local supplier for tinned copper cables. I had Greg's Marine Wire Supply make up all my wires for my latest battery install. https://gregsmarinewiresupply.com/ Another good suppler is Genuinedealz https://www.genuinedealz.com/. Greg's usually has a better price, but charges more for shipping. I usually shop both for a given order.

My boat is generally at Bullfrog but is on dry land at Offshore Marina right now. With mussels as they are now days, I might have to pull the boat every winter. :(

05-02-2017, 03:42 PM
Thanks for the links to your cable vendors. Our houseboat is also at Bullfrog Marina. Heading down in a few weeks to drop off the runabout at OSM and change out our inverter battery bank. Will be tweaking the inverter/charger float charge settings You suggestested as well.

Sad to think of having to pull the houseboat every season. We have a great covered slip location with easy access and for the most part mostly reasonable neighbors. There were no mussels on the hull when I left her in October. Did you haul yours last fall for the winter or just recently? How'd the hull look?