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Will a wagen 10000 watt invertor with 6 6 volt 240amp hour batts run my 2004 motorhome entertainement center (2 TV plus sat. and 2 air cond. generally speaking. The air cond. pull 3000 watts at start then level at 1400 watts and the ent. center alot less. Please advise

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Hi Pilot,

Yes, your inverter will power your air conditioner(s). But, take a look at the math below, and you will see that it won't be practical, bordering on futile.

This will be based on that your batteries are connected as 3 parallel pairs of series connected batteries. In other words, 3 12volt sources in parallel, with a total capacity of 585AH (Derated from 20AH rate to 5AH rate due to size of load per trojan literature). Your inverter is likely Wagan Model 2483, 12volt (actually 10-15volt input tolerance) input, with a 20,000 watt surge. Nominal voltages will be used as reference, actual voltages will vary from 10 (on low side for depleted battery bank) to 15 (battery bank fresh off charger) volts DC.

For a single air conditioner, it will demand 1400 watts to run, which at 120v translates to (1400/120) 11.7 Amps which is 117 Amps at 12volts (nominal). Since the inverter is 90% efficient, add another 10% for inverter loss (117 Amps + 10%) and you have a RUNNING current draw of 129 Amps. Startup current draw (though momentary for a couple of seconds) will be 3 times this amount, for a current draw of 387 Amps @ 12volts DC. For a single air conditioner. You will be trying to run 2 of them at the same time, unless you have an energy management system installed that cycles the air conditioner units back and forth, but not at same time. For 2 Units (simultaneous), your current draw from the batteries will be (Running) 258 Amps. Startup current draw will be a whopping 519 Amps. You are looking at some serious battery cables here. 4/0 Guage cable is only rated for 300 Amps, the connections themselves will be critical due to voltage drop at each connection. Plan on upgrading the wiring to DUAL runs of 4/0 welding cable to accommodate the enormous startup loads.

Since you specified 6v 240AH batteries, you probably have Trojan T-125 batteries installed. These have a capacity stated for 132 minutes at a 75 amp load. Multiply that times 3, and you have 132 minutes at a 225 amp load. Based on this published capacity, you will be able to run a both air conditioners for about *2* hours before the battery bank is depleted, assuming that the batteries are in perfect condition.

The televisions and satellite TVs are not going to be a factor here, since their power consumption is going to be trivial compared to that of the air conditioner(s). Yes, they will (slightly) decrease the amount of time that you have to operate with, but the air conditioners will be the biggest factors.

As you can see, your inverter and batteries will power what you want, but not for very long. If 2 hours is acceptable, then upgrade the battery interconnect cables (dual 4/0) and inverter power cables (again, dual 4/0), and it will work. This is considered to be extreme duty as far as the batteries are concerned. They likely will not last very long since they are being drawn down to 20% of capacity. You would be much better off using your generator to power everything. Also, the inverter that you are using is a modified sine waveform type of inverter. The air conditioners *will* run off of it, but they will be noisier, and current draw will increase a bit above what is stamped on the name plate. I am not able to account for the additional current draw as it depends heavily on the exact type of waveform (mod. sine straight, or mod. sine stepped). Also note that current demands from the batteries will start at their lowest level at 15vdc, and steadily increase until the battery bank hits 10vdc. In other words, the current calculations will start at 25% lower (battery bank fully charged), and increase to 20% higher (battery bank near being depleted). Running this high of a load on such a small battery bank will result in premature failure of the batteries.

Again, yes, your system (if wired properly) will run everything for about 2 hours. But, you are facing frequent battery replacement (all 6) if you do so.

Posted on Jul 08, 2010

  • Sheldon Dedek Jul 08, 2010

    A comment was cut off, not sure why.

    The air conditioner current draw will drop when outside temperatures are cooler, but will rise when the outside temperatures are warmer. The Air Conditioning units have a design rating of 95F for temperature. In an environment where ambient temperatures exceed 100F, your current draw will be a lot more.


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