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How To Connect Power Inverters To Off Grid Solar Batteries

My wife and I are taking our new homestead off the grid on a budget. The next step in the plan is to hook up the power inverter so we have AC power in our off grid work shop. I show you how.

 

Connecting a power inverter to your battery bank is very simple really. All you need are two very thick battery cables. One red and the other black. The key is to have the thickest battery cables you can afford. 0 or 00 gauge is usually good for connecting a power inverter over 1,000 watts. My power inverter is smaller at 600 watts so I can get away with a bit smaller wire. I am using 2 or 4 gauge wire at this time. But I am only going to pull about 100 watts at any given time with this power inverter anyway using my laptop.

 

One important point to keep in mind is to ensure your cable lengths are as short as possible to reduce loss in the wires. Power inverters pull a huge amount of current on the DC battery side. You need thick and short wires between the battery and power inverter.

 

I once tried to run my 400 watt laser printer using 4 gauge jumper cables which were about 3 feet long and it would not work at all. The power inverter always gave me a low voltage warning when I turned on the laser printer. I doubled up the wires, esentially doubling their thickness, and the printer worked fine. There was nothing wrong with my battery power or voltage. But the wires were too thin and the voltage drop at such a high current was too much to run my printer.

 

In previous videos I have wired up the solar power battery bank. Next I connected the solar panels and the solar charge controller to keep the batteries topped off.

 

A typical power inverterA typical power inverter

 

Now it is time to get some power going in the off grid shed.

 

 

For simplicity I am leaving out the fuses in this video series. In my video comments I see many people asking about them. I will later be installing fuses and cut off switches. So stay tuned for more details later.

 

The power inverter has two large screws or bolts to connect it to the battery bank. One is colored red and the other is black. The red one is the positive lead, or +. The black one is the negative lead, or -.

 

Connect the red wire to the battery positive terminal and then to the power inverter plus terminal. Then connect the negative black wire to the battery negative terminal. Make sure all connections are very tight and secure. Loose connections can lead to power loss and eventually fire.

 

Now turn on your power inverter. You should see some sort of LED indicator to show that it is up and running well. Some power inverters have a self test mode and should show that everything is working well.

 

Now all you have to do is to plug in your devices and use your new off grid power.

 

How to connect a power inverterHow to connect a power inverter

 

Make sure that you do not exceed the power limitations of your power inverter or the battery bank. The power inverter should have its limits written right on top. The battery bank limitations are a bit more complicated and a subject for another day.

 

You can watch today's video here: How To Connect Power Inverter ~ Setting Up Off Grid Solar

 

While you are over there please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow our daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.


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Troy Reid

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