Fresh Odyssey battery, 200 amp alternator, inverter with Ctek chargers, a 400W amp and touch screen receiver.

Lights are Hella hi/low units.

the alternator should power the system at 60 mph.

If the Black n Decker Home Depot inverter is charging a not fresh Optima battery thru a Ctek, in the aux electric system separate from Ford's...the system does not work at all well ...stereo on or not.

There are other handicaps eg a need for heavier wiring to the lights.

But the inverter's rain is obvious. Light dimming from power drain from the inverter/Ctek/Optima hookup is not draining there just not that level of power going thru the Ctek.

So my question, lacking numbers at this time, is the inverter's electronics dysfunctional in this from the battery system ?

shall I run a ground wire back to the battery and/or install a diode(s)

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battery thru a Ctek, in the aux electric system separate from Ford' e system does not work at all well ...stereo on or not.

he inverter/Ctek/Optima hookup is not draining there just not that level of power going thru the Ctek.

ics dysfunctional in this from the battery system ?

You have carefully neglected to tell us the inverter capacity. The headligh ts alone may pull as much as 150watts. Perhaps more. Inverter losses are at least 10% for inverters of this type. Charger losses are even more-so. For a design of the nature you are suggesting, an inverter of at least 1,500 w atts capacity is the dead minimum you will need - that comes to a nominal 1

25A load on the alternator. You will also need bigger conductors than I am guessing you have in place. They will be as thick as your thumb to carry th at level of current at 12V - or things are gonnna get warm!

Peter wieck Melrose Park, PA

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I'm on the road where the problem is so no time to redo the figures.

Before installing the system, I went thru the math n have more than correc t gauge wireing.

There are checks when I am at's the alternator ?

what I am asking: suggestions for inherent problems using inverters with al ternators in a vehicle system ? as inverter problems specifically ...beyond is the inverter receiving the power it needs for the output we want...yes the inverter has enough feed for the output

the inverter does not function with the CTEK charger

hella headlamps works best without the inverter on. This was not true last trip. what changed ?

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ect gauge wireing.

alternators in a vehicle system ? as inverter problems specifically ...beyo nd is the inverter receiving the power it needs for the output we s the inverter has enough feed for the output

t trip. what changed ?

You have carefully neglected to tell us the inverter capacity. Still.

Overloading an inverter, or running it very close to capacity constantly - especially the bits of junk from China - causes damage to its circuitry. Th e longer the overload, the more severe the damage.

Without load-testing the inverter, you will not be able to verify whether t his is true or not in the field other than by its behavior. Clearly, its be havior has changed, so I would start there.

Consider as follows:

Alternator Rating to Inverter: 15% loss. Inverter Loss: 10%

Alternator AC to DC (through the diode block): 5% loss Inverter DC to AC: 10% loss Charger AC to DC: 20% loss. These losses are cumulative: 15% of 200, 10% of 170, 20% of 153, for a net output of 123A (1,476 watts) on good day, downh ill with a tailwind. Now, your load: 150 + 400 = 550

550/12 = 46A, without reference to any other loads at the time. And, you wish to charge the batteries as well, I expect? What is the load from the chargers? At least 75 watts, or so. You reference "chargers", so assume 2 a t a total of 125 watts, or 10A.

I expect your inverter has been toasted, and is now 'toast'.

Peter Wieck Melrose Park, PA

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I asked about inverter?s power consumption apart from power feed to output and losses in this operation.

However, observation n trials from Grambling to Tallahassee suggest the pro blem is rpm/output in the alternator.

The Ctek?s need brought forward then back to the inverter at rear c argo. The inverter is back there as the unit produces noise in the stereo a mp located forward.

Splicing a 10 or 8 G AC power line into a 2 outlet box?.there are 2 Cteks with output wires at ? 12 G ?

Solves the auxiliary battery charging problem where I can press ON upfront when engine speed is at 2000 rpm.

Powerstreams calculator suggests a 13V plus output over a 17 foot 8 G wire delivers more than 12V to the inverter. The draw back to the front ? ?.with 8 G the drop is 119.850 from ? 120V

I am permanently confused on dealing with 12V vs what is 13V + in auto appl ications.

Of course, I will find Cteks produce teeth gnashing noise in the stereo am p.

The lights are similar. Headlamp light bulbs are now way too powerful for Ford wiring. A relay system is already wired for direct to battery power re ady for installation. A fail safe circuit is needed.

There is a Ford battery saver relay dimming the extra power bulbs until th e battery is fully charged?apparently taking abt 15 minutes at 2000 rpm.

Headlamps on Ford wiring can be relay dimmed while the single center bumper mounted spot lamp is standard bright wired direct to battery.

Hi beam filament requires a 5 minutes warmup time.

The inverter does need a heavier ground wire connection.

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Let's start over:

Alternator Rating: Typically taken at 6,000 rpm. The typical step-up ratio from the drive-shaft pulley to the alternator pulley is about 3:1. So, if y our engine is running at 2,000 rpm, steady state, you are getting the full alternator output. At 2,500 rpm, you are getting no more actual power from the alternator as this is limited by the size of the system.

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Rating vs. Real World: About 90%, with diode losses.

Inverter Output: No better than 90% of input, to the maximum *STEADY STATE* rating of the inverter.

Charger Losses: About 15% of input up to the maximum output rating of the c harger.

Load: The total load on the alternator including all items. In the typical automotive application, this includes: Lights, computer, ignition, sensors , peripherals such as heater fans, AC, heated seats, information and entert ainment, and much more.

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For round figures, use 4,700 watts (391 amps). Of which about half are mome ntary loads such as power windows and the like. About another 20% are tempo rary, such as heated seats, heated rear window and fog lights. So, for roun d figures, you are generally running at a sustained load of 150 amps +/-. L eaving about 30 - 35 amps available for 'the rest of your load'. And your ' additional developed load" is about 45 amps, or so.

Modern automotive electrical systems have vanishingly little resilience the se days. And why vehicles with a "trailer package" not only have heavy duty cooling systems, heavier brakes, heavier suspension and such, but also muc h heavier electrical systems.

You might solve your problems with a 400A alternator, should it fit.

It still would help to know the inverter rating. Really!

Peter Wieck Melrose Park, PA

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Wasn't "The Inverter Blues" done by James Taylor? Or was it Eric Clapton? (Sorry, I couldn't help myself.) Sincerely,

J. B. Wood	            e-mail:
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J.B. Wood

haven't found the worksheet...there's a second HD n a Seagate outboard.

The totals for stereo and lights with Ford running gear is abt 170...before deducting your suggested losses

running the stereo at night before adding the aux lighting discharged the batt after 3 hours

Ford's running gear at night uses abt 110 amps with Ford's radio. The stock system barely delivers if driving slow commutes at night during winter.

The 500w inverter charges a Dell laptop 6521 as GPS readout and one CTEK into one Optima...maybe a Samsung S5.

Currently the inverter is not accepting 2 CTEK's into one outlet.

The system using stereo and lights was working well at beginning with full charge then running steady at 65+ but no charging but not at 3 hours.

I had come to the conclusion the chargers into Optima were a basic problem.

The Optima are almost 10 years old. Today's observation is the O 's were not giving power to the 2 computers thru a 500W of last night...when the CTEK's ran up to 80% full when connected. Charged from the alt not household AC as today.

I may find a 3rd inverter ....going around the current no 2 CTEK hookup with an inverter with a power output down range to what the CTEK pulls on normal charge.

Question is then is 500W overkill here or just cruisin' The system could be using half for inverter n half for output.

The ratio is a known ...until I ran into this dim lights problem in the rain outside Tonopah on ol' US 6 ....very dicey ...and for miles incurable no charge to full lights. The ratio assumption is lights charge at 40 but not so .....not quickly anyway.

I had lights on at low speed n idle. A great relief POW seeing bright light ahead after maybe 45 minutes.

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Clapton did the 'Universal Blues'

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charging on house current gives deep robust long lasting power so redoing the line from batt to inverter to batt gets a resolder reconnect ..

imagining patchy plate charges from the alt giving a green light on the CTEK scales ?

one CTEK sample gives Z but drawing power gives X over a zigzag pathway visualization ?

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