Make 1600W inverter

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You make a cheap 150W inverter and a very expensive 3000W inverter. How about something in between, say 1600W that is a standard US 110Vx15A outlet that costs $350. I would buy one in a second to power a water pump in case there is a power failure and my sump pump doesn't work anymore. The 3000W is overkill for most normal people. The 150W is only good for portable electronics like laptops, not power equipment.
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Justin Golub

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Posted 5 months ago

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summetj

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I agree that the power station is a bit of overkill for some needs, and the nexus escape is too small (and needs to be updated to a pure sine wave in version 2!) for many real world applications.

One issue I see with your request is that an inductive motor like a water pump, table saw, etc....needs a big start up surge of current, so even if your load is only a 8-12 amps continuously, the device would need 3000-5000 watts of startup surge capacity, which kind of puts it into the power station range.

Also, a little 2.5 AH battery probably couldn't provide that kind of power (one of the reason the power station has spots for 4 batteries is so that it can use the power of multiple batteries together to prevent from overheating the batteries by drawing power from them "too quickly".)

The 7.5 AH battery can provide ~800 watts continuously (for 30 minutes), so you would probably need a minimum of two 7.5 AH batteries for your 1600 watt inverter, with only a 30 minute runtime for a true 1600 watt load. And if the inverter has spots for two batteries...why not just add two more slots to improve the runtime....and we now have the power station....

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Justin Golub

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Wow, I didn't expect to get such a thoughtful answer. Clearly you understand this better than I do. One question is - when you plug a pump into a standard house outlet that outlet is supposed to be 1600W (not 5000W) and the pump would do just fine. Are you saying for a moment these outlets are truly giving 5000W? That seems strange to me.

I'm not talking about a top of the line table saw or pump. For that, clearly you have to shell out the full $ for the Power Station. I'm talking about a pump that draws say 500W (one I just got does that 4.8A x 110V).
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summetj

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A "15 amp" circuit can actually provide 20-30 amps for a second or so before the circuit breaker will trip. An inductive load like a vacuum motor, table saw, or pump has a startup current draw that is 3-4 times it's continuous load (but only for a fraction of a second). 

So for your 5 amp pump, it may take 15-20 amps for a half second or so until it gets moving. A 1600 watt inverter SHOULD be able to supply this, (although a 2000 watt inverter would be a safer bet), but you can never tell until you test the specific pump with the specific inverter (many inexpensive inverters overstate their actual capacity).   [4.8A @ 120v = 576 watt draw from the pump.]

A 2.5 AH @56v battery contains about 140 watt hours, so it could run the pump for around 14 minutes (assuming it could put out the 1200-1600 peak pulse of power to start the pump), while a 7.5 AH & 56v =  420 watt hours or around 44 minutes of runtime.  [Assuming no inverter losses...]
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Justin Golub

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Right. Good info. Thank you so much. This is like 10x more helpful than what I expected.

Well... I love this Ego ecosystem.... and want a product like the Power Station at some point. It's just way overkill. Hence something between the $120 and the $1000 solutions would be nice. I guess for my very specific needs (i.e., emergency evacuation of water from our brand new basement with a plug-in pump) it may be better to go for the Power Station. Even though it is not a very powerful pump. Maybe next year.

Also - maybe Ego can make battery powered water pumps!
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summetj

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If you like making things, one thing you could try is to buy an ego chainsaw or the ego power head and attach it to a (non-electric) pump unit, so you could run the pump using an electric motor directly designed to be powered by an Ego battery.
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Justin Golub

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Very cool. I do also have a "drill pump" that connects to my Dewalt cordless 20V drill. But the Ego system is much more powerful and have a bigger battery.
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szwoopp, Champion

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Battery backup sump pumps are available and in the price range you seek.  Designed for the application, so may be a better choice,  Plus they will run when you are not there to oversee the switchover to battery power as would be necessary if using a back up power supply to power the AC pump.
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Justin Golub

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Thanks. Yes - I actually will get one of those for our sump. I want another battery backup pump (that is a general pump, not a sump pump) in case there is a flood elsewhere from the sump pump. Call me paranoid.
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szwoopp, Champion

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I'm with you.  Always a balancing act between paranoid/anxiety and being able to sleep when the rain is coming down in buckets. ;)

Good luck and let us know what solution you came up with.  I have the Basement watchdog system as my battery backup for my sump.  Currently no secondary backup or pump in my arsenal.
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summetj

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My thoughts on improvements needed for the power station:


1. A solar panel charging port with associated solar panel kits that can be added on incrementally to decrease the charge time, increase charge power.  Just having a DC input port shouldn't add much to the cost of the device, and gives Ego another add-on product that people could buy (or not).

2. Upgrade the charger so that it is like 4 slow chargers, and not one slow charger that cycles through the four batteries. This would be an input of around 8-10 amps at 120 volts, or 1,000 watts of charging power. Which would allow you to use it to charge all 4 batteries at once in a reasonable amount of time. (Upgrading the charging circuitry would add cost to the manufacturing of the device, but may simplify the current "round robin" battery charging methodology). 

Many people would say that having the ability to "pass through" main power to the outlets, while slow charging the batteries, and then switch over to inverter functionality when the grid power goes down (an uninterruptible power supply feature) would also be a great feature.  I agree, but understand that this would add significantly to the cost.

I realize that the power station was designed as more of a tailgating/camping/emergency use item, and not designed for permanent duty applications (which is probably why it has such an under-powered charger built in and now UPS/passthrough functionality).

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Ken, Champion

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As far as No. 1 goes, Ego has said many times that a solar charger for the Power Station is coming in 2020.