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washing machine and inverter/generator query


silverbuttocks

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Afternoon!

 

Quick(ish) query. We are continuous cruisers with a 63ft narrowboat - no shore-power. We are planning to get a washer dryer, just to do a couple of washes every fortnight or so. We have an inverter (Mastervolt 12/2000 - power 2000w, max 4000w), battery bank, charge from engine type set up. The washer dryers we are looking at all have a power rating of around 2100 to 2200w. I just want to know whether the inverter could handle this machine (with the engine running of course)? We have a 3.2 genny but it is noisy and would rather not use it and also I see that there can be problems with washing machines not working from gennies cos of the sine wave blah blah (I know nothing about this). I know that they are thirsty on water etc etc and some people don't agree with having them if you are a cc without shore-power etc etc, but if we run it once a fortnight for maybe 4 or 5 hours can we do this using our present inverter whilst running the engine (either whilst cruising or stationary)? Does the 4000w maximum inverter spec mean that it can comfortably deal with a machine drawing 2200w??

 

Hope you can help!

 

Mike

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The rating of the inverter usually means it can cope with 2000w continuous and 4000w peak startup watts for things like motors. So the rating of the wash m/c mentioned MAY be too high for use. Certainly in the dryer mode it will prob take the high power continuously to run the dryer heater for many minutes.

Apart from the huge demand from the batteries, I do not think the inverter would like it much. You would be drawing at least 340 amps at 12v from the batteries, so unless you have a huge alternator on the engine giving 350A output, I feel you will struggle.

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The rating of the inverter usually means it can cope with 2000w continuous and 4000w peak startup watts for things like motors. So the rating of the wash m/c mentioned MAY be too high for use. Certainly in the dryer mode it will prob take the high power continuously to run the dryer heater for many minutes.

Apart from the huge demand from the batteries, I do not think the inverter would like it much. You would be drawing at least 340 amps at 12v from the batteries, so unless you have a huge alternator on the engine giving 350A output, I feel you will struggle.

 

Thanks jelunga - i suspected as much. Annoyingly I don;t have the make/model of our generator (3.2kw). People do have washing machines who don't have a lekky hook-up, so what do people normally do?? I guess they use gennies, but i have read of some issues about purity of the sine wave... anyone?

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To run something with that power requirement you really need a more powerful inverter.

We have 2.5 Kw Victron, which copes with our washer/drier, but we have to have the engine running, despite the fact that the inverter is fed by 900 amp/hrs of battery.

As has been said, the current draw from the 12 volt system is massive.

The beauty of having a Victron is the turn down facility. If the generator is not capable of supplying the full power requirement of the washer, the Victron will still use the power from the genny, but supplement that from the batteries at times of high current draw.

Bob

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The beauty of having a Victron is the turn down facility. If the generator is not capable of supplying the full power requirement of the washer, the Victron will still use the power from the genny, but supplement that from the batteries at times of high current draw.

Bob

Mastervolt Combis do the same thing, although it is slightly less "accessible" having to be set by dip switches or an (optional) remote panel.

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We have a Victron 2Kw and a Candy 8+4 washer drier pulling a max rated load of 2150watts. In summer (ie not connected to shore power) we run the washing machine with a cold fill and the wash is quite acceptable, and obviously the power requirements kept to a minimum. We can use the tumble drier as we are connected up but as we have the multifuel stove going we haven't needed to use it.

 

I would have thought that your existing set up adequate

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When our 2kw auto w/m is on heater cycle running from 3kva Victron our engine driven 100a 24v alternator can only just keep pace.

 

Incidentally our Victron Multiplus 24-3000-70 is capable of 3kva for 30mins but only 2.5kva continuously. So like all inverter manufacturers they bend the truth a little.

 

ETA: Capable of double output momentarily same as most inverters.

Edited by nb Innisfree
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Thanks jelunga - i suspected as much. Annoyingly I don;t have the make/model of our generator (3.2kw). People do have washing machines who don't have a lekky hook-up, so what do people normally do?? I guess they use gennies, but i have read of some issues about purity of the sine wave... anyone?

Some set the machine to 'cold wash' and put a kettle of hot water in the drum before filling, or even fill via a thermostatic valve. As for drying maybe use the stove in winter and the fresh air in summer.

 

Running an electric tumble dryer from batts and inverter probably isn't practical, though travelpower or genny might be doable. Sounds like your existing setup will do for now if it's a pure sine inverter and you can just cold wash only.

 

Not sure if condenser dryers use heat to dry the clothes and how much but they sometimes use a supply of water to do the condensing and then drain that and the condensed water.

Edited by smileypete
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Not sure if condenser dryers use heat to dry the clothes and how much but they sometimes use a supply of water to do the condensing and then drain that and the condensed water.

 

 

They do and it is the same element as heats the water when in wash cycle.

 

All condensing dryers use water to cool the drum so that the steam will condense on the outer drum and run down to the outlet and be pumped away.

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We have a 2200Watt washer drier. Nice one...got it at an auction. I bought a cheap 2.8KW Clark gennie for £240. It runs the washer fine when we're cruising. Using the engine to drive an invertor would require a supply of 183Amps from the alternator. How large is your alternator? I prefer the gennie route. Yes, it's a little loud, but a washer/drier load is only a few hours?

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in washing mode the machine will run ok on the engine, its when it goes into drying mode thats the problem, the dryer tends to take more out of the batteries than is going in, i would use the drying cycle on the genny or dry around the stove etc.

Edited by GoodGurl
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Well, Tacet came with a travelpower which makes it easier, but firstly I wouldn't bother with a condenser drier - certainly if running of the 12v system through an inverter. We rarely use the drier - it just takes too long churning away. Hang the clothes inside or out.

 

If I was starting from scratch I might save the considerable expense of the travelpower - spending some of it on a sufficiently sized inverter. Then I would feed through the washing machine with warm water through a mixing thermostat at, say 30 degrees (check with boss). You could set the machine to cold wash and eliminate heating the water through the immersion element altogether or, if required a hotter setting with the element only topping-up the heat. I accept that in the latter case the maximum draw would not be reduced, but it would reduce electrical consumption over a cycle. An added sophistication would be a changeover valve to allow rinsing with cold water. No doubt someone clever could time this changeover or otherwise make it automatic, or for the less-clever, a simple timer alarm should you wish to save the the warm water

Edited by Tacet
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Honestly can't see the problem, we have a 3kva Victron Multiplus, when the engine alternator has finished the bulk charge we turn on the hot and cold fill w/m, normal cycle, let the heater do Its stuff, finish with normal spin (1000rpm) then hang washing on drier in bedroom and at bedtime move drier to front of sf stove overnight, bone dry clothes in the morning. Ok we have a flash inverter but drying is no problem winter or summer.

Edited by nb Innisfree
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Honestly can't see the problem, we have a 3kva Victron Multiplus, when the engine alternator has finished the bulk charge we turn on the hot and cold fill w/m, normal cycle, let the heater do Its stuff, finish with normal spin (1000rpm) then hang washing on drier in bedroom and at bedtime move drier to front of sf stove overnight, bone dry clothes in the morning. Ok we have a flash inverter but drying is no problem winter or summer.

 

Well, if I am honest, I had a bit of a glitch when fitting out the boat and for some reason I thought that a 2Kw inverter would somehow be sufficient power for a 2150Kw washing machine. Not entirely sure how I arrived at that stupendous conclusion but the cost of replacing the inverter with a bigger one was hard to justify. The cold fill washing machine has been a face saver (as wifey happy) and the icing on the cake ..... she reckons that a cold wash doesn't crease the clothes as much as a hot wash; So we are happy and it didn't hurt the pocket, and our batteries don't even have to work hard! :)

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thanks for all your input everyone. invaluable so far as usual...

 

so, i think that the inverter/alternator route is not looking like a viable option. our alternator is just 55amps and i don;t think will take the load, neither will the inverter...

 

so, as i said we do have a generator too. just a cheap chinese one i think, that came with the boat. it's a WOLF WP 3200LR 3.2 kw. anyone know if this will be ok to run a modern washer dryer??

 

cheers!!

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thanks for all your input everyone. invaluable so far as usual...

 

so, i think that the inverter/alternator route is not looking like a viable option. our alternator is just 55amps and i don;t think will take the load, neither will the inverter...

 

so, as i said we do have a generator too. just a cheap chinese one i think, that came with the boat. it's a WOLF WP 3200LR 3.2 kw. anyone know if this will be ok to run a modern washer dryer??

 

cheers!!

 

Unless you have large alternator(s), large battery bank capacity, say >= 600 Ah and around 3kW PSW inverter the battery/engine option is really a non-starter for your requirements.

 

Much better to run it directly from a 3kW inverter/generator to provide the necessary pure sine wave of suitable power.

Edited by by'eck
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Unless you have large alternator(s), large battery bank capacity, say >= 600 Ah and around 3kW PSW inverter the battery/engine option is really a non-starter for your requirements.

 

Much better to run it directly from a 3kW inverter/generator to provide the necessary pure sine wave of suitable power.

I'm sorry but this is completely in error. I have just returned from cruising throughout the summer. We have a 100amp alternator and 470Ah domestic battery bank. We ran the washing machine on cold fill, it used acceptable levels of water, it gave a good wash, and it ran from half to one and a half hours, and all the while we just cruising along admiring the countryside. No effort other than loading/unloading; no stress; no worries .... Of course, if the insistence upon using a tumble drier then I will retreat, offer a white flag, and quietly bow out under a jetstream of large colourful bubbles! ..

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I'm sorry but this is completely in error. I have just returned from cruising throughout the summer. We have a 100amp alternator and 470Ah domestic battery bank. We ran the washing machine on cold fill, it used acceptable levels of water, it gave a good wash, and it ran from half to one and a half hours, and all the while we just cruising along admiring the countryside. No effort other than loading/unloading; no stress; no worries .... Of course, if the insistence upon using a tumble drier then I will retreat, offer a white flag, and quietly bow out under a jetstream of large colourful bubbles! ..

 

Rather a bold statement when you note I was clearly referring to the OP's need to use a washer/dryer from a smaller inverter and alternator rolleyes.gif

 

Good luck to the fact that you have managed to run your machine from a larger (2500 watt or is that VA?) inverter and alternator, but as you say yourself not with the dryer. Just because you have managed to achieve this with marginal spec system doesn't mean its good advice with a full size washer/dryer.

 

Its always recommended not to run critical electronic devices on or certainly over their design limits. Higher momentary power limits relate to having the capacity to absorb such for a matter of milliseconds, and not licence to overload equipment.

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Rather a bold statement when you note I was clearly referring to the OP's need to use a washer/dryer from a smaller inverter and alternator :rolleyes:

 

Good luck to the fact that you have managed to run your machine from a larger (2500 watt or is that VA?) inverter and alternator, but as you say yourself not with the dryer. Just because you have managed to achieve this with marginal spec system doesn't mean its good advice with a full size washer/dryer.

 

Its always recommended not to run critical electronic devices on or certainly over their design limits. Higher momentary power limits relate to having the capacity to absorb such for a matter of milliseconds, and not licence to overload equipment.

I am sighing. I'm sure you and me could agree but actually I was trying to infer that the opening poster could actually keep within the limits of his existing set up as long as he is sensible.

 

My inverter is a Victron multiplas 2kwatt inverter charger. I am conveying the fact that just because a machine is rated at something above the output of my setup, it doesn't mean I can't use it. Nor, I might add, did my batteries ever get overly excited.

 

I am being practical. I am not suggesting my thoughts are anything more than a compromise.

 

Its Christmas, I'll buy you a pint ;-)

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  • 3 weeks later...

hey you lot - hope you are enjoying festive season...

 

I am trying to re-ignite this thread...

 

We bought a washer dryer but rather predictably the crappy Wolf generator did not deliver the goods. As soon as the machine started doing anything the generator threw a wobbly and the machine popped up an error message. balls!

 

So, we are going down the decent generator route (rather than modifying boat - new alternator/inverter etc - cos we might be swapping her for a different one this coming year...). I'm aware of the nice quiet Honda suitcase gennies - are these the best?? Or are there other (slightly cheaper) contenders that will run our washer dryer (around 2100w) with nice clean electric power??...

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hey you lot - hope you are enjoying festive season...

 

I am trying to re-ignite this thread...

 

We bought a washer dryer but rather predictably the crappy Wolf generator did not deliver the goods. As soon as the machine started doing anything the generator threw a wobbly and the machine popped up an error message. balls!

 

So, we are going down the decent generator route (rather than modifying boat - new alternator/inverter etc - cos we might be swapping her for a different one this coming year...). I'm aware of the nice quiet Honda suitcase gennies - are these the best?? Or are there other (slightly cheaper) contenders that will run our washer dryer (around 2100w) with nice clean electric power??...

 

If you're going to rely on a generator to run a washer dryer, then you'll probably need something around 4kw. There's actually a thread running now with regard to an Inverter doing the same.

 

We have a very economic Beko washing machine, we also had a 2.6 kve Kipor generator. The generator would stall as soon as the machine wanted to heat the water. We even tried the generator without the smart throttle on and the same happened. Our inverter is 3kva but has a 6kva start up boost, now this runs the washing machine perfectly.

 

I note it's a washer DRIER too, the dryer will require a big draw I would guess at least 2kw as is the water heater. If you post all of the electrical data some of the more informed members will guestimate the size generator you'll need. As stated my guess would be 4kw minimum. That's a big lump of generator.

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