There is no question that the inverter /charger combination is one of the best ideas in quite some time when it comes to off grid or renewable energy systems. When they were first introduced to the market as with any innovation there is a bit of resistance by existing technology users but the inverter/chargers in a single enclosure introduced by Victron, Magnum and Xantrexhave become very popular items in all kinds of off grid applications for houses, boats, oil rigs and RVs.
Having both components in one enclosure saves a lot of space and makes installation much simpler. Since the inverter is the hub of any renewable energy system it only makes sense that communication with other components be made simpler and quicker.
When there is not enough power being drawn from the grid to keep up with the demands by your household appliances, the inverter automatically takes the necessary additional power from the batteries.
When the solar panels are not producing enough power because of a cloudy day or at night and the batteries are running critically low, the inverter communicates with the generator and automatically starts the generator and the charger begins to charge your batteries.
Xantrex just unveiled their new baby, the Xantrex Freedom SW 3000. This new 3000-Watt inverter and 150 Amp charger combination is certainly going to make waves in this tightly packed segment. The Xantrex Freedom SW 3000 will be competing for a share of this market with the hugely successful Victron Multiplus and the Magnum MS 2812 which offer some of the same features.
The Xantrex offers the ability to stack two units to create a 6000 W capable system as well as a Power factor corrected multi stage charger for fast, efficient charging.
Victron has also unveiled their new Multiplus II which comes in a new stylish enclosure and the greatest redesign of internal electronics in over a decade. The Victron Multiplus II is likely to make the most impact in the European market since it is 230V but there is talk of a 120-v model. In the meantime, the other Multiplus 120 V models continue to impose their presence in the US market and the Magnum MS 2812 continues its popularity especially among RVers and other off grid applications such as marine.
The summer is shaping up to be an exciting time in the renewable energy sector and the growth of public awareness on the need for alternative energy solutions and the disillusion with traditional energy systems which carry the perpetually increasing cost of 100% fossil fuel reliant systems, has led to a revolution and an exponential growth in the sales of these inverter chargers. In the meantime, consumers have benefited by the increased competition between these giants in the industry which has led to better built products and lower costs for consumers and the elimination of weaker, less reliable brands that pop up every day on the market. As with any brand only time determines if their claims are real or inflated and the public soon realizes who are the real players and who is full of hot air. When it comes to inverter/chargers the public has tested and spoken loudly about how they feel but we’ll keep our eyes and ears open for any new contenders.