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17 minutes ago, Black Panther said:

We currently have a little 750 watt inverter that plugs into a cigarette lighter. Jaycar have a 1500w one that would be a little more useful.  Can I still use the cigarette lighter or will it start popping fuses?

I am surprised your 750 watt inverter is not popping fuses, you cannot be putting much load on it. Cig lighter sockets should not be used for more than 20 amp draw, whereas that 750 wat unit could draw up 60+ amps.

A 1500watt inverter will definitely need to be hard wired and should have 50mm2 cables and a 150 amp fuse. This will draw ~125amps at full output.

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The 750 watt one should not be used from a lighter socket - its a fire risk. Most inverters have rated (continuous) watts and also peak (surge or start up loads) up to 2x that. 

Install your inverter as close to the batts as possible, but not over the battery bank. This keeps the high amp cables ( the DC ones) as short as possible, giving the lowest possible voltage drop at the inverter, and the cheapest/smallest cables to be used, without excessive voltage drop under full load. Fuse the DC side.

Ideally the AC side should go to an RCBO to prevent electrocution in the event of an appliance or other fault. Ground the inverter case as per the manufacturers instructions.

If you intend to use multiple hard wired outlets, then the RCBO is essential. IMO. 

If the boat is ever connected to shore power, it would need an EWOF as well, and possibly an AC switch panel with rev polarity light, source selection lockout switch etc.

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a bit like the stereo speakers of old

most people simply buy the biggest 'number' ....so check it's actually continuous

in this case aussie jaycar list this 1500w inverter as continuous

https://www.jaycar.com.au/1500-watt-12vdc-to-230vac-pure-sine-wave-inverter/p/MI5708

note the comment on the input, which can be seen between the fans at back

Input connection: Heavy duty screw terminals"

MI5708-1500-watt-12vdc-to-230vac-pure-si

unfortunately jaycar nz's 1500watt inverter doesn't list input, even in the manual, or have any pics of the back, but you can assume screw terminals

https://www.jaycar.co.nz/1500w-12vdc-to-230vac-pure-sine-wave-inverter-electrically-isolated/p/MI5738

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What are you running off it? I know you don't need a hair dryier ;-) but Angela might.

I'm looking at inverters at the moment. It may be you aren't pulling that much load on it, so are getting away with power ratings. A lot of devices don't draw the full rated power during normal operation, but have a surge at start up, which is short and can be tolerated.

To understand how big you can go you really need to understand the amps it will pull, but otherwise what everyone else has said.

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from the Powertech Manual for these inverters

Pwoertech Inverter manual.pdf

As you can see the rated current for the 1500W is 160 amps (even more than my previous guesstimate). For safety the installation must match the max potential current draw for the selected model, not what you might think you are going to use. Also I do not consider those clamping screws to be a safe connection for this level of current, it needs to be studs to which you can connect cables with lug terminals.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Black Panther said:

Current one runs an orbital sander but not the belt sander.

Angela has a 750w travel iron it won't run.

Not really interested in a permanent installation.  The current one lives in a locker and gets taken out occasionally. Came with the boat. 

Maybe you should look at one of these

https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Butane-Iron-Even-Smooth/dp/B012TREVSS

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19 minutes ago, Black Panther said:

Current one runs an orbital sander but not the belt sander.

Angela has a 750w travel iron it won't run.

Not really interested in a permanent installation.  The current one lives in a locker and gets taken out occasionally. Came with the boat. 

Do you want to borrow a 2kW inverter generator for your DIY project? wont help with Angela's travel iron...

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