HOW TO: Power Your Off-Grid Trip


From the Top End to the Victorian High Country, Australia has a depth of unexplored beauty waiting for you to discover in your caravan or RV. To enjoy the conveniences and creature comforts of home when you travel, you need to get off grid with more power!

Inverters convert DC voltage to AC and allow you to run your AC appliances from your battery system. Inverters come in four basic types – low-frequency and high-frequency, modified sine wave and pure sine wave. Inverters allow you to run appliances like the microwave, toaster, fridge, freezer, and lights simultaneously.

The above four types come in sizes from 100W to over 3000W. Some appliances need more initial power to start up than what their product label stipulates. For non-inductive loads – that is – things such as lights, radios and small phone chargers, a general rule is to go at least 20% higher.

For example, if you want to run a laptop (150W) and an LCD TV (250W) at the same time you would select an inverter around 500 Watts. (150W + 250W) + 20% = 480W). If you want to run a hair dryer or a coffee machine, you will benefit from a high-frequency inverter capable of some 2,000 or more watts. If your appliance is inductive, such as a microwave oven, allow 4-6 times the appliance load at start-up.

The primary difference between a low-frequency and high-frequency inverter is cost, size, and weight. Low-frequency inverters are heavy, can drive a hefty load, as well as cost three to four times the normal price as compared to an equivalent high-frequency inverter.

High frequency inverters are small, cheap and plentiful – but have no grunt or electrical torque for driving motors and compressors – i.e. your washing machine. They will run lights and other small appliances.

A modified sine wave inverter uses a cheap budget digitally switched waveform to generate its Ac power source; where-as, a pure sine inverter generates an Ac waveform to the same quality as your mains power at home. Sensitive equipment such as TVs, radios and anything with a transformer or electric motor needs a stable voltage, requiring pure sine Ac supply.

A great option on the market and built for every destination, the reliable Victron Phoenix Multiplus. The Multiplus delivers uninterrupted power; it automatically switches between generator/mains and inverter – with no interruption to your energy supply. It’s a sophisticated sinewave inverter, battery charger and power transfer switch all in one compact unit.

If you’re serious about having reliable, uninterrupted power, for your RV getaway, ask Bainbridge Technologies’ about the Victron Phoenix Multiplus and the many inverter options available.

Victron Phoenix Multiplus: Multi-functional, with intelligent shore and generator power management.

The Multi gets its name from the multiple functions it can perform. It is a powerful true sine wave inverter, a sophisticated battery charger that features adaptive charge technology, and a high-speed AC transfer switch in a single compact enclosure. Beside these primary functions, however, the Multi has several advanced features that provide a range of new applications as outlined below.

Uninterrupted AC power (UPS function)
In the event of a grid failure, or shore or generator power being disconnected, the inverter within the Multi is automatically activated and takes over the supply to the connected loads. This happens so fast (less than 20 milliseconds) that computers and other electronic equipment will continue to operate without disruption. The maximum current of the transfer switch is 16 A per Multi.


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