connecting parts of a pellet stove power backup system

sarcvaSeptember 29, 2011

My husband and I recently had a pellet stove put in. After being without electricity for 6 days due to hurricane Irene, I realized that if the electricity were to go out, we would have no heat. I found a website that gave a list of the parts needed to make a battery backup power system for our pellet stove. A diagram is even supplied, but due to concerns about making sure the right electrical connections are made, I need help. Basic diagram in below:

Battery charger and pure sine inverter 12v to 120v connected to deep cycle 12v battery. automatic transfer switch is connected to the inverter, house power and the pelet stove. Here is a link to the diagram:

The parts that I have purchased are:

*300w pure sine inverter 12v DC to 120v AC with two receptacles on the front of the inverter and two terminals to connect cables to battery in the back.

*Lifeline 100amp hour deep cycle battery with top posts

*10amp battery 3 cycle charger with two terminal to connect to battery on front and a power cord in the back to plug into a receptacle other than one on the inverter.

*Prowatt 15amp inline automatic transfer swtich with 1 line to be hardwired to AC Load Only, another line to be harwired to ac source such as utility power, and a third line with a plug on the end to plug into the inverter.

We also have proper cables and and vented battery box.

While the diagram looks like it would be an easy set up, the automatic transfer switch and its three lines have me completely stumped. I also need to know if an inline fuse is needed and where that should be placed. There is a 15amp fuse in both the inverter and the battery charger, so I am not sure if an additional fuse is needed. I have a picture of all of the parts and can email to anyone who can help. The line on the transfer switch which in supposed to plug into the inverter, does that plug into one of the receptacles on the front of the inverter? Those receptacles say power out.

Any helpers, thank you so much for shedding light on these questions.

Looking forward to obtaining some wisdom about putting this all together.

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"The line on the transfer switch which in supposed to plug into the inverter, does that plug into one of the receptacles on the front of the inverter? Those receptacles say power out."

Yes that sounds correct, the transfer switch needs two inputs: one from the AC line and the other from the AC output of the inverter. If the line AC drops off, it switches to the inverter AC power.

The thing that concerns me is the use of "hard-wired" connections. Are you sure this is a requirement? Do you have a link to specs on the transfer switch? Seems odd as this sounds like a pretty basic stand-alone UPS backup system, although pieced together, and with an external battery for longer run time.

While a well thought out plug-in UPS system may be quite safe, a hard wired kluge is not.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 9:30PM
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Hopefully this inverter is big enough. I've found that small power inverters quit working when used near their full load for extended periods.

Your connections should not be hardwired in this case. The Xantrex switch doesn't put any plugs on the the ends of the cable because they don't know how you're going to use it. One of these ends will plug into a wall outlet so it needs a male plug. The other goes to the stove so I suppose it needs a female plug. You should label the two males so you know which is which.

BTW: if you spring for a larger inverter/charger with the transfer switch internal, you could use it to plug in a small lamp (LED) during those long outages.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 4:15PM
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Thank you both very much for the help. I feel much better workin with plugs. Now everything makes sense. Mighty appreciative of you sharing your knowledge. Have a wonderful evening.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:16PM
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I think you will have a problem running your stove off the 300w inverter...most use a lot more power than that. The two big power hogs are the blower and the igniter. You are also missing an alternative power source for recharging the battery like solar...your battery charger should be a float charger too, a normal 1 amp charger will boil out all your electrolyte in your batteries over time.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 12:00AM
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Sorry for a late follow-up here (been traveling) but I found a picture, without too much more information, of the transfer switch which you have.

It appears it has wired cords on the two "hard-wired" connections and is basically designed for RV/marine applications where this type of connection is common.

I'd simply put a plug and outlet connector on the appropriate cords and make this a plug-in device.

Not sure about the 300 watts being able to power the pellet stove (fans, igniter, and auger) as pointed out above, and an alternative power-source to recharge the battery during an outage.

Just had our first storm last night (early in the season) and while I do have a pretty good portable generator/hard-wired transfer switch setup, I wasn't quite ready for 11 hours of it... however, the gas cans are now full!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 9:30PM
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