If you are reading this post, you either own a pellet stove and have spent a couple of nights in the cold because you had no power. Or you are thinking of buying a pellet stove and you want to know how to avoid a cold night without your primary heat source. We will help you choose the right power inverter and battery to keep your space warm and toasty for the duration of the power outage.
With some research, I have found some valuable information about pellet stoves. Most pellet stoves plug directly into your standard wall outlet. They use about 1.0-1.3 AC amps per an hour. In general they have a start up usage of about 4 times there continuous usage, or between 4 -5 AC amps. We need these numbers to find out how much back up power we will need. You can find them in your owners manual, under the section usually called “Electrical Rating.”
Now that we have our basic set of amp usage, we should design a sample back up system. Which means we get to do some math, we will try and keep it simple.
The maximum AC amps we will need is 4, this start up amperage is for a standard sized pellet stove, one designed to heat up to 2500 sq ft. We need to convert this to watts, to do this we will multiply AC amps x 120 volts. We use 120 volts because this is the power of the outlet in your home.
4 AC amps x 120 vac = 480 watts
We now know that 480 watts is our maximum usage.
The stove will run at 1.1 AC amps continuously.
1.1 AC Amps x 120 vac = 132 watts
Ok now we have the numbers that we need to choose a power inverter.
I have some research and have discovered that some pellet stoves, require a pure sine inverter in order to operate. This is something you will have to ask your dealer before purchasing the stove. There are some pellet stoves that will operate off of a modified sine inverter, once again this is manufacturer specific. I will make a recommendation for a pure sine power inverter, because it will work on any pellet stove.
For this set-up I would recommend the AIMS 600 Watt Pure Sine Power Inverter. This inverter falls in to the range of maximum inverter efficiency. Some devices require a pure sine wave to work properly, most devices work more efficiently with a pure sine inverter. A pure sine inverter makes your device work more smoothly and can increase the lifespan of the device.
Now that we have an inverter we need to select our battery and charger. I am going to recommend our Lifeline 12 Volt Deep Cycle Marine AGM Battery. I am recommending this battery for a couple of reasons, first of which is power. This deep cycle marine battery has 105 amp hours and can handle many charge and discharge cycles, unlike an standard car battery. The second reason I recommend this battery is because it is an AGM or absorbent glass mat battery. This means there is no risk of the battery spilling or leaking inside your house. Also AGM batteries, do not need to be ventilated, because they do not emit dangerous gases, like many other types of batteries. These Lifeline AGM Batteries also charge 20% faster then a conventional vented battery or a gel cell battery. These batteries are essentially 100% maintenance free, no addition of water is needed. There are other types of deep cycle marine batteries, but this is the best for our application.
Next we need to select a charger, I recommend the Iota Smart Battery Charger/Converter. This charger is a 12 volt, 30 amp charger. It is also a “smart charger” which means it will charge your batteries quickly and keep them fully charged, without overcharging and damaging the battery.
Lastly you will need a transfer switch, we recommend our Iota 2 Way Automatic Transfer Switch 30 amp. This transfer switch is for inverters 3600 watts or less. This not necessary, but it does automate your back up system. Meaning that if your power goes out in the middle of the night, your back up will automatically keep your pellet stove running.
Lets take a moment and review which parts are included in our system now:
• AIMS 600 Watt Pure Sine Power Inverter
• Lifeline 12 Volt Deep Cycle Marine AGM Battery
• Iota Smart Battery Charger/Converter 12 Volt/30 Amp
• Iota 2 Way Automatic Transfer Switch 30 amp
I have another AIMS product that is a pure sine power inverter, charger and transfer switch in one unit. It is our AIMS 1500 Watt Pure Sine Power Inverter with Built in Transfer Switch & Charger. This product is designed for those who want to simplify their install. You will still need the battery mentioned above to use this device.
The last item you will need to install this system is cables. It is important to get the right cables, that way you get the maximum power from your back up system. Fro either on of these systems you could use a 4 AWG or larger cable, also known as a #4 gauge cable. I recommend that you follow the stove manufacturers instructions, when deciding where to place your battery. In general most manufacturers recommend the battery is at least 6 feet from the stove, in a battery box or ventilated cabinet. Keep in mind that you want to keep the inverter as close to the battery as possible, for maximum efficiency. If you are going to place the inverter more than 6 feet from the battery, we recommend you use a larger cable, to decrease bottlenecks, the size we recommend is 1/0 AWG. We sell both of these cables on our website theinverterstore.com. To keep it simple you can just use a longer extension cord from the inverter or the transfer switch to the stove. This way you can keep the battery far from the stove and the inverter close to the battery.
I have included some simple layouts of how this system should be hooked up. Of course if you have more questions, please let us know we are happy to help.
The first layout is the system with the AIMS 1500 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter, Charger with built in Transfer Switch.
This second layout is for the system that we built up around the AIMS 600 Watt Pure Sine Power Inverter.
If you have any further questions about power inverters, cables or batteries. Please give us a call @ 888-417-8673.
Theinverterstore.com offers excellent customer support and we would be happy to answer any questions that you might have. We have a wide selection of pure sine wave and modified sine wave inverters and our goal is to make sure our customers are purchasing the right equipment the first time around.