RSS

Tag Archives: Xantrex

Technology


TECH DOCTOR

The Power Installation Dilemma: Who To Do, or Not To Do …
That Is the Question!

 By Don Wilson, Tech Doctor

TECH DOCTOR DON WILSON has worked in technical capacities in the automotive,RV and marine fields and for the military since 1989 and has extensive experience in designing and troubleshooting onboard electrical systems. A former customer service manager dealing with electronic issues, Wilson currently serves as a technical instructor for the RV industry’s RVIA Trouble Shooter Clinics and is a full-time sales application specialist for Xantrex Technology Inc.

Many electrical products are channeled to the end user in one of two primary ways. It is either sold to and installed by the manufacturer, or sold to a retailer where an end user (or service center) purchases it for after market installation. There are also power enthusiasts who dare to install themselves. There are pros and cons to each option, so how to choose?

How about OEM Installations?

Whether you’re dealing with a boat, RV, commercial truck, utility truck, ambulance, or even a military vehicle, optioning an inverter is generally available at the OEM level. One major benefit of the OEM install is that the consumer is able to take full advantage of the manufacturer’s detailed engineering work that has been built into the production process. From the electrical supplier offering applications support, to the OEM’s electrical engineers specifying the best cable size, to the design staff ensuring proper compartment size and cooling, going the manufacturing route provides a highly professional, relatively safe, and efficient installation from concept through production. In addition, the OEM brings solid knowledge of the installation, which allows for outstanding customer support as needed after the sale. These installations are specified and part of a process that delivers production consistency.

On the challenging side, OEMs sometimes offer multiple choices, for example, power level, wave form,  charging capability etc., for a power inverter. The customer is faced with multiple options to choose from, which requires knowledge of how the electrical system will be used, prior to ordering. Those who don’t know often opt for the “biggest/best”, which usually translates to higher cost.

What about qualified service centers?

The term “Qualified Installer” always make me uneasy. I always wonder: “Qualified by whom?” My wife may ask me to change the fluids in her car, which infers she has qualified me as capable of performing this job. However, does her qualification guarantee we’re not going to end up with gear oil in the crankcase? Is she able to appropriately and accurately qualify my capabilities to do this job? I took the car to our dealership and got the job done right.

Case in point, if you need an inverter installed after the vehicle has been built, it is imperative that you find a service center that either has a good reputation, specializes in inverter installs, or has a stamp of approval from the vehicle manufacturer — or better yet, all three. Make absolutely sure that the resource you are considering is qualified to do the work.

Another big surprise: realize that every service center install differs from the one before. There may be the temptation by the crew to use similar components for different installations. For instance, if you’re having a 3000W inverter installed, and the last vehicle they worked on had a 2000W inverter, will they use the left over parts from one, for the next? What size battery cable is being used? Will they use the same cable for both installations, regardless of a difference in cable lengths? These concerns plague my mind and my inbox.

How about the amateur electrician? Can’t I just install it myself?

The first thing I have to say about shade-tree electrical upgrades is to refer once again to the ‘gear oil in the crankcase’ scenario. If you plan on doing an inverter installation yourself, first candidly assess your skills, knowledge and experience. Where do you stand on a scale of 1-10 as far as proven qualifications are concerned, and then subtract two points for safety. If you’re not an 8 or higher, please back away slowly and put the multi-meter down.

In all seriousness, electricity is dangerous! If you’re working on a 12-volt lighter plug or a 300W inverter for the laptop, well then knock yourself out! But please … for larger inverters that require hard-wiring, fusing, voltage-drop calculations, and knowledge of UL standards and the National Electrical Code for AC and DC systems, I cannot stress enough how important it is to get it right the first time. I’ve seen way too many faulty installations that result in property damage and injury to be apathetic in this recommendation.

Always, Safety First!

Ultimately, the bottom line is SAFETY. The OEM install may not be the most cost-friendly, but that slight increase in cost translates to system insurance for longer reliability and safety. The service center/dealer install is acceptable, so long as the staff is knowledgeable and competent in installing complex electronics.

By all means, please totally avoid self-installations unless you are skilled and knowledgeable about the requirements for performing these specific types of installations and have studied the operation/install guide. Good luck in your next electronics purchase … and may you make the right choice for you on your installation!

If you have any questions for Tech Doctor Don Wilson about this or any other topic he covers, please visit the Xantrex site at www.xantrex.com

 

Advertisements
 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

Technology

Technology

Xantrex Launches Second Generation Freedom HF  Inverter/Charger

Xantrex Technology Inc. has released its second generation Freedom HF Inverter/Charger to the North American Commercial, RV and marine markets.

The original Freedom HF series made its debut in 2008 as one of the lightest, smallest and most affordable inverters/chargers on the market. In keeping with the company’s continued commitment to quality engineering, innovation and customer satisfaction, the new Freedom HF was conceived, developed and is now available with customer-driven enhancements in the areas of ease of installation and efficient battery management.

The new Freedom HF now sports a 1000W model with a 55A charger for large battery banks that may demand powerful charging output, in addition to the upgraded 1000W/20A and 1800W/40A models.

A top enhancement includes a quick-connect AC terminal block on both AC input and output for easy wiring and fast installation, eliminating the need for strain relief clamps. Another key feature is the ignition lockout which disables the inverter when the ignition is turned off. This helps to minimize unnecessary battery drain. In addition, GFCI and hardwire options provide greater flexibility for easy plug-in directly on the unit, or hard wiring connections for AC power.

Xantrex Director of Sales John McMillan indicates the Freedom HF series offers multiple advantages when compared to other brands, as well as to its best-selling predecessor.

“While the latest generation Freedom HF maintains the same winning DNA including its compact size, advanced features and affordability of the original Freedom HF, the additional new features sets it in a class all its own,” he said.

“The Freedom HF Series performed exceptionally well in its respective mobile markets in numerous operating environments, so with these new enhancements, we are confident in the future of this upgraded product offering. The launch of these new generation products stems from our commitment to quality and exceeding customer expectations,” he added.

All models are certified to meet UL458 for mobile applications and FCC, Class B requirements for better EMI performance.

About Xantrex Technology Inc.: Xantrex Technology Inc., a subsidiary of Schneider Electric, is a world leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of advanced power electronic products and systems for the mobile power markets. The company’s products convert and control raw electrical power from any central, distributed, renewable, or backup power source into high-quality power required by electronic equipment. Xantrex is headquartered in Vancouver,Canada, with facilities in the United  States. www.xantrex.com

About Schneider Electric: As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centres/networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, and efficient, the company’s 110,000 plus employees achieved sales of 19.6 billion euros in 2010, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations “Make the most of their energy.” www.schneider-electric.com

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

Dock News

Dock News

      
Xantrex Launches “TECH DOCTOR LIVE!”

As part of its continued commitment to providing educational solutions for electronic enthusiasts while leveraging the latest social media platforms, Xantrex Technology today announced the launch of TECH DOCTOR LIVE! This new online video library housed on the Xantrex YouTube channel complements the previous print-only “Tech Doctor” editorial series which has been supplied to media outlets and partners, to rave reviews.

“We launched the Tech Doctor program two years ago to address common concerns and questions that end-users, installers and DIYers had regarding electronic products and power systems situated aboard boats, trucks and RVs,” said Xantrex Marketing Manager Mitul Chandrani. “Editors and technical writers in multiple industries have been highly complimentary of the content and have utilized this service and reproduced it for their respective audiences, to great success. Due to the positive demand and response generated, we decided to expand the offering on our YouTube channel.”

A wide range of topics have been repurposed for the video channel, with more planned for the future in both print editorial and video applications. Xantrex takes special care to ensure these quality programs focus on education.

“We clearly understand that today’s smart buyer is seeking to become as educated as possible and most turn to the web for research,” added Don Wilson, Xantrex Sales Application Specialist, aka the Tech Doctor. “We made a corporate commitment to serving as an educational resource to our customers and prospects, as well as to the media within the industries in which we operate. The more we can assist in this regard, the more we can satisfy the wants and needs of our customers.”

“Tech Dr.” Don Wilson

Besides authoring the Tech Doctor series since its launch, Wilson has delivered multiple presentations and seminars at industry trade and consumer shows for several years. “I’m excited that Xantrex decided to ramp up the program in this manner and based on the feedback received to date, I believe it will be well received by consumers in the markets we serve,” said Wilson.

In addition to TECH DOCTOR LIVE, the past two years have been significant for Xantrex from a marketing perspective. The company has launched a totally re-designed website as well as key social marketing initiatives such as Twitter and YouTube. In addition, Xantrex also launched Xnews, a regular online e-newsletter for customers and prospects which is e-blasted to a growing opt-in trade and consumer database.

To view the Xantrex TECH DOCTOR LIVE, visit www.youtube.com/xantrextechnology
To request print or video editions of Tech Doctor, please email Marketing Manager Mitul Chandrani – Mitul.Chandrani@schneider-electric.com

About Xantrex Technology Inc.
Xantrex Technology Inc., a subsidiary of Schneider Electric, is a world leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of advanced power electronic products and systems for the mobile power markets. The company’s products convert and control raw electrical power from any central, distributed, renewable, or backup power source into high-quality power required by electronic equipment. Xantrex is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, with facilities in  the United States. www.xantrex.com

About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centres/networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, and efficient, the company’s 110,000 plus employees achieved sales of 19.6 billion euros in 2010, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations “Make the most of their energy.” www.schneider-electric.com

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Dock News

 

Tags: ,