LA Audio File

Product Review (November 2009)
Xantrex - PROwatt SW 2000 Inverter

By Kevin Nakano


Xantrex PROwatt SW 2000Xantrex is a company that specializes in power inverters offering small portable units as well as full high-power, true sine wave (TSW) systems for residential and commercial applications. The company also carries a line of high power mobile products for marine and RV use. The Xantrex PROwatt SW Series True Sine-Wave AC power inverters fall into this category and are available in 600, 1000 and 2000 watts versions. These inverters are designed with high surge capability, capable of providing the necessary current to start up demanding electrical loads. We received the PROwatt SW 2000 Inverter capable of supplying an amazing 2000 watts of true sinewave power (120V at 16.6 amps max). True sinewave inverters are more complicated than the cheaper modified sinewave designs and cost significantly more to produce. Since many products have issues when running from a modified sinewave inverters, the pure sinewave designs are more desirable in some applications.

The PROwatt SW 2000 is a compact unit measuring only 3.9" x 11.8" x 13.7" (H x W x D), making it ideal for use in work trucks, recreational vehicles, marine vessels and other commercial vehicles. The unit weighs a modest 11 pounds. Power and Fault indicators give the user feedback in the event the inverter encounters a problem with line voltage, overloading, or overheating. The low-voltage alarm occurs when the battery drops to 11.0 volts and shuts down at 10.5VDC to prevent over-draining of the battery. Over-voltage detection and sutdown occurs at 15.5VDC. The dual GFCI AC outlets can provide up to 120VAC at a maximum of 16.6 amp. There is also a power jack on the front for USB chargeable devices that provide 5V at 500mA. When the inverter is used with a remote control, the PROwatt SW Series has the ability to provide automatic vehicle ignition lockout using the RJ45 jack. This shuts down the inverter's output when the vehicle's ignition is not switched on to prevent accidental battery drain.

Back Panel
The back of the PROwatt SW 2000 has large positive and negative terminal lugs to supply the high current needed for this power inverter. Maximum input current is specified at 162 amps with a peak current of 205 amps (for a maximum of 5 minutes). Xantrex recommends an inline fuse rated at 250 amps. A separate ground lug is also provided for safety. Two small internal fans keep the unit cool while operating under heavy loads. Even though this unit is efficient, it can dissipate a significant amount of heat when fully loaded, so proper ventilation is required for reliable operation.

Output VoltageOutput Voltage
The AC output power provided by the PROwatt SW 2000 inverter looks very similar if not better than the power produced by the utility company. The smooth waveform is virtually free of higher frequency harmonics that often cause issues with sensitive electronics. The inverter is designed to provide power for all types of electrical loads including, variable speed power tools, advanced electrical appliances, microwaves and more. The PROwatt SW 2000 provides household AC power anywhere. We measured the output voltage and were pleasantly surprised to see a clean 120VAC. The voltage on the scope measured 340 volts peak-to-peak, which is 120 volts RMS. An exact measurement using a Fluke 77 IV DMM read 120.9VAC with a frequency of 59.94 hertz.

Operation
Installation of the inverter is important and users must be aware of the heavy duty cabling needed to supply the high current to the unit. Calculating worst case voltage drop is important to prevent the inverter from shutting down during high current draw. Xantrex recommends using 4/0 gauge wire with a maximum cable length of 6 feet from the battery. This wire has a DC resistance of 50 micro-ohms per foot at room temperature. At 200 amps the IR (current x resistance) drop is about 200*0.00005*6 or 0.06 volts. While this does not appear to be much, power dissipated by the cable itself is about 12 watts under these conditions. In addition, the voltage drop will decrease the operating margin of the inverter as it approaches the shutdown voltage of 10.5 VDC as the battery drains. This is why it is very important to use the heaviest gauge wire possible to minimize power loss due to IR drop.

The inverter is designed to operate at temperatures ranging from 32°F − 104°F (0°C − 40°C). We installed the unit into our Nissan Armada truck for test purposes. Once the inverter is connected to the battery, the user must press and hold the power button down to turn the inverter on or off. We tested the inverter with a standard 300-watt halogen lamp, which is a simple load with no current transients. The input voltage to the inverter displayed 12.5 volts and 0.28 kilowatts (280 watts) as the load. The display toggles between the two readings every few seconds. The output voltage remained at 120 volts regardless of the load we presented on the inverter. This inverter has a solid design and appears to be load independent.

Conclusion
The PROwatt SW 2000 true sinewave power inverter (under $400 street) is a great design that provides a large power capability in a compact chassis. The safety features keep power in check and notifies the user in the event of a problem. Protection features include Low Voltage shutdown (10.5 VDC), Low Voltage alarm (11.0 VDC), Over Voltage protection (15.5 VDC), Overload shutdown, Over Temperature shutdown, and GFCI protection. The unit held up well during our tests and we found the PROwatt SW 2000 both easy to use and reliable (comes with a full 2-year warranty). If you need a true sinewave power inverter for mobile or marine use, you owe it to yourself to check out the PROwatt SW Series
power inverters from Xantrex.

- Kevin Nakano

Special "Thanks" to Mitul Chandrani for providing us support during this review.




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Review - At a Glance


Xantrex - PROwatt SW 2000 Inverter


Product Features

  • 2000 watts maximum, 3000 watt surge capability
  • Built-in digital display for DC volts and output power
  • Built-in USB port
  • Dual GFCI AC receptacles for safe operation
  • Heavy duty terminals for trouble-free battery connection
  • Available ON/OFF remote switch (with ignition lockout)
  • Two year warranty

Protection Features

  • Low voltage shutdown (10.5 VDC)
  • Low voltage alarm (11.0 VDC)
  • Over voltage protection (15.5 VDC)
  • Overload shutdown
  • Over temperature shutdown
  • GFCI protection


Company Information
Xantrex Technology Inc.
Headquarters
8999 Nelson Way
Burnaby, British Columbia
Canada V5A 4B5
Phone: 800-670-0707 (Toll Free)
Fax: 604-420-1591

541 Roske Drive, Suite A
Elkhart, Indiana
USA 46516
Phone: 800 446 6180 (Toll Free)
Fax: 574-294-5989
Xantrex PROwatt SW 2000 Inverter Data sheet
Xantrex PROwatt SW 2000 Inverter Owners Manual

Store: www.xantrex.com

Model: PROwatt SW 2000 Inverter
Source: Manufacture Supplied
Price: Under $400 street


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