Many search and/or rescue operations generally require a wide assortment of preparedness. To that end, we knew that Project Responder needs to have the capacity to supply standard 120vac power in for various electrical appliances. Items such as flood lights, portable computers, etc.. There are two ways to supply this current. Either by the use of a generator or an inverter. A generator is capable of providing a significant amount of energy but they are large, messy and noisy. The other option is the use of an inverter. This is the option we chose.
We had an older 1000w inverter previously mounted in the cab of our truck. It was great for powering one or two floodlights and small power tools. For this project, we needed a much larger source of power. Thanks to Xantrex, we have an inverter capable of producing 3000w of pure sine wave current. In addition, this inverter also converts energy from 120vac to 12vdc. This feature is specifically designed to keep one or more DC batteries fully charged while on shore power. This made the ProSine 3000 the absolutely perfect companion to our vehicle.
When Xantrex agreed to sponsor Project Responder, we had no idea, the level of technology we were about to receive. This inverter/charger is absolutely massive and the sophisticated controls require a few hours of reading to become fully familiar with all of the functionality and it looks as good as it works.
To be honest, we had no idea the inverter would be so large. We should have paid more attention to the specs when ordering. So we decided to dedicate the forward compartment on the passenger's side to the supply and support of electrical power. This compartment will not only house the inverter/charger, it will hold the battery chargers for the DeWalt cordless tools, flood lights, drop cords, etc..
Because of the design of this unit, it must be mounted vertically. This was a small challenge since the vent fans exhaust to the back of the unit. We could not cut a hole in the side of the bed and the interior of the Stahl service body has a "cut out" for clearance of obstacles on the side of the chassis. It was decided to mount the ProSine 3000 in such a way as to vent the unit out through the rear of the compartment, below the floor of the bed. This required a special bracket to be fabricated since the interior of the compartment has a 4" offset.
Once the bracket was created and powder coated by Spectrum Industrial Coatings, the installation began. We started by determining the optimal location which would retain a low center of gravity for the vehicle and leave as much room for other equipment. The holes for the top bracket were located and drilled. The bracket was mounted, temporarily, to allow for attaching the ProSine. This then allowed us to locate and drill the bottom mounting holes for the inverter. Next, all hardware was removed and the mounting locations of the 1/0ga power cables were determined.
7/8" holes were drilled out for the standard compression fittings through which the cables will pass. These are completely water-tight and simple to install. Once in place, we were able to then permanently mount the inverter to the stand-off bracket and then to the inside of the compartment. Once in place, the positive and negative 1/0ga cables were attached and the 4ga chassis ground was secured as well. The last item was to connect the input and the output AC cabling which will be switched using a small sub-panel.