Run Washing Machine from Battery Bank? Help Please!

Rod Halling
Rod Halling
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Hi All,

We are in the middle of refitting Oyster 55/36 Magic Dragon (1995) for our upcoming circumnavigation with three young children and have a seized Kohler generator that we are getting rid of. We are trying to find a way of running the washing machine from our Mastervolt 4.5Kw inverter, but it is struggling to cope. The situation is:

1) Our battery bank is 4 new Victron Gel 220 amp/hour 12v beasts - 440 a/h at 24 volts.
2) New Victron Battery Monitor installed
3) At most, the washing machine draws 2Kw for short times whilst heating, spinning etc.
4) Problem - Washing Machine works fine in initial stages, as it draws very little current to fill and initially wash. The inverter seems to "go to sleep" whilst doing this and then not allow the washer to go into the spinning stage. I can "fool" the inverter, by switching the fridge/freezers on (another 40 amps draw), but this involves loading the inverter with a circa 80 amp total draw when the machine is spinning, which quickly drops the battery voltage to as low as 18-20 volts for a short time. This is not really sustainable.

I think that the inverter is working fine - it seems to power everything else OK - fridge/freezer (the original holding plates), toaster, microwave... My current best guess is that either our cables feeding the inverter are too small, or that the "old-tech" batteries can't easily supply the peaks. As we have only recently bought the batteries, I am reluctant to upgrade to Lithium, although I think that may work for us. I believe that Lithium have a much higher capacity to charge and discharge quickly.

We are currently installing 750w of solar on a new aft arch, plus 2 Rutland 1200 wind generators. I feel that this lot should give us enough to run the boat - if not, we'll add some more solar on the bimini.

Washing machine works fine on shorepower! If anyone has any suggestions, we would be most grateful. We really don't want to buy another generator - trying to get the boat into the 21st Century!

All the best to you all, Rod

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