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Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 8436
Experience:  Retired electrical contractor, 51 years experience.
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Dear Sirs: I have a small home in Jamaica, 600 Sq Ft. I have

Customer Question

Dear Sirs: I have a small home in Jamaica, 600 Sq Ft. I have a 5000 btu air conditioner that operates on 110 volts, to cool the bedroom. However, the current is so low and unreliable that I usually have a hard time getting it to run. Is there something that we can do, or device we can use to up the amperage so that the device can be started properly. knowing very little about the way electricity works, I nevertheless considered the way cars use a coil to move the starter. I don't really know if that is relevant, please advise.
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Does this unit plug in to a standard 120 volt outlet, such as the type we have in the US?

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Based on my research, the unit draws approximately 5 amps. That being the case, I would look into a small generator to run the unit on.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, there isn't an efficient way to increase the capacity of an electrical supply to a structure. In other words, it's always substantially costly.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

In addition, if the power to the home is unreliable, the generator is definitely the best way to go.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Sir: a generator would not be a good solution, as they are prohibitively expensive in Jamaica and suitable secure space in the city is difficult to find. Nevertheless, I am considering the use of deep cycle batteries, to run the unit and perhaps be charged with the current available. My Fridge works as do other appliances, except for the electric stove, which was just discarded. The batteries are expensive as well, however, I have more than one idea and need to know if either is useful. The first , to buy enough deep cycle batteries and a charger to run the unit on, but I have not idea how may and at what specs this would require. The second, more convoluted is as follows: I considered that perhaps a car battery to start the unit and switch the unit over to the deep cycle batteries to run in the long term. Figuring that once the unit was running, there would not be a need for some many of the more expensive deep cycle batteries. Are these approaches feasible and if so, how do I make them work.
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Although I'm sure you can make a number of solutions work, the two options you've proposed are outside of my realm of expertise. That being the case, it would probably be best for me to opt out of the question. This would give another expert, perhaps one with more experience using batteries for this purpose, to assist you. Please rate the expert who helps you to a suitable solution. Thank you.

Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.


You could install 2 large golf cart batteries, connect the 12volt DC output to a 1,000 KW rated inverter to supply 120 volts AC to the air conditioner, and then use the existing unreliable 120 volts AC to power a 1,000 KW rated battery charger to keep the batteries charged. That would work.

I am recommending the 1,000 KW rated items because they will not over heat as badly as 500KW rated inverter and charger which would theoretically support the AC, because any time you run electronics at their absolute maximum they over heat badly and do not last long at all.... additionally the 5 amp AC unit will pull close to 20 amps for 2 or 3 seconds when it starts and you need the inverter large enough to support that.

Net costs would be in the range of $600 to $1,000... the chinese items about half the price of USA manufactured items but with a generally much shorter service life ... a few months at times, not years.

If you care to rate my input so far positively, I will be able to afford discussing this a bit longer with you.

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