A New Charger/Inverter for Our Elec-Trak


The built in charger that Elec-Traks come with from the factory was missing on our E15, and the external charger that came with it seemed a bit doubtful.  In addition, I wanted to have a setup that would allow me to use the Elec-Trak to battery pack to power 120VAC loads out in the field or during power outages.   So, what I really wanted was a combination charger and inverter. 

inverter charger
The new inverter/charger and its mounting shelf on the Elec-Trak.

Charger/inverters for 36 volt battery packs are not common, and I ended up buying a 3600 watt Tripplite that is larger than what I really need, but appears to do the job well and appears to be well made.  The $800 price as more than I wanted to pay, and a smaller one would have been fine, but just could not find one.

Back to the Elec-Trak Table of Contents...


Mounting and Wiring the Charger/Inverter

I did not want the new charger/inverter to be permanently mounted in the Elec-Trak, as is seems like it could be damaged by all the bouncing around.  But, I did want to be able to use the charger/inverter with the Elec-Track out in the field when 120 VAC is needed to run tools etc.  So, normally, the charger/inverter sits on a low shelf in the garage next to the Elec-Trak parking spot such that the Elec-Track can be easily charged when parked. 


For times when the charger/inverter is needed with the Elec-Track, I built a platform off the back battery pack housing that supports the charger/inverter when its used with the Elec-Trak.

< pictures of charger/inverter both on and off elec-trak -- need the wall shelf >

Since the charger/inverter has to be able to be separated from the Elec-Trak, a heavy duty disconnect is needed to break the cables between the battery pack and the charger.  I used an Ancerson SB disconnect

SB disconnect on Elec-Trak
The SB disconnect that hooks the charger/inverter to the Elec-Trak Battery pack.
The two wires on the right go to the battery pack, and the two on left to the charger/inverter
which you can just see the corner of.

New breaker in the cable to the charger/inberter.

<should replace the right pic above with one that just has the breaker>

With the charger/inverter mounted on the back of the Elec-Track, it can be used out in the field to power 120VAC tools. 

< pic in the field>


In case power power outages, the Elec-Trak and the inverter can be used to power loads in the house by using a heavy extension cord between the Elec-Trak and the house.    The plan is to use this to cover a few critical loads like the the fridge, a few lights, a small TV, ... and, maybe the furnace (but we do have another emergency source of heat).

<pic of elec-track powering house loads>

In addition, for extended power outages, our PV array can be rewired a bit to to charge the Elec-Trak battery pack ...


PV charging elec-trak
PV charging the Elec-Trak battery pack.


Elec-Trak Charger



December 13, 2011