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Old 05-27-2008, 11:39 AM   #1
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Electrical Confusion: Solar, Inverter, Shore Power

Hey Folks:

When I picked up my SMB from a RV dealer a while back, the kid said the electrical system was not hooked up right and he fixed it (same kid that said the AC worked (and I already knew it had a mjor leak), broke a hub by not installing it correctly and installed a batt in the engine compartment that was so tall the hood would not close correctly). In other words, I find the RV shop kid's electrical fix suspect. So, here's my scenerio. Solar works great. However, I have to turn on my inverter to get the shore power to do anything (power the fridge, outlets, etc). If I do not turn on the inverter when hooked to shore power, then the fridge runs off 12v only (only an issue when dark), and the outlets do not have power. Seems the shore power should power everything with the inverter off, but this is all new to me, so perhaps its right? Oh wise ones, please advise. Thanks.
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:43 PM   #2
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Start simple.

Check the circuit breakers and fuses, then reset the GFI on the 120V outlet.


Herb
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:02 PM   #3
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Yup, those are all good. What's happening is the shore juice goes into the inverter only and does not go out unless the inverter is on (perhaps that is how its supposed to be set up?). Seems like it would make more sense if the shore juice went to the outlets/fridge if the inverter was off. Don't know how it worked before that kid messed with it. The inverter panel correctly shows when shore power is hooked up, charges correctly and so on when the inverter is turned on. The solar charges great in the day (when inverter off). However, plug in shore power when its dark, and the inverter off, the house batt doesn't charge and the fridge continues to run off the batt (plus no outlet juice). Again, for all I know this is correct. If not correct, however, I want to fix it. Thanks.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:15 PM   #4
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I believe that hooked to shore power, my outlets are powered, whether the invertor is on (set to Invertor ON in the control panel) or not. The invertor has a setting for "Power Share" and I have mine set to 15A. The whole point of Power Share is that the invertor will invert when draw in the van exceeds 15A to keep from blowing a shore power circuit breaker.

I have never tested it explicity, but I'm pretty sure I've had a lamp plugged in when on shore power and the invertor function was off. I'll try it later when I have time to be sure.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:34 PM   #5
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Thank you sirs.
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:53 PM   #6
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I definitely had some issues initially when plugged into shore power.

Turned out to be a bad GFI outlet under the sofa. It was 10 bucks or so and 1/2 hr later all was good. Bernie at SMB is the electronic guy at SMBw, give him a holler, he was great to deal with.

-d
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Old 05-27-2008, 03:56 PM   #7
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Which inverter do you have? On the the triplite unit Sportmobile supplied a remote that has a switch that enables the Inverter(Auto mode) or one where you can switch it to charge only. My remote was installed 5 inches away from the inverter.

On the triplite inverter itself you have a three way switch (left) Remote or Auto (it will use the remote switch if hooked up) or turn on the Inverter if there is a load.

The (center) is off, this prevent battery charging and pass through of AC.

And then you have (right) Charge only which enables the charge only and disables the inverter, but would let AC pass through the inverter.

Hope this helps

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Old 05-27-2008, 04:11 PM   #8
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I've got that sync, sun, whatever 2000. You know, that fancy yellow one. If I recall, the three way switch on it is on, off and remote. I don't have a remote. Can't check to make sure as it at home (it a diesel, so want to guess why its at home and I'm on a motorcycle despite threats of rain?).
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:55 PM   #9
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If the PROsine 2.0 display panel indicates 110 volt power coming into the van, it should also indicate that the batteries are being charged when the charger switch is "enabled". If this is the case, then it does sound like a tripped, or bad, GFIC outlet as mentioned.

The GFIC outlet is very easy to replace and you can purchase one at any Hardware Store. Make sure the inverter is "off" and that the shore power is disconnected before attempting the replacement. Pay close attention to how the wires are connected on the "line" and "load" terminals.

Good Luck!
John K.
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:14 AM   #10
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Yea, that's it, its that "Xanadu" one.

The outlets work fine (including the GF outlet) when the inverter is turned on and shore power is supplied. I just don't understand why shore power should have to go through an inverter if the inverter features are not needed (thus the inverter is left off). When the inverter is off, then nothing runs off shore power even when the shore power is supplied (even the fridge runs off the batts although shore power supplied when the inverter is turned off). But the issue that still torments me is whether or not this is how the system (as currently configured) is supposed to work.
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