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Old 05-27-2014, 11:54 PM   #1
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House Battery / Inverter / Appliance Question

I have done some research, but have yet to really get my questions answered. I am obviously a novice with the electrical side of my this project...

Here is what I want to accomplish:

Run a small fridge (CF-40 Dometic most likely)
Charge house battery while driving
Charge / Use laptop, cell phone, camera batteries, lantern
Future add shore power hook-up (unless needs to happen 1st to maintain house battery)
Maybe solar in the future

I will not be running a furnace, microwave, stove or water heater.

Tell me what I am missing or doing wrong:

I plan to use the National Luna Intelligent Solenoid (I think) between my starter battery and the house battery (AGM 100aH). From the house battery, I will hook up an inverter that has receptacles and USB.
Do I need a charger in the mix too to charge the house battery, or will this be accomplished through the intelligent solenoid ?
How do I add outlets so I do not have to rely on the receptacles in the inverter?
If adding a shore outlet, does the wiring from the plug go directly to the house battery? If I don't do this, will I ruin the house battery by not keeping it charged?

Thanks, and if possible, keep your laughter down in order to protect my fragile ego.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:20 AM   #2
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Re: House Battery / Inverter / Appliance Question

I know a little, and I'm sure the experts will chime in.

You didn't mention what inverter, but I would assume that it would take care of the charging of the house battery. If you can find one in your budget, try to get one that can do 3-stage charging (bulk, absorption, and float stages). A 2-stage charger will work well, but a 3-stage can potentially maximize the life of your house battery.

Not sure what you mean about "receptacles and USB". Did you mean to say that you would have 110V and 12V (cigarette lighter) receptacles? You could plug a 12V-to-USB charger into 12V receptacles. The 110V receptacles would have to be powered through the inverter, where the 12V receptacles are powered directly from the battery.

Your shore power connection would wire to the inverter. The inverter would manage the charging of the battery.

The Intelligent Solenoid would not manage the charging of the battery, as it cannot step down and convert the 115V AC to ~13V DC that is needed to charge the battery. That's what a charger or inverter/charger does.

The Solenoid's purpose is to electrically connect or disconnect the engine and house batteries when certain conditions are met. If the right conditions are met, the solenoid will close, and the charging source (either shore power or alternator) will charge both engine and house batteries.

I briefly looked at the National Luna Intelligent Solenoid site. It looks like it works similarly to the SurePowers that SMB installs, but I didn't see much info beyond the sales sheet.

A 100Ah battery sounds like it would be plenty for your needs.

Also know that having the engine alternator charge the battery will only bring the battery to about 85-90% of full. To reach 100%, you should charge the battery with shore power, solar, or a charger periodically.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:30 AM   #3
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Re: House Battery / Inverter / Appliance Question

The inverters I am looking at have 110 plug-ins and USB... but I would prefer to have outlets beyond what is built into the inverter.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:34 AM   #4
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Re: House Battery / Inverter / Appliance Question

Interesting. Do you have a link to one of the inverters you are looking at? I'm curious about the USB part.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:45 AM   #5
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Re: House Battery / Inverter / Appliance Question

here is a real basic picture of how you could do it.




You don't need a inverter with a built in transfer switch which is common with high watt inverters. You could purchase a manual switch like these generally one with off, shore and invert positions:

but the simple method would be to just get an inverter with all the equipment built in. The transfer switch is there so you don't plug into shore power with the inverter inverting 12 to 110.

You could go much simplier though if need be. Maybe run a 110 outlet from the shore power and run another 110 outlet from the inverter...the two being completely separate runs that have nothing to do with each other. The problem would be you'd need a 110v shore charger. Juust another reason to use a high end inverter charger. Also, on the 12v ports there are some out there with the standard outlet that have a USB built in.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:55 AM   #6
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Re: House Battery / Inverter / Appliance Question

Photographix, something like this is what I was referring to:
http://www.donrowe.com/Xantrex-806-1206 ... 6-1206.htm
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:02 AM   #7
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Re: House Battery / Inverter / Appliance Question

Daveb... Thank you.

That is helpful. I may be looking at the wrong style inverters, as I am still not sure how I would go from the inverter to 110 outlets.

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Old 05-28-2014, 10:11 AM   #8
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Re: House Battery / Inverter / Appliance Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2horsegarage
Photographix, something like this is what I was referring to:
http://www.donrowe.com/Xantrex-806-1206 ... 6-1206.htm
That one won't charge your house batteries when on shore power, so you would need to add a charger to the mix.

Or you can move up to an inverter/charger. This one: http://www.donrowe.com/Xantrex-806-1020 ... 6-1020.htm

would charge your battery, and has the ability to have extra outlets wired to it and mounted wherever you like.

Like your original choice, it has an 110V outlet on it, but you would have to mount it in such a way that you could access the outlet.

That said, it's a rather inexpensive unit, and has modified sine-wave output rather than true sine-wave, if that matters to you.

I'm just going by the spec sheets, and don't own either one. I can't make any recommendations as to how good these inverters are. There are others on the forum that have Xantrex units that may help you more.
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:02 PM   #9
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Re: House Battery / Inverter / Appliance Question

alright... So I feel like I am getting to the bottom of this...

It appears as though a set up with a pure sine wave inverter, (1) 100aH AGM battery, battery box, Solenoid, battery box, misc AC parts and cabling is going to run around $1000. Does that seem in the ball park?

Also, after doing some math, (1) battery should be enough to run my small (45 watt) fridge overnight, as long as I am getting a charge back to the battery everyday.

Would you guys agree?

The only thing left (I think) is where/how to mount the actual battery
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:57 AM   #10
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Re: House Battery / Inverter / Appliance Question

Sorry, not doing the math but I'm one to always add a bit over the limit. I understand the cost of AGM's but they shouldn't go below 50% and myself would rather be ahead of the game. There is a reason that SMB specs most batteries at 200Ah. Not that you wouldn't get by, but having the higher Amp Hours gives you more flexibility IMO. At least if you make the battery box larger enough for two batteries or a single large battery it just seems to make more sense to me down the road.
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