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Old 05-16-2018, 08:49 PM   #1
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Rooftop A/C addition, proper power

I have a 1998 Ford E-150 with a stock 130 Amp Alternator
-Red Top Main Starting Battery

-Battery isolator
2xYellow Top Optima Batteries in parrallel

For stereo and amps:
from battery bank to 2 farad cap
1 x 1000w pioneer amps
1 x 500w pioneer amp

Proposal for Rooftop A/C:
from battery bank to 2000 watt inverter
A/C Specs: 115 v, Min Circuit Ampacity: 11, Max Circuit Ampacity: 15, 60 Hertz

Will the setup I have with the battery bank in place work?
Will it drain the ba-jesus out of the battery bank?
Should I put in a capacitor for the A/C (to cover surges, etc)?


What's the difference between Power Inverter and Power Converter?
I have a Whistler P1000AC 1000 Watt Continous/2000 Watt Peak
I can get
WFCO WF-9875 75 Amp Power Converter
whats the difference and which is better?
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:45 AM   #2
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Are you asking if you will be able to run the roof AC just off the batteries? No shore power, generator, or engine running?

Your proposed roof AC draws between 130 and 150 amps/hr @ 12vdc. Your battery bank is maybe 200 amps available total and you should not use more than 50% of that and preferably at a rate of not more than 20 amps/hr from the 12v battery bank. The A/C will pretty much destroy your battery bank very quickly if that is sole source.

If you are running the engine and powering the AC via an inverter with at least 2000 watts (about 17 amps at 120v) capacity, you will still be negative since a 130A@12volts alternator is certainly not putting out 130A at idle and other systems use the Amps from alternator.

Re: your stereo amps - what is your battery voltage after running your stereo off just your batteries for 30 mins engine off / amplifiers on??

Re: inverter vs converter - you can do a internet search for that. Basically, Converter changes 120vac to 12vdc, Inverter changes 12vdc to 120vac. There is no “better” without knowing application/usage, available line power, etc.

Based on what you have listed, your electrical system, imho, is under high stress just with the sound system amplifiers you have. Fridge? Water pump? Fan? Lighting?

Recommendation: learn about Watts/Amps/Volts and the relationship between them. Amps x Volts = Watts, Watts divided by Volts = Amps. This will help you understand how to design an electrical system for you rig. It will also explain why running a line voltage (120v) AC with batteries would require a very high Amp capacity battery bank.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:55 AM   #3
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Inverter= DC to AC
Not sure about Converter, I'm guessing AC to DC
A rectifier converts AC to DC
I would think the rooftop A/C would in fact drain the BA-Jeasus out of your battery bank.
Search around this forum. There are many folks with vast knowledge of van electrical systems.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:59 AM   #4
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Thank you for your responses.

I only plan on using the A/C while the vehicle is running... as for stereo equipment, I'm barely using the amps and will drop to much smaller ones as I just want a good sound, too old for bass and crazy crap.

I thought I could use the capacitor and battery bank for the A/C where the cap will take the starting power and the bank will run the A/C while driving and the alternator charging the bank. I don't plan on ever running the unit more than 1-2 hours of driving tops.

Quote:
If you are running the engine and powering the AC via an inverter with at least 2000 watts (about 17 amps at 120v) capacity, you will still be negative since a 130A@12volts alternator is certainly not putting out 130A at idle and other systems use the Amps from alternator.
Would a 250A Alternator solve this instantly?
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:13 AM   #5
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nope you would need a hugh battery bank to run for short periods of time and a massive inverter
You will need a generator
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Old 05-17-2018, 01:04 PM   #6
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Ty, charging the front unit, I'll put fans in the back lol thank you everyone!
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:15 PM   #7
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Ever hear of EasyStart, this guy's running a rooftop with the EasyStart module and a 2000 watt inverter....
https://youtu.be/dmIQkOw6Tl4
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:43 PM   #8
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Since the OP will be driving, why not turn the factory installed A/C up?

But if the front A/C isn't enough maybe find a different van with front & rear factory installed A/C?
With all that you have planned to buy and install for A/C those parts are probably half the cost of another van.
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbasso View Post
Since the OP will be driving, why not turn the factory installed A/C up?

But if the front A/C isn't enough maybe find a different van with front & rear factory installed A/C?
Factory rear A/C systems as supplied by Ford etc are quite sufficient for comfort cooling even with the large glass areas allowing large solar gains. Considering most Club Wagons et al have virtually no insulation the capacity of the OEM A/C systems is quite impressive.

There are more than a few aftermarket heating/cooling system manufacturers on of them is Pro-Air: ProAir

I can't see a rooftop unit being a good idea on a standard van without a huge increase in alternator output, perhaps installing an ambulance-like second alternator?

I'd work to better insulating the existing van and/or installing even an aftermarket rear A/C system. At first glance the rooftop A/C unit isn't a good idea.
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbasso View Post
Since the OP will be driving, why not turn the factory installed A/C up?

But if the front A/C isn't enough maybe find a different van with front & rear factory installed A/C?
With all that you have planned to buy and install for A/C those parts are probably half the cost of another van.
Because that's not what the topic was about or I'd of created a "let's fix my current account".

But if you guys reviewed the video I posted you'd see it definitely can be done and without destroying a battery bank or alternator.

Please keep to topic about forward progress on putting a rooftop ac on, this isn't a topic to convince me not to
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