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Old 02-11-2017, 07:28 PM   #11
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Yeah, I added the 7700 so I can isolate the alternator from the house battery and let the solar panels float charge it. Like if I am on a long drive, just let the alternator handle the house loads and the solar smart charge the AGM battery.

Blue sea everything pretty much. I scoured for deals on Ancor Marine Grade cable and found some on ebay. Another great source is bestboatwire.com, they have unbranded Ancor wire and great deals on tinned cable lugs etc. They ship fast too.

When in doubt, oversize it!!
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:46 AM   #12
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To restate what flux mentioned above on the shunt.......you only want one negative wire from the battery going to ground and locate the shunt somewhere in that wire. Conceptually, all the current flowing through the battery needs to flow through the shunt to get an accurate picture of your battery health/state of charge, etc.
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:04 PM   #13
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So am I reading this right that the inverter would go off the two busbars from there and then from there it is just out to outlets and any 120v accessories?

How about if I wanted to add a shorepower/generator receptacle? Where would that fit in?
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bburrito View Post
So am I reading this right that the inverter would go off the two busbars from there and then from there it is just out to outlets and any 120v accessories?

How about if I wanted to add a shorepower/generator receptacle? Where would that fit in?
There are two different ways to set up an inverter in your van:
1. Inverter wired at the busbar per Flux's diagram. 110v items plugged directly into the inverter. If you are plugging directly into the inverter, then the diagram works as shown.

2. On the other hand, if you want your inverter (or a generator or shore power supply) to power outlets, then you need to add a full 110v wiring system, including a 110v breaker panel.

That is another wiring diagram. In addition, you will need to select an inverter that is designed to be wired into an RV or boat electrical panel. These carry the UL458 designation, and are generally considerably more expensive than the non-458 inverters.

There are a couple of reasons that it is important to use a 458 inverter if you are wiring into a panel--and we can address those details if you decide to go that route. For now, I will just note that, first, the UL458 inverters handle grounding differently than other inverters, which is essential in an RV system. Secondly, many non-UL458 inverters treat the hot and neutral wires in a 110v system very differently than standard--they actually send 60v out each wire. The two 60v feeds combine at the appliance to provide it with the 120v that it needs. That works fine if you plug the appliance directly into the inverter. You cannot, however, wire an inverter like that into an electrical panel.


Bottom line: in order to work out appropriate wiring for your 110v system, you first need to decide if that system is just going to be an inverter that you plug into directly, or if you want to install a full 110v system, including a breaker panel, UL458 inverter, and tie-ins for shore power and/or generator. The first choice is simple; the second choice can certainly be done; it is just more complex and more expensive.
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:59 PM   #15
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Thank you for the explanation! I was under the assumption that some inverters allowed for remote outlets to be connected directly from the inverter. I am really just looking for 2 outlets near the front of my vehicle and 2 in the back. And then also the option of doing shore power for recharging, etc.

Specifically I was looking at about a 3000w inverter/charger such as this one: 3000 Watt Pure Sine Inverter Charger - Conforms to UL 458 Standards


If I understand this right I would run cables from the 12v system busbars to the inverter. Then I would also run cables from the shorepower outlet to the ac input in the inverter/charger and then cables from the ac output on the inverter to the breaker box and then out to outlets.
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:06 AM   #16
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Bburrito, that is the general idea. But there's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip. In that regard, I recommend that you do some background reading as you design your system.

For example, a 3000w inverter is a massive beast compared to the more usual 1000w to 2000w inverters generally seen in vans. Pairing a 3000w inverter with a 200AH battery, as shown in your original sketch, would be a bit of a mismatch. A more typical arrangement would have a lot more battery power to support a 3000w inverter--and an even more typical arrangement in a van would have a smaller inverter.

You will also want to make sure that you size your wires appropriately, put in appropriate fuses or circuit breakers, and ground the system correctly.

Here are a couple of good resources for background reading about inverter systems:
White Papers & Circuit Diagrams | Samlex America
Document Downloads

Once you have your details worked out, if you post a circuit diagram, I'm guessing that the folks around here with more electrical expertise might be willing to give you some more specific feedback.
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:36 PM   #17
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As a follow up, here is a simple conceptual sketch that shows the basic components of an inverter system in a van, using shore power and generator inputs, and a UL458 inverter/charger that is connected to the van's AC system.

Note:
1. The inverter receives AC power (when it is operating as a charger) through the van's main panel. In this mode, it also passes through AC power to a sub-panel.

2. When the inverter is operating as an inverter, it powers the sub-panel only.

This arrangement provides several benefits:
1. AC power to the inverter goes through a circuit breaker before hitting the inverter.

2. The inverter is restricted to powering appropriate loads only. Inappropriate loads, such as the 20A Starcool circuit, are restricted to shore power or generator power only.

3. The fridge circuit is on the main panel. This means mean that when AC power is not being provided via the generator or shore power supply, there will be no AC power to the fridge, and it will operate on 12v power instead. This keeps the fridge powered, and avoids the power loss associated with inverting 12v to 120v.

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Old 03-22-2017, 08:58 PM   #18
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Thank you for that! Yes, I definitely understand the need for proper circuit breakers and sizing the wire appropriately. I have installed household electrical. But dealing with inverters is new to me. I just wasnt sure what else I would need. I think the transfer switch was the piece I was worried about missing as well as where the circuit breakers would fit in. but with your chart and description it makes a lot more sense now.

I wrote down everything I I might need to power when camping both off grid, and with shore power and yeah.. 3000w was definitely overkill. 2k should do nicely.
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:36 AM   #19
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Unless you have a generator like Glider's diagram, the external transfer switch will not be needed. Especially if you are getting the 2K version of the 3K link you posted earlier, as it has an internal transfer switch.

The manual does a pretty good job of covering the installation.

http://www.aimscorp.net/documents/PICOGLF20W12V120V.pdf


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Old 03-24-2017, 08:11 AM   #20
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Scalf77 is correct--but I also want to identify a potential point of confusion. In a system such as this, there are actually two different types of "transfer switches." Because they are both called transfer switches, it is not uncommon to get them confused.

1. Power input transfer switch.
This is the item labeled "Transfer Switch" in my diagram. The purpose of this item is to select between incoming AC power sources--typically selecting between generator power or shore power.

2. Inverter/charger internal transfer switch.

An inverter/charger has two jobs:
A. When there is incoming AC power from the generator or from the shore power connection, the inverter/charger functions only as a charger. Its internal transfer switch senses the incoming AC power, and sends that power to the converter, where it is converted to 12v DC and used to charge the battery.

B. When there is no incoming AC power, the inverter/charger functions only as an inverter. In this case, the internal transfer switch senses the lack of AC power, and actuates to allow DC power from the vehicle's batteries to flow to the inverter, where it is converted to 120v AC.

In other words:
A. The vehicle's power input transfer switch is used to select between two incoming 120v AC power sources.
B. The inverter/charger's internal transfer switch is used to switch the unit between functioning as a charger, or functioning as an inverter.

Both of these switches are referenced as "transfer switches," but they perform very different jobs.
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