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Old 04-16-2015, 10:53 PM   #11
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Hello mzBrandi

It sounds like you might be a tad confused with the components you have and those you just purchased.

First the Converter, This was included with the rPod when built. It is the interface between 110 AC (Shore Pwr) and the 12 Volts accessories inside your trailer. It has the 4 Gauge wires going to the Batteries. They are the charging wires for when in are on Shore power and also supply the 12V for your interior lights and sockets from the Batteries. DO NOT CHANGE THIS WIRE SIZE that you mentioned.

Now you want to add a Solar Panel and 28 Amp Charge Controller. There should be at least a 10 Gauge pair or better 8 Gauge pair of wires coming from your Solar panel to connect to your charge controller. I would mount the Charge Controller in the same compartment as your original converter provided you can easily run the wires down into the compartment from the solar panel. Next you want to connect a heavy gauge output wire pair to the Battery connections.

In theory, your operation will work like this, Sun shines on your solar panel and the panel converts that energy to Electrical. It then travels down to your Charge Controller and it becomes “regulated” in order to feed and recharge your batteries.

Your existing Battery cabling feeds your “factory” converter supplying energy to your interior lights and 12v sockets.

Does this now make more sense
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:21 PM   #12
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Does this now make more sense
That's exactly what she said. She's not confused about the components, what they do, and what she is trying to accomplish... just the connections.

Dang.. no time. I'll reply later.
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Old 04-18-2015, 11:24 AM   #13
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Here is the controller. The little silver things at the bottom are the screws for tightening the wire.

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Here is the view of where the wires go in.

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This is how they say to wire it up.

Another thought, if the converter is in between the batteries and the converter, and the instructions say there is a diode to prevent panels from draining the batteries at night would the controller prevent the converter from charging the batteries. Would the diode be in the panels?

Thanks
Brandi


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Old 04-18-2015, 11:53 AM   #14
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Attachment 74582

Attachment 74584
This is how they say to wire it up.

Another thought, if the converter is in between the batteries and the converter, and the instructions say there is a diode to prevent panels from draining the batteries at night would the controller prevent the converter from charging the batteries. Would the diode be in the panels?
I would keep things totally independent. Wire the solar controller directly to the batteries - but with a separate shutoff switch installed between batteries and solar controller.

This way the solar controller is reading the batteries directly, and charging them accordingly.

I would want to avoid charging from the converter and the solar panels at the same time. The simple programming in either device (especially standard RV converter) assumes it is the sole supply of charge energy for the battery. I would not depend on the programming in the converter or the solar controller to know what to do when another device is supplying charge to the battery. Hence, the shutoff in the solar chain. When you are connected to 120V power (or charging from tow vehicle), shut the solar off.

But then I'm not a person who needs a lot of automation.

my thoughts, your choices
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mzbrandi View Post
This is how they say to wire it up.

Another thought, if the converter is in between the batteries and the converter, and the instructions say there is a diode to prevent panels from draining the batteries at night would the controller prevent the converter from charging the batteries. Would the diode be in the panels?

Thanks
Brandi


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I would wire it up they way Fred W (pgandw) Suggested. It is the most common and effective method. Keep your existing converter out of the solar loop. Let the converter do its job by being fed from your battery only.

Yes, there is a diode(s) in the junction panel on the panel itself. It minimizes performance drop due to partial shade and prevent battery discharge at night. It is like a switch. It only allows the energy to travel to the battery and not back feed the panel
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:39 PM   #16
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There are two key items to consider.

1. Use the shortest cable possible from solar panels -> charge controller and charge controller -> battery bank

2. Use the largest cable you can afford to minimize loss. You can use an online calculator to determine loss. Try to keep it under 3%

Be sure to put a cut-off switch between solar panels -> solar charger.

Another option is to use a combiner box located on the roof and run large wire from there to solar charger. If in the future you plan to add another panel, all you need to do is mount and connect to combiner box. This is what I did.

Solar power
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:58 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by WestCoastRV'er View Post
There are two key items to consider.

1. Use the shortest cable possible from solar panels -> charge controller and charge controller -> battery bank

2. Use the largest cable you can afford to minimize loss. You can use an online calculator to determine loss. Try to keep it under 3%

Be sure to put a cut-off switch between solar panels -> solar charger.

Another option is to use a combiner box located on the roof and run large wire from there to solar charger. If in the future you plan to add another panel, all you need to do is mount and connect to combiner box. This is what I did.

Solar power
.
.
Good advice. If i may add something else..

1. Locate the controller where it'll get some airflow as I'll get warm.
2. Use finger safe fuse blocks as your disconnect. Size fuses according to your load. This will give you a way to disconnect the panels, give some short circuit protection, and provide a transition point to change wire size. Since you should be using the largest wire you can get, it may not fit under the controller lugs. By locating the fuses close, you can run the large gauge wire to the fuses then run a manageable size wire between the fuses and controller. See attached pix.
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:27 PM   #18
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Hi again. I've gotten my solar hooked up now. It took some doing. I attempted emailing the customer support for Nature Power for information regarding the converter back flowing through the solar controller. Just couldn't get an answer - yes or no. So left that bell-whistle inop. As it sits, it is set up for charging only and not gauging the amount of the load.

I used #10 wire for all leads to the outside of the TT. The wires from the solar panels seem real small like #14 or 12. This size was supplied with the solar panels. The panels will be loose and not attached to the TT. The total distance is no more than 10' from the TT connections. I am running 2 85w panels. The next idea I have is attaching them together and folding them face in and transporting them on my roof rack and putting some kind of eye bolt for security. Hmmmm....gotta think this one out.

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This is the solar controller next to the Surge Guard, something else I installed. :-)) the only thing left to do is decide what type of protection and where to install on the solar panel line. Until then everything stays unplugged.

The original lamp were 921s....12 of them in the TT. There are 3 sets of 2 at 2.4 amps a set. The LEDs are .25 amps at .50 amps per set. My batts are 2 ea size 24s. Wish I could go bigger, but I think I am as heavy as I can on the front.

Only time will tell if this will work as expected or needing another panel.

Thanks all for you thoughts and ideas.

Brandi
2012 Jeep unlimited Rubicon
2014 rPod RP 172


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