RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-25-2015, 05:59 PM   #41
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Home is where I park it
Posts: 1,503
Quote:
Originally Posted by silver View Post
Tom48

We Berkshire owners have Magnum Energy Inverters in our coaches. One question I have had is with solar would you wire the solar controller directly to the coach battery pack. Is there any issue with it feeding back into the Magnum Inverter? Do you need something like a shunt/diode block to protect the Magnum Inverter?

Have ou any experience here? I have seen nothing written regarding this.
Silver,besides you existing Magnum Inverter/Controller, you need a separate solar charge controller for the panels. I don't know much but that's what I was told by a very well known and respected solar dealer in Yuma, AZ. Also, you may need/want to upgrade your battery stack to double or triple the AH capacity.

Boowho??
boowho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2015, 06:23 PM   #42
Senior Member
 
I-RV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ
Posts: 1,024
I feel that RV solar makes more sense for those with residential fridges, because during the sunny daylight hours, the fridge's depleting of the battery will be augmented by the solar.

I have solar on the house and what I do not consume when the solar is producing, is fed into the electrical grid, which I get credit for. When the solar is not producing, I use the credits up. The grid is my battery.

I get all my credits back, but with an RV, if the battery bank is not large enough, all the solar production may not be saved if there isn't enough room in the batteries.
__________________
Gale & Hank- 2012 Berkshire 390BH
I-RV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2015, 06:32 PM   #43
Senior Member
 
silver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 765
Hi Boo,

I agree about the controller. My intent is a system to keep current battery packs charged. I do not feel I need more. Used a lot of fuel last summer running generator in the am to charge batteries and now with the coach in repair for the past month the batteries have taken quite a beating. I currently am looking at 200 watt system from Renogy or 160 watt from Go Power (Carmanah). I don't like the idea of back feeding the Magnum Inverter. I need to make some calls and ask some questions. Probably not do anything until next spring. Just beginning to investigate.
silver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2015, 07:27 PM   #44
Senior Member
 
Blackhat6mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: St Simons Island, GA
Posts: 1,234
I have about $1,500 in this 600 watt Renogy system with 50 amp Odyssey MPPT controller. I had a 40 amp Tracer MPPT controller, but was pushing the envelope with 6 panels and have plans to add two more. This pumps all the juice I can use into 700 amp hrs of batts. I have yet to need a gen to refill the batts even during cloudy conditions. It has rained here every day for the last 6 weeks and I can still eek out enough juice to keep the batts at or above 12.2 vdc. Generally buy 4:00 each day, the batts are at 13.8.
IMHO Renogy sells the best panels I've seen for the money. Great customer service too. 100 watt panels for $150 each through Amazon.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Finished Product 6 x 100 watts.jpg
Views:	72
Size:	377.7 KB
ID:	89855  
__________________
Aviator Wright Flyer #1919
Army Pathfinder Vietnam, 3 tours
DAV, MOPH, VFW, NRA, 1stCav. ABN
Blackhat6mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2015, 07:33 PM   #45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Easley, South Carolina
Posts: 659
Black Hat Like the picture. So are those panels all hooked up in a series with one cable going down to controller ?
__________________
Joe & Lori

2014 Berkshire 390 RB-40
5456Mich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2015, 08:08 PM   #46
Senior Member
 
Blackhat6mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: St Simons Island, GA
Posts: 1,234
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5456Mich View Post
Black Hat Like the picture. So are those panels all hooked up in a series with one cable going down to controller ?
The panels are hooked 3 each in series, then the two strings are hooked in parallel. This keeps the volts up [approx 62vdc] and the amps down [variable up to 10 amps]. They connect to two wires [ + and - ] and enter the roof, down the interior walls to the controller. From there, two wires out to both ends of the 4 batt bank.
I run a 5,000 watt industrial grade AIMS inverter off the bank to power the 110vac appliances. Fuses everywhere!! I'm very happy with Renogy as this is my second solar project and their products really hold up well....so far. It's been almost a year and no problems.
OBTW, if you use an inverter, you will need a transfer switch. I recommend the Progressive ATS503 unit.
__________________
Aviator Wright Flyer #1919
Army Pathfinder Vietnam, 3 tours
DAV, MOPH, VFW, NRA, 1stCav. ABN
Blackhat6mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2015, 06:59 AM   #47
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,866
To add a tiny bit of fuel to this discussion:

Consider that the supply must be 220 VAC with Neutral and ground.

This means that the current on the Neutral alternates (every 1/60th of a second) between L1 and L2 such that L2 is "OFF" when L1 is "ON". This allows all wires (including the Neutral) to be the same gauge to carry a maximum of 50 amps.

If you tried to supply two common phase 120 volt 50 amp circuits to the camper, the Neutral could be required to carry 100 amps (50 from L1 and 50 from L2) and burn up.

It is also why an "Open Neutral" is so damaging to camper circuits as all AC equipment will "see" 220 VAC instead of 120 VAC.
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2015, 10:26 AM   #48
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Home is where I park it
Posts: 1,503
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
To add a tiny bit of fuel to this discussion:

Consider that the supply must be 220 VAC with Neutral and ground.

This means that the current on the Neutral alternates (every 1/60th of a second) between L1 and L2 such that L2 is "OFF" when L1 is "ON". This allows all wires (including the Neutral) to be the same gauge to carry a maximum of 50 amps.

If you tried to supply two common phase 120 volt 50 amp circuits to the camper, the Neutral could be required to carry 100 amps (50 from L1 and 50 from L2) and burn up.

It is also why an "Open Neutral" is so damaging to camper circuits as all AC equipment will "see" 220 VAC instead of 120 VAC.
Herk, you are such a smart a**. Obviously just kidding....
I learn more from you than anyone else on these forums. Some of it I barely understand however.

Boowho??
boowho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2015, 11:01 AM   #49
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom48 View Post
We

Second question trackers. I'm not aware of anything that you could use in a mobile environment as a tracker and the pole mount systems that I have looked at for a ground-based system are not cheap. I have never explored the retail cost of an automatic tracker for small panels. The industrial stuff you see in big fields it is pretty expensive looking. Good luck with that. I'm just happy for my 200 laying flat on the roof and hope I can squeeze one more up there someday soon for a total of 300. Again, the rule of thumb that I have read it is 100 watts per good deep cycle battery. Both renegy and windy nation show you various pacages to look at. The best thing is the packages come with mounting brackets wires connectors everything. The packaged system from go power might be a little nicer but it's nearly twice as expensive. For me, those are the options. And if you have a reasonable amount of DIY skill, I can see no reason to pay an installer. Best of luck
A tracking system is something I looked into. From what I could find out it is not feasible for use in or on a RV.

When you consider solar one of the first things you need to decide is how you are going to set it up. Are you going to keep it portable or mount it on the roof. I prefer portable. Many of the CG I go to have trees I end up parked under. The panels are not very efficient laying flat and being in the shade. With being portable I have half a chance of getting in the sun.

Often I am not at the site most of the day. This means I am going to lose a lot of the efficiency of the individual panels. Even though they say a 100 watt panel will handle a single 100 ah battery I think 200 watts per battery makes more sense. I could aim two of the panels at the morning sun and angle the other two for the afternoon sun. I think this gives me a much better chance of fully charging my two batteries each day. The two additional panels were less expensive than any tracking system I checked in to.

Of course being portable has its disadvantages. There is always the possibility of theft. I guess nothing is perfect. I am not going to do anything till next spring so may change my thinking between now and then.

Jim
__________________
07 Dodge 1500 crew cab with 20" wheels, 08 Forest River Rockwood Signature Ultra-lite 8280SS
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
George Bernard Shaw
oldtool2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2015, 11:08 AM   #50
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhat6mike View Post
OBTW, if you use an inverter, you will need a transfer switch. I recommend the Progressive ATS503 unit.
Why do you need a transfer switch? Can't you use the inverter while charging the batteries from the solar panels?

Jim
__________________
07 Dodge 1500 crew cab with 20" wheels, 08 Forest River Rockwood Signature Ultra-lite 8280SS
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
George Bernard Shaw
oldtool2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2015, 07:32 PM   #51
Senior Member
 
Kenny kustom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhat6mike View Post
The panels are hooked 3 each in series, then the two strings are hooked in parallel. This keeps the volts up [approx 62vdc] and the amps down [variable up to 10 amps]. They connect to two wires [ + and - ] and enter the roof, down the interior walls to the controller. From there, two wires out to both ends of the 4 batt bank.

.

Outback manual say only series connection. No parallel.


2016 Sabre 36QBOK
2015 Ram 3500 CUMMINS

I am nice!
__________________
2017 Dynamax Isata 4
Kenny kustom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2015, 07:51 PM   #52
Senior Member
 
Blackhat6mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: St Simons Island, GA
Posts: 1,234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny kustom View Post
Outback manual say only series connection. No parallel.


2016 Sabre 36QBOK
2015 Ram 3500 CUMMINS

I am nice!
That arrangement was used with a Renogy MPPT 40amp controller and worked very well for a year till I installed 2 more panels and installed the Outback controller.
As long as you don't go over the max input volts [Voc] from panels, you are good to go. The controller will work it out. I've even give thought to going back to the 40amp Renogy controller and just 6 x 100 panels as I really don't need that much juice and the Renogy unit and MT-5 controller head is soooo much easier to use. The last 2 panels were placed temp and not screwed down just to see how they all worked.
I'm just not paying $250 for a controller remote that takes the place of a $45 MT-5 remote and does the same thing but is much harder to program. With the Outback 60, I have to lay on my side to read the thing.
Outback is just trying to keep the amps down, which is a good thing.
__________________
Aviator Wright Flyer #1919
Army Pathfinder Vietnam, 3 tours
DAV, MOPH, VFW, NRA, 1stCav. ABN
Blackhat6mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2015, 08:02 PM   #53
Senior Member
 
Kenny kustom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,467
Would the outback be upset if I fed it 100 volts @9A?


2016 Sabre 36QBOK
2015 Ram 3500 CUMMINS

I am nice!
__________________
2017 Dynamax Isata 4
Kenny kustom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2015, 09:42 PM   #54
Senior Member
 
Blackhat6mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: St Simons Island, GA
Posts: 1,234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny kustom View Post
Would the outback be upset if I fed it 100 volts @9A?


2016 Sabre 36QBOK
2015 Ram 3500 CUMMINS

I am nice!
No. Mine is rated to 150 vdc from the panels. Is'n yours per the manual? My Renogy controller is rated to 150 vdc.
__________________
Aviator Wright Flyer #1919
Army Pathfinder Vietnam, 3 tours
DAV, MOPH, VFW, NRA, 1stCav. ABN
Blackhat6mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2015, 09:46 PM   #55
Senior Member
 
Kenny kustom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,467
150 max.

There was a sweet spot I read, just can't find it now.



2016 Sabre 36QBOK
2015 Ram 3500 CUMMINS

I am nice!
__________________
2017 Dynamax Isata 4
Kenny kustom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2015, 10:02 PM   #56
Senior Member
 
Blackhat6mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: St Simons Island, GA
Posts: 1,234
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtool2 View Post
Why do you need a transfer switch? Can't you use the inverter while charging the batteries from the solar panels?

Jim
Yes you can use the INVERTER while solar charging the batteries.
An auto transfer switch is used to decide whether the inverter is to be used or shore power/generator. Don't confuse INVERTER with CONVERTER.
The solar controller can charge the batteries all the time. That has nothing to do with either. The INVERTER converts 12 vdc to 120 vac. The CONVERTER which runs off shore power/generator, converts 120 vac to 12 vdc and also charges the batteries. You can not run the converter off the inverter as it makes a loop.
An auto transfer switch keeps you out of trouble if you are going from gen/shore power to inverter. A manual transfer switch can be used, but sooner or later you will forget to manually turn it on or off.
If you are plugged in to shore power/gen and the power goes off, the auto transfer switch can take you to the INVERTER use. When the shore power/gen comes back on, an auto transfer switch will kick the INVERTER off line to protect it and connect back to shore power/gen.
__________________
Aviator Wright Flyer #1919
Army Pathfinder Vietnam, 3 tours
DAV, MOPH, VFW, NRA, 1stCav. ABN
Blackhat6mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2015, 10:09 PM   #57
Senior Member
 
Blackhat6mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: St Simons Island, GA
Posts: 1,234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny kustom View Post
150 max.

There was a sweet spot I read, just can't find it now.



2016 Sabre 36QBOK
2015 Ram 3500 CUMMINS

I am nice!
The operation manual for the Outback is a nightmare. I think it was 127 pages if I recall. It's a dog to program too, plus you really NEED the remote head to control and monitor the unit. Another $250! The Renogy MPPT 40 AMP controller is sooo easy to use and you can have several different panel arrangement including series/parallel connection. Renogy customer service is great. Outback, not so much IME.
__________________
Aviator Wright Flyer #1919
Army Pathfinder Vietnam, 3 tours
DAV, MOPH, VFW, NRA, 1stCav. ABN
Blackhat6mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2015, 02:41 AM   #58
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtool2
Why do you need a transfer switch? Can't you use the inverter while charging the batteries from the solar panels?

Jim



Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhat6mike View Post
Yes you can use the INVERTER while solar charging the batteries.
An auto transfer switch is used to decide whether the inverter is to be used or shore power/generator. Don't confuse INVERTER with CONVERTER.
The solar controller can charge the batteries all the time. That has nothing to do with either. The INVERTER converts 12 vdc to 120 vac. The CONVERTER which runs off shore power/generator, converts 120 vac to 12 vdc and also charges the batteries. You can not run the converter off the inverter as it makes a loop.
An auto transfer switch keeps you out of trouble if you are going from gen/shore power to inverter. A manual transfer switch can be used, but sooner or later you will forget to manually turn it on or off.
If you are plugged in to shore power/gen and the power goes off, the auto transfer switch can take you to the INVERTER use. When the shore power/gen comes back on, an auto transfer switch will kick the INVERTER off line to protect it and connect back to shore power/gen.
I am aware of the difference between an inverter and a converter. Been using an inverter for years for charging my camera and cell phone batteries back to days when I tent camped. Had one I used, a 750 watt, to charge my battery for an electric motor for my boat when fishing on a small lake also.

Fully aware of what a transfer switch is and does also. Worked for 20 years as an industrial electrician in a steel mill and 22 years as an enjine rear for the state of NJ.

When on shore power or using my generator I never have my inverter turned on. I don't use a transfer switch on my 5er, have not really seen a need for it. If I was a full timer it would be different. I was considering solar for the few times I go boon docking. Sense that is not very often I haven't gone to them yet because of the expense of them. So far a generator has served me well.

The only time I really use my inverter on my 5er is if I pull into a road side rest or a Walmart to spend one night to get some sleep. I have a 1000 watt full sign wave inverter I use for my TV, charge my laptop, or camera or cell phone. All my lighting is led so that is all I need for one night with my two batteries.

I would think a transfer switch would just be an added expense not necessary for the average camper but could be useful for a full timer.

Jim
__________________
07 Dodge 1500 crew cab with 20" wheels, 08 Forest River Rockwood Signature Ultra-lite 8280SS
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
George Bernard Shaw
oldtool2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2015, 07:04 AM   #59
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Englewood FL
Posts: 2,577
OldTool2

I think the need for a transfer switch depends on who is in the unit. Obviously you have a thorough understanding of electricity. Same here. However, when anyone else is involved things tend to change. On my coach I have installed an additional 1000 watt sine inverter and it powers all of the plugs on one side of the coach for convenience, including it turns out, all of my TVs. Since those plugs are also fed from the distribution panel there needs to be a way to switch them between Genny/Shore power and the inverter. A nice, cheap ($30) solution is a neat transfer switch from Xantrex. This way the plugs are always powered, regardless of genny, shore or inverter. Any other solution would back feed the inverter with 120V...and power half of the panel through the breaker when the inverter was running.

It all depends on who is doing it. My wife always complains that people who can fix anything have a lot of broken things in their homes. Actually they are not broken but only some of us can still get them to work!!!!
__________________

2015 335DS
ScottBrownstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2015, 12:23 PM   #60
Senior Member
 
Kenny kustom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhat6mike View Post
The operation manual for the Outback is a nightmare. I think it was 127 pages if I recall. It's a dog to program too, plus you really NEED the remote head to control and monitor the unit. Another $250! The Renogy MPPT 40 AMP controller is sooo easy to use and you can have several different panel arrangement including series/parallel connection. Renogy customer service is great. Outback, not so much IME.

Have you seen the new magnum controller?
Plugs into their inverter, and is controlled by it.
100A. But damn!! $$$$$


2016 Sabre 36QBOK
2015 Ram 3500 CUMMINS

I am nice!
__________________
2017 Dynamax Isata 4
Kenny kustom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery, electric, electrical, inverter

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:23 AM.