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Old 12-09-2022, 12:28 AM   #1
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Stock Converter and dual Inverter solar setup

I read with interest the other thread about converting to lithium, but using the stock hardware. This was my plan, and I have lots of other projects, so whenever I can use a stock item and reduce waste, I will.

Setup:
2022 Nobo 19.5 with stock solar and 12v only fridge. Microwave was DOA on day 1, and not warrantied (never buy from Couches RV Nation) so I purchased an Air Fryer with 900/1500/1800w settings. I have 5x 100W solar panels feeding a Victron 50/100 MPPT charge controller (in parallel, so its maxed at 50 amps), and retain the stock 190w cheapo 10A charge controller.
I currently run 2x 12v SLA "deep cycle" batteries and will upgrade to 300AH x 2 lithium (one purchased soon, then the second if the need arises).

The idea is to be able to boondock in two locations. The first is here in the PNW in the cold/wet/dark conditions we get much of the year. The second is on extended desert/moab trips where heat is the issue, but not solar density. I need a large solar array to be able to run the 12v only fridge when we only get overcast days from 9am to 4pm, and its dark the rest of the time. In the desert I need to be able to run the AC during the heat of the day, with 700w+ coming in, I should be fine (please no comments on feasibility of AC, that isnt my question).

1. Others have confirmed that the stock charge controller can charge lithium if you change its settings, but I have not found anywhere that says you can run two dissimilar charge controllers and get a good balance charge to the lithium batteries

2. Likewise, I am planning on running the stock inverter (either a 1000w or 2000w) to continue to power the fridge, which I have heard can draw 600W when it cycles on. I already have a 3000w inverter, which I have tested can run the AC for short periods, limited by battery bank. The question is again about dissimilar components, would there be a problem running these simultaneously? My wiring idea was to run the 3000W to the external 30A 110v input, and disconnect the Converter (to avoid parasitic charging). Then all the appliances already wired to 110v like the Air Fryer, coffee maker, and AC will work like normal, and I only need to watch the battery bank. (continuous discharge will be 200A in one battery setup, or 400A in two battery setup). short 1/0 gauge from battery to inverters will help reduce losses)


Sorry for the long detailed questions. But I was hoping someone had tried a similar setup, or good provide knowledgeable guidance on the questions.
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Old 12-09-2022, 02:45 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOBO19.5 View Post
I read with interest the other thread about converting to lithium, but using the stock hardware. This was my plan, and I have lots of other projects, so whenever I can use a stock item and reduce waste, I will.

Setup:
2022 Nobo 19.5 with stock solar and 12v only fridge.

12v fridge and long term boondocking.......... usually don't go well together
especially if you want to run the air conditioner as well.

I have 12v Fridge .... boondocking will be limited to times of year that no air is required.

Microwave was DOA on day 1, and not warrantied (never buy from Couches RV Nation)
My micro wave was DOA too, wasn't the dealer's fault.
when we did the inspection microwave lights worked so assumed the rest of it did ... Forrest River looked after it and replaced it under warranty without any fuss.

so I purchased an Air Fryer with 900/1500/1800w settings.

I have 5x 100W solar panels feeding a Victron 50/100 MPPT charge controller
(in parallel, so its maxed at 50 amps),

Victron 100/50 ...... can handle 100 volts @ 50amps


You need to look at your panels and list the
Open Voltage and the max amps they can produce
from that you can calculate how to setup the panels (if they were not setup for you)


Remember SLA can only be charged around 25% the AH rating of your total batteries You did not mention the capacity of the SLA batteries

and retain the stock 190w cheapo 10A charge controller.
may not need second controller with 5 x 100w panels = 500w (max)

the controller can handle 700w





I currently run 2x 12v SLA "deep cycle" batteries

and will upgrade to 300AH x

2 lithium (one purchased soon, then the second if the need arises).

will discuss lithium after rest is sorted out

The idea is to be able to boondock in two locations. The first is here in the PNW in the cold/wet/dark conditions we get much of the year.
Take a small 2000W or larger generator with you


The second is on extended desert/moab trips where heat is the issue, but not solar density. I need a large solar array to be able to run the 12v only fridge when we only get overcast days from 9am to 4pm, and its dark the rest of the time.


In the desert I need to be able to run the AC during the heat of the day, with 700w+ coming in, I should be fine (please no comments on feasibility of AC, that isnt my question).

5 x 100 watt panels .... will do 500w in the desert. (hopefully)
Take a small 2000W or larger generator with you


1. Others have confirmed that the stock charge controller can charge lithium if you change its settings, but I have not found anywhere that says you can run two dissimilar charge controllers and get a good balance charge to the lithium batteries

2. Likewise, I am planning on running the stock inverter (either a 1000w or 2000w) to continue to power the fridge,

3000w + if you want to use the air fryer.... OR Air conditioner (not at same time)

Fridge is 12v ONLY so NOT running from inverter!



YOU only need to run ONE good sized inverter it will only use the Watts it needs at a particular time .... at night no air maybe only powering the TV and another small appliance so it will only produce around 100w
It doesn't produce 3000W all the time and you have to use that....

It produces up to 3000w and some more, for quick startup loads



which I have heard can draw 600W when it cycles on. I already have a 3000w inverter, which I have tested can run the AC for short periods, limited by battery bank.




WILL ADD MORE LATER getting too late now for me

Study and digest these first few comments


The question is again about dissimilar components, would there be a problem running these simultaneously?



My wiring idea was to run the 3000W to the external 30A 110v input, and disconnect the Converter (to avoid parasitic charging).


Then all the appliances already wired to 110v like the Air Fryer, coffee maker, and AC will work like normal, and I only need to watch the battery bank. (continuous discharge will be 200A in one battery setup, or 400A in two battery setup). short 1/0 gauge from battery to inverters will help reduce losses)

Sorry for the long detailed questions. But I was hoping someone had tried a similar setup, or good provide knowledgeable guidance on the questions.


Notes are above
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Old 12-09-2022, 08:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOBO19.5 View Post
I read with interest the other thread about converting to lithium, but using the stock hardware. This was my plan, and I have lots of other projects, so whenever I can use a stock item and reduce waste, I will.

Setup:
2022 Nobo 19.5 with stock solar and 12v only fridge. Microwave was DOA on day 1, and not warrantied (never buy from Couches RV Nation) so I purchased an Air Fryer with 900/1500/1800w settings. I have 5x 100W solar panels feeding a Victron 50/100 MPPT charge controller (in parallel, so its maxed at 50 amps), and retain the stock 190w cheapo 10A charge controller.
I currently run 2x 12v SLA "deep cycle" batteries and will upgrade to 300AH x 2 lithium (one purchased soon, then the second if the need arises).

The idea is to be able to boondock in two locations. The first is here in the PNW in the cold/wet/dark conditions we get much of the year. The second is on extended desert/moab trips where heat is the issue, but not solar density. I need a large solar array to be able to run the 12v only fridge when we only get overcast days from 9am to 4pm, and its dark the rest of the time. In the desert I need to be able to run the AC during the heat of the day, with 700w+ coming in, I should be fine (please no comments on feasibility of AC, that isnt my question).

1. Others have confirmed that the stock charge controller can charge lithium if you change its settings, but I have not found anywhere that says you can run two dissimilar charge controllers and get a good balance charge to the lithium batteries

2. Likewise, I am planning on running the stock inverter (either a 1000w or 2000w) to continue to power the fridge, which I have heard can draw 600W when it cycles on. I already have a 3000w inverter, which I have tested can run the AC for short periods, limited by battery bank. The question is again about dissimilar components, would there be a problem running these simultaneously? My wiring idea was to run the 3000W to the external 30A 110v input, and disconnect the Converter (to avoid parasitic charging). Then all the appliances already wired to 110v like the Air Fryer, coffee maker, and AC will work like normal, and I only need to watch the battery bank. (continuous discharge will be 200A in one battery setup, or 400A in two battery setup). short 1/0 gauge from battery to inverters will help reduce losses)


Sorry for the long detailed questions. But I was hoping someone had tried a similar setup, or good provide knowledgeable guidance on the questions.
As Aussieguy said, the frig doesn't need a inverter if it is 12 volt.

I run 2 dissimilar SCCs and can discern no issues. Also, I have never read of there being an issue when each SCC is independently connected to the battery.

The inverter can be an issue. IMO, you need to be careful with fuse and wiring if you are going to max it out with something like an air conditioner and other high wattage devices.

Running 300-400 amps through a 1/0 (12 volt system), in my opinion, is way undersized. Please check the charts for the correct wire size for your max amperage plus some wiggle room. Spend a little more now on thicker wire and sleep sounder when camping. Those wires can get quite hot.

Also, remember, those battery amperages numbers are usually for a set period of time. My batteries are good for 200 amps each for 30 minutes before they are dead. Once they are fully discharged, chances are your your electrified boondocking experience is over.

Not that I get a lot of time to boondock, but when I do, I think along the lines of being tent camping with a good 12 volt battery system.
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Old 12-09-2022, 10:19 AM   #4
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I suggest one understand power management. One is not at home and thus doesn't have the power for items of convenience. Batteries and inverters for those power levels are complex systems and require special maintenance. Add in shore power, solar power, and generator power and one has a small utility system to operate.

I just see as boondocking as a minimalist activity. Not a trip of convenience and luxury.

Bob
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Old 12-09-2022, 02:25 PM   #5
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Umm...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOBO19.5 View Post
I read with interest the other thread about converting to lithium, but using the stock hardware. This was my plan, and I have lots of other projects, so whenever I can use a stock item and reduce waste, I will.

Setup:
2022 Nobo 19.5 with stock solar and 12v only fridge. Microwave was DOA on day 1, and not warrantied
You realize, don't you, that all the components in the trailer are warranted by their manufacturers (often for longer than Forest River) as well as Forest River? You don't complain about your furnace/water heater/microwave/converter/etc. to the dealer. You go right to the manufacturer, who usually takes care of everything for you.
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Old 12-09-2022, 02:31 PM   #6
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I personally would try to get components from the same manufacturer that talk to each other. I pay a premium for Victron products because the MPPTs and inverters all cross-communicate. IMO, it helps alleviate some of the concerns of running multiple things.

Your factory stock inverter likely has shore-power pass-through. If you're going to be plugging the whole RV into the 30amp inverter, it'll effectively bypass the factory inverter.

The question of what it powers should be answered. I tend to find that a non-contact voltage detector or string of Christmas lights can help identify that pretty quick.

That said, double-check your 1/0 wire size for the inverter. 3000 watts / 12 volts = 250 amps. Your inverter manual should tell you the size of cables you need. For instance, the Victron MultiPlus 12/3000 suggests a *pair* of 1/0 cables for up to 5m total circuit distance (see page 10, section 4.2):
https://www.victronenergy.com/upload...xxx4xx)-EN.pdf

That means, 2 positive and 2 negative 1/0 cables to support the prospective load.

Don't forget fusing requirements for the inverter. Again, the instruction manual for whatever inverter you pick should identify its requirements. Fuse to protect the wires so they don't become the fuse for you.

As for your converter, I wouldn't modify it since you have the solar charge controllers topping up the last percentage of the lithium batteries.
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Old 12-09-2022, 09:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
For instance, the Victron MultiPlus 12/3000 suggests a *pair* of 1/0 cables for up to 5m total circuit distance (see page 10, section 4.2):
https://www.victronenergy.com/upload...xxx4xx)-EN.pdf

That means, 2 positive and 2 negative 1/0 cables to support the prospective load.

Ditto on all and I'd like to emphasize "total circuit distance". That's not just the distance between battery and "device" but the total length of all wires, both positive and negative, that form the round trip for electricity to that device.

Also take into consideration that many inverters have a rating for one given number of watts and then have a surge rating for up to twice the "running" rating. It's a good idea to make sure the wires feeding an inverter are at least adequate for a good portion of this surge rating.
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