Class C Integration Possibilities?

dixonge

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I have searched the forums and the mobile-solarpower site but did not find any guides for fully integrating solar to an existing RV without pre-wiring.

We've been full-timing w/ a completely separate solar system, connecting the easy way by plugging the shore power into the inverter. The battery compartment is directly above the shore power cable compartent (back left of vehicle). There are some pros/cons to this setup...

Pros:
  • Did not have to hire an electrician
  • Did not have to run extra cables under/around the rig
  • Faster/cheaper
Cons:
  • No way to charge the battery bank from alternator or generator
  • Inefficient operation of DC loads (battery bank DC > Inverter AC > Converter DC > DC fuse panel)
  • Original house batteries see very little use
I think the main thing I would like to solve is having the solar battery bank connect directly to the existing DC fuse panel. This would involve an extra set of cables which would have to travel 3-4 feet under/through the rig from the battery compartment to where all of the electrical equipment is installed under the bed in the bed pedestal. A secondary item would be hard-wiring an inverter to the main AC panel under the bed. Same distance, but would require a new inverter I think since mine did not come w/ a hard-wire option.

Once this is wired, assuming the addition of a new transfer switch, we should be close to having the generator charge the battery bank, but I'm not too clear on this.

Questions:
  • Are there any guides out there for this type of scenario? (Prowse or other)
  • What are the major parts/costs I would be looking at?
  • Is this typically a DIY project or professional install project?
 
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I can help.
You mentioned you already have an inverter, is that factory installed?
UPDATE: I think its part of your stand alone system, confirm?
 

dixonge

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I can help.
You mentioned you already have an inverter, is that factory installed?
UPDATE: I think its part of your stand alone system, confirm?
Self-installed - vertamax 1500w pure sine wave - 3 standard 3-prong plugs.
 

dixonge

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so is this part of the stand alone system or is it integrated into the rv?
It's all stand-alone! I mean, yes, batteries, monitor w/ shunt, charger/controller and inverter are all standalone in separate compartment.
 

dixonge

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battery-compartment.JPG
 
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Hedges

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You've got electronics in the same compartment as FLA batteries, which give off corrosive (and explosive) gasses.
I suggest relocating one or the other. Or using AGM. (Or lithium, additional trade-offs if those are considered.)
 

dixonge

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You've got electronics in the same compartment as FLA batteries, which give off corrosive (and explosive) gasses.
I suggest relocating one or the other. Or using AGM. (Or lithium, additional trade-offs if those are considered.)
Thanks, but I wasn't soliciting system critiques. FYI, the compartment is vented.
 

Hedges

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Thanks, but I wasn't soliciting system critiques. FYI, the compartment is vented.

Solicited or not, I offered my insight.
I would not rely on "vented" to protect the electronics.
I suggest at least a baffle, so batteries are on their own separately vented partition and electronics are sealed away..

If you keep it as is, you run the risk of corrosion causing failure of electronics.
 
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Questions:
  • Are there any guides out there for this type of scenario? (Prowse or other)
Yes
  • What are the major parts/costs I would be looking at?
Either an ac charger + automatic transfer switch + assorted joinery
or an inverter/charger + assorted joinery
In the latter case you could sell your inverter as it would be redundant.
Also the ac2dc converter that is included in your ac/dc distribution panel would also be surplus to requirements in both cases.
But the resale value is pretty low so I would just disable it an leave it in place.
  • Is this typically a DIY project or professional install project?
Not difficult for DIY.
Bread and butter for a pro.
 

dixonge

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I suggest at least a baffle, so batteries are on their own separately vented partition and electronics are sealed away..
A shelf between the batteries and the rest is certainly doable. Will need to think about this.
 

dixonge

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Either an ac charger + automatic transfer switch + assorted joinery
or an inverter/charger + assorted joinery
In the latter case you could sell your inverter as it would be redundant.
Also the ac2dc converter that is included in your ac/dc distribution panel would also be surplus to requirements in both cases.
But the resale value is pretty low so I would just disable it an leave it in place.
The price range for inverter/chargers is prohibitive for now, especially since that is my lowest priority item.

So without worrying about charging the batteries from shore or the generator, if I ran a separate set of cables from the batteries to the existing DC fuse box *and* disconnected the converter breaker this should allow for DC to bypass the inverter/converter jumps. But I would need a disconnect for the next time I connected to shore power and needed to actually use the converter.
 

dixonge

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As a middle-ground solution, this blueprint might work:


Would at least allow for alternator charging and trickle-charging the starter battery and replace existing MPPT controller.

Also, I do see that inverter/chargers *might* be closer to my price range than I thought. Would just need to maybe avoid Victron...
 
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As a middle-ground solution, this blueprint might work:


Would at least allow for alternator charging and trickle-charging the starter battery and replace existing MPPT controller.

Also, I do see that inverter/chargers *might* be closer to my price range than I thought. Would just need to maybe avoid Victron...
That dc2dc charger has its own bad reputation beyond Renogy's lousy reputation.
 

dixonge

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Messages
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That dc2dc charger has its own bad reputation beyond Renogy's lousy reputation.
Which is odd, considering that it's the main product line Will uses everywhere... (edited after reading lots of posts complaining about Renogy) Would probably replace it w/ the Kisae DMT1230 if I go that route.
 
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