Class C Integration

dixonge

Solar Enthusiast
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Jun 18, 2021
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189
Apologies for starting a new thread, but the previous one got somewhat derailed, and I have clarified what I want/need better...

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 the generator
  • Inefficient operation of DC loads (battery bank DC > Inverter AC > Converter DC > DC fuse panel)
Problems that have arisen while trying to figure out a solution:
  1. Existing house batteries start the generator and supply backup/emergency starting for the engine. They are charged from alternator, generator and shore power. Therefore, they need to stay connected to the main power center.
  2. I have not yet found an RV power center w/ a converter/charger that handles multiple battery banks so I can charge the solar battery bank off of shore power and the generator
  3. Marine chargers handle multiple battery banks, but aren't drop-in replacements for the RV converter/charger I have. Progressive Dynamics makes one that sends full amps to each bank, but unsure how to wire this in to the existing AC/DC panels. https://www.progressivedyn.com/marine-charger/
  4. Inverter needs to be integrated into the automatic transfer switch as a 3rd source of AC, in addition to shore power and generator.
A piecemeal solution would be to install a simple charger that would plug in to an outlet and then charge off of the generator. This solves only the charging issue.

I'm looking for more all-in-one integrated solutions.
 

eXodus

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Jul 27, 2020
Messages
633
I'm in a Class A going through the same:

all-in-one-rv-system-v2-png.63255


I think I solved the issue you describe - by disconnecting the powercable from the Powercenter and running it through the inverter/charger/transferswitch (all in one unit).
So I can plugin either the generator or the grid.
 

dixonge

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Jun 18, 2021
Messages
189
I'm in a Class A going through the same:

I think I solved the issue you describe - by disconnecting the powercable from the Powercenter and running it through the inverter/charger/transferswitch (all in one unit).
So I can plugin either the generator or the grid.
So your inverter is now in-between the shore power cable and the power center/converter/charger?

And do you use the generator by plugging the shore power cable into it?
 

eXodus

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Jul 27, 2020
Messages
633
So your inverter is now in-between the shore power cable and the power center/converter/charger?

And do you use the generator by plugging the shore power cable into it?
correct. Very low tech :) , got an 30A outlet in the Cable bay which is feed by the generator.

When I'm boondocking the cable is plugged into the generator - and when I'm at campsite/home - the cable is plugged into the grid.
 

dixonge

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Messages
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correct. Very low tech :) , got an 30A outlet in the Cable bay which is feed by the generator.

When I'm boondocking the cable is plugged into the generator - and when I'm at campsite/home - the cable is plugged into the grid.
OK, so does your inverter go through a transfer switch on the way to the power center?
 

eXodus

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OK, so does your inverter go through a transfer switch on the way to the power center?
the Growatt is an All-in One Hybrid Inverter Unit.
Yes it includes a Transferswitch - but it does a whole lot more. It's also a AC charger for the 24V Solar system, and a MPPT. It can just charge from the Grid/Generator, or transfer.

Further it can actually start the generator when the batteries go low. (still have to implement that feature, but it's there)

 

dixonge

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Jun 18, 2021
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the Growatt is an All-in One Hybrid Inverter Unit.
Yes it includes a Transferswitch - but it does a whole lot more. It's also a AC charger for the 24V Solar system, and a MPPT. It can just charge from the Grid/Generator, or transfer.

Further it can actually start the generator when the batteries go low. (still have to implement that feature, but it's there)

I like having it accept MPPT input - just wish they had a 12v model...
 

eXodus

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just wish they had a 12v model...
I was debating that for a long time, but then realized that 12V is really hard/expensive above 1500w
The amount of current, what huge cables you have to run - is just getting unpractical.
You probably already have some 12V equipment, like I do - so I just kept my 12V system and adding the 24V system.

I also got a 12V inverter, not showing in this diagram. (and there is a 12V line from the AGMs to the generator)

In this RV I'm going to have redundancy over redundancy over redundancy. It is not highly efficient what I'm building, but actually pretty cheap and got multiple systems to supply power.

Should the growatt fail - I got still the 12V inverter and the generator left to supply 120V.

Got three ways of charging my 12v - Converter/Charger, Solar and Alternator
 

dixonge

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So let's say, just for kicks, that I decided to just get a separate charger. I'd want AC input of 110v, output of 12v DC, power factor corrected (PFC), and customizable 3-stage charging, so I can set voltages. Bonus points for the ability to equalize.

I'm having trouble finding a unit like this...
 

dixonge

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Jun 18, 2021
Messages
189
Verified that the generator starts from the original house batteries.
 

time2roll

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Mar 20, 2021
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I connected my inverter to just the branch circuits I wanted powered. No A/C, no electric water heater, no converter. Can get a small transfer switch for each branch you want powered. https://www.donrowe.com/KISAE-TS15A-Automatic-Transfer-Switch-p/ts15a.htm

Everything operates normal. When I turn on the inverter the switches select the inverter and are isolated from the generator/utility power.
 

dixonge

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Jun 18, 2021
Messages
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Everything operates normal. When I turn on the inverter the switches select the inverter and are isolated from the generator/utility power.
We mostly boondock, so we just never even think of using the microwave, A/C, electric water heater, etc.
 

Generis

It'll be fun they said
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Aug 21, 2020
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Location
Ontario Canada
Well, for super cheap you can solve your troubles with the charging thing...
Follow this idea below:
Switch or unplug your solar charger input and plug it into this 48v supply instead:
THis is so dang easy. You already have a perfect charger on your solar controller. So feed it with a 110v supply instead of solar.
Done.
This is what I use for my AC charger (when if ever I need this). It's a very very simple solution. And it puts out actually 15% more watts than advertised, and my MPPT controller loves the solid hard line voltage coming in. Super nice strong charge, and the charge system and parameters I use for solar just stay the same, so there's never any worries about what's going on with the AC charger... it's just supplying power, and when the charge ends, so does the AC load.
I'm a bit simple in my thinking on these things. I don't like duplicate systems for what seems like the exact same task. So If I have no solar and need a charge, I use this. I would never trust my 'RV charger invertor' thingy under the seat to do any good charge, I actually clipped off the transformer wire for the charge circuit so it still runs 12v when plugged in to the AC and the breaker is engaged, but otherwise all my 12v comes from my batteries all the time, direct to the 'RV charger invertor' thingy. Of course, it takes a 12v input from any batteries, but you can click off the breaker so it won't charge, and will always use the batteries for the source of 12v.
That's my setup, and I'm also using a plug on my giant inverter. This means my 110v can only come from one source at a time, and I have to move the RV 30a plug to ONE source at a time, very safe. Very.
You can do the same with the solar. If you need AC charging, then unplug or switch the solar input to the AC-48vdc box, and you're done. Nothing else required.
Best of luck
C
 

dixonge

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Messages
189
Well, for super cheap you can solve your troubles with the charging thing...
Follow this idea below:
Switch or unplug your solar charger input and plug it into this 48v supply instead:
THis is so dang easy. You already have a perfect charger on your solar controller. So feed it with a 110v supply instead of solar.
Done.
I ended up buying an Iota DLS-55 - not running it through the MPPT but using it to supplement things until I can get the two new solar panels integrated.
 

Zwy

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Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
828
I'm in a Class A going through the same:

all-in-one-rv-system-v2-png.63255


I think I solved the issue you describe - by disconnecting the powercable from the Powercenter and running it through the inverter/charger/transferswitch (all in one unit).
So I can plugin either the generator or the grid.
Yes, you have it correct for the AC power from GW 120v output to power center. In my truck camper, I used the old 30a service cord removed from the power center, and pulled the cord from the GW output to the power center thru the walls and under the floor. The length left over was about 7 feet and I can use that to just make a short cord if desired. Only need the female end as I didn't cut off the male end.
 
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