If using Inverter/Charger, do I need a solar charge controller?

johnny5

New Member
I am planning the electrical system for a van build, and have a few questions.

This is what I am looking at so far:

  • 2 100a lithium batteries
  • Victron orion 30a dc to dc charger
  • 2 100 watt solar panels (will add more in the future if needed)
  • Renogy 1000w inverter/charger

Questions:

Do I need a solar charge controller if I am using an inverter/charger? The renogy unit says it handles solar charging too but most diagrams I’ve seen online don’t show an inverter/charger in place of a dedicated solar charger.

4 gauge wire for everything in this system I've outlined above, except the solar panel, which uses 10 gauge… right?
 

snoobler

Solar Honey Badger
Moderator
No disassemble!

Welcome to the forum.

An inverter/charger typically refers to an inverter that can also charge the battery from an AC source such as grid or generator.

There are all-in-ones that provide BOTH AC charging and MPPT solar capability.

Without knowing the specific model, I can't answer.

Wiring gauge indicated should be fine.
 

johnny5

New Member
Thanks for your quick reply! I am looking at the Renogy 1000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter Charger, and it does say it's capable of handling solar charging. Just wanted to make sure. Thanks!
 

johnny5

New Member
Sorry, I'm used to reddit rules where they complain about posting links. Here it is:

 

smithgeo

Solar Enthusiast
100% a mistake in that description. The unit does not have a solar input at all.

Also, this may throw a wrench in your plans : key feature number 7 states;
  • Note: This inverter is not compatible with Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery.
 

johnny5

New Member
That is interesting, no mention of "solar" in the manual. Good call! I guess I will just buy them separate then, no biggie. Thanks for the help
 

johnny5

New Member
Also, this may throw a wrench in your plans : key feature number 7 states;
  • Note: This inverter is not compatible with Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery.

Good call, missed that too. I was looking forward to the van build but this electrical stuff is making me sick to my stomach, haha. Been staring at the computer all day trying to piece together the right system.
 

snoobler

Solar Honey Badger
Moderator
100% a mistake in that description. The unit does not have a solar input at all.

Also, this may throw a wrench in your plans : key feature number 7 states;
  • Note: This inverter is not compatible with Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery.

I think this is just saying, "it does not have a lithium setting." Looking in the manual, AGM1 and SLA are both fine options for LFP; HOWEVER, some units have a completely asinine approach to absorption. This is one of those units.

Page 15 describes the charge profile and discusses T0 and T1. In short, the absorption phase is about 10X as long as the bulk phase... this is just stupid and isn't really even good for most lead-acid. LFP rarely needs more than 30 minutes of absorption, so holding them at elevated voltage for several hours is just a bad idea.

On that basis alone, it's a bad choice.
 

johnny5

New Member
Thanks for the info. Trust me I was not attached to this particular unit. I'm just going to go with a separate inverter and use a dc to dc charger with mppt for the solar charging and be able to charge with the alternator
 
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