Renogy 1000W Inverter Grounding (UK model, GFCI/RCD?)

bennetimo

New Member
Hi,

I have a Renogy 1000W inverter, the UK model. It's listed here: https://uk.renogy.com/1000w-12v-to-230v-pure-sine-wave-inverter-with-ups-function/.

The instructions for it are very sparse, and make no mention of grounding at all other than to show the grounding pin in the diagram. It does not say whether it is N-E bonded, center tapped, whether it has a built in RCD (in UK so not GFCI) or anything. It has one single AC outlet, and no AC terminals for doing a hardwire install. I've contacted Renogy support to ask for a bit more info on the grounding side but have not heard anything back, and in the UK there isn't even a phone number, just a support ticket system. So I'm hoping that someone might be able to shine some wisdom on a few points for me!

For context, I am installing it into a van conversion that has:
- 3x175W Renogy Solar panels
- Victron Orion DC charger (the isolated version, so not using a common ground)
- 200AH LifePO4 batteries
- The Renogy 1000W inverter
- I'm not using chassis ground for any DC negative return (duplex wires to all loads), but am planning to connect at one point to the chassis ground for static charge dissipation etc.
- There is no sure power connection

I'm trying to figure out a few things:

1. Does it look like my inverter has any kind of RCD/GFCI built in? It doesn't say in the manual (link here) anything specific about this (I've seen that the US version does mention it, but the UK one does not sadly). All it says is this listed under the features:
  • Electronic overload protection with automatic shutdown.
  • Built-in internal backup DC fuse provides added safety.
  • Low battery voltage protection with automatic shutdown.
  • Over temperature protection with automatic shutdown.
  • Output short circuit protection.
Does the "electronic overload protection" and/or "output short circuit protection" indicate an inbuilt RCD/GFCI?

2. Should I connect up the ground pin on the inverter case to my DC ground? I am using the Lynx distributor and am planning to run a single ground wire from the lynx to the van chassis. It is a tiny ground terminal as well, in comparison to the DC terminals. On the victron inverters I've seen they recommend the ground wire being only a little smaller than the current carrying conductors, so a little confusing for me here that the ground pin on this inverter is so small?

3. There are no hardwire outlets on my inverter. I was thinking of wiring a plug to a hardwired outlet in the van. Is there any issue with that?

Thanks in advance! I've tried to read up as much as I can about this but still a little confused, not helped by the Renogy manual being so terrible. Thanks for the resources on this site as well, the "Grounding Made Simpler" by FilterGuy has been especially useful, as well as the Victron "Wiring Unlimited" pdf.

I noticed in Will Prowse's video here (
), he mentions he often doesn't bother with the ground pin. But then with the bigger units with GFCI built in does. If my understanding a GFCI/RCD can only trip properly if there is a Neutral-Earth bond inside the inverter, and I'm not sure how that applies in my case, especially as I don't know whether my inverter has that built or not (!).

If anyone has any clues to help me figure this out I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!
Tim
 

anadiner

Solar Enthusiast
Hi,

I have a Renogy 1000W inverter, the UK model. It's listed here: https://uk.renogy.com/1000w-12v-to-230v-pure-sine-wave-inverter-with-ups-function/.

The instructions for it are very sparse, and make no mention of grounding at all other than to show the grounding pin in the diagram. It does not say whether it is N-E bonded, center tapped, whether it has a built in RCD (in UK so not GFCI) or anything. It has one single AC outlet, and no AC terminals for doing a hardwire install. I've contacted Renogy support to ask for a bit more info on the grounding side but have not heard anything back, and in the UK there isn't even a phone number, just a support ticket system. So I'm hoping that someone might be able to shine some wisdom on a few points for me!

For context, I am installing it into a van conversion that has:
- 3x175W Renogy Solar panels
- Victron Orion DC charger (the isolated version, so not using a common ground)
- 200AH LifePO4 batteries
- The Renogy 1000W inverter
- I'm not using chassis ground for any DC negative return (duplex wires to all loads), but am planning to connect at one point to the chassis ground for static charge dissipation etc.
- There is no sure power connection

I'm trying to figure out a few things:

1. Does it look like my inverter has any kind of RCD/GFCI built in? It doesn't say in the manual (link here) anything specific about this (I've seen that the US version does mention it, but the UK one does not sadly). All it says is this listed under the features:
  • Electronic overload protection with automatic shutdown.
  • Built-in internal backup DC fuse provides added safety.
  • Low battery voltage protection with automatic shutdown.
  • Over temperature protection with automatic shutdown.
  • Output short circuit protection.
Does the "electronic overload protection" and/or "output short circuit protection" indicate an inbuilt RCD/GFCI?

2. Should I connect up the ground pin on the inverter case to my DC ground? I am using the Lynx distributor and am planning to run a single ground wire from the lynx to the van chassis. It is a tiny ground terminal as well, in comparison to the DC terminals. On the victron inverters I've seen they recommend the ground wire being only a little smaller than the current carrying conductors, so a little confusing for me here that the ground pin on this inverter is so small?

3. There are no hardwire outlets on my inverter. I was thinking of wiring a plug to a hardwired outlet in the van. Is there any issue with that?

Thanks in advance! I've tried to read up as much as I can about this but still a little confused, not helped by the Renogy manual being so terrible. Thanks for the resources on this site as well, the "Grounding Made Simpler" by FilterGuy has been especially useful, as well as the Victron "Wiring Unlimited" pdf.

I noticed in Will Prowse's video here (
), he mentions he often doesn't bother with the ground pin. But then with the bigger units with GFCI built in does. If my understanding a GFCI/RCD can only trip properly if there is a Neutral-Earth bond inside the inverter, and I'm not sure how that applies in my case, especially as I don't know whether my inverter has that built or not (!).

If anyone has any clues to help me figure this out I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!
Tim
Hum... the picture is so ambigious. Normally, u can tell if GCFI at a glance. The plug has GCFI features but I hate it when looks one way but not stated. Makes me feel like trying to be fooled.

So... ask. Message Renogy and ask. Also flat out ask about the ground. Some 12v 1k inverters just ground to chasis. Some its internal. U mentioned both situations so once again, ask.

Btw, u could go the route of just grounded heck outa everything to cya. Wont hurt anything.
 

anadiner

Solar Enthusiast
Forgot to mention: reason smaller wire for ground is to cause surge to halt. Its an extra safety (I had this happen btw).

The surge hits that bottleneck and SNAP/FRY. Mine was underground and the sand had crystalized when I dug it up. (At beach so sandy soil)
 

mikefitz

Solar Addict
I don't think a RCD is built into the unit.
It has an auto change over but there is no info in the manual on neutral to earth bond.

The Renogy unit is intended to be used with single appliances plugged into the unit.

In the UK the shore supply has neutral to earth bond at the supply point. To comply with regulations for mobile 230 volts insulations there must be a double pole RCD and double pole MCB after the input connector on the van and before any electrical equipment, that includes your inverter. The protective conductor must be connected to van metal. The inverter case must be connected to the van metal. The battery negative must be connected to the van metal.
So long as you are connected to shore power, the RCD will protect from electric shock.
However if the shore power is disconnected you nolonger have protection from a RCD unless:
A further RCD is added on the inverter output and the auto switching adds a neutral to earth bond .

Inverters with auto change over from other manufacturers available in the UK have this .

You must not attempt to install neutral to earth bond within the van that is active whilst the shore power is connected. This is illegal and dangerous.

Unless you get info from Renogy on the automatic provision of the neutral to earth bond when there is no shore power I advise considering a European design that has that provision.

Mike
 

bennetimo

New Member
Hum... the picture is so ambigious. Normally, u can tell if GCFI at a glance. The plug has GCFI features but I hate it when looks one way but not stated. Makes me feel like trying to be fooled.

So... ask. Message Renogy and ask. Also flat out ask about the ground. Some 12v 1k inverters just ground to chasis. Some its internal. U mentioned both situations so once again, ask.

Btw, u could go the route of just grounded heck outa everything to cya. Wont hurt anything.
Thanks, yeah it is very ambiguous! Unfortunately I tried to contact Renogy already for over a month, and they have not given me a single response on any channel. Tried through their support ticket system, and multiple emails to various different addresses I found, even the US one to ask for some additional info on the grounding and bonding. It's pretty shocking really (no pun intended)! I feel like the product is good, and feels well built, but it's let down so much by terrible customer service and information.

Interesting about the ground wire, as from what I understood from reading Victron's info, they suggest the ground wire must be at most one gauge smaller than the main conductive wires. To cause it to snap/fry, wouldn't that potentially lead to melting/fire issues, and is what a properly rated fuse would better protect against? When I've seen people installing it they often use the same gauge wire as the main wires (partly for cost as then they only need to buy one sized spool).

I don't think a RCD is built into the unit.
It has an auto change over but there is no info in the manual on neutral to earth bond.

The Renogy unit is intended to be used with single appliances plugged into the unit.

In the UK the shore supply has neutral to earth bond at the supply point. To comply with regulations for mobile 230 volts insulations there must be a double pole RCD and double pole MCB after the input connector on the van and before any electrical equipment, that includes your inverter. The protective conductor must be connected to van metal. The inverter case must be connected to the van metal. The battery negative must be connected to the van metal.
So long as you are connected to shore power, the RCD will protect from electric shock.
However if the shore power is disconnected you nolonger have protection from a RCD unless:
A further RCD is added on the inverter output and the auto switching adds a neutral to earth bond .

Inverters with auto change over from other manufacturers available in the UK have this .

You must not attempt to install neutral to earth bond within the van that is active whilst the shore power is connected. This is illegal and dangerous.

Unless you get info from Renogy on the automatic provision of the neutral to earth bond when there is no shore power I advise considering a European design that has that provision.

Mike
Thanks Mike, yeah I think I've decided I don't feel comfortable installing the Renogy unit for the use I'm intending. I've no doubt it's a decent inverter but as you say, is intended to be used with a single appliance.

You mention some great points. My setup will not have any shore power (solar and DC-DC charger only), so there is no risk of a double N/E bond. I guess the setup would be most similar to the 'Floating Network in a boat or vehicle' in Victron's wiring unlimited, p61.

"In mobile system where an inverter (or generator) is the only power source one can specifically choose not to use a TT network but to use an IT network. In an IT network the phase and neutral are not coupled to another potential like earth. The voltages created by the independent power source are floating. A system like this is very safe and simple to install. If a conductor or housing in this system is touched by a person, no current can flow to earth. Remember, for current to flow a complete circuit is needed. In this system the earthing conductor is absent and the electric circuit to earth is not complete."

My understanding is that if I was using it in a floating manner and only with a single appliance, then whether that appliance was double insulated or not it couldn't result in a shock scenario, since there is no N/E bond happening. But, if I am running it to multiple sockets then there is the potential for two faulty single insulated appliances to be live to the case at the same time and result in a shock scenario. However even in the first case, I would want to know that there is a fault, even if it wouldn't pose a shock hazard under those particular conditions. So I definitely want to an RCD to be present. I would like to have the added piece of mind that there is something in place designed to protect me, and something that I can use a tester to check is actually working as intended too. Don't want to mess with 240v AC!

I think I'm going to leave the Renogy one and buy one of the Victron Phoenix series instead, that has actual hardwire provisions built in. Then I can just wire it straight up to a mini consumer unit with RCD and MCBs to feed off to the sockets I place around the van. Now if only I can get Renogy to reply for long enough to be able to return theirs... :ROFLMAO:
 

anadiner

Solar Enthusiast
Just adding couple minor totally preferential thoughts:
- not a fan of Renogy. AIMS customer service, prices and products has won me over. If I keep beating that drum, gonna look like Im a rep or something. Nope. Just an impressed customer.
- correct about smaller ground wire to cause snap/fry halt. Woke me in middle of night zzzzt, zzzzt and the smell of burnt wire. Scared crap outs me, jumped up and started hitting disconnects. Thats why if I cant bury a ground, its in conduit.
- u sound like me and willing to do anything to feel safe at night. I experienced a house burning down and it is not freaking fun at all. Leads me back to how I found myself at AIMS website... I was on a quest to find UL Listed solar products. UL listed is complete electrical tested..

Btw, those ditch those battery cables that come with inverters. I 0 gauge in all copper... yea overshoot but hey peace if mind.
 

anadiner

Solar Enthusiast
Forgot: Victron is an established brand with excellent reputation. Cost too much for me. Honestly, feel like overpriced. Spends buttload on advertising but, from my understanding, excellent cust srv and good quality products.
 

bennetimo

New Member
Yeah I want to have the peace of mind that it's safe, and also that I understand why it is safe. About the cable sizes, that's one other thing I noticed actually, the ones that came with the Renogy were o.k. but would be undersized slightly based on how I sized my other cables. Already planned to swap those out. :)

I might swap the renogy with this Victron Phoenix 1200. I like the build quality of the other Victron parts I have, and this one has an internal jumper for making the N-E bond.
 
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