Solar supplemented by shore power.

newshutz

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Sorry if this has been covered before, I cannot find a discussion.

I live in a 50A 5th wheel and am going to install a solar system in the next year.

I would like to use solar power primarily, and have shore power supplement, when there is not enough solar to meet demand. Is there an inverter/charger on the market that will draw from the solar/batteries, but supplement with shore power when needed?

A Victron salesman said the Multiplus 2 would do this, but I cannot find a setting in the manual.

I think this can be accomplished by having a separate charger and inverter, but there would be losses for shore power going through the charger to the inverter to the house, and they would have to be larger to handle the whole 120V load.
 

rmaddy

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Is there an inverter/charger on the market that will draw from the solar/batteries, but supplement with shore power when needed?
Basically any inverter/charger does this.

A Victron salesman said the Multiplus 2 would do this, but I cannot find a setting in the manual.
Any Victron MultiPlus does this in general. The AC-in is wired to the shore power plug. That's it. Done. When not using shore power the inverter uses the battery to provide AC-out. When using shore power the shore power is used to provide AC-out and to charge the battery as needed. It's automatic. The MultiPlus does have an optional feature called Power Assist. If the inverter can't get enough amps from the shore power to meet its needs, it can also pull power from the battery at the same time.

The specific MultiPlus you need depends on your requirements for input voltage and current (120V/30A vs 240V/50A for North America or 230V in most other places) and things like single or split phase, etc.

For your setup you probably want the MultiPlus II 2x120V:

 

kenryan

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Basically any inverter/charger does this.


Any Victron MultiPlus does this in general. The AC-in is wired to the shore power plug. That's it. Done. When not using shore power the inverter uses the battery to provide AC-out. When using shore power the shore power is used to provide AC-out and to charge the battery as needed. It's automatic. The MultiPlus does have an optional feature called Power Assist. If the inverter can't get enough amps from the shore power to meet its needs, it can also pull power from the battery at the same time.

The specific MultiPlus you need depends on your requirements for input voltage and current (120V/30A vs 240V/50A for North America or 230V in most other places) and things like single or split phase, etc.

For your setup you probably want the MultiPlus II 2x120V:

If I understand both you and the OP correctly, what you describe is the OPPOSITE of what the OP wants.

It seems like what you describe is that when connected to shore power the inverter shore power and only when not connected uses battery power.

I believe the OP wants the inverter to use battery power, and only resort to shore power if the battery reaches a certain state of discharge, thus minimizing shore power usage and maximizing solar power usage.
 

rmaddy

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I believe the OP wants the inverter to use battery power, and only resort to shore power if the battery reaches a certain state of discharge, thus minimizing shore power usage and maximizing solar power usage.
OK. If the idea is that shore power will always be connected but only used when the batteries are low or when the load is high, then the MultiPlus can do this. Using VictronConnect you can go to the "AC input control" settings.
 

Abodyofscience

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Please post several IF THEN statements.
IF shore power is/is not available, THEN xxx
IF batteries charged/not charged, THEN zzz

Shore power or not, solar power or not, charged or not, load high or low, 16 separate cases.

It's your design specification. Then we can all bid on it.
 

newshutz

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Sorry, I was not clear.

If no shore power, then solar/battery (perhaps generator)
If shore power and solar, but the solar can handle the load, then solar till the battery drops below a threshold.
if shore power and solar, but the solar cannot handle the load (like A/C is desired), then still use solar, but add in some energy from shore power.
If no solar but shore power (Sun is down, cloudy, etc) then use shore power (i.e. keep batteries above threshold)
If no solar or shore power, then perhaps a generator

My original example of something inefficient but would work is shore -> converter -> battery bank -> inverter -> 120V house load
Solar charge controller in parallel to the converter.

Beyond the conservation benefits, It looks like I will be spending a lot of time in RV parks in AZ or Texas, where I will need to pay for shore power.
I also could manage it manually, but it would be nice to let the thermostat kick on the A/C and have the shore power pitch in.
 

WYtreasure

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Welcome to the show newshutz :)

I think, as rmaddy stated, many charge controllers will do what you want IF priorities can be set.

Will did a video on this product, maybe you will find some answers there.
watts247.com/product/pip-1012lv-ms/
 

newshutz

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OK. If the idea is that shore power will always be connected but only used when the batteries are low or when the load is high, then the MultiPlus can do this. Using VictronConnect you can go to the "AC input control" settings.
Thanks, I will delve into the manual on this.
 

newshutz

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Welcome to the show newshutz :)

I think, as rmaddy stated, many charge controllers will do what you want IF priorities can be set.

Will did a video on this product, maybe you will find some answers there.
watts247.com/product/pip-1012lv-ms/
Thanks, I will go through the docs
 

rmaddy

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Thanks, I will delve into the manual on this.
It won't be in the MultiPlus manual. You can find it in the VictronConnect manual. Go to this page:


and select the link for "AC Input Control".

And don't forget that you can play with the settings using the VictronConnect demo mode.
 

newshutz

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It won't be in the MultiPlus manual. You can find it in the VictronConnect manual. Go to this page:


and select the link for "AC Input Control".

And don't forget that you can play with the settings using the VictronConnect demo mode.
Well, that explains why I could not find it in the MultiPlus manual :)
 

gelmjw

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Sorry if this has been covered before, I cannot find a discussion.

I live in a 50A 5th wheel and am going to install a solar system in the next year.

I would like to use solar power primarily, and have shore power supplement, when there is not enough solar to meet demand. Is there an inverter/charger on the market that will draw from the solar/batteries, but supplement with shore power when needed?
...
That would be the setting #1 called 'Output Source Setting = SBU on my Growatt 3000. SBU is short for Solar, Battery, Utility. In English that says If Solar cannot support the loads, assist with Battery, otherwise bypass the inverter and transfer all loads to the Utility connection.
 

Bugwubber

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Victrons are not set up to prioritize solar over grid. The hybrid function lets you limit shore power but there’s no function to do the reverse. Perhaps you could treat grid like a generator so it automatically switches on when your batteries drop to a certain level?
 
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