Would you like to help me pick an AIO?

thebeavesknees

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Joined
Sep 5, 2023
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124
Location
SE PA
Hi. I'm Matt, AKA The Beave, and I'm trying to decide on an AIO for my home, a 27' travel trailer. Currently, I have a very typical 30A single phase setup, mostly as is from the factory. (I've had to replace several outlets and the main inlet, thank you quality control!) I will be installing a decently capable solar system centered around the 4 REC Alpha panels I bought for a steal locally. PXL_20230901_182600829.jpg
As you can see, the Voc is 48.9V. The Isc is 10.3A. The panels will be installed in pairs, fore and aft, leaving the middle of the roof around the AC unit clear. These are very large panels, at least compared to the ~200W Amazon specials I was originally planning to run. I cannot fit more of these on the roof easily, but could eventually get 2-4 smaller panels shoe-horned to the sides of the AC, IF I keep the rooftop unit. (More about that in a bit.)

So, since I have 4 panels, I have two basic configuration options:
4S or 2S2P. Given the position of my trailer and the fact I don't move with it much, running it 2S2P to help get more production when there is inevitable shading would be nice, but, that limits what units I could use effectively. Running 4S would allow me to use more "modern" units, but possibly at the cost of less production. But, I'm very new to this and am not sure. (Hence my asking questions.)

I have decided to run a 48V system. I would like at least a 3kw inverter with decent surge capacity. Compactness is a bonus, since space is tight. I don't have much space to dedicate to this as my trailer is not as spacious as others.

Things to consider:
I will install a minisplit next year. I have not decided on which unit, and this might determine the system I'd need to run it. If you have input on a good unit that runs off of 120V, it's quiet, and also has EXCELLENT heating performance, I would like to know. If not, I may elect to go with my neighbour's offer to get me a good price on a Mitsubishi. (He runs his own HVAC company and is an all around good dude.) They aren't cheap, and the better units require 240V split phase, which is totally doable, but come as the additional cost of space and expense. Being able to heat and cool my home without as much grid input or propane runs would also be very much appreciated.

I like redundancy and scalability. Starting with a smaller system that can grow if needed is paramount, but, if someone can point out a reason to jump up to something like a 6 or 6.5kW unit, I am open to suggestions.

I've already made my peace accepting that I'll need to install something like an EG4 chargeverter since it makes everything simpler if I need to run a generator.

Since I'm not sure exactly where I'll end up in the next two years, I would like a unit that is very tolerant of the sometimes trashy grid power in RV parks.

I'm not looking to spend Victron money.

I'm not worried about overloading a 3kW inverter with my usage as the worst of the draw I have is if the AC starts while my microwave (which I might replace with a larger countertop oven/air-fryer) is running. The water heater is currently run on propane. Unless I'm putting out the awning or slide, the 12V system runs my lights and compressor fridge. (The 12V system will be kept intact. I intend to install the inverter as the main inlet to the OEM wiring to keep all the RV systems normally functional, and I'm aware that there will be some "unnecessary" conversion losses inverting 48V DC to 120V AC to 12V DC, but, this is the simplest and cleanest solution.)

So, what are your thoughts? At the top of my list is the MPP 3048LV-MK. It's inexpensive, stackable for more capacity or 240V split phase, readily available, and seemingly well supported.

I'm not exactly impressed with the Growatt offerings.

EG4 still sketches me out, mostly due to how badly botched SS's service has been for so many forum members. I do like the paper specs of their 3K, and it would be nice, but not necessarily needed, to have very excellent inverter to battery communications.

Taking into account that I don't have a perfect panel alignment, do not have space for more panels at the moment, don't "need" much more capacity that a good surge with 3kW, and like redundancy, is there anything wrong with my top pick? Will I need to worry about the Voc going too high in the winter with the 3048LV-MK if I run 4S? (I'm in SE PA and if I move, it will be much further north, to NH or Maine.)

Thanks for your time in reading this. I hope to have a productive discussion!
 
Service and support is a big concern and you can't beat Ian's response time and support.

I've been happy with a MPP-LV2424 that I purchased thru Ian. Do take into consideration the VOC input when cold.
There isn't an issue for me with your top pick.
 
I'm not worried about overloading a 3kW inverter with my usage as the worst of the draw I have is if the AC starts while my microwave (which I might replace with a larger countertop oven/air-fryer) is running. The water heater is currently run on propane. Unless I'm putting out the awning or slide, the 12V system runs my lights and compressor fridge. (The 12V system will be kept intact. I intend to install the inverter as the main inlet to the OEM wiring to keep all the RV systems normally functional, and I'm aware that there will be some "unnecessary" conversion losses inverting 48V DC to 120V AC to 12V DC, but, this is the simplest and cleanest solution.)
Based off my 15k BTU air con pulling 1.7 kw and my 1200 watt cooking power microwave pulling around 1.8 kw, I would bet that it will overload a 3 kW inverter unless great care is spent on not turning on both at the same time. Even when you get the minisplit, when the mini-split starts for the first time of the day, if the microwave is running, than the surge could be a bit much for a 3 kW inverter.

I used to think on all in one would be nice, but I'm happy I went with a stand alone Inverter, with a separate set of SCCs, and a separate charger.

Your requirements of 240 VAC and at least a 3kw AIO will be challenging. AIO are not that small and finding room for three separate components may be easier than one large box.
 
You might look into the SRNE ASF48100U200-H 10KW split phase unit. Yes it is more than you say you need. It is also fairly new and untried (there is one Forum member that has a ongoing review about it as he puts it through its paces: https://diysolarforum.com/threads/srne-asf48100u200-h-10kw.67809/).

The reason I suggest going to a split phase AIO now is it gives you much more expansion capability for the future. There is a hit in terms of idle power to allow for which if you went with stand alone components might nor be as bad. But you mentioned that Victron might be a bit out of your initial design budget.

 
Based off my 15k BTU air con pulling 1.7 kw and my 1200 watt cooking power microwave pulling around 1.8 kw, I would bet that it will overload a 3 kW inverter unless great care is spent on not turning on both at the same time. Even when you get the minisplit, when the mini-split starts for the first time of the day, if the microwave is running, than the surge could be a bit much for a 3 kW inverter.

I used to think on all in one would be nice, but I'm happy I went with a stand alone Inverter, with a separate set of SCCs, and a separate charger.

Your requirements of 240 VAC and at least a 3kw AIO will be challenging. AIO are not that small and finding room for three separate components may be easier than one large box.
I have two places I could fit most AIOs if I ignore the manufacturer's spacing requirements, which I see people do all the time.

A single unit that could run everything might possibly be any of the 6048s, if it is true that you can simply jumper 120V on the input and get proper 240V split phase out. Granted, it will output 240V off the battery, but I'm still not getting a very clear answer as to what that AIO can and can't do on 120V.

Thanks for your input! I appreciate it!
 
You might look into the SRNE ASF48100U200-H 10KW split phase unit. Yes it is more than you say you need. It is also fairly new and untried (there is one Forum member that has a ongoing review about it as he puts it through its paces: https://diysolarforum.com/threads/srne-asf48100u200-h-10kw.67809/).

The reason I suggest going to a split phase AIO now is it gives you much more expansion capability for the future. There is a hit in terms of idle power to allow for which if you went with stand alone components might nor be as bad. But you mentioned that Victron might be a bit out of your initial design budget.

One of my requirements is that whatever AIO(s) I choose, it must be 120V input, so something like that or even a 6500-type unit, is not something I can run.

Thanks for the suggestion, though!
 
A single unit that could run everything might possibly be any of the 6048s, if it is true that you can simply jumper 120V on the input and get proper 240V split phase out
If you jumped the 120 volts 30 amps to the other phase / side of the circuit box, you still only have 120 volts 30 amps total.

To get 240 volts, you’ll need some sort of transformer. Victronmakes one.
 
If you jumped the 120 volts 30 amps to the other phase / side of the circuit box, you still only have 120 volts 30 amps total.

To get 240 volts, you’ll need some sort of transformer. Victronmakes one.
I'm not sure this is correct, at least, in that, normally, yes, I'd need a transformer to get 240V split phase from a 120V single phase input. But, supposedly, the MPP 6048 can take in 120V and output 240V. But I've seen people have issues with that, and would not want to be one of those people.
 
One of my requirements is that whatever AIO(s) I choose, it must be 120V input, so something like that or even a 6500-type unit, is not something I can run.

Thanks for the suggestion, though!
I am running 3kw 120vAC AIO's myself both are 24vDC. 2 of them that are rebadged SRNE units. One is a EAsun and the other is a PowMr. I have over 1 year of the EAsun in the off grid inverters sub-Forum. My review of the PowMr is from late July in the All in One sub-Forum.
 
I am running 3kw 120vAC AIO's myself both are 24vDC. 2 of them that are rebadged SRNE units. One is a EAsun and the other is a PowMr. I have over 1 year of the EAsun in the off grid inverters sub-Forum. My review of the PowMr is from late July in the All in One sub-Forum.
I'll take a look at your review! Thanks.
 
Do you know why some people have issues with the split phase on the 6048s?


I can’t speak exactly to the 6048 or split phase, but general issues I had with all in ones and inverter/chargers is some operate from the solar/battery, but when solar/battery is not enough, switches to utility only mode, ignoring the solar power.

Devil is in the details.

For my build, I run up to 3 kw on my inverter, one high wattage appliance at a time. I know the 13 kWh battery pack will run that a long time until the sun comes up. If it’s a cloudy day and I need more power, I turn the battery charger on and the inverter l, AC to DC converter and SCCs are running at once.

I was a bit upset in the documentation of the equipment I pulled up. One had the term SBU didn’t explain it meant solar battery then utility, but was also lacking on specifics in the 60 page manual about what happened when utility was activated: did the AIO enter charge mode and ignore solar, did the battery charge off solar and Ac was 100% for household loads, or did it split it?
 
I can’t speak exactly to the 6048 or split phase, but general issues I had with all in ones and inverter/chargers is some operate from the solar/battery, but when solar/battery is not enough, switches to utility only mode, ignoring the solar power.

That's daft. I would not want that as it seems a huge waste to go full bypass when there's avaliable power. I watched a video of the 3048LV-MK where it seemed to supplement utility input with solar, and if that's not the case with other units, I'm very uninterested in those!
Devil is in the details.

Always!
For my build, I run up to 3 kw on my inverter, one high wattage appliance at a time. I know the 13 kWh battery pack will run that a long time until the sun comes up. If it’s a cloudy day and I need more power, I turn the battery charger on and the inverter l, AC to DC converter and SCCs are running at once.
Makes sense!
I was a bit upset in the documentation of the equipment I pulled up. One had the term SBU didn’t explain it meant solar battery then utility, but was also lacking on specifics in the 60 page manual about what happened when utility was activated: did the AIO enter charge mode and ignore solar, did the battery charge off solar and Ac was 100% for household loads, or did it split it?
Yup. If the documentation was a bit clearer, it would make things easier on everyone. But, that's why I'm here to ask for people's experiences.
 
I sent an email to watts247 trying to clarify some issues with both the 3048 and the 6048. We'll see what I get in response.
 
I sent an email to watts247 trying to clarify some issues with both the 3048 and the 6048. We'll see what I get in response.
Issues? Any who.. the thing to do is to start out with a plan. Than say to heck with it and simply start buying and putting things in service. You will learn a bunch and end up owning some nifty new tools and devices like clamp on DC ammeters, MC4 wire crimpers, battery cable crimpers (hydraulic if you find a good deal), heat gun for putting on heat shrink insulation, not to forget all those kits of wire terminations, butt splices and rolls of colored electricians tape. BTW if you don't already have a battery powered drill/screwdriver get one.

In the process you will come to know that off grid solar is not a buy and forget but a ongoing process of improvement. Enjoy!
 
Issues? Any who.. the thing to do is to start out with a plan. Than say to heck with it and simply start buying and putting things in service. You will learn a bunch and end up owning some nifty new tools and devices like clamp on DC ammeters, MC4 wire crimpers, battery cable crimpers (hydraulic if you find a good deal), heat gun for putting on heat shrink insulation, not to forget all those kits of wire terminations, butt splices and rolls of colored electricians tape. BTW if you don't already have a battery powered drill/screwdriver get one.

In the process you will come to know that off grid solar is not a buy and forget but a ongoing process of improvement. Enjoy!
Some of the diagrams in the manuals seem to directly conflict with stated capabilities. I asked for clarification.

I already own a DC capable clamp meter, MC4 crimpers and disconnect tools, several battery cable crimpers, a heat gun, and a cordless driver (Milwaukee M12). I am very well aware that it is a process, but I tend to like that kind of thing, as long as it maintains a base of functionality. LOL!
Thanks! I am sure I will enjoy most of it.
 
I have decided to run a 48V system.

So, what are your thoughts? At the top of my list is the MPP 3048LV-MK. It's inexpensive, stackable for more capacity or 240V split phase, readily available, and seemingly well supported.
I would consider a Powmr Sunsmart 5000w 48v 110v inverter.

Price is 200-250+- more than the MPP... has a 40a output... it can be paralled in the future with another one for split phase 240...
You can use a DC to DC buck converter 20-25A (48v to 12v) they are not expensive...even amazon has a lot of them...good reviews...

If your concerned about the surge amps of the Mini Split... check out a Soft starter...should help you... and some capacitators... lets stress on the battery with the surge...
 
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