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Old 11-28-2016, 12:58 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Solar Power Configuration/Install

Hey folks, it's finally time to install our power center. Unfortunately, I have procrastinated quite a bit on this because of the, self perceived, intimidating nature of the project. I started moving the components into the bus and have drawn up a crude sketch of the flow plan. This layout includes all components currently in my possession, except for two 150vdc din switches (60A and 15A, respectively) which are supposed to go in the disconnect box. I'd love if y'all could take a look and see whether there are any blatant errors...



I know there need to be fuses, but not sure where and what type. Also, I'm wondering if the battery charger needs to feed into the controller or just straight to the bank.

I will be connecting my batteries in series AND parallel. If I'm not mistaken, it should look something like this...



...and a final thought, for now: when I bought my solar power package I was given 2/0 cables for the battery connections and a few others which I assume go into the inverter. There are two red cables and one black, of varying lengths. What type of cable do I need for these other components? (I did also receive a 50', 10awg MC4 cable and I assume that runs from the panels to controller.)

Thanks for your time, gang! Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:12 PM   #2
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you have a mistake on your battery connection drawing..not enough wires/connections. as drawn it won't do anything as you only have one terminal of each battery connected.

I assume you're after 440a 12v as the end result?
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:50 PM   #3
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Prof.fate is correct, it needs to be connected like this:



Also the battery charger will feed straight into the bank.

Some inverters have a built-in charger, you might look at one of those as well.
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prof.fate View Post
you have a mistake on your battery connection drawing..not enough wires/connections. as drawn it won't do anything as you only have one terminal of each battery connected.

I assume you're after 440a 12v as the end result?
That's right. 440Ah at 12v...
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyCat67 View Post
Prof.fate is correct, it needs to be connected like this:



Also the battery charger will feed straight into the bank.

Some inverters have a built-in charger, you might look at one of those as well.
Thank you! I am a visual learner, so the drawing is very helpful.
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:43 PM   #6
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Glad I could help..... M$ Visio works well for making diagrams like that. Not a cheap program by any means but quite useful.
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:32 PM   #7
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Another question just came to me... If I am running my AC loads via extension cords throughout the bus, do I need to have cords with a particular rating?

P.S. I also want to connect with shore power via extension cord.
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:06 PM   #8
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Unless your AC needs are very small I would not recommend that. But then again your design did only have a 1000 watt inverter.....

That being said, a standard orange extension cord is not rated for more than 15 amps. I believe you can get cords rated for 20 amps but they're gonna cost more, plus they will only connect to a 20 amp outlet. Anything bigger than that and you're getting into 240 volt or RV cord size.

My AC design is for a full 50 amp RV service, the cord for which was well over $100 by itself because it's 25 feet long with 6/3 hot/neutral and 8/1 ground conductors.

You might want to rethink the inverter size, that 1000 watts is only gonna give you a little over 8 amps. You're not gonna be able to run a microwave or heater off of that. I'd at least double that to 2000. I ran a 2500 watt inverter in my truck when I was an OTR driver (fridge, microwave, laptop and printer), and size your battery bank and solar array accordingly.

As with anything, YMMV.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:53 PM   #9
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I like your pictures, they are clean simple and good. I look forward to you following up with progress pictures!

I am not an expert(probably not even close to a novice yet) so you should heed to other sources over myself, but here's my limited understanding towards fuses.
I don't know either where and what kind of fuse you need. But I believe you'll want a 10-15 amp(because 10a*120v=1200watt) fuse between your 1000w inverter and your ac loads (usually in the form of a breaker box I believe) to prevent your inverter from getting fried from a large load. And you'll want another fuse between your battery charger and it's power source to protect your battery charger from getting overloaded with current. I would guess your inverters instruction manual provides better detail than myself.

I too plan to use a 1000w Inverter for most of my basic needs. I also plan to have a seperate 2000w inverter to use for special occasions like when the wife needs to use a hairdryer, or when we need to use our convection oven. However I hope to keep most of our needs limited to the 1000w inverter. There is no Air conditioner in my floorplans or electrical budget, I may regret this later.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:15 PM   #10
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Taolik I'll tell you the same thing..... 1000 watts will not run a lot of things. You'll find that the wattage on a lot of appliances is more than you realize.

Of course nothing says you can't run multiple inverters off one battery bank.... just make sure you size the bank appropriately for the loads you'll be running.

There are worksheets online that will allow you to enter the power draw of all your loads and it will tell you how much inverter and how big a battery bank you will need.

This particular worksheet will tell you everything you need to know.... but you will need to select the type of battery you want to use and enter in the parameters, and also select the type of solar panel you want to use and enter its parameters.... then after entering your loads it will tell you how many batteries and how many solar panels you will need for your setup. Of course if you don't plan to use solar you can still use the battery bank calculator.

Off Grid System Solar Sizing Calculator
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