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Old 07-08-2016, 01:02 PM   #1
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Question about wiring an inverter.

I currently have a Traveller 1500 watt modified sine wave inverter wired with 12 foot of 8g wire directly to an Interstate dual purpose battery. I have only used it to run a fan for my dogs in the daytime, and charge it at night with the generator. I have a 60 amp fuse wired into the positive side of the wiring. Works just fine. I having slowly been buying the parts I need to connect solar to everything. I have a 100 watt Renogy kit I bought, expandable to 400 watt. I have the 200 amp slow blow fuse block, and of course the inverter. I was thinking in the meantime, until I can buy the new batteries for my bank, that I would connect the one panel to the one battery and rewire the inverter. I have the 3 foot cables that came with the inverter, they are rated for 200 amps, so I assume 2g? My questions are 1. When I cut the wire to install the fuse block, should I remove enough wire so that the 2 cables are the same length when the block in installed? And 2. the kit did not have wiring from controller to battery. What gauge would be best? I will be installing the controller and inverter in a plastic tote separate from battery box so, 3-4 foot max length.
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Old 07-08-2016, 07:27 PM   #2
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make sure you check a voltage drop calculator online, with solar loosing voltage is a crime,

dont let your generator directly charge the batteries, use a battery charger powered by your generator,

think about putting up 2 bus bars, 12in long, 0.25in thick, 1.5 in wide, makes it much easier to connect things together, easier to upgrade items and change items as they break,

battery to inverter must be as short a cable run as possible, charge controller must be short also, fuse the positive near the inverter,

200 amp rated wires doesnt say much, check the voltage drop on the cables for the max voltage/amps you will be using when at full power,

keeping the wires the same length is important, this is why using bus bars are important,

from controller to battery, find the max voltage/amps you will be using and then do a voltage drop, below 3% loss is good, less is even better, when in doubt get bigger wire, keep everything copper if possible,

put a breaker or switch between the panels and the charge controller so you can turn them off to change connections,
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:48 PM   #3
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Thanks Bubba! I'm not sure what a bus bar is. Is it like the breaker connection in a breaker box? My current voltage drop with the 8g wire is .071. I've had all of my loads on a kill-a-watt except for the lighting. I'm still in an old jayco camper that came with my land while I build my bus, so the generator charges the battery through the 30 am converter built into the camper. The 200 amp wire is what the factory recommended for the inverter, but I will check it. Also, since the battery is charged through the converter, should I disconnect it from the RV charging system when I connect the solar? I only need it to run the fan for my dogs for now. I can run the rest on the generator. But eventually, the goal is to run everything on solar. I can give you the kill-a-watt readings if you need them, but my immediate concern is what I have on hand now.
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:07 PM   #4
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the cables between the inverter and battery should be as short as possible . they dont have to be the same length. use the fuse. for that small of a system # 8 wire as short as possible is fine. the charge controller should say what fuse to use between the two.hook up all the panels you got, good luck
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Old 07-08-2016, 11:11 PM   #5
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wires

a bus bar, just 2 copper bars, a pos and neg bar.
your batteries and anything that charges the batteries and anything that takes power is connected to the bars to evenly distribute the power,

checking the voltage drop is most important with solar systems so you dont loose power, when using shore or generator power a little drop is not that important,

usually no issue to have different charging devices connected all together, common to use several charge controllers on a single battery bank or bus bars,

a 400 watt solar system will give around 30 amps so is probably best to connect the controller to the batteries with a wire that can take 30 amps with a low loss,

panels to controller should be as short a distance as possible, controller to batteries should be short, batteries to inverter should be short,

8ga stranded copper, 4ft run, 12v system, 30amps max, should give less than 2% drop,

Voltage Drop Calculator

as a general rule a 100ah deep cycle battery can only take up to 10 amps of charging at a time without causing damage, a little less is better,

also a 100ah battery can only provide 10 amps of power, if it gives more it will drop below 12v and the device may stop operating,

true deep cycle batteries never provide a cca rating,
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