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Old 06-04-2019, 05:14 PM   #1
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Electric Room Contents

Anyone have pics of their "electric" room. What all goes in it, inverter, main breaker box, fuse block, charge controller, and some wires. How much space do I need?
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:31 PM   #2
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This is the initial layout of our components. The inverter is hidden in the old tool chest, with appropriate venting. The 110v breaker box is to the left (top) and solar charge controller is just below that. I have added a 12v panel below that as well as a kill switch for the solar. The batteries are in the box below everything. I'll get an updated picture with all the wires in place.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:44 PM   #3
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I got this cabinet for $20 and thought it could be used to house the electrics. John doesn't think it's a good idea, but I can't understand why. There's plenty of room for everything I can think of that goes in it. I would mount the inverter on the bottom after trimming the unit to fit. I'll mount everything on a wall panel behind the unit and remove the panel on the back.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:15 PM   #4
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I got this cabinet for $20 and thought it could be used to house the electrics. John doesn't think it's a good idea, but I can't understand why. There's plenty of room for everything I can think of that goes in it. I would mount the inverter on the bottom after trimming the unit to fit. I'll mount everything on a wall panel behind the unit and remove the panel on the back.

I've found that the more free air circulation you have, the cooler your equipment stays, and the longer it tends to last. If you DO use the cabinet, drill some vent holes in the top and sides - the hot air will find it's way out, as long as there's an opening for ambient air to replace it.

I'm almost tempted to say that the cabinet (even if you remove the back panel) will end up taking up more floor space then you need for it. It would work okay, but you'd have a 16" cabinet instead of 5" of stuff bolted to the wall.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:00 AM   #5
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I've found that the more free air circulation you have, the cooler your equipment stays, and the longer it tends to last. If you DO use the cabinet, drill some vent holes in the top and sides - the hot air will find it's way out, as long as there's an opening for ambient air to replace it.

I'm almost tempted to say that the cabinet (even if you remove the back panel) will end up taking up more floor space then you need for it. It would work okay, but you'd have a 16" cabinet instead of 5" of stuff bolted to the wall.
Show me yours.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:16 AM   #6
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Show me yours.

I don't have one yet.

My poorly articulated point was that if you put the equipment in the bottom part with the shelves, it's going to overheat. No air flow between the shelves.

If you mount it on the wall/the back panel of the top of the cabinet, then you're putting in a cabinet that's fairly deep for equipment that only hangs a few inches off the wall, and you're using up floor space.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:06 AM   #7
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I'm with Mark... I don't see the point in the cabinet. Just like he said, It's much deeper than needed, which both restricts airflow as well as takes up room you can't use for anything else.

I'm sure having an area where every electric component is located is convenient, but it may or may not be practical. Some items you should keep as close together as possible (like the inverter in relation to the battery bank), other items (like the load center / breaker box) most likely have some flexibility in location.

I can't provide any pics - still in the planning stages myself - but I've found it helpful to work my way backwards from things that have the most limitations in regard to location. Solar panels on roof... one penetration point... your SCC should be somewhere nearby. Battery bank... only so many places you can put it... figure that out & then find a place for your inverter nearby. Load center in relation to inverter... close is nice, but the AC output requires much lower amp wiring so you have some flexibility in that regard.



Also, any exposed connections (busbars, shunts, etc) shouldn't be exposed, while things like the inverter need good ventilation. It doesn't look like your cabinet has the ability to provide both at the same time without changing it into something that ultimately would be easier to build from scratch (could be wrong though).


Sorry about speaking in generalities, but IMO, it seems you're working this problem backwards, trying to fit your electrical system into a cabinet you found instead of working out your mounting in regards to what the electrical system requires.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:20 AM   #8
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And then there is the service entrance location with transfer switch for generator useage. Or maybe a double throw switch instead of a transfer switch? Many workable possibilities.And where does that battery go for the gen?
Parks provide power for the driver side of the vehicle, not the opposite and likewise for the water service and dump valve location for tanks.

The key is to make this area as neat and presentable as possible for maintenance and build quality. Nobody wants to see a mess of wiring crossing each other to get where it ties in.
No two bus builds are the same so diagrams to work with are necessary.
If this installation looks messy and not well thought out, it will not be a selling factor if you ever have to sell this bus.
So, not much we can do from a distance but advise here and there.
I see others dislike the cabinet for much the same reasons I do. That would make a nice casket though and cheap too.


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Old 06-05-2019, 12:11 PM   #9
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I need more pics. Seems every install I have seen so far looks to be closed in a cabinet, contradicting all the talk of open ventilation. Have any pics of your set up John?
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:27 PM   #10
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I need more pics. Seems every install I have seen so far looks to be closed in a cabinet, contradicting all the talk of open ventilation. Have any pics of your set up John?
Are you suggesting the idea of ventilation is superfluous?

Read your inverter manufacturer's documentation. I'd trust their recommendation over that of whoever might post pictures on the interwebz. And I'd bet lefty on the manufacturer stressing the need for ventilation as well as appropriate setbacks from combustible materials (like fiberboard).
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