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Old 01-13-2019, 08:06 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Baltimore, MD
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Electrical/Battery System Questions

Hoping to get some clarification here....

I am planning on a Battery Bank to support our Daily House requirements...

Lights
Fridge (120 on inverter)
Water Pump
Kitchen Appliances (120 on inverter)
Bed Fans

I also want to have the option to use my Dometic AC/Heatpump and MaxxFan roof vent fans while running the generator or hooked up to shore power.

My question is concerning the Invereter/Charger that I should be looking at. The Pure Sine Wave Inverters are all rated by their Watts. What should I consider for Watts with this setup? If I don't intend on using the Roof AC while on Battery then do I need to factor that load into the equation?


I'm also unclear about how this Inverter will act as a charger. Does this happen when it's fed 120? Can this multi stage charger also charge the bus battery bank (used while bus is running?)

Thanks for the feedback. Please forgive my ignorance

James
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:17 PM   #2
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What inverter? Separate function from charging. There are combi units but pricey, I prefer separate.

Need to know the actual wattage draw of each appliance. And startup can double or more compared to continuous.

PSW is safest, some device types don 't need it but.

Any running big loads off battery try to go DC native, no inverter needed and lots more efficient.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:21 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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No Inverter selected yet. Was thinking I'd want a Pure Sine Wave Inverter with 3-4 stages of charging to ensure my batteries are taken care of. Planning on Lead Acid that I have to maintain.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:33 PM   #4
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Probably simplest and cheapest to use an inverter for 120v and a converter (3 stage) for charging your batteries from either shore or genny power. If you add solar you'll need a charge controller for it.

Automatic switching devices are available to switch source to source but there is nothing wrong with a manual "swap the plug" system as I have done.
Jack

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Old 01-14-2019, 07:07 AM   #5
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Morning James,

What you describe is pretty typical in the RV world. The combined inverter/charger is fine and works as you stated. Some of us prefer separate units so they can be repaired/replaced independently. You will end up with what amounts to two electrical distributions. The first comes from/thru the inverter powering the components from battery or shore/generator power (when it exists), the second is separate and powers connected components only when shore/generator power is available.

Sounds like you need to perform an energy audit or budget. That is the process of determining how much power each component consumes and how long you plan to use it each day. From that information, you can begin sizing your battery bank, inverter, solar array, etc. If you do not already have the components, some guess work is often required. A Kill-A-Watt meter is very helpful.

12VDC ceiling fans are available and can be ran directly off the battery/12VDC system. Typical ceiling vent fans also.

Finally, remember that all battery banks are limited in how much power they can provide and how large of an inverter they can support. In other words, just because a 5000 watt inverter exists doesn't mean that it will work well connected to a 100 AH 12VDC lead-acid battery bank.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:46 AM   #6
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I would be cautious when it comes to "kitchen appliances "...

It would take a very significant battery bank and inverter to support electric cooking appliances. Large loads like induction coocktops are more easily supported with your generator.

Or, go propane for cooking.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:30 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thanks for the replies!

I'm fine with keeping things separate. May even prefer it. So, can anyone refer me to a 4-stage charger that would be independent of an inverter? I think I'm leaning towards using the affordable Sam's Club 6V GC2 Batteries for my first battery bank. I'm nervous to invest in expensive batteries without the knowledge experience to maintain/use properly.

So, with perhaps 6 of these batteries (my audit has me planning on roughly 1156 watt hours per day) what is a charger that could charge these fast and efficiently when connected to shore power or running a Honda eu2000 generator (or two connected together.)

The Inverter would really be for the fridge. When running appliances I would plan on shore power/generator Any recs for adequate size/quality inverter?
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:44 AM   #8
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I like the offerings from Progressive Dynamics (such as this - not saying that is the right size for you, just pointing you to the product line) but there are many good options.

Without knowing anything about your refrigerator, I am only guessing but.... I would expect your daily power usage to be higher than listed when using a residential refrigerator. I have a big Samsung and it uses about 1600 Wh/day. Of course, there are hundreds of possibilities/variations...
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:50 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Here's what I was planning for Fridge...

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/insigni...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:20 AM   #10
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If you want to know how many watts your fridge is going to draw, buy a watt meter. You can measure the draw while the fridge is running, measure when not running, and get a total draw over time. Then you can plan accordingly. As mentioned before, motor startup can temporarily draw a large load, so plan for that as well.
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