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Old 05-28-2016, 01:33 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Evaluate my electrical

Now I've done pretty much everything myself (with a little oversight on the tricky stuff), so bare with me.
I have a 125 amp breaker box, with 6 switches, four 15 amp breakers for outlets/lighting throughout, one 30 amp breaker for a rooftop AC, and one 30amp breaker run to an outlet in my storage area for power tools (converted bus chassis, back was used as a walk in horse trailer for my sister, sits about 2 feet lower than bus body but rear air keeps it high when driving)
Anyways!
On top of that I have 300watts of renogy solar coming in, with a 30 amp charge controller/batter monitor.
I also have a AIMS 2000w inverter with a 70a charger built in, it can handle surge of 6000w for 20 seconds allegedly. This thing seems too smart for its own good so far... Lol
I have a champion 3100 watt inverter generator ( plugging in 30amp shore cord into 30amp plug to power RV AC when not on shore)
My battery bank is two 225amp hour batteries wired to make 12v. I do plan on dramatically increasing the bank size in the future.
But, for now between solar charging/inverter/generator I might be good.


My question is, Is it worth it for me to run a smart isolator to the alternator as well? I have a 140amp isolator which should suffice before I get a new alternator in stage 2 of the beef up. Can I get by with the solar/generator/shore power charging without needing the alternator?

My needs on the inside of the bus are: 120v water pump, 4.5 cf mini fridge/freezer, phone/laptop charging occasionally, and led rope lights. Food will be cooked off a small George foreman, stove top, or the grill I'll bring along in my back storage. My Coleman Mach RV AC draws at 14-15 amps and surges pretty high, I plan on only running that when necessary off the generator or shore power.
I'm having trouble with the air conditioning load going through the inverter, initial surge it handles with ease. But, when it kicks later on it struggles. My guess is the wiring from battery bank to inverter is too low of a gauge, I might need to run 0 or 1 gauge for the connection. I thought to run the AC I could just turn off the inverter, but I think I'm missing something with that guess.

The desire for the run off the alternator is because I'm 21 years old and my girl and I are going on a 5 month national parks pass trip across the USA before law school starts. And so much driving it feels silly to waste it.

Thank you guys for your help already on my previous posts, it means a lot!
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:36 AM   #2
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sounds like a nice setup!!

i'm no electrical guru. but i would want to keep the vehicle battery/charging system seperate from my house system.

the only gain from hooking to the alternator, would be hastening your stage 2 beef up plan. i fear the additional load would damage the alternator.


keep charging off shore or generator power. heating elements and the ac will need the generator or shore power help to run. other loads should be fine on solar
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:24 PM   #3
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It looks to me like you are running your inverter with more load than it can deal with. At 17 amps you are over the 2000 watt max on your inverter. Even with the momentary surge capability, the inverter won't last long with the ac load. You didn't (I don't think) mention the length of run from the inverter to the batteries. With the load you are trying to support, anything but a few inches will result in significant line loss and further tax the inverter.

As to the battery isolator and using the vehicle generator to charge the house batteries, I decided against it. I bought one and was about to install it when I read that the device can't tell which batteries need re charging, just that some battery is low. Apparently the result of this is that even batteries that do not need recharging get charged anyway which leads to electrolyte loss and over charging of some of the batteries. You may want to look into that yourself before you hook up. Jack
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:31 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
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What is a good solution to separating the air conditioning load from the inverter?
Pretty much a whole seperator system?
My run from inverter to batteries is barely a foot of cable. Now the cables are 4 gauge, I assumed my problem was I need thicker better cables for the batteries to inverter.
The continuous run on my air conditioning is 15amps, which is 1750 watts. But the surge is crazy high when it cycles.
I thought i could turn the inverter off, run my 3100 watt generator to power the AC when necessary. Is that possible?
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
It looks to me like you are running your inverter with more load than it can deal with. At 17 amps you are over the 2000 watt max on your inverter. Even with the momentary surge capability, the inverter won't last long with the ac load. You didn't (I don't think) mention the length of run from the inverter to the batteries. With the load you are trying to support, anything but a few inches will result in significant line loss and further tax the inverter.

As to the battery isolator and using the vehicle generator to charge the house batteries, I decided against it. I bought one and was about to install it when I read that the device can't tell which batteries need re charging, just that some battery is low. Apparently the result of this is that even batteries that do not need recharging get charged anyway which leads to electrolyte loss and over charging of some of the batteries. You may want to look into that yourself before you hook up. Jack
Thanks Jack! I got a smart isolator which is billed to not overcharge either bank of batteries, I guess I'll give it a go. I plan on just running the isolator from the starting batteries to the house batteries and not directly to the alternator. Ami wrong?
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:00 PM   #6
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Your run isn't overly long, but the size wire is too small. You might consider using arc welder leads as a wire source. They have many very fine conductors and since ac power runs on the surface of the wire, the more strands the less resistance.

It's probably a good idea to run a dedicated line to your ac regardless of the power source. It will probably need #10 wire or better depending on the length of the run.

You eventually will be putting together a system to allow youy to switch from one power source to another. There are many automatic switching devices available and I guess they work just fine. I'm cheap and I believe in the KISS principle so I simply use a series of rv recepticles and an rv pig tail to select the power source. Jack
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