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Old 04-26-2017, 02:55 PM   #1
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Solar/Inverter/Generator Help

Hey everyone.We are about to hit the wiring stage and we could use some help. We are looking for a system that runs off of solar and batteries, but also would like to have a backup generator that auto kicks on when needed. We are thinking about using an AC so this is where the generator comes into play.

We are looking at an 800w solar array which will give us a 5% overhead without the AC obviously. Renogy has some nice inverters with generator connections but do they auto switch the generator on?

Is there a way to wire the AC directly to a generator so that it auto start when it senses we hit the power button?

Thank you
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:11 PM   #2
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Most RVs simply have a remote control panel for the generator so you don't have to go outside to start your geny. A lot of automatic stuff can cause a lot of problems.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:12 PM   #3
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A panel is fine if we were there to work it but with pets we can't leave them without some sort of auto situation. I was thinking all the windows open would be ok but in days like today they aren't helping because there's no breeze at all.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:54 PM   #4
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Is it a push button start? Even if it's a key you could bypass it with a start/stop switch.
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:22 PM   #5
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I'm sure you can do that. It's common technology because there are lots of industrial compressors that start all by themselves. It could just as easily be actuated by a thermostat.
I just don't trust tech that much.
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Old 04-27-2017, 05:24 AM   #6
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I'm not sure about your question but you might look into something like the Magnum Energy ME-AGS-S Auto Generator Start. It is very configurable and includes the ability to start the generator based on voltage or temperature (and more).
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:20 AM   #7
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Some of the inverter/chargers out there also have a genset start signal you can connect to the generator.

See:
https://www.amazon.com/Power-PICOGLF...TQ8KNBR44KPXHD
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:24 AM   #8
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800 watts! Sweeet! I have 500 watts and four golf cart size batts and when the sun shines I can run a small Wally World AC for hours with little drain. I would think 800 watts and six batteries would give you ample overhead to run 8k BTU AC if you were modestly frugal. I can plug in when I have access and plan to charge from engine alternator on cloudy days while driving. No generator here. I have a short (6 window) bus. If I had the real estate I'd put another 250 watt panel up top.

Best of luck!

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Old 04-27-2017, 08:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasquatters View Post
A panel is fine if we were there to work it but with pets we can't leave them without some sort of auto situation. I was thinking all the windows open would be ok but in days like today they aren't helping because there's no breeze at all.
Have you looked at these? Maxxair - MAXXFAN Deluxe All-In-One RV Vent, Shield & Fan | Airxcel

It wouldn't replace your AC but on days like yesterday when you just need to get air moving it should work. The higher end model 7500k has a thermostat that can be set at a certain temp and then it will automaticly open the rain shield and turn the fan on.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:20 AM   #10
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Rossfree,
You say you have 500W of PV panels and four golfcart batteries. If my calculations are correct, this means you're charging them at only about a 6 or 7 percent rate. You may want to get some more panels to ensure your batteries are not deficit-charged (i.e. not fully charged each day). If you charge batteries to only 95% each day, after a while they will be seriously under-charged with the attendant risk of plate sulfation, FLA batteries such as golfcart can be charged at between 5 and 13 percent rate, and I would recommend trying to achieve the higher end of that range simply because most bus and RV roofs are not configured as well as a typical home PV installation. FYI I have a tad over 2kW of panels to charge eight golfcart batteries, and they will do so at about 13% charge rate, just where I want it.

John
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