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Old 06-04-2019, 06:14 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, 06:31 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, 08:44 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 06-05-2019, 12:15 AM   #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, 01:00 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, 01:16 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, 12:06 PM   #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, 12:20 PM   #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, 01:11 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, 01:27 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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Old 06-05-2019, 01:47 PM   #11
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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).
The inverter in the TC2000 I bought was just bolted to the floor of the rubber mat, guy used it that way for over a year, not saying it's a proper install. I'm not seeing ventilation as an issue in that open space, it just says to keep it clear around it.
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:30 PM   #12
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How much space do I need?
I did it in one window wide/deep floor to ceiling. Does feel a liiiiiittle cramped.
4.gif
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Old 06-05-2019, 04:51 PM   #13
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I did it in one window wide/deep floor to ceiling. Does feel a liiiiiittle cramped.
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Is that area closed in or constantly exposed?
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:33 PM   #14
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Is that area closed in or constantly exposed?

Its just forward of the bathroom, and right now it is open, I'm going to add a wall/door over it that has a large portrait-orientation touchscreen like you see in mall kiosks.
kiosk.jpg


My lights are not controlled by inline switches. My lights and all appliances wire directly back to the panel, as do the buttons I use to control the lights. An Arduino waits for someone to press one of the buttons (which I use as light switches) and then turns the corresponding light on/off based on its current state. This allows me to control anything remotely as well.

button_switches.png

The kiosk screen will show an overhead representation of the bus- where I can tap on any light or appliance and activate/deactivate it, or activate/deactivate any group of items in the bus by class ("all lights", "all indoor lights", "all outdoor lights", "all 120V", "anything requiring me to park", etc). I can look at the panel and know the status of everything. Is the grey tank open? Are the solar panels tilted up? Do I have a leveling jack down? Etc.

The same interface will be present at the drivers' seat, so that I don't have to run around the entire vehicle every single time I want to take off. That's the theory, anyway.


I'm going to add some gifs on my build page with more or less the rest of the current build. I need a better camera.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:32 PM   #15
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My electric system is right behind the driver's seat, above the wheel well. I just redid it yesterday to get it more organized after a series of haphazard upgrades. I managed to fit more stuff into a smaller area.

It's pretty open, I've got a 4" shelf with my inverter and a laptop I use as a router slotted in, and table space above it that Hillary will be able to use while we're driving.

I should point out that I have almost no 110 AC in my bus, so my setup can be far less complex than most.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:40 PM   #16
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About the heat.
Can't you just put a few computer fans for circulating air.
Minimal DC draw, air circulation, cool look, and even some LED lighting build in the fans.
Problem solved.

I'm of the idea of enclosing all those wires, components, etc in a cabinet like furniture.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:40 PM   #17
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My electric system is right behind the driver's seat, above the wheel well. I just redid it yesterday to get it more organized after a series of haphazard upgrades. I managed to fit more stuff into a smaller area.

It's pretty open, I've got a 4" shelf with my inverter and a laptop I use as a router slotted in, and table space above it that Hillary will be able to use while we're driving.

I should point out that I have almost no 110 AC in my bus, so my setup can be far less complex than most.
Please, post a pic. I'm still not convince my cabinet won't work when seeing everyone else closing in their rooms.Yes, I only need 5" of the back space. I wanted to keep the clothes hanger in there and use the shelf for something else. If I put a computer fan in there and a louvered door 6" from the back, won't that be enough ventilation. Then I can use the rest of the cabinet for hanging coats or whatever. The matching cabinet will hose the water system.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:54 PM   #18
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I’ll try to attach a photo of mine. I built a space above a rear wheel well that holds the refrigerator freezer. To the right of that is my control panel. In behind the control panel is most of the DC wiring, and below that space is most of the AC wiring.

Bill
0F69AD65-65A6-46CD-B37A-1461F4F53DF6.jpg
65B564D4-A5FA-4290-8868-6580C1E756A9.jpg
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:59 PM   #19
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I’ll try to attach a photo of mine. I built a space above a rear wheel well that holds the refrigerator freezer. To the right of that is my control panel. In behind the control panel is most of the DC wiring, and below that space is most of the AC wiring.

Bill
Attachment 34256
Attachment 34257
Wow, there's a lot there I don't see in my system.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:01 PM   #20
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The AC wiring is on a drawer so the system can be pulled out and accessed as needed. I used a magnum inverter so I would have 240vac. And my dc voltage is 24vdc to reduce wire size and allow the use of military vehicle accessories. The photos were taken while the wiring was ongoing, to the wire bundles have yet to be tied up and organized more neatly.
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