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Old 12-05-2014, 05:46 PM   #1
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Hooking up a solar charge controller and inverter

Don't know if I can explain this very well, but I'm looking for the best spot to connect the +12v for solar and an inverter.

If I followed the existing positive (+) circuit right, the + battery terminal goes to the 30A inline breaker, then to the disconnect switch (I believe the switch is only on the 6 volt battery systems) then to the converter. I currently have the + of the solar charger connected to the non battery side of the disconnect switch so the disconnect shuts down the solar too. Thoughts on if this is best?
How about the battery temp sensor, does it attach to the batteries or just dropped in the battery box? All the prints I see make it look like it's connected to - terminal.

For the inverter, I believe the fuse goes as close to the batteries as I can get it. If I keep to a single + battery connection, then the new fuse, 80 or 100A in this case for a 600W inverter, would go between the battery and the original inline 30A breaker? then the inverter + connects to the non battery side of the fuse? The 30A breaker would still protect the wire to the disconnect while the fuse would protect the larger wire to the inverter, I think. Thought?
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:22 PM   #2
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First the more straightforward part:
Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
How about the battery temp sensor, does it attach to the batteries or just dropped in the battery box? All the prints I see make it look like it's connected to - terminal.
The terminal. Not for an electrical connection, but to see as directly as possible the actual internal working temperature of the battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Don't know if I can explain this very well, but I'm looking for the best spot to connect the +12v for solar and an inverter.

If I followed the existing positive (+) circuit right, the + battery terminal goes to the 30A inline breaker, then to the disconnect switch (I believe the switch is only on the 6 volt battery systems) then to the converter. I currently have the + of the solar charger connected to the non battery side of the disconnect switch so the disconnect shuts down the solar too. Thoughts on if this is best?
...

For the inverter, I believe the fuse goes as close to the batteries as I can get it. If I keep to a single + battery connection, then the new fuse, 80 or 100A in this case for a 600W inverter, would go between the battery and the original inline 30A breaker? then the inverter + connects to the non battery side of the fuse? The 30A breaker would still protect the wire to the disconnect while the fuse would protect the larger wire to the inverter, I think. Thought?
I think I understand this because the wording is clear, although any circuit description is a bit challenging without a drawing.

It all makes sense and the inverter addition sounds good to me... but the solar charger is a power source "downstream" of the disconnect, so the disconnect stops solar from charging the battery, but keeps everything live in the trailer with whatever the charger puts out: is that really the intention? Is the wire receiving the solar charger output protected by a fuse or circuit breaker? I think the idea is to place a protection device between any source and the circuit that could be powered by it; in a trailer with solar, sources include the solar charger, shore power charger/converter, tow vehicle charge line, and battery.
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
First the more straightforward part:

The terminal. Not for an electrical connection, but to see as directly as possible the actual internal working temperature of the battery.

Very good, thanks.


I think I understand this because the wording is clear, although any circuit description is a bit challenging without a drawing.

It all makes sense and the inverter addition sounds good to me... but the solar charger is a power source "downstream" of the disconnect, so the disconnect stops solar from charging the battery, but keeps everything live in the trailer with whatever the charger puts out: is that really the intention? No
Is the wire receiving the solar charger output protected by a fuse or circuit breaker? YesI think the idea is to place a protection device between any source and the circuit that could be powered by it; in a trailer with solar, sources include the solar charger, shore power charger/converter, tow vehicle charge line, and battery.
On the diagram, the fuse from solar is 10A, not 40. Hopefully this comes out.
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:47 PM   #4
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My factory installed 1500W inverter connects directly to the battery with two separate leads (+-), with the fuse at the battery on the positive side.

It's my understanding the battery disconnect switch kills all battery power to the trailer, except for the inverter, and the connections from the solar leads (through the controller) are independent of the battery kill switch. In other words, it won't turn off your solar charging.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:10 PM   #5
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Okay, I need to move the solar to the hot side of the switch, I'll add another disconnect switch for just the controller.

I like the idea of a single catastrophic fuse off the battery, might have to bump up it's value to 100A.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:11 PM   #6
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I'd make the connection for the solar controller on the battery side of the disconnect switch. That way you can turn off the disconnect when storing the trailer & still have the panel maintaining the battery charge. That is the way Escape wired mine (including an additional 30 amp circuit breaker between the solar controller output & the battery).

When I added my 1000 watt inverter, I replaced the #10 wiring from (and between) the batteries to the inverter with #0 (as recommended by Xantrex), then continued #6 wire to a 30 amp breaker & to the converter (through the disconnect switch). The larger wire size seems to help the WFCO converter go into the "Bulk" mode. There is a 150 amp catastrophe fuse mounted on the rear bumper within 12" of the positive battery post, as well as a separate disconnect switch for the inverter.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:37 PM   #7
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Thanks Bob - the diagram is clear and was what I pictured. The solar connection as shown is not working as you intended, but you've worked that out.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:43 PM   #8
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Jon, are there 2 legs off the 150A fuse? one going via 0awg and your added switch to the inverter and another of #6 to the converter via the breaker and the original switch?

Good idea to replace the original to the converter with #6.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Thanks Bob - the diagram is clear and was what I pictured. The solar connection as shown is not working as you intended, but you've worked that out.
The inverter wiring look okay as drawn? I'll add a disconnect to it as mentioned by Jon.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by santacruzer View Post
My factory installed 1500W inverter connects directly to the battery with two separate leads (+-), with the fuse at the battery on the positive side.

It's my understanding the battery disconnect switch kills all battery power to the trailer, except for the inverter, and the connections from the solar leads (through the controller) are independent of the battery kill switch. In other words, it won't turn off your solar charging.
I have a main battery disconnect at the batteries and the 12 volt kill switch inside but I also added another switch under the dinette on the driver's side to completely disconnect the solar at my Morningstar solar controller. That way I can remove ALL 12 volt power when needed.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Jon, are there 2 legs off the 150A fuse? one going via 0awg and your added switch to the inverter and another of #6 to the converter via the breaker and the original switch?

Good idea to replace the original to the converter with #6.
The positive #0 wire goes to the 200 amp switch. The input of the switch is where I connected the #6 wire to the converter. The output goes to the inverter. The negative goes from the batteries through a shunt for my TriMetric 2025, then on to the inverter, where the negative #6 wire to the converter is connected.

I'd post a wiring diagram, but while I have a pencil version, I never bothered to CAD one...
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Old 12-06-2014, 05:04 AM   #12
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Thanks all, appreciate the help.
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:29 PM   #13
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Im having trouble with the wiring of my Xantrex C35 charge controller. I thought it would be simple, but according to the installation diagram I need a shunt and negative bus, PVGFP, and several disconnects. I also have the remote digital monitor that attaches to the controller. I would like to have a separate disconnect for the controller, but do I really need all these other components?
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Old 08-14-2015, 02:04 PM   #14
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I don't see the shunt in your picture but if your remote panel displays Amps in or out you might need a shunt, like the trimetric.

The PVGFP thing is a lightning protector(photo voltaic ground fault protector). I don't know if you would expect to need one of these with a trailer mounted solar cell. You would need one if the solar cell was mounted on the roof of a house.

The negative bus is just a common point for connecting all of the negative leads together. A nut and bolt with all of the negative wires clamped by it is a 'bus'
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Old 08-14-2015, 02:16 PM   #15
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I don't see the shunt in your picture but if your remote panel displays Amps in or out you might need a shunt, like the trimetric.

The PVGFP thing is a lightning protector(photo voltaic ground fault protector). I don't know if you would expect to need one of these with a trailer mounted solar cell. You would need one if the solar cell was mounted on the roof of a house.

The negative bus is just a common point for connecting all of the negative leads together. A nut and bolt with all of the negative wires clamped by it is a 'bus'
The remote display connects to the charge controller with a communication cable. So, there is no way to wire a shunt between the controller and the meter. I have a 10' cable (10awg) that would connect the solar panel to the charge controller. The controller will be mounted near the batteries with no more than a few feet of 8awg wire. Would the controller measure the battery output accurately without a shunt?
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Old 08-14-2015, 02:19 PM   #16
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I believe you will need all those components. The shunt is necessary to measure and obtain readings for the digital monitor. There are two sizes, I would expect you will want the 500 amp version. About $25.

The negative bus is simply the wire(s) you will use between the controller and battery with the shunt connected in line. Here the gauge is critical, I used an 8 gauge wire, it should be kept to the shortest length possible but unless you can crimp your own ends it may be best to look for finished lengths. Our local farm store had some choices as might an auto supply store. They maybe able to crimp ends for you as well. I use a hydraulic crimping tool for wire that size, it can not be done by hand.

The Photovoltaic Ground Fault Protection Assembly is designed to minimize the possibility of fire resulting from ground faults. I am not familar with this product from Xantrex, the maker of your controller. A more common design is to have some type of circuit protection (fuse or breaker) between the panel and the controller and again between the controller and battery. I have used an automotive style breaker.

On the same circuits that have protection as described above it is common to have disconnects. In the same locations and on the same circuits will allow you to kill the power from the PV panel during maintenance and to kill the power to the controller when not in use.

On the photo from left to right: dual 6 volt batteries, 500 amp shunt, two kill switches, not visible on the underside are two automotive breakers (I believe 30 amp) and finally the controller. There are four wires coming into the controller, a pair from the PV panel and a pair going to the battery. Also on the battery are fused wires connecting to the Trimetric TM-2025-RV Battery Monitor System.

Wire gauge is critical in such an install. My Blue Sky controller said it would work with 8 gauge, wrong. I had to trim some strands out of the 8 gauge to make it fit into the controller. For the next segment of wire I was able to go to 6 gauge. You can mix gauges to reduce resistance.
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:15 PM   #17
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The remote display connects to the charge controller with a communication cable. So, there is no way to wire a shunt between the controller and the meter. I have a 10' cable (10awg) that would connect the solar panel to the charge controller. The controller will be mounted near the batteries with no more than a few feet of 8awg wire. Would the controller measure the battery output accurately without a shunt?
I don't think your controller measures the Amps out of your batterys, it just measures the Amps into your batteries from the solar panel. So I'm still not seeing a shunt or a need for one. The Xantrex is pretty heavy duty and can be used for a number of functions. I find the manual not too friendly for your use.
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:26 PM   #18
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I don't think your controller measures the Amps out of your batterys, it just measures the Amps into your batteries from the solar panel. So I'm still not seeing a shunt or a need for one. The Xantrex is pretty heavy duty and can be used for a number of functions. I find the manual not too friendly for your use.

The description for the remote display:

LCD Digital Display (Optional)
CM, CMR/50, CMR/100-A back-lit meter which continuously displays: battery voltage, DC amperage, cumulative amp hours and amp hours since last reset. CM mounts on front of C Series, C35, C40 and C60, charge controllers. The remote meters CMR/50 and CMR/100 use simple telephone type plug-in connectors. 50 ft. (15 m) or 100 ft. (30 m) cable included. If used with a wind turbine, this will only measure voltage.
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:31 PM   #19
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from:
Schneider Electric Xantrex CM 50' Remote Meter for Xantrex C Series - Wholesale Solar

Says, 'Shows Battery voltage and incoming pv amps'

Manual;
http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&...UUW-qwezalDUkQ
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:25 PM   #20
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Interesting. So a shunt is not needed for incoming amps from the PV? Does "cumulative amp hours" refer to battery capacity?
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