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Old 04-13-2013, 03:33 PM   #1
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Manual transfer switch

I recently completed the latest electrical modification on our 19' to give us more capability off the grid.

A manually adjusted 6 pole manual transfer switch now brings a 2500 watt modified sine wave inverter on-line from the batteries with the whole trailer while boon-docking allowing us to run the microwave and power all outlets for a blender, toaster, computers, stereo system, electric griddle, and portable Jacuzzi (just kidding), etc. What is disconnected when the switch is manually set are the air conditioner and converter. With 4 wet-cell golf cart batteries and 2 solar panels (190 watts) with a 2500 watt inverter we will be the campsite of choice to visit to charge your cell phones!

In this picture you can see (starting from the left side) a duplex outlet that is connected directly to the inverter and switch to turn on inverter power, then a 6-pole three position 30 amp transfer switch (black). When rotated to the left position it is wired for normal shore power. In the middle everything is disconnected. In the right position the inverter is supplying power and the air conditioner and converter are disconnected. On the far right side is the main 12volt power disconnect switch supplying the inverter.




Steve
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:00 PM   #2
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Steve,
Nice set up, hopefully it will perform as planned.
I find that the 12v factory disconnect switch that disconnects the battery from the converter still allows the solar to charge the battery? In other words the solar panel still operates when the switch is off. Can anyone verify this? I only see two wires at my battery whereas if the solar was connected one would assume there would be 4 wires?
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Steve,
Nice set up, hopefully it will perform as planned.
I find that the 12v factory disconnect switch that disconnects the battery from the converter still allows the solar to charge the battery? In other words the solar panel still operates when the switch is off. Can anyone verify this? I only see two wires at my battery whereas if the solar was connected one would assume there would be 4 wires?
Jim, I believe you are right.

BTW, I've fully tested my new setup and it works great. It is really something to transfer over to inverter/batteries and look over and see the microwave light on. I could run the refrigerator also since it is on the same circuit as the microwave but don't need or want to with propane. On my transfer switch setup I pulled the wire directly from the 120volt breaker supplying the converter through the transfer switch. I still haven't done any remote camping since this mod and will be interested to really stress the batteries after the sun goes down and then see 8 or 9 amps of charge going in the morning. I'll take a picture of the panel if it goes that high.

Steve
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Steve,
Nice set up, hopefully it will perform as planned.
I find that the 12v factory disconnect switch that disconnects the battery from the converter still allows the solar to charge the battery? In other words the solar panel still operates when the switch is off. Can anyone verify this? I only see two wires at my battery whereas if the solar was connected one would assume there would be 4 wires?
The solar controller is connected to the system between the disconnect switch & the batteries so that it will still charge the batteries with the switch off.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:48 AM   #5
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So the switch urns off all parasitic drains on the battery. Good to know so that in storage one can turn off the switch and still have a charged battery with the solar option.
Steve, are all the inverter outlets silver to distinguish from others or basically the entire trailer's 120v outlet system is hooked up, sans a/c?
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:41 PM   #6
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Tidy, sensible, functional... good stuff!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotfishtacos View Post
When rotated to the left position it is wired for normal shore power. In the middle everything is disconnected. In the right position the inverter is supplying power and the air conditioner and converter are disconnected.
Personally, I think I would have reversed the connections so that turning the transfer switch toward the inverter switch and outlet activated inverter mode, and turning it toward the visible converter would activate shore power mode... but maybe I just think graphically.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Tidy, sensible, functional... good stuff!


Personally, I think I would have reversed the connections so that turning the transfer switch toward the inverter switch and outlet activated inverter mode, and turning it toward the visible converter would activate shore power mode... but maybe I just think graphically.
I'm left handed...that must be it!...
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
So the switch urns off all parasitic drains on the battery. Good to know so that in storage one can turn off the switch and still have a charged battery with the solar option.
Steve, are all the inverter outlets silver to distinguish from others or basically the entire trailer's 120v outlet system is hooked up, sans a/c?
Jim, only the outlet in the picture is silver and is connected directly to the inverter. It will operate even when the transfer switch is in shore mode and the inverter is turned on. All of the standard outlets in the trailer are on the inverter when switched over. The transfer switch mainly changes the main supply from shore to inverter. The other poles turn things on and off as needed in the two positions.

Steve
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:05 AM   #9
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This is a brilliant solution. I had all my outlets wired dual modes Upper plug was shore and lower was inverter. Your setup is much smarter.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:52 AM   #10
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I had all my outlets wired dual modes Upper plug was shore and lower was inverter.
This is a very reliable alternative; I'm not sure if I would be more likely to accidentally run the battery down with the inverter by forgetting to move where I plugged in, or to accidentally run the battery down with the inverter by forgetting to flip the switch
One caution: the outlet boxes have two sources of power, which is an undesirable practice for safety, because you could turn one off to work on an outlet and forget that there is still power in the box from the other source.
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