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Old 01-02-2019, 10:13 PM   #1
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Solar wiring question and TriMetric installation advice

I'm considering replacing the Escape provided Go Power solar charger with the TriMetric SC-2030 charge controller along with the TM-2030-A battery monitor in my 2017 5.0TA. My trailer has the standard bench seating in the dinette, not a U shaped dinette. The batteries (original flooded lead acid) are on the passenger’s side.

I was tracing the existing solar wiring and I found the following. The wires from the solar panel enter the trailer on the driver’s side, then go to the Go Power charge controller on the passenger’s side. Then the wires from the Go Power (which are smaller than the wires from the solar panel) go back to the driver’s side. I haven’t traced where these wires end up, but I suspect it is the 12v fuse box above the AC power converter. The DC power then goes from the 12v fuse box to the batteries over a pair 8 AWG wires (the same wires the power converter uses and the same wires that deliver power to the trailer except for the inverter).

I expected the battery side of the Go Power charge controller connect directly to the batteries rather than going back to the passenger’s side. This additional (and smaller) wire will increase the loss from the solar panel to the batteries and will contribute to poor charging of the batteries.

Is there a good reason for the way the solar system is currently wired?

Is it okay to wire directly from the output of a solar charge controller to the battery (perhaps with a fuse)?

Where is the best place to put the SC-2030 charge controller? I’ve read it isn’t advisable to put the charge controller near the battery because of possible corrosion due to the battery gasses (although the battery is in a mostly sealed and vented box). I could put it on the driver’s side with most of the other electrical stuff and the use the remaining solar panel wire to connect directly to the battery (if that is okay). I’ll probably put the TM-2030 battery monitor on the passenger’s side so I’d have to fish the SC-2030 control wire across the back of the trailer. I would prefer to put the SC-2030 near the battery.

I also have the factory supplied Go Power 1500w inverter. Since 1500 watts/12v = 125 amps, I think I need to use the 500 amp shunt for the TM-2030 battery monitor. Did I get that right?

FYI, I understand Ohms law, IR loss, wire gauge, etc.

Thanks much in advance for your help.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:32 PM   #2
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Have to ask- why are you wanting to change? Am aware some engineer folks "can't keep their hands off"- yet we have had no issues with the stock Go Power setup and do not recall prior complaints being reported here.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasG View Post
I'm considering replacing the Escape provided Go Power solar charger with the TriMetric SC-2030 charge controller along with the TM-2030-A battery monitor in my 2017 5.0TA. My trailer has the standard bench seating in the dinette, not a U shaped dinette. The batteries (original flooded lead acid) are on the passengerís side.

I was tracing the existing solar wiring and I found the following. The wires from the solar panel enter the trailer on the driverís side, then go to the Go Power charge controller on the passengerís side. Then the wires from the Go Power (which are smaller than the wires from the solar panel) go back to the driverís side. I havenít traced where these wires end up, but I suspect it is the 12v fuse box above the AC power converter. The DC power then goes from the 12v fuse box to the batteries over a pair 8 AWG wires (the same wires the power converter uses and the same wires that deliver power to the trailer except for the inverter).

I expected the battery side of the Go Power charge controller connect directly to the batteries rather than going back to the passengerís side. This additional (and smaller) wire will increase the loss from the solar panel to the batteries and will contribute to poor charging of the batteries.

Is there a good reason for the way the solar system is currently wired?

Is it okay to wire directly from the output of a solar charge controller to the battery (perhaps with a fuse)?

Where is the best place to put the SC-2030 charge controller? Iíve read it isnít advisable to put the charge controller near the battery because of possible corrosion due to the battery gasses (although the battery is in a mostly sealed and vented box). I could put it on the driverís side with most of the other electrical stuff and the use the remaining solar panel wire to connect directly to the battery (if that is okay). Iíll probably put the TM-2030 battery monitor on the passengerís side so Iíd have to fish the SC-2030 control wire across the back of the trailer. I would prefer to put the SC-2030 near the battery.

I also have the factory supplied Go Power 1500w inverter. Since 1500 watts/12v = 125 amps, I think I need to use the 500 amp shunt for the TM-2030 battery monitor. Did I get that right?

FYI, I understand Ohms law, IR loss, wire gauge, etc.

Thanks much in advance for your help.


All good questions, Thomas. The Trimetric controller and monitor are solid pieces of gear, and offer significant advantages over stock gear. I am also puzzled why your go power unit isnít wired directly to the battery with an in-line fuse. My 2017 19 came wired this way. As to placement, to minimize power loss, the general rule is to run the wire run from the controller to the battery as short as practical, so place your new solar controller accordingly.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:57 PM   #4
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yeah, on my 21, the solar controller is wired directly to the batteries.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ThomasG View Post
I'm considering replacing the Escape provided Go Power solar charger with the TriMetric SC-2030 charge controller along with the TM-2030-A battery monitor in my 2017 5.0TA.
Just to be devils advocate - I would take a look at the products from Victron before purchasing Trimetric. Both the Victron MPPT and the Victron battery monitor has bluetooth. The Victron battery monitor includes the Peukert factor calc and comes with a 500 amp shunt.

https://www.amazon.com/Victron-Smart...=AERMGYAT5R869

https://www.amazon.com/Victron-Energ...X4F7KGH44SP0TQ
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Old 01-03-2019, 07:14 AM   #6
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Thomas, question on your current setup. Does the solar continue to charge the batteries when the 12v cutoff switch is in the off position? If not, and the switch is on the the driver side, then the controller is run to the switch, and from the switch back to the batteries via the common cable.

I have the 2 Bogart units and a 1000w inverter, the 500A shunt works fine and see no reason it wouldn't be fine for a 1500w.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:06 AM   #7
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Thomas, question on your current setup. Does the solar continue to charge the batteries when the 12v cutoff switch is in the off position? If not, and the switch is on the the driver side, then the controller is run to the switch, and from the switch back to the batteries via the common cable.

I don't know the answer, but that is definitely worth investigation. The 12v cutoff switch is on the driver's side. Unfortunately, I can't quickly access my trailer right now.


Thanks to everyone else for their advise so far.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:29 AM   #8
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The solar is supposed to charge the batteries with the master switch off. The switch is for parasitic drain like propane detector or any other 12v appliance.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:56 AM   #9
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The solar is supposed to charge the batteries with the master switch off. The switch is for parasitic drain like propane detector or any other 12v appliance.
Our solar charges the batteries with battery switch off . I installed a battery blue Sea switch to cut the solar power to batteries if I wanted to ,cut the solar charging , like working on system. Have used once so far when I installed recent new battery switch . Was suggested by Dave who helped with my solar install, to install the solar and charger switches . Pat
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Old 01-03-2019, 01:14 PM   #10
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What's the purpose of turning off the 12v ETI switch if you have solar keeping the batteries charged all the time?
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