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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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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 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.


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 isn’t 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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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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Old 01-03-2019, 03:38 PM   #11
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The master switch is standard in all trailers and eliminates parasitic drains, solar is an option which not everyone gets, so if you do not have solar the switch is beneficial, with solar it is redundant.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:56 PM   #12
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The master switch is standard in all trailers and eliminates parasitic drains, solar is an option which not everyone gets, so if you do not have solar the switch is beneficial, with solar it is redundant.
Yes, except that the storage (master) switch would only be redundant if the trailer is always in sunshine. For some storage situations I would want the switch off even with a solar system (which isn't going to do much inside, or under a cover plus snow). The storage switch also avoids accidental higher loads (which might be too much for the solar system), such as would result from leaving the refrigerator turned on.
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:21 PM   #13
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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?
Good question ,habit I guess when we got home from pickup in 2weeks because no one pointed out the battery switch from propane detector batteries were really down so it is just a habit I got into like that batteries are 100% unless I am using trailer but I was referring to separate switches to shut down solar or charger if I need to work on batteries connections etc which I did recently changing out location and a much better battery switch moved that switch so I don’t have to crawl under table to acess the other switches are under dinette bench for the solar setup Pat
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:28 PM   #14
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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. Pat
Still learning about this but Couldn’t you just pull the fuse in the solar system to cut off the current comings from the panels?

Thanks

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Old 01-03-2019, 06:01 PM   #15
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All good comments so far, having done my own solar I think the previous postings give some good considerations. To amplify what has been said, the controller should be within one meter of the battery and you should use the largest (heaviest) gauge wire that will work with the controller. If for some reason, you have to go a longer distance, consider making a connection that will allow you to change gauge wire just out of the controller. For example, my controller would only accept 8 gauge and I had to trim some strands of wire to make that fit.

The controller can be right next to the battery, it is not acceptable to put it inside the battery box due to corrosion and potential spark.

I like the Trimetric controller because it is one of the few controllers that has adequate settings to charge the dual six volt Interstate batteries at the recommended 15.3 volts. Not sure on the Victron.

If you are getting false propane alerts from your detector this might be a time to consider moving its location. Or install a lighted kill switch.

Standard practices call for a fuse between the solar panel and the controller and the controller and the battery. Kill switches are also recommended for roof mounted panels.
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File Type: jpg PAB Solar 2.jpg (176.3 KB, 50 views)
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:03 PM   #16
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Yes, I used an easy to remove inline fuse on mine.
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:48 PM   #17
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Still learning about this but Couldn’t you just pull the fuse in the solar system to cut off the current comings from the panels?

Thanks

Ed
Yes I believe you could . The switches are very easy and nice too. Pat
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:55 PM   #18
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Yes I believe you could . The switches are very easy and nice too. Pat


The inline fuse in my factory solar is one of these in 30A flavor:IMG_0441.jpg

You cannot “pull it” except by use of wrenches to remove the nuts holding the ring terminal wire ends on.

I installed an inline battery disconnect switch insteadIMG_0442.jpg
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Old 01-04-2019, 12:03 AM   #19
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Scott,
What's with the two charge controllers?
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Old 01-04-2019, 12:33 AM   #20
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The inline fuse in my factory solar is one of these in 30A flavor:Attachment 36104

You cannot “pull it” except by use of wrenches to remove the nuts holding the ring terminal wire ends on.

I installed an inline battery disconnect switch insteadAttachment 36105
Me too . A lot easier to disconnect . Ours are under dinette here most of the electronics reside . Pat
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