Trillium 4500 replacement converter? - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-23-2013, 09:24 AM   #43
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Name: Brandon
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
The voltage drop across the charge line is always the difference between the two battery voltages. Unlike an extension cord, the wire resistance has no effect on the voltage drop but does determine the available charging current as does the capability of the alternator. If every thing is off in the trailer, the battery will charge, just maybe not as soon as you would like. Raz
I will be re-wiring the tow vehicle myself, what gauge would be recommended? arc welding cable? lol. I won't depend on it exclusively for charging, it's more of a 'why not' kinda thing, may as well hook it up that way as i'm re-wiring the trailer at the moment.

In regards to my converter/charger (which i still have yet to choose and purchase) If i'm hooking up the tow vehicle to charge, and a solar panel to charge, will those two things go through the converter/charger and be controlled there? I've heard of solar controllers before (not sure exactly what they do), i assume they are so that your batteries don't get over charged, i imagine the same could happen eventually via the T.V... If wired correctly (if possible) via the converter/charger, would this control the solar/tv charging? or is it strictly built to charge batteries via 110VAC?
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:35 AM   #44
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Brandon, The wire from your TV Battery to your trailer should be #10, or #8 if you have it.
The converter is basically a way to get 12VDC when you are plugged into shore power. New ones also have a four stage battery charger.
The solar controller is necessary to get the maximum amount of power from your solar cells to your battery. The solar cells produce power at different voltages depending on the light conditions. The controller collects as much power as possible and sends it to the battery as efficiently as possible, typically in pulses. It is basically a power conditioner.
The two devices are independent of each other, except that they are connected to the same battery.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:10 AM   #45
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Brandon, The wire from your TV Battery to your trailer should be #10, or #8 if you have it.
........
I mention this periodically, but my local metal recycler often has new wire off the end of long spools that is sold by the pound. So, if you are lucky, you can buy nice heavy wire for a fraction of what you'd pay at the big box store.

Another good source is speaker wire off eBay, which is often Siamesed, making it convenient to route.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:29 AM   #46
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Another good source is speaker wire off eBay, which is often Siamesed, making it convenient to route.
What is Siamesed?
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:39 AM   #47
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What is Siamesed?
Two separate wires attached to each other with one jacket. Think of lamp cord or speaker wire.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:26 PM   #48
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What is Siamesed?
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:07 AM   #49
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The solar controller is necessary to get the maximum amount of power from your solar cells to your battery. The solar cells produce power at different voltages depending on the light conditions. The controller collects as much power as possible and sends it to the battery as efficiently as possible, typically in pulses. It is basically a power conditioner.
This describes the behaviour of a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) controller, which converts the output from the panel from the ideal voltage for power production to the voltage of the battery. It seems that most people discussing their solar systems in this forum have not purchased MPPT controllers, which are the most expensive type.

An MPPT controller typically uses the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) technique to control power flow, resulting in those pulses (a PWM device switches rapidly on and off, adjusting the "on" time to regulate power flow). The pulses are side effect of the controller design, not a desired feature. There are many PWM controllers which are not MPPT: they don't maximize panel output, but they do control battery charging like any proper multi-stage controller.

The least expensive controllers (about $20 for 7 amp capacity in the case of mine) are not PWM designs, and are certainly not MPPT. They just disconnect the panel from the battery at a set voltage corresponding to about fully charged, and reconnect it when use of the battery takes the voltage down to some set lower level.


So yes, an MPPT controller is necessary to maximize panel output, but most controllers do not do this. Some sort of controller is necessary to avoid overcharging the battery.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:21 AM   #50
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Thanks, that helps tremendously.

But!, if i wasn't after the features of a fancy MPPT controller, and just wanted a controller that shut down the solar panel when the battery was roughly fully charged, couldn't it just be wired via my RV's converter/charger? it has this functionality built in, but it is restricted to the 110?

What would be an example of a decent MPPT controller? what kind of price, or what brand should i look at?
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:48 AM   #51
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Solar Power Information

Hello,
You can use to educate yourself on solar energy:
Solar electric power components and solar panels
Read down the page and you will find links to good discussions
of most topics that you need to understand when installing
solar on an RV.
GL, Larry
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:15 AM   #52
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Thanks, that helps tremendously.

But!, if i wasn't after the features of a fancy MPPT controller, and just wanted a controller that shut down the solar panel when the battery was roughly fully charged, couldn't it just be wired via my RV's converter/charger? it has this functionality built in, but it is restricted to the 110?
I'm an ME, not a EE, so I'll fake it. It might be possible to design a converter with the capability to tapping in a solar panel at some point in the circuity to get the results that you desire, but I've never seen one. Additionally if you were electronically astute, you could probably modify a converter, too. I'll step aside for the EEs here to explain how it would be done.

Quote:
What would be an example of a decent MPPT controller? what kind of price, or what brand should i look at?
As I linked earlier, Morningstar and Xantrex are good brands. Look at the choices available in the link below or at their web sites. There is a tension between the added efficiency of the MPPT controller vs the PWM and the cost between the two. As solar panel prices have fallen, it may be cheaper to just buy more panels and use a less efficient controller. Controller prices will also fall, so this dynamic will change over time.

Charge Controller |Charge Controllers
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:29 AM   #53
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Larry, Tom, thanks for you help. I'll continue doing research and let you know if i come up with anything interesting. My roommate (cousin) is an electrical engineer that's willing to help me out here.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:13 AM   #54
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Larry, Tom, thanks for you help. I'll continue doing research and let you know if i come up with anything interesting. My roommate (cousin) is an electrical engineer that's willing to help me out here.

I'd love to hear what he has to say. I took out my old "dumb" converter and rather than tossing it, I put an inexpensive solar controller on the output so I can use it as a smarter battery charger for my tractors.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:08 PM   #55
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But!, if i wasn't after the features of a fancy MPPT controller, and just wanted a controller that shut down the solar panel when the battery was roughly fully charged, couldn't it just be wired via my RV's converter/charger? it has this functionality built in, but it is restricted to the 110?
Yes, that's right, the converter steps the 120VAC voltage down and rectifies it to produce lower-voltage DC similar to the output of a solar panel, so the converter's control functionality is like that of a solar panel controller.

I would have three concerns about injecting the panel output into the converter between the rectifier and control section:
  1. I wouldn't want the converter's power applied to the panel when plugged in, and wouldn't want the voltage loss of a diode added to protect the panel
  2. the injection point would be simple for a basic converter, but a more advanced converter may have no good point in its circuit design to connect the panel output
  3. a basic solar controller is not expensive enough to justify the effort (and risk) of modifying the converter
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:54 PM   #56
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Hello, just looking for opinions on the following before i process my order:

I spoke with randy at bestconverter today(very helpful) and he recommended the powermax line of converters to me over anything else (based on their warranty, and their ability to put out 14.6v charging, and his experience), he said 45 amp or 60 amp. He said i'll need one with an on/off switch so that i can turn it off when i'm using an inverter. it's about $190 or so for the 60amp w/switch. I'll also need a distribution panel for it to hook into, as i have nothing now. he recommended the PD5000 30 Amp AC/DC Power Control Panel ($60). It's going in my trillium 1300, i won't be running anything out of the ordinary, but i'd like to have all the power i'll ever need in the future too..

- He says theres no harm going to the 60 amp as long as i use 6 guage wire, since the price difference is so small from the 45. agreed?

-does that distribution panel seem like its way to much for what ill need? i want this stuff hidden under the back seat, and to take up as little space as possible. PD5000 30 Amp AC/DC Power Control Panel . any pictures of where your distro panels are in trillium 1300's?

-is there anything else i'll need power wise for my trailer? any accessories that the converter/distro panel wouldn't come with? like any controllers or anything at all?

Thank You,
Brandon
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