Running electric through Solar controller. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-17-2017, 12:41 AM   #1
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Running electric through Solar controller.

I recently added a battery and solar to my Boler. I have a WFCO 25amp converter that will supposedly automatically since when plugged into shore power charge the battery when on shore power and pull 12v from the battery when boondocking , both functions use a single battery lead.

Since all my 12v lights, appliances... is run through the WFCO converter I have the following questions about installing the solar controller.

I purchased a quality 30amp solar controller that has three sets of leads. One set to the battery, one to the solar panels and one to 12v lights, appliances,... in the camper.

Is it ok to run the battery lead from my WFCO controller to the 12v lights, appliances leads on the solar controller? I worry about running the reverse polarity through it when on shore power.

I also have the tow vehicle 12v accessory line and the solar charger batter lead hook directly to the battery.

Lastly I grounded the negative for everything to the frame.. it seams ti work but i fear over charging the battery.

Any through ?
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:45 AM   #2
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What's the make and model of the solar controller?
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by padlin00 View Post
What's the make and model of the solar controller?
Ditto, you need to give enough information in your question for it to be answered.

Without knowing more, can't say for sure but chances are I would use the solar controller connection to the battery, and one for the the solar panels of course. I would ignore the connections on the solar controller for the 12v lights, appliances. The converter, tug and solar charger all charge the house battery. The battery powers everything in the camper. Usually the converter can also power things without a battery but the solar controller frequently won't put enough power out (if there is no house battery).

Over charging is a small but valid concern, but not because you have three different charging sources, but instead because they have different "brains." Overly simplified, the most aggressive one will "win" and the battery will be charged, properly or not, according to it's brain. One possible complication might be if multiple chargers are in use and run desulfation on a set schedual. It might run too often to be healthy for the battery. But that is not a likely problem.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:02 AM   #4
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agree...

I would ignore the "load" connections on the controller....if you read the instructions they appear to be there for remote applications like lights or gates away from any possible power hook-ups they usually include functions like on at dusk off at sunrise...or hourly choices for those functions

grounding ??? I'd worry/wonder about that one....in my trailer and I suspect most all DC lights and powered items have their own negative (return?) wires....nothing is grounded to supply the return leg, even the trailer running lights. I'm not sure why this is so but that's the way it is...if it ain't broke don't fix it. Maybe someone will supply more detail in this regard.....it gets complicated in a trailer as there is also AC power in there and THAT needs to be grounded.....this is where it gets a little too complicated for me...
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
....if you read the instructions they appear to be there for remote applications like lights or gates away from any possible power hook-ups ....
How can we read the instructions if we don't even know the make and model of the controller?

But of course your point is dead-on, and sometimes referred to as "RTFM." Perhaps a careful read of the manual would have answered the question before it was asked (but if its from China, maybe not).

Most load terminals on solar charges that I have seen are as you describe, and not meant for connection to the entire load of a camper. Many are very limited in capacity. But I have seen at least one that appeared to just be connected to the battery side and so only limited to the current limit of the fuse from the controller to the battery (and wiring, etc.)
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:04 PM   #6
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I am just re-wiring my Trillium and I appreciate the info about the solar panel controller and the load connections.

Now I will need to re-think my approach.

thx guys
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:10 PM   #7
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It is a ACOPOWER HY-MPPT30 30A. Sorry.
Manual:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/feedbackfiv...r+A+series.pdf
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:58 PM   #8
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Acopower hy-mppt30 30a
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:15 PM   #9
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It is a ACOPOWER HY-MPPT30 30A. Sorry.
Well it looks like we have some work to do...

So far, it appears to me that ACOPOWER is a reseller who just relabels other brands. It appears that the HY-MPPT30 is the Chinese EPSolar Solar Change Controller Tracer3210A whose manual is the typicaly poorly written and translated type, and available here: http://www.epsolarpv.com/en/uploads/...0581526220.pdf

Unless I missed it, this manual does not give any specs for the load terminals. But it does seem to be set up for a load as previously described, that its a timed light or something similar and not much more. So not using the load terminals still sounds like the right plan.

Also if this is the right manual, its a positive ground controller, so be sure to wire it up properly. As I understand it you cannot connect the load ground to the RV ground (negative) but I'm no expert on positive ground equipment.

All this needs to be looked at when you have the actual unit and instructions.

Also MPPT might be overkill for a small trailer, and depending on how much you paid for it, it perhaps is not what I would have chose.

(EDIT: Oops, you beat me to it with a link to the manual)
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Old 07-18-2017, 12:47 PM   #10
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I don't know the answer to your question, but also have a 30 amp controller with a LOAD terminal. I would not chance running the converter output to the LOAD terminal, it should only be run to the battery. I was thinking of eventually running all my 12 volt appliances directly off the LOAD terminal but in the meantime I have removed many of the 12 volt items from the converter fusebox and run a new terminal block and circuits from the LOAD terminal. The benefit of using the LOAD terminal is that it still draws power from the battery whether it's being charged by the converter or the solar panels, and I can set a voltage cutoff range so that I don't run any of the items connected to the LOAD terminal below a minimum voltage that I set in order to protect the battery. I can also easily read the amp load that each item connected to the LOAD terminal used instantaneously and total use til reset.
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Old 07-20-2017, 11:40 PM   #11
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Your post got me thinking.

Perhaps I'll install an on-off-on 3way switch to the solar and converter loads, next to the converter, to cut the solar charger load to the converter' s battery lead when not using solar. This would mean a bit of rewiring and running separate solar load wires into the camper to the switch. Now the solar charger is not run in-line between the Battery and the converter but rather an aux input to the converter' s battery wire. As stated earlier, my converter has one battery wire which both charges the battery when hooked up to A.C. and pulls from the battery when not as it has a built in 12v fuse panel.

When on solar i could flip the switch to the solar side and be able to monitor/control load usage. When on A,,C. "hooked up" I flip the switch to The "hookup" side allowing the converter and battery to be directly connected. Either way it is flipped the camper would still be able to pull power from the battery which is being charged by the solar controller, however when flipped to solar, the solar controller can both monitor load usage and provide a cut off if the battery becomes too depleted at a level I program into it.

My 12v usage has been mitigated by running only leds in the camper. My propane heater fan, fantastic vent, water pump, and cell phones are the big energy hogs but all have new 12 gauge wires. My fridge 12v is on a relay so it only works when hooked up to the tow vehicle"s output., otherwise it runs on A.C. or propane. The inverter is run directly to the battery and can only connect to the converter using the 30amp hookup cable. If using the inverter I would have to keep the switch to the solar side as I would not want the converter trying to charge the battery while being supplied AC power from the battery via the inverter.

On further thought, I might instead run the switch between the solar battery terminal and converter with time delayed relays for solar load and solar panal terminals on solar controller. Flip to solar side and converter pulls power from powered solar controller that was just allowed to pull from panels and power the converter from the load terminals via the relays. This way the solar controller is hooked up to a battery when it begins receiving power from the panels, while reminding the user to flip the switch to solar because the solar controller and remote monitor would otherwise be completely powered off. I rather the system be fool proof.

Does any of this make sense?

I welcome a critique of my hypotheses.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:23 AM   #12
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a heck of a load (pardon the pun)

pheww....that is a LOT to process/understand....

you seem to be looking for the "holy grail" of having your trailer on "full automatic" wherever/whatever" happens (plugged in or not, sun up, sun down, driving down the road or not)....as if you would lend your trailer to a stanger that would not have to do/understand anything about your trailer and just go use it, running any and all electrical appliances/systems.....nothing wrong with that....it's a good "puzzle" to try to solve.....but frankly it's one that makes my head hurt...so it's not a direction I, personally, would go in/strive for....

having said that.....there is one point that jumped off the page for me:

The inverter is run directly to the battery and can only connect to the converter using the 30amp hookup cable. If using the inverter I would have to keep the switch to the solar side as I would not want the converter trying to charge the battery while being supplied AC power from the battery via the inverter.

this one I don't understand at all.....Why would you want your converter to power your inverter...if the converter is working (powered) you HAVE AC power and the inverter is not needed. Maybe I'm missing/not understanding something

compared to you I am at the other end of the scale....my system is beyond "manual"...I don't even have a way of measuring amps in or out. I just manage to know how much power I still have "in the tank" by looking at my 4 digit voltmeter when the batteries are "at rest"....it is a rough estimate for sure but it works for me...over time I get to know what the "power hogs" are

I have a solar disconnect switch between the panels and the controller...the controller output wires ("batteries") go directly to the batteries, bypassing the battery disconnect switch (allowing the trailer to be parked/stored somewhere, all power draws eliminated while the battery is "maintained" when the sun is out)

My TV does not send 12V power to the coach throiugh the 7 pin plug while driving down the road...I figure the 70W of panels on the roof already supply power to the system while driving (I don't drive at night)...and frankly adding another input would get me confused as I try to get a feel for how much power I'm using and how fast my system recovers after that.

my demand for AC is extremely small (other than my charger)...I just don't use a lot of AC stuff/appliances and if I do they are in small "bites"....so my inverter is a portable one and only 150W....when I need AC I plug it in...(as in recharging my laptop)

sorry for the long post...but there ain't NUTTIN' short (hopefully) when talking about this stuff....Cheers, F
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Old 07-21-2017, 02:13 PM   #13
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Really like your reply.
I equipped my camper with a 5000 btu air conditioner, a microwave, an I function stove, electric instant on hot water line, and an electric heater. My inverter is rated for 2000 watts. Accordingly it can run any of my appliances for a limited amount of battery time. I believe using the battery to cook a meal or two wouldn't run it completely down.

I am looking for everything to be as full automated as I can make it. I do not know how capable my young children will be at understanding my efforts when they start using it on their own. It can be confusing and to that point someday I really need to write a manual for the camper.

Running A.C. to the camper requires physically plugging in the hookup 30amp umbilical cord from the camper into the inverter located in the tongue box. I did not hard wire the inverter into the camper A.C. lines. I could have but I feel this method is safer; no chance inverter and shore power on at the same time.
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Old 07-21-2017, 02:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markz View Post
Really like your reply.
I equipped my camper with a 5000 btu air conditioner, a microwave, an I function stove, and an electric heater. My inverter is rated for 2000 watts. Accordingly it can run any of my appliances fir a limited amount of battery time.
2000 Watts / 12 vdc = about 166+ amp.
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