Connecting Converter and Battery - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-31-2012, 02:38 PM   #1
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Connecting Converter and Battery

I'm having trouble finding a proper diagram or instructions for installing my Converter.

I purchased an Iota dls-45 converter and charger
IOTA Engineering DLS-45 12VDC Battery Charger and Power Converter - 45 Amps

I'm struggling on how to connect it to my 12v fridge and battery.

It has a cord and plug to plug into an AC socket, and has a + and - and ground terminal on the back. How would the connection go though.

AC plug----> + battery, - battery, ground to trailer or common ground, and then connect my fridge +/- cables to my battery?

Also, would it be possible to connect the fridge directly to the converter without a battery?
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:09 PM   #2
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Do you have a fuse panel? Normally power is input to the fuse panel from both the converter and the battery at a single input point. Power is taken out through a series of fuses (or circuit breakers) for power consumers like the refrigerator, lights, etc.

You will probably not want to run your refrigerator off the battery alone, unless you have an efficient compressor type refrigerator.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:14 PM   #3
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I have my 110v Breaker box, but I don't have a 12v fuse box. Is that what I need also? My fridge is a Waeco RPD-50, DC fridge.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:31 PM   #4
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I have my 110v Breaker box, but I don't have a 12v fuse box. Is that what I need also? My fridge is a Waeco RPD-50, DC fridge.
OK, that is a high efficiency compressor refrigerator. If you only want to run the refrigerator, you can hook up an inline fuse to the + output of the converter and then hook this fused wire to the refrigerator.

If you want a battery in the circuit, hook up an inline fuse to the + terminal of the battery, then connect this wire to the wire going to the refrigerator.

All DC grounds would be connected together. Use 12 gauge wire and 10 amp fuse for the fridge, or less according to refrigerator manufacturer's recommendations. Use a 20 amp fuse for the battery.

Amazon.com: In-line ACT Water-resistant Fuse Holder - 10 AWG: Automotive

If you are going to have more things run off the battery / converter, I'd use a fuse panel rather than inline fuses.
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:04 PM   #5
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Thanks Thomas. Right now it'll just be the Fridge running off the battery.
Question:

If I connect the + outputs, where do I connect the - outputs to?
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:31 PM   #6
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Thanks Thomas. Right now it'll just be the Fridge running off the battery.
Question:

If I connect the + outputs, where do I connect the - outputs to?
Connect the negatives (DC grounds) from the converter, the battery and the refrigerator all together.
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:31 PM   #7
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I'm having trouble finding a proper diagram or instructions for installing my Converter.
The instructions can be seen by selecting the tab on the left of the page you referred to - that says "INSTALLATION MANUAL" which opens this PDF.

If you are using it to charge your battery, use the dual voltage jack as that will bump your charging voltage up and increase the % of charge you can obtain. The 13.6 Volt output will never fully charge your battery. You may want to look at the DLS-45/IQ4 because it provides for better battery charging.

The specs for your fridge can be found here. It uses 3.3 amps when running, 20-32 amps per 24 hr period, avg 0.83 -1.33 amps per hour. Those numers will help you decide which battery you need and any solar requirements if you are going to be off the grid.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:01 PM   #8
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The instructions can be seen by selecting the tab on the left of the page you referred to - that says "INSTALLATION MANUAL" which opens this PDF.

If you are using it to charge your battery, use the dual voltage jack as that will bump your charging voltage up and increase the % of charge you can obtain. The 13.6 Volt output will never fully charge your battery. You may want to look at the DLS-45/IQ4 because it provides for better battery charging.

The specs for your fridge can be found here. It uses 3.3 amps when running, 20-32 amps per 24 hr period, avg 0.83 -1.33 amps per hour. Those numers will help you decide which battery you need and any solar requirements if you are going to be off the grid.
Yeah, I have the DLS/IQ4, the installation manual for Iota isn't very helpful, and there isn't really a diagram for how it should go to my appliance. I was thinking of just getting a small AGM battery or group 24 as it'll just have to run off battery during transit. We camp primarily at sites with power.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:06 PM   #9
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You could switch to a 7 pin cable and charge from your tow vehicle while in transit. Or a single solar panel for about the same cost.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:09 PM   #10
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You could switch to a 7 pin cable and charge from your tow vehicle while in transit. Or a single solar panel for about the same cost.
I was thinking about Solar, but I don't really know how big a panel I'd need. Right now, I'm just trying to get the converter and fridge installed properly!

I haven't really thought about 7 pin, as both the Boler and my TV are already wired for flat4.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:05 PM   #11
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Amps per hour is kind of misleading. Something draws a fixed number of amps at a certain voltage. Amps specify current. What you want is watts per hour ... That's power.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:50 PM   #12
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Think of it as the fridge (and lights, etc) taking power out of the battery and the iota charger putting power back into the battery. The big plus and minus terminals connect to + and - on the battery. Use big enough wire to handle the current. 45 amps is a lot, you probably need 2 or 4 gage cable.

Also be sure your battery can take 45 amps charging current. If you are using one small battery like a group 24 you probably need an AGM to take the current.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:10 PM   #13
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Amps per hour is kind of misleading. Something draws a fixed number of amps at a certain voltage. Amps specify current. What you want is watts per hour ... That's power.
OK, maybe I'm dumb. I read the specs for his fridge and got the avg amps per hour.

If I've got a battery rated at 100 amp hours and I don't want it to go below 50%, my understanding is that I can use 50 amp hours. Given that his fridge consumes about 1 amp per hour. Should I not be able to run his fridge by itself for about 2 days before I need to recharge the battery?
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:53 AM   #14
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................I haven't really thought about 7 pin, as both the Boler and my TV are already wired for flat 4.
You could add a small second connector just for charging the battery. It wouldn't be standard, but would be a little easier to install. Amazon.com: Hopkins 47965 2-Pole Flat Extension: Automotive

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........... Use big enough wire to handle the current. 45 amps is a lot, you probably need 2 or 4 gage cable. Also be sure your battery can take 45 amps charging current. If you are using one small battery like a group 24 you probably need an AGM to take the current.
You are not going to be hitting the battery with the full 45 amps. That charger capacity is to run accessories.

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OK, maybe I'm dumb. I read the specs for his fridge and got the avg amps per hour.

If I've got a battery rated at 100 amp hours and I don't want it to go below 50%, my understanding is that I can use 50 amp hours. Given that his fridge consumes about 1 amp per hour. Should I not be able to run his fridge by itself for about 2 days before I need to recharge the battery?
The overall amp hour rating is a simplification - it is maximum with a small load and less with a large load. The battery supplier should have a capacity chart based on load. This explains it.: Deep Cycle Battery FAQ


Quote:
Because of something called the Peukert Effect. The Peukert value is directly related to the internal resistance of the battery. The higher the internal resistance, the higher the losses while charging and discharging, especially at higher currents. This means that the faster a battery is used (discharged), the LOWER the AH capacity. Conversely, if it is drained slower, the AH capacity is higher. This is important because some manufacturers and vendors have chosen to rate their batteries at the 100 hour rate - which makes them look a lot better than they really are.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:55 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Roy in TO

OK, maybe I'm dumb. I read the specs for his fridge and got the avg amps per hour.

If I've got a battery rated at 100 amp hours and I don't want it to go below 50%, my understanding is that I can use 50 amp hours. Given that his fridge consumes about 1 amp per hour. Should I not be able to run his fridge by itself for about 2 days before I need to recharge the battery?
Roy, you are not dumb, you get an A- though, instead of an A. As Thomas explained, you need to take the Peukert exponent of the battery into account to get the exact duration under a particular load but your method gives a really good guess under "moderate" loads.

The amp-hour capacity rating is usually the 20 hour rate. That means your 100 ah battery can put out 5 amps for 20 hours until it is functionally dead (usually 1.75 volts per cell or 10.5 volts for a 12 v battery). Note this means that if the actual load is less than 5 amps you get a little more than the rated amp-hours.

The comment about 'watts' being being the correct unit is true but not relevant here as pretty much everyone here uses a 12v battery system.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:01 AM   #16
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*snort* "English" units. "SI" units. "Common-Usage" units. "Units that someone cooked up in a marketing department" units. Trouble is, as far as I can see, is that there are a ton of semi-convertible measures out there that can give all sorts of results depending on how you squint.

As a mere computer geek and a geologist, I now bow out. If my dear old Dad was still alive and kicking (Bell Labs engineer for 50 or so years) I'd drag him in. But as the long distance charges to his current abode are rather steep, I'll just let it lie.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:32 AM   #17
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*snort* "English" units. "SI" units. "Common-Usage" units. "Units that someone cooked up in a marketing department" units. Trouble is, as far as I can see, is that there are a ton of semi-convertible measures out there that can give all sorts of results depending on how you squint.

As a mere computer geek and a geologist, I now bow out. If my dear old Dad was still alive and kicking (Bell Labs engineer for 50 or so years) I'd drag him in. But as the long distance charges to his current abode are rather steep, I'll just let it lie.

We owe a lot to Bell Labs, originator of the transistor among many other things. With batteries, amps x volts = watts doesn't tell the whole story as the internal losses of the battery (heat) are greater at high current draws than at low current draws. So, it is not a question of units, but rather the fact that battery capacity is not a linear function.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:41 AM   #18
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<snip> So, it is not a question of units, but rather the fact that battery capacity is not a linear function.
Absolutely! And that's the crux of the problem. I call these "bubble in the waterbed" issues. You push down the bubble here...and it pops up there.

And of course we have to add the variance that ambient temperature has on the battery. And which way you hold you head when you look at the trailer!

If only life were simple ! "Your Mileage May Vary" is oh so true!
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:45 AM   #19
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Wow, thanks for all the info guys. I'm having to go back and re read some of the posts multiple times because they look like gibberish to me! I thinkim getting the gist of it though.

Another quick question, looking at the Wire Awg Chart
American Wire Gauge table and AWG Electrical Current Load Limits with skin depth frequencies
I should be able to use 10awg wire? As its rated up to 55amps?

Again, thanks for all your help. 12v wiring almost seems harder than 110v!
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:02 AM   #20
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Wow, thanks for all the info guys. I'm having to go back and re read some of the posts multiple times because they look like gibberish to me! I think I'm getting the gist of it though.

Another quick question, looking at the Wire Awg Chart
American Wire Gauge table and AWG Electrical Current Load Limits with skin depth frequencies
I should be able to use 10awg wire? As its rated up to 55amps?

Again, thanks for all your help. 12v wiring almost seems harder than 110v!
10 gauge wire is OK between the controller, the battery and the fridge. If you use 10 gauge wire to run a circuit to charge your battery and run your fridge off the tow vehicle, it may be a little light. This is where it gets complicated. The voltage drop in the wire from the tow vehicle to the trailer battery is critical because if your trailer battery doesn't get enough voltage (14+ volts), it won't charge adequately.

The author of this article below is a little over the top, but he hits the key points.

Charging Trailer Batteries from the Tow Vehicle Alternator
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