positon for solar controler and inverter

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by SC 05 OUT, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. SC 05 OUT

    SC 05 OUT Funster

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    If I keep my existing motorhome (auto trial scout 2005) next year I will need to kit it out with both Solar Panels and an inverter.

    Where would be the best place to fit the inverter? and solar controller

    The inverter could go outside in the side locker very near the batteries so a good short cable run, but it’s not totally weather proof there. Could it suffer from frost damage?

    It could also go into the top part of the wardrobe but the trauma heater unit is under that and as it gets hot at times, it could pick up too ambience temperature from the back of the heater.

    The wardrobe would be a good place for the solar controller because it would hide the wires easy. A remote display unit could be positioned next to the hab door for readings

    The locker under the bed next to wardrobe would be the next shortest run for 12 volt cables from the battery

    The locker on the far side (near gas bottle hatch but inside) would be the longest 12 volt cable run, but this area would be closer to the mains input if I decide to go for auto power change over relays

    As above for the other dinette locker but it houses the water heater
     
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  2. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    We had one fitted in a Cheyene behind passenger seat on end of bench seat which was close to battery box.
     
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  3. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

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    How big will the inverter be Phil?
    Maybe worth considering a B2B charger too if you don't already have one
     
  4. SC 05 OUT

    SC 05 OUT Funster

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    Im thinking pure sine wave min power would need to be 3000w/6000w max type,

    the B2B charger would be going on the list....

    Im just trying to assiatain what I need to be doing next spring if I dont upgrade the m/h,
     
  5. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

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    3000w is a BIG inverter Phil
    We have a Victron 2000w inverter which also has a charger built in too.
    To cope with the inverter we have 4 x 80ah leisure batteries. Moved the two factory fitted ones to the rear garage and added two more,

    2000w inverter copes with running Mrs C's onboard hair salon, and keeps our Nespresso coffee machine and dedicated drinks fridge going too.
    It also trips in automatically if the EHU cuts out.
    We have 320w of solar too which seems to cope, so long as we keep moving on every 2/3 days.

    We seldom use EHU and this setup works well for us
     
  6. SC 05 OUT

    SC 05 OUT Funster

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    I was thinking bigger = better....

    Ive got two 110 amp battiers, I am aiming for going

    3 X 100 watt pannals
    or 2 X 150 wat pannals depending on roof fitment,

    However If I decide just to (mains power) the tv, sat recorder, charge mobile stuff 1000w of inverter would probibly do..

    I could get by with a lot less on all accounts (if as I expect I end up doing it then leaving it on the van for a new owner) , but still its the postion of fitting thats causing my train of thought at this time.
     
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  7. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

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    The 2000w inverter is the size of a welly boot box, and it needs to be really close to the batteries too.
    A smaller one would naturally take up less space - some have a built in 3 pin plug, so no worry about connecting to existing 240v circuit.

    Whichever option you went for it would be a lot cheaper than buying a new van, which probably wouldn't have an inverter either
     
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  8. SC 05 OUT

    SC 05 OUT Funster

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    If I went that route I would be needing to swap the plugs in and out all depending if I was on "inverter" or if I was on mains, unless I powered these items ALL the time form either source.

    It would be by far the cheaper way to go...
     
  9. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

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    If you went for the Victron inverter it would be connected directly to the 240v circuit so would power all plugs.

    We had ours fitted by @eddievanbitz who also did a B2B charger and the solar too.

    I'm not much good with electrics, but others have done similar installations themselves.
     
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  10. Zigisla

    Zigisla Funster

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    My 1800W inverter is fitted in the bench seat behind the driver's chair with a remote on/off switch - saves lifting the seat when you need AC. This position was chosen as the batteries are under the driver's seat so a very short cable run. My Solar controller is fitted in the wardrobe under the solar panel and the cables run fwd to the batteries. Again another total 240V system fitted by the Bitzmeister.
     
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  11. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    Your starting point should be that the lower the voltage, the shorter the cable run should be. This is critical with a big inverter, less so with a small one & less so again with the solar controller. It means that you start by trying to put both the inverter & the controller as near to the batteries as you reasonably can.

    You then need to consider that an inverter will generate heat & will need reasonable ventilation. It is unlikely to suffer frost damage (not in the UK anyway), but like anything electrical, should be kept dry.

    Voltage drop on the inverter output side is insignificant compared to the input side, so don't worry if you have to lead the 230v cables some distance to where you want the power.
     
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