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Post Info TOPIC: Hooking up the new solar system


RV-Dreams Community Member

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Hooking up the new solar system


Hi Howard,  I've decided to go solar with my rig and I'm a little nervous about making the correct connections. I've read other comments and seen wiring diagrams, but still a little apprehensive. To begin with we have a new Venture Sport trek TT. I replaced the 12 volt battery w/2 6volt golf cart batteries (230amp). Then added the following: (2) 100 watt Renogy solar panels. WN Vertamax pure sine 1500 inverter. Tracer MPPT 30A Controller (3215RN). Bayite meter w/100A Shunt- attached to Neg battery terminal. Battery cables to inverter-2/0 x 4feet.        A 250A fuse attached to Pos bat terminal. 

Now hooking it all up into a safe efficient system. I read that I need to install a transfer switch and hook inverter directly to distribution panel. Really lost here! 

I also read that I need to install all the wiring in the proper sequence. Sounds like I need to hook up batteries to controller first - PV to controller second and to load 3rd. Also not sure in this area. 

If I need a transfer switch, I found a Progressive Dynamics(PD5110010V)30A Auto transfer relay. Would this be OK?

Also read that I need to install a 30amp outlet on my TT coming from the inverter and plug the TT shore power cord into itself as an option to the transfer switch.  

Not sure of correct wire size to run batteries to controller. 

HELP!

Thank you for any and all help, Ron



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Ron Sopik


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Ron,

Unfortunately, I'm not going to be much help. Though we're quite familiar with all the concepts, installations are way beyond our area of comfort. I would never weigh in on the questions you are asking, and doing it right is extremely important for both safety and system efficiency. The wire/cabling sizing is critical and depends on the lengths of the runs, terminal sizes, etc. We recommend RV solar installation experts for a reason (all of them will tell you how many bad installations they have seen, and some now won't even attempt to work on or fix a system they didn't install); however, there are many RVers that do it themselves.

There are several resources for the do-it-yourself crowd. Check out these web pages and links for starters (and I'm sure others will add to the list):

 

Jack Mayer - RV Electrical & Solar (Jack installed our system which has been working great since 2007/2008; he's been our technical mentor since we started full-timing)

 

The Reckless Choice - DIY RV Solar (Electrical engineer with article on his solar install including components, wiring, and costs).

 

LoveYourRV - Detailed look at our DIY RV Boondocking Power System (Summary of an installation on a fifth wheel done in stages; nice diagram)

 

Ed Bockelman- YouTube Videos on solar installation (8 videos detailing an install on a motorhome; he says his goal is to cover all the little details others leave out  - Disclaimer: I have not viewed these)

 

Just take your time, and do your research until you become confident in the install. Good luck!



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Guiding you remotely on a solar install is...unwise. I decline to...help.

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2015 Winnebago TT 2101DS & Chevy Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts of WindyNation solar - parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for USC & historical flags. 14 year Army vet. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state & county campgrounds



RV-Dreams Community Member

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Thanks anyway guys. Guess I'm back to having two separate systems.


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Ron Sopik


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Can you tell me if I can use a 1/0 battery cable 1foot long between my (2) 6volt batteries and use 2/0 battery cables 4 foot long connected to inverter? Or do I need to stay with the same gauge even though its much shorter?

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Ron Sopik


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RonS wrote:

Can you tell me if I can use a 1/0 battery cable 1foot long between my (2) 6volt batteries and use 2/0 battery cables 4 foot long connected to inverter? Or do I need to stay with the same gauge even though its much shorter?


 

You can use the 1/0, but I wouldn't. Going with larger wire is always a good choice. There is no downside except cost, and on a one-foot run, there is certainly no big cost incentive to go smaller.



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RV-Dreams Community Member

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I agree, just had the 1/0 on hand. And wanted to start using it before the new cable arrived.

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Ron Sopik


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Within reason, using larger wire on a solar system is always a good idea.

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2015 Winnebago TT 2101DS & Chevy Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts of WindyNation solar - parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for USC & historical flags. 14 year Army vet. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state & county campgrounds



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RonS wrote:

I agree, just had the 1/0 on hand. And wanted to start using it before the new cable arrived.


 1/0 will "work."  But each size of wire that is smaller is actually a resistor vs. the next size larger.  Resistance means voltage drop (which is converted to heat.)  If the current draw is small then it makes little difference.  But as the current draw increases so does the voltage drop.  Hence the basic electrical formula E= I x R  - also known as Ohm's law.

https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/textbook/direct-current/chpt-2/voltage-current-resistance-relate/



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Bill & Linda
2014 New Horizons Majestic F37RLTSS 96

2016 RAM 5500HD \ 4-Wheel Drive \ Link Air Ride
Classy Chassis RV Hauler Bed Conversion \ Aux Fuel Tank 

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