Author Topic: I Finally Diagrammed My Converter, Inverter, And Solar Controller  (Read 349 times)

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Offline Ericb760

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And in the process found some surprises. I've been trying to hunt down an inverter short that has prevented me from watching TV while boondocking. I figured I would start at the batteries. I had dreaded this because when I had tried before, the slide out that the batteries sit on was jammed. This time I soaked the rails with some penetrating oil and was able to finally slide it out. My first surprise was that a rodent of some sort had decided to make the battery compartment its new home. I found his carcass after cleaning out all the vegetation that he had packed in there, not to mention all the poop.

My second discovery was that the house batteries were not deep cycle as I was led to believe. They are, in fact, heavy duty truck batteries. Think busses or 18 wheelers. Both read 13.5V with a tester, and both were dated 2018. I have used this rig solely on shore power but I am planning on an extended boondocking trip so I need to decide if these will be up to the task. If they were older, or reading lower, I would replace them now, and I could probably use some advice as to whether I can use these in conjunction with the generator for a few weeks.

I still didn't find the inverter short, but at least now I have a better understanding of my batteries and how they are wired.
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Offline Greg

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Re: I Finally Diagrammed My Converter, Inverter, And Solar Controller
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2021, 10:36 PM »
Nice. So question for you on this or to anyone else.

When I brought my winnie home, the house lights did not work, which is something I am checking out. When I pulled the house batteries out to check them, they were wired for 24 volts. (Positive to Negative) Since all the lights are 12 volts, I changed the wiring to positive to positive, negative to negative in order, as is your diagram as well to give 12 volts. Does anyone know if this makes a difference? I assumed maybe this was part of the problem with too many volts. Is either way acceptable?

Thanks!
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Offline yellowrecve

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Re: I Finally Diagrammed My Converter, Inverter, And Solar Controller
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2021, 10:56 PM »
Is your invertor 12v or 24v. If it's 12v then it may be cooked by 24v.
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Offline yellowrecve

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Re: I Finally Diagrammed My Converter, Inverter, And Solar Controller
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2021, 10:59 PM »
If your lights are 12v wired to 24v they will all be burned out. Furnace, water pump, fans, fridge?
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RV repairman and builder of custom luxury motor homes, retired, well, almost, after 40 years.

Offline Ericb760

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Re: I Finally Diagrammed My Converter, Inverter, And Solar Controller
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2021, 12:07 AM »
Are you sure they are 12v batteries and not 6v? If they are 12v then I would agree with the other posters that your wiring may be fried.
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Offline Greg

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Re: I Finally Diagrammed My Converter, Inverter, And Solar Controller
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2021, 09:52 AM »
Everything works when I'm plugged in. Lights, furnace, fridge, etc. As well when the generator is going. (with the batteries fully charged I can start the generator) No lights work when just plugged in. Thanks, all!
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Offline TerryH

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Re: I Finally Diagrammed My Converter, Inverter, And Solar Controller
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2021, 11:25 AM »
Everything works when I'm plugged in. Lights, furnace, fridge, etc. As well when the generator is going. (with the batteries fully charged I can start the generator) No lights work when just plugged in. Thanks, all!
Somewhat confusing - 'everything works when plugged in' and 'no lights work when just plugged in.'
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Offline Greg

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Re: I Finally Diagrammed My Converter, Inverter, And Solar Controller
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2021, 12:39 PM »
Whoops...sorry. no lights work when on batteries only.
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Offline Rickf1985

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Re: I Finally Diagrammed My Converter, Inverter, And Solar Controller
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2021, 05:30 PM »
If they were wired in series then anything 12 volt in that circuit is fried unless it was protected by a fuse and even then it could still be fried since a fuse protects against shorts, not high voltage. But you need to check all the circuit breakers both on the firewall under the hood and in the panel on the wall inside where the DC control center is. I have seen this happen when people take our 6 volt batteries and out in 12 volt batteries. They simply hook up the battery cables the same as they were on the 6 volt batteries.
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Offline Ericb760

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Re: I Finally Diagrammed My Converter, Inverter, And Solar Controller
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2021, 12:46 AM »
Hey, Rick! You are a polished gem on an otherwise golden website. Question: In my crudely drawn diagram above, where the batteries are 12v, if I were to buy new 6v batteries, how would I wire the peripherals (solar, inverter, and converter)? I understand changing from parallel to series, I'm just not sure if everything else stays the same, or will I have to move some cables around?

FYI: My diagram is incorrect in that the black wire off of the negative terminal is grounded to the frame.
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Offline mytoolman

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Re: I Finally Diagrammed My Converter, Inverter, And Solar Controller
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2021, 12:36 AM »
Hey, Rick! You are a polished gem on an otherwise golden website. Question: In my crudely drawn diagram above, where the batteries are 12v, if I were to buy new 6v batteries, how would I wire the peripherals (solar, inverter, and converter)? I understand changing from parallel to series, I'm just not sure if everything else stays the same, or will I have to move some cables around?

FYI: My diagram is incorrect in that the black wire off of the negative terminal is grounded to the frame.
"Ethyl" *THE* ToolTruck (ETTT) has SIX 6Volt Batteries Wire in Parallel AND Series to put out 12volts here is a link showing how that happens. all the peripherals that are 12Volt should have the positive connected to what is called the positive to the "trailer' in this video Ive linked. The negative for the peripherals should come from the negative from the same battery bank. Disclosure...I dont have solar power yet. I plan to add 4 100 watt Solar panels with the Battery Management System (BMS) that solar needs and have that BMS tied into my current system. There will be some education needed for me to make sure I do that correctly. I believe there probably is a transfer switch of some kind needed to determine if the power is coming from 120volt shore power or 120 volt from my generator  either way this is how you wire 6 volt batteries to end up with a big battery bank with lots of Amp hours of use and end up with 12 volts being produced see the link
https://www.google.com/search?q=show+six+volt+batteries+wired+in+parallel&oq=show+six+volt+batteries+wired+in+parallel&aqs=chrome..69i57j33i22i29i30.17692j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=_QGojYKTkLYSztQbFkaqwCQ39
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Also have "Ethyl" 1955 Ford C600 equipped as a rolling tool store(ETTT)."Brutus" 1972 Ford F250 60k original miles. "Panzer" 1976 MBZ 450SL Roadster.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: I Finally Diagrammed My Converter, Inverter, And Solar Controller
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2021, 10:11 AM »
I think Toolmans links probably explain it better than I can but basically your batteries will be in series so you will have one positive 12 volt and one negative 12 volt and these should go to their own respective buss bars. The negative can be also tied into the vehicle frame. All of the peripherals will wire into the buss bars through fuses as normal.
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