|Old Inverter Installation.|
I'm an idiot. This works, but has a lot of issues. Number one being I had no idea how much power I was using! If I didn't switch off the inverter I would kill the batteries. D'OH! Back to the drawing board. I wanted it to work essentially the same way, but have my energy monitor keep track of its power use. I also wanted a more compact installation.
|MPPT Charge Controller (L) - Inverter (R)|
Here's what I came up with. And....it works!
It was a bit counter-intuitive. The controller's NEGATIVE is wired to the INVERTER negative then on through the SHUNT. This let's me monitor it's power use AND the power generated by the Solar Panels/Controller. Like a "Y" splice in a hose. I know...makes no sense....but's that how it works. The POSITIVE from the controller is wired into a heavy On/Off switch then on to ANOTHER Switch then straight to the HOUSE BATTERY compartment through a large Catastrophe "T" fuse in a water resistant holder then on to the POSITIVE post. The POSITIVE from the INVERTER is wired to the SECOND switch. The trick was making sure EVERY load on the battery bank would go through the SHUNT and be measured by the Energy Monitor. Then, for safety every thing that uses power should have it's wiring protected by a separate fuse. All of this was very confusing when I first began to figure it all out. Eventually, I got my head around it. You will too, I promise. If you get stuck, drop me a line...I can help.
|Click To Enlarge. Shunt is on the Right.|
|Charge Controller Display/Inverter Remote|
To Monitor all of this gear I installed the optional remote control for the charge controller below the remote control for the inverter. The other white box in the picture is for the satellite dish. It tells the elevation so you can aim the dish. The small Black box is the inverter remote. it reads out voltage of the battery and allows the inverter to be put into standby. I have the Energy Monitor Display mounted into the front dash area. It was already installed when I purchased the RV and would be a HUGE P.I.T.A. to relocate!
In the final Part of this article (Part 6!) I will go over the costs, operating the system, the ups and downs of battery charging from Solar and what you can expect. It's been a long ride, but the benefits certainly outweigh the hassle! Hopefully, this series will have helped out a bit.
Be Seeing You...Down the Road,
Rich "The Wanderman"
Read Part 4 of this series.
Read Part 3 of this series.
Read Part 2 of this series.
Read Part 1 of this series.