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CA Traveler

The Western States

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Joined: 01/03/2004

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Posted: 10/09/21 12:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The 6 ga wire and breaker might not be adequate. Wire ga is dependent upon the wire length and accepted voltage drop.

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Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 10/09/21 03:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler,

My panels have diodes between each cell. I went series parallel for a nominal system voltage of 33 volts.

Many panels only have 3 diodes per panel. I would not feel comfortable with 4 200 watt panels in series. Series parallel i.e. 2 in series and both strings in parallel is a bit safer.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.


Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 10/09/21 09:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

moonlitsouls: other poster have covered many of your issues, I just have a question. Are you going to start your house generator with a LiFePO4 lithium battery?

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Central NC

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Posted: 10/14/21 09:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Put the fuse on the positive wire as close to the source as possible.

Fuse 125% of amp rating of load and make sure wire is rated for at least that much.

Make sure the wiring is large enough to carry the current with max of 3-5% loss in voltage. Use a wiring calculator like the second one on this page to determine wire gauge necessary. Do this for all the pieces. Consider going one size larger than required. Bigger wire, more efficient. From the battery to the bus bars, go overkill with wire size. Only costs a few more bucks, but all the electrons will ultimately traverse these so the more efficient the better.

You can swap out the guts of the Progressive Dynamics for lithium charging for about $250.

In a couple spots you have a larger wire changing to a smaller wire on the same path (switch and alternator). I would use the larger all the way through, but regardless, no reason to have part of it larger.

Personal choice a bit. I would use two smaller solar charge controllers and split the panels across them. Gives some redundancy and can help with shading as well. But, a bit of personal choice there.

With 800w of solar you could probably skip the alternator connection if you wanted.

Larger inverters use more power with no load so use whatever size fits your needs. ;-)

Looks like a fun project and a nice power system.


Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 10/15/21 10:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ok couple points. they are right, your not showing your DC house loads or taking them into account. run 2 ga to your bus bars from the batteries. all your lights, furnace and so on will draw pure 12V even if you have your inverter on so the largest draw you will experiance is between the batteries and your bus bars. also yes your dc house panel will have to go to the bus bars, ac section will not.. it will come of your auto transfer switch which allows you to switch between shore power/inverter power/dc power. you have a generator also, so you might need two auto transfer switches set up to turn off your charger when using the inverter and alow it to be on when using your genny or shore power.

I agree with some of the statments about the panels being a weird set up, do you already have them or are you purchasing.. if you havent purchased yet I would look into two larger 24V split cell panels. more efficient and only two to mount, I would look at around the 400 watt each, but I know that room constraints may restrict that.


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