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Old 09-30-2010, 03:43 PM   #1
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Electrical system upgrade

So after owning the stream for a little over 6 months I have come to realize that the amount of information that the trailer provides about battery status, solor charge amount, and voltage is very lacking.

Currently the trailer has a system installed by solarmetrics(no longer in business). In this system I have a xantrex solar charger, xantrex 25kw inverter, 3 solar panels, 3 flood cell batteries, and one univolt that will be my newest boat anchor.

I think that the solar charger and the inverter support the network information via a telephone cable. My question is, "is there a system with a charger and a control panel/information system that i can install?"

Thanks in advance,

Chris

PS: the more information the better
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:26 PM   #2
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I use a Trimetric 2020 which will provide you with more info than you will ever want to know.

I see the web page now lists a 2025 which may be a newer version. Take a look and see if it might suit your needs.

Bogart Engineering | manufacturer of the TriMetric battery monitor which measures volts, amps and amp-hours for battery systems
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:30 PM   #3
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25 KW Inverter? There must not be any living space with an inverter that large. I'm think you ment 2500 watts. Didn't you?
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:03 PM   #4
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Most of the Xantrex inverters also have a charger feature, which if wired up, would work better than the Univolt.

Depending on the inverter model you should be able to get a control panel for it, see bestconverter.com. But, you may find that aftermarket charge monitors and shunts are a better answer in your situation. There are several makers, I know Xantrex makes one, and Randy at Bestconverter sells a different one, and the marine guys seem to use yet a third one.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:19 PM   #5
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What's a shunt?

Gary
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:23 PM   #6
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A device for redirecting a small percentage of the current going through a wire to meter so that it's easy to measure the amps. The charge monitors that show an accurate % of how much battery is left do it by measuring the amps being drawn or charged all the time so they can subtract and figure out how much capacity is left.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
A device for redirecting a small percentage of the current going through a wire to meter so that it's easy to measure the amps. The charge monitors that show an accurate % of how much battery is left do it by measuring the amps being drawn or charged all the time so they can subtract and figure out how much capacity is left.

Thanks! Now, charge monitors for dummies: In practice, how is the after-market charge monitor installed in a travel trailer like mine with one battery installed? Is there a two wire lead connected to the battery? Interesting topic.

Gary
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:08 PM   #8
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I have never put one in but I believe they're typically six wires, power and ground, two to the shunt, and two for voltage sense that go straight to the + and - terminals.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I have never put one in but I believe they're typically six wires, power and ground, two to the shunt, and two for voltage sense that go straight to the + and - terminals.
Interesting, Thanks!

Gary
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:24 AM   #10
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Here is an amp minder installation - separate charge system

Quote:
Originally Posted by ck21084 View Post
... "is there a system with a charger and a control panel/information system that i can install?"...
...the more information the better
Here is a typical installation of a Tri-metric 2020 Ampminder - the display head is installed in the overhead adjacent to the stove vent control. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I think there were only 4 wires (two twisted pairs) that needed to be hooked up - all wiring was included in the installation kit.

Not sure if this is the best system for a Solar installation - best to do a through study if you are really serious about staying off the grid for extended times.



Below is a shot of the measuring shunt installed on the negative side of the battery - the shunt sensing wires were not yet installed when the picture was taken.



The Tri-metric website can be found here:
TriMetric Battery System | Bogart Engineering
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
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25 KW Inverter? There must not be any living space with an inverter that large. I'm think you ment 2500 watts. Didn't you?
I agree with you that it is a 2500w inverter... but for some strange reason it says "25kw" on the front of it. LOL

Maybe thats a marketing thing.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:39 AM   #12
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Update: After much research the inverter that I have does not have the charge feature installed. This being said I have decieded to go with a xantrex 60 amp charger. This will allow for seperate charging of the bateries and there is a special on them right now where you get the control panel and remote temp sensor for free with the 20,40, and 60 amp unit. Best converter did not have this deal so I decided to order from another retailer. I paid $430 for this unit.

I now have to figure out how to link the two batteries together since they are being charged seperatly and i also need to figure out what wire size I will need. I currently have 1/0 awg welding cable. During this process i will also change out the terminal blocks that are exposed for some that have protective covers like used in car audio. These will often support 1/0 or larger. I have also been pondering the idea of installing a 5 farad capacitor. Do you think I would see any benifit from this? I have one in my car and it started my car when the battery was very weak.

Thanks to all for the info
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:18 AM   #13
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Here is a quick diagram.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:33 PM   #14
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Hi Chris,
I installed a Xantrex Freedom 10 (1000w) Inverter/Charger along with a Xantrex Link 1000 remote control/display unit. The inverter is wired to all of my 110v A/C outlets which is great (my 12v system has two 12v Size 27 batteries). I'm in the process of installing two 95watt Sunwize solar panels with a Xantrex C35 Charge Controller. Several pics of this installation (except for Solar) can be found in my blog.

Good luck.
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