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Old 11-05-2009, 07:51 PM   #1
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Somecity , Oregon
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Question Univolt replacement now or later, and does solar affect which charge controller?

Hi,

I'm also looking to replace the univolt in my '71 soon. It works, but I'm told the output voltage is a bit low at 10v.

I'm not one for electrics, so pardon me if these are really basic questions. It seems that the univolt is only there (at least in my model) for shore power, and everything else is 12v.

So other than wanting to run a lot of stuff when plugged in to the grid, and for the speed of charging it wouldn't make much difference in the size of charge controller. Is that close, or am I way off base?

I will also be looking to add a couple extra batteries, and solar panels in the near future so I'm hesitant on changing just the univolt now in case I get the wrong charge controller and waste the $. I haven't yet decided how many batteries or panels. Will a lower or higher amp charge controller have any side effects other than speed of charging?

I'm also wondering would it make sense to get a charge controller that can handle multiple inputs - both shore power and solar, or are they cost prohibitive or otherwise not worth it or just not made? I know they make charge controllers for solar/wind but maybe not 110v also?

What are the thoughts on a combo charger/inverter unit? They seem really expensive, and not really worth it but at the same time very convenient.

Thanks!
Mika
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:00 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums.

If the univolt is only putting out 10 volts, it is not working. It powers all of your 12 volt items and charges the battery when attached to shore power. Your battery will never charge at 10 volts. If your battery is at 10 volts, it may be too low to save as well.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:10 PM   #3
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Hi Richard,

Thanks for the confirmation on that.

The battery is definitely toast I know that much for sure. It is um, expanded a bit. So that's on the list, I just don't know what I should replace the univolt with and how my future plans could affect that.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:16 PM   #4
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I do not have solar, but from what I have seen on other units, it is a separate system from the converter. It has it's own controller. The converter only supplies voltage when you are attached to shore power. When you are off the grid and using solar, the converter is a brick.

There are plenty of folks on the forums with solar systems (not the one we live in ) and I am sure they can answer your questions better then I can.
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