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Old 04-18-2015, 11:26 PM   #15
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And yes, I forgot to mention that I did follow lewster's advice and connect the Solar Boost controller directly to the batteries through a fuse! I also added a switch to disconnect the PV array from the Solar Boost converter.

I was able to mount the Solar Boost converter right in back of the couch, next to the PV pre-wires and CAT5 cable. There's even pretty good airflow to keep the controller cool.

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Alan
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Old 05-16-2015, 05:02 AM   #16
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Following this post with interest. As I am about to purchase an Airstream, I'm wondering how the prewire works out. The dealer is telling me this a 2,000 dollar option for the prewiring.... ??
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:02 AM   #17
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2015 Solar

Picture of our roof factory installed solar panels - 2015 30' FC.

Good Luck

Bud
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:03 AM   #18
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As you can see they are on either side of the front AC just in front of the rear skylight and behind the front skylight. We were trying to figure out a place for a Sat dish. Never did, carry portable.
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:13 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Plasma800 View Post
Following this post with interest. As I am about to purchase an Airstream, I'm wondering how the prewire works out. The dealer is telling me this a 2,000 dollar option for the prewiring.... ??
The prewiring is a standard. The add-on solar package might be $2000.
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Old 05-16-2015, 08:27 AM   #20
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Yep yep, that's it. I continued reading and now understand better what you are buying.

With me being very close to A&P trailer works, I'm considering just going aftermarket all the way. I understand they are a factory authorized warranty shop too... that's good news if true cause............
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:51 PM   #21
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Great thread. I have some questions as well.

I have already ordered my components and have gone aftermarket; however, I am looking at using the Airstream prewiring for solar. From what I understand, the Yellow (+) and Green (-) lead wires from the battery bus (under my sofa) terminate at the refrigerator outside access- I have located these wires. Although there is some dispute on this matter, I will stick with the AWG wire gauge chart to conclude that the provided 10 gauge wiring is three gauge sizes larger than what I need and therefore large enough using the power transfer ratings.

Supposedly there is a cat5 wire running from the tank monitor (not connected but bundled behind it) to the battery bus. This determines the location, by wire convergence, of the controller to be under the sofa.

Has anyone else used the prewired system on aftermarket?

I am thinking about adding the remote solar monitor next to the tank monitor as the wire is there (logical) but would like to hear any thoughts on sawing a hole in the aluminum and doing such. In my camper, it is on the kitchen wall. The roof panel installation seems straightforward- mount panels to roof using Z brackets, seal the area, run the wiring to the refrigerator vent and attach to the yellow and green wires.

Without having looked at the battery bus area yet, I am hoping to find the cat5, the yellow and green wires easily. I understand as well that I will need to include a fuse on the positive connection to the battery bus. Any other thoughts?

Finally, is the temperature sensor wire critical to operation? I understand what I would need to do for this but do not know if it is REALLY important or just an additional thing one can do. I remember reading about charge converters with and without temperature monitoring and some write ups that made it sound as if it were something that made little difference. I do not know if solar is more critical. BTW, I am using a 25 amp morning star SunSaver Duo that came highly recommended. It allows for adding additional batteries if desired separate from the original bank and comes WITH the monitor. The cool thing is that it is fully programmable and you can shut off the 2nd battery bank option or even create priority charging. So, you can use it with one bank too.
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:10 AM   #22
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Additional:

Alano, I am wondering, they must have changed the wiring scheme from my vintage to the newer model. Did you have Yellow and Green terminal wires in your fridge area? My manual mentions only those wires and the Cat5 as prewire. Just checking. My roof panel arrives tomorrow. I am installing a roof system with wiring for two portable systems. I need to change one question in post #21 to add using the Airstream prewire with the same wiring scheme.

BTW, what is the wattage of the factory installed option now? Looking at Paceman's roof photo and the panel size, I would guess 300 watt.
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:03 AM   #23
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Factory is still two 50 watt panels.
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Old 06-10-2015, 02:32 PM   #24
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I was also able to reuse the existing CAT5 cable that was pre-installed. The Blue Sky IPN remote requires a 4-pin RJ-11 connector (telephone), while the current shunt from the battery to the remote requires a twisted pair. Well, if you cut the CAT5 connectors off you'll find (4) twisted pairs! So simply splice back on a 4-pin telephone connector to connect the Solar Boost converter to the IPN remote and connect one of the unused twisted pairs from the current shunt. The CAT5 cable is already pre-run and terminates next to the Inverter on/off switch. It was easy to cut a hole just below the Seelevel controller using a Dremel tool and mount the IPN remote.
How did reusing the CAT5 cable go? I'm planning on doing the same thing and wasn't sure if the CAT5 twisted pair was heavy enough for the shunt monitor.
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Old 06-10-2015, 03:09 PM   #25
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The pre-wiring was found near the inside ceiling light just in front of the rear skylight. The pre-wiring terminated just in back of the sofa, not far from the outside battery box. The CAT5 cable was also found in back of the sofa on the 2015 Classic.

I used the existing CAT5 cable for connecting both the current shunt and the control signals for the IPN remote. The actual current shunt is located in the battery compartment. The sense wires connected to the shunt do no carry current, so one of the twisted pairs in the CAT5 cable can be used for this signal. The only requirement when running wires for a current shunt a fair distance is that they are a twisted pair. The twisting prevents external electromagnetic coupling which can affect the current measurement. Fortunately the CAT5 cable includes four twisted pairs!

The system is working perfectly. I'm very happy with the result having reused as much wiring as possible.
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Old 06-11-2015, 05:39 AM   #26
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The system is working perfectly. I'm very happy with the result having reused as much wiring as possible.
That is good to hear. Hopefully I will be able to do the same. The difference though is in the location of the wiring- I guess.

Quote:
Factory is still two 50 watt panels.
They look big on that roof for 50 watt panels but that makes sense. They are about 25x20 or so. The one I ordered is 40x39 - should fit. I did not measure as I knew the AC was 30ish wide and there is quite a bit of open space on my rear roof area behind the AC. The bath and fridge vents are on the side of the AC.
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:38 PM   #27
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I posted this already in another thread but I finished my solar wiring tonight using the prewiring. I used the Cat 5 cable as well for my monitor now mounted under my tanks monitor. My father came by and we had a discussion about the wiring. (He is a senior electrician that sells and services generator systems all over FL- he's the one they call often when the others cannot get it to work). I shared with him about the forum discussion on wiring and solar and gauge, etc., he laughed and said,

"amperage is amperage DC or AC. Wire has a rating and 10 gauge is use quite often on generators and used in particular 30 amp circuits. The wire can handle up to that amperage but usually you want to follow the guideline related to continual current (power transfer rate), 15-20 amps, so the wire doesn't heat up too much. Your trailer is wired here with 10 so you easily pump around 12 amps without any issue and still have room to spare. If people are telling you that you need great big large wires for amperage like that they are wire salesmen. On this trailer you shouldn't have a resistance run issue either."

I just wanted to share this about the prewire and his assessment of it when he looked at it tonight. While it's true about needing larger wire for greater power or decreasing resistance, it is not going to matter with a roof system using the prewiring up to about 200 watts or 12 amps.
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:55 PM   #28
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Solar pre-wire location

Rod,

The amperage is not really the issue, but the voltage drop certainly IS. No disrespect to your Dad, but in the world of DC solar, where one is trying to squeeze every drop of charge capacity from a given system, even the slightest bit of voltage drop is to be considered.

The systems that I install all have minimal voltage drop due to the over sized cables that we use. The chart that I posted from Blue Sky Energy clearly shows the realtionship between voltage drop and acceptable wire lengths for 12VDC & 24VDC cable runs.

These folks have specific requirements to assure that their systems will operate at peak efficiency. Their recommendations are made after extensive research and testing of their systems.

Will a system work with smaller wire......... sure! Is it as efficient as it should be.......... probably not.

I always find it interesting when certain folks on these Forums always seem to have better answers and solutions than those that engineer these systems and earn their living in doing so.

I'm done arguing the point! Use whatever wire floats your boat. Enjoy your system and enjoy your trailer and don't sweat the small stuff ........ that's what folks pay ME to do !


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