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Old 10-30-2015, 02:33 PM   #57
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Pre Wire in Refer Compartment

Al & Missy:

In my 2009 FC the pre-wire was not run into the ceiling--only to the bottom of the refer compartment.

You can see the yellow and green wires taped to end of plastic conduit in this photo. These wires end where the battery bus bars are located--in my unit under the queen bed. At the bus bars they are labeled as the solar pre-wire wires.

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Old 10-30-2015, 02:56 PM   #58
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Thanks Bob,
I was hoping the text description of the prewire was correct so i could use the wires to power the fan instead of tapping off the light. Oh well, i guess i'm stuck with it the way it is.

Al
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:34 PM   #59
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Combining wire strands for higher ampacity

Quote:
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
I know that there is controversy here on wire size; however, I want to refer to this chart. The prewire should be able to handle up to around 200 watts.
I would like to add solar, so I've been following this discussion. I have been wondering if 200W of solar would be enough so the 10 gauge seems marginal to sketchy.

Since those #10 wires are there, its a shame not to use them. Why not combine them--two strands of #10 tied together are the same ampacity and resistance/foot as one strand of #7 and then run one strand of #6 to complete the solar circuit. Alternately, run two strands of #8 and wire one #8 and one #10 together to get the equivalent ampacity and resistance/foot of a circuit made entirely from #6?

Doing either would result in a circuit that could handle more watts of solar at lower cost with less voltage drop.
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:40 PM   #60
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My pre wire was in the fridge compartment as well. The manual listed it and I found it.
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:44 PM   #61
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Solar pre-wire location

Figure out your run length and amperage then the actual loss. On a 25' my run was shorter than I expected. By the book up to 5% is acceptable. Consider too that the calculation is assuming maximum or perfect solar conditions.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:40 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnside Bob View Post
I would like to add solar, so I've been following this discussion. I have been wondering if 200W of solar would be enough so the 10 gauge seems marginal to sketchy.

Since those #10 wires are there, its a shame not to use them. Why not combine them--two strands of #10 tied together are the same ampacity and resistance/foot as one strand of #7 and then run one strand of #6 to complete the solar circuit. Alternately, run two strands of #8 and wire one #8 and one #10 together to get the equivalent ampacity and resistance/foot of a circuit made entirely from #6?

Doing either would result in a circuit that could handle more watts of solar at lower cost with less voltage drop.
10 gauge wire supports 400 W of solar with the loss due to the pre-wiring less than 2%! Just use a MPPT charger like the Solar Boost 3024iL MPPT and configure the panels in a serial/parallel arrangement. If you're only planning on 200 W then configure the panels in series. It's probably not worth your time and money to run additional wires just to save 2%. Better to spend the extra money on a battery monitor like the IPN remote so you can keep track of your energy consumption and battery state.
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:05 PM   #63
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Solar Pre Wire with two A/C units???

Has anyone found the Solar Green and Yellow prewires that are suppose to be just "to the rear of the front vent" on 2014 27FB with two AC's (no front vent) and the AC covers about 14-16" of the roof behind where the normal vent would sit. Can't see any marking on roof around the front AC unit but then again can't see under AC. Took off the inside AC cover and didn't see any sign of Green / Yellow wires and also removed three ceiling light between skylight and AC, no luck, and just wondered if anyone has done this before I start removing the AC and/or cutting holes in the roof. Thanks
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:13 PM   #64
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I found mine from inside the trailer by removing the LED light. If you have a light near where AS describes the wires should be I would suggest dropping the light (unscrew the cover, then remove three screws) and feeling around for the wires.
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Old 01-09-2016, 01:20 PM   #65
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Solar pre wire 2014 27FB

Don't read the manual the pre wired solar on my 2014 27FB International 2 AC units was found under the rear Fantastic Fan Vent cover. So at least check that hiding spot before you look under the FRONT vent or AC unit.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:35 PM   #66
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Some common misconceptions about voltage drop in wire sizing:

Based on the ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) recommendations for voltage drop in current carrying wires, Blue Sea Systems has generously provided this chart: https://www.bluesea.com/files/resour...on_chartlg.jpg

Example: If your Airstream solar pre-wire is located in the rear vent fan location of a 27FB, they terminate in the front of the trailer under the front bed at the bus bars. For a straight shot run (which it ISN'T), you get approx. 24' run and 8' drop from the ceiling to the floor, or a total of 32 feet.

ABYC electrical standard E-11 requires that you calculate the wire run from the power source AND BACK which effectively is double this length, or 64 feet, and then round up to the next available bracket.

Let's assume that we are looking at a 400 watt solar array, which should be capable of providing your 20 + amps to your charge controller. If your look at the table in the link (sorry, but I couldn't get it to reproduce here) at 3% voltage drop, a distance of 70 feet for a 20 amp load requires 4AWG cables! If you use the 10% voltage drop column for the same parameters (this time at the 65' bracket), you need 8AWG cables for a 20 amp load……..STILL larger than 10AWG.

Major solar charge controller manufacturers like Blue Sky Energy recommend that you use cable sizes from their chart: (taken from there manual for Blue Sky's 2512iX-HV solar charge controller, pg. 7) for specified cable run lengths as described below:

Blue Sky Energy - Solar Boost 2512i-HV and 2512iX-HV
BATTERY AND PV WIRING
A desirable installation will produce a total system wiring voltage drop of 3% or less. The lengths shown in Table 2 are one way from the PV modules to the battery with the 2512 located along the path. Length can be increased inversely proportional to actual PV IMP such that if current was reduced by 1/2 wire lengths could be doubled and still provide the same 3% voltage drop.

WIRE GAUGE AWG 3% VOLTAGE DROP 36 CELL MODULES
@ 20AMPS INPUT FEET / METERS
12 AWG 6.4 / 1.9
10 AWG 10.2 / 3.1
8 AWG 16.2 / 4.9
6 AWG 25.7 / 7.8
4 AWG 40.8 / 12.5

I maintain, (and so do the many people who write ampacity standards for the marine industry and solar industry) that Airstream's use of 10AWG cables for their solar prewire WILL NOT provide you with 3% voltage drop for any solar array above 100 watts (5 amps). The ABYC chart clearly shows a 5 amp load for 10AWG cable and 3% voltage drop to be limited to a circuit length of between 40-60'. This length must be divided by 2 to get the actual lineal length, or 20-30 feet…..just about what you find in most Airstreams today.

The tables cited above SPECIFICALLY address the issue of voltage drop in cable runs of varying amperage ratings and circuit lengths. Choose to believe AND USE what you want. The evidence is clear.
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:05 PM   #67
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Lew, these tables are misleading. They assume solar panels produce 12 V. They don't. Take the Renology 36 cell panel. At maximum power it's producing 18.9 V at 5.29 A.

So, you want to build at 400 W system? Add four panels in a series/parallel configuration. This yields 37.8 V at 10.58 A.

Let's take your 3% voltage drop example. For this series/parallel 400 W system, 3% voltage drop corresponds to 3% * 37.8 V = 1.134 V = 10.58 A * R, therefore R = .107 ohms. Since 10 AWG is 1 milliohm/1000 ft this corresponds to wire length of 107 feet.

I've got no horse in this game except to educate folks and encourage them to DIY their solar systems.
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:24 PM   #68
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Hello Alano, I read yours post and I need some clarification. First of all, sory for the english. I am from the french part of Canada, so write in english it is not familiar to me. I have a 30 foot 2015 interna. and want to put like you for solar panel. I am very handy but not for the electricity. Like you i don't want to peut a biger cable. So I no where is the pre wire. And now this cable what do i do whit it???? I supose plug some where in the trailer. If it is possible to explane to me what you did it can be very helpfull for me. Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:29 PM   #69
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Salut Tino,

I have a 30' 2015 Classic, so perhaps the solar pre-wires are near the same location. In my trailer I have a rear skylight window. In front of the rear skylight is an interior light. You can unscrew the dome, then remove three screws and drop the light fixture. If you reach up with your hand in the small space in the ceiling you should perhaps find the solar pre-wires. They are #10 AWG yellow and green.

If this doesn't help, I would suggest you contact your dealer and ask them exactly how to access the solar pre-wiring.
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Old 03-05-2016, 11:52 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Some common misconceptions about voltage drop in wire sizing:

Based on the ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) recommendations for voltage drop in current carrying wires, Blue Sea Systems has generously provided this chart: https://www.bluesea.com/files/resour...on_chartlg.jpg

Example: If your Airstream solar pre-wire is located in the rear vent fan location of a 27FB, they terminate in the front of the trailer under the front bed at the bus bars. For a straight shot run (which it ISN'T), you get approx. 24' run and 8' drop from the ceiling to the floor, or a total of 32 feet.

ABYC electrical standard E-11 requires that you calculate the wire run from the power source AND BACK which effectively is double this length, or 64 feet, and then round up to the next available bracket.

Let's assume that we are looking at a 400 watt solar array, which should be capable of providing your 20 + amps to your charge controller. If your look at the table in the link (sorry, but I couldn't get it to reproduce here) at 3% voltage drop, a distance of 70 feet for a 20 amp load requires 4AWG cables! If you use the 10% voltage drop column for the same parameters (this time at the 65' bracket), you need 8AWG cables for a 20 amp load……..STILL larger than 10AWG.

Major solar charge controller manufacturers like Blue Sky Energy recommend that you use cable sizes from their chart: (taken from there manual for Blue Sky's 2512iX-HV solar charge controller, pg. 7) for specified cable run lengths as described below:

Blue Sky Energy - Solar Boost 2512i-HV and 2512iX-HV
BATTERY AND PV WIRING
A desirable installation will produce a total system wiring voltage drop of 3% or less. The lengths shown in Table 2 are one way from the PV modules to the battery with the 2512 located along the path. Length can be increased inversely proportional to actual PV IMP such that if current was reduced by 1/2 wire lengths could be doubled and still provide the same 3% voltage drop.

WIRE GAUGE AWG 3% VOLTAGE DROP 36 CELL MODULES
@ 20AMPS INPUT FEET / METERS
12 AWG 6.4 / 1.9
10 AWG 10.2 / 3.1
8 AWG 16.2 / 4.9
6 AWG 25.7 / 7.8
4 AWG 40.8 / 12.5

I maintain, (and so do the many people who write ampacity standards for the marine industry and solar industry) that Airstream's use of 10AWG cables for their solar prewire WILL NOT provide you with 3% voltage drop for any solar array above 100 watts (5 amps). The ABYC chart clearly shows a 5 amp load for 10AWG cable and 3% voltage drop to be limited to a circuit length of between 40-60'. This length must be divided by 2 to get the actual lineal length, or 20-30 feet…..just about what you find in most Airstreams today.

The tables cited above SPECIFICALLY address the issue of voltage drop in cable runs of varying amperage ratings and circuit lengths. Choose to believe AND USE what you want. The evidence is clear.
You can't talk about wire gauge and amperage without talking about voltage. Voltage is a crucial part of the equation. It really depends on what solar panels you will use, what controller, what voltage, series/parallel.

A perfect example is a 1500 watt space heater I have here. About 8 foot of 16 gauge lamp cord is all it uses, because it's running 110v.
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