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Old 10-25-2017, 01:22 PM   #1
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Solar Controller vs. AC-DC converter/charger

How do these 2 not conflict with each other in some way? They both seem to have their own charging profiles as to how long on bulk, absorption, then float....but since they're both connected to the same +12v bus, won't they see each other's voltage on the line, and get kind of confused?
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Old 10-25-2017, 04:42 PM   #2
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Hi

The simple answer is that a single integrated unit would be better. The full answer is that the solar charger handles a modest amount of current. It's not going to have much of an impact on the charge methodology of the shore power system. They do understand enough about what's going on that they do not directly interfere with each other.

Bob
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Old 10-25-2017, 05:10 PM   #3
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Seems like there ought to be some sort of a transfer switch arrangement so that the solar is "off" when shore power becomes available. I suppose the need for an ac transfer switch (when more than one source is possible) is more of a safety issue due to the larger currents involved.
Anyway, as long as its ok to have both inputs on the same bus, that answers my question.
Now I have DC wiring questions...probably deserves its own thread.
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Old 10-25-2017, 09:20 PM   #4
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My trailer had a major upgrade done by "Lewster", an experienced tech who is active on these forums. He added an inverter/charger and a solar system. Both systems have a display that shows system voltage and charging current. Both systems are configurable as to what the voltage should be for bulk, absorb/acceptance, and float charging.

The way it is set up, the target voltages on the solar system are 0.1 volts higher than on the on the inverter/charger (the specs for my batteries allow a range of 0.2 volts so both systems have valid settings). This means when we have sun, the solar usually provides enough voltage that the other system says "full charge, nothing to do". But if we are drawing a lot of power, the i/c kicks in.

At night when the sun fades away, the i/c kicks in.

This mostly works well. But on our last trip out, we did notice one time when the batteries needed some charge, and the solar was doing its best in a shady camping site. However, the solar was basically just keeping up with the trailer's loads but not completing the charge of the batteries. The inverter/charger saw high enough voltage that it did not pick up the slack. Even after dark, the i/c charger stayed in float mode. (I think we went to bed at -9 amp-hours from full. The next morning, we were at full charge.)
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:11 AM   #5
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Hi

No matter how you set it up, the chargers will get "confused" by load current on the trailer. That will put them into this or that mode from time to time. Any issues created by the low current solar charger are minor compared to this.

Bob
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