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Old 08-13-2020, 08:29 AM   #1
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Controller vs converter/charger: 1st in a series

I have a number of questions regarding how my electrical system works. I have read the manual, but still am unclear about a few things.

1st: How does my system know how to charge batteries during the day and with shore power on? Doesn’t it use both my solar charge controller and converter/charger?

Thanks in advance

Curt
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:42 AM   #2
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Basically, it depends on the output voltage of your solar controller vs. the output voltage on your converter. One or the other, both or neither may be programmable, but don't mess with it until you become a battery and charging expert.
In my case, the converter output is at a higher voltage than the solar controller. so, with both powered up, the solar controller sees that the "battery" (system) voltage is at a fully charged state and will not produce any output (or very little).

Conversely, if the solar controller output is at a higher voltage, it will do it's thing and the charger isn't doing much or anything as it sees a "charged system".
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:43 AM   #3
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Most systems would use both until the programming in each says to stop charging. Simple systems have no user controls to adjust these values. Components like Victron, Blue Solar, Magnum allow for customization of the charging profiles.
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Old 08-13-2020, 10:54 AM   #4
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So, whichever one is showing more voltage output takes precedent.

Thanks!
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Old 08-13-2020, 11:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harphunt View Post
So, whichever one is showing more voltage output takes precedent.

Thanks!
For the most part. Sometimes the specific outputs are flipped for each of the charger vs. controller stages. Bulk vs. absorption vs. float. And sometimes one or the other has a timed, rather than voltage determined stage routine.
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Old 08-14-2020, 12:19 PM   #6
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Controller vs converter/charger and cooking the batteries

I am not familiar with the 2020 models, but previous models were notorious for cooking the batteries (the converter/charger would overcharge the batteries or not progressively charge them according to the manufacturer's specs which includes taking into consideration battery temperature).

I have my MPPT solar controller charge my batteries (365 days per year) and not the converter/charger. To do this, I put the Use/Store switch in Store position when connected to shore power with cuts off the batteries from the converter (while leaving them connected to the controller). The rest of the 12V circuit is fed from the converter. If I do need the charger (in which case the controller is generally not supplying any or little charge because of little sunshine), I will switch to Use mode, but cut back to Store mode when the batteries are 85% charged, and then let the controller complete the charge properly.

Two things to check, is your converter sophisticated enough to properly take care of your batteries (as most quality MPPT controllers are), and is the Use/Store switch wired as described above (this can be modified by a dealer if necessary).
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Old 08-14-2020, 01:20 PM   #7
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dznf0g... thanks!

Hermes... good to know. I will check to see if I am able to do the same when I get the trailer back from JC.

Thank you all for the information.

Curt
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:39 PM   #8
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One last question/thought. When people use a 2000watt class generator and an easy start, they generally need to shut the power off to the converter. How would that work with an ac/dc refrigerator? Since I can’t run on lp, wouldn’t that put my refrigerator on dc power?

Thanks!
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