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Sprinter RV's & Conversions Talk Common features found in Sprinter RV's and Conversions.


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Old 02-12-2012, 04:59 PM   #1
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Default Please review my wiring diagram

Hi, I'm helping a friend with his Sprinter conversion. I've done plenty of AC house wiring, but not a DC guy at all - other than helping him with an earlier car project. He's using a pair of solar panels, a Xantrex 1800 inverter, a C-Tek 25000 battery charger, the C-Tek D250S and Smartpass combination and a pair of 6 volt AGMs in series.

Could you much more knowledgeable folks review my drawing? I've made it editable. Where should I have fuses, breakers, shunt, etc? Is my basic diagram workable?

Thanks so much!
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: Please review my wiring diagram

The wiring diagram appears to be correct, based upon my interpretation of the D250S DUAL, SMARTPASS, and MULTI US 25000 User/Installation Manuals. However, you currently have all of your DC goverened by the SMARTPASS and may want to consider connecting critical DC functions (e.g., key lighting fixtures) directly to the battery, otherwise, ALL DC consumers will drop offline if the battery voltage decreases below the threshold.

I've also modified your drawing to indicate (using callouts) where I would install fuses and/or circuit breakers - basically, I would place them as close to the producer as possible in case of a chaffed wire shorting to chassis. My preference is to use circuit breakers whenever possible, but for heavy amperages, those can get expensive and in the case of ensuring close proximity to the solar array... simply not practical.

I also added in the alternator... just for the sake of completeness. My apologies for my crude modifications to your drawing, but I'm not used to Google's graphic editor.
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Please review my wiring diagram

Thanks for your response and contributions!

The AC Breaker/DC Fuse panel has one 30 amp input, one 20 amp and 3 15 amp branches and a dozen DC fuse locations.

All this equipment, other than the two batteries, solar panels (obviously) and the starter battery/alternator will be installed on a single piece of 3/4" plywood underneath the bed (with a cooling fan). I'll have Anderson plugs for each battery and the solar panels, as well as the feed from the alternator, and a Hubbell 30 amp twist-lock connector to the breaker. I want to be able to wire this whole system on the bench in the warmth (it is February), plugging it into the Sprinter when done.

I have one other piece of equipment that I forgot to add: a Bogart Engineering Trimetric, which I have been told should be between the negative side of the battery and the shunt.

The solar panels come through the roof via a rubber compression connector, and are protected with split loom from the source to the panel.

Last edited by gaffa; 02-15-2012 at 02:43 AM. Reason: Forgot the protection for the solar panels.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Please review my wiring diagram

I'm in the process of a sprinter conversion purchasing many items to start upon the arrival of my van in May. I would like to see a picture of your A/C- D/C panel and also the brand and source. I'm trying to find the most compact panel to save space. Your help would be appreciated. Also anyone else out there I'm open to suggestions to other panels and sources.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Please review my wiring diagram

Quote:
Originally Posted by nugget View Post
I'm in the process of a sprinter conversion purchasing many items to start upon the arrival of my van in May. I would like to see a picture of your A/C- D/C panel and also the brand and source. I'm trying to find the most compact panel to save space. Your help would be appreciated. Also anyone else out there I'm open to suggestions to other panels and sources.
This is the one we're using. The dimensions are: 13.78"L x 4.25"D x 7.3"H
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Please review my wiring diagram

You don't need a fuse next to the solar panel. Other than a possible disconnect, it serves no purpose.

I wouldn't use the D250S. Max voltage of this charge controller is only 20V. That's extremely low! What type of panels are you using?

I would use a Blue Sky or Morningstar controller. But, you don't even need MPPT. There's very little performance gained over PWM.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Please review my wiring diagram

Quote:
Originally Posted by calbiker View Post
You don't need a fuse next to the solar panel. Other than a possible disconnect, it serves no purpose.

I wouldn't use the D250S. Max voltage of this charge controller is only 20V. That's extremely low! What type of panels are you using?

I would use a Blue Sky or Morningstar controller. But, you don't even need MPPT. There's very little performance gained over PWM.
You don't need a fuse next to the solar panel. Other than a possible disconnect, it serves no purpose.
A fuse is very good practice, place after any source of current and to protect wires from starting fires. In my case, my panels are wired in series and output 63V / 7A, and there is no way I will have these wires unprotected.

I wouldn't use the D250S. Max voltage of this charge controller is only 20V. That's extremely low! What type of panels are you using?

I would use a Blue Sky or Morningstar controller. But, you don't even need MPPT. There's very little performance gained over PWM.
There is an abundance of performance gain with MPPT, close to 30% for most setups. Results are Very well documented on Solar forums, review and manufacturers' sites. The question is whether one see's a return in the extra cost... in my case, work/living off solar, the cost of the MPPT was covered by me using less propane/genset in under 2 years.

Last edited by OrioN; 02-17-2012 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Please review my wiring diagram

We're not talking about your system. The OP's system operates on 12V panels. There is absolutely no need for a fuse! What size fuse would you use anyways? It's virtually impossible to size.

Claims of 30% MPPT gain is hogwash. I bet average gain when charging battery from 60% to 80% SOC (in boost mode) is only 5% - 7%. There is no gain when in absorption or float.

Cal
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Please review my wiring diagram

Quote:
Originally Posted by calbiker View Post
We're not talking about your system. The OP's system operates on 12V panels. There is absolutely no need for a fuse! What size fuse would you use anyways? It's virtually impossible to size.

Claims of 30% MPPT gain is hogwash. I bet average gain when charging battery from 60% to 80% SOC (in boost mode) is only 5% - 7%. There is no gain when in absorption or float.

Cal
OH...MY...

Really? No need? 12V? ... then explain why every 12v circuit in an van and rv conversion is fused, even as low as 3A? I use BlueSea System breakers. ***Not to mention, the fuse acts a second level of protection for short damage to the panel (assuming there's a primary fuse, as some China's seem to not have any).

As for MPPT... again, real side by side array comparisons have shown REAL GAINS and UP TO 30%... while I'm too lazy to fetch these (again), they exist (so this is the end of any argument or pissing contest). And, if anyone is under a load draw scenario (which you haven't thought to consider), and the battery bank is in a state that would required a float charge, an MPPT controller will still output as such. So the net gains are substantial in that one can recover their bank faster. I know this as mine does, as verified by my Morningstar serial port/monitoring software that is running on my pc's. Plus... I can harvest more current under low light conditions with the MPPT process as my unit is very efficient with low V's as much as it's with +12 V's.


.

Last edited by OrioN; 02-16-2012 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Please review my wiring diagram

Hi Gaffa,
You have it right, with the addition of fuses as suggested by DWG134. I am putting nearly the same equipment into my conversion. The D250S Duel is a very smart, sophisticated device as it combines the functions of of a number of devices. It saves you having a separate voltage dependent relay to connect the house battery and the engine battery, It has desulphation , and pulse maintenance for the batteries. These features offset the price differential for separate items.
The Maximum voltage input is 22v, not as Calbiker indicates.
It is designed for solar panels wired in parallel, not series. The battery arrangement, 6v wired in series is the best configuration as the charging current is identical through both batteries.
If you have not already purchased the fuse holders, consider Maxi fuses for the heavy current devices, batteries and solar. Place these close to the source of current. If you have a NCV3 then there is a spare terminal on the DC distribution panel attached to the +ve battery terminal. Purchase an 80Amp strip fuse from any auto electrical supplier. The Maxi fuses are capable of taking high current reliably but are there to protect the wiring if something fails.
The low voltage cut off is designed to protect the battery and also protect those devices which may fail due to low voltage i.e 12 Dc fridges (which may/may not have built in low voltage protection) Only wire critical services like radio telephones and the odd light directly to the battery.

Let us know the finished system and provide some pictures.

Cheers

Ross
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