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drummerscott
10-25-2016, 06:33 PM
I have been working on my wiring diagram. I've already made some changes from my first design based off some suggestions on my writeup post. But I thought I would post this here in hopes of getting more responses. The way I look at it, the more eyes, the better. Thanks in advance.

autostaretx
10-25-2016, 10:01 PM
I think the 15 amp circuit breaker coming off the 300 watts of solar panels is too small. I'd go for 25 amps
(look at the panel's ratings and provide enough capacity for their maximum output, plus perhaps 20% ... and then use wire sizes appropriate for that)

--dick

drummerscott
10-25-2016, 10:56 PM
That makes sense. I will have to check and do the math. Good catch. Thank you.

hein
10-27-2016, 04:08 PM
Looks great. We are using the Ctek 100A off grid kit (D250S+SmartPass) on our Transit. The kit comes with a shunt based battery monitor. We are also considering mounting their CTX2500 IP44 rated shore charger under the van near the batteries. So we don't need to run shore power into the van. This eliminates the need for a breaker (with reverse polarity protection and located as close as possible to the entry point) on the shore power connection.

Make sure your inverter complies with UL-458.

Questions:
1. Should the fuse/breaker on either side of the smartpass be the same and perhaps smaller (100 A)?
2. What is the function of the 3 way switch?

GeorgeRa
10-27-2016, 04:51 PM
It seems as CETC is penetrating the market quickly, I am still trying to digest the functionality of CTEK D250S coupled with CTEC Smart Pass, why 2 separate units?, I guess I need to learn. Are you planning to have batteries monitor to track current and SOC?

Hein, Is your Transit conversion Inverter-less?

George.

Spike HG
10-27-2016, 05:00 PM
3 way sw?

I used two switch's on the power supply loops. One for house, one for the starter/alt with the 2k INV between. Allows one to use INV from both or house or starter side, service other power supply or no float charging on long trips

drummerscott
10-27-2016, 06:39 PM
3 way sw?

I used two switch's on the power supply loops. One for house, one for the starter/alt with the 2k INV between. Allows one to use INV from both or house or starter side, service other power supply or no float charging on long trips

That is what I was trying to accomplish with the 3 way switch. Essentially the same thing. Either house battery connected, starter battery connected, or both. Is there a reason for using two separate switches that I'm not aware of? I'm trying to learn as much as possible before actually buying and/or implementing anything. Thanks for your help.

drummerscott
10-27-2016, 06:51 PM
It seems as CETC is penetrating the market quickly, I am still trying to digest the functionality of CTEK D250S coupled with CTEC Smart Pass, why 2 separate units?, I guess I need to learn. Are you planning to have batteries monitor to track current and SOC?

Hein, Is your Transit conversion Inverter-less?

George.

I believe there are two separate units because the first (D250) was designed to charge just the starter battery and the later (Smart Pass) was designed just to charge a house battery. So they designed them to be able to work together if you wanted to do both rather than invent a whole new third device. That conclusion comes from my brain though, not from anyone at the company. I haven't talked to anyone at CTEK.

At the moment, I am debating between battery monitors. As I see it, there are three options. CTEK has one that connects to your phone via bluetooth. Of course, what if my phone dies, right? http://www.ctek.com/cy/en/chargers/CTX%20BATTERY%20SENSE

Also, AIMS has one that is designed to work with their inverter/charger that I plan on using. I like this one because I it also gives you control of the inverter from it's screen as well as working as a battery monitor.
http://www.aimscorp.net/LCD-Remote-Panel.html

The last option would be a completely different third party monitor, say something like the TriMetric, Blue Sky, or Magnum monitors. In my drawing, I have the AIMS REMOTELF monitor currently. I haven't heard any pros or cons of this device, but I do trust AIMS products. Thoughts?

drummerscott
10-27-2016, 07:11 PM
Looks great. We are using the Ctek 100A off grid kit (D250S+SmartPass) on our Transit. The kit comes with a shunt based battery monitor. We are also considering mounting their CTX2500 IP44 rated shore charger under the van near the batteries. So we don't need to run shore power into the van. This eliminates the need for a breaker (with reverse polarity protection and located as close as possible to the entry point) on the shore power connection.

Make sure your inverter complies with UL-458.

Questions:
1. Should the fuse/breaker on either side of the smartpass be the same and perhaps smaller (100 A)?
2. What is the function of the 3 way switch?

Hey Hein, thanks for taking a look. I plan on using the AIMS inverter/charger to deal with charging from shore power if I need to. I do plan on keeping this inverter/charger as close as possible to the house batteries - hopefully just a few inches. I will make sure that I am getting the right one from AIMS that complies with UL-458.

The 200a fuse between the starter battery and the smart pass is because I plan on using 2 AWG wire for that connection. The second fuse between the smart pass and the three way switch should probably also be 200a and I will use 2 AWG wire again. I guess I missed that in my original design.

The 3 way switch is so I can have the option of just the house battery connected, just the starter battery connected, or both. What kind of battery switches do you use with your system? Or do you just let the CTEK control which batteries are being charged, even when you are boondocking? I know that is the point of having the CTEK system, but there's still part of me that wants to be able to have the option of disconnecting the system if I need/want to without having to undo any wire connections. Maybe it's overkill and unneeded? I'd be very interested in your experiences with the system you have.

This is the switch I plan on using: https://www.delcity.net/store/Blue-Sea-Systems-Battery-Switches-!-M!Series/p_810322.h_807881.t_1

Thanks again.

drummerscott
10-27-2016, 07:12 PM
Looks great. We are using the Ctek 100A off grid kit (D250S+SmartPass) on our Transit. The kit comes with a shunt based battery monitor. We are also considering mounting their CTX2500 IP44 rated shore charger under the van near the batteries. So we don't need to run shore power into the van. This eliminates the need for a breaker (with reverse polarity protection and located as close as possible to the entry point) on the shore power connection.

Make sure your inverter complies with UL-458.

Questions:
1. Should the fuse/breaker on either side of the smartpass be the same and perhaps smaller (100 A)?
2. What is the function of the 3 way switch?

Oh and one more question Hein. Using the CTEK battery monitor, have you enjoyed using their app on your phone? Or have you wanted to have an actual display? Just curious. Thanks.

GeorgeRa
10-27-2016, 07:15 PM
It seems as CTEC is voltage base so the information is not as complete as using current flow in and out of the battery to calculate SOC. I am not sure how AIMS unit works, it could be measuring current flow internally but this would not include other charge sources. I would likely get gaining popularity Victron monitor with shunt right at the battery measuring all in and out currents.

George.

drummerscott
10-27-2016, 07:26 PM
It seems as CTEC is voltage base so the information is not as complete as using current flow in and out of the battery to calculate SOC. I am not sure how AIMS unit works, it could be measuring current flow internally but this would not include other charge sources. I would likely get gaining popularity Victron monitor with shunt right at the battery measuring all in and out currents.



George.



That's a great point George. I will see if I can find some more specs for the device online. But if I'm correct, you are saying a monitor connected directly to the battery because of multiple charge sources would be better?


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GeorgeRa
10-27-2016, 07:53 PM
......................... a monitor connected directly to the battery because of multiple charge sources would be better?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yes, a shunt (a calibrated resistor) is connected between negative battery post and the system so all currents flow through it. There is a drop of voltage across the shunt proportional to the current and this voltage and its polarity tells a monitor which direction (in or out) and the amperage of the flowing current.

When you make a selection for a battery monitor I would recommend a unit using LCD display, it consumes less energy than old fashion LEDs and usually conveys more information. Recent product is from Bluesea using OLED which is also very efficient.

George.

Nightpanda
10-27-2016, 07:54 PM
I have been working on my wiring diagram. I've already made some changes from my first design based off some suggestions on my writeup post. But I thought I would post this here in hopes of getting more responses. The way I look at it, the more eyes, the better. Thanks in advance.

What program are you using to draw up your diagram?

autostaretx
10-27-2016, 08:02 PM
When you make a selection for a battery monitor I would recommend a unit using LCD display, it consumes less energy than old fashion LEDs and usually conveys more information. Recent product is from Bluesea using OLED which is also very efficient.

I think George swapped his acronyms up there.... but modern LCD displays (which use nanoamps of current to form the characters (like your watch)) tend to use LEDs as their back-light.

LCDs and LEDs are of about the same age technology-wise. "Old fashion" LEDs may refer to individually-illuminated 7-segment displays, but even those are usually "scanned" such that only one segment of a digit is lit at once (take a short-shutter-time photo of the display... if you don't see all of the "8" lit at once, that's what they're doing).

If a current-technology (i.e. what you can buy today) display uses more than 20 milliamps, it would be unusual (or really really clunky engineering)

--dick (more than you wanted to know (as usual)) :thumbup:

drummerscott
10-27-2016, 08:16 PM
What program are you using to draw up your diagram?

I am using this program:

https://www.edrawsoft.com/

It has a free 30 day trial. Or you can buy it for $99. I'm just using the trial and then taking a screenshot of the image because if you export a jpg or pdf from the program while in the free trial, it plasters a bunch of watermarks on the image that makes it very hard to read.

GeorgeRa
10-27-2016, 08:38 PM
I think George swapped his acronyms up there.... but modern LCD displays (which use nanoamps of current to form the characters (like your watch)) tend to use LEDs as their back-light....................................

The simple monocolor LCD display is still readable without back illumination with some external illumination. On most LCD monitors the back illumination is automatically turned on when a keyboard is activated and turns itself off after some time. So, the current consumption is related to LCD most of the time. Regarding old LED I was specifically referring to still popular Trimetric monitor.

TV LCD displays must use back illumination for the image to be visible and are incorrectly called LED TV lately.

Fortunately, OLED is coming and the LCD / LED confusion will go away.

George.

hein
10-27-2016, 09:09 PM
The shunt based Ctek Time to Go monitor is only available as part of their 100A off grid kit which also includes the D250S and Smartpass.

http://smartercharger.com/products/batterychargers/100a-off-road-charging-system-package/

The CTX Battery Sense is a separate component that only monitors battery voltage (as far as I can tell) and makes that available via a bluetooth connection.

http://smartercharger.com/accessories/#CTEK%20CTX%20Battery%20Sense

George,
We plan on having a small semi-permanent inverter but no shore power into the van. We will charge/maintain the batteries with the CTX2500 plug in charger connected to a cord reel all located underneath the van.

Inertiaman
10-27-2016, 09:33 PM
I believe there are two separate units because the first (D250) was designed to charge just the starter battery and the later (Smart Pass) was designed just to charge a house battery. So they designed them to be able to work together if you wanted to do both rather than invent a whole new third device. That conclusion comes from my brain though, not from anyone at the company. I haven't talked to anyone at CTEK.

At the moment, I am debating between battery monitors. As I see it, there are three options. CTEK has one that connects to your phone via bluetooth. Of course, what if my phone dies, right? http://www.ctek.com/cy/en/chargers/CTX%20BATTERY%20SENSE

Also, AIMS has one that is designed to work with their inverter/charger that I plan on using. I like this one because I it also gives you control of the inverter from it's screen as well as working as a battery monitor.
http://www.aimscorp.net/LCD-Remote-Panel.html

The last option would be a completely different third party monitor, say something like the TriMetric, Blue Sky, or Magnum monitors. In my drawing, I have the AIMS REMOTELF monitor currently. I haven't heard any pros or cons of this device, but I do trust AIMS products. Thoughts?

@drummerscott, I'm using the 250s/Smartpass combination in my 2014. Some thoughts:

- your perception of the role each plays above isn't accurate. The distinction between them is the 250S is essentially a DC:DC "smart" charger and the Smartpass is a slightly more intelligent version of a classic aux battery charging relay. The 250S "pro" is it can output suitable charging voltages for all charging cycles, even if it is receiving a low-ish voltage from the alternator; the 250S "con" is that it is current limited . . . only 20A max output. The Smartpass on the other hand can pass 80A (even higher for intermittent periods) but is really only passing whatever voltage is provided from the alternator.
The value proposition to using the combination is getting high-current bulk charging from the Smartpass and quality "smart charging" from the 250S at absorption and float cycles. And the 250S can conveniently (and compactly) act as your solar controller.

- you can place both the temp sensors (one from Smartpass, one from 250S) on the same single battery. This way, they have same temp intelligence. Pick a "representative" one of your two batteries and put both sensors there. Not crucial . . . with a well done charging system, and both batteries in same/similar location, their temps are likely to be the same. In my case it was much easier (in terms of running wire) with both sensors on one battery.

- your ground wire gauge can be small from Smartpass/250S to gnd. The charging currents are not moving through these wires; its only the supply V for the CTEK electronics.

- ideally run the main wire from alternator directly to Smartpass (as shown on your diagram) and bridge that to the 250S via the bracket things provided by CTEK. It will function with the wire going to 250S and bridged to the Smartpass, but you're needlessly moving high currents across the (relatively) smaller sq mm of the CTEK bridge bracket things.

- the CTEK Battery Sense product is not designed for RV house system use in my opinion. Personally I find the Trimetric systems a bit dated and klunky. I suggest you consider a Victron BMV-700 monitor: $160-ish, small, robust functionality. I really like mine.

- in theory, three 100W panels could output >16A in perfect sunlight. Unlikely no doubt, but perhaps consider a 20A rather than 15A CB or fuse on the main wire to panels.

autostaretx
10-27-2016, 09:46 PM
TV LCD displays must use back illumination for the image to be visible and are incorrectly called LED TV lately.
tiny thread-hijack: LED back-lit LCD TVs differ from fluorescent back lit LCDs in that they're able to be totally turned off in areas that want to be *black*. So it's valid to make some distinguishing name-difference between the two back-light technologies (there's usually additional advertising bumpf like "True Black!!").

Fortunately, OLED is coming and the LCD / LED confusion will go away.
I would never bet on the death of confusion... :cheers:

--dick

GeorgeRa
10-27-2016, 09:53 PM
tiny thread-hijack: LED back-lit LCD TVs differ from fluorescent back lit LCDs in that they're able to be totally turned off in areas that want to be *black*. So it's valid to make some distinguishing name-difference between the two back-light technologies (there's usually additional advertising bumpf like "True Black!!").

I would never bet on the death of confusion... :cheers:

--dick

Agree with selective illumination areas,
Re “death of confusion” it is definitely possible but on the other side of a black hole just past the event horizon.:cheers:

George - sorry for the hijack

Graphite Dave
10-27-2016, 10:13 PM
I am using this program:

https://www.edrawsoft.com/

It has a free 30 day trial. Or you can buy it for $99. I'm just using the trial and then taking a screenshot of the image because if you export a jpg or pdf from the program while in the free trial, it plasters a bunch of watermarks on the image that makes it very hard to read.

If using Windows 10 you might try using the "snipping" tool that is listed under "Windows Accessories" in the program list. Just select the information you want and it can be saved or printed.

drummerscott
10-28-2016, 01:38 AM
The shunt based Ctek Time to Go monitor is only available as part of their 100A off grid kit which also includes the D250S and Smartpass.

http://smartercharger.com/products/batterychargers/100a-off-road-charging-system-package/

The CTX Battery Sense is a separate component that only monitors battery voltage (as far as I can tell) and makes that available via a bluetooth connection.

http://smartercharger.com/accessories/#CTEK%20CTX%20Battery%20Sense

George,
We plan on having a small semi-permanent inverter but no shore power into the van. We will charge/maintain the batteries with the CTX2500 plug in charger connected to a cord reel all located underneath the van.



Got it. So are you happy with the Time to Go monitor that comes with that kit?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

drummerscott
10-28-2016, 01:45 AM
@drummerscott, I'm using the 250s/Smartpass combination in my 2014. Some thoughts:



- your perception of the role each plays above isn't accurate. The distinction between them is the 250S is essentially a DC:DC "smart" charger and the Smartpass is a slightly more intelligent version of a classic aux battery charging relay. The 250S "pro" is it can output suitable charging voltages for all charging cycles, even if it is receiving a low-ish voltage from the alternator; the 250S "con" is that it is current limited . . . only 20A max output. The Smartpass on the other hand can pass 80A (even higher for intermittent periods) but is really only passing whatever voltage is provided from the alternator.

The value proposition to using the combination is getting high-current bulk charging from the Smartpass and quality "smart charging" from the 250S at absorption and float cycles. And the 250S can conveniently (and compactly) act as your solar controller.



- you can place both the temp sensors (one from Smartpass, one from 250S) on the same single battery. This way, they have same temp intelligence. Pick a "representative" one of your two batteries and put both sensors there. Not crucial . . . with a well done charging system, and both batteries in same/similar location, their temps are likely to be the same. In my case it was much easier (in terms of running wire) with both sensors on one battery.



- your ground wire gauge can be small from Smartpass/250S to gnd. The charging currents are not moving through these wires; its only the supply V for the CTEK electronics.



- ideally run the main wire from alternator directly to Smartpass (as shown on your diagram) and bridge that to the 250S via the bracket things provided by CTEK. It will function with the wire going to 250S and bridged to the Smartpass, but you're needlessly moving high currents across the (relatively) smaller sq mm of the CTEK bridge bracket things.



- the CTEK Battery Sense product is not designed for RV house system use in my opinion. Personally I find the Trimetric systems a bit dated and klunky. I suggest you consider a Victron BMV-700 monitor: $160-ish, small, robust functionality. I really like mine.



- in theory, three 100W panels could output >16A in perfect sunlight. Unlikely no doubt, but perhaps consider a 20A rather than 15A CB or fuse on the main wire to panels.



Thanks so much for all the info. Much appreciated.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

drummerscott
10-28-2016, 01:47 AM
If using Windows 10 you might try using the "snipping" tool that is listed under "Windows Accessories" in the program list. Just select the information you want and it can be saved or printed.



Thanks but I'm on a Mac. Using command+shift+4 is a super easy way on macs to take a screenshot of anything. You just push those 3 keys and draw a shape around what you want to screenshot.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk