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Old 10-08-2019, 01:34 AM   #1
gth853s
 
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Default Help with electrical wiring.

My understanding of electrical systems is pretty basic, but I feel pretty comfortable with installing all the stuff for the van and running the wiring. I obviously kinda cobbled this plan together from copying and pasting from a couple of the really good resources out there on the web. I'd appreciate some other eyes on it to double check everything before i start wiring it up. Still working out the sizing for some of the wires. Also, not too sure how to do the LED lighting wiring since I'd like to have two separate on/off switches and a dimmer for them. Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Help with electrical wiring.

What are the solar panel specs?

Is the 15A breaker the size recommended by the solar panel manufacturer? Is the breaker rated for the panel series voltage? I'm guessing three 100W panels might have a combined voltage of 60 in cooler temps. Many switches are rated for 32V max. I would be thinking about adding a fuse before the 15A breaker. What is rating of your solar controller ?

Question to experts: Should an ungrounded RV solar array be fused on both positive and negative legs?

Last edited by dynaco1; 10-08-2019 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Help with electrical wiring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dynaco1 View Post
What are the solar panel specs?

Is the 15A breaker the size recommended by the solar panel manufacturer? Is the breaker rated for the panel series voltage? I'm guessing three 100W panels might have a combined voltage of 60 in cooler temps. Many switches are rated for 32V max. I would be thinking about adding a fuse before the 15A breaker. What is rating of your solar controller ?

Question to experts: Should an ungrounded RV solar array be fused on both positive and negative legs?

Here are the specs for the solar panels:

Open Circuit Voltage: 21.1V

Short Circuit Current: 6.6A

Opitmum Operating Voltage: 16.4V

Optimum Operating Current: 6.1A


Looks like you are right, I only looked at the amperage and not the max voltage for the breaker. It's a blue sea A-series toggle. 32 max volts DC. Certainly not enough. I wanted to have a breaker there as a means to easily disconnect the solar panels if I even needed to. So a fuse and perhaps a disconnect switch would be better in that spot? I looked through the solar panel manual and didn't see anything in there about recommended fuses or breakers.

The charge controller is the Victron 100/20.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help with electrical wiring.

I can't quite make out the Li battery details. Can you post a bit more about that portion:
- Brand
- Amp-hrs


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Old 10-09-2019, 11:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: Help with electrical wiring.

My experience with van wiring is to always go with a slightly thicker wire than you think you need, especially where you have a high load (such as a fridge) which is far away from the power source.

There's a good explanation of cable sizing requirements including the dreaded 'voltage drop' which is much more important on a 12v circuit here:

https://www.12voltplanet.co.uk/cable...selection.html

It also has a handy calculator which you can use to determine the cable you need.

Using two switches to control one light (or multiple lights which all come on / turn off together) can be done using a special switch.

Here's a good explanation of how they work



Confusingly these are sometimes called 2 way switches and sometimes 3 way switches - other times they will be referred to by the pole and throw....

You just need to make sure the switch has three pins (labelled L1, Com and L2)

Here's another good explanation of how it works



I've not ever done it with dimmer switches, but they do exist.

If you are using LED lights then make sure that they are wired in parallel because LEDs won't work if you connect them in series.

You also need to make sure that they are dimmable LEDs (not all of them are)

Hope that's helpful!
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Help with electrical wiring.

Instead of 2 switches would this work perhaps?
(Remote control dimmer / on-off)

https://www.amazon.ca/Aiboo-Lighting...0620002&sr=8-4

Received a set of these yesterday and surprised how nice they look and work.
I'm not going to use the wall wart transformer but hook up lights and remote controller directly to 12v.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help with electrical wiring.

Assuming your wire is rated for the full solar panel current, there is not need for a fuse or breaker on a single string system like this. A switch can be added if you need to disconnect for some reason. The panels are current limited, and don't pose a fire risk in this manner.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help with electrical wiring.

Up near the panels you have the word "watts" ... that's obviously wrong.
Three 100 watt panels in series, given your numbers:
Quote:
Open Circuit Voltage: 21.1V
Short Circuit Current: 6.6A
Opitmum Operating Voltage: 16.4V
Optimum Operating Current: 6.1A
Would generate (at least) 300 watts at (at least) 66 volts at (at least) 6.6 amps.
(cold/hot and sun conditions could make any one of those numbers higher)

Your "49.2 watts" is probably trying to be 49.2 volts at 6.1 amps (16.4*3=49.2)
.. but sizing/rating of wires and fusing has to use the limits, not the optimal.

--dick
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help with electrical wiring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by autostaretx View Post
Up near the panels you have the word "watts" ... that's obviously wrong.
Three 100 watt panels in series, given your numbers:

Would generate (at least) 300 watts at (at least) 66 volts at (at least) 6.6 amps.
(cold/hot and sun conditions could make any one of those numbers higher)

Your "49.2 watts" is probably trying to be 49.2 volts at 6.1 amps (16.4*3=49.2)
.. but sizing/rating of wires and fusing has to use the limits, not the optimal.

--dick

Yeah, you're right. Not sure where that 49.2 even came from looking at it now. It will be ~65 volts - 6.6 Amps.

Edit: yeah I was looking at the optimal Voltage intead of max. Just a typo when i was copying this into the computer. I sized the wires according to max voltage.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help with electrical wiring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryN View Post
I can't quite make out the Li battery details. Can you post a bit more about that portion:
- Brand
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Renogy 170AH Lithium Specs:

ELECTRIC CHARACTERISTICS
Nominal Voltage:12.8V
Energy Density:149.1Wh/L
Rated Capacity (0.2C):170Ah
Internal Resistance:≤30mΩ
Minimal Rated Capacity (0.2C):165Ah
Cycle Life (0.2C, 205C):100% DOD 1500 cycles
Energy:2176Wh
Specific Energy:103.6Wh/kg


CHARGING PARAMETERS
Charge Voltage:14.4 0.2V
Maximum Charge Current:50A
Charge Cut-off Voltage:14.6V


DISCHARGING PARAMETERS

Maximum Continuous Discharge Current:100A
Discharge Cut-off Voltage:≥10V
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