OrioN RV & IT/DESIGN STUDIO: AC & DC SERVICE - ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
BACKGROUND:

The Orion II:
  • 'Homemade' van conversion in a 170" wheelbase, extended body, high-roof, 2500 series.
  • The electrical system is designed for off-grid & full-time living & IT/graphic design studio.
  • In service since December 2008...

This current design features a blend of the Orion II's original setup plus soon to be implemented changes to discovered deficiencies and upgrades.

Future postings with include details & discussions on each of the sub-systems (see list of drawings/layers below).



OBJECTIVES:

  • Showcase, highlight & explain the specifics, merits & performance of this unique system.
  • Help others to a) design & build or, b) augment/upgrade or remedy their current system, and where their requirements/needs are similar.
  • Through dialogue discover new improvement or resolves.



FEATURES:

POWER SPECIFICATIONS:

AC SERVICE:
  • Shore/Grid or DC-AC Inverter: 30A
  • DC-AC Inverter II: 8A
  • Generator: 18A

DC SERVICE:
  • Battery(House) Storage Capacity: 400aH (Net from 980aH AGM)
  • Battery(House) Current: 250A Continous
  • Alternator Current: ~130A (Net usuable from 180A unit)
  • Solar Current (Max): 30-35A


REDUNDANCY: (including bypasses and bi-directional)

  • Multiple Power Sources:
    1. AC - Shore/Grid Power
    2. AC - Generator
    3. DC - Alternator
    4. DC - Solar/PV Array
  • Dual DC-AC Inverters
  • Dual AC-DC Chargers
  • Bi-Directional Current flow between House & Chassis Battery Banks (Provide vehicle starting boost. Operate vehicle with dead alternator or battery)






SCHEMATICS:

ac_dc_service-master-v.2-thumb.jpg


NOTES:
SCHEMATIC DESIGN FORMAT: A 'graphical style' schematic is used to represent/document some of the physical properties & all locations of the components in the Orion II build. These views, and in the format of a laminated print, aid me to build and/or identify component/circuits for troubleshooting in the future.​


VERSION/NAME NOMENCLATURE:
'layer #'-description'-'build #'-'date'.'revision'.pdf (ex: 1-ac_dc_service-master-v.2.1-020115.1.pdf)


CURRENT REVISIONS:

  1. AC & DC SERVICE - MASTER VIEW



  2. AC POWER SOURCE CIRCUITS


  3. DC POWER SOURCE CIRCUITS


  4. DC POWER SOURCE – ALTERNATOR & BANK ISOLATOR


  5. DC POWER SOURCE - SOLAR


  6. AC POWER SOURCE - DC-AC INVERTERS


  7. AC-DC CHARGERS


  8. ALTERNATOR(DC)-DC CHARGER


  9. DC-DC CONVERTER/REGULATOR


  10. AC POWER – NEUTRAL TO GROUND BONDING


  11. SYSTEM COMMUNICATIONS & REMOTE CONTROLS/PANELS

    Coming soon...​



PREVIOUS VERSION ARCHIVE:

TBA​





TIPS:

This thread is OP(me) moderated. My desire is to keep it succinct and focused predominately on this system, and with the goal to aid folks in the design/build of a similar one. Anyone posting for sake of throwing out their systems details AND not in the context of either seeking advise or in response to another person seeking advise will be deleted or have its content 'slashed to the bone'.​



FAQ'S:

Q: Why was my posted deleted? Why was my post edited 'to the bone'?

A: Ask yourself this... Was my post in the form of or valid question or inquiry? Was I responding to a posed question? If the answer to these were NO, then the post/contents was disqualified.​







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GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB
Re: OrioN RV & IT/DESIGN STUDIO: AC & DC ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

Looks very good, nice to have back-ups in case of failures. With such a complex system how will you manage bonding (ground<>neutral) requirements. With the multiple AC sources these bonds will have to be managed automatically for safety aspects.

Great work,

George.
 

mikeme

2015 LTV IB: 2015 3500 V6
Re: OrioN RV & IT/DESIGN STUDIO: AC & DC ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

for the drawing format, do you have a key? what is the intent of the small block with the vertical arrow?
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
Re: OrioN RV & IT/DESIGN STUDIO: AC & DC ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

for the drawing format, do you have a key? what is the intent of the small block with the vertical arrow?
Is this the small block with the vertical arrow you are referring to? If so, they are grounding poles/posts...


Screenshot (64).gif



I will make/add a key, thanks!




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mikeme

2015 LTV IB: 2015 3500 V6
Also wondering about the control system. how many of the components will you have connected via a messaging buss?

I looked at one of the inverters, and the literature indicated a control bus/message capability.
 

mikeme

2015 LTV IB: 2015 3500 V6
seems like the 400 amp fuses may be a bit high. are you wiring the whole system with 0000 gauge wire?

if not, what exactly are you trying to protect?

one thing to consider would be a fuse between the vehicle alternator and the vehicle battery. ( I know this second-guesses the engineers, but you are increasing the load..)
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
seems like the 400 amp fuses may be a bit high. are you wiring the whole system with 0000 gauge wire?

if not, what exactly are you trying to protect?

There are two 400A fuses in the schematic.

1) Driver foot well fuse: Actually, this needs to marked in red as it is one of the fuses that I need to verify for it's rating. It is probably correct as 400A, as this system/wire (#0000) has bi-directional current flow. Direction A: Alternator to House bank @ ~130A (plus any other demands place on it by house system components if the house bank is isolated/down and I be running entirely off the alternator/chassis battery). Direction B: Vehicle Engine Start via House Bank @ ~250-300A.


2) Power Box 400A fuse: In its location close to the source (980aH) and on a 4/0 welders cable, it is the recommended fuse size for the 3kW Inverter/Charger. The Inverter can draw +250A continous and ~500A surge(5 secs). It also services any other system loads.

The sole function of these fuses on the connecting wire is to protect the van from any dangers that could rise from being attached to the 980aH battery bank such as shorting/arching.






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OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
one thing to consider would be a fuse between the vehicle alternator and the vehicle battery. ( I know this second-guesses the engineers, but you are increasing the load..)
Good catch again...

...that wire/connection is the factory wire, and it does have a fuse rated for the 180/220A alternator. I will now make a notation on the drawings. :thumbup:


Regarding your statement "but you are increasing the load..", any demands/loading that will exceed the alternator's output capability will be absorbed/compensated by the battery banks.




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OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
Not sure what the need for the Busbar DC service. Something like jumping other cars?
Being in the driver seat well... a very convenient location to wire in components that are located fore-ward which I want/need to run off the large house bank, and with the added benefit of not having to run long (read: heavier ga./$$$) wires from the rear DC panel. These components are: 12v outlets for phones/modems/etc located on dash, awning motor ignition trigger relay, front radio amplifiers, battery isolator sensing relay. I need to verify what fuse the connecting wire has, if memory serves it's a 75A. Each added component has it's own inline fuse.




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OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
Re: OrioN RV & IT/DESIGN STUDIO: AC & DC ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

With such a complex system how will you manage bonding (ground<>neutral) requirements. With the multiple AC sources these bonds will have to be managed automatically for safety aspects.
I've made a schematic layer with the details & locations of the Neutral to Ground Bonds.

AC POWER – NEUTRAL TO GROUND BONDING





Here are the notes...


NEUTRAL-TO-GROUND BOND

  • ONLY ONE NEUTRAL BOND POINT CAN EXIST AT ANY TIME.
  • NEUTRAL BOND SHALL EXIST FOR & CLOSEST TO ALL AC CURRENT SOURCES
  • NEUTRAL BOND SHALL NOT EXIST IN LOCAL AC SERVICE PANEL


AC SOURCES & NEUTRAL BONDING LOCATIONS

1) MAIN POWER SERVICE SOURCES, CIRCUITS & LOADS

SHORE/GRID POWER:
Bonding occurs at the source's main service panel (or pedestal panel). Generator's bond is isolated via Manual Shore/Genset Transfer Switch. Inverter(Charger) #1's bond is isolated via internal transfer switch. Inverter #2's circuit, loads & bonding is separate from main power service.

GENERATOR POWER:
Bonding occurs internally on an Onan KV2.5. Shore/Grid's bond is isolated via Manual Shore/Genset Transfer Switch. Inverter(Charger) #1's bond is isolated via internal transfer switch. Inverter #2's circuit, loads & bonding is separate from main power service.

INVERTER(CHARGER) #1 POWER:
Bonding occurs internally. Shore/Grid's bond is isolated via Manual Shore/Genset Transfer Switch. Inverter #2's circuit, loads & bonding is separate from main service.​

* Cabin Controlled/Manual Inverter Bypass Switch s function:
1) Allow shore or genset power to reach the Main Service Panel in the event that the Inverter(Charger) #1's transfer switch fails, or the unit is removed for servicing.

2) Eliminate Inverter(Charger) #1 from quantifying & disqualifying AC current from the genset under certain loading scenarios. (Onan KV2.5 has a lightweight flywheel which responds slowly to load variations and creates frequency and voltages that exceed the Xantrex parameters)​

By allowing the shore or genset power to reach the main panel via bypassing the Inverter(Charger) #1, the Inverter(Charger) #1 senses no available AC and can now invert and supply current simultaneously. This scenario can create a second or double neutral bond as there is no way to instruct the inverter to break the bond. RESOLVE: 2 additional poles on the switch are used to open the AC circuit from the inverter to main service panel.


2) INVERTER #2 SERVICE CIRCUITS & LOADS

Bonding occurs internally. Bond, circuit & loads are separate from main power service.​







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GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB
Bonding is not well understood but critical for safety especially with DIY conversions. Multiple AC sources makes bonding even more complex. Thank you for good explanation. If anyone is planning a complex electrical system your thread is a great one to start with.

George.
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
What is the purpose of this switch?:

Seatbase-BlueSea6006.jpg

Isn't it redundant with the built-in manual switching capability of the Blue Sea ML-ACR 7622?
Thank you for taking time to review this build.

Yes, it is redundant...now.

The drawings include both current and future components for the build, and some that are 'legacy'.

I originally had a SurePower 1315-200 Battery Separator in place of the BlueSea ACR. It only afforded the ability to manually connect the banks/close the circuits (engine battery boost), but not manually isolate them. So, that switch was installed. I used it to stop the solar or ac-dc chargers from forcing the relay to automatically close the circuit/combine banks when doing maintenance/service, or over-charging chassis battery.

The Blue Sea ML-ACR 7622, with its remote switch installed on the dash, has replaced that switch's function. The ACR includes a physical manual switch as well, but I cannot currently use it easily as the unit is install inside the seat base. In my next build, I will locate the switch or make an access opening in a place where I use it, on the off chance (or when) the coils fail.

I will now add an annotation to the drawing.

On a related note...
You just saved me ~$30. There is another Blue Sea m-series 6006 in the drawing, not currently but will be installed this spring. Current practice to disconnect the house bank from the system is to remove the wire from the bank. I will remove the redundant switch from that circuit and recycle it for this purpose.

Final note...
The original SurePower 1315-200 went up in smoke after abooot 2.25 years and 3 months past warranty. At that time CooperBussman had recently bought out the mom-pop SurePower. Prior to this SurePower would extend their written warranty as a general practice and replace a product for a few more years. Sadly, BUT fortunately, CooperBussman wouldn't, and as result and before forking out more $$ for the same replacement, I reviewed other options. Notwithstanding the burn-up of the unit, and the recall program of many others (where for some reason mine's serial number was just outside of the range), the unit would draw up to ~1.3A (well above the written spec.) when closed/combined. This is a perverted amount for a system that uses solar charging, as that would amount to consuming up to 10% of harvesting at certain times of the day or year. :bash: The Blue Sea ACR is a magnetic latching type relay which only uses milliamps dynamically to sense and a momentary burst/consumption of current to flip the relay. :thumbup:




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ccutshaw

BigBlue
Never fuse the neutral. So I see a 30 amp shore power input, fused with a 15 amp breaker, if your going to do that just use a 15 or 20 amp shore power input. It's not code to switch the neutrals. Glad to see someone else using Double Throw Switch as a manual transfer, they work great for that (ON-OFF-ON).
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
Never fuse the neutral. So I see a 30 amp shore power input, fused with a 15 amp breaker, if your going to do that just use a 15 or 20 amp shore power input. It's not code to switch the neutrals.
Hello...

Thanks for pointing out a cut/paste/typo in the drawing. :doh:
The 30A Main is a Blue Sea 8077 and comes with dual 30A breakers, not the 15A I drew.

Not sure why you state "Never fuse the neural" & "It's not code to switch the neutrals". :idunno:
This is standard procedure for marine, and I will assume ok/safe for RV. The 'tandem' breakers have a 'handle tie', so both breakers trip if one is faulted, as it should. Breaking the neutral appears to isolate any potential doubling up of neutral-to-ground bonding that could occur in some scenario or installation, for which needs to be avoided. Perhaps you or others can expand on this....




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avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Hmm. Close call.

On the one hand:
--Fused neutrals have certainly been banned by the NEC for a very long time. The reason is that it can make a live circuit look like it is safe to work on.
--It is completely redundant in a properly wired circuit, and just add expense and complexity
--Double-bonding ought to be impossible by design--a belt-and-suspenders protection such as the one proposed is no substitute for engineering

On the other hand:
--It is probably correct that as long as the breakers are physically linked, then the safety concern does not apply
--The one argument against the "completely redundant" point is when it is possible for the feed to have a hot/neutral reversal, which is certainly not far-fetched in a shore power situation. Under this scenario, a fused neutral can provide some extra protection. (If it is true that this technique is found on boats, this is probably why).

Dunno...

Here's a link to an even-handed discussion of this issue:

http://incompliancemag.com/article/double-fusing-or-fusing-both-sides-of-the-line/
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
In normal practice, neutral is not fused because neutral is always tied to earth ground somewhere in system. If it were fused, neutral side could open and if hot side still connected, now both wires are hot with respect to ground. Big safety hazard.
As stated in my previous post, the neutral & hot breakers are 'handle-tied'... thereby, the situation you described and base the argument on will not exist.




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OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
Hmm. Close call.

On the one hand:
--Fused neutrals have certainly been banned by the NEC for a very long time. The reason is that it can make a live circuit look like it is safe to work on.
--It is completely redundant in a properly wired circuit, and just add expense and complexity
--Double-bonding ought to be impossible by design--a belt-and-suspenders protection such as the one proposed is no substitute for engineering

On the other hand:
--It is probably correct that as long as the breakers are physically linked, then the safety concern does not apply
--The one argument against the "completely redundant" point is when it is possible for the feed to have a hot/neutral reversal, which is certainly not far-fetched in a shore power situation. Under this scenario, a fused neutral can provide some extra protection. (If it is true that this technique is found on boats, this is probably why).


Dunno...

Here's a link to an even-handed discussion of this issue:

http://incompliancemag.com/article/double-fusing-or-fusing-both-sides-of-the-line/
Just off the phone with a Blue Sea techie. I asked him "why the 'handle-tie' and neutral breaker".

He said it is a requirement for ABYC Standards, and for the reason as you stated of Reverse Polarity (and among others but mostly pertaining to marine based issues). I can live with that.


Thanks for the link, it is a good read. :thumbup:


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ccutshaw

BigBlue
If you’re worried about your shore power being reversed polarity, just buy a pocket sized tester and test the shore power connection before you plug in.
 
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OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
If you’re worried about your shore power being reversed polarity, just buy a pocket sized tester and test the shore power connection before you plug in.

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Thank you for your reply...

The Blue Sea AC Main 8077 has a Reverse Polarity indicator. I've located it in a place that I can view easily while I am plugging into Shore/Grid.


8077-opt.jpg


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