Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-01-2014, 03:20 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Orange Park, FL
Posts: 33
Solar Combiner fuse question

Hi, gathering up the parts to put 4 x 100W Solar Panels.

Premium Kit 400W | Renogy Store

Try not to rag me out too much, this was before I read that I may not even need a MPPT, but I am up for other suggestions for a better solar controller, just throw the tracer up on ebay or something.

To be safe I picked up a combiner, little pricy,

http://imagineinstruments.com/pdf/specs/SCB-PW4.pdf

I know if I wired all 4 together I would probably use a 30 amp fuse, but individually put in the combiner I am a little confused on the actual fuse I will need to purchase to be placed in the combiner....

Thanks!
__________________

__________________
bproulx12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-01-2014, 03:35 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 9,876
I think the system you got is setup to wire the panels in series. That's what the 2- 20 ft wires are for. In series you only need about a 10 amp fuse. The combiner would not be used, as you hook 1 panel to the next, like a chain.

If you run them in in parallel you need 8 or 6 gauge wire from the combiner box to the controller.
__________________

__________________
twinboat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2014, 05:11 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
vsheetz's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 11,791
Solar Combiner fuse question

Suggest to wire them in parallel to mitigate shading (if in series and one panel is shaded all are impacted). Each 100w panel will generate typically ~5-7 amps. I would suggest minimum of 40-60 amp circuit breaker (not a fuse) in the single line from the rooftop combiner box to the controller, and another after the controller to the batteries. This provides circuit protection and allows you to readily isolate the system components for servicing.

As for a good quality PWM controller suggest to look at the morning star 45 amp unit.
__________________
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
vsheetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2014, 06:54 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Orange Park, FL
Posts: 33
I understand, maybe I got the wrong combiner box. It has a place for fuses.
__________________
bproulx12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2014, 08:36 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
vsheetz's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 11,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by bproulx12 View Post
I understand, maybe I got the wrong combiner box. It has a place for fuses.
Combiner box for your solar system just needs to be a weather tight place to bring the wires from each panel and connect to the single larger wire run to the controller. Usually has a pair of bus bars to connect up the wires.

I used the C-box from Amsolar.
Combiner Boxes for Increased System Efficiency and Easy Expansion of Solar Power

Here is a write up of my system that may be of interest.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf VSheetz - Solar Setup for my RV v1.1.pdf (473.7 KB, 46 views)
__________________
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
vsheetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 12:15 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Florence, Oregon
Posts: 227
Nice writeup, Vince. Nice system. I just had AM Solar do a 320W installation on my coach. The original poster's combiner box looks grossly over-engineered for what should be needed on his motor home.... in fact it looks like something intended for a household solar system, not an RV. He would do well to look to the AM Solar website for ideas....
Welcome to AM Solar_Your RV Solar Specialists since 1987
__________________
Ed & Lynn on the Oregon Coast
2013 Tiffin Allegro 34TGA
2006 Scion xA toad
Ed_G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 01:04 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
vsheetz's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 11,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_G View Post
Nice writeup, Vince. Nice system. I just had AM Solar do a 320W installation on my coach. The original poster's combiner box looks grossly over-engineered for what should be needed on his motor home.... in fact it looks like something intended for a household solar system, not an RV. He would do well to look to the AM Solar website for ideas....
Welcome to AM Solar_Your RV Solar Specialists since 1987

Agree. On my residential solar system there is a 'combiner box' with a breaker for each string of solar panels. From this box is the combined connection to the back fed breaker in my existing main panel. Sticks and bricks residential solar is a very different animal from RV solar in the wiring and interconnection perspective.
__________________
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
vsheetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 05:39 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Orange Park, FL
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
Agree. On my residential solar system there is a 'combiner box' with a breaker for each string of solar panels. From this box is the combined connection to the back fed breaker in my existing main panel. Sticks and bricks residential solar is a very different animal from RV solar in the wiring and interconnection perspective.
Looks like I am getting things I do not need. I am sure there is away to convert the box I have. Damn ebay, it looked so cool, could I get away with just putting fused and then breakers before and after the controller? or some how replacing the fuse holders? payed way too much for this box compared to yours to just eat it. Got it off ebay, lol on a return. Plus the thing is bigger than I thought. But hey it looks cool and it would be a good landing spot for the birds.

Here is the link again

http://imagineinstruments.com/pdf/specs/SCB-PW4.pdf

Vince, what did you use for the remote to turn off your Converter? I have read if I shut off the Converter, I could essentially plug my shore power cable into the inverter. as you just mentioned. I did get one of those outside remote on/off switches and plug the converter into it....figure if anything went wrong the RV would not blow up.

Did you purchase another Transfer Switch or use the existing one? I looked into getting another Transfer switch put I would have to pay someone to wire it to the AC panel, I would blow something up.

Wow Wish I had the bucks for your set up, but I would like to know how you have your two ground mounted panels set up....
__________________
bproulx12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2014, 04:55 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Florence, Oregon
Posts: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by bproulx12 View Post

Vince, what did you use for the remote to turn off your Converter? I have read if I shut off the Converter, I could essentially plug my shore power cable into the inverter. as you just mentioned. I did get one of those outside remote on/off switches and plug the converter into it....figure if anything went wrong the RV would not blow up.

....
I am quite confused about the comments above ....where it is stated wanting to plug "shore power cable into the Inverter. Why would one want to try this? No Inverter in any motorhome I have seen would be anywhere near capable of providing the current required by an entire motorhome...( A/C, electric heat, etc. ). and the current draw from the battery system would be beyond belief. That is why Inverters are sized appropriately and limited to selected outlets in a motorhome.... with the Microwave oven generally being the largest appliance that can be used. If you wanted to run the Inverter to the main breaker panel and feed the entire coach the 12V battery bank would need be quite large, along with the Inverter and the DC wires between the Inverter and the battery bank. I just don't see the point since most Inverters already feed all that is need in motorhomes.
__________________
Ed & Lynn on the Oregon Coast
2013 Tiffin Allegro 34TGA
2006 Scion xA toad
Ed_G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2014, 11:24 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
chboone's Avatar


 
National RV Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Horse Town USA, CA.
Posts: 2,933
I used the same combiner that vsheets used. I went the easy way and bought a kit from AM solar less the solar panels. Cost me more, yes but AM solar is there for any questions I have. I am using four Koycera 130 watt panels. The kit came with everything needed from the combiner to the batteries, including the monitor. One thing I like about the solar controller it has 2 amp auxiliary output for maintaining the chassis battery.

Chuck
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 6_srs_40mppt4pro.v1.14.pdf (587.8 KB, 32 views)
__________________
1999 35 ft. Dolphin 5350,F53 Chassis Chassis build date 1/99, Banks System, 5 Stars Tune, Air Lift Air Bags front & rear, Koni Shocks,Blue OX TruCenter,TigerTrak track bars front & rear, Roadmaster 1-3/4" rear auxiliary sway bar,2004 F450 Lariat 6.0 Diesel Crew Cab DRW with B & W Custom Truck Bed, 1994 36 ft. Avion 5th Wheel
chboone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2014, 02:50 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
vsheetz's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 11,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by bproulx12 View Post
Looks like I am getting things I do not need. I am sure there is away to convert the box I have. Damn ebay, it looked so cool, could I get away with just putting fused and then breakers before and after the controller? or some how replacing the fuse holders? payed way too much for this box compared to yours to just eat it. Got it off ebay, lol on a return. Plus the thing is bigger than I thought. But hey it looks cool and it would be a good landing spot for the birds.

Here is the link again

http://imagineinstruments.com/pdf/specs/SCB-PW4.pdf

Vince, what did you use for the remote to turn off your Converter? I have read if I shut off the Converter, I could essentially plug my shore power cable into the inverter. as you just mentioned. I did get one of those outside remote on/off switches and plug the converter into it....figure if anything went wrong the RV would not blow up.

Did you purchase another Transfer Switch or use the existing one? I looked into getting another Transfer switch put I would have to pay someone to wire it to the AC panel, I would blow something up.

Wow Wish I had the bucks for your set up, but I would like to know how you have your two ground mounted panels set up....


Fancy combiner box indeed. And way more than needed, yes. Maybe return with a restocking fee? Maybe sell it on eBay or Craigslist?

As for remote to turn off the converter. Mine is a deck mount unit that simply plugs into a regular 120vac outlet. So I bought a sub $20 wireless remote switch that plugs inline with the power cord to the converter. Simple, inexpensive, gets the job done.

My portable panels are regular 100w panels. A couple pieces of PVC pipe to make a simple tilt stand for them. I have a ~25' wire connected in parallel with the roof panels, physically connected to the circuit breaker before the solar controller, with a connector on the other end that connects to the portable panels. To setup I place one or both panels out as desired, feed out the cable, and plug'em in. I store the portable panels under the bed when not in use. Don't use them often but sure handy when in a wooded area, low winter sun, cloudy weather, etc.
__________________
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
vsheetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2014, 03:06 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
vsheetz's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 11,791
Solar Combiner fuse question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_G View Post
I am quite confused about the comments above ....where it is stated wanting to plug "shore power cable into the Inverter. Why would one want to try this? No Inverter in any motorhome I have seen would be anywhere near capable of providing the current required by an entire motorhome...( A/C, electric heat, etc. ). and the current draw from the battery system would be beyond belief. That is why Inverters are sized appropriately and limited to selected outlets in a motorhome.... with the Microwave oven generally being the largest appliance that can be used. If you wanted to run the Inverter to the main breaker panel and feed the entire coach the 12V battery bank would need be quite large, along with the Inverter and the DC wires between the Inverter and the battery bank. I just don't see the point since most Inverters already feed all that is need in motorhomes.


My coach is set up this way. It came originally with no inverter. So rather than wire into the coach breaker box, selected or dedicated outlets, etc. Instead I simply plug the shore power cord directly to the 2300 watt inverter. Yes, the whole coach is powered. One of course has to manage the power usage manually - don't turn on the air conditioning, manually put the refrigerator to propane, etc. And turn off the converter so as to avoid a charging loop (actually the converter is seldom turned on, instead letting the solar panels and controller provide for most all battery charging).

Actually we seldom use the whole coach inverter, except for running the microwave and powering the refrigerator when traveling. Instead i have smaller more efficient point of use inverters connected to 12vdc power ports inside the coach. One at the dining table, another in the bedroom, and yet another at the passenger seat (where I set up computers, ham radio equipment, etc).

YMMV, but the setup works well for us.
__________________
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
vsheetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2014, 03:14 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
vsheetz's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 11,791
Solar Combiner fuse question

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
Fancy combiner box indeed. And way more than needed, yes. Maybe return with a restocking fee? Maybe sell it on eBay or Craigslist?

As for remote to turn off the converter. Mine is a deck mount unit that simply plugs into a regular 120vac outlet. So I bought a sub $20 wireless remote switch that plugs inline with the power cord to the converter. Simple, inexpensive, gets the job done.

My portable panels are regular 100w panels. A couple pieces of PVC pipe to make a simple tilt stand for them. I have a ~25' wire connected in parallel with the roof panels, physically connected to the circuit breaker before the solar controller, with a connector on the other end that connects to the portable panels. To setup I place one or both panels out as desired, feed out the cable, and plug'em in. I store the portable panels under the bed when not in use. Don't use them often but sure handy when in a wooded area, low winter sun, cloudy weather, etc.


Missed answering the transfer switch question. No, I did not change out the transfer switch. The existing original transfer switch selects between shore power or generator, with switching to the generator when it's running. So when/with the shore power cord plugged into the inverter directly, the transfer switch selects between it and the generator (typically only used when air conditioning is needed).

My shore power cord remains plugged into the inverter except when actual shore power is available. When plugging / unplugging to shore power I am effectively the transfer switch for the inverter. (-:
__________________
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
vsheetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2014, 11:42 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Florence, Oregon
Posts: 227
Vince,

Thanks for the comments and answers to the questions I raised in my earlier post. I figured you understood the ramifications of wiring your coach system the way you did, and that you obviously were successful in managing that system. My comments were more directed to the original poster who, in my opinion, may not understand the full ramifications of managing such a system. His acquisition of that inappropriate combiner box tells me he may not be thinking his proposed system through thoroughly before diving in to the project.
__________________

__________________
Ed & Lynn on the Oregon Coast
2013 Tiffin Allegro 34TGA
2006 Scion xA toad
Ed_G is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fuse, solar



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Solar panel testing Lt46 Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 5 08-25-2014 08:27 AM
Power Gear Jacks blowing fuse on 12v panel zzjea RV Systems & Appliances 3 08-25-2014 04:35 AM
Fuse panel kejy Newmar Owner's Forum 12 04-20-2014 07:05 AM
2005 Honda CRv -Pull fuse? rvjimzhr Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 6 04-18-2014 01:01 PM
Portable Solar chargers bubbajean Going Green 1 08-14-2013 07:19 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.