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Old 04-23-2012, 01:32 PM   #1
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Question 240V, inverters, and transfer switches

Now that our solar install is complete and kicking out the juice, I'm looking at ways to power our load center directly from the inverter rather than just the few outlets and microwave as it is currently setup.

I have a second 50A transfer switch, and was going to put one input of it to the output of the primary transfer switch that splits the shore power and genset, and the other input to the inverter output, but I just had the ah-ha moment of shorepower = 220v, inverter output = 110V.

My question is - is it feasible to run the 110v input into one side of the transfer switch, when we're on inverter only then this would power one leg of the breaker panel? I can put the AC units, washer and dryer on the opposite leg since we wouldn't run those off of invert power anyway. We're putting out 1400W of solar with 950Ah of Deka 8AGC2 batteries, so I'm fine with putting the fridge on the inverter.

The attached image shows the desired setup, the transfer switch I'm talking about is TS2 in the picture. Currently the 110 feeding into the inverter/charger is coming from one leg in the load center, obviously I'll pull this out to prevent possible backfeed.

Thanks!
J
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:17 PM   #2
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Just use a 30 amp to 50 amp adapter . Just remember that the total current available to all circuits is what ever the inverter puts out. You would have to adapt the inverter output to the 30 amp plug. if you can hardwire out of the inverter, just wire in a 30 amp receptacle. If you just have 15 amp or 20 amp receptacles on the inverter, I would wire two plugs in parallel to a 30 amp receptacle in a 4" square deep box with cord restraints on the cords.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:10 PM   #3
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A few comments.. There are a few things in your RV that really suck up the watts, (or to be more precise Kilowatts) which means hundreds of amp hours.. Air conditioner(s) and water heater to name the biggies. Plus you need to switch OUT the converter when doing what you plan.

Now: Odds are unless your RV is an "All electric" nothing in it needs 240 volts, the reason for using 120/240 volt set up is efficiency, it is more efficient and saves the campground money. Yes, I can explain why, but it's highly technical (What can I say, Happens to be the field I studied in college, or at least related).

But if you want 120/240 volt service (And yes, there is a reason to consider doing it that way) many companies.. For example Xantrex, make (or made) inverters that can be "Chained" Like 2 six volt batteries in series make one big 12 volt, Two 120 volt inverters of the proper make and model in series make a 120/240 volt inverter.

The Prosine 2.0, for example, (xantrex.. NOTE: I"m not pushing Xantrex here, I just know that particular inverter best since I use one myself) has the ability to be partnered with another Prosine 2.0 for 120/240 volt operation.

It also has a 30 amp transfer switch.


They make bigger ones.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:39 PM   #4
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I guess I should be more clear on my ask Will the 50A transfer switch work fine switching one leg (110V) from the inverter one one set of coils and feeding one leg of the panel, while the other set of coils has 220 into it when on shore power and feeds both legs of the panel? I'm good on everything else electrical, I just don't know enough about the transfer switches themselves to know if it'll actually kick over if the primary coil has 110V on it when the secondary picks up the 220V from the shore power?

And you are correct sir, we are not an all-electric, and nothing including the dryer needs 220V. I'll probably have the water heater set so we could run it off solar if ever necessary (running out of propane), but that would be an 'oops' last ditch effort before heading for more propane.

Thanks again
J&C
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:35 AM   #5
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OH, will the transfer switch work ok if you only have one leg.

YES. you feed the same leg to both inputs (L-1 and L-2)

Depending on your transfer switch, (There are basically 2 types)

If your transfer switch, like mine connects to SHORE POWER in it's resting state, (Unpowered state) then .. if you plug into the inverter using an adapter or if you use a dog bone to plug into a 30 amp outlet (As I am doing just now) it works.

If you connect the inverter to the GENERATOR side (more on this in a second) Well my generator only has one winding, it only outputs 120 volts same phase on both breakers, so it is the same as if you jumpered L-1 and L-2 together.

The next kind of transfer switch has two sets of power contactors.. One pulls in on shore, one on generator, and again it does not care if you are running 120 or 120/240 in, works the same as mine.

Ther eis a 3rd type. designed to have 3 inputs,, Generator, Shore, Inverter. Works much the same way.

If you use two transfer switches, then (This is from the shore cord in)

The first one the shore cord should go to the GENERATOR input, Inverter goes to SHORE INPUT (Jumper the two legs)

The second one takes the output from the first to the SHORE POWER input (This one is already installed in many motor homes) and the generator goes to Generator.

Truth table with this set up.

Generator running = Generator power to breakers.

Generator off no shore power = Inverter power to breakers

Generator off, Shore Power present = Shore power to breakers.

That simple.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:13 AM   #6
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That is exactly the information that I needed! Thanks for the detailed response, looks like I don't have any excuse not to get crackin' on it now.

J&C
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