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Old 12-02-2021, 04:27 PM   #1
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A/C on Inverter

I have a pretty sizable solar and LifePO4 setup in my rig. Though I do not have the capacity to run the A/C for long, I would still like to be able to fire it up if needed, Electric Water Heater too.
So I poked around the main panel and all breakers are getting power while on the 12v/Inverter. However, neither A/C or Electric Water Heater will run. Is there a bypass of some sort near the inverter preventing them from running?

TIA
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Old 12-02-2021, 04:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caymanedge View Post
I have a pretty sizable solar and LifePO4 setup in my rig. Though I do not have the capacity to run the A/C for long, I would still like to be able to fire it up if needed, Electric Water Heater too.
So I poked around the main panel and all breakers are getting power while on the 12v/Inverter. However, neither A/C or Electric Water Heater will run. Is there a bypass of some sort near the inverter preventing them from running?

TIA
The Winnebago products use a powerline EMS that detects available amps. The EMS detects the amperage available in the ATS and your inverter does not run through the ATS, so it is reading no voltage/amperage available. The only thing you could do is move the sensor to the output of the inverter, but I would not recommend that. Or eliminate the EMS completely and get used to tripping breakers and burning wires.
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Old 12-02-2021, 05:10 PM   #3
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My coach is a 2001 Alpine. I have a main AC panel, a sub AC panel, and a DC fuse block. The main panel has a breaker labled "inverter" that controls the power to the inverter when I am plugged in or on generator. The sub AC panel has circuits that are fed by AC power (shore or generator) that passes through the inverter. When there is no shore power, and I want to run the inverter, the circuits in the sub AC panel are the ones that will work.

Some inverters have AC circuits wired directly to the inverter instead of through a sub panel. An inverter configured like this normally has a couple of breakers on the front of the inverter.

All of my DC power comes from the batteries. Circuits from the batteries include the refrigerator, the steps, the seats, and the DC fuse panel. Most of the major equipment (stove, AC, waqter heater) require 12v power to work along with either gas or AC power.

If you want an AC to work from battery power, then it has to be wired "behind" the inverter, either to an inverter breaker of to the AC sub panel.

Power for the AC may require you to upgrade your inverter. My inverter is wired to power the microwave and a couple of AC plugs. More than half of my lights are powered at 12v.

Here is an illustration I made of how my coach is wired. I hope this helps.

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Old 12-02-2021, 05:13 PM   #4
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How sizable is the battery pack? More than 800 amp hours?
How sizable is the solar array? More than 1,200w?
What size is your inverter? 3000w or more?

What you are asking is a pretty huge ask. It can be done, for a price. A Very. Sizable. Price.
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Old 12-02-2021, 05:48 PM   #5
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My older MH that is a C, has old school electrics, no EMS, No shedding ,,

I added a 3000 watt 4000 peak sine wave inverter and a triple transfer, I can run shore, Genny, Inverter.

15K AC, pulls 1400w avg (1330-1510)
It fires my AC fine off 300AH FLA batteries,, I can get an hour or so.. Never tried it more than 10 min..

I have run the microwave, Keurig etc ,,

I dont have elect HW but those are generally 1500W..


SO.. you can do the math with losses but MY AC will draw 12A @120V.. You gonna eat 120 AHR of battery .. 800A Lithion batterys about 6 hours and you toast..

If you want HW and AC at same time,, you gonna need a honking Inverter...
some 4/0 or 250mcm cables going to it,, and some BATTERY power,,,
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Old 12-02-2021, 06:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by amosnandy View Post
The Winnebago products use a powerline EMS that detects available amps. The EMS detects the amperage available in the ATS and your inverter does not run through the ATS, so it is reading no voltage/amperage available. The only thing you could do is move the sensor to the output of the inverter, but I would not recommend that. Or eliminate the EMS completely and get used to tripping breakers and burning wires.
That makes sense. I donít know anything about the EMS, but perhaps I could build a workaround for those times I want to power the water heater or A/C. The water heater heats up in like 20min on electric so itís a good option. The A/C is obviously a huge demand and may never be used, but Iíd like the option for various reasons.
For reference, I have 680ah of LifePO4, 1200 watts of solar and 3000watt inverter. Both ACís have soft starts too.
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Old 12-02-2021, 06:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amosnandy View Post
The Winnebago products use a powerline EMS that detects available amps. The EMS detects the amperage available in the ATS and your inverter does not run through the ATS, so it is reading no voltage/amperage available. The only thing you could do is move the sensor to the output of the inverter, but I would not recommend that. Or eliminate the EMS completely and get used to tripping breakers and burning wires.
Reading my post I see I did not make it clear. The EMS does load shedding so when you are on 15, 20 or 30 amp power it sheds the power to high load devices. On mine it will shut down AC 1 AC 2 water heater and refrigerator. The EMS operates completely independent of the inverter. Winnebago wires their coaches with a 30 amp out in the main panel to send power out to the inverter then through the transfer switch in the inverter and back to a 30 amp Sub Panel. When on Shore power it 30 amps the inverter is not involved other than the ATS. When on inverter the only things it will power are things on the Subpanel. Mine has Refrigerator, Microwave and outlets 1, 2,& 3.

Without re-wiring the distribution panel it won't matter how big of an inverter or battery bank you have, it will not run the AC or hot water heater.
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Old 12-02-2021, 06:52 PM   #8
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That makes sense. I donít know anything about the EMS, but perhaps I could build a workaround for those times I want to power the water heater or A/C. The water heater heats up in like 20min on electric so itís a good option. The A/C is obviously a huge demand and may never be used, but Iíd like the option for various reasons.
For reference, I have 680ah of LifePO4, 1200 watts of solar and 3000watt inverter. Both ACís have soft starts too.
To do what you want to do the best and most practical solution is to buy a new Victron 12v 3000 Multiplus 2/120 Hybrid inverter. I have one waiting at home to install. It goes directly in the ac shore-power lines before the ATS. It is passthrough for both legs plus since it is hybrid, if you are plugged into 15, 20, or 30 amp and put more load on than that the inverter will start and add additional power.

The only reason I did not install it before I left last fall for Mexico is because I was unsure EXACTLY how it is going to react with the EMS and subpanel. I THINK I have it figured out but getting anything RV in Mexico is near impossible and so I just left it alone.
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Old 12-02-2021, 06:59 PM   #9
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Here is a link to the EMS system Winnebago uses.

https://www.manualslib.com/manual/82...e.html?page=63
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Old 12-02-2021, 08:56 PM   #10
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The amount of solar is not relevant.What you want to do seems unreasonable for a 3,000 watt inverter. They are designed to shut down when load requests are too high. That is so you don't buy too many inverters. Propane is a perfectly reasonable way to get hot water, and I'd have to ask why tax your batteries in this fashion.
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Old 12-03-2021, 05:35 AM   #11
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IF you put the inverter beofore the shore , it will just replace the shore feed nd things should wortk I guess.
680AHR and 1200 solar..

Your solar will replace around 50ahr +/-, in good sun.. So if you run hot water for 20min , in an hour the solar should refill...

Run AC for an hour, solar will need about 3 hours to replace...

battery storage would give you approx 3 hours on one AC maybe 4 with luck and no solar refilling.. with solar in good sun add an hour before all dead
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Old 12-03-2021, 06:16 AM   #12
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IF you put the inverter beofore the shore , it will just replace the shore feed nd things should wortk I guess.
680AHR and 1200 solar..

Your solar will replace around 50ahr +/-, in good sun.. So if you run hot water for 20min , in an hour the solar should refill...

Run AC for an hour, solar will need about 3 hours to replace...

battery storage would give you approx 3 hours on one AC maybe 4 with luck and no solar refilling.. with solar in good sun add an hour before all dead
Thanks, that is exactly what I'm talking about. I have excess battery capacity now and running the hot water tank on electric is free vs. propane. The AC is another story, but having the ability to run one unit for 30-60 minutes in a pinch would be nice.
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Old 12-03-2021, 06:48 AM   #13
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I like to follow the electrical threads to learn. Youse guys are confusing me. If I understand correctly, the original poster want to use his inverter to power his hot water heater and air conditioner when shore power or generator power is not being used. That wouuld seem to mean that he needs an electrical circuit to that equipment (HW & AC) that feed through the inverter. The problem seems straight forward. Either the inverter has to be changed (to include all of the current equipment plus the AC and hot water heater) or the OP has to decided what existing circuit he wants to give up to be used for the AC/hot water heater. Once the wiring is in place, calculations can be made based on existing battery power regarding how long he can run either appliance. Close observation will be necessary to prevent discharge of the battteries to the point they are damaged. It feels like a bit of science that is of questionable benefit. The water heater stays hot, even after the electricity is cut off. A little planning and forethough and hot water is easy to get. A portable AC could be plugged into a recepticle wired to the inverter and provide cooling without all the wiring changes. Anyway, Winni has wiring diagrams online. I found this one that might be applicable to the OP's questions.

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