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Old 03-06-2014, 04:51 PM   #15
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That's fine, but what happens when you are actually plugged into shore power (instead of into your inverter) and your converter won't come on because it's been wired to only operate when the AGS starts the generator?

There's a price for the convenience you desire.
I thought there might be a way to wire it up where the relay deactivates the converter power when it senses the inverter is on.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:03 PM   #16
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I believe what you want to accomplish is addressed in this article, RV Inverter Install: Four Different DIY Methods to Get off the Grid, where he discusses installing a relay for the converter.
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:54 PM   #17
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I believe what you want to accomplish is addressed in this article, RV Inverter Install: Four Different DIY Methods to Get off the Grid, where he discusses installing a relay for the converter.
Great article and that's exactly where I got the relay idea from. But I'm still confused somewhat. It says to connect the inverter output to the relay which triggers the converter on and off. But doesn't the inverter output also need to run in to the sub-panel OR be hooked up as I do now, via shorepower cable? Do I need to run one extension cord from inverter to this relay located by converter and another set as inverter output? Or can I just run one cable and splice the wire at the sub-panel/converter?
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:34 PM   #18
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Great article and that's exactly where I got the relay idea from. But I'm still confused somewhat. It says to connect the inverter output to the relay which triggers the converter on and off. But doesn't the inverter output also need to run in to the sub-panel OR be hooked up as I do now, via shorepower cable? Do I need to run one extension cord from inverter to this relay located by converter and another set as inverter output? Or can I just run one cable and splice the wire at the sub-panel/converter?
I believe your question is the same I had (maybe still have) because I have a 2500W inverter I bought for my boat a few years ago that's still in the box. I want to put it in my 5th wheel. I think the answer is we need to put a transfer switch between the shore power and the inverter output and connect it to the panel source. The NC relay will keep the converter from trying to charge the batteries from the inverter output. When the inverter is on, it energizes the relay causing it to open so the converter is turned off.
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:55 PM   #19
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I believe your question is the same I had (maybe still have) because I have a 2500W inverter I bought for my boat a few years ago that's still in the box. I want to put it in my 5th wheel. I think the answer is we need to put a transfer switch between the shore power and the inverter output and connect it to the panel source. The NC relay will keep the converter from trying to charge the batteries from the inverter output. When the inverter is on, it energizes the relay causing it to open so the converter is turned off.
It's still not quite clicking for me. I want my AGS to kick on when batteries get low, and then therefore kick converter on so batteries charge. However, the inverter will remain on 24/7. Is there a way for relay to be wired up to sense generator and real shore power, but not inverter power?
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:18 PM   #20
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It's still not quite clicking for me. I want my AGS to kick on when batteries get low, and then therefore kick converter on so batteries charge. However, the inverter will remain on 24/7. Is there a way for relay to be wired up to sense generator and real shore power, but not inverter power?
You are not going to easily accomplish what you want, with respect to the converter, if you insist on installing the inverter in a manor that has you plugging the power cord into the inverter.

You are also NOT going to be able to avoid significant wiring if you want to separate out certain outlets to power from the inverter.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:35 PM   #21
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You are not going to easily accomplish what you want, with respect to the converter, if you insist on installing the inverter in a manor that has you plugging the power cord into the inverter.

You are also NOT going to be able to avoid significant wiring if you want to separate out certain outlets to power from the inverter.
Ok then how about this, is there a wire I could tap into that only gets power from the generator being on: that could activate a Normally Open relay to power the converter on whenever the generator is on. And when I'm on "real" shorepower, I will manually activate the converter/keep the inverter off.

My main thing to accomplish here is be able to leave inverter on while boondocking but have the AGS keep the batteries charged. Thoughts??
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:47 PM   #22
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Ok then how about this, is there a wire I could tap into that only gets power from the generator being on: that could activate a Normally Open relay to power the converter on whenever the generator is on. And when I'm on "real" shorepower, I will manually activate the converter/keep the inverter off.

My main thing to accomplish here is be able to leave inverter on while boondocking but have the AGS keep the batteries charged. Thoughts??
The transfer switch should use the generator to power the panel when it is running and allow the converter to charge the batteries because the NC relay would close. Because of power loss to heat given off and cooling fans trying to counteract the heat, the converter cannot keep up the charge on the batteries while only powered by the inverter. That's why you want to turn it off when running only on the inverter. If you don't, the batteries will drain more rapidly.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:13 PM   #23
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The transfer switch should use the generator to power the panel when it is running and allow the converter to charge the batteries because the NC relay would close. Because of power loss to heat given off and cooling fans trying to counteract the heat, the converter cannot keep up the charge on the batteries while only powered by the inverter. That's why you want to turn it off when running only on the inverter. If you don't, the batteries will drain more rapidly.
I think we're saying the same thing. I'm just asking if it's possible to have the converter automatically turned on/off based on whether genny is running or inverter power. I'd like to run off inverter with converter off of course, but have genny automatically kick on and therefore converter kick on to charge the batteries. Surely someone else wants to leave their inverter on all the time??
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:31 AM   #24
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Haven't been following this but you need to be carefull how you do this. If you do not use a time delay relay so that the inverter switches on when the power fluctuates and doesn't turn off unless there is a few munutes of steady power you can end up back feeding the inverter with AC power and end up burning it out. I tried one of the home grown automatic relay options and found that when the generator kicked in everything was fine however when it shut down then a relay without a time delay feature would flutter as the generator stopped spinning and then blow the inverter.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:28 AM   #25
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Haven't been following this but you need to be carefull how you do this. If you do not use a time delay relay so that the inverter switches on when the power fluctuates and doesn't turn off unless there is a few munutes of steady power you can end up back feeding the inverter with AC power and end up burning it out. I tried one of the home grown automatic relay options and found that when the generator kicked in everything was fine however when it shut down then a relay without a time delay feature would flutter as the generator stopped spinning and then blow the inverter.
i think you're confusing Automatic Transfer Switch with "relay". My coach already has a built-in ATS that switches between generator and shore power.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:49 AM   #26
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I know there are hundreds of threads about this, and I've been searching and reading for months, but everyone's situation is unique. Here's what I would like to do:

I currently have a Xantrex 1000W PSW inverter that I installed near the battery compartment and ran a shorepower cord to it. Remote switch is installed inside coach. I have a remote control for the converter so I can shut it off when I'm running whole-house inverter.

What I don't like: Having to remember to shut off converter every time.
-And losing power for a moment when i turn on genny.

I just ordered the EC-30W Auto-Gen start so I can make sure my batteries dont get low while running on inverter.

What I want to do:
I want to get it where I don't have to turn converter on and off manually, I'd like to just leave inverter on all the time, but power ONLY my wall outlets if possible. That way i can run a fan at night and leave my Satellite box plugged in all the time, and the AGS will keep batteries topped off 24/7.

Is the simplest solution to run a wire direct from inverter to circuit breakers for the wall outlets?

Main issue: There is not an easy way at all to run a wire from the inverter to the main panel/breakers. It is across the entire coach.

If there is another way to do this, what am I missing? I would prefer to still utilize the 1000W PSW inverter I've invested in, even though now I would much rather have an inverter/charger instead of the existing converter....

Thanks for any ideas and tips!!!
I just picked up on this thread and would like to know the exact model number of your Xantrex PSW Inverter/Converter so I can look it up. I tried looking it up on the Internet without knowing the exact model number and from what I can tell Xantrex doesn't list an Inverter/Converter but they do have Inverter/Chargers.

It is difficult to offer suggestions on how to help you not knowing what you have.

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Old 03-07-2014, 09:58 AM   #27
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I just picked up on this thread and would like to know the exact model number of your Xantrex PSW Inverter/Converter so I can look it up. I tried looking it up on the Internet without knowing the exact model number and from what I can tell Xantrex doesn't list an Inverter/Converter but they do have Inverter/Chargers.

It is difficult to offer suggestions on how to help you not knowing what you have.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
Thanks. It's a Xantrex Prowatt SW1000. However, it is not an inverter/converter, nor an inverter/charger, just an inverter only.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:53 AM   #28
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Ok then how about this, is there a wire I could tap into that only gets power from the generator being on: that could activate a Normally Open relay to power the converter on whenever the generator is on. And when I'm on "real" shorepower, I will manually activate the converter/keep the inverter off.

My main thing to accomplish here is be able to leave inverter on while boondocking but have the AGS keep the batteries charged. Thoughts??
Your generator produces a 12V signal to run the elapsed time meter. You could use that to pick this additional (n/o) relay to activate the converter.

Now you need some way to activate the converter, through that n/o relay contact, when you are plugged to shore power. You could use a switch (to 12v) to activate the converter relay, and thus the converter.

It seems to me that this is much more labor intensive than simply turning off the converter when using the inverter. But, you do lose the convenience of the automation of the AGS.

If you haven't significantly upgraded your battery bank, I can see why you want the automated gen v/s inverter switching, because it will probably happen every couple of hours.

You are correct in stating that other folks want to have their inverter on at all times. These folks also have installed inverters that were made for that type installation. They use inverters and/or inverter/chargers with ATS switches on the front end and with wiring options designed to integrate the inverters into the house power distribution system.

Just to show you how complex it can get, here's how i did my whole-house inverter/charger installation.
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