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Old 21-11-2014, 11:52   #1
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Inverter/Charger and Solar Charge Controller

Hello again, I am wondering about a solar charge controller and my inverter/charger conflicting.

Items:
-Freedom 10 inverter/charger
-Renogy 30amp PWM charge controller
-Renogy 100W solar panel (buying another soon, total 200W, 2x100W panel)
-4 Trojan 6v golf cart batteries in two house banks (buying soon)

My current setup has the Freedom 10 inverter/charger charging the batteries when the engine is running and with shore power. I have Interstate batteries which I will be replacing with the Trojans, same setup, 4 x 6V in two banks. I want to add solar to these banks and want to make sure the Freedom 10 inverter/charger will not conflict or damage the batteries when used with the Renogy solar charge controller if both are in operation.

Thanks
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Old 21-11-2014, 12:18   #2
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Inverter/Charger and Solar Charge Controller

That's a normal configuration. No damage will result assuming your electrical installation was correct.

Like a lot of sailors, we have a charger, solar charger, and wind charger all ganged to the same batteries concurrently.


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Old 21-11-2014, 20:55   #3
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Re: Inverter/Charger and Solar Charge Controller

Thanks Z
I'm planning the install for next week if I can find all the parts.
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Old 21-11-2014, 21:01   #4
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Re: Inverter/Charger and Solar Charge Controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by theway View Post
My current setup has the Freedom 10 inverter/charger charging the batteries when the engine is running and with shore power.
Not sure how this ever happens. Could you please explain?
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Old 22-11-2014, 00:54   #5
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Re: Inverter/Charger and Solar Charge Controller

Oh I see what I did there.... When the engine is running it's going through a Balmer Regulator not the inverter/charger. Shore power is through the inverter/charger.

Does that change anything? The batteries should be ok right, even with all three source charging at the same time because each power source is "regulated"

1: Solar via charge controller
2: Alternator via regulator
3: Shore power via inverter/charger
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Old 22-11-2014, 09:10   #6
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Re: Inverter/Charger and Solar Charge Controller

i`m also going to install 2 solor panels on my cabin top to replace the amps used by a frig, and freezer, and would suggest digital readout, instead of the blinking lights, so you can see the amps going to the batts! 200 watts will be about 16 amps at the equater, so i would get a regulator rated about 10 amps over what is needed...clyde
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Old 22-11-2014, 09:22   #7
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Re: Inverter/Charger and Solar Charge Controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by theway View Post
Oh I see what I did there.... When the engine is running it's going through a Balmer Regulator not the inverter/charger. Shore power is through the inverter/charger.

Does that change anything? The batteries should be ok right, even with all three source charging at the same time because each power source is "regulated"

1: Solar via charge controller
2: Alternator via regulator
3: Shore power via inverter/charger
Yes, now you "got it."

With solar and engine running, it is wise to adjust the output voltages of the two to be slightly different by 0.1 or 0.2 V so they don't "fight" each other. I forget which one Maine Sail suggested be lowered. If I find it, I'll let you know.
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Old 22-11-2014, 12:54   #8
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Re: Inverter/Charger and Solar Charge Controller

The following text comes from here: Solar panels disabling tach

The answer is from Maine Sail


Originally Posted by mrybas
When the sun is out and I am using the engine, the higher voltage from the solar panels disables the tachometer. When this happens, does this also stop the alternator from charging the batteries?
Thanks, Mike
SV Hartley
Currently Huahine, French Polynesia

Yes it does and it generally means the bank is full anyway and the alt is not really needed. If the tach goes on and off and on and off it means it is still needed and the solar controller, in conjunction with the alt, drives over alt reg limit. When the solar can no longer support that voltage set point the system voltage drops and the alt kicks back in.

#1 Install a switch to turn off your solar. Every controller manufacturer has their own recommendations for this. Genasun for example wants controller B+ to the battery cut.. Morningstar recommends a double pole relay to cut + panel feed and + battery feed simultaneously.

#2 Adjust the absorption & float voltages 0.1V below alt regulator voltage. (NOTE: they can still enter float at different times so this may not always work see #1)

#3 Install a switch in the alt regulator feed to disable the engine alt. If external regulation simply cut the +12V power feed wire to the regulator. If internally regulated see #1... Never open the alternator B+/Output or you may blow the diodes. You disable an alt by turning off the regulator not by disconnecting/opening the B+/output of the alt to the batteries.


This is not really an issue just an annoyance when you lose tach... I run without tach very often as my Li bank charges fast and then the alternator is turned off once the bank is full. Not an issue, just an annoyance.
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Old 22-11-2014, 18:13   #9
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Re: Inverter/Charger and Solar Charge Controller

I assume you're referring to #2. It's a bit vague to me so I don't understand. #1 adding a switch seems like A good idea but if there isn't going to be anything damaged or any danger by letting them both charge the batteries at the same time then I would rather keep it as simple as possible.
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Old 22-11-2014, 22:27   #10
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Re: Inverter/Charger and Solar Charge Controller

Genasun specifically says not to disconnect the solar controller from the batteries when the sun is shining as this will destroy the controller. Says so right in the directions.

I really don't think this is much of an issue, the batteries have to be pretty well charged before there is any fighting, as in fully charged or nearly so. I'm not speaking on Mainesails behalf but it sounds like he is trying to solve a particular issue for a specific client.

My biggest problem was setting the Balmar alternator correctly, its not set optimally out of the box. BTW - I agree with Clyde... my Genasun controllers just have blinking lights and it sucks. I need to pull out a voltmeter and amp meter to see what they are doing, or look at my untrustworthy Mastervolt display.
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