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Old 02-05-2019, 05:19 PM   #1
Cacciato2006
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Solar / Inverter setup

Hey everyone!
We are purchasing this week a 2019 Montana 3561RL 20th and it's a serious upgrade over our little 27' Jayco but it's time to upgrade! We off-grid 100% of the time at the farm and use solar and a vapor generator connected to a 500 gallon LP tank.

We have 1.2KW of PV panels (36V Nominal) piped down to a 80 amp Outback solar controller. The exterior 12V battery bank is three strings of L16 Trojans with 1,260 Amp-hr of capacity. Inverter is a 3KW Magnum Hybrid with a TriMetric 2030 for battery monitoring. We currently run a network, surveillance cameras and a full size refrigerator (in the shop) 24 hours a day off the PV system (Gen off). This trailer doesn't move and the inverter supplies power to everything but the AC just using heavy extension cords and that includes the microwave.

The Montana will be sitting under a 19'x46' cover (just built it) and will not move for about three years until I retire. When we start travelling I'll need to rework the solar, generator and battery setup. The Montana will have the Legacy package with generator prep but not the Onan but it does include the ATS.

I plan to transfer the current system to the new trailer but simply stated I would like the inverter to power the entire trailer except the AC. I want all plugs, microwave, lights etc to run off the inverter without running cords everywhere.

Later, I plan to upgrade to a 4,400 watt, 48v Magnum inverter and double the PV to power the AC during those times when we only need it to run the AC a couple of hours. When it is hot and need the AC running all day we just run the generator.

A long time ago in the Jayco I just plugged the shore power plug directly into the inverter (and cut the feedback loop) and that worked great until one day it didn't. Something with the converter must of changed and it would trip the Magnum so out came the extension cords.

So, after all that my question. Does anyone have any experience or advice on the best way to accomplish what I want to do?

Any advice would be much appreciated and thanks for listening.
David
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:09 PM   #2
PNW Fireguy
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I don't think that your 3k Magnum's tranfer switch is rated to run your entire panel. You could double up on the inverters and run split bus but I think going 48V is a much better idea.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:24 PM   #3
Cacciato2006
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I agree the 48 volt system is the way to go but I do believe the 3,000 watt magnum will run everything but the ACís. The question is how to connect up the inverter so that it will.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:43 AM   #4
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At the moment it sounds like you have an external battery bank that weighs nearly 700 lbs, add the inverter 55 lbs, cabling and other paraphernalia adds another 50 lbs or more, plus you'll need to reinforce the the floor to support the weight... add at least another 50 lbs. To move it into the Montana, all in, in just the location for your batteries and equipment you are looking at ~850 lbs. plus your solar panels(guessing minimum 200 lbs). Have you figured those numbers in the trailer capacities when you move it onboard? It's not just about what the system will provide for your electrical needs. Not saying it won't work, but do your math on it beforehand to determine if it will work for everything else you might want in your rig. You might have to upgrade the suspension to handle the extra weight.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:23 AM   #5
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The lead acid batteries are only external and I have no plans to move them into the Montana. When we start travelling I'll install a smaller AGM bank.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:50 AM   #6
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Here's what I did.



http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/...11#post1117411


You could adapt it to your external system for the time by adding an extension cord from what I call the inverter ATS and run it to your external inverter using the 2-pole 30A breaker. That would prevent the inverter from powering bus on the primary breaker panel with the ACs and only the ones on the secondary with the general purpose receptacles/plugs.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cacciato2006 View Post
I agree the 48 volt system is the way to go but I do believe the 3,000 watt magnum will run everything but the ACís. The question is how to connect up the inverter so that it will.



David I think I may be missing something. I can run my AC unit from my Magnum msh3012. Granted I have a EasyStart to reduce the starting amps. I am under the belief that you want to feed all your panel loads, minus the AC units, from your magnum inverter. If that is correct then a subpanel with those loads breakers moved to it is what a lot of us have done. However if you go through the load calculations the total combined (calculated) load will be greater than the transfer switch rating of the msh3012. In my case I relocated breakers so as to leave the washer, dryer, water heater and fridge outlets on the PD distribution bus work.



I don't know of a way to feed both 50A legs of the PD from a single phase 120 invertor with a 60A transfer switch.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:43 AM   #8
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A shore power hookup equates to 12kv, 120vac times two legs at 50 amps each. Running everything but ac's, I think you mean to say that you will run certain loads at a time that equate to less than the 3kv inverter can handle. You have a great project to implement.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:14 PM   #9
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I don't know of a way to feed both 50A legs of the PD from a single phase 120 invertor with a 60A transfer switch.
A 50A transfer switch has two separate poles and contacters (4 wire hookup - 2 hots, neutral and ground). The single pole output of the inverter gets jumpered to both hot legs of the inverter input. The output from the primary generator/shorepower ATS (part of the gen prep package) feeds into the other input of the secondary switch as two separate 50A legs.


So yes, loads are limited by the inverter at 3k when it's operating, but on gen or shore power, you are only limited by there respective capacities.


I had to install the second ATS to keep the hots and neutral isolated from the various power sources.
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jetskier View Post
A 50A transfer switch has two separate poles and contacters (4 wire hookup - 2 hots, neutral and ground). The single pole output of the inverter gets jumpered to both hot legs of the inverter input. The output from the primary generator/shorepower ATS (part of the gen prep package) feeds into the other input of the secondary switch as two separate 50A legs.


So yes, loads are limited by the inverter at 3k when it's operating, but on gen or shore power, you are only limited by there respective capacities.


I had to install the second ATS to keep the hots and neutral isolated from the various power sources.
I was referring to the internal transfer switch within the inverter. It is not sized to feed a split bus 240/120 4 wire RV panel. It is a 120v only output. Yes you can McGyver this but thatís beyond what my responseís scope is.
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by PNW Fireguy View Post
I was referring to the internal transfer switch within the inverter. It is not sized to feed a split bus 240/120 4 wire RV panel. It is a 120v only output. Yes you can McGyver this but thatís beyond what my responseís scope is.

1980's MacGyver or the current one?
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:31 PM   #12
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1980's MacGyver or the current one?
Old school!
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Old 03-10-2019, 10:19 AM   #13
Cacciato2006
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Magnum MS4448 PAE 120/240 48 VDC

All, I appreciate all of your responses and sorry it has taken me so long to get back here. I was in the hospital and just now getting moving again. Currently I use the Magnum 3KW. When the new trailer gets here I plan to install the Magnum MS4448 PAE (4,400 watt) 120/240 48VDC inverter. I have 8 L16 Trojans that will sit on the ground adjacent to the trailer and I donít plan to use them when we start traveling and will use Lithium. Crossing my fingers in the hope the price comes down over the next couple of years. This inverter should be able to power my entire panel through the ATS with some load management?
Later I plan to install the Onan in the generator box and that will open up another can of worms.
What do you guys think?
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:23 AM   #14
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Hope your health is good now. Your 48v design should have no problem servicing the loads you desire. There have been a new thread or two on the forum regarding new entries into the drop in replacement lithium battery markets. If you are willing to go the DIY route there are plethora of options available some cheaper than the lead acid route when considering like for like. Have you spec'd a dc-dc 48-12 unit yet? That might be an area where I would not want to skimp. We now use are Onan as an backup to charge our lithium bank when there is a prolonged period of no sunshine. 700 amp hours charged in no time flat from a 6.5kw genset.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:30 PM   #15
Cacciato2006
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Well, after many months of planning and work the 48 volt magnum inverter is installed and directly hooked up to the automatic transfer switch in the trailer. I ordered the trailer with the generator prep and the factory plumbed cable to a junction box in the basement. That made for a easy connection. The inverter powers both sides of the panel and the entire trailer will run off the inverter. I’ve upgraded my solar panels to 3KW (on my shop). Trailer electrical load with one AC is 2,000 to 2,200 watts and and the solar panels during the day will power the entire trailer with the excess power going back into the batteries. I’m still using a external lead acid battery bank (Trojan L16) until I retire and then we will move to lithium batteries. We have a generator building plumed with two champion propane generators and the new solar setup has reduced our generator usage to generally between 5 and 9pm when the sun starts dying off. It is summer in Texas. When we hit the hay around 10pm the generators are turned off and the bedroom AC is set at 70 and runs easily all night. Now one to the next project.
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