Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Inverter Control Panel

After being a little frustrated with lack of detailed information on the original control panel that came with the Prosine, I ordered this gem online. The LCD has two lines that give much more specific information about current flow and voltage of the battery bank, inverter/charger and loads on the system. This panel offers control over the inverter setup as well that overrides the dip switches on the actual inverter body.

As you can see from this image, the old panel was based on LED indicators to show the information. The problem with this approach is that the lights for voltage jump from 11.5 to 12.25 then up to 13.0. Depending on the brand and type of batteries, a deep cycle battery bank is recommended to only drop to a certain percentage before being re-charged. The average is 50%, which for a typical 12V Deep cycle battery is aproximately 12.2 volts and aproximately 12.7 for full charge. The numbers are a little different for AGM and Gel type batteries and possibly various manufacturers. To know for sure, it is worthwhile to find out for the exact batteries you have. The new control panel allows me to see with much more resolution at what state of charge I am at as well as other useful information.

Just one more small change to make it easier for us to keep track of our resources.

8 comments:

  1. Can you set the voltage levels for charging and does it do a manual equalization if you want to?

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  2. I believe the voltage for charging is automatic, it has a standard 3 stage charging system. In the setup for the inverter/charger, there is a full set of parameters that are user set to specify the type and size of the battery bank which controls the charging functions. Equalization is manual but that isn't a function I will ever use since I have AGMs and they don't get equalized. There is also a temp sensor on the batteries that sends info to the charger to help alter the rate as needed/safe.

    -Mike

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  3. I read that certain manufacturers require a 14.8 charging rate and that some charges are set in house for 14.4 and never really give a full charge, thereby requiring a manual override. But as you said, it's based on manufacturer. The Trojan website states 14.8. It's all fascinating stuff to me. I'm taking notes here on building the perfect system when the time comees. What are you thoughts?

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  4. I think it has a lot to do with the type of battery for sure. The Prosine may in fact be settable for voltage during charging, I just haven't checked as I am pretty comfortable with what it does in my system. It does get my bank fully charged. I was watching it earlier now that I can and it was varied from 14.4 to 14.5 with the bigger changes of course being with amperage.

    I definitely think researching every detail ahead of time is smart. I think matching the charger and battery bank is extremely smart. I know whatever you decide on is going to be very well thought out. You can email me anytime too Rob if you want to talk about this stuff in detail.

    -Mike

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  5. Anytime man! I always appreciate you ideas and input!

    -mike

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  6. Wow what a great site. I live down here at Fort Lewis (just returned from a year in Iraq) and now I am taking on my long awaited project to redo the interiror of my 2000 Coachman campervan in preparation for retirement in a couple of years. I want to do the same basic thing you did here in my van (with the battery system installation) so I have the power to run things without turning on my super loud generator. While I have not messed with electricity I am a very good DIYer and will tackle anything. Where do you suggest I start on designing a system for my RV (run lights, microwave, and frige) and get the components?

    Your blog on this is more helpfull than all the books and internet stuff I have been reading

    Thanks Lex

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  7. Hi Lex! Thanks for the comment and Thanks for your service!

    The first thing you will want to do is estimate your usage per day of the various things like lighting, TV etc so you can determine your needs for a battery bank. Once you know that, figuring out how much space is needed for the bank often determines where it all gets mounted which then has a major impact on the type of battery you will want. I can help you figure all this out if you like too. I plan to write a blog about it pretty soon since I get a lot of questions about it. But for now, if you want to email me, feel free and I will help you figure all of it out and where to source your parts. My email addy is visionquestrv at gmail.com

    -Mike

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