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Westy interior electrical diagram with solar panels
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bitmouse
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:12 pm    Post subject: Westy interior electrical diagram with solar panels Reply with quote

I am attaching a google documents link that anyone can edit. I think this may be a very quick way to assertain my progress.

The google documents drawing/diagram can be found here

or at this link

https://docs.google.com/drawings/edit?id=1nFuz4zDT...y=CJXWqcgL

There is a chat function in the document edit screen. You can chat with other people also viewing the document, at that time.


My intention is to be able to run a Truckfridge TF49 for 3-4 days off grid without running my batteries below %50, with the intention of increasing their longevity.

I would also like to be able to add solar panels.

Now I am stuck on which wires to use for the various aspects of wiring. If somebody wanted to label the diagram I have up on google documents, it could also be used by me aswell as others in the future. I also want to say that another good solution would be the recommendation of any websites that would be a good place to learn about 120v and 12v wiring, if anybody knows of any good ones.



Also, having read this website, Link Here, I wouldn't want to necessarily charge from the alternator directly, as the charge may go outside of the batteries voltage tolerance, and shorten it's life span.



I want to say that anyone who would want to label the proper wire types on the wires in the diagram would be welcome to do so. I don't know which wires to use yet.


Also, i wanted to add, I don't know where to put the ground wires yet either, i am very open to help with this.


Again, I want to say, that I appreciate any knowledge on this[


Last edited by bitmouse on Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:19 pm; edited 9 times in total
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vwlovr
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Help designing electrical for Westy Interior Reply with quote

bitmouse wrote:
I am stuck with how to properly setup my connections so as to have the truck fridge run only off of 120v when plugged into shore, and how to wire so that the excess voltage from charging the batteries through a shore powered charger, or solar panels won't hurt my 12v electronics.


just get an inverter/charger. charging batteries will not hurt your 12v electronics. the charger is putting amps into the batteries at an acceptable voltage, just like your alternator.
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JPrato
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post Bitmouse, it will be interesting what people say. I can help with the solar panels. You will need to connect them to your batteries with a charge controller. This device will let the solar panels charge the battery with out over charging them. Where ever you buy the panels from will most likely sell the charge controllers too

How does the Truckfridge handle 12V vs 120AC? Does it supply it's own transformer to convert 120AC to 12V? Do you have to throw a switch to change from one source to the other?

You are going to have to gather some information to answer your questions.
1. What is the power draw of the fridge /day? (amp hours)
2. What size batteries are you thinking of using, how many? You can only fit so many batteries into the van? (cost/space) This will give you a starting point.
3.Figure it from the other direction. Given that the fridge uses so many amp hours per day (times 3-4 days), double that to give you your battery size. (50% max discharge) Can you provide that much storage (considering only fridge draw).

If so, you are good to go. If not you need to add in some energy either solar, start the van up or hook up to shore power to replenish the batteries.
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erdonline
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:25 pm    Post subject: Truckfridge wiring Reply with quote

The Truckfridge compressor only runs on 12 volts d.c., so if you have the model that will run on 120 volts a/c, it has an A/C to d.c. converter. It has been a while since I hooked mine up, but I think it draws no more than 4 amps d.c., and on average runs about 50% of the time. I'd figure 50 amp/hours per day average. How long it will run will of course depend on how many amp/hours your battery or battery bank can deliver. Check out www.westyvantures.com and see Karl's description of his installation and usage. Many people find that with a few deep cycle batteries, they can meet all their efficient electrical loads for a weekend or more without solar.

And how much power you can use to charge your batteries will depend not only on the size and efficiency of the panels, but the time of year and where you are in the country (which will determine how much sunlight you're going to get.) I think you can get about a 90 watt panel for around $400.

Ed in CT
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Californio
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ye olde Dometic runs a month without using any battery power at all...sure you want to be bothered with all that solar stuff? Look before you leap...just sayin'
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My needs are not all that much different from yours other than I want to keep my Dometic.
I purchased an Edgestar Fridge that is 110v/12v, the chest type.
http://www.compactappliance.com/FP630-Spacious-Edg...el_Coolers
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I haven't had a chance to give it a try yet but made this weekend I'll see what kind of power
usage it has in our current weather conditions. It's still cold here so keeping it cold won't
be an issue and the draw on the batteries should be less.

My aux battery bank is two Werker 44amp AGM batteries in paralell. These can be
bought at Batteries Plus and it is one of the few batteries that will fit in the Drivers' side
battery position. The other I have under the sink.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


In the picture you can see a battery maintainer, this is connected to the battery bank. Also
there is the battery relay from the starting battery. So these will charge the batteries when I am
plugged into shore power and/or the starting battery relay will allow charging when the
motor is running.

This past weekend I completed my charging system by mounting my solar panel on the roof.
Many here don't suggest this as they take theirs out of the van and position it where they
want while camping etc. The way I have mine mounted will work for my needs though, so that
why I went this route. The panel is a 135 watt Kyocera and the charge controller is a Morningside
Prostar 15M, which I bought from these fine folks.
http://www.eco-distributing.com/Kyocera-KD135GX-LPU-135-watt-Solar-Panel_p_58.html
So far so good with my installation. I moved my Westy the other day and the solar panel
is keeping my battery bank charged up, no reason to plug it into shore power at the moment.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Hopefully this will give you an idea of how some things come together. There are alot of
other guys/girls that have some pretty impressive systems onboard their Westy's. Maybe they
will chime in and give you some more to think about.

Good luck!...............Tim
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bitmouse
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just want to say that I appreciate everybodies post. I feel like I am getting my foot in the door in the direction of the info I am looking for.

I am "replacing" the dometic for 2 reasons, 1 the west I have had an Icebox, and 2 I am in a warm climate, and from what I understand the dometics don't always work that well in warmer weather. I would like to say that I would like to know if I am wrong about that.

My main concern is being under batteried, and I haven't found any form of conclusive calculation on the internet.

I am going to update the first post so that new visitors to this post don't have to read all the way down here to be up to date.

I also want to say that I am uncertain if I know about proper wiring, and if I should have more than 1 line running to my battery bank.
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bitmouse
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bump
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JPrato
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can have only one line to the batteries. In a primary battery system in a Vanagon the cables from the battery run back to the engine. The positive cable goes to the starter solenoid. When you turn the key the solenoid switches on the starter (puts the 12v to the starter motor). After starting, the alternator also connected to the solenoid terminal, pushes voltage back up the cable to the battery to recharge the battery and provide power to the rest of the Vanagon's electrical system. Draw too much power and the alternator can't keep up, (or it quits) the battery will provide voltage until it is depleted.

In a camper, folks usually have two batteries and two separate systems. The second system is charged by the primary system, but the principles are the same.
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06 Subaru Legacy turbo (how am I gonna fit this sucker into the Westy....)
87 Syncro Tin Top project
84 Westy, 2.5L Subaru power
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bitmouse
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

JPrato
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:59 pm Post subject:
Good post Bitmouse, it will be interesting what people say. I can help with the solar panels. You will need to connect them to your batteries with a charge controller. This device will let the solar panels charge the battery with out over charging them. Where ever you buy the panels from will most likely sell the charge controllers too

How does the Truckfridge handle 12V vs 120AC? Does it supply it's own transformer to convert 120AC to 12V? Do you have to throw a switch to change from one source to the other?

You are going to have to gather some information to answer your questions.
1. What is the power draw of the fridge /day? (amp hours)
2. What size batteries are you thinking of using, how many? You can only fit so many batteries into the van? (cost/space) This will give you a starting point.
3.Figure it from the other direction. Given that the fridge uses so many amp hours per day (times 3-4 days), double that to give you your battery size. (50% max discharge) Can you provide that much storage (considering only fridge draw).

If so, you are good to go. If not you need to add in some energy either solar, start the van up or hook up to shore power to replenish the batteries.


Sorry I didn't respond directly to this early, i did all the work to answer all the questions, more or less immediatly afterward and was also helped by



Quote:
erdonline
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:25 pm Post subject: Truckfridge wiring
The Truckfridge compressor only runs on 12 volts d.c., so if you have the model that will run on 120 volts a/c, it has an A/C to d.c. converter. It has been a while since I hooked mine up, but I think it draws no more than 4 amps d.c., and on average runs about 50% of the time. I'd figure 50 amp/hours per day average. How long it will run will of course depend on how many amp/hours your battery or battery bank can deliver. Check out www.westyvantures.com and see Karl's description of his installation and usage. Many people find that with a few deep cycle batteries, they can meet all their efficient electrical loads for a weekend or more without solar.

And how much power you can use to charge your batteries will depend not only on the size and efficiency of the panels, but the time of year and where you are in the country (which will determine how much sunlight you're going to get.) I think you can get about a 90 watt panel for around $400.

Ed in CT


I also calculated around 50 AH per day, or 48 to be exact, the product website is here. It draws 24 watts/hr @ 12v = 2 amps/hr = 48 amps/day. At 4 amps %50 of the time should equal the same thing.

I think my best bet is to contact someone who uses these fridges, perhaps westventures.com or the manufacturer and see what there experiences are.

I will post up my results here.

I am also really interested in any recommended equipments. I am going with 1 inverter, 1 charger (separate because I don't want the fridge to run off 120v from the inverter, due to efficiency loss, and I believe it will simplify the wiring), 1 12v fuse panel, 1 120v breaker panel (dunno if I really need any suggestions on this one, but I am of course open to them), and might need 1 12v voltage regulator, and 1 solar charge controller.

Again, I would like to thank everyone for their time, and I am hoping that this thread can serve more than just me.
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sunseeker52
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:42 pm    Post subject: Solar on my Westy Reply with quote

I have pictures of my solar system if someone can tell me how to post my pictures.[/url]
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Love My Westy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I understand RV batteries, you should draw them down to no more than 50% (preferably 25%) of their capacity, that is if you need to draw 50 amp/hours per day, you should have at least 100 amp/hours of capacity in your battery and enough solar capacity to replace the 50 amp/hours that has been used.

Costco has a 115 a/h deep cycle battery for around $70.

All of this is the reason I am still sticking with my Dometic 3/way. I have been the solar route in my trailer and I like to keep the van as simple as possible. I use a 5-day cooler for the stuff that really needs to stay cold.
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bitmouse
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now I need help on the right type of wires to use. Anybody know of any good web resources that could teach me about 120v/12v wiring?
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a good discussion here. I would size your wire for a 3% voltage drop.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servle...arine-Wire

I got great deals on quality wire here:

http://gregsmarinewiresupply.com/Zen/
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bitmouse
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you
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kshbaja
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Ye olde Dometic runs a month without using any battery power at all...sure you want to be bothered with all that solar stuff? Look before you leap...just sayin'


While I agree that propane is much easier than solar, the stock Dometic is pretty poor as far as cooling goes. It can't freeze, has very little space (IIRC I don't think it can fit more than a six pack), and is ineffective when the outdoor temps are hot. You can add a little fan in there to help, but its still nowhere close to what the modern electric units can do. I have the newer ARB fridge and its quite amazing. I kept food frozen solid at 10 deg F for a week in 90 degree temps at Burning Man with an 85W panel and a 44AH battery. With that said, the ARB and the solar panel do take up space and setting up the panel every time you stop is a negative.

Has anyone found a modern propane fired fridge/freezer in about the same size as the stock fridge?
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