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Author Topic: Got a Vanner Equalizer. What now?  (Read 2654 times)
Scott Bennett
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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2012, 02:21:24 PM »

All of these responses are great! The fog is clearing quickly. Thanks SO much guys. Ok, so ditch the Vanner, direct connect a healthy pure sine wave inverter (would love 5000 watts if I can afford it) and go. This of course starts to beg the question, would a quiet diesel genset cost about the same and be less drama? Probably...but on long trips, it would eat fuel....the Detroit is already spinning that big alternator so why not harness right?
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2012, 02:47:03 PM »

The Vanner is great for running all the smaller 12v loads in your bus if you have a 24v house bank to support your giant inverter that you are about to buy...


I run all my 12v loads using the Vanner to equalize the load on the batteries.

Brian
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2012, 03:05:15 PM »

....the Detroit is already spinning that big alternator so why not harness right?

Partly right...but of course an alternator that's loaded-up driving a big inverter is going to burn much more diesel, comparatively speaking, than one that's not doing much more than float-charging the batteries as you're running down the road.

Jeremy
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2012, 05:59:46 PM »

....the Detroit is already spinning that big alternator so why not harness right?

Partly right...but of course an alternator that's loaded-up driving a big inverter is going to burn much more diesel, comparatively speaking, than one that's not doing much more than float-charging the batteries as you're running down the road.

Jeremy

True dat, but isn't there something I've heard about a big diesel (namely detroit) that pretty much gets around the same MPG even with a loaded alternator? Not sure it would burn more fuel than a genset...but truth be told, I'm beginning to wonder if a good quiet diesel genset is the way to go. Plenty of juice, don't have to idle coach on short truckstop overnight stays...less wear on engine...
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2012, 06:41:42 PM »

I wouldn't ditch the Vanner in any case. (unless you wanna send it to a friend who needs one for one of his charter buses that keeps going thru them)

Now for the question of "just hooking the inverter direct" to the start batteries is also not a "good" idea.
You should have a separate "house" bank for stuff like this. That way if there is ever a problem with inverter/battery set up it won't leave you stranded.

As far as skipping the inverter and just getting a quiet  diesel genset goes I'm not qualified the answer that question either. There are many doing it both ways and probable just as many that have both too.

Now clear as mud?
Grin  BK  Grin 
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2012, 06:50:50 AM »

Clear as mud Smiley Definitely will use a separate battery bank....don't need to ruin my two new 8D's and be dead in Flying J.
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Scott & Heather
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2012, 07:05:00 AM »

To summarize:

If I decide to hook up a 24v 5000 watt inverter directly to coach alternator (of course through a separate house battery bank) I'm ok?
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Scott & Heather
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http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
˙ǝɯoɔlǝʍ suoıʇɐuop ˙snq ʍǝu ɐ pǝǝu ʎlqɐqoɹd ll,ǝʍ 'sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı
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« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2012, 07:57:46 AM »

I think the answer to the question you are really asking is:  Yes, you can charge the house batteries using the alternator while driving down the road by using a continuous duty solenoid.

This is probably a subject for a different topic, but I recommend installing house batteries, and eventually planning and budgeting for a separate method of charging them, whether solar or the quiet generator or both.
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« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2012, 08:00:50 AM »

To summarize   Grin

Yes, you can do that.  5000 watts is a LOT of inverter, the potential surge current can be high, so pay attention to cable sizes and lengths.  Like I said before, look for a pure sine inverter.

Brian
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« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2012, 09:53:34 AM »

You need to evaluate if you really need 5,000 watts of power for your inverter.  That is some serious amperage at 24 volts.  You're talking 200+ amps of power at full output.  The inverter will need to be as close to the alternator and your house batteries as possible.  Even with 4/0 cable you're still in danger of voltage loss. 
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« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2012, 11:58:41 AM »

Boy oh boy, what a mess.

Try this: There are two camps, with several sub parties, but here we go...

While under way:

First, those that run the AC via a generator, and second, those that run the AC via a hefty inverter powered by the coach alternator.

The further question is: How do you intend to power the AC when camping?

Typically, we all have a shore cord for campground power.

However, when boondocking,

The first camp simply continues running the generator.

The second camp need to have another way to power the AC other than the coach engine and aternator/inverter set-up. Nobody will be your friend if you have designed your system such that you run the coach engine.

But, the first camp need a way to charge their battery bank, that the second camp have built in to a good inverter.

Additionally, the second crowd may enjoy a load sharing inverter that lets you do magical things with only a 15 amp shore cord that the first camp generator only folks can only dream about.

Everything is a compromise, and each method can be justified by cost and other practical matters by each supporter.

It all depends how you want to be able to manipulate your hardware to be happy and functional. And how you want to spend your ca$h.

Don't bother with the fuel consumption comparison, waste of time.

The Vanner Equalizer doesn't enter into it, as you need to use the coach alternator voltage for these hefty electrical loads. The Vanner has a place to supply your 12 volt needs, however, you have to decide whether to deploy it on the coach chassis or the house banks, depending on how you intend to use 12 volt and whether you will have a fail safe way to be sure you don't drain the chassis batteries while camping... I'd put it on the house side myself.

My bias is to have the house bank voltage match the coach alternator. Why do you want to add a third significant voltage to the already confusing mess?

You need a little electrical primer regarding the relationship of voltage and amperage in order to keep all your apples and oranges lined up.

5 amps at 120 volts, is the same as 25 amps at 24 volts, is the same as 50 amps at 12 volts. So it is no lightweight game powering household items from our DC coach systems.

Wiring is sized to accommodate amperage, so the higher the amps, the thicker the wiring needs to be.

For instance, my Trace 4024 inverter, capable of making 4000 watts of 120V ac power from a 24 volt DC power source takes 0000 cable, or "4 ought" to feed it properly. Bigger than your thumb around the jacket. And some serious circuit protection devices, bigger than the one protecting the bricks and mortar residence.

And to further complicate things on the way to making them easier, it can help to think in terms of watts, since most of your 120V loads will have that kind of rating, and you can compare watts across voltages for the purpose of designing your system big or small enough.

Your big coach alternator, 270 amps at 24 volts, can make almost 6500 watts.

Also, for thinking purposes, in rough terms, your stock coach AC, those two big fans, consumes about the same power from the coach alternator as two roof airs via a good inverter.

Yup, the mud gets murkier and murkier...

happy coaching!
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« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2012, 12:32:35 PM »

In follow up to what BW has posted.  You really need to be clear about how you are going to use your bus, and what you expect it to do for you.  You imply overnighting at truck stops while leaving your engine idling.  This is a bad idea for many reasons.  Personally, I can not see skipping the flexibility that a generator gives you.  If a good diesel is in your budget-- fine.  If not, use gas or propane until you can get what you really want.  If you go with a 24v house bank, then that could be charged on the road through the alternator.  The Vanner would then be used to supply your 12v loads while equalizing the bank.  If you go with a 12v system, the Vanner could be connected to charge the 12v house bank from the alternator.

A large sine wave inverter capable of running your AC on the road is expensive; probably in the range of buying a generator.  A smaller inverter, in the 2500 watt range is a lot cheaper and will run all your normal 120v loads from microwave on down.  Sine wave would be nice here, but would not be essential.  The inverter can be an inverter/charger or just an inverter.  If the latter, you will need a separate charger and some sort of controls for it.  Are you cooking with propane or electric?  Is your fridge propane or electric?  I really think that all the details have to be pinned down before you, or anyone else, can give meaningful solutions.
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« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2012, 06:02:39 AM »

Yes, in answer to the questions, coach is all electric with the exception of the oven/stove. All electric coaches need juice...mine certainly does. We manage well, but I have a 26 cubic foot digital house fridge. We love our setup, everything is simple, 110 but just need a safe/reliable way to get power to coach when heading down the road. We do not dry camp so we merely need the power for the occasional road trips moving from hookup to hookup. Genset works great, but it's loud and needs me to feed it oil every 10 hours. :-(
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2012, 06:31:50 AM »

Scotty: Like others have pointed out it's  a math thing. Fuel for gen set vs cost of batt bank and inverter. Or in your case taking chance on bus battery keeping up on road. Just think a Ideling detroit can burn at least 6 gal a hr deisel while most gen sets run less than 1 gallon of any fuel.  Sorry we missed you in florida(had back prob). Best of luck-do it your way.  Bob
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« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2012, 06:35:45 AM »

Um, please, what idling Detroit is using 6 gallons an hour? Not far from 1 gallon an hour for the main engine idling, and the genset will be some fraction of a gallon per hour, unless some over-sized unit with a load on.

My friend Robert has mixed up his typing.

Now, what was I thinking... oh...

A modest battery bank and a good sine inverter will keep that refrigerator going all night silently while you sleep on the road.

A big advantage to a good inverter is being able to use modest electrical loads without having to fire up an engine.

The generator folks have to short run the generator to make popcorn in the microwave.

The inverter folks just do it.

It all depends how you want to spend your ca$h...

happy coaching!
buswarrior
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 06:37:49 AM by buswarrior » Logged

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