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Inverter, Charger & Batteries


JEssary
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  • Oliver Staff
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Note: This information is specifically related to the Xantrex Freedom 2000w or 3000w Inverter/Chargers.

Inverter - What is it and how does it work?

An inverter produces 120V AC power from a 12V DC power source. The easiest way to think about this is 12v power x 10 = 120v. This is not exactly accurate as it takes slightly more power but this is the easiest way to do a quick conversion. For instance, a laptop might be rated to use 3 amps when plugged into 120VAC but when used through the inverter it would equate to 3a x 10 = 30 amps. The importance of this is because while on shore power your energy is endless. When using the inverter, you are limited to the battery’s capacity. Battery capacity varies from battery to battery. 

Charger - What is it and how does it work?

The charger uses incoming 120VAC power and steps it down to 12VDC power. The charger is setup with a specific charge profile based on the type of batteries and the number of batteries that you have. Each and every battery has a charge profile set by the battery manufacturer. The charger has 3 stages of charging: Bulk Charge, Absorption Charge & Float. In Bulk charge it will supply a set amount of voltage, typically 14.0 - 14.6 volts and a large amount of amperage to replenish your battery charge quickly. The length of this stage depends on the battery type, number of batteries, charge profile and *incoming power. Absorption charge is a timed charge cycle. It keeps the voltage high but lowers the amperage going into the batteries. Once in Float charge mode it drops the voltage right above the batteries resting voltage to top them off & maintain them.

Note: When in Bulk Charge rate it is passing the max amount of energy allowed to the batteries. With Lithium batteries this is a large amount of amperage which generates a tremendous amount of heat. During this stage it is normal for the fan to run at a high speed which causes it to produce a lot of noise. *Amps setting based on battery type & number of batteries.

Shore Power *Incoming Power

The camper is designed for 30 amps however smaller power sources can be connected using adapters. It is important to understand that the camper and the inverter/charger are setup for 30 amps and when using a power source smaller than 30, it may result in poor performance or failure.

House: When you are connected to a regular home receptacle, you are connected to a 20a or 15a circuit, unless you had a dedicated 30a receptacle installed. You also have to consider that the circuit most likely is not dedicated to the camper which means other appliances inside your house are running on that same circuit. When connected to a house circuit you may also experience failure at the circuit breaker in your hose. If this occurs, you have overloaded your house circuit meaning you are requesting more power than what it is rated to provide. You would need to locate a dedicated circuit, a circuit that is not being used, or turn off some of the appliances to lighten the load.

Generator: When you are connected to a generator the incoming power depends on the size of the generator. We recommend at least a 3000w generator which will provide about 25 amps of power. You can use a smaller generator however you will again be limited to how much power it can provide. Note: When using a generator, because it is not grounded, it is recommended to use a Neutral Ground Plug. Without the plug you would be required to turn off the surge protector, which we DO NOT recommend. 

WARNING: Using an undersized or long extension cord may result in poor performance and failure.

When using an extension cord it is important that you use the appropriate size & length. A 100ft extension cord will have voltage loss resulting in heat buildup at the power inlet which can cause the inlet & cord to melt. We recommend using a 10ga/25ft max extension cord.

Flow of Power

Solar & Shore power have their own path to the batteries for charging and they work independently of each other. The battery is just the storage device for the energy whether that energy comes from Solar or the Charger via shore connection.   See pic below for path of power

image.png.4d180629d4b270c1cb2b4a4251d7330e.png

The red arrows indicate the direction of power with both stopping at the battery bank. 

NOTE: The Inverter/Charger has two connections to the AC Panel as shown above. One connection comes from the Main power supply to the input side of the inverter. The Input side is what supplies 120vac power to the inverter/charger. Once the inverter/charger has the incoming power it passes it through the output side back to the AC Panel on a split bar to allow AC power to any breaker located on that side of the panel. The inverter/charger also uses this same power to charge the batteries. When not connected to 120vac power and the inverter is turned on it pulls 12vdc power from the battery bank and converts it to 120vac power, sending it down the same output connection in order to supply power to the AC panel on the split bar. 

Caution: We do not recommend leaving the inverter on. The inverter will pick up the AC load within seconds if something happens to the incoming 120vac power but this will start to pull from your batteries which will cause the batteries to drain without your knowledge.

Solar vs Charger

Solar collects and charges at 12vdc whereas the Charger uses 120vac incoming power to charge at 12vdc. The difference is in the amount of amps supplied to the battery. The max amp output that the solar panels can provide is 18.8a per hour however this is dependent on the sun, while the charger can put out up to 150a per hour depending on the charge rate setting in the charger. Bottom line is that a shore power connection whether it be at a camp ground, your house or a generator will always charge faster than the solar.

 

 

Areas highlighted in light blue below are the primary settings to review. Please make sure you locate the appropriate battery column for your camper build.

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Below are some links to the Service Knowledge Base articles. *These links may require login credentials as some of the articles are posted for Oliver owners only and cannot be viewed without an account.
 
 
 
 
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Edited by JEssary
Added Panel Configuration
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Jason D. Essary

OLIVER SERVICE

228 Industrial Ave

Hohenwald, TN 38462

Phone: (888) 526-3978

 

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm CST

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email may contain confidential and privileged material for the sole use of the intended recipient(s). Any review, use, distri­bution or disclosure by others is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately by email and delete the message and any file attachments from your computer.

Login to Service Portal: https://support.olivertraveltrailers.com/portal/en/home

 

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  • The title was changed to Inverter, Charger & Batteries
  • 4 weeks later...
  • Oliver Staff

Question: Is there a risk of providing too much charging current to the batteries if you're hooked up to shore power and it's a sunny day with the solar panels on?

Answer: No, the solar charger and inverter/charger can be operated at the same time. Each system will monitor the battery state and provide charge as required. 

 

Question: What if I am seeing a high voltage (above 14.8v) reading on the solar and/or seelevel system?

Answer: Check to make sure your Lithium batteries are turned on

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----------------

Jason D. Essary

OLIVER SERVICE

228 Industrial Ave

Hohenwald, TN 38462

Phone: (888) 526-3978

 

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm CST

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email may contain confidential and privileged material for the sole use of the intended recipient(s). Any review, use, distri­bution or disclosure by others is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately by email and delete the message and any file attachments from your computer.

Login to Service Portal: https://support.olivertraveltrailers.com/portal/en/home

 

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