Ford Transit USA Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Would like to build a solar system much like Orton's whereby a vehicle inverter can act as shore power for charging. I have the single battery with 150 amp alternator Transit. Is this adequate for a 1000 watt inverter or should I upgrade to dual batteries and 260 amp alternator?

I know very little about electrical matters. As I will be traveling extensively I plan to not initially install solar panels and rely on the inverter for 100% of charging needs.

Thanks for your assistance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Hi jhal, I'd be interested in this too: with dual heavy duty batteries and heavy duty alternator and ford inverter how do you know/check your 2nd batteries level so you can have an idea how much you're drawing off of it and know how full a charge it is receiving from driving around?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
672 Posts
Provided you don't add too much house batteries, you'll be fine.

The dual batteries are in parallel. That is, they are one. In 2015 that was two 75ah for a total of 150ah. It's a biggish battery.

The 1000 watt inverter will draw about 100 amps. (It will vary for start up and according to load.) Your charger will throttle the inverter by the charge profile. You'll hook the inverter to the vehicle battery (I'm not getting into a discussion about where you connect. There are strong opinions about that. :) ) That means that the battery is like a big capacitor and will buffer the current draw rather than pulling directly from the alternator.



The drawbacks as I see them are: House battery size limitations, extended charging times, and the danger of vehicle battery drainage if you try to charge the house batteries without the engine running.

Just my ramblings, FWIW.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
658 Posts
With the single battery/150A alternator you will have only one 60A post at the CCP, which isn't enough to power a 1000w inverter. The rule of thumb is that you need 10A of 12VDC for every 100w of 120VAC inverter output (this compensates for the inefficiency in the inverter). You'll need to know how much current your converter (shore power charger) pulls. You can add more posts to your CCP but without the dual battery/alternator option I wouldn't recommend it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,188 Posts
Hi jhal, I'd be interested in this too: with dual heavy duty batteries and heavy duty alternator and ford inverter how do you know/check your 2nd batteries level so you can have an idea how much you're drawing off of it and know how full a charge it is receiving from driving around?
I would be concerned about using the Ford inverter for house battery charging. It has limited amperage and is a modified sine wave design. Need to check with your house battery charger manufacturer to see if pure sine wave is required.

If you select a house inverter with the proper accessories you can have a remote meter that displays the house battery "state of charge". That is like a gas gage for the battery. I have no need to know how many amps are going in or out. All I need to know is the SOC of the house battery to tell me what I can or cannot do.

Jhal: I do not know if a 1000 watt can be run on the small alternator single battery system. Think all Transits have a electric air heater of about 1000 watts that helps warm the van interior and defrost the windows on cold starts. The heater is engaged when you turn the heat dial to maximum heat. If you are powering a inverter from the Transit 12 volt system you do not want the Ford air heater to operate at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Seems like an unnecessarily complicated set-up. Too many variables and things to figure out for your average person. While solar has its negatives, it is a very efficient way to charge your batteries (assuming the sun is out) and gives them the proper charging profile. It would also be easier to install a battery to battery charger to charge from your vehicle battery to your house battery while your van is running. Many on this site reference Orton's electrical set up. I'm not criticizing Orton, but it's just a little complicated for my skill level. I had to keep mine simple, in line with my electrical skills. Check out battery to battery chargers. I think upgrading the van to dual batteries and changing the alternator would not be cheap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks or the all for the quick response. It seems if this is the way I go it would be best upgrading to dual batteries. Seems I recall someone on another thread questioning if this was even possible - I will need to research.

Airedrifter: Actually connecting the inverter will be the next step - I would actually be disappointed If there wasn't at least three
ways of doing so.
Orton: Will be pure sine wave for sure.
Palmer 1991: I kind of like the Orton approach where the house system is completely independent of the vehicle. Battery to battery
is my next choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
As an aside, is it just me or is this site difficult to maneuver on. Processing.... Waiting for....... Processing....... Waiting for.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,188 Posts
Seems like an unnecessarily complicated set-up. Too many variables and things to figure out for your average person. While solar has its negatives, it is a very efficient way to charge your batteries (assuming the sun is out) and gives them the proper charging profile. It would also be easier to install a battery to battery charger to charge from your vehicle battery to your house battery while your van is running. Many on this site reference Orton's electrical set up. I'm not criticizing Orton, but it's just a little complicated for my skill level. I had to keep mine simple, in line with my electrical skills. Check out battery to battery chargers. I think upgrading the van to dual batteries and changing the alternator would not be cheap.
Not difficult to add a vehicle powered inverter. See attachment.

The main advantage of the inverter approach is you have 120 volt AC power available as you drive for other uses in addition to using it for charging.

More info:

http://www.ortontransit.info/electric.php
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,188 Posts
I do not think I would add a 1000 watt inverter to a single battery system with a 150 amp alternator. We do know that the 150 amp alternator will run the van with probably some safety margin.

So the 220 amp HD alternator (not 260?) with 2015 gas engine should have at least 70 amps available (220-150)

A 1000 watt inverter at full load (not including using any of its surge capacity) at 100% eff. should use about 1000 watts/14.2 volts = 70 amps. My Samlex 1000 watt inverter shows eff. at 88% at full load. So actual amperage would be about 70/.88 = 79.5 amps. My Transit voltage starts at about 14.5 volts and then drops down to 14.2 volts after some time.

So 1000 watt inverter at full load would use all the extra capacity of the HD alternator plus some of the safety margin.

As stated I would also avoid using the Ford air heater on cold morning starts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
672 Posts
In his specific use, his inverter is not going to be anywhere near a full load if he uses a modern stepped charger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,198 Posts
I would be concerned about using the Ford inverter for house battery charging. It has limited amperage and is a modified sine wave design. Need to check with your house battery charger manufacturer to see if pure sine wave is required.

If you select a house inverter with the proper accessories you can have a remote meter that displays the house battery "state of charge". That is like a gas gage for the battery. I have no need to know how many amps are going in or out. All I need to know is the SOC of the house battery to tell me what I can or cannot do.

Jhal: I do not know if a 1000 watt can be run on the small alternator single battery system. Think all Transits have a electric air heater of about 1000 watts that helps warm the van interior and defrost the windows on cold starts. The heater is engaged when you turn the heat dial to maximum heat. If you are powering a inverter from the Transit 12 volt system you do not want the Ford air heater to operate at the same time.
It makes no sense for all Transits to have a electric air heater of about 1000 Watts when
there is already a heater core and if you needed more heat simply add a xtra heater core.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
It makes no sense for all Transits to have a electric air heater of about 1000 Watts when
there is already a heater core and if you needed more heat simply add a xtra heater core.
The electric heater is only used when the engine is first started and the heater core is still cold.

It gives you instant heat.

Sent from my PURE XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,188 Posts
In his specific use, his inverter is not going to be anywhere near a full load if he uses a modern stepped charger.
Correct.

Believe my Magnum charger will require about 700 watts. Have not confirmed this.
My shower water heater is 625 watts
My rear electric heater is 750 watts.

I have the power distributed using two selector switches. The first one selects either shore power or "shore power" from the vehicle powered inverter. The second switch selects where I want to send the power. Charging or water heating or air heating. Only one item can be powered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,188 Posts
Cool , I hope my van has that feature
Think they all do. The way you actuate the air heater is to turn the heat control knob fully clockwise. You will feel a notch at the end. If you do not go fully clockwise the air heater does not work. So if you are going to use the capacity of the 1000 watt inverter you do not want both running at the same time.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top