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Electrical Check Ford Transit 2016

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Good afternoon!

Here is my proposed electrical system for our camper conversion. We are only going with alternator charging and shore power for now.

The components used from left to right include:
  • 30 amp smart plug shore power
  • Victron Energy Blue Smart IP22 12-Volt 30 amp 120V, 3 Output Battery Charger NEMA 5-15
  • GoWISE Power 1500W Continuous 3000W Surge Peak Power Pure Sine Wave Inverter
  • Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor with Battery Temperature Sensor (green box in diagram)
  • Victron Energy Orion-Tr Smart 12/12-Volt 30 amp 360-Watt DC-DC Charger, Isolated
  • Blue Sea Systems ST Blade ATO/ATC Fuse Blocks w/ cover (not shown in diagram)
I'm going to have all of the wiring be as short as possible (I just included lengths on there for my own reference when buying) with the circuit breakers as proximal on the (+) lines as possible. I think all of the wire gauges should be okay based off of all of the manuals that I just finished reading.

My main concerns were the following:
  1. Can I just connect the back of the smart plug into the back of the Victron Blue Smart Charger? (on the far left of the diagram, just cut off the standard electrical outlet off, throw a 40 amp circuit breaker on the +, and then hook it up?)
  2. Did I go too crazy with the circuit breakers on the diagram? I don't think I did but I'm also not sure.
  3. Should I put another power cut-out switch anywhere? I bought a second one a few months ago but I don't really remember why.
  4. Am I missing anything here or have I made any major mistakes?
I'm not worried about wiring the DC stuff but while I've done a ton of research, I don't truly know what I'm doing so I'll take any and all advice that you guys have for me.

Thanks!
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Another approach to charging could be to put a switch on the input side of the inverter so it could be powered from either the vehicle or the house battery. Then to charge the house battery you could plug the charger into the inverter when it is powered by the vehicle. This would also have the additional advantage of being able to power other loads from the inverter which could be useful when driving when your house battery is already full or if the AC load was greater than the 360 watts that you can charge the battery. The biggest downside is that this setup is not a set it and forget it like B2B. I suppose you could also provide for this capability in addition to the B2B to get a 60A charge rate from the vehicle. (although I don't know how the 2 chargers would play together).
 

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There are not many individual house batteries that can support a 1500 watt inverter. Usually you can count on ~ 600 watts / battery unless it is a fairly special one.

Do you already have the 250 amp breakers? I have not found any that worked at that level, so I am curious if you found one that will not trip early.

2 awg wire is a little bit light for almost 200 amps. Maybe 2/0 ?
 

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There are not many individual house batteries that can support a 1500 watt inverter. Usually you can count on ~ 600 watts / battery unless it is a fairly special one.

Do you already have the 250 amp breakers? I have not found any that worked at that level, so I am curious if you found one that will not trip early.

2 awg wire is a little bit light for almost 200 amps. Maybe 2/0 ?
 

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Another approach to charging could be to put a switch on the input side of the inverter so it could be powered from either the vehicle or the house battery. Then to charge the house battery you could plug the charger into the inverter when it is powered by the vehicle. This would also have the additional advantage of being able to power other loads from the inverter which could be useful when driving when your house battery is already full or if the AC load was greater than the 360 watts that you can charge the battery. The biggest downside is that this setup is not a set it and forget it like B2B. I suppose you could also provide for this capability in addition to the B2B to get a 60A charge rate from the vehicle. (although I don't know how the 2 chargers would play together).
Like I tried to tell Orton back in the day, 90 percent of all transits built have a single battery and a 150 amp alternator.
The Orton system only works with up optioned transits, And then it is not very efficient.
 

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Like I tried to tell Orton back in the day, 90 percent of all transits built have a single battery and a 150 amp alternator.
The Orton system only works with up optioned transits, And then it is not very efficient.
I don't know the general breakdown, but at this point 2/3 Transits coming into my shop have the HD alternator.

An increasing number of vans (various brands) have a second alternator from the factory or the owner has one added.

The Orton method isn't quite as efficient, but it is remarkably predictable in behavior across a wide range of situations.
 

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Like I tried to tell Orton back in the day, 90 percent of all transits built have a single battery and a 150 amp alternator.
The Orton system only works with up optioned transits, And then it is not very efficient.
Yes, DC-AC-DC is less efficient than DC-DC, which may or may not result in an actual difference in battery charge rate. That would depend on the capacity of the vehicle output and charging devices chosen as well as the C rating of the battery bank. If the 2020+ CCP2 (single alternator) can truly support continuous output 175A then in my case the efficiency loss would bee moot as that is more 120A charging rate my batteries are designed to accept (and my inverter/charger will output) If the true output is less than 140A then the DC-DC approach starts to have a real world advantage when charging from the vehicle. (In @orton's case where there is sufficient excess capacity from the vehicle, the additional efficiency loss moot point, as he stated.) There are issues of hardware choices/s costs, wiring difference and system flexibility/simplicity that can be considered. There is no right answer, just different solutions each with their own advantages an disadvantages. Since my system may be right at the break point where the efficiency comes into play, my frustration is trying to make an expensive decision without good information about the vehicle output and efficiency curves for the devices. Pay your money and take your chances never sits well with engineering types.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There are not many individual house batteries that can support a 1500 watt inverter. Usually you can count on ~ 600 watts / battery unless it is a fairly special one.

Do you already have the 250 amp breakers? I have not found any that worked at that level, so I am curious if you found one that will not trip early.

2 awg wire is a little bit light for almost 200 amps. Maybe 2/0 ?
Thank you! Yeah another user recommended 2/0 so that's what I went with.

I'm honestly not going to be drawing that much power from the inverter. I think you're right with the roughly 600 watt cutt off. I was advised to size up for future modifications/ builds/ changes because it's not much more expensive than one rated at lower wattage and thus I can somewhat "future-proof" anything I'd change in the future.

Yeah I ended up switching the 250 amp breakers to blue seas fuses (the square ones).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't see why you couldn't cut the end off the Victron and just wire it up.
That's what I was thinking too but I guess I wasn't sure? How do I put a circuit breaker in there/ do I even need one? I can't seem to figure out if the victron blue smart is fine getting 30 amps via 30 amp rv outlet or not. It says 30 amps on it but I'm having a hard time figuring out if it will be fine after looking through all of the manuals.
 

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Like I tried to tell Orton back in the day, 90 percent of all transits built have a single battery and a 150 amp alternator.
The Orton system only works with up optioned transits, And then it is not very efficient.
Number of batteries is not a factor. The inverter is only used with the engine running. I do not know how much excess amperage is available if Transit only has the 150 amp alternator. Size of vehicle powered inverter can be selected to match the excess amperage that is available. The output from the inverter and inverter input amperage can be limited by limiting the connected load. I have a selector switch so the maximum load that can be connected is limited to 750 watts.

IMO efficiency is not important. The 10-15% lower efficiency of the DC-AC-DC system compared to a DC-DC charger means the power pulled from the alternator just runs 10-15% longer. Doubt anyone can measure the difference in fuel economy if alternator produces power longer.

In my case the primary method of charging the house battery is from the 300 watt solar panel and the MPPT solar controller. In my climate with my electrical usage the backup method of charging using the DC-AC-DC method is seldom required. So efficiency is unimportant when backup system is seldom used. When I do use the system I have the shore power charger set to charge at 40 amps. No need for more.

I do find it interesting that many people want to draw so much charging amperage from the vehicle. They must have some huge electrical loads to have the need for that much amperage. The amount of amperage required should be related to how much power is consumed.
 

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I don't know the general breakdown, but at this point 2/3 Transits coming into my shop have the HD alternator.

An increasing number of vans (various brands) have a second alternator from the factory or the owner has one added.

The Orton method isn't quite as efficient, but it is remarkably predictable in behavior across a wide range of situations.
The thread is about a 2016 MY van, And back then most transits were base model vehicles.
 

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There are not many individual house batteries that can support a 1500 watt inverter. Usually you can count on ~ 600 watts / battery unless it is a fairly special one.

Do you already have the 250 amp breakers? I have not found any that worked at that level, so I am curious if you found one that will not trip early.

2 awg wire is a little bit light for almost 200 amps. Maybe 2/0 ?
Depends on size of the house battery. I believe my single 8D 255 amp-hr house battery could support a 1500 watt inverter.
 

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Number of batteries is not a factor. The inverter is only used with the engine running. I do not know how much excess amperage is available if Transit only has the 150 amp alternator. Size of vehicle powered inverter can be selected to match the excess amperage that is available. The output from the inverter and inverter input amperage can be limited by limiting the connected load. I have a selector switch so the maximum load that can be connected is limited to 750 watts.

IMO efficiency is not important. The 10-15% lower efficiency of the DC-AC-DC system compared to a DC-DC charger means the power pulled from the alternator just runs 10-15% longer. Doubt anyone can measure the difference in fuel economy if alternator produces power longer.

In my case the primary method of charging the house battery is from the 300 watt solar panel and the MPPT solar controller. In my climate with my electrical usage the backup method of charging using the DC-AC-DC method is seldom required. So efficiency is unimportant when backup system is seldom used. When I do use the system I have the shore power charger set to charge at 40 amps. No need for more.

I do find it interesting that many people want to draw so much charging amperage from the vehicle. They must have some huge electrical loads to have the need for that much amperage. The amount of amperage required should be related to how much power is consumed.
We already had this argument 200 times before, The Early Model Base Model Transit alternator is good for 30 amps of additional power while the engine is running.
I guess you could hook a tiny inverter to it.
 

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We already had this argument 200 times before, The Early Model Base Model Transit alternator is good for 30 amps of additional power while the engine is running.
I guess you could hook a tiny inverter to it.
Where did you get the 30 amps information? Always wondered what was available with the 150 amp alternator. The Transit can use 120 amps?
 

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That's what I was thinking too but I guess I wasn't sure? How do I put a circuit breaker in there/ do I even need one? I can't seem to figure out if the victron blue smart is fine getting 30 amps via 30 amp rv outlet or not. It says 30 amps on it but I'm having a hard time figuring out if it will be fine after looking through all of the manuals.
Pretty sure you're looking at the "30 amp" and thinking it refers to the AC side. I'm pretty confident (95%+? - just hedging my bet here) that it's 30A @ 12V. Meaning more like 3A on the AC side. Hence the 15A (standard) AC plug. Victron wouldn't give you a NEMA 5-15 plug (max 15A) for a 30A connection.

Which, of course, means a very slow charge from that charger - same as the Orion (~360W). And you can just plug it in to whatever; no need to use a fancy connector.

As others have mentioned, that inverter has a potential draw in the ~250A range. But if you don't plug anything big into it, it won't do that (as you mention). LiFePO4 batteries will accept a HUGE draw on them - so it will technically accept a big inverter draw. But their total storage changes / drops the bigger the load. A 100Ah battery is only that at a low draw. Hit it hard (like 200Ah) and it won't last a half-hour. It might not last 15 minutes, depending on the battery.

You don't describe what you'll be using all this for - what the DC and AC loads will be. Or what the storage is - what size and type is that house battery? Those are more like item #1 and #2 for planning; not the rest.
 

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200 Times, It is in the Bemm. That is why we have people on here all of the time asking if they can use a 30 amp B2B.
Found the 30 amp statement in the BEMM with "engine run". Probably that means at idle. Wonder how much safety factor Ford used? The 30 amps available is probably when all Transit electrical powered items are in use. If only 30 amps are available then that means the Transit at idle could use 120 amps with every electrical item powered. That seems excessive. Be neat if someone could actually measure the amperage used at idle with every electrical item turned on.

For 2015 the order information shows the gas engine heavy duty alternator listed as 220 amps. The BEMM shows the heavy duty alternator as 230 amps. There is also an output graph for a 250 amp "heavy duty" alternator for gas engines in the BEMM. So there were two heavy duty alternators available? . Using the 220 amp figure then the heavy duty alternator must have about 100 amps available. 30 amps + (220-150) = 100 amps.

So the largest inverter that could be installed on a standard 150 amp alternator would be about 350 watts. 350/14 x 1.15 = 28.75 amps if a person uses the Ford BEMM load limit.

I power a 1000 watt inverter in my 2015 with the 220 amp heavy duty alternator. The maximum connected load is 750 watts. So I suspect input power to inverter is about 750 watts x 1.15 or about 863 watts. 863/14 = about 61 amps. Well below the 100 amp limit.

Has anyone with the 150 amp alternator powered an external load greater than 30 amps from the CCP? The single CCP terminal was rated at 60 amps. Interesting that the BEMM states 30 amps but the CCP was rated at 60 amps with the standard 150 amp alternator.
 
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