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Newbie question about Charge Controllers

1972 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  orton
I'm still in the planning stages for my camper van conversion, and need some help figuring out what parts I'll need for the electrical system.

I want to be able to recharge the house battery from shore power, the alternator, and solar. Is it possible to purchase a charge controller that can handle these three power sources? Or do I need separate devices for each of them? Any recommendations?

On the output side, I will only run 110 devices when I'm actually plugged into shore power, so I don't think I need any sort of inverter. I'm planning to have an AC/DC fridge, which will run off AC when I'm plugged in to shore power, otherwise, off of the house battery (most of the time).

Other than that, I plan to use the house battery to recharge the phone and chromebook, run a few LED lights, and the Maxair roof fan.

What do you recommend?
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Thanks for the recommendations. I'm still at the steep part of the learning curve, but luckily my Dad is an electrical engineer, so I know that once I can figure out what products are available, and how I want the system to function, I can count on him to advise me on how to wire things together. He just isn't up to date with current products, and I'm the only one who understands what I want the end result to look like.

Orton, is your backup charging source connected to the vehicle battery, or to the alternator? What are the advantages of sending vehicle power to the inverter/charger instead of using something like a relay to connect the alternator directly to the house battery?

Fogartykck, thanks for the links. I wish these product pages didn't assume that you already know what these products are supposed to do. I will read up and get my Dad to help me figure out what each of these pieces is and how these things are supposed to work together.

I'm puzzled why there isn't a charge controller out there smart enough to manage multiple power sources.
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Sounds like what I want to do. Here's a system I'm trying to get ahold of:

I will add the CTEK Multi US 7002 and I'm done. I will follow Orton's guidance on fusing and switching.
I found a youtube video that explains this system so I can follow:

Can I assume that the CTEK Multi US 7002 charges the house battery from shore power? Anyway, I'll go look that up now.

Thanks, Orton for providing so much technical detail. I'm going to look up your information about fusing and switching, too!
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