Monday, February 11, 2019

Day 34 - New Converter

While we were in Quartzsite, I mentioned in at least one post that the built-in converter wasn't very efficient when you wanted to get a quick charge into the batteries. It would drop down to float mode as soon as the battery voltage reaches about 13.2 volts so it took forever to recharge the batteries. One of the solutions is the Progressive Dynamics Intelli-Power series of converters with their Charge Wizard module. I picked up the PD9270 with the module built in and included the manual override dongle. The dongle allows you to manually select Boost mode which gets the battery up to 14.4 volts quickly. For my battery bank, this will be about 90%. At this point, the generator could be shut down and just let the solar charge controller top off the batteries. Max output is 70 amps.

To install the new converter, I also ordered some 4 AWG fine-strand inverter cables with eyelets at both ends. I cut off the eyelets at one end and stripped the insulation to insert the cables into the new converter. Ox-Gard was applied to the bare copper to help prevent oxidation and inserted into the output connections on one end of the unit. Ferrules would be a better option but I didn't bring my hammer crimp tool on this trip. I ordered 18" cables and they were barely long enough to reach the ground bus and the catastrophic fuse.

Terminals are provided for charging two batteries independently but I am treating the four golf cart flooded batteries as a single battery. I still need to install a ground wire on the ground lug (on the opposite end of the unit) and just tested the unit for polarity and basic function. The AC cord is not being wired into the RV at this point as it is my intent to use this converter when running on the generator. At some point, I may run an outlet from the electrical panel converter breaker into the front compartment and completely disconnect the stock converter. According to the specs, this converter could draw as much as 1250 watts so it really does need to be on its own circuit. I installed the unit in the front compartment battery to keep the DC cables as short as possible. There aren't separate "sense" wires so it must monitor battery voltage at its output terminals. Large, short cables would minimize the voltage drop.

Space is somewhat at a premium in the front compartment so the PD9270 is mounted to the steel divider between this compartment and the adjacent propane compartment. For now, I'm using sheet metal screws but I will probably pick up some machine screws with lock nuts tomorrow so there won't be sharp screws sticking into the propane compartment. 

2 comments:

redlegsrides said...

Hadn't heard of Oz-Gard...does one just coat all exposed metal connections re the battery system or just the copper ones?

RichardM said...

I used it on all of the connections including when I installed the lugs. It does a good job of minimizing the oxidation. All of my connections, including the battery, are still shiny clean after almost two years.