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Bruce

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Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #16 
Hi Sharky,

Why are you doubling up on the 240v inputs?
1 240v input is sufficient, regardless of your location ( home/caravan park), just stck with the 15A input for all input needs and delete "home" input.

Hopefully the instructions for your BCDC will indicate where the yellow config wire goes......

Good luck with the rewire, and when all else fails, stick to the K.I.S.S. Principle.
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TGoTS

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Reply with quote  #17 
Hi Sharky,
That yellow wire from the BCDC is to set the battery type that the unit is charging.  Will either need to be connected to +, -, or left unconnected, all depending on if your battery is AGM, Gel or normal lead acid.

It is used to change the charging profile to match your battery.

The info should be in the user manual, which you can download from the Redarc website.

Regards,
Ben

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Regards,
Ben
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4fun

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Posts: 150
Reply with quote  #18 
Hi Sharky,

I hope you have purchased a BCDC 1225 or BCDC 1240, since these both have a MPPT controller which is what you want for your solar panels.

Some comments:
  • The CTEK should definitely not be there. Basically the CTEK and the RedArc BCDC are two competing products that do the same thing, the RedArc just does it better. So take the CTEK out and throw it away, or sell it.
  • The 40A fuse should be close to the battery, not close to the BCDC. The BCDC itself is electronically secured against shortcuts (i.e. it will shut off automatically if the load is too high) but it's the enormous amount of energy stored in your battery that you want to instantly cut off in case of a short cut. That's what the fuse is for.
  • Talking about battery fuses: you want a fuse on the plus of each battery.
  • You don't need a fuse in the wire between the solar panels and the BCDC: it will create a voltage loss that you don't want.
  • I'm not sure what you're trying to achieve with the changeover relay (the diagram is a bit small) but I assume the purpose is to select between the car battery and the solar panels? The thing is that the BCDC does that for you. It has different inputs for solar and car battery and will automatically choose the input that has the highest voltage.
  • The relay is also NOT needed to separate the car battery from the camper batteries: that's done for you by the BCDC, so the relay only creates another voltage drop that you don't want. Note: I DO have a relay in the car myself, but the reason I'm doing that is so that I only have 12V on the anderson plug at the back of the vehicle if the engine is actually running. In other words, if some funny guy would try to short cut the anderson plug on the back nothing would happen, since there is only a voltage if the engine runs.
  • If you bought the BCDC1220, see if you can change it for a BCDC1225 or 1240 because you really want an MPPT charger, it will be much more efficient in getting maximum wattage out of your panels.
  • What does the Meter do in the circuit? Is that a normal volt meter (digital or analog)? If so, please be aware that that's not a good indicator for your battery capacity. Yes, my own 440 has one too but it's inferior to a battery monitor as is provided with e.g. a BMS 1215 (currently on all new UEV models) that actually measures the current that goes into and out of the battery.
  • If you're going to connect the batteries exactly according to your diagram then you're connecting the second battery as a slave which is not ideal. See my article http://www.conquerorforum.com/post/modification-connecting-the-batteries-the-correct-way-to-reduce-cable-loss-7121456?pid=1284830703#post1284830703 for an explanation.
  • Don't you have a 240V inverter? According to your schema you only have 240V on your sockets in the camper if you also have 240V connected from home or caravan site, correct?
  • Finally, although putting everything into one diagram works, it's much easier to follow the lines if you'd split them into a 'charging' diagram and a 'users' diagram.
  • I'm seeing a point (just below the 40A Fuse in the middle of the diagram) where the 240V is connected to the 12V. Surely that can't be the case?
  • The double 240V inputs are not needed. One can serve both purposes.
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Sharky

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Posts: 131
Reply with quote  #19 
Hi all, 4Fun

Home 240V - I use this external socket (located between extrance door and awning pole support holder) to plug in a generator and use an electric heather within a 240V socket. It seems that this is connected to the main circuit breaker and charging the batteries
 
Caravan site 240V - I use this to charge batteries as per to the orginal fitting from CA.

BCDC 1240 is the product I purchased
CTEK - remove
40A fuse - move closer to batteries
12v changeover Relay - the intention is to charge batteries when I drive the 4WD. The batteries will be charged when I stopped (my 4WD) somewhere in the middle of nowhere under the sun. So, it means I can connect car key ignition wire (blue) to the BCDC blue wire (2nd wire right of red wire in BCDC)?
Meter - to display volt meter in digital format - haven't bought this yet. I will use battery monitor come standard with CA in this case.
Battery - will change wiring connections so it is not master-slave
240V inverter - I do not have one yet. See my previous post for 240V power for electrical heater use.
 
Much appreciated the comments. I will update diagram for others to read (but not necessary to follow) Note: I have NO experience with 12V wiring whatsoever.
 
S
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4fun

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Reply with quote  #20 
Hi Sharky,

for the charging from your car: you want to connect your 12V from car battery directly to the appropriate input on the BCDC. Obviously you'll have an anderson plug on the back of your car so that it's not a permanent connection and you want that connection fused again on the car battery side, but other than that: you don't need a relay in between. Even if you stop overnight on a camping spot you can comfortably keep the car 12V connected to the camper (the BCDC) and you won't empty your car battery. The BCDC detects that the battery voltage of the car has dropped (because the alternator isn't running anymore) and hence will switch off all charging to the camper batteries. Think of the BCDC as an electronic form of a changeover relay.

One more hint: use the thickest wire you can afford for anything that uses a lot of power, such as a water pump, fridge/freezer, etc. Think 4 to 6 square mm. This is not the same as 6mm that is sold at car shops. A 6 square mm is something that looks like the thick cables that connect your car battery to your alternator, i.e. approximately as thick as a little finger. Anything thinner than 4 square mm will cause a voltage drop when the device runs with a decent current, and that voltage drop will cause the device to ask for even more current, which altogether make for a very inefficient use (i.e. you empty your batteries a lot faster).
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Sharky

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Posts: 131
Reply with quote  #21 
4Fun,

Thanks for the info. I will be doing the modifications on my van soon.

S
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brimon

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Posts: 43
Reply with quote  #22 
Hi all, I have just come back from our Christmas holidays and was fully self sufficient for power using solar panels through my Redarc BCDC 1240 charge. This however has created a problem because the input from my solar panels are sending 19.8VDC to the BCDC which works fine, but when I plug in my vehicle to charge from the Anderson plug the charger does not react. I have worked out that if I disconnect the battery from the charger to reset it with the solar panels disconnected than the system will functional off the car. It appears to me that the system is switching to 24VDC mode as the solar panels send over 17VDC to charger. I have the recommended changeover relay connected properly and all wiring is as the diagram except on the diagram it asks for a 12VDC solar input which can only be obtained by using a regulator on the solar panels before the charger. My question is what is the point of having the BCDC with MPPT regulator if you need a regulator to drop voltage from 19.8 to 12VDC. I will be asking the same question to Redarc but they are on holidays for another week or so. Thanks
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BarraM

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Reply with quote  #23 
Hi Brimin,
I have also set up my 490 up with a Redarc BC/DC charger, but when I use it with my solar panels, I have a separate Anderson plug connected to the solar panel so the charge does not go through the solar panel regulator. The BC/DC is basically already a regulator. Works fine. I had the extra Anderson plug installed by JTS electrical in Qld, when they sold me the panels. They specialise in Camper Trailer electrics. If you look up their web site they have some typical wiring diagrams, one of which should be yours. If you get stuck give them a ring, they were quite obliging with me. All the best.  
Mike
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4fun

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Posts: 150
Reply with quote  #24 
brimon, my apologies for possibly creating confusion before. I assumed the BCDC 1240 would have had separate inputs for car and solar just as the BMS1215 does (also a RedArc product). After reading the BCDC1240 manual a bit more in detail it's clear that it has only one power input (the red wire) that is used both for the solar and alternator, and that there is a blue wire that you have to use to tell the BCDC which of the two is connected. Indeed that's part of what the changeover relay does for you. So yes, with a BCDC and if you want to use both solar and alternator then you'd need a changeover relay as documented on page 11 of the manual.

Note: It is perfectly normal that a solar panel generates between 17 and 25 Volt or so. Your BCDC unit isn't in 24V alternator mode but more likely in solar power mode and in that case it will think that 13V coming from the alternator is not enough to start charging. You most certainly don't want to reduce that voltage to 12V: that's what the MPPT controller does for you.
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Sharky

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Reply with quote  #25 
Hi 4Fun, all

I have started the BCDC modification on my van on the weekend. Is it compulsory to use the blue cable (going to ignition) as the manual suggests?

This is my setup and scenario:

1. Pajero 4WD charges the BCDC direct (in van near battery) when anderson plug is connected via red wire +. There is NO changeover relay in between whatsoever.

2. When Pajero stops over somewhere for overnight stay/rest stop (with pajero ignition turn off), I would use solar panel (power from sun) automatically to charge battery. I have installed a circuit breaker between solar panels and BCDC to isolate thing if I need to do maintenance.

Is the above setup workable?. Comments/feedback is appreciated.

S
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4fun

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Posts: 150
Reply with quote  #26 
Hi Sharky, yes you really need to tell the BCDC what type of source you have connected to the input of the unit. For a solar system it will switch on the MPPT controller in the unit, and for a car charge it won't. You do that with the blue wire. Not that you don't *have* to use a switchover relay if you really don't want to. If you use an anderson to connect the car and a circuit breaker to connect/disconnect the solar then you could also use a normal switch that in one position connects the blue wire to 12V and in the other position leaves the blue wire disconnected (or connects it to earth), just as long as you remember to put the switch in the correct position depending on whether you're using solar or car. But ... it all becomes a bit more clumsy and you need to remember to put the switch and circuit breaker in the right position depending on your use case. A changeover relay does that automatically for you.

Note: I'm astonished that RedArc doesn't just provide two inputs on the BCDC unit, one for the car alternator and one for the solar panels and does all the switching in the unit. That's a much better solution IMO, but maybe they have learned from their mistakes since the BMS systems *do* provide that feature.
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Sharky

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Posts: 131
Reply with quote  #27 
Hi 4Fun,

Yes, I am using the circuit breaker to connect/disconnect the blue wire as this is K.I.S.S and easier for me to do. As I have a BCDC 1240 Low Voltage version (for Pajero), connecting blue wire to the vehicle ignition (directed by redarc manual) is too much trouble and I have NO idea on how to connect on the vehicle side and also the 7 pin rectangle trailer connector at the tow bar end of the Pajero. Note: I will need to look for the 7 or 9 pin specs somwhere to understand which color of wire goes to which connector including blue wire ignition connection if I must connect blue wire to the vehicle ignition.

My idea is to connect the blue wire to the red + wire as suggested in the BCDC 1240 version. Has anyone done this with the BCDC 1240 Low Voltage version (i.e blue wire connected to the red + wire) ?

S

BCDC blue wire.JPG 
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4fun

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Posts: 150
Reply with quote  #28 
Sharky, yeah that sounds like the way to go. The redarc documentation probably assumes you're having the whole system, incl second battery, in the vehicle. For a camper you need to find another solution to tell the BCDC that, yes, it's connected to the vehicle. That's either a switch-over relay or a simple 12v switch that you set manually into the right position.
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Doyta

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Posts: 52
Reply with quote  #29 
are people changing to these bcdc for a reason? ie the van did not come with a bms1215?
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