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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Can I run my WFCO output to a REDARC BCDC?

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time2roll

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Posted: 01/08/19 08:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't think you will have any issues leaving the WFCO in place and just connect the REDARC direct from power sources to battery.


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191124x7

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Posted: 01/08/19 08:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NRALIFR wrote:

I don’t understand any of your concerns, and I have a Redarc BCDC1225 installed in my truck camper. I don’t have any solar though, so maybe that’s adding some complexity I’m just not picking up on.


Yes, the solar adds complexity because it means your statement below isn't true anymore. Without solar, sure. Unplug the truck and plug in shore power. But solar is always connected and potentially generating power.

NRALIFR wrote:

The Redarc and the WFCO converter charger aren’t going to be trying to charge the batteries at the same time unless you plan on being hooked to shore power with the truck running all the time.


Above is only true without solar.

NRALIFR wrote:

Connect the Redarc directly to the RV battery bank and don’t worry about the WFCO. It’s not doing anything until you plug into shore power. The Redarc will charge from the truck alternator if the truck is running, or solar if the sun is shining, and it will prefer solar if both are available.


Again, this is simple without solar.

NRALIFR wrote:

This statement makes no sense to me:
“3. However, if I'm under trees and in clouds, and the truck is off, I will eventually run out of battery power. So in that case I'd like to turn on the WFCO... and shut off the BCDC input to the battery.”


The above statement comes from a philosophy that I learned in another post on another forum. The guy had the same dilemma as me... with 1000w of solar, he said he shut his WFCO off... connected to shore power for A/C only...and (almost) never looked back. The panels created so much power that the DC consumed in the coach was far less than what the solar was putting out... so he actually didn't need the WFCO. It was ONLY one or two times that the weather was so bad... or he was under thick trees... that he had to flip on the breaker for the WFCO.

NRALIFR wrote:

Sounds to me like you’re camping without shore power, so what will turning on the WFCO do? Are you going to plug into generator power? If so, there will be no problem. The Redarc won’t be trying to charge the batteries because the truck is off, and the solar panels aren’t producing power because they are shaded. Even if the panels were putting out SOME power, the Readarc needs to see at least 9 volts from your solar panels before it will produce an output. If you’re getting some battery charging from your panels, why would you need to “turn on the WFCO”?
[emoticon][emoticon]


No, see above regarding shutting off the WFCO.

There are two issues here:

1. What happens when the solar array dumps 40a into the REDARC and the REDARC starts charging the battery at the same time the WFCO (connected to shore power) is also charging the battery?

2. Does the REDARC do a better job of keeping the AGM batteries happy than the WFCO. If yes, this fact alone is the reason to take the WFCO out of the equation (other than to power the REDARC DC Truck input).

If the answers to the questions above are:

1. Nothing Everything works perfectly

and

2. No, the WFCO and the REDARC both keep AGM batteries happy... then this is, in fact, a non-issue.

From a simplicity standpoint... I like the idea of the REDARC doing ALL the charging because if I start having battery issues I only have one throat to choke.

But I guess the point of this thread is to learn the answers to questions 1 and 2 above.

191124x7

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Posted: 01/08/19 08:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here's the kind of stuff I'm reading that says multiple smart chargers are a bad idea...

"While smart chargers deliver clear charging benefits, multi-charger applications
can present challenges to chargers with built-in smart charge control technology.
In this case, the charge controller manages the individual charger when the purpose of the series or parallel configuration is for the chargers to work together
for total increased output voltage or increased amps. Chargers with built-in controllers can interfere with each other in their various charge stages of bulk, absorption, float, and equalization and the batteries may not reach full charge. In
operations where auxiliary battery power is mission critical, chargers with built-in
controllers can contribute to decreased battery performance and battery life."

https://www.iotaengineering.com/pplib/Series_and_Parallel_Charging.pdf

NRALIFR

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Posted: 01/08/19 08:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok, so you may have two chargers trying to charge at the same time. If your batteries need to be charged, one of those two chargers is going to charge them, or maybe both will share the load. It probably will depend on which one is quicker at ramping up its voltage. There’s at least one member here that uses three or four chargers simultaneously on his battery bank and they share the load. I think the worst that could happen is exactly what you were warned of. The two chargers will sit there at float voltage. I think that’s unlikely, but in that case, turn one of them off. I wouldn’t install a transfer switch unless it was really necessary.

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time2roll

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Posted: 01/08/19 08:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With a fixed voltage of 13.6 the WFCO will do virtually nothing. System sounds like it is for off-grid mostly so WFCO will not even be powered. And when you are plugged in, the charging is not critical.

NRALIFR

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Posted: 01/08/19 08:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

And how is this any different from the typical RV solar installation where the panels are connected to an MPPT solar controller? Do those of you that have solar panels typically turn off your solar controller when you’re connected to shore power? Does your solar controller or converter/inverter charger care?

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time2roll

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Posted: 01/08/19 09:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My solar does not care about my WFCO. Solar still behaves normal. In time I just turned the converter off however.

2112

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Posted: 01/09/19 05:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would connect the WFCO to the vehicle battery input (red wire). This way the REDARC would behave like a boost/buck converter. You will be lucky to get >13.6V out of the WFCO. The REDARC will boost that to 14.6V when bulk/absorb is needed.

If this is in a TC, use an isolation relay to disconnect the truck line when the WFCO is turned on.

* This post was edited 01/09/19 05:20am by 2112 *


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NRALIFR

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Posted: 01/09/19 05:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I noted that after installing the Redarc in my TC, it doesn’t back-feed 12 volts on the camper umbilical cord any longer. I have an isolation solenoid on the truck, but I’ve plugged the camper umbilical into the truck many times with the truck running and the camper still plugged into shore power.

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Posted: 01/09/19 06:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

191124x7 wrote:

- second question is, with live power coming from the WFCO and the TRUCK/SOLAR at the same time (wired together at the DC input of the BCDC), will everything play nice, or will something burn up or catch on fire?
Once you connect multiple power sources together other than at the battery you certainly have the potential of unknown results.

Equipment output like solar controller, charger and alternator will generally work together when their outputs are connected to the batteries.

When you connect the equipment outputs together at the input to the REDARC input NONE of that equipment has any way of knowing the battery charge state. It might accidentally work or there could be unwanted results including overheating.

You are the first poster that I recall to every suggest what you are asking.

And if I may ask – Are you planning for a solar controller”? Connecting solar to the REDARC input seems to suggest that you are not planning for a solar controller.

Follow the general guidelines of what is know to work. Connect the WFCO to the battery. Connect the solar controller output to the battery. Connect the REDARC output to the battery and it’s input to the truck. Use a switchable CB on each of these to the battery and then you can turn each off as required.


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Bob


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