Apr 092010

While research­ing var­i­ous equip­ment avail­able for this project, the Out­back brand real­ly stood out in qual­i­ty, fea­ture set, and price.

One of the big things that quite inter­est­ed me is that all the var­i­ous com­po­nents link up into a net­work to work as a team.  Pairs of invert­ers can be used to give split phase pow­er (what most hous­es have) and all smart charg­ing sys­tems work in tan­dem.  There is no left hand not know­ing what the right is doing.  Best of all, the net­work can be tapped by a stan­dard ser­i­al con­nec­tion open­ing up the door for inte­gra­tion with com­put­er or cus­tom electronics.

Not shown (or yet priced out) is 28VDC  alter­na­tor for bus engine.  Rel­a­tive­ly small 12VDC sys­tem will be kept in place run­ning off a starter bat­tery kept topped off via charg­er run­ning off house bank.

Note that a DC genset was select­ed.  When I looked over what was avail­able, I was extreme­ly dis­ap­point­ed in the noise lev­els, espe­cial­ly for diesel gen­er­a­tors.  A DC sys­tem is no dif­fer­ent save for being con­sid­er­ably small­er.  This results in a unit which can be sound proofed via var­i­ous mats, lead, and baf­fles far more eas­i­ly than a 110VAC set­up.  The sin­gle down­side to be found was that DC gensets tend to be marine equip­ment and cost more, effec­tive­ly dou­bling cost of elec­tri­cal sys­tem.  Obvi­ous­ly the genset is intend­ed to be pur­chased far down the road as it is not crit­i­cal.  Infor­ma­tion on genset cur­rent­ly selected/priced can be found here.

Bat­ter­ies are AGM.  Those famil­iar with them will know they can eas­i­ly pull mas­sive amounts of cur­rent dur­ing bulk charge.  Despite the amper­age of the var­i­ous charg­ers, they are still expect­ed to run 100% for pro­longed peri­ods of time.  Specs show them capa­ble of doing such.

A ran­dom note, 160amps is pow­er require­ment to keep two 15,000BTU A/Cs run­ning hap­pi­ly at 100% duty cycle.