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.