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Old 12-28-2016, 04:41 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Thor ACE 30.2 Bunkhouse
State: Nevada
Posts: 30
THOR #5275
Question about ACE alternator

I have installed 2 160 watt solar panels to net 320watts. In addition I have installed a 1000 watt inverter all wired to the house batteries. This may be an obvious question, however I am not sure. Does the engine alternator keep all the batteries ( house and engine) charged while underway. In other words can I use the inverter while driving and expect the batteries to stay charged? I had the solar panels installed when new so I have never noticed any issues. Also does the generator charge the batteries via the charge controller under the bed?
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:02 PM   #2
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Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
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THOR #2121
Practically all motorhomes can charge house batteries from engine alternator when working correctly, and I doubt yours is an exception. Whether alternator can keep batteries charged while using the inverter likely depends on what loads you are running at the time.

A 1,000-watt inverter, when running near full load, will require around 100 Amps of 12-Volt DC power. That would be tough to keep up over long periods of time, particularly since many battery isolation devices are not rated at 100 Amps or higher.

On the other hand if your inverter was only powering a TV and DVD, or a refrigerator, where it may only need 200 watts or less, then it's likely the alternator can make that up.

Running the generator normally powers the converter which also charges the batteries. As with the engine-driven alternator, there is a current limit that the converter is designed for. Many motorhome converters are rated below 100 Amps, so it too may not keep up with current requirement of the inverter at full 1,000-watt load. Fortunately, it shouldn't have to because once the generator is started, the 115-Volt AC power should idle the inverter (assuming it has transfer switch around it), so it no longer pulls from battery and 12-Volt DC system. At same time excess generator capacity will recharge batteries via converter.
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:35 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Thor ACE 30.2 Bunkhouse
State: Nevada
Posts: 30
THOR #5275
Thanks, its for the TV and DVD while were driving. You have confirmed what I was thinking.
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