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Art Knapp
09-12-2000, 09:43 PM
Battery Relocation?

I am planning to install a Trace PS2512 sinewave inverter in my 1983 Newell (to replace the Rockwell "Power Generator"). The electrical wiring is already in place in the drivers side compartment just aft of the wheelwell. Trace says the maximum distance from the inverter to the batteries should be 5'. The house battereies are about 30' away (passenger side, front). The coach batteries (2 - 8D's) are also over 5' away (one battery on each side just in front of the wheel well).

In order to get the batteries closer to the inverter, I was planning on placing them in the engine compartment on the driver's side. Do you have any recommendations regarding the battery placement or the type of battery box? Or, any other part of this project?

Thanks,
Art Knapp

TechTalk
09-12-2000, 10:32 PM
We agree that placing the inverter as close as possible to the batteries is desirable. This is because minimizing cable length minimizes voltage drop from the batteries to the inverter, or from the charger to the batteries. If the inverter is also the battery charger, we also recommend that the inverter be wired to the batteries, and that the other 12 volt loads be on the far side of the batteries from the inverter/charger. That way, the batteries act as a filter for the somewhat "dirty" current that can be produced by a battery charger.

The exact placement of the batteries and the inverter is going to vary from coach to coach depending upon the space available, existing cabling, amount of work you want to put into it, etc. The battery box or rack should allow ample ventilation to the atmosphere, and the batteries should not be located where gassing that occurs during charging will corrode electronics or sensitive electrical connections. For example, the batteries and inverter should not be located in the same compartment.

We currently prefer the Statpower ProSine inverter over the Trace sine wave products. The ProSine uses different technology that substantially reduces the weight of the inverter compared to the Trace. In addition, the set-up and operation of the ProSine is simpler than the Trace, minimizing problems that might result from "operator error." Our preference is only that, and we have built a number of coaches at customer request with Trace sine wave inverters. Our customers with Trace inverters are happy. For the record, after a series of buyouts, the three major inverter manufacturers, Statpower, Trace, and Heart Interface, are now all owned by the same parent company.

Good luck with your project.
TechTalk :)

Jim Weckman
10-07-2000, 10:40 PM
You may have already gone this route, but I would suggest placing the battery box below the engine compartment floor as is done in the later built units. I used 1 X 1 SST angle to do a battery box for another coach, and it worked out well. The frame can be linned with SST, or poly, and the top with clear plexi or lexan. If you make the box water tight be sure and install drain holes and venting.