Auto Transfer Switch
I have a 1994 HR Navigator diesel motorhome (oldy but goody). It appears the auto transfer switch has quit working. Generator runs everything fine but shore power doesn't get through to the Heart Interface Freedom 20 inverter/charger. I finally found the dang transfer switch (hidden deep under the bed behind the Heart 20). I would like to upgrade to solar and LiFePo4 batteries eventually but I can't do it all at once (forgot to plant the money tree).
So, is there a Transfer Switch I can use now that will work later with Lithium and solar etc.? And when the Heart 20 goes out, what charger/inverter will work post solar upgrade? Or is there a unit that can handle both lead acid and lithium systems?
Thanks in advance!
Lyn, the solar power newby.
The solar is on the 12v side so the 120v transfer switch will not be affected by solar or lithium. This transfer switch should select between generator and shore power which will be delivered to inverter charger to then be delivered to the main AC distribution panel.
A new inverter charger should have the ability to custom set charging voltages for lithium. Most high quality inverters today have that ability. The inverter charger will also have its own auto transfer switch to change back and forth between inverting 120v and passing through/charging from an external 120v source such as generator or shore power.
Some popular brands would include Victron and Magnum. Both make 2000 watt inverters like your xantrex freedom 20 and should be more or less a direct swap. They also make larger 3000 watt inverters if desired and wiring infrastructure (mainly battery to inverter cables) can support it.
Thanks Greg, for the info and explanation!
I will be replacing the 120v ac transfer switch now since that is the current problem.
When getting to the solar stuff, where would you start? Batteries (Lifpoe), inverter/charger, or PV pannels? And I am aware of the need for solar charge controllers and other solar specific pieces.
The first place to start with solar is to determine your energy needs.
If you haven't watched the videos that Ray has posted on youtube for solar that would be a great place to start. Ray had detailed all the components and what he powers. You may want to power more stuff or less but he can give you an idea what 400-500 watts will provide.
That would be a good starting point. Taking the time to do an energy audit of loads and durations will further help you determine how large a system to budget for. Google "energy audit for RV" and you will find some basic worksheets.
If you are going to have the system installed by an experienced installer they should be able to help you crunch the numbers. Be wary of solar salesman though that may try and sell you a system beyond what you need. One of the members here does solar installs and has integrity you can trust. You may want to reach out to
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