Ambulance inverter to solar/grid-tie?

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-12-18, 01:00 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: USA
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ambulance inverter to solar/grid-tie?

Hi, everybody! A few months ago, we bought a decommissioned ambulance with the intention of turning it into a motorhome. We've got most of the problems sorted out (furniture, appliances, etc.) and it will drive from A to B, but neither my partner nor I know much about electrical work. The ambulance came with an inverter and some 115-volt outlets that we're trying to get working (the 12-volt outlets already work), preferably using the pair of PV solar cells that we got for cheap and tied into the grid for backup, and I don't quite know where to start. Has anybody tried something like this, or knows enough about inverters to point me in the right direction? I know I need to get some wiring fixed before the inverter will even turn on (some of it was removed by the previous owner), but once that's done, what needs to go where and how? I have every intention of hiring a professional to do the actual wiring, but if I at least know what I need to have, then I'll have something to start off with.
 
Attached Images      
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-12-18, 01:29 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,518
Received 505 Votes on 475 Posts
Welcome to the forums.

You don't really have a grid there. Grid tie means to tie into the power company lines.
Basically.... the batteries are your grid.

The red receptacle powers that charger/inverter. That's used to keep the batteries charged.
You can use solar to also charge the batteries. You'll need a solar charger/regulator.
 
  #3  
Old 11-12-18, 02:37 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: USA
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the response, Pete. Let me clarify what I mean: When I say we're looking to tie into the grid, I mean the actual electrical grid that the neighboring houses are on through the local utility company, if feasible. While it is a motorhome, it's going to be parked 99% of the time next door to my partner's family. If it were as simple as running an extension cord from their meter to the ambulance (with their permission, of course), that would be perfect, but I'm guessing it's not as simple as that.

Regarding the solar charger/regulator, this would connect the solar panels to the batteries, or the solar panels to the inverter? Sorry for being a noob, but I'm just looking at the connectors and don't see what's supposed to match up with what.
 
  #4  
Old 11-12-18, 02:48 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,518
Received 505 Votes on 475 Posts
You can certainly plug your vehicle into the grid to get charged by it but you can't grid tie to it with what you have. You'd need a dedicated inverter that was specifically designed to be fed into the grid. You couldn't generate enough solar on a vehicle to make it worthwhile.

I can't see the full battery wiring to see if all three are tied together or just two. If that vehicle only has three batteries in it...... one should be dedicated to starting the vehicle. The other two should be to run the 12v accessories and the inverter. The solar system should charge the accessory batteries.
 
  #5  
Old 11-12-18, 03:32 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: USA
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
"You can certainly plug your vehicle into the grid to get charged by it but you can't grid tie to it with what you have."
Can you clarify what distinction you're making between the two? If the difference is just whether the power the panels generate can be put back into the grid, that's fine. My main priority is getting power from the sun to the appliances, then secondary would be connecting to some source of external (utility company) power, and as long as those two things work then I'm all set.

"You'd need a dedicated inverter that was specifically designed to be fed into the grid."
How can we tell that this isn't that? Just trying to learn.

"You couldn't generate enough solar on a vehicle to make it worthwhile."
Since we're stationary, I'm not really limited by the surface area of the roof, if that's what you mean. I currently have two panels 100W each.

So it goes: solar panels -> charge controller -> batteries -> inverter, right? That way the charge controller keeps the panels from overcharging the batteries or having a damaging spike in current?
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: