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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've wired up my inverter with a garage-style consumer unit as shown below. I haven't turned it on yet, and thought I would check on here that I have everything right first.



The inverter is a sterling ProPower 1000W quasi sine. It's connected to the 12V batteries through a 200A midi fuse.

I've connected the earth busbar in the consumer unit to the chassis with 4mm^2 cable, and also connected the earthing point on the inverter to the busbar. The earth from the inverter output also connects here.

Sterling Power have told me that the inverter is centre-tapped, and can be neutral-earthed bonded for use with RCDs, which I've done in the consumer unit. I'm not planning on using any mains hook-ups, but if I did, I'd have to remove to connection (correct?)

I'm only using the 6A MCB, which will feed a few sockets around the van. Will be wiring up the sockets tomorrow. I haven't done camper electrics before so it would be good if someone can confirm what I've done.

Cheers.
 

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Hi i wouldn't turn that on!
You would need to remove the link between the two buzz bars if you were to use a mains hook up. (I cant see the why you would want to have the van as the neutral with 240v system or if you can) 1 of the buzz bars is for the earths the other is for the neutrals. (I think that is what the large blue wire is on the left buzz bar)
I would also cut off the extra prong on the live buzz bar coming out of the rcd.
If you are not sure on what you are doing get someone who knows what they are doing to look at it in the flesh.
 

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Neutral and earth SHOULD be at the same potential.
In domestic setups, the neutral and earth ARE connected together, but at the sub-station.
Due to cable lengths, and loads, there is often a couple of volts difference though.

In your case, as long as you don't use an external hookup, what you have done is correct.
There is NO problem having the van body connected to neutral (as neutral is supposed to be the same potential as the earth!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cheers Gaz. Good to know.

There is a good description of using RCDs with centre-tapped and neutral-earth bonded inverters on page 3 of this document, for anyone else who is interested.
 

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I'm NOT an electrician with papers..BUT, I do have 15 years of experience wiring X-Ray generators (and the rest of the equipment in a operating room)

We ALWAYS had a double earth circuit...1 was bonded to the hospital earth system, and the 2nd was an internal one for the room.
Both were linked together after the initial testing of the system, and with minimum 10mm cable for ALL earths AND to the Neutral rail of the incoming supply!

Like I pointed out before....neutral and earth "should" be at the same voltage level, but with X-Ray machines taking peak currents of over 500 amps from the cables, sometimes the neutral would spike at up to 20 volts above the earth......
Imagine that when a patient was on the operating table, with a probe in his head or heart!!!!!!!!

Neutral and earth in ALL circumstances should be as close as possible to each other voltage wise.

(On boats, it's common to NOT use an earth connection at all from the mains power source, as a metal bodied boat is "grounded" through the hull due to being in contact with a large body of water...and any voltage difference causes major corrosion!)

This is another case of someone (spell check) giving totally erroneous advise out that not only does not help, but confuses the whole issue!


IF you ever intend connecting to an external source, it's not too complicated to set up a relay system to disconnect that earth/neutral link, and also isolate the inverter....I've wired more than a dozen boats in this way.

If you have any questions, either PM me, or better still, contact Upspex (Travelvolts).....he's the guru on van electrics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The image in the first post showed the earth-neutral bond in the wrong place (I have deleted the image now). The wiring of my consumer unit when used with an inverter is shown below. I think I'm as safe as I can be now.

 
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