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Post by HJA on Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:31 pm

Preparing to winterise our 2019 Broadway, I read the section in the handbook to check I wasnt missing anything.  It says: "Turn the electrical system off at the control panel. (with the EC500 system press the "shutdown switch" on the front of the control box. ..... This turns off all the leisure electronics apart from any alarm and tracker power feeds)."
I eventually found the "shutdown switch" on the box under the bed - which is labelled Isolation Switch on the diagram in the book.

Being non-technical this all raises a couple of questions:
1. What is the difference between the isolation switch & the power button on the control panel over the door? Really simple answers please.  And do I need to turn the isolation switch off.  I dont think I did last year.
2. This may be obvious after the answers to question 1: every so often over winter we go and check the battery readings on the control panel - which necessitates turning the panel on.  Will I also need to turn on the isolation switch?  I am guessing I would have to.
3. We have a solar panel which obviously helps to keep batteries charged.  Will turning off the isolation switch stop the solar panel doing its job?

Sorry if the answers are really obvious, but as I say we are non technical.

Have caravanned for years, and drained water systems for winter, but modern motorhomes are just so much more complicated!
Many thanks.
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Post by RogerThat on Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:24 pm

To answer # 2 on your list.

Think of the isolation switch as the big main switch on your fuse box under the stairs at home.  

Turning that big main master-switch off under the stairs in turn means none of the other circuit breakers are getting any power either, and therefore none of the outlets on the other end of those circuit breakers at home are either.

So to answer # 2 - yes, you will need to turn the isolation switch back on in order to send power to the control panel, to then turn that on.

For # 3 I have a sneaking suspicion that yes, turning off that main isolation switch will indeed stop the solar from supplying power where needed.  But don't quote me on that, I'll let someone far more knowledgable than I answer that.

Can I pose a question in return?

Why would you want to turn it off?  scratch head
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Post by Caraman on Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:03 pm

1. What is the difference between the isolation switch & the power button on the control panel over the door? Really simple answers please.  And do I need to turn the isolation switch off.  I dont think I did last year.

Answer 1 - The 'isolation switch' is the EC700's master switch. When that is off, its all off, including the CP.  If you leave your motorhome on an EHU for charging purposes, you shouldn't switch the EC700 isolation/master switch off.  If you don't leave it on an EHU over the winter months when the solar charge is low, the EC700 isolation/master switch should be switched off to minimise the EC700's drain on the batteries.  

2. This may be obvious after the answers to question 1: every so often over winter we go and check the battery readings on the control panel - which necessitates turning the panel on.  Will I also need to turn on the isolation switch?  I am guessing I would have to.

Answer 2 - If your EC700 isolation/master switch is off the CP won't show anything.  If your isolation/master switch is on, the CP doesn't have to be on in order to see the voltages.  I leave my CP off whenever my Nuevo is out of use but I can still see the voltages on the CP and AS Monitor because my EC700 remains on because I am on an EHU.

3. We have a solar panel which obviously helps to keep batteries charged.  Will turning off the isolation switch stop the solar panel doing its job?

Answer 3 - When the EC700 is on and solar charging is set to Smart, both batteries will in theory be charged.  In practice over the winter months they won't be charged because the drain caused by the EC700 will exceed the solar charge.  When the EC700 is switched off all the solar charge is directed to the vehicle battery and the leisure battery is isolated except that it continues to power the tracker.  However, the tracker drain is negligible and the tracker has its own standby battery should the leisure battery go flat.  If the appropriate alarm alert is set on AS Monitor an SMS/e-mail alert should be received before the leisure battery goes flat.  If you want the vehicle battery to receive the winter solar charge and for the vehicle alarm to continue to work if you have one fitted it's important not to isolate the vehicle battery using the little red button on the ignition.
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Post by Roopert on Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:37 pm

Caraman wrote:When the EC700 is switched off all the solar charge is directed to the vehicle battery and the leisure battery is isolated except that it continues to power the tracker. 

But... noting that the OP seems to have an EC500 - this behaviour is (I think) different. IIRC, the solar system is wired differently prior to the introduction of the EC700. With an EC500, the charging goes to the leisure battery when the EC500 is shutdown.
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Post by Caraman on Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:38 am

Roopert wrote:
Caraman wrote:When the EC700 is switched off all the solar charge is directed to the vehicle battery and the leisure battery is isolated except that it continues to power the tracker. 

But... noting that the OP seems to have an EC500 - this behaviour is (I think) different. IIRC, the solar system is wired differently prior to the introduction of the EC700. With an EC500, the charging goes to the leisure battery when the EC500 is shutdown.
Agreed.  My comments relate to the EC700 which I assume he has in his 2019 model.  The handbook was not updated for the 2019 model so still refers to the EC500 even though one is not fitted.  The Harmony Utility Management System handbook that is supplied with the EC700 says very little about winterisation and doesn't say where the solar charge goes when the EC700 is shutdown.  I don't have an EC500 but if I did and I shut it down I would be inclined to isolate the vehicle battery with the red button on the ignition which will disable the central locking and prevent the vehicle alarm (if fitted) being armed.  This will save drain on the vehicle battery.
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Post by Dbvwt on Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:38 am

It sounds as if the van is stored away from home, to begin with is EHU available at this location?
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Post by HJA on Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:39 pm

Many thanks for all your replies.  I certainly think I am a little clearer.  In answer to RogerThat - why turn it of - becasue the handbook suggested that.
I am also clearer about our two handbooks - one the Broadway Manual, and secondly the Harmony Utility Management System.  I had completely missed that we had an EC700!!  Yes - the stuff about winterisation is all in the general Broadway manual, but diagrams in there are not of course what we have in the van.
The van is at home, so we can connect it up to an EHU when we need to.
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Post by Caraman on Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:22 am

HJA wrote:The van is at home, so we can connect it up to an EHU when we need to.
As you have access to an EHU you have three options.  Switch the EC700 on once a month and connect up to the EHU for a day, or, leave the EC700 on all the time but connect up to the EHU for charging once a week perhaps with a time switch, or, connect to the EHU all the time with the EC700 on all the time.  The first option will save the most pennies and still allow you to flush some fresh water through the system every month which is a good idea providing you drain down again afterwards.  The second and third options allow you to see the condition of your batteries all the time on AS Monitor and the CP (which doesn't have to be on) but the third option isn't best for your batteries although I am sure many do it.
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Post by Dbvwt on Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:43 am

That makes things much simpler having the van at home with EHU.

I’m in exactly the same position and use the second method suggested by Caraman above. No particular reason but it’s kept both batteries fine over the past 2 winters.
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Post by Heanorboy on Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:52 am

I go for a third option very similar but leave on hook up with a timer for about 1.5 hours every night, panel off

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Post by HJA on Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:59 pm

Thanks Caraman - that is very clear.  We will opt for option one or two.
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Post by marconi on Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:49 pm

Its ironic that in order to check that your Batteries are being charged and maintained at a correct level, you need to run a Microprocessor, hold relays closed and feed a hungry Current consuming Control unit 24hours a day 7 days a week 52 weeks a year consuming some of the precious Current, that you need in the winter months, to make sure that the readings don't go too low. Electronic components are not immortal, untested, obscure complete systems have an unknown service life expectancy.

Hence in my EC700 Bypass System, I designed in, switched Battery Monitoring. It can be used at any time including with the EC700 in Shut Down.

Leisure Battery on the Left Vehicle Battery on the Right.

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Post by Pnefan on Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:41 pm

We turn the main switch off on our main control box everytime we leave the van in storage, even during the summer months. It ensures the solar panel can keep both the leisure and vehicle batteries topped up. On the odd occasion we have forgot we have noticed the levels drop on the batteries.
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