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Ark Pak 730 Charging

Posted: 5 months ago Quote #1536
hi, im relatively new to the whole portable power setup world but have set up my own system in my van/campervan. I have a few questions which id appreciate any help with!

At the moment I have an ark pak 730 with an 130AH deep cycle battery, this powers my 12v portable fridge. I have 120w solar panels on the roof which are connected to the ark pak via the Anderson socket, which in essence keeps my battery topped up. (I hope this is all a correct way of doing things)

I'm finding that when I connect 2x phone chargers to an extension lead off the 240v outlet on the pak, I sometimes get an overload alarm.  when phones are charging and fridge is running it is only using approx 60w. Or if I just connect my laptop charger to the ark pak it won't charge at all with alarm sounding. My understanding is that it has a 10a max outlet with the 300w inverter inside, so why won't it charge as surely that cannot be pulling more than 10a?

Second question: Solar panels on roof.- they came pre wired to a voltage regulator on the back of the panel, because I wanted to permanently mount panels on the roof and the controller isn't waterproof I have put an external junction box where the regulator was and fitted the regulator inside the van next to the ark pak. I have connected the wiring from external junction box to regulator using the cable they supplied which is 1mm 2core. I think this may be too small and should look at upgrading that cable size? Having this cable size could it hamper the watts being produced by the panels? (Cable doesn't seem to be getting hot) and am only getting approx 80w of power from panels in direct sunlight, is this normal?

As I've said I'm new to the portable power setup but have an okay understanding of electrics and wiring as from an air conditioning background, any help much appreciated thanks in advance!

Posted: 5 months ago Quote #1538
Hi Dozer 17

thanks for such a great  question please see below after your paragrah on each one  


At the moment I have an ark pak 730 with an 130AH deep cycle battery, this powers my 12v portable fridge. I have 120w solar panels on the roof which are connected to the ark pak via the Anderson socket, which in essence keeps my battery topped up. (I hope this is all a correct way of doing things)

ANSWER TO ABOVE QUESTION - this is a good set up, the only thing to make sure is you have the red isolator in the ON position so the solar can charge the Ark.

I'm finding that when I connect 2x phone chargers to an extension lead off the 240v outlet on the pak, I sometimes get an overload alarm.  when phones are charging and fridge is running it is only using approx 60w. Or if I just connect my laptop charger to the ark pak it won't charge at all with alarm sounding. My understanding is that it has a 10a max outlet with the 300w inverter inside, so why won't it charge as surely that cannot be pulling more than 10a?

ANSWER TO ABOVE QUESTION - yes i would expect this to happen and would not encourage you use an extension lead as the longer the lead  the more voltage drop the inverter will suffer from and the more often you trigger the alarm i would, the inverter is fused at 30 amps and has a 30 amp fused located on the underside of the lid, if connecting the lap top try below steps to see if this works to stop the alarm from sounding.

1. Turn on the inverter switch first so green LED is lit.
2. Then also turn on the device you want to plug in.
3. Finally connect the adapter plug of the device to inverter

please let me know how you go with the above.


Second question: Solar panels on roof.- they came pre wired to a voltage regulator on the back of the panel, because I wanted to permanently mount panels on the roof and the controller isn't waterproof I have put an external junction box where the regulator was and fitted the regulator inside the van next to the ark pak. I have connected the wiring from external junction box to regulator using the cable they supplied which is 1mm 2core. I think this may be too small and should look at upgrading that cable size? Having this cable size could it hamper the watts being produced by the panels? (Cable doesn't seem to be getting hot) and am only getting approx 80w of power from panels in direct sunlight, is this normal?

ANSWER TO ABOVE QUESTION -  you have made a modification that i do not encourage or can support you have moved the regulator away from the solar panel this is bad as the wiring may not be thick enough and the line will suffer from voltage drop this will affect the performance of your regulator, also the 1mm 2 core is a fire hazard waiting to happen you want over sized wiring to combat voltage drop and heat build up from current flowing thru, at least 6mm wire or as the old school say 6b&S wire that is a nice thick gauge it will also help combat voltage drop over the long distance.

if yo have any more questions or feel i have not answered all your questions you are most welcome to call me on 02 9678 9036 i am available from 9am till 430pm Monday to Friday to discuss further.

Regards

Brett from Ark



http://www.arkcorp.com.au/
Posted: 5 months ago Quote #1539
Hi Brett, thanks for getting back to me.

Regards to the charging of my laptop directly from the pak, I’ve tried the way you’ve suggested and still the same result.

Regards to the solar panels. I did think the cable size was rather small, but why do the suppliers supply such a small cable I wonder?! I have read that the majority of people say to put the regulator as close to the battery which is more efficient, so in essence I have done that. I’m in he process of upgrading the cable size from the panels to the regulator (which is only 1.5m max) should I upgrade the cable size from the regulator to the pak with the Anderson plug attatched too?

Thanks Kieran
Posted: 5 months ago Quote #1543
Hi Kieran

Thank you for the update on what you have done this is much appreciated, in terms of getting the inverter looked at there are 2 options we can try, they are below.

option 1- attempt a field fix over the phone during business hours of 9am to 430pm Monday to Friday 02 9678 9036  ask for me Brett in tech support.

option 2- send unit back to Ark HQ under warranty to have the inverter looked at and depending what is discovered the inverter may be replaced or repaired under warranty if you wish to follow this option you would need to contact Ark on 02 9678 9036 ask me me Brett in tech support and i will explain the next steps in bring the unit back to you.


Regards

Brett from Ark    


http://www.arkcorp.com.au/