Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby Epbowen » Sat May 31, 2014 5:49 pm

Esteban, how do you plan on powering the converter? It requires AC from one circuit.
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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby GuitarPhotog » Sat May 31, 2014 7:20 pm

Steve, what protects the 120 VAC input to the converter/charger other than your 30A main?

None of that is affected by battery cutoff switch or the 12 VDC fuse in the battery supply line. Wiring it as you suggest leaves the 120VAC wiring to the converter/charger protected by only your 30A main and the shore power Main breaker.

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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby MtnDon » Sat May 31, 2014 8:00 pm

I will have a fuse on the positive power cord near the battery or use a circuit breaker on the battery hot cord (have not yet decided which I will use).


I may be repeating information that is already known.

DC fuses and DC circuit breakers are different from ones tat are listed (approved) for AC use. Because the DC current flows in one direction and does not alternate like AC their can be a much larger arc when the fuse or breaker trips. Dc breakers in particular are much more massive than AC breakers of the same capacity. They may also be rquired to be mounted in a certain orientation, a particular end up and not horizontal. This is because their internal parts may have the internal arc reduction or containment built to require that "right" end up.

All DC fuses are not created equal either. The very best fuse to protect against catastrophic short circuit is a type T. Not a cheap fuse but they are designed for a very quick "blow" if a short occurs. No time delay. Type T are also made with a very high AIR value; Arc Interrupt Rating. It is usually around 20,000 amps. That may seem ridiculous but a fully charged battery can deliver very high current virtually instantaneously upon shorting. If the material doing the shorting is robust enough to not melt down right away the cables may heat up and start a fire or the battery may explode. It does happen. An "ordinary" fuse may arc severely and not stop the current flow. The type T is also encased so the arc that occurs when the fuse blows is contained. In an explosive atmosphere that is important. A type T can be located right by the battery. Other fuses may have an arcing that can ignite the hydrogen from a battery that is under heavy discharge.

All that said I have never had a severe short circuit, never had an electrical fire, never had a battery explode. But I know someone who has had 2 batteries explode over a couple decades. The type T fuse is cheap when what can occur happens.

Type T; one source, good prices.


I use a type T at the battery, or within a few inches. As well there is a main fuse or breaker sized to be adequate for the inverter used; usually the biggest load. That is next down the line from the type T and is not in the battery compartment. The type T is a higher amperage to prevent a normal overload from blowing it. In theory an electrical overload should trip the "big" circuit breaker. In our off grid cabin that is a 150 volts, 200 amp CB. A serious short circuit should blow the 250 amp type T. The trailer has similar values even though the inverter is smaller; that is because the trailer is 12 volt and the cabin is 24 volt. Because the CB is a slow-blow a catastrophic short may not trip the breaker before the type T blows.

Hope all that helps keep ya'll safe.
Our 6x12 deep vee nose cargo trailer camper conversion... viewtopic.php?f=42&t=58336

We have a small off grid cabin we built ourselves in the NM mountains; small PV solar system; 624 watts PV, Outback CC & inverter/charger ... http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=2335.0
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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby GuitarPhotog » Sat May 31, 2014 8:41 pm

I had a small electrical fire in the electrical panel of my teardrop a couple of years ago when a short in the tow vehicle caused a short across the trailer battery. I had used a auto-reset circuit breaker in the battery - battery line so it did not completely protect the circuit. The breaker would open, then reset and the wire would heat once again, and the breaker would open. Repeat ad inflammatum!

Messy and inconvenient, but not terminal. Enough to convince me to use a proper, high-amp interrupt fast acting, fuse in the battery circuit.

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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby reeac » Sat May 31, 2014 11:01 pm

You need to install the 15A circuit breaker to the DC bus like it shows or it will not work. The directions do not say anything about it but I just went through all that and had to add that breaker or it wouldn’t work, the battery will not charge otherwise.
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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby GuitarPhotog » Sat May 31, 2014 11:19 pm

reeac wrote:You need to install the 15A circuit breaker to the DC bus like it shows or it will not work. The directions do not say anything about it but I just went through all that and had to add that breaker or it wouldn’t work, the battery will not charge otherwise.


That should be "to the AC bus like it shows..." That bus bar is the AC hot side, and indeed the converter won't produce 12 VDC without that breaker.

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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby Esteban » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:02 am

Epbowen wrote:Esteban, how do you plan on powering the converter? It requires AC from one circuit.


I bought a Furrion 30 amp 120 volt AC power inlet that will be wired to the PD4045 with 10/3 cable. Here is the outlet: Furrion F30INR-PS Round Non-Metallic 30 Amp Inlet with Stainless Plate

There will be three power sources coming into my trailer's PD4045.

#1 is the Furrion 30 amp AC inlet to plug into shore power with a 30 amp extension cord. edited to add: will run a 10/3 cable from the 30 amp AC power inlet to the pd4045's AC side hooked up per the PD wiring diagram.

#2 will be 12 volt DC power from my tow vehicle. I bought a 25' Conntek ROJ Black 7 Way Plug Inline Trailer Cord to connect from the tow vehicle to the battery and then to the PD4045. There will be a Stud Type Plastic Junction Box under the trailer where I will splice the 7 wire trailer cord. From that junction box the remainder of the 7 wire cord will go to an electrical compartment in the upper area of the galley and the hot and ground wires will connect to the PD4045 through buss bars. Edit the hot lead from the tow vehicle will be connected to the battery, then a hot (+) lead will go to the external hot cut off switch. The cut off switch Battery Kill Safety Shut Off Disconnect Switch will then be wired to the PD4045's DC input lug (per an alternate wiring scheme I have stored/linked to somewhere).

#3 will be a solar panel on the roof. My preferred solar panel is a Grape Solar GS-S-160-Fab8 Monocrystalline PV Panel, 160-watt. It will be mounted to the roof with Instapark® ZJ-34W Universal Drill-free Solar Panel Rooftop Mount, Color White which will be glued onto the roof. I like their aerodynamic look and think they can make the solar panel somewhat theft resistant by using theft resistant bolts. I'll most likely use a Morningstar MPPT solar controller Morningstar SS-MPPT-15L SunSaver 15A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

I most likely will use a 100 AH group 31 deep cycle battery. Which battery is still to be decided. A Sears DieHard Platinum Marine Battery Group Size 31M is one I am considering (if I get a good sale price on it).

As I've written above I will have an external switch on the battery's hot DC lead. If I use a circuit breaker on the hot DC lead near the battery it will be a DC breaker. Probably a part #76600 30 Amp Manual Reset (Switchable) Hi-Amp Circuit Breaker. My battery will be in a separate compartment so I will have either a circuit breaker or a fuse (undecided which at this time) on the battery's hot lead close to the battery. These will function in place of the 15 amp circuit breaker labeled "Converter Breaker" in Zach's illustration.

Somewhere I have an instruction and photo showing how to wire the positive(+) DC battery cable to an external DC+ switch then into the PD4045. It is not well documented by Progressive Dynamics which is frustrating.

This is getting clear as mud. It's past bedtime. Goodnight everyone.
Last edited by Esteban on Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby Epbowen » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:32 am

Esteban, sounds like you have your power supply wired :-)
I guess I'm not clear in my question. The 30 amp breaker is for the buss. Your AC breakers from that buss supply your plugs in the trailer. In the drawing of the pd4045, you need a breaker that will supply 120vac to the charger/converter. It's not clear in the drawings, but if you want the unit to charge while plugged into shore power you'll need to have it.

I'm interested in your setup for solar power, I'd like to add that to mine.
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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:10 am

Esteban wrote:
Epbowen wrote:Esteban, how do you plan on powering the converter? It requires AC from one circuit.


My battery will be in a separate compartment so I will have either a circuit breaker or a fuse (undecided which at this time) on the battery's hot lead close to the battery. These will function in place of the 15 amp circuit breaker labeled "Converter Breaker" in Zach's illustration.

Somewhere I have an instruction and photo how to wire the hot DC leads from an external DC+ switch into the PD4045. It is not well documented by Progressive Dynamics.



Steve, you still need to protect your PDD4045 charger circuitry from potential problems coming from the AC shore power inlet. A fuse between the batteries and PD4045 does nothing to protect the charger circuit on the AC side. This is the purpose of the 15A converter breaker.

Your shore power comes into the back of your PD4045, with the white and green wires going to their respective bus bars. The black wire feeds your 30A main breaker. Your 30A breaker controls the power going to the buss bar that the breakers plug on to. Plug a 15A breaker (converter breaker) next to the 30A, and run a black wire from that breaker to the short bus bar on the far right side, where there is a black wire already present.

This is the most basic configuration that you should start with.... all the magenta labels are what come from the factory.

10262253_899147874012_7994385165129305570_n.jpg
10262253_899147874012_7994385165129305570_n.jpg (100.37 KiB) Viewed 2443 times


Now with all that said, instead of having separate breakers, you can get the twin breakers which are the size of a regular breaker, but have two switches and two terminals on the bottom. This is how the PD4045 advertises that it can have 7 branch circuit breakers. You can have a 30/15 in the first position, and then 3 more 15/15 breakers. But one of those 15A needs to feed the converter. If you want the 15A "converter breaker" to also feed (and protect) a branch circuit of AC outlets then you tie the black hot wire leading to those outlets into the short bus terminal on the right side of the PD4045.

If you're using a battery disconnect switch, then you can remove the jumper between the two battery lugs as instructed in the manual, but you don't HAVE to. You can just put a simple DC disconnect inline and not over-complicate things with extra wiring.

Here's my overall wiring plan, showing my dual battery disconnect switch. The PD4045 is in my electrical compartment at the head of my bed. The batteries are about 4 feet away, hanging in cages under the trailer. The switch is located about 12" from the PD4045, but there are also inline fuses within 6" of each of the batteries positive post terminals. 10GA hot wires from each battery come into the switch, then one 10GA hot wire runs into the PD4045 and is connected to the hot lug of the DC side. The solar charge controller is hooked into the main DC hot lead of the dual battery switch. 99.9% of the time, my dual battery switch will be set on "1&2" (using both batteries), but connecting the solar panel to the main lead of the switch lets me completely remove a battery if I need to, yet still keeps the solar panel connected to the other battery.

10384610_899864777332_8234896215458868884_n.jpg
10384610_899864777332_8234896215458868884_n.jpg (58.62 KiB) Viewed 2443 times
Last edited by absolutsnwbrdr on Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby Esteban » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:07 pm

:thumbsup: Zach thank you for your detailed reply. I think SOME of the confusion comes about because each of us is setting up our electrical systems differently to meet our own needs. I wish I had the ability to visually draw up my plan similar to how you have drawn up yours. I've tried to learn to use SketchUp to no avail so far...I'm still in the deep confusion stage when I attempt to use it.

:thinking: Your two illustrations seem to differ (in my opinion). Your top one shows the second breaker from the left as a "converter breaker". Your lower one shows a 15A breaker in the same position powering an AC circuit with two AC outlets...which is how I (think) I will set up my wiring.

I purchased four AC breakers to fill the four locations in the PD4045. I have one 30A main breaker and three 15A branch breakers. None are dual breakers.

Unlike Zach who plans to use two 100 watt solar panels I will use only one solar panel...which is all I have room for on my roof. I prefer to use a Grape Solar 160 watt panel on the roof. It is 58" wide which may be a problem because my cabin roof will be 63" wide. The InstaPark solar panel mounts I purchased are each 2.25" wide beyond where the solar panel mounts to them. 58+2.25+2.25=62.5. That just barely will fit on my roof and will severely limit how much of a roundover I can shape on the roof's edge. If I instead use a 125 watt solar panel that is 48" long that is no longer a problem...except it may or may not provide enough power to run a fridge/freezer, LED lights, a fantastic fan, and 12 volt outlets, etc. when boondock camping without shore power. Decisions, decisions!

I plan to splurge on a Morningstar MPPT solar controller because I consistently read that they (MPPT controllers) harvest 15-30% more power from a solar panel than lower cost PWM solar controllers. The MPPT solar controller I plan to use is a Morningstar SS-MPPT-15L SunSaver 15A MPPT Solar Charge Controller. They are very well regarded and pricy. Amazon.com has several Chinese (true) MPPT controllers with good reviews that cost considerably less (about $75 or $125) that tempt me (if I am brave or stupid enough) to risk experimenting with one. Nope not today...I'll spend the extra $$ for the tried and true Morningstar MPPT solar controller.

:thinking: It appears that Zach is going to use a PWM solar controller (which costs less). He can buy two 100 watt panels for about the same as I will pay for one 160 watt panel. I don't have the roof real estate to use two panels. Zach has room for two (on his hatch?). edit: I now see both of Zach's solar panels are side by side on his roof.

I will use one battery. Zach is using two. That influences the type of "kill switch" we each have chosen to use.

Zach has an elaborate sound system planned. I don't plan to install one.

:? Progressive Dynamics seems to have different versions of the PD4045 that are wired differently. When I Google for information, and see photos of different versions of PD4045s, to learn how to set mine up that adds to my (ongoing) confusion. I think because I'll have an external kill switch on the DC power cable from the battery that there is an alternate way to correctly wire the battery lugs and the "DC DISC" on the PD4045...that I need to learn about to do it right without a "smoke test."

:thinking: Some people add surge suppressors to protect the incoming AC power. That is something I need to investigate and consider. Are they needed to protect the PD4045?

I plan to use GFCI outlets.

:thinking: It looks like Zach may be using a 15 or 20 amp inlet for his shore power inlet. Or it may just be a generic illustration not showing his intent.
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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:54 pm

The second image was drawn before I drew up the detailed PD4045 wiring diagram, and was really on there for graphical purposes.


I read your post and I just still don't understand how you plan on getting power from your shore power inlet to your DC converter/charger side of the PD4045 without using a breaker. Ignoring the size of the power inlets, number of batteries, all the solar panels, charge controllers, LED's, stereo, etc, AC power still has to be fed from the right half of the PD4045 to the converter/charger on the left side. With no AC fed to the left side, your charger won't charge and your converter won't convert. :thinking:
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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby Esteban » Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:54 pm

Zach, I mistakenly left out that there will be a 10/3 cable between the 30 amp inlet and the AC side of the pd4045. I will wire the right, AC, side per the PD drawings. Plan to buy 10/3 cable today to begin/practice wiring the 4045. Installation in my TD is down the road a way for me. I'm in the figuring it out and buying parts stage now.

Last night I read several other forums (Airstream and fiberglass RV) trying to learn how to wire and install the PD4045. Your way with a second breaker used as a converter breaker is one way to do it. There are other ways to wire it, wihout a second breaker used as a converter breaker, that I am attempting to learn about. Many people in other forums write about the frustrations they encounter trying to figure out how to wire and install a pd4045. I'm learning. Don't have all the answers yet.

It seems that I will need to remove the L shaped jumper on the left when I wire the PD4045 to the external DC battery power shut off switch. Have more to figure out, plan and learn. I'll document my set up with photos when I get to the installation stage.
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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:50 am

Esteban wrote:There are other ways to wire it, without a second breaker used as a converter breaker, that I am attempting to learn about.


I'd be very interested in reading about that.

The only other way I can think that is even possible (although I have very very serious doubts as to its correctness) is to connect your shore power hot (black) directly to the bus bar that the breakers plug on to. This would let you use your 30A breaker for your converter, and then use your 15A breakers for whatever branch circuits you have. (I strongly suggest against this)

HOWEVER, the PD4045 instructions specifically call for a 30A Main Breaker for a reason.

By definition, a main breaker's purpose is to work as a disconnect for 100% of the AC power going to an breaker panel (the PD4045 in our instance). Connecting the shore power directly to the breaker bus bar as I just described above completely defeats the main breakers purpose and I have zero doubt in my mind that this could void any warranty on your unit because its not wired as designed.

Not to mention that the PD4045 converter/charger doesn't require anywhere near 30A. Per the instruction manual, its rated input at 105-130VAC is only 725W, which is a maximum of 7A.

If you really need want more than two AC branch circuits for outlets then pick up a few tandem breakers and do it right. They're just about twice the cost of a regular breaker (because it really is two breakers in one). That will allow you to have the maximum of a 30A main, a 15A converter breaker, and six 15A circuits for outlets. Why anyone would need 6 branch circuits in a tiny trailer like ours is beyond me.

I know you're planning on using GFCI outlets which is a good thing. You can daisy-chain multiple outlets on each branch circuit, and only the first one needs to be a GFCI. So the more circuits you separate your outlets into, the more GFCI outlets you'll need (more $$). Unless you have some really big items pulling some serious power (at exactly the same time), then you'll be best off keeping your AC branch circuits to a minimum for ease of wiring and to keep costs down. I don't know exactly what your plans are, but there's really no need to run an individual outlet on each branch circuit.

For example: MAYBE if you're planning on running a full size microwave (~1200W @ 10A), a heavy duty coffee maker, and a 1000W blow dryer (~8.3A) at the same time, then you might separate these circuits onto their own breakers. But that's probably an exaggerated situation for someone who is camping. I know some people have microwaves, but I've never seen someone with a full-size microwave.

That's all I have to say about this subject. I really can't explain it any better. Just trying to help KISS. :thumbsup:
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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby Esteban » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:35 pm

I am confused about how to correctly wire a PD4045. I really appreciate Zach and others trying to help me get it right. I am not trying to argue or irritate anyone here. I just want to do a good, safe, installation to meet my wants and needs without creating any "smoke".

This morning I called Progressive Dynamics and talked to Dave in technical support. He said their current installation instructions are inadequate, leaving out important details, and need to be revised. Dave said he will email me more thorough instructions this afternoon, including instructions describing how to properly wire an external DC disconnect switch. I await his email to see what it says/shows.

I described how I have a 10/3 SJOOW power cord coming into the rear of the right side of the PD4045 from my (not yet installed) 30 amp power inlet. The black + wire is wired to the 30 amp main breaker. The white neutral wire is wired to the lower front buss bar (which has a factory installed white wire connected to the converter on the left). The green ground wire is wired to the lower rear buss bar (which has a factory wired green wire connected to the converter on the left). Jay said that is all correct.

My fingers are crossed that the information I will receive is truly helpful.


At present the only AC device I plan to use that will use a substantial amount of power is an AC/DC chest type fridge freezer (most likely an ARB or one from IndelB like a TruckFrifge). I have no desire to use a microwave oven. I plan to have three AC circuits. One for an outlet in the upper galley area, a second circuit just for the outlet for a fridge/freezer, and a third circuit for outlet(s) in the cabin area. I have no need or plans to use a hair dryer...but a woman might...if we have shore power...and I'd prefer a happy camping companion.

Installation and Operation Guide for PD4000 Series Power Control Center

PD4045K TROUBLE SHOOTING INFORMATION seems to show a different, possibly older, version of the PD4045 than the one I recently bought. The 30 amp DC fuses are configured differently, the lugs on the top left are different, and there is no L shaped jumper.

These two above are links to documents from Progressive Dynamics. They are not the email from Dave, which I have not yet received.

edited to correct Progressive Dynamics technical support person's name to "Dave." Dave is the support person I talked to. His extension is 143.
Last edited by Esteban on Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Progressive Dynamics PD4045 install

Postby Epbowen » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:40 am

Installed the replacement 4045 today. Wired five 12 volt circuits and installed a 30 amp main, a 15 for controller, and a 15 gfic breaker for the power outlets. What's nice is the gfic breaker allows 2 drops for outlets. Used a disconnect switch for the house dc. Powered it up and checked all the citcuits, works great. I let it cycle on charging the batteries....took about 4 hours with twin 31s. Tomorrow lighting and fan install!
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