Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

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Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby Boreal » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:14 pm

Take a look at this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9m4sbWHZN0

At the 5:18 mark, he clearly says (and points to) this fact: the negative/ground (white wires) from the DC circuit gets screwed into the AC neutral (white) location, as labeled on the PD manual.

Really? The DC neutral can be connected to the AC neutral? Is it that easy?
Last edited by Boreal on Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby bobwhite215 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:19 pm

Basically, ground is ground. Your DC ground and your AC ground should both be going back to your chassis frame, so they are going to be connected at that point anyway. Might as well tie them together in the box and only run one wire.

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Re: Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby H.A. » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:38 pm

[ite.
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Re: Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby Boreal » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:53 pm

H.A. wrote:
Boreal wrote:Take a look at this video:

I suspect you meant to write "DC negative" and "AC neutral".


YES! I just rewatched the video and said to myself "now, waaaiiit a minute..."

SO, to recap, DC Negative/White is the same as AC Neutral/White.

New Question: Should I also send a line from the DC 12v (on the battery) to the metal chassis?
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Re: Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby troubleScottie » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:46 am

Most AC 3 conductor wires in the US have:

black and white wires for the power [ color of the plastic coating on the wire ]
AND
a green or bare wire for the ground.

Other countries use different coloring schemes https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/textbook/reference/chpt-2/wiring-color-codes-infographic/



I think more to the point, there are three wires. They are called phases, neutral and protective earth/ground.

The AC ground and DC negative/ground should be connected together either at a specific point or via the frame of the car or trailer.

Note: given the fact that a car and trailer are insulated from ground by tires/wheels, the car/trailer ground is not technically not ground. In your house for instance, the ground wire eventually is connected to a metal/copper/copper plated stake driven into the ground. Of course, once you plug into an external AC power source, the entire system is now grounded to earth via the external connection.

Safety Note: Due to the length of the external connection, you might be a better path to ground. Always use GFCI outlets.
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Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby mcubberley » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:00 pm

The more stuff I read the less I am sure of. This is the first time I have heard of tying the ac neutral (white) to the D.C. Negative (black) on the neutral bus bar in the pd4045. It's not mentioned in the manual and most other threads say D.C. Negative to negative terminal of battery. And then ground the AC ground (bare/green) to the frame. The pd4045 instructions never give any mention of how to terminate the D.C. Negatives from the circuits so most people seem to be asking this same question again and again, including myself. I should probably just call the manufacturer to get an official word.


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Re: Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby troubleScottie » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:50 pm

Went looking for and found an apparent pdf to augment the PD4045 manual http://www.springdew.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/PD4045.pdf This is most likely already elsewhere on the site as it was written for this site. This has at least one color diagram which makes visualizing thing a bit easier. This manual/document makes a big thing about ground and what it means.

Here is the actual manual http://www.progressivedyn.com/pdfs/110145%20English%20Only.pdf The major omission is the AC black wire connection to the converter. This is present in the augmented document.

At no point in either manual/document does the AC neutral (white) wire get connected to the battery negative wire. The only place this might be incorrectly inferred is the DC output from the converter has a black (pos) and white (neg) wiring. One might have hoped for a black and red pair with labels?!!! OR that this wiring (both converter inputs and outputs) would have been completed in the factory to remove any possible questions. Actually, I do not see any place where the DC neg and AC earth/ground are connected. Maybe in a later manual?

The diagram shows wiring for the battery referencing the pos and negative terminals, the converter and the power input lines go. This appears to be a standard AC 3 wire connector eg 15A/20A service. The three wires for the converter are connected to the same color wires from the input: green (earth/ground) and white (AC neutral) via bus bars and for the black wire through two breakers and a bus bar. If you are doing a 50AMP or 30AMP input (4 wires), the wiring will be different and I think a different box.

Also there is wiring in an AC appliance (correct term??) in the augmented document. You are basically copying the converter AC connection. The wire is threading into the box and stripped of the sheathing. Generally the wire is uncovered to the point just inside the box beyond the cable cord connector/strain relief. The green and white wires are stripped at the tip of their plastic coating and inserted into the appropriate bus bar and secured by a screw. The black wire is connected any breaker (other than the main).

Since you are doing this with no power (battery or AC input), this is a very straight forward assemble. Your biggest issue is that you most likely will be connecting the wires inside the trailer eg tight quarters, bad lighting, keep dropping screws. Doing any wiring prior to actually putting the distribution panel into the trailer is a good idea.
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Re: Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby low277 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:07 pm

troubleScottie, very good link! Grounding and grounded conductors can be confusing. Throw some bonding functions and both AC and DC systems together with multiple colors for those same conductors and it gets even better!
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Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby mcubberley » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:42 pm

troubleScottie wrote:Went looking for and found an apparent pdf to augment the PD4045 manual http://www.springdew.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/PD4045.pdf This is most likely already elsewhere on the site as it was written for this site. This has at least one color diagram which makes visualizing thing a bit easier. This manual/document makes a big thing about ground and what it means.

Here is the actual manual http://www.progressivedyn.com/pdfs/110145%20English%20Only.pdf The major omission is the AC black wire connection to the converter. This is present in the augmented document.

At no point in either manual/document does the AC neutral (white) wire get connected to the battery negative wire. The only place this might be incorrectly inferred is the DC output from the converter has a black (pos) and white (neg) wiring. One might have hoped for a black and red pair with labels?!!! OR that this wiring (both converter inputs and outputs) would have been completed in the factory to remove any possible questions. Actually, I do not see any place where the DC neg and AC earth/ground are connected. Maybe in a later manual?

The diagram shows wiring for the battery referencing the pos and negative terminals, the converter and the power input lines go. This appears to be a standard AC 3 wire connector eg 15A/20A service. The three wires for the converter are connected to the same color wires from the input: green (earth/ground) and white (AC neutral) via bus bars and for the black wire through two breakers and a bus bar. If you are doing a 50AMP or 30AMP input (4 wires), the wiring will be different and I think a different box.

Also there is wiring in an AC appliance (correct term??) in the augmented document. You are basically copying the converter AC connection. The wire is threading into the box and stripped of the sheathing. Generally the wire is uncovered to the point just inside the box beyond the cable cord connector/strain relief. The green and white wires are stripped at the tip of their plastic coating and inserted into the appropriate bus bar and secured by a screw. The black wire is connected any breaker (other than the main).

Since you are doing this with no power (battery or AC input), this is a very straight forward assemble. Your biggest issue is that you most likely will be connecting the wires inside the trailer eg tight quarters, bad lighting, keep dropping screws. Doing any wiring prior to actually putting the distribution panel into the trailer is a good idea.


This is what I used and is a good source. I just think it's wierd to connect the D.C. Negative bus to that screw terminal Labeled D.C. - in figure 2. It looks designed for one sturdy wire and it is omitted in the manufacture's diagram.

That's why I went from D.C. Neg bus bar directly to battery neg terminal. The question remains if the battery - and frame should tied together since the AC earth is connected to that as well. Lots of conflicting opinions on this.

The mention of tying AC neutral and D.C. Negatives (which could potentially be tied to the chassis and thus the AC earth bus) is what got a little wierd for me an what spurred my comments. Basically would have been like one big green white D.C. Negative bus bar. No good.

I think now that the topic has been discussed from a number of angles now searching should get people some more solid pieces of advice specific to this unit when searching.


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Re: Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby kludge » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:49 am

OK, after watching the video, reading the wiring diagram from PD, and a bit of Google searching, what I can tell you is I would NOT follow the advise from the video.

Specifically, at 2:30 in the video he says "this is the ground bar for your 12V." I would NOT use that bus to ground the 12V. The wire from that bus to the negative side of the 12V Converter/Charger is NOT, NO WAY, NO HOW sized to handle the full load of all the 12V circuits added together. He's probably getting away with it because a) the wire is short, and b) he's not running everything at once. (ETA: it's also a good way to make a really noisy radio, if you're using a car audio system.)

Rather look at "Fig 3" in the first post in this thread for the correct way to wire the AC: http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=65938

Image

This shows the correct way to wire the AC.

Shore power comes into the PD. The AC-LINE aka HOT or PHASE (black wire) goes to the MAIN BREAKER. The AC-GROUND aka EARTH (green wire with yellow stripe) goes to a connection on the second row up from the bottom of the picture. (The wiring diagram refers to this as the "BOTTOM" row.) The AC-NEUTRAL (white) goes to a connection on the row at the bottom of the picture. (The wiring diagram refers to this as the "TOP" row. I know, confusing, right? Think of it as looking at a top down map of a mountain range and the taller mountain is the "top".)

With the shore power connected (but not actually plugged into shore power!) you can install the AC breakers. You will need to install one breaker for the DC converter and run a black wire from the breaker to the bus bar on the right side of the PD. The three wires (L,N,G) for the DC convertor should come prewired. If not, the LINE goes to the bus on the right and the GROUND and NEUTRAL connect to the respective buses at the bottom, just like the incoming shore power.

For the two additional breaker slots, the AC wiring will go out the back through the slots and attach the same way: LINE to the breaker, GROUND and NEUTRAL to the respective buses. You don't need to connect a wire from the main breaker to the other breaker to feed them -- that is handled by the thick metal bus behind the breakers where they mount to the chassis of the PD. The tie in connection from the battery negative to the AC-NEUTRAL is also handled by the wiring of the PD through the converter section.

For AC outlets always use GFCI outlets everywhere in the trailer. This will protect you in the event that the shore power doesn't have a good solid earth ground.

Now for the DC: The construction of the PD and wiring diagram (the total lack of a DC negative bus bar) give us a hint that the designer intended for the DC returns (aka DC grounds) to be wired in a similar way as a vehicle or RV. :thinking:

That is fine for RV's that have a metal framework mounted to a big steel chassis, but doesn't work so well for teardrops made of wood. So I suggest adding a separate DC negative bus. Bring all the DC returns back to the negative bus and connect them to the bus. Then with one fat cable (at least the same size as the cable going from the battery positive to the converter that can handle the full DC load) connect the DC return bus to the negative battery terminal. And with one more fat cable connect the battery negative to the connection on the converter.

ETA: a marine converter might actually be better for teardrops, in that boats more often tend to be made from wood or fiberglass and this is usually accounted for in the design.
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Re: Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby Boreal » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:36 pm

The tie in connection from the battery negative to the AC-NEUTRAL is also handled by the wiring of the PD through the converter section.


So battery negative connects to AC neutral / AKA white.

SO why not connect the DC ground to the AC neutral bus? There seems to be lots of room.
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Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby mcubberley » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:47 pm

Boreal wrote:
The tie in connection from the battery negative to the AC-NEUTRAL is also handled by the wiring of the PD through the converter section.


So battery negative connects to AC neutral / AKA white.

SO why not connect the DC ground to the AC neutral bus? There seems to be lots of room.


From what I am hearing it's not correct to tie D.C. Negatives(grounds) to neutral (AC white wire) bus bar. They should go directly to the battery negative terminal or connect a bus for the D.C. Negatives to where the battery negative connects to the pd4045. AC white is not the same as a ground. D.C. Negative is not a neutral. D.C. Grounding means connecting to a metal frame that is connected to the battery negative post. AC ground is a path for extra AC current to be safely dissipated so the circuit doesn't burn up if shorted.

The converter is simply connected to the AC like an appliance via the breaker and wires on the AC side. This does not mean that the battery negative and the neutral are connected or the same.

There is another thread about this that gives an augmented wiring diagram for the pd4045. I would link it if I had it right now.

Good luck and make sure to test your outlets and D.C. Ports with a multimeter.

Edit: here is the link to a step by step another member found and posted in that other thread: http://www.springdew.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/PD4045.pdf

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Re: Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby kludge » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:07 am

Boreal wrote:
The tie in connection from the battery negative to the AC-NEUTRAL is also handled by the wiring of the PD through the converter section.


So battery negative connects to AC neutral / AKA white.

SO why not connect the DC ground to the AC neutral bus? There seems to be lots of room.


Image

In the picture, at the bottom, you can see where is says "AC Ground to Converter (Green)" and "AC Neutral to Converter (White)"

Those come pre-wired from the factory, from what I understand - i.e. the tie-in from the battery (-) to the AC Neutral/AC Ground is already done for you. Just connect the battery where it says "TO BATT NEG" and "TO BATT POS".

I don't have this converter so I can't say definitively whether or not BATT NEG and AC-Neutral are indeed tied together or if the output of the converter "floats" (i.e. not tied to any reference point, like AC-Neutral). You can check with a ohm meter/multimeter. However, being an electrical engineer, I personally would not design a converter that "floats", unless I had a good reason that the DC output had to float.
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Re: Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby mcubberley » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:04 pm

kludge wrote:
Boreal wrote:
The tie in connection from the battery negative to the AC-NEUTRAL is also handled by the wiring of the PD through the converter section.


So battery negative connects to AC neutral / AKA white.

SO why not connect the DC ground to the AC neutral bus? There seems to be lots of room.


Image

In the picture, at the bottom, you can see where is says "AC Ground to Converter (Green)" and "AC Neutral to Converter (White)"

Those come pre-wired from the factory, from what I understand - i.e. the tie-in from the battery (-) to the AC Neutral/AC Ground is already done for you. Just connect the battery where it says "TO BATT NEG" and "TO BATT POS".

I don't have this converter so I can't say definitively whether or not BATT NEG and AC-Neutral are indeed tied together or if the output of the converter "floats" (i.e. not tied to any reference point, like AC-Neutral). You can check with a ohm meter/multimeter. However, being an electrical engineer, I personally would not design a converter that "floats", unless I had a good reason that the DC output had to float.



They are not tied together. The items you pointed out supply the AC power to the converter unit (think of the converter as an appliance that needs an outlet) as well those are two separate bus bars so the greens and whites would not be intermingled. This is what sends ac power to the battery tender/charger so the AC neutral, hot, and ground never interacting in a way that would suggest they are common to anything on the DC side.

When I did my install I screwed up and tried to use the green bus bar in that picture to serve as the negative (black) side of my DC circuits. This lead to a current leak on my AC ground which was not a good thing. One needs to connect the DC black (-) directly to the battery or at the point where the battery black (-) connects to the unit with heavy gauge wire. This closes the DC circuits. Again referring back to my blunder connecting them to the AC ground bus bar or the negative bus bar did not work and caused the current leak across my AC ground.

So the AC neutral(white), AC ground (green), and the DC - (black) should all be treated as separate and different things because they are different and should not be treated as a bunch of negatives, grounds or neutrals.

This is all just based on my experience and also with scouring the various posts I researched on this site.
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Re: Grounding a PD 4045 - throuroughly confused

Postby H.A. » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:27 pm

Boreal wrote:Take a look at this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9m4sbWHZN0

At the 5:18 mark, he clearly says (and points to) this fact: the negative/ground (white wires) from the DC circuit gets screwed into the AC neutral (white) location, as labeled on the PD manual.

Really? The DC neutral can be connected to the AC neutral? Is it that easy?


Folks should not gain their electrical education from a Shadetree Guy on Youtube...
Nothing but neutral connections from 120vac circuits should be connected to the neutral bussbar.
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