DC charging power is obtained via the vehicles alternator AUX/ACC and/or the vans solar panels. For a Campervan-RV to be suitable for "self contained living off the grid" in an eco friendly manner, rapid AUX-charge and Solar-charge are vital.
My expectancy for the FD19's charge system performance is that it keeps a "one way fridge" (12V) going 24/7 every day, provided I travel for 4 hours a day and/or the sun is out . This should then provide sufficient daily re-charge to have a full battery in the evening. The system should also be upgrade-able to 2 Leisure batteries and 2 Solar panels.
So, how does the JHub system fare ?
- http://www.enerdrive.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/DC2DC-PLUS-User-Manual-WEB-1.0.pdf (Manual)
- http://www.enerdrive.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DC2DC-Plus-A4-2pp-WEB-01.pdf (Brochure)
- http://www.enerdrive.com.au/product/epower-dc-to-dc-battery-charger-40a-plus/ (Overview)
- http://www.enerdrive.com.au/mppt-vs-pwm-solar-controllers/ (Discussion Solar controllers MPPT vs PWM).
-------------------- Review Details -----------------------
My Campervan requires frequent and sustained access to AC Mains power (the grid). What's the problem ?
I have travelled more than 10 000 km and tested the system extensively. I have experienced black outs multiple times and was forced to return to the grid frequently after entering the battery charge red zone (charge indicator bars on jHub). The system is often not sufficiently capable to just power a fridge 24/7. I have restricted energy use for other loads i.e. lights, TV, pump, showers and set the fridge to medium cool.
At 10..15A the BMPRO JHUB-J35C underperforms in AUX charging mode. Combined AUX and Solar charging is load dependent when blended and hence frequently NOT activated. A Solenoid bypass (Redarc) installed by Jayco underpins my point that BmPro's JHub on its own does not perform well enough. Further proof of my point is that BmPro has suggested I install their Miniboost (to be paid for as an Aftermarket improvement). It is designed to boost AUX charge. But in my opinion neither the crude solenoid (battery isolator) in the BMPRO-J35 circuit, nor the Miniboost make enough of a difference and match the Enerdrive DC2DC 40+ system (40 Amps Plus). Modern vehicles have smart alternator charge systems and people want to be able to run 300W+ Solar Systems with 200Ah+ Batteries.
The BMPRO Miniboost is offered as Aftermarket system supplement and should have been installed by OEM Jayco, so that the Redarc SBI (solenoid) can be removed and the JHub tablet readings don't get messed up. With a Miniboost installed the Jhub-J35 performs better at 15A output combined for loads and charge (spec rates Miniboost capability at 18..20A). Jayco's original thin wiring for the J35-Aux Input appears to be sufficient to drive 15A when a Miniboost is installed. The Miniboost seems to outperform the thick wire Redarc solenoid bypass that Jayco has installed to boost the AUX charging mode. Now the weakest link is the J35's charging algo. It is capable of running a twin charge mode, but often selects only one charging source instead of both, i.e. either AUX or Solar and frequently the weaker one.
DC CHARGE MODE (1.5*)
I do expect that AUX charging and Solar charging via J35 work in tandem all the time full blast until the House battery is at least 80% charged. The currently implemented charge source priority & activation algo that tests loads should only kick in when the battery is nearly fully charged (if at all). Furthermore the J35 may to often give the highly fluctuating solar charging circuit dominant source preference. With a Miniboost installed and only one solar panel available in a FD19, Solar is always the weaker source compared to AUX (15A constant vs 9A max). If we can get 15A+9A=24A most of the time, then the fridge (4A) can be sustained in a typical mixed cycle of daily driving and occasional sunshine.
AC CHARGE MODE (3*)
In AC charge mode The JHub system bulk charges with 15A from the grid and provides additional current to power all loads. This is quite acceptable for charging one 100Ah battery, but marginal for 200..300 Ah battery blocks. The J35-AUX/Solar DC twin charge mode in my opinion only deserves 2 stars, but the innovative tablet features would have deserved 3 stars. The JHub with its SBI bypass (by Redarc) has not scored too well in the caravanersforum (see link below).
The JHub has been promoted as an advanced technology innovation that makes system modifications fast and easy (via Tablet). It appears that there are virtually no programmable performance options. I would love to change my grading of only 2* in due time. I love the concept of having a tablet monitoring my energy system, but an improved CONTROL SYSTEM and energy self sufficiency for off grid camping is currently my main concern.
Jayco and Setec are system development partners. It took lots of tests and emails to their respective Service departments to slowly get a picture of the DC charge systems performance limitations. I feel DC charging of Jayco's RV leisure battery bank needs major improvements.
I suggest that Australia's dominant mass manufacturer of Australian RV's (Jayco) and their System Partner (BMPRO/Setec) will consider Enerdrive's benchmark performance and improve their JHUB.
------------------------------------------------------------ Links -----------------------------------------------------------------
BMPRO JHUB-J35C RV-POWER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (JAYCO FD19 CAMPERVAN-MOTORHOME)
Available in Australia since early 2017, BMPRO’s JHub is one the World’s first portable power management systems for monitoring and controlling caravans and motorhomes, operating from Android tablet. Designed specifically for Jayco Australia