Tips, Tools & Home Improvement

How Does a Network Switch Work?

A priority circuit elegantly solves a problem that some campers know with certainty. In our mobile homes, the power supply is ensured by the connection of shore power over the designated external socket. Also, a voltage converter is often installed, which provides for traveling or freewheeling for 230V. For this purpose, separate outlets are mounted in many motorhomes. Some only work if the vehicle is connected to an external power outlet, the others are only intended for inverter operation. As an attentive reader told us, this is particularly annoying if only one single socket is mounted for the inverter. In the course of our expansion, we have solved precisely this problem by a network switch.

Reason for a network priority circuit

The question is, why can not you connect both power sources to a conventional circuit? I explain the whole thing according to our needs.

Since we are mostly free, our sockets are supplied in the structure of an inverter. But since the sun does not always shine, and in winter, the solar yield is usually lower, we have also installed a shore power connection. If an external mains voltage (e.g., from a generator or campsite) is now connected via the foreign socket, this leads to the inverter output and destroys it. To avoid this, a network priority circuit is required. Without this accessory, we would have had to lay a second circuit with cables and plugs as well.

How our automatic network switching works for 230V

A priority circuit detects whether a second voltage source (shore power) is present. If so, the inverter output is automatically disconnected from the electrical system and the external voltage is fed in. If now the foreign power is divided again, the energy of the inverter comes back to the train. The network switching takes place within 0.5 seconds. Connected devices but go out for a short time despite this electric circuit.
A simple and above all reliable way to use a mains circuit for two power sources. No additional sockets or cables need to be laid (except for the line from the inverter to the mains priority switch and, if the voltage transformer does not have an integrated RCCB or an additional FI). We have been using this type of network switching for over two years now without any problems. The priority circuit we use can switch AC loads of up to 12A (about 2700W).

Retrofit network priority in the RV

In general, working on 230V systems is only advisable with expert knowledge. Retrofitting can be a network switch in pretty much any RV. A USA manual with connection diagram accompanies the device. If you have the necessary experience, you will be able to install the equipment without any problems. Anyone unsure should have the network priority circuit connected by a specialist workshop.

You can have a look at our RV cover reviews to choose which one is perfect for you.

Please make sure to provide the strands with wire end ferrules, so that they have good contact and hold them in the screw terminals. The space between the output and the housing is a bit tight, but removing the sealing caps is fine.

The protective conductor is connected in the housing with a wagon clamp. So that only at shore power of the refrigerator and the charger is operated, I have branched off yet another line before the network priority circuit. Since we still have an older model, there is no automatic switchover between electricity and gas operation.

Inverters with priority switching

There are also inverters from well-known manufacturers that have already integrated a priority circuit. If you want to know more about voltage converters,

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