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Frequently Asked Questions
How long will my Volta Power System run for?
Runtime is directly related to how much power you are using and the size of your system. If you are running your air conditioning and other 110V appliances simultaneously, the system will typically last for several hours on a full charge. On lighter loads, it’s possible for the system to last for several days.
Why is there a delay between pushing the button to turn the system on/off and it actually powering up/down?
If you’ve properly booted up or shut down a computer (as we’re sure you have), you’ll know that it usually takes a few seconds from the time you push the computer’s power button to when the system has actually booted up or turned off.
The same is true for your Volta system; in the short time after you press the power button and before the system actually starts up or shuts down, the system runs self-checks to make sure that everything is in proper working order.
What’s the difference between long-term storage and heated/ready-to-go storage?
Long-term storage, or storage of your Volta-equipped vehicle for an extended period of time, can be safely done by charging your Volta Power System to at least 60% and then turning the system off without being plugged into a power source.
For ready-to-go storage, or storage of your Volta-equipped vehicle for a short period of time, it’s safe to simply turn the system off and disconnect it from shore power until you’re ready to use it again.
Why doesn’t the Volta Power System require a spill kit?
Unlike lead-acid batteries, Volta Power Systems contain very few electrolytes and are completely sealed from air. Because of its components and how they’re built, there’s no chance of leakage like with a traditional battery. You can add that to the list of things you don’t have to worry about with Volta!
What is voltage?
Imagine you and a friend are standing in front of each other with your palms touching. If we told you to try pushing each other back, one of two things will happen: 1) your power will be equally-matched and neither of you will move, or 2) one of you will be overpowered and pushed backwards.
The force of you pushing against your friend’s hands represents voltage, and their hands pushing back represent resistance. Every conductive material in the world provides a certain level of resistance to electrical currents, and in order to conduct electricity there must be enough pressure (voltage) to overcome that resistance.
The higher the voltage, the higher the pressure behind an energy current’s flow. As the pressure increases, the rate of energy flow increases, too, which is why it’s best to use the highest possible voltage when charging up your power system. The higher the voltage, the faster the charge rate!
Volta’s systems are built to a 51V standard, meaning they charge faster and are capable of providing more power than standard 12V systems, but have low enough voltage to meet important safety requirements.
What are amps?
It’s easy to say that amps represent the flow of electricity. But what exactly does that mean?
Think of electrical flow like water flowing through a hose. If you’re trying to fill up a swimming pool, would you rather be equipped with a garden hose or a fire hose? Of course the garden hose will get the job done eventually, but the fire hose will provide a much higher, or faster, rate of flow and fill the pool up more quickly.
Increasing the number of amps is like increasing the size of a hose: as the number of amps increases, the amount of energy also increases.
What are watts?
Building off our previous analogy: amps represent the volume of water and volts represent the pressure that’s moving the water. When we multiply the number of amps and volts together, we can calculate the number of watts.
Watts = Amps x Volts
Watts represent the actual power generated by whatever the amp and volt levels are. Do you have a 1200 watt microwave in your kitchen? Assuming it’s plugged into a 110 volt outlet, we can calculate that it draws about 11 amps to provide those 1200 watts of power.
1200W = ~11A x 110V
What is power?
Power is the ability to do work, and for electrical systems, it’s measured in watts (W). The ability to do that work over time is measured in watt hours (Wh). Watts tell you how big of a load your system can support and Watt Hours say how long it will run.
If you want to run a 1000W appliance for 1hr, you will need 1000Whs (or 1kWh) of storage.
For RVs that have them, at what percentage will the system automatically start the main vehicle engine or, if equipped, the auxiliary generator? Can I change that percentage?
If your vehicle is equipped, your auto-start or generator will automatically start when your Volta system drops to approximately 10-20%. This depends on a number of factors including the ambient temperature, the average rate of energy consumption, etc. Because each individual system calculates this number based on a wide range of criteria, there’s no direct way to affect the percentage that the auto-start or generator will operate at.
Warning: Due to exhaust fume hazards, auto generator start should only be used when the vehicle is not in an enclosed space.
Does the system have to be on when it’s charging?
Yes. If you’re running the alternator or using solar to charge your Volta system, the system’s switch needs to be in the ON position for it to charge.
Shore power is a little different. While your system’s switch can be in the OFF position while connected to shore power, the system will remain on and functioning for as long as it’s plugged into a working shore power connection.
When connected to shore power, should I leave my system on or turn it off?
We recommend leaving your system in the OFF position when charging connected to shore power. If you turn your system off, connect to shore power and then lose shore power, your system will automatically turn itself off and its energy will be conserved. If you leave your system on, connect to shore power and then lose shore power, your system will stay on, using energy and potentially running out of power.
If you leave it on, be sure to check your system daily to ensure that the shore power connection is still active and that the system is maintaining its charge.
Are there any error messages in particular I should look out for?
Pay attention to the color of your SOC gauge, especially if it’s flashing! The steady lit-up color of the gauge can easily show you at-a-glance what your system’s charge level is. However, if the light is flashing, your system’s trying to tell you something’s amiss.
What should I do if my SOC gauge is flashing red?
Start by turning your power system off, wait 10 seconds, then turn it back on. After completing its usual systems check, the light will begin flashing red for 120 seconds before it shuts off again.
The number of times your SOC will flash indicates the issue:
- 6x Fast RED Blink – System Empty: Will turn off in 120 seconds if there’s no charge.
- Slow RED Blink – FAULT Detected: Requires diagnostic attention.
If the issue is an empty energy system, turn your system on again. Within 60 seconds, you should do one of two things:
- Turn your vehicle on to activate the alternator (fast idle) and begin recharging your system.
- Connect your vehicle to shore power and begin recharging your system.
Once the system has begun charging, the SOC should blink five (5) times, indicating that the energy system is empty, but it’s either charging or that the charge is pending.
If your system has detected a fault, immediately contact your RV dealer’s service center.
When do I need to adjust my vehicle’s charge rate?
Have you ever tripped a circuit breaker in your house after using too many electrical appliances at once? This happens when the amount of energy being pulled from the outlet exceeds what it’s able to give. For example, if you’re trying to use 20 amps of energy but the outlet can only provide 15 amps, the breaker will trip and the electrical current will be cut off, preventing a potentially dangerous situation.
When you’re connected to shore power, your Volta Power System is just like an appliance. To prevent the shore-power breakers from tripping, it’s important to ensure that your system’s charge amps are properly adjusted.
How do I adjust my system’s charge amps?
When plugged into shore power, your Volta system will sample incoming power for a few seconds to ensure uniformity requirements are met. If they are, the system will automatically feed power to the vehicle and begin charging the Volta energy system. If the incoming power is inadequate, the system will cut the vehicle off from the power source to prevent a brownout.
The inverter/charger has an adjustable charge rate. Depending on the shore power available, between 15A and 30A, the charge rate is adjustable in 5 amp increments through the settings on your inverter’s LCD display. To avoid inhibiting shore charging, the charge rate should never be set to zero. Please see your user manual for more details.
Note: Before allowing for a higher charge rate, ensure that the shore power source can sustain the selected charge rate.
What should I know about shore power surge protectors?
A power surge is, as the name would suggest, an intense surge of power that can cause damage to anything connected to it including your appliances and RV’s electrical system. While it’s very rare, when your vehicle is connected to shore power there’s always a chance that a power surge could occur. RV “plug-in” style surge protectors may be used with your Volta system, however some electronic surge protectors, particularly more complex models, can interfere with the Volta system’s shore power supervision.
If you’re using a plug-in surge protector that indicates no issues, but you’re experiencing problems with your Volta system not connecting to the attached shore power, here’s a simple test you can do: Remove the surge protector and plug the shore cord directly into your vehicle. If your system is now able to receive shore power, it may be that your surge protector is not compatible with your Volta system.
Can I run heat or A/C overnight with my Volta system?
Yes, assuming you have adequate charge when nighttime rolls around or are plugged into shore power. You can check your system’s energy usage stats in the myVolta app or on your SOC gauge.
Can I charge my Volta Power System with solar panels?
Yes, but depending on your usage, it may charge slowly or not at all. Think about our analogy of how amps are like filling a swimming pool with a different size hose; the higher the amps, the bigger the hose, the faster the pool fills up. Most solar power setups don’t generate enough to power active energy use AND charge a Volta system simultaneously (or, in the case of our analogy, solar panels represent a very small hose).
In ideal conditions, some incremental charging can be experienced, but you shouldn’t rely on your system’s solar panels to charge your Volta system.
If the LEDs on my solar controller both go steady red, does that indicate a fault?
This LED status is possible on early models of the Winnebago Travato and Boldt and may not necessarily indicate a fault. When the Volta system is fully charged, it disables further solar charging by opening a relay that can make the solar controller lights glow red.
Need to Talk to Support?
NOTE: If you’re an RV owner looking for service support, please contact your dealer or RV manufacturer directly to schedule service.
If you’re a dealer or OEM partner configuring a system or working on a support request, please contact our support team directly.