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Old 11-30-2016, 11:27 AM   #21
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As for lithium and Tessla batteries... unless you are rich and have money to burn, wait for the prices to come down. Right now going lithium is like buying a computer twenty years ago. It shows great promise and is the wave of the future to be sure, but let the pioneers shake the bugs out for now and save a few bucks for an upgrade to lithium five or ten years down the road. It's coming! Just to experimental right now.

Deep wet cell is tried and true. It takes some beating and keeps the new guy learning the ropes happy and electric!

Read a lot on solar and focus on how it is adapted for rv use. Did you know that two playing cards sitting on top of a single solar cell on a solar panel essentially turns that panel off?!!! Yet panels are installed routinely on rv's with big air conditioners and dish antennas and vents all shading different parts of their solar system!

Have fun!

Ross
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:11 AM   #22
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If you come out to look at my back deck you can check out our solar setup too. So far it's four 230 watt panels, two 30amp pwm controllers, and four deep cycle wet cell batteries. Adding two more panels and one more controller this spring.
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:58 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onenationundergoat View Post
If you come out to look at my back deck you can check out our solar setup too. So far it's four 230 watt panels, two 30amp pwm controllers, and four deep cycle wet cell batteries. Adding two more panels and one more controller this spring.
I suggest you add two deep cell batteries and skip the additional panels for now goat. 920 watts would charge six deep cells very nicely. Four batteries is your current bottleneck. What voltage is your battery bank wired for? 12 or 24? And what voltage are you feeding from your solar into your pwm charge controllers?

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Old 12-03-2016, 04:05 PM   #24
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Darrington, Wa.
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I've been thinking about this a lot. Mostly trying to figure out where I want battery and panels. I think I have used up a good amount of space under the bus now. I'm just not sure of my power demands. I have a genset.

I'm thinking of building my roof rack into a storage area for some gear I need to stow and battery boxes for the house set up with mounts for solar panels.

I was watching Gone with the Wynns videos and on there RV and boat they went with 1200 Amp Hours. Now there using a 4 big 300 amp hour lithium battery's at $3500 each. I have zero intention of spending that much money and I think that Tesla wall at 10 kw? would be less but I'm not sure on how there sized exactly from amp hours to KW. The idea of a silent genset is interesting and Winnebago new premier units are built this way with qty 12 100 amp hour batteries on board.

Now that Rv is high tech on the side of very efficient but it has the coach engine starting which you cant even hear to charge the battery bank back up.

So I have my shop planned and I expect since I mostly use dewalt tools any more and a small pancake compressor and i'll go with all Led lights and stereo which just might be my laptops I don't see much load.

If some one could double check my work it looks like the Walmart RV battery standard size gr31? it looks like its 100 amp hours. I have 3k invertor with a 5 or 6 K surge. I'm going to try and run almost every thing right form 12 volts Not sure about my flat screen but its a LED 42" and I have car hoist with a 100 volt electric motor running a pump which only runs for a few seconds at time a few times a day when I'm using it. And then some 13 amp air conditioners that I have decided I will just run on the genset if I'm boon docking.

So in my roof rack I was thinking of starting with 600 amp hours and build room for 1200 amp hours and then through use and meters and decide on exactly what I need for solar power.

It seems like a good battery charger and gen will keep me up or driving with my 160 amp alternator should be able to do the trick.

Also To service the battery's I thought the roof might be easiest way to go if I had a the ability to get up there. its not like you can make it top heavy. I was watching good news bus check his water levels and it looked like a pain in the butt to climb under the bus.

The I thought a plus would be is when solar goes on it would be short wire runs to the battery. Also when I do my solar I want them to fold down flat for travel and when parked raise up and be self tracking. Might take a few minutes to set up and take down but for a week some where or more it sure could be nice and tracking set ups are not difficult or expensive if your stationary.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:34 PM   #25
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Your largest amp draw is anything producing significant heat or airconditioning. If you avoid electric bus heating and use only small air conditioners sparingly you can cut your overall electricity needs considerably. The next electricity user of any significance is the refrigerator. I took a small upright freezer and converted it into a fairly efficient refrigerator. Through the heat of the summer it only used about 10% of my available 240Ahs per day. And my two 240 watt panels easily topped off my battery bank in a couple of hours. If you stay within the top 20-30% of your battery bank's available power your batteries will last much longer. That should be part of anyone's objective.

Propane is a nice marriage to solar. Use it for heating the bus, heating your water (on demand) and cooking.

12 volts is fine for 12 volt things... pumps, led lights and the like. Searching for 12 volt equivalent replacements of 120vac appliances tends to get expensive an reduces your choices. Higher wattage devices require substantial current from a 12 volt source. It can certainly be done but you must provide suitable gage wire to carry the load and copper of suitable size can get expensive. I agree with the desire to improve efficiency but I would instead put my money on a good quality inverter, preferably a pure sine inverter.

In my opinion approaching solar goes hand in hand with some frugality. You do not have to go without but conscience effort is made to turn off things not needed and monitoring battery energy becomes routine. Not a nuisance but rather normal routine. More at first and less as you get to know your system.

360ahrs in lead acid batteries with 700 - 900 watts of solar would be fantastic for most of us. You would rarely want for more imho.

Regards!

Ross
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:44 PM   #26
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I saw a lithium battery burst into flames and they were unable to put it out. It burned like a torch.

If anyone is in Richmond pm me, i know where to get new Trojan t105 for $100 each.
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:17 AM   #27
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Year: 1995
Chassis: Thomas Saf T Line
Engine: 8.3L Cummins
So i just droped about 8k on my system and there are things i could have done cheaper but here it is


12 100 watt mono crystalin hqst pannels for about $115 each....free shipping with amazon prime

I set them up in series parallel. Two panels in series with six sets in parallel for a 24 volt system. When I first ran wiring I wasn't considering series vs parallel if you go series he can go with thinner wire with a higher voltage to your solar charge controller but if there's any Shadow on any of the panels will kill all your power production so I wanted to go parallel but that would have required extremely heavy wire so I went for The Best of Both worlds what is a series parallel combo.

Batteries I want with it l16 re Trojans which weighs about a thousand pounds which I wasn't really thinking about at the time and is on one side currently but if you have the ability I would spread load over the vehicle. These are 6 volt batteries that I did as series parallel 4 batteries to make a 24 volt and then two units in parallel in retrospect I would have put one 24 volt the unit on one side and the other 24 volt unit on the other side fortunately I have a heavy ass wood stove to compensate.


Also the eight batteries that are just about a thousand pounds I didn't realize that I would have to manufacture my own battery slide out because on Amazon the heaviest one I could find was 500 pounds so I had to take some angle iron Mill little slots in it and stuff it full of ball bearings also in the location that it's at there is very little clearance which requires a battery slide out and consider if you have led acid he will have to to keep the water topped off fortunately I installed an irrigation system so it's easy to keep the water topped off








The last picture as you can see I put an on-off switch on top of the roof where the panels are I later realized this box and in place of the on/off switch replaced it with 12 volt DC Breakers I was advised that if something happens to one of the solar panels you don't want all the other solar panels feeding electricity into it so now they're Breakers keeping different series separate from each other initially the on-off switch was to prevent any catastrophic events if a male were to go through my single outgoing from the roof to the PV charge controller

I don't have any more good pictures at the time right now but I have a magnum energy AC charge controller / inverter it's the 2440 re which after doing a little more research and talking to him I should have gotten the 2440 m they're m stands for mobile and it has some sort of bunch of technical words for isolating the ground and making it work when you're using your chassis as the negativefor the DC system and the chassis as the ground for the AC.
M PPT is going to be about a 25% more efficient PV charge controller than pwm unfortunately I initially thought a pwm and later upgraded to the mppt by outback and I have a 24 volt to 12 volt step down going from the battery Bank to my DC breaker panel for all the bus outlets and Lighting

Ps I'm on my phone and I just use voice to text so sorry for any confusion
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:05 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossfree View Post
I suggest you add two deep cell batteries and skip the additional panels for now goat. 920 watts would charge six deep cells very nicely. Four batteries is your current bottleneck. What voltage is your battery bank wired for? 12 or 24? And what voltage are you feeding from your solar into your pwm charge controllers?

Ross
We already have the other two panels waiting on us. Our system is 12v. The only reason a dealt with these funky panels was the price. $50 each. They're 20 years old, so only produce 230 watts vs the original 250 watts. 4x6 feet and 90 lbs a piece. They're 30 amps and 10.5 volts. No, I don't have those numbers backwards. Like I said, funky. So we have three sets of two panels (in series) to one controller (30A PWM) to one (four 130AH battery) bank. I am completely unconcerned about to inefficiency of PWM controllers or voltage drop. (Read: I know the internet hates PWM but I don't give a flip because I don't need to squeeze out every drop. ) The system is wired with 8 gauge wire, and has an 1100w regular POS inverter.

Our energy needs:
mini fridge - 130w
tv - 70w
laptop - 60w
gaming systems - 70w
lights - 12w
phone/devices - negligible

and that's pretty much it. we're going to be hard pressed to use all the power we'll have to drain the batteries to 80%. we have a window AC but run it on the generator. we would be able to use our solar to run the AC a couple hours a day.

also, oddly, our panels still charge quite a bit even when they are halfway shaded.
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