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Old 07-12-2010, 11:32 PM   #371
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Re: Smitty's Bus

Hay Smitty!

I been down a while..(medical crap, you know) missed a lot. Things seem to have gotten a little heated on your thread?

Anyway, whats up with the solar panels? are they not charging your bank like promised?

Scott
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:41 AM   #372
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Re: Smitty's Bus

Do you have a battery monitoring system, like the TriMetric 20 20 or something similar?
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:00 PM   #373
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Re: Smitty's Bus

I see Smitty's bus in the pic with SWAT just before the conversion!!!!!
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:38 PM   #374
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Re: Smitty's Bus

hahaha that's great! Let us know how the camping goes.
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:18 PM   #375
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Re: Smitty's Bus

Quote:
Hey Jerry! I have a TriStar TS-RM-2, but to be honest I haven't figured-out how to fully operate it. I also still need to order a remote temp sensor for the charge controller, the one I had was for the inverter charger....not gonna make a huge difference in things, but still want it. Even though it shows my battery voltage being 90% plus.....the charge controller shows a red & yellow LED...I don't have the book in front of me, but IIRC that means a much higher DOD (lower voltage).
The TS-RM-2 is a remote monitor for the charge controller. It tells you what the charge controller is doing which is good to know, BUT What you really need to know to figure out how much power you're using and how much power you need are things like, How many amps are actually going into the battery right now. How many amps have you used since the batteries were full. How many amps do you need to bring the batteries back to full. AND an independent real time battery state of charge/percentage of full. These answers com from a separate battery monitoring system with it's on shunt. I picked the Trimetric because it does all that and more. I have remote displays for my inverter/charger and my two MX60 charge controllers and the thing I look at most to figure out what's going on is the Trimetric. If you watch the weather and they say it's going to rain for three more days, you need good information to know whether or not or when and how much to run your generator. I forgot how much battery you have, I have 1600 amp hours and let me tell you that's a big hole to fill if you let it get to far down. The more information you have the easier it is to know what to do.

When the sun is shinning your batteries should be full when it gets dark.
How much do you use from dark to dark and how much can you produce from 10 to 4.
Have fun camping
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:23 AM   #376
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Re: Smitty's Bus

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I was under the understanding it would most if not all of that? I keep it on the battery voltage screen, and printed a chart of battery voltage VS SOC and keep it next to it for comparison. I have 4-255 AH batteries. I need to plug the 'fridge into my Kill-a-watt and leave it for a few days since that's my largest load.
Smitty
The monitor for the controller can only tell you what the controller is doing which is controlling the charge and the voltage from the solar panels. There will be other ways to charge like from the generator/charger it cannot see. And most important it cannot see what's coming from the batteries. There must be a shunt at the battery that everything goes thru and measures everything coming and going. The batteries are a separate part of the electrical system and you need a way to see what there doing.They are the bottom line, the power you actually have. The charger will be charging but not all the amps will be going onto the battery because there will be loads happening at the same time.
The only way to know for sure is to have a little guy standing at the negative battery post counting every amp as they pass in both directions. In my case his name is TriMetric 2020. There other brands of battery monitoring systems.
They are made for us people who really don't known exactly what we're doing but we're going to do it anyway. I can't see how you could deal with a power system the size of yours and do without one. A thousand amp battery is a little different mindset than a 100 amp battery which most of us are used to. When you have enough power to burn the place down or weld it back together you tend to pay more attention.
I myself have to pay attention because all this electrical stuff cost's sooooo much I can't afford to replace any of it. I made a mistake last year and it cost me $600 which goes to show it doesn't matter how much monitoring equipment you have you can still not pay attention.
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:52 PM   #377
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Re: Smitty's Bus

First, hello to everyone! This is a great board, full of information. I've been lurking and reading, getting a handle on the flow of the posts, and I'm amazed at how ingenious and precise everyone's work is. True craftsmen, all. I do not have a bus yet, but I'm looking for a 3/4 (or somewhat shorter) as the base vehicle. And like you've all done, I'm in the midst of carving out a floor plan.

Smitty, I have a question for you re: your roof pillar extensions. I saw that you had them fabbed as u-channels, but when I was looking at your wall photos, it seemed that the flat side was facing out both on the inside and out. That would be best in terms of usable surface area, but unless you had them laid in with the open side of the U facing sideways in the top hat section, I must be wrong about what I think I'm seeing.

BTW, I envy your work garage! I'm afraid that most of my work, when it starts, will be done outside.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:33 PM   #378
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Re: Smitty's Bus

I don't think you understood what I meant. I definitely see that you have PLENTY of capacity to last you a while. What I am getting at is that if you have no load, I assume your panels will get your batteries charged eventually. I think that the problem is you are using more than you can replace in a 24 hour period. I bet it won't make any difference if you remove a battery. You'll still be using more than you can replace. Picture a water tank. If you have a BP gusher coming out the side, and a little garden hose going in the top, your tank will empty quickly. It doesn't matter if it's 2 gallons or 200 except that a 200 gallon tank will just delay the enivitable. Am I missing something?
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:22 AM   #379
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Re: Smitty's Bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Hey, that bus looks kinda familiar!
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:44 PM   #380
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Re: Smitty's Bus

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Originally Posted by Smitty

I thought that was rather obvious?

You answered your own question with the example you used.

Take both tanks ( 2 & 200 gal)...not bore a hole in both that will let-out nearly an equal amount that the hose would replace, which is gonna empty quicker, but which is gonna refill quicker from 75% full? If I dropped a battery (which I'm not gonna do) out, it would take less to recharge it, therefore less time/sun.

Smitty
Yes, I thought it was obvious, too. Which is why I couldn't figure out why you thought dropping a battery would solve your problem. I get what you are saying, but don't really agree with you that dropping a battery would help. Dropping a battery AND lowering your consumption, yes, but I would rather keep the battery(and the reserve that comes with it) and simply lower my consumption. But, none of that really matters because A. You're keeping the battery and going to try to find other solutions, and B. It's your bus and I don't have to agree with you !

I hope you are able to figure out how to make your current setup work, You're electrical setup is very impressive!
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