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Old 10-03-2016, 09:45 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by warewolff View Post
I believe you'd have a negative return in energy spent in resistance vs energy gained from the rotary.

THIS..

anything you do to try and harness wind energy going down the road is a net loss... unless you somehow engineered a ReGen braking system that would harness energy as you were on the brakes...

unless you are doing it for tree-hugger reasons, your net cost would go way over any gain on a ReGen brake system..

Solar can be used while going down the road to for power while you are in the sun.. so that gives you some electrical advantage or recharges any batteries you drained while parked the night before without using engine energy to do so.

-Christopher
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:52 AM   #22
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I'll probably end up going with the 6v anyway, just for the $/ah factor. More power for less bucks. The savings in weight will just be an added bonus. Maybe I'll expand the bank to 10 to get 1100 amp hours... I'm probably gonna be doing a lot of boondocking which means I won't have power hookups, will be limited to generator and battery bank... generator will be too cost prohibitive to run for hours at a time which leaves batteries. So the more power I can cram in, the better. Will just need to find a solar array and charge controller that can keep up. Won't be too much of an issue at first but as the build progresses and more things are added that need power... well you can see where that is going.
To give you some idea of what's possible, I have eight Sharp 255W panels (2040W total) in two separate rows of four, with each panel individually tiltable from 21 degrees down (against the roof for travel) to 45 degrees up (for winter insolation). Each row of four panels (1020W) is wired in parallel, and it feeds through its own fused combiner box and 50A breaker to a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60 charge controller. Each CC charges via a 80A breaker its own bank of (eventually) four golfcart batteries connected in series and parallel to give about 450Ah at 12V. Each bank of four batteries feeds through a 250A Schottky diode to a common DC load center that in turn powers a Magnum MS2000 inverter/charger, maybe also a second smaller inverter like an Exeltech 1100W for the fridger, and all DC house loads. In other words, I have two entirely separate systems running in parallel. 1000W of solar panels will charge four golfcart batteries at the upper end of the recommended 5 to 13% charge rate.

If you have ten 6V batteries it will be difficult to split the charging power between two CCs - one single CC cannot produce all the current needed for a 12V system that large. I suggest having either eight or twelve golfcart batteries. My eight PV panels occupy about 22 feet of roof space on either side of my 12"-wide walkway between the two roof hatches.

John
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:58 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
To give you some idea of what's possible, I have eight Sharp 255W panels (2040W total) in two separate rows of four, with each panel individually tiltable from 21 degrees down (against the roof for travel) to 45 degrees up (for winter insolation). Each row of four panels (1020W) is wired in parallel, and it feeds through its own fused combiner box and 50A breaker to a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60 charge controller. Each CC charges via a 80A breaker its own bank of (eventually) four golfcart batteries connected in series and parallel to give about 450Ah at 12V. Each bank of four batteries feeds through a 250A Schottky diode to a common DC load center that in turn powers a Magnum MS2000 inverter/charger, maybe also a second smaller inverter like an Exeltech 1100W for the fridger, and all DC house loads. In other words, I have two entirely separate systems running in parallel. 1000W of solar panels will charge four golfcart batteries at the upper end of the recommended 5 to 13% charge rate.

If you have ten 6V batteries it will be difficult to split the charging power between two CCs - one single CC cannot produce all the current needed for a 12V system that large. I suggest having either eight or twelve golfcart batteries. My eight PV panels occupy about 22 feet of roof space on either side of my 12"-wide walkway between the two roof hatches.

John
If I keep it in banks of four that would make it easier to start small and scale up as needed. When I get some downtime I'll have to diagram the setup and see how I can implement it.

If you have a photo of how you have your panels installed I'd like to see it... I think I can picture what you did but would like to see it to be sure.

Thanks for the tips!
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Old 10-03-2016, 03:24 PM   #24
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If I keep it in banks of four that would make it easier to start small and scale up as needed. When I get some downtime I'll have to diagram the setup and see how I can implement it.

If you have a photo of how you have your panels installed I'd like to see it... I think I can picture what you did but would like to see it to be sure.

Thanks for the tips!
I don't have any photos, but there is a short YouTube video of some of us Crownaholics leaving for a jaunt into town last year during our seventh annual Buses Gone Wild get-together - mine is the third bus. I did not have the actual panels installed last year into their frames, but they're now all in place. Each panel can be stowed against the roof for travel at 21 degrees down (the ideal angle for Southern California in the summer), or raised up to level, 21 degrees up (summer), 33 degrees up fall/spring), or 45 degrees up (winter). If I park facing either due east or due west I should get good insolation. All eight panels are hinged onto the walkway that runs between my two roof hatches.

Just listen to those four sweet 2-stroke Detroits! The last bus is one of two demonstrators built for Hewlett-Packard, and it has a 14-liter 370HP Cummins Big-Cam. Fun!

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Old 10-03-2016, 03:40 PM   #25
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A followup to my last post.... I can't find any 12v panels in the 250 watt range so am I correct in assuming your solar setup is 24v?

I saw the frames on the top of yours in the video, so I was on the right track, just backwards (I was picturing them hinged on the outboard side rather than the inboard).

I also loved that old school Crown right behind you.... I saw one of those for sale in California while I was trucking, SO wished I had the fundage to buy it! I did get a couple of photos of it, will have to see if I can find them.

Edit: Found the photos, started a new thread in Everything Else:
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f9/a-r...ght-15268.html
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Old 10-03-2016, 05:31 PM   #26
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My 255W panels are the so-called 'grid-tie' type, 60 cells, about 30V and 8.5A each - grid-tie is still the cheapest way to buy PV. Each charge controller receives 30V at 34A from them, and being MPPT can convert that to 14.7V at 60A. At a 2:1 voltage conversion the CC is almost 98% efficient. This way I can charge my 12V battery bank almost as soon as the sun hits the panels, right up until the sun sets.

So-called '12 volt' panels produce about 18V, '24V' panels are about 36V, and grid-tie panels like mine are intended to run through MPPT controllers so their voltage is less important. If you have a PWM controller, then you want to match panel and battery voltages to avoid losing too much panel power because PWM controllers only chop voltage, they don't boost current equivalently like a MPPT does.

John
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Old 10-03-2016, 06:24 PM   #27
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Thanks, that clarifies the nagging question that was rolling around in my head about this. Now I can plan appropriately.
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Old 10-03-2016, 06:45 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
My 255W panels are the so-called 'grid-tie' type, 60 cells, about 30V and 8.5A each - grid-tie is still the cheapest way to buy PV. Each charge controller receives 30V at 34A from them, and being MPPT can convert that to 14.7V at 60A. At a 2:1 voltage conversion the CC is almost 98% efficient. This way I can charge my 12V battery bank almost as soon as the sun hits the panels, right up until the sun sets.

So-called '12 volt' panels produce about 18V, '24V' panels are about 36V, and grid-tie panels like mine are intended to run through MPPT controllers so their voltage is less important. If you have a PWM controller, then you want to match panel and battery voltages to avoid losing too much panel power because PWM controllers only chop voltage, they don't boost current equivalently like a MPPT does.

John

The chargers capacity in relation to the amount of batteries in reserve thing doesnt make sense to me. The charger is really only concerned about amp hours and volts, no? Whether it takes 50 batteries or 5 for the same matched reserve in terms of volts and aH ... the Morningstar Tristar 60amp mppt is rated to take in up to 60 amps, convert to the appropriate voltage, and disperse to your battery bank. Regardless of how many batteries. It shouldnt make a difference.
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:19 AM   #29
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I'm struggling with hearing the need to have a 2 kilowatt solar array to charge four 6volt, 220 Ah batteries. If you need that much solar wattage you must be depleting the crap out of your batteries between charges which will kill your battery bank in no time. 2000 watts in an hour of sun will turn on 20 100 watt bulbs for an hour in perfect conditions. Who uses that kind of power from a four battery bank? If I use 30% of my 440 Ah's I can easily top that off with a nice day on 480 watts of solar.

If you're using all of those solar watts to power a couple of 6k btu air conditioners during the day as well as charge your batteries I can understand that. Anything approaching 50% depletion on your battery bank between recharges will kill your batteries in 1-2 years.

500 watts of solar, big wire, 4 battery bank of 6v deep cells, good MPPT charge controller, a GOOD BATTERY MONITOR and a bit of frugality will take you a very long way. Overkill is always nice but a 500 watt system will run your lights, power your pumps, turn your fans, heat your coffee and charge your laptops no problem with room to spare. Add a small catalytic propane heater and stove top and you're good to go!

Just my two cents.

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Old 10-08-2016, 11:01 AM   #30
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The chargers capacity in relation to the amount of batteries in reserve thing doesnt make sense to me. The charger is really only concerned about amp hours and volts, no? Whether it takes 50 batteries or 5 for the same matched reserve in terms of volts and aH ... the Morningstar Tristar 60amp mppt is rated to take in up to 60 amps, convert to the appropriate voltage, and disperse to your battery bank. Regardless of how many batteries. It shouldnt make a difference.
But you want to make sure that your solar panels and charge controller are able to properly charge the battery bank. If you have a huge battery bank and an underpowered means of charging them then you'll be trickle charging. This is far from ideal. You want to get your charge rate somewhere around 10% of the C/20Ah of the battery bank for bulk charging. If all you do is trickle charge then you'll end up with stratification of the water and acid in the batteries.
On the same note, you don't want to dump huge amperage into a small battery bank or you'll boil the batteries.

There is a perfect ratio for charge rate and battery bank size. For my 12v battery bank of 455Ah the ideal rate is 45A for bulk charge. I'm putting in 35-40A most days, which is close enough for now. One more mini panel would get me right where I need to be.
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