Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-29-2016, 01:37 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 4
Battery bank and charging questions. Help please

Okay, so I'm going to cut to the chase and keep a long story short.

My friend and I are going to be converting 2 short busses and each building the same battery bank/electrical charge set up. Once we convert our buses we will travel the country in them.

However, we don't really know crud about wattage/watt hours/a power/dc power plus probably some others I'm not thinking of.

This is what we want. (Some of this info may be vague or redundant, I'm not a pro at this.)

1. A battery bank of 10, 12v deep cycle batteries. Maybe smaller battery banks instead and split thr power usage amung needed appliances and luxaries.
We want this battery bank to be our main source of power. Lights, fridge, water tank, small tv, plug ins, all the works you need for day to day electricity. Lots of camping so have to be able to run a good stereo system at times.

2. We want our solar panals to charge our battery bank and just our battery bank. The sun shall charge us when there is sun.

3. When we run our generator, we want it to not only run our necessary appliances and outlets, but we also want it to charge our battery bank. However we have no idea how to wire it to do that.

4. We want our shore power to do the same as the generator. Power everything in the bus, (because shore power is endless lol) whIle also charging our battery bank. But we have the same issue as we don't know how to wire it.

So basically, we don't know how to make our battery bank send out power, while also being able to receive power. I don't want to make a surge and have the two colide. Don't feel like blowing up.

One final question. We are unsure how to determine how much power we to distribute vs how much power we are using. Without knowing how to figure that out we are really just waisting our time.

Thanks for reading. Any and all help would be amazing!
MJR1133 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2016, 07:00 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
superdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: hills of sw virginia
Posts: 889
Year: 1996
Chassis: thomas
Engine: 8.3 cummins
Rated Cap: 11 window
for solar you will need the panels, charge controller, batteries and breakers. 6-6 volt golf batteries would do it, 12 volt batteries are not true deep cycle batteries. they make whats called inverter/chargers, it inverts the dc into ac until you plug in to shore power then the ac loads switch over to shore power and the inverter becomes a converter and charges the battery bank. do some reading on R E systems, good luck
__________________
living in a bus down by the river.
my build pics
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/membe...albums942.html
superdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2016, 07:07 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
turf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,592
Year: 1993
Coachwork: bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, Allison AT1545
Rated Cap: 2
use an online calculator to figure your electrical need. then head to a solar equipment supplier, tell them your needs and have a pro design your system. there are so many variables in electric solar systems that no one can answer except you. the 2 big questions are 1) how much money is in your pocket? and 2) are you willing to part with it?

how much is your daily use going to be?
what kind of battery chemistry do you want?
how many days do you want to go between charging?
do you want to expand it in the future?
are going to run 30A wiring or 50A?
why 10 - 12volt batteries?
what voltage are going to use for the panels?

and a ton of more questions.

there is another thread about a 2 weeks ago maybe you should read, called "solar blue print". check it out.
__________________
.
Turfmobile Build Thread
turf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2016, 09:35 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 779
Year: 1990
Coachwork: integral
Chassis: Crown Supercoach II (rear engine)
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, DDEC 2, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
A Kill-A-Watt meter will tell you exactly how much power is used by each AC appliance. Knowing this, you can then calculate how much battery capacity is needed for two or three days' autonomy, then how much solar power is needed to correctly charge those batteries. Don't forget standard deratings for PV, charge controller and inverter.

It would be well worth your time to read some of the postings on the Northern Arizona Wind & Sun forum - the folk there know solar.

John
Iceni John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2016, 05:11 PM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 4
how much is your daily use going to be? - we are unsure. We are trying to determine the best way to figure that out. Probably taking a meter like John said and make a list of all our appliences we want to use and message how much energy they use and just add it up. I feel like that's sort of lazy though.

what kind of battery chemistry do you want? - I'm assuming the answer to that is 12v deep cycle batteries.

how many days do you want to go between charging? - I would like to be able to schedule 1 day a week to charge my system. So I would like to last 5-6 days without direct charging.

do you want to expand it in the future? - no.

are going to run 30A wiring or 50A? - 30A

why 10 - 12volt batteries? - because why not? We don't want to run out of power. But we also don't want to have to baby our power either.

what voltage are going to use for the panels? - we are unsure. We don't know much about electrical work.
MJR1133 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2016, 05:18 PM   #6
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 4
Also...

One of our biggest concerns is the proper wire.... pathways. As in.. how do we make our shore power charge our battery bank while supplying power to the rest of the system? Same for the generator.

We just need a basic explenation of the path.

Example. A wired to B then wired to C produces D. Something like that. How to charge your batteries with a generator while also supplying power to the rest of the system for dummies haha.
MJR1133 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2016, 06:13 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
GreyCoyote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danglebury, Tejas
Posts: 310
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Disclaimer: there are a million ways to do this. This is MY way.

8 ea GC-2 "golf cart" batteries in series-parallel for two 24 volt banks
4 ea 330 watt/72-cell solar panels wired in series-parallel. (Sun Electronics - Lowest Prices in Solar Panels, Kits, Inverters)
1 ea 90-amp charge controller (ie, Midnight Classic 150, MidNite Solar Classic 150 MPPT Charge Controller - Wholesale Solar)
1 ea Magnum Hybrid inverter, 4000 watt (Magnum Energy MSH4024RE Inverter - Wholesale Solar)

The battery bank stores about 9.6 kwh of energy, about half of which shouldnt really be used for best battery life, so lets use 4.5 kwh as our safe number. The batteries obtain this performance level at the 20-hour rate which means you can draw 225 watts for 20 hours before you hit the self-imposed 50% depth of discharge. But much more than 225 watts is available. These batteries will surge to HUNDREDS of amps for a few seconds easily, 75 amps for more than an hour, and the inverter is capable of 4000 watts non-stop (if you had the batteries to do it). So basically you have a bunch of power to ride-out a rainy day or two and still watch Caddyshack with microwaved popcorn and your electric blanket.

The neat part of this system is the inverter. It has three inputs. If grid is available, it will use grid power and recharge the batteries. If generator power is available, it will use that and also charge your batteries. If nothing but battery is available, it will happily use them. There is no "switching" needed. Give it power, any power, and it will sort it out for you.

The neat thing about the hybrid inverter is its ability to use multiple power sources under heavy load. Example: you have a little Honda EU2000 capable of 1600 watts continuous. While your demand is less than 1600 watts, the ijverter will use whatever power your loads are not using to charge batteries. But if you plug-in the microwave and suddenly suck 2000 watts, the inverter gets those extra 400 watts from the batteries instead of overloading the genny.

This type of system just begs to be run hard dry-camping in the boonies. With more than a kilowatt of solar, you shouldnt really need the genny much. And if you do, it will likely just be to get you through a dark couple of days.

Anyway... One mans opinion. This is basically the system that I'm putting in my bus this spring.

Final shot: I used Wholesale Solar for the links, but you can do much better price-wise elsewhere. Check out SunElec.com for some SCREAMING deals on panels. Nobody can touch this guy. He has 300-watt panels for as low as 38 cents per watt, or about 2.5 times cheaper than most of the solar bandits out there. Heck, the guy is giving away FREE used panels by the crate! Read his blog on the SunElec website for details.
__________________
"You can finally say you have enough horsepower when you leave two black streaks from corner to corner"
(Mark Donohue, famed TransAm driver)
GreyCoyote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 01:58 AM   #8
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyCoyote View Post
Disclaimer: there are a million ways to do this. This is MY way.

8 ea GC-2 "golf cart" batteries in series-parallel for two 24 volt banks
4 ea 330 watt/72-cell solar panels wired in series-parallel. (Sun Electronics - Lowest Prices in Solar Panels, Kits, Inverters)
1 ea 90-amp charge controller (ie, Midnight Classic 150, MidNite Solar Classic 150 MPPT Charge Controller - Wholesale Solar)
1 ea Magnum Hybrid inverter, 4000 watt (Magnum Energy MSH4024RE Inverter - Wholesale Solar)

The battery bank stores about 9.6 kwh of energy, about half of which shouldnt really be used for best battery life, so lets use 4.5 kwh as our safe number. The batteries obtain this performance level at the 20-hour rate which means you can draw 225 watts for 20 hours before you hit the self-imposed 50% depth of discharge. But much more than 225 watts is available. These batteries will surge to HUNDREDS of amps for a few seconds easily, 75 amps for more than an hour, and the inverter is capable of 4000 watts non-stop (if you had the batteries to do it). So basically you have a bunch of power to ride-out a rainy day or two and still watch Caddyshack with microwaved popcorn and your electric blanket.

The neat part of this system is the inverter. It has three inputs. If grid is available, it will use grid power and recharge the batteries. If generator power is available, it will use that and also charge your batteries. If nothing but battery is available, it will happily use them. There is no "switching" needed. Give it power, any power, and it will sort it out for you.

The neat thing about the hybrid inverter is its ability to use multiple power sources under heavy load. Example: you have a little Honda EU2000 capable of 1600 watts continuous. While your demand is less than 1600 watts, the ijverter will use whatever power your loads are not using to charge batteries. But if you plug-in the microwave and suddenly suck 2000 watts, the inverter gets those extra 400 watts from the batteries instead of overloading the genny.

This type of system just begs to be run hard dry-camping in the boonies. With more than a kilowatt of solar, you shouldnt really need the genny much. And if you do, it will likely just be to get you through a dark couple of days.

Anyway... One mans opinion. This is basically the system that I'm putting in my bus this spring.

Final shot: I used Wholesale Solar for the links, but you can do much better price-wise elsewhere. Check out SunElec.com for some SCREAMING deals on panels. Nobody can touch this guy. He has 300-watt panels for as low as 38 cents per watt, or about 2.5 times cheaper than most of the solar bandits out there. Heck, the guy is giving away FREE used panels by the crate! Read his blog on the SunElec website for details.
That's all fabulous information and is a tally very informative.

However we are 22 years old and do not have quite the piggy bank for bad ass inverters as such. Which is kind of why we want such a big battery bank.

So, we need to know how to manually switch between generator/shore power/and just batteries. And again, we want shore and genny to charge our batteries while powering our system.

So how do we do that? Set up toggle switches and just turn off the electrical pathways for the sources of power we don't want to use? How do we wire the correctly? Do we need multiple inverters? Or can we use 1 inverter for the genny, shore, and bank? Again, we have to do things manually.
MJR1133 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 06:41 AM   #9
Bus Nut
 
superdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: hills of sw virginia
Posts: 889
Year: 1996
Chassis: thomas
Engine: 8.3 cummins
Rated Cap: 11 window
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJR1133 View Post
That's all fabulous information and is a tally very informative.

However we are 22 years old and do not have quite the piggy bank for bad ass inverters as such. Which is kind of why we want such a big battery bank.

So, we need to know how to manually switch between generator/shore power/and just batteries. And again, we want shore and genny to charge our batteries while powering our system.

So how do we do that? Set up toggle switches and just turn off the electrical pathways for the sources of power we don't want to use? How do we wire the correctly? Do we need multiple inverters? Or can we use 1 inverter for the genny, shore, and bank? Again, we have to do things manually.
deep cycle batteries require multi stage charging, you need a good charger or your batteries will fail after a few months to a year. inverter/chargers will work ok as long as its a good one. my l-16's need to be brought to 15.4 volts for 2 hours then floated at 14.4 volts the rest of the day. a car charger is not the answer. my zantrex inverter/charger charges at a 100 amp rate but stops in the 14 .6 range, i only use the charger in emergency's. lots to learn in renewable energy. read up, its not cheap
__________________
living in a bus down by the river.
my build pics
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/membe...albums942.html
superdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 07:38 AM   #10
Bus Nut
 
GreyCoyote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danglebury, Tejas
Posts: 310
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Ok. I hear ya. But SuperDave pretty much nails it. You cant do solar halfway. This isnt just about wiring and switches. Its about understanding the core theory and making a system work safely.

Cheap chargers are designed to charge a battery (not multiple batteries) that are not connected to a load. They generally lack the intelligence to understand that sudden dip in charging voltage does not mean the battery is bad, but that someone simply turned on a light. Smart chargers specifically built for the solar industry dont react this way. And they are expensive. And they can handle multiple batteries with ease.

Cheap inverters are designed for intermittant use. The waveform is generally a square wave or modified sine wave, and the components used are not high quality. If all you want are lights, they work, but connect a good stereo to one and you'll often find a buzzy, distorted mess coming from the speakers. They fault at the slightest surge, require the battery to be disconnected to reset, etc.

As you can see, are no easy or cheap answers for the solar project you propose. You cant just wire up some batteries to an inexpensive inverter and charger and call it good, switching cords and plugs to make it go. Solar is going to be expensive but if you scrounge you can find second hand stuff at fair prices with a lot of life left. Thats why I gave you the SunElec link.

Suggestion: call some of the solar vendors and give them an opportunity to design the system. Tell them you are price conscious but not poor. They can do it quickly and its free. You will get back a parts list. Research that list. See if you can find specials, open box deals, refurbs, or used gear.
__________________
"You can finally say you have enough horsepower when you leave two black streaks from corner to corner"
(Mark Donohue, famed TransAm driver)
GreyCoyote is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.