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Old 11-19-2019, 07:42 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Pls Check My Solar Design

Hey all!

Hope your week is well! I am posting in this thread area because I am in need of a professional that can help me. Will pay if needed. Attached is what I believe to be correct, minus the negative out of the panel box. That is 6AWG. There will also be a fuse link for all electronics so I can easily decipher where a short occurred. Worked great on my 88 mustang. It is more work, but it is piece of mind for me. I have to run Air Conditioning for my pup. Not on all the time, but I figured it would kick in at 81 degrees. Florida Summers are not kind.

EDIT: The negative coming out of panel box is 6AWG, not 2/0.

I appreciate any help/feedback! I am buying a bus when I return from an emergency in 2 weeks.

Thank you!!!
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:24 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Diver&Driver View Post
Hope your week is well! I am posting in this thread area because I am in need of a professional that can help me. Will pay if needed. Attached is what I believe to be correct, minus the negative out of the panel box. That is 6AWG. There will also be a fuse link for all electronics so I can easily decipher where a short occurred. Worked great on my 88 mustang. It is more work, but it is piece of mind for me. I have to run Air Conditioning for my pup. Not on all the time, but I figured it would kick in at 81 degrees. Florida Summers are not kind.

EDIT: The negative coming out of panel box is 6AWG, not 2/0.

I appreciate any help/feedback! I am buying a bus when I return from an emergency in 2 weeks.
D&D, welcome. I am shocked that our resident SME (subject matter expert) has not weighed in on your design.

I advise you to wait on John's feedback. In the meantime, you may want to provide additional info. In particular, the actual make/model of the panels you plan to use along with planned configuration of those panels. Charge controller and battery bank particulars will likely be helpful too.

Victron has a nice tool (an excel spreadsheet) to help balance panels, charge controller, and system voltage. Link is here. Regardless, wait on John...

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Old 11-20-2019, 01:11 PM   #3
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Welcome,

I have found a ton of good solar knowledge over at http://www.solarpaneltalk.com

Where are you located?
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:08 PM   #4
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Posted a long reply, but it got deleted when I was required to re-login in. Don't have it in me to duplicate, so here are the cliff notes:


1) Your charge controller won't / can't support that many panels @ 12V output.
2) 7 panels implies all-parallel wiring which means high amps & big wire.
3) A 12V system makes no sense w/ your anticipated loads & panel watts. 24 min, 48 better.
4) A 12V bank is ill-suited to the amount of watts you're implying you'll draw from it.
5) Running AC on solar can be done - kinda - but in most cases, is highly impractical.

6) Your 2/0 wiring is mismatched with your fusing. And 2/0 wire is insufficient for a 3000W 12V inverter (which again you shouldn't be running anyway).


Not trying to be an arse, but IMO you should continue to educate yourself & learn more before attempting to design a system, particularly of this magnitude.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:15 PM   #5
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Hey!

Hope your day is well! Thank you. The controller actually is set for a 48V. I just put the specifics of the way it is listed online hoping someone had the same equipment. There are a plethora of success stories with AC, so I am just trying to make sure I have the correct equipment.

The issue with researching information and applying it to my model is it simply isn't that model. I appreciate any help on what I would need to switch the 2/0 to! The solar companies won't help me in the area, unfortunately. If you know of anyone, I am looking for a consultant to help me in this subject.

Thank you!
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:17 PM   #6
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Hey!

I appreciate the help! I am located in the Clearwater Area near the coast.

Comfort, Thank you! I'll wait and look into more information.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:48 PM   #7
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Hey!

I appreciate the help! I am located in the Clearwater Area near the coast.

Comfort, Thank you! I'll wait and look into more information.
I am guessing that would be Florida?

You are on the wrong coast

I spent some time in Jupiter and.... and..... Brain wreck.... I can't remember the other spot.

Great diving. I need to get back down that way.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver&Driver View Post
Hey!

Hope your day is well! Thank you. The controller actually is set for a 48V. I just put the specifics of the way it is listed online hoping someone had the same equipment. There are a plethora of success stories with AC, so I am just trying to make sure I have the correct equipment.

The issue with researching information and applying it to my model is it simply isn't that model. I appreciate any help on what I would need to switch the 2/0 to! The solar companies won't help me in the area, unfortunately. If you know of anyone, I am looking for a consultant to help me in this subject.

Thank you!

That controller can support banks up to 48V, but it's the bank itself that determines the output. As your inverter is 12V, your bank would be 12V too, which would mean 2625W nominal (375x7) @ 12V... 218Amps. If that number doesn't shock you it should. If you absolutely must have that many / size panels, then a 48V inverter and 48V battery bank is really the only practical answer.



Whether there are a 'plethora' of success stories running AC off solar is, at a minimum, an arguable assumption. But at a bare minimum it isn't easy or cheap.
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Old 11-20-2019, 06:54 PM   #9
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Hey all!

Hubbard, I understand what you are saying now. I have watched YouTube videos of individuals running AC and seen about 4 other models I used to make my model, but their set ups are not what I would prefer. It seems as of recently this is feasible. I want to be completely off the grid. I am buying land in Florida and Mid/Southern California to live on when we are not traveling from Coast to Coast. I assumed when you said charge controller that you were speaking of the solar controller. My apologies. Also, the 2/0 wire being 00 is not able to handle that amount of watts is what you are saying? Having this much solar is a peace of mind, unless you are willing to suggest a set up for my Skoolie that would fulfill my needs while traveling through not so sunny areas and maximizing my intake?

I am always open to being educated, which in this scenario I NEED. I am not a professional in this field. That is why I am taking to the forums. I have contacted my local solar companies. Due to it not being a home, they do not want to partake. I have gone out to Lowes, Home depot, and Home Advisor for help. I was met with either no experience or, as I said, they didn't want anything to do with a Skoolie project.

Steve, we decided on doing a Skoolie because we can set up our businesses and programs in advance then travel to those areas in comfort...and style! We plan on being on the West Coast for our living time haha Jupiter is a great spot though.

Comfort, I missed one portion of your request. My apologies! I plan on using Canadian Solar. Seems to be a lot of good said about them. As for as the wiring, I'll be doing a Series hook up so it is 12v at the controller, IF THAT IS CORRECT. If I need to do them Parallel for more V, then I can. I'm using a double pole breaker, which with my understanding, will accomodate for my mini fridge and AC. The AC is going to be attached to an Easy Start as well to lessen the load as well.

I'm straight up wanting to pay someone to help me figure out the solar due to my lack of knowledge and simply THINKING I am in the ballpark for a fully off grid Skoolie. If anyone knows someone they trust, that'd be greatly appreciated.

Once again, I appreciate all help and information! Thank you all!!
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Old 11-20-2019, 06:57 PM   #10
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Are you taking your dive gear to California? If so, the Channel Islands have some great diving.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:10 PM   #11
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Steve,

We are going to definitely check that out! Not looking forward to the colder water, but we are looking forward to the different life/more abundant sea life.

Thank you for the spot info!
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:17 PM   #12
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Hey, PM me some contact information.

I have 990W solar, 3K inverter, 24V DC system. It runs Air Con in a well insulated 29ft bus. 3KW Li-ion battery pack ( with BMS and balancing ).
All this cost me $1918 to do.

I have toyed with the idea of doing schoolie / van solar setups for people, but am hesitant to get into it as a business due to unknown demand for this service.
A couple companies I seen selling full on kits and doing the install are charging insane $ amounts for it ( like 10K+ ). I am not sure why because I could be providing 3KW inverter, 3KW battery 1KW solar to people installed for 4 K.

I have done 100% of the system on my own bus, helped with two vans, and did the design ( but not install ) for a 2KW solar setup for someone i know with a cabin.

Anyway PM me a # and I'd be glad to chat with you on the phone.
I'm not looking to charge any money, my advice and expertise is free. If you wanted help on the actual wiring/ install I would gladly do that for money, but sitting in my bus chatting on the phone is free.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Diver&Driver View Post
Steve,

We are going to definitely check that out! Not looking forward to the colder water, but we are looking forward to the different life/more abundant sea life.

Thank you for the spot info!
LOL

Come dive the Puget Sound n February and you will adjust your definition of cold

A 7mm wetsuit and you will be comfy.

I need to get back in the water. Health issues kept me from diving for a few years. I am hoping to be able to start diving again in 2020.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:38 PM   #14
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Hey, PM me some contact information.

I have 990W solar, 3K inverter, 24V DC system. It runs Air Con in a well insulated 29ft bus. 3KW Li-ion battery pack ( with BMS and balancing ).
All this cost me $1918 to do.

I have toyed with the idea of doing schoolie / van solar setups for people, but am hesitant to get into it as a business due to unknown demand for this service.
A couple companies I seen selling full on kits and doing the install are charging insane $ amounts for it ( like 10K+ ). I am not sure why because I could be providing 3KW inverter, 3KW battery 1KW solar to people installed for 4 K.

I have done 100% of the system on my own bus, helped with two vans, and did the design ( but not install ) for a 2KW solar setup for someone i know with a cabin.

Anyway PM me a # and I'd be glad to chat with you on the phone.
I'm not looking to charge any money, my advice and expertise is free. If you wanted help on the actual wiring/ install I would gladly do that for money, but sitting in my bus chatting on the phone is free.
I have installed a couple of solar systems for skoolies. I have not gone out looking for the projects, I stopped when I saw them working on their skoolies and said hello. They asked me if I knew anyone who could help them with electrical and solar. I volunteered to help.

I think that there is a demand for qualifed electrical help.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:59 PM   #15
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Comfort, I missed one portion of your request. My apologies! I plan on using Canadian Solar. Seems to be a lot of good said about them. As for as the wiring, I'll be doing a Series hook up so it is 12v at the controller, IF THAT IS CORRECT. If I need to do them Parallel for more V, then I can. I'm using a double pole breaker, which with my understanding, will accomodate for my mini fridge and AC. The AC is going to be attached to an Easy Start as well to lessen the load as well.
D&D, are these the panels you intend to use: Canadian Solar CS3U-375? Whichever panels (and charge controller) you use or are considering, I encourage you to plug the specs into the Victron spreadsheet I linked to in a previous post.

The spreadsheet will allow you to try different configurations... You can add different panels, charge controllers, different battery pack voltages, and different combinations of series and parallel panels as well.

Here is a screenshot of the spreadsheet with those 375W panels in a 7S config...
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:05 PM   #16
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Have you looked at Renogy?

They do a pretty good job of helping you configure your system and providing all of the parts and pieces.

i have installed a couple of Renogy's "kits" and found them to be well thought out and complete.

their tech support is solid as well.
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Old 11-24-2019, 08:44 PM   #17
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Hey All!

Hope everyone had a good weekend. I apologize on not responding, was at an unexpected emergency.

Comfort, I see the chart now! My browser didn't want to cooperate with the link earlier. The panels are CANADIAN SOLAR MAXPOWER CS6U-345M 345W MONO SOLAR PANEL. I will get back to you on everything for that chart.

JS, on it! I really appreciate any help with schematics and what I need. My research has led me here, so I figured the forums were a good place for people to be able to tell me what I am doing wrong, OR if I am installing way too much hardware. Installing is the easier part for me. I'll PM you!

Steve, that is definitely unfortunate. Glad you are able to get back out there. I need a couple practice dives with my gf again since I got hurt in May. Think I'll do that over here in the warm water haha When we make it over there in early Summer, we will have to meet up for a dive!

I do appreciate all feedback so far. Thank you!
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Old 11-25-2019, 12:18 AM   #18
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Your system drawing is not bad for a solar newbie. It took me a long time to wrap my head around the details of solar. Deciding what solar panel combiner to use for starters. Any time you have more than one string. Unless you use multiple small charge controllers. One for each string. As a bus has lots of space you can fit a Midnite or Outback combiner box. These are very convenient compared to fuses because they have magnetic breakers that can also be used as switches when working on or testing the system. I have the combiner box on the outside of my cargo trailer.
4/0 cable is commonly used on large 12 volt inverters.
With a small charge controller on each string you can monitor each string easier. But it might cost slightly more than one charge controller. And be slightly more wiring.
The nicest bus energy system I’ve seen on Utube is Beginning from this Morning videos. His system will run 4 AC units but it has a extremely powerful battery. . Very well thought out and built.
https://youtu.be/HfXeNdbiWss
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:55 PM   #19
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Doktari,

I appreciate the feedback! Yeah, it is still very confusing haha I'll look into that for sure.

That is a wild set up. Maybe one day!

Thank you again
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:29 AM   #20
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Hey!

Hope your day is well. Got my post Thanksgiving shopping list ready. Hopefully I can catch some deals, but if not the list is much cheaper than what I drew up. Going to avoid Alibaba for right now. Want to have the bus done by the end of December. Took all month off to work on it 24/7 haha

Inverter: Seemed to find a pretty solid one.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075YV4B6D..._t1_B01H6WRB3I

Charge Controller: I went with one with Bluetooth. I am not sure if this is correct for my system. I have schematics drawn up to route all my sensors to my old touch screen laptop, that will only be on when the bus is on and mounted so the driver has complete access. I plan on having the ECU of the bus flashed and tuned for better mpg, and all sensors routed to my PC. What I did for the two turbo cars I built, minus the laptop and I tuned for HP, and lovedddd it.

https://www.amazon.com/Victron-Smart...861616475&th=1

Batteries: Everyone seems to like this brand for affordability and reliability/customer service.

https://www.apexbattery.com/12v-200a...xoCAwkQAvD_BwE

Solar Panels: People love this brand, and they are one of the top apparently. I'll be getting 5 for now. Figured that would suffice, then I would upgrade my battery pack.

https://www.invertersupply.com/index...gaAtuyEALw_wcB

I am at 274Ah a day, according to a chart I filled out, and 6500watts. That is WORST case scenario.A scenario in which I have everything on for no reason and the AC is running 12 hours a day. It'll be hooked to 3 200ah deep cycle lead batteries. I am using 5 375w panels and one for storage in case something happens to one on top of the bus. We are going down to get our bus today! We're hyped.

Thank you again. Definitely appreciate everyones help. Enjoy your holiday!
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