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Old 12-25-2016, 07:17 PM   #1
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Question about built in Auc battery for solar

So i recently bought a high top handicap van to convert into a tiny home bus sorts thing. The van already has an aux battery installed for the wheelchair lift, but i wanted to remove the lift and use the aux battery for everything else necessary, but I also wanted to mount solar panels.on the roof to run everything while not on the move. Is there anyway to just patch the panels into the battery and have it get charged by the car when driving and the solar when not? Any advice would be much appreciated.

The van has a control center connected to the aux battery for the lift and some lights and stuff, what would i need to do to get some regular outlets to run a mini fridge and charge my devices etc.

Thanks!!
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Old 12-25-2016, 11:20 PM   #2
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i am not the electrical guru on the forum so take my advice with a grain of salt. your question is pretty general and hard to answer in a single post.

you'll have to start out by determining your specific electric needs and plan your system from there. none of us can tell you what your needs are.

there are some online calculators that can give you a starting point.
here's one:
https://www.altestore.com/store/calc...ad_calculator/

you'll need to research batteries, solar panels, charge controllers, charging and rv wiring.

specific questions are much easier.

what you are dreaming about is very doable. just a guess that 1 house battery is going to be limiting, but you can figure your own load.

my bus has 7 batteries total. 2 start batteries, 1 generator battery, and 4 house batteries. everyone's setup is unique.

good luck
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Old 12-26-2016, 02:06 PM   #3
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I am not looking to run too much. A 30 watt mini fridge, some couple devices (cell phone/ipad) and maybe a very low watt tv, along with some lights. If i can get away with just using one panel and the existing aux battery, I'd prefer that. I am just to use whatI got for now to run, essentially a mini fridge and some cell phones.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:07 PM   #4
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using the calculator in my previous link. that is a fridge @40w running 16 hours + 3 usb chargers running 5watts each for 12 hours + a tv 150 watts @ 12 hours. i came up with a daily total of watts of 2620.

divide that total by 12volts and that should be the amp hours of battery needed.

2620watts/12volts = 218.3 amp hours.

the depth of discharge for lead acid batteries is 50%, so multiply the amp hours by 2.

your battery bank to run that load would be 436 AH.

many people say to add a safety factor of 2, so make that 900AH +.

unless your 3rd battery is a 8D, you're probably not packing more than 100AH in a single group 31 battery. you probably have less than that.


i know nothing about solar and the time it would take to recharge that type of use.

what size is your aux battery?
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:42 PM   #5
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Turf has the math right.
From the practical side, for my house batteries I Use two T105 deep cycle 6 volt golf cart batteries connected in series for a 12 v output. I can run my 36 watt mini frige via an inverter for about 7.5 hours before the inverter shuts down due to low voltage (that is, without discharging the batteries below the accepted amount). That said, I'd guess you'll need way more batteries than you have. Jack
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