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Old 11-28-2019, 08:45 AM   #21
Bus Nut
 
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Year: 1996
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Chassis: G30 Bluebird Microbird, E350 Shuttle Bus
Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
I forgot to mention the amperage. If using a 100 amp Midnite Solar charge controller to a 48 volt house battery it can handle 4800 watts of total solar/alternator. So if you charge from about 2000 watts from solar and 2000 watts from the alternator itís a good balance and below the maximum threshold. The solar needs to sized correctly to clamp the voltage or the panels may heat up. The solar needs to be equal or slightly bigger than the alternator output.
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Old 11-28-2019, 03:32 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doktari View Post
I’ll correct what you mentioned about Lithium charging. Do NOT three stage Lithium batteries. Three stage is best for Lead Acid batteries.

Can you elaborate? I was under the impression that this staged charging was a best practice for Lithium batteries (but I am just beginning to research lithium battery storage, so i'm likely misunderstanding something). It is correct that lithium batteries need some form of 'managed' staged charging correct?



Quote:
Ive figured out a revolutionary and custom way to charge Lithium or Lead Acid batteries in a bus. It’s custom and requires rethinking the whole system. But it would transform the alternator charging from 30%-50% efficient to 70%-80% efficient and would integrate it with solar in a seamless system. So this is for top notch systems. Would be a investment. And it would be programmable. I hijacked the technology from cutting edge micro hydro/solar technology which is very efficient and integrated. You would even be able to see what it’s doing using Bluetooth on your smart phone. Or on a computer 10,000 miles a way using WiFi.
This a system that expensive and probably only worth doing on a full size bus or Coach. And it requires a large solar array to clamp the alternator voltage.
Step 1: toss out the 12 volt alternator and bolt in a 48 volt alternator but do not connect it to the 12 volt starting battery. Or even better use a Harris alternator with powerful magnets and adjustable magnets.
Step 2: connect the 48 volt alternator to a programmable Mppt charge controller in parallel with a large solar array on the roof to the 48 volt house battery. The solar array acts like a zener diode and clamps the voltage of the alternator. The charge controller tracks the maximum power point. A very efficient and programmable setup.
Step 3: connect a big programmable DC to DC charger from the house battery to the starting battery. Now the starting batteries will also be connected to the solar and alternator through the house battery . Never need to worry about them being discharged.
Step 4: install a DC to DC converter from the house battery to the 12 volt DC loads. Or several step down DC to DC converters if the loads are big.
One could do a trick dual alternator setup if there is a massive 12 volt A/C load. But with a big DC to DC converter this extra alternator should not be necessary. But I would switch to a mini split inverter heat pump A/C that runs from the inverter/charger.
The Mppt charge controller can be programmed to charge Lithium or Lead Acid. The DC to DC Charger can be programmed to charge Lithium or Lead Acid. It offers flexibility.
Basically this is replacing the old low voltage analog DC systems in the coach with all cutting-edge technology high voltage DC digital systems. The entire system can be integrated together fairly easily. Well almost the entire system. It’s not the space shuttle.
This is the type of system I’m considering building on my Overlander Isuzu or my shortie skoolie.
I actually just got through reading your post on this in another thread. Sounds super interesting. I like the idea of being able to charge either battery bank of of either system and I like the idea of a higher voltage more efficient system. I don't love the idea of the alternator not being able to power the vehicle electrical system directly (from a simplicity, resilience standpoint). But understanding the particulars of your system is way over my head at this point.



I do have some questions


What accounts for the efficiency improvement of this system over a traditional alternator? Simply changing from 12v to 48v?


What do you mean by designing the solar to "clamp" the voltage?


What do you gain by connecting the solar and the alternator in parallel to a single MPPT controller as opposed to two separate charging systems (solar --> mppt --> battery bank & alternator --> dc-dc battery charger --> battery bank).


I would be concerned about the complexity of the system (but this is partially because I don't have the depth of knowledge to be comfortable with more complexity). Do you think your system introduces more points of failure or complexity to your vehicles electrical system, or is my concern unwarranted?




I would love to see you build this system. I love seeing people innovating and designing interesting systems like this, and this forum could benefit from more projects like this, and more first hand knowledge! Good luck
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Old 11-28-2019, 05:17 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzl_ View Post
Can you elaborate? I was under the impression that this staged charging was a best practice for Lithium batteries (but I am just beginning to research lithium battery storage, so i'm likely misunderstanding something). It is correct that lithium batteries need some form of 'managed' staged charging correct?

>I’ll try and explain but I’m not very good at it. Lithium has little tolerance for overcharging or undercharging. And they do not self discharge much so there’s no need for a float charge. The internal resistance of Lithium is lower so they can take rapid charging and discharging to the voltage disconnect and connect setpoints.


I actually just got through reading your post on this in another thread. Sounds super interesting. I like the idea of being able to charge either battery bank of of either system and I like the idea of a higher voltage more efficient system. I don't love the idea of the alternator not being able to power the vehicle electrical system directly (from a simplicity, resilience standpoint). But understanding the particulars of your system is way over my head at this point.



I do have some questions


What accounts for the efficiency improvement of this system over a traditional alternator? Simply changing from 12v to 48v?

>With this setup the Mppt charge controller can track the maximum power point of the alternator and solar panels. Also there are no field losses with a permanent magnet alternator. The magnets can be positioned and strengthened to create one of the most efficient alternators available. I’m going to go over the specifics again with the guy who turned me into this advanced way of doing it.

What do you mean by designing the solar to "clamp" the voltage?

> With the correct size solar array matching and in parallel with the alternator the voltage will not spike and will not go above the array voltage. Apparently they act similar to a zener diode. Which sounds pretty cool but I need to study it a bit more.

What do you gain by connecting the solar and the alternator in parallel to a single MPPT controller as opposed to two separate charging systems (solar --> mppt --> battery bank & alternator --> dc-dc battery charger --> battery bank).

> Less charge controllers. There’s advantages and disadvantages. Higher voltage. Mppt tracking. Monitoring. I’m not sure connecting a alternator to the batteries without some solar panels is a good idea. There might be a way simply add zener diodes. I’ll ask. But I wanted solar anyway so didn’t think about it.
Also no smart alternator regulator is needed.

I would be concerned about the complexity of the system (but this is partially because I don't have the depth of knowledge to be comfortable with more complexity). Do you think your system introduces more points of failure or complexity to your vehicles electrical system, or is my concern unwarranted?

> I have had my Outback equipment in service for 8 years now without any failure. My friend who shared this system has many of these charging systems running for years. His main maintenance is due to creeks flooding and destroying his turbines and corrosion because electricity and water don’t mix. Using this system eliminates the need for a smart alternator regulator.


I would love to see you build this system. I love seeing people innovating and designing interesting systems like this, and this forum could benefit from more projects like this, and more first hand knowledge! Good luck
> Thanks, I’ll probably go with Victron Energy equipment as they have a large selection and I already have some of the components.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:52 AM   #24
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Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
This 3 phase generator looks interesting. It can be used for 12, 24, or 48 volt. I have a 24 volt system. It produces 2000 watts at 24 volts:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MANTA-3-3-P...0AAOSw2gxYx2UD
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Old 11-29-2019, 11:28 AM   #25
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I installed a Sterling BB1230 in my bus about a year ago. It has performed perfectly. I got prompt and helpful answers when I had questions during the installation. I chose the manual on/off feature so the alternator could bring the start batteries to full charge before added any more demand.
Jack
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:14 PM   #26
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
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Chassis: G30 Bluebird Microbird, E350 Shuttle Bus
Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
I imagine that BB1230 stands for Battery to Battery, 12 volt, 30 amps. So is 360 watts enough or would you consider adding another unit? The low wattage has been keeping me from pulling the trigger and buying one. Renogy has a 400 watt Dc to DC charger. Thatís one reason Iím looking at a way to charge the house bank directly and faster. But I may go with your method to save money if it works well enough. Thanks
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Old 12-15-2019, 11:00 AM   #27
Skoolie
 
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Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
You can also check out these "battery to battery" chargers for 12v systems:


https://www.electriccarpartscompany....THE-ALTERNATOR


That company also has lithium-charger alternators. I almost got one of these, but I decided my solar set up and battery capacity was plenty fine.
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