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In this section we share and discuss various technical advise that help fellow campers in general or regarding specific questions.

Solar challenge ...

replies: 9
views: 299
22 Jun, 2022 @ 13:46:44 pm
tuxracing
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Experience: 47 years

I have forwarded my challenge to many solar companies with no response. Maybe someone here can advise.

Supply:
320W solar panel permanently roof mounted (Model ODA320-36-P) Item code SPL320-24
Victron Blue Solar charge controller MPPT 100/50
- Additional charge supplied by “intelligent” battery charger via Eskom (Home) or generator (camping).

Storage:
2 x 105AH Enertec deep cycle batteries in parallel
1 off +- 2.5 years old, 1 off 1.5 years old
Fully “charged” when leaving home

Load:
Constant load when leaving home, 1 x Snomaster freezer / fridge, pre-frozen on AC to -22°C and fridge to -2°C ...........

Actual:
The available power in the batteries is barely enough and sometimes not in summer to keep the fridge freezer operational. I recently removed the newer of the batteries in the hope that it would power a small water pump during extended power outage at home to discover it completely dead and not willing to accept a charge using my generator and charger.
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Desired load availability:
Direct from Battery 12VDC:
Keep the freezer / fridge cold using the DC function,
Caravan lighting – LED strip

Via +2000W TrailBoss inverter:
Run a 32” TV for +- 2.5 – 3 hours pending F1 and / or MotoGP duration post sun down with no further solar support.
Operate a microwave for 15 – 20 minutes
_____________________________________

Questions:
Using my existing solar panel and controller, what is the maximum 12v battery capacity chargeable on a good sun day? I have been thinking to parallel 2 x 200AH or 2 x 250AH batteries.  

Any advice ......

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22 Jun, 2022 @ 18:34:48 pm
Rare Breed
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I will give advice on the fridge part , I put my freezer on -5 with pre frozen items  and fridge on +4 degrees, you don’t need -22 , -5 will keep your frozen items frozen. I am using 100w solar panel.

I am not sure about the use of microwave as they draw a lot from a battery. I suspect your batteries  to be the culprit , as they have enough capacity. 

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22 Jun, 2022 @ 19:21:30 pm
Die Louwvers
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Naand Chris.

Jou eerste probleem is n ou battery met n nuwer battery te meng werk nie.Kan nie so gebruik word nie.As n battery in n pak probleme gee,moet altwee vervang word.Die oudste trek die nuwer een af.

Jy het ook maar net n 100ah beskikbaar en afhangende van die wattage van die tv en microwave wat ek nie sal gebruik kan jy bepaal hoe lank die battery gaan hou.

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22 Jun, 2022 @ 20:30:56 pm
Saalocin
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Experience: 27 years

 

Ek dink ook dit is die batterye.

Chris het jy al gedink wat gaan 2x 200ah AGM batterye weeg.

Vir my is die pad lithium, enigste nadeel is die prys, verder net voordele.

As jy in berekening bring hoeveel siklusse in 'n litium is teenoor 'n AGM dan is die prys ook nie te erg nie.

'n 200ah Litium weeg +/- 25 - 28 kg teenoor 'n 105ah AGM wat 30 - 35 kg weeg, en die halfte minder kapasiteit het.

Ebenhaéser (1 Sam. 7:12)
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23 Jun, 2022 @ 09:24:13 am
Wetkit
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Solar Panel:

So 320W x 6h = 1920 wh.

 

Fridge:

My fridge use about 320wh over a 24 hour period.

 

Inverter:

My inverter uses about 700wh over 24 hour period and that is without any load!!!

 

TV:

100w for 3 hours, is then 300wh.

 

Microwave:

Smallest on is around 800w rating, but draw is normally 1000w or higher, so for 15min that is then 250wh.

The problem here is the amps draw! You looking at 1000w/12v = 83Amps!!!

 

Total Draw:

So we looking at 1570wh with PV giving you 1920 under ideal conditions, so theoretically you should be good.

 

Batteries:

Never mix old and new!!!

With normal lead acid batteries you can normally get about 300 cycles, this is less than a year if used every day.

Also remember you should not use more than 50% capacity, so if you have 100AH, you can only use 50AH. Using more than that, you will just kill the battery.

If you have multiple batteries in parallel, best would be to use a battery balancer. They tend to protect your batteries from failing prematurely.

 

Final:

Do not keep your inv powerd up permanantly. Only switch it on when needed!

Run the fridge directly from 12V.

 

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23 Jun, 2022 @ 11:53:01 am
Rene
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Lithium battery is the way to go. Battery monitoring system (BMS) is the best option type, as it will keep the cells optimally balanced and charged for best performance. There are many other safety features. These batteries can be discharged down to 20% of capacity and recharged in a shorter time than an AGM battery. This is especially a useful advantage when using solar panels for recharging when sunlight is limited at times.

Lithium Batteries have a life expectancy of 10 years or more and on the long run worth the extra expense.

"What a life"
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23 Jun, 2022 @ 12:20:49 pm
Piet Ford
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I have a permanent 160 Watt solar panel on my caravan roof and a loose 100 watt I can move around if I am standing in the shade with the caravan.  Both are connected to the same controller. When connecting the 100 watt solar panel to the system it obviously pulls the 160 Watt panel down and I lose power. But, at least the 100 watt panel receives direct sunlight.  The best is to connect the same batteries (do not mix old with new) and when using two or more solar panels use panels with the same name and rating. 

I run a 90 liter twin national luna fridge / freezer, 12v water pump, 12v lights, 3000 watt inverter for the toaster for breakfast or the microwave for short periods (maximum 30 min a day). Also run a small electric fan during the day (and some hot nights) and a mosquito machine at night. 

We camped at Tsendze for 4 night and Namaqualand for 5 nights without electricity and the system managed very well. 

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23 Jun, 2022 @ 12:39:54 pm
Saalocin
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Ons praat van 'n Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery.

Voordele teenoor AGM:

100% DoD Lithium = > 2 000 siklusse
100% DoD AGM = +/- 350 siklusse

70% DoD Lithium = > 5 500 siklusse
70% DoD AGM = ?

50% DoD Lithium = > 7 000 siklusse
50% DoD AGM = +/- 900 siklusse

Gewig is reeds genoem.

Laai tyd is reeds genoem.

As jy 'n AGM wil stoor moet jy dit tricke charge om die lewe te verleng, Lithium laai jy net so elke 6 tot 12 maande weer vol as dit gestoor word.

Let wel, jy soek 'n battery met prismatiese selle vir gebruik in voertuie. Die ander se selle is net gespot weld en kan nie die vibrasies in voertuie weerstaan nie. Ongelukkig is dié met prismatiese selle ook die duurste.

My 1c.

Ebenhaéser (1 Sam. 7:12)
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23 Jun, 2022 @ 15:46:21 pm
tuxracing
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Thank you - Baie dankie!!!!!!!

(Short reply)
Awesome feedback. I will do some research on pricing on the lithium route ...... Weight is not my biggest concern though, I would just like a reliable power source without using the generator which despite being an inverter model still noisy and if I can leave that at home will compensate for some weight 😃.
Lithium Iron Phosphate 13V Battery 218Ah 

Will one of these do the job?     27 Kg

https://www.bluenova.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/BN13V-218-2.8k.pdf

 

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23 Jun, 2022 @ 16:47:23 pm
Saalocin
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It looks like a good battery to me, Chris. Maybe just check on what type of cells it consists of. 

I believe these are also being successfully used in the off road community:

https://www.freedomwon.co.za/fw-12-200/

A very informative video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRUQCxWGyfQ

Ebenhaéser (1 Sam. 7:12)
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