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  1. #1241
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    My Victron is of the 600 series before Bluetooth.

    When the charge voltage remains above a certain voltage AND the charge current drops to below a certain threshold for a preset time, then the monitor automatically synchronizes.

    You would have to consult your specific model's manual to know if yours does the same or if it requires some form of user intervention.
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  3. #1242
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Hi Guys,

    Why would my DC to DC charger be charging my Auxiliary battery at 17.4v? Surely this will damage the battery?
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  4. #1243
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Donlux View Post
    Hi Guys,

    Why would my DC to DC charger be charging my Auxiliary battery at 17.4v? Surely this will damage the battery?
    That is bad news - disconnect your utility battery without delay and have the utility charging system checked out.

    While you're at it, have your meter checked as well.
    If it is a multitester type, check/replace its battery.
    Eggie.

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  5. #1244
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Eggie View Post

    While you're at it, have your meter checked as well.
    If it is a multitester type, check/replace its battery.
    Aaah, very good advice. Once had a contractor claiming our municipal voltage was at 500v plus between phases and 300v phase to phase. Installed a new battery into his test meter and voltages came down to what they should be.
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  6. #1245
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    With a trip to Maubua coming up, I recently did an experiment with my current setup, in order to clarify in my own mind how the fridge and battery behaves and to measure the amounts of amps required to do typical work loads. I share here for anyone interested. A lot of what I discovered lines up with existing forum advice.

    Setup:
    10mm cables running direct from main battery to boot.
    Plugged into snomaster battery box, which has a manual isolator switch.
    Ritar 105aph AGM battery
    Snomaster 50L fridge.
    basic inline voltage and amp meter (Link)

    I only recently purchased the meter. So for the first time I could measure the amount of amps flowing through the system.

    Experiment:
    Input charge:
    First thing I did was discharge the battery by roughly 20amps (so open to bulk charging), then I plugged in the battery and meter to the Jeep and took a drive. Measured the amount of amps flowing into the battery through the 10mm cables. After about 15 minutes of driving around normally it averaged out at between 11 and 13 amps. This was very valuable and interesting to me. As the Jeep has a really powerful alternator, I was expecting this number to be higher. I'm currently considering if its worth it to switch to a WRND DC DC system, and was worried that the 20amp max charge limit may actually hinder me. This proves that it will certainly not. Now I might have gotten better results with thicker cables or a high cycle battery, but for my personal setup this was good data.

    Consumption:
    Now that I had a baseline for how fast I could recharge a battery, I wanted to get a feel for how much power I would pull from it, considering some worst case scenarios. So I let the fridge warm up to room temp (20 degrees), then put in a few bottles of room temp water, including a big 5L one. Set the temp to -15 and let rip. This was all pulling from the 12V battery, not 220V, and I simulated a 120W solar panel by plugging in my battery charger which delivers max 5A. The fridge started out at 15c and then slowly started dropping. 21 hours later I checked it and it had dropped to -5c. This was much slower than I had expected, although it is understandable considering what it needs to cool. What is interesting and important is that everything inside was now frozen solid. So I'm not convinced that going any lower will make any difference. I adjusted it this morning to -10. Will check when I'm home tonight.

    The compressor ran pretty much full time and used an average of between 3.5 and 4.5 amps constantly. The battery has charged back up via the charger. However this assumes the sun will be shining for 21 hours which seems unlikely. But it does prove that with a 5amp input it will at very least hold its charge, and with a bit of luck add a small amount back.

    Take Aways:
    Precooling your fridge at home before you leave on the trip definitely makes sense. It takes a lot longer than you think to get everything frozen. A 8 hour drive to your camp spot will not be enough. Bank on 24 hours to be safe.

    Try get a measurement of how many amps you are getting whilst on alternator charge. It might be less than you think. An hours game drive will probably only give me 5-8amp hours if you stop and turn off your engine to view animals.

    If you are at hot location, bank on your fridge pulling 4amps an hour constantly. Plan accordingly.

    I don't really see the value in setting your fridge way low, like -18. Unless someone can explain to me? Once everything is frozen, its frozen.

    Future plans:
    I think i'm going to invest in a WRND, and see if the amps improves when alternator power. If it can consistently give me 20amps, that will help.
    I'm also going to go for a 120W solar panel, and will do some experiment to check if I can average 5amps an hour. Also, it might we worthwhile have the WRND auto switch between the alternator and solar, that way if you are out on a drive, you make max use of the time. (assuming solar panel on roofrack)
    Last edited by Quiksilver; 2020/01/27 at 10:46 AM.
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  7. #1246
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    It seems your system is designed to operate while driving, if I read correctly?

    What is your plan for overnight supply?
    Your 1x105Ah battery may not hold up through the night when your fridge is running at optimum.
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  8. #1247
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by JohanMaree View Post
    It seems your system is designed to operate while driving, if I read correctly?

    What is your plan for overnight supply?
    Your 1x105Ah battery may not hold up through the night when your fridge is running at optimum.
    Well, I dont think you can have anything overnight unless I setup a windmill.

    But yes, the motivation here is to find out if I will get by with 1x battery and a 120w solar panel, with a daily game drive. I don't think I will.

    Option 2:
    Get a second battery and leave it in the trailer running the fridge and getting solar. Therefore splitting the load between the two batteries.
    Last edited by Quiksilver; 2020/01/27 at 11:02 AM.
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  9. #1248
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    I will recommend 2x panels at the campsite.

    Trying to remember our figures
    - Remember the camp panel needs to replenish the previous night's battery use AND the fridge use at the time simultaneously.
    - One panel may supply around 5A and that will not be sufficient to charge the battery full and ready for the following night. Two panels will do.
    - Why then fit one panel to your tow vehicle? The alternator does that job quite well.
    Use both panels at the camp while on your game drive and connect the panels when back in camp to both the (car) additional and trailer batteries

    My setup.
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  10. #1249
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    So I have a question regarding LifePO4 batteries.

    I see you get affordable ones now that would do well in my Trailvan. 120AH. From here https://lithiumbatteriessa.co.za/

    How do I go about charging such a battery from the alternator/solar panels? I have DC - DC charger in the Trailvan, but pretty sure that is no good for the LifePo4 as it does a trickle charge after fully charged, which LifePO4 batteries cannot handle. Or can I just use it anyway and the batteries own BMS (battery management system) takes care of switching off additional charge to the battery? Not sure what that will do to my DC-DC unit?

    Any experience with this here?
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  11. #1250
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by JohanMaree View Post
    I will recommend 2x panels at the campsite.

    Trying to remember our figures
    - Remember the camp panel needs to replenish the previous night's battery use AND the fridge use at the time simultaneously.
    - One panel may supply around 5A and that will not be sufficient to charge the battery full and ready for the following night. Two panels will do.
    - Why then fit one panel to your tow vehicle? The alternator does that job quite well.
    Use both panels at the camp while on your game drive and connect the panels when back in camp to both the (car) additional and trailer batteries

    My setup.
    Quiksilver this is good advice from Johan.

    My setup consists of three batteries and two sets of solar panels.

    One - The fridge in the Jeep is powered by the first 105ah DC battery in the Jeep, which is charged by a WRND when mobile and 2x120W solar panels when stationary.

    Two - The second 105ah battery for my CPAP is in the trailer and is charge by 2x150W solar panels through a charger controller.

    Three - When leaving camp there is a third 105ah battery with it's own charger controller, also in the trailer, which get connected to the 2x120W solar panels mentioned in "One" above.

    I run my fridge on 2º during the day, 4º during the night and 0º when driving around.

    This setup gives me great flexibility for a lot of camping scenarios.

    I've build this setup over a couple of years.
    Last edited by DC Polokwane; 2020/01/27 at 02:04 PM.
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  12. #1251
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Kortgat View Post
    So I have a question regarding LifePO4 batteries.

    I see you get affordable ones now that would do well in my Trailvan. 120AH. From here https://lithiumbatteriessa.co.za/

    How do I go about charging such a battery from the alternator/solar panels? I have DC - DC charger in the Trailvan, but pretty sure that is no good for the LifePo4 as it does a trickle charge after fully charged, which LifePO4 batteries cannot handle.
    AFAIK these controllers have settings to use the correct setting for Li-Ion
    https://re-volt.co.za/Store/index.ph...product_id=102

  13. #1252
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    AFAIK these controllers have settings to use the correct setting for Li-Ion
    https://re-volt.co.za/Store/index.ph...product_id=102

    yello:


    also saw those batteries:

    the national luna dcdc 25a will work according to their website.. bit pricey though at almost 6k

    wnrd and hcdp :
    cannot get info on their websites..

    victron orion tr dcdc charger will work but still need solar charger then....

    the hcdp power panel can be ordered li ion ready afaik

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  14. #1253
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Kortgat View Post
    So I have a question regarding LifePO4 batteries.

    I see you get affordable ones now that would do well in my Trailvan. 120AH. From here https://lithiumbatteriessa.co.za/

    How do I go about charging such a battery from the alternator/solar panels? I have DC - DC charger in the Trailvan, but pretty sure that is no good for the LifePo4 as it does a trickle charge after fully charged, which LifePO4 batteries cannot handle. Or can I just use it anyway and the batteries own BMS (battery management system) takes care of switching off additional charge to the battery? Not sure what that will do to my DC-DC unit?

    Any experience with this here?


    I note these batteries are 3.2volts each...so one would need a bank of 4 of them to run, for example, a 12v fridge/freezer?

    Correct?
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  15. #1254
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    That is correct, but the 12V battery is made up of 4 of these cells to provide a total of 12.8V

  16. #1255
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Hi all battery experts
    I have been searching for a suitable replacement battery for use in my Jurgens Xcell. Requirement is for it to be drawn down to 50+% from time to time when camping off grid. And to last a long time...
    Has anyone used this one and feedback/comments:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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  17. #1256
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    Default SRe: Electrickery for camping T y for taking the time Elders, sharing your knowledge!

    Quote Originally Posted by Elders View Post
    Dual battery system


    Having covered the basics in the previous “chapters”, it is now time to apply this information to select components for a dual battery system.

    Let’s do this for a bakkie with the battery in the back of the vehicle and with a full power distribution system. This is how it was done 2 decades back:



    Fuse at the 1st battery, then a basic heavy duty relay, and some 16mm square cables to charge the second battery.



    Due to the high voltages required to charge modern deep cycle batteries this approach has now fallen by the way side. We now use dc2dc chargers, as follows:



    This way we are now SURE the charge voltage is high enough to fully charge the 2nd battery. Since the dc2dc charger limits the charge current we can now use a 4 or a 6mm square wire from the front to the back. Note how the dc2dc charger is located close to the 2nd battery.
    But you want to camp without having to run the engine, thus you need to add solar :




    With this setup the alternator can charge the battery while you drive. And while camping the solar panel can charge the battery.

    If you were to use a Ctek or HcDP dual charger your setup would look like this:




    Okay, so your charging circuit is sorted, now let’s look at the distribution from the second battery:






    Combine all of this and you may well have a “dual battery system” that looks something like this:


  18. #1257
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    You also need a fuse on your solar panel, as well as on your aux battery. I only mention this since you have shown one on your primary battery.



  19. #1258
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    Question Re: Electrickery for camping

    Now with lockdown there is a lot of time for fiddling and fixing...

    I have two 105ah batteries connected in parallel with 10mm wire in the van. However , I have installed a plug for a inverter where the recommendation is to use 16mm wire. I would thus like to replace the 10mm leads between the batteries with 16mm too.

    The question I now have is must the lengths of ‘live’ and ‘neutral’ between the batteries be the same length. The current neutral is almost double the length of the live. I read somewhere on a solar site that if the lengths are not the same it could have an effect on one of the batteries when charging or is it only when the batteries are connected in series??

    I want to do it right to ensure optimal life of the batteries

    Please advise
    Thanks
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  20. #1259
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Please check the diagram below to see if you can figure out the difference.
    The fact that the balanced way of connecting the 2 batteries comes with external leads of differering length is not a problem.

    Note that for many installations the difference between the 2 options shown are really quite small, but for applications where very high currents are the norm the balanced system is way better. This applies to lithium batteries as well, only more so.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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  22. #1260
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Hi Eggie,

    Thanks for this. My setup is basically the same as the diagram on the left. The only difference is that the + 'load' comes from the bottom battery on the diagram similar to the - 'load' feeding from the top battery, ie. the + load is fed from battery A and the - load from battery B. The two batteries are then connected in parallel via leads + to + and - to -

    Thanks again
    Deon
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