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  1. #161
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Default Re: Solar power and Battery systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Dungbeetle View Post
    Nothing dumb about your thinking, just some practical experience to be added

    First let me comment on your points made:
    1 - the NL 60 is a good buy, but your needs might grow for a second fridge/Freezer..
    2 - One 105Ah battery per fridge is OK
    3 - 150W panels are already pain to handle for one person - especially reaching for it on top of a vehicle. A 300W panel is a real bugger (and not available for 12V systems)
    4 - When driving, simply use the Alternator as Energy source...
    5 - Parking the vehicle in the sun to keep fridge cool inside - oxymoron
    and: Panels mounted on top of vehicles tend climb off and walk in seconds - especially at Shopping Center parking.

    My suggestion:

    Panels
    - Go for 4 x 80W panels, make 2 sets of 2 hinged together (thus 2 x 160W suitcases)
    - Store them securely locked in a dedicated space inside the Canopy when travelling, but provide for means to relocate to the roof when you wish to

    Charging
    - I suggest the HcdP 20A DC-DC MPPT charger, mounted close to the aux battery box (http://www.hcdpelectronics.co.za/ind...&product_id=68)
    - Have at least 30m, 4mm^2, 2 core cabling for each suitcase handy. (I use a modular approach, 2 sets of 20m, 2 sets of 10m and join as required)

    With the above arrangement you can easily add a second fridge and it's second battery in future or when needed.
    Point number 5 is especially relevant!!!

  2. #162
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Florida
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    Default Re: Solar power and Battery systems

    Quote Originally Posted by MrTolbos View Post
    The smart solar 100/20 is a great choice, and that price is good (from what Iíve seen). I would only buy 1x panel now, test it and see if you really need a second one right away. Have you measured your available mounting space on your RR yet? Will 2x 150Wís fit on there? What other size panels do they have available now?

    I donít want to throw a spanner in your project, but Iíve heard from a reliable source that victron will be releasing a dual charger very soon (running from alternator and solar). Iím saving my money for that bad boy 🤤
    Sinetech are a reputable crowd with good backup. The Omni battery is top aquality so too the Victron.

    Where I differ is in your setup of the solar panels. Fixed on the roof and parking in the sun to keep a fridge cold, Defeats the objective and IMHO crazy. Sinetech have 80W panels that are really a manageable size and 2 sets of 2 can be connected by hinges and stored in a container/box or the like as suggested.

    I have 3 Sinetech enerSol 80W panels supplying a HCdP system in my Companion charging 2 102Ah Deltec batteries and this keeps the batteries going for long stays quite well under normal climatic conditions. I originally only had 2 but did have issues on a long stay in Savuti during a cloudy spell thus I got one more.

    Your system is overkill for a single battery. If you do plan to expand the system later then the the 80W will give you more flexibility and coming in at <9 Kgs each they are really manageable even if combined. Get Sinetech to give you the correct dimensions. (My measurements are 900mm X 670mm X 34mm.)
    Last edited by TRON; 2019/01/11 at 12:47 PM.

  3. #163
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Pretoria
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    Default Re: Solar power and Battery systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Ama-newbie View Post
    The more I read, the more I get confused! Maybe I can submit my proposed setup and you guys can rip it to shreds; this speaking as a complete novice as my "handle" suggests. Also bear in mind that I'm probably the king of over-design!


    My plan is as follows, (on my newly acquired Amarok, which I've only just started custom kitting out)


    1. I've purchased a NL 60 fridge/freezer to mount in the load bay canopy.


    2. I'm thinking a deep-cycle battery of approximately 105Ah will suit my needs to run the fridge and maybe power some LED lights of an evening.


    3. Make an aluminium custom mount (including some damping) for a solid PV panel (I'm thinking of a single 300W or maybe 2 x 150W panels - remember I do overkill) and attach this arrangement to standard roof racks over the cab. I'm hoping this will actually provide some "shade" over the cab as well as keeping the battery topped up while I'm driving to destination or around camp. I've seen some articles on "flutter" causing problems with the PV cells at highway speeds, so I also plan on covering the panel with a clear polycarbonate sheet to prevent this. This arrangement will be the only thing carried by the roof racks over the cab, so weight and space of the panel(s) is not a problem.


    4. In inclement weather, from what I've read it looks like I could also keep my fridge cold while driving by using the standard 12V outlet in the load bin. This should keep load off the second battery.


    5. At a campsite, I either park the vehicle so the cab is in the sun (remember the PV panel provides some "shade" while it's working to protect the interior to some degree), or the bracket I make for the panel(s) enables me to fairly easily remove them (a 150W panel seems to weigh about 12kg, and a 300W panel about 23kg - awkward but manageable). I would only go to the trouble of taking the panels off the roof rack if I was staying in one place for more than a day or two.


    Now - please go ahead and tell me how dumb my thinking might be, and if so please point me in a more sensible direction?
    I'm in your boat .... my brain farts allot when reading these posts. Buying a set up from a retail store would be too expensive, doing it myself would fry my brain ... so hopefully one day i'll be able to buy someone's setup if they ever tire of camping.

  4. #164
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Durbanville
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    Default Re: Solar power and Battery systems

    Hi all, just need to check on the following - I have 2x50W panels with a MPPT 75V 20 Amp controller...the display only indicates the PV as 8-10W...what does this mean...should it not indicate the 100W of the 2x50W panels?

  5. #165
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    Default Re: Solar power and Battery systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty72 View Post
    Hi all, just need to check on the following - I have 2x50W panels with a MPPT 75V 20 Amp controller...the display only indicates the PV as 8-10W...what does this mean...should it not indicate the 100W of the 2x50W panels?
    NO - it will indicate what the load wants at that specific time you look, and then only if there is enough sun available to supply it to the panels.

    So to see 100W you would need a perfect storm. Perfect bright sunlight, cool ambient temperatures. PV panels in the sunlight facing the exact correct direction at the sun, a flat battery and a fridge that is busy in a cooling cycle.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 Land Rover V8's
    NA - TwinTurbo - SuperCharged
    A V6 and an inline 4

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Fluffy For This Useful Post:


  7. #166
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Durbanville
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    Default Re: Solar power and Battery systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    NO - it will indicate what the load wants at that specific time you look, and then only if there is enough sun available to supply it to the panels.

    So to see 100W you would need a perfect storm. Perfect bright sunlight, cool ambient temperatures. PV panels in the sunlight facing the exact correct direction at the sun, a flat battery and a fridge that is busy in a cooling cycle.
    Thanks Fluffy, much appreciated!

  8. #167
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Default Re: Solar power and Battery systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty72 View Post
    Hi all, just need to check on the following - I have 2x50W panels with a MPPT 75V 20 Amp controller...the display only indicates the PV as 8-10W...what does this mean...should it not indicate the 100W of the 2x50W panels?
    If a fridge is connected to the battery one can usume some power was drawn from the battery and the solar input ought to be higher than 10W. It seems like there is a higher than 50% chance of some problem. Yes the perfect storm Fluffy mentioned I have not experienced in 6 months with my panels. I would as usual be conservative and think you could get about 70-80W from the 2 panels without a perfect storm. When I get a 10W reading on my MPPT it is normally when the grid charger is charging the batteries and they are full.

    @Ama-newbie If you settle for the Victron 100/20 ensure you have panels with a over 17V output as the MPPT needs it to start charging. If 2 panels are used from the beginning they can be in series and it is fine and will exceed the 17V. A number of 80W panels do provide max volts at 22 and 18V under full load. Specs are at a 1000W/m≤ irradiance. One would normally get closer to 800W/m≤ irradiance and must therefore reduce the spec value. Before I'm stoned there are a number of people that do in fact get the 1000W/m≤ irradiance Watt value but as you mentioned you want to over design.

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  10. #168
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    Default Re: Solar power and Battery systems

    WOW wat n awesome draad baie inligting wat my baie help

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