Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar





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  1. #1
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    Default Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    Hi all, I know the Solar and battery topic has been excessively posted but I have very little experience in this department and I can't seem to find out what I need.

    I currently have a NL 50l Weekender Fridge, a Deltec 105ah deep cycle battery in the NL Power Pack and 100w Solar Panel.

    Firstly, how many amp hours can i expect from the 100w panel (2 X 50w) in an average day with good to average sunlight, at best the 50L fridge will draw 2.5amps per hour and expect to get about 12 hours before the power pack turns off to protect the battery (Maybe more if i switch the fridge off at night). according to the NL power pack this works out to be about 30ah loss.

    How many amp hours could I realistically hope the 100w can replace back into the battery if the panels get decent sunlight for about 4 - 5 hours?

    Secondly, National Luna mentioned that sometimes high cycle batteries can be better then deep cycle but it depends on the scenario, would I be better off with a faster charging high cycle battery or remain with my deep cycle?

    I only want to run the fridge as all other lights I will run from standard batteries, we are expecting to be at each camp site no longer then 3 days in Chobe area this December, would love to keep the 50L Weekender running for the 3 full days if at all possible. Any advice would be appreciated
    Last edited by JK2008ZA; 2016/04/12 at 08:47 AM. Reason: Grumpy member

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    Quote Originally Posted by JK2008ZA View Post
    Hi all, I know the Solar and battery topic has been excessively posted but I have very little experience in this department and can't seem to find out what I need. I currently have a Nl 50l Weekender a Deltec 105ah deep cycle in the Nl Power Pack and 100w Solar Panel. Firstly, how many amp hours can i expect from the 100w panel (2 X 50w) in an average day with good to average sunlight, at best with the 50L drawing 2.5 per hour I can get about 12 hours before the power pack turns off to protect the battery. How many amp hours could I realistically hope the 100w can replace back into the battery. Secondly, National Luna mentioned that sometimes high cycle batteries can be better then deep but depends on the scenario, would I be better off with a faster charging high cycle battery or remain with my deep cycle. I only really want to run the fridge as all other lights I will run from standard batteries, we are expecting to be at each camp site no longer then 3 days in Chobe area this December, would love to keep the 50L Weekender running for the 3 full days if at all possible. Any advice would be appreciated
    People with keyboards that have an Enter key to punctuate posts have a much better hit rate of responses.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    In JHB solar are useless they say, but in the bush away from the smog you may get about 36 to 40 Ah's per day, depends the regulator you use.
    Johan Kriel

    LC's and Echo Chobe

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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    Hello Fluffy, wow, and you actually took the time to write that response, sad really, the post was sent late last night from my phone so this is how it came out. If you didn't care for my post or the lack of spacing why bother to reply anything.

    Some people I swear, this is an information forum, not an English exam. Nonetheless I will amend my post so I don't upset anyone else, goodness me.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    Fluffy should drink less......it will help with the spinning of the head. I read your post just fine.

    Can't help you though. My solar knowledge is as limited.

    Sent from my SM-N920C using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Sweiss; 2016/04/12 at 08:42 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    Thanks JLK, that is really helpful.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    Haha, thanks Sweiss, i was just trying to get some info here, not upset other members

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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    I have a 100W panel with a Ctek250 DC to DC charger and a 102Ah Semi deepcycle battery. I use it for my 50l Waeco fridge.
    When driving everyday I leave the panel at home as it is mounted on the roofrack and stuffs up my fuel consumption.
    I have camped for around 3 days without driving and the panel keeps the battery charged.(Monitored bmo Voltage indicator)
    But I think that is under ideal circumstances:
    Clear blue skies, not too hot outside, carefully planning opening the cooler, etc.
    I'm very happy with my set-up. Hope it helps.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    The amount of power that you need will depends much on the power you are going to use. The setting of the fridge is very important cause that is the one that will draw the most current. Are you using LED lights and are they all 12 V? Are you using an inverter? Those things will determine how much you will have in reserve. Assuming the fridge is set at just to keep things frozen and cool I can't see that you will run out of power. I think your panels should should pump about 4 amps/h into your battery.
    Robert

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    Thanks jannieljoubert and Tweeling, your info gives me an idea of what to expect, i know the conditions a huge factor but I just need to know that the Solar Panels can provide slightly more or less then the fridge is pulling so i can slow the discharge of the battery enough to last about 3 days.

    I have only done one overland trip and didn't have the solar then but we were driving everyday so teh deep cycle was getting charged. I found that even though my wife and i tried to limit the times we opened the fridge in a day, this happened far too often, have any of you found a way to help counter this regular opening of the fridge?

    I have seen multiple posts about cardboard seperated sections in the fridge to Techni-Ice packs, some people keep their fridges running at -10 and some +4, i tend to lean towards the thinking of keeping Freezer blocks or those Glad Ice Sheets in the fridge, the colder it is the better it will cope with regular opening. Any suggestions or tips please

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    I am also a dummy so I can only give practical experience.

    I have

    A Waeco CX50 Runs off Aux battery
    A Dometic 16L Only runs with ignition on.
    NL power pack with 105AH
    Semi flex solar panel 100W

    We did 5 nights in Mabua with this set up with minimal driving between pans. The solar was taken with us exactly for what you require.

    In full shade the panel pushed nothing , in full sun it pushed around 4-5 amps, in full sun angled well it pushed 6-7 amps. This is with an 8 metre cable. On average around 40 amp H per day

    We used the Waeco as a freezer and the little Dometic as a fridge. Frozen food would be transferred from the big one to the little one to defrost. This however did not work as the little fridge even when off kept it frozen. We were disciplined with the panel as it is only 2kg and we would pack it away at night and set it up again in the morning.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    Quote Originally Posted by JK2008ZA View Post
    Hi all, I know the Solar and battery topic has been excessively posted but I have very little experience in this department and I can't seem to find out what I need.

    I currently have a NL 50l Weekender Fridge, a Deltec 105ah deep cycle battery in the NL Power Pack and 100w Solar Panel.

    Firstly, how many amp hours can i expect from the 100w panel (2 X 50w) in an average day with good to average sunlight, at best the 50L fridge will draw 2.5amps per hour and expect to get about 12 hours before the power pack turns off to protect the battery (Maybe more if i switch the fridge off at night). according to the NL power pack this works out to be about 30ah loss.

    How many amp hours could I realistically hope the 100w can replace back into the battery if the panels get decent sunlight for about 4 - 5 hours?

    Secondly, National Luna mentioned that sometimes high cycle batteries can be better then deep cycle but it depends on the scenario, would I be better off with a faster charging high cycle battery or remain with my deep cycle?

    I only want to run the fridge as all other lights I will run from standard batteries, we are expecting to be at each camp site no longer then 3 days in Chobe area this December, would love to keep the 50L Weekender running for the 3 full days if at all possible. Any advice would be appreciated
    Go on admit it - now that you have edited the text it is much better.

    The problem with technical queries that constitute one continuous sentence is that it is difficult to separate out the issues and facts into manageable chunks.

    ------------------

    Now to try and give a realistic answer.

    I work on 4 hours a day at max power from Solar panels. In decent weather and moving the panels periodically that could be as high as 6 or even more. You can expect to generate about 400Wh of energy per day from a 100W. Or, converting back to Volts and Amps, about 33Ah. You can then sustain a 2.5A fridge draw for about 13 hours.

    Don't forget that during the day the panels must charge the batteries AND run the fridge at the same time.

    ------------------

    100W would in my opinion could marginal and may require good fridge/power management to sustain ad infinitum.

    But you still have the reserve energy in the batteries from the original charge if you can give the battery a nice charge while driving to the next 3 day stop over. If this is the case you will be just fine.

    -------------------

    Just one other thing - Your situation is one of those cases where a High Cycle starter battery may well be better than a Deep Cycle.

    You also don't say how you will be connecting the Solar Panels to the battery (Solar Charger)
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 V8's
    NA TwinTurbo SuperCharger
    A V6 and an inline 4

    The frogs are starting to notice that the water is getting warm but it is already too hot to do anything about it.....

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    In a previous life I worked with radio repeaters and telemetry systems. All the installations used solar panels and high cycle batteries.

    Johan
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    Quote Originally Posted by JK2008ZA View Post
    Thanks jannieljoubert and Tweeling, your info gives me an idea of what to expect, i know the conditions a huge factor but I just need to know that the Solar Panels can provide slightly more or less then the fridge is pulling so i can slow the discharge of the battery enough to last about 3 days.

    I have only done one overland trip and didn't have the solar then but we were driving everyday so teh deep cycle was getting charged. I found that even though my wife and i tried to limit the times we opened the fridge in a day, this happened far too often, have any of you found a way to help counter this regular opening of the fridge?

    I have seen multiple posts about cardboard seperated sections in the fridge to Techni-Ice packs, some people keep their fridges running at -10 and some +4, i tend to lean towards the thinking of keeping Freezer blocks or those Glad Ice Sheets in the fridge, the colder it is the better it will cope with regular opening. Any suggestions or tips please
    JK2008ZA, with your 100W solar you should be able to maintain your NL Weekender quite easily, regardless of which battery you use. Solar charging is slow and deep cycle batteries are ok with this type of scenario. As are high cycle batteries.

    Leave the fridge on at night, it runs more efficiently during the night. And don't worry about opening the fridge a few times, it can handle it.

    The only trouble I can see with your setup, is if you get a fair amount of rainy or cloudy weather and the solar is not working. Under those circumstances a high cycle battery would charge up better and faster from the alternator when going on drives.

    Now if you were to get a second 100W panel... you could just about kiss all your worries goodbye.
    Eggie.

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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    Thanks for the advice Eggie

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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    Ok, shoot me down in flames but here is my set up which works for us (SO FAR).
    (Fluffy - note the frequent use of enter key!)

    I have been advised, probably correctly, that battery life will be adversely affected - time will tell.

    We run a NL50 Weekender non-stop usually set at between -5 to -3 in ambient daytime temps ranging from 18 to 44 deg c.
    Due to being a beer drinker it is frequently opened in the late afternoon / early evening.

    In addition it runs via a 1 000 W inverter my CPAP device average 6 - 7 hours per night and very limited LED lighting for maybe 2 hours. We also charge cell phone, satelite phone, laptop, camera etc. at night when the inverter is running.

    Two 102 AH batteries linked to provide 12V to the fridge, inverter and LED lighting. One is Deep Cycle and the other is High Cycle. Charged via dual charging relay from the alternator and "smart" charger when external power is available in camp.

    We only take the 90w Solar Panel with us if we expect to have more than two consecutive days without external power before moving on or if not driving at least 3 hours daily (game viewing or to the next site)

    A couple of years back we spent 7 consecutive days at a site with no power and 42 to 44 deg ambient in the day time and with little daily driving. We put out the solar panel which was re-positioned from time to time for max exposure.
    Admittedly full sunlight all day, every day without exception.

    We did not run out of power.

    So far at least, no sign of reduced performance from the batteries.

    OK now you can all shoot me!!!
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    Thanks for the tips here fluffy...

    Makes me think my 80W panel might just be a bit underpowered, but adding another 80 to it would be easy
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1949 View Post
    Ok, shoot me down in flames but here is my set up which works for us (SO FAR).
    (Fluffy - note the frequent use of enter key!)

    I have been advised, probably correctly, that battery life will be adversely affected - time will tell.

    We run a NL50 Weekender non-stop usually set at between -5 to -3 in ambient daytime temps ranging from 18 to 44 deg c.
    Due to being a beer drinker it is frequently opened in the late afternoon / early evening.

    In addition it runs via a 1 000 W inverter my CPAP device average 6 - 7 hours per night and very limited LED lighting for maybe 2 hours. We also charge cell phone, satelite phone, laptop, camera etc. at night when the inverter is running.

    Two 102 AH batteries linked to provide 12V to the fridge, inverter and LED lighting. One is Deep Cycle and the other is High Cycle. Charged via dual charging relay from the alternator and "smart" charger when external power is available in camp.

    We only take the 90w Solar Panel with us if we expect to have more than two consecutive days without external power before moving on or if not driving at least 3 hours daily (game viewing or to the next site)

    A couple of years back we spent 7 consecutive days at a site with no power and 42 to 44 deg ambient in the day time and with little daily driving. We put out the solar panel which was re-positioned from time to time for max exposure.
    Admittedly full sunlight all day, every day without exception.

    We did not run out of power.

    So far at least, no sign of reduced performance from the batteries.

    OK now you can all shoot me!!!
    Not shooting you down but why don't you relocate your cooled beer bottles/cans to a coolbox with ice packs in the afternoon/evening then you don't have to open the fridge too frequent. Will preserve some cool air not escaping from the fridge.
    Robert

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    I usually put my fridge on around 2degC, which is a bit colder than a house fridge would be, but not so cold that the beer explodes.(Light beers freezes quicker, so try to keep to normal beverages. Even at 2degC, the beer will eventually start to freeze. Cans are also more resistant to bursting than glass)
    I put the pre-frozen meat in a small flexible cooler bag inside the fridge. That keeps it pretty much frozen.
    I try to open the fridge only once a day. With that opening, I take out meat to be defrosted, I take out the estimated amount of beer required for the day, and re-stock the fridge with warm ones.
    I then put the drinks that come out of the fridge into another flexible cooler bag in the car to keep them cold.

    On another note, my Ctek250 registers a solar panel charge when the garage light comes on! It actually starts to charge a bit in semi shade.
    The fridge draws around or just under 4.5A when running. In full sun, the monitor doesn't register any current draw, meaning that the solar panel delivers more than the fridge draws.(It can do up to 6 Amps if I remember correctly)
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Deep Cycle or High Cycle with Solar

    Just a note on opening fridges too often.

    The temp inside the fridge is retained by the thermal mass of the contents.

    If a fridge is full of frozen/cool stuff then momentarily opening the fridge will only lose the energy contained in the air that escapes and is replaced by ambient temp air.

    And most camping fridge/freezers are chest freezers, so the cold air doesn't go rushing out.

    You would need to displace about 1 cubic meter of air, that's obviously 1m x 1m of air, to lose as much heat as putting a litre of ambient temp water in the fridge.

    So, to me trying to only open the door once a day is a misplaced quest.

    Besides the obvious losses through the insulation, the main driver would be how much "stuff" you use per day.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
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    NA TwinTurbo SuperCharger
    A V6 and an inline 4

    The frogs are starting to notice that the water is getting warm but it is already too hot to do anything about it.....

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