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  1. #101
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    So I'm at my last cross road.
    Solar charger vs dc dc charger.

    Initially my thoughts were to get a victron charge controller either the 75/15 or maybe the 100/15.
    I think it an excellent controller and i like the fact that you can use high voltage panels on them. On the 100/15 you'll be able to run 2 panels in series and never go above 2-3 amps, which in turn would limit losses and enable you to use thinner wiring.

    But it costs around the same as a 12A HCDP dc dc charger which although not allowing high voltage panels will cover the other side of the equation aswell.

    Any comments on the two options/devices

    Was thinking that if I mount the solar on the canopy roof it should give enough charge when the sun is shining and I can still throw the fridge over on the vehicle while driving so that the solar only needs to take care of the battery...

  2. #102
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    Default DIY battery boks

    Quote Originally Posted by WillemT View Post
    So I'm at my last cross road.
    Solar charger vs dc dc charger.

    Initially my thoughts were to get a victron charge controller either the 75/15 or maybe the 100/15.
    I think it an excellent controller and i like the fact that you can use high voltage panels on them. On the 100/15 you'll be able to run 2 panels in series and never go above 2-3 amps, which in turn would limit losses and enable you to use thinner wiring.

    But it costs around the same as a 12A HCDP dc dc charger which although not allowing high voltage panels will cover the other side of the equation aswell.

    Any comments on the two options/devices

    Was thinking that if I mount the solar on the canopy roof it should give enough charge when the sun is shining and I can still throw the fridge over on the vehicle while driving so that the solar only needs to take care of the battery...
    Difficult choice to make.

    I was forced into this decision as well 2 weeks ago, i chose the victron, but only because its fir my caravan and i wont need dc-dc there

    I will be buying the hcdp 12a or the wrnd 20a in the next month or so - the coat is very close to each other. I am leaning towards the hcdp, only because it has the integrated load management where with the wrnd you would have to manage the load manually.

    So if i had to choose something that does dc-dc and solar, it would be the hcdp, if only solar,the victron definitely!

    Victron can handle 200w max and charges with MPPT technology

    Hcdp can handle 180w max and charges with MPPC technology

    Edit - i bought the victron 75/15 for my caravan, and will be buying the hcdp 12a solar and dc-dc for my bakkie
    Last edited by Charlie100; 2017/03/30 at 08:44 PM.
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  3. #103
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    Quote Originally Posted by pezvela View Post
    Great work! I just completed my project.

    AC in to Optimate 6 charger and Snomaster fridge
    Solar in
    Alternator in via HBC solenoid for battery in car and National Luna for trailer.

    Various breakers and on/off and fuse box.

    Watt meter.

    If I may ask: Where did you get that Watt Meter? Does it use a shunt?
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  4. #104
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    Right so I think I have come to a conclusion as to what I want…
    So now to start looking…
    Will use the Victron Bluesolar 100-15 for a MPPT solar controller, it’s everything I want in a solar controller plus the option to add the Bluetooth module will be quite cool to get all the settings and monitoring on you phone. Will only buy that at a later stage…
    I can then also run two high voltage panels in series to not have more than 3A peak current and will thus be able to make longer leads with thinner wires…
    Looks like I might be able to get one for R1600 – R1700 .

    On my house between the garage and the house itself is a little piece of concrete roof/balcony with a door leading out to it from the loft in the garage, I’ll make some brackets so that when I’m home the panels will go up there and I’ll then have charging facilities at home as well…. And would not need to buy a 220 volt charger aswell… I have a very basic one for emergencies… Will then be able to cover a double purpose and that way I can keep the batts on a float charge to ensure they stay healthy…

  5. #105
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    Quote Originally Posted by Changa Bulanga View Post
    If I may ask: Where did you get that Watt Meter? Does it use a shunt?

    Nope no shunt, believe you can get it at 4x4direct for R480...

    http://www.4x4direct.co.za/meters/6940-watt-meter.html

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  7. #106
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    Quote Originally Posted by Changa Bulanga View Post
    If I may ask: Where did you get that Watt Meter? Does it use a shunt?

    sorry
    im currently in etosha (saw Lion, Rhino, Elephant, etc)

    WIFI very weak

    Bought it from 4x4direct.co.za

    NO shunt that I know of

  8. #107
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    Quote Originally Posted by Changa Bulanga View Post
    If I may ask: Where did you get that Watt Meter? Does it use a shunt?
    If you have some patience, you can get it here for far cheaper.

    http://www.banggood.com/G_T_Power-15...l?rmmds=search
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  9. #108
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    I have found a Bluesolar 100/15 controller for what I think is an exceptional good price.... R1600 incl tax... The 75/15 goes for R1400 and on bidorbuy R1310 (4x4direct priced the 75/15 for just over R1900)

    https://solaradvice.co.za/product/vi...ge-controller/

    Because it's on a sale I'll get the controller now but will get the panel later because it's not needed until later this year at the earliest...

    The price on their panels is also not bad at all...

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  11. #109
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    So just waiting on my controller and panel to be delivered...

    In the mean time it's cable installation in the amarok...

    I decided to only take the positive from the front to the rear and not both as many people suggested.
    I noticed that first off all the vehicle itself has no earth wires at all, so why should I run one... Underneath the loadbin there's an earthpoint with only one wire on so there's space for 4 or 5 more to be added to the earthing point. I'm quite certain that it will be sufficient as it's an official earthing point fixed into the body and not just some bolt that you're tapping into...

    On the fuse box side, the wire with the tape was added afterwards for the auxilary power in the canopy and is currently being used to power the interior lights of the canopy. I'll remove this wire from the fuse box and also remove it all the way to the rear of the amarok...
    I'll then put in a bigger (80A) fuse strip in the fuse box and run the 10mm sq wire from the fuse box to the rear. You'll see there's an inline fuse in the aux power cable just as it comes out of the fuse box in any way because of the strip fuse being to big.
    I'll keep the inline fuse and then run the wire over from the 10mm sq lug at the back to the plug where the canopy lights plug in.
    will then add a 65A trip before the BH plug. Wanted to get a 50A but the ones that you can get from 4x4 direct can't take larger than 6mm sq wires, the 65A can take lugs...

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  12. #110
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    Quote Originally Posted by WillemT View Post
    I have found a Bluesolar 100/15 controller for what I think is an exceptional good price.... R1600 incl tax... The 75/15 goes for R1400 and on bidorbuy R1310 (4x4direct priced the 75/15 for just over R1900)

    https://solaradvice.co.za/product/vi...ge-controller/

    Because it's on a sale I'll get the controller now but will get the panel later because it's not needed until later this year at the earliest...

    The price on their panels is also not bad at all...
    Did you perhaps order the BT dongle to go with the Victron controller?

    Pricey but nice bit of gear to monitor remotely.

  13. #111
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtBasher View Post
    Did you perhaps order the BT dongle to go with the Victron controller?

    Pricey but nice bit of gear to monitor remotely.
    Finances didn't allow that for now but will definitely add it on closer to the end of the year...

  14. #112
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    Quote Originally Posted by WillemT View Post
    Finances didn't allow that for now but will definitely add it on closer to the end of the year...
    Will let you know how it works, just ordered one for myself.

  15. #113
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    Quote Originally Posted by WillemT View Post
    Dankie vir al die wenke.

    Ek sal hom so stadig begin bou.
    Moet eers 'n plek kry wat goedkoper is as outdoor warehouse om al die parte by te koop... hulle is noggal nie goedkoop nie.

    wil bietjie gaan kyk of die kooperasie nie goedkoper ammo kaste het nie... R180 vir een klink vir my rof...
    Ek het die meeste van my komponente by Midas gekry, moes die Ammokrat koop met die hoër deksel om die battery te laat pas. Ek het sommer 'n ou ups ingebou om die battery vol te hou as ek dit nie gebruik nie, werk lekker as 'n backup as eskom met hulle streke begin. Ek het 'n HCDP dc to dc charger ingebou so ek kan van die voertuig of van son panele af laai

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  16. #114
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    And now for the next dilema/question for those who uses solar.

    Do you mount the panels on top of your canopy or not?
    My plan was to mount the panel on the canopy so that it can also do some charging while I'm driving. But have never thought about it that it can get damaged when something hits the glass.

    The one guy at 4x4D doesn't think it's a good idea. However, most stones chipping you windscreen hits it because its at an angle. The solar panel which will be flat should get that easily damaged? Or am I naive and taking a chance?? I'm really not looking to put chips pr breaks on the panels glass.

    Any thoughts?

  17. #115
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    Quote Originally Posted by WillemT View Post
    And now for the next dilema/question for those who uses solar.

    Do you mount the panels on top of your canopy or not?
    My plan was to mount the panel on the canopy so that it can also do some charging while I'm driving. But have never thought about it that it can get damaged when something hits the glass.

    The one guy at 4x4D doesn't think it's a good idea. However, most stones chipping you windscreen hits it because its at an angle. The solar panel which will be flat should get that easily damaged? Or am I naive and taking a chance?? I'm really not looking to put chips pr breaks on the panels glass.

    Any thoughts?
    The only thing that could really damage your panels whilst driving is low hanging tree branches or serious hail in my opinion.

    Hinge them together and when the terrain or circumstances call for it, stop and close them.
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  18. #116
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    Right so for now the battery box is about done. Will just fix the 300w inverter inside with cable ties. At this point in time I won't add a switch for the inverter as it's seldomly going to be used and the swith on the inverter itself will do, it's connected and inside for if there's really a need for it.

    So the basic setup after all the playing around is this:

    std ammo box
    oldish nissan micra battery (just used for the testing stage, will be replaced soon)
    Box contains:

    • 300w msw inverter
    • Victron BlueSolar 100V 15A MPPT charge controller, with bulk/absorbtion/float charge stages, Battery cutoff done either by exact preset values or by an algorithm that will ensure the battery gets a full charge ever so many days. Will see how this funtion works later in time, for now it's set at 11.1. With the new battery I'll set it a bit higher.
    • 50A Volt and amp meter with external shunt
    • Red BH plug, direct link to battery unfused, 10mmsq wire
    • Blue BH plug, solar panel input to BlueSolar
    • Grey BH plug, 15A fused, always on (primary use will be for the fridge)
    • 3 x hella plugs, combined 10A fused, 3 x green switches
    • 12v socket, 10A fused, red switch
    • twin usb ports, 5A fused, red switch


    All fused lines run via the load output of the BlueSolar and cuts off at 11.1 volts, reconnects when bat reaches 13v when charged.

    Holes drilled behind the BlueSolar heatsink for some ventilation, sieve will be installed to cover the holes so that no bugs, insects or spiders can get in.
    Fridge wire cut 100mm from the 12v plug and are now linked with two grey BH plugs. That Way I can use it on the box and throw the other piece in the box, and it can still be used on a normal 12v point aswell if so desired. I did look at buying a complete second power cable that it turned out to be much more expensive that two BH plugs from 4x4D.

    Wiring inside the box:
    Direct link to bat from red plug: 10mm2
    Links from BlueSolar all 4mm2
    Grey BH plug 4mm2
    All other small wiring 2.5mm2

    Things that still need to be done next week before the nam trip:
    • Ventilation fan installation
    • Fixing of the battery and inverter inside the box
    • Voltmeter to show solar panel voltage (purely for interest sake, will maybe do later)
    • Make a red/grey BH adapter. Will just link two BH plugs to each other with 10mm2 qire. To have in the box should it ever be required.


    Later additions:
    • Bluetooth dongle for the BlueSolar to be able to run the Victron app on my phone to change the setting and get stats and status from the controller.
    • Laser cut metal panels to be in place on the front so that all switches and plugs gets mounted on the stainless panels instead of the plastic.
    • Fan control so that the fan will only run when there's solar input or when the box is connected to direct 12v, in essence fan will only run when bat is on charge.



    On the vehicle side:

    Wiring on the amarok is done now. Not properly finished like it should but it's working, will install a little alu box in the rear, housing the red BH plug and a breaker later when I have time, still contemplating whether I should have a fixed point/plug, then needing a lead to my box, or a small lead fixed in the bakkie(basically as it's now)..
    • 10mm2 running from the front fusebox to the rear for the positive, exactly along the normal cable harness route inside a 7mm housing/cover. around 6m used currently (I think) but will in the end cut off a further 0.5 - 1m from that. (Please don't use this as proof if you want to purchase a length of wire for an amarok, will update later with exact length) Wire linked to a dedicated point that was semi open (previously used for aux power in the canopy, installed afterwards so not part of the harness) in the fusebox, currently running on a 40A fuse.
    • 10mm2 wire running from the rear dedicated ground point, just in front of the towbar, to the red BH plug, around 2.5m used, will cut off a further 0.5 - 1m from that
    • The auxilary power for the lights inside the canopy got taken out from the fusebox all the way to the rear, this wire ran from the fuse box where the 10mm2 positive sits now. It had another 15A fuse inline. The wire has been rerouted to run along the harness from the right to the left and join up at the BH plug to link on the 10mm2 positive coming from the fuse box, it's currently unfused on it's own (Piggy backing on the 40A fuse) so I still need to reinstall the inline fuse and put a 10A fuse inside the holder.
    • I took a BH dust cover and cable tied it to a partly open hole in the loadbin to hold the red BH plug so that it will stay clean and not get damaged.
    • The plan is to strap the battery box to the mounting pillar used by the canopy so that it will stay in place. Will get a better fixin mechanish later in time.


    Solar installtion on canopy (yet to be done next week):
    Solar panel: 100W Aquasol panel from Solaire direct, the aquasol is the high voltage panel with open circuit at 44v and peak power at 36V running under 3A for current.
    I will run two 50x25mm aly tubes across the canopy and then two 12 x 50 x 700 aly open channels in the length the width of the solar panel length...
    I picked up some white HDPE strips from Gartech for free. It was offcuts that they cut up in strips for me. This wil go in the channels so that I can easily slide in the panel and so that there will be no alu on alu rubbing etc.
    The panel will have two locking pins in the front and rear so that it can be locked in place after you slide in the panel. Thinking of getting a poly carbon sheet as protection for the solar panel while driving but for now I'll keep it as is. Can take the panel out when it will get into danger...
    I'll post some photos when the solar panel installation is complete.
    The ability is there with the roof installation and the charge controller to add another 100W aquasol panel if need be. For now just sticking to the one.




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    Last edited by WillemT; 2017/04/13 at 10:45 AM.

  19. #117
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    WillemT

    That is looking good.!!

  20. #118
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    Willem,
    You certainly have been a busy bee...
    Correction....SP supplied by yours truly...
    On your query wrt roof mounting - I have travelled many k's with mounted panels, but damage from stones etc is unlikely. Also, these panels are designed to withstand serious abuse on the glass side. I like your slide-out plan. Is that an engineer's thinking popping up here?

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  21. #119
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    On solar panel toughness - my german 800W Panel got blown off our roof and landed in the garden the frame was bent a bit but the glass intact , I often travel with the panel mounted on the trailer without a problems​.
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  22. #120
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    Default Re: DIY battery boks

    If I mount my panel on my canopy, do I leave it charging while driving? I have a NL Intelligent Solenoid charging the battery while I drive.

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