National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter





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  1. #1
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    Default National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter

    Morning All.

    I have a National Luna power pack (the older one). I want to add a solar charge controller and inverter for camping and a load shedding solution for the office at home. I have a VERY basic understanding of electricity and calculating load etc, so please bear this in mind. My thoughts are to do the following:

    Add a Victron 100/20 solar charge controller and stick it to the side. Add Victron 500W inverter and stick it onto the lid. Get a suitcase solar panel of 2x80W or 2*100W panels to do the necessary while camping without power and at home, float the battery for the pesky load shedding. I might be overspeccing the solar charge controller, but I'd rather buy once and have capacity for the future.

    Here is where I'm needing some advice, from my understanding, both the solar controller and inverter both connect directly to the battery terminals, so the NL Weekender and 12V lights still runs from the BH grey plug and cigarette/hella plug on the battery box. Will this have a big problem to now have power drawn through the inverter, which is coupled directly to the battery terminals? Silly questions, I know, but I cant seem feel comfortable that the setup and connections are "right". I know it depends on load, the inverter in the camping setup will be for a small fan and some mattress pumps, maybe some phone and tablet charging, although not the main reason.

    Thanks in advance.
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    Default Re: National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter

    Or should I look at a NL DC to DC 25Amp Converter....maybe even more future proof than the Victron unit? (Which I know is not the original question, but maybe ther eis someone with some insights into building this type of system.) (Edited)
    Last edited by dfdekock; 2020/01/21 at 09:21 AM. Reason: More info
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    Default Re: National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter

    Quote Originally Posted by dfdekock View Post
    Morning All.

    I have a National Luna power pack (the older one). I want to add a solar charge controller and inverter for camping and a load shedding solution for the office at home. I have a VERY basic understanding of electricity and calculating load etc, so please bear this in mind. My thoughts are to do the following:

    Add a Victron 100/20 solar charge controller and stick it to the side. Add Victron 500W inverter and stick it onto the lid. Get a suitcase solar panel of 2x80W or 2*100W panels to do the necessary while camping without power and at home, float the battery for the pesky load shedding. I might be overspeccing the solar charge controller, but I'd rather buy once and have capacity for the future.

    Here is where I'm needing some advice, from my understanding, both the solar controller and inverter both connect directly to the battery terminals, so the NL Weekender and 12V lights still runs from the BH grey plug and cigarette/hella plug on the battery box. Will this have a big problem to now have power drawn through the inverter, which is coupled directly to the battery terminals? Silly questions, I know, but I cant seem feel comfortable that the setup and connections are "right". I know it depends on load, the inverter in the camping setup will be for a small fan and some mattress pumps, maybe some phone and tablet charging, although not the main reason.

    Thanks in advance.
    You cannot go wrong with Victron products.

    It is not a problem with the MPPT and inverter connected to the battery poles direct.
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    Default Re: National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter

    Quote Originally Posted by the_terrible_triplett View Post
    You cannot go wrong with Victron products.

    It is not a problem with the MPPT and inverter connected to the battery poles direct.

    Thanks a lot for the reply.
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    Default Re: National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter

    Ok, tested whole setup this weekend and I see one flaw in the setup.

    Inverter connected directly to the battery does not stop working when the battery is drained, since there is not cut-out system on that line....

    Any suggestions from anyone? Maybe make a split cable from the grey BH plug on the battery box, one to the fridge and one to the inverter?
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    Default Re: National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter







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    Default Re: National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter

    I have to realign that yellow plug, driving me up the wall....
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    Default Re: National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter

    There is an issue with the startup current causing the controller to shut off the load with the 15A unit. Does your 20A Victron do the same?

    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app
    Last edited by Subok; 2020/02/17 at 07:43 PM.

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    Default Re: National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter

    [QUOTE=Subok;4328526]There is an issue with the startup current causing the controller to shut off the load with the 15A unit. Does your 20A Victron do the same?

    Didnít try it on the load out, since everyone said connect direct to battery, since the mppt cuts the load circuit.

    Read the manual last and and up to the 375w inverter, you can run it on the load, bigger than that gives issues with startup. There is more detail, will read properly, was in between catching up on mails, eating and minding children....
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    Default Re: National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter

    Quote Originally Posted by Subok View Post
    There is an issue with the startup current causing the controller to shut off the load with the 15A unit. Does your 20A Victron do the same?
    I once connected a inverter to a MPPT direct ... ONCE ... MPPT was fried because I was stupid.

    Always better to connect a inverter to a battery.

    Unless I am missing the point?


    Quote Originally Posted by dfdekock View Post
    Inverter connected directly to the battery does not stop working when the battery is drained, since there is not cut-out system on that line....

    Any suggestions from anyone?
    Inverter will only stop at preset values to not totally drain a battery. All of them are like that.
    There are solutions to that, but it costs a few rands.


    Quote Originally Posted by dfdekock View Post
    Maybe make a split cable from the grey BH plug on the battery box, one to the fridge and one to the inverter?
    Why?
    With no solar, the the battery is the power source, no matter how one wires it.
    And with solar, all connected to the battery, any surges are supplemented from the battery.

    Or am I missing something?
    Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter

    I experimented with a 35L IndelB on the load output of a Victron 75/15 bluetooth unit. Startup current was 8A and did not cause the controller output to shut off. Hoping to test the same scenario with a 80L odd NL fridge to see if the cut-out happens.

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    Default National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter

    I love victron products because itís been giving me by far the best results to date. But, that load output is a gimmick for a full 4x4 camping system in my opinion.

    If you want a reliable battery protect circuit that will not prematurely cut out even when connected to a 40A air compressor, then buy the BP65 from victron.
    https://www.victronenergy.com/batter...attery-protect

    If you want to know the exact state of charge of your battery, and handy historical data, then buy the bmv712 from victron:
    https://www.victronenergy.com/batter.../bmv-712-smart

    Preferably buy both and never worry again about a damaged or dead battery
    Last edited by MrTolbos; 2020/02/24 at 04:16 AM.

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    Default Re: National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter

    My Victron 100/20 also cut the load off even with a low 8A load. A voltmeter could not even detect a drop in volts. Only when we put a scope on the volts could we see a 10mV drop that got the 100/20 to cut the load. Thus I would not use the load output at all.

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    Default Re: National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter

    Quote Originally Posted by the_terrible_triplett View Post
    I once connected a inverter to a MPPT direct ... ONCE ... MPPT was fried because I was stupid.

    Always better to connect a inverter to a battery.

    Unless I am missing the point?




    Inverter will only stop at preset values to not totally drain a battery. All of them are like that.
    There are solutions to that, but it costs a few rands.




    Why?
    With no solar, the the battery is the power source, no matter how one wires it.
    And with solar, all connected to the battery, any surges are supplemented from the battery.

    Or am I missing something?
    I read the manual (again) and the inverter does have a cutout, so I was wrong in my above statement. So there is no need for the double BH plug as I thought.
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    Default National Luna power pack - adding solar and inverter

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    My Victron 100/20 also cut the load off even with a low 8A load. A voltmeter could not even detect a drop in volts. Only when we put a scope on the volts could we see a 10mV drop that got the 100/20 to cut the load. Thus I would not use the load output at all.
    I donít understand why you say itís volt drop if the load output can go down to the factory default setting of 11.1V? It is the inrush current that is the culprit. They design the system over sensitive to save you from blowing fuses:

    https://community.victronenergy.com/...ntrollers.html
    Last edited by MrTolbos; 2020/02/24 at 07:24 AM.

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