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 > Your search for posts made by 'phemens' found 60 matches.

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RE: What's a good battery level monitor?

I like the Victron 702, with Bluetooth so you can monitor from your phone. I really like my Victron 702 also, but the 712 is the one with bluetooth, unless you add a dongle. You're right, I have the dongle, thanks for the clarification!
phemens 11/18/20 08:15am Tech Issues
RE: What's a good battery level monitor?

I like the Victron 702, with Bluetooth so you can monitor from your phone.
phemens 11/17/20 04:25pm Tech Issues
RE: Boondocking --- Average AH consumption/day?

Probably not in the bell curve, but here goes. 600 AH of LifePO4 batteries, 1200 watts of solar. When we camp it's always off grid. Residential fridge consumes roughly 130 AH/day, rest is mix of TV/media center/NAS/computers, coffee maker, microwave, cell booster, furnace, CPAP. Figure 200-300 AH/day typical use, we don't fret over energy conservation. Inverter is always on. Battery capacity was figured with a use case that we'd need 2-3 days of full operation without much recharging (rainy days) Solar in summer easily keeps up with demand, sunny day it's charged by 1pm. In the fall, on some days we won't make it back up to 100% each day, so batteries get recharged during the week when the humans are away and their toys are off ;). We also have an inverter generator as a backup, but almost never use it. Very happy with the performance overall.
phemens 11/16/20 06:05am Tech Issues
RE: Turning off the Charging Process

With Lithium you should only be concerned with charging after the thermal mass of the batteries has dropped below the minimum mfg recommended temp - there is no issue with discharging lithiums in cold weather, in fact they generally outperform other technologies in that scenario. For me that's roughly 0C, so I set the limit at 5C to be safe. I installed a waste tank heating pad taped to an aluminum sheet and put that under the batteries. Kicks in at 5C and turns off at 12C, without intervention, but I put in a cutoff switch for warmer weather anyways. Draws about 6 amps per hr. Victron monitor and temp sensor give accurate reading on battery temp and prevent solar from charging below 5C. I am completely off grid and it works great.
phemens 11/08/20 01:22pm Tech Issues
RE: Best bang for the buck Golf Cart battery

Phemens, An SiO2 100 amp-hour would have been $600 Cnd and would offer essentially the same performance as Li. On float, lifespan is 18 years. The killer for me is weight. For what I use (6x 100AH) that would put a severe load on my frame. It's the main reason I switched from wet cells in the first place. Each technology has its place!
phemens 10/13/20 08:01am Tech Issues
RE: Best bang for the buck Golf Cart battery

Sams Club or Costco. Although there are some people reporting that are having problems with newer Costco 6 volt batteries. I have one pair of Trojan GC2 and one set of SamsClub. Both work fine but the Samsclub's were 40% less and about 80 miles driving to the dealer with the Trojans. These Lithium battery lovers never mention the price which is well over $1000/battery. Maybe they will last a lot longer but they have not been in use long enough in RV's to tell. You can buy a lot of golf cart 6V batteries for the price of one Lithium and as he mentioned their performance drops like a rock in cool weather. Don't know why you're saying 'well over $1000/battery'. I paid $700 Canadian for 100 AH LifePO4 (which works out to $520 USD). Also, the statement that performance drops like a rock in cold weather is just plain wrong. Lithium actually performs BETTER than wet cells for discharge in cold weather, holding their capacity much better. It's only charging in cold weather that can be an issue. This can be solved in a number of ways, best of which for me was to build an R10 foam box and put a waste tank heater underneath. Keeps batteries warm enough to charge in cold weather. I get 90 usable AH out of a single 100 AH LifePO4 battery in cold weather. For a typical set of 2x6v gold cart batteries you'd probably get half that (say 215AH, 50% of which is usable, so 100 AH with up to 50% reduced efficiency in cold weather down to 0C), as the performance drop off is much higher.
phemens 10/12/20 03:17pm Tech Issues
RE: Anyone using Lithium batteries? Comments?

Plenty here do. I've been using 6 of them since last year, very happy with the setup, but you will need solar if you want to avoid generator - you can safely draw down the batteries to 90% (I don't go beyond 80%), but they need feeding. For the microwave, you will need a solid inverter and beefy wiring. I started a separate thread on cold weather charging of LifePO4 batteries. I built an insulated box (R10 styrofoam), with a waste tank heating pad and aluminum plate under the batteries to keep them warm. I also added a Victron temperature sensor to my equipment so that the MPPTs will not attempt to charge below 5C. Discharging is not the issue, they cannot be charged below 0C or you will damage them.
phemens 09/29/20 06:29am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Dry Camping - Heat with Propane, or electrically w/Inverter?

As with others, we use a Big Buddy propane heater. I installed a quick connect to a fitting that runs a hose outside to a separate 30lb tank that it shares with the camp stove. Provides plenty of heat until we go to bed, at which point we fill a couple of hot water bottles to keep our toes toasty. In extreme cases when we know it will go below 0C, we set the RV furnace to 12C. Do not leave a Mr. Heater running while you sleep! As reference, I have 6 100A LIFePO4 batteries, with 1200w of solar. Typically I wake up to 70% charge, but we are heavy users - residential fridge, coffee makers, TV and media center, cell phone booster, etc. On a sunny day I’m charged by noon. On a day like today, which is overcast, I pulled out the generator as I was down to 60% this morning (all my percentages of remaining battery are based on available capacity, I set it to 80% to be conservative, or 480AH of usable capacity).
phemens 09/25/20 09:15am Tech Issues
RE: New? Lithium Battery Advertisement

400AH battery with a .1C discharge rate (40A)? No thanks!
phemens 09/23/20 02:38pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar charging - can it be so?

For me the purpose of a controller is to limit power going to a battery (trailer storage), that and 'sleep' or night mode were it prevents batt drainage. 'Full by noon' means the controller was limiting power before noon and the rest of the day unless you have some other use of the excess power. In active use many things limit power, location, calendar, orientation, temperature, overcast, smog, shade, bird poop, dirt ...Once the batteries are full the unused solar power is available for house loads, ie keep the batteries full until sunset. Some have used the excess power for say hot water but I'm not sure how well that works out. I'm one of them. After noon, everything I get from solar is bonus, so I do run the electric water heater - free money! ;)
phemens 09/22/20 06:43pm Tech Issues
RE: Cold weather options for LifePO4 batteries

The guy that built my batteries is noodling around with these Link They're heating pads for pipe elbows, they draw 7.5 watts each, he says I'd need 2x battery, which means 12 total or 90 watts total (6 batteries). He's hooking them up to a 1207 temperature controller. That's what I'm going to try and the controller for the blown air, maybe the pads are a better long term solution. I guess another option would be to stick the larger tank heating pad to a sheet of aluminum to span the footprint of all the batteries. We'll see! I entertained this Facon warming padunder the batteries. I would of stuck it to an aluminum sheet cut to fit the wooden structure containing the batteries to spread the heat as best as possible. Wired into the 12v fuse panel but having a toggle switch to give power when needed. The only issue I was worried about is it being sandwiched between the 1/2" rubber pad and the aluminum sheet, then having the batteries sitting on top. I don't know if it would matter? At 5.6a while running is so little of a draw, which is equal to the humidifier that is always running in the trailer. I wouldn't stick any of the heating pads directly on batteries incase it quit working so not to have a sticky mess on them. That's what I was looking at initially, sticking it to an aluminum sheet underneath the batteries but on top of styrofoam insulation. Given the relatively light weight of the LifePO4 batteries I would think the weight on the heating pads would be ok. I would wire it into a temperature controller then an on/off switch. That will be the permanent solution I think. 5.6 amps is more than fine as long as it can maintain the temperature at about 5C. I may be building a new set of 280AH battery banks next spring, and one possibility would be to insert the heating elements in between the cells before they are put together.
phemens 09/22/20 09:52am Tech Issues
RE: Cold weather options for LifePO4 batteries

Look on ebay for snowmobile hand grip warmers. I have a friend who added these to his Battle Born batteries. They are powered by the batteries themselves, he added an on/off switch, and a thermostat so they only turn on at the low temperatures he wants. Interesting idea, thanks!
phemens 09/22/20 08:46am Tech Issues
RE: Cold weather options for LifePO4 batteries

No idea, but since it is just to keep them from freezing, and not to get to room temperatures, maybe grab some ground heat? It is your land, so might be possible for a small-scale set-up? No idea! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_heat_pump It's an interesting idea and one we're considering for the eventual home we're going to build. We need to dig pretty deep here to get below the frost line, so the shallow dig type setups you see (with a length of pvc pipe down a couple of feet) probably wouldn't work very well here unfortunately.
phemens 09/21/20 07:26pm Tech Issues
RE: Cold weather options for LifePO4 batteries

Battle Born sells thermostatically controlled 12VDC heating blankets for their LiFePO4 batteries. I installed them on my batteries for the upcoming winter. I think the specs say they come on at 35F and turn off at 45F. Installation was easy - "peel and stick" and then wire up the thermostat modules. Rob Saw those, they were over $200/blanket (?!)
phemens 09/21/20 07:23pm Tech Issues
RE: Cold weather options for LifePO4 batteries

The guy that built my batteries is noodling around with these Link They're heating pads for pipe elbows, they draw 7.5 watts each, he says I'd need 2x battery, which means 12 total or 90 watts total (6 batteries). He's hooking them up to a 1207 temperature controller. That's what I'm going to try and the controller for the blown air, maybe the pads are a better long term solution. I guess another option would be to stick the larger tank heating pad to a sheet of aluminum to span the footprint of all the batteries. We'll see!
phemens 09/21/20 04:41pm Tech Issues
RE: Cold weather options for LifePO4 batteries

Depending on your heat duct maybe you can tap into it. Mine ended right above the batteries in the front compartment. I'll block the vent in the bedroom where this section is located so the air is forced down the pipe. There are 2 other vents in the bedroom/ bathroom so no lose in heat. If we're running the furnace to heat the 5th wheel why not use some of it for the batteries. Just to give you an idea. ;) Good idea, but my bedroom ducting is further in, and I'd have a problem on the 4 of 7 days we're not there unfortunately.
phemens 09/21/20 04:37pm Tech Issues
RE: Cold weather options for LifePO4 batteries

Aren't there battery blankets for cold temps? 80-90 amps of solar? Kudos. Yep, at peak I see upwards of combined 90 amps off of 2 50 amp MPPTs... The battery blankets I've found are 120VAC and would draw north of 50 amps @ 12v, too thirsty for my taste.
phemens 09/21/20 04:35pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar charging - can it be so?

Sure. Is it effective, no, but you get something off the panels. Good choice on the Victron MPPT and monitor. I would encourage you to get the version that has Bluetooth, their app is very handy for monitoring.
phemens 09/21/20 04:31pm Tech Issues
Cold weather options for LifePO4 batteries

This thread wasn't started to debate the merits of LifePO4 vs other technologies. For various reasons I elected to go with it, very happy with performance thus far. One variable that has suddenly become more of a potential issue is cold weather charging. We purchased a plot of land up north and are camping there, and we've seen already some nights down below 0C. We are completely off grid, with solar and generator (only when needed) as power sources. For the couple of mornings where we had frost, I ran a space heater in the front compartment to get the batteries up to a temperature where I felt it was safe to charge (the solar comes on progressively through the morning, starting with a few amps and then ramping up to 80-90A by mid-morning). With the battery capacity I have (600AH, probably 500 usable), using the space heater isn't a problem, but it's not very efficient, and it's not a solution for when we're not there (we go up for long weekends right now). I will be adding more insulation to the compartment (already have some R12 styrofoam sheeting, but will make a box for the batteries). I also ordered a small 12V PTC fan heater that will draw maybe 12A that I ordered online that I would install in the compartment to run full time (or maybe on a temperature control?). Looking for other suggestions, I've seen recommendations for use of small 7.5 watt elbow pipe heating mats. What are you using if you are in the same situation? Thanks in advance.
phemens 09/21/20 02:45pm Tech Issues
RE: What do you guys use for a BBQ?

Weber Q for us, but a great modification that I just did was to drill out the regulator nozzle using a 1/16 bit (based on mods posted elsewhere on the Internet). Greatly increased the heating capacity, now able to go to 550-600 degrees in a few minutes, whereas before it was a struggle to achieve 500 and maintain.
phemens 09/08/20 06:38am Truck Campers
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