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 > How is this for a power system? Solar vs battery balance?

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dave17352

Ne

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Posted: 06/17/19 05:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Double at least on the solar, unless you plan on only two day trips.


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adamis

Northern California

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Posted: 06/17/19 12:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have gone down the original poster's steps part way at least...

I bought my BattleBorn LiFePo4 100AH battery last Fall to replace two 6v Lifelines. That alone saved me almost 130 lbs in weight. It includes a BMS system that has already saved my investment multiple times already. The battery even comes with a 10 year warranty which is fantastic. I think many people already understand it but for those that don't, 100AH AGMs only have about 50AH of useful capacity. 100AH LiFePo4 have close to 100AH of capacity. You don't need the same amount of battery AH because you get the actual rated capacity without concern of damaging it by drawing it down too far.

I also just installed 200w of solar on to the rough (with the ability to add another 200 watts without much trouble). The panels I purchased are the Renogy 100w flexible panels designed for RV roofs. I attached them using Eternabond tape around the edges of the panels. Made it 300 miles without any problems so far and no additional hole penetrations into my roof. I am however keeping a close eye on them until I'm confident.

I am now in the mess of switching over to LiFePo4 chargers since my old chargers were designed for AGMs. Unfortunately the camper and truck went into storage so I haven't gotten to fully debug the system.

That being said, my impressions are that 200w on a 100AH battery for most typical usage is a LOT of power to work with. Using the compressor fridge does increase your power draw. 3 Tons (member on the forum) just texted me today about helping a neighbor do a cargo trailer build and he reported 40AH of draw over a 24 hour period with a 7.4 cubic foot compressor fridge. This is in high dessert country with high temps so might be a good baseline for extreme situations. A single 100AH BattleBorn would be able to handle this draw and 200w of Solar could likely keep up on sunny days but it is probably cutting it closer then you want. I think the 200AH you are looking at (2 Battleborns) and 300w to 400w of solar is probably your ideal situation.

That being said, it is a large investment up front for that much solar and battery. If you just go with a Propane fridge, your power usage goes to almost nothing and you have 100AH of reserve to power everything else. I know compressor fridges have their benefits but once you learn how the Propane fridges work, and understand it's limitations, they are pretty darn bullet proof and require almost no electricity.

Anyway, my 2 cents for what it's worth...


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jimh425

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Posted: 06/17/19 04:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP is probably fine for two days that include driving. I’m assuming there isn’t a lot of sitting inside with a popup. I’d rather have a small generator and gasoline for backup power than more solar or more heavy batteries. A generator is by far the fastest way to get the power back.


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LosAngeles

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Posted: 06/17/19 10:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks everyone for the great thoughts..... Matt at Hallmark suggested that with that big fridge.... 380 watts solar (two 190 x Grape panels) plus a 200 amp hour lithium.

I think we will also carry a generator just as backup.... in the optional cargo storage bins off the back of the Hallmark. The Honda 2200 fits perfectly, they say.

LosAngeles

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Posted: 09/27/19 10:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi all again - 7 months later. :-)

So we are finally about to place our order for our 9.5 foot long Hallmark pop up truck camper.

How is this for a (revised) power system?

* * in terms of amount of solar panel WATTS specifically. * *

I want to make sure i have enough solar panel power. The fridge will be the biggest draw, by far. (plus the Truma Combi running much of the night, in fall / winter / spring / subzero…… midwest.

Plan below has 540 watts solar, but for an extra $400 or so I could have a 4th 180 watt panel added - so that would make it 720 watts solar total.

Planned system:

200 amp-hours of Battleborn Lithium batteries. (2 x 100 amp hour batteries)

Propane for stove…. and Truma Combi. (hot water and air.)?(of course 12v needed to run the Truma Combi too)

7.2 CU side by side. 2 way compressor. Novacool RFS7501 fridge.

Maxx fan.

Interior LED lights.

Solar System: 3 X 180 “Grape” solar panels on roof = 540 watts

(or maybe 4 panels? = 720 watts)

“(each panel) Produces on average 45 Amp-hours/540-Watt-hours per day, EACH” (so 135 amp-hours a day for 3, on average, when the sun is out i suppose)

Power Converter 60A Mini Lithium Ion Power Center Black PM4060LIK

Victron 100/30 SmartSolar charge controller MPPT Solar Charger w/ Bluetooth Lifepo4 Ready

Xantrex 817-2080 Freedom XC 2000, 2000 Watt Pure Sine Wave 12 Volt Inverter/Charger

Victron BMV 712 Battery Monitor w/ Bluetooth Lifepo4 Ready

2 (two) x Battleborn 100 amp hour (each) Lithium

Other occasional loads[emoticon]Small microwave. Blender. computer maybe.

4 season camping. Yes there will be some rain and short grey days…. sometimes below freezing. Sometimes higher altitudes. Sometimes in cloudy Pacific NorthWest.

So the ability to discharge the Lithuim 90% with smaller bulk and weight has advantages.

We mostly boondock. We prefer the quiet.
?Occasionally we stay someplace for 2 nights, but often drive around a bit, to explore, each day (so the F-350 would also help a bit charge up the batteries)

Thanks for any and all thoughts.
J.

* This post was edited 09/27/19 10:21pm by LosAngeles *

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 09/28/19 07:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

I'd add the extra panel.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Grit dog

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Posted: 09/28/19 08:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LA, based on your other posts, location, cold weather use, I'd think real hard about dropping the coin for Lifepo4 batteries.
Aren't they going to steuggle big time with the cold?
Have never used a lithium battery in the cold except for cell phones, which the lack of performance in the cold is evident.
I'll have an into this year with a snomachine with a lithium battery. Will see how it works since it typically is not extremely cold where I ride.
I'll have a fresh jump start pack in my bag for sure!


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

LosAngeles

Los Angeles, CA

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Posted: 09/28/19 08:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

LA, based on your other posts, location, cold weather use, I'd think real hard about dropping the coin for Lifepo4 batteries.
Aren't they going to struggle big time with the cold?
Have never used a lithium battery in the cold except for cell phones, which the lack of performance in the cold is evident.
I'll have an into this year with a snomachine with a lithium battery. Will see how it works since it typically is not extremely cold where I ride.
I'll have a fresh jump start pack in my bag for sure!


Very good thought to be concerned about Lithium charge / discharge with Lithium batteries... the onboard Battery Management System on BattleBorn batteries (and most other lithum batteries) prevent charge / discharge at damaging temperatures (lower than you might think)

but when I asked this exact same question to Hallmark - given that I'm using the super efficient propane + 110v Truma Combi Plus - and it will have hot air ducts to various places in the camper, including a hot air duct to the battery compartment, and the fresh water tank inside the cabinet....
- and it is slow and steady heat.... i'll keep the heater on almost all the time (not when driving) so the camper batteries will be kept warm by the heater when i need the batteries.

The Truma heater also has a 50 F "keep from freezing" mode and when parked at home I'll keep it plugged into 120v so i hope to get away with not winterizing it.... as weather is good and bad in midwest... so the camper would be ready to go at a moments notice, all winter. (whenever i want to go out) Cool, eh? No pun intended. :-)

toddb

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Posted: 09/28/19 01:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have 1 lithium battery, compressor fridge and 300w solar. If I was trying to charge 2 batteries I agree 600w+ would be better.
My fridge will consume 25-30 a/h a night with lows in the mid 70s. I have been able to get a full charge with a good day of sun.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 09/28/19 01:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds great to me. Very well thought out.

Looking forward to the first trip report. Mostly interested to hear how 200 amp/hr lithium holds up and the % of battery used on a typical day.


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