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Old 03-19-2019, 04:07 PM   #1
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2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate
Tucson , Arizona
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New Lithium & Solar Upgrade

Just got back from a trip up north to AM Solar. I took the AI up to have them install 600 aH of lithium, 3000W inverter and add another 100W Zamp solar panel plus inumerable goodies that go along. Bank account is definitely lighter but they sure did a fantastic installation.

I told them my goals and basically we squeezed in the maximum that would fit without blocking the little flip down door / passageway (that's the cat's favorite hidey hole) and without taking up any of the rear storage. Other than that, under the seat was fair game.

I had to pay a little extra to have the inverter mounted on the water heater housing vs along side the batteries.

Interesting note, they did a quick test of the efficiency of the new 100W solar panel they installed vs the three factory ones. At the specific time of day the factory solar was producing 10-12 amps but the single Zamp panel they put on was producing 8 amps.

I recorded the full orientation they gave me of the system. It was pretty likely I would forget something, with all the new cutoffs and relays added. It has a lot more gory detail and much longer that I will share if anyone is interested.

I awkwardly made a short summary video to show you all the new system: https://youtu.be/j6hNHle_OYo
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:13 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing. Looks like they did a great job.

Interesting to see they used the same solar panel brackets to support the battery together with their tie down straps.

I don't have the extended Interstate, so I have a bit less room. I wish the Victron Inverter/charger didn't take up so much space-space I don't have. I am not sure how they mounted it sideways as it is designed to hang from a bracket in the vertical position.
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:21 AM   #3
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Could you upload the orientation video?
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:27 AM   #4
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Here is the orientation video: https://youtu.be/XOHXli1iG2s

It is unedited so your mileage may vary
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:36 AM   #5
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Very nice video demonstrating running the air conditioner on battery power, showing the Victron displays with and without A/C running. This is the kind of information I find very useful and hope you will share in my Solar Show & Tell thread over in the Solar Power Forum. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448/

Maybe you can describe your new system in the Solar Show & Tell thread and provide a link back to this thread for others to watch your videos?

Thanks for sharing the amazing results of your installation.
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:37 AM   #6
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Solar Install Drone Shot

Here is a drone shot of the solar. I apologize for the wiggly video -- it was quite windy and I've only flown this thing a few times.

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Old 03-21-2019, 02:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCow View Post
Here is the orientation video: https://youtu.be/XOHXli1iG2s

It is unedited so your mileage may vary
Very interesting how they did it.

I would ask them, however, what will protect the alternator from drawing too much current if the battery bank is fully discharged? The Victron ct-li won't. Maybe that's not a concern but I'd sure like to know why it would not be in their opinion because what I've read from others who have a lot more knowledge and experience than me, it certainly could be.

I also always have heard never to mix panels unless they have the same exact voltage characteristics, and I was surprised they didn't use an identical flex panel to keep them all the same. Maybe they do, but that would be very coincidental.

Both are something I would want to know if I had them do the install like yours.
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:20 PM   #8
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Thanks for posting the orientation video. Itís very good to see how they located everything
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:32 PM   #9
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Good stuff. Really cool to see the AC running off battery. Will be interested to learn more about how long you can run that and also running it while driving? That is a goal of mine because these things get hot in the south.

Did you remove the 2 AGMs underneath the van?
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Old 03-24-2019, 10:05 AM   #10
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Will be interested to learn more about how long you can run that and also running it while driving? Did you remove the 2 AGMs underneath the van?
I expect to be able to run the A/C for at least 3-4 hours cumulatively but Iíll come back to this thread in the future after I get some time with it and post an update. Iíve heard from others that they run the A/C while driving, even the generator!

Yes we removed the 2 AGMs underneath and they also gave me a medium sized box of other factory installed parts they removed, including the inverter.
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Old 04-21-2019, 01:35 PM   #11
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Battery solar upgrade New England

We have a 2016 AI Grand. Exploring an upgrade to batteries and solar as described in several threads here and looking for reliable service providers in the New England area. Would appreciate any suggestions or experience. Original Lifeline house battery is dead.
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Old 04-21-2019, 03:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmillerok1 View Post
Thanks for sharing. Looks like they did a great job.

Interesting to see they used the same solar panel brackets to support the battery together with their tie down straps.

I don't have the extended Interstate, so I have a bit less room. I wish the Victron Inverter/charger didn't take up so much space-space I don't have. I am not sure how they mounted it sideways as it is designed to hang from a bracket in the vertical position.
Hi

The Victron multi's are quite happy vertical on a wall, flat on a floor or horizontal against a wall. They work slightly better if you don't mount them vertically and pull off the (now un-needed) cap plate.

Bob
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