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Old 04-14-2018, 04:22 PM   #41
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How are you recharging this? What works best?
At the moment, I'm recharging at home because I haven't depleted it while camping!

To recharge on the road, I'm going to install a PowerPole connector in the "trunk" of the van (behind the sofa, road side) and attach the other end to the coach side of the BIM. I'm making a cable to go from that connector to the Yeti. While driving, the beefy 220A alternator in the Sprinter should provide a constant 14.2v+ to the Yeti charge controller, which should keep it happy since it wants to see 14-22v. I'll fuse it at 30A just to ensure the Yeti doesn't try to pull too much current and see how it goes. Results TBA....

The other way to do it is to use the van's onboard inverter and plug in the Yeti's AC charger into the inverted outlet and let that charge the Yeti as I drive. It's a bit inefficient, but simple to set up and use. What will be interesting to see is if the Magnum charging section (50A at 14v) can keep up with the draw on the house batteries from the inverter. Each Yeti AC charger can supply 5A, so at 120v that's 600W. I think using one charger will be OK, but two will either A) trip the Magnum inverter due to too much power draw, or B) run down the house batteries. Neither of those things is desirable......
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:39 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by FlyFishinRVr View Post
At the moment, I'm recharging at home because I haven't depleted it while camping!

To recharge on the road, I'm going to install a PowerPole connector in the "trunk" of the van (behind the sofa, road side) and attach the other end to the coach side of the BIM. I'm making a cable to go from that connector to the Yeti. While driving, the beefy 220A alternator in the Sprinter should provide a constant 14.2v+ to the Yeti charge controller, which should keep it happy since it wants to see 14-22v. I'll fuse it at 30A just to ensure the Yeti doesn't try to pull too much current and see how it goes. Results TBA....

The other way to do it is to use the van's onboard inverter and plug in the Yeti's AC charger into the inverted outlet and let that charge the Yeti as I drive. It's a bit inefficient, but simple to set up and use. What will be interesting to see is if the Magnum charging section (50A at 14v) can keep up with the draw on the house batteries from the inverter. Each Yeti AC charger can supply 5A, so at 120v that's 600W. I think using one charger will be OK, but two will either A) trip the Magnum inverter due to too much power draw, or B) run down the house batteries. Neither of those things is desirable......
My experience with charging the Yeti is that each charger permits 72W to pass through it and into the MPPT port (less when through the front panel PWM port). So 288W total gets into the Yeti when I feed it 110v from the inverter, or from a home wall outlet, when using all four chargers.

Your notion to feed it from the BIM for a higher charge rate while driving sounds promising !
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Old 04-27-2018, 11:29 AM   #43
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Making progress.....slowly.



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Old 05-02-2018, 05:57 PM   #44
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Wiring finally complete. Pulling new conduit through the rear of the coach was a larger PITA than anticipated, but at least that's all done. Next step is testing to see how the Yeti behaves when supplying power as well as receiving it. Results soon....
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Old 05-02-2018, 07:28 PM   #45
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Canít wait to see your set up and the results in terms of augmented performance . For our occasional camping without hook ups, this Seems like an approach to efficiently add significant restorable electrical capacity to the AI. Thanks for keeping us updated.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:15 PM   #46
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Wiring finally complete. Pulling new conduit through the rear of the coach was a larger PITA than anticipated, but at least that's all done. Next step is testing to see how the Yeti behaves when supplying power as well as receiving it. Results soon....
You're a braver man than I, young squire. Makes me squirm thinking of you squirming to get those cables routed.

I'm boondocking now with the Yeti and have made a couple of observations. Last night I saw my house batts dropping at 3am and didn't want to get below 12.1 volts so I turned on the Yeti output and went back to sleep. Over the next three hours my 3000 model went from 75% to 22%. Yikes! I mean it's nice to wake up to Full Charge message on the Magnum monitor, but I did not intend that.... And I'm not sure how much of that drop is because the BlueSea relay was channeling juice to the chassis batts but I have concluded two things:

1) I need to manually disconnect the BlueSea so the chassis batts don't get any of my precious Yeti elixir (too bad that switch I installed is under the fully made bed!), and:

2) I gotta dig out my old timer on a stubby extension cord that I have used to make outdoor Christmas lights stay on for only, say, two or four hours then turn off. That way, I'm not letting the Yeti fully charge my house batteries... just helping them get through the night. zzzzz..... of course I can always, like right now, turn on the Yeti for a couple of hours before nighty-night then unplug before my eyelids droop too far....

I love your tidy installation !!
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:59 PM   #47
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I should have mentioned a reminder that, when I turn on my Yeti, it routes through a second txfr switch that then takes over power to the coach like a generator, which also charges the house batts.

FlyFishnRVR, what is your configuration for your integration?
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:42 AM   #48
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FlyFishnRVR, what is your configuration for your integration?
I did a couple things:

First, I installed a APP port in the rear of the van that is attached to the coach battery bus. This is a bus bar that is always hot, regardless of the state of the Main Disconnect switch, and is connected to the house batteries through a massive fuse and a few 1/0 cables. Basically, it will put the Yeti in parallel with the 2 AGM house batteries.

Second, I created a custom cable (it has separate + and - APP connectors on one end) to go from the Yeti to the new APP socket in the coach such that when I want to have the Yeti act as an additional house battery, I will connect to the Yeti's APP Output just below the cigarette lighter output. When I want to charge the Yeti, I'll move the connections to the APP input on the MPPT controller.

Just to be safe, I fused the APP socket in case A) the Yeti tries to provide too much power to the coach, or B) the Yeti tries to draw too much power from the alternator when charging (which is the only way it will charge because it needs > 14v at the input). Based on discussions with GoalZero support folks, the input and output that I'm using should be internally protected, but I'd rather be extra safe.

We'll see how it all works. My biggest concern is excess power draw, so I'm going to limit my testing (and actual use) to just having the Yeti provide additional energy to run the fridge and the normal house parasitics over night. Previously, I'd wake up and the house batteries would be in the 12.2v range, so I'll consider this a huge success if I can run everything overnight and have them more in the 12.5v range in the morning. I'll move the cable over the Yeti's APP MPPT input so as I'm driving, it will (hopefully) charge back up. Well, that's the theory anyway....
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:34 AM   #49
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Thanks for all the new details!

I am guessing that Goal Zero has not yet supplied the charger accessory for direct 12-volt charging? You mentioned this a while ago, and we would be able to use this capacity from a cigarette lighter plug in the back of our van tow vehicle.

Thanks for any new info on this,

Peter

PS -- Here is your Post #16 in case anyone wants to retrace back to this part of the discussion -- click on orange arrow to go there:
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Originally Posted by FlyFishinRVr View Post
Thanks for the kind words.

I plan to add a 12v outlet in the rear, similar to what you and others have done. One (possible) difference is I will gauge and fuse it for 30A, in preparation for other changes to come....
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:00 AM   #50
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I am guessing that Goal Zero has not yet supplied the charger accessory for direct 12-volt charging?
Correct, nothing from GoalZero as of yet, so I made my own.....

Just note how I intend to use it: I will be following GoalZero's guidance and will be supplying over 14v to the Yeti for charging. As far as it will know, power is being sent from a solar array, but in fact it will be coming from the alternator.

In the back of my van I now have a 12v cigarette adapter for things like inflating my air mattress with my high-flow pump (inflates a king size mattress in about 30 seconds) and 2 APP connections (only 1 of them is currently wired up). The Yeti will only use the APP connection as that's higher capacity at 30A. I limited the cigarette adapter to 10A since I only intend to use it for light duty tasks. That's also the advised limit of the cigarette-style socket that I used (even though it is marine grade with a twisting lock ring). If I want to bump that up later, I can since I used 12AWG wiring, but I would need to replace the socket with something that has more current carrying capacity.

Oh, one more thing. I placed my sockets in the box that covers the transfer switch such that I can expand it later if desired. My thinking is I may want to go with a 3 or 4 position panel to add USB, voltmeter/ammeter, or a breaker, like this:


or this:

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Old 05-03-2018, 05:31 PM   #51
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I'm boondocking now with the Yeti and have made a couple of observations. Last night I saw my house batts dropping at 3am and didn't want to get below 12.1 volts so I turned on the Yeti output and went back to sleep. Over the next three hours my 3000 model went from 75% to 22%. Yikes! I mean it's nice to wake up to Full Charge message on the Magnum monitor, but I did not intend that....
I just re-read this....

So, over the course of 3 hours your Yeti, through the secondary transfer switch that's installed in your coach, dumped 50% of its charge, or 1500Whrs, into your coach.

Breaking that down, we get:
- AGM house batts went from 50% SOC to 100% which is 40Ahr x 2 = 80A x 13v = 1040Whrs.
- Fridge is probably the second most power hungry given you have the GT, so let's call that 4Ahr, or 12A x 12v = 144Whrs (that's worst case).

That's about 1200Whrs, so with a few parasitics and some conversion losses going from DC->AC->DC, I can certainly see how you snuffled 50% out of your big Yeti.

Now the question is, how to get that much energy back into it during the day while boondocking.....
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:05 AM   #52
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Correct, nothing from GoalZero as of yet, so I made my own.....
. . .
Thanks. Think I will wait for GZ to supply a 12-volt plug-in solution.

Hopefully your system will work OK over time. If there is any problem, however, the Goal Zero warranty would probably not cover any damage to your unit, or to your Interstate IMO -- a risk we are not willing to undertake.

Thanks again for a great thread and all the info.

Peter
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Old 05-04-2018, 10:13 AM   #53
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Thanks. Think I will wait for GZ to supply a 12-volt plug-in solution.

Hopefully your system will work OK over time. If there is any problem, however, the Goal Zero warranty would probably not cover any damage to your unit, or to your Interstate IMO -- a risk we are not willing to undertake.

Thanks again for a great thread and all the info.

Peter
I've fused everything below the input/output limits of the Yeti, so worst case a fuse will blow. I don't expect that will happen given what I've been told by GoalZero tech support and how I intend to use it, but I wanted a "safety net" just in case things don't go as anticipated.....
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Old 05-06-2018, 04:51 AM   #54
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I just re-read this....

So, over the course of 3 hours your Yeti, through the secondary transfer switch that's installed in your coach, dumped 50% of its charge, or 1500Whrs, into your coach.

Breaking that down, we get:
- AGM house batts went from 50% SOC to 100% which is 40Ahr x 2 = 80A x 13v = 1040Whrs.
- Fridge is probably the second most power hungry given you have the GT, so let's call that 4Ahr, or 12A x 12v = 144Whrs (that's worst case).

That's about 1200Whrs, so with a few parasitics and some conversion losses going from DC->AC->DC, I can certainly see how you snuffled 50% out of your big Yeti.

Now the question is, how to get that much energy back into it during the day while boondocking.....
Right... plus I believe my new ML-ACR had linked up with the chassis battery and I wasted energy into that battery as well. Oh, and my AGMs are 220Ah not the stock 180Ah.

Now on to your question of how to recapture energy during the day... well, to reduce the need for the Yeti's precious joules, on my way from the Portland area to Bend I stopped by AM Solar near Eugene and snagged a couple of their 100W solar panels. I had imbibed enough YouTube videos to work up the courage to DIY.

We're house sitting for a friend that had a tall step ladder and I got er done yesterday in half a day or so. I'll post more detail in that post I had started about flexible vs fixed panels... thanks !
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