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Old 10-02-2018, 10:49 AM   #1
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2019 22' Sport
Green Valley , Arizona
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Battery/Solar Panel Help Please

Hi,

Attached are photos of the electric panel on a 2019 AS Sport 22FB. Facrtory installed solar package.

I can find any explanations for these number. While I understand some of it I'm curious as to why it isn't topped off so to say.

I had accidentally left the fridge on but it was off for 2-3 days before these readings.

Why is the Charging Status light red?

Included manual is more about installation and trouble shooting and does not explain the readings.

Also shouldn't there be some manual on the actual solar panel?

Thanks,

R44
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:22 AM   #2
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

First picture = battery power stored, you are at 75% capacity (this is just a guess on the controller's part)

Second picture = battery voltage, you are at 12.5V. This should be a pretty solid number if nothing is powered up in the trailer and the charger is not going crazy.

Third picture = solar voltage, the panel is at 12.5V. You don't have much light on the panel.

Fourth picture = charge current from the panel. 0.6A isn't much. Again, not much light on the panel.

Fifth picture = charge amp hours. The charger has put 471 amp hours into the battery since it was reset.

The charge light is telling you that there's not much sun on the panel and that the battery is not fully charged.

The manual on the panel its self can be downloaded from the Zamp website. There's not much to it.

=====

The control board on most fridges pulls about an amp. Running for three days comes out to about 72 amp hours. That's close to the full usable capacity of the batteries on a typical trailer. It's not surprising that the system is still struggling to get them charged back up.

Bob
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:06 AM   #3
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2019 22' Sport
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

First picture = battery power stored, you are at 75% capacity (this is just a guess on the controller's part)

Second picture = battery voltage, you are at 12.5V. This should be a pretty solid number if nothing is powered up in the trailer and the charger is not going crazy.

Third picture = solar voltage, the panel is at 12.5V. You don't have much light on the panel.

Fourth picture = charge current from the panel. 0.6A isn't much. Again, not much light on the panel.

Fifth picture = charge amp hours. The charger has put 471 amp hours into the battery since it was reset.

The charge light is telling you that there's not much sun on the panel and that the battery is not fully charged.

The manual on the panel its self can be downloaded from the Zamp website. There's not much to it.

=====

The control board on most fridges pulls about an amp. Running for three days comes out to about 72 amp hours. That's close to the full usable capacity of the batteries on a typical trailer. It's not surprising that the system is still struggling to get them charged back up.

Bob
THANKS!

SO sorry I delayed my thanks and response.

My panel is a Sunexplorer II and while I found their website there was no instructions on what the number mean and how to interpret they relate to the health of the system.

Still searching so I can learn how to monitor.

Thanks again,

R44
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:27 PM   #4
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2017 22' Sport
ottawa , Ontario
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reports from a vitron system deployment

these are some of the reports that i get from myVictron system
https://www.victronenergy.com

you get what you pay for

the cheaper system don't tell you much
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:35 PM   #5
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this is what my inside monitoring panel looks like
plus there is web access and victron apps on the phone
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:02 AM   #6
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2017 30' Classic
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Originally Posted by Rounder44 View Post
THANKS!

SO sorry I delayed my thanks and response.

My panel is a Sunexplorer II and while I found their website there was no instructions on what the number mean and how to interpret they relate to the health of the system.

Still searching so I can learn how to monitor.

Thanks again,

R44
Hi

Simple answer is still that with *any* voltage monitoring setup, you are pretty much flying blind. There are simply to many variables involved. It's good enough to work some of the time, so don't ignore voltages. For not a lot of money, there are much better ways to go.

Bob
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
. For not a lot of money, there are much better ways to go.

Bob

I don't want to get too crazy but a small upgrade may be warranted.

What did you have in mind Bob?

Thanks!

R44
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rounder44 View Post
I don't want to get too crazy but a small upgrade may be warranted.

What did you have in mind Bob?

Thanks!

R44
Hi

There are a number of outfits that make shunt based monitors. We talk a lot about Victron, but they are *not* the only outfit making the devices. I happen to like Victron, but I'd never ever tell you they are the only game in town. I believe you can get similar devices from others for around $125 to $150. I have no direct experience with them. I'll let others chime in with recommendations for stuff they have used. While it probably is true that you get what you pay for, even a lower end current based device will do a better job than a straight volt meter.

Bob
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

There are a number of outfits that make shunt based monitors. We talk a lot about Victron, but they are *not* the only outfit making the devices. I happen to like Victron, but I'd never ever tell you they are the only game in town. I believe you can get similar devices from others for around $125 to $150. I have no direct experience with them. I'll let others chime in with recommendations for stuff they have used. While it probably is true that you get what you pay for, even a lower end current based device will do a better job than a straight volt meter.

Bob
Bob’s right there are many battery monitoring systems out there. He’s also right that most of us have the Victron systems. The easiest to install is the Victron BMV712 because it has built in Bluetooth. That means if you don’t feel like fishing wires around to the monitor’s panel you could just install it in some more convent place wire-wise and connect to it with your phone.

That Victron unit is part of a soup to nuts ecosystem of components that you may be tempted by in the future.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:17 PM   #10
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One shuntless system I have been using for just over a year now and really like is Balmar's Smartgauge. Easy to install, just two wires; easy to understand. Hardest part is mounting the gauge.

Disadvantage - you don't get all the cool info to view.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:21 PM   #11
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Howdy,

I've been installing Victron systems for over 4 years now. Wouldn't use anything else!

Hope this helps a bit!
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by daleyocum View Post
Bobís right there are many battery monitoring systems out there. Heís also right that most of us have the Victron systems. The easiest to install is the Victron BMV712 because it has built in Bluetooth. That means if you donít feel like fishing wires around to the monitorís panel you could just install it in some more convent place wire-wise and connect to it with your phone.

That Victron unit is part of a soup to nuts ecosystem of components that you may be tempted by in the future.
Thanks...

I watched a few videos and read some more but the benefit seems to be more accurate display compared to some lesser models. The Sunexplorer II has numerical output not just lights and electronic meters are accurate and dirt cheap so I assume it should be close enough... but....

I must be missing something... I see what the shunt is and now assume my system doesn't have one? (2019 Sport 22FB)

The Victron looks like something in my financial wheel house so I'll dive deeper into that but it looks like an effort to install... it's not a plug and play replacement of the Sunexplorer but will require some retrofitting and wiring...

I was a carpenter for years; lots of remodels so know how and where to punch a hole (being aware what's behind!) and the basics of electrical etc... SO I could probably handle the upgrade...

I need to learn more!

Thanks again all!

R44
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:37 PM   #13
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R44,

Its kind of an apples and oranges thing here. The Victron monitor doesnt replace the Sun explorer. I have an older trailer which had the previous version of the Sun explorer. I replaced it with a Victron MPPT solar charge controller. Your Sun explorer is giving g you information on solar amp hours and charge rates, and battery voltage, but the voltage reading is misleading. Not that it's wrong, but it's not a true representation of the battery's state of charge.

The Victron BMV-712 is a battery monitor that uses the amperage flow to calculate usage and theoretical battery remaining. It uses a shunt, and when installed properly, all current flows through that shunt, giving you accurate usage information based in amps, not volts.

So its not a replacement. You need a solar charge controller (the Sun Explorer, or an upgrade); a shunt based battery monitor is a separate component. It's another tool to monitor battery usage. I'm sure others will have a more thorough explanation, but I hope I've helped unpeel the onion a little.

Happy trails,
Mike
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Old 10-20-2018, 08:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rounder44 View Post
Thanks...

I watched a few videos and read some more but the benefit seems to be more accurate display compared to some lesser models. The Sunexplorer II has numerical output not just lights and electronic meters are accurate and dirt cheap so I assume it should be close enough... but....

I must be missing something... I see what the shunt is and now assume my system doesn't have one? (2019 Sport 22FB)

The Victron looks like something in my financial wheel house so I'll dive deeper into that but it looks like an effort to install... it's not a plug and play replacement of the Sunexplorer but will require some retrofitting and wiring...

I was a carpenter for years; lots of remodels so know how and where to punch a hole (being aware what's behind!) and the basics of electrical etc... SO I could probably handle the upgrade...

I need to learn more!

Thanks again all!

R44
Hi

None of the stock Airstream trailers come with a shunt based system. If you only have what came when it was new, you just have voltage monitoring. That is not at all unusual on an RV. It's the default way to do things. For the part of the world that really never uses batteries it's "good enough".

A shunt system involves at least one added chunk of wire with a couple lugs on it ( hint - Amazon sells them and wire from Amazon is ok to buy). It needs to be big enough / long enough to do the job. How long that is ... that depends. If you have the room to run it 4/0 AWG is the default way to go. Not everybody has a big enough wire chase to get that done ....

There is some voodoo involved in the way shunt systems work. Indeed the fancier systems do a better job than the less expensive systems. We all buy Victron for that reason .... (and because *somebody* got us all started on them .... darn that Lewster .... ).

Lots of fun !!!!

Bob
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