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Old 08-28-2014, 09:45 AM   #85
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Lew,

Who makes the Lithium batteries that you will be using?

Also you said the Magnum ME-RC has a constant current/constant voltage charge setting. Are you saying there a setting that is different than the usual bulk, absorb, float settings?

Bulk is a constant current with rising voltage, absorb is a constant voltage with diminishing current. What option in the manual are you describing?
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:54 AM   #86
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Lew,

Who makes the Lithium batteries that you will be using?

Also you said the Magnum ME-RC has a constant current/constant voltage charge setting. Are you saying there a setting that is different than the usual bulk, absorb, float settings?

Bulk is a constant current with rising voltage, absorb is a constant voltage with diminishing current. What option in the manual are you describing?
Hi Barry,

I'm not sure about the battery manufacturer, as there are no labels on them yet......... beta test units. And yes, Magnum remotes (ME-RC) after a certain version have another available charge setting for constant current / constant voltage (CC/CV) which is different than standard 3 stage charging. With CC/CV, there is a charge phase and maintenance phase. The voltage doesn't ramp up with the current like the bulk phase, nor does the voltage stay constant with diminishing amperage like the absorption phase.

This is why 3 stage chargers are not to be used in lithium applications. These lithiums are made from 4 distinct cells. As all of the cells are not exactly the same, we are using electronic cell balancers on each cell to allow current to pass thru to the other cells as each one charges to it's peak until all are full.

We have been finding that the numbers vary quite a bit, so these are not quite ready for 'plug and play' like lead acid batteries are now.

Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available...............
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:51 PM   #87
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The Technomadia people use a Victron to bulk charge and limit the absorb to 1 hour which is the smallest the Victron will do. Then they float them. Since the Victron is a 3 stage charger are they doing it wrong?

The Smart Battery people say to bulk charge to 14.6 and then eliminate absorb if the charger allows it. At the end of bulk the batteries are in the low 90%. Lithium doesn't need a full charge for a full life unlike AGM's.

It sounds like a constant current/constant voltage will be a much slower charge than a bulk charge which is maximum current until the voltage reaches the desired limit, usually 14.3 to 14.6 depending on the lithium manufacturer.

It will interesting to see what you learn.
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:44 PM   #88
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Upon reviewing the Magnum documentation, I see that cc/cv is documented in the ME-RC manual but not in the ME-ARC manual. I guess Magnum hasn't gotten around to updating the manual. It is described as another battery type.

The cc/cv is just a two stage charging cycle with a wakeup voltage setting. In my opinion this is no different than setting Final Charge Stage=Silent and using Set DC Volts to Rebulk.


The default final charge stage is Multi which is a disaster for Lithium since the hard coded wakeup voltage is too much too low for Lithium.. So cc/cv does keep users from messing with the stages and killing their Lithium batteries since it disables other choices. But I believe the charge logic which is described in a graph looks just like bulk and absorb which is the Silent stage setting.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:04 PM   #89
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Ok, this is for the electrical specialists out there as I am not. I am going to try something a bit different with my 3 100W flex panels from Renogy when they arrive. I couldn't pass up the deal. Anyway that's not it.
I looked at my 25ft FB and figured out that using the fridge vent to drop 6AWG down then across the trailer and to the front and up to my electricals was going to take about 20Ft +, so I have decided to place them on the cap roof of my truck where they fit perfectly between the rails of my adjustable roof rack. I will then run that short run of 10AWG to a Pollak 2 pole receiver at the bumper where I will plug in the #6 coming from my solar controller. Now I can park my trailer in the shade and put my truck in the sun.
The question is.
If I were to use a receiver at both ends allowing me to run a shorter cable while driving, would there be too much loss? Or would I be better off with the #6 straight from the controller with no break?
Note. I am not asking about the placement of panels, just the amperage loss if I use an extra connection point?
Thanks.


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Old 09-02-2014, 08:48 AM   #90
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The larger the diameter of the wire, the less voltage loss. DC current is very much affected by wire size. Thus the need for 4-0 wire from our battery bank to the Magnum inverter in our trailer- a distance of less than five feet.

Every connection also can generate resistance, so the fewer the better as they also can be problematic over time.
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Old 09-18-2014, 05:44 PM   #91
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Magnum Energy says they will updating the ME-ARC to version 4 in about a month. CC/CV will be available in version 4.
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Old 11-27-2014, 08:58 AM   #92
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OK guys, I have spent a good while reading through all the comments and to me it seems that the technology (panels and batteries) is still changing at a considerable rate, and maybe needs another 12 months before being fully proven. The problem I have is my Argosy MH is currently being rebuilt now, and I don't want to have to pull it apart again in 12months.
We have managed to come up with a configuration where we can run the entire MH on a EU2000i. So it should be possible to (when they are ready) install a bank of flexible panels to replace even that. The roof is now bare (no AC, no vents, not even an awning, just two Fantastic-Fans) and I want to keep any later installation 'invisible' and clean, classic lines.
So my question is what should we be installing now to allow for a non-invasive installation later? For example is there a standard type of junction box that is used on the roof, should I get 4ga wire run from the roof to the possible controller location, should I get a controller etc installed?
Opinions please!
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Old 11-28-2014, 06:51 AM   #93
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Martin,

It all depends on your ultimate goal of what you would like to run from your solar charging system. 2000 watts of 120VAC output is attainable, but will be equipment intensive.

As some of these details will involve pricing of components ( which I won't post on open forums), please PM me if you would like some specific information.


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Old 11-28-2014, 09:07 AM   #94
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On our 2014 31' Classic, we were able to place four 100 watt AM Solar panels in a line on each side outboard of the AC units for a total "book advertised" capacity of 800 watts. The real world suggests that getting 600 watts of output on a perfect day would be more realistic. If the television antenna was removed, one could possibly add an AM Solar 160 watt panel and create a "net' actual power array of 720 watts on that perfect day.

Our installed single Tr-Star 60 MPPT charge controller is rated for 800 watts. The question one can toss around is whether that number refers to the advertised output of the solar panels or the real 75% efficiency that we hopefully can get today?

The panels are just part of the equation as the storage batteries are where all that "sunlight" is stored. To get lots of storage today, one must build a large array of batteries. Unfortunately, today's batteries weight per battery goes up rapidly as we search for more storage capacity. So we are concerned not only with the number of batteries from a storage point of view but also the weight that must be carried in/on the trailer.

Our four Lifeline 6CT 300 amp hour 6Vdc batteries are wired in both series and parallel to create 12Vdc and 600 amp hours of storage and weigh close to 400 pounds exclusive of the storage cabinet.

The installed cost for a larger system has quite a bit of sticker shock.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:12 AM   #95
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We too had a great experience. Though our trip was shorter, and our system is for a total of 160 watts, we never lacked for power. It was cloudy the first day, and there was a lot of shade. I am going to replace our batteries though. They were purchased by the previous owner a few years ago and they clearly don't have the capacity they should.
I do find when picking campsites I'm now evaluating the amount of sun it should receive.
Here's a photo of the trailer in the wild. You can barely see the panels on the roof.
Attachment 217622


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
I also have a Winick Bambi (#01, original owner), and I am getting ready to install a single GP-FLEX-100, tentatively cross-ways behind the front vent. I plan to use Safari Timís procedure, too, with 3M VHB half-inch tape 4941, sikaflex 221, and aluminum tape.

I have a couple questions concerning your installation:
First, it looks like your installer connected the cables supplied by SolarFlex inside the skin next to the vent. Is that correct? Do you know how he joined them (crimp fittings? wire nuts? MC4 connectors? solder and tape?) ?
Second, where is your GP-PWM-30 Solar Controller installed? Do you have any pics? How is it working in that position?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:13 PM   #96
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I also have a Winick Bambi (#01, original owner), and I am getting ready to install a single GP-FLEX-100, tentatively cross-ways behind the front vent. I plan to use Safari Timís procedure, too, with 3M VHB half-inch tape 4941, sikaflex 221, and aluminum tape.

I have a couple questions concerning your installation:
First, it looks like your installer connected the cables supplied by SolarFlex inside the skin next to the vent. Is that correct? Do you know how he joined them (crimp fittings? wire nuts? MC4 connectors? solder and tape?) ?
Second, where is your GP-PWM-30 Solar Controller installed? Do you have any pics? How is it working in that position?

Thanks for your help.
Just a suggestion, if you haven't bought anything yet.
If you don't have a battery monitor, you should get one. Also if you are going to get one ( you really should) you should get a Trimetric 2030 and while you are at it get the 30A companion solar controller SC2030 that goes with it. And since you have gone that far, get the stand alone Renogy 100w panel. Way less than go power.
Both Bogart Engineering ( Trimetric ) and Renogy are great people to deal with.


George
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:52 PM   #97
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Just a quick point of information. Who do you think told Safari Tim how to install those panels?????

'Twas I, of course!!!!!!

And I agree with the Bogart controller and Trimetric coupled with a Renogy flex panel. Good stuff at better prices.


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Old 04-03-2015, 06:00 PM   #98
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Good advice!


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