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Old 08-08-2011, 03:55 PM   #197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masseyfarm
You are correct CrawfordGene that there is an abundance of solutions for your problems available.
I was not questioning Lew's statement that the solar would charge the TV. But, I believe, only when the alternator is not producing. (does water run uphill?)
What I have is specific to my application but I will review it here.

Here is what I did on my CLIPPER. (Cummins CT300)
I have a upgraded Delco SI 22 130A alternator, charging 2 X HD gp 31 wet cell starting batteries, bank #1, and have removed the ISOLATOR because of the voltage drop across the diodes.
I have installed a SurePower 1315-200 SEPARATOR.(replaces the isolator) and allows charging both ways over 13.2V.
I have installed a cockpit controlled solenoid between the chassis and the ISOALTOR so I can manually control the combined or separate charge from either battery bank.
I have 4 X 6V T105's for the house bank #2.
I have one Trojan deep cycle wet cell 12V up front for the electronics. (Battery bank #3)
This has a charge line from the house battery circuit and another tie to the chassis circuit, which both have manual switches at this time in the cockpit that I control as needed.
(I am presently installing another SurePower separator in this line to allow unattended operation on the 3 battery banks.)
Xantrex Freedom Inverter Charger 2000 Watt 12 VDC 3 stage charger for the house #2 battery bank. (will charge all if switches and solenoid activated. AUX diesel 7000W slightly used.
All system are monitored in the cockpit with DIGITAL VOLT GAUGES.
SOLAR: 40W Polycrystalline, charge controller, (manual switch to feed chassis or house depending on the need) Can be left on either, depending on solenoid setting between battery bank #1 or #2.
253W Polycrystalline panels (4) run thru a MMPT controller to the #2 battery bank.
40W Polycrystaline panels (no charge controller) to the #3 battery up front. Powers a 1000W invertor for the electronics.

My experience with this setup is:
While camping, if the sun is shinning next day, I can boomdock overnight and leave the
house batteries on all the SOLAR and they will completely charge. (in this case I have the solenoid between 1&2 bank connected so that any solar over capacity goes to the chassis battery. If not using the #3 invertor I will tie this panel in also to the house.
When travelling during the sunny day after boomdocking, I will separate the #1, #2, #3 banks. This allows SOLAR to charge the #2 and #3 and the Delco to run the chassis load of DRL, AC, fans, etc.
In theory I should get better fuelmileage as the alternator is not running the # 2 or #3 if not necessary.

NOTE: THE SOLAR WILL NOT PRODUCE IF YOU ARE CHARGING FROM THE ALTERNATOR AT THE SAME TIME AS THE CONTROLLER WILL SIGNAL THE BATTERIES ARE AT CAPACITY.

ALWAYS DOCUMENT UPGRADES SO THAT FUTURE SERVICE WILL BE POSSIBLE WITHOUT UNNECESSARY EXPLORATION COST.

Dave
Massey, I read your post twice and your three bank set-up just made my brain turn to sauce. LOL!
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:03 PM   #198
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RE: Possibly silly questions

Thanks guys, it's much clearer.
I plan to run 4x40W poly's, with all the usual electronic boxes, 4x6V AGm's, etc. The biggest problem is where to put all the stuff in my little GT (still working on a name). Not a big system, but our needs are few. My next step will be to put a 10Kw system on the house and have the Ontario Gov't pay for it.
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:22 PM   #199
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There is always a problem/start point, and from there you keep refining the solutions.!




"Massey, I read your post twice and your three bank set-up just made my brain turn to sauce. LOL! "
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:14 AM   #200
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So true!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by steverino View Post
I find that there exists an irrefutable rule - each project takes 3 trips to the hardware store, or trips to 3 different hardware stores, to complete. Based on that, you seem way under budget!
Steverino, I built a house (not just signed the cheques, actually built it) Can you imagine how much shopping was involved. I now consider myself a professional shopper- based on experience. Also I'm a Scot, so I HAVE to have a bargain.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:20 AM   #201
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Hmmmmmm

Quote:
Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
There is always a problem/start point, and from there you keep refining the solutions.!




"Massey, I read your post twice and your three bank set-up just made my brain turn to sauce. LOL! "
Masseyfarm, maybe it's a Canadian thing, I TOTALLY get it. Brain is always working, how can I make this better, and do more?
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:43 PM   #202
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Update: we got a little experience with our system this week while camping without hookups at Seacliff; the solar panels performed very well. Despite having a marine layer linger until at least noon, as well as loosening up a bit on energy conservation habits, the batteries were fully charged each day by the time late afternoon arrived. The system put 70 to 75 A-Hrs of power into the bus every day. Also fun to see was during daylight, when turning on a load such as a fan - the current output of the controller would jump up by an amp or two, showing that our daylight consumption was satisfied entirely by solar - thus saving energy stored in the batteries for evening and night.
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:53 AM   #203
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In terms of what happens when multiple charge controls are active at once, as far as I can tell it works like this:

1) Truck alternator charges to about 13.6 V... if no sun, batteries charge (slowly due to long wire length) to 13.6 volts.

2) Solar control is typical set to about 14.2 volts. If the sun shines, the trailer batteries charge to 14.2 volts.

3) If I'm plugged in and the sun is shining, we get to about 14.2 volts on the solar. If we're low the converter gets us quickly to 13.2 volts; the solar does the rest.

The way it works is that each charging source seems to charge to it's set point, but doesn't prevent another source for raising the voltage higher.

- Bart
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:46 AM   #204
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If your alternator only puts out 13.6V and you are running through an isolator, you are lucky if you squeeze 13V out at the trailer battery.

On my battery bank #1 (chassis) my small 7A charge controller, it has LED display that shows:
1) charging, and 2) charged.
When my Delco 160A (recently upgraded from 130A) is running, the charge controller on that bank will show CHARGED.
That is why I have installed a solenoid and manual control so I can direct this panel to battery banks #2 & 3 while traveling.
Now, that said, I am running this HD alternator and the battery bank is located within 5'. This 40W solar panel is located within 12'.
When I tie in battery banks 2 & 3, the alternator does not run through an isolator, with the typical loss of .8V, but runs through a SurePower 1315-200 which allows full juice both ways.
Another factor specific to my application, is most of my experience is north of P45 and solar may not be quit as effective.
Dave



Quote:
Originally Posted by barts View Post
In terms of what happens when multiple charge controls are active at once, as far as I can tell it works like this:

1) Truck alternator charges to about 13.6 V... if no sun, batteries charge (slowly due to long wire length) to 13.6 volts.

2) Solar control is typical set to about 14.2 volts. If the sun shines, the trailer batteries charge to 14.2 volts.

3) If I'm plugged in and the sun is shining, we get to about 14.2 volts on the solar. If we're low the converter gets us quickly to 13.2 volts; the solar does the rest.

The way it works is that each charging source seems to charge to it's set point, but doesn't prevent another source for raising the voltage higher.

- Bart
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:57 PM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barts View Post
In terms of what happens when multiple charge controls are active at once, as far as I can tell it works like this:

1) Truck alternator charges to about 13.6 V... if no sun, batteries charge (slowly due to long wire length) to 13.6 volts.

2) Solar control is typical set to about 14.2 volts. If the sun shines, the trailer batteries charge to 14.2 volts.

3) If I'm plugged in and the sun is shining, we get to about 14.2 volts on the solar. If we're low the converter gets us quickly to 13.2 volts; the solar does the rest.

The way it works is that each charging source seems to charge to it's set point, but doesn't prevent another source for raising the voltage higher.

- Bart
This would fit my observations of our system as well. Each device has its own set point but can contribute in tandem if the batteries are below the threshold for each 'Charger'.

-evan
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:24 AM   #206
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I just found this thread and although it is older, wanted to subscribe. I am looking for where to place my controller. I do not know if advice has changed since 2010 and this thread's beginning but the solar company people (three different companies) are telling me that the controller needs to be within 5-6 feet of the battery run- CLOSE to the battery bank. I have a front sofa model with little cabinet in the front. My only cabinet is right against the wall by the fridge and also the solar prewire. That area makes the most sense BUT it is more like 8 feet from the battery using the 10 awg battery prewire. Thoughts?
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:36 AM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
I just found this thread and although it is older, wanted to subscribe. I am looking for where to place my controller. I do not know if advice has changed since 2010 and this thread's beginning but the solar company people (three different companies) are telling me that the controller needs to be within 5-6 feet of the battery run- CLOSE to the battery bank. I have a front sofa model with little cabinet in the front. My only cabinet is right against the wall by the fridge and also the solar prewire. That area makes the most sense BUT it is more like 8 feet from the battery using the 10 awg battery prewire. Thoughts?
I doubt there is an absolute cutoff for this distance from the controller to the batteries. The main limitation would be voltage dropout or resistance over a long run. If you are concerned that you are pushing the limits here, make that run in 8 AWG or even 6 AWG wire... (Maybe the Lewster could render his opinion. I recall that he thought the factory pre-wire gauge wiring was too light so I didn't use it.)

-evan
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:37 AM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eheffa View Post
I doubt there is an absolute cutoff for this distance from the controller to the batteries. The main limitation would be voltage dropout or resistance over a long run. If you are concerned that you are pushing the limits here, make that run in 8 AWG or even 6 AWG wire... (Maybe the Lewster could render his opinion. I recall that he thought the factory pre-wire gauge wiring was too light so I didn't use it.)

-evan
Here is a chart from Blue Sky Energy stating their requirements for wire gauge
at differing run lengths. You will notice that for a 36 cell panel, which is what most of you are using, the effective length of 10AWG is 10.2 feet! This is why I suggest using 6AWG or 4AWG, depending on the size of the solar array for the desires 3% maximum voltage drop.

And ALWAYS connect your solar charge controller directly to your batteries. (Sorry about the orientation. The phone had a mind of it's own!!!)
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:14 PM   #209
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Isn't the wire gauge related to the amperage amount too? I am looking at 150 watts of panel with about 9 amps total.
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Old 06-04-2015, 01:23 PM   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
Isn't the wire gauge related to the amperage amount too? I am looking at 150 watts of panel with about 9 amps total.
Yes, your anticipated current requirements will influence your choice of wire size. Lewster's posting above should give you the information you need. If you think you might ever want to add panels or capacity, I would err on the side of too big rather than too small.

-evan
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