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Old 02-04-2015, 11:28 AM   #15
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We use our 12V outlet to recharge all of our communication devices, Ipads, Iphones and whatnots
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:17 PM   #16
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I went through the solar / battery design build process last year for my 30 Flying cloud You could buy and install the charger/inverter now and add the solar with new batteries later. I would recommend using a pure sine wave inverter. They cost more but there is less chance of your electronics going wonky.
Based on what you have described (no microwave or blow drier, minimal TV) you can easily get by with a 600-1000W inverter. Remember you only need the inverter for AC power requirement. Your 120V AC needs may be driven by your home office equipment PCs printer ect. You might think about adding a few 12V outlets if needed to handle all of the phone and other small rechargeable stuff. Its more energy efficient in most cases, reduces the need for AC and the size of your inverter.
Important things you need to help you figure out what you need:
1. Average daily 12V DC Amp Hours will you consume per day
2. How many days power with no solar (consecutive rainy days)
3. Maximum momentary 120 V AC Amps to size your inverter
Remember when sizing the system 1 amp 120V AC is approximately 10amp 12VDC.
For the Solar Panel install there is no need to drill holes in the roof and potential places for leaks that come with them. . AM Solar sells the mounts and adhesives. I have over 6000 miles on mine no panels have blown off or come loose.

My installed AM Solar system :

SunRunner Signature 40/4/Pro Core
4 GS 135W solar panels
Magnum 1000W Charger/Inverter
4 Lifeline 6 CT Batteries
New low profile vent covers
Combiner box
The wiring is sized for up to 800W should I want to add panels in the future.
System is providing anywhere from 35 AMP hours to 5 amp hours mid-day depending on shade and the weather outside. Happy with the system performance. BTW I have no relationship or vested interest in AM solar just a happy camper.
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Old 02-04-2015, 04:30 PM   #17
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Not an expert but I've been told that battery size is the limiting factor when figuring out the maximum inverter wattage. We have the factory installed 1000 watt inverter and solar. We would like to run more things at the same time when boo docking and thought we could achieve that objective by upgrading to a 1500 or 2000 watt inverter. We were told that would be a waste of time with the two factory installed Interstate Deep Cycle Marine/RV batteries. Due to space limitations in the battery compartment, I believe we are at maximum battery storage unless we add additional batteries and put them in the forward storage compartment. Does this make sense?
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:13 PM   #18
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By using the 'right' battery system, you can place batteries under a front bed, front lounge or other interior space and have almost unlimited (limited only by space availability and weight) battery capacity.

These shots are from a 27FB that I just finished. 600 amp/hours of Lifeline GPL-6CT, Magnum MS-2012 inverter/charger that will energize the entire circuit breaker box (less the roof A/C) when off-grid, 540 watts of solar and a 40 amp Blue Sky MPPT solar charge controller with iPN-Pro remote/battery monitor system (plus other peripheral goodies ) Everything except the solar panels are located in the forward storage compartment, which has very limited access due to the Pro Pride hitch towers.

And now with the new lithium batteries available (ready, but still can't be shipped due to haz-mat regulations), a lithium bank of similar capacity (300 usable amp/hours) will weigh around 112 lbs, rather than the 340 for the Lifelines. Exciting times!!!!!
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:22 PM   #19
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Well, finished going thru the paper work. Unit was retrofitted/replaced with a Parallax 7345RU unit. Didn't pop off to see where the inverter is under the front area of our 27FB. I'm going to assume something is going on there, since we have a 15amp solar panel that is wired into the panel there under the bed in the front compartment.

Either way, Lew has me thinking. Want to plan out a full system the right way, and right now everything is holding together. I need to know how we do with some actual experience, so going to set aside about 4~5K budget and continue reading/educating and evaluate when we are on the road to determine what we will need.
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:25 PM   #20
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Ahh screw it. I ended up going with the 25/6 core system and 3 135W panels. I think this will be ok with our current 220ahs worth of battery power. Although, I'm almost thinking I should of gone bigger because 4 panels seems like a magical number.
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Old 03-05-2015, 07:36 PM   #21
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The 25mppt/6 core system can only regulate up to 400 watts. If you go with 4-135 panels, you'd need to upgrade to the 40mppt/4. 3-135 watt panels is plenty for your current battery bank. What size inverter are you planning?
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Old 03-06-2015, 06:36 AM   #22
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You can actually run a Blue Sky 2512iX-HV solar charge controller over 400 watts (STC) as you never actually get the STC rated output from ANY Solar panel. It simply maxes out the charge amperage and clips it at 25 amps. I have done several systems like this (mine at 500 watts was the first). I would see 25 amps to the batteries on a regular basis.

When I needed the equipment for an installation (sold as USED, of course ), I replaced the 2512 with the Blue Sky 3024 controller and would see 30+ charging amps on a bright sunny day when the batteries were down, so I was effectively losing about 5 charging amps (during peak periods) by using the smaller controller.

I then needed my 5 GS-100 hard panels for another installation and replaced them with Grape Solar's 100 watt flex panels (500 watts again) as an experiment. Still have the 40 amp controller, but now never see any charging amperage above 23 amps. This is caused by inefficiencies in the flex panels and their decreased sensitivity to lower light conditions. They still don't 'put out' at the same level that the hard panels do.

The overall situation is fine, as I have also switched to a 200 amp lithium battery pack at 54 lbs. instead of the 2 Lifeline GPL-6CT 300 amp/hour golf cart batteries that I was using at 180 lbs, so I am actually way over the charging requirements of the lithiums
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Old 03-06-2015, 06:43 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
Ahh screw it. I ended up going with the 25/6 core system and 3 135W panels. I think this will be ok with our current 220ahs worth of battery power. Although, I'm almost thinking I should of gone bigger because 4 panels seems like a magical number.
You can easily add a 4th panel into the combiner box at any time. Set up the system and see how it does for you at 405 watts. Keep an eye on the iPN Pro remote's battery monitor to get a complete picture of what is going in and out of the batteries. The battery capacity screen will be a good 'fuel gauge' to see if the array is large enough to keep your batteries full.
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