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Kyacker 11-10-2018 09:45 PM

Looking for Electrical System Feedback - Solar, Victron, LiPO4 battery, SmartPlug
 
1 Attachment(s)
Hi All!
I'm looking for some feedback or any blindspots that the great members of this forum can identify that I'm missing in our electrical system. We're bringing a 1959 Ambassador LandYacht back to life and have elected to do a substantial upgrade to all electrical for boondocking and general fun for me.

We have detailed it in a post on our website here: https://www.wallytheairstream.com/bu...ctrical-system but the schematic is below.

We're using:
- 4 Renogy eclipse 100W panels in series/parallel
- Victron 100/30 MPPT
- Lithionics 450Ah LiPO4 battery
- Victron 3000/50 Multiplus
- SmartPlug 50Amp shore power input

Would love to hear anything I'm missing, etc.
Thanks for all the help!

waninae39 11-11-2018 07:52 AM

2 Attachment(s)
here is my schematic of a 2017 as 22fb

Kyacker 11-11-2018 08:01 AM

Looking for Electrical System Feedback - Solar, Victron, LiPO4 battery, SmartPlug
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by waninae39 (Post 2178456)
here is my schematic of a 2017 as 22fb



This is awesome. Thank you! I forgot the DC bus switch for powered on vs. constant on. That’s a good one to avoid vampire charges.

Also, I saw you went with the hardwired surge guard. Any feed back on that system?

Thank you!

daleyocum 11-11-2018 08:39 AM

I have a very similar system except with Battleborn batteries. Some more blue boxes you’ll need.

The Victron system really needs a central controller. Otherwise you’ll find it doesn’t do a good job of suplimenting the battery power with solar or knows no when to charge the battery. The Victron Venus is what I have or you can get the more expensive one with the spiffy display, the Color GX. The thread where we dive into this is here. Recommended reading, more of a geeky suspense novel as we stumble towards a solution.

You’ll want, I assume, to be charging the batteries as you drive down the road. You’ll need a Victron Omicron DC-DC converter. That converts the voltage your vechicle cranks out into a constant 14.5 volts for the battery. That voltage may be different for your battery. I just have a 12/12-9 but your vehicle may be able to produce more current so the 18 or 30 amp version is an option.

You’ll want a Victron BMV712 battery monitor and wire it to talk to the Venus/Color GX.

You’ll also want a Victron Multidisplay. This lets you turn on and off the Multiplus remotely and set the max current you’ll allow it to draw from shore. You’ll find it essential.

Kyacker 11-11-2018 08:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daleyocum (Post 2178475)
I have a very similar system except with Battleborn batteries. Two more blue boxes you’ll need.

The Victron system really needs a central controller. Otherwise you’ll find it doesn’t do a good job of suplimenting the battery power with solar or knows no when to charge the battery. The Victron Venus is what I have or you can get the more expensive one with the spiffy display, the Color GX. The tread where we dive into this is here. Recommended reading, more of a geeky suspense novel as we stumble towards a solution.

You’ll want, I assume, to be charging the batteries as you drive down the road. You’ll need a Victron Omicron DC-DC converter. That converts the voltage your vechicle cranks out into a constant 14.5 volts for the battery. That voltage may be different for your battery. I just have a 12/12-9 but your vehicle may be able to produce more current so the 18 or 30 amp version is an option.

You’ll want a Vicron BMV712 battery monitor and wire it to talk to the Venus/Color GX.

Thanks for your post! I had wondered as to the ability of the overall system efficiency when managed independently. I'm this far down the rabbit hole, what's another $520 at this point :)
As for the battery monitor, I was under the impression that the Multiplus had a battery monitor built in. Lithionics also has a battery monitor that I'll be using with their battery, I'll ask them what their ability to communicate with the Victron stack is, if any.

I'll eventually do the DC/DC from the TV alternator, but I'm not quite there yet. I'll add it in for now so that I don't forget in the future though!

All of this is great info. I appreciate you both! Thanks!

daleyocum 11-11-2018 09:07 AM

Since you are doing such a major remodel I’d also suggest watching this video from altE on solar panel shading. Usually the main reason people do series-parallel is they want to use the solar prewire on newer Airstreams. That’s not your situation. I’d recommend going to full parallel and running 6ga wire down from the roof. That way partial shading won’t have as big an effect. Also that would allow you to add another panel if you like now or do so in the future. You can also add a portable panel on the ground more easily.

The professional installers almost always do full parallel.

daleyocum 11-11-2018 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kyacker (Post 2178480)
Thanks for your post! I had wondered as to the ability of the overall system efficiency when managed independently. I'm this far down the rabbit hole, what's another $520 at this point :)
As for the battery monitor, I was under the impression that the Multiplus had a battery monitor built in. Lithionics also has a battery monitor that I'll be using with their battery, I'll ask them what their ability to communicate with the Victron stack is, if any.

I'll eventually do the DC/DC from the TV alternator, but I'm not quite there yet. I'll add it in for now so that I don't forget in the future though!

All of this is great info. I appreciate you both! Thanks!

Given that you want the Venus/Color GX to do the management you’ll absolutely need the Victron battery monitor. Whether your battery pack needs it’s own as well I don’t know. The Battleborn batteries have built in electronics and are far simplier to work with.

The Multiplus only knows about currents going through it. A lot of DC load is happening outside of it. It also doesn’t track state of charge which is what it’s all about with Lithium.

The Color GX needs wires from EVERYWHERE feeding into it. It’s cool if you can get them there. I chose the Venus so I could mount it down in the electronics bay and then bluetooth into it.

Kyacker 11-11-2018 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daleyocum (Post 2178496)
Given that you want the Venus/Color GX to do the management you’ll absolutely need the Victron battery monitor. Whether your battery pack needs it’s own as well I don’t know. The Battleborn batteries have built in electronics and are far simplier to work with.

The Multiplus only knows about currents going through it. A lot of DC load is happening outside of it. It also doesn’t track state of charge which is what it’s all about with Lithium.

The Color GX needs wires from EVERYWHERE feeding into it. It’s cool if you can get them there. I chose the Venus so I could mount it down in the electronics bay and then bluetooth into it.

Just ordered it. Who doesn't love pretty overpriced LCD screens?!?!? :)
I'm kidding, of course. There's a lot of value there.

Kyacker 11-11-2018 09:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daleyocum (Post 2178490)
Since you are doing such a major remodel I’d also suggest watching this video from altE on solar panel shading. Usually the main reason people do series-parallel is they want to use the solar prewire on newer Airstreams. That’s not your situation. I’d recommend going to full parallel and running 6ga wire down from the roof. That way partial shading won’t have as big an effect. Also that would allow you to add another panel if you like now or do so in the future. You can also add a portable panel on the ground more easily.

The professional installers almost always do full parallel.

Thank you for this. I'll take a look. Makes a lot of sense considering the types of places that we'll be visiting.

fran&frank 11-11-2018 09:58 AM

I installed a system with a Lithionics battery and Renogy panels also. You can check out my threads by searching 'Victron Venus GX Installation' and 'Frank's solar' and "Frank's lithium battery". I'm very happy wit my system.

AirMiles 11-11-2018 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daleyocum (Post 2178490)
Since you are doing such a major remodel I’d also suggest watching this video from altE on solar panel shading. Usually the main reason people do series-parallel is they want to use the solar prewire on newer Airstreams. That’s not your situation. I’d recommend going to full parallel and running 6ga wire down from the roof. That way partial shading won’t have as big an effect. Also that would allow you to add another panel if you like now or do so in the future. You can also add a portable panel on the ground more easily.

The professional installers almost always do full parallel.

I have 400W of solar (four 100W) and initially configured my system in series-parallel so I could use the 10g factory pre-wire with minimal voltage loss. After 100 days of boondocking experience with this series-parallel configuration and a Victron 100/30 controller, I would use this series-parallel configuration again even if I had 4g coming down from the roof. The Victron 100/30 performs at its highest efficiency with four 100W panels in a series-parallel configuration as stated on page 6 of the Victron manual: "Recommended number of cells for highest controller efficiency: 72 (2x 12V panel in series or 1x 24V panel)."

I believe the reason for this series-parallel recommendation is due to the need for higher voltage from the solar panels. The manual states:
1) The controller will operate only if the PV voltage exceeds battery voltage (Vbat)
2) PV voltage must exceed Vbat + 5V for the controller to start. Thereafter minimum PV voltage is Vbat + 1V


You can see the actual solar output from 60 of my 100 days of boondocking this summer in my Solar Show & Tell thread here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ml#post2133206

and here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ml#post2177241

Shading has not been an issue for me, but the higher voltage of the series-parallel configuration extended solar production hours every day and improved production on overcast days. In 100 days of boondocking, I boost charged on only 4 days with either darkened rain conditions or complete tree canopy. I do not believe a parallel configuration would have improved charging on those four dark days.

gklott 11-11-2018 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kyacker (Post 2178386)
Hi All!
I'm looking for some feedback or any blindspots that the great members of this forum can identify that I'm missing in our electrical system.
We're using:
- 4 Renogy eclipse 100W panels in series/parallel
- Victron 100/30 MPPT
- Lithionics 450Ah LiPO4 battery
- Victron 3000/50 Multiplus
- SmartPlug 50Amp shore power input
Would love to hear anything I'm missing, etc. Thanks for all the help!

Recommend reviewing this post related to AC and DC system upgrades.

For our upgrade, we too selected Lithionics LiPO4 batteries. We selected to have a separate charge bus and load bus, with the specialized Lithionics dual-bus battery management system. Can high recommend the Lithionics products.

Can also highly recommend SmartPlug 50A system, as shown in these images.

I used MorningStar solar chargers and other components on the charge bus, so cannot comments on the Victron items.

http://www.airforums.com/attachments...s_img_0310.jpg

73/gus

uncle_bob 11-11-2018 10:50 AM

Hi

Assuming you are running 4x 100W panels, that should give you 400W on a really good day. If your lithiums are drop dead discharged, you will be running 12V out of the converter. 12V at 30A is 360W.

I'd suggest that a slightly bigger converter is a good idea. Generally you want to size them so that they are running about 80% of their max load. ( so 24 A would be a normal target for a 30A device).

You will not kill anything with an undersized controller. It simply will not make use of all your panels put out. Spending a ton of money on a fancy system and then not have it work up to full potential usually is not what people are after.

=====

The 3000 hybrid inverter / charger is a fine device. It also is a big time user of current when run into a big load. If you can keep it close to the battery, you will save yourself a lot of hassle running some really big pieces of wire long distances.

You *will* need a (big) fuse between the battery and the 3000. If the run is very long, a fuse at both ends of the run isn't a bad idea at all. ( Yes, that was me suggesting fuses be added .... :) )

Bob

Kyacker 11-11-2018 10:51 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by AirMiles (Post 2178539)
I have 400W of solar (four 100W) and initially configured my system in series-parallel so I could use the 10g factory pre-wire with minimal voltage loss. After 100 days of boondocking experience with this series-parallel configuration with a Victron 100/30 controller, I would use this series-parallel configuration again even if I had 4g coming down from the roof. The Victron 100/30 performs at its highest efficiency with four 100W panels in a series-parallel configuration as stated on page 6 of the Victron manual: "Recommended number of cells for highest controller efficiency: 72 (2x 12V panel in series or 1x 24V panel)."

I believe the reason for this series-parallel recommendation is due to the need for higher voltage from the solar panels. The manual states:
1) The controller will operate only if the PV voltage exceeds battery voltage (Vbat)
2) PV voltage must exceed Vbat + 5V for the controller to start. Thereafter minimum PV voltage is Vbat + 1V


You can see the actual solar output from 60 of my 100 days of boondocking this summer in my Solar Show & Tell thread here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ml#post2133206

and here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ml#post2177241

Shading has not been an issue for me, but the higher voltage of the series-parallel configuration extended solar production hours every day and improved production on overcast days. In 100 days of boondocking, I boost charged on only 4 days with either darkened rain conditions or complete tree canopy. I do not believe a parallel configuration would have improved charging on those four dark days.

I've read through your posts in thinking about this and noticed your comments in solar show and tell. For those that haven't read it, Airmiles experienced an issue in shaded areas where the voltage from the panels dropped to the point where the MPPT wasn't energizing the charging system output. So, when voltage dropped down below a point (I can't remember where that was, Airmiles, remind me?) charging wasn't happening at all.

In full parallel I could certainly get more amps and charge faster, but what's the bottom voltage rail?

I've reconfigured and added the suggestions above. It's in full parallel right now, but I still have a few weeks before we start the install so I can still make significant changes.

I appreciate everyones input!

Kyacker 11-11-2018 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gklott (Post 2178542)
Recommend reviewing this post related to AC and DC system upgrades.

For our upgrade, we too selected Lithionics LiPO4 batteries. We selected to have a separate charge bus and load bus, with the specialized Lithionics dual-bus battery management system. Can high recommend the Lithionics products.

Can also highly recommend SmartPlug 50A system, as shown in these images.

I used MorningStar solar chargers and other components on the charge bus, so cannot comments on the Victron items.

http://www.airforums.com/attachments...s_img_0310.jpg

73/gus

I love how clean that looks hung on the aluminum extrusion. Beautiful!

daleyocum 11-11-2018 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kyacker (Post 2178507)
Just ordered it. Who doesn't love pretty overpriced LCD screens?!?!? :)
I'm kidding, of course. There's a lot of value there.

Be sure to also get the Multicontrol panel. You would think Victron would have made turning the inverter on and off easy from the LCD screen but, alas, they did not.

To Airmiles’ point on series-parallel. I think he’s right in the cases where all the panels are receiving about the same amount of light, even shaded light. The higher voltage of that arrangement would win. If it’s uneven how much each panel is getting it’s harder to predict which will win. All parallel does give you the ability to have an odd number of panels which, in my case, was important. I have 500w on the roof but sometimes add a ground panel if the sun exposure in the campsite warrants it. You can’t do that with series-parallel.

I’d say run 6ga down from the roof just in case you change your mind later on even if you chose series-parallel. If you decide to put 500w up on the roof (which you should if you have room) then the decision is made for you.

Kyacker 11-11-2018 11:07 AM

Looking for Electrical System Feedback - Solar, Victron, LiPO4 battery, SmartPlug
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle_bob (Post 2178544)
Hi

Assuming you are running 4x 100W panels, that should give you 400W on a really good day. If your lithiums are drop dead discharged, you will be running 12V out of the converter. 12V at 30A is 360W.

I'd suggest that a slightly bigger converter is a good idea. Generally you want to size them so that they are running about 80% of their max load. ( so 24 A would be a normal target for a 30A device).

You will not kill anything with an undersized controller. It simply will not make use of all your panels put out. Spending a ton of money on a fancy system and then not have it work up to full potential usually is not what people are after.

=====

The 3000 hybrid inverter / charger is a fine device. It also is a big time user of current when run into a big load. If you can keep it close to the battery, you will save yourself a lot of hassle running some really big pieces of wire long distances.

You *will* need a (big) fuse between the battery and the 3000. If the run is very long, a fuse at both ends of the run isn't a bad idea at all. ( Yes, that was me suggesting fuses be added .... [emoji4] )

Bob



Hi Bob! Thanks for your feedback!
I wonder what the losses are in stepping down from 24V (input on series/parallel) to 12V (on output). The MPPT says “98% maximum efficiency” but I wonder what it is in actuality.

PS: this comment cracked me up. [emoji23] “Spending a ton of money on a fancy system and then not have it work up to full potential usually is not what people are after.”

daleyocum 11-11-2018 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kyacker (Post 2178554)
Hi Bob! Thanks for your feedback!
I wonder what the losses are in stepping down from 24V (input on series/parallel) to 12V (on output). The MPPT says “98% maximum efficiency” but I wonder what it is in actuality.

PS: this comment cracked me up. [emoji23] “Spending a ton of money on a fancy system and then not have it work up to full potential usually is not what people are after.”

No matter what, the MPPT controller is stepping the voltage down. A normal “12v” panel is cranking out 20v on a bright day. I wouldn’t worry about any losses in the solar controller.

By the way on your diagram you show a Victron meter on the solar controller. You won’t need that if you have a Color GX. Its pretty pictures will tell you everything you need to know and then some. You don’t, in fact, need to mount the Victron battery monitor where you can see it either. It’s data will also show up in more readable form on the Color GX.

AirMiles 11-11-2018 11:25 AM

Airmiles experienced an issue in shaded areas where the voltage from the panels dropped to the point where the MPPT wasn't energizing the charging system output. So, when voltage dropped down below a point (I can't remember where that was, Airmiles, remind me?) charging wasn't happening at all.

In full parallel I could certainly get more amps and charge faster, but what's the bottom voltage rail?


The Victron 100/30 and 100/50 needs "battery voltage plus 5 Volts" to turn on and "battery voltage plus 1 volt" to stay on. Others have had problems with their Victron controllers not getting enough voltage to turn on and have fixed this issue by re-configuring to series to increase the voltage.

Running parallel your panels will get higher Amps at lower Voltage. Running series will get higher voltage at lower amps. But in both configurations, your wattage will be similar and will not change how fast your battery charges.

Watts = Amps x Volts
400W = 23.5 Amps x 17v in parallel = 32.75A of battery charging at 12.2V
400W = 11.75 Amps x 34V in series = 32.75A of battery charging at 12.2V

Kyacker 11-11-2018 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daleyocum (Post 2178564)
No matter what, the MPPT controller is stepping the voltage down. A normal “12v” panel is cranking out 20v on a bright day. I wouldn’t worry about any losses in the solar controller.

By the way on your diagram you show a Victron meter on the solar controller. You won’t need that if you have a Color GX. Its pretty pictures will tell you everything you need to know and then some. You don’t, in fact, need to mount the Victron battery monitor where you can see it either. It’s data will also show up in more readable form on the Color GX.

Yea I've already boxed that up for return. I may use the savings there to up the MPPT to 50A.


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