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Old 03-22-2018, 10:31 PM   #61
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Lake Oswego , Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iaqstuff View Post
Where did you put the second transfer switch or did you replace the battery disconnect with a two-way?
Check out the original post; you'll see a photo there showing a black box that covers up both the original txfr switch and the new one, installed by the AS dealer at my request.

Basically, they are hooked in series so that if there is a power source from the Yeti it thinks that is a generator, so the original switch sees that there is a generator in operation.
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Old 04-19-2019, 02:47 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by FlyFishinRVr View Post
No link, just this in the Q&A section of the GZ 400 Lithium:
. . .
GoalZeroSupport
· 14 days ago

Thanks for reaching out to Goal Zero! Unfortunately not yet, we plan on releasing one soon! If you have any other questions concerning this please contact us by phone at 1-888-794-6250 or by email at support@goalzero.com Have a great solar day!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronadora View Post
I kept the AGM house batteries and run this as an auxiliary power source.
. . .
Have you been happy with your GZ units, and are you aware that they now make a 12-volt car charger?

https://www.goalzero.com/shop/yeti-a...harging-cable/

. . . which is apparently out of stock right now.

Thanks for your detailed posts over the last couple of years.

Peter
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Old 04-19-2019, 03:26 PM   #63
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Copying my post to the 1000 thread here as well...


Just acquired a Yeti 3000 at a nice discount from REI. I used mine hooked up to my 23ft trailer shore power cord for three days boondocking. We used the microwave briefly, but also topped off the batteries, and ran other non-12V stuff in the trailer. Ran the fridge mostly on gas, but with the fan powered on. Also ran a percolator (780 Watts while brewing). While my trailer has an inverter, the convenience of using any of the 120V outlets was a big plus.

I did bring along my Yamaha EF2400is genny to top off the Yeti, and mine has 4 120V power pack chargers (each with an 8mm charging plug), that I combine into one Anderson Power Pole port for convenience. It also takes this input directly through either one of two ports, one provided with the built-in MPPT controller which seems to yield a slightly higher charging capacity of nearly 280 watts total. We had limited generator time at the festival I was at, so I only did this for a couple hours each day. I also acquired two Grape 180 Watt Solar panels which I mounted to the tonneau cover of my pickup, and combined power input to the Yeti through the MPPT controller was also close to 280 Watts. I found I could charge it using both the generator and the panels at the same time using two separate APP connections. I combined the panels through a standard parallel connection keeping the panel voltage at 19V which is nominal for the Yeti (must be below 22V).

I managed to keep enough reserve to do just about anything I wanted in the trailer, and while the sun was limited, it also allowed me minimize my generator usage which my neighbors appreciated.

I wouldn't mind having a second Yeti for reserve, and am looking at a 1000 model but waiting for it to go on sale at Costco. You can chain them through the APP output/input connections.

We just used the 3000 for a power outage in the storms moving through the SE today, and yes, we anticipate doing the same for Hurricane season. There is an adapter where you can connect to critical circuits in your home as well. I really like the flexibility of the system, and while it comes at a slight premium, it seems to make a good set of options for your power needs. Expecting to use the 1000 in my truck for general activities and keep it charged on solar already mounted on the truck. It's easy to run the connections through the rear sliding window hatch, and this includes the 30 amp shore power cable, while leaving the Yeti secure in the back seat. This also allows positioning the solar for optimal sun while camping.

Yes, a direct connection to 12V makes a lot of sense for some, and there is a fellow planning to do this with an Interstate 19... he is discussing it in those threads. The Yeti has a combiner cable available for using all of its 12V ports simultaneously, and this can power 45 or so Amps. Anytime you can avoid using a converter or inverter will save juice, but for me, the flexibility of just running shore power mode makes sense and is very manageable. It won't replace a generator for things like AC, but it sure is a lot more pleasant without the noise and fumes!

Cheers!
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Old 04-21-2019, 08:35 PM   #64
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OTRA15: Yes, I am quite happy with the Goal Zero Yeti 3000. Last week we were driveway surfing for two nights and I ran down the GZ to near zero and the house batteries were down to about 48%, which is as far as I care to go, and that was with almost no solar contribution.

I've got some tips on energy management using this device. As a reminder, I had my AS dealer install a second transfer switch where the GZ and Onan generator are inputs to the first switch, and the OEM transfer switch then sees the incoming power from the GZ and lets it take over. I keep the GZ inside the coach at the rear end of the aisle, tucked underneath the always-laid-flat sofa so it's out of the way of our feet while seated.

TIP #1: Disable the battery link to the chassis battery when pulling power from the GZ. I can’t remember how it was with the original BIM, but with the Blue Sea ML-ACR I can hit a switch to manually isolate the house batteries from the chassis battery. This is important because otherwise, the incoming charging current from the GZ gets shared with your chassis battery. That is a waste of Goal Zero juice !

TIP #2: I just discovered this… you CAN power parts of the coach WITHOUT charging the house batteries. This is potentially fantastic! If I plug the coach into the 120V output of the Goal Zero, but leave the house Main Disconnect switch by the sliding door OFF, then the GZ powers the refer, the freezer, and the Magnum inverter. This uses about 110W if I have the inverter off. Add about 25W with the inverter on and powering nothing. If I want, I can watch TV and charge my devices. However, no power gets to the various 12V powered items; no lights, no water pump. For light, I plug in a desk lamp with a 9W LED bulb into the GZ. If I want toast or coffee or microwave, I plug them into the GZ.

Why is this a big deal? I've often wished I could keep food cold from the Goal Zero without putting energy into the house batteries at the same time. Now, I can dry camp longer and wait until we leave camp at which time the engine alternator will pump lots of amperage into the half discharged house batteries. This could significantly improve usability of the Goal Zero and I'm excited to see how much impact this will have. I’ll post the results when I can test it out.


Soon, I will post some info on how and when I run off house batteries vs. Goal Zero for maximum benefit.


A thought on the Goal Zero 12V car charging cable being talked about… while the 15ft cord would reach down the hallway to the Yeti, I’m curious why I would want to do that. I get 288 watts from the four GZ power cords I have plugged into a power strip that feeds off the outlet behind the rear TV. The car charging cable only provides 120 watts. Although… I keep seeing Goal Zero responding to people’s questions about how you can charge from multiple sources simultaneously, so maybe that’s the incentive… to get a total of 400 watts going into it (?). I think I’ll stick with the setup I have so I don’t have a cord running down the hallway.
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:07 AM   #65
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A great update, thanks!


Peter
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Old 04-22-2019, 03:15 PM   #66
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I have an Ideal 61-164 SureTest Circuit Analyzer which I use to measure voltage and voltage drop in the plugs throughout my house, my Interstate, and most recently my Yeti Goal Zero 3000 lithium battery. I plan to use the Yeti to power my fridge and freezer in the Interstate when the solar is not working and in cooler months and locations where air conditioning is not needed overnight thus eliminating the need for a campground on some nights.

My hope is for those of you with much greater experience than me to weigh in regarding voltage drop, appliance performance and longevity. I just went out to my Interstate which is not plugged in but is getting about 10 amps of incoming solar. With the inverter turned on, I plugged in the SureTest Circuit Analyzer and measured two plugs, the one under the TV behind the driver’s seat, and the one in the overhead compartment. Here are the results: under TV- 120.6 volts and 49.2% voltage drop; overhead compartment- 120.9 volts and 63.3% voltage drop. Without the solar input, the voltage drop is approximately 66%. The Goal Zero 3000 is currently fully charged and measures 118 volts and 22.5% voltage drop. With the Interstate plugged into 30 amps and the Inverter off, the measurements are much better and similar to what I measure in my house with voltage in the 125 range and a voltage drop of about 5.5%.

What do you think about the voltage drop using the inverter, and also using the Goal Zero 3000 to power the fridge and freezer? The GZ has a 280 amp hour lithium battery and its own built in 1500 watt inverter. I recently saw where one user was able to power his RV for about 2 mights using the GZ. I plan to position the GZ directly behind the driver’s seat on the floor. The fridge and freezer have a 110 plug inside the lower end of the pantry. If you reach into the pantry and unplug the fridge and freezer, the cords are long enough to route out through the port under the table where the TV plug comes out. I can use the 12 volt during the day to power the fridge and freezer, and either 30 amp grid power or the GZ when boon docking. The TV can just plug in to the bottom of the pantry. I just did a weekend test with the GZ powering the fridge and freezer after the solar stopped working around 6 pm. The two house batteries kept the RV working (lights and hand washing) at about 95% on the readout. I normally park in a small town and go out exploring and taking photos. I usually don’t start to look for a campground until about 11pm. Without the Goal Zero, the house batteries start to reach their limit about this time. With the Goal zero, I am confident about going overnight and maybe two in this scenario without a plug in. But what about the voltage drop?

I paid $2600 for the GZ purchased at REI with a 20% off coupon. At the end of the year, REI also has a member rebate.

Any thoughts and comments are welcome. Thanks.
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:45 AM   #67
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Goal Zero Power Consumption

I've got some real world stats to share. A couple weeks ago, when I (barely) survived two nights in a driveway with no shore power and almost no solar, I took some pics of what was going on with the Goal Zero 3000 charging the house batteries, which are a pair of Lifeline 6V AGMs totaling 220Ah.

I plugged in the 110V power cord that goes to the AS dealer installed transfer switch. Later, in the first photo, you can see the GZ was at 83%, delivering 982W. The Victron BMV-712 is reporting the house batteries are at 72% and are receiving 595W (42.3A * 14.09V). It was sufficiently dark and cloudy outside to eliminate solar as an energy contributor. I'll assume the coach was consuming 110W for the refrigerator and the freezer. Add 25W for the idling inverter for a total of 135W. So 982W from the Goal Zero minus 135W for running the house leaves 848W being sent to the batteries.

We've all talked about the inefficiency of converting 12V to 110V and back to 12V and now we kind of know to what extent. Since only 595W was being received by the batteries, we ended up with 595W / 848W = 70% efficiency. A 30% energy loss. I'm eager to document energy consumption using the trick I wrote about last week... turning off the house 12V so that the 110W leaving the Goal Zero fully powers the fridge and freezer. It would seem there is very little loss here, even though the energy leaving the GZ is via a 110V power cord to the transfer switch. More to come on that.

After one hour, the Goal Zero went from 83% capacity to 49%. If we accept that it is OK to deplete the GZ lithium-ion batteries to zero %, then it gave up 34% of its capacity. The house batteries are 220Ah (110Ah usable). In that same hour, they went from 72% to 86% of their capacity... HOWEVER, since 50% is as low as I want to go, 50% is the floor... I think of it as zero, so instead of a 14% capacity increase, it's more like a 28% increase of the usable range that I live by, make sense?

There's a small problem though. The battery monitor said the batteries' consumed Ah total was at -75Ah at the beginning and -38Ah at the end of the hour, for an increase of 37Ah. This is more like a third of my usable battery range and I think it is reasonable to use this figure... after all, the charging started at 42A and went for one hour, at which time the batteries were receiving about 32A. If you average that out, it's a 37Ah event. So the GZ gave up 1/3 of its life to give back 1/3 of my house batts usable range.

I'm not sure how much I can trust the Victron battery monitor for its % reading. When it says the batteries are at 50%, it is also saying I've consumed 128Ah of juice, not 110Ah like I would expect, so I try not to go past 110Ah. A contributing factor might be that, although I have a battery temp sensor installed, it's not working and the Victron thinks I'm always at 31º F. So maybe that is goofing up my readings, not to mention goofing up my charging profile by applying too much(?) voltage. Someone please feel free to comment on how much I should be worried about this. I think I read somewhere that this would result in about 0.5V extra getting sent to the batteries to compensate for the low temperature reading.

So far, I've been using the Goal Zero to give the house batteries a boost via Bulk Charging, not to fully charge them through the Absorb and Float stages. I'll do that test someday and report on that as well.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:34 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronadora View Post
I've got some real world stats to share.
. . .
Thanks for the detailed update!

Peter
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:58 PM   #69
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Goal Zero just came out with a video on charging the Yeti Lithium batteries 5 ways. It appears they have come out with a few new products to assist. A new wall charger that is 5 times faster to charge than the current one, the cigarette lighter/12v charger, and their new link system coupled with two cables that fast speed charges from a vehicle’s alternator. Of course, there is also the option of connecting to solar.

With the work Tronadora has done with his Goal Zero Yeti and these new resources, using a Yeti to supplement the Interstate’s AGMs is very viable.

Below is a link to the video:

https://www.goalzero.com/blog/goal-z...m_source=zaius
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:01 PM   #70
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Hope this takes you to the video.

https://www.goalzero.com/blog/goal-z...m_source=zaius
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:20 AM   #71
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Great video thanks!

Peter
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:28 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLWilcox View Post
Goal Zero just came out with a video on charging the Yeti Lithium batteries 5 ways. It appears they have come out with a few new products to assist. A new wall charger that is 5 times faster to charge than the current one, the cigarette lighter/12v charger, and their new link system coupled with two cables that fast speed charges from a vehicle’s alternator. Of course, there is also the option of connecting to solar.

With the work Tronadora has done with his Goal Zero Yeti and these new resources, using a Yeti to supplement the Interstate’s AGMs is very viable.

Below is a link to the video:

https://www.goalzero.com/blog/goal-z...m_source=zaius
I expect the 25A charger is pretty efficient, though expensive at 150 bucks. Keep in mind the 3000 comes with two chargers standard, and I bought two additional chargers along with a 4 way 8mm to APP adapter for substantially less than that. It's a bit bulky to manage the four chargers, but doable. I run it into the MPPT module, and it yields nearly 300 watts. I also run the 4 chargers simultaneously with two 180W Grape Solar panels, and that's a pretty good recharge rate, through the two APP inputs.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:24 AM   #73
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Yes, I also use four chargers. My back of the napkin math says at 300W per hour it would take theoretically 10 hours to charge 3000Wh... same result as the new GZ charger specs. Their new charger would save a little bit on bulk and messy wire management.



One caveat: like most charging scenarios (other than LiFePO4), there is a tapering off at the upper end of the cycle... I noticed last night the GZ is taking in about 200W when it's in the 95+% capacity range.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:32 AM   #74
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And the small chargers generate substantial heat. I saw a youtube video where a fellow had 4 of them strapped together... Not a good idea. BTW, these chargers are suspiciously similar to the IBM Thinkpad (now Lenovo) power supplies... In fact the little diagonal rectangular inset on the side is pretty similar to the IBM placement. I probably have a few around the house, from my corporate days, but as I recall, they were replaced by my company because they were considered a fire hazard... Not sure if the IBM units had 8mm plugs, but wouldn't surprise me!
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:47 PM   #75
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Trying to follow all these great ideas. I have a small sport 16, 2 factory solar panels and 2- 12v batteries. I also built a 200 watt suitcase. I would like to use a Delta 1000wh goal zero clone to replace the batteries. I am not concerned about running the AC or microwave. My main concern is the 12 volt output is 12 amps. Not enough to run the pump, fridge, and furnace at the same time.
What is the simplest way to connect to the 12v and be charged by the solar. Most of the 12 connections are under the front dinette seat. I have a 12 volt car plug under the seat.
The Delta has a built-in mppt controller.
To be clear I would like it to be our only 12v source, eliminate the batteries and their weight thanks
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:56 PM   #76
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Here is link to the delta. I have the 1000 but all stats are the same except wh.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:44 PM   #77
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You should probably post in the travel trailer forum. Having said that, I have a small TT in addition to my Interstate, and use an Inergy Kodiak in place of standalone batteries. I don’t know what your “clone” has for inputs and outputs, my kodiak has battery terminals that I use for 12v output and connection to my tow vehicle connection. For solar it has a separate input port. All is working great except my carbon monoxide detector which doesn’t like my battery chemistry low voltage, so I disconnected it and use a battery powered version.
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