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Author Topic: New Solar Install  (Read 1173 times)

Blues Driver

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  • Posts: 121
New Solar Install
« on: December 08, 2019, 12:36:26 PM »
I expect this thread to continue as I progress with the solar system design and installation.
We plan to pick up a new to us 2010 Class A Winnebago Vista 26P soon. Following the advice on this forum I want to install a battery monitor first. The rig currently has 2 12v house batteries (capacity unknown) and I believe a 300W inverter. The PO camped mostly in CG's with hookups and knows little about the existing equipment.
Questions;
Where would the inverter likely be mounted? A 300 W inverter will not power much or support the loads I anticipate down the road but its what I will have to work with. I'm not sure how valuable this info will be but I will need a monitor eventually anyway. 

I would like your experiences, comments, recommendations in the choice of battery monitor,   the Trimetric 2030RV or Victron 712 Smart ? Price seems comparable.
 
Thanks, Pat

Heli_av8tor

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Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2019, 12:53:16 PM »
Probably not too many of us have experience with both. I went with the Trimetric and have been happy with it. 

Sounds like you are off to a good start.
Tom & Theresa
2004 Pace Arrow 37C, Workhorse W22, 8.1 Vortec
2014 Honda CR-V Toad, Roadmaster -5 Base and tow bar
SMI Stay and Play Duo Brake system

Kevin Means

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  • SolaRVector
    • SolaRVector
Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2019, 01:08:12 PM »
I don't think you could go wrong with either. The RV 2030 is pretty much bullet proof (we have that one too) but it doesn't have a bluetooth link to monitor your battery's condition on your phone like the Victron does. That may or may not be a feature you'd like.

If your inverter was installed at the factory, it should be somewhere near the house batteries. If it's an aftermarket installation, it's anyone's guess where it might be. Hopefully, it was installed near the house batteries with appropriate gauge wires. If not, you should reinstall it in that manner so it will work most efficiently.

(By the way, installing a battery monitor to measure your actual power consumption is a smart first step in determining how much solar you'll need)

Kev
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 01:14:34 PM by Kevin Means »
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, TST 507 TPMS, 960 watts of solar, SolaRVector tilt
Lakeside, California

UTTransplant

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  • Posts: 2270
  • Cedar Falls, Iowa
Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2019, 01:15:38 PM »
We had a Trimetric in the trailer, and we have a Victron in the motorhome. Both worked just fine. At the specific time we chose the last one, it was due to price and Bluetooth capability. I really like being able to see the battery state via my phone.
Pam and Kevin plus Lily the cat
2018 Tiffin 37PA
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk toad
https://toobusyforwork.com

PJ Stough

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  • Posts: 1995
Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2019, 03:47:50 PM »
On our 2005 Winnebago the 300 watt inverter was located near the entertainment center as that is what it was designed to power.  It was a long ways from the batteries and was connected with some relatively light wiring.
PJ Stough   Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”--- Voltaire

Blues Driver

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  • Posts: 121
Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2019, 06:14:58 PM »
 I really like being able to see the battery state via my phone.

What is the range of the Bluetooth?

Blues Driver

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Re: Victron temperature sensor cable.
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2020, 12:43:24 PM »
I ordered a Victron 712 Smart Battery Monitor with Bluetooth. It is in stock at a good price  but the temperature sensor cable is not in stock nor will it be soon and is currently holding up the order if I want free shipping.  How important is the temperature sensor cable? 
Thanks,
Pat

Blues Driver

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  • Posts: 121
Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2020, 12:55:35 PM »
Due to limited space on the roof I am wondering about mixing panels by the same manufacturer but different wattages. I could place 2 360 watt panels , ~ 40 x 72 but the 3rd is likely subject  to intermittent shading issues by the satellite dome and the ac housing. A lesser wattage of 320  ~39 x 66 would be less likely to shade but still quite possible.

The panels in question by REC N Peak mention twin sections and bypass diodes to mitigate shading issues.
Thanks,
Pat

SLOweather

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Re: Victron temperature sensor cable.
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2020, 01:01:38 PM »
I have a new BMV702 temperature sensor, still in the bag if you want it. It came free with my Victron from InvertersRUs, and I didn't need it.

PM me if you're interested.

Chris

I ordered a Victron 712 Smart Battery Monitor with Bluetooth. It is in stock at a good price  but the temperature sensor cable is not in stock nor will it be soon and is currently holding up the order if I want free shipping.  How important is the temperature sensor cable? 
Thanks,
Pat
2014 Itasca Sunstar 31KE
1988 Itasca Suncruiser 31RQ
1968 Travco 201

Blues Driver

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  • Posts: 121
Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2020, 01:04:24 PM »
Charger controller location. 2010 Winnebago Cl. A Vista 26P.  Should I definitely not place the charge controller in the same compartment with flooded GC batteries? What about the inverter? The chassis battery and 2 house batteries are under the steps, well vented. Immediately behind is a closed compartment more than big enough for 2 more batteries, a charge controller,  inverter and attendant switches, fuses etc. .   
Thanks,
Pat

Kevin Means

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  • SolaRVector
    • SolaRVector
Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2020, 12:55:49 AM »
Hi Pat. In my opinion, a temperature sensor is a must, especially with higher output chargers. They adjust the charge voltage so batteries aren't under-charged, or over-charged in different conditions.

Batteries can vent nitrogen when they get hot, and nitrogen is flammable. Inverters, converters and charge controllers should be installed as close to the batteries as is practical, but not in the same compartment.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, TST 507 TPMS, 960 watts of solar, SolaRVector tilt
Lakeside, California

SLOweather

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Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2020, 07:08:16 AM »
I think you mean hydrogen...


Batteries can vent nitrogen when they get hot, and nitrogen is flammable. Inverters, converters and charge controllers should be installed as close to the batteries as is practical, but not in the same compartment.

Kev
2014 Itasca Sunstar 31KE
1988 Itasca Suncruiser 31RQ
1968 Travco 201

Kevin Means

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  • SolaRVector
    • SolaRVector
Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2020, 03:50:00 PM »
Oops. That's what I get for staying up late. Thanks

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, TST 507 TPMS, 960 watts of solar, SolaRVector tilt
Lakeside, California

Blues Driver

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  • Posts: 121
Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2020, 11:55:05 AM »
Re; Charger etc. location. Ok, suspicions confirmed. Back to the rig with the tape measure and drawing board.
Thank you, Kevin.
Pat

Blues Driver

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  • Posts: 121
Re: New Solar Install Inverter, charger, transfer switch ?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2020, 01:02:46 PM »
The RV has a 30 amp service,  an existing 300 watt inverter, a converter - Parallax Power Supply Series 7300 ( I cannot determine the output) , and I assume a transfer switch for the generator or shore power, location unknown. 
In researching Inverters I have concluded that I do not need an Inverter/ Charger . Do I need an inverter with a built in transfer switch?
Without a transfer switch would I have to shut the inverter off manually prior to using the generator or shore power?
 I believe the Xantrex 817 2000 FreedomX 2000/12v ( no charger, includes a built in transfer switch) would suit my needs but have not compared it to others yet.
Thanks,
Pat

Blues Driver

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Re: New Solar Install battery monitor install
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2020, 11:33:04 AM »
I am ready to install the Victron BMV 712 Smart battery monitor and find that the 4"x4"x2" weather proof box I planned to use will not fit with the newly installed 2 GC2 batteries in the under step battery location. I plan to install 2 more GC2 batteries in an adjacent weather protected compartment when I figure out the necessary holes to drill and cable lengths required. At that time I will likely install the shunt in that compartment.
For now I want to monitor the battery use with a temporary shunt  install in the under step compartment. I can protect the wires to the display with a "conduit" of some sort to the inside of the house.  If I cannot find a " box" ( perhaps Tupperware) that will work is it OK to protect the shunt with a ziplock bag and some bubble wrap?
Suggestions appreciated.
Thanks,
Pat

Mark_K5LXP

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  • 2005 Itasca Sunova
Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2020, 12:51:06 PM »
What's in your battery compartment you are protecting the shunt and wiring from?  It's at ground potential so as long as it's mechanically secure there really isn't much else to it.  If you plan on relocating it anyway I don't think it demands any special accommodation.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM

Blues Driver

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Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2020, 02:12:32 PM »
The battery compartment is open to the roadway grime, rainwater etc.

Mark_K5LXP

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  • 2005 Itasca Sunova
Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2020, 06:08:32 PM »
There's reasons to solve that problem beyond protecting the shunt.  Sealing off/enclosing the battery area goes a long way to maintaining cable and termination integrity, and basic battery cleanliness.  Dirt and moisture that collects on the top of the battery promotes leakage currents and corrosion.  With a sealed off box you will be surprised how clean your batteries stay, even flooded.   

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM

Kevin Means

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  • SolaRVector
    • SolaRVector
Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2020, 03:58:46 PM »
Our House batteries are between the frame rails and are exposed to the outside environment. The shunt for our battery monitor is attached directly to the negative terminal of the end battery with a four inch steel strap. The batteries get a little dirty over time, but it doesn't affect the shunt.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, TST 507 TPMS, 960 watts of solar, SolaRVector tilt
Lakeside, California

Blues Driver

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Re: New Solar Install
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2020, 06:36:40 PM »
Kevin. Thanks for your reply.
I'm going to take another look at the battery compartment space. If I can get the shunt installed pre KOFA Feb. it will take a load off scheduling wise and give me some valuable info re; actual power use. 
I will move it to the new true negative when I install the additional 2 batteries in the adjacent compartment.
As always, thanks.
Pat