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Old 06-27-2016, 02:28 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2015
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My Solar Setup

400 watt Renogy panels wired in parallel
....2 of the panels can be tilted

Each Panel is fused with an MC4 inline fuse. 10 gauge wire run from panels to combining box.

6 gauge wire from combiner box on roof to Tracer 40amp MPPT controller.

6 gauge wire run in sink air vent and pulled out of the vent tube just above sink. This way I didn't have to drink a hole in the roof.

50 amp resettable fuse/switch from solar to controller

3 battery banks:
Banks 1 and 2 are 160 amp hours of AGM golf cart batteries (used original wet cell batteries on another install...didn't like having to add water)
Bank 3 is 2 group 27 wet cell batteries wired in parallel
..bank 3 is what is on 24-7 and when I tow. It is purely backup for camping if sun isn't out and batteries go below 50%

Each battery bank has a 300 amp ANL fuse

2/00 gauge wire from batteries to each battery selector switch.

2/00 gauge wire to wire each 6v golf cart battery in series

New 70 amp hour Progressive Dynamics COnverter with pendant installed next to batteries. Disconnected old converter which is located in rear of camper about 25 feet away. It will be a backup.

30 amp Progressive Industries auto transfer switch installed in power panel.
... refrigerator 120vac wired so only powered by generator/shore power
... converter wired so only powered by shore/generator power


1500 watt Commercial Grade Samlex inverter (true sine wave), PST 1500 model
...optional remote on/of and monitor wired inside camper

2 runs of 10 gauge outdoor romex run under camper in conduit.
...1st romex is run so only generator/shore power can possibly power the converter.
...2nd romex is fromm inverter to auto transfer switch.

500 amp shunt

2030 Trimetric Battery Monitor

Solar monitor (best for showing voltage pushed by panels 19 to 20 volts when sun directly overhead...rest of features handled by Trimetric)

LED lightening installed to save power. Used cheap Ebay LEDs which have never failed me in the past.

New Elite 200 watt stereo/entertainment system installed

USB and 12 volt charge ports installed in living area with volt meter and on-off switch.

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So far we average 15% of battery capacity used (approximately 90 amps) used each day. We camp at 10,000 to 12,000 feet ASL and we run the heater each night. Our celing fan is usually on low 24/7 At night we watch movies and use the 120vac microwave to pop popcorn. This accounts for almost all of our power consumption.

Future plans: 2 additional panels and require panels so that 2 panells are wired in series and then each set of 2 panels are wired in parallel. Replace remaining 2 wet cell batteries with AGMs.

Not seen in photos:
2 small 3 watt 3 inch vans to vent battery gasses out of compartment when batteries are charging.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:23 AM   #2
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Location: Arizona
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Nice!

Very nice!

I hadn't thought about wiring the fridge and converter to run only on shore power. Good one!

I will save your post and add it to my collection of good tips for our future solar install.
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Drew & Micki V. - Full-Time Since 2001
2006 Forest River Sandpiper Sport SP34T
1982 GMC C3500 3+3 Camper Special w/modified 7.4L
1976 Holiday Rambler Presidential 3300 TT (still roadworthy... just in case)
1984 Chevy K2500 Suburban (just in case)
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertDrew View Post
Very nice!

I hadn't thought about wiring the fridge and converter to run only on shore power. Good one!

I will save your post and add it to my collection of good tips for our future solar install.
You'd kill the battery in no time with a feedback loop trying to charge the battery pack with 120vac provided by the battery powered inverter!

I did run the fridge a couple of times on inverter 120vac to see how much battery juice it took and it was about 33 amps DC (396 watts) which is inline with inverter efficiency losses and what the books says it uses amp wise 3amps at 120vac (360 watts)

If you ever need help with your solar, give me a holler. I'd rather you learn from my mistakes then make your own.
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Old 06-28-2016, 01:38 AM   #4
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Location: Bend, Oregon
Posts: 268
Very nice indeed, thank you for sharing all the details!
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Old 06-28-2016, 01:52 AM   #5
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Thanks for the offer of help, always appreciate earned knowledge.

I've been following the solar postings here for about 5 years (including reading old posts), and have been "studying" solar since the early 90's. Finally getting close to having the funds to put it all together.
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Drew & Micki V. - Full-Time Since 2001
2006 Forest River Sandpiper Sport SP34T
1982 GMC C3500 3+3 Camper Special w/modified 7.4L
1976 Holiday Rambler Presidential 3300 TT (still roadworthy... just in case)
1984 Chevy K2500 Suburban (just in case)
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