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Old 06-22-2017, 02:24 PM   #1
bes
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Portable solar--battery replacement 6 or 12V?

Hey Guys--2 questions directly related. My batteries are probably toast and I'm thinking 2 6V Trojans. I would love any input using 6V or 12V......ALSO looking at a portable solar kit. We primarily boon-dock and I'm looking for a kit to recharge. Our consumption is pretty low--no TV, AC on only with genset.
Is the FR3 prewired for any solar? I'm looking at Zamp--pretty pricey but I like to only cry once. For those out there using solar to maintain or recharge, would a 40 amp be enough? I know it depends on usage, sunlight and how many beers I spill on the panels. Thx Barry
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Old 06-22-2017, 02:52 PM   #2
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There are many discussions on Solar here. You will get may opinions for you to dig through. A few general comments.

40A ( not Watt) will be enough or more than you need.
a 40W panel will be a waste of money.
Buy a larger controller than you think you need so you don't have to buy a new controller if you upgrade.
MPPT controllers are more efficient but with the cost of panels many times less expensive to add panels and use lower cost controller.
If you usually park in shaded areas, you may want to consider not permanently mounting panels and making mobile stands.
Add up the estimated daily power requirements and double or triple that to account for cloudy days.
Just purchased two additional 100W panels ( about $1 watt) @renogy.com
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Old 06-22-2017, 02:56 PM   #3
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Spent about 5k making my FR3 solar powered. 6 deep cycle battery bank, 3000 sin converter, etc etc etc... It's great for boondocking, but no AC
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Old 06-23-2017, 09:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by bes View Post
Hey Guys--2 questions directly related. My batteries are probably toast and I'm thinking 2 6V Trojans. I would love any input using 6V or 12V......ALSO looking at a portable solar kit. We primarily boon-dock and I'm looking for a kit to recharge. Our consumption is pretty low--no TV, AC on only with genset.
Is the FR3 prewired for any solar? I'm looking at Zamp--pretty pricey but I like to only cry once. For those out there using solar to maintain or recharge, would a 40 amp be enough? I know it depends on usage, sunlight and how many beers I spill on the panels. Thx Barry
I don't think you mean 40 amps as if it were, it might be on a trailer. :-) I went with the 12v AGM Duracells (Series 31) from Sams Club on our unit and I've read a ton forum post on the issues, so you'll get everyone's preference as to which they prefer to use. Go as big as you can mange on your solar. I don't think you can go too big on the portable kit. And I'm not aware of any solar prewiring, but since your going portable route, it doesn't matter.

If you get around to installing some on your roof, its not too bad. I'm currently working on installing 720 watts (4 panels) of solar on our roof. Got one pair done, and now just have to build the tilt-able frame for the next pair. Its nice that the frames under the roof are at 48" OC and their made from aluminum square stock I believe and not wood. Panels are nice and secure on the roof. We need to quit using the RV so I can actually get some stuff done! :-) Good luck with your solar project.
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Old 06-23-2017, 03:55 PM   #5
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An important thing to remember about Zamp is that they are reverse wired. You can use other panels from Renogy, etc. but must make or buy an adapter. This only applies to those units that are pre-wired for Zamp. That prewiring is usually only good enough to plug in a small panel to keep the battery maintained though not power the rig.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:44 PM   #6
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Advantage of "True" deep cycle like Trojan is that you can discharge down to 35% State of Charge with little ill effect on battery life, vs. 50% on "Marine/RV" types. The Trojans also have more amp. hours for an equivalent size.

6 volt T-105 Trojans are usually the best bang for the buck when you consider capacity, life, and the extra amp hours available from the deeper discharge. The Duracell group 31's are OK - I have used them also.
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Old 06-23-2017, 10:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bluepill View Post
Advantage of "True" deep cycle like Trojan is that you can discharge down to 35% State of Charge with little ill effect on battery life, vs. 50% on "Marine/RV" types. The Trojans also have more amp. hours for an equivalent size.

6 volt T-105 Trojans are usually the best bang for the buck when you consider capacity, life, and the extra amp hours available from the deeper discharge. The Duracell group 31's are OK - I have used them also.
Repectfully...Wrong on all counts...though I agree Trojans are great.

1. They LOSE 500 life cycles if you discharge to 35% instead of 50%.

2.They have no more amp hours than any other WELL constructed deep cycle battery in the same size. You CANNOT compare amp hours across brands since they all use different procedures. (See US Battery vs. Trojan dispute). All you can compare in amp hours is different batteries within a brand or brand family.(i.e. East Penn makes Deka and a bunch of private label brands...which all are tested the same way.)
2A...the construction of ALL size Trojan deep cycles is superior to many of the discount brands...not just in plate thickness but in physical structure which provides many more cycles to 50% than say the Sam's Club batteries.
3. But if you want life cycles...the best bang for the buck and most cost effective battery PER AMP HOUR DELIVERED over its' lifetime right now is the Firefly group31 for $800-900 bucks. Problem is...you may die before it does. And your TV may disintegrate before your able to take advantage of those cycles!
*******************

To the OP...suggest you get a pair of Trojans to begin with...but you're gonna need more to STORE the sunlight for a cloudy/rainy day!
You need to install a TRUE Battery monitor like Victron or Trimetric to determine what your AMP HOUR USE is daily. They by panels that are 4x greater than the amphours you use in wattage. i.e. if you use 20 amphours you need 80 watts of panels.If you have more space and budget...add more than this minimum so that you can bank some amp hours when the sun shines for that rainy day. Good luck.
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Old 06-24-2017, 05:15 PM   #8
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Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium

Has anybody seen the Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium: New Lithium-Powered 1500W Portable Solar Generator at Costco? ($999)
http://Bestportablesolargenerators.com/goal-zero-yeti-1000-lithium/
I need power for my CPAP and I am looking for a power source. It has a 1500W inverter.
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Solar Power & Battle Born batteries thread
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Old 06-24-2017, 07:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Repectfully...Wrong on all counts...though I agree Trojans are great.

1. They LOSE 500 life cycles if you discharge to 35% instead of 50%.

2.They have no more amp hours than any other WELL constructed deep cycle battery in the same size. You CANNOT compare amp hours across brands since they all use different procedures. (See US Battery vs. Trojan dispute). All you can compare in amp hours is different batteries within a brand or brand family.(i.e. East Penn makes Deka and a bunch of private label brands...which all are tested the same way.)
2A...the construction of ALL size Trojan deep cycles is superior to many of the discount brands...not just in plate thickness but in physical structure which provides many more cycles to 50% than say the Sam's Club batteries.
3. But if you want life cycles...the best bang for the buck and most cost effective battery PER AMP HOUR DELIVERED over its' lifetime right now is the Firefly group31 for $800-900 bucks. Problem is...you may die before it does. And your TV may disintegrate before your able to take advantage of those cycles!
*******************

To the OP...suggest you get a pair of Trojans to begin with...but you're gonna need more to STORE the sunlight for a cloudy/rainy day!
You need to install a TRUE Battery monitor like Victron or Trimetric to determine what your AMP HOUR USE is daily. They by panels that are 4x greater than the amphours you use in wattage. i.e. if you use 20 amphours you need 80 watts of panels.If you have more space and budget...add more than this minimum so that you can bank some amp hours when the sun shines for that rainy day. Good luck.
Wow. Now that seemed accurate, but probably your head is spinning, I think this started with adding portable. The self contained "BRIEFCASE " kits are nice, but very very expensive. Simply buying the components and putting something together yourself can cost only a third as much. I watched and helped a friend install a $325 , 200 watt package from Windynation.com on his roof and it was so easy, I went straight to that system on our old rig. Since then I have helped two less mechanically inclined friends install the same package. Easy peasy. In the same vain as the original post, that same $325 200 watt system can be made portable by crafting some hardware store pieces of aluminum into legs and using a run of heavy duty extension cord they can be placed as near or as far as needed to reach the sunlight.

Good luck
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