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Old 07-18-2016, 06:20 PM   #1
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Solar Tough to be me

I'm purchasing a solar set up/ Just recently purchased a 2014 31 ft FR3. OK HELP !!!!

1. Going with 200 watt semi flex
2. Looking to keep battery charged and
3. When off grid being able to microwave, make some coffee, watch TV
4. Question:

Do I need inverter ?
Will 200 watt do it/ Just a guessing it will

Bear
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Old 07-18-2016, 06:37 PM   #2
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You will need an inverter big enough to run the list of appliances you list. 200 watts is most likely not enough to keep the batteries required to handle the job charged. You will need at least 4 large 6 volt batteries and an invertor at around 2000 watts to handle most microwaves.
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Old 07-18-2016, 06:51 PM   #3
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You should do more research. YES. You will need an inverter to convert DC to AC to run appliances off of rv DC batteries. There are so many factors that is would take pages to answer your questions completely. Extra batteries? What size inverter? You'll need to either run additional 115 v lines from the inverter to these appliances or install a transfer switch to use the existing lines, or simply run an extension cord from the plugs on your inverter to your desired appliance. . Sadly, unless you plan to ful time it, the cost of parts, time, and labor to install is not really practical. I suggest you reset your expectations as it will cost you a lot of money in solar panels and inverter to be able to run a 2000 Watt microwave for an extended period off two factory batteries. How old are you batteries? What type are they? These are all rhetorical questions that I don't expect you to answer.

Even a coffee maker or hair blow drier is a large draw on power. And don't forget you have phantom draws on your batteries.

I installed 200 w flex panels and a 1000w pure sine inverter to run the basics and keep the kitchen tv and sat box converter running for in motion and keep the batteries topped off and the lights on, and run some fans. Did you know that while you are driving with the motor running your engine alternator recharges the house batteries?

Start by upgrading all those lights inside with LEDs. That will save you tons of power. Next you'll Find its cheaper to purchase a stove top percolator to make coffee using your propane gas stove while parked and unplugged , and keep in mind you already own a4000 generator that you can run with the push of a button to use the microwave, albeit probably not while also running the ac.

Read the other forum listings titles solar upgrades and yolk probably find great resources to help.
Good luck.




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Old 07-19-2016, 04:21 AM   #4
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Thank u

I was not clear/ Ur input confirmed my understanding. I believe two 100 Watt panels with either a 1500 or 2000 Watt inverter will handle my needs. The batteries are two years old / I plan on upgrading and replacing in the future. Where did u purchase the flex panels with adhesive backing. The stove has never been used and I plan on honoring that ! Again, thank u

Bear
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:56 AM   #5
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Like other say, you'll need an inverter to convert the 12v DC thats stored in your batteries to AC. Of your list of things to run, most likely the most intensive is the coffee maker. If its not listed on the coffee maker how many amps it draws, you'll need to get a "Kill a Watt" type of meter or ammeter to measure the current. This will give you an idea what size inverter you need.

Just my opinion, but I rather just size the inverter on the small size to run the TV and basic electronics and then just fire up the gen when I need to run the microwave/coffee maker/hair dryer. Larger inverter = larger wires which all around is more $$.

As far as attaching the panels to the roof, I think most have just used Dicor lapping sealant to hold it down to the roof. Just spend a little more time laying out your solar project before you dive in. Good luck and come back if you have any more questions.
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Old 07-19-2016, 09:18 AM   #6
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Just a very quick rough calculation as a bench mark.
The 1500 W inverter will draw approx 150A from the battery while the coffee maker and microwave are running. If you run them for a total of 60 mins a day you will need to replace 150AHrs just to stay even.
The system you are purposing will generate approx 10 A of current in full sun. Therefore, you will need approx 15hrs of full sun just to break even. Keep in mind that other things are drawing power ( some full time) converter, fridge control, CO/Propane detector and any lights, water pump and fans. Not trying to discourage you from going solar, but just a heads up so there are no surprises.
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:49 PM   #7
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I have solar on my roof but just briefly turn on my generator to run my microwave or make coffee. That's alot cheaper than a large expensive inverter plus labor for my purposes.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:08 PM   #8
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Question

How many watts do u have/ Bear
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:18 PM   #9
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You are on the right track, however, as others have said, making coffee with an electric coffee maker is a pretty difficult thing using solar. Most coffee makers draw at least 1,000 watts, most microwaves more like 1500. Forget your TVs, they really draw very little, as do your cell chargers and computers.

I would recommend getting an RV grade inverter, like a Xantrex 1000 or 2000 watt unit. Don't let the top end scare you as they are pretty efficient and a 2000 watt unit supplying 200 watts will be pretty close to a 200 watt unit. Get a pure sine wave unit.

Now for the math. On a really good day with the sun at a perfect angle, the panels might put out 200 watts for maybe 5 or 6 hours. That means you can watch TV forever, and your batteries will always be at 100% SOC since that power is day in and day out. Running a generator will bring up your batteries but to get back to 100% you would have to run a long time, maybe 7 or 8 hours at least. You can run for a couple of hours to offset your overnight usage (and power your coffee maker or microwave without draining your batteries using the inverter.) After that the panels will take you the rest of the way. You may find that you seldom need the generator for very long if you are in a good climate.

Now for that microwave. If you run it for 15 minutes, you at least 3 hours of good sun to recharge the batteries, perhaps more. You can do but you will need at least 2 good deep cycle batteries.

In my case, I just make coffee when I am running the genny in the morning and don't load my inverters with that kind of load.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:29 PM   #10
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Thank u/ you and several others have verified my concept. Hey, never one to not give it a try. I going to stay with two 100 watt semi flex panels with 2000 watt inverter and battery "stuff". Project will keep me off the golf course for several days and that in itself is worth the gamble.

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