Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-28-2013, 12:28 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 212
25RR solar project

So, when it's all done I'll be generating 500-600 Watts into my 260 AH of Trojan batteries. The first pictures are going to be the stuff I bought last which is the charge controller and inverter.

But before that I need a place to put it. I'm thinking close to the batteries and underneath where the front bed normally goes. Just need a hole.

After pulling the the very thin piece of plywood out I'm thinking the hole just isn't big enough. So I run my cordless saw through one of the supports. (No worries on support strength. I'll be putting in a piece of heavy angle aluminum in). So I cut the support and prepare to work out the screws holding the pieces in but surprise, it's only staples and comes apart as easy as a cardboard box.



Thank goodness they had the insight to use staples that pulled out like a not knife through butter. That should last 100 years at least.

You can see the two halves of the support on the bed platform and the snipped off staple ends next to them.
__________________

__________________
apollumi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 12:38 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 212
I take the thin plywood that I pulled off first and used it as the template for the 3/8 plywood which will hold the charger and inverter. Below is where I was using one of the walmart fold out tables I take with me to do the work on. I had put the plywood in place and marked off the area taken by the wooden supports earlier. That's the black line you see around the equipment.

So I just laid the parts out and tried to imagine how I was going to wire this thing together. I used a piece of the support I cut out to gauge any depth issues.

__________________

__________________
apollumi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 12:47 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 212
I didn't want to be crimping and soldering a bunch of ends so I used an idea I came across once or twice while researching this project. Copper pipe. I'm amazed very few people do this. You essentially end up with a buss bar. The piece is seamless and has a very low resistance. Perfect.

__________________
apollumi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 01:02 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 212
For the inverter it's 2 ply. Going to the charge controller it's only 1 ply. I could probably carry a #@^%% ton of amps on this to the inverter but realistically it will only see a max of around 100 amps @ 12v.

So how did normal copper pipe become bus bar? Very very slowly. I literally hammered a couple pieces flat on a cold and rainy day behind the house. I'm sure the neighbors appreciated the rainy Sunday serenade. My forearms ached the rest of the day.

I'm not going to lie, this was one major PITA. I could not flatten the copper pipe like I had planned in the vice. It was just too strong. I had to play blacksmith for a WHILE. Not only that but it had to be bent and shaped. Then drilled. The vast majority of the time spent working on it was the copper bus bar. But, I'd do it again. I like the results.

After the copper pieces were finished I cleaned them up a bit with a vinegar and salt solution. Then rinsed them well to get the acid gone. Lastly they got lubed up with dielectric grease.


__________________
apollumi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 01:16 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 212
I wanted to use AWG 2 on the wires connecting the Morningstar MPPT 60 charge controller to the batteries but the copper diameter was too big for the Morningstar. Had to use AWG 4 instead. Below is the nearly finished board. I hooked everything up. Used two 145 watt panels in series to the Morningstar and the old battery that was in the camper initially.

Used a corded drill to drill a few holes and watched the draw on the Xantrex. I also got to eye how everything was working with the Morningstar remote. I'm pretty impressed with the Morningstar but after $600'ish I had better be. Heh.

Btw, the two red things are switches. The bottom one is for the battery disconnect and the top one is a 2 battery switch (three posts) that I will connect the charge controller and convertor to separately.

__________________
apollumi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 11:00 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 732
Quote:
Originally Posted by apollumi View Post
I didn't want to be crimping and soldering a bunch of ends so I used an idea I came across once or twice while researching this project. Copper pipe. I'm amazed very few people do this. You essentially end up with a buss bar. The piece is seamless and has a very low resistance. Perfect.

Great idea on the bus bar, I will have to remember that!
__________________
Of all the things I've lost in my life the thing I miss the most is my mind!
prairiecamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2013, 08:30 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 212
Thought I'd drop the charging and inverter assembly into the camper and test them out. There will be 4 x 145 watt panels used in the end but for this test I only used two panels in series. Also just using a temp battery on the floor since my battery cables (awg 0) won't be in for a couple days.

If anybody is wondering why this isn't in the electrical and solar forum it's because I'm trying to show where I crammed the gear into on a 25RR (should be same on similar modles), and perhaps why. Although I will probably rehash the completed work in a more brief manner in the solar and electrical forum.

The Sine Wave power inverter on/off switch and Morningstar remote display are mounted to the right of the bathroom door at just about eye level.

__________________
apollumi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2013, 08:37 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 212
Looks pretty messy but I needed a lot of tools to get this done. You can't see it in the pic but a good deal of wire management has been put in place and temp sensor, etc cables added. I'll end up re-crimping the loose wire you see to the proper length.

__________________
apollumi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2013, 08:45 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 212
I'm certainly new to solar so I don't understand as much as I should. I could not figure out why the Morningstar was only saying 45w. After I connected the inverter power to the shore power and started playing a DVD things changed. It went to 170-180 watts. Intrigued by this I turned on the fridge (switched it to electric) and the draw then went to 210 + watts. Amps went up a bit.



__________________
apollumi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2013, 08:57 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 212
Well anyway, I was on a crap battery and everything was jury rigged. Thought I'd go ahead and get a couple fire extinguishers ready then see how long I could watch a movie.

The blue ray player (with 3.5" USB drive pulling power), 32" flat screen, speakers (w\subwoofer), rolled right on through "Skyfall" and then all the way through "Rise of the Planet of the Apes". I went and put my hand on the controller, inverter, battery, cables to see if anything had gotten hot. Nothing had even gotten warm. This on half of my solar panels and on one battery (vs my two 12v trojans @ 260 AH).

I'm thinking I'm going to be a happy camper.... Hah hah hah... Time to go get the Hobbit movie and nerd out... I thought "I won't be able to power much while boondocking" but it looks like I just won't be microwaving and making drip coffee. No microwave will kind hurt my feelings but since I bought a really good percolator recently you couldn't force me to drink the drip coffee now.


__________________

__________________
apollumi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




ForestRiverForums.com is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:34 PM.