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Old 10-02-2014, 09:30 PM   #1
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Solar & Inverter Project

Here are my plans for my new solar and inverter installation. I will be installing a tri-metric meter for more precise monitoring.


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Old 10-09-2014, 08:29 AM   #2
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250 Watt Solar Panel installed

First 250 Watt Solar Panel installed


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Old 10-09-2014, 11:57 AM   #3
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Looks good. What type solar panel did you get?
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Old 10-09-2014, 12:21 PM   #4
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Looking good. Campground rather tight there though. Reminds me most of our east coast campgrounds...can pass a morning cup of coffee to your neighbor without touching the ground.
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Old 10-09-2014, 12:29 PM   #5
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Looks really good, please keep posting as you progress I would like to do something like this, so I'm going too follow this thread.
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Old 10-09-2014, 12:35 PM   #6
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Renogy 250W

250W Monocrystalline | Renogy Store
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:11 PM   #7
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40 AMP MPPT Charger installed



25 ft (8 AWG) Solar Panel -> MPPT Charger
6 ft (4 AWG) MPPT Charger -> Battery

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Old 10-21-2014, 10:08 PM   #8
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Inverter remote switch & MPPT remote monitor installed


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Old 10-21-2014, 10:48 PM   #9
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WOW nice I want to do something like that but not as big maybe half that would work for me. Nice set up I'm watching thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-22-2014, 12:32 AM   #10
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Not too shabby! If I might maybe make a couple of suggestions?

I would lose the GP watt meter and the MT-5 tracer meter and just use the Trimetric. Of course, with the appropriate shunt installed.

I would move your 250watt fuse and run it between the charge controller and your battery bank.

Lastly, I would isolate your invert from your converter. (by using a subpanel) If you're not on shore power, you'll end up using your batteries to attempt to charge themselves via the converter.

Just some smansy additions... you might consider adding a 40amp fused cutoff switch between the Charge controller and batteries.. and another 60amp fused disconnect between the batteries and your convert... then move the red stand alone disconnect between the inverter and your relay switch. For the cost, you might appreciate the additional protections, and it's nice to be able to isolate the main system components for maintenance purposes.

You might consider using 10/2 coming down from you panels and 2/0 between your charge controller and batteries... but that's a personal choice. It's just with the little difference in price it's an inexpensive way to help increase the efficiency of your system.

Just suggestions....
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yarome View Post
Lastly, I would isolate your invert from your converter. (by using a subpanel) If you're not on shore power, you'll end up using your batteries to attempt to charge themselves via the converter.

.......
Just suggestions....
Solved this issue as per my earlier post. No need for a sub-panel. See the following link.

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...dea-70207.html

..Marty
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:38 AM   #12
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Updated Diagram



Updated diagram:
1. Removed GP Watt meter
2. Added TriMetric 2030 monitor (Will removed MT-5 Tracer once installed)
3. Added wire gauge for [solar->controller, controller->battery]

The 250 watt fuse is to protect the Sine wave inverter. My understanding is that needs to be there and within 18" of battery. Since my solar panels should be able to keep the batteries totally charged, I was planning on turning off the built-in charger at the breaker panel. The wire gauge I used [solar->controller 8AWG 25ft and controller->battery 4AWG 6ft] are below the 3% loss recommended.

thanks for the suggestions. Will look into getting a 40-60AMP fuse between controller and batteries with a cut-off switch.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yarome View Post
Not too shabby! If I might maybe make a couple of suggestions?

I would lose the GP watt meter and the MT-5 tracer meter and just use the Trimetric. Of course, with the appropriate shunt installed.

I would move your 250watt fuse and run it between the charge controller and your battery bank.

Lastly, I would isolate your invert from your converter. (by using a subpanel) If you're not on shore power, you'll end up using your batteries to attempt to charge themselves via the converter.

Just some smansy additions... you might consider adding a 40amp fused cutoff switch between the Charge controller and batteries.. and another 60amp fused disconnect between the batteries and your convert... then move the red stand alone disconnect between the inverter and your relay switch. For the cost, you might appreciate the additional protections, and it's nice to be able to isolate the main system components for maintenance purposes.

You might consider using 10/2 coming down from you panels and 2/0 between your charge controller and batteries... but that's a personal choice. It's just with the little difference in price it's an inexpensive way to help increase the efficiency of your system.

Just suggestions....
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Old 10-22-2014, 02:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastRV'er View Post
The 250 watt fuse is to protect the Sine wave inverter. My understanding is that needs to be there and within 18" of battery. Since my solar panels should be able to keep the batteries totally charged, I was planning on turning off the built-in charger at the breaker panel. The wire gauge I used [solar->controller 8AWG 25ft and controller->battery 4AWG 6ft] are below the 3% loss recommended.

thanks for the suggestions. Will look into getting a 40-60AMP fuse between controller and batteries with a cut-off switch.
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Oh yes. You're right about the fuse. I wasn't paying attention to your inverter. Most of the ones I see and have used are fused internally. You might still want to add a 300watt between the solar controller and the batteries.

Must have been late when I typed that. LOL Flip flop the fused cutoffs... a 60amp feeding into the controller, standard disconnect between the controller and batteries, then a 40amp feeding into the house 12v system.

I'll stick a picture of the ones I use. You can pick them up just about anywhere.



There is a lot of opinions when it comes to wiring. The gauges you plan on using certainly meet the standard minimums. Some potential bottlenecks can be avoided (increasing efficiency) by moving up a few gauges over the minimums. Such at the cable connectors. Larger gauge, larger connector surfaces, less heat, longer wear. A lot depends on your budget. When you start getting up into the $.80 an inch stuff.. it can get real spendy in a heartbeat.

Of course, if you're just looking to supplement your power needs for a couple 2 or 3 days of dry camping, you don't really need to go to the added expense to irk out a few more percentage points on the efficiency scale.

I know some fellas that use 4/0 for a 3 foot run. I'm in the "bigger is better.. but let's not get ridiculous" camp. Ever tried attempting to get 4/0 to go where you want it and stay there?

All in all it looks like you know what you're doing and should be really happy with the results. Nothing better than free energy.

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Old 10-22-2014, 05:27 PM   #14
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WoW. Very clean installation.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastRV'er View Post
WoW. Very clean installation.
That's just because my "octopus pit" can't be seen in that picture. LOL



Which brings up another suggestion... mark EVERYTHING and keep detailed wiring drawings, equipment details, dates, and serial #s tucked in somewhere close.

Took me once to learn that tid bit the hard way. I remember my first response to the service tech vividly.. ," now WHAT on God's green earth would prompt you to put the serial number THERE??"

Had to dismantle near a quarter of the "octopus pit" to get there and it turned out it wasn't even the problem. LOL

If you ever sell your rig and send your solar set-up along with, the new owner will thank you. Or... if you're like me at all... that was all put together a couple of years ago and there has been a couple of times I'm scratchin my noggin thinkin "now where does that one go again?".

It's all good fun.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:07 AM   #16
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Make that a 250 amp, not watt fuse, I am sure it is just a typo.
Nice system, you should be happy with it.
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:03 AM   #17
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Upgrading to Lithium Batteries

Yes that was an error in my diagram. More changes to come. Tried running my microwave using the 2000 watt inverter and found that the battery bank ( 2 x T105) could not supply enough current and the voltage drop caused the inverter to have an E01 fault error (under voltage). I even tried 1 ft 1/0 cable from battery -> inverter.
I could just add 2 more T-105 batteries and that would fix the issue but I think this is my opportunity to do the upgrade to my battery bank. So now I'm researching Lithium Ion batteries. I'm looking at starting with a 100AH battery and adding to it over time.

Advantage:
1. Batteries can be moved to compartment where solar charger and inverter are located. Shorter 4/0 cable run <2ft
2. 70% less weight for same amount of usable AMP HOURS
3. Faster Charging of battery bank
4. 2000+ charge cycles. Batteries may last 8+ years
5. Efficient solar charging.

Disadvantage:
1. Initial Cost (50AH battery $500-700 depending on brand)

Lithium Battery Links:
Smart Battery - Lithium
Stark Power Battery - Lithium

Charger:
Progressive Dynamic - Lithium Charger
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:49 AM   #18
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Those L.I. batteries are very nice. I went with the T-125, they are 240 AH batteries (6) with the same footprint as a T-105 at the 225 AH.
I would go with that unless you have a fat wallet, like you stated, they are expensive.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:43 AM   #19
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You might also look at the Odyssey TPPL batts as they can be charged OR discharged at at least twice their rated amp hours and deeply discharged to the 20-30% level without impact on life. They are also pricey but much more in line with good AGMS (which they are!) than with Lithiums. Since your problem is not a lack of capacity...but the current % limitations of wet cells...this would seem to be the most cost effective solution.
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