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Old 02-17-2019, 12:09 AM   #1
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Question How is this for a power system? Solar vs battery balance?

How is this for a power system? Solar vs battery balance?

Hi all

Have owned a couple RVs, and now designing (with Hallmark) a 9.5’ Everest pop up truck camper.

How is this for the balance of 200 watts of solar and 200 amp hours of (probably Lithium) batteries?

I’m aware that the Lithium are very expensive, but they can be run down to 90% depleted without any damage….. plus they last many times longer than wet cells, so in the really long run, probably (hopefully) no more expensive. The Battleborn batteries (likely get these) have a built in battery management system that makes sure the battery can be used (or discharged) at temperatures as low as -4°F. However, the battery will not accept a charge below 25°F. The BMS also makes sure they dont over charge or under charge.

Planned system:

Propane for stove…. and Truma Combi. (hot water and air.)
(of course 12v needed to run the Truma Combi too)

7.2 CU side by side. 2 way compressor. Novacool RFS7501 fridge.

Maxx fan.

Interior LED lights.

Solar System: 2 X 100 Watt Soft Panels on roof.

Xantrex 817-2080 Freedom XC 2000, 2000 Watt Pure Sine Wave 12 Volt Inverter/Charger

Victron BMV 712 Battery Monitor w/ Bluetooth Lifepo4 Ready

2 (two) x Battleborn 100 amp hour (each) Lithium

Other occasional loads:
Small microwave. Blender. computer maybe.

We camp 4 seasons…. sometimes below freezing. Sometimes higher altitudes. Sometimes in cloudy Pacific NorthWest. So the ability to discharge the Lithuim 90% with smaller bulk and weight has advantages.

We mostly boondock. We prefer the quiet.
Occasionally we stay someplace for 2 nights, but often drive around a bit, to explore, each day (so the F350 would also help charge up the batteries)

Thanks for any and all thoughts.

J.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:18 AM   #2
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Solar System: 2 X 100 Watt Soft Panels on roof.

200 watt system would be on the low side, you might also want to augment with some portable panels while your in a camped position

You did not mention what solar controller you have picked? It would need to support Lithium if you go that way.

Xantrex 817-2080 Freedom XC 2000, 2000 Watt Pure Sine Wave 12 Volt Inverter/Charger

I provided some feedback on this unit in your other post. To add to that this unit does not have a setting for Lifepo4. I am not entirely sure that it can be done in their programmable section, that is possible.

Victron BMV 712 Battery Monitor w/ Bluetooth Lifepo4 Ready

I really think Victron is a great manufacturer, and there is nothing wrong with this unit. I have been recommending the new Balmar SG200 Smartgauge, it will give you most of the features of the Victron, but has a more accurate and easier to maintain SOC function.

2 (two) x Battleborn 100 amp hour (each) Lithium

I have nothing against Lifepo4, but it does come with concerns. First I would make sure whoever is manufacturing your rig, is competent with Lifepo4 systems. In my mind they are not drop in compatible to other 12 volt battery systems.

A good median between the Lifepo4 jump and AGM batteries is the new carbon foam batteries like Oasis Firefly. They will give you some of the great features of the Battleborn batteries. There are a couple of threads on thsi forum about them.

F350 Charging
You did not mention how you were going to charge your house batteries with the F350. Again, this is a area where battery choice comes into play. Your lithium setup would have competently different needs than a traditional AGM setup. You would need to go to a secondary alternator with a controller for lithium, or a Battery to Battery charger system that supports Lithium. While any of those choices would be great for an AGM setup, in most cases we can get bye with a battery separator system like the blue Sea ACR.


-greg
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:13 AM   #3
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How is this for a power system? Solar vs battery balance?

That’s all good info from someone far more knowledgeable than me on the subject.
That being said, I also think that 200W seems a bit light for your needs. I’d consider bumping that up to at least 400W solar/batt, and look into the point about not being able to charge the lipo from your trucks alternator, you may want to reconsider going with a compatible system for your house needs, especially on a truck camper since they’re so tied together.
Also, there’s been improvements, and yes they’re lighter, but those flexible panels don’t have the best reputation for durability. There’s some great high efficiency roof mount panels out there, Renogy comes to mind, I have one and many others here are using their portable suitcase panels to augment their roof panels.
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:43 AM   #4
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Thank you Greg and Ref for the really good info!

I have much to research. Fun.... a little scary.... big investment.... but fun.
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Old 02-17-2019, 02:55 PM   #5
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There’s some great high efficiency roof mount panels out there, Renogy comes to mind, I have one and many others here are using their portable suitcase panels to augment their roof panels.
REF,
Do you just Y-connect the suitcase panel into the same controller you are using for the roof-mount panels, or is it on a separate circuit ?
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:38 PM   #6
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I got one of Zamp’s through body ports and wired it into the vans existing solar controller for the portable panel. On the panel side I have a 25ft length of cable with the SAE connections.

ZAMP SOLAR ZS-SOLARPORT Waterproof Solar Port (10 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GNMPZZG..._9pJACbV42GRQN
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