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Old 06-28-2018, 07:30 PM   #1
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First build. With solar?

Found a deal on a diesel 2004 Ford e350RB cargo van. 200k miles, but it came with new tires, rebuilt trans 30k ago, and new starter. Drove it home 5 hours with no issues. I eventually want to add 4x4 but that's the last on the list. I think I already figured out how I'm going to do the insulation. Also found a deal on some new 2018 Toyota Sienna seats. Hopefully shipping today. Now I need to figure out swivel bases for the front.

Also looking into adding solar. I'd like to use larger panels. The common size for 200-260w panels seem to be around 65" x 40". Has anyone seen them mounted on a rack at the top? I could fit 3 of them widthwise. But I'm worried about how the overhang looks. Or is there a better way to get 600w-1000w.

I'm disabled, so progress is slow. But so far I've removed all the comercial lettering on the sides. It needed a new windshield so I had one installed with a tint strip. Removed all the shelving and cargo gate. Sanded all rust spots and used jb weld as a gasket on the bolts to plug holes. Sprayed all sanded rust areas and bare metal spots with rust converter. Then used some Rustolium spray bed liner on the floor and bottom panels. Have the first layer of insulation halfway finished. Covering everything with foil backed sound deadener. Still need to finish that up and tape all the seams. Haven't started on the roof yet. Still debating about venting/vents.
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:03 PM   #2
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If you want to use house sized panels (60-72 cell range) you'll likely need an MPPT controller...the PWM controllers for RVs typically won't handle the voltages of those panels.
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:11 PM   #3
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or is it first solar, with build?

I'm just messin with you. Welcome to the forum.

Your already cool in my book as I always say you can never have enough solar.

- Eric
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:24 PM   #4
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I plan on running mppt. Currently looking into building a 24v Lithium battery bank. Debating how much work I can physically still do. Soldering hundreds of cells sucks.
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:40 PM   #5
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Solar power system, yes, of course.
But KISS needs to apply for your first attemp. Once it's up and running you're going to learn a lot just from using it. And adjust as yoyr needs require. Just be sure to use quality wiring and components for a good fondation to expand with later.
The rule of thumb I agree with is for every 100AH of battery, match with 100wt PV minimum.
Even with a small system I am able to harvest more with a MPPT SCC.
Don't forget to consider a BS 7622, well worth the advantages.

PS, maybe a member here could help ya out if you care to share your location, I dig working on 12v stuff.
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SleazyWolf View Post
I plan on running mppt. Currently looking into building a 24v Lithium battery bank. Debating how much work I can physically still do. Soldering hundreds of cells sucks.
If I did it again I'd probably go a couple of LiFePO4 cells and be done with it. Not as high of energy density but practically zero labor. Here is my battery that's part of my van hybrid system which is one of the prettier batteries I've made.

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Old 06-28-2018, 09:46 PM   #7
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^^ Yep ^^ 600-1000 sounds like serious overkill. We're heavy power users and have 360 on our motorhome. We find it to be more than enough.
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ShuttlePilot View Post
If I did it again I'd probably go a couple of LiFePO4 cells and be done with it. Not as high of energy density but practically zero labor. Here is my battery that's part of my van hybrid system which is one of the prettier batteries I've made.

Updated location. I have been looking into the lifep04s. Would be able to build a large bank for relative little money. What voltage do you run at?
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbasso View Post
Solar power system, yes, of course.
But KISS needs to apply for your first attemp. Once it's up and running you're going to learn a lot just from using it. And adjust as yoyr needs require. Just be sure to use quality wiring and components for a good fondation to expand with later.
The rule of thumb I agree with is for every 100AH of battery, match with 100wt PV minimum.
Even with a small system I am able to harvest more with a MPPT SCC.
Don't forget to consider a BS 7622, well worth the advantages.

PS, maybe a member here could help ya out if you care to share your location, I dig working on 12v stuff.
Updated location. And please forgive me, but what's a BS 7622? Is it the battery isolator?
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Old 06-29-2018, 05:11 AM   #10
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Blue sea #7622 automatic charging relay. Not an isolator, better.
it saved me once plus it's daily contribution towards the house bank.
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