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Old 11-20-2021, 09:06 AM   #1
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Advice for simple lithium system

This is not going in a van but in my wife's daily driver which will see some trips, etc. I'm installing one solar panel and a small lithium battery bank but am new to lithium.

Trying to keep it simple. I'm thinking one 100ah lithium battery and do not know much about DC to DC chargers, etc.

Can someone recommend a relatively simple and complete setup that will handle MPPT solar and DC to DC charging? I am thinking of the Renogy model because I haven't found any others.

https://www.renogy.com/dcc50s-12v-50...xoCHoAQAvD_BwE

The total system will be:
-100ah lithium battery (undecided)
-80 watt hood mounted solar panel (vehicle specific, $500 for this reason, nowhere else to mount it)
-DC to DC charger (How big do I need?)
-400 watt inverter hidden for a few AC chargers I carry (already own it, Zamp PSW 400)

I like that the Renogy, or something like it, means one less thing to buy and take up space which is limited in this rig.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-20-2021, 09:12 AM   #2
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Eric, would the hood mounted solar panel be permanently mounted to the hood, or just placed on there while parked? Heat is a big enemy of solar panels so I'd be very concerned about a permanent hood mounted panel.


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Old 11-20-2021, 09:20 AM   #3
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It is a hood mounted panel designed and sold for specific vehicle hoods. They've been around for awhile. People seem to be having pretty good luck with them. I wouldn't mount one to a vehicle hood if it wasn't designed for that purpose but I see people doing this a lot these days.

Here's what I plan on using:

https://www.cascadia4x4.com/collections/vss-system
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Old 11-20-2021, 09:26 AM   #4
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The KISAE DMT1250 Abso 50A DC-DC Battery Charger has been one that I have installed on a few vans. It is not overly fancy, the remote is nice but takes a bit to quickly understand what it is showing you. The nice thing about this unit is that you can programmatically change the charge rate, so if 50 amps is to much for your alternator system, you can set it lower. Most other units are one output, that might be able to cut to half. Lithionics Batteries now sells them as a recommended charger for their batteries, and they are a little picky.

Not sure where your getting the hood panel, might try these guys Lensun

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Old 11-20-2021, 09:30 AM   #5
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Is your roof clear? A slightly longer cable run, but you'll minimize any heat soak issues instead of on the hood.


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Old 11-20-2021, 09:41 AM   #6
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No, can't mount on roof. If I could I would do a much cheaper and simpler setup using the Renogy 100 watt panels I've been putting on stuff for years.
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Old 11-20-2021, 09:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalf77 View Post
The KISAE DMT1250 Abso 50A DC-DC Battery Charger has been one that I have installed on a few vans. It is not overly fancy, the remote is nice but takes a bit to quickly understand what it is showing you. The nice thing about this unit is that you can programmatically change the charge rate, so if 50 amps is to much for your alternator system, you can set it lower. Most other units are one output, that might be able to cut to half. Lithionics Batteries now sells them as a recommended charger for their batteries, and they are a little picky.

Not sure where your getting the hood panel, might try these guys Lensun

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Greg, I like that one. It does basically what the Renogy does except the Renogy has bluetooth as well with their BT-2 module, which is cheap and very well reviewed. Bluetooth (and simplicity) are important here.
Help me understand though, does the KISAE send a full 50 amp charge from alternator to battery when running/needed? Obviously 25 is plenty for my solar setup (85 watt panel), which is what the Renogy offers.

Yes, I know I could install a remote panel or one of many separate bluetooth monitors available but I was hoping maximum simplicity. Basically I don't want to take up much more space in this vehicle than a cig. lighter size digital voltage display. I love the Victron BMV-712 you've recommended before but I don't have any place for it and cost is a consideration. I'm planning one of those for my upcoming Transit build.

The big question is if I need more than 25amp charge from alternator for this rig. It will be driven daily even when used for camping, etc.
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Old 11-20-2021, 10:37 AM   #8
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I’ve been using that Renogy MPPT along with a Renogy 100 panel for about 6 months and have generally been happy. Easy setup.
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Old 11-20-2021, 12:04 PM   #9
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Will Prowse gave the Renogy unit a good review:

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Old 11-20-2021, 12:10 PM   #10
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Generally, if a DC to DC charger is rated at 50 amps, that will be the output of the charger, the actual input from the alternator would be higher. Sterling DC to DC chargers are specified at the input rating. I am pretty sure the Renogy is output rated.

So if the Renogy is 50 amp rated it will expect you would expect a load of 60 to 65 amps depending on (Alternator input setting). The Kisae would be similar except if you found that load was two high for your alternator, you can programmatically set it in 5-amp decrements. They also have a 30-amp module.

Most of the other DC to DC's are hard rated at 30, 50, 60, etc.

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