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Old 09-12-2020, 12:40 PM   #11
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OP - Where are you located? Perhaps add to your profile.

Sound Amps can draw A LOT of power off the batteries even at low volume. Same with the in dash head unit, just not as much as the amp(s).
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Old 09-12-2020, 03:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsTwin View Post
... And otherwise still need to figure out what is the break in the circuit between the solar panel and the Kyocera solar commander (could there be a fuse between those two?)
There should be a fuse between the two - You may have a similar install to what I had:
***Not what I expected to see when I was in the process of replacing my panel, so I ended out posting this pic to see if anyone knew what it was before I cut it out and bypassed...answer came back "Fuse".
It was just a long thin metal jacket in-line with the solar cable, and located about 8" prior to the wires entering into the pop-top roof. (Fuse is the small silver cylinder at the bottom of the picture)
Hope its just that easy for you!
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Old 09-13-2020, 05:35 PM   #13
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Well, ran the engine for a few hours today and can't get the voltage up beyond 10.8

Sounds like I'll just have to replace the battery before I can really determine if any other mischief is occurring

@Twoextrix, thanks for the fuse location on yours. I'll see if mine is similar or not!
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Old 09-13-2020, 05:40 PM   #14
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What is the voltage while it is running? You just need to get it high enough so the trace charger will kick in. You can leave the van running while you plug in the charger.

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Old 09-14-2020, 04:01 PM   #15
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"What is the voltage while it is running? You just need to get it high enough so the trace charger will kick in. You can leave the van running while you plug in the charger."

Voltage is usually 13.5 ish. When you say "plug in the charger" do you mean plug into shore-power?
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Old 09-14-2020, 05:19 PM   #16
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Oh no...

Now I'm reading https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...e-25017-3.html

and thinking about switching to lithium...
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:40 PM   #17
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Got the solar panel working (loose connection at the Kyocera was all).

Roughly planning out the next steps

Either way, I'll be upgrading the solar panel
- If I need MPPT, update solar controller ($150)
- Buy new solar panel (maybe two?) ($200ish per panel)
- Get solar panel fittings for 56" width yakima roof tracks ($50ish)

If I stick with AGM
- Buy new lifeline 210Ah battery ($650)

If I venture into LiFePO4
- Decide where to store them (outside in current position is sub-optimal)
- Roughly $1000 per 100Ah (Do I need to get up to the 210Ah of the prior setup?)
- Replace Trace M2512 inverter/charger with something appropriate for lithium ($600-700ish)
- Some risk that I'm muppet something up and bork part of the system
- I am assuming I'll be able to route the alternator, generator, solar and shore power via the inverter/charger and that I won't also need to get additional DC to DC charger (like the KISAE DMT-1250 I have seen reference in other threads)

Battery Placement

I don't have an obvious place inside the van to put a 100Ah LiFePO4 but I figure I could make it work. Putting a 150 or 200Ah LiFePO4 seems out of the question, unless I did something drastic like pull out the (rarely used) suburban hot water heater.

Alternatively, I could slap a LiFePO4 (with battery heater) in the undercarriage carrier. It will get hot out there, bad for any battery, and the batteries I have seen don't fit nicely into the carrier. The undercarriage carrier has length 20.8", width 9.1" and height 9", perfect for the 12v AGM 210Ah batteries... (although this no-name brand LiFePO4 is *almost* a perfect fit....)

Decisions, Decisions...

All in all, sticking with the AGM is the simpler option. The LiFePO4 offers some enticing capabilities, with a hefty price increase, some technical risk (if I self-install) and some uncertain choices about battery placement.

One question that stands out for me is: if I go with a 100Ah LiFePO4 battery over the 210Ah AGM, how much am I going to notice that missing 110Ah?

As Greg/Scalf77 has said elsewhere:
"Output voltage and current.
Lithium batteries have almost a flat discharge curve compared to lead acid, so the voltage output at 20% discharge is the same as 80% discharge. While lead acid the voltage output drops greatly between fully charged and 50%. Remember power (watts) = amps X voltage, so as the voltage drops the current needed to power a device goes up. Also, there is minimal Peukert’s losses for high current loads, so lithium’s are better for high draw inverter uses."

So, while I can't quantify that difference, I see how the 100Ah of the LiFePO4 would easily outperform a 100Ah AGM. But 100Ah LiFePO4 vs 210Ah AGM.... surely i'll have less juice to go around.
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:25 AM   #18
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There may be a 3rd option - Carbon Foam Battery. Would work well with your current system set-up (wont have to upgrade many of the components), offers more life cycles than AGM, and you can draw these batteries down to 80% - providing more amp/hrs usage.
https://oceanplanetenergy.com/advanc...asis-group-31/
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsTwin View Post
- I am assuming I'll be able to route the alternator, generator, solar and shore power via the inverter/charger and that I won't also need to get additional DC to DC charger (like the KISAE DMT-1250 I have seen reference in other threads)
Wrong assumption, the inverter/charger will do two things, invert DC power to AC power, and offer an AC to DC charger that could support your new lithium battery. While there are some units that will allow the output of a solar controller as an input, it will not convert the solar panel power to usable charge voltage. That setup is to allow input from the controller but also to make sure that you don't overcharge the battery during the bulk phase.

You will still need a solar controller that supports lithium (you need a new solar controller anyway) and also some way to best use the alternator power to your lithium bank.

Your generator will still provide AC for an input the your new inverter/charger.

-greg
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:03 PM   #20
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Thanks again for the advice!

The Firefly Oasis does look pretty compelling... I do wish it was a little higher Ah however, even if it does happily draw down 80%... These folks sell the benefits quite well

So redoing my options:

Either way, I'll be upgrading the solar panel
- update solar controller ($150)
- Buy new solar panel (maybe two?) ($200ish per panel)
- Get solar panel fittings for 56" width yakima roof tracks ($50ish)

If I stick with AGM
- Buy new lifeline 210Ah battery ($650)

If I try out carbon-foam
- Buy new Firefly Oasis 116Ah battery (~$550 plus shipping)

If I venture into LiFePO4
- Decide where to store them (outside in current position is sub-optimal)
- Roughly $1000 per 100Ah (Something like 130Ah LiFePO4 would be roughly the same capacity as 210Ah AGM)
- Replace Trace M2512 inverter/charger with something appropriate for lithium $600-700ish and should allow (AC) shore-power and generator to charge lithium
- DC to DC converter for the alternator and solar, KISAE DMT-1250 ($300)
- Some risk that I'm muppet something up and bork part of the system

~$400 for the solar either way (unless I double up on panels)

And then the choice between
~$600-650 for either Carbon Foam or 'classic' AGM
~2000-2600 (depending on getting a decent quality 100 or 150Ah LiFePO4 battery) plus a much higher risk of me breaking things... (Unless I also pay someone to install).

Certainly a range of decisions to mull over the next few days...
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