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#26

Occasional_panner
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From: Melbourne, VIC
Joined: 20 July 2016
Posts: 1,769
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01 April 2017 08:45 pm

Condor knows more about this than me but it appears your aux in the vehicle is an agm as well as the one in the camper trailer, if so, you can charge them the same way.
What will make a difference is if your charge controller from the vehicle is a vsr type that is dual sensing, if so when the aux is full it sends power to the start battery.
You really need to trace the wires from the aux batt to where it's connected to the charge controller or vsr (voltage sensing relay) and work out what charge system you have from the start batt to vehicle aux battery.


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I must have been a wombat in an earlier life, I just love digging.

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#27

ProspectorPete
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Joined: 11 September 2014
Posts: 895
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01 April 2017 09:31 pm

I'll do my best to trace it tomorrow then.

Realising now when thinking about it that if I charge my aux battery to 14.4v with the solar panel then start the vehicle an hour or so later and the aux battery is still over 13.8v the crank battery isn't going to like it.

I'll report back when I find out the charge controller type but the aux Amp-Tech D70Z deep cycle is a lead acid batter that will take 14.4v max charge, thinking it may be best to just fit the switch to the solar panel and give it the 13.8v and save any issues to the crank battery.

1491042402__20.jpg


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#28

condor22
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From: Adelaide, SA
Joined: 16 December 2013
Posts: 1,354
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01 April 2017 10:37 pm

My primary concern is; what voltage is the alternator charging your under bonnet batteries at? Is it the usual 13.8 to 13.9V (older) or like my new Colorado 14.1 to 14.2V

If it's 13.8V switch it as my diagram. If it's 14.2 or more then the solar regulator voltage is probably ok. Where it becomes an issue is the way a smart charger varies amperage through the stages, as I said before wet cell deep cycle, wet cell cold cranker and AGM are all different. Using a specific charge type for all 3 will probably do 1 correct and the other 2 not so.......

Also depending on how the under bonnet auxiliary is wired, when you connect the panel, you may well be charging the main start battery as well. Without specific detail, I'm not sure I would risk my main start battery.

#29

ProspectorPete
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Joined: 11 September 2014
Posts: 895
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01 April 2017 11:24 pm

Hi condor, yep it's making sense to me now. I know for a fact the alternator is charging the under bonnet batteries at 13.8v and when the camper is hooked up with with engine running I'm seeing 13.8v there too.
I'll confirm the duel battery system tomorrow and I appreciate the help guys thumbsup


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#30

Occasional_panner
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From: Melbourne, VIC
Joined: 20 July 2016
Posts: 1,769
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02 April 2017 08:09 am

Your aux is a wet cell deep cycle, so you'll need to charge them differently...... bugger!
http://www.supercharge.com.au/amp-tech-d70z.html


diy banker with dream matt and a diy dryblower. PMAV member.
I must have been a wombat in an earlier life, I just love digging.

#31

ProspectorPete
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Joined: 11 September 2014
Posts: 895
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02 April 2017 02:54 pm

Ok, I've taken a few pic's to hopefully show what the duel batt set-up is as I can't find a brand or name as such, it's located between the aux battery box and the inner front panel so it's really hard to get a decent look at it without pulling the battery box out (not going to happen).

Hoping Condor22 or someone might know the make / set-up from the pic.

1491104075_dsc09115.jpg
1491104075_dsc09119.jpg
1491104075_dsc09120.jpg
1491104075_dsc09121.jpg
1491104075_dsc09122.jpg

In the last photo:

Brown arrow = duel batt set-up located about 6" down.
Green arrow = + lead running to relay at white arrow then running to 1000 watt Projecta modified sine wave inverter in toolbox behind the cab.
Yellow arrow = + lead (fused) running to anderson plug at towbar for power to camper trailer battery @ 13.8v (not ideal but it is what it is).

Hopefully the photo's help show the set-up enough but pretty sure I'll go the way of fitting the switch Condor22 has recommended as it will be the easiest fix to my solar panel issue, not looking to do re-wiring on the ute as it will be up for sale in the near future and I'll set up the new vehicle properly with better charging capabilities in mind, may even lash out on a second/duel battery in the camper and bigger solar panel for when we run 2 fridges and 12v lighting but that'll be the back end of this year if it happens.


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#32

OzzieAu
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From: Adelaide
Joined: 04 November 2014
Posts: 592
Member
02 April 2017 05:41 pm

Pete, that looks like a Redarc SBI, (smart battery isolator) you have there. Voltage sensitive I believe.
Regards Adrian.


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1 user likes this post: ProspectorPete

#33

condor22
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From: Adelaide, SA
Joined: 16 December 2013
Posts: 1,354
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02 April 2017 06:15 pm

Difficult one but that would be my guess too....

Play safe and switch the panel as suggested smile

1 user likes this post: ProspectorPete

#34

Occasional_panner
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From: Melbourne, VIC
Joined: 20 July 2016
Posts: 1,769
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02 April 2017 06:22 pm

Yeah I reckon Ozzie is right. https://www.redarc.com.au/smart-start-sbi-12v-100a
That's not dual sensing BTW.

That lead to the anderson at the rear looks a little thin mate.

BTW where is the fridge? if it's in the camper I'd set the switch for the agm and unplug the connection to the vehicle.
If you are charging the deep cycle in the vehicle set the switch to flooded and connect up to the vehicle, keep in mind that wire to the rear is so small, not much power will be getting to the battery under the bonnet, a better way would be to either increase the cable size or connect directly to the battery under the bonnet.

80w isn't much, you'll probably need that just to keep the fridge battery topped up.
If you drive the vehicle every second day there probably isn't any need to be concerned about the deep cycle under the bonnet.

Last edited by Occasional_panner (02 April 2017 06:49 pm)


diy banker with dream matt and a diy dryblower. PMAV member.
I must have been a wombat in an earlier life, I just love digging.

1 user likes this post: ProspectorPete

#35

ProspectorPete
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Joined: 11 September 2014
Posts: 895
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02 April 2017 07:32 pm

Thanks guys, I'll play it safe and fit the switch.

OP, I run the fridge in the ute powered from a dual 12v socket in the tool box which feeds from a small 4 fuse box in there as well.
If I take the camper then the fridge goes on a stand powered off the camper battery once we're set up, the 80w panel connected to the camper anderson plug and keeps up no problems as the fridge is the only thing I run off it.

If I've just taken the ute away the fridge still runs off the 12v socket in the tool box and I'll either run the panel straight to battery or from the rear anderson, I usually monitor the batteries a couple of times a day with my multi meter and when the panel is in full sun with the fridge running it'll maintain 13.7v at the battery with panel at rear plug.

The only time I keep the anderson from vehicle to camper connected is while travelling, then disconnect when we've got to our spot.

I gave the panel a quick try today even though it was very overcast and the camper battery was at 12.7v then I hooked up the panel and it stayed at 13.1v with no sun for the afternoon, I've had this same thing in the bush with the panel charging on overcast days.

Thanks for the replies guys and I'll definitely fit that switch before connecting the panel to the ute.

Pete.


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1 user likes this post: Occasional_panner

#36

condor22
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From: Adelaide, SA
Joined: 16 December 2013
Posts: 1,354
Member
03 April 2017 12:42 am

Pete,

Just one point, on the worst of overcast days your panel will show 13.1V, the important thing is what amps it putting out. A good test is connect the fridge (on) in the same conditions with the panel on the battery and see what happens to the voltage smile If it's charging more than you use the voltage should not go down, in fact up......

#37

bazxa
Member
From: Heathcote, NSW
Joined: 18 March 2016
Posts: 260
Member
03 April 2017 08:54 am

From my experience, AGM batteries don't like the engine bay heat. I fitted 2 AGM's one in engine bay the other at the back of the vehicle and had almost double the life from the one kept cool. Both using ctek 250d and both running fridges as the primary load.

I use wiring charts to establish wire size according to draw, if the correct size is not available then the next size up. Fuses on all loads.
https://www.redarc.com.au/images/upload … ksheet.pdf
http://www.energymatters.com.au/climate … cable_size online calculator

Best place I have found for wire is https://www.springers.com.au/ if you have a better source please post it. We have just finished an installation for one of my sons, the cost of wire, fuses, outlets and terminals was around $300. Batteries in the back of the vehicle.

Last edited by bazxa (03 April 2017 09:00 am)

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#38

Occasional_panner
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From: Melbourne, VIC
Joined: 20 July 2016
Posts: 1,769
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03 April 2017 09:38 am

Yeah putting in decent cable is pretty costly, but do it right and once.
This place has decent prices and it's Aus made tycab.
http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/m.html?_odkw … e&_sacat=0


diy banker with dream matt and a diy dryblower. PMAV member.
I must have been a wombat in an earlier life, I just love digging.

#39

bazxa
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From: Heathcote, NSW
Joined: 18 March 2016
Posts: 260
Member
03 April 2017 01:47 pm

Thanks, the wire pricing in the shop is good..

That link is for 6 mm automotive wire with suggested uses. It pays to know what you're getting.
Tekonsha Prodigy Brake Controller manual recommends 6 square mm wire. Fitting 6mm automotive wire commonly sold for electric brakes is only 4.59 mm square which is below the specification which may result in insufficient current to the brakes. The good bit is that they recommend twin core.

Pete, hope your new install goes well and we are not too far off topic.

#40

condor22
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From: Adelaide, SA
Joined: 16 December 2013
Posts: 1,354
Member
03 April 2017 03:48 pm

FYI 6mm SQ cable has a diameter of approx. 2.76mm. For those with a Vernier Calliper or Micrometer, take it with you when you buy, unless the dealer is reputable.

(Measure dia. of the copper not the insulation)

1 user likes this post: bazxa

#41

ProspectorPete
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Joined: 11 September 2014
Posts: 895
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03 April 2017 10:27 pm

condor22 wrote:

Pete,

Just one point, on the worst of overcast days your panel will show 13.1V, the important thing is what amps it putting out. A good test is connect the fridge (on) in the same conditions with the panel on the battery and see what happens to the voltage smile If it's charging more than you use the voltage should not go down, in fact up......

Yep I have no doubt the fridge will be pulling more than the panel is charging when overcast but just nice to know the panel is putting something in which is better than nothing I suppose.

bazxa wrote:

Pete, hope we are not too far off topic.

Not at all bazxa, I got my question answered with all your guys help so go your hardest, very much appreciate too. I'll still follow with interest and it's good to keep learning more all the time thumbsup

Last edited by ProspectorPete (03 April 2017 10:28 pm)


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#42

ProspectorPete
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Joined: 11 September 2014
Posts: 895
Member
22 April 2017 10:18 am

After reading through Condor's post about bush power I've rethought my setup and purchased a new 160w folding panel yesterday, I'm going to install the GSL SR1212-2 controller in the toolbox of the camper trailer next to the AGM battery.
On the back of the 160w panel I'm going to cut in Anderson plugs from the panel leads to the panels controller and make up a short (Y) cable with Anderson's at each end, this should allow me to use the panel as normal when I'm just taking the Cruiser away and connect straight off the Aux battery, I'll make up a permanent Anderson plug (fused) connected to the Aux battery. If I'm taking the camper trailer away I simply have to disconnect the panel's controller and connect the Y cable to run into the camper which will have the GSA controller wired up as 'floating' to charge the AGM correctly, I'll also look at a monitoring system but I don't have a smart phone.
The fridge is the only thing I really run from either battery but on occasions I'll charge camera batteries, wireless headphones and have the radio on in the ute for a few hours so moving up to a 160w panel makes sense, I'll get another controller for the 80w panel and use it for the ute if the 160w is on the camper (camper running fridge and ute playing radio).

Hopefully at some stage this year I'll be changing vehicles and I'll map out a much better system based on Condor's Bush Power post when that happens.


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#43

Awing
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From: , SA
Joined: 05 May 2017
Posts: 13
Member
11 May 2017 08:31 am

sadly there is no standard set-up, no ‘one size fits all' type of thing, so here's a reference for you
http://www.fridge-and-solar.net/howmany.htm
And also when it comes to solar panels I recommend to have a visit on this website.
A good write up of solar types of equipment and batteries that will help you set up things on the go.
My advice for you is to stay away from a cheap material you can buy on the website or even on site/stall I have proven things that when you buy it cheaper it won't last or the quality sucks like when you buy cheap underwear HOLES are coming on their way.


Over and Under

#44

iamagoldenoldie2
Member
From: south west Sydney
Joined: 07 August 2016
Posts: 290
Member
14 July 2017 01:20 am

G'day All
I found the 80 watt didn't cut the mustard, battery went flat after 2 days and the 80 watter put out 20 volts but only 2.9 amps to the battery, the 200 watt panel I bought from outbax camping on ebay pumps out 18 volts but the amps is a good 8 amps, the controller is a mppt type 15 amp capacity I chose the 200 watt panel after reading the redarc info on how much you need for charging etc, the panel is folding panel, 1200 x 600 value $220 less for a single fixed about 170$,, 6 mm wiring from jcar thats the copper section not including the plastic

#45

condor22
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From: Adelaide, SA
Joined: 16 December 2013
Posts: 1,354
Member
14 July 2017 12:54 pm

Rule of thumb in calculating a system size -

1. Work out what AH you use i.e. Lets say your fridge uses 25 AH per day (in Winter) and that's all you use.
2. If you are using this amount all day every day then it should be 25% of your battery capacity to maximise battery life - Therefore your battery should be a minimum of 100 AH. For Occasional use then up to 50%.
3. If solar is the only charging source and depending on your location and quality of panel/controller, you would need 2 to 3 times the AH of the battery in Watts output of the solar bank i.e. 200 to 300 W.

The same calculation needs to be done in Summer, as your fridge will use a lot more AH, but the panel should also produce more.

Once setup occasional extra load or reduced panel output is usually acceptable, but extended increases will mean an undercharged battery.

The best way of overcoming this is to have an optional second charging source i.e. 240V charger from a genny or from a vehicle. smile

My opinion is; When running a 12 VDC fridge, 100 AH is the minimum battery size to chose for a small 30 lt fridge. Bigger fridges, especially if duel zone with a freezer need bigger batteries.

Note; a 130 AH AGM battery has a similar footprint to a 100AH and is not much different in price, so why skimp.....

Last edited by condor22 (14 July 2017 12:55 pm)

#46

limpalot
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From: East of Wodonga vic
Joined: 31 July 2015
Posts: 718
Member
14 July 2017 09:51 pm

I found the velcro to hold the mppt in place will un stick in the heat. I pop riveted a hinge and some ally to hold the mppt.
Cheers LL


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#47

Occasional_panner
Member
From: Melbourne, VIC
Joined: 20 July 2016
Posts: 1,769
Member
15 July 2017 09:26 am

Sorry to tell you mate, but at that price, it won't be genuine mppt, it will most likely be pwm, which is still fine, they work perfectly well, they just don't produce quite as much power. It maybe only 10% difference, so for most people who rely on them for short periods they make great value and do the job just fine.

But many ebay sellers misrepresent their panel controllers.

A mate got one from 4wd super centre, which was falsely claimed as mppt, he emailed them and got a refund. They since changed their advertising, maybe they didn't know either and just went by the manufacturer's claims, at least they corrected the advertising.

Have a look here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la-gvy0DfJs&t=496s

If you have two multimeters you can test the controller to see if it is in fact mppt.
If the controller is mounted on the back of the panel you would be better off placing it near the battery to minimize voltage drop on the charge line and to prevent overheating of the controller.

Glad the extra power has sorted out the problem.


diy banker with dream matt and a diy dryblower. PMAV member.
I must have been a wombat in an earlier life, I just love digging.

1 user likes this post: ken2m

#48

fantom007gr
Newbie
Joined: 09 January 2018
Posts: 3
Newbie
09 January 2018 10:14 am

i would have with me a wind turbine for night charging if i detect wind where i go.


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