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Thread: Solar charging

  1. #1
    Hardcore healy's Avatar
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    Solar charging

    So I've got the dual batt already wired but only a 65amp batt, I'm running a 50ltr waeco dual zone fridge runs about .87a/h also got light bar and 2 spotties and UHF all on the secondary barely use lights when cars off so my question is what solar panel set up will I need to get the fridge to run for 2-3 days at a time it runs for about a day at the moment and can I permanently have it wired up so when I shut the car off it kicks in when needed?

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    Patrol God threedogs's Avatar
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    Heals you coming to our fish off next weekend. would be very easy to explain. So you have 65 AH to play with. An 80 watt panel and decent regulator will be heaps,
    Plus you can use extra accessories later on. I've been using a 100ah aux Batt and 80 watt Panel for years, Use heaps of lights, fridge power, never ran out of power yet.80 watt panel puts approx 4.5 amps back in your batt on a perfect day.Even better now LED are available.
    04 ST 3lt auto, not enough Mods to keep me happy, but getting there

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    Hardcore healy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by threedogs View Post
    Heals you coming to our fish off next weekend. would be very easy to explain. So you have 65 AH to play with. An 80 watt panel and decent regulator will be heaps,
    Plus you can use extra accessories later on. I've been using a 100ah aux Batt and 80 watt Panel for years, Use heaps of lights, fridge power, never ran out of power yet.80 watt panel puts approx 4.5 amps back in your batt on a perfect day.Even better now LED are available.
    I'm gonna try get down with the family for a day or two any ideas on brands? I see plenty of solar panels starting from $80 onwards just want to buy it once better brands personal experience suggestions

  5. #4
    Patrol Freak lorrieandjas's Avatar
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    Hi healy - try http://www.portablefridgesonline.com...l-kit-80w.html

    Good kit - not the cheapest but never had an issue with them. Quick delivery too.
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  6. #5
    Travelling Podologist Cuppa's Avatar
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    Firstly let me say that on RV forums the topic of fridges & solar probably causes more arguments than any other.

    That said I want to make it clear that I am not looking for an argument, but on this topic I have a very different view to ThreeDogs.

    Whilst I don't doubt TD's experience, which mirrors that of many solar users, it is not the way I would choose to set up a system.

    My 'credentials' are having installed a system which provided us with sufficient power to run a 130 litre fridge, lighting, satellite tv, water pump, stereo, on board air, etc in the bus I converted, for 18 months with no need to plug into power. I am not suggesting that others should install a 'balanced' system like this, but mention it to show that I whilst no expert, I do have sufficient understanding to have 'got it right' for my intended usage.

    Intended usage is the key factor. Nothing worse than spending the money & time, only to find yourself chasing your tail & worrying about killing your expensive batteries, & your drinks getting warm.

    It is a common misconception that a 65amp hour battery will give you 65 amp hours to play with. Even if fully charged, which it won't be if relying only on the alternator, it is unwise to take it below about 40% to 50% discharge if you want it to last. If you choose to compromise in regard to taking it lower you can pay to replace it more often. The AGM batteries in my bus are still going strong at just over 7 years. Draining batteries until low voltage alarms sound, or fridges won't run any more will probably see that reduced to 12 months, possibly a bit more if the battery is recharged as soon as you get home the next day.

    Most fridges today have a low battery setting, which cuts off the fridge when the battery voltage falls to low. They are a joke. Always far too low to give the battery any meaningful protection..... A fridge manufacturers PR exercise. My ARB fridge in the patrol has a Hi, Med & Lo setting. The Hi is 11.8v, the Lo is 10.8v. Even 11.8v is not real healthy for the battery. My 7 year old agm's have never been below 12.3v.

    Not sure where the 0.87ah average draw comes from. Looking at Waeco's web page at their 50l dual zone you can see they talk about it using an average of 2.13ah when used as a freezer, & 1.3ah when used just as a fridge. Manufacturers figures are often 'optimistic', & without doubt those usage figures would be way higher in higher ambient temperatures.

    I would suggest that for that fridge/freezer, if you want to use it's full range in all weather conditions, you should allow for up to 60ah per day (24 hours).

    http://www.waeco.com.au/products5.as...Id=60&catId=57

    In ideal conditions a 100w solar panel will give you around 30amp hours per day. So if you wanted to run your fridge indefinitely on just solar you would want a minimum of 200w of panel.

    However if your intended usage is only for a max of 3 days at a time, AND you have a smart charger fitted to your vehicle, AND you go with a larger capacity battery, AND you have a single 100w or 120w solar panel, you can arrive at your camp spot fully charged, & gradually deplete your battery over the 3 days, keeping it within it's design parameters (& thus ensuring a long life)......... And ensure cold drinks & good lighting (led because it uses way less power).

    What I have suggested is in my opinion a bare bones system which does not take into account any 'buffer' for when the sun doesn't shine.

    I would further suggest that when buying a solar regulator to get one with a higher capacity than you currently need, that way if you later choose to get another panel it's just a matter of connecting it.

    If you are coming to the fishing get together this weekend I will have my set up there running a 50 litre fridge, 40 litre freezer, lighting & water pump. Hopefully after all I've just said it will work ok......... It will be the camper's 'maiden voyage'. If nothing else it might give us something to 'debate' around the fire.

    Cuppa

    2006 4.2TDi ex-Telstra Remote area Camper. 425w roof mounted solar, 360Ah Aux batts, BCDC1240, Onboard hot & cold pressurised & filtered water, (25 litre hot water calorifier), ARB fridge, ARB freezer, Built in kitchen, 240v, 3 Genie exhaust + dynotune, 2 lift, Lovells GVM upgrade, ROH Blaktrak steel wheels, Bridgestone D697s, Redarc gauges/pillarpod, Hema HX-1, CB, dual rear view cameras, Onboard 30amp Victron mains charger, second glovebox, dual seat conversion, Tyredog TPMS, Boss PX7 onboard air with 9 litre tank, 350w inverter, Steel bullbar, Harrop Eaton diff lock (front), Warn winch, Snorkel, Dual spares , 160 litre water tank, 2010 Tvan Tanami. (incl another 70 litre water tank) with matching wheels/tyres (& 3rd spare)
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  7. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Cuppa For This Useful Post:

    blocko05 (15th August 2015), healy (26th November 2012), jack (26th November 2012), lorrieandjas (27th November 2012), Nightjar (24th January 2016), Robo (21st December 2013), Woof (27th November 2012)

  8. #6
    Travelling Podologist Cuppa's Avatar
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    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-120W-...ht_2424wt_1175


    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/REDARC-DU...#ht_2101wt_922

    EDIT..... BCDC1220 is incorrect, it should be BCDC1225 .....see my later post.


    Together this gives you a 120w solar panel, dc to dc smart charging, ensuring the aux battery gets fully charged when driving, (alternator will only charge to around 70% to 80%) battery isolation to ensure you don't flatten your cranking battery when using your fridge & a solar regulator with sufficient capacity to add a second 120w panel later if desired.

    This seller has a good reputation for quality panels. Redarc products are Austalan made, & they have an excellent after sales service & advisory service......provided you have purchased from one of their authors end sellers, which 'Autolecau' in Bairnsdale is (beware not all eBay sellers are).

    Cuppa
    (Just to be clear I have no connection from either of the two sellers other than being a satisfied customer).
    Last edited by Cuppa; 27th November 2012 at 07:59 AM. Reason: Corrected information posted in error

    2006 4.2TDi ex-Telstra Remote area Camper. 425w roof mounted solar, 360Ah Aux batts, BCDC1240, Onboard hot & cold pressurised & filtered water, (25 litre hot water calorifier), ARB fridge, ARB freezer, Built in kitchen, 240v, 3 Genie exhaust + dynotune, 2 lift, Lovells GVM upgrade, ROH Blaktrak steel wheels, Bridgestone D697s, Redarc gauges/pillarpod, Hema HX-1, CB, dual rear view cameras, Onboard 30amp Victron mains charger, second glovebox, dual seat conversion, Tyredog TPMS, Boss PX7 onboard air with 9 litre tank, 350w inverter, Steel bullbar, Harrop Eaton diff lock (front), Warn winch, Snorkel, Dual spares , 160 litre water tank, 2010 Tvan Tanami. (incl another 70 litre water tank) with matching wheels/tyres (& 3rd spare)
    A Nomadic Life
    The Big Trip Blog

  9. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Cuppa For This Useful Post:

    Nightjar (24th January 2016), Robo (21st December 2013), viking (19th November 2013)

  10. #7
    Patrol God Sir Roofy's Avatar
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    Ah good man you can have a look at mine while were there
    its simple it works but needs just a tad more oomph

    something to think about
    ive got 80w solar panel 80amp h battery and running a 110 lt
    waeco plus led lights on the roof rack

    see what you come up with for the debate around the fire

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    Patrol God bigguwesty's Avatar
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    I tend to agree with above on this one. But my specialty is more with RC gear but some of it transfers across.
    50% is is probably the minimum you'll want to be depleting your batteries to to ensure a good life time from, but also check your charging current. Many batteries die due to over voltage charging..

    Kallen Westbrook
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    Cheers
    Kallen Westbrook

  12. #9
    BIG & BALD MEGOMONSTER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuppa View Post

    That said I want to make it clear that I am not looking for an argument, but on this topic I have a very different view to ThreeDogs.


    Cuppa
    This to me, is so close to being an argument on the weekend but control yourselves and just make it a mass debate. BA Bom. LOL



    Never argue with an idiot, cos he'll bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience. Y2K
    2011 GU8 ST 3.0 CRD, ARB Bullbar with IPF spotties, scrub bars and side steps, Snorkel, Dual Battery system, Waeco fridge, Turbo Timer, ARB Roof Rack with 5 IPF spotties across the front, Custom full Leather Bucket seats, DPchip, 3" Taipan exhaust, ARE Intercooler & scoop, Autron EGT/Boost and dual volt gauges, ARB front locker.

  13. #10
    Patrol God threedogs's Avatar
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    All different systems doing basically the same thing, mine is mobile. Cuppa's fixed, both my trailers will be there but new owner has Changed the system.
    hope I get this right but as long as you use the polymonocyrstaline you.re ok the others are too big to acheive the same result. but technology catching up Noticed Ron Moon with roll up panel , some like them fixed but then you have to park in sun to make work. which will make fridge work a tad harder,
    Wait till you see my ice box on the weekend may change your mind on short term camps.
    04 ST 3lt auto, not enough Mods to keep me happy, but getting there

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