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Help Honing In My Solar Setup...
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Phaedrus
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:33 pm    Post subject: Help Honing In My Solar Setup... Reply with quote

I have very light power needs. I run an Odyssey PC1200 as my aux which powers the radio, cab lights, sink/batt LED, sink pump, and ac inverter. I've been traveling and living out of the van and during extended stays I'm unable to keep my aux charged. I'd like to add a cheap, simple solar setup. I'm thinking 50W, nothing fancy. Emphasis on cheap, and efficient.

Found this 50w mono setup on amazon. Seems decent: http://amzn.com/B00E7NDMC4

Considering the 100W version as well:
http://amzn.com/B00BFCNFRM
But, if I don't really need it to keep the PC1200 topped, then I'd rather not spend the money.

Down the line, I would like to invest in a fridge--either 50qt ARB, Engel, or TF49, haven't decided. I figured I could add another 50W panel to the setup if when I do, or splurge on the 100W up front with potential for expandability...

Anyways, others who have ventured down this path, what say yee?
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Vinzanto
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been using this kit for over two years and have been extremely happy with it:

http://www.windynation.com/Monocrystalline-Solar-K...p=YzE9MzA=

I also use the GW Aux kit in conjunction with this:

http://www.yandina.com/c100InfoR3.htm

It was extremely simple to wire, I have never had a dead battery and even regularly use a 400 W inverter hard-wired into the deep-cycle for laptop, clippers, air compressor.

It doesn't say in the description but mine is a Bosch panel, unsure what they are anymore.
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david2676
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:28 pm    Post subject: 100 w Reply with quote

I got one of the 100 w systems off ebay... windy nation was the one i used. Some complete with all you need that is if you already have a second battery setup. keep in mind if you mont it to your roof and drive during the day odds are your never going to get the full potential front he panel. I think i get most of my charge when Im parked in my drive way.

if you move every I think the alternator would be the best solution then use DC chargers for all you gear. Just my opinion.
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Phaedrus
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vinzanto wrote:
I have been using this kit for over two years and have been extremely happy with it:

http://www.windynation.com/Monocrystalline-Solar-K...p=YzE9MzA=

I also use the GW Aux kit in conjunction with this:

http://www.yandina.com/c100InfoR3.htm

It was extremely simple to wire, I have never had a dead battery and even regularly use a 400 W inverter hard-wired into the deep-cycle for laptop, clippers, air compressor.

It doesn't say in the description but mine is a Bosch panel, unsure what they are anymore.


Cool. Thanks for the link! I'll do a bit more sleuth work. It's the same price and components as the Renogy one on Amazon... Gonna be hard to figure out which one is "better"...

I run a Yandina as well now. Used to use the GW kit, but found it very lackluster (never fully charged my aux). Curious why you use both? It seems redundant. If you're pulling alt current from the main via the Yandina while the batts try to equalize, why use the isolator to feed alt current to both batteries again? Why not wire the D+ off of the alt directly into the aux using a relay? That way both batts have independent alt charging and the Yandina combines their power.

I'm just thinking out loud... I totally could be missing something/misunderstanding.
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jismay
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phaedrus wrote:


I run a Yandina as well now. Used to use the GW kit, but found it very lackluster (never fully charged my aux). Curious why you use both? It seems redundant. If you're pulling alt current from the main via the Yandina while the batts try to equalize, why use the isolator to feed alt current to both batteries again? Why not wire the D+ off of the alt directly into the aux using a relay? That way both batts have independent alt charging and the Yandina combines their power.

I'm just thinking out loud... I totally could be missing something/misunderstanding.


I have the Yandina, but the Alternator is still direct to the starter battery. My solar (40w monocrystalline for now) is wired directly to the aux battery.

My thinking is that it is much preferable to have the starter battery get first dibs at charging current from the alternator. I can deal with having a dead aux battery a lot easier than not being able to start the van. The beauty of the Yandina is that if your starter battery is drawn down to any extent it will cause enough of a voltage drop that the yandina will not combine the batteries until the starter battery has sufficient charge on it.

It is also nice that since the yandina is bi-directional it also will combine the two batteries once the solar panels start generating power.


As far as sizing goes, I currently have a single 35AH aux battery, and the aforementioned 40W panel. I also have the Whynter 45 fridge. I am finding that this combination will keep the fridge going for about a day and a half without running the engine. For my immediate needs this is acceptible, however I plan to up the aux battery bank to at least 70AH, and up the solar to at least 100W.

--
Brian
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thatvwbusguy
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go for the 100W panel from Windy Nation with the $10.00 upgrade to the 30A charge controller so you can add more power later if you want. It is worth noting that the charge controller included in either of the Renogy bundles is a positive ground design, so it is not ideal for use in a vehicle. The Windy Nation bundle appears to offer a negative ground charge controller (though you might want to contact them to confirm before ordering).

Using the Yandina combined with the GoWesty kit is limiting the amount of current the Yandina can supply to the auxiliary battery. Eliminating the charging side of the GW kit completely and running a 10AWG wire from the positive post of the starting battery directly to the Yandina will result in a much happier auxiliary battery. If the GW wiring to the dash is all working as designed, there is no reason to change it.

There is definitely no need to use the alternator D+ circuit with the Yandina. It is a voltage sensing relay and will combine the batteries when the charge in the starting battery hits 13.3V, which should be pretty much any time the engine is running unless your charging system has some serious issues.

When camping and relying on solar to get the most possible juice into your auxiliary battery, it makes sense to force isolate the batteries via a simple toggle switch to ground on the green remote wire: http://www.yandina.com/acrobats/C100Data.pdf
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