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Help me build an Aux battery system
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 6:49 am    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

fishgo wrote:

That's a lovely photo setup. I have to redo my 2-battery system at some point to isolate batteries and solar better and this would make a good template. I'm assuming from the wood spacers on each side you've got a cover over this?


It was a 'quite easy' place to setup. I sacrificed space on the floor there for ease of installation/upgrades of other components.

And yes, the wood spacers are for a cover, so I don't loose that much space. It actually a nice space for my portable 1lb-2lb chairs.
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"Jo Ann" - 1983.5 Ivory Westfalia 1.9L 2wd
120aH aux, 200w rooftop solar, 130w portable
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johnbyrdgates
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 7:17 am    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

I have installed a gasoline powered heater, 1500A inverter and 150A-hr lithium iron phosphate battery under my vanís rear bench seat. I had to delete the rear auxiliary heater to make it fit. The battery was $1000 on eBay and actually works out as cost effective, given the impossibility of fitting enough lead acid batteries in that space.
We run a portable 12V Dometic fridge, the inverter, the heater, lights radio all off of this battery hooked up to a 100W Renogy panel mounted in the luggage rack. A BlueSea ACR connects the starting battery and LiPo4 batteries to the alternator.
Our wiring has the charge controller, fuse panel, ACR and inverter connecting directly to the LiPo4 battery, each with their own fuse. We grounded in the same seat belt location that another poster described above. The fuse panel runs the lights, radio, heater, fridge and spare 12V power receptacle.
You could replace our inverter with an inverter/charger and hook your shore power line to it for shore-based battery charging but they are BIG.
Good luck,
John
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johnbyrdgates
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 7:37 am    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

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johnbyrdgates
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 7:42 am    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

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Jd56
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 7:51 am    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

Do you have a shut off switch or anything between the blue seas and the lithium battery. I reading that some people donít recommend the blueseas with lithium. Have you had any issues with the alternator or batteries? I purchased the cyrix-li-ct.
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 8:06 am    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

Jd56 wrote:
Do you have a shut off switch or anything between the blue seas and the lithium battery. I reading that some people donít recommend the blueseas with lithium. Have you had any issues with the alternator or batteries? I purchased the cyrix-li-ct.


There are a couple of problems when it comes to Lithium phosphate charging. MOST scenarios should be managed my the battery monitoring system inside the batteries. These batteries are so nice/expensive that they have internal systems/circuitry to prolong life of battery.

That being said, it may or may not have a temperature sensor. You should not charge Lithium below freezing. If that battery is below freezing, you could use the battery to warm it up. Or a 12v heater of sort.

Anyhow, here is a good lithium setup from my friend Jeff. He has been using the setup for about a year and he loves it.

Note: the temperature sensor and the Victron BMS 712 hooked up to the LI-CT

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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DuncanS
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 8:54 am    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

Here's some info from the link: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=609971

kamzcab86 wrote:
ScottShelley wrote:
When I have gone on trips and camped I am usually trying to find shade to park in so the van stays cool. For that reason I can see no point in mounting a bunch of solar panels on the roof of the van. I'm leaning towards a 120 watt portable system that. I can bring with me on trips and leave behind when I don't need it.


^Ditto. On top of that, in reading solar literature, to be most effective at capturing the sun's rays, the panel(s) should be aimed south. Mounted on a pop-top, no problem; just aim the van's nose north, pop the roof, and the panel is tilted/aimed south (although that's not always possible to do). I'm sure it's not that big of a deal for our smallish systems having the panels flat on the roof, just pointing out what I've read. Wink Anyway, I went with Renogy's 100W suitcase version:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


In full sun, it produces around 21.8 open volts and drops 0.01 volts per second as it heats up (didn't bother seeing how low it actually goes). Put just your hand in front of one panel and the volts drop off even faster. I removed the charge controller that came mounted to it, spliced the two panels' wires together, cut off the giant 50A Anderson connector with alligator clips, and installed a small 45A Anderson connector. I then mounted the other half of that 45A Anderson connector to the GoWesty city water hookup:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The charge controller that came with the panels is digitized and semi-programmable, but I already had a simpler Renogy controller to use with my little 10W panel that uses three times less amps (other one will be a spare). Reading that a charge controller is most effective mounted near the battery (and not being weather-proof), I would've removed the digital controller from the panels regardless. I mounted mine where most end up going:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Folded up and in its cover, it barely doesn't fit completely inside the luggage bin. Bummer, but not a deal-breaker.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


If I mounted a panel to the roof, I couldn't continue parking my van in the garage... big negative for me. Mounting a panel in the luggage bin would prevent me from using it as, well, a luggage bin for hauling stuff, which I do regularly. The Renogy suitcase fits between the new ARB and passenger seat (or elsewhere inside) so I can use the luggage bin if need be. Plus, I can leave the 30-pound thing behind when driving around town, or on trips when I'm on the move everyday.

The portable route will work best for my needs, but I certainly see the attraction in going the "mount it and forget it" route. Cool


Duncan
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johnbyrdgates
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 11:34 am    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

Jd56:
I havenít got anything (but a fuse) between the ACR and the battery. The battery itself has protection circuitry to prevent overcharging and the solar charge controller is set to lithium and charges at 14.6V. Iím assuming that itíll pick up where the alternator leaves off for charging the battery. Open to correction, though since Iíve just installed the solar and lithium...

Shagginwaggin:
Renogy literature suggested not connecting a battery temperature sensor to a lithium battery, so I didnít. Not sure why they said that though.
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DuncanS
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 12:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

As far as I can tell, the OP is still considering flooded cell golf cart batteries, so the lithium info is good, but don't know if he's changed his mind yet.
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thatvwbusguy
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

I have yet to find a better solution to installing a portable panel than the Powerwerx PanelPole. Very secure and can handle 45A.

https://powerwerx.com/panelpole-panel-mount-powerpole-housing
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Jd56
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 1:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

I doubt my lithium battery will see much charging during freezing temps. I get close where I live but doubt Iíll be using the system much during that time. Someone said they have Renogy, do you like it, work good thatís what my battery and solar stuff is.
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BCgee
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 9:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

Appreciate all the feedback and suggestions. Still leaning toward AGM or golf cart batteries vs lithium based on the cold operating temps here in MT.

Leaning towards 1 or 2x Vmax 125ah battery, BlueSea charging relay and fuses, Renogy Wanderer & PV setup, Bayite Meyer & shunt, and Microsolar 1000w inverter.

After waaay too much reading It appears that aux battery systems, like outdoors gear, go by the adage ďBuy Nice, Donít Buy TwiceĒ 👍👍
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SSWesty
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 10:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

Regarding buying nice you could consider going with marine grade wire and connectors. In general the quality is better than automotive stuff.

Some guys throw an inverter into their plans but then when we talk through how they are going to use it and they end up not needing it. What do you plan to use the inverter for?

Looks like your system is starting to come together nicely, your further along than some folks get.
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DuncanS
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 4:47 am    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

SSWesty wrote:
Regarding buying nice you could consider going with marine grade wire and connectors. In general the quality is better than automotive stuff.

Some guys throw an inverter into their plans but then when we talk through how they are going to use it and they end up not needing it. What do you plan to use the inverter for?

Looks like your system is starting to come together nicely, your further along than some folks get.


YEAH!!!! Finally someone getting on my marine grade wire bandwagon. Also agree about the inverter. I have one on my boat and it only gets used when the adult kids with house charging for their electronic "stuff" (quotes, demark derision). I have cigarette USB plugs, but sometimesss they only have a 110 plug on the end. I'd get all the aux system up and running and then decide about the inverter after you've used the system a bit. If you wind up only needing 110 for small electronic items, you can always get small cheap inverters that will plug into the 12v outlets.

Duncan
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

thatvwbusguy wrote:
I have yet to find a better solution to installing a portable panel than the Powerwerx PanelPole. Very secure and can handle 45A.

https://powerwerx.com/panelpole-panel-mount-powerpole-housing


It's a very impressive that it can handle 45A. However does it have a secure clip? I'm always worried that some kid is going to trip over my solar panel cord at camp. With the SAE connector, I think it would fly out of the GoWesty hookup box.

I bought a 300w pure sine inverter that has a cig. lighter plug on the end of it. I found a 25amp cig. lighter socket on Amazon for $10. This should be plenty for my laptop.

https://www.amazon.com/GIANDEL-300Watt-Inverter-ou...amp;sr=8-3
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fxr
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 8:47 am    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

shagginwagon83 wrote:
thatvwbusguy wrote:
I have yet to find a better solution to installing a portable panel than the Powerwerx PanelPole. Very secure and can handle 45A.

https://powerwerx.com/panelpole-panel-mount-powerpole-housing


It's a very impressive that it can handle 45A. However does it have a secure clip? I'm always worried that some kid is going to trip over my solar panel cord at camp. With the SAE connector, I think it would fly out of the GoWesty hookup box.

I bought a 300w pure sine inverter that has a cig. lighter plug on the end of it. I found a 25amp cig. lighter socket on Amazon for $10. This should be plenty for my laptop.

https://www.amazon.com/GIANDEL-300Watt-Inverter-ou...amp;sr=8-3

No need to use an inverter to charge a laptop - just buy a 12V - 19V (or whatever) dc-dc converter. Much more efficient, and no wasted space on a hardly-ever-used inverter.
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 8:54 am    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

fxr wrote:

No need to use an inverter to charge a laptop - just buy a 12V - 19V (or whatever) dc-dc converter. Much more efficient, and no wasted space on a hardly-ever-used inverter.


I tried this. You can see the silver transformer in the pics I posted earlier on this thread. Dell laptops have a special signal wire that tells the computer the charging rate. You can spoof this signal, but its beyond what I want to do with the project. Read below if you are interested.

https://hackaday.com/2014/03/03/hacking-dell-laptop-charger-identification/
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fxr
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

shagginwagon83 wrote:
fxr wrote:

No need to use an inverter to charge a laptop - just buy a 12V - 19V (or whatever) dc-dc converter. Much more efficient, and no wasted space on a hardly-ever-used inverter.


I tried this. You can see the silver transformer in the pics I posted earlier on this thread. Dell laptops have a special signal wire that tells the computer the charging rate. You can spoof this signal, but its beyond what I want to do with the project. Read below if you are interested.

https://hackaday.com/2014/03/03/hacking-dell-laptop-charger-identification/

(With apols for this going slightly OT) - That surprises me. Is that just Dell? Seems a daft idea. Every laptop I've ever had just needs a particular voltage (e.g. 15, 19 or 21V) with a particular current capability - the charging regime being controlled inside the laptop itself, or as part of the battery.
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

shagginwagon83 wrote:
It's a very impressive that it can handle 45A. However does it have a secure clip? I'm always worried that some kid is going to trip over my solar panel cord at camp. With the SAE connector, I think it would fly out of the GoWesty hookup box.


Yes, Anderson Power Poles attach securely and the Panel Mount has a threaded barrel like a standard 12V socket. If a kid does trip over it, the Power Pole would most likely pull out of the plug and avoid any damage to the wiring.

I would much rather have the plug pull out of the inlet than risk physical damage to the wires or knocking the panel over.
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 10:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Help me build an Aux battery system Reply with quote

http://ecatalog.hubbell-wiring.com/press/pdfs/H5263.pdf

These guys have everything that would do what you're talking about, although maybe the pull-out is better to avoid the kiddo's skinned knee and tears.
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