diy solar

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  • Very pleased with my system

    My goal was to be able to live normally for a minimum of 3 days with no solar input. Three days wasn't a completely random number, last year while traveling, we had 3 days of heavy cloud cover and almost constant rain/sleet/snow. I struggled with everything, including limited battery capacity...
  • IT WORKS!

    Thank you to everyone who put up and answered my seemingly endless questions. This was an extremely steep learning curve, as I knew nothing about solar, and enough about electrical to make sparks happen. I was able to keep the 5th wheel operational with the two existing 100ah batteries and...
  • Ever wonder what a solar eclipse looks like to the system?

    First time I've ever seen one, it was pretty kewl.
  • True testing of my system

    Even after inadvertently leaving the electric hot water heater energized my 600ah and 1200w did very well after 48 hours of normal living. My goal was 72 hours, and it looks like I'm well on my road to success. Decided to let the fridge run off electric, and it uses a lot more watts than I was...
  • Converting propane fridge to 12v compressor

    My issues with propane accelerated this winter while snow birding. It literally became a daily challenge to keep it running. Potpourri of issues like build up on spark igniter to some unknown issue with coolant flow, to just being cantankerous. I knew putting in the 12v compressor system would...
  • Microair EasyStart

    For my TT running on a 2500w generator, i installed microair easystart. aircon went from stalling the generator to running fine. . Got a bit more interesting in the 5th wheel Multiplus II 2x. It would start the aircon, but MP went into overload, and I was scrambling to shut off anything 120v...
  • Finally got the panels mounted

    Thank you to everybody that has been helping with my difficult 5th wheel installation. If you're just joining, I'm already at 13'5", so higher was not an option. Total of six panels in two independent strings (driv/pass sides), 24v 200w panels. The drivers side, I left enough room for on...
  • Fridge advice and guidance.

    My Norcold has turned into a Nevercold :( . I'm looking primarily at the conversion kit to add a compressor kit to my existing fridge. Second choice may be replacing the whole fridge with a RV specific 12v compressor fridge. Third choice might be a residential fridge. I'm leaning to 12v over...
  • RV Cable entry / roof gland

    I'd think this wouldn't be this difficult... I "think" I need either 4 port unit, or a 2 (or 4) port gland to run the wires through. Two sets of wires, each coming off three 24V 200 watt panels. going to two SCC. Found a set of glands on Amazon, ship between Feb 3rd to Mar 3rd. Trailer did...
  • Found loose bolts attaching panels to z bracket

    I pulled off the Rich Solar 12v panels and replaced them with 24v. I was shocked to find two attachment screws that worked their way loose :( Guess this will have to be an annual inspection point. It's kind of late to think about loctite in my setup. I really don't want to pull the panels...
  • Leaving a LFP battery fully charged

    Trying to solve a problem with keeping a home server up and running while we snow bird. I have a gel battery surge protector inline... but it's only good for about 45 minutes. Thinking about a solar generator that will be plugged into shore power, but what will that due to the LFP battery...
  • 7-Pin Amps to Trailer

    I've seen all kinds of claims, 3-4a all the way up to 25a. 2022 F350D, towing a 5th wheel, solar input current was shut off, so the only source of energy was from 7 pin going into the battery. i intentionally ran the 5th wheel Lithium battery banks down pretty far. I have dual alternators...
  • Please check my in process work

    I'm nearing completion for the 12V system. !20V will take a bit longer. Hoping to {shudder} put a hole in the roof tomorrow, but think I have a plan for that. I bought 100' of red and black cable, but 25' may have been enough :) Wire is pulled 1/2 way up the wall. Not totally happy with how...
  • UPS for Home Server

    The recent week long power outage was not kind to my server and network. I have a small UPS with unknown AGM battery condition. I currently do not have the USB cable connected between server and UPS for "smoother" shutdown. The hard shutdown caused some issues which I can not resolve until I...
  • Panel wiring with shading

    I can get three 200w panels on each side of the RV, for a total of six panels. Plan is wire 2S 3P. Shading from junk on the centerline is a problem depending on trailer orientation. It will get worse with adding these panels. Should the panels in series be on either side of the the...
  • Still Learning - upgrading a lot on the RV

    Attempting to save money and bandaid my RV factory installed system is getting out of control. Came with 215w solar and Zamp 30a charger. I've upgraded solar to 470w doing my best to match voltage. 200+170+100 Currently with 200ah LIFeO4. First thing to go, Zamp charger. Planning to go to...
  • Solar Neophyte with new 5th wheel - Upgrade Solar

    2022 Arctic Fox 27-5L, 50a service Zamp factory 30a controller 2 port cap on roof one 45w panel & one 170 panel Rest of planned configuration upgrade below the solar questions Looking to put on another 170 panel and had a heart attack at Zamp's cost of $599. Led me to HQST 190w panel. Zamp...
  • Rethinking Multipass wiring

    I was planning to run wires (50a) from the back of the trailer to the front and back again. Trailer was prewired for ATS and I had installed a 50a inlet on the front of the trailer for that and an inverter (50a plug on it). Thinking this through further, and it's beginning to make sense to use...
  • Panel Mounting on 5th wheel roof

    I currently have 1200w on the roof. Started with factory limited amountn, added to it, taking off one panel... Four mounting holes patched Added an additional panel Took off the 2nd factory panel and my new panels, eight holes patched Added six new panels It looks like at least one panel mount...
  • converter/charger in parallel with MP II

    During my recent trip, LFP bank (600ah) got down to 20% due to several days of very limited solar collection. I was leaving later that morning and decided to start the generator for a short period of time. Generator is 2200w running capacity, I set limit to 18.5a. Couple of interesting...
  • AGM vs FLA for auto starting battery

    I have a car that will sit for a couple of weeks at a time and is stored all winter with a trickle charger. The factory battery is now 13 years old, about 5 years ago, I hit it with a homemade desulfator, which worked well. I no longer have the desulfator, but think it's time to replace the...
  • On the ground panel kickstand

    Rather than toss or sell them at a huge discount, I'm going to keep the two 200w 12v panels for ground deplyment and use the side wiring input. But I need to be able to support them. Weight and ease of use are critical, along with as flat as possible for storage. I may regret hauling the...
  • Panel Performance Graph

    Woke up this morning to clear blue sky. Started the AC to run the batteries down a bit. By the time the shadow from the trees cleared, there was a thin cirrus layer and then some thinner cumulus clouds developing :( Someday I'll see what my 600w (per side) can truly achieve.
  • LFP storage at a high level of charge

    I see absolute storage, no energy going in or out should have a limit of 80% SOC, What about some usage? Right now, 5th wheel is not being used, but I'm leaving 120v and 12v running, and vampire parasitic loads pull about 8% every night (600ah total capacity). Second somewhat related...
  • Getting wire down from roof

    I had a plan.... apparently not a good one :( Original plan was to pull wires using the existing wire going to the roof gland and over the hole with a project box, used as a combiner. For once, wires are stabled or otherwise restrained. There are two sewer pipes going up in the same cavity I...
  • 2 pole breaker as switch to SCC

    15a total coming from each of two separate strings (1s 3P) to two separate SCC. Each panel lead is fused going to combiner. Can I use a non polarized breaker as switch to turn off energy coming from both strings of panels, only positive lead? 2nd question, two victron 100/50 SCC, I'm assuming...
  • Unexpected voltage drop on 5a circuit

    I ran about a 10' of 16g to a 12v blue sea outlet through a 10a blade fuse attached to the buss bar. I use the outlet to run 12v native powered freezer. Freezer is reporting about -1.0v to what I'm seeing at the buss bar when the compressor is running. It's difficult for me to get to the back...
  • Starting 12V Absorbtion Fridge on Battery

    For grins, I started it on 12v... it hit the battery bank much harder than I expected. It was an experiment, and took about 20sih hours to finally cook down, and hit my 600ah battery bank for almost 500 amps. It was an empty fridge. I so need to either upgrade this fridge to 12v compressor...
  • Battery interconnecting cables

    I mistakenly thought that batteries in parallel somehow magically shared the load. Boy was I wrong, and may need to do some rewiring. Positive point, even after 20 minutes of running in overload, my worst wire was 5F over ambient.... now I understand why. I was expecting one of two things...
  • PWM and MPPT SCC in parallel

    5th wheel came with PWM, which was removed and replaced with two VE MPPT. Also have two 200w panels that are currently holding up a wall in the shed. Can I ground deploy those two panels and wire them to the Zamp PWM attaching to the buss bar? Thinking of using those primarily when I need...
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