diy solar

diy solar

I'm looking to power a mobile workshop.

oceanrider

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Oct 26, 2022
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I've been using two Honda eu2200i generators and it works fine but I have to move them out of the van and I'd really like to try battery power.

A friend of mine is using the Renogy Lycan 5000 with 2 extra batteries and says he'll never go back to using a generator(s) full time.
He says his hardest workday, with the Renogy Lycan 5000 and 2 extra batteries, he's ended up with 45% left and feels he "might" be able to get through another day of work. He found out he needed the two extra batteries when one day the Renogy Lycan 5000 by itself ran out of juice. He does not have solar panels on his van. Really just a battery power source for a day or two's work. He plugs it in each night to charge the batteries for the next day. He says it take about 3hrs to charge it up.

I would like to build something with a bit more watt hours than the Renogy Lycan with 2 extra batteries. I'd like something that would get me through 2 hard working days with room to spare. We are both running the same tools pretty much. I will plug it in everyday at home to recharge the batteries. I'm not sure the roof of a Sprinter van can accommodate enough solar panels to really make that much of a difference in this situation.

I've read here and it seems I could do better than a Renogy Lycan. That I'd be tied to using their batteries. I'd like to have more flexibility. I'd like to piece together something that would not tie me a proprietary system.

Suggestions?
 
2 SOK 48v rack batteries a Victron multiplus 3000w or 5000w inverter and cerbogx all from currentconnected.com. Get a BMScan cable and you have all the data and everything you need. Can add 1-2 or more batteries if you want.

Also with Victron you could keep your Honda generators and run 1 if you're low on power. Victron will take the 2000w or whatever the generator power is then power assist using the 3000/5000w of your inverter so plenty of power
 
2 SOK 48v rack batteries a Victron multiplus 3000w or 5000w inverter and cerbogx all from currentconnected.com. Get a BMScan cable and you have all the data and everything you need. Can add 1-2 or more batteries if you want.

Also with Victron you could keep your Honda generators and run 1 if you're low on power. Victron will take the 2000w or whatever the generator power is then power assist using the 3000/5000w of your inverter so plenty of power
Thanks for the input! I'm really just starting to learn about these battery/inverter systems, so I can use all the input and suggestions possible. I will search those and read up about them. I've been watching Wills videos, he's great at explaining things!

I do like the idea of using rack batteries. I am going to rebuild my van completely to accommodate a battery/inverter system. I could distribute the weight of the batteries around inside the back of the van if I felt it necessary.

And really like your idea of plugging in the Honda if needed (y)

Since I have limited space on the roof of a van, is, down the road, thinking about adding solar panels something I should consider?
 
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Thanks for the input. I'm really just starting to learn about these battery/inverter systems, so I can use all the input and suggestions possible. I will search those and read up about them. I've been watching Wills videos, he's great at explaining things!
Simply put Victron is king and nothing else compares. There's cheaper options and Renogy is usually the cheapest and junkiest.
 
A lot of the effectiveness of solar will depend on where you are located.

In Seattle, solar capability is more limited.

In Albuquerque, it is plentiful.
 
A lot of the effectiveness of solar will depend on where you are located.

In Seattle, solar capability is more limited.

In Albuquerque, it is plentiful.
Southern California coastal. But for the amount of power I will use, I have limited space up top on the roof. But again, I don't know much about these systems yet.
 
2 SOK 48v rack batteries a Victron multiplus 3000w or 5000w inverter and cerbogx all from currentconnected.com. Get a BMScan cable and you have all the data and everything you need. Can add 1-2 or more batteries if you want.

Also with Victron you could keep your Honda generators and run 1 if you're low on power. Victron will take the 2000w or whatever the generator power is then power assist using the 3000/5000w of your inverter so plenty of power
Which of these two SOK's were you suggesting?
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@oceanrider
A bit more info on power usage than "a hard day of work" would help to size the system, inverter and battery. Or a power station, thougg their expansion batteries are usually proprietary.

Power tools-- whats the amps on them, printed on the plates. Assume motors like saw, drill? If so they have a surge powerup need for inverter.

Lycan 5000 specs:
Battery 48v, 100Ah, 4800kWh
Output 120v 3500W, surge 7000
Input:
Solar 80A max, 4400W <<Huge, not needed at all for you, this is the pri.ary design feature of this unit!
Ac charge input 20A
265 lbs!

With that unit, the huge solar charger is expensice and totally not needed by you, so it's the wrong device.

@justinm001 is pretty spot on I think.
Sounds like a 3000W inverter charger with surge to 7000 is what you need, with some 48v server rack batteries. So the victron multiplus 3000.
 
What ever you do, remember weight distribution so you don’t get the trailer swinging and also top to bottom so it isn’t top heavy either. Strong winds or emergency avoidance can only be prepared for, not planned.
 
A Victron 48 volt inverter of the type others here have recommended would get my vote. My only concern is what battery brand for the mobile environment. Trailers ride hard. Any cell rub through or terminal tugging is No Bueno. Mounting positions are extra important too.
 
A Victron 48 volt inverter of the type others here have recommended would get my vote. My only concern is what battery brand for the mobile environment. Trailers ride hard. Any cell rub through or terminal tugging is No Bueno. Mounting positions are extra important too.
Tons use all kinds of batteries in trailers, rvs, boats. I think OP said van and tons of sprinters and other class Bs have all kinds of batteries
 
you asked about solar panels (PV) for your mobile set up - I would say - not worth the bother.
I use my mobile once or twice a week, and it plugs into a single 440W panel at the shop when not out in service, so it can recharge. I can also plug into my main shop Solar to charge it faster/during cloudy weather if needed. No way PV would be worth it for me, and would mean either no ladders up top, or the PV is under the ladders and partly shaded, likely get broken.
I built my mobile battery 24v nominal ie 25.6v 315Ah = 8064Wh a hard day all day of work and this pack is still over 50% SOC in my experience, even with the battery self heating during Winter.
 
you asked about solar panels (PV) for your mobile set up - I would say - not worth the bother.
I use my mobile once or twice a week, and it plugs into a single 440W panel at the shop when not out in service, so it can recharge. I can also plug into my main shop Solar to charge it faster/during cloudy weather if needed. No way PV would be worth it for me, and would mean either no ladders up top, or the PV is under the ladders and partly shaded, likely get broken.
I built my mobile battery 24v nominal ie 25.6v 315Ah = 8064Wh a hard day all day of work and this pack is still over 50% SOC in my experience, even with the battery self heating during Winter.
I disagee, OP could put at least 500w maybe 1000w on his roof. Say he fit 1000w, that would give him 5kw per day, basically another $1500 battery and he might not even need to plug in everyday. OP is in socal so plenty of sun and electricity is over $.30/kwh so he'd be saving over a buck a day.

He can put ladder brackets on the panels if needed and still carry a ladder. On my enclosed trailer I added 1000w of panels and next weekend ended up buying 2 20ft ladders that were too large to fit inside the trailer. Ended up strapping them right ontop of the panels and driving 1000miles that weekend all around the state with them... no issues. Solar panels have metal edges to protect them and ladders are flat on the side. Only concern are the extension ladders with those pulleys and hook thingy, thats what these ladders are and just made sure those things weren't able to touch the panel. BTW bought the ladders to make a lift so I can install solar on the roof
 
@oceanrider
A bit more info on power usage than "a hard day of work" would help to size the system, inverter and battery. Or a power station, thougg their expansion batteries are usually proprietary.

Power tools-- whats the amps on them, printed on the plates. Assume motors like saw, drill? If so they have a surge powerup need for inverter.

Lycan 5000 specs:
Battery 48v, 100Ah, 4800kWh
Output 120v 3500W, surge 7000
Input:
Solar 80A max, 4400W <<Huge, not needed at all for you, this is the pri.ary design feature of this unit!
Ac charge input 20A
265 lbs!

With that unit, the huge solar charger is expensice and totally not needed by you, so it's the wrong device.

@justinm001 is pretty spot on I think.
Sounds like a 3000W inverter charger with surge to 7000 is what you need, with some 48v server rack batteries. So the victron multiplus 3000.
Thanks for your post. Yeah I think the 3000w 48v Victron.

What is more efficient lighting, 120v or 12v?
 
If you hunt around you can save a few bucks here and there on Victron gear.

or LED lighting it doesn't really matter if 12v or 120v. Going 48V inverter makes the most sense for you and then run lights at 120v. only thing is 120v lighting takes from the 3000w you have from the inverter
 
Have you considered the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X? It's got more watt-hours than the Renogy Lycan and allows you to use different batteries, giving you the flexibility you're looking for.
 
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