My diagram for my 600W DIY LiFePO4 van mounted system (First Solar System!)

elpulpo

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
29
Hey DIY Solar Power Forum, really excited to be working on the designs for my first ever solar build. I designed this build to power my office and living space in my 1990s Toyta Hiace. The van is still on its way from Japan and I've already ordered the batteries (Lishen) from Alibaba. Have a look at my diagram and please let me know if I've done anything dumb or could do anything better! This is my first ever try so I'm really feeling the learning curve.

circut.jpg

Parts List:
ItemCostPartNotesLink
A$707Panels12/24(1) 200 WATT 24 VOLT SOLAR PANEL BACK ORDER — RICH SOLAR
B$1,006Batteries12/24vDeep Cycles 3.2v 280ah Lifepo4 272ah Lishen Lifepo4 Battery - Buy Lifepo4 Battery 280ah 3.2v,Lishen Lifepo4,Lifepo4 272ah Product on Alibaba.com
C$227Amp Solar Charge Controller24vAmazon.com: Victron Energy SmartSolar MPPT 100V 30 amp 12/24-Volt Solar Charge Controller (Bluetooth): Industrial & Scientific
D$128BMS24v8s BMS 100a LifePo4 Battery Management System for 24v DIY Batteries, Programmable, Bluetooth Included. – Overkill Solar
E$260Inverter24vAmazonSmile: Xijia 2500W (Peak Power 5000W) Pure Sine Wave Inverter DC 24V to AC 120V 60HZ Solar Converter for Home Use car (DC24V (Range 20V-30V) 2500W): Car Electronics
F$3612V Transformer24v to 12vAmazonSmile: uxcell New BIG-Size Voltage Converter Regulator DC/DC DC 24V to DC 12V 40A 480W Buck Transformer Waterproof: Electronics
G$12Entry Gland2-6mmAmazonSmile: Link Solar Weatherproof ABS Solar Double Cable Entry Gland for All Cable Types 2mm² to 6mm² for Solar Project on Rv, Campervan, Boat: Garden & Outdoor
H$16Inverter Fuse250ampAmazonSmile: WindyNation ANL Fuse Holder + ANL Fuse (2pcs 250A Fuse): Car Electronics
I$27Charge Controller Breaker40ampAmazonSmile: T Tocas 50 A Circuit Breaker amp breakers with Switch Manual Reset for Boat Marine RV Yacht Battery Trailer Bus Truck, 12V - 48V DC, Waterproof (50A): Automotive
J$49BusBar250ampAmazonSmile: Blue Sea Systems 250 Amp MaxiBus BusBar with 6 studs, 2126: Sports & Outdoors
K$66Fuse Box2xAmazonSmile : Blue Sea Systems 5025 ST Blade Fuse Block - 6 Circuits with Negative Bus and Cover, 3.32'' x 4.89'' : Auxiliary Fuse Block : Sports & Outdoors
L$28Breaker30ampAmazonSmile: T Tocas 30 Amp Surface-Mount Circuit Breakers with Manual Reset, 12V- 48V DC, Waterproof (30A): Automotive
M$52GFCI Panel Mount20ampLeviton Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters - LevitonProducts.com
N$5Junction Box1xRound Weatherproof Box, Five 1/2 or 3/4 in. Threaded Outlets, Gray: Electrical Outlet Boxes: AmazonSmile: Industrial & Scientific
P$18Outlet4xJourneyman-Pro 5279 15 Amp 120-125 Volt, NEMA 5-15 Flanged Outlet, Black Commercial Grade, 2 Pole-3 Wire, Straight Blade Plug Charger Receptacle (w/Front Cover) - - AmazonSmile
M16BusBar100ampAmazonSmile: Blue Sea Systems 100 Amp Mini BusBar with 4 studs and a cover, 2315: Sports & Outdoors
$609Fridge12v/24vTF65 Semi- Truck and commercial truck refrigerator (truckfridge.com)
$25Lights Ceiling12vAmazonSmile: acegoo RV Boat Recessed Ceiling Light 4 Pack Super Slim LED Panel Light DC 12V 3W Full Aluminum Downlights, Warm White (White): Automotive
$602 Gear Fans12vAmazonSmile: Noctua NF-A20 PWM, Premium Quiet Fan, 4-Pin (200x30mm, Brown): Computers & Accessories
$21Fan Controller12vAmazonSmile: Noctua NA-FC1, 4-Pin PWM Fan Controller (Black): Computers & Accessories
$724x 110VJourneyman-Pro 5279 15 Amp 120-125 Volt, NEMA 5-15 Flanged Outlet, Black Commercial Grade, 2 Pole-3 Wire, Straight Blade Plug Charger Receptacle (w/Front Cover) - - AmazonSmile
RV Ceiling Fan
USB Ports
USB-C Ports
12V Ports
Switchboard


VAbMn2JsR1CYsepvNmchqlcAOBr3U8cujmdVLzV4SrtGw1.jpg
Van on the way!
 

FilterGuy

What, me worry?
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
5,607
Location
Los Gatos CA
Hey DIY Solar Power Forum, really excited to be working on the designs for my first ever solar build. I designed this build to power my office and living space in my 1990s Toyta Hiace. The van is still on its way from Japan and I've already ordered the batteries (Lishen) from Alibaba. Have a look at my diagram and please let me know if I've done anything dumb or could do anything better! This is my first ever try so I'm really feeling the learning curve.

View attachment 45365

Parts List:
ItemCostPartNotesLink
A$707Panels12/24(1) 200 WATT 24 VOLT SOLAR PANEL BACK ORDER — RICH SOLAR
B$1,006Batteries12/24vDeep Cycles 3.2v 280ah Lifepo4 272ah Lishen Lifepo4 Battery - Buy Lifepo4 Battery 280ah 3.2v,Lishen Lifepo4,Lifepo4 272ah Product on Alibaba.com
C$227Amp Solar Charge Controller24vAmazon.com: Victron Energy SmartSolar MPPT 100V 30 amp 12/24-Volt Solar Charge Controller (Bluetooth): Industrial & Scientific
D$128BMS24v8s BMS 100a LifePo4 Battery Management System for 24v DIY Batteries, Programmable, Bluetooth Included. – Overkill Solar
E$260Inverter24vAmazonSmile: Xijia 2500W (Peak Power 5000W) Pure Sine Wave Inverter DC 24V to AC 120V 60HZ Solar Converter for Home Use car (DC24V (Range 20V-30V) 2500W): Car Electronics
F$3612V Transformer24v to 12vAmazonSmile: uxcell New BIG-Size Voltage Converter Regulator DC/DC DC 24V to DC 12V 40A 480W Buck Transformer Waterproof: Electronics
G$12Entry Gland2-6mmAmazonSmile: Link Solar Weatherproof ABS Solar Double Cable Entry Gland for All Cable Types 2mm² to 6mm² for Solar Project on Rv, Campervan, Boat: Garden & Outdoor
H$16Inverter Fuse250ampAmazonSmile: WindyNation ANL Fuse Holder + ANL Fuse (2pcs 250A Fuse): Car Electronics
I$27Charge Controller Breaker40ampAmazonSmile: T Tocas 50 A Circuit Breaker amp breakers with Switch Manual Reset for Boat Marine RV Yacht Battery Trailer Bus Truck, 12V - 48V DC, Waterproof (50A): Automotive
J$49BusBar250ampAmazonSmile: Blue Sea Systems 250 Amp MaxiBus BusBar with 6 studs, 2126: Sports & Outdoors
K$66Fuse Box2xAmazonSmile : Blue Sea Systems 5025 ST Blade Fuse Block - 6 Circuits with Negative Bus and Cover, 3.32'' x 4.89'' : Auxiliary Fuse Block : Sports & Outdoors
L$28Breaker30ampAmazonSmile: T Tocas 30 Amp Surface-Mount Circuit Breakers with Manual Reset, 12V- 48V DC, Waterproof (30A): Automotive
M$52GFCI Panel Mount20ampLeviton Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters - LevitonProducts.com
N$5Junction Box1xRound Weatherproof Box, Five 1/2 or 3/4 in. Threaded Outlets, Gray: Electrical Outlet Boxes: AmazonSmile: Industrial & Scientific
P$18Outlet4xJourneyman-Pro 5279 15 Amp 120-125 Volt, NEMA 5-15 Flanged Outlet, Black Commercial Grade, 2 Pole-3 Wire, Straight Blade Plug Charger Receptacle (w/Front Cover) - - AmazonSmile
M16BusBar100ampAmazonSmile: Blue Sea Systems 100 Amp Mini BusBar with 4 studs and a cover, 2315: Sports & Outdoors
$609Fridge12v/24vTF65 Semi- Truck and commercial truck refrigerator (truckfridge.com)
$25Lights Ceiling12vAmazonSmile: acegoo RV Boat Recessed Ceiling Light 4 Pack Super Slim LED Panel Light DC 12V 3W Full Aluminum Downlights, Warm White (White): Automotive
$602 Gear Fans12vAmazonSmile: Noctua NF-A20 PWM, Premium Quiet Fan, 4-Pin (200x30mm, Brown): Computers & Accessories
$21Fan Controller12vAmazonSmile: Noctua NA-FC1, 4-Pin PWM Fan Controller (Black): Computers & Accessories
$724x 110VJourneyman-Pro 5279 15 Amp 120-125 Volt, NEMA 5-15 Flanged Outlet, Black Commercial Grade, 2 Pole-3 Wire, Straight Blade Plug Charger Receptacle (w/Front Cover) - - AmazonSmile
RV Ceiling Fan
USB Ports
USB-C Ports
12V Ports
Switchboard


View attachment 45360
Van on the way!
Overall, it looks like you have a pretty good start on the design.
For some reason I can't post more than a few hundred characthers so I will give feedback in multiple posts.

You have a regular 30A breaker in series with the 20A CFGI breaker. Why both?
 

FilterGuy

What, me worry?
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
5,607
Location
Los Gatos CA
The 20A CFGI breaker will limit you to 2400W AC. The inverter is 2500WAC. However the fuse on the battery is big enough for 6000W,
I imagine you were trying to size it for surges. This is OK, but that is bigger than needed and it means you need to be useing 4/0 cable.... I would recommend using something more like a 150A or even a 120A fuse. This will allow your cabling to be much smaller

The 100A BMS is just big enough for 2400W. Therefor it is not big enough for the max on the AC plus DC loads. If you are confident you will never use more than 2400W this will work, but it is tight. I like to have more headroom in the BMS capability.
 

FilterGuy

What, me worry?
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
5,607
Location
Los Gatos CA
Are the numbers next to the wires the AWG size of the wires? If so, some of the wires are too big and some are too small.

I would put smaller fuses on the wires going to the fuse box. (They should be right after the main fuse).

You may want to review this:
 

elpulpo

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
29
Overall, it looks like you have a pretty good start on the design.
For some reason I can't post more than a few hundred characthers so I will give feedback in multiple posts.

You have a regular 30A breaker in series with the 20A CFGI breaker. Why both?

Thanks so much! My thinking with the Breaker/CFGI is that the breaker protects the system and the CFGI protects the humans. Because of the way CFGI detects a difference in the current on the positive and negative lines I thought it would be an extra safety should someone short themselves to the AC without blowing the 30amp breaker. I could be totally wrong on this but that was my intention.
 

FilterGuy

What, me worry?
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
5,607
Location
Los Gatos CA
Thanks so much! My thinking with the Breaker/CFGI is that the breaker protects the system and the CFGI protects the humans. Because of the way CFGI detects a difference in the current on the positive and negative lines I thought it would be an extra safety should someone short themselves to the AC without blowing the 30amp breaker. I could be totally wrong on this but that was my intention.
The CFGI is *also* a regular 20A breaker. Unless the short is between the two, the CFGI will always blow first.
 

elpulpo

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
29
The 20A CFGI breaker will limit you to 2400W AC. The inverter is 2500WAC. However the fuse on the battery is big enough for 6000W,
I imagine you were trying to size it for surges. This is OK, but that is bigger than needed and it means you need to be useing 4/0 cable.... I would recommend using something more like a 150A or even a 120A fuse. This will allow your cabling to be much smaller

The 100A BMS is just big enough for 2400W. Therefor it is not big enough for the max on the AC plus DC loads. If you are confident you will never use more than 2400W this will work, but it is tight. I like to have more headroom in the BMS capability.
I see. Actually, I just picked that battery fuse off of one of the prebuilt systems lists. I'll probably size it down.

I'll think about my loads more carefully and then size the BMS/Inverter more appropriately. Almost all my devices are DC with the only regular AC loads being laptops and battery chargers. I picked an upsized Inverter in the off chance I wanted to run corded power saws or other similar tools.
 

MisterSandals

Participation Medalist
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
6,256
Location
Silicon Valley
You should put a switch or breaker between solar array and SCC to be able to turn off charging.

Is there a reason you chose 3 of those smaller expensive panels? I cannot tell if it is a size or arrangement issue. But $700 for 600w is a lot these days. Check craigslist for panels in your area.
 

elpulpo

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
29
You should put a switch or breaker between solar array and SCC to be able to turn off charging.

Is there a reason you chose 3 of those smaller expensive panels? I cannot tell if it is a size or arrangement issue. But $700 for 600w is a lot these days. Check craigslist for panels in your area.
Ah good call. I'll add in a switch. Yeah I tried a lot of different panel arrangments and checked craigslist. Those 200w panels just happen to fit really well on my van. Kinda gnashed my teeth on it but couldn't find another way to fit everything I want on the roof.

panels.jpg
 

HRTKD

Boondocker
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
7,692
Location
Somewhere South of Denver
If you're using a rack system, the panels can be butted up against each other very close (but some space will still be required). If you're using the standard Z brackets, you'll need a lot more space between the panels.

You're using a negative common bus bar, why not a positive common bus bar? You can stack only so many cable lugs on one bolt before you run out of threads. The bus bar makes it a lot easier should you need to disconnect one cable.
 

elpulpo

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
29
If you're using a rack system, the panels can be butted up against each other very close (but some space will still be required). If you're using the standard Z brackets, you'll need a lot more space between the panels.

You're using a negative common bus bar, why not a positive common bus bar? You can stack only so many cable lugs on one bolt before you run out of threads. The bus bar makes it a lot easier should you need to disconnect one cable.
I was wondering about that from a safety perspective if it's ok to run the positive terminals on a bus bar. Kinda new to all this so being cautious.
 

richard cabesa

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
102
Definitely put in a bus bar for the positive. Stacking many on one terminal is just bad practice. And you never know when you will add more things than you imagined. You will be ready for additions
 
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