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Old 11-14-2010, 04:30 PM   #113
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Back to the intitial intent of this post.

Question....I have 4-6volt GC batteries. Checked the wiring and they are wired in series as pairs and then in parallel. They are interstate 2200 batteries with labels on them for having 220 AH.

I'm in the process of setting up my Trimetric 2020 measurements and the instructions are asking me about the battery voltage and amp hours.

What voltage should I set the meter at (asking for full level) and does this mean I have 440 AH of battery life? By the way I have 2-200 watt panels on the roof.

I do believe the Trojans like 14.8V as their full set value. I'd check on their site and look up the data sheet for that particular battery, and Bob's site has that info too, I think. As for the exceeding the C-rate of charging that some have spoken of, it's unlikely that your panels will exceed the maximum charge rate for 440 AH. Even at 20 amps input, that's less than a c-20 rate, which is low enough to keep boiling to a minimum. Your Trimetric should top everything off nicely.

For the longevity of your batteries, it's MORE important that they regain their full charge as often as possible before the sun goes down.

Batteries are very unhappy sitting at a low charge for days on end. I know...being alone out in the desert for weeks at a time, I talk to them alot.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:12 PM   #114
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Thanks...well after testing out the system and moving some wires around on the batteries, everything is set up.

There are no phantom loads on the system (yeah) and the panels did great today even on a very overcast day.

Trimetric suggests only using 1/2 of the full rating of the batteries so I've got it set at 220 AH which is half of the battery range.

Started checking out the various items in the coach. Wow...the lights over the bathroom sink have a huge draw as they are AC and so does the 32" LCD TV. The diretv receiver pull little to no juice.

I realize that I may not be able to run everything all of the time, but it's really cool to be able to use energy and not worry about killing off the batteries. Just need to remember to turn off the TV when we're really not watching it because is pull nearly 9 amps.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:36 PM   #115
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No, I'm not saying that Bob does anything that violates science. I'm just trying to find the science behind what he does successfully. I believe there are a couple things that he's got "wrong", but really they are just a compromise based on the system constraints. It seems to me that I've been slapped on the hand for sharing the science I've found and being told, hey, it works, that's enough...but that's not true for me. I want, I need to understand the science. It's basic to my personality...I am unable to contain my curiosity.
I had to go back and read this whole thread, specifically looking for things you shared. It seems to me like you pretty much confirmed (as much as possible) most of what Bob talks about on his site, so I'm not sure why you would feel someone was slapping you down. I didn't get that impression myself. *shrug*

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I have no plans to stop the research I'm doing, nor do I have plans to stop being curious...I do however have plans to stop sharing that information -here-. Its no real "skin off my nose", I just thought that I was on a forum that encouraged the exchange of ideas, and sharing the results. It's clear to me now that the level of detail that -I- like to take things to, is different than what you guys want to hear. I'm OK with that, it happens to me all the time. I am still open to talking about it, just send me a PM and we can chat there.
Share, or don't. That's no skin off my nose either. But don't stop sharing because you think we don't want to hear your test results.
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:27 AM   #116
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Have to agree.. sounds like RocketDork pretty much confirmed what Bob said, but just wants to prove it out with some science and tests... Would be cool, actually.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:25 PM   #117
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Did anyone note that the 14.8 volt set point is at 80 degrees F actual battery temperature ????? With a battery temperature sensor the voltage then varies with the battery temperature. You are using a battery temperature sensor aren't you ????
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:23 PM   #118
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Did anyone note that the 14.8 volt set point is at 80 degrees F actual battery temperature ????? With a battery temperature sensor the voltage then varies with the battery temperature. You are using a battery temperature sensor aren't you ????
I've hooked up both the remote temperature sensor and the battery voltage sensor that the Morningstar comes with. Just finished hooking up the Trimetric meter and the system is working nicely. The first weekend out I believe I expected too much of it.

For example, not knowing the draw of each item....well I left the TV on for most of the day and it really pulled the batteries down. This was coupled with using the microwave and the ceiling fans.

400 watts is nice....but it still requires some discipline about how we use our power.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:24 AM   #119
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I've hooked up both the remote temperature sensor and the battery voltage sensor that the Morningstar comes with. Just finished hooking up the Trimetric meter and the system is working nicely. The first weekend out I believe I expected too much of it.

For example, not knowing the draw of each item....well I left the TV on for most of the day and it really pulled the batteries down. This was coupled with using the microwave and the ceiling fans.

400 watts is nice....but it still requires some discipline about how we use our power.
Just out of curiosity, what type of TV do you have, and how many watts is it pulling? Have you done any measuring with something like the Kill-a-watt?
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:12 AM   #120
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Just out of curiosity, what type of TV do you have, and how many watts is it pulling? Have you done any measuring with something like the Kill-a-watt?
Did not use the kill-a watt; however the Trimetric is really easy to use. With everything turned off (including the inverter) it measures 0 amps being used. Goes down to tenths.

When I turn on the inverter the meter jumps up to about 3.5 amps. This provides power to the receptacles, microwave, etc. When I turn on the Directv receiver its a minimal jump however when the TV comes on it about a 9 amp draw.

I forget the brand name (got it from Best Buy) but it's a 32" LCD so I figure the draw is about right. A bad habit I have is to leave it on for 'noise' when I'm not really watching it. So now I just turn off the set....no big deal.

Now I need to get a feel for how much the coffee maker pulls. I did note that the Fantastic vents draw about 2-3 amps each and I run the fridge on propane while dry camping. Same with the hot water heater.

Now I understand why Handy Bob recommends the Trimetric. Just looking at the voltage gauge that came with the inverter is not reliable. It's way off when compared to the Trimetric and voltage alone doesn't tell the whole story of how the battery charge is holding out.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:15 AM   #121
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When I turn on the inverter the meter jumps up to about 3.5 amps. This provides power to the receptacles, microwave, etc. When I turn on the Directv receiver its a minimal jump however when the TV comes on it about a 9 amp draw.

I forget the brand name (got it from Best Buy) but it's a 32" LCD so I figure the draw is about right. A bad habit I have is to leave it on for 'noise' when I'm not really watching it. So now I just turn off the set....no big deal.
I've got the Insignia from Best Buy, same size. But it's just a monitor - no tuner included (I don't think). It is rated at 1.5 amps, 150 watts. Do you know what yours is officially rated at?
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:00 AM   #122
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9 amps is a huge draw for a TV.. ANY TV... I'd look at that again.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:17 AM   #123
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Not at 12V its not.

That works out to about 110 watts.

Remember that he's running it off the inverter and the trimetric is reading the current at the batteries.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:19 PM   #124
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Not at 12V its not.

That works out to about 110 watts.

Remember that he's running it off the inverter and the trimetric is reading the current at the batteries.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:42 PM   #125
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I've got the Insignia from Best Buy, same size. But it's just a monitor - no tuner included (I don't think). It is rated at 1.5 amps, 150 watts. Do you know what yours is officially rated at?
Thanks for the reminder....I couldn't remember the brand.

I think the amps/watts rating is for AC and believe that it's different for DC power. I believe the rocket man provided the actual math behind this science and I appreciate that.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:47 AM   #126
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I have set up our Teardrop trailer for boondocking. It only has a 14 gal internal water tank so for locations that have water I have a 12 external pump and three water filters, a gross filter out the big stuff (polliwogs, small birds, mud etc.) a filter out most of the other stuff ceramic carbon filter and the final stage is a First Need NBC nuclear biological chemical that takes out everything else. I can pump directly from streams and lakes and be assured it is safe to drink.
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