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Old 01-09-2020, 03:49 PM   #155
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What other vendors should one consider beyond Victron?

I'm not trying to start a debate. Victron is the name I recognize is all.

Based on recent research, it seems like I won't get all the benefits of adding solar to my coach if I don't also upgrade the storage. I was hoping a budget of $10k was going to cover the power system overhaul.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:56 PM   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayduke View Post
What other vendors should one consider beyond Victron?

I'm not trying to start a debate. Victron is the name I recognize is all.

Based on recent research, it seems like I won't get all the benefits of adding solar to my coach if I don't also upgrade the storage. I was hoping a budget of $10k was going to cover the power system overhaul.
I use all Victron on the coach, but Magnum on my S&B " power wall clone" system. Personally think Victron is easier to set up with lithium battery voltages, and all Victron components have bluetooth ability, which is a good feature if running wires are PIA in your coach.
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Old 01-09-2020, 04:27 PM   #157
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For the monitoring of the system I think that SIMARINE has a unit that cannot be beat by any other vendor. They are very popular in Europe and I really like the sleek display the phone app and also that you can monitor your tank levels with it and a bunch of other stuff. However I donít thing they make a solar charger.
Xantrex makes a similar monitor to the Victron.
Morningstar has quality solar chargers but I think they are mostly used in stationary applications.
Balmar and Sterling-Power are used in the marine world.
Also the Rover charge controller made by Renogy is a good budget but quality controller.
Hope this gives you a start in your research.
$10k can buy you a very very nice system. And if you do the install I think half of that money will make a good solution for most people.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:42 AM   #158
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Well 1st full day in Quartzsite under our belt and we made 5.3 Kwh and a total of 441 AH with our Solar system that was consumed and/or stored back to the batteries......love this stuff
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:58 AM   #159
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Well 1st full day in Quartzsite under our belt and we made 5.3 Kwh and a total of 441 AH with our Solar system that was consumed and/or stored back to the batteries......love this stuff
That's good information. Useful to me for estimating the real-world output of my 300W worth of panels on my van. Way up here at the Great Lakes, I can expect to get very little out of them it would seem, at least this time of year.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:27 PM   #160
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Coincidentally 5.3 kWh is what our average daily use was for our one EV. For last year. Go figure.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:44 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by Hayduke View Post
What other vendors should one consider beyond Victron?

I'm not trying to start a debate. Victron is the name I recognize is all.

Based on recent research, it seems like I won't get all the benefits of adding solar to my coach if I don't also upgrade the storage. I was hoping a budget of $10k was going to cover the power system overhaul.
No problem with a $10K budget.
I put 1455 watts of solar on the roof, went with all new Victron components and 600 amp hours of battle born batteries for about
$8K, but did all the work myself. I image that if you pay someone to install it, would be well north of $10K though.
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Old 07-25-2020, 01:56 PM   #162
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15 month update

Hello everyone,
after 15 month of use I was curious to see if the batteries had aged noticeable. Aging means that they loose capacity. I have 404 Ah installed and set up a test last night to discharge my battery.
First off I like to state that I have not turned off my chassis nor the house disconnect in over a year.
We made a lot of trips in the past 15 month 2 of them longer were we lived in the RV for 2-3 month almost all of it boondocking.
My experience on performance is great. We are not heavy electric unseres, we have no residential fridge and donít watch TV every night. We usually stay for 10 nights unplugged from shore power as this is how long our water lasts.
So... I plugged in my pond pump last night it uses about 250W. With sone other consumers running the system used about 22A.
So in theory 18h of runtime. I decided to leave it running all night.
Around lunch time I also stared the TV lights and fans.
The result was that The Victron low Sate Of Charge went off at 385.6Ah consumed. The Voltage was still surprising high at 12.6V so this is a very flat discharge curve.
I could have let the test run further but this was good enough for me. This is 95% of the advertised capacity after 15 month and I know i could have squeezed out quite a bit more.
So what would I do different installing this system today?
A) 400 Ah is a budget system you can add additional solar at a later time but adding new to older lipos is not so ideal. Maybe I would go for 600 Ah.
B) I would go with a 24V solar panel. I have mine wired for 24V but they are 12V panels. Less wires to the combiner box.
C) I would use a Dali BMS and wire this to a large relay so the current goes through the relay but all monitoring & balancing is done by the BMS. Or hook it up to the Victron battery disconnect relay. I have 4 temp sensors on my battery 3 would be eliminated.
D) I am a bit worried if I would sell my coach for the new owner to learn the system. It somehow grew complex and a drop in solution would make me sleep better as a non technical person might be challenged if an issue arises.

What works great:
1. The battery compartment now holds also a lot of tools as the battery is so much smaller. Important in my 34 ft coach.
2. 100W Solar dedicated for the chassis battery on the OEM controller works great we even charge our iPads from this And I never have to worry about the coach not starting as it gets a trickle charge every day.
3. During our 3 month winter stay in FL I used the generator one time to run the AC because the humidity got so high. Otherwise I just exercise it every 3 weeks.
4. The Renogy DC-DC charger works great for alternator charging and is in my opinion the best (because itís simple) and cheapest solution to protect the alternator.

So yes, if I get a different coach tomorrow installing lithium & solar would be very high on the to do list. And I would buy my own cells again and built the battery. The cost difference is still too high.

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Old 07-26-2020, 04:59 PM   #163
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So I just updated our existing system a couple of weeks ago and have been boondocking in Colorado ever since, so thought I'd share my experience for those of you that may not be quite so DIY as Jeorg

Here is a link to all the updates we just did recently:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2589...4596560764483/

The great thing about this new system is that my battery bay now has room for a mini-split system that will replace the current rooftop AC units and will be able to run with little no battery use during the sunlight hours and probably for up to 6 hours on the batteries after sundown.

We can now even run the very inefficient roof air (front or rear) while driving with no battery use (actually still slightly charges house batteries) and we like to keep the rear unit running for at least an hour prior to arrival to offset any heat from engine compartment.

I'm especially proud of the way the battery compartment came out with the 8 Lion energy batteries wired now in series and parallel for 24V. The series cables are 4/0 and the parallel is done via 1/4"x1" solid copper bus bars on top of the 1 1/4" standoffs that are shipped with the batteries with shrink wrap to protect from and shorting in the compartment.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:09 PM   #164
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Paul,
the mini split system will just be over the top ... that is so awesome, really well done. You think I can extend my roof in the back by 4ft so I can get a couple more solar panels installed lol.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:51 PM   #165
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Paul,
the mini split system will just be over the top ... that is so awesome, really well done. You think I can extend my roof in the back by 4ft so I can get a couple more solar panels installed lol.
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