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Old 11-26-2022, 06:43 PM   #1
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Want to convert to inverter and solar...

Hey Guys,
I have a 2019 Imagine 2600RB model with a propane Fridge. I decided to install an inverter and solar panels. I assume I will go with portable solar panels? I already have 3 50AH lithium batteries as well as two deep cycle 24 series, so about 250-300ah of usable power in total.
Anyway...recommends for a whole house inverter and solar panels? If anyone has done this before, care to share a link to their project or simply give me some specs? Where did you mount inverter? What about charger?
Thanks guys.
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Old 11-26-2022, 07:12 PM   #2
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You're intention is to use both lead acid and lithium in the same system?
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Old 11-27-2022, 06:32 AM   #3
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You're intention is to use both lead acid and lithium in the same system?
Yes. I may be wrong but I don't think it's an issue at all. I use both types on my boat charging from my onboard alternator. Works great.
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Old 11-27-2022, 07:36 AM   #4
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Yes. I may be wrong but I don't think it's an issue at all. I use both types on my boat charging from my onboard alternator. Works great.
As the preferred charging parameters are distinctly different this kind of set up will affect the cycling life of one set of batteries or the other, I would think, at least with no manual intervention.

There is somebody over on the class B forum that did this sort of system. Once the lithiums filled up he would manually cut off the charging current(IRRC) and then the lithiums would continue charging the LA battery in absorb and trail off to a floating voltage. I don't know the long term results or the charge settings required.
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Old 11-27-2022, 07:36 AM   #5
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Charging lithiums with lead acid charging parameters will not give you the listed capacity. With 150 AH of lithium you'll get about 75% of that capacity. They will not recharge to 100%.
You will also not get close to 50% capacity from the flooded batteries. Your lithiums will shut down before you run down the flooded batteries.

One other point, running a gas/electric fridge on inverter is a battery killer. A 4 amp 120 volt draw is a 40 amp 12 volt draw.
Unless you swap in a compressor fridge that will only draw 1 amp at 120 volts, your batteries will not last.
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Old 11-27-2022, 08:19 AM   #6
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1) The li battery mfg probably includes a warning not to charge batteries of different chemistries together for good reasons. I am glad you have not had problems with your boat combination. I hope it lasts.

2) Even combining the total of both battery types, you don't have near enough capacity to run a whole house inverter (30 amp 120 volt or more output).
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Old 11-27-2022, 04:29 PM   #7
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Guys....thanks but let me worry about the charging. I know what I am doing using a combination of lead acid and lithium batteries plus I have both proper chargers to connect up if needed. People in the marine industry do this all the time with GPS trolling motors using lithium's and lead acid for starting batteries. I don't want to get sidetracked discussing the pros and cons of this setup.
I mainly am asking about the inverters and the solar panels you guys use. Any recommendations? Do you like portable solar panels and what size for a 30A service TT? Do you find a pure sine wave inverter is needed? I assumed so but was just making sure.
Also...do you guys use a manual transfer switch or automatic when hooked up to pole power or generator?
Thanks guys.
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Old 11-28-2022, 07:09 AM   #8
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Guys....thanks but let me worry about the charging. I know what I am doing using a combination of lead acid and lithium batteries plus I have both proper chargers to connect up if needed. People in the marine industry do this all the time with GPS trolling motors using lithium's and lead acid for starting batteries. I don't want to get sidetracked discussing the pros and cons of this setup.
I mainly am asking about the inverters and the solar panels you guys use. Any recommendations? Do you like portable solar panels and what size for a 30A service TT? Do you find a pure sine wave inverter is needed? I assumed so but was just making sure.
Also...do you guys use a manual transfer switch or automatic when hooked up to pole power or generator?
Thanks guys.
There is no point in buying a modified sine wave inverter. It is old technology. Many electronic controls for appliances and entertainment do not play well with modified sine wave power.

Almost all modern RV's that are built with generators and inverters use automatic transfer switches. On the other hand there is no reason you cannot use a manual transfer switch. The key is to disconnect one AC power source before connecting another. Most of the time, only one can be connected at the same time.
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Old 11-28-2022, 03:20 PM   #9
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I, of course, am partial to a hybrid inverter/charger. It costs not much more than a top quality inverter and transfer switch, but it’s much more convenient, and has programmable features for battery type, input amperage, and charge amperage. And the top two brands also have load sharing. Everything is totally automatic and hassle free, but I sometimes reduce the charge amperage, like when I’m hooked to my generator, or a 15amp SP circuit. Charging from near zero to 100% SOC (170ah) in 2 hours has gotten me spoiled. This DIY took about 40 hours total.

As far as panels? I was a hare’s breath from buying two hard panels to give me more power than I can farm with my fold-up soft portable. I didn’t like any of the existing flex panels because they degrade in three years or less. Before I placed an order, a solar panel company asked me to test and review a newer technology 100w flexible panel. I’ve received one of their panels, and this new panel could be a game changer for those like me who don’t want to put any holes in their roof. Damage resistant, won’t degrade, and is testing about 20% better than my monocrystalline EFTM panel in partial shade and low light. I won’t permanently mount it until I get a second one to test in series. If 2x 100w of these new panels gives me enough power, I’ll mount them permanently. If I get the second one from the manufacturer in December, I expect to post my review in late January.
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Old 12-04-2022, 06:57 PM   #10
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Modified sine inverters are like black and white TVs. You could buy one but why?
Magnum is my recomendation for an inverter charger. It will have the transfer switch built in. Victron is good too. Solar panels are a comodity. If they cost more than $1 per watt they are too expensive. Really, 75 cents a watt is more realistic.
You can never have enough solar. Put as many on the roof as will fit. Portable panels are a pain to deal with.
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Old 12-04-2022, 07:40 PM   #11
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<<<<<<<<<<<

Portable panels are a pain to deal with.
We use portables. Yes, they are a bit of work to deal with, about 5-10 minutes to deploy, 10 to stow. Two sets of suitcase panels totaling 240 watts.

But the advantages of not parking in the sun when it is warm/hot out plus the ease of cleaning are big enough positives for us not to go rooftop. They are also quite a bit more efficient at harvesting power(fewer panels). We have actually pulled higher than the ratings at least twice that I know of for short periods of time. The sun came out just after cold rain showers. Also, one does not have to be as fussy on where to park in difficult circumstances(think a fully shaded parking area at a public campground). We can deploy up to 75' of cord with very little voltage drop.

If we are staying 3 or less nights we do not bother deploying the solar unless it is quite cold, but different folks have different power needs/desires.
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Old 12-05-2022, 10:17 AM   #12
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Any recommendations? Do you like portable solar panels and what size for a 30A service TT?
How much power are you looking for? If you plan on "fully powering" a 30amp/120V RV to run AC, etc. then you are looking at needing far more battery capacity (as Persistent said) than what you are talking about as well as a massive solar array.


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Old 12-05-2022, 12:14 PM   #13
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How much power are you looking for? If you plan on "fully powering" a 30amp/120V RV to run AC, etc. then you are looking at needing far more battery capacity (as Persistent said) than what you are talking about as well as a massive solar array.


Dave
If I don't run the air conditioner, my setup easily runs my entire trailer so i don't fully agree with needing a massive solar array. I do agree that the battery capacity is critical.
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Old 12-05-2022, 01:27 PM   #14
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If I don't run the air conditioner, my setup easily runs my entire trailer so i don't fully agree with needing a massive solar array. I do agree that the battery capacity is critical.
Of course but the A/C is by far the largest draw. The OP said: "whole house inverter" and "what size for a 30A service TT" which led me to believe that he is asking for a system to run an entire 30amp, 120V load......and if so, he needs over 1,000 watts of solar ( https://www.rvingknowhow.com/solar-p...r-conditioner/ ) in addition to a battery bank 2 or 3x what he's talking about to run the A/C for any meaningful amount of time. .....I asked the question to clarify the intent.

....OTOH, if he's not trying to run the A/C the battery and solar requirements are much less. He did say "propane fridge" so no 12v compressor fridge.

My 340 watts of solar and 450AH led acid battery bank work great for my usage but I don't have an inverter and don't run anything 120V unless my EU3000is is plugged in and running.


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