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Old 02-24-2015, 08:18 PM   #1
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Modifying MH to use off grid

[Question re-posted here] My MH uses one 12v house battery, a 55 amp converter, but no inverter. Can current electrical system be modified by adding solar panels and 1000w (or higher) inverter or will a second 12v battery be needed to power a 19" TV, LED lights, and possibly the fridge? If this question has already been addressed, please let me know where I can find it. Thanks for your help.

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Old 02-24-2015, 08:25 PM   #2
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I would rule out running the fridge on an inverter. Very inefficient when compared to propane, and would require a battery bank of 4 or 6, as well as a larger converter/charger.

Using a smaller inverter to power the TV would be fine, and could be done with one decent size battery in good condition if you limit your viewing time.

I personally use a laptop computer with a 15" screen and a DVD drive for my entertainment. The internal battery runs for about 5 hours, which is my limit for a day.

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Old 02-25-2015, 01:50 AM   #3
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:51 PM   #4
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I have 3 batteries and 200 watt solar with MPPT controler. We use a 29 in LED TV when boondocked and with fridge on gas we never run out of power, batteries charged by noon and make ice with the ice maker in the afternoon. Power everything with a 400 watt inverter. Including charging 2 cellphones and 2 portable computers.
Most charging happens during the day. LED lighting at night. Including porch lights.
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Old 02-28-2015, 10:18 AM   #5
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Hi, Mike and Michele

Originally Posted by MMBradley View Post
My MH uses one 12v house battery, a 55 amp converter, but no inverter. Can current electrical system be modified by adding solar panels.......
Yes, any battery can have a PV solar system added as a charge source. The amount of solar power needed depends on where you are located (temperatures and insolation), how much power you consume and whether you use other charge sources like a generator.

[QUOTE=MMBradley;2440190].... and 1000w (or higher) inverter ...../QUOTE]

You can add an inverter to your battery but 1000 Watts on a single 12 volt battery may cause too much voltage drop and the inverter will turn off. It depends on the load.

Originally Posted by MMBradley View Post
..... or will a second 12v battery be needed to power a 19" TV, LED lights, and possibly the fridge? .......
If you can find another used battery or batteries like the one you have, you can mix them. This is not the best but it will do if on a budget. I don't recommend buying a new battery and mixing it with an old battery. That will cause early failure. Always use the same make, model and age battery when you buy new.

The refrigerator, if it is a propane/electric, is a very heavy to use on 120 volts. Use the LP setting and save your battery for the other items you mentioned.

If you plan to use this full time, you should also install a battery capacity monitor that will keep track of your remaining battery capacity. Blue Sky Energy makes the IPN Pro and it works with their charge controller. No other monitor/charger combination on the market can come close to the performance and accurate battery charging it provides. There is also Bogart Engineering, Xantrex and a few others that make capacity monitors.

I have a vast knowledge about PV solar, batteries and inverters. I'll try to provide the best answer if I know it and hopefully correct some "Campfire" talk. Full-time 1999-2004. Part time now. '92 Hawkins, 360AH Lithium Battery, 1480 Watts PV solar.
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