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 > What's the Latest Solar Tech?

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jshupe

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Posted: 05/27/20 07:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

KD4UPL wrote:

My hesitation with Lithium batteries isn't based on fire. They also have a minimum temperature they should be exposed too. I'm sure it varies but the ones I've looked at had an absolute minimum temperature that was above what it often gets to on cold winter nights. If my camper is sitting outside all winter that would mean needing to unhook the batteries and bring them inside. With AGM or flooded batteries, as long as they are charged (and the solar will take care of that) there's no reason to unhook them and bring them inside during the winter.


True, but more of an issue with travel trailers where they are on the tongue. Mine are housed in passthrough storage with a furnace vent and a 200W heater that comes on if the passthrough temperature drops below 40F.

I just pulled a report for the last six months and the coldest reported battery temperature was 10C, or about 50F. Doesn’t look like the electric heater has ever been needed, and we’ve been below freezing many times.

* This post was last edited 05/27/20 07:33pm by jshupe *   View edit history

BurbMan

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Posted: 05/28/20 07:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If I remember the 100w Renogy system will put out about 5 a/h. The only thing in use during the day may be cell phone chargers and possibly a radio and the water pump. So on a decently sunny day the battery should stay 100% charged by sundown.

Thinking more about the inverter set up, and looking at this 12v TV. At 39w / 12v = 3.25 a/h draw so for say 2-3 hrs of TV we should be fine.

Thinking about how we used the inverter in the TT, it was really only for the TV, so I'm thinking a 12v TV will save the overhead and expense of the inverter and transfer switch. All our devices are chargeable by USB.


2015 Ram 3500 4x4 Laramie Crew Cab Long Box, Cummins diesel

Under renovations:
2002 Lance 811 Slide-In Camper

SOLD: 2001 K2500 Suburban LT 8.1L/4.10
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ajriding

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Posted: 05/28/20 04:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If concerned about the cold temps, then do consider that portable lithium battery. You can take it inside in the winter, and it is also available for lots of other things wherever you might take it.
I literally wish I could go back and get that from the beginning of my project.

I have 200 watts solar, and the batts usually recharged by the time I get up; I don't get up right at sunrise.

Good call on the 12v items

phemens

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Posted: 05/28/20 05:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The concern with LifePO4 batteries in the cold is charging, not discharging. In fact they operate better than wet cell or AGM on discharge in the cold.
I don't see why you'd need to bring them inside when it's cold. Mine spent the winter in the 5'er without a hitch. Just make sure not to try and charge them when it's too cold (I avoid this below 5C).


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Thermoguy

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Posted: 05/30/20 10:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I surprised no one on here has talked about the advancements in solar panels? I'm not that familiar, but isn't there flexible as well as rigid? Aren't there multiple materials that solar panels are made of? Are some more efficient than others getting more use of reduced sunlight or shade and such?

I would be curious if anyone has any real experience with different types of solar panels and if any make sense in the RV market. Living in the Pacific NW anytime a company calls me to come to my house and talk about how I should add solar panels to my house to "save" money on electric costs, I tell them to go pound sand... I know there is no efficient way to use solar to offset our low cost of electricity. But things are changing fast and that statement may not be true for much longer.

Happy to hear if anyone has any real suggestions for the RV use.

thanks

jshupe

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Posted: 05/30/20 10:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thermoguy wrote:

I surprised no one on here has talked about the advancements in solar panels? I'm not that familiar, but isn't there flexible as well as rigid? Aren't there multiple materials that solar panels are made of? Are some more efficient than others getting more use of reduced sunlight or shade and such?

I would be curious if anyone has any real experience with different types of solar panels and if any make sense in the RV market. Living in the Pacific NW anytime a company calls me to come to my house and talk about how I should add solar panels to my house to "save" money on electric costs, I tell them to go pound sand... I know there is no efficient way to use solar to offset our low cost of electricity. But things are changing fast and that statement may not be true for much longer.

Happy to hear if anyone has any real suggestions for the RV use.

thanks


There have been some improvements to cell design, but we're talking small, incremental improvements that tweak out a few extra watts per square meter for end users like us (there are some interesting advancements that aren't mass market). There are flexible panels but I know of several people who have used them and all have experienced premature failures and issues.

ajriding

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Posted: 05/31/20 11:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

you must have skipped over the post that talked about solar. Agree, the flexible ones are lower quality and more prone to damage and failuer and because there is no protective glass can be damaged by falling limbs or hail easier. They have their place if the situation calls for a thin and flexible panel, but the glass panels are the top choice.
mono is slightly better than poly but so close in performance it almost doesnt matter.
I cant imagine not having solar panels on my RV now.

time2roll

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Posted: 05/31/20 11:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lithium is now available with internal heaters that should have them working fine in the cold.


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Thermoguy

Graham, WA

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Posted: 05/31/20 01:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:

you must have skipped over the post that talked about solar. Agree, the flexible ones are lower quality and more prone to damage and failuer and because there is no protective glass can be damaged by falling limbs or hail easier. They have their place if the situation calls for a thin and flexible panel, but the glass panels are the top choice.
mono is slightly better than poly but so close in performance it almost doesnt matter.
I cant imagine not having solar panels on my RV now.


I guess I did... I just re-read all the posts and still don't see it.

But, thanks for the info. I was unaware that the flexible ones were lower quality and more prone to damage. I was hoping the opposite. But, I haven't invested in solar as just don't want to put any holes in my roof. I also have a generator and can go a couple days without using it. I only use it if I want to run an AC component like Air or TV.

jshupe

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Posted: 05/31/20 02:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thermoguy wrote:

I haven't invested in solar as just don't want to put any holes in my roof


The fear of putting holes in your roof is overblown. Not a big deal.

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