Our DIY RV Boondocking Power System

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #32296
    Ray
    Keymaster

    See full blog post including parts links – http://www.loveyourrv.com/diy-rv-boondocking-power-system/

    In the video, I go over in detail all the components and wiring of my complete boondocking power system including solar panels, controller, batteries, charge converter, inverter and all the fuses and switches.

    Hopefully, this will be of help to folks who are trying to understand my complete system. Up until now, it’s been a series of install posts and videos which can lead to confusion of how everything works together. Especially since I have upgraded and changed things as I’ve expanded the off-grid systems.

    Links to more in-depth installation information on each component of the system.

    Building a Portable Solar Panel for My RV Boondocking –http://www.loveyourrv.com/building-portable-solar-panel/

    Lensun Semi-Flexible 100 Watt Solar Panel Review – Lensun Semi-Flexible 100 Watt Solar Panel Review

    Champion Generator Review after 5 Years of Use –http://www.loveyourrv.com/champion-generator-review-5-years-use/

    1000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter Updatedhttp://www.loveyourrv.com/1000w-pure-sine-wave-inverter/

    Installing an INTELIPOWER Converter for Better Battery Charging –http://www.loveyourrv.com/installing-the-inteli-power-pd9260-for-improved-rv-battery-charging/

    Bogart SC2030 CC and Trimetric TM2030-RV Installation – Bogart SC2030 CC and Trimetric TM2030-RV Installation

    Upgrading our Renogy RV Solar System to 400 Watts –http://www.loveyourrv.com/upgrading-our-renogy-rv-solar-system-to-400-watts/

    Upgrading My RV Battery Bank and 12 Volt System – http://www.loveyourrv.com/upgrading-my-rv-battery-bank-and-12-volt-system/

    Installing a Renogy 200W Solar Kit in the RV –http://www.loveyourrv.com/installing-renogy-200w-solar-kit-rv/

    #32334
    Eddie & Aileen
    Participant

    Looks like it’s going to be a good video Ray! I have to wait until the 8th to see it, our bandwidth is almost out until then.

    Good job on your Solar Power install, from someone who has seen it first hand!

    Happy Trails…Pal!!! :good:

    #32336
    Ray
    Keymaster

    Thanks and thanks for your finishing touches to the wiring and the cat fuse.  :Cool:

    #32414
    LolaandRush
    Participant

    Another fine job Ray. Just wish I had more knowledge so I understood better. But anyway thanks for the info.

    #32421
    J J
    Member

    Ray;

    Just noticed in this video that you are running 50A of panels into a 40A breaker and then to a 30A solar controller…..?

    #32428
    Ray
    Keymaster

    Ray; Just noticed in this video that you are running 50A of panels into a 40A breaker and then to a 30A solar controller…..?

    No, the max amperage I see out of each 100-watt panel is right about 6 amps. The controller is designed to handle more than 30 amps if that ever happens, likely to be a rare event, it will just drop the extra and continue outputting 30 amps.

    The 10 amp fuses are for if one panel fails (shorts) out, it will blow when the reverse current into that panel from the other 4 hits 10 amps. Now it’s a fairly remote chance that would happen but if it did the fuse would blow and the system would become a 400-watt system and keep on chugging along. :)
    Also, for safety reasons I added the fuses. You see every solar panel has what’s called “Maximum Series Fuse Rating” which if I understand it right is the maximum current that can be back fed into it before problems like overheating or even fire could develop.

    Here is a link that explains the logic. http://www.homepower.com/why-series-fusing

    Now that I’m up to 5 parallel panels I figure the fuses are a good idea. Another side benefit is it’s easy to split the circuits to test things.

    Of course, though the drawback is all the extra connections where power could be lost. One of the reasons I avoided fusing when I only had 4 panels. Where I’d only have 3 feeding back on a shorted one and the reverse current would be so close to the Maximum Series Fuse Rating (the Renogy’s are 15 amps) as to not be as much of a concern IMHO.

    #32432
    J J
    Member

    Good Morning Ray, yes you being a former electronics tech I figured you hadn’t done anything crazy.  Good overview for sure… My system is coming along slowly as I gather all the parts and components. I have decided to go with a series / parallel config on my panels that will give me the higher voltage lower amps for line loss to the controller and still be within the most efficient range for the MPPT box to do its thing.  I will have 45.76V @ 20A running to the controller. Only part I have left to figure out about the entire system is the AC Sub panel and associated wiring on the inverter side of the system. When finished I will have 30A service to the entire RV supplied by the inverter. We shall see in time if 510W of solar will be able to keep pace with that in terms of charging the battery bank… If not I do have room for at least another 3 panels on the roof, that would add up to over a 1000W of solar and I can’t see needing that just to run a microwave for a few mins a day and do some TV/computer stuff and the usual water pump and utility type stuff…. I will post some more photos as I move along with this project….

    J

    #32434
    Ray
    Keymaster

    JJ  45.76V @ 20A would be equal to 915.2 watts. Doesn’t make sense to me if you have 510 watts of solar. It’s early here, though. maybe I’m having a brain cramp.  :wacko:

    #32436
    J J
    Member

    heheheh…. well thats just the output from the panels, the controller will turn that into 12VDC to charge the batteries, thus becoming 12V @ 42.5A = 510W…..  And so goes the magic of MPPT controllers.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 7 months ago by J J.
    #32439
    Ray
    Keymaster

    JJ Why don’t you series all three? Isn’t using a series/parallel hookup with 3 panels going to be unbalanced and reduce the potential power. I thought you had to do that in pairs so the voltages and currents would match up.

    #32446
    J J
    Member

    Ah well, more MPPT magic Ray…. The MPPT really gives you flexibility to get the most from your equipment. In essence I have two arrays, one is 45.6 V @ 9.92A and the other in series is 22.8V @ 9.92A, this will result in the maximum output from the MPPT controller.  I am adding a link, can I do that?, as Amy from Alt E explains it quite well. Great discussion……  Alt E Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlsGo9AJn4M

    Enjoy…..  How’s your weather been on the island?

    J

    #32455
    Ray
    Keymaster

    Oh, cool.  I figured that like she said in the video you don’t want to parallel different panel voltages since the lower voltage array will draw the voltage down of the higher one reducing power total output from the panels to the controller. Which in turns leads to less power out to the batteries.

    We have had a wet summer so far with more than normal clouds. No too many hot sunny days. Which is OK with me, not a fan of too much heat.

    #32457
    J J
    Member

    Yes , you were correct, you don’t want to parallel different panels, they should be matched for best results. There is a lot of trickery involved with MPPT and system design, good thing for me the internet is a good research tool!  Yep, my daughter has mentioned that this summer has been a cool and wet one. I am on my way to Golden on the 17th of Sept, hope I don’t spend two weeks in the rain…….

    Have you done a video on mobile internet plans / setup for the south west US yet…. we have to crack that nut as the wife and I can’t go too long without the internet…..

     

    J

    #32461
    Ray
    Keymaster

    [quote quote=32457]Have you done a video on mobile internet plans / setup for the south-west US yet…. we have to crack that nut as the wife and I can’t go too long without the internet…..[/quote]

    We just buy prepaid data on a MiFi, 10 bucks a gigabyte and use Verizon as the carrier since they have the good rural coverage.

    http://www.verizonwireless.com/prepaid/data-plans/

    This way if a better deal pops up we can easily switch over and aren’t caught in any plans.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.