Solar Setup

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ShyTRex

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Contributor III

327
Moscow Mills
First Name
Greg
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Rice
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9837

Hi Folks,
Looking for advice and direction.. I've been watching a silly amount of youtube videos and reading a crap load of sites on building a solar generator. I think i've got the basic components down but I don't really have much knowledge on what I NEED persay..


What I know..
I'll have 4x phones ( android not that it matters)
Possibly 1 Tablet ( also Android)
From time to time a laptop
Tent LED lights
Maybe some Base camp LED light pods
In the future a Fridge unit ( when I can finally decide what one to go with)

I started researching components and here is the list and an ugly diagram I started.... so my questions are
A. The components I have... do they make sense? is it overkill/ not enough?
B. The wiring diagram.. I have no idea where I would need fuses or how it all really SHOULD connect. I'm hoping we can collaborate on how it should all be connected.
C. What am I missing?

Thanks in advance for your help!

* Possible component list*


Solar.jpg

I am modeling it after something like this
 

ShyTRex

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327
Moscow Mills
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Greg
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Rice
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9837

*bump*
Starting to think perhaps I should start off pretty small to figure things out before going larger. I'm on a number of forums so i'm either not asking the right questions or these still aren't very popular. .. or both!

The only feedback i've gotten so far is I may not need the 2000W inverter and could go smaller for my needs.
 

ShyTRex

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327
Moscow Mills
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Greg
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Rice
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9837

So I decided this morning to make a smaller version. This should allow me to have SOME power and learn WTF i'm doing with out dropping a ton of money.

Ordered the parts below.
Going to throw it all in an old Plano tool box I have sitting around in the garage.

For those who have done this before what am I missing?

Parts List
 
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WLBRASH

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Dallas
Hey,
Thanks for the info. I have been wanting to integrate a solar system to my rig and or trailer. I asked the same questions and got the same response. But good news, one of my close friends(probably a member) is building one now and he’s smarter than the average bear. I should see him this week and try and get a wiring diagram, inverter choice, battery choice, power level and cost. I’ll update soon.
David-wlbrash
 

ShyTRex

Rank II
Member

Contributor III

327
Moscow Mills
First Name
Greg
Last Name
Rice
Member #

9837

Hey,
Thanks for the info. I have been wanting to integrate a solar system to my rig and or trailer. I asked the same questions and got the same response. But good news, one of my close friends(probably a member) is building one now and he’s smarter than the average bear. I should see him this week and try and get a wiring diagram, inverter choice, battery choice, power level and cost. I’ll update soon.
David-wlbrash
Oh great! thanks!!!

I started putting mine together and used it on the camping trip this weekend. Worked well but I need a much larger solar panel and a different inverter. The one I bought works fine but its not a pure sinewave so I don't want to charge my laptop and cell phones with it. I put it together really quickly so its kind of hacked together and the wiring sucks.
 

Flipper

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F
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I used to do this for a living. What questions do you have?
1. Inverters: Kisae, Xantrex, Magnum. PURE SINE WAVE
2. Batteries: AGM deep cycle. The battery will be measured in minutes at a 25 amp load . Your LED lights are hardly going to draw anything. The frig is going to be the big draw.
3. Solar Panel: Monocrystiline, they are the most efficient.
4. Controller: I like MorningStar but they are basically all the same, some with a few options. The controller regulates the charge and blocks the system back feeding to the panel at night.
If you are looking for a system to run a 2K inverter you are probably looking at:
2 AGM group 27s or 31s. $400-500
1 solar panel. 100W or more, 125w around $200
1 controller. $30
Wire, fuses, connectors around $200 DO NOT SKIMP ON THE WIRE SIZE
a 2K inverter is going to draw around 260A. so you are looking a 2/0 cable to the inverter. BE CAREFUL THIS AMOUNT OF CURRENT CAN KILL YOU!

If you want me to draw a block diagram of a system, let me know.
If you are considering 20-50w panel you are wasting your money.
An easy way to look at this is taking time out of the batteries and putting the time back in with the panel. You can also install a ACR battery link or a charging relay by Blue Seas What this does is it connects your truck batt and alt. to your system. When you start your truck it connects to the system and charges the batteries while you a driving. When you turn your truck off it disconnects the truck so you dont have to worry about a dead start batt.
 

nickburt

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Here's one I knocked up a while ago for a 24vdc truck I'm working on. 12 or 24vdc - same principals apply. (240Vac - we're in the UK) charging and power rev 2.jpg
 
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Rich Faller

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Durango
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Im by no means an electrician, so I've been looking into the goal zero kits for a solar setup somewhere down the road. What i really like about them is they're pretty modular in the sense that you can link up multiple solar panels to a single yeti power station and power a lot of stuff with it, all while having everything contained in a single unit backed by a warranty. I get that some people might require a much more elaborate system to run more accessories off of, but I'm surprised the goal zero kits haven't been looked into as much by people just starting out that just need to run small things, like recharge phones, laptops, maybe run a fridge, and a few lights. Just my $0.02
 

NinjaHippie

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Casper, WY
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11840

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Just had my first trip with my Renogy 100w "suitcase" system. Love it. Best money I've spent other than my trailer. Power is really important to me as I sleep with a CPAP. I have a standard SLA group 24 deep cycle battery. A normal night with the LED lights and the CPAP usually uses 1/3 to 1/2 of the battery. With just a couple of hours of direct sunlight I have a full charge the next morning. The suitcase folds up to about 2.5' x 2' and includes a charge controller that can work with most battery chemistries and about 10' of cable. Adapters are available for most plugs if you set your rig up for them. You will only need an inverter if you want to run 110 or 240 v (depending on your country). Inverters convert a bunch of your power to heat and if you are just plugging in phone chargers they are converting back down and doing the same. You don't need that to charge USB devices. Some charge controllers include USB ports (the one I have doesn't). The easy thing is getting a cigarette lighter USB plug and running it off the 12v battery. Most newer trailers and campers have USB charging ports built in or at least 12v outlets so you can use the cigarette lighter plug converter. Also simple to wire if you are just using a stand alone battery. Here's the unit I got:
 
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1leg

Rank 0

Traveler I

I would suggest looking into a dc-dc charger like CTEC OR REDARC with a built in MPPT solar controller.
REDARC BCDC1225D
ctek d250sa dual
 

Michael Kinnett

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Muncie, IN
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Flipper is pretty much on point here with choices, price, and assessment of needs. You need to decide on a fridge first, IMO, then you will know what your power needs will really be. I built mine from my Dometic CFX-50, did some testing, lots of math, and decided on 2 x 100aH AGM batteries in parallel. I went for extra capacity to provide for extended stays in camp, charging with a Blue Sea ML-ACR to connect alternator, a Renogy 100w PV panel, and a Noco Genius 7200 for when I have shore power available. As stated, DO NOT cheap on wiring/fuses, etc,. Be prepared to research a LOT and you will get it right the first time.