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  • Need help please

    Not sure if this is the right place to post but:

    So this year our family is in a park with no electric. I am trying to keep my fridge going off propane, and i know i have to keep the battery's up to keep the pilot going. However after I leave the ridge goes out and blinks and done wont stay lit. I have this ran off a 100w panel that uses mc4 connectors, I also have a 50w Coleman panel that I was going to hook up

    I took a pic of of what i have installed, the green interstate battery is the original, and the car quest is a second i installed in parallel. I took the battery's to Canadian Tire and had them tested and they said they are good.

    Now im thinking its the control charger I have (which is pictured). Its a cheap one and has a bunch of different setting you can change and i have no idea how to set it up. Going to buy a new one that is easy to use and tells whats coming in and what the battery's are at.

    My question could it be the battery's where they are different nbrs, they are both deep cycle by the way??
    Could it be my charger???
    would anyone know how to set up the charger.....has a bunch of different settings to change like float charge, reconnect, stop. I dont know what to put them at.

    Any info on this would be great.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Hoskinsp; 07-10-2019, 09:13 AM.

  • #2
    I see a few problems with your set up.

    1. Having 2 different batteries wired in parallel will result in uneven charging and discharging and a quick failure of one of them.
    2. I am not sure of the Ah rating of your battery system but I can tell you that 100watt panel will provide at best a little over 5 charging amps which will work with about a 50Ah battery.
    3. Adding a 50 watt panel to the 100watt is not a good thing to do because of the Imp & Vmp differences are probably greater then 5%. You need to make sure the panels are as close in spec as possible.

    First I would determine the true Ah 20 hour rating of each battery. Then I would get enough panel wattage to generate (at least on paper) 10% of the Ah rating.

    I don't think you need both batteries. I think you need more panel wattage to keep either battery properly charged.

    Comment


    • #3
      So if i get a group 27 or 31 agm battery will this last the fridge a week when im not there??? or should I go with another battery like the one i have and make them the same??
      also looking at another 100w panel as we speak

      thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Hoskinsp View Post
        So if i get a group 27 or 31 agm battery will this last the fridge a week when im not there??? or should I go with another battery like the one i have and make them the same??
        also looking at another 100w panel as we speak

        thanks
        It would be hard to say what battery will work for your fridge without knowing the number of watt hours it uses each day. From there we can determine what size battery to get and how many pv panels to charge it. Remember no one gets the correct amount of sunlight 365 days a year so the battery needs to be size for multiple days of little to no sun which will allow it to power the load a few days even if it does not get charged back up to 100%.


        My RV has a coach battery system that is about 215Ah at 12v ( 2x 6v 215Ah batteries) and it has provided the proper amount of DC voltage to keep my fridge going for days running on my propane tank. Although I have to recharge the battery system with the RV engine alternator every couple of days when it is not plugged in or those batteries will drain.

        If I ever get my solar charging system up and running for the RV I would be using about 4 of those 100 watt panels wired in parallel to a 30Amp PWM CC. If I had an MPPT type CC I could charge my batteries using 3 of those 100 watt panel.
        Last edited by SunEagle; 07-10-2019, 10:45 AM. Reason: added last sentence

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

          It would be hard to say what battery will work for your fridge without knowing the number of watt hours it uses each day. From there we can determine what size battery to get and how many pv panels to charge it. Remember no one gets the correct amount of sunlight 365 days a year so the battery needs to be size for multiple days of little to no sun which will allow it to power the load a few days even if it does not get charged back up to 100%.


          My RV has a coach battery system that is about 215Ah at 12v ( 2x 6v 215Ah batteries) and it has provided the proper amount of DC voltage to keep my fridge going for days running on my propane tank. Although I have to recharge the battery system with the RV engine alternator every couple of days when it is not plugged in or those batteries will drain.

          If I ever get my solar charging system up and running for the RV I would be using about 4 of those 100 watt panels wired in parallel to a 30Amp PWM CC. If I had an MPPT type CC I could charge my batteries using 3 of those 100 watt panel.
          I am wondering the advantage to hook the panels in parallel vs. series for this application? I have been reading here for as much info as possible to build a system to keep my propane fridge running as well, and most of what I have discovered is that higher voltage than the battery bank would be ideal.

          Comment


          • #6
            Having the panels wired in parallel works better for a PWM type CC (which the OP is using) but it yields about 33% less charging amps then an MPPT type CC due to how the CC works.

            A higher input voltage does not provide any more reliability to allow your loads to run longer. It will allow you to charge a higher voltage battery which will allow you to reduce wire sizes due to less amps going through them. The problem with a different coach battery voltage then the starter and alternator voltage is not being easily able to charge the coach battery using the alternator. You would need additional equipment to get the alternator output voltage to allow you to charge the coach battery.

            Again the OP should try to determine the Ah rating of that Interstate battery and work toward getting enough panel wattage to keep it charged. At this point going with more batteries or panels is a guessing game. Don't waste your money until you know what the battery needs first.

            Comment


            • #7
              Looking on info for the battery's i have. The interstate one i have which is the green one is rated for 81 amp hours. According to what i can find the amp hours on the black battery i have is 80. So not far from the green one
              I am not up on this whole calculation thing. So if my interstate is good for 81 amp hours what would I need from here??

              PS also looking at another controller, i think its a PWM. I want just a simple controller that tells me input and what the battery's are at. So far this one seems to be not bad. I dot want to spend a small fortune either lol
              Attached Files
              Last edited by Hoskinsp; 07-10-2019, 01:19 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                With an 81Ah battery you should be charging between 8 and 10 amps. So your original CC should be enough. You will still need another 100 watt panel similar to what you already have. Wire them in parallel to the CC and then to just the Interstate battery for a balanced system.

                Once you know your battery is getting back to 100% SOC then you can decide if it is big enough to keep your fridge control power satisfied. If not then you will need to probably build a bigger battery system and add more panel wattage for charging.

                Comment


                • #9
                  How much will the CO2 sensor drain the system???

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hoskinsp View Post
                    How much will the CO2 sensor drain the system???
                    Hard to say but I would think not much since they can usually be powered by a 9v battery for a long time. My guess is that yours is powered by the coach battery which can be a vampire drain.


                    Right now you do not know if your battery system is big enough. What you do know is that your 100w solar charging amps is not enough for a single battery. So fix what you do know first before you expand your system or you might just waste money.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah my CO2 is hardwired, i thought ab out turning off my main panel when i leaves but i looked at the sensor and its actually hard wired.

                      Ok ill install another panel first to one battery and if that dont work ill put in another battery

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        CO2 detector? Wouldn't it go off every time I open a beer?

                        Perhaps a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector would be a better idea.


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hoskinsp View Post
                          How much will the CO2 sensor drain the system???
                          In my Vampire load hunting days, I found that my 120VAC CO detectors used 5 watts. So I
                          went out and bought a battery powered CO detector. But then I wired it into a very efficient
                          DC power supply system I had devised to run many such things.

                          Now it beeps because it is 7 years old. Stay tuned... Bruce Roe

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When I put the 5th wheel up for the season I simply opened the power center and pulled the fuse for the CO detector. I left the door opened to remind me to replug the fuse before heading back out on the road.
                            2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bcroe View Post

                              In my Vampire load hunting days, I found that my 120VAC CO detectors used 5 watts. So I
                              went out and bought a battery powered CO detector. But then I wired it into a very efficient
                              DC power supply system I had devised to run many such things.

                              Now it beeps because it is 7 years old. Stay tuned... Bruce Roe
                              The 7 -10 year element life of a CO detector is sad..... Replacements seldom fit the original footprint. I've got a hardwired AC powered system in my house, all 18 (thanks kalifornia) of them interconnected, I'm about to have all the CO's expire and hope I can find models that fit the hardwire connectors !
                              Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                              || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                              || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                              solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                              gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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