help please - 1984 Jayco Dove Solar Hookup

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013 at 19:05
ThreadID: 101189 Views:2397 Replies:2 FollowUps:10
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Hi Everyone,

I've just purchased a pretty sweet little Jayco Dove 1984 in good nic. Someone was also nice enough to get me some solar panels with a controller for our engagement present too so now i'm looking at solar. .

I'm going to see an installer tomorrow and i need to tell them what i want. I'm torn between getting them to hookup the solar panel & controller to a Ritard 120amp hour battery which will simply power the 12v lights and give me a couple of 12v plugs. I've been advised against hooking it up to the fridge because it'll flatten the battery in no time and isn't worth it.

So that's option 1. Option 2 would involve hooking up an inverter. We are mad coffee fans and would love to be able to run the coffee machine for 10mins a day (max) & also charge laptops and run various other devices for short times. The coffee machine draws 1500w so i'm tossing up between these 2 inverters.


$899 - http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=MI5260&form=CAT2&SUBCATID=1002#3

$839 (1500w) - http://www.sinergex.com/products/puresine.html

The one from jaycar says it's a charger as well as an inverter so does that mean when the caravan is hooked up to 240v it will charge the battery? This would be handy to have another option to solar

the other one doesn't have that functionality so i'm curious as to which one would be better.

Now i understand the other way to hook it up would be to have a henderson plug from my car to the caravan to charge the batter while driving but i'm changing cars in 6 months so want to add this on later.

So can someone suggest the best way to instruct an installer to hook this up and give me any gotchas i should ask them for tomorrow?

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Reply By: Matt T3 - Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013 at 19:12

Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013 at 19:12
sorry forget to mention, can someone just explain the differences in the features between the 2 inverters... i mentioned the charger functionality but the jayco also seems to have an auto-switch as well...

also would you hook the inverter up to the existing 240v plugs in the caravan? I'm guessing that would allow you to use devices that are 240v, and then charge the battery when connected to 240v if i get the jaycar inverter...
AnswerID: 507155

Reply By: BluePrint Industries Pty Ltd - Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013 at 22:55

Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013 at 22:55
Hi Matt T3,

Have a read of the blog on power for camping. It's the most popular blog on the site. Lots of good info there.

Regards

K
AnswerID: 507174

Follow Up By: Sleeprequired - Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 at 19:06

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 at 19:06
That was a helpful read. I ended up going with:

- 120 amp hour Ritar deep cycle battery

- matson 12v 2-24 amp charger - http://www.australiandirect.com.au/buy/matson-infinite-12v-intelligent-battery-charger/IR12

- 130w folding solar panel - http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/130W-SHARP-CELLS-FOLDING-CARAVAN-SOLAR-PORTABLE-PANEL-KIT-20A-MPPT-6M-40A-CABLE-/271108648817?pt=AU_Solar&hash=item3f1f55af71&_uhb=1#ht_4910wt_970

- 8zed 2000w inverter - http://performanceshop.com.au/2000W-12V-or-24V-Power-Inverter-Pure-Sine-SE-8Zed_3412.html


I have a couple of questions.

1. The solar controller - I've spent money on a good charger for when its plugged into AC power and I'd hate to ruin the battery with a crappy solar regulator while charging using the panel. the information on the solar blog mentioned having a controller that suits deep cycle batteries. Is the one on that eBay link going to do the job properly? and if its not as good as some that are out there what are the real world implications?

2. The inverter that I've purchased. I spoke to the guy at performance shop and he said that they use these inverters in mining companies in thrit Toyota trucks which has been backed up by another post. He assured me that they were designed in Australia and it was a quality product and comparable to sinergex or redarc, although not as good a the industry leaders (he mentioned a couple of brands i have forgotten) it was a quality product and would go the distance.

Interested in people's thoughts...

By the way, later I am planning on a second battery and solar panel...
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 at 20:18

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 at 20:18
Suggest wean yourselves off coffee!! Allowing for inefficiencies in the inverter, a coffee maker rated at 1500 watts will require that the inverter draw from the battery about 150 amps, which will damage any 120 Ah deep cycle battery. That's roughly the current drawn for a few seconds by the starter motor in a big 4WD. To draw that sort of power for 10 minutes or more from a sensible sized battery will KILL the battery. If you really must have coffee, suggest find a gas powered system. Heating water is a good job for gas, but an awful job for low voltage electricity, especially if you also have the inverter's inefficiency to contend with.

Sorry, but those are the facts. Sorry too that I didn't see your post until after you bought a big inverter. Maybe not too late to back out?

Pleased you found Electricity for Camping useful. It was written to help with many of the electricity questions that come up here.

Cheers

John
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
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Follow Up By: Sleeprequired - Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 at 21:41

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 at 21:41
hmm i've been assured by 8zed who have tested my nespresso machine that it'll be fine for about 10-12 cups a day...

Maybe it depends on the coffee machine... i'm not steaming milk.
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Follow Up By: Sleeprequired - Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 at 21:46

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 at 21:46
ok so 150 amps per hour... that'll be fine then because i only need it running for about 2-5 minutes a day
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 08:24

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 08:24
Your figures Matt...... or Sleeprequired.....or whoever you are!!!!.....! "We are mad coffee fans and would love to be able to run the coffee machine for 10mins a day (max) & also charge laptops and run various other devices for short times. The coffee machine draws 1500w..."

IF the thing does in fact draw 1500W, it will require from the battery about 150 amps to run the inverter. At least it would if a deep cycle battery could supply at that rate, which it won't! That's not a matter of the energy in the battery, rather how fast the battery can supply it.

"ok so 150 amps per hour... that'll be fine then because i only need it running for about 2-5 minutes a day". NO NO!! It isn't a matter of 150A PER HOUR (whatever that is!). The RATE of flow is 150A, which is beyond the reach of a 120Ah deep cycle battery, be it for 2 minutes or 10.

Good luck. I have nothing further to say on this one!

John

J and V
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Follow Up By: Sleeprequired - Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 10:04

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 10:04
ok i'll check it out... still learning John and getting differing opinions from experts... can be hard for the novice...

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Follow Up By: Member - wicket - Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 10:20

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 10:20
nothing wrong with plunger coffee ;)
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Follow Up By: Sleeprequired - Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 10:28

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 10:28
yes there is... i will have plunger coffee but i still need espresso in the morning...

this is not negotiable and not susceptible to economies of scale :)
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Follow Up By: Janos K - Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 10:46

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 10:46
Happy Easter to all and stay safe on the roads,
Ok my two bobs worth.
Always check the specifications of the battery\batteries you are considering as each battery has different characteristics. I have seen many travelers that have spent large sums of hard earn't money on these high output chargers to which the battery cannot accept, Or a large Inverter on a single battery that cannot deliver the power\current fast or high enough.
I ended up with powersonic for this reason :
High Discharge Rate
Low internal resistance allows discharge currents of up to
ten times the rated capacity of the battery. Relatively
small batteries may thus be specified in applications
requiring high peak currents.

I too have the 8ZED 2000W Inverter ( the green premium unit) from Wallcann
And the powersonic 120aH battery with 200w solar panel and MPPT.

Inverter Low voltage beeps after 4th to 5th cup when no charge supplied.
If making multiple cups it cannot be done straight away. 8ZED 2000W Pure Sine Inverter
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Follow Up By: Sleeprequired - Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 13:37

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 13:37
http://www.recell.co.nz/new/Ritar/images/RA12-120.pdf

those are the stats for the battery... apparently it can handle 165A?

again only for very short times... also i got some more information about the coffee machine

"The Pixie will peak for 3 seconds at its initial firing up , this triggers the heating element and one cycle of the pump. "like a check" It will then continue for 1 min to heat the heater tube "coil over a pipe" Then the next peak is when the pump fires up to push the water through. "



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