HELP WITH SETTING UP STATIONARY VAN WITH POWER

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 23:36
ThreadID: 104398 Views:2554 Replies:3 FollowUps:24
This Thread has been Archived
This is my first thread and I am very green with these things .I have a 30 ft van on a farm with no power .I want to be able to run fridge ,TV ,lights and outside water pump for 3 to 4 days max .I only go there a couple of times a month and want to store power in battery's but don't know how to do this or hook it up .How many battery's would I need and how many solar panels .Also could use I inverter generator to charge battery's when I arrive but how long would they take to charge each time and how long would the power last .

I told you I am green, ha.ha .

Any help would be appreciated
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Bushranger1 - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 06:57

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 06:57
Hi Mark,
I have a van set up like yours & have a 180Watt inverter to run 240volt COMPACT FLOURO van lights & charge camera batteries. My fridge is an Engel compressor fridge & I run that on 12v.

So I have:-
130AH Deep cycle Battery.
180 Watt Pure sine wave inverter
900 watt Generator
16 amp Smart Charger.

I can run everything for 2 or 3 days max depending on the ambient temps & it takes 6 to 8 hrs of Gennie run time to get the Battery back up to full charge. No solar panel as yet.

You would need a bigger inverter than me to run a TV & water pump & likely need 2 130 AH batteries in Parallel in order to not have to run the Gennie every day. Make sure you get a pure Sine Wave inverter as it not worth messing about with the cheap modified wave inverters.

DO NOT try to run a 3 way fridge off this system on 12 volt as they consume way too much power. Use a compressor fridge like Engel or Waeco.

If its an old van like mine replace van lights with compact Flouros.

DO NOT run the batteries down to less than 50%. Get a voltage monitor.

I am sure you can get someone here to help calculate the Panel capacities you would need for your Panels.

Cheers
Stu
AnswerID: 518459

Follow Up By: Mark K3 - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 10:37

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 10:37
Thank you Stu I appreciate your help. Now make a start
Mark
0
FollowupID: 798337

Reply By: Member - geoffqld - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 07:19

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 07:19
I have a similar setup at our bush block with a small cottage. I have a ute with 320watts of solar panels charging 3x100 amphour batteries. We stay for a week at a time so need plenty of food so have a waeco 80litre fridge/freezer and a 45litre Evakool fridge, all 12volt compressor. We have a diesel generator that is only used if it is overcast for 3 days. I endorse the use of the sine wave inverter, ours is 300watt as some of the fluro bulbs cannot handle the modified sine wave. I also use a Cpap with humidifier every night so thar requires more power. The generator is big enough to run my welder and the dearly beloved's turbo oven, she doesnt like roughing it. My system has evolved over the years and works very successfully.
Owing to the thieves most of the above travels backwards and forwards each time. I have also installed multiple motion activated security cameras on the property.
Hope this helps.
Geoff
AnswerID: 518460

Follow Up By: Mark K3 - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 10:38

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 10:38
Thank You Geoff .This is very helpful .
Mark
0
FollowupID: 798338

Follow Up By: Narrabrisparky - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 17:17

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 17:17
Thieves need more work than setting up the power.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 798495

Follow Up By: Mark K3 - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 12:20

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 12:20
Dont follow ,am i missing something here ?
0
FollowupID: 798533

Follow Up By: Member - geoffqld - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 18:28

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 18:28
The way I took it is that stopping the thieves is more work than setting up my solar system, and hes right
0
FollowupID: 798569

Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 18:11

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 18:11
Hi Mark K3,

It has been suggested, and I subscribe to the philosophy, that for each 100amps of battery power you should have 100Watts of solar panel as a bare minimum for continued use as you are suggesting, 4 continuous days at a time.

An MPPT solar regulator is advisable and preferred but PWM is also OK.

So as solar panels are getting cheaper by the day I would recommend 2 X 200 watt 12 volt panels coupled to at least 2 X 100 or 2 X 120 amp batteries as a permanent setup.

Now you have not mentioned whether you wish to take them back with you when you leave the van so in that case this system may be a bit large for that purpose although the convenience of fixed may outweigh the inconvenience of transporting them..
As a fixed installation though it would be a good start.

You also do not state whether your frig is a 3 way or a dedicated 240Volt unit.
Where possible run the frig on gas if indeed it is possible to do so. Never on 12 volts if it is a 3 way frig in this situation.

12 Volt Digital LED TVs are fairly cheap these days so that is the way I would go. I have purchased 5, for myself and others, and have not paid anymore than $160 for them, a couple were as low as $130. All are still performing brilliantly after a couple of years.
( I watch one every night)

LED lighting is pretty cheap now as well and those 5 metre strings of LEDs are brilliant at around $15 or so each. If you can solder a wire on to a connection you can handle those things easily.

All else could be run from a small inverter, I guess, though I never use them preferring to go all 12 volts. I have purchase 12 volt chargers for all my camera batteries and for the laptop and I find that my system works very well, for me.

Note that you will still get some charging on overcast days also. If the system is left permanently set up the batteries will be fully charged whenever you arrive at the caravan.

Security may be the only dark cloud on the horizon.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 518503

Follow Up By: Mark K3 - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 23:00

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 23:00
Thanks Bruce .
Great tips .
Can you please tell where I would go to buy this equipment and I assume they will tell me how to connect it .I dont mean names of shops, as I am in Perth , but do I go to an electrician,or 4 wheel drive shop or battery shop .
Just a tip on what to look up on google would be great .
If I understand you I need solar panels ( and yes they would not be taken away ) and a set of batterys but how do I then connect this power source to the caravan itself .
Thanks for your patience ,as I said i have no idea about these things

Regards Mark
0
FollowupID: 798392

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 07:25

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 07:25
G.day Mark,
We have a shop over here in the East called Battery Zone that sell everything I needed. Batteries, Inverters. Solar Panels etc.

The guys there are very knowledgeable & go out of their way to help. I am sure you can find an equivalent place over there in the West.

Cheers
Stu
0
FollowupID: 798402

Follow Up By: Mark K3 - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 09:49

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 09:49
Most helpful thank you again Regards Mark
0
FollowupID: 798407

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 13:14

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 13:14
Mark, I buy most of my gear from Ebay.

There are several suppliers but the ones I prefer are

Bit Deals,
200watt panel
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Solar-Panel-12V-200W-Monocrystalline-Module-House-Caravan-Boat-Off-Grid-Use-/360628563393?pt=AU_Solar&hash=item53f7232dc1
(copy and paste this URL into your browser URL search line as I am having problems with the insert link set up on this site.)

Marsol Industries
200 watt solar panel

Batteries
130 AH batteries

Bit deals is my preferred supplier.

This is my preferred solar regulator. I have one in my van and it is very good. Note that it is not MPPT but is a PWM (Peak Wave Modulation)
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/30A-12V-24V-Solar-Regulator-Charge-Controller-LED-Display-Fangpusun-PR3030-/200935151690?pt=AU_Solar&hash=item2ec8ab184a you will have to copy and paste this URL also as the insert link stopped working after the second link went in successfully.

As far as setting this gear up I would suggest any electrician can do it as it is straight forward. You could use the existing wiring in the van but run it all off 12 volts. Do not mix and match voltages as that would be lethal as well as illegal.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 798419

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 13:47

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 13:47
Mark here is a simple diagram I have made to outline the circuit for you.
Note that you should keep the cables between the regulator and batteries as short as possible and about 6mm at the very lightest, heavier is better. The length of cable from the panels to the regulator can be 6mm as well. This can be purchased from ABR Sidewinder who is a business member on this site and a very good mob to deal with as many here can attest. He is another preferred supplier for this reason.

Diagram
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 798420

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 13:52

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 13:52
I'll try again.
Sorry for that but I tried to upload in the wrong file format.

try this one
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 798421

Follow Up By: Mark K3 - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 12:26

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 12:26
WOW that is fantasic info and a diagarm as well thank you for taking such time to help its great ! Regards Mark
0
FollowupID: 798534

Follow Up By: Mark K3 - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 12:30

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 12:30
Bruce Sorry to be a pest but how would I or could I configure that diagram with say a 2 or 3 kva sinewave generator .
Regards Mark
0
FollowupID: 798535

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 14:51

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 14:51
I assume you wish to charge the batteries and use the 12 volt power at the same time.

To this end I would get a 25 amp CTEK or a similar PROJECTA battery charger and run that off the generator to charge the batteries. These bigger chargers can be used as a power supply as well so there is no problem using them as described.

I would use a modern 12 volt compressor frig such as this one
12 volt compressor Fridge

or this one
bigger 12 volt frig

I will include the previous drawing with a modified circuit to plug in a battery charger.



Hope this helps,
Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 798546

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 15:04

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 15:04
Gday Bruce,
Good on you for helping Mark out with the diagrams.

Mark.
You won't need a genny as big as 2 or 3 Kva to run the battery charger. Also make sure you use heavy wiring to avoid voltage drops & I used 415 volt connectors as they minimise voltage drop also.
If you have not got a GOOD quality terminal crimper get someone to make up the cables for you.

Cheers
Stu
0
FollowupID: 798548

Follow Up By: Mark K3 - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 15:26

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 15:26
Thanks Bruce and Stu
You have both been very helpful.
Now I have the infomarion needed to make a start .It will be a while until I get the van set up as we only shifted it and the fixed annexe yesterday from another farm about 2 hours away but when I do get it up and running I will let you know how my electrical set up is going .
If you ever come to Perth let me know and will buy you a beer Regards Mark
0
FollowupID: 798550

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 15:40

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 15:40
Glad we could help.
My system has worked great for the last 3 yrs so if you do it right the first time it should serve you well.
I forgot to say that I made my system totally portable by mounting ALL the electrics, Inverter, Charger and sockets into a vented strong plastic tub.
The battery is carried separately due to the weight but I can have it all plugged in in minutes after arrival then be sitting down to a beer in no time. I made it portable because i don't want to leave it there due to the risk of theft.
0
FollowupID: 798552

Follow Up By: Mark K3 - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 15:43

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 15:43
Another great tip !Thanks
0
FollowupID: 798553

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 16:30

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 16:30
Mark, that's OK. Always willing to help especially someone who is prepared to have a go themselves.

You should not have made that offer of a beer as when I am over that way I will hold you to it. No plans at the moment to head that far west but it is in the bucket list.

Cheers and all the best, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 798557

Follow Up By: Mark K3 - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 16:40

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 16:40
You will be welcome and I like my beer real cold so I hope you do too .Regards MK
0
FollowupID: 798558

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 17:11

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 17:11
Hey Mark I plan on going over that way again in the next couple of years so I might take you up on that beer too.
I got help from people here when I set up my system initially so it's nice to be able to return the favour to someone else. Pay it forward don't they say!
Let us know how your system turns out too will you.
0
FollowupID: 798560

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 17:11

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 17:11
Stu, thanks for the positive comments. I like helping people and it is always nice to get some positive feedback.

Mark, if you are ever over this way between Taree and Coffs Harbour on the north coast of NSW give me a shout and we will catch up.
The beer will be on me in that case. LOL

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 798561

Follow Up By: Mark K3 - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 17:14

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 17:14
I will Regards MK
0
FollowupID: 798562

Follow Up By: Mark K3 - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 17:18

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 17:18
Yes it makes for a better world when people help other for no reward .I cant believe the poitive response I got fom this site and the nice people like you and Bruce who helped me .
Hope to see you in the West one day Regards MK
0
FollowupID: 798563

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)