Solar Panel, Battery & 57 litre combo Engel

Hi everyone,
We have just bought a 57 litre Combo Engel.
Just wondering how everyone else has there's set up for camping 2 weeks or more without any driving?
What Solar panels? Batteries?
We just have the 1 battery in the Hilux at the moment. So we need to hook up another and what ever else is recommended.
Any information is appreciated as I have never had a fridge before just an esky :-)
Cheers Amy
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Reply By: Glenn C5 - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:23

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:23
Have a read of this. Some great info and easy to follow. Good Luck

http://www.exploroz.com/Vehicle/Electrics/BatteryCharging.aspx
AnswerID: 537145

Reply By: Glenn C5 - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:24

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:24
Also this one

http://www.exploroz.com/Vehicle/Electrics/Solar.aspx#What_About_Watts?
AnswerID: 537146

Reply By: Member - Noldi (WA) - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:35

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:35
Hi Amy, you’re going to find it’s difficult to get someone to give exact details without knowing where you going to be using it, whats the ambient temperature, amps drawn and so on.

I run 2 fridges, a 50 lt via a smart charger to a second battery (110 AH) we tend to move every second day

And a 21 lt via a third battery (again 110 AH) and a 120 watt Solar Panel with regulator.

They both work equally as well judging by my gauge, which consists of grabbing a beer and seeing if its cold.
2 trips in the bush with this set up 1 of 10 days and 1 of 9 days.
I have no reason to believe they would not run indefinitely, however we have no kids, have the drinks fridge turned up during the day and down at night.

Works well for my use, but not based on any technical calculation
AnswerID: 537149

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 13:29

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 13:29
Hi Amy,

As well as the references already given, you may find John's blog Electricity for Camping useful in determining your needs.

Also my blog Auxiliary Battery Systems -- Wiring Diagrams some help in selection and wiring.

Incidentally, a solar system is an asset, and needed, if you are going to be camped in one spot for a while, but if you are frequently on the move you may get sufficient recharge from the vehicle alternator alone.

Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 537154

Reply By: Andrew D7 - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 15:52

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 15:52
57L Engel Combo will need 200W of solar panels, quality solar regulator and 120Ah to 150Ah battery.
AnswerID: 537162

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 15:57

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 15:57
Yes, I would even say 240W of solar and 200AH for 2 weeks if there are any clouds or it is warm.
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Reply By: Crusier 91 - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 17:28

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 17:28
Compassion,

I have a 60L waeco.
100 amp hour century agm battery = $300
Redrac system installed = $200
120 watt solar panel from Ray's Outdoor purchased second(new) $300

This set up would keep my battery 100 amp hour and another 100 amp hour battery charged to power 2 x 60L fridges every day with no driving providing you have full sun all day every 2nd day.

And thats using both fridges as every day fridges.
AnswerID: 537167

Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 17:30

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 17:30
without going under the battery danger zone level
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Follow Up By: Andrew D7 - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 18:38

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 18:38
Crusier 91 please keep your fairy fantasy stories for childrens bedtime.

7A max from 120W solar panel, average 4/5 hours a day output gives you average 28Ah to 35Ah less 15% for AGM inefficiency is marginal at best to power 1 x 60L Waeco at 4C at 28C ambient
Every 2nd day sun oh geezz LOL That sure is impossible.

People posting want truth and fact not fairy tales.
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Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 19:34

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 19:34
Sorry Andrew, but it is a fact. I regularly fish away at Salt Creek SA and atYalata SA. So you cant beat real fact.

By the way my mates Engle 60L is a fridge freezer.

Stick to your numbers and you will happy.

Other than that, piss off.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 19:39

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 19:39
Cruiser 91 I think you have miscalculated something. 120w of solar simply won't keep 1 fridge going let alone 2, let alone with sun every second day unless you are in Tassie on cloudless days.

You will get 2 - 3 days before you hit 50AH in the mornings the danger level for your 100AH battery.

140 - 160W is about right for 1 fridge under good conditions.

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Follow Up By: Andrew D7 - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 20:39

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 20:39
Cruiser 91 you obviously believe in perpetual motion. I don't.
A 120W panel is only sufficient for a 40L FRIDGE.
120W definitely wouldn't keep a 60L fridge/freezer in operation without additional power source.

Cruiser 91 you need to do some basic maths
BOM Solar Exposure
A 40L fridge at 4C will use between 16Ah to 24Ah in average weather conditions. Take the BOM figures and work them back to Solar Hours which is a kW of sun/m2. That will demonstrate the impossibility of your claims.
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Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 21:56

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 21:56
You wankers are hell bent on your figures.

What can I say........Ive been fishing in remote areas for years with my set up, powering what I have claimed.....................and you claim I live in a fairy land!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess you have calculated Jesus's second coming too.





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FollowupID: 821448

Follow Up By: chisel - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 23:06

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 23:06
If he's talking best case circumstances I don't doubt Cruiser 91.
The 60L waecos only draw ~24AH per day under their test conditions and if the fishing is in cool times I'd say that could drop to 20AH or a bit less.
2 identical fridges and that's 40AH/day (possibly 35AH)

The 120W panel in theory could produce 50AH/day in very good sun, if you have a good regulator and are careful to keep it facing the sun the whole time. An average-to-good day (partial sun) might be 30AH but again this is assuming you keep it facing the sun the whole day. There's your 80AH over 2 days.

You don't need the full 80AH though, depending on how long you're staying as you can let the battery run down a bit .... however with only 100AH to play with (50AH 'safe') you would be risking hurting the battery if you only managed, say, 50AH from your solar over any 2 day period.

I think the OP should probably target about twice the solar and twice the battery (200W/200AH) to be safe though. Or alternatively perhaps 240W and 150AH.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 07:24

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 07:24
If you never open the fridges or top them up
AND there are no clouds
AND it doesn't get over about 15 degrees
AND if you constantly move the solar panels
AND if you have MPPT and very thick wiring
AND if you get 8 hours of harvestable sun a day
AND of you are prepared to have your batteries go down to 20 - 30%

It'll work great. If any condition is not met then this is not giong to be sustainable for more than 2 days.

One day of overcast or 2 days of 50% cloudy sky it will send your batteries flat and it never recover.

It would however be ok for a set up for a long weekend or if you move after 2 days.
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 08:08

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 08:08
My experience with a a 55l ebay fridge is that given typical weather that 120w of panels charging 110/110Ah of battery will keep the fridge and a couple of led lights going pretty well.

However if the weather does go bad for more than a day or so, or your under trees then top up from other sources will be required. If things are getting a bit low then running the car engine on a fast idle for a while is normally enough to top things enough to get the batteries through until the next day of sun.

Seems to work for me but things can always go pear shaped if not managed well.

Garry
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 20:19

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 20:19
Amy,

What I would do in your case, is to start with a sound setup, to which you can add to if you need to.

Sidewinder (a business member on this site) provide a very good "flyer" battery box, to contain an AGM type battery in the tub of your Hilux. The Flyer can be purchased in two configurations, one with a built-in battery isolator and one without the isolator. As you intend to utilise a solar panel array to provide a charging source while stationary, I would suggest the Flyer without the isolator as a cheaper option, then include a Ctek D250S Dual dc-dc charger which has an alternator input port, a solar input port and a built-in MPPT solar controller. (you will need to bypass any on-board solar controller on the solar panels which are usually not all that good anyway)

So, you can maintain a charge from the vehicle alternator into the Battery (installed inside the Flyer box) when driving, then when setting up camp, connect the solar panel array to the solar input port of the Ctek. If circumstances prevail where insufficient charge is being received from the solar source, you can simply start the vehicle (without the need to disconnect anything) and the D250S will automatically determine the best input source, which in this case would no doubt be the vehicle alternator.

A run of half an hour or so may be sufficient to boost the battery level to an adequate level to maintain operation of the fridge.

The Flyer box has both cigarette style and Merit style sockets to plug the fridge into.

One other addition I would add, is a Battery Protector (also available from Sidewinder) to connect between the output port of the Flyer and the input to the Fridge.
This will stop excessive drain of the auxiliary battery to the extent that it may be permanently damaged if drained down too far.

Sidewinder

With this setup you could easily add another panel to the solar array if required, to eliminate the need to run the vehicle at all and without replacing anything else.

A 120Ah AGM battery should be big enough for this setup.

Bill


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AnswerID: 537177

Follow Up By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 20:29

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 20:29
Why are people afraid of 3 way fridges?

You buy the fridge and a 4kg gas bottle and it suits all situations. Its the cheaper option that always works.

3 ways can be fridges or freezers and on gas, when sitting for a week or 2, work extremely well, for a fraction of the $ output.

bill
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Follow Up By: Andrew D7 - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 20:29

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 20:29
A substantially superior setup can be made up with assistance to the OP than buying a setup from Sidewinder.
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Follow Up By: Andrew D7 - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 20:53

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 20:53
Bbuzz people are not afraid of 3 way fridges, they don't cut it in temperatures over 32C. Travelling the 3 way fridges flood. Small chest type 3 way fridges need to be 100% level and stationary.
When away putting a lot of warm food into a 3 way, the 3 way can take 48 hours to reduce the temperature to 4C which is essential for food safety. If in areas with warm/hot nights a 3 way can seriously struggle.

40L Chescold is $800 so not cheap. Gas usage is 375gm/day so 1kg+ every 3 days. If remote camping buying LPG refills is often impossible. 9kg swap n' go are EXPENSIVE.
In the 3 way chest fridges the only units that are reasonable are the 40L and 50L Chescold.

Personally I would never ever own a 3 way fridge of any type ever again.
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 21:17

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 21:17
Andrew,

I have no idea what you are referring to when you say "assistance to the OP" and I think other folk may also be wondering what you are referring to.

It is obvious from your reply that you are anti Sidewinder.

I recommend to others, what I have tried and proven myself.
I own a Flyer and it is an excellent product to contain a battery in a safe and secure manner, provide a status of battery level and supply output sockets of various styles to connect fridges, etc to.
It comes with all the necessary cable and connectors to enable vehicle alternator charging without guesswork.

I also utilise a battery protector which as well as providing a cheap means of low voltage cutout protection, gives a ready indication of functional operation by way of the green/red indicator. (I did replace the standard ciggy plug with a merit style plug, which I use for all my low voltage 12v devices).

So maybe you could elaborate more on what your practical solution may be?


Bill


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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 21:36

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 21:36
"A substantially superior setup can be made up with assistance to the OP than buying a setup from Sidewinder."

So, Andrew, tell the OP how to do it. Without that info your post is less than helpful.
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Reply By: AmyO - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 21:24

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 21:24
Hey, thanks for the replies everyone. I will read all the links & about everything suggested :-) Much appreciated.
Cheers Amy
AnswerID: 537181

Follow Up By: Member - sdr00y (Beecroft,NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 09:49

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 09:49
Give Derek a ring at sidewinder and talk to him about your possibilities. He's a wealth of information & goes out using & testing his gear in the real world. He'll be able to guide you at the very least.

Not connected to sidewinder apart from being a very happy customer of his.

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Reply By: The Landy - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 08:02

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 08:02
I have two 120W Redarc solar panels mounted on the canopy roof and a 150AH slimline gel battery and this set-up works perfectly for our requirements. That is to say, we never think about it.

There are plenty of options available to you, including something as simple as portable panels and a simple controller.

You can view photos of our set-up in my blog, Toyota 79 Series Dual Cab - Finally Completed

But as suggested, JJohn and Val's blog is probably some of the best information you will find on the topic.

Good luck with your choices…

Baz – The Landy
AnswerID: 537185

Reply By: shortylook - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 21:59

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 21:59
I have been following this thread with interest, I'm in the same position with regards to fridge/freezer carrying and the scary thought of no batteries to get us back on the road. I have a solar panel and a duel battery system on the 4b4(patrol 3LD). We stayed at karijini for 3 days, but with only 1 fridge in use. After the second day I hooked the battery and solar panel up just incase. I restocked the fridge daily and we were in and out of it quite a bit during the stay. But now I want to run a fridge and a freezer for stays of a couple of days. From what I read, 1panel won't run a fridge let alone a freezer. So I need a battery array with panels as well as backup juice to keep it up to required temp. I'm a bit of a drongo when it comes to figures for said thing to run at said lenght for said temp. I don't like being shafted by some run of the mill shop who have less of a clue than me but use the net to diagnose my issue.
40/60 set up 40 for freezer 60 for fridge. Both run awesome in the car for traveling. And will be fine for a sinlgle night stay, as I've done before. 2-5 days I'm a bit worried. I have a generator and a battery charger but in the open country it will be nice to remain quiet if possible. I have a ark box avaliable to me and will need to try that too(has 100ah battery in it)
Cheers guys I'll check the info everyone has provided and when I go away ill report back
Shorty
AnswerID: 537215

Follow Up By: Flighty ( WA ) - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 23:02

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 23:02
I have a 60L and 40L fridge set up in my vehicle (when away for a while) or just the 40L when out and about to speak.
I also have a roof mounted 80W panel to feed 110A deep cycle 2nd battery (which only powers accessories) and find it a little bit better than a portable panel.
As it is constantly feeding the second battery I have found it capable of keeping it reasonably well charged, so maybe that option would be better than waiting for a couple of days to hook it up and wasting your valuable battery.
The 80W panel has no chance at running both so I have a 1KVA genny to help out during daylight hours when it doesn't seem to bother people so much.
Cheers
Flighty

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Reply By: Janos K - Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 17:41

Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 17:41
Hi Amy ,
Easy question , Ok so your combo can draw a max of 4.2amps, Lets say 5amps for easy calculations.
So 60 Watts , I would suggest atleast 3x in a solar panel due to bad weather and imported panels claiming X watts when its generally Y watts . So 180Watt panel.
Now battery storage ? Only for the fridge or additional lights etc ? If only the fridge then assuming you are inbetween two hills and not getting full day light.

So during the day the 180W panel will easily keep up and recharge the battery from the previous night. ( and a MPPT charger)
During the night the fridge would draw at worst 60amps all up . So 120aH battery should see you through. (i'd doubt the battery would get below the 60% mark)
then by the next day its charged again .

If you have the funds, Get a 150 or 200aH Battery in the Hilux and a dual battery controller such as a GSL KBI100-12. And even up the panel to a 250W .
Then you have jump start power just in case and additional power for led lights etc.
AnswerID: 537254

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