power setup.

Submitted: Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 13:05
ThreadID: 110429 Views:1828 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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Hi all Im new to this so lets see how it goes. After thoughts on my 12 volt power setup.
I have just installed dual battery with redarc isolater running 120Ah ritar agm battery. Also conected a 220 watt solar panel system on roof bracket ( which i can slide panels out off and move around if needed) with a 20amp regulator. Run all these direct to auxillary battery with anderson plugs at back of cab ( to remove canopy when not in use). I will be running 2 engel fridges a small one for freezer and about 40 litre one for fridge. Also will be running a couple of small led lights at night. All these are fused in canopy.

I am wondering if i could park the ute and camp for 14 days without having to start ute to charge battery. Any help would be much welcomed.
I will put some pics up later.
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Reply By: MAVERICK(WA) - Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 13:23

Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 13:23
from what you have described it would appear you are able to "make" more than you will use so theoretically you should be able to sit indefinitely. why don't you try it before you go out and put everything on and see how long everything will operate. and if it makes 14 days then good, if it doesn't then you will need to do something about it. rgds
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Reply By: Member Andys Adventures - Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 14:37

Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 14:37
If you get sunlight for 8 hours a day and no cloud cover you might get away with it. All depends on how many times you open the fridge and freezer and how hot it is outside.
If you are up the Top End you get good charge but with the heat you will use more power keeping it cold. If you are in the south you get less charge but use less power to cool.
You will need the panel to be in full sun all day.
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Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 17:21

Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 17:21
I run 2 fridges - a 40 litre Engel and a 37 litre Waeco as a freezer.
I have 280 watts of solar panel with a 20 amp regulator – on most days it is adequate, without running a generator. At 220 watts I suspect you might be a little light on for solar.
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Reply By: Racey - Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 17:42

Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 17:42
Running an Engel (or other) as a freezer does zap the power and draining a battery down below below 12 volt will reduce the battery life. The best you will get from your panel will be around 15 amps and say you have the panels in a clear spot for 6-7 hrs of sun it will provide say 90ah of power during the day. The freezer will consume say 4 amps for about 18hrs and the frig 4 amps for say 10 hrs, the power consumption is around 112 A/H for both units. However, the power input is only 90 a/h; 20 odd amp hours short.

I run a 40 ltr Engel as a freezer set at -15deg. running from a 130 A/H AGM battery. When camping we charge with a 160 watt solar panel. On a good day as the sun goes down the battery is fully charged and by morning the voltage can be 12.2 volts, approx 50% charge. I would be reluctant to try and run any other device from this battery. Whilst the Engel running as a frig would not use as much power. As a freezer it just seems to run for ever. On a recent trip 40 deg days, it couldn't keep up, so I topped up the battery with the generator each night.

To be sure, put 3-4 bricks in your frig and freezer bring them down to temperature on 240volt then one at a time switch them over to the fully charged battery and monitor the battery voltage over a 24 hr period. Don't let the voltage get below 12volts.

Sidewinder have some power meters which would ideal to keep an eye on the battery level.

Cheers
Jon
AnswerID: 543028

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 18:28

Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 18:28
Not much use for cold bricks, a slab of beer is the go.
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Follow Up By: Racey - Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 19:29

Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 19:29
Fair enough Dennis
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Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 19:39

Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 19:39
Racey

replied:
Running an Engel (or other) as a freezer does zap the power and draining a battery down below below 12 volt will reduce the battery life. The best you will get from your panel will be around 15 amps and say you have the panels in a clear spot for 6-7 hrs of sun it will provide say 90ah of power during the day.

[1]The freezer will consume say 4 amps for about 18hrs and the frig 4 amps for say 10 hrs, the power consumption is around 112 A/H for both units. However, the power input is only 90 a/h; 20 odd amp hours short.

I run a 40 ltr Engel as a freezer set at -15deg. running from a 130 A/H AGM battery. When camping we charge with a 160 watt solar panel. On a good day as the sun goes down the battery is fully charged and by morning the voltage can be 12.2 volts, approx 50% charge. I would be reluctant to try and run any other device from this battery. Whilst the Engel running as a frig would not use as much power. As a freezer it just seems to run for ever.
[2] On a recent trip 40 deg days, it couldn't keep up, so I topped up the battery with the generator each night.

Cheers
Jon

HI John
Pretty spot on with those power cacls

Yes, In very hot weather most compreesor fridges used as a deep freezer will run near 24hrs a day at 3.5to 4A
.And as fridge from 30Ahrs up to 60 PLUSAhrs per 24hrs depending on factors such as: ambient temp , THermostat setting , warm loading, etc
The temp that the fridge is subjected to can often exceed the open air ambient, if it is not in a well shaded ,well ventilated area.

PeterQ
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Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 19:44

Monday, Dec 15, 2014 at 19:44
HI Chris
Closed in canopies can become ovens very easy,as can any enclosed area , even in the back of a van, Station waggon etc
IF your situation is like that , the power used by the fridges, both as fridge & freezer will skyrocket!!

PeterQ
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Reply By: chris w23 - Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014 at 08:26

Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014 at 08:26
thanks for all the info. will do a practice run this weekend. might be getting more solar.
AnswerID: 543043

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 00:16

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 00:16
HI Chris
Remember with just a week end test youmay not get a true indication
It will depend on how much charge your battery has lost before you start driving home
It may have lost a sustantial amount of charge which could show up with another few days use ,such as a longer period camping.

A surer way would to set it up at home & pretend you are camping [even doing a bit of warm loading ,door opening etc] &Keeping an eye on the battery voltage {At the battery terminals}
When it drops to around 12V,it is around 50% discharged
That is as low as a LA battery should be taken if you want long life

PeterQ
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FollowupID: 829912

Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014 at 17:37

Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014 at 17:37
Chris, you have a good ball park setup there, 220 watts feeding a 120AH battery and a 20 amp regulator. You have obviously done your homework.

A second battery would be in order if you can afford and it and would take a little more doubt away but otherwise I think you would be very close to what you need, just that the second battery would give you a little more breathing space, so to speak.

As others have suggested a trial run is a good idea, that should find any weak spots.
Coming on to Xmas is a good time as you can use the setup as a drinks frig and food freezer for a real life test.

Merry Xmas and all the best for the new year,
Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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AnswerID: 543060

Follow Up By: Grinner - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 09:51

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 09:51
But if the 220 w solar panel is not replacing the charge taken out of 1 battery in a day, how is it going to be able to replace the charge in 2 batteries?

I think before investing in anymore solar or battery, consider a current measuring meter, and measure the current draw of the fridges, observe their On / Off cycle at different times of the day at different temperatures. Measure the current being supplied out of the solar regulator, in full sunlight, cloudy conditions, not pointed directly at the sun etc.

Then do some calculations on what average power is drawn from the battery, and also average power put back into the battery from the solar.

Grinner
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Reply By: chris w23 - Tuesday, Dec 23, 2014 at 08:56

Tuesday, Dec 23, 2014 at 08:56
Just a update, had both engel fridges pluged in running at 2 degrees for about a week. We had 1 cloudy day in this time and battery hasnt gone below 12.6 volts. I am thinking as long as there is sun about i should be fine ( if not ill have to start ute up for a while).
Thanks everyone for there replies. Happy and safe travels.
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