Solar / 240v Battery Charging

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 at 18:53
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Hi I am wanting to install a Solar /Battery system in my Jayco StarCraft, it has a Centurion 3000 system installed turning the 240v input to 12v for the lighting. I have a couple of 125 watt panels and a suitable solar regulator, I was thinking of fitting a couple of 105 or 115 AH Gel batteries and was wondering which battery charger to buy as I will be on powered sites as well as using a generator occasionally as well as having solar input, and don't want to burn my van down... So any advice or wiring diagrams how to set it up (simple ones) would be most appreciated
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Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 at 21:41

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 at 21:41
Paul

Have a look at the books by Collyn Rivers. He has written a few on Solar, Camper Trailer and Caravan electrics.

They have been updated from the copy that I have - but mine includes great advice and diagrams.

Collyn Rvers Books

Just remember if you are playing with the 240 volt side of things that connect to mains electricity to get a licenced electrician to sign it off.

Cheers

Anthony
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 at 21:45

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 at 21:45
Forgot to mention you can buy them from the ExplorOz Shop

Cheers

Anthony
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Reply By: 2517. - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 at 22:13

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 at 22:13
One 105 amp battery would be plenty ,250 watts of solar would charge it quickly which is what you need and is far better then trying to charge 2battery. 20amp Ctetk would be the way to go there are heaps of site to show the wiring,the Collyn Rivers book is a good read but not cheap to buy.
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Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 06:44

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 06:44
If the Centurion 3000 is wired up the same as our Jayco Outback, then don't use it to "charge" an AGM battery. The Centurion has a "charge" circuit but it is basically a constant voltage supply which will wreck an AGM battery (I know, it stuffed ours). Disconnect this bit and charge the AGM from a multi-stage 240V charger like a C-Tek. Alternatively, if you are going solar, get a C-Tek D250S which has an MPPT regulator for the solar panel, but also accepts a 12V supply. Our D250S is not only wired to solar, but also takes 12V from the car alternator when driving via an Andersen plug, or takes 12V from the Centurion when the van is plugged in to 240V. We have a 105AHr Fullriver AGM and a 130W solar panel, runs the van LED lights, stereo and TV plus 60L Engel without any problems.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 10:16

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 10:16
Found this on my iPad, Paul. Don't know if it's any use to you.



Bob

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Reply By: Paul K19 - Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 19:14

Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 19:14
Many Thanks for your help and advice, I should get cracking with the install next week when I get my ctec 250s as advised. I have bought 2 x Bosch 120 ah Deep cycle batteries so should hopefully not run short of power. Does anyone know how many 125w panels the ctec can handle ???
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 23:12

Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 23:12
Paul,

Ctek's owner manual doesn't specify a max solar watts input. I guess it will just dump what it cannot use, but there's no point giving it more than it can handle. I'd do it this way ...

It has a rated output of 20 amps. At 12V, that =240 watts.

Collyn Rivers (respected solar advisor) suggests you only get,on average, about 70% of the stated wattage from solar panels due to how they are rated and system losses. So work on 88 watts per 125 watt panel.

240 watts output divided by 88 watts per panel = 2.7 panels. I think you'd be safe to round up to 3 panels :-).
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 23:14

Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 23:14
Or email the Aussie distrubutor. Link
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Follow Up By: Paul K19 - Monday, Aug 17, 2015 at 16:40

Monday, Aug 17, 2015 at 16:40
Hello again knowledgeable people I need to pick your brains again, when wiring 2 x 125w solar panels together pos to pos and neg to neg with each panel putting out just over 18 volts, the leed going to my regulator / charger is showing just over 18 volts the same as just one panel, is this what you would expect ?? as I expected my volt meter to show 2 x 18 v = 36 volts ????? confused.

I have also gone with an INTERVOLT-DCC-DUAL-BATTERY-PRO-DCDC-BATTERY-CHARGER-MPPT-SOLAR-IP67 which is a 25 amp charger. Have any of you used this and what do you think.

Many Thanks again in advance for the help and advice
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Aug 17, 2015 at 17:41

Monday, Aug 17, 2015 at 17:41
Paul,

Yes, that is what should happen. 2 panels in parallel retain the same voltage but the current is double that of a single panel. Similarly 3 panels in parallel - same voltage, triple current.

I have no experience with your DC-Dc charger/MPPT regulator so cannot comment, but you're heading in the right direction, IMO.

Cheers
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