Engel Fridge with solar panel & agm battery

Hi, I have just purchased a engel 35L fridge which I think is fanstic after testing for 3 days on my 120ah fullriver battery...
Question I have is I want to run this fridge at home (when not camping). I want to connect my 80w solar panel to the 120AH fullriver agm battery which then connects to the fridge... However From the solar panel to the battery is about 20metres .. Is that too far or would it be ok ?

Thxs Don
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Reply By: GerryP - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 21:47

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 21:47
Hi Don,

Providing the wiring is heavy enough and especially if the controller is at the battery end, then it should be fine.

If the controller is mounted on the panel, then beefy wiring is a must.

AnswerID: 419985

Follow Up By: ss--ss - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 22:35

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 22:35
Thanks Gerry,Unfortunatly the controller is glued to the back of the panel.., Would it be better to do the longest run from the panel to the battery or the battery to the fridge ?

Thxs Don
FollowupID: 690148

Follow Up By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 23:57

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 23:57
Hello Don,

longest run from battery to fridge, to keep voltage drop between controller and battery at a minimum.
So you're relying on the fridge low voltage cutout, and not on the one inside the controller?
Or does this controller have no load output?

BTW, the clock is ticking for your AGM battery if it's not receiving full charge by the end of the day.
To check for this, select a time in the afternoon when the insolation on the panel is still substantial, maybe around 3 or 4 pm. You want to see a voltage of at least 14.4 to 14.7V.

Chances are you won't for two reasons:
el cheapo controllers only regulate at a single voltage of around 13.8V.
Because you're subjecting the battery to a cyclic load pattern, it wants to get boost charged before the next discharge session (night time).
Second reason for slow walk down of battery charge (and capacity in the medium term) in this configuration, is the 80W panel only provides around 23Ah per day, if you're lucky.
But the fridge consumes slightly more than that as you discovered when you did your 3 day test (120Ah/3days=40Ah/day)

Best regards, Peter
FollowupID: 690155

Follow Up By: bruce - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 15:23

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 15:23
It is a very simple exercise to take the regulator off the back of the solar panel and put it elsewhere...a very sharp Stanley knife and a steady hand easily cuts through the glue...then you just connect the 2 panels together in one of the junction boxes, run your lead to the new regulator position and your in business....and the 80w panel will run your Engel with ease , ours runs a 40l Engel and van lights without any dramas....cheers
FollowupID: 690212

Reply By: SDG - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 23:18

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 23:18
Doesn't the Engel have a 240V lead?
Or are you experimenting with solar panel, to try it out before using it for camping?
AnswerID: 419995

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