getting the most out of the battery

Submitted: Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 11:42
ThreadID: 8982 Views:2011 Replies:9 FollowUps:8
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Hi everyone,

The house battery in our Hiace frontline camper lasts about a day and a half.

I would welcome tips on how to get say four days out of the battery to run the fridge without having to pack up the annexe and van etc and take her for a drive.

Thanks in advance
zj
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Reply By: fripple frog - Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 12:56

Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 12:56
There are a lot of good solar chargers out there, thanks to technology getting better the price of solar equipment is getting cheaper.
AnswerID: 39508

Follow Up By: ZEDjay - Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 15:46

Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 15:46
Hi fripple,
where do I find a good supplier?
zj
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FollowupID: 257210

Reply By: Member - Bob - Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 13:12

Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 13:12
ZJ,
what sort of fridge is it? (a compressor fridge will draw less current than a three way Finch)
What is the capacity of the battery? Is the battery in good condition? Is it being fully charged each time you take her for a drive? It may be that you are asking too much of the battery, and you may need to get a deep cycle battery or Optima yellow top to keep your fridge running longer.Bob
AnswerID: 39510

Follow Up By: ZEDjay - Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 15:44

Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 15:44
Thanks Bob,

I'm a newbie -- so you are asking some that I have to look into
the fridge is 12v/240v
I'll check the capacity of the battery
yep - she's fully charged when we start out.

Do you think we could idle the car for some time every day to top it up?

Cheers
zj

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Reply By: paul - Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 16:55

Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 16:55
I don't think any standard battery would last more than a day and half, certainly not my yellow top optima. The yellow tops only have 65ah in them, a new yellow top came out this year with 75ah. Personally if you have a camper i'd just go for bigger capacity batteries, if weight is not an issue go to any Battery World and ask about putting two 6v batteries in parrallel to get a 12v unit - that way you have access to something like 180ah which would take you a few days.

Say your battery is a standard 65ah battery, and you have an engel or a danfoss compressor in your fridge which draws say 3amps per hour on a 70% cycling rate over a 24 hour period means it uses up like 50amps, so like a day and a bit. Unless have you a motor to recharge the battery each day or solar panels to charge it (presuming there is sun) then your best option is to invest in larger capacity batteries.
AnswerID: 39524

Follow Up By: Member - Ross - Saturday, Dec 06, 2003 at 13:32

Saturday, Dec 06, 2003 at 13:32
Paul

Not quite correct. 6 volt batteries in parallel gives 6 volts.
Connect in series to give 12 volts.

ie. + to + and - to - is in parallel. .... + to - is in series.

But I guess the battery shop would have clarified this point.

CheersI wasn't even there when it happened ..

Rosco
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Follow Up By: paul - Monday, Dec 08, 2003 at 12:57

Monday, Dec 08, 2003 at 12:57
thanks Ross you are totally correct, it know how it goes just got the terminology back to front, hope i didn't lead anyone to blow anything up.
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Reply By: ron1 - Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 21:42

Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 21:42
dicky smiths sells a solar panel for around 150 -200 i think, maybe cheaper ,it was the smaller of what they had, i use it on the trailer saler running a small fridge,dept sounder, radio,and an anchor light thats on dusk till dawn,(led light built them my self cost $100 to make but brighter then a norm bolb and last pretty much 4 ever,9x 900,000cp,LED's,use one in the cabin as well very bright) and the batterys a standed car 12v, works well, and is about 30 to 40cm square
but back to the point give dicky smiths a ring, and or have a look
cheers
ron
AnswerID: 39541

Reply By:- Saturday, Dec 06, 2003 at 07:21

Saturday, Dec 06, 2003 at 07:21
You'd be aiming for a solar panel (or pair) that would produce at least 120 watts (that's 10 amps) at max output.

Even if you assume 8 hours of good sunshine, at maximum efficiency you would only get 80 amps out of the panels, take out the 50 or so that the fridge uses in a day and you'll see that this setup will work for you, but does not leave you much margin for cloudy days.

If you can get away with 120 watts worth of Solar panel for under a grand, tell us all how.

The Dick Smith panels are only intended to help top up an already charged battery, I can't see them helping much in your situation, but then, maybe your camping in the middle of the ocean or on top of a hill that will have uninterupted sunshine all day.

I know that I don't have a name up top (?) but I'm Chopper
AnswerID: 39553

Follow Up By: paul - Saturday, Dec 06, 2003 at 13:10

Saturday, Dec 06, 2003 at 13:10
chopper is right. solar panels cast on average $10 per watt. For a $200 solar panel you'd be looking at probably a 20watt solar panel. A 20 watt solar panel in full sun on tilt will put out about 1.58 amps. So if you have your fridge on for an hour and it uses 3 amps then it would take almost two hours with fridge off to replace that energy into the battery. If you fridge runs for 5 hours and uses say 10amps then it would take almost 7 hours for a 20 watt solar panel to replace that charge taken out of the battery. So the point is solar panels are unfortunately terribly inefficient and expensive, but if you have got ones they are fantsatic (if its sunny), i have two 40watt panels joined together by a hinge, i can't imagine anything less would be worthwhile.
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FollowupID: 257244

Follow Up By: William - Saturday, Dec 06, 2003 at 21:27

Saturday, Dec 06, 2003 at 21:27
a 20 watt solar panel will only put out A maximum of 1 amp
take any solar panel figures and multiply by .6 to get the actual power output
you would have to have an automatic tracker to get 8 hours full power out of the panel
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Reply By: friar - Saturday, Dec 06, 2003 at 16:16

Saturday, Dec 06, 2003 at 16:16
Hi zedjay
Check out the for sale items in camping i have a battery charger
for sale would save you going for a drive or idiling your car for long
periods
Friar
AnswerID: 39562

Follow Up By: William - Saturday, Dec 06, 2003 at 21:29

Saturday, Dec 06, 2003 at 21:29
friar are you giving away a generator to run the battery charger where he goes camping
if he had power at the camp he could plug the fridge in
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FollowupID: 257261

Reply By: friar - Sunday, Dec 07, 2003 at 15:42

Sunday, Dec 07, 2003 at 15:42
HI William
Been down that track ,you kneed a large bank of batteries with solar
for when the sun does not shine also at least 2 large capacity solar panels
The battery charger i have is a car alternator driven by a 4stroke 50cc honda
it works the same way a car chages a battery .The only reason i am selling
it i have decided to go with a eu10 honda @ a 15 amp constant electric battery
charger as i wish to run more electrial items, the other option was to go with
12volt to 240 inverter but prefer the first option
Friar
AnswerID: 39612

Reply By: Mick - Monday, Dec 08, 2003 at 10:04

Monday, Dec 08, 2003 at 10:04
Why dont you buy an outback battery charger from Christie Engineering!
Check this out.
http://usrwww.mpx.com.au/~christie_eng/
AnswerID: 39653

Follow Up By: friar - Monday, Dec 08, 2003 at 22:07

Monday, Dec 08, 2003 at 22:07
Hi Mick
That what i am selling it is a christie charger
Friar
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FollowupID: 257363

Reply By: -OzyGuy- - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2003 at 16:20

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2003 at 16:20
I also use a HiAce, with a 80 watt Solarex pannel and 2 x 80 watt Delcor deep cycle jell batteries sepperated from the starter battery by a Pirahna isolator it works for me .....
AnswerID: 39864

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