12 Volt Setup Help

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 00:49
ThreadID: 92324 Views:3922 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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Hi all, Great forum...

I'm planning a trip up to the Cape this year and was looking for some help and advice.

Power supply?

Can anyone give me, in there opinion, the best solution for 12v systems?

I have a 06 Hilux Diesel twin cab and will be taking a CT with me.

I will be running a 60lt evaKool fridge, bit of led lighting, 12v TV and laptop at times, and the other usual phone, camera chargers etc.

I'm getting very confused reading about all the electronic gear you can get these days.
I just want to keep it as simple and cost efficient as I can…

I worked out that I shouldn't use more than 2.5 - 3 amps per hour.

My idea was 2 x 100 or 120amp AGM Batteries, Bushpower 12 Volt 50 Amp Automatic Battery Charger, See here: http://www.australiandirect.com.au/buy/bushpower-12-volt-50-amp-automatic-battery-charger/Bushpower50smart (is 50amps too much power and destroy a battery or would I be better to get say a 25amp charger?) and a half decent 1 or 2kva 4 Stroke Genie.

How do's this sound?

Also should I stick another battery under the hood of the Hilux, charge the AGMs from the engine alt while driving or am I just making it all too complicated and an overkill?

We may at times spend 2 or 3 nights at the one location.

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated...
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Reply By: pepper2 - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 02:31

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 02:31
If you want to keep it simple i would put one x 120amp AGM battery (2 if you have room and money but not necessary) in the tray of the highlux immediately behind the cab and invest in say 180watts min of solar panels.

Again keeping it simple the main and secondary battery can be wired in parallel and you can fit a low voltage cutout device at the fridge to cut power to the fridge when voltage drops to around 12v.

With this set up you will always be able to start the vehicle and the fridge will draw on the combined capacity of both batteries,your altinater will hapily charge both batteries when you are on the moove and the solar will top up batteries,if no sun for a few days run the engine on fast idle for approx 45mins twice a day or go for a drive.

Others will suggest electronic cut out devices and dc-dc chargers and they have their place in other circumstances,but the above is simple,low cost and works.

!80watts of solar can be purchased under $500 these days.
AnswerID: 479595

Follow Up By: pepper2 - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 08:54

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 08:54
Last line reads 180watts of solar.....
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 06:50

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 06:50
You don't need a 50A charger with the load you describe, and with AGM's you could even damage them as they often have a maximum charge rate of 20A or so.

Get a 25A charger and put the rest of the money into 160W of solar panels and a good MPPT controller.
AnswerID: 479596

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 10:29

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 10:29
Hi RR,

As well as the replies you receive here, you would do well to read a couple of the articles on this site about auxiliary battery power such as "Battery Power". or "Electricity for Camping".

As you seem to know, too much charging current can damage AGM batteries so limit it to 25 amps per battery.

Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 479603

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 10:55

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 10:55
I just took a look at the link and video for the BushPower battery charger. That is some Mother of a charger! But will some chaps really take seriously a bloke who drinks XXXX Gold? LOL

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 12:31

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 12:31
The Bushman charger in question here is 50 amps however it will not damage the batteries. I suggest you watch the Youtube link about the product at the top. This is a smart charger that can charge down to as little as 2AH's. In short the 50 Amps here is useable and safe. I would combine with solar rather than just the charger as the link suggests. If you had a reasonable solar setup a Ctek 25 Amp charger would also suffice, it's only $250 compared to the $800 for the Bushman 50AH.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 13:29

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 13:29
Yes TerraFirma, as I said, I did watch the referenced video.

I am sure that the Bushman charger is a fine product but it is overkill for this application. Bushman's site recommends "A minimum of two good quality 100Amp-hour lead acid storage batteries." which is what this product was designed to charge.

Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: roofrestorer - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 23:05

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 23:05
Thanks for the advise guys. Certainly gives me a few ideas and things to think about.

Pepper2, so is it quite OK to connect my car battery to the 1 or 2 agms I get?

Is a duel battery system for the car a good investment or not really required?

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 04:37

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 04:37
Click here. All your answers
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Follow Up By: pepper2 - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 05:23

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 05:23
Yes you can connect two or three batteries in parallel ,your alternater will charge them ok,(as will the solar,i have three batteries in a patrol wired up like this )i suggested the agm batteries be fitted in your rear tray as these batteries are very heavy and the thin body metal in the engine bay may not carry the weight with out metal fatigue,also some people suggest the heat in the engine bay is not kind to agm batteries and reduces their life.

Good investment ? yes if you run a fridge etc also you should never be stranded with flat batteries.
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Follow Up By: GPCDR - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 20:48

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 20:48
roofrestorer,
If you are using several aux batteries, I find the the Traxide SC-80 is one of the best dual/triple battery charge/controller on the market. I have transferred this unit into several vehicles and it has always performed well.

Currently I have a 75ah thumper in the rear of the vehicle connected to one side of controller and the other side connect to the rear anderson plug. The rear anderson plug connects to the two 120 AGMs in the offroad caravan. All wiring from the main battery through to the caravan batteries is 16mm2 (min to use is 13.5mm2).

Regards
Dave G
Rolasolar
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 09:57

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 09:57
OK RR, here is a plan for you.

1) Put a 100+ amphour AGM battery in a battery box in the tub.

2) Connect this to your alternator at the cranking battery terminals with at least 16mm2 twin cable. Put an 80A fuse in the +ve of this cable at each end to guard against possible short circuit.

3) Place an automatic isolator (suggest Redarc SBI-12) in the +ve of this cable at the cranking battery. This isolator connects the AGM for charging but isolates the cranking battery from supplying the fridge etc when the engine is stopped and ensures the cranker is not drained. The isolator also prevents the starter motor from drawing current from the AGM and so damaging the cables and fuses.

4) Connect a 120W solar panel (portable folding type) to the AGM via an MPPT controller. This should be sufficient to maintain your auxiliary load but if necessary you can always run the engine on fast idle for a while or go for a drive. No real need to lug a portable gennie.

5) Supply your fridge and auxiliaries from the AGM through appropriately sized fuses.

Now, there are all sorts of options and variations to this setup but the above is about the simplest and safest for your expressed needs.
One option of value is to use a Redarc BCDC-1220 isolator/charger instead of the SBI-12. This not only serves as an isolator but also as a 3-stage charger to better maintain the charge to the AGM but it does cost more. Or for a bit more $ use a Redarc BCDC-1240 which incorporates an MPPT controller for the solar input.

Some may propose and use really simple arrangements such as directly connecting a second battery to the cranker with no isolator and no fuses and get away with it without setting fire to their vehicle....... but good luck to them, they are taking risks that I am not prepared to do.

As has been said, for more info take a look on the ExplorOz site at the Battery Power article.

Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 479731

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