12 volt power

Submitted: Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:43
ThreadID: 94872 Views:2499 Replies:1 FollowUps:5
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Wife has been out with the van while I work( no problem) Today after being out 4 days charger seems to have come up with low voltage alarm. We run a 1kva Yamaha Inverter Gennie with a 110ah deep Cycle. Until this trip(and today) everything was fine.
For this trip we had bought a 40lt Engel Eclipse, so am guesssing thisis adding the extra load. Strict instructions were given and followed to put Engel on 240v when gennie going. She came back into town today to get some things( only 40km out) so not sure if she ran gennie this morning. Forgot to mention charge the batt with a 20 amp smart charger. Just looking for a reasonable option to supplement gennie or battery to carry over longer periods. Would a 80w Solar give enuf trickle to carry between gennie runs, or would adding a 2nd battery help( after fully charging before leaving)?
Van fridge is solely 12v off the battery at moment and averages 2.7a...not sure of the Engel but recall seeing 2.7a - 3.5a???............or do i get a power supply to run van fridge off 240v as well..( 3 way van fridge solve everything methinks but not option right now)

Apologies for hogging forum, but getting ready for retirement soon and you guys are so helpful.
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 19:17

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 19:17
Hi Kev,
If this was my problem I would go for a 160 watt folding solar panel set up with an MPPT regulator, which I already have, and that should put an end to your problems. You would probably only need the genny for lengthy cloudy periods as a top up.

I run a 160 watt folding panel via an MPPT into 2 x 105 AH batteries and this more than keeps up with my needs. Van is mostly 12 volts and 240 is only used rarely or in caravan parks as I am paying for it then anyway.
Only airco and Micro wave are 240. Rarely use them.

Go solar mate, you won't regret it.

Cheers, 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: 483024

Follow Up By: apwaddo - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 19:34

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 19:34
Beware of the current hype about MPPT controllers. A cheap one will perform far worse than a good quality PWM controller, and to be honest I have yet to see proof (practical - not the theory or salesman sh*t) that MPPT offer any advantage.

Its not that there is anything wrong with them but they are not all that are cracked up to be - specially the 'el cheapo' E-Bay versions.

Having said that Bruce 's comment about 'go solar' is spot on!
FollowupID: 758232

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 19:58

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 19:58
Can't argue about your comments re cheap MPPT apwaddo.

I have bought 3 from China for around $100 each. All have been good but the two I am using at the moment are brilliant. You do not need to pay $200 to $400 for them.

I would not pay less than $95 for one as that is what the 2 MPPT regulators I have now cost.

Cheers, 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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FollowupID: 758234

Follow Up By: kevmac....(WA) - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 21:57

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 21:57
Thx for ya help guys............ solar does seem way to go, but as far as me, is a long way off financially unfortunately. Not that I am a cheap@$$, is just that job I am in is not a well paid job so pleasure takes a back seat when the coin is tossed.

Appreciate the advice all the same, but if I added another deep cycle battery, would that help in the interim???Then next step could be solar.....
FollowupID: 758245

Follow Up By: Bigfish - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 06:35

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 06:35
Another deep cycle battery would definately help. Get the same as the one you have (if its been a good one for you).
You have doubled you capacity. Think of a decent solar panel down the track. Even an 85 watt will give your batteries a big boost on sunny days. Mount it on the roof of your car or van and forget about it. That is after all the appropriate wiring and regulators have been installed correctly. Just make sure that every time that genny is turned on it is also connected to a good quality 12 volt battery charger as well to assist the batteries.
FollowupID: 758255

Follow Up By: rooster350 - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 10:54

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 10:54
Yes , mount it on your car or van ...but make sure they are sitting out in the hot sun or the panel will be next to useless....our panel sits in the sun and the car and van sit in the shade wherever possible, batteries get charged and we are comfortable in the cool van. Have been camping for some years with a solar panel and have been away from the camp many times with panel sitting out in the sun by its lonely self and it has not disappeared...YET......cheers
FollowupID: 758277

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