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Old 05-25-2017, 08:23 AM   #1
Mel B.
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Smile 400 watt solar system

So last night was the first night testing our new 400 watt Renogy eclipse premium kit, 40A cammander cc, 4 6 volt interstate 120ah flooded batteries with a switch to run one of two batery banks or both. Wired in series and parelel, Panels are wired in parelel. Also a renogy 2000 watt inverter/charger. All custom made cables. I bought this kit planning on installing it myself on our 32' Montana 3155RL 5th wheel, but do to a back surgery that went bad and led to a total of 3 surgies last Jan. I had to have Pats RV in Petaluma Ca. do the install for me. Mike and Christen are the owners and the only Renogy dealer I know of in Sonoma County? Anyway I had all my own equipment and he installed it. I can't say enough about his work, it looks so nice and clean. ( I tried posting pictures but I can't fiqure out how ) I backed it into the drive way yesterday about 3:00 and my wife and I got to play with it. Everything in the trailer is wired to the solar system, which was more then I expected, or thought I needed but it is nice. And with the built in transfer switch in the inverter it's a nice transition to shore power. So I found out what different amp loads on different things in the coach, My ceiling fan uses 4.4 amps, two old bulbs (I think 60 watt each?) that I hadn't switched to LED yet used 2 amps, and two 60 watt LEDS only used 0.4a All of these numbers I was getting off of the MT50 monitor that came with my kit. It was nice looking at the Volts and amps from panels to CC and on to the batteries. and watching the amps rise when turning things on at different times. With everything unplugged TV'S DVD's everything including inverter OFF I have a 0.07a loss not bad for a 32' 5th wheel. So around 6:30 to 7:00 as I was playing with the monitor and it showed my Batteries had gone down to about 12.7 volts. Which kind of worried me, I felt like it was to low to fast?? But this my first solar ever. So I turned on a 26" LCD TV a dvd with a movie 4 60 watt LED lights. My read was 12.5 volts now and completly dark outside. So I knew with me and Shelley using everything at the latter part of the day I didn't start the night with a 100 full bank. So abot 11:00 last night I went out the TV, DVD and lights were still on now the read was 12.6, It went up. So I went back in the house and like a kid on XMAS eve I don't think I slept at all. 6:00 AM today I throw on my robe and tripped over the sleeping dog. I opened the door and the lights TV DVD were all on
Monitor said 12.5 volts so I got out the Mr. Coffee filled it with cold water and made a full pot of coffee, while the coffee was brewing it dropped too 12 volts, when it was done it went back to 12.5 volts. Now though my monitor does not show power usage?? Yesterday and last night it would show me how many amps were being used. but now it shows 0.01?? I guess I'll be calling customer sup. And something I missed when buying the 2000 watt inverter is there is a minume AMP draw in order to make it turn on when it's in auto. So my cpap won't turn it on unless I'm running something else. But so far I think I love it.
Mel

Update: it's raining right now and I'm putting out close to 14 volts from my panels
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Old 06-02-2017, 11:40 AM   #2
WaltBennett
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While I've Renogy panels and really like the company, I'm not familiar with this monitor. I've a Triminic that shows percentage of usable battery power (as well as voltage and current) based on the type of battery it's monitoring. That's what I go by and haven't paid attention to actual voltage. When it gets close to 70%, I start backing off using anything that will draw it down further - just being conservative.

I also installed my system so it only feeds one of the two 30 amp legs of my breaker panel, with the AC, electric parts of the water heater and refrig. on the other one. This way I won't accidentally run everything down to nothing.
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Old 06-02-2017, 01:11 PM   #3
mjammersc
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Sounds like the install and setup is pretty good. 12.7V is a typical voltage for a fully charged battery at rest and even better when pulling a small load. As you saw, when you brewed the coffee it dropped to 12V under a heavier load. What you need to figure out is how to monitor current as that is what matters and more specifically AH usage (or a % full like the Trimetric meter).


As far as the inverter needing a minimum current draw to kick it on, that is the way many are (mine is). I am not familiar with your inverter but on mine, the level is configurable if I remember right.


Time to dive into the manuals and learn all the knobs you can play with. One thing to confirm is the settings for the solar converter (and any battery charger) to be sure they are set to match your battery type, size, and desired charge voltages.
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Old 06-02-2017, 01:49 PM   #4
Mel B.
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Question solar

Yes I think they did a very good job, the problem is me. I'm still trying to figure this stuff out. I didn't relize that when the sun sets the battery would drop from 13.8 to 12.6 or 12.7 so fast, now I know thats normal. Renogy say's that the inverter in power saver mode needs .09-1.0amp draw to turn on inverter. My C-pap will not turn on the inverter unless I turn something else on first and then if I turn the other item off so my C-Pap is the only draw about 2a, it turns off. So I'm going to install a cheap 400 watt inverter that I already had and wire a plug to my bedside and solve that problem. Next question is I have read not to let the battery bank drop below 12.2vdc But as I said on the first morning my battery had 12.5v but when I brewed the coffee it dropped to 12.0v then went back to 12.5 when done brewing, Is that bad for the draw to drop below 12.2 for as long as it goes above that when done brewing the coffee? And the other thing that I'm really trying hard to understand is the DIP switches on the inverter. I've read everything on these and it's very hard to understand, Trial and error
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Old 06-02-2017, 02:21 PM   #5
mjammersc
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The guidance of below 12.2V is the resting voltage (no to minimal draw). Between 12/1 & 12.2V is the 50% discharge point on lead acid batteries and for good longevity, that is the typically recommended low point percentage wise
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:50 AM   #6
Mudchief
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Like said above it is the resting voltage. The reason the voltage is dropping is likely the size of the cables that go from the batteries to the inverter are to small or to long.
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Old 06-03-2017, 09:00 AM   #7
Mel B.
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The cabels from the inverter and batterys are OO welding cable about 18" long, all my cables are that size.
Mel
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Old 06-04-2017, 01:08 AM   #8
Mudchief
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I would use at least 2/0 cables. What can happen is the inverter can stop because of low voltage. You need to look at your manual and see where the low voltage shut off is on your inverter.
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Old 06-04-2017, 11:01 AM   #9
Mel B.
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I didn't write it right but that's the cable size i'm using. The cables are not not under sized at all. And I menteniond above the inverter is supposed to turn on when in auto power saver mode at .09a but my cpap won't turn on even though it runs at about 2a
Mel
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:13 PM   #10
Mel B.
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Mudchief,
So I have a choice with my inverter low voltage shut off, either 10.5v or 11.5 volts I chose the 11.5 to be safe. Does that seem like the right choice to you?
Mel
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