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Old 05-16-2019, 09:57 AM   #1
McIver
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M.O.C. #12840
AC re Solar

Below you can see what I have for solar. After a year of research and some great installation advice (thanks HandyBob and Lenny K) I am very satisfied with the results when boondocking. BUT I have not been in hot weather yet (and know I will not be able to keep to the 70 degree rule). I realize that the issue with AC is the required starting amps. Just need some experienced advice on how y’all deal with high temperatures.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:02 PM   #2
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David,

We try to camp in cooler areas in the summer. Fire up the genny when you need a little air or stay at a campground with hookups.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:05 PM   #3
DQDick
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You're going to need a generator. You will never be able to carry enough pannels and batteries to run AC from a solar system.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:06 PM   #4
McIver
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Does anyone use the “soft start” product?
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:47 PM   #5
PNW Fireguy
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I run my AC on my battery pack with an EasyStart. The EasyStart reduces the starting current significantly. I have no affiliation with the company...just a happy customer. I am working on a solution to run both AC's.
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:27 AM   #6
Mudchief
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You will need a generator. I can run the AC about 4 hours on solar on a bright day then the batteries are down to 55%. I just use the generator when I need the AC.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:12 AM   #7
McIver
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I have boondocked a total of 35 days since this system was installed. Without suffering any inconvenience, the batteries have only been in the 70% range once. That was because I wanted to exercise the generator (Honda 3000) and keep its battery charged. Thanks for the input concerning the Easy Start....I will put it on one of the units.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:02 AM   #8
mootana
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McIver,
May I ask what batteries you are using? Type, brand and how many?
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:55 PM   #9
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I have 4 interstate wet cell golf cart batteries (6v GC-2) for a total of 410 amp hours. I had two relative new ones so the installer traded the two semi-used for 2 new to match the other two new I bought. Would have preferred 4 Trojan or Crown but the above saved me some money ( Will switch when these are worn out. Expensive but I would then have more amp/hrs storage also).
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:06 PM   #10
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You will not get much of a runtime at all for your AC's with the amp hour capacity you have. The starting current on my AC unit is about 13 amps with the EasyStart, that is about 120-130 amp dc. With your scenario that is not going to work too well I am afraid.
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:34 PM   #11
GreG L.
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THIS ONLY MAKES SINCE FOR BOON-DOCKERS. I would get rid of the wet cell's and get 4 Lithium. Your 410 AH is really 205 since you can only use them to about 50%. The 4 Lithium's would weigh less than two of your 4, can be run down to about 10%, can be placed inside if you want because they don't off gas, are not a fire hazard (iron phosphate are not Tesla type), can be places in any position, on end or even upside down, have a life expectancy of 10 years or more so the over time cost can be as much as 10X less if you boon-dock regularly. On the down side they are about $1000.00 each up front.
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:45 AM   #12
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Thanks very much for the input. I love my system after a total of 40 days boon-docking and therefore am closed minded to anything but wet cell batteries. My entire solar follows advice, in extreme detail, of people who designed it and they are adamant on the subject. As I wrote in my original post I only run the generator now to give it some exercise and acknowledge, after reading here, that I will have to run it for air conditioning or be hooked up to shore power. Again, thanks for your thoughtful input. I DO love this site. Now if I could figure out the dang water heater......
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McIver View Post
Thanks very much for the input. I love my system after a total of 40 days boon-docking and therefore am closed minded to anything but wet cell batteries. My entire solar follows advice, in extreme detail, of people who designed it and they are adamant on the subject. As I wrote in my original post I only run the generator now to give it some exercise and acknowledge, after reading here, that I will have to run it for air conditioning or be hooked up to shore power. Again, thanks for your thoughtful input. I DO love this site. Now if I could figure out the dang water heater......
You do not have to run the generator just to run the AC if you had a EasyStart. However your current battery amp hour capacity is not sufficient to accomplish what you want. You can add more wet cells but as suggested LiFePO4 will give you more capacity for the less weight and no maintenance. Two clear choices for you.
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Old 05-23-2019, 02:19 PM   #14
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OK, for future reference, when I sell the last of my gold crowns on my teeth, what specific brand of American Made lithium do y’all recommend?
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:01 PM   #15
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I think some go with these for $1000 a pop.

https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...cycle-battery/
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:31 PM   #16
PNW Fireguy
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Originally Posted by McIver View Post
OK, for future reference, when I sell the last of my gold crowns on my teeth, what specific brand of American Made lithium do y’all recommend?

I don't know if I would go that far. BB is making quite a foothold in the lithium RV market. They are however one of the most premium priced options. There are other drop in replacement options, check Youtube there are several very good channels that talk about the subject. If you have the ability and you have a tinker mentality a DIY prismatic cell option can be had for less than a lead acid comperably sized system. The point I am trying to make is that there a quite a few options available out there. Determining whether you want a drop in replacement of a cell type arrangement would be your first choice and follow the trail from there. Of course you could also go with 4-6 L16 wet cells or AGM's. They would also give you considerably more capacity that would allow you to run your AC from your inverter as well. Either way I would not recomment trying to achieve this without some type of starting current limiting device on your AC unit.
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