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Old 11-02-2020, 11:09 AM   #1
MAWilsonPE
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3120RL Super Solar Flex Initial Impressions

We finally got our new unit delivered and spent our 10 day maiden voyage at a beach in SC. We did not boondock but I did disconnect from shore power for awhile to test the SSF package and I wanted to give you my first impressions.

First, the batteries and inverter/charger are simply amazing. I had 3 lead-acid deep cycle batteries on my old camper with a total of 300 amp-hrs of capacity, of that only half is "usable". Max charge rate was about 30 amps with the batteries at 50%. As I charged those the charge rate dropped significantly at 75% (~10-15 amps) to only a trickle above 85% (5 amps). This package will dump 100+ amps of charging continuously into the batteries to over 99%! Wow!

I was able to run run one air conditioner for almost 3 hours and drained about half of the 510 amp-hr capacity. I inadvertently had my water heater set to electric and saw about 250 amps of 12v power flowing until I switched it to gas!

When we arrived at camp my solar panels were not working. A call to Jaboni helped me find the external breakers on the box to reset the charge controllers and then it worked fine. Tripped again before I got home so I wonder if the truck pigtail connection has something to do with it.

Once working, I saw upwards of 20-25 amps coming from each pair of solar panels. It was pretty sunny but we did get shaded part of the day. I still need to better evaluate how much charging I can expect from the panels in a typical day.

Now that we are back home I plan to spend more time with the system and evaluate the power draw of all the components so I can understand what we can and cannot use while boondocking and still expect to recharge. Stay tuned...
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Old 11-12-2020, 09:44 AM   #2
rames14
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Mike, thanks for the update. We currently have the dyslexic version of yours - 3160. We are starting to talk about a new unit in the next few years and are very interested in the Super Solar. We boondock a lot in Colorado and Wyoming. Please keep us updated as you learn more down the road. We would probably go RV fridge since we like being off grid. The residential fridge consumes a lot of power.
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:29 AM   #3
MAWilsonPE
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Sure thing Ron!

I have been measuring the power draw of everything to prepare an energy budget when boondocking. All readings are at 12 volts (actually 13.3v) with battery power only, shore power disconnected.

Master Switch on - 1 amp

Hallway Lights (2) - 1 amp
Kitchen Lights (4) - 2 amps
Living Room Lights (2) - 1 amp
LED Accent Lights - 6 amps
Awning Lights - 3 amps
Kitchen Hanging Lights - 0.3 amps

Front Slide (electric) - 5 amps
Hydraulic Slides - 80 amps

Ceiling Fan (4 settings) - 0.1-1.2 amps
Vent Fans (4 settings) - 0.2-3 amps

Inverter On - 3 amps

RV Fridge (on gas) - 1 amp
RV Fridge (on electric) - 50 amps

Living Rm TV On - 5 amps
Heater Fan - 14 amps
Vacuum Cleaner - 90 amps
Single A/C (fan only) - 20 amps
Single A/C (fan + compressor) - 76 amps

Daily amp-hr budget = device amps x hours used per day.

Next project is to get a good 7 day average solar charging capacity. This will take some time so bear with me. So many factors, clouds, rain, low sun angle in the Fall... The panels are rated for over 1000 watts, that is almost 75 amps at 14 volts, I am hoping to get half that for several hours per day, or 100-150 amp-hrs on a good day.
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:38 AM   #4
twindman
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I haven't heard about Super Solar. I assume it has an inverter to run A/C and other stuff. Is it a full coach inverter? Thanks.
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:07 AM   #5
MAWilsonPE
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Hi Tom,

Montana Super SolarFlex is a 2021 factory option that includes 4 solar panels for 1060 watts charging, a 3000 watt inverter/charger, 510 amp-hrs of LiFePO4 batteries, high efficiency A/C units with soft starts and other stuff. You cannot get generator prep with this option but that is the point, right? Go to youtube and search "Montana Super Solarflex" for a couple of good overview videos.

Best, Mike
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:30 AM   #6
rames14
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It is using Battleborn batteries - 2x270 ah.
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Old 11-19-2020, 07:58 PM   #7
kowbra
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Originally Posted by MAWilsonPE View Post
Sure thing Ron!

I have been measuring the power draw of everything to prepare an energy budget when boondocking. All readings are at 12 volts (actually 13.3v) with battery power only, shore power disconnected.

Master Switch on - 1 amp

Hallway Lights (2) - 1 amp
Kitchen Lights (4) - 2 amps
Living Room Lights (2) - 1 amp
LED Accent Lights - 6 amps
Awning Lights - 3 amps
Kitchen Hanging Lights - 0.3 amps

Front Slide (electric) - 5 amps
Hydraulic Slides - 80 amps

Ceiling Fan (4 settings) - 0.1-1.2 amps
Vent Fans (4 settings) - 0.2-3 amps

Inverter On - 3 amps

RV Fridge (on gas) - 1 amp
RV Fridge (on electric) - 50 amps

Living Rm TV On - 5 amps
Heater Fan - 14 amps
Vacuum Cleaner - 90 amps
Single A/C (fan only) - 20 amps
Single A/C (fan + compressor) - 76 amps

Daily amp-hr budget = device amps x hours used per day.

Next project is to get a good 7 day average solar charging capacity. This will take some time so bear with me. So many factors, clouds, rain, low sun angle in the Fall... The panels are rated for over 1000 watts, that is almost 75 amps at 14 volts, I am hoping to get half that for several hours per day, or 100-150 amp-hrs on a good day.
Thanks Mike, I appreciate you sharing your numbers!

We have a new unit ordered with Super Solar Flex as well. It arrived at the dealer and we will go see it next week. Only trouble is, it is full on winter up here in Canada, and the borders are closed so we can't make our usual snowbird trip south. It's most likely we won't be able to use our new unit for a few months, so I will be following others as they test their new units.

BTW, the original spec was 4x 265 watt panels, but they indicated on our build that we were being upgraded to 4x 300 watt panels. I suspect yours may have been upgraded?

Brad
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Old 11-20-2020, 07:08 AM   #8
MAWilsonPE
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Thank you Brad,

I looked through all the paperwork I got and nothing shows what panels were installed. The Jaboni spec sheets are not very helpful. The 300 watt panel spec sheet shows 60 - 6" cells in a 6x10 pattern, which is what I have. However they show 36 - 6" cells for their 100, 175 & 265 watt panels, clearly a cut and paste error in their specs.

The instructions for the MPPT controller recommends 30 amp breakers on the solar feed lines and 40 amp breakers on the battery lines. I keep popping one of them at somewhere near 23 amps to the batteries which seems low. I have a call to Jaboni to ask the breaker ratings. Maybe I have a bad one. A wiring diagram would be very helpful!!
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:03 AM   #9
MAWilsonPE
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Talked to Future Sales who makes this solar system, they are very helpful. He talked me through turning one controller down a bit until they can send me a new breaker. I confirmed that my build did include the 300 watt panels so thatís 1200 watts total... woohoo!

I am thinking I still may need to supplement the solar for an extended boondocking trip. Has anyone tried the Redarc DC-DC chargers? They make a 40 amp charger to run off the truck alternator when driving. My truck has a 180 amp alternator so two chargers would give me 80 amps and not tax the alternator too much. Have to run some big lines, like long jumper cables. Anyone?

Thanks, Mike
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:03 AM   #10
Creeker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAWilsonPE View Post

I am thinking I still may need to supplement the solar for an extended boondocking trip. Has anyone tried the Redarc DC-DC chargers? They make a 40 amp charger to run off the truck alternator when driving. My truck has a 180 amp alternator so two chargers would give me 80 amps and not tax the alternator too much. Have to run some big lines, like long jumper cables. Anyone?

Thanks, Mike

I'm probably going with the Renogy 40A DC to DC charger. Several YouTube videos online with good reviews. Their website has downloads of the operating manual giving the recommended wiring size for length of run. As well as fuse size.

Amazon and Walmart have better pricing than straight from Renogy website.

https://www.renogy.com/12v-dc-to-dc-...ttery-charger/
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:44 PM   #11
kowbra
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I'm probably going with the Renogy 40A DC to DC charger. Several YouTube videos online with good reviews. Their website has downloads of the operating manual giving the recommended wiring size for length of run. As well as fuse size.

Amazon and Walmart have better pricing than straight from Renogy website.

https://www.renogy.com/12v-dc-to-dc-...ttery-charger/
I emailed Matt from Future Sales and he recommended this instead of a DC-DC charger...
https://precisioncircuitsinc.com/wp-...i-BIM-Rev1.pdf

I have just begun to research this, but I like what I'm seeing so far. Compared to a DC-DC charger, this seems cheaper, simpler, and is also designed specifically for lithium charging. Also, the BIM can be switched both ways; so for example if you wanted to charge your vehicle from your solar system that would be possible.

The biggest advantage that they speak about is to prevent damage to the alternator due to the lithium batteries charging profile... lithium batteries will accept a charge about as fast as an alternator can put out, which could overheat and damage the alternator if charging full blast for hours. So the Li-BIM cycles the charging on for a few minutes, then off to cool down the alternator, then on, etc. (I assume a DC-DC charger that can be set to lithium would also protect alternator, but I don't know for sure...)

Also, Matt mentioned that he is seeing charge rates of about 70 amps using the above BIM, and the BIM is ~$150. Seems much less cost than a DC-DC charger...

So, as mentioned, I don't have personal experience, but this does look like a very appealing solution.

Brad
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