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 > Your search for posts made by 'BFL13' found 2325 matches.

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RE: Battery Charge Requirements

For Goodness sakes, all this voltage sensing temp comp stuff is such BS in real life! Today, eg, we had sun, rain , heavy grey cloud, more sun , then more rain, sun, grey cloud- IAW a typical west coast day in April. The solar was up and down, all over the place, all day. What good would a fancy temp comp, zillion dollar solar controller do better today than the average $20 eBay special (which I have and find to be perfectly good) What a crock! Ignore the "controller snobs" and get real IMO! (Sorry about that controller snobs, but you are trying to make people spend extra money that could go to something more useful)
BFL13 04/23/14 08:10pm Tech Issues
RE: Trimetric Install With an Enclosed Underbelly?

Anything is better than taking off some of the underbelly, which is a huge PITA. You can use a length of garden hose as a conduit or get some other conduit and lash that along under the underbelly then go up through any hole available (eg, punch out any sealer where some wires go now), or drill your own holes as PT said. Each rig is unique in opportunities to get down through the floor. EG ours has a gap in the underbelly between water tanks where the spare tire hanger is. The Trimetric monitor display is very bright, and the light is "in your face" so be careful where you mount/aim it.
BFL13 04/23/14 05:00pm Tech Issues
RE: Battery Charge Requirements

Looking into a solar setup for my new trailer, first off is figuring out what I need for controller output to correctly charge my batteries. I'm planning on eventually having a pair of either 100w or 130w panels, that's all the space I have. Batteries are 2 6v Interstate GC2-XHD, 232Ah. Specs show per 6v Bulk 7.2v Absorption 7.75v Float 6.6v Equalization 7.8v Do I read this right I need a 12v controller that will put out double these figures? Very few do, and those are user configurable to get to those levels (Blue Sky Solar Boost 3000i MPPT or Sun Chaser PWM, among a couple others). My pair of GC2-XHDs are quite happy with a single 130w panel and a Solar30 PWM controller. The controller is set to 14.8v for daily operation. You could use a second 130w panel in the winter when demand is higher and solar day is shorter. Expected max amps with a 130w panel is 8.2a (panel Isc) and you might see a few more amps at times so use a 15a controller for one panel or a 30a for a pair. Roof mounted flat you might get 50-60AH day from one on a really good day, so your daily usage determines if you need the second panel. IMO try it with one panel and a 30a controller (in case you get a second panel) You only need to go into the 15s for voltage once in a while for your 100% SOC "overcharge" and with solar you don't need to have a fancy controller that can be set that high, you can just disconnect/by-pass the controller and go "panel direct" That is the same drill as doing an equalization with a manual charger--you have to be there and make sure voltage does not climb too high, take your SGs to see when SG stops rising and you are done. Also disconnect batts from rig to not let the fridge DC voltage go over its 15.4v limit. Then go back to normal operation with the controller in the mix.
BFL13 04/23/14 08:09am Tech Issues
RE: PWM vs MPPT Test Results

I did a test last month with the EcoW on the 12v 130w panel. I got 9a MPPT vs 8a PWM. There is no doubt that the MPPT gets slightly higher amps, similar to what Salvo got on his test. It is true that you can change the results more in favour of MPPT by comparing them at low battery SOC. In real life, by the time the sun gets up high enough you are already climbing in batt v so may never see max amps even at high noon. Another "situational" thing, "depending" You can't fine tune your solar. You will have too much or too little each day but at least you can calculate what your set up could do and then after that you can see if it is still working about right.
BFL13 04/22/14 10:14pm Tech Issues
RE: PWM vs MPPT Test Results

I would make the price comparison between the 20a PWM controller for $20 and the Eco-W 20a MPPT for $102. There is nothing wrong with those $20 PWM controllers either. They do Series, three stage charging profile exactly like the MorningStar's profile. In fact they have the exact same charging profile diagrams in their owner's manuals. ( I have tested those and so have other forum members.) It gets tricky when the 12v panels cost more than the 24v panels but the MPPT controllers cost so much more. You have to really sharpen your pencil and keep your eye on the expected amps for the whole set-up.
BFL13 04/22/14 09:21pm Tech Issues
RE: PWM vs MPPT Test Results

Just attempted a comparison for "low light." Condition is time 1830, sun lower in behind grey cloud. Both the 130w and 230w battery banks are at 12.9v. Both panels pointing South tilted up. 130w- 0.6a 230w- 0.8a 0.6 x 230/130 = 1.06 so that is more than 0.8 Means when things are this bad for solar, nothing times nothing is still nothing. :)
BFL13 04/22/14 07:26pm Tech Issues
RE: PWM vs MPPT Test Results

Run the test when it's 100 outside. That will be a whole different story. Did you record temperature during the test? That and battery voltage are the biggest factors in mppt performance. It might get to 90 or so here in July. I will take panel temps then too. Yes, read the OP for temps this time.
BFL13 04/22/14 07:02pm Tech Issues
RE: PWM vs MPPT Test Results

The "mainstream " MorningStar 15L ($300 here) gets 15a with a 230w panel but of course it cuts off amps at 15a. As reported by several forum members who have that combo. You guys want a test with a 20a "mainstream" controller but don't expect more percentage gain than the ($102) Eco-Worthy got here, so what's the issue really? You guys are not being logical. There is nothing wrong with the Eco-Worthy except you can get one for one third what a "mainstream" controller costs. Get over it. :)
BFL13 04/22/14 06:26pm Tech Issues
RE: PWM vs MPPT Test Results

I can't wait for the shade tests ;) We are out in the open, so can't do shade tests. We do get cloudy rainy days but that is different from shade AFAIK.
BFL13 04/22/14 05:32pm Tech Issues
RE: PWM vs MPPT Test Results

Hi BFL13, Converted to percentage 9.200/10.07 ~= 8.7 % more 11.85/12.74 ~= 8.7 % more 13.44/15.32 ~= 12.2 % more 14.50/16.65 ~= 12.2 % more I could at last compare the amps I got with an equivalent 230w on PWM. Result was a slight MPPT advantage in amps. EG 9.2/10.07, 11.85/12.74, 13.44/15.32, and 14.50/16.65 going from am-high noon. PT, the way I do math, 15.32-13.44 = 1.88 and 1.88/13.44= 14% more That was with the battery voltage still up there. When I took the next set of readings at high noon, with the battery voltage knocked back down with a bunch of loads, I got that 16.65-14.50 = 2.15/14.50 = 14.8% more Anyway, there is more of a gain when the battery voltage is lower confirming that MPPT story. Percentages make everything look wonderful, but don't forget that 2a more all day, if it stood at 2a would be a whole 20AH more of a daily haul. That is peanuts to me, but might be significant for somebody else. That is why you can't know what is "worth it" unless you know the other fellow's situation. I hope I got the voltage measurements that were requested for this test. No idea what anybody might make of them.
BFL13 04/22/14 05:23pm Tech Issues
PWM vs MPPT Test Results

Today (blue sky, not quite to STC at this date at this latitude 49.3N but almost according to the calculator on that) I was able to run a test on my 230w panel and Eco-Worthy 20a MPPT controller. I could at last compare the amps I got with an equivalent 230w on PWM. Result was a slight MPPT advantage in amps. EG 9.2/10.07, 11.85/12.74, 13.44/15.32, and 14.50/16.65 going from am-high noon. Comparison was with a 130w panel proportioned up to 230w which I have found to be valid in previous tests using eg, 200w (two 100w) in same location. I won't repeat all that proof here, so if you haven't seen that stuff before, just have to trust me on the PWM amps used to compare. :) So--- just taking the MPPT performance at high noon with some measurements that may be of interest to MPPT experts (or not!) 230w Hanwha panel- specs Vmp-30, Imp-7.7, Voc- 37.0, Isc- 8.3 Conditions at test: Voc 35.0, Isc 8.92 Ambient temp 16C/60F Temp at back of panel (aimed at sun at high noon) 44C (using infrared therm.) Array to controller voltage drop not connected-Voc only, 0.3v Voltage drop array to controller with 16a to battery 0.4v So actual measurements at high noon were: - array voltage at controller 29.2, -batt voltage 12.3, amps into battery 16.65, -Eco-W watts reading 205w, so it uses batt v and the amps. The Eco-W has a little fun program to compare MPPT with PWM at any time. It said MPPT 17.00, PWM 8.92, Efficiency 91%. Note that 8.92a is the same as the Isc I took at the panel when disconnected. So bottom line is I got slightly more amps than with PWM. Whether that is "worth it" is very situational and not the topic, but these results might help individuals evaluate that for their own situations. PS. For the geeks, with the battery voltage climbing and about an hour before high noon I got: -batt v 13.4 and 15.32a , 205w, array v at controller-29.3 I then turned on a bunch of 12v stuff to lower the batt v to see if that made any difference. Got: -batt v 12.7, 16.48a, 210w, array v at controller-29.0 While fiddling with the panel and changing batt loading, I saw the Eco-W readings get a little unstable-- one time saw 17.13a unfortunately it all settled quickly to the mid-16s for amps :) Perhaps in two months when solar conditions peak for the solstice, I will see more amps at high noon. I don't know if the test today shows there is "room to grow" for that or not, but maybe some experts could tell that from the above measurements.
BFL13 04/22/14 03:44pm Tech Issues
RE: Is my converter fried? (TEAR DOWN NOTE)

You have low DC voltage (10-11v)from the converter when on shore power. Before saying the converter is bad, check your 120v voltage in the trailer. If it is less than 105v, you will get that low DC output from the converter. The slide will work on converter only. It does not need a battery for more oomph (except in maybe some cases) But the slide motor positive wire has to be touching the converter pos wire (use vice grips) since they are not in place together on the battery pos post.
BFL13 04/19/14 10:40am Tech Issues
RE: turning off 7345 converter

Is the inverter wired to the trailer batts for its input? No feedback with converter on TC batt unless the trailer batts are jumpered to the TC batt to get at the DC dist panel in the camper. Anyway the converter will still come on in the camper and run the 12v stuff instead of the batteries. Take the cover off the 120v circuit breakers and you see black wires going to them underneath. The converter is down below so you can see the black wire from it coming up to a breaker. Don't do anything with the white wire. the black wire may be spliced in with the black wire for another circuit often the receptacles. Snip the black wire from where it is on the receptacles circuit and tape the end still on the breaker (or it will short on the metal cover when you put that back on) Now you have choices. You can splice that black wire over onto a different circuit like the air conditioner you won't be using when on inverter. But then on shore power, you might not be able to run that and the converter off that one circuit. You can give that converter black wire its own breaker if there is a spare slot. Or you can insert a switch by adding some extra black wires and then re-attach to the breaker it was on before. With the switch, you can turn that off and leave the breaker on so the receptacles still work when you are on inverter. Disconnecting from the TC battery will not turn off the converter, just make one less thing for the converter to do when the inverter comes on.
BFL13 04/19/14 10:26am Tech Issues
RE: PD4655 Charging Graph

I think the SOC went over a bit because heat loss on recharge was not subtracted from the AH calculations. I don't know how much should be allowed for that with AGMs. It would be 10% maybe with Wets for the 80-90 part where you have gassing. Trimetric uses 4% for the whole range of SOC but the notes say they give up on what happens beyond 80% where things go crazy :) You have to reset the Tri's AH counter every so often.
BFL13 04/15/14 06:47am Tech Issues
RE: PD4655 Charging Graph

There was no sign of taper during the first 6 minutes, but I can find out for sure the next time I charge them. The key is minimal voltage drop, the closer the circuit voltage is to battery voltage the longer it will hold full amperage. That's just it, we don't know if there would have been any voltage spike because it started at 13.6v. No big deal, but be nice to know for sure. We have been waiting for years and years for somebody to come through with a proper PD graph and data like that. Thank you :) Even got some real AGM vs Wet actual comparison data as a bonus!
BFL13 04/14/14 09:41pm Tech Issues
RE: newbie trying to build solar system on a budget

I don't know that controller if it is fake MPPT or not. It says high set point is only 13.7v though, which if true is too low except for a float charger. http://www.ebay.com/itm/MPPT-30A-12-24V-SOLAR-CHARGE-CONTROLLER-POWER-BOOST-30-/251499076765?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a8e835c9d#ht_4712wt_1001 Some of us on this forum have the 20a Eco-Worthy and it seems ok. You would need one for each 240w panel and then the two controllers could go in parallel on one battery bank or one to each bank if you have a split bank. I will be starting to use mine on a 230w panel later this week for an extended period and will be reporting on how it does.
BFL13 04/14/14 09:29pm Tech Issues
RE: newbie trying to build solar system on a budget

No, sadly that is just a PWM controller falsely marked as MPPT. I have the 20a version and can confirm that in real life. BTW you show the 5a version which is inadequate for amps anyway, even as a PWM. http://www.ebay.com/itm/5A-MPPT-Solar-Panel-Battery-Regulator-Charge-Controller-12V-24V-Auto-Switch-US-/191136503390?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c809f965e#ht_6406wt_984 It does work well as a basic PWM controller though. High set point is 14.4v The very cheapest "real" not fake, MPPT is the Eco-Worthy at $102, then the Tracer at $140. After that you pay double or more.
BFL13 04/14/14 08:16pm Tech Issues
RE: Tank Monitor Idea

After you empty the tank--defined as nothing more comes out--which is not necessarily the same thing as empty-- the monitor says 3/4 full. Oops, that must mean there is gunk on the sensors. Ok so you crank your adjustment gizmo to read zero instead of 3/4. Now you start filling the tank more every day and what will the monitor say? You just added more gunk that might confuse the sensors. Will it come out right? Who knows? Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion to this drama. :)
BFL13 04/14/14 06:19pm Tech Issues
RE: PD4655 Charging Graph

"I started the test and began recording data. I didn't realize it for the first 6 minutes but the converter was not in "boost" mode. I gained around 0.6A by going into boost mode. I was current limited at that point still so the difference didn't amount to much in the total charge time. " I am wondering if this has distorted the result more than suspected. You avoided the possible "voltage spike" at start-up that causes immediate tapering in some cases. Or--maybe there would not have been such a spike. (Some with Honda 1000s kick off with 13.6 using their Charge Wizards and then swap over to 14.4 after a while when the Honda 1000 can carry the load.---question is whether you did that same thing in a sort of way) Now that you have the bug to keep track of these things, no doubt on subsequent recharges that will become known. Salvo suggests that a low charging rate might be an essential part of this success story. If it is then the PD would not work for me, where I like a high charging rate around 25% or so. OTOH, to get that, I had to modify my PowerMax to do 14.8 Vabs and now it will not do anything else but 14.8 once it gets there--no drop to 13.6 and 13.2 later on. So I need a second charger to be the shore power and float charger. If the PD could do a reasonable version of constant amps at a higher charging rate than Salvo suggests it could, then it would be a single do it all converter. But can it? So far none of the usual suspect converters is good at everything.
BFL13 04/14/14 06:03pm Tech Issues
RE: Running wires down the refer vent pipe

Easy from roof end but at the bottom the fridge sits on a wooden platform which is above, say, where the power centre is that includes the converter and fuse panels. You take off the vent cover on the side of the RV which is at the bottom end of the roof vent, and drill a hole in that wooden platform--BUT FIRST--check below that to see where you are going to drill a hole will not drill into something important like your converter :) So now you have your wires into the compartment under the fridge and you can go from there. Or you might be able to go sideways into another cabinet beside the fridge but there is almost no room at the sides at the back of the fridge.
BFL13 04/14/14 05:29pm Tech Issues
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