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 > Your search for posts made by 'pianotuna' found 3603 matches.

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  Subject Author Date Posted Forum
RE: 100 watt solar panel

Paying $1100 for 100W is NEVER worth it! Don't get taken! X 1100
pianotuna 07/31/14 04:02pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar System Advice/Feedback for new Truck Camper

Hi, Perhaps if there is a temperature compensated charger probe on the battery bank the loss of amps may be different? worse? better?
pianotuna 07/30/14 08:17pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar System Advice/Feedback for new Truck Camper

Hi, Start with the energy audit. Then you will know whether the 300 watts will be adequate. Since you don't yet have the unit, use the spreadsheet that NG8 created. Personally my guess is that 300 watts may more than meet your needs. But needs have a way of growing! If I made a mistake it was not allowing for future expansion. So, now if I upgrade I'm forced to replace the controller--which works extremely well for me. Sad, it makes me. Hurts the pocket book, too.
pianotuna 07/30/14 03:31pm Tech Issues
RE: Flooded Batteries on Float

Hi, My 12 volts but rarely show zero amps going in from the solar system. It does happen eventually.
pianotuna 07/30/14 07:45am Tech Issues
RE: Adding a power inverter

Hi karmi, The inverter should be sized at 125% of the greatest load it will have to carry. I.E. a 1200 watt hair drier needs a 1600 watt inverter. Pure Sine wave is preferable but not 100% essential. Since Xantrex makes a 2000 watt psw for $355. it is a no brainer to go that direction, unless 300 watts or less is needed. Installation can be as simply as plugging into a cigarette lighter (no more than 150 watts available--even if the inverter can do more). Or you can have a large inverter tied in directly to the battery bank--with a system of plugs or an additional transfer switch. Decide how much wattage you need--and then ask for specifics on installation and brands.
pianotuna 07/30/14 07:39am Full-time RVing
RE: Solar System Advice/Feedback for new Truck Camper

Hi BFL13, I'd also mention that you have no intention of ever being able to equalize on solar only. Your approach is to meet the daily needs, and possibly on a good day return some extra energy to the bank. Mine is to be able to be autonomous and not ever use shore or generator power. I got around the cost of doing 60 watts by having my battery banks switched. So I can equalize one while using the other. If I had not, my solar system would have been much more costly than it already was.
pianotuna 07/30/14 07:12am Tech Issues
RE: Solar System Advice/Feedback for new Truck Camper

Hi BFL13, It has nothing to do with clever. It has to do with cost effective. My first RV had 30 watts of solar on it. Installed cost was $1200.00. Price per watt was $40.00. My existing solar system has panels that are now 10 years old (when purchased). They were $1700 for parts and $600 for labor for 256 watts. At those price levels MPPT makes good sense. Installed cost per watt would be $8.98. Now, panels are as low as $0.69 cents per watt. Installation would remain about the same at $600 for four panels--but the cost of the controller could be as low as $30 (or $100 for mppt) and the panels themselves would only be ~$180.00. So my system would now have an installed cost of $880.00. Cost per watt is only $3.43 (including the elcheapo MPPT). The savings on pwm are $70.00. BTW for those who don't know, my system voltage coming into the controller is 33 volts. I'd have to have way more than 51 C beating down on them to reduce the output to the point where I could not charge. If I were to redo today I would definitely consider pwm. But then I want to get to 1500 watts, for I've seen my air conditioner with nada else running go up from 1200 to 1900 watts. It may be that MPPT would end up being cheaper, because the high voltage panels are less expensive. I'll have to work out the price--and I'll use what ever is cheaper. My system was designed to maintain the battery bank between trips. I'm now full time in it, so it no longer meets my (ravenous) needs. 1/2 my battery bank is nine years old and the capacity I once had is no longer there. It may be that the solar will have to wait on the battery bank replacement. I save enough for one major upgrade per year, and with eight batteries (7 for house) to purchase it won't be cheap.
pianotuna 07/30/14 07:04am Tech Issues
RE: Solar System Advice/Feedback for new Truck Camper

Hi BFL13, If the solar is to be autonomous and not rely on (gasp) a generator, then it behooves the designer to have the possibility to equalize. If you accept (Mexico Wanderer does) that 5 amps per 100 amp-hours of storage is the bare minimum to allow that to happen, then a well designed system, where no other charging source is to be used should meet that 5 amp window. This translates to about 60 watts per 100 amp-hours. A small battery bank may show a greater depth of discharge--so more solar is needed per 100 amp-hours. For a larger bank of say 500 amp-hours the three hundred watts of solar may be enough to return all the energy used. If an inverter is used then the amount of energy used may skyrocket. I can and do run my air conditioner from the battery bank. That draws about 140 amps. To replace that energy use with solar may be too much of a challenge, even if I go to MPPT and very high output panels.
pianotuna 07/29/14 09:53pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar System Advice/Feedback for new Truck Camper

Hi, I'd never use a 100 watt panel without a controller. The limit is about 15 watts per 100 amp-hours (@ the 20 hour rate). A 100 watt panel tied directly to 2 GC's, can't hardly get out of control. Regards, Doug
pianotuna 07/29/14 07:30pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar System Advice/Feedback for new Truck Camper

Hi Niner, He may have a space problem--but the original plan was for 3 100 watt panels. Unless he goes inverter crazy (like me) that would power his TC forever. He also specifies 6 volt batteries in series for the bank.
pianotuna 07/29/14 10:50am Tech Issues
RE: Solar System Advice/Feedback for new Truck Camper

Hi Niner, I RV in weather that is from -40 to +40 C (-40 to 102 F). Temperature compensation is a must do. If you are short on panels and rving where it is cold temperature compensation becomes even MORE of an issue. The batteries simply won't charge effectively. In hot weather, with an undersize system (which is a design flaw), then I agree temperature compensation doesn't matter much.
pianotuna 07/29/14 10:18am Tech Issues
RE: Solar System Advice/Feedback for new Truck Camper

Hi, It is NOT rocket science nor difficult to design an excellent system. Here is a simple flow chart. Budget-->Energy Audit-->Battery bank size-->number of watts-->PWM or MPPT. What ever type of controller is chosen, make sure it has adjustable set points and a temperature probe that is on the battery. One rule of thumb is between 60 and 150 watts of panels per 100 amp-hours of storage. The smaller the battery bank the higher the wattage needed (per 100 amp-hours). Here is a link to the rather special spreadsheet which includes an energy audit, that N8GS has created to help size solar battery charging systems! Solar Spread Sheet N8GS For a nice explanation of solar, try this link: Golden rules of solar
pianotuna 07/29/14 09:20am Tech Issues
RE: Solar System Advice/Feedback for new Truck Camper

Hi BFL13, Choice of controller ought to be dictated by features and price per watt (or amp for those of us who may be wattage challenged). When I was doing my system, cost per watt for panels was $6.50. MPPT made sense. Now it is under a buck per watt for panels, so PWM makes sense. I do insist that temperature compensation be at the battery--and I'd be willing to pay extra for that. Today MPPT makes sense if, and only if, the roof structure does not have enough room for the wattage that the owner wants to have. MPPT will harvest about 8% more per day. Some folks also say MPPT will start charging earlier and keep charging later in the day--but I've never seen documented evidence of that.
pianotuna 07/28/14 07:27pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar System Advice/Feedback for new Truck Camper

Hi Mike, 1. at 24 volts you want to move over to an MPPT controller. Xantrex is not a brand I would recommend. 2. no, a 300 watt inverter will not run a drip coffee machine. Some drip coffee machines can draw 1200 watts. The inverter should be a minimum of 125% of that value (1600 watts). 3. In best practise, it should be impossible to plug the shore power cord into a pedestal and the inverter at the same time. A simple manual system of plugs will make that possible. You can get fancy and use a transfer switch--but I don't like them. I want to KNOW the power is off, and unplugging does that for me. In addition to powering via the shore power cable, I chose to add a dedicated inverter outlet in the kitchen. When I have only 15 amp shore power that lets me draw from the battery bank while cooking. Much nicer than having to "load balance", particularly if you do not have access to the shore power breaker. 3 more questions please. 1. What is the practical difference in 12v and 24v panels. How do they impact the user different? 2. Is a 300 watt inverter enough to run most drip coffee machines? I'm sure the other electrical needs I have will be more than covered by 300w. A few LED lights, a little TV occasionally, charging phones, and the sleep machine at night when my wife is along. When I'm alone I'm normally outside until close to bedtime so I don't use much A.C. From 3 Tons: "What I did is wire the output of my Morningstar inverter to a 30 amp RV receptacle. Before I turn on the inverter, I turn off the converter. Then all 110V outlets are live, which is very convenient. The only caution is when doing it that way, don't try to run the microwave or AC. If I want those heavy draw items to run, I plug the 30A power cable into my genset." 3. I'm still confused on the 110 outlets. From 3 Tons post it sounds like you can make all the outlets live but you risk someone forgetting to turn converter or inverter off and causing a significant repair bill. Is that correct? if so It sounds like it's best to have one or two NEW dedicated outlets run directly to the converter. is that right?
pianotuna 07/28/14 07:19pm Tech Issues
RE: Campground Directory Advice

Hi, I would not bother with a paper guide. My favorite web site for finding places to stay is http://freecampsites.net/
pianotuna 07/28/14 01:44pm General RVing Issues
RE: What's Available: Auto Gen Start

Hi, Magnum makes top quality units. I own their hybrid inverter.
pianotuna 07/28/14 01:40pm Tech Issues
RE: 100 watt solar panel

Hi, Have them do a solar pre wire. Have them use #6 wire. Build your own system with inexpensive online parts.
pianotuna 07/28/14 01:38pm Tech Issues
RE: How do Canadain rv standards differ from U.S.

Hi bradyk, Big foot is making trailers and truck campers. There are a few other firms as well.
pianotuna 07/28/14 12:47pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Beer, Beef, Dairy, Fruits and Vegetables

Hi Frank, I remember trying to take a bag of Oranges south to USA. They were clearly labeled "Product of Florida". No dice. The agent would not allow them across. The whole family got to eat oranges, with my Dad wolfing down 4. Our bugs and germs are worse than yours?
pianotuna 07/28/14 09:05am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Campground pricing.

Hi kcmoedoe, For a 30 amp RV: .20 per kwh x 3.6 x 24 = $17.64 max. But it won't be that high because the RV is not drawing the max it can all the time. Also $0.20 per kwh is an extremely high rate. The wonder to me is why there is not a greater difference for a 50 amp site vs 30 amp. How much is the electric bill?
pianotuna 07/27/14 09:33pm General RVing Issues
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