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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > huge solar problem, please help

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evafla

south california

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Posted: 05/27/12 11:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello, I really need constructive help .

I am in RV most of the times, and I am in Mexico .


3 weeks ago I bought new gel batteries, 2 of them, for solar system in my RV .

link to batteries

12v gel batterieshttp://

Have 6 panels now, for 355 watts total

last 2 of them are these ones


new panels

Two major problems ;

I .

my inverter quit charging computer batteries,
and power goes on and off when
computer pluged into inverter .


Duralast, 750 Watts Inverter

Can it be due to fact, that inverter is 3 years old ?
Will buying new , and with higher Watts help ?


II


second problem, I was insured by company I am dealing with, that
this solar refrigerator

solar fridge

will work perfectly with mine solar settings .
I paid half down and they ordered , I am cooked .
A lot of money everything together, a lot .

In meantime, batteries went down to 59 % (yes, after use/abuse), and it took
2 full days of rather sunny times, and of almost not using anything ,
to bring them back to 97%,
where they are know , and going slowly higher

I started ask on forums, and two people told me I should forget about fridge .

I am so terribly sorry for money already spend for all this,
literally fortune .

Please tell me if I would have two more batteries, would this fridge
work ?

I know, this is my desperation, and why I am looking for second, third opinion, but I really can not understand, why places which sell
this fridges, sell much bigger ones, with two Troyan batteries and two panels as the operating kit .

One more ,
my Controller, Steca PR2020, 12-24 V, 20 A

thanks eva

3 tons

CA.

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Posted: 05/27/12 12:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1) You don't mention the total amp/hr capacity of the gel-cell batts (batt link doesn't work), but having a Solar refer with only two batteries may not be practical. Flooded wet cells or AGM's would likely preform better than gel (JMO). Because of the addition of the refer (refer link doesn't work,) more than likely you'll need more batteries. More info is needed on the refer.

2) Could be that you're experiencing concurrent failures, possible a bad inverter, or simply low battery voltage (batts run-down; too much consumption) causing inverter faults.

3) Solar sizing will lartgely depend on refer power requirements. Refer MAY be drawing more power from you two batteries than can be harvested by your solar.

Since you've already invested in the refer, I'd stick with it, and iron-out other problem areas to optimize your present system...My long distance guess is that you'll likely need more solar and more battery capacity for this new load.

3 tons

2oldman

Nashville TN

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Posted: 05/27/12 12:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't have a lot of good news for you..

a) We don't hear of gel batteries too much around here. Why did you choose those?

b)That inverter appears to be sold at Auto Parts stores.. meaning it's cheap and poor quality. Get a pure sine wave inverter, and a good one.

c) your solar fridge link doesn't work so I can't comment on its amp draw.

d) that's really not enough solar (or batteries ) for serious living off the grid. 700+ watts would be better.

Sorry about your troubles, and I know you've spent a lot already, but it's going to take more to be really successful at this.

3 tons

CA.

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Posted: 05/27/12 12:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok, I googled Solar Refrigeratiors and came up with a SunDanzer 4 cu ft upright with .7 cu ft freezer (Sundanzer.com)...I will assume this to be atypical of 'Solar' Refers...This refer though called a solar refer, is essentially a very efficient d.c. compressor type refrigerator.

Per their sizing chart, the power requirements can vary widely based on model and outside temperature.

Example for 4 cu/ft (w/freezer) at 90F: 720w p/day, and they recommend in the 'mid' 400w of solar.

Same example at 100F: 890w p/day and about 570w of solar.

If this is approx what your refer is, you'll need more batteries and solar.

3 tons

2oldman

Nashville TN

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Posted: 05/27/12 01:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

3 tons wrote:

I will assume this to be atypical of 'Solar' Refers...This refer though called a solar refer, is essentially a very efficient d.c. compressor type refrigerator.
I'm not sure why these things are sold as 'solar' refrigerators.. they're just another appliance.

I got the sales pitch on this at an RV store in LV.

3 tons

CA.

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Posted: 05/27/12 01:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2oldman wrote:



I'm not sure why these things are sold as 'solar' refrigerators.. they're just another appliance.

I got the sales pitch on this at an RV store in LV.


I concur....Maybe a tax dodge scheme if called 'solar'.

2oldman

Nashville TN

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Posted: 05/27/12 01:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think because these units are so heavily insulated, they can then tout how little energy they use, hence, being 'run' by solar.

I think they're taking advantage of the common misconception that solar "runs" things. The only thing solar should be considered to be running is a battery charger.

Sorry OP.. but that's just the reality of it.

mena661

Southern California

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Posted: 05/27/12 01:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like THESE are the batteries (132 Ah) and THESE are the panels. FRIDGE link (don't know which though). Like others have mentioned 180W isn't going to do it. And now we know the battery capacity, 246 Ah isn't going to do it either.

EDIT: Updated fridge link with exact fridge.

* This post was edited 05/27/12 03:51pm by mena661 *


2009 Newmar Canyon Star 3205, Ford F53 V10
Trojan L16 6V's 740 Amp-hours


evafla

south california

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Posted: 05/27/12 02:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mena , thank you so very, very , much for fixing my links, all of them
are super correct .
Fridge, the cheapest, freeze 55 , looks like cooler with
two very small compactors .

On another forum, I got this (again, I only would like to have hope still, I am not questioning anybody expertise, and appreciate
all inputs so much, anyway it goes like this :



The fridge consumes 60 watts. What is unknown is the on/off run cycle. If 100% the fridge uses 60 watts x 24 hours = 1440 watt hours per day. That would mean in your area 750 watt panel, 60 amp MPPT charge controller, and a 12 volt 600 AH battery just to run the fridge. You only have 300 watt pane, 20 amp PWM controller, and a 12 volt 240 AH battery. You are not even remotely close to what you need to have. .



Is it maybe possible use by fridge is not 24 hours , but significantly less ?
To the person, who advises sort to me to stick with the cooler,
sorry , do not have your screen name in front of my eyes,
please tell me what would be my necessary minimum upgrade,
I can fit only one more panel on the roof .

Can also someone help with inverter . This ones with smooth sinusoidal
wave are way to expensive, I can only buy same type like I have,
only better quality .
Can someone please go to link Fridge and look at Inverters and tell me which to buy .
If I will not be able to get any money back, what the most likely will be the case, and I will not buy fridge because is not possible to operate it, what is my best option to use this money,
additional battery or panel ?
I see I am asking for so much but I really need help,
and again appreciate all of it, I am receiving .
greetings eva

2oldman

Nashville TN

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Posted: 05/27/12 03:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

evafla wrote:

if 100% the fridge uses 60 watts x 24 hours = 1440 watt hours per day.
There is no way that fridge will have a 100% duty cycle unless it's sitting outside in the Mexican sun in July. I'd figure maybe 30%. That said, there should be some data on the site (I don't read Mexican) to tell you what you can expect.

As for the inverter, PSWs are likely in the $300 range. If that's too much, sorry.

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