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 > Your search for posts made by 'pianotuna' found 2653 matches.

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RE: Solar crunch time! Please review my plan.

Hi Reed, My interpretation of the advantage of LI batteries is there is no need to get to 100% state of charge. So many lead acid cells die from that requirement not being met.
pianotuna 05/24/15 04:14pm Tech Issues
RE: AGM vs Lead Acid

This is what is balanced and best for twin twelve volt batteries. http://www.rubyorchid.com/RV/images/Pianotuna12V.png As it often doesn't cost a dime more to do this, I think it is worth the trouble. If you wish to understand the "why" surf here: correctly interconnecting multiple twelve volt batteries Others may say it doesn't matter--but unless there is a compelling reason to not optimize charging and discharging why not do it the best possible way? Here is a video of 3 twelve volt batteries that have been wired in an unbalanced manner for 2 years. They have been equalized. The test shows how CCA has been adversely affected. unbalanced for 2 years
pianotuna 05/24/15 12:29pm General RVing Issues
76 cents per watt

Hi, Poly Solar panels which need an MPPT controller: 0.76 per watt
pianotuna 05/24/15 11:54am Tech Issues
RE: Sine Wave Inverter Anomaly

Hi, Almost all inverters will give strange results with a polarity checker, even pure sine wave units. I've checked 3 makes of inverters and all of them gave no useful information. Btw nice install job.
pianotuna 05/24/15 11:28am Tech Issues
RE: Solar crunch time! Please review my plan.

Hi Reed, I looked at the Manzanita Micro site. I could not find cold weather specifications and I'm afraid my piggy bank would be badly broken, even for 500 amp-hours.
pianotuna 05/24/15 10:25am Tech Issues
RE: Running A/C on solar.

A hybrid inverter charger from Victron, Mastervolt or Magnum will solve this issue for you. I'm thinking of getting an inverter big enough to run the A/C, and just running the shore power cable to it when I'm camping. The problem I see with this is that the shore power charges the batteries which would eventually drain them.
pianotuna 05/24/15 07:31am Travel Trailers
RE: Running A/C on solar.

Convert to a 24 or a 48 volt battery bank. Change to LI chemistry batteries. Add 2000 watts of solar panels. Add a 4000 watt hybrid inverter. Follow the climate so that air conditioner use will only be during sunlight hours. There are a few folk who can successfully run the air from solar. Unshaded roof area is the limitation. I can run the air from my battery bank/inverter, but only for two hours. It would take my modest solar system five good solar days to return the bank to 100% state of charge. Personally, I head for an inexpensive campground. For a nice explanation of solar, try this link: Golden rules of solar
pianotuna 05/24/15 07:07am Travel Trailers
RE: Taking the plunge to full timing & need advice

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. If you use solar as a battery charger, 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 system solar spreadsheet by N8GS If you full time or use an inverter lots, then populate the entire unshaded area of the roof with panels. I'm considering replacing my awning with solar panels. For a nice explanation of solar, try this link: Golden rules of solar How many watt solar power? Thank you Joe Termite
pianotuna 05/24/15 06:39am Full-time RVing
RE: AGM vs Lead Acid

No. I am thinking I will be able to make it with one AGM group 31 100 amp hour instead of the two lead acid group 29 with a total of 200 amp hours. I am trying to eliminate the double battery situation without going ove about $250. Si input is welcome. Lifeline makes a GPL 31 XT with 125 amp hours. So I think I cando just one. Again, input is welcome. Thanks Jeff
pianotuna 05/23/15 05:58pm General RVing Issues
RE: Insulation

Hi, I think your goal is noble but probably impossible to do.
pianotuna 05/23/15 05:52pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Inverter query

Hi, Sounds as if the converter is 'live'. Disconnect it. How about the water heater? Is it turned off? If you do not wish to run the microwave, a 300 watt inverter may be a better choice.
pianotuna 05/23/15 05:46pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar Panel Size To Battery Bank Size

Hi, I would go to a larger capacity controller if I were going to 720 watts of panels.
pianotuna 05/23/15 03:08pm Tech Issues
RE: DIGITAL THERMOSTAT DELIMA

Hi, Too bad it does not run the heat strip and the furnace at the same time. I added a stand alone thermostat for the propane furnace, so I can run both, or alternatively set the propane furnace to come on should the heat strip not be able to handle the load.
pianotuna 05/23/15 02:58pm Travel Trailers
RE: Solar crunch time! Please review my plan.

Hi Reed, Are these -30 C LI batteries available to the great unwashed (i.e. ME)? Are they "safe" like the LiPo cells you are using? My RV has to endure -30 from November to March with occasional dips to -40. Even with loads of solar I doubt that the bank could be kept warm without shore power.
pianotuna 05/23/15 02:46pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar Panel Size To Battery Bank Size

Hi landyacht318, I do believe that many folk underestimate their daily consumption and as a result are undersize on both their battery bank and solar. A good energy audit with no fudging should be a prerequisite for bank sizing. I sure wish that LiPo batteries could be charged and low temperatures. It would make life easier. You have taken action to reduce consumption, and live full time within those constraints. I have taken the other side of that coin. I want to be able to run everything just as if I were on shore power. Now that I'm full time I do not have enough solar to meet my desires. I do have enough to meet basic needs without any inverter use. I suppose I could urban dock near McDonald's and the like to feed my addiction to the wobbly wide web--but I'd really rather do that in my RV home. I believe solar is a battery charger, so I focus on: adequate ability to equalize the bank. adequate capacity to get back to near or 100% state of charge. As bank capacity increases the two figures above converge. One reason is that under heavy loads peukert favors greater capacity. Others believe solar is an energy source. It is far too easy to have too little solar. My rooftop is maxed out solar wise, So I lowered my battery capacity so that the solar could at least approach the battery manufacturer 'recommended' initial charge rate of 10%, or 10 amps per 100AH capacity, at high noon.. I don't think it is just a matter of replacing the AH used +~10% more, but having a higher wattage to capacity ratio. The happy battery is the one whose properly programmed solar controller decided to float it at 11AM on that gloriously sunny day. Not so gloriously sunny, hopefully float by 3. Cloudy, at least it will negate some daily usage. Any solar is better than no solar, but a proper amount of solar for ones battery capacity ultimately makes for a happier battery. In my opinion, and experience, full timing.
pianotuna 05/23/15 02:35pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar Panel Size To Battery Bank Size

I have to agree with Mex. Better to over estimate consumption than to under estimate it.
pianotuna 05/23/15 12:39pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar crunch time! Please review my plan.

Hi Reed, I don't always agree with BFL13, but I have a LOT of respect for the tests he has done for all of us. I'd be proud to call him a friend. Well at least folks are being polite here, something that does not always happen on other fora. Reed and Elaine Solar autonomous for two years and delighted.
pianotuna 05/23/15 12:33pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar crunch time! Please review my plan.

Hi BFL13, Mostly I agree. A larger bank will not cause the user to use more amp-hours for say running the microwave per day. But running a microwave on a 200 amp-hour bank is going to consume more amp-hours. The choice then, is either a larger bank (not always possible), or more wattage per 100 amp-hours to try to mitigate the "too small" capacity. That is what I mean when I say discharging is not linear. It depends on the size of the load. In my case the load is 1561 watts and that shows up as about 170 amps. The 400 watt coffee maker draws only 54 amps. I believe in setting the battery bank size based on an energy audit. There are some variables such as frequency of use. When I was using the RV 50 nights per year I could get by with a smaller solar "farm", and by having a medium large battery bank I could do a week long trip without shore power or any generator use (no air conditioning, but all cooking and water heating done electrically). The goal was to have the RV behave as if it were on shore power 100% of the time. During storage, the solar panels would return the bank to bursting full for the next trip. It is true that I did rely on the alternator to do a lot of the "heavy lifting". Now that I full time, my energy needs are no longer entirely met by solar, and the distance I travel is actually smaller. I could use a thousand watts of panels. From May 1, 2009 to Oct 1, 2013 I did 125 deep cycles. Since then I've done a further 300 cycles. My batteries are showing their age. Last fall, they would still draw 125 amps from the Magnum inverter charger. Now they do not get near that number. The posts are showing evidence of corrosion, and the solar never gets down to the 1 amp level, so it really is time to replace them. Because of my need to recharge in extreme cold, I've decided that AGM is the only sensible alternative. I think I can fit in four L-16 Surrette 400 amp-hour six volt jars. Some careful measuring will have to be done.
pianotuna 05/23/15 12:17pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar Panel Size To Battery Bank Size

Hi CT, Total capacity. You could go as high as 870 but 600 will work well unless there is lots of inverter usage. If there is, then max out the entire unshaded roof space. For a full time situation I now lean towards maxing out the solar install. When you pro's talk, having solar panels sized to battery amp size, are you referring to total battery capacity or the 50% useable battery capacity? I am working on my Solar system, I have a total house bank of switch-able 410AH on Bank#1(GC2) and 170AH Bank#2 (Group24). I plan on installing 5 X 120watt panels. I figure this should work good. Is my plan good? Thanks Gary
pianotuna 05/23/15 11:45am Tech Issues
RE: solar battery needs/ requirements

This is what is balanced and best for twin twelve volt batteries. http://www.rubyorchid.com/RV/images/Pianotuna12V.png As it often doesn't cost a dime more to do this, I think it is worth the trouble. If you wish to understand the "why" surf here: correctly interconnecting multiple twelve volt batteries Others may say it doesn't matter--but unless there is a compelling reason to not optimize charging and discharging why not do it the best possible way? Here is a video of 3 twelve volt batteries that have been wired in an unbalanced manner for 2 years. They have been equalized. The test shows how CCA has been adversely affected. unbalanced for 2 years thanks for the replies. I have two new 12 batteries at present and would like to connect them together to save $ if possible. my main needs are for gas refrig. and minimal lights. have a generator to use if needed. ss
pianotuna 05/22/15 10:40pm Tech Issues
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