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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  Projects & Upgrades

 > 2016 ITASCA TRIBUTE 31C Solar Upgrade

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Talshion

Tacoma, WA

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Posted: 09/25/20 10:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am looking to add solar to the RV. It have a Residential Refrigerator in it that being ran off 3 Lead acid battery's at 300ApH. These last about 8 to 12 hours at best. I am replacing them with two lithium battery's at 200aph and adding one more in a few months for 300aph total.

I want to add solar but I'm not sure what I am needing. Since my system already has a 2000w inverter/charger in it that works with the generator and when driving.

I do not want to over charge the new battery's. Do I only need to get a Controller and a few Panels plus wiring.?

So is it as simple as running Solar Panels to a MPPT Charge Controllers directly to battery's. Is it really that simple?

Am I overthinking it or am I missing something.?

Thanks for the help.

Lwiddis

near Jawbone Canyon, CA

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Posted: 09/25/20 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Generally, you need one solar watt per battery amp hour but living in Washington you may need 1.5 or 1.75 watts per amp hour. Have you consulted a solar wiring chart to determine proper wiring? I use 10 gauge from the panels to the combiner box, 8 from the box to the controller and 6 from the controller to the batteries but my 3 panels are in parallel. Wiring distance is important too...longer the distance the bigger the wire. Don't limit any future additional panels by using small wire. Consider doing your panels in series too. The controller you buy needs to specifically say it works with lithium batteries. You'll love not needing a generator! Seems your current fridge is a power hog.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


RLS7201

Beautyful Downtown Gladstone, MO

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Posted: 09/25/20 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just make sure that your MPPT controller is configurable for Li batteries. It's my understanding that your new MPPT controller will need to be able to stay at 14.4 volts until the Li batteries are full. Then either the MPPT controller will shut off or the controller built into the batteries will stop the charge.
You can't have too much solar. I like 24 volt panels. They are cheaper and allow smaller wire. Over size your MPPT controller, just incase you decide on more panels.


Richard


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2oldman

New Mexico

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Posted: 09/25/20 11:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's that simple.

Talshion

Tacoma, WA

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Posted: 09/25/20 11:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RLS7201 wrote:

Just make sure that your MPPT controller is configurable for Li batteries. It's my understanding that your new MPPT controller will need to be able to stay at 14.4 volts until the Li batteries are full. Then either the MPPT controller will shut off or the controller built into the batteries will stop the charge.
You can't have too much solar. I like 24 volt panels. They are cheaper and allow smaller wire. Over size your MPPT controller, just incase you decide on more panels.


Richard
Thank for you info on that. Was looking to do that.

Glad it is that simple.

Any reviews on MPPT controllers?

2oldman

New Mexico

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Posted: 09/25/20 11:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Talshion wrote:

Any reviews on MPPT controllers?
Just make sure you get one that's configurable for Li batteries. ie.. correct voltage, no absorb..etc. And one that will handle the solar amps you expect to harvest.

Outback makes top of the line.

Just a friendly correction.. it's ah, not aph

Talshion

Tacoma, WA

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Posted: 09/25/20 11:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2oldman wrote:

It's that simple.


Glad it that simple. Makes my like simpler.

Does anyone know a place for good deals on Panels and controllers?

Lwiddis

near Jawbone Canyon, CA

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Posted: 09/25/20 12:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most challenging part for me was the wiring.

2oldman

New Mexico

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Posted: 09/25/20 01:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Arizona wind and sun is a good, reputable place. Don't hesitate to pay a bit more for service after the sale.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 09/25/20 05:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Consider Victron for the controller (Outback is good too)

I'll be going to SiO2 jars next summer as they can be run stone bone dead with no damage, unlike most other batteries.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

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