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Old 08-13-2013, 08:37 AM   #1
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Standard battery with solar

I wonder if there's anyone out there who has installed solar panels without using 6V batteries -- is it possible to use them with the standard battery that comes with the trailer or is that just not possible or ineffective?
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:45 AM   #2
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Not an issue using a single 12 volt battery. All the solar equipment will work out of the box with dual 6 or single 12 volt. The only drawbacks are the same you have with a single vs double battery, the biggest being the amount of amp hours you can hold. That said, there are some 12 volt batteries that can hold nearly as much as dual 6 volt, quite pricy however.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:45 AM   #3
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Either will work, Ruth. It is just a matter of how much storage capacity you need. I believe Harley Jim just used a single 12V on his 19. Really, with a good sized solar panel, as long as you don't have any out of the ordinary loads (like lots of inverter draw), a single battery should work just fine getting topped up daily.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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What made me think about it was reading how heavy the batteries are. I'm assuming that a single battery would be lighter. And then I started remembering that for me, camping is about NOT being able to go online, etc. So while we want some lights and the water pump to work, I'm not sure what else we really need.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:19 PM   #5
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Okay -- I called Escape and when I told Terry that the standard battery is 98 amps and the two six volts are 232, he barely hesitated before deciding in favor of the two six volts.
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:06 PM   #6
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Escape has a group 29 battery that has 128 a/h for a cost of $50. Why do you need 232 a/h when solar charges your battery every 24 hour day? You certainly can not use that much. It is over kill, expensive and you have a lot of extra weight to carry on your tongue.
You need to determine your daily 12v needs - go here The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
Read the thread and then do the math, remember you can only use 40% of a battery before it needs to be charged, in my case 50 amps. My leds will pull maybe 3-4 amps over 24 hours, my tv another 3-4, the pump, 2-3, the fan 2-3 , in other words I'll never use up my reserve in 24 hours before the sun recharges it the next day.
So if you want to have 100 a/h of reserve and only use 25/day, it would seem you have way too much excess, that costs $$ to purchase and carry around. My reserve is about 3 days and I know the sun has to shine eventually.
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
...Why do you need 232 a/h when solar charges your battery every 24 hour day? ...I know the sun has to shine eventually.
Here in sunny Alberta, I tend to agree with you that the sun will always be around to charge your batteries. However, on our recent holiday on Vancouver Island, we camped at a few parks where the forest was so thick that some of the sites were nearly dark throughout the day (however, we had picked sites that always had at least some direct sunlight during the day). Those dark sites were like that even on sunny days! I could easily imagine that on cloudy or rainy days, it could be very difficult for the solar panel to feel enough sunlight in those dark sites to charge your batteries each day. For those situations, it would be a good idea to have some reserve battery capacity.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:00 PM   #8
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Which battery option makes the most sense depends on your usage. In my case I like to make a pot of coffee in an electric drip coffee maker every morning using a 1000 watt inverter. I also have a very power hungry laptop I use to process photographs, a cell phone amplifier & WiFi Ranger router, and misc camera battery chargers.

The standard Escape 95 watt solar panel generally gets my batteries back to full by noon if I have sun, but even skipping the coffee (but running the furnace for an hour or so), in heavy shade I can only go 3-4 days before I'm down to unacceptable battery levels.

If all I had was the standard Escape loads, I'm sure the single 12V battery would do fine, but for my usage the dual 6V makes more sense.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:10 PM   #9
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With my electric turkey deep fryer, electric griddle, electric coffee maker, margarita blender, high power stereo system, numerous other electric goodies and solar powered jacuzzi spa I need a lot of batteries and have 2 panels with an upgraded solar charging system...but then I'm not a minimalist... When there's no sun I'm in deep s*%$.

Steve
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotfishtacos View Post
With my electric turkey deep fryer, electric griddle, electric coffee maker, margarita blender, high power stereo system, numerous other electric goodies and solar powered jacuzzi spa I need a lot of batteries and have 2 panels with an upgraded solar charging system...but then I'm not a minimalist... When there's no sun I'm in deep s*%$.

Steve
That is very funny! I have a feeling when we find ourselves in a national park for a month we will be glad to have all the power we can get. But is the solar powered jacuzzi spa a special shower nozzle?
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