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Old 05-29-2015, 03:25 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
...Getting my battery to 100% would be great but not at the expense of destroying something in the process.. Is this a real concern or is it making something out of nothing.
I have the same concerns regarding the higher voltages that may be present towards the end of a charge cycle. Wether or not it will harm the various electronics in the trailer - I really have no idea. But as you noted, there are upper limits that should be taken into account and mistakes could be very expensive.

Some solutions are available but don't sound too attractive - like manually switching in a diode in series into the sensitive circuit while charging. (A standard silicon diode will drop 0.7 volts.) I would be bound to forget!

A better solution would be to purchase a battery that recommends a top charging voltage lower than the sensitive equipment.

The simple solution is to accept a 90% charge as "full", and don't try for that last 10%. I bet that is what most of us are doing right now. Worry about having fun camping instead of electrons. (Now, if you are like me, you will ignore that advice - but if you knew what I do as a hobby, you would understand.)

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Old 05-29-2015, 05:14 PM   #72
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Experiments with solar panels

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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
The electronic control board for my refrigerator has a maximum supply voltage of 14.8 VDC.
The voltage output of several charge controllers that I have looked at are in the 14.8 to as high as 15.1 VDC range. The suggested solution was to disconnect the battery from the trailer's converter and hook the charge controller to the battery only, so that the high voltage cannot damage any equipment tied to the converter. That option would work to protect my refrigerator but it creates the problem of not being able to run any of the trailer's 12 VDC equipment when charging. Getting my battery to 100% would be great but not at the expense of destroying something in the process.. Is this a real concern or is it making something out of nothing.

Yeah I don't see the benefit of charging the batteries to the higher voltage if you have to disconnect other things in order to prevent potential damage. We just stick with the stock charge controller. I know the battery manufacturer recommends a controller capable of a higher charge, but the system works, and if it slightly shortens the battery life due to sulfation, etc, we'll just deal with it.
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Old 05-29-2015, 06:00 PM   #73
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Thanks for answering my question . I think I will follow rbryan4 's advice and live with a little shorter battery life than risk possible damage .caused by excessive voltage. A new battery has to be cheaper than replacing the refrigerator' s control board .We only camp off grid a couple times a year and for 3 or 4 days max. . I was hoping a small inexpensive solar setup would solve my problem . Looks like the Renogy solar suitcase will be added to my list of mods .
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:09 PM   #74
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FWIW, I asked dometics about my 6.7 cf fridge, they gave me 18+v as the max input voltage.
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:13 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
I have the same concerns regarding the higher voltages that may be present towards the end of a charge cycle. Wether or not it will harm the various electronics in the trailer - I really have no idea. But as you noted, there are upper limits that should be taken into account and mistakes could be very expensive.

Some solutions are available but don't sound too attractive - like manually switching in a diode in series into the sensitive circuit while charging. (A standard silicon diode will drop 0.7 volts.) I would be bound to forget!

A better solution would be to purchase a battery that recommends a top charging voltage lower than the sensitive equipment.

The simple solution is to accept a 90% charge as "full", and don't try for that last 10%. I bet that is what most of us are doing right now. Worry about having fun camping instead of electrons. (Now, if you are like me, you will ignore that advice - but if you knew what I do as a hobby, you would understand.)

--
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Allan so if I just go with the panel and charger Escape installs I think it is 150 watts . I really don't want to disconnect my trailer charger from battery . Then hook up my 80 watt folding panel with adapter at trailer plug if I find I need too . I should be good to go knowing my 6 volts are not going to 100 % . Which I can't get them to 100% now with trailer charger . Leaving the controller on my 80 watt panels or do I still need to change that . Pat
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:15 PM   #76
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FWIW, I asked dometics about my 6.7 cf fridge, they gave me 18+v as the max input voltage.
Bob do you know what it is for the 4.3 ? Or no worry with 80 watt and 150 watt . Lots to learn . Pat
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:05 PM   #77
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...Leaving the controller on my 80 watt panels or do I still need to change that . Pat
Pat,
I've drawn a diagram that MAY illustrate the wiring you could use to attach your 80W panel. Emphasis on MAY because I have not traced all the wires - yet - in my Escape 21. (A few more weeks and I should have the time.) I also, of course, don't know the details of your 80W panel and controller. I have drawn ? marks where I am most in the dark. (Apologies to Escape for my crude depiction of their well designed power distribution scheme.)

I recommend that you keep the 80W controller but bypass the diode and add your own diode between the controller and the trailer plug. By "bypass" I mean either take a small jumper cable and short-circuit the diode, or take it out and replace it with a bit of wire. Then add your own diode (Schottky preferred for lower voltage drop) after the controller. The User Modifications in the illustration show this. The purpose of all this is to prevent the 80W controller from getting confused by the voltage output by the GoPower controller.

You could just take out the 80W controller entirely. If you do, be alert to the possibility that your battery could reach 100% full and the voltage on the system might rise too high. To avoid, just don't plug in your 80W panel if the battery is above 12.9 volts to be safe. Leave the original diode in place for this option.

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Old 05-29-2015, 11:46 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
Pat,
I've drawn a diagram that MAY illustrate the wiring you could use to attach your 80W panel. Emphasis on MAY because I have not traced all the wires - yet - in my Escape 21. (A few more weeks and I should have the time.) I also, of course, don't know the details of your 80W panel and controller. I have drawn ? marks where I am most in the dark. (Apologies to Escape for my crude depiction of their well designed power distribution scheme.)

I recommend that you keep the 80W controller but bypass the diode and add your own diode between the controller and the trailer plug. By "bypass" I mean either take a small jumper cable and short-circuit the diode, or take it out and replace it with a bit of wire. Then add your own diode (Schottky preferred for lower voltage drop) after the controller. The User Modifications in the illustration show this. The purpose of all this is to prevent the 80W controller from getting confused by the voltage output by the GoPower controller.

You could just take out the 80W controller entirely. If you do, be alert to the possibility that your battery could reach 100% full and the voltage on the system might rise too high. To avoid, just don't plug in your 80W panel if the battery is above 12.9 volts to be safe. Leave the original diode in place for this option.

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Alan
Thanks Allan ! Pat
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:38 AM   #79
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Bob do you know what it is for the 4.3 ? Or no worry with 80 watt and 150 watt . Lots to learn . Pat
Sorry but no, I only asked about mine.
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:46 AM   #80
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Bob do you know what it is for the 4.3 ? Or no worry with 80 watt and 150 watt . Lots to learn . Pat
Sorry but no, I only asked about mine. My concern is the controllers output, not the panel's. I'd write more but this tiny screen is too difficult.
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