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Old 05-25-2014, 09:02 PM   #11
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Portable Solar and Monitor Location

I much prefer the google search - box at bottom of search drop down menu item. I searched on: portable solar
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:23 PM   #12
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Larry-

I think the 160W panel that ETI provides now will be sufficient for your needs. Like you, I'm a newbie-- I picked up my Escape on April 7 and have been in it ever since. It was equipped with the 6V batteries, one 95W solar panel, LED lights, and the 1500W inverter. In late April I had a second 100W panel installed on the trailer. I've been in the trailer since April 7, and for most of this time, including the past 24 days, I've been "off the grid". Additionally, for the past three or four days I have been running a 700W microwave oven for a total of 10 minutes or less per day. During the entire time since I had the second panel installed, my battery charge has not fallen lower than 70% of capacity. Just another data point for you.

Now I'm beginning to wonder if I was the last Escape customer to get the smaller solar panel. :-(

Mike Lewis
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:32 PM   #13
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We purchased the inverter to use an electric coffee grinder, electric coffee pot and a small portable vacuum. I also want to use a higher end wireless speaker, i.e. Sonos, which runs on 120 volt.
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:50 PM   #14
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Larry & Liz, I've been reading your recent posts and you have the asking many questions of great interest to me. We just put a deposit on a 17B with a Sept completion date. So you are few steps ahead of us. I hope you will share your build sheet when it become final. Good luck with your decisions. As they say on the forum, you'll be happy with whatever you decide.

GHarper, I'm also curious about your inverter decision.

Thanks,
Maureen
Maureen I started a thread called "17b build sheet LarryandLiz". Any comments welcomed
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:52 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by gharper View Post
We purchased the inverter to use an electric coffee grinder, electric coffee pot and a small portable vacuum. I also want to use a higher end wireless speaker, i.e. Sonos, which runs on 120 volt.
That makes sense.
We have Sonos speakers throughout our home and love it.
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:53 PM   #16
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I didn't opt for roof top solar or inverter. I use a cheap, portable inverter for phones and sat radio but it draws the batteries down much more than I like. Would a better quality inverter reduce the draw down?

I use a 50w solar panel wired to a controller I stashed in one of the battery boxes. It recharges my 6v batteries in a couple hours. Problem tho is using the inverter at night. Pulls the battery down to 60-70%.
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:57 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the solar help, I'll be saving this thread.

It looks like Mike is doing fine with what he has. And if we want to I should be able to add something portable in the future.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:22 AM   #18
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I didn't opt for roof top solar or inverter. I use a cheap, portable inverter for phones and sat radio but it draws the batteries down much more than I like. Would a better quality inverter reduce the draw down?

I use a 50w solar panel wired to a controller I stashed in one of the battery boxes. It recharges my 6v batteries in a couple hours. Problem tho is using the inverter at night. Pulls the battery down to 60-70%.
The only thing I could think of is the efficiency of the different quality units. A $200 300 Watt Morningstar inverter is 94% efficient. I suspect a $30 300 watt invert would be less so, but they do not provide specs on such so it's just a guess.
What's the batteries go down to overnight if you do not use the inverter?
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:57 AM   #19
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I didn't opt for roof top solar or inverter. I use a cheap, portable inverter for phones and sat radio but it draws the batteries down much more than I like. Would a better quality inverter reduce the draw down?

I use a 50w solar panel wired to a controller I stashed in one of the battery boxes. It recharges my 6v batteries in a couple hours. Problem tho is using the inverter at night. Pulls the battery down to 60-70%.
How are you determining the 60-70% battery status?

If the battery is under load a volt meter will not give you an accurate picture. You also need to adjust for the battery temperature. I have attached a chart I use, but not sure where I got it. (NOTE: The temperatures are the actual battery temperature.)

I had a cigarette lighter plug voltage display which was too inaccurate to be useful. If you are using this there must be NOTHING else (turned on) on that circuit.

The ETI 6V batteries are good for 232 amp-hours. If you are down to 65% that means you used 81 amp-hours (assuming you started full.) Recharging with a 50 watt panel will give you at best 4 amps so you would need 20.25 hours to put back 81 amp-hours. Either you are not getting your batteries full, or you are not discharging them as deeply as you think.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BatteryVoltage.pdf (166.6 KB, 26 views)
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:20 AM   #20
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Could be. I use a digital volt meter. It goes down to 12.5v after a typical dry camping night of an led light or two on, xm plugged into the inverter for 4 or 5 hours and leaving a phone plugged into it overnight. After a couple hours in the sun, it shows back up to 12.7 or .8. I was thinking I was back up to 100%, maybe not. Inverter was a small portable from Harbor Freight. Think I paid $20.

BTW I am now using 12v adapters. I have one of those two out of one plug in gizmos I found at a truck stop (which I heartily recommend to my camping friends). Currency draw is negligible, sometimes down to 12.6 after a night of radio and recharging. I still need the inverter for some things like the laptop but am wondering if a new one might be smart.
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