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Old 10-06-2020, 05:46 PM   #21
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Forgot to address the ETI installed components. I purchased the EMS (surge protector) option and would highly recommend it to anyone considering it. As per the diagram, that is the black box right after the shore power connector. It comes with an LED readout for power issues and gives a constant readout of volts, hertz, amps, and current code. ETI mounted this on the front of the dinette bench but it puts out a lot of light in dark (while trying to sleep) conditions. I moved it to inside the bench and can quickly access to check code should there be an issue. I have several other monitors including the MT50 from the solar charge controller and the remote AIMS panel to give me current watts, volts, and amps that are easily seen from the kitchen area without having light pollution issues.

I also reused the AC/DC distribution panel or breaker box. It had plenty of spaces for any breakers I might need to use at this time.

Other than that, everything else was ripped out and replaced. Not something most will be willing to do but for me the end goal was being able to run the A/C off of solar and batteries.
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Old 10-06-2020, 06:48 PM   #22
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Testing my understanding of it all .... does this look correct?
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:23 PM   #23
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Good to go. The solar charge controller is before the battery shutoff on the positive bus bar. The AC and DC out are separate fused terminals after the shutoff. All three use ANL fuses.
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:28 PM   #24
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Thank you very much for this.
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Old 10-15-2020, 11:01 AM   #25
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For those looking for an informative video on solar calculations, I found this one helpful. As most know, I built my system to run my mini-split A/C. We've had a lot of rain and wind in FL lately, so haven't been able to install the last two panels. Am hoping for this weekend.



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Old 10-15-2020, 01:55 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by jphil23462 View Post
Good to go. The solar charge controller is before the battery shutoff on the positive bus bar. The AC and DC out are separate fused terminals after the shutoff. All three use ANL fuses.
Great information, TY. My only question is with the Aims inverter it appears that when shore power is off the inverter is automatically always on unlike the ETI component setup where you can switch the inverter on only when needed. Of course, with the 4 batt setup that shouldn't matter for you, but the inverter draw could matter on a smaller system.
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Old 10-15-2020, 06:05 PM   #27
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Centex has already asked about the 24V decision. One of the many LiFePo links pointed to from this forum talks about the internal BMS in each battery sometimes getting out of sync when wired in series and shutting down charging or discharging circuits at voltage limits. Do your batteries not have the BMS and leave that up to your solar charge controller?
While there's nothing about lithium-ion cells or even battery management systems (BMS) in general that stops you from running as many cells or modules (groups of cells) in series as you want (electric cars normally run 96 cells in series and these "12 volt" units are only four cells), the protective systems in these "drop in" 12 volt units are not intended for that use. It can work, but at least one manufacturer explicitly states that their batteries are not to be connected in series. In a properly designed system, the protective disconnection for overvoltage undervoltage, high and low temperature, and excessive current, is all done by one system for the whole battery bank, not redundantly in each of the boxes connected in series.

These protective features cannot be handled by the solar charge controller, because it does not have access to the battery current, the ability to disconnect the battery, or the ability to monitor the voltage of individual cells. All the solar charge controller could possibly do is stop charging at a set voltage, and that's far from complete protection... but it should stop charging before reaching the BMS protective shutdown level is reached.
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Old 10-18-2020, 07:59 AM   #28
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The space coast of Florida finally had sun this weekend. The wind was a bit challenging so had to go slower. Finally installed the last two panels. Wiring is done but have to secure the wires and connect the disconnect that is in place right before the solar charge controller. Will test everything in the coming week and report back the findings. 975 watts of solar.
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File Type: jpg dji-9.jpg (362.7 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg dji-10.jpg (199.6 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Solar-1.jpg (125.9 KB, 8 views)
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:03 AM   #29
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Also want to address the battery connection. Some lithium batteries cannot be connected in series, so must check with the manufacturer before buying. Battle Born batteries can be placed into a series configuration. The process is to charge each individual battery to 14.2V first. Then connect all the batteries in parallel to allow them to equalize. Recheck to ensure the group is above 14.2V. Connect in series. In my case, I have two battery groups that are connected in series and the two groups connected in parallel. That is how I get 24V and 200A.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:32 AM   #30
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After checking the solar charge controller settings one last time and plugging in the panels, so say I'm a kid in a candy store would be an understatement.

I'm still plugged into shore power for this morning's test. The solar panels are producing 40V in mid-morning sunny conditions. The angle is not optimal and still producing good power. The next test will be with A/C running disconnected from shore power. Will let that test run for several days to see how the battery discharges or remains topped off. Average temps for our area are 90 degrees F for day and 78 degrees F for night.

We will be travelling to camp in a week. Will be able to test how the panels hold up to 70 mph drive speeds and report once we get back.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:49 AM   #31
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I'm very excited for you. You have put a lot of thought into the trailer modifications, and must be very pleased with the outcome so far.

I look forward to hearing your post-trip update and seeing your final pictures of the interior modifications.
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