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Old 08-08-2014, 08:47 PM   #29
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In addition you can attach them to nets and with a little bit of work aim them for max performance. The only downside is the price per watt is much more and the normal framed ones.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:33 PM   #30
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Hi...it's me...the original poster. (Female btw)..... I posted a picture of my electrical set up and it turns out I've got a 6 V marine battery and something from Cabelas that charges the battery when connected to power. So......do I need to change out the battery to a 12V? I need another thing ......converter? So with that set up, I'm looking for solar that will let me keep my 3 way frig on wo using propane. I don't use the stove and use battery latterns at night. I've decided on portable because my unit is tiny and we got a lot of hail this year....don't want to mess with installing on the roof. So, 100 wattage(?) and how do I attach it to the battery or whatever that second thing is? Met hanks for all of the info......I was overwhelmed.....but it was interesting!
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:44 PM   #31
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The battery you posted in the other thread looks like a normal group 24 12V battery, unless there was something else you didn't show?

You may not be able to easily run your 3 way fridge on 12V/solar. It will depend on your fridge's actual power demands - and you'll need to know that before you can really start to plan out a solar system or battery bank. I don't mean that to discourage you, but if your fridge needs 50 amp hours a day to run, you'll need at least two 100W panels and more than one battery.

I am running my super-efficient 12V only Engel fridge off one 100W panel and a single group 24 battery currently, but the battery is more of a temporary solution than anything else... it's working fine and I could conceivably run it for about two days with "no" sun, but I would like to have more buffer than that if we happen to camp in a shady location. Dual 6V AGM batteries are in my future so I have more reserve battery power and I can put them under the dinette bench without worrying about venting them. My single 100W panel is fine for my power needs, but it might not be for someone else's.

Also, because someone PM'd me and asked, my fridge only averages about 22-24 amp hours a day. All of the LED lights in my camper only draw .8amps an hour if I turn them all on at once (just one on uses slightly over .1amp an hour), and if I left them on all day/night they would use nearly as much as my fridge... that's how efficient the fridge is
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:24 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Minimalist View Post

<snip>

I think the jury is still our on MPPT controllers given the additional cost. On the positive side, my understanding is that under normal conditions the MPPTs are actually functioning in PWM mode. The cost/benefit to me is still in question.
My understanding is the MPPT controller are more effective and make sense in a daily cycling where you want every Amp Hour of energy out of your panels.

But if you don't use a lot of power and it is easy to recharge--as in long summer days, or for boat or campers that are only used once a week, the lower cost controllers work fine.

For the last few weeks, my batteries have hardly been discharged unless I leave on the inverter 24/7. There is so much sun right now, my batteries don't cycle hardly at all. Many people would find the less expensive controllers adequate in this situation.


It would be interesting to do a side by side test and find out for sure.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:25 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by sarahspins View Post

I am running my super-efficient 12V only Engel fridge off one 100W panel and a single group 24 battery currently, but the battery is more of a temporary solution than anything else... it's working fine and I could conceivably run it for about two days with "no" sun, but I would like to have more buffer than that if we happen to camp in a shady location. Dual 6V AGM batteries are in my future so I have more reserve battery power and I can put them under the dinette bench without worrying about venting them. My single 100W panel is fine for my power needs, but it might not be for someone else's.
Which Engel do you have?
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:50 PM   #34
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The SB70.
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:14 PM   #35
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Here's the wattage usage for an Engel MR040F-01 plugged into 120v. I was told by the Rep that they are more efficient at 12v and use up to 10 watts less at 12v. The start up is 49 watts, running watts for the first 20 minutes is 44 watts after 20 minutes it kicked down to 5 watts. I put a thermometer in after 20 minutes the temp was 30 degrees inside. All I have is a 120v watt meter if I find a 12v I will post more pictures later. My 3way on gas runs about 1 month on a 20lb tank and hopefully I will be able to run the Engel in freezer mode on my 150 watt panel and a group 31 AGM 12v battery indefinitely.

Not to bad considering a 5000btu ac pulls about 500 watts!
Attached Thumbnails
Engel 1.jpg   Engel 2.jpg  

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Old 08-15-2014, 06:28 PM   #36
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My understanding is the MPPT controller are more effective and make sense in a daily cycling where you want every Amp Hour of energy out of your panels.

But if you don't use a lot of power and it is easy to recharge--as in long summer days, or for boat or campers that are only used once a week, the lower cost controllers work fine.

For the last few weeks, my batteries have hardly been discharged unless I leave on the inverter 24/7. There is so much sun right now, my batteries don't cycle hardly at all. Many people would find the less expensive controllers adequate in this situation.

It would be interesting to do a side by side test and find out for sure.

Night Sailor a question for you. My portable 150 watt suitcase should be in next week. I willl have it hooked up to a group size 31 AGM Deka battery. My question is is their a device that I can purchase that shows the incoming amps ond the outgoing that is be used from the battery? Also any recomendations for a pure sine wave invertor to power small electronics using about 50 watts? My Engel fridge draws around 40 watts on 12v, charge controller is 10 amp MPPT... Thanks for the reply....
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:22 PM   #37
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Also any recomendations for a pure sine wave invertor to power small electronics using about 50 watts?
Which small electronics could need pure sine wave??? Everything should run fine with a cheap invertor from ebay or walmart.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:09 AM   #38
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I was under the impression that the pure sine wave inverter was not only more efficient but also a cleaner power source. All I will be powering with 120v will be
a LED TV. I will be running 1 only battery so efficiency will be important.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:49 AM   #39
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Methinks, you'd have to watch a lot of TV.
Why not just get a TV that runs on 12V, and comes with a 12V cord?
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:01 AM   #40
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I dont watch a lot but it is nice to have to watch the news. I wasn't aware
of so many 12v TV's on the market. I will look at that but I did a quick google
and didn't see any name brands like Samsung or Sony. I will keep looking.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:22 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike-N-Laurie View Post
Night Sailor a question for you. My portable 150 watt suitcase should be in next week. I willl have it hooked up to a group size 31 AGM Deka battery. My question is is their a device that I can purchase that shows the incoming amps ond the outgoing that is be used from the battery? Also any recomendations for a pure sine wave invertor to power small electronics using about 50 watts? My Engel fridge draws around 40 watts on 12v, charge controller is 10 amp MPPT... Thanks for the reply....
Check out the TriMetric 2030 battery monitor.

While a 50 Watt inverter IS larger than the specified draw of your 40 Watt refrigerator, it probably draws more than that when starting. It is also difficult to find a under 100 Watt sine wave inverter. You might look at a 100 - 150 Watt inverter. One that has a good reputation is from GoPower, but there are others.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:54 AM   #42
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Mike,
Sony used to make 12VDC TV's. I had one many years ago. It was pricy, but good.
Russ
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