Generator and solar at same time? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-24-2020, 11:35 AM   #1
tbp
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Generator and solar at same time?

91 BF 17g. I plan to use my trailer on a lot with no power. I have 3000+ inverter generator that I will run as needed say 2 hours a day(no fridge just maybe midday a/c and some battery charging + other minimal use). I have a 40w solar panel to trickle charge battery as well. My question is can I use these and leave all connected at the same time? I don't want to disconnect systems, but do I require a transfer switch of some sort? Generator is remote start so I want to keep all controls available inside.

Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old 06-24-2020, 11:41 AM   #2
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I have not run a generator and solar at the same time, but I have run a charger on shore power (110 AC) and a solar charger at the same time with no ill effects.
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Old 06-24-2020, 12:13 PM   #3
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Assuming you have a solar charge controller and you are using the on-board charging system with your generator, there should be no problem at all. Each one will affect the battery voltage that the other one sees, and therefore the output of the solar and the on-board charger will likely be affected, but the battery should charge up just fine. Once your two hour generator run is complete the solar will finish any charging needed.

To be sure you are getting to full, or nearly full charge, monitor the battery voltage and see that it gets to over 14 volts and then settles into a float voltage of about 13.2 before the charging day is done. This will tell you that the multi-step charge is doing it's job and you are getting fully charged. When there is no more charging, the voltage will drop to about 12.6 with no load. Lower if you are running something.
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Old 06-24-2020, 02:02 PM   #4
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.I have a 40w solar panel to trickle charge battery as well. ...
No solar charge controller?
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:51 PM   #5
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Thanks for response. I have a solar controller. I need to get a simple battery monitor to give me feedback...any recommendations for a 12v deep cycle battery. Wireless would be great to keep inside
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:57 PM   #6
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Thanks for response. I have a solar controller. I need to get a simple battery monitor to give me feedback...any recommendations for a 12v deep cycle battery.

Trojan Group 27 TMX.
Voltmeter.
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Voltmeter.jpg   Voltmeter 2.jpg  

Battery Charge Numbers.jpg  
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:00 AM   #7
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Without the AC if you upped the solar to about 100w you probably wouldn't need the genny at all. As Glenn implies, upgrading to a good group 27 battery would provide you with some good reserve power. I suspect you have a group 24 now as that came standard with most trailers.
I assume you would only run the AC with the genny on. Otherwise you would need a hefty inverter and it still wouldn't handle the AC for long without damaging the battery.

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Old 06-25-2020, 10:16 PM   #8
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Glenn..

Might you be able to tell us where you purchased that Voltmeter??
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:20 PM   #9
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Glenn..

Might you be able to tell us where you purchased that Voltmeter??

Canadian Tire, I expect. Just looked and no listing for it. Maybe I got it online or at an RV shop. Readily available.
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:26 PM   #10
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Volt meters, the same or similar to the one Glenn posted, are available on Amazon. They are easy to find and cheap. Get one. I've used them for many years and love them.

Here's a page with a bunch of them: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=cigarette...f=nb_sb_noss_2
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:28 PM   #11
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I realized later that the inverter that I have also reads and displays volts. Got it at CT.
Searched "cigarette lighter voltage meter" on CT site and found this:
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Screen Shot 2020-06-25 at 9.32.22 PM.png  
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Old 06-26-2020, 01:29 AM   #12
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I realized later that the inverter that I have also reads and displays volts. Got it at CT.
Searched "cigarette lighter voltage meter" on CT site and found this:
nice looking outhouse, but it might be more in need of a natural gas warning detector than a voltage meter.
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:57 PM   #13
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I also use the cheap voltmeters that fit into the 12V power socket but they are routinely 0.1 volts off. I check with a high quality multimeter and then just write the correction on the meter.
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:35 AM   #14
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Thanks for response. I have a solar controller. I need to get a simple battery monitor to give me feedback...any recommendations for a 12v deep cycle battery. Wireless would be great to keep inside
I just distributed a newsletter 'Hard Battery Questions' when selecting a Lithium Battery. Full featured 125Ah safe LFP batteries (Bluetooth, SOC, Cycle count, Electronic protections with displays, cell-by-cell balancing for extended lifespans) start at $1100.
Anybody can PM me and I'll forward the newsletter with no follow on unless you manually sign up for more newsletters.

BATTERY LIFESPAN
Battery life is based on battery capacity dropping to 20% SOC on each discharge-charge cycle. With this use battery life projection is 4000 cycles. That's 50 cycles per year for 80 years, 100 cycles per year for 40 years, 200 cycles per year for 20 years, etc.
Depending on usage, each battery cycle powers RV for 2-5 days.
Warning: Repeated battery discharging near 0% SOC reduces lifespan by about 40%

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