dual solar with a twist

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by Anthony Hitchings, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Active Member

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    camping in very wooded Yellowstone Canyon campground for 5 nites, using Engel electric frig, got me to thinking about how to keep batterie(s) charged with trees blocking the sun.

    My current rig is one 100W panel on the ALiner roof + one 105AH battery in the Aliner.

    So I am considering a 2nd 100W panel on roof of Jeep (tilting mount) and 2nd house battery in the Jeep! This will charge up during the day when we are out in sunshine driving and parked at a trailhead (i.e., away from trees). At night, use this battery, still in the Jeep, to recharge the ALiner battery via a DC-DC Renogy charger.

    Any comments?
     
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  2. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    I'm an no expert on solar zero, zip, zilch. But it sounds like using one battery to charge another wouldn't work that well. They will even out at a lower voltage. Why not just charge one in the jeep during the day then swap it out?
     
  3. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Why just a small 105ah battery? How many amps does the fridge draw? Remember that ideally you don't want to draw a battery down below 50%. Even with your DC to DC charger you are going to loose, as there is no such thing as a free lunch. You will have more going in than out.
     
  4. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    Great idea.
     
  5. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Can you replace with a 3-way so you can run on propane? Either that or start using ice. What CG in Yellowstone?
     
  6. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    You could wire it as an auxiliary battery in the Jeep, with an isolator or solenoid to protect the starting battery, so that it will get some charge from the alternator. And wire the charge line from the Jeep off of the aux battery. Then when needed just plug in the 7 pin to run both batteries in parallel.

    I prefer to keep my 12 volt fridge in the truck. It runs off of an aux battery in the truck supplemented by a 100 watt solar panel when parked.
     
  7. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    Does your second solar panel have a long power cord? Canyon has a lot of trees but you should be able to catch enough sun if you can move it
    C65A3B6B-6336-47B2-B2AF-FD2B3D0DD923.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  8. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    I was kind of thinking alone the same lines. Obviously you're setting up your A-Liner with the current panel pointed in the best direction to catch the most Sun and hopefully your campsite will cooperate, not having a tree right in the center of that angle. A second panel which is adjustable could help a lot. Something else to help save power would be to adjust the frig at night to it's lowest setting. It gets cool at night in Yellowstone.
     
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  9. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Active Member

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    no way to tell in advance which site we will get at Canyon, and I ain't putting the panel far enough away for it to get legs and walk off
     
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  10. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Active Member

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    swap it out ??

    Battery weighs 56 Lbs - too heavy for old me to enjoy, and my back already has issues.

    Battery does not "even out" at a lower voltage, use of DC-DC charger leaves me with one battery full - in the ALiner , and the house (not engine) battery in the Jeep depleted. Problem - the Renogy DC-DC charger is now out of stock :-(
     
  11. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Active Member

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    Canyon Campground.

    The Dometic 3-way frig betrayed us in Nevada so its being permanently evicted as an incapable trip for hot weather areas (where we sometimes camp). In sunny areas like Cedar Mesa we have no problem operating the Engel cooler off solar.
     
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  12. hq308

    hq308 Active Member

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    Get some portable panels and a locking cable and attach/lock them to either your camper, a nearby tree or some other nearby structure.
     
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  13. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    Something like this. (Keeps honest people honest, won't stop a bolt cutter)

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Active Member

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    I need to plan for the worst - too many trees, no place to put a portable where is not going to get run over or stolen; look at the videos of Canyon Campground - LOTS of trees.

    BTW - you need to swage the cable into an eye - not use those tiny "U" bolts.
     
  15. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    I don't have the tools to swage a cable, but I understand that would be much better. But the little bolts aren't what a thief would attack. They would just use bolt cutters.

    Like I said. Keeping the honest people honest. I'll look into seeing if I can find a place that will just swage it for me.
     

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