Help me sway the she-boss....solar panel - Page 6 - Ram Promaster Forum
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post #51 of 77 Old 01-08-2017, 08:59 AM
keeponvaning
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Lots of 6v golf carts to choose from at all price points
http://www.samsclub.com/sams/search/...uestid=6918551

2014, High Top/159 WB, 2500 gas Promaster fully converted for camping.
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post #52 of 77 Old 01-08-2017, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medicineman4040 View Post
One panel or two. I think with our small roof size, 136" wb, our window and aircon installer said we could only get one panel up there and he said either 100watt or 160watt.....this after saying the aircon really needs to go in the middle of the roof. He is also the gentleman that does full on rv conversions that are big big bucks but he just finished a Promaster and is working on his own personal Promaster===all good for us!

So, would you even fool with solar if you can only have one 160 watt panel? In my uneducated mind it is still to be a valuable contribution to the battery bank eh? When that time comes we'll tell him to largest watted panel he can.

Now back to the batteries.
Can someone give me a link to the golf cart batteries everyone loves? I accept that 2 x 6 is the way to go since the majority here says so. I do still want AGM. I want to avoid maintenance and venting issues.
Hi,
Trojan makes the 6 volt golf cart battery in flooded and AGM:
http://www.trojanbattery.com/markets/ev/6v/
The Trojans are very popular with the golf cart crowd, so you should be able to find them locally.

The Trojans cost more than other golf cart batteries, but a lot of people think that they get enough extra life out of them to be worth the extra cost. The Trojans weigh more, have thicker plates, ...
So, if you are looking to minimize your labor over time, they might be a good way to go as you probably won't have to replace as often over time as much.

On the other hand, if you destroy the batteries early in their life through some sort of mischarging or over discharging, which is very common, you have lost more money with the Trojans.

Being a cheap skate, I opted for the Costco golf cart flooded batteries at $85 each, but I don't think they make an AGM version of it.

There is a lot of info out there on Trojan vs the Walmart and Costco batteries -- google will bring up many discussions and very strong opinions on both sides.

I realize you have decided on AGM, and this is probably a good way to go, but I have the say that the flooded batteries in addition to having more cycle life, the maintenance is next to nothing. Twice a year you add a little distilled water and that's it -- 5 minutes. These 6 months visits to your battery also give you a chance to look at the terminals for corrosion, tightness etc., which can save some trouble out on the road.

Gary
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post #53 of 77 Old 01-08-2017, 12:38 PM
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Post 46 above refers to chargers having 4 states: Bulk, Absorb, Float, and Equalization. A caution: I believe that most sealed batteries such as AGMs should not be equalized so be sure your charger is set appropriately for your battery type.
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post #54 of 77 Old 01-08-2017, 03:14 PM
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Yes, they certainly make AGM golf cart batteries as others have pointed out. They run anywhere from double to four times the cost of flooded cells depending on the amount of lead (more is better) and the premium paid for the brand name/warranty. Nothing is free and longer warranted batteries cost more.

Just as important as the battery you choose, (and maybe more so), are the charge settings on your chargers and controllers. The cheapest battery maintained with proper charger settings will perform better and last longer than the the most expensive battery with improper settings. Also, leaving a battery (or your coach) in storage without a regular maintenance charge on the batteries will destroy a flooded battery in 6 months and an AGM in a year or so. Lead acid batteries have a relatively high self discharge rate (though AGM is about 1/5th flooded) and will sulfate rather quickly. Make sure your chargers/controllers are set up to meet the battery manufacturers specs and batteries are regularly brought up to 100% full charge.

If you are using 6 volt batteries, make sure that your jumper wire tying your batteries together is of sufficient size. Even professional installers skimp in this area because of the high cost of copper wire. Larger is always better. If you are going to use a large inverter (1500 watts or larger), all wiring between batteries and to the inverter should be as large as you're willing to pay for. 4-0 (0000) is the largest practical size, but if your inverter is within a couple of feet of the battery then you can probably get away with 1-0 or maybe even as small as #2 . Again, larger is always better and it is a one-time cost.

Many people install large battery banks and then are very disappointed because the performance isn't as expected. Most of the time you can trace the problem back to one of 3 causes:

1- Shaded solar panel. As was pointed out in a previous post, shading one cell, or having a line of shadow from a pole across a panel can drop its output by 50% or more. Shade from a vent or air conditioner along the edge of a panel will do the same thing. I've seen a solar installation on an RV with a 300 watt panel and only putting out 50 watts due to a 2" wide x 18" long shaded area along the edge of the panel from an air conditioner. Sometimes the problem can be mitigated by parking your rig with proper orientation to the sun so that shading doesn't occur.

2- Improper charger settings. Life of the batteries suffers, and/or, battery capacity is severely impacted. I've seen properly charged golf cart batteries from Sam's last 7+ years, and I've seen Trojan T105's only last 2 seasons. The Sam's were properly charged and kept on maintenance charge year round where the T105's were charged from the vehicle alternator through a battery isolator and then left 6 months at a time with no charge with the RV in storage.

3- To small wire size - especially where the batteries tie together, and going to high current devices like inverters. The small wires use up some of the voltage going to the equipment so the equipment thinks the battery is low and shuts itself off. The batteries might actually be 13 volts but the inverter only sees 11.7 volts when it is pulling high current through the small wires feeding it and so it shuts itself down. I've seen this many times. Plenty of battery power, but the inverter couldn't use it properly.

I guess my point is, that a successful house power system isn't just the batteries. Good performance is dependent on the entire system and solar panel size and placement, battery size and type, charger settings, and wire size are all equally important.

I spent 42 years as an electronic and telecommunications technician installing and maintaining battery power systems, two-way radio systems, microwave systems, telephone switching systems, fiberoptic systems, and the like. Many of the batteries I worked on took up the space of an average living room. The fuse and power distribution panels were 19" wide and 6 feet tall. What's interesting is that their requirements are exactly the same as the smaller batteries we use in our RV's and camper conversions.

Lex
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post #55 of 77 Old 01-08-2017, 03:33 PM
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seapro - It is a common misconception that AGM batteries can't be, or don't need to be equalized. This was initially one of the selling points for AGM batteries when they first came out, but it has since been found that AGM batteries benefit from an occasional equalization charge. True, they don't need it quite as often as flooded batteries, but equalization can increase performance and significantly extend the life of AGM batteries. Here's a link to LifeLine's take on the subject:

http://lifelinebatteries.com/2015/10...agm-batteries/

Lex
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post #56 of 77 Old 01-08-2017, 05:32 PM
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Medicineman, you are in Bristol? Knoxville here. I usually only hit Bristol when we have events at Bristol Motor Speedway. I'm curious who you are having help with your build. I plan to do most of all my work since I learned years ago I could screw my car repair up cheaper than paying someone else to do it. I also have a better chance at getting it right. If you don't feel comfortable saying in public, PM me. I would like to know who all in the area can do work on a class B conversion.

After seeing the top of the line AGM costly battery for an effective 100 Amp hour is $500 ish just for battery, at 50% usable for 200AmpHour batterys.
The GPS LiFMP of equivalent use is $744 at Elite Power Solutions. http://elitepowersolutions.com/produ...931836ea8c51f8 2 of the 60AmpHour = 2 of the 60AMpHr leads to 96 Amp hour at 80% discharge. Yes Lithium costs more but when you factor in the medical costs of no hernia or muscle strain handling them and with proper BMS they start getting cost effective.

for a complete system the distributor link leads to.. http://www.lithiumrvbattery.com/Lith...0AH_Cells.html They list systems on the 100AmpHr multiplication, effectively on the 80AmpHr multiplication. so 80, 160, 240, AmpHr usable. The prices there are complete drop in, you wire it together systems.


I am being devils advocate here. I do believe in lighter, faster, stronger. I will never again use a liquid acid battery. Had a liquid battery shoot acid onto my leg and crotch on a motorcyle. If it wasn't for ATGATT to keep the acid from hitting my skin, I hate to think the consequence.

2015 3500 gas. High roof extended, RV-ish package. They do exist!
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post #57 of 77 Old 01-08-2017, 06:22 PM
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As I posted earlier the 6v AGM from Sam's is $179.73! Not bad for the $$$
http://www.samsclub.com/sams/duracel...lp:product:1:4

2014, High Top/159 WB, 2500 gas Promaster fully converted for camping.
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post #58 of 77 Old 01-08-2017, 06:37 PM
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But.. but.. I'm a weight weenie... Lol

I do have AGM in most all the cars and the motorcycles. Replaced as the wet cells go bad. I was trying to unscrupulously use this thread as a discussion on the AGM vs Lithium. If a CPA can be convinced to use lithium batteries, would work for me.

2015 3500 gas. High roof extended, RV-ish package. They do exist!
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post #59 of 77 Old 01-08-2017, 07:04 PM
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I guess if you have lots of $$ lithium is best. When it reaches a competitive price point it will become number 1 but there is still a long way to go before that happens

2014, High Top/159 WB, 2500 gas Promaster fully converted for camping.
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post #60 of 77 Old 01-11-2017, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookerlw View Post
Yes, they certainly make AGM golf cart batteries as others have pointed out. They run anywhere from double to four times the cost of flooded cells depending on the amount of lead (more is better) and the premium paid for the brand name/warranty. Nothing is free and longer warranted batteries cost more.

Just as important as the battery you choose, (and maybe more so), are the charge settings on your chargers and controllers. The cheapest battery maintained with proper charger settings will perform better and last longer than the the most expensive battery with improper settings. Also, leaving a battery (or your coach) in storage without a regular maintenance charge on the batteries will destroy a flooded battery in 6 months and an AGM in a year or so. Lead acid batteries have a relatively high self discharge rate (though AGM is about 1/5th flooded) and will sulfate rather quickly. Make sure your chargers/controllers are set up to meet the battery manufacturers specs and batteries are regularly brought up to 100% full charge.

If you are using 6 volt batteries, make sure that your jumper wire tying your batteries together is of sufficient size. Even professional installers skimp in this area because of the high cost of copper wire. Larger is always better. If you are going to use a large inverter (1500 watts or larger), all wiring between batteries and to the inverter should be as large as you're willing to pay for. 4-0 (0000) is the largest practical size, but if your inverter is within a couple of feet of the battery then you can probably get away with 1-0 or maybe even as small as #2 . Again, larger is always better and it is a one-time cost.

Many people install large battery banks and then are very disappointed because the performance isn't as expected. Most of the time you can trace the problem back to one of 3 causes:

1- Shaded solar panel. As was pointed out in a previous post, shading one cell, or having a line of shadow from a pole across a panel can drop its output by 50% or more. Shade from a vent or air conditioner along the edge of a panel will do the same thing. I've seen a solar installation on an RV with a 300 watt panel and only putting out 50 watts due to a 2" wide x 18" long shaded area along the edge of the panel from an air conditioner. Sometimes the problem can be mitigated by parking your rig with proper orientation to the sun so that shading doesn't occur.

2- Improper charger settings. Life of the batteries suffers, and/or, battery capacity is severely impacted. I've seen properly charged golf cart batteries from Sam's last 7+ years, and I've seen Trojan T105's only last 2 seasons. The Sam's were properly charged and kept on maintenance charge year round where the T105's were charged from the vehicle alternator through a battery isolator and then left 6 months at a time with no charge with the RV in storage.

3- To small wire size - especially where the batteries tie together, and going to high current devices like inverters. The small wires use up some of the voltage going to the equipment so the equipment thinks the battery is low and shuts itself off. The batteries might actually be 13 volts but the inverter only sees 11.7 volts when it is pulling high current through the small wires feeding it and so it shuts itself down. I've seen this many times. Plenty of battery power, but the inverter couldn't use it properly.

I guess my point is, that a successful house power system isn't just the batteries. Good performance is dependent on the entire system and solar panel size and placement, battery size and type, charger settings, and wire size are all equally important.

I spent 42 years as an electronic and telecommunications technician installing and maintaining battery power systems, two-way radio systems, microwave systems, telephone switching systems, fiberoptic systems, and the like. Many of the batteries I worked on took up the space of an average living room. The fuse and power distribution panels were 19" wide and 6 feet tall. What's interesting is that their requirements are exactly the same as the smaller batteries we use in our RV's and camper conversions.

Lex
Lex, sorry for the late thank you but your reply is so well thought out I'd be remiss not doing a double or triple take on it. Thank you very much for every sentence you wrote because each one will be critical in our build.
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