Ram Promaster Forum banner

61 - 80 of 93 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Discussion Starter #61
Getting down to brass tacks, at last.

Definitely going to put a PV panel on the roof. Anything in the 320w to 360w range is acceptable. I've identified these two as my most likely candidates based on specs and price:


and


Not remotely set on either, and would gladly listen to other ideas, or legitimate technical reasons to consider something else.

Will most likely be using them with this:


Still open on the charge controller. And actively soliciting ideas. I've read bunches of opinions on why people love their Victron's and Midnite's and _'s. Just haven't yet seen a compelling reason to choose one over the other, and I lack the technical understanding to make a determination based on specs.

Lastly, I think I'm going to commit to 2 x 400ah AGM's. Yes, moving them will take some deliberateness and no small amount of struggle. Not open to lifepo's nor FLA's, but will listen if someone wants to convince me that 4 x 200ah's is going to be better in some way other than on initial install.

Any opinions appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
Getting down to brass tacks, at last.

Definitely going to put a PV panel on the roof. Anything in the 320w to 360w range is acceptable. I've identified these two as my most likely candidates based on specs and price:


and


Not remotely set on either, and would gladly listen to other ideas, or legitimate technical reasons to consider something else.

Will most likely be using them with this:


Still open on the charge controller. And actively soliciting ideas. I've read bunches of opinions on why people love their Victron's and Midnite's and _'s. Just haven't yet seen a compelling reason to choose one over the other, and I lack the technical understanding to make a determination based on specs.

Lastly, I think I'm going to commit to 2 x 400ah AGM's. Yes, moving them will take some deliberateness and no small amount of struggle. Not open to lifepo's nor FLA's, but will listen if someone wants to convince me that 4 x 200ah's is going to be better in some way other than on initial install.

Any opinions appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Depending on exactly which AGM battery that you choose, it still may or may not power the inverter that you have in mind. It isn't just amp-hrs, it is also related to the discharge curve information.

If someone tries to sell to you a battery and there isn't any discharge curve data I wouldn't buy it.

At 12 volts you will need a battery pack that can routinely deliver 300 amps and not voltage sag much to meet the specs of a 2000 watt inverter including the surge. That isn't your grandmother's RV battery but an "intended for use" battery.

Midnight stuff is made in USA, Victron stuff is made in the far east if that matters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Discussion Starter #63
Depending on exactly which AGM battery that you choose, it still may or may not power the inverter that you have in mind. It isn't just amp-hrs, it is also related to the discharge curve information.

If someone tries to sell to you a battery and there isn't any discharge curve data I wouldn't buy it.

At 12 volts you will need a battery pack that can routinely deliver 300 amps and not voltage sag much to meet the specs of a 2000 watt inverter including the surge. That isn't your grandmother's RV battery but an "intended for use" battery.

Midnight stuff is made in USA, Victron stuff is made in the far east if that matters.

Exactly the sort of feedback I'm hoping to get. Thank you.

Where things are made does matter to me. And how a company conducts it's affairs does also -- which is the main reason I'll not spend a single cent with either Walmart or Amazon.

Would you care to recommend a battery or two worthy of consideration?

Thanks much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
673 Posts
and MENARD's, you want to read about an evil company, read about menards, some interesting stories about menards...

Where I live people are pretty anti-walmart and for mostly good reason but instead they do all their shopping at kroger which is actually much worse and is really a poor alternative to walmart. Sorry to get off-topic.
 

·
Registered
2017 159" 2500.
Joined
·
88 Posts
The sterling decided to melt down in the northeast in the winter. (no campgrounds open where I could pay for a night and charge, no other way to charge the batteries).
I may have missed it elsewhere: did you replace the relay? With the same sterling or something else? If the same Sterling, can it handle charging duties when solar is helping shoulder the burden?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
I may have missed it elsewhere: did you replace the relay? With the same sterling or something else? If the same Sterling, can it handle charging duties when solar is helping shoulder the burden?
The sterling is a battery to battery charger, if I used a relay it would have melted down long ago or my wiring would have, I have a lithium ion battery bank that in theory can accept 480 amps! Not that the alternator could handle that.

63338

The input terminal... the lose one melted down, I had 4 gauge wiring, the maximum that will fit
63339

Those 4 pins carry the current (up to 60 amps) to the main circuit board
63340

It managed to desolder itself from the main board. I am not sure I like this design much, but it did work for almost 9 months before the long drive with a low battery killed it.

It is under warranty and I intend to have it repaired. After that I am not sure whether I will keep it and use it as a backup, or sell it to someone else.

I don't know what it can handle, but it was my only charging source at the time and it was not a problem until it was. I now have 400 watts of solar (200 W emergency install in a casino parking lot because my batteries were low ... I think maybe 30% and I added 200W more later) At the moment the solar is all that I am running, although it is parked at my house with easy access to shore power. There is no load though, it is just parked. I got the sterling specifically to limit current, if I had AGM batteries I would just be running a simple relay. But with AGM batteries to get 600 AH of usually power I would probably have a 800-1000 AH battery bank weighing 500+ pounds rather than 210 pounds.

Bottom line, I don't know how it would do. It was an extreme situation but I expect my gear to perform at rated specs. If there was a limit, it wasn't in the manual.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
Exactly the sort of feedback I'm hoping to get. Thank you.

Where things are made does matter to me. And how a company conducts it's affairs does also -- which is the main reason I'll not spend a single cent with either Walmart or Amazon.

Would you care to recommend a battery or two worthy of consideration?

Thanks much.
We use Lifeline GPL series. Made in CA in the eastern LA area.

There are a few other very good / similar ones.

The products that we build use the GPL-27T, each is 100 amp-hrs x 12 volts.

If you have room for the -31XT version, they are 125 amp-hrs and real power beasts in terms of output. Only slightly larger foot print and slightly taller.

4 of either of those can power a 2000 watt inverter just fine.

In our particular case they are wired in series for a 48 volt pack but I am a bit of an anomaly.

Renogy stuff is of course all relabeled chinese stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
So where was that Sterling pos made? Bought from Walmart?
Right on the front it says "Designed and Developed in England, Made in Taiwan" It was purchased from Battleborn batteries.

Assuming it was built as specified I actually would blame the design here rather than the execution. To me the terminals are not satisfactory for 60 amps. There is also little ventilation for the covered terminal area.

I assume you are being facetious. Sterling is well-respected, this failure notwithstanding.
The reputation is why I purchased it, however seeing the design I am not sure I want to keep it (after getting it repaired under warranty). For now I have a victron 30amp smart b2b charger which integrates better with the rest of my system but is pretty small for a 600 AH battery bank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Discussion Starter #76
The products that we build use the GPL-27T, each is 100 amp-hrs x 12 volts.

If you have room for the -31XT version, they are 125 amp-hrs and real power beasts in terms of output. Only slightly larger foot print and slightly taller.

4 of either of those can power a 2000 watt inverter just fine.

For someone for whom 'series' and 'parallel' wiring is still a bit complex, are there real, tangible benefits to going with either of those ^ options over 2 of the Lifeline GPL-L16t?

Also, I've been reading a bit about these:


Could I really use just that and skip the charge controller?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
For someone for whom 'series' and 'parallel' wiring is still a bit complex, are there real, tangible benefits to going with either of those ^ options over 2 of the Lifeline GPL-L16t?

Also, I've been reading a bit about these:


Could I really use just that and skip the charge controller?
The people at Lifeline know how to operate their batteries better than just about anyone. If you call they answer the phone and can tell you the answer on the spot. They know exactly what their batteries can and cannot do and how to use them.

Tell them some info about your project, inverter size, etc and they can advise you accurately. It is a tight knit knowledgeable team.

I looked at the kisae product offering, but rejected them for several reasons. The big ones:
a) The operating temperature range is pretty narrow vs the components that I design in to our products are intended for real life ones that a van will actually experience
b) To the extent possible, I have almost designed out products mfg in the far east.
c) I have US suppliers who I can talk to and they will program in the charge settings that we mutually agree upon that make sense for van use, not just generic use.

As an example, most solar charge controllers will be triggered at some state of charge (discharge) level. That means that the batteries might get charged in the morning / early afternoon and then the controller will stop charging. Depending on how much power is used in the afternoon, the batteries might deplete down some, but not enough to trigger turning the charge controller back on.

Later afternoon comes around, time for dinner and evening use and the batteries are not fully charged, even though there was plenty of sunshine.

Depending on what is happening with cooking and evening consumption, you might be rationing power from that battery pack vs if it were being charged the whole afternoon and even into lower light level evening. It is a subtle thing but it can make a big difference. Yes they cost more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Discussion Starter #78
The people at Lifeline know

Thanks for the continued opining.

I bought Lifeline batts this AM.

I get that you don't like the Kisae product. I get some of the reasons why.

What do you like better? What do you use in your builds?

What is your business, or whom do you work for?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
This is my business:


It has two parts:
  • Emergency preparedness power systems
  • Conversion van power systems
They are similar but slightly different.

There is a lot of information on the site if you dig around. The solar charge controller chosen for a particular project varies slightly depending on what the customer wants to do with the roof solar, etc. I try to be open about some aspects of the designs and some things I keep to myself. I try to warm people away from components that I feel really uncomfortable about and why. One of the challenges that I have to deal with is that if something isn't working pretty much perfectly it cost me money and time (which is even more valuable than money).

I over support so it costs me even more money if something isn't working right for a customer. As a result the cost of parts is less important to me than things that I can absolutely count on.

Someone doing a DIY build for weekend occasional use in mild weather might have different priorities.

Harry
 
61 - 80 of 93 Posts
Top