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Discussion Starter #3
that's 12v input, but the output is 230 so it won't work with US 120v appliances.
 

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Honestly, I think I'd rather piece meal everything together as opposed to having an all in one unit. If one function fails you're out the entire setup, and you would have a very large item to send out for any repairs.
 

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And- the piecemeal can be done for less than $300 and have an AC and DC load center, multistage charging appropriate to FLA or AGM, interconnect you can control or be automatic, and an MPPT solar.
 

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The Victron has a 50amp MPPT controller (I'm aiming for 540w solar). Most places I've looked for a controller that can handle that many panels would be $300 by itself. Is there something I'm missing?
 

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Nope you are right as I was thinking Tracer 20 amp- 240 watts or so. I lived with an 80 watt panel for many years in the truck camper and always had plenty of power so I am having a hard time thinking of today’s greater electrical use. We have friends who have lived off grid up a canyon in CA and they lived on 240 watts. I asked them if they shouldn’t have had more and they said with LED lighting and a more efficient controller they wouldn't need it today! The big difference for me now is refrigeration as that seems to require 100 watts by itself. 540 should give you way more options than their house had.
I too have lived off grid and I’d opt for 500 watts in my house and I’d be fine. My recent electric bill was for 119 KWH and we still still have lots of incandescent lights, electric appliances that waste a bunch and such.
Are you going to pair the solar with 500-600 amp hours of batteries? I am wondering if a Tesla Powerwall (https://www.tesla.com/powerwall) might not be a good option for your van LOL Have you thought that using that 540 watts for 10 hours in the summer in your van will produce 1800 BTU/hour of heat for 10 hours! You will need AC just to cool the van from your electrical use. Chuckle
No offense in any of this, I am just wondering where we are going. You are gong to show folks like me what can be done. Thanks for that.
 

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Nope you are right as I was thinking Tracer 20 amp- 240 watts or so. I lived with an 80 watt panel for many years in the truck camper and always had plenty of power so I am having a hard time thinking of today’s greater electrical use. We have friends who have lived off grid up a canyon in CA and they lived on 240 watts. I asked them if they shouldn’t have had more and they said with LED lighting and a more efficient controller they wouldn't need it today! The big difference for me now is refrigeration as that seems to require 100 watts by itself. 540 should give you way more options than their house had.
I too have lived off grid and I’d opt for 500 watts in my house and I’d be fine. My recent electric bill was for 119 KWH and we still still have lots of incandescent lights, electric appliances that waste a bunch and such.
Are you going to pair the solar with 500-600 amp hours of batteries? I am wondering if a Tesla Powerwall (https://www.tesla.com/powerwall) might not be a good option for your van LOL Have you thought that using that 540 watts for 10 hours in the summer in your van will produce 1800 BTU/hour of heat for 10 hours! You will need AC just to cool the van from your electrical use. Chuckle
No offense in any of this, I am just wondering where we are going. You are gong to show folks like me what can be done. Thanks for that.
My thought was I'd fit as much solar as possible because that just generates free electricity that can be used for my electric kettle and induction burner. I know that propane or butane is cheap, but if I don't want to carry or worry about running out of propane/butane while out. To start, I'm thinking about a 200ah lifepo4 setup with room to expand if I need to.
 

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My thought was I'd fit as much solar as possible because that just generates free electricity that can be used for my electric kettle and induction burner. I know that propane or butane is cheap, but if I don't want to carry or worry about running out of propane/butane while out. To start, I'm thinking about a 200ah lifepo4 setup with room to expand if I need to.
You might be overthinking this Matt but it's your money and van. We are all looking forward to hearing about whatever you end up with!
 

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My thought was I'd fit as much solar as possible because that just generates free electricity that can be used for my electric kettle and induction burner. I know that propane or butane is cheap, but if I don't want to carry or worry about running out of propane/butane while out. To start, I'm thinking about a 200ah lifepo4 setup with room to expand if I need to.
200 watts and 220 Amp hour FLA or AGM will do all that and more. Save the money for something else you would benefit from like Heat for cold nights or AC for hot days, or a trip to Spain. You don’t need propane or butane either with 200 watts. Have you heard anyone here complain they didn’t have enough solar who had that much? I have a Tangelo tree here in AZ that gives me “free” fruit. I irrigate it and the water bill is $35 a month. You are beginning to think of investing ??? $2,000???? in a solar setup. That electricity will never be free and if you spent $500 you would save $1500 and have enough. If you doubt me install 200watts or 300 watts and save room for more. In the end Matt, its your money and I’ll be supporting your decision, but before the act of buying it I am not going to say you need it, as you don’t.
 
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