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Rubicon Solar Power Experience

Discussion in 'Power Systems' started by Cruiserdrew, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. concretejungle

    concretejungle SILVER Star

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    I did what Andy talks about above. I have two 60W panels and hinged them together. It powers everything i need so far. I'm running a fridge, radio, charging cell phones, iPads, drone batteries, RC car batteries. If i'm sitting out at the beach where i know i have plenty of power, i've hooked up a crock pot to slow cook a pork butt all day long. Solar is awesome!
     
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  2. Dragos80

    Dragos80

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    At night, while there is no solar power input (obviously) and the engine does not run, how much electricity does the fridge use out of the battery?

    Will the car start up the next morning?
     
  3. concretejungle

    concretejungle SILVER Star

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    It doesn't consume much. I don't recall the exact amperage, it's been discussed, but i've had no issues starting in the morning. I now have dual batteries, so it's even less a concern, but when i was using one battery i could have the fridge running, parked, for almost 3 days before my truck would not start.
     
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  4. cme4lyt

    cme4lyt SILVER Star

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    Yes, you would have to be parked for prob three days before no start Kinda depends on the fridge but anything discussed here is gonna be good
     
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  5. weejub

    weejub SILVER Star

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    Andy - Was reading through this thread again, as I was just going to ask you if you hooked both the Battery and Load wires to back-feed into your bus - then saw your pic. Figured Battery was a must, but was concerned the "computer part" of the system would work properly.
     
  6. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew SILVER Star

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    Not sure what you mean. In that picture, the CC is plugged into the battery via the inside fuse panel, and it's all 8ga wire from the CC to the battery which is under the hood. The Solar panel wire which is 10ga, comes down off the roof, and through the door seal and plugs into the controller. So it's just like plugging the system into the battery, just a few feet further away. It's fully tested like this and all systems work perfectly. Like I said, I probably give up a bit of charging efficiency but it isn't enough to be noticeable. I ran my wire lengths/size/current through a voltage drop calculator and got 0.93% at 10 amps into the battery. That's well below the 3% guideline that many quote for non-critical systems.

    And one other thing that I'm going to address. I have hooked up the solar by accident to the battery lead of the charge controller. Fortunately, the controller is protected from operator mistakes like that. This is the downside of power poles-EVERYTHING fits together. I am switching to the SB50 power poles on the solar side so further mistakes like this will not be possible. In a permanent mount, you would not have this issue.


    Edit: I think I understand what you mean. I only hook up to the battery and do not use the "load" output of the charge controller. That's for controlling lights and hings like that automatically (and it's programmable so I may use it for something eventually).
     
  7. weejub

    weejub SILVER Star

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    Right - was going to "ask a dumb question" about hooking up the load to my bus, but then I saw your pic and figured you get all the info you need via the other pics from just tying the CC to the Battery,
     
  8. george_tlc

    george_tlc SILVER Star

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    Hooking a fridge to the "load" output would be useful to easily track power consumption over time since the victron unit measures that. Handy to see what the net battery power consumption is (watt.hours) versus what your solar is putting back into the battery. e.g. compare each 24 hours to get an idea of your net gain/loss is. Handy if you have marginal solar conditions (cloudy etc).

    You can leave the "load" always on, so it's just a free data logger feature for the fridge. The only caveat is that it appears to display in blocks of 10W.Hr (resolution). I need to do some bench tests to see what the accuracy is of the "load" output logging.

    cheers,
    george.
     
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