I bought a Cruiser to keep miles off my Cruiser
I did a TON of research on LiFePO4 batteries before buying, theres some really good reviews on the youtube where they physically open up and expose the dangers of the 'amazon special' cheap lithium batteries and on the flip side they do the same for the expensive guys like Battle Born to show what a quality cell pack looks like.I went through your solar thread. Great work.
How do you like the RowPow batteries? I use an Odyssey 2150 but would like to move to the RowPow or similar. I wonder if they could be mounted in the right rear quarter.
I’m going to be adding drawers soon so I’m trying to keep the space clear.
I settled on RoyPow because it's an American company with a decent reputation and the reviews were good (the negative reviews were mainly from idiots who charged their batteries with SLA battery chargers and killed them as a result). Further, the RoyPows have a built-in Battery Management System (BMS) that controls when the batteries can accept charge and are able to discharge based on the battery's temperature, and voltage. Having a BMS is CRITICAL with lithium batteries as they cannot be charged below 32°F and above 122°F, safe discharge also has to be within 14°F - 167°F. Working outside of these parameters will damage the battery permanently. This is why I have my box temperature controlled which should allow me to get 2000-4000 cycles out of these batteries before they degrade to 80% of their rated capacity.
The RoyPows are still on sale, if you have the Honey extension on your chrome browser you can get an additional $20 off the 18ah batteries so its like $110 out the door for a 18ah LiFePO4 battery, you would need a ~36ah SLA battery to equal that capacity which is about the same cost and will only last you 200-300 cycles.
I added a simple 100w panel with a controller to my main battery. It works really well so I can run my fridge while on camping trips, but I may end up doing a dual batt setup as well. I ran a large 4 wire cable up my snorkel to have wiring for my roof lights also.
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Looks Good! The one thing I would say is that you should try to eliminate any shading on the panel that may be cast by your rack or tent. Shading even 2% of the solar panel can decrease its output by up to 75%. Your 100w panel in direct light may net 6-7 amps worth of charge after your PWM or MPPT charge controller. The hotter the panel gets the more that number will decrease. That front bar will cast shade on at least 2% of the panel if the sun is coming in at an angle so you may only be getting 1.5-2amps out of that panel. Shading is your biggest enemy, way more so than the angle of the panel in relation to the sun.
A quick way to improve your setup would be to elevate the front of the panel so it's inline with the top bar on the rack and then angle it up (raise the side that meets up to the tent) so it can fit in that space. This will also give you the added benefit of being able to park with the panel directly facing the sun at a more appropriate angle, which will further increase it's yeild.