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Old 07-30-2019, 05:59 PM
Alkaline is online now
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United States, LA, Baton Rouge
Joined Mar 2010
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Solar Panels for trailer with inverter charger and lithium batteries

Recently I upgraded my trailer with solar panels, added an inverter charger, and lithium batteries. I also added a 4G LTE booster which is useful in remote areas like at Joe Nall where my phone frequently showed only 1-2 bars (now it will be a full 5).

I had seen people run solar panels, however, these setups were only good for people wanting to keep their main battery charged. If you have any appliances in your trailer like a fridge or microwave, they would not work as you would need to fire up your generator.

With lithium batteries becoming cheaper and manufacturers now offering lithium batteries that could handle the load of a basic Rv trailer, I figure its time to upgrade.

Here are the goals that I wanted:

1) Be able to run my fridge all day without having to rely on generator power.
2) Being able to run the microwave/oven without having to turn on generator/make coffee/ heat gun e.t.c.
3) Have something that keeps the batteries topped off as I don't want to have to run a power cord to the trailer.


Things that would be Cool, but not critical:
1) Being able to run the A/C on just battery power.
2) Have something that would stabilize power, e.g. if the generator starts choking up I didn't want it to go to overload and stop sending power (this sucks, requires you to go to the generator, stop and restart, PIA at night.
3) Need something that would last, I didn't want to replace batteries every 1-2 years from running too many cycles.

Soooo....is the result:

The system uses 4 x 400 watt solar panels from Renogy
It uses 2 170 Amp lithium batteries (total of 340 amp hours)
a 30 Amp MMTP solar charger/battery maintainer
a 3000 watt inverter/charger
and some misc wires/keeps.


Here is how it all works:

During the day the solar panels can generate up to 400 watts of power/hour, My fridge and misc items draw about 200-400 watts so they could technically run completely off solar power, however, the 2 lithium batteries provide any additional power as needed. Any power not used by the trailer are fed back into the batteries so that they remain charged.

On cloudy days, the solar panel system makes about 100 watts of power, not enough to run the fridge and other small items so during this time the batteries fill in the gap.

At night, when I run my generator, the inverter charger refills up the batteries so that they are able to supply power for the next day.

All and in all it works really well, with 3000 watts available I can actually run my A/C in the trailer (for about 3-4 hours on batteries).

The other cool thing is that if the generator ever starts to struggle, the inverter charge auto switches to battery power to make sure power to the trailer remains uninterrupted, by taking this load off the generator it stop its from dying or going into power overload. Then when the power stabilizes, the inverter switches back to generator power (this happens in 10ms so it is not noticeable).


Finally I realize this may not be practical for a lot of people as the cost of lithium batteries are high. But considering that I would probably getting close to 2000 full cycles on them I should be good for about 8 years on this setup. Time will tell.
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:04 PM
airboss/oc is offline
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Joined Aug 2007
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very nice
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