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Author Topic: Electrical  (Read 13844 times)

derekbartz

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Electrical
« on: March 03, 2015, 02:22:42 AM »
I have been working on the electrical and am modeling my system based off vandog's "12V electrical and wiring for my campervan conversion," except I will not be installing a mains hookup and am not even sure what battery monitoring is therefore have not included it. 

I am wondering how to correctly use the 12V fuse box without having it connected to my MPPT controller?  I had planned to connect it directly to my leisure battery, is this possible? 

Also, I have no idea what the terminals for the switches are doing in your system? 

All a bit overwhelming so any help would be great.  Thanks and killer site Vandog.


Camper Van Travels

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Re: Electrical
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2015, 03:58:51 PM »
Hello Derek

Welcome to the forum. Great to see you here.

What do you need to be powered by electric?


Mark

derekbartz

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Re: Electrical
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2015, 04:53:10 AM »
I will be powering led lights, fan, computer, mini amp, turntable, and charging other electronics. 

Camper Van Travels

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Re: Electrical
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2015, 09:15:55 AM »
The LEDS can be powered by a 2nd battery in the engine bay, this can also charge up your electronics. A flick of a switch on your dashboard can alternate between both 12V batteries leaving your main battery just for starting the engine (so you don't drain it).

For the mini am and turntables buy a silent petrol/gas generator.

For other things in the van, such as your laptop you can put as many large high wattage solar panels on the roof connected to a solar charge controller, connected by pos/neg wires to your on board 12V batteries to which you attach a pure sine wave inverter.

Simple.

Happy Camper

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Re: Electrical
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2015, 12:01:54 PM »
I will be powering led lights, fan, computer, mini amp, turntable, and charging other electronics.

Not a huge fan of solar panels.  I've wasted many thousands of dollars on them, and I've come to the conclusion that a home built 12v DC gas powered generator is superior in many ways.  If you combine that with charging while driving, you've got the best system available, with no sunshine required.

I've been living a mobile life for 50+ years now, in many different rigs.  Before retirement, I built and sold camper vans for a living.

Solar panels are just something for somebody to sell you.  They aren't the best answer, and they're certainly not the cheapest, or the most reliable.

Roadreggie

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Re: Electrical
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2015, 01:12:13 PM »
Surprised to see you say pv troublesome ,be interesting to know what problems you have had with them,I survive power wise on mine,although I have found that the only way to keep up with the demand is to have large ie over 100watt size ones,I agree that small panels are not the answer,ok for keeping batts ticking over but no good for keeping a good state of charge when constantly used for our ever demanding electronic gadgets,
Be interesting to see your gas powered generator ,is that a home made conversion or a brought one,  RR

Tai-chi wanderer

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Re: Electrical
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2015, 03:32:17 PM »
Gotta 125ah battery run thru a controller and it lasts us 4 days without hookup.(which we got)
The whole lighting system is LED strips and downlighters.
Keep it simples, done the solar panels and found most of the time I did not need them, unless stationary for more than a week.

Happy Camper

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Re: Electrical
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2015, 11:14:59 PM »
Surprised to see you say pv troublesome ,be interesting to know what problems you have had with them,I survive power wise on mine,although I have found that the only way to keep up with the demand is to have large ie over 100watt size ones,I agree that small panels are not the answer,ok for keeping batts ticking over but no good for keeping a good state of charge when constantly used for our ever demanding electronic gadgets,
Be interesting to see your gas powered generator ,is that a home made conversion or a brought one,  RR

I paid a lot of money on several different rigs for solar setups.  None were successful.  Their solutions always involved throwing more money at the system, either adding more panels, or adding more batteries, a different controller, rewiring, etc. etc.

Still, no matter what I did, I would run out of power during the night.  I'm a night owl, and use my power mainly at night.  Well, to make a long story shorter, half a dozen systems through half a dozen different companies, and still no success.  I'm still needing to run a generator for 6-8 hours a day to charge my batteries.

One day a fellow van dweller told me I was using the wrong type of generator, and that my solar system and 6 battery bank were a joke.  So I switched to the type of system he was using successfully.  A single deep cycle battery, a battery protector, and a 12v DC gas generator.  (cheap gas engine + car alternator).

Instantly my problems were solved.  Now, I would have power for a week between chargings, and it only took half an hour or less of running this miracle generator once a week to give me all the power I need.

I used this generator for many years, then another van dweller told me to charge my house battery while driving, and showed me a stupidly simple way to do it.  Since then, I have rarely even used my generator.

I also added a battery protector to my starting battery. (These prevent the drain of a battery from getting too low to start a vehicle.)  So today, I can boondock for up to 2 weeks and still have plenty of power to start my rig.  Plus I still have that generator as a backup plan, which is also capable of both jump starting as well as fully charging all of my batteries.

I was told by the fellow that solved all of my power problems that the solar systems only provide a very shallow charge to the batteries, and you would need at least 70 amps of solar power to put a correct charge on the battery.  I don't know if that is totally correct, but I do know that my current system sure beats the heck out of any of the solar systems I ever had.




Camper Van Travels

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Re: Electrical
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2015, 08:24:07 PM »
Well I've used 3 x 80 watt solar panels for a few years now (and they're certainly not expensive over here). Two on the roof (160 watts total) will fully charge up a flat 12V battery in about 4 hours which is easily more than enough for my needs including powering the laptop for a full nights use.

I certainly don't want to be using a noisy petrol powered generator. I'm into this lifestyle for the simplicity and trying my best to be kind to the environment. The less petrol powered engines the better.

Obviously your rig by our standards over here is probably massive. Hence why you need a gas powered genny to get everything fired up on all cylinders but for the smalls vans over here the solar option is more than adequate for most people and it's the cheapest option too.

Happy Camper

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Re: Electrical
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2015, 10:27:10 PM »
Well I've used 3 x 80 watt solar panels for a few years now (and they're certainly not expensive over here). Two on the roof (160 watts total) will fully charge up a flat 12V battery in about 4 hours which is easily more than enough for my needs including powering the laptop for a full nights use.

I certainly don't want to be using a noisy petrol powered generator. I'm into this lifestyle for the simplicity and trying my best to be kind to the environment. The less petrol powered engines the better.

Obviously your rig by our standards over here is probably massive. Hence why you need a gas powered genny to get everything fired up on all cylinders but for the smalls vans over here the solar option is more than adequate for most people and it's the cheapest option too.

They're really expensive here, a minimal system like yours would run $1,000 or more.  There must also be a difference in the systems.  We have a lot of people bragging on them over here, but it's either people trying to sell them to you, or people trying to justify all of the money they spent on them.  Both types are still running generators many hours per day.

I'm currently parked up near a large motorhome that has a $22,000 solar system, and he is still running his generator for 6-8 hours per day, while bragging about how much money that solar system is saving him.

Since charging my house battery while driving,  I haven't needed to use my generator at all in a very long time now.  I keep it for a backup plan though.


Happy Camper

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Re: Electrical
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2015, 10:46:42 PM »
How long do the batteries last in your systems?  Over here, mine would go through the batteries about once a year, and the batteries were $350-$500 each, and on the different systems I had anywhere between 4-6 batteries.

On one system, the $500 controller only lasted 6 months, then they offered me 10% off on a new one.

I am now using a single $20 battery out of a wrecking yard.

I did run into one guy that told me if you wanted a working system over here you had to build it yourself.  All of mine were installed by shops.

I'm pretty happy with my current system, nothing needed except to drive maybe 20 miles every couple of weeks, and I typically drive more than that anyway.  I'm currently over 10 miles to town, and go shopping once a week, so that i enough to keep my battery charged.

Camper Van Travels

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Re: Electrical
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2015, 02:44:25 PM »
Here you go, anyone in the UK can easily put two of these on their van roof. 160 watts each (320 watts total) which is more than enough for most people's needs. (12V fridge, laptop, TV/DVD, LED lighting etc;)

Just 133.76 each including post. With the best offer option available, try at 125 and chances are you'll get it. With free delivery that's not bad at all.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/160W-12V-Photovoltaic-Solar-Panel-160Watt-12Volt-Monocrystalline-Solar-Module-/350934331204?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item51b550ef44

If you want to aim the solar panels straight at the sun, just use car hatchback boot struts available for less than a fiver a pair.

To wire them up in parallel the waterproof connectors can be bought for less than 10 on eBay.

The solar charge controller for these would cost no more than 30 max on eBay.

The roof grommet can be made out of a plastic food/sandwich container and can be bought new for 1.

The wire going from the charge controller to the 12V batteries similarly would cost no more than a fiver.

The battery connectors can be bought for less than 5 new or much less from a vehicle breakers yard.

The 12V batteries you can use ordinary car batteries the bigger the better for holding a longer charge. These can also be bought at any car scrapyard for between 15-20 each. I use 3 in total in the back of the van, they've lasted so far 5 years and they're still going strong.

4 hours approximately to fully charge a 12V battery from flat.

Each battery will easily last the night.

A pure sine wave inverter can be bought for under 50 into which you can plug in a 3-pin ordinary household electrical plug, for example a four socket extension.

Put an extra 12V battery under the bonnet and you can use this battery to power your on board stereo. Use a relay switch on the dashboard to switch to the main engine battery for starting up in the morning. As soon as you start the engine both batteries will be charging up again.

Total outlay: +/- 400 total depending on the options you choose to use.

Simple.

Happy Camper

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Re: Electrical
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2015, 12:55:53 AM »
Wow, that's a whole lot cheaper than anything that was available to me.

And what got me was that the sellers-installers absolutely didn't care whether what they selling-installing worked or not, and when it didn't their answers always involved spending more money, and still didn't work.

Today, I'm perfectly happy just charging while driving, AND I don't have to park in the sun.    8)

Mike

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Re: Electrical
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2015, 07:15:18 AM »
I have been working on the electrical and am modeling my system based off vandog's "12V electrical and wiring for my campervan conversion," except I will not be installing a mains hookup and am not even sure what battery monitoring is therefore have not included it. 

I am wondering how to correctly use the 12V fuse box without having it connected to my MPPT controller?  I had planned to connect it directly to my leisure battery, is this possible? 

Also, I have no idea what the terminals for the switches are doing in your system? 

All a bit overwhelming so any help would be great. Thanks and killer site Vandog.

Hey. Battery monitoring is just a volt readout display to monitor battery condition and also a current readout to monitor instantaneous power usage (in Amps) - but yeah you don't really need it.

I'm not sure what you mean about not wanting to connect the fusebox to your solar controller though. If you are using a solar controller, the things you are powering will have to connect to it, which means the fusebox as well.

I think with stuff like this, it's really useful to know just the minimum about DC circuits since everyone has different requirements - then you can build it up bit by bit yourself however you want

My post isn't very clear though - it wasn't really done with the intention of it being reproduced. I'm working on another version

richwill

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Re: Electrical
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2015, 07:29:50 AM »
I have been working on the electrical and am modeling my system based off vandog's "12V electrical and wiring for my campervan conversion," except I will not be installing a mains hookup and am not even sure what battery monitoring is therefore have not included it. 

I am wondering how to correctly use the 12V fuse box without having it connected to my MPPT controller?  I had planned to connect it directly to my leisure battery, is this possible? 

Also, I have no idea what the terminals for the switches are doing in your system? 

All a bit overwhelming so any help would be great. Thanks and killer site Vandog.

Hey. Battery monitoring is just a volt readout display to monitor battery condition and also a current readout to monitor instantaneous power usage (in Amps) - but yeah you don't really need it.

I'm not sure what you mean about not wanting to connect the fusebox to your solar controller though. If you are using a solar controller, the things you are powering will have to connect to it, which means the fusebox as well.

I think with stuff like this, it's really useful to know just the minimum about DC circuits since everyone has different requirements - then you can build it up bit by bit yourself however you want

My post isn't very clear though - it wasn't really done with the intention of it being reproduced. I'm working on another version

Mike. you need to do a step by step. It'll give folk an idea and perhaps the confidence to tackle it themselves.

Life is a journey. Make the most of it.