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Old 06-14-2017, 11:37 PM   #1
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Default Adding DC optimizers and solar to RoadTrek?

I'm assuming the 600W of OEM panels on the 2018 RoadTrek CS Adventurous we just ordered are wired in series and lack DC optimizers. Would love to add DC optimizers and add about 500W of additional panels, but not sure how feasible this is (not sure if the charge controller is rated to handle that much). If the charge controller can handle it, I would assume we could just wire a new panel in series into the existing panels. Easier said than done perhaps.

Anybody enhanced OEM RoadTrek solar?
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:31 AM   #2
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Will another 500w physically fit up there?
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:58 AM   #3
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Will another 500w physically fit up there?
Thinking of installing a driver side awning like pole and hinging panels to the driver side.
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:16 PM   #4
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would love to see pics
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:40 PM   #5
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Why not start with the basics such as reducing the very high parasitic losses?

The multi-module approach to increasing battery capacity on a per rig basis seems to me to be both wasting power and inconvenient to use with many buttons to push and keep track of. You might be able to reduce the losses from a multiple of 8 to a multiple of 2.

Part of that process would also be upgrading the inverter to a top of the line brand like Magnum or Outback to also reduce parasitic losses there. Put a top of the line solar controller in there as well.

Upgrading the not so visible stuff will likely affect resale value less than if you end up with something odd hanging on the side of the RV.

Research and decide if affecting the warranty is worth it to you.
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Old 06-15-2017, 01:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
Why not start with the basics such as reducing the very high parasitic losses?

..

I don't think he is aware of the debilitating seriousness of the RT parasitic losses.


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Old 06-15-2017, 02:29 PM   #7
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To sum it up, parasitic loss is waste.

Booster gave an idea of what the losses could be like here: http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f4...html#post57247

For an apples to oranges comparison and as an example; the parasitic loss in my RV is measured in milliamps not amps. It was milliamps when I had 100ah battery, it was milliamps when I upgraded to 200ah batteries and is still milliamps with 400ah batteries. There would be approximately a 1ah loss if the inverter is left on and unused. (that would be left on by mistake)

Eliminate or reduce the parasitic loss to eliminate or reduce wasted energy.
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Old 06-16-2017, 01:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
Why not start with the basics such as reducing the very high parasitic losses?

The multi-module approach to increasing battery capacity on a per rig basis seems to me to be both wasting power and inconvenient to use with many buttons to push and keep track of. You might be able to reduce the losses from a multiple of 8 to a multiple of 2.

Part of that process would also be upgrading the inverter to a top of the line brand like Magnum or Outback to also reduce parasitic losses there. Put a top of the line solar controller in there as well.

Upgrading the not so visible stuff will likely affect resale value less than if you end up with something odd hanging on the side of the RV.

Research and decide if affecting the warranty is worth it to you.
I was aware that there is a parasitic loss. I've read around 4-5AH of loss per battery. I'm not sure what it would take to reduce that parasitic loss but I would think it would be much more involved than adding solar panels and would have warranty implications moreso than adding panels. The parasitic loss is from the BMS and the inverter, right? I imagine replacing an inverter might not be a huge deal, but the BMS seems like a tough nut to crack. Perhaps I'm wrong though since I'm not well versed in the electrical system and I still struggle with basic math...
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:23 PM   #9
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I agree with you that solving the parasitic loss problem is likely not easy but I think it is worth contacting a few companies to see if they can help solve it.

I think you mentioned your van will have a touch screen display etc. so I'm sure you want to keep all that.

My guess/assumption is that stacking the 200ah x 8 modules is what magnifies the parasitic losses so greatly. It's a multiple of 8 . It would be so beneficial if that could be reduced to a multiple of 1 or 2 or 4 for example.

Questions I'd ask:

Is there any reason that you can't have 2 x 800ah modules or 1 x 1600ah module? Is it because RT only has one size battery box?

The charging system doesn't seem to change with the much larger battery bank as you already know - http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f4...html#post58381 -

Maybe things have improved since I last read anything to do with the RT with larger lithium battery banks.

This post was from 1 year ago - the RV has 600 W solar and 1600 amp-hrs of Ecotrek lithium batteries: https://www.facebook.com/groups/road...19944704831179

power drain.JPG

Direct quote from the post:
Quote:
But leaving all 8 battery banks on drains the power in about 48 hours.
That owner discovered:

Quote:
I found that 600 W of solar is sufficient to keep one bank charged, but not two.
So, if you almost double your solar from 600w to 1100w then, according to that post, you'd be able to keep 1/4 of your battery modules (only two out of eight charged. It sounds like you have to actively manage the system deciding which modules to charge etc.

Obviously, what I linked to is old news (I don't get on FB often) - I'm really hoping to hear that things will be much better in your yet-to-be-built RT.
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:41 PM   #10
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.

RT standardized on the 200AH Li module because they need to fit them into various RV models they build.

I heard that they have the 400AH module ready since late last year (same size as the 200AH). But I haven't seen anybody got one yet.
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