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Old 05-16-2018, 06:01 PM   #1
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Default Suitcase Portable Solar & Eco Trek

Has anyone used a portable suitcase solar panel to supplement the 200 watt panels with the Eco Trek Lithium Battery set up. I have a 60 watt Renogy suitcase panel with a ViewStar 10 amp PWM solar charge controller. Can you tie into the existing Charge Controller or use the portable panel independently? I used this panel on a prior travel trailer and thought I may be able to follow the sun when in more heavily treed areas.
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:18 PM   #2
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Would you consider using a Solar Blanket? They are expensive, but relatively light and fold up into a 1 SF package. Review and/or Video

You should be able to connect to the existing controller, when the voltage rating of the (parallel) panels are the same. A MPPT controller would also do a better job.

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Old 06-04-2018, 03:33 AM   #3
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Has anyone used a portable suitcase solar panel to supplement the 200 watt panels with the Eco Trek Lithium Battery set up. I have a 60 watt Renogy suitcase panel with a ViewStar 10 amp PWM solar charge controller. Can you tie into the existing Charge Controller or use the portable panel independently? I used this panel on a prior travel trailer and thought I may be able to follow the sun when in more heavily treed areas.
Solar on Ecotrek is pretty much just a placebo. First. The existing panel is not connected to the lithiums. It connects to the AGM backup that starts the BMS when the lithium’s are too low to start themselves. That’s all it does. Not one electron will find its way from the solar panel to power, say, an LED light.

What’s more, the lithium’s can’t be charged unless they are “on”, which causes a 60 watt power drain from each module. If connected to the lithiums the standard 200w solar panel would only increase charge by the excess over 120w (2 modules). That would almost never happen.

Ecotrek is primitive compared to newer systems and is best charged by the GU and is most suitable for those who drive the vehicle every day rather than those doing extended boon docking.
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Old 06-04-2018, 02:44 PM   #4
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Solar on Ecotrek is pretty much just a placebo. First. The existing panel is not connected to the lithiums. It connects to the AGM backup that starts the BMS when the lithiumís are too low to start themselves. Thatís all it does. Not one electron will find its way from the solar panel to power, say, an LED light.

Whatís more, the lithiumís canít be charged unless they are ďonĒ, which causes a 60 watt power drain from each module. If connected to the lithiums the standard 200w solar panel would only increase charge by the excess over 120w (2 modules). That would almost never happen.

Ecotrek is primitive compared to newer systems and is best charged by the GU and is most suitable for those who drive the vehicle every day rather than those doing extended boon docking.
Wow, what a messy design!
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Old 06-04-2018, 03:38 PM   #5
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Solar on Ecotrek is pretty much just a placebo. First. The existing panel is not connected to the lithiums. It connects to the AGM backup that starts the BMS when the lithiumís are too low to start themselves. Thatís all it does. Not one electron will find its way from the solar panel to power, say, an LED light.

Whatís more, the lithiumís canít be charged unless they are ďonĒ, which causes a 60 watt power drain from each module. If connected to the lithiums the standard 200w solar panel would only increase charge by the excess over 120w (2 modules). That would almost never happen.

Ecotrek is primitive compared to newer systems and is best charged by the GU and is most suitable for those who drive the vehicle every day rather than those doing extended boon docking.
I am pretty sure the electrons from the solar can make their way to the lights and other loads if they are inclined to go there. Everything is connected in parallel, the solar charging, the AGM batteries, the Ecotrek batteries when online, the underhood generator, etc. Since the Ecotrek batteries need to be online to get any power to the loads (except for 120v loads when on shore power) then the solar electrons are connected to everything just like the lithium electrons and the other sources of electrons...

The chargers can be disconnected at times to prevent overcharging, in which case, none of the charging electrons can get to the loads...
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