Saturday, November 18, 2023

Solar Equipment Replacement

Where Are We Today

Park Place RV Park

Quartzsite Arizona

On our way here, we discovered that our converter/ battery charger for our trailer had quit working and our batteries were not holding a charge. Now there was no surprise with the batteries as they are seven years old. I should have replaced them this past summer, but I did not. The converter on the other hand was a surprise.

Old Converter/battery charger



Upon our arrival here in the park, I did some trouble shooting on the converter. There were no blown breakers, there was power to it and the three fuses on the converter were fine.

Old AGM batteries


As I said, the five AGM batteries are done. The decision with what to replace them with was next, do I go with AGM or Lithium. I never thought that I would go with lithium, but that’s what I decided to do. This also meant that our current, 2 – 30-amp charge controllers would have to be replaced as they did not charge lithium batteries.

Parts mounted, then removed to make it easier to fasten the plywood.


Amazon is a great place to shop, you can find anything in your budget range that you can think of. A purchase of 3 Power Queen low temperature cut-off 100-amp lithium batteries, two Power Queen MPPT 30-amp charge controllers and a 20-amp lithium battery charger was made. Also, on a trip to Yuma the other day, a piece of ½ inch X 24”x 24” plywood was bought.

Plywood and parts mounted in the storage compartment.


The new charge controllers are bigger than the old ones and would not fit in the same place. I decided to mount them next to the batteries and the inverter in the storage compartment.

Junction boxes on the roof. Three 160 watt panels per box per controller






Remove old controllers


Wired


I disconnected the solar panels in the junction box up on the roof of the trailer, removed the old charge controllers and then the batteries, all except one. Hooked up a battery charger to it to keep the 12-volt side of the trailer running.

Next, I laid out the parts on the plywood, marked all the holes drilled for screws and then mounted the plywood. Once mounted, the charge controllers and a new receptacle for the battery charge was mounted.

Up and running

I was able to use all the same wiring by splicing together where the old controllers were and cutting and inserting at the new controllers. Next the install of the three new batteries, wired in parallel and make the connection to the solar panels up on the roof.

Try to keep as neat as possible. There are two Bluetooth boxes,
 you can see one at the bottom corner, I downloaded the app so I can see what the controllers are reading on my phone.


All are working great, over the next few days, we will see how the batteries perform and how long we can run on them before having to connect to power. I also need to secure the batteries in place and some kind of cover to protect the posts from accidental shorting.

Twenty amp battery charger.


Before I close, I need to thank my Brother-in-Law, John for suggestions and advise on the equipment and our good friend Ken for clearing up some confusion on power input, thanks guys, much appreciated.

Thanks for stopping by, until the next time.