solar_trucker

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solar_trucker
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  • Re: Is there any advantage to covering Solar Panels when Power is not needed for an extended Period ?

    Thanks from all of you who have replied. I was somewhat thinking the same about not bothering
    to try and cover the panels...It's sort of an issue with diminishing returns...The panels are mono crystalline
    and were made post 2010 so there's a good chance they will survive a good long life whether I cover them
    up or not. Consider the fact I'm mid-60's, they should last me my RV'ing days!
    On the storage of the Lithium battery, IF I store it for a prolonged period, I'll make sure it's not fully charged.
  • Re: Any hands-on experience with Relion LiFePO4 batteries?

    I recently replaced my (6) - 6 volt deep cycle batteries in the 5th wheel in Oct/2017 with One Relion 12 volt-300 AH
    battery. Two months in, so far I'm very impressed. The RV has 4 slide rooms that open and close up to 42 inches.
    The Flooded batteries had to be fully charged in order for the Electric/Hydraulic system to work efficiently.  The Relion
    Battery is usually never less than 13.2V so the Slide system seems to effortlessly open and retract, regardless of what
    SOC the battery is in...Also with the Lead Acid batteries, the RV 12V Led Lights tended to be less bright as the system
    voltage dropped after sunset and during the night to 12.8, 12.7 and considerably at 12.6 volts. With the Relion battery the Lights have never dimmed so much as a hair all evening long, but again the voltage has never gone less than 13.1 volts...
    Also when I'm running down the road towing the trailer at night, there is no dimming of the exterior running lights (16 of them) when I back off on the accelerator with flooded batteries I normally see some dimming!  This is all a function of
    system voltage remaining much more stable and constant during discharge.

    Another factor for the RV is that 6 flooded batteries and associated 2(00) cabling required, added hundreds of pounds
    of weight, whereas this 300AH Relion battery is only 82 lbs!..Maintenance wise...we all know the work involved in
    cleaning battery terminal connections and cable ends, as well as filling cells with water. There is none of that necessary
    with the Relion battery.  As I get a chance to monitor the charging characteristics of the Relion battery, I'm very impressed with the speed at which the battery gets to Absorb and subsequently Float mode...Seems to me to be in the
    order of at least 300 to 400 per cent faster!  That translates to much more usable up time!  If all these advantages don't
    sell you on this technology, possibly this last advantage might...My SOC seldom goes below 80%...with the Flooded
    batteries, best case scenario is about 5-7 years before replacement...Relion Data indicates at 30% DOD, one could expect to possibly see as many as 10,000 cycles (27 yrs) assuming one cycle a day..at 25 deg C of course.
    Even pushing the battery to 50% DOD is supposed to yield approx 7000 cycles. 
    This factor alone prompted me to jump on the technology even at the steep price of 300% more than flooded...
    I may add another battery at some point down the road if I feel this technology has proven itself.  With each battery
    having it's own BMS onboard, that can be done with no disadvantage, whereas with flooded designs, all the batteries
    need to be changed at the same time or the older ones will bring down the new ones...

    It took some time and forethought to jump in on the Relion because of the initial cost, but two months in so far the
    advantages have made me wonder why I didn't do it sooner!