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Post Info TOPIC: Quiet Solar System


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Quiet Solar System


Hello all,  I will be installing a solar system in my Forest River, lexington210, motorhome.  Of course I will listen to all advice but my concern, because the space I intend to use for batteries and controls will be below the couch/bed.  The use of AGM batteries takes care of the gas venting concerns but I have read that the noise level of the converter and controller could be a problem for our sleeping.  Any comments please.

Ken



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ken hettinger


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Just a guess, but I'm thinking that the only noise source for a converter or controller would be relay or fan noise since most electronic devices today are solid state. Since a relay would only make a noise when it is going on or off I don't see that being a big issue. That leaves the fan, which I could see being somewhat of an issue if you need it really quiet to sleep. If that is the case, there are quiet fans available for not very much money that should solve the problem. However, most fans make white noise which many people use to mask other noises. Here's a source for quiet cooling fans: www.quietpcusa.com/Quiet-Computer-Fans.aspx

If there is something I missed that is making noise there is always acoustic foam insulation. Although it is not as good as elimination of the source, it is better than nothing. Here's a link to an FAQ: www.thefoamfactory.com/acousticfoam/faq.html. The same site also sells the foam.

Additionally, if you want to reduce the transmission of sound through the structure of the coach there are vibration isolators which can be searched for on the Internet.

In short, I don't at all see this being an insurmountable issue for less than $50.00, probably less than $20.00 plus shipping.

Just my couple of cents.

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Thanks so much for the reply.  The noise I have read about comes from the inverter fan.  This has been mentioned in the con (pros/cons) comments.

Ken



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ken hettinger


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You will love your solar system!

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Winnebago TT 2101DS & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state/county campgrounds. 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.



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Hi Larry,  How does your system perform in general ?   What do you run with it and for how long?  We are planning a 12 month (+-) x-country adventure in March.  After many months and visits to choose an RV, we decided on a beautiful, pre owned 2005, Forest River, Lexington2210 motorhome.  I will make several mods to the storage and "bathroom" area.  Solar is a big MUST.  We want to be able to dry camp any time we want.

Ken



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ken hettinger


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While I carry a backup inverter generator I haven’t needed it in the last 60 days of camping. I run everything except the microwave and AC including liberal TV...mostly local news which helps me find sites to visit. With a larger solar system I believe microwave use is easily doable. My solar system is never “off,” beginning to charge at sun up and stopping sunset. Do the energy survey and multiply by 1.5 to 2.0. That will set what you need in panels and batteries.

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Winnebago TT 2101DS & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state/county campgrounds. 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.



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Hello and welcome!

If you’d like an estimate for solar, please reach out to Greg and Bill with RV Solar Solutions.

www.rvsolarsolutions.com/



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This is a little bit off topic for "quiet solar system". I was reading on this forum in another thread from 2012 about running an electric heater off of my solar charged batteries. Someone had commented that there are better ways to heat rv/camper. I was trying to find elaboration  on these alternative options. I just got a little '99 bantam trailite and am looking for an efficient heat source. It has no installed heater and the 2 new 12v  "marine/rv" deep cycly batteries I just got from walmart only ran a 1500 watt space heater for about 45 min before the inverter started screaming at me. On top of the Mogollon Rim in January we will freeze solid within a couple of hrs after that. I have been looking at portable indoor propane heaters but am Co2 and fire concerned about one of those being inside the trailer all night. Does anyone have advise? I am new to this forum as of today and it looks like a great place to get knowledgeable information. Thanks in advance, Dale

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DnD, how many amps would your proposed electric heater use? THAT should answer your question. Not only did your inverter start to scream I'll bet your batteries were seriously depleted...and damaged.

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Winnebago TT 2101DS & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state/county campgrounds. 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.



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About 94 amps used in 45 minutes? Sound right?

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Winnebago TT 2101DS & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state/county campgrounds. 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.



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Your batteries don't possess enough energy to provide resistance heat, heck they can barely power a furnace blower motor. I've used propane heaters designed for indoor use (as long as you crack a window) for years, even with a bird in a small Aliner with no problems or concerns. Catalytic heaters are safest, but lately I have been using a Mr. Buddy heater in our motorhome with excellent results. It helps if your camper is well insulated and has dual pane windows so less BTUs are needed.

Now if you have a lot of moola (in the $5,000-$6,000 range), you can set up a huge solar system using 8 golf cart batteries, 1500+ watts of solar and a super efficient mini-split heat pump which will provide about 12,000 BTUs of electric heat (as long as it doesn't get too far below freezing). The reason this is doable is because the heat pump doesn't make heat, merely pumps it from outside to the inside, whereas resistance heat must be made directly. This means that the heat pump can be many times more efficient than resistance heat. Here are some super efficient 48v DC heat pumps which would work as they are 20 times more efficient than resistance heat but cost a couple grand or more. Practically though, propane is the most cost effective solution.

The safest propane heat is a furnace (which you still need lots of battery power to operate) or a Platcat vented catalytic heater which are very hard to get and expensive. Or you could do this: www.doityourselfrv.com/easy-catalytic-rv-heater-mod/

Chip

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Just a little addition to what Sushidog said. A few weeks ago I had a conversation with Northern Arizona Solar and they said that a solar system that used 4 Battle Born lithium batteries would be in the $6,000 to $7,000 range with just a few hundred more that half of that going for the batteries. The only reason I mention this is that lithium batteries are much more efficient at supplying power. You can use somewhere between 80-90% of their storage capacity where with lead/acid batteries you can only use about 50% of their power without damaging the battery. Just something to think about. Other than that what Sushidog said was pretty right on the money.

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