Another Fitting Solar Panels on a Hymer Question

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by OldAgeTravellers, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. OldAgeTravellers

    OldAgeTravellers Funster Life Member

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    Hi,
    We have just moved to a Hymer B614SL Star Edition and need to fit solar panels. I will be fitting three 100watt but unfortunately there are a lot of things up there already so will have to scatter them about a bit rather than a nice neat bank.
    The Hymer has a SCHAUDT Elektroblok EBL101 with DT201B panel and I remember reading on here that only the SCHAUDT solar regulator should be used, why? I used the MPPT regulator favoured by Andy @Techno before and was very pleased with it, also the SCHAUDT LR1218 I have found on FleaBay is only 18amp rather than 30amp of the other about the same price £80 - £90 with postage.
    Also does anybody have a source of good quality double cable entry glands preferably in black, the last one I ordered was extremely flimsy.
    Any other thoughts gratefully received.
    Steve
     
  2. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Elektroblocs, particularly the later ones with LCD control panels, have been known to behave oddly if a non-Schaudt regulator is used. Dave Newell (trade Funster) has had experience of this I believe.
    I think the problem may arise because the EBL does not measure the current input and output unless the solar regulator is integrated with it, then thinks that the battery bank is running low and executes an emergency shut-down. That is my belief based on what I have read - not absolute fact.
    You could go for the Schaudt LRM1218 which is a more recent MPPT model, rather than the older LR1218 which is a PWM regulator. Both models offer the advantage of charging both habitation and starter batteries, but the current limit is 18 amps and the manuals state that they can handle up to 275 watts of panels.
     
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  3. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    I think you will be OK using a different regulator as the EBL101 solar connections are only a straight through connection to the battery but you will loose some of the functionality of the DT201 panel in not being able to show solar charging, you will still know it is charging by the voltage.

    What you could do is buy a cheap £5-£10 regulator of eBay and connect one panel via it to test what happens and then make an informed decision.
     
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  4. OldAgeTravellers

    OldAgeTravellers Funster Life Member

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    Thanks Philip for your quick reply. Yes the MPPT would be better but only 18 amp is a pain. I wonder how tolerant they are after all the likelihood of getting theoretical max output from horizontal panels is quite slim.
    The price tag of £160 is a bit steep as well but if the EBL can't count the current usage I can see that it would be a problem. Perhaps @dave newell lvs will come along soon with a definitive answer on max wattage.
    Steve
     
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  5. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    For a definitive answer to what regulators will work with your EBL101 / DT201, I suggest an email to Udo Lang. He will give you good advice and will tell you if there are compromises in fitting a non-Schaudt regulator.
    Udo.Lang@schaudt-gmbh.de
     
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  6. OldAgeTravellers

    OldAgeTravellers Funster Life Member

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    Good thinking Lenny, I still have my old van so could take the mppt regulator out of that for a test. Just need to find an English version of the manuals so as to get the correct connections.
    Steve
     
  7. OldAgeTravellers

    OldAgeTravellers Funster Life Member

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    Thanks Philip will do and give the response back on here.
    Steve
     
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  8. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    I contacted Schaudt and they sent me English versions of manuals by email very efficient.
     
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  9. SandraL

    SandraL Funster

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    This is not going to be very helpfull but, when i went round same loop i did find another make of mppt solar controller that had signal output same as schaudt, would plug into ebl101 for both outputs( starter and leisure batt) and signal to give charging info. Problem is i cant remember what make apart from being german, there i did say i wasnt much help!
     
  10. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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  11. SandraL

    SandraL Funster

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    Told you i wasnt much help, but jeanluc is! Yes i think that was the one i meant.
     
  12. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    I suspect that would be Votronic. I seem to remember that they do an EBL interface cable.

    On my phone at the moment, so not easy to check exactly what functionality it gives with the OP's model of EBL.

    EDIT: JeanLuc is ahead of me. :D
     
  13. OldAgeTravellers

    OldAgeTravellers Funster Life Member

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    Thanks for all the help and the Votronic link @JeanLuc that looks a good possibility as it has an aditional connection for the +S solar connection on the AES fridge.
    Udo Lang of Schaudt had come back already with:

    With the DT 201 all currents must flow in our out of the EBL to recognize the Ah´s at the DT 201.
    When you have a 25A output, the best would be to put the solar-charger to the output additional charger (2 pole connector) at the EBL.
    Normally there should be a maximum fuse of 20A. (So it is up to you to rise this one to 25A.)
    Or you can put the plus of this connection to a parallel connection to pin 3 plus leisure battery of the 3 pole connector for solar.
    The minus of the 2 pole connector additional charger parallel wired to minus of the 3 pole connector "solar" pin 1.

    Then you put in the fuse holders for solar and additional charger each a 15A fuse and the circuits should be ok with this.

    Please see attached the user manuals of the Schaudt units.
    No problem to use any solar-charger with the EBL 101.

    So I just have to get my head around the German to establish exactly what he is talking about and which connections are which then I can give it a try with the controller on my old van and decide whether to go with one of those or the Votronic one which is double the price but can handle the wattage and utilise the Shaudt kit completely and I probably need to get hold of the appropriate connectors.
    Steve
     
  14. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I have just downloaded the English language manual for the EBL101 to check the connector block arrangement (it is slightly different to my EBL99).

    Udo is referring to connecting your higher output solar regulator to the input socket that is designed to take the 12V feed from an additional auxiliary mains charger (the Schaudt LAS1218). This is Block 7 on the front panel of your EBL (marked BL7 LAS...) and is referred to as item 10 in the diagram of fuses and connections in the instructions. If you use this input only, Udo is saying that you can uprate the fuse from 20 amp to 25 amp on the front panel (marked Zusatz Ladegerat). Alternatively, if you want to go as high as 30 amps, he is saying that you need to use both the normal solar regulator input - marked BL 6 LR(S)... , AND the Block 7 input referred to above. In this case both fuses on the front panel should be rated at 15 amps. This arrangement would require +ve and -ve link cables between the two connectors, in addition to the cables from the regulator going to one of the connector blocks; i.e. you are wiring the two input sockets in parallel.
    The connectors are Mate'n'Lok' (MNL) made, I think, by Molex. A word of warning - the MNL connectors hold special crimp pins and once they are pushed in, you can only get them out with a special tool (or a great deal of luck) as they are held in place by metal barbs. The white plastic plugs that hold the pins are marked with tiny embossed numbers to identify each pin position.
    On Block 7 (the auxiliary charger input) Pin 1 is -ve and Pin 2 is +ve.
    On Block 6 (solar regulator input) Pin 1 is -ve, Pin 2 is Starter Battery +ve and Pin 3 is Habitation Battery +ve.
    If you have difficulty getting the MNL connectors and pins, Schaudt can supply them.

    Hope this helps you 'get your head around the German' and good luck.
     
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  15. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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  16. OldAgeTravellers

    OldAgeTravellers Funster Life Member

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    Thanks @JeanLuc & @Lenny HB
    A great explanation Philip I think I am leaning towards the Votronic controller, more expensive but is designed with the EB in mind it seems and will make running the Fridge on Solar easier.
    Sorry been busy transferring all our stuff from old to new camper, can't believe how much!!
    Also can't believe how a great camper is spoiled by little things when in other ways it is so luxurious.
    The storage in the LeVoyageur was so much better designed for living.
    Apart from the stupid poser glasses as you enter the Hymer there is no cocktail cabinet to store wine and bottles or proper storage for a range of glasses.
    Cig Sockets wired to ignition not Hab battery so now have to dismantle dash to change wiring. (Anybody done it or know how?)

    Steve
     
  17. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    If its canbus you can't . You need to run a feed direct from the starter battery or leisure
     
  18. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Don't see why not, if ignition fed wires are disconnected from the sockets no different to to having sockets connected without anything plugged into them. Also don't think sockets are connected to can us part of the wiring.
     
  19. OldAgeTravellers

    OldAgeTravellers Funster Life Member

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    The rewire is not a problem as Lenny says disconnecting them should not affect anything. It's how to get behind the dash is my problem, removed a load of screws today and nothing would budge. So interesting if anybody has done it in a 2012 Hymer and can explain how
    The other annoying thing for me is a great Motorhome with some very thoughtful features but no central locking when the original Fiat base would have had it. Lovely van but some stupid omissions that would not have cost a fortune at the building stage.
    Steve
     
  20. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
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