Wiring in a solar panel - help please

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Mike4727, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. Mike4727

    Mike4727 Funster

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    Hi everyone and Happy New Year from Bulgaria. We have been very busy over the last couple of months getting to know our new acquisition and will now spend some time getting ready for our first major adventure starting in May - a three month tour of Europe, UK and Ireland. We want to be as self sufficient as possible and are going to purchase a 120a solar panel installed on the roof for charging habitation and starter batteries via the supplied controller unit. I will probably have to do the work myself as there is a serious lack of competent auto engineers in this neck of the woods :) Being very new to motorhome electrics I need some help here - do I connect the charging cables directly to the batteries or should they be connected via the Schaudt Elektroblok EBL99 that seems to control everything else in the van ? Thanks in advance for all / any advices received. Also any recommendations on kits you may have used or ones to stay clear of will be welcomed.
     
  2. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    Hi Mike, happy new year to you and yours.
    I would hang on before you do anything as there are many knowledgeable people on here that will have all the information you need. (y)
     
  3. Mike4727

    Mike4727 Funster

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    Hi Paul,

    thanks for that, I am not in a great hurry and want to get as much advice as possible before starting, I haven't even bought the kit yet as wanting to see other peoples views of various stuff available. It's all very new to me but part of the learning experience don't you know :)
     
  4. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    If you use a Schaudt LR1218 or LRM1218 regulator, it is a very easy job the regulators plug straight into the EBL99 and will charge both the leisure & engine battery.
    Alternatively you can use any dual output regulator and wire it via the EBL99, or a single output regulator with a solar split charge relay.
    Whichever way you do it wiring via the Elektroblock makes the installation very easy.
     
  5. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    The advantage of connecting via the EBL is that you should see the charge current from solar on the display panel and the EBL will 'know' that something other than mains or alternator is charging the leisure batteries. Also, if you get a twin battery solar controller, it will charge the starter battery too. A suitable model would be the Schaudt LR1218 PWM controller, or the more expensive LRM1218 MPT controller. Search on here for more info as it has been written about several times.
     
  6. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Snap !
     
  7. Mike4727

    Mike4727 Funster

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    Thanks guys, this is exactly the sort of info I was seeking. I did do a mini search for relevant stuff but can now have another look for info on the Schaudt controllers, it seems to make sense to use that equipment rather than a third party Chinese box supplied as part of the kit.
     
  8. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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  9. Zigisla

    Zigisla Funster

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    I am sure the EBL 99 will not charge the Starter battery via the EBL / Solar connector. You will have to use an additional lead - supplied i think, from the LRM to the starter battery.
    This is a quote from Udo Lang - Schaudt's Guru, when i posed a similar question to him.

    Q. Does the EBL have the capability to charge both Starter and Habitation batteries with the LRM and if not, how would the Starter battery get its charge from.
    A. The LRM and the LR 1218 are both chargers with two outputs.
    The EBl itself will charge the starter battery with a fload charging via mains only.
    From solar there is no additional charging to the starter battery, when the solar-charger has just one output.
     
  10. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Both the LR 1218 & LRM1218 are dual output regulators, the EBL99 is one of the Elektroblocks where you can use any dual output regulator or a single output regulator with a solar split charge relay either way the engine battery will charge. I did say this in my earlier post.
     
  11. Zigisla

    Zigisla Funster

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    I took from your earlier post that you were going to connect the LRM to the EBL only and have it charge both batteries. From how I read Udo's answer, you cannot connect straight to the EBL and have it charge your Starter battery without additional wiring from the LRM to the starter battery or via a split relay.
     
  12. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    There are 3 main connections on the output of a LR/LRM1218, Negative, Starter Battery & Habitation Battery it is plug & play if you use one of those regulators.

    upload_2016-1-4_10-26-0.png
     
  13. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    i would consider if you realy need to charge the vehicle battery if the van is in regular use its unnecessary, it only becomes an advantage if the van is stored for long periods i often dont start my van for a month during winter and have had no problems obviously if you have lots of goodies that drain battery whilst idle then yes
     
  14. Zigisla

    Zigisla Funster

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    I think we have our wires crossed - pun intended and saying much the same thing. Agreed you can charge the Starter battery with the LRM using it's duel output, but not via the EBL99. According to the EBL99 manual, block 6 does not have a +ve to the starter battery so you have to use the wiring that came with the LRM.
     
  15. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Agree Block 6 in the EBL 99 does not have a connection to the starter battery, but the LR1218 (assume the same for LRM1218) comes with a split loom for such events so it is still a Plug & Play job, it plugs into Block 2 when the fridge takes it's power from the starter battery.
     
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  16. Stealaway

    Stealaway Funster

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    Ignoring the costs, I wanted to keep the Schaudt Elektroblok completely separate . I also wanted to see how many amps the solar panels were generating, so I bought this kit. The panel in my van only reads voltages and will show a high charging voltage even if the solar charging is only producing 0.2A

    Not the usual cheap Chinese but fits it the bill perfectly.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/280979967391
     
  17. Mike4727

    Mike4727 Funster

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    Blimey ! if I was confused before I am completely out of the game now :) Thanks seriously to all contributors as it is all building my knowledge base, still a long way to go yet though ! I am now reconsidering the dual charging thing as the van will be on the move every few days when we go on the " big adventure " later this year, any extended stopovers will be supported by mains hook up. I am going to replace the current 85a habitation battery to the largest one that will fit in the retaining box ( I think about 125a ) and I think that will give about three days capability, maybe more with help of solar. On the subject of changing batteries, I seem to recall from a thread somewhere that I now cannot find that there are some precautions that have to be taken with the EBL when changing batteries, apart from the obvious one of ensuring the correct battery type is selected is there anything in the way of isolation, fuse removal etc that needs to be done while exchanging the batteries, thanks again folks for all help so far.
     
  18. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    At one time, the LR1218 was supplied with two versions of the wiring harness. One had two wires that connected to Block 6 for those EBLs that did not have an internal connection to the + starter battery; the other had three wires for those EBLs that did. Examples of the former type are EBL99 and 100 (there re others). At the same time, there was an additionally supplied harness link that connected into the cables going to Block 2 and this carried the +ve charge from the solar panel back to the starter battery. As the EBL99 and 100 etc are now lod models, Shaudt no longer supply the link harness and only supply the three-cable harness to connect to Block 6. This does not pose a problem for anyone connecting to an EBL99/100. Simply cut the centre red cable of the link to Block 6 and run a separate (user-supplied) 2.5 sq mm cable from the Starter Battery Out terminal on the LR1218 to the main Starter Battery post on the rear of the EBL. The latter is a screw-fix post and the 2.5 sq mm cable can t
    be fitted in alongside the main thicker link to the SB.

    Switch off the EBL and disconnect every battery before trying to make any of these connections. Pull the 50 amp fuses in the engine compartment and next to the leisure batteries. Also pull the 2 amp fuses in the D+ links in the same two locations and the 20 or 30 amp fuse in the engine compartment that supplies +ve from the starter battery to the EBL to power the fridge when travelling.
     
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  19. Busman

    Busman Funster

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    IMG_0162.JPG IMG_0150.JPG
    couple of pics of mine laid out before fitting,
     
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