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Improving Life Off Grid and Off the Clock

Troubled by battery and solar problems, Gayle booked in her Coromal Caravan for an inspection, diagnosis and some lifestyle improvement. As a fly-in-fly-out worker living in the caravan when home, Gayle not only desired worry-free, off grid power, but a system designed to accommodate some conveniences of daily living.

Here’s what our inspection turned up:

  • 2 x 100Ah AGM batteries of different ages and in separate locations. One was in the original slide out battery compartment and another installed in the front boot which also housed gas bottles. BIG NO NO! This breaches Gas Safety Regulation because electrical equipment should be installed away from gas cylinder locations. Additionally, multiple batteries should be located together and wired so both batteries receive equal charge. In this instance, the original battery had all the van’s power and Charges attached, while the 2nd battery was wired to the original with a couple of unfused 6mm wires!

  • A 250W, 40V Solar Panel flapping in the breeze since three out of the six brackets which a long-established WA caravan repair company GLUED ON, had become unstuck. Plus a 180W, 22V Solar Panel, correctly secured to the roof by another WA company, as a resolution to the original Solar Controller melting and increased power needs for a newly installed, large upright Compressor Fridge They also replaced the melted Solar Controller with a non-Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) controller which would have suffered a similar fate. Multiple issues apply here too - A 40V Solar Panel should not be joined to a 22V Panel because the 22V panel causes significantly reduced performance of the higher voltage Panel. The Coromal’s 30A PMW Solar Controller is also unsuitable for a 40V Solar panel and a non- MPPT Solar Controller will always fail as they are not designed to cope with high voltage Solar panels. The Compressor Fridge was using more power than the batteries or solar could ever supply.

In addition to the basics, like keeping food refrigerated, Gayle wanted to be able to use a coffee machine, toaster, kettle, washing machine and an air fryer. FYI: Gayle's Air Fryer uses 20.4Ah which is only 7% of the existing battery capacity when using it for 15 minutes at 200C. Neat! Designing a new system for Gayle was challenging in that most space in the Coromal is used for essential storage, but we managed to squeeze a custom 280Ah RV Lithium System under seating, even navigating around the wheel arch dominating the space. Plenty of venting was installed to ensure faultless operation. GAYLE’S NEW 280Ah RV LITHIUM SYSTEM “LIFESTYLE IMPROVEMENT” features:

  • A Custom Battery Control Unit (BCU)

  • 240A Charge Protection BCU

  • 100A Load Van POwer BCU

  • 250A Laod Inverter Control BCU

  • A Victron BMV712 Bluetooth Battery Monitor which links to the Load BCU’s so Battery Load Outputs are switch off if the battery reaches a low State of Charge (SOC) or Low Voltage.

  • A Victron Multiplus Compact 1600VA Inverter which includes a 70A Charger with AC Transfer Switch.

  • 3 x 175W Victron Solar Panels

  • 2 x 90W Victron Solar Panels

  • A Victron SmartSolar Bluetooth 100/50A Solar Controller showing 45A’s received from a total of 705W of Solar on the roof

  • A Victron MPPT SmartSolar Bluetooth Solar Controller, plus a 50A Yellow Anderson Plug installed externally on the side of the van.

  • A Custom RV Lithium System 600W DCDC Vehicle Charger

Now when Gayle heads home from a stint away at work, Home Sweet Home is that much sweeter! For a customised RV Lithium System suited to your lifestyle, contact info@RvLithiumSystems.com.au.

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