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Old 08-04-2022, 05:16 PM   #1
Winnie-Wise
 
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Renogy Solar Suitcase

I recently bought a 200Watt Renogy Eclipse Solar Suitcase with attached Voyager PWM Controller and alligator clips to hookup.

I found the Alligator clips a pain, so I wired in SAE Wall Plug with fuse to simplify hookup.

SAE Cable – iGreely Solar Weatherproof SAE Socket Sidewall Port, SAE Quick Connect Solar Panel Mount for Motorcycle Generator Battery Charger and More 10AWG 2ft/60cm – iGreely

If anyone has done this modification, what is your length of run between the Attached Controller and the SAE Plug.

One other option, I would like to look at is swapping out the PWM Controller for a MPPT controller which is more efficient.

I'm looking at the Victron MPPT 75/15 SmartSolar with Bluetooth at 40mm thick, thinking it would fit in place of the Renogy Voyager and still allow the suitcase to close.

https://www.victronenergy.com/solar-...-100-15-100-20

Next up, is to decide if my situation would be better off with Series Wiring of the two panels rather than Parallel.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-07-2022, 03:37 PM   #2
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I’ve got a smart Victron 75/15 and it works great. Plus it talks to the Victron smart shunt. Pretty inexpensive. If you buy one, why would you bother putting it on the suitcase. Just mount it next to the battery and bypass your pwm. Connect through a SAE sidewall port. Then you can put the panel 30 ft away. MC4 on the other end, and you should be able to find an adapter to fit your panel output.
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Old 08-07-2022, 03:42 PM   #3
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Victron 75/15

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.
Inside and Outside with 30ft cable
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Old 08-08-2022, 08:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marine359 View Post
Inside and Outside with 30ft cable
I figured I would leave the charge controller external till I take the next step to install Lithiums inside.

What's the purpose of the shunt?
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Old 08-09-2022, 04:19 AM   #5
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I figured I would leave the charge controller external till I take the next step to install Lithiums inside.

What's the purpose of the shunt?
Bluetooth Negative shunt monitor displays on your phone all activity of your batteries. Amps in, amps out, voltage, and SOC. Negative battery cable connects to batter side of shunt. All negative loads connect to load side of shunt. See it at top center of photo, close to battery. Screen shot of shunt Home Screen.
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Old 08-09-2022, 06:58 PM   #6
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Thats one hi-tech battery room, nice.

When buying the Victron Smartsolar controller with bluetooth and then downloading the Victron app do you not get the same information?

Is the shunt still needed in that case?

What about utilizing typical lead acid, agm, gel batteries etc....
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Old 08-09-2022, 08:59 PM   #7
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Not sure what you mean by same information. Same as what? The only way to view the Victron is thru the app. They have another model, the BMV-712 that has a wired remote display and Bluetooth.
The app is programable for whatever battery type you have.
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Old 08-09-2022, 10:49 PM   #8
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Sorry for the confusion, in reference to the shunt. Having a shunt in the system is news to me.

I thought the Victron App and their Smartsolar MPPT 75/15 MPPT Controller was all I needed to see all the information available through the app. No shunt or bluetooth dongle required.

The Victron controller would replace the Renogy Voyager and give me bluetooth access to the controller for remote setup and monitoring.

Is it possible the smartshunt and smart controller send the same info to the Victron App. Having the controller bluetooth allows you to see and set the controller up via the phone app as well.
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Old 08-10-2022, 10:02 AM   #9
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The Bluetooth display of the smart solar controller is really meant to only tell you about what’s going on with the controller. It’s primary purpose is display to tell you panel voltage, and how much amperage is being sent from panel to battery. It also gives you a battery voltage display. Remember that this device is only connected to the panel and battery, so it cannot give you accurate info about the rest of your system. Because the shunt is connected to everything electrical in your rv, the shunt display tells you everything about your battery; amperage going in, amperage going out, voltage, SOC, and amphrs remaining. In short, having a Victron smart controller does not substitute for needing a Victronnsmart shunt.
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Old 08-10-2022, 07:51 PM   #10
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Ok, thanks for clearing that up.

You mention the shunt tells you what's coming in and going out. Would it be accurate only to what is directly connected to the shunt.

I have a small 300w inverter, for it to be included in the blue shunt display must its negative be connected to the shunt.

Most buy a solar panel to keep the battery charged off grid. Currently the 1st gen Renogy Voyager tells me Ah, amps and current voltage unsure if its battery or panel. Over the last two days of overcast, the Voyager is showing me I have less volts 12.5 volts, 1.1 less than when I started 2 days ago. Ah says 4.2Ah and the amps shows .1a

I have no idea how to interpret the last two in any certainty. I did notice the "a" increases as the panel is placed in the ideal location. The best I have seen is 6 -7a in the 3 days I have used it. Assume the Ah stands for the Ah generated.

Back to the shunt, is it beneficial in a basic setup. Guess it would tell me the fridge, hotwater, water pump and fans drew so many amp over a period of time, but not which item drew the amps. Is this correct?

As for the smart controller, I assume the smarts most beneficial option is setup of the controller via a display (Victron App). With the non bluetooth 75/15 the bluetooth dongle would be required for setup.
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Old 08-11-2022, 12:01 AM   #11
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The shunt measures all loads, which is why everything, including an inverter, needs to be connected to the load side of the shunt. If it’s not connected there, it’s load will not be reported. Using a bus bar makes this much easier, in which case you’ll have just one heavy gauge wire going from the bus bar to the shunt. You can sorta see that in the photo, just to the left of the shunt. The Bluetooth shunt only costs about $125, so no biggie. The Bluetooth 75/15 only cost $25 more than the non Bluetooth model.
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Old 08-11-2022, 06:51 PM   #12
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Would the shunt work with a dual lead acid battery setup on the tongue?

How would it be wired in (between negatives or negative out).
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Old 08-12-2022, 05:29 AM   #13
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If there is room in the tongue mount battery box, and you waterproof it, the shunt can be mounted there. Once again all cables should be removed from negative battery post and get connected to the “battery” side of the shunt. Then reconnect all those negative cables to the “load” side of the shunt. Doesn’t matter how many batteries you have. If have two 6v batteries in series, they become just one 12v battery. Do not connect shunt between batteries that are wired in series. If you have multiple 12v batteries, All the negative load cables should now be connected to just one terminal. Use that terminal for the shunt connection. A parallel bank will display on the shunt as one 12v source.
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Old 08-12-2022, 10:58 AM   #14
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Thanks Jim, yes two 12v batteries wire together.

There are three wires connected to the last battery negative. A #4 AWG that goes to a junction box inside the frame at the front of the trailer, the Tongue Jack and the new SAE plug I just installed.

If I place the controller inside the passthrough the wiring to the SAE wall plug will be rerouted to the controller. I will mount a new SAE wall plug on the wall of the trailer to wire it to the panel connections on the controller.
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Old 08-15-2022, 09:22 AM   #15
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For just 200w of solar I think you are over-thinking your situation.

Re-wiring for an easier hook-up (instead of alligator clips) is a good thing, but you need to be more concerned about your wire gauge between your panels and the RV. This is because solar controllers reduce the panel output voltage from ~18 -20 volts to approx. 12-14 v DC. For long wire runs the higher the voltage the better, as longer wires will create some resistance and cause voltage drop. So if you are using a solar controller mounted at the panels the voltage is reduced there, before your long wire run. Better to mount your controller in the RV and let your remote wire run carry the higher solar panel output voltage.

On my 220w of remote panels I use 50' of 10 gauge flexible copper wire to allow them to be moved / re-located around the RV into the sun during the day. But with this length of wire you have to be concerned about voltage drop, so it is best to use the largest wire (copper!) you can. There are many charts available on-line which show wire gauges necessary for certain lengths / volts / watts. But better to use higher voltage and large gauge wire.

As for series or parallel wiring - if the solar controller you are using is mounted to the back of the panels (not recommended) it really makes little difference. On my setup I installed a better solar controller inside the RV, instead of using what came mounted on the back of the panels. This means that I am taking advantage of the higher panel output voltage (better for the 50" wire length) while having a more protected mounting location for the solar controller. (solar panels can get quite hot in direct sun). If you go with the Victron controller I definitely would not mount it to the back of a panel - it is just too hot and electronics like to operate in a cool environment.

As for the type of solar controller PWM or MPPT - for only 200 watts it will make little difference.- Victron makes good equipment - but it may be overkill (ie - more $$) for just a 200w system. I went with a Renogy controller and it works fine.

So - to sum up my recommendation I would:
* Mount the solar controller inside the RV so it runs cooler and is better protected
* Wire the panels in parallel and use their direct voltage output (higher voltage) for your wire run to the RV
* Use the heaviest gauge of flexible copper wire you can between the panels and internal solar controller in order to reduce voltage drop.
* For most house battery systems I would make sure to install a battery monitor - as discussed above by others. I use a Victron 712 (with shunt) and it works great in allowing me to see exact state of battery charge and how much power is going in / out of my battery bank. For example - I know that my 220w of remote panels can generate 11.7 aHr max in direct sun.

Good luck!
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Old 08-15-2022, 11:59 AM   #16
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Rick Thank You for the feedback. I have taken in all the feedback and here is the plan. Feedback.


I have a stand alone 100Ah Lithium I use with my trolling motor and as mentioned the two 12v Interstate Batteries on the power trailer.

My Renogy Suitcase came with the 1st gen PWM Voyager, so my intention is to leave the Voyager mounted to the suitcase for warranty purposes.

I will install a new SAE wall plug to the trailer wall near the cargo door and wire it to the PV side of the Victron Controller mounted next to the battery disconnect. I have the SAE/MC4 connector which will plug into this SAE port and 40 foot extension cable.

I ordered two 40' extension cables with Mc4 connectors to run between the Solar Suitcase and the trailer.

To connect this extension cable the panel has the short MC4 connectors which will allow me to plug the 40 foot extension cable so I can move the panel around in camp site.

The Victron Solarsmart MPPT 75/15 will be mounted in pass through. This controller will give me bluetooth, so I dont have to climb in pass through to get data or change charge parameters.

I will run #8 AWG (8 ft max) from the Victron controller to a 20amp fuse then to MC4 connectors, then to the battery bank on the tongue and via shunt on negative.

The reason for MC4 connectors, so I can disconnect the trailer lead acid batteries and hook into the alligator clips that came with the suitcase to connect to the lithium trolling battery when it need charged.


Sorry for bouncing around as I writing this from my phone.

Did I miss anything.
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Old 08-15-2022, 03:17 PM   #17
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Ya Lyle,
I don’t think you can wire a panel with built-in pwm controller to a down line mppt controller. Using mc4 is good as long as the connectors are the waterproof version.
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Old 08-15-2022, 04:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Ya Lyle,
I don’t think you can wire a panel with built-in pwm controller to a down line mppt controller. Using mc4 is good as long as the connectors are the waterproof version.
The Renogy controller has simple screw-down wire connections, so why not just disconnect it and use something like Wago Gelbox connectors to connect the two sets of wires together. They're waterproof and are lever actuated so you shouldn't even have to re-strip or risk damaging the wires:

https://www.soselectronic.com/articl...-moisture-2508

If you have a warranty issue just put everything back as it was. You're more likely to have the low cost Renogy PWM controller fail than the panels so, IMHO, you'll actually be reducing the chance of a warranty issue. I've purchased and installed three controllers, two GoPowers and one Renogy Voyager. The Voyager failed almost immediately.

You could even get fancy and install a switching mechanism so you can switch in your Renogy controller if you want to use the system away from your RV.
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Old 08-15-2022, 06:55 PM   #19
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Hi Jim, no the Voyager will not be in line with MPPT as you mentioned



I could place the Voyager in the pass through with the Victron and split the PV leads from the solar panel (+/- pair to each controller). I would have to do this in the pass thru on the backside to the SAE port

The Voyager relocated to pass through would be used to charge the Lithium trolling battery. The Victron, the Lead Acid batteries on the tongue.

The concern here is making sure the Voyager controller is fed power (alligator clips to Lithium) before tying in the panel "PV" to that controller. I could use MC4 or SAE plugs or some kind of switch to cut feed from solar suitcase (SAE as above) to the Voyager. The Victron "PV" would be wired permanently to SAE wall port. Plugging in solar suitcase would always be second here.

The Victron could be wired permanently to Lead Acid Bank. The Voyager would utilize the Aligator clips as I could temporarily throw the Lithium in the pass through to charge and it will be secure.

I do realize the Voyager is a less quality product over the Victron. But until it fails, I could use it. Besides I could always throw it back on the Suitcase if warranty of the panels was needed. Once the Voyager dies, I could replace it or reconfigure the battery side of Victron to switch to charging the ithium or Lead Acid Bank.

Thanks again guys.

Thoughts.
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Old 08-18-2022, 06:38 PM   #20
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Hi Jim, no the Voyager will not be in line with MPPT as you mentioned



I could place the Voyager in the pass through with the Victron and split the PV leads from the solar panel (+/- pair to each controller). I would have to do this in the pass thru on the backside to the SAE port

The Voyager relocated to pass through would be used to charge the Lithium trolling battery. The Victron, the Lead Acid batteries on the tongue.

The concern here is making sure the Voyager controller is fed power (alligator clips to Lithium) before tying in the panel "PV" to that controller. I could use MC4 or SAE plugs or some kind of switch to cut feed from solar suitcase (SAE as above) to the Voyager. The Victron "PV" would be wired permanently to SAE wall port. Plugging in solar suitcase would always be second here.

The Victron could be wired permanently to Lead Acid Bank. The Voyager would utilize the Aligator clips as I could temporarily throw the Lithium in the pass through to charge and it will be secure.

I do realize the Voyager is a less quality product over the Victron. But until it fails, I could use it. Besides I could always throw it back on the Suitcase if warranty of the panels was needed. Once the Voyager dies, I could replace it or reconfigure the battery side of Victron to switch to charging the ithium or Lead Acid Bank.

Thanks again guys.

Thoughts.
The above can be accomplished, both controllers must be the same and offer the paralleling feature.

In the renogy line it is only possible with their MPPT 60 or 100 as they have the paralleling feature.

As the 60 and 100 are over kill for my situation, I will have to simplify the setup, plug and unplug the battery side, switch controller/battery type and carry on.
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