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Post by breakaleg Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:19 am

Hi All,
I have a question.

When you shut off the EC700 after a tour, does the solar panel charge the vehicle battery? only I have been lead to beleive that if you turn it off, all charge to the battery stops and it will only work with the EC700 turned on.
Many thanks.
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Post by Paulmold Thu Feb 25, 2021 1:14 pm

Is the Nuevo you've ordered the anniversary model? If it is then I believe it is fitted with lithium battery and no solar panel.

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Post by breakaleg Thu Feb 25, 2021 1:20 pm

Hi Paul,
No its a standard Nuevo, I didn't want the air con particulary and of course we hadn't seen the anniversary model when we ordered and may just of hated what they had done upholstery wise.
We had of course heard the whispers, things like silver shower tray, didn't fancy that but it turns out it isn't a bright silver but more like the side walls.
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Post by marconi Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:03 pm

When the EC700 is in Shutdown then only the Vehicle Battery will be charged. It has to be On to be able to 'Smart' charge but the EC700 itself may well consume more over 24Hours than the Solar set up can produce.

We wait with baited breath for news of what the Solar set up will be like, ie any improvements from the 2019 models.
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Post by breakaleg Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:07 pm

Hi Marconi,
This is what I suspected so when he said nothing would get charged if the EC700 was turned off.
Auto sleeper always seem to cut corners, even Swift fit a 100 watt panel, I don't think that a submersible water pump is the best either.
For the price, I don't feel that you should have to do modifications on anew van.
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Post by marconi Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:22 pm

We can only tell the truth, the Whale Submersible Pump combined with inefficient Solar set up is a disaster due to the Whale being highly Voltage sensitive. I did think that they had abandoned the Whale.

Yep it should be fit for purpose, its difficult to substantiate that before you leave the forecourt though.

Swift get a much better specification on the Tracker too. I like the 'even Swift' , don't ask, owning one was an even worse nightmare.
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Post by breakaleg Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:30 pm

We have had Auto sleepers before and the big problem then was undersized screws, we wanted a sub 6m van as we have to park on the road (can't wait to ask for a insurance quote for this van lol.
we were all set to buy a swift 612.
but they are not making them this year so sad to say after reading about all the problems on here the Nuevo became the default van, not many sub 6m vans suitable, many of the continental vans the habitation door is on the wrong side it wouldn't matter so much but we live on a one way street and the door would be in the road, making it difficult for us to access.
Even though, they have told me that we should have the van by the middle of April or beginning of May, so starting to feel excited now.
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Post by marconi Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:05 pm

Same here, I had a mantra, never buy a British made van and never deviate from a Ford Base Vehicle, I must have had sunstroke on my return from spending Winter in Spain in our French van. The Nuevo was just the right length and layout.

However as I said to the A-S Sales Director, despite everything Peugeot and A-S, we like the Van, and when approached by several interested EU Motorhomer's  I only showed and commented on the good points.
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Post by breakaleg Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:16 pm

I think the Clubman was the best van we had but when I had my accident I could no longer cope with the small gap between the seats and accessing the rear from the cab, otherwise, I think we would possibly still have and have had it reupholstered.
We have at present a Elddis sunseeker 115 and it is the van that we have had from new with the least problems.
But I need a automatic these days, I have auto clutch adaption on the van but it's nothing like a proper auto box, I didn't want a comfortmatic so waited until now.
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Post by bolero boy Thu Feb 25, 2021 4:29 pm

Pete, Marconi's answer should be good news in that you can shut down the EC700 yet still keep the vehicle battery charged, assuming a 'shut down' EC 700 doesn't rob you of all the solar you can muster, it shouldn't.
There shouldn't be any drain from the habitation side if the PSU is shut down...should there??
In which case, you 'shouldn't' suffer from a flat cab battery...that's the theory anyway.
Today, I reckon I could have sold excess van power back to the grid it's been that bright here👍

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Post by marconi Thu Feb 25, 2021 4:39 pm

Pete

So its an Automatic then, that might mean you will have a Smart Alternator, I would want to see good charging Voltages when the Engine is running before I accept the vehicle.

On another subject I would also want to see the van driven with Front tyres at 50 psi 3.4 bar without triggering the TPMS and the rears at 76 psi 5.25 bar.
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Post by breakaleg Thu Feb 25, 2021 4:40 pm

Yes it is good news as I don't really want to spend any more if I can help it. lol
We are picking the van up from westcountry motorhomes.
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Post by marconi Thu Feb 25, 2021 4:48 pm

Bolero boy
Today, I reckon I could have sold excess van power back to the grid it's been that bright here



The last two days I have been charging my camping Philshave, not a big deal but its using the spare gravy. I thought about it yesterday and it was flat, I always vow to keep the NiMh cells charged, never do it. I fitted industrial cells when I converted the Mains Phiishave to 12 Volts and boy they have stood some abuse.

Oh and with my Aux Control panel bypassing the EC700, yes the EC700 takes negligible Current  when shut down, I can switch on the 12Volt sockets and charger points without the EC700 knowing anything about it. smile!
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Post by bolero boy Sat Feb 27, 2021 10:29 am

Further to the Philishave bonus, I did a crude solar test myself yesterday...I have no Bluetooth or panel read outs for definitive numbers but here's my scenario and very approx learnings...

I have an inverter which I use for a couple of things...Sky box when off grid and ebike battery charging...linked to my two 95ah AGMs.

Ebike battery when new was 11.5ah/400wh at 36v. Bike now 8 yrs old and has done 17,000km on same battery and range has reduced gradually to be about 3/4 of its original range, so I'm guessing battery good for 8ah/300wh.

Yesterday was a lovely sunny (albeit February) day so a good time for a test.

On Friday we did an 18 mile ride, I estimate about a quarter of the 8ah used.
I have two chargers but used the smaller 2amp one and turned the inverter on at 1:45pm (I would have done this test at say 11am but was out...).
At 2:45 the bike battery was fully charged...one hour at 2amp going into the battery tallies with the 2ah I reckon I used...36v remember...turned off inverter.
Now, to generate that 2ah via a 12v system I need to put back 6ah into the leisure batteries...which had dropped from 12.8 (fully charged AGM) to 12.6 under load.
I checked the batteries at 4:45pm (3 hrs after start of test) and AGM back at 12.8.
In summer, a 100w panel should be able to generate 6 amps per hour, I reckon I generated 2 amps per hour in low (but bright) February sunshine.
I reckon that's pretty darn good....
As I said, I have no real accurate way of measuring other than the inverter did its thing quickly and then the solar replenished the leisure batteries as quickly as I could have expected.
If I'm taking 6ah from the leisure and it's getting replenished with a single 100w panel, surely this shows that no one should be having a flat cab battery where the ('normally expected automotive alarm etc) drain is far, far less than this....ECxxx excepted.
Note: my (equivalent) control panel (and its associated small drain) was off for the whole of the test...my inverter and solar all operate without the CP being on.

The point of the post is two fold...
1) do my crude numbers seem valid....either way, it did what I wanted
2) to give confidence to others that, if wired 'simply' even a 100w panel should cure the winter battery maintenance blues

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Post by Dbvwt Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:19 am

It’s great to have a solar thread running, I know anything solar bores many forum members but I love them!

After being completely blown away with the performance of the controller mod since I fitted it (EC500 switched off over winter), I’m going to switch the EC500 back on come 1st March which is this Monday.
This is purely for reasons of interest, I will report my findings if it is of any interest to anyone.
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Post by glyne lock Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:25 pm

Dbvwt wrote:It’s great to have a solar thread running, I know anything solar bores many forum members but I love them!

After being completely blown away with the performance of the controller mod since I fitted it (EC500 switched off over winter), I’m going to switch the EC500 back on come 1st March which is this Monday.
This is purely for reasons of interest, I will report my findings if it is of any interest to anyone.

have you fitted a 2nd panel if so should be ok but only 1x80w I would say keep it turned of. with panels flat on the roof and dirty and the low sun do not get the power that people note THINK. even in the summer with the  sun been higher  as with the heat you get a lower power .the problem in the winter is the panels don't even get to 12 volts unless its a bright day and is my reason for wiring in series then each day my batteries are replacing any discharge from the batteries and keeping them fully charged all the time giving them a longer life and not just charging on a bright day as well be happening in a lot of cases and making the life of the batteries shorter from the amount of discharges they are getting put through .until you have done the mod like yourself and others can now say if its needed and can see how much better it is keeping your batteries charged and is why I say any person leaving a van in storage is a must. I want to be able to get in my camper and go not have to be replacing flat batteries from being left  parked up
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Post by Dbvwt Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:55 pm

Completely agree with what you say Glyne. 
This will purely be a short term test of a single discharge cycle (obviously no lower than 50%) taking readings each day. I know how my old setup performed and it’s a just a comparison compared to the new.
I’m just interested in seeing how each stage of my solar upgrade performs.
The extra 80W panel project is still ongoing, coincidentally I’m going to have a look on top of the van shortly.
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Post by bolero boy Sat Feb 27, 2021 1:19 pm

Dirty roof, Glyne? I've just eaten my lunch off mine!

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Taking readings with voltmeter from regulator, have seen over 14v and over 16v in yesterday's brilliant sunshine.
As Dave has discovered, is the 'waste saving' that makes even a smallish panel viable in winter as a battery maintainer.
If my 100w panel is getting anywhere 2a in bright sun as in my previous post, then it's going to be 1 amp at best with an 80w panel in a (predominantly) dull day...
If the ECXXX takes 7 amp a day to do nothing, one isn't going to get 7 hours of 1amp input to counter it...
Possibly nearer 2 amp on very bright days but you're running to stand still.

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Post by Dbvwt Sat Feb 27, 2021 2:48 pm

Blimey Chris, that is one clean roof!  I’ve just been up the ladder and was shocked at the state of mine, I cleaned it in October and the van hasn’t moved since so I’ve no idea why it’s so dirty?

By the way, who is this Dave bloke?  It’s David I will have you know smile!
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Post by bolero boy Sat Feb 27, 2021 4:41 pm

Oh, so sorry David.up!

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Post by Dbvwt Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:04 pm

Forgiven, just don’t do it again hugegrins

I think we’ve gone off topic a bit.....
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Post by bolero boy Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:30 pm

Back on the solar topic....One reason for cleaning the roof is that I have a MH engineer coming on Tuesday who's doing a small job on the cooker but he also does solar, so I want him up there to check out the ease of fitting a similar panel in the rear near side corner to match the existing one....a simple job, just need to sort out the 'splicing in' up top and to get a new upgraded MPPT controller fitted.
There's also room for third panel ahead of the lounge skylight so I'll see what deal can be done...

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Post by glyne lock Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:32 pm

Dbvwt wrote:Blimey Chris, that is one clean roof!  I’ve just been up the ladder and was shocked at the state of mine, I cleaned it in October and the van hasn’t moved since so I’ve no idea why it’s so dirty?

By the way, who is this Dave bloke? happyno  It’s David I will have you know smile!
I am sure I have seen that picture before Chris .or have you been out cleaning it in all this sun we are having  .i was meaning the solar panel getting dirty and even more of a problem when the vehicle is parked level
I did leave mine on as you are going to try David happyyes and up until November was ok but that was with 160w of panel but as I said above  I was only just getting just above 12 volts  some days from  what the mppt controller was showing on my phone app so had to turn off the ec500 to stop the high drain.  with out giving it a test for  yourself will not find out
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Post by Dbvwt Sat Feb 27, 2021 6:31 pm

Indeed Glyne, we all have different set up’s in our vans so no two solar installs can be compared exactly.
It’s why I want to understand my own figures so I can make a judgement on the mods I’ve made and whether they have been worthwhile.
So far so good up!
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Post by rgermain Sat Feb 27, 2021 6:41 pm

I was waiting for the solar debate to show it's head again hugegrins hugegrins hugegrins
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