Posts by Roadie john

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    I used to think that inverters were inefficient and they probably were in the early days,but since I had a battery monitor ie tells you what's going in and going out in terms of amperage,I found that my usage was less particularly for lighting than having a straight draw off 12v,ie for instance a 21watt 12v bulb such as would be used as a vehicle indicator bulb,would draw 1.5 amps.a typical cfl bulb 240v would draw only 1amp,that was really before LEDs became cheaply available,I now find that a typical 1.4 watt led draws around .05 amp at 240v,admittably I haven't tried 12v LEDs as they seem quite expensive,although I haven't really spent any time researching these,as for tv 240v or 12, I don't think that there is a mahussive difference,besides I don't spend a lot of time goggle boxin.As for fridges def better to run on gas,mine last about 7 weeks on a 7kg butane bottle for around 16quid',Inverters do draw all the time even when off though this is very nominal but would add up over a period of time,again a isolator switch would solve this,and be a good safety feature,as they do store a lot of energy,Happy nomading all

    Carrying on this topic,I have found it very useful in my van to have two systems running off pv,one 12v ,two 88ampere alphaline deep cycle batts in parallel ie pos to pos,and neg to neg which keeps voltage at 12v but doubles amps so 176 amps,these I keep charged with a 125 watt panel going through a Rutland HRDI charge controller,which is really a wind turbine controller,though does allow upto 160 watts solar power,although it does require a separate diode to prevent back leakage,some controllers do some don't,the double charge ones like the Kemo ones from Maplins don't ,and will take upto 16amps around 200 watts,they only being 12v though,I then run my 12v through a 600 watt sine wave inverter and use this for led gu10 fitting lights,tv and all ancillary charging ie camera batts iPad ect,because it's a relatively small battery bank(weight ) I can get a good evenings run out of em without going past the crucial 50%discharge figure,however if say for instance the next day is overcast good chance is they won't top back up again,so I then have a 24v panel going into a 88 amphour set of batts same make of batts alphaline only in series,at the mo I control the panel output of 175watts through a steca 12 or 24v controller which is only rated at 6amps so I have to keep a close eye on it,basically fitted a isolater switch from the panel,which in really clear days I have to keep off as the controller is constantly regulating,these stecas are available for 20odd quid and was all I had at the time,so the end result is having two micro systems in my opinion is better than one larger system,as it gives the batts chance to recuperate so to speak,the less one takes out the longer the life of the batts,I do like the alphaline batts as they have two terminals one stud and one post,and are or were last year 50quid each inc delivery from the battery megastore on line,I was lucky with my 175 watt panel as I got 3 really cheap,and my 24v sine wave inverter though only 300 watts for nowt outa the scrap yard,I was working for, in fact they do turn up now n then though not all pure sine wave,hope this helps anyone considering a micro pv system,I personally would always put my money into panels rather than a turbine,unless you can be somewhere where it blows at least 15mph every day,

    True about sprinters rusting,I'm continually fighting rust on mine,being white too don't help,not saying that Color stops the rust,but at least don't look so bad,it's a job to know what vehicle to go for these days,pain in the wallet all the fly by wire stuff,hate not being able to fix myself and have to rely on a laptop diagnostic whhooharr,used to love my old Leyland fg,slow n noisey but go foreva