question

roachmon avatar image
roachmon asked

How to store a Van through the winter?

Hey there,

I'm curious how to store a van with a Victron system through the winter. The solar panels will be exposed to sun the whole time, and there is a heating pad keeping the batteries sufficiently warm.

The system uses x3 200ah Victron Smart Lithium Batteries for 600ah. There is a Multiplus 3000VA, with x4 90watt solar panels on the roof.

The van will sit for several months, unused, but I want to keep the batteries topped off and the run the heating pad all the time (it has a thermostat function to shut off if above 68*F).

What is the proper way to store this and keep the batteries healthy? Should I pull all the fuses for everything but the heating pad and keep the solar running, with the Inverter in Charge Only mode?

Thanks for your help. Let me know if anything else is pertinent.

-pete

MPPT ControllersLithium Batterystorage
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2 Answers
mvader (Victron Energy) avatar image
mvader (Victron Energy) answered ·

Hi, there are a few approaches.

One is to keep it alive and charged, which should be fine.

The other is to first charge the batteries, and then shut it all down. And I mean really shutting down, so main battery switch opened up, or main fuse removed in case there is no battery switch. Or, remove all wires from the battery positive - also very effective ;-).

And look for hidden parasitic loads that go around the switch or the main fuse, like a BMV thats powered continuous, and remove its fuse as well.

The above method is perfectly fine for your batteries. Also many boats do their winter like that; at least they do here in NL, since most roofed storage facilities don’t allow powering anything on the boat at all, also no charging, as they want to eliminate all risks of fire while unattended.


Personally, unless there was a reason to keep it all powered up, I’d power it all down. The batteries won’t discharge themselves in 6 months, so thats fine.

And with no heating pads powered, and no batteries being charged, and also nothing else that is electrical under power, the risks are all gone. For example the risk of emptying the batteries because somehow the shore power gets disconnected, fuse tripped etc.

And worst case the risk of fire - however small to begin with - is eliminated as well.

1 comment
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mvader (Victron Energy) avatar image mvader (Victron Energy) ♦♦ commented ·
Note I edited my above text a few times
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roachmon avatar image
roachmon answered ·

Awesome, I really appreciate the knowledge.

So if they get charged and all loads/draws are disconnected, will it be okay if they sit in the cold weather? I'm on the front range of Colorado, so the weather is not below freezing consistently.


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