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caitlingrace avatar image

Bus conversion - Reccomendation for off grid solar setup

Hi All,

I am converting a school bus and have heard rave reviews regarding the victron brand - however I am finding it difficult to establish which combination of products I would require.

My partner and I plan to source our own Panels (4 x 140w Panels = 560w)
My partner and I plan to source our own batteries (4 x 120ah Fullriver DC Series AGM Batteries)

But we are seeking advice for everything in between. Inverter charger/ MMPT/ moniters/ fuse box/ distribution ...

We anticipate primarily using DC power, for the lights/ fridge/ water pump/ most general electronic devices.

We anticipate using AC power generally for low draw appliances ( RV washing machine, laptop) and on rarer occasions the following high draw products but only one at a time ( microwave, hair straightener/ sandwich press). Because of this we anticpate needing a higher rated inverter.

Please advise a product that is compatible with the battery/solar capacity, usage requirements and as price effective as possible.

Additionally, please suggest the simplest combination of products. I will be installing and I am no electrician! I was drawn to the EASY SOLAR due to the compact single unit, with prewired internal components.

MUCH APPRECIATED

EasySolar All-in-Onesolaroffgridinverter current draw
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1 Answer
JohnC avatar image
JohnC answered ·

Hi C. It's really hard picking you out 'everything' in such a massive product range, but have you seen this? https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2019/06/18/the-victron-van-install/ It's a display unit, so has more than you'd need, but an interesting read.

Some observations on your 'ground rulez'..

1. I don't like paralleling pb batts (I confess it extends to deep hatred). Consider using just 2x strings of 24V batts. Then you could get by with a /20A mppt, but may need an Orion 24/12 converter for 12V loads.

2. Your inverter size will be limited by what your batts can deliver. In full sun the solar adds to that, so perhaps <800W sustainable, above that you'll see V-sag after a time, but likely ok for the short term loads you've suggested. In the Victron range, more than 1600VA is likely wasted money.

3. If your loads baulk it, then a little genny would be really handy to add to your charge/load capacity. The victron inverter/charger will 'merge' it in, but size it right..

4. The Easy box is handy, but for a simple system, neither here-nor-there. The wiring isn't to be feared at that level, and your needs for cb's will be minimal.

Just a bump from me to kick you away.. :)


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