Good Solar gen Power Stations for DC and light AC Truck Campers

Marine359

Member
I’ve learned that one of the beauties about having a powerstation and LFP setup is that they can charge each other. This allows you to connect all your solar to the powerstation and dump watts into the LFP when the powerstation is full and the sun is still up Without the need to run the engine. And, when you are driving, alternator power can be used to charge both simultaneously (If your alternator is large enough). Similarly, when you have access to 110v ac power, both can be charged simultaneously From a single source outlet. Most expansion batteries can only be charged from the mothership powerstation, limiting your charging ability from multiple sources.
 

jaywo

Active member
I’ve learned that one of the beauties about having a powerstation and LFP setup is that they can charge each other. This allows you to connect all your solar to the powerstation and dump watts into the LFP when the powerstation is full and the sun is still up Without the need to run the engine. And, when you are driving, alternator power can be used to charge both simultaneously (If your alternator is large enough). Similarly, when you have access to 110v ac power, both can be charged simultaneously From a single source outlet. Most expansion batteries can only be charged from the mothership powerstation, limiting your charging ability from multiple sources.
So if my solar is plugged to the power station, it will automatically charge the LFP battery? And the power station will recharge from the LFP battery itself? I don’t understand how this is managed?
How do you connect the power station to a LFP battery?
I watched YouTube videos where they connect the LFP to the PS inputs and it recharges it but then the LFP does not charge from the PS so I don’t get how this work. Do you need to manually switch and plug the LFP to the PS input or output depending if you want it to charge or to be charged?

Also, for the main power station I have a hard time finding something.
I have 2 solar panels in parallel 265W each. they are 30V 8.xA panels so total output is 30V 16 amp.
The growatt 12-60V input is good but at 30V it only max out at 10 amps so that doesn’t work.
Same thing with the Dabbson. One of the mentioned Blueti doesn’t have 30A DC, the other one has slow AC charging. The oupes is same as the others.
The Pecron lower input voltage is too high.

I don’t know which battery can I use that can take at least 15 amps at 30V, and has a 30A DC output.

People criticize Goalzero but the Yeti 1500X is super old yet was the first with 30A out, and seems like the only one taking up to 50A solar in, which so far seems the only brand that can work with my solar configuration. I just don’t want to buy a non LFP. All those newer batteries promising so much solar input but if you don’t max out the voltage their current input is ridiculously low.

If anybody knows a station that has 30A DC out, can take 30V @15amp solar input, LFP tech, fast charging and all the standard features, please let me know. I only see the Yeti 4000 pro (too big). Thus why I wish they released an updated 1500 pro already. They might be expensive but at least they have proper inputs and outputs and functionality unlike all that Chinese crap that looks good on paper but doesn’t work in the real world for a lot of configurations.
 
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Dave in AZ

Well-known member
So if my solar is plugged to the power station, it will automatically charge the LFP battery? And the power station will recharge from the LFP battery itself? I don’t understand how this is managed?
How do you connect the power station to a LFP battery?
I watched YouTube videos where they connect the LFP to the PS inputs and it recharges it but then the LFP does not charge from the PS so I don’t get how this work. Do you need to manually switch and plug the LFP to the PS input or output depending if you want it to charge or to be charged?

Also, for the main power station I have a hard time finding something.
I have 2 solar panels in parallel 265W each. they are 30V 8.xA panels so total output is 30V 16 amp.
The growatt 12-60V input is good but at 30V it only max out at 10 amps so that doesn’t work.
Same thing with the Dabbson. One of the mentioned Blueti doesn’t have 30A DC, the other one has slow AC charging. The oupes is same as the others.
The Pecron lower input voltage is too high.

I don’t know which battery can I use that can take at least 15 amps at 30V, and has a 30A DC output.

People criticize Goalzero but the Yeti 1500X is super old yet was the first with 30A out, and seems like the only one taking up to 50A solar in, which so far seems the only brand that can work with my solar configuration. I just don’t want to buy a non LFP. All those newer batteries promising so much solar input but if you don’t max out the voltage their current input is ridiculously low.

If anybody knows a station that has 30A DC out, can take 30V @15amp solar input, LFP tech, fast charging and all the standard features, please let me know. I only see the Yeti 4000 pro (too big). Thus why I wish they released an updated 1500 pro already. They might be expensive but at least they have proper inputs and outputs and functionality unlike all that Chinese crap that looks good on paper but doesn’t work in the real world for a lot of configurations.
Yes, you have to switch the LFP around on the powerstation depending on if you want to charge the LFP or use it as an expansion battery to charge the powerstation. It's just two cords though, just plug in one or the other, simple. I should draw a picture or make you a video showing the wires and swap but it's late, will try to use the words ;)

So I have a Pecron e1500LFP, you sound familiar. When I go on a trip, I just toss the powerstation and a 100Ah 12.8v Redodo mini Lifepo4 battery in the truck, we'll call that the LFP, it has 1280 Watt-hrs. Both are charged up.

6 AWG = 70A
8 AWG = 40A
10 AWG = 30A
The flow into and out of my LFP will be 30A max.

Discharging LFP, used as expansion battery:
Hooked onto my LFP, I have a dongle of 6AWG to a male XT60 30A plug.
I have a patchcord of 10 AWG with a 5521 male on one end, to plug into the Pecron SCC MPPT 12-18V 100W input. The other end has a female xt60, that I can connect to the LFP Xt60 dongle. This will recharge my powerstation at 100W, 12.5 hours to put 1250 Watt-hrs in, just let it sit overnight if needed.
Battery 6awg dongle is 70A, patchcord is 30A, e1500LFP 5521 input has internal limiter for 100W i.e. 9A, so cords protected.

Charging the LFP:
SEVERAL WAYS
From Powerstation, if I am charging powerstation from 120V shore power, or from solar PV panels, or even will do so later:
1. from e1500LFP 30A 13.4 V dc output. Nominally 12V, but EXCELLENTLY actually 13.4! This lets you recharge a 12v LFP to 85%. I just plug the LFP dongle into my e1500LFP 30A xt60 female output. Pecron limits output to 30A via internal fuse, so my 6AWG battery dongle which can do 70 is protected. This is 400 W charging, and is more efficient than AC if I am charging the e1500LFP via solar, no waste. I use this if I'm going to use solar to recharge Pecron, and an 85% LFP recharge is fine.
2. From e1500LFP 120V outputs. I have a Victron IP67 25A battery charger, with a female xt60 plug. I plug that into the Pecron, other end into LFP dongle, recharges LFP at 25A self limited, cords protected. This is 85% efficient via Pecron inverter, which just doesnt matter if I'm plugged into 120V ac shore power, so I use it. This is 350W or so, but will recharge LFP to 100%.
3. I can also just plug the victron ip67 charger into shore power if I wanted, but just going to the e1500LFP instead is easier, it lets me use the Pecron pass thru power and shore power recharges both LFP and Pecron at once.

So simple: either plug LFP into Pecron INPUT dongle, or plug it into Pecron OUTPUT port or Victron charger output port.
 

Dave in AZ

Well-known member
anybody knows a station that has 30A DC out, can take 30V @15amp solar input, LFP tech, fast charging and all the standard features, please let me know.
Oupes Mega2, one if my recommended ones. 30A 12v output, anderson port.

Solar Input
12~150Vd.c 15A Max 2100W Max


If I didnt already have the Pecron, I'd buy this.
 

Marine359

Member
This is how my system is wired. It’s not automatic. You have to physically switch a wire, which is quite easy. In my case, my Ecoflow has 2x 15a 11-60v Solar inputs. 10A dc output. My LFP is charged by a ac to dc charger. Powerstation charged by 400w solar and a dc/dc charger to one of its solar input ports. When charging powerstation from LFP, I disconnect the dc/dc charger from the alternator source and connect a dongle which is connected to the LFP. When charging LFP from powerstation, I simply disconnect the ac/dc charger cord from Otis extension cord and plug it into one of the powerstation 20A ac outlets. A circle at the tip of an arrow indicates open circuit, which gets closed when one is being charged by the other.

IMG_0392.jpeg
 

jaywo

Active member
Oupes Mega2, one if my recommended ones. 30A 12v output, anderson port.

Solar Input
12~150Vd.c 15A Max 2100W Max


If I didnt already have the Pecron, I'd buy this.
Same thing, at 30V it takes a max of around 10A per YouTube videos. Additionally users have reported (and one YouTube video shows it) that with the slightest shade it goes to 0W then takes a very long time to go back to the maximum wattage.
Quite sad how all this Chinese crap advertise specs that are misleading. All the voltage and current input you see on those is only valid at a very specific ideal combination, but the vast majority of the voltage range will be at a 50% under specced current. What’s the point of advertising 2000W solar input, if it won’t even take 600W from 2 30V panels wired in parallel.
It’s frustrating because it doesn’t seem like I have a choice but going with the old battery tech Yeti because it takes in 50A. Or I can wire everything in series and then go with the Pecron (I would be at 60v 8A), but that seems like a bad option for a camper due to shading issues

As for the explanation of LFP external battery, it now makes sense. Thanks to both of you for kindly explaining. As far as I am concerned I don’t mind paying $500 more and having either a bigger battery or an extension that automatically switches between charging / being charged. I can’t monitor those batteries several times a day and switch especially because things will be hidden away in a cabinet. I would pay double, triple that amount if necessary because of how much I would value not doing that. But I see how can this work for others!
 
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Marine359

Member
If your Yeti provides as much ac output as you may need, there is no reason to change your powerstation. Simply hook up a LiFePo4 similar to my diagram and you’ll have both all the ac and all the dc you need. My LiFePo4 is self-heating and Bluetooth. And my powerstation is, of course, Bluetooth. So, I have all the info I need right on my cell phone. You can do all this with just a 100ah LFP. But, LFP is so cheap now, go big with a 200A BMS, and you won’t regret it. Much cheaper per watt hour capacity, and higher dc amps output. If you don’t want to buy a Pecron dc/dc charger, you can accomplish something similar in my diagram by substituting a cheap 12/24 boost converter for the Pecron. I wouldn’t do that because I don’t like cheap stuff like that, so to me $150 for the Pecron charger was worth it.

Keep in mind, there is no such thing as a powerstation expansion battery that can charge in both directions. The expansion must always receive charge from the powerstation. Then it just acts as a reserve battery. The power from expansion battery just gets used by the powerstation. Although its automatic, I wouldn’t call that bi-directional charging. Very expensive solution to a need that can be met for less than half the price. I don’t know of any setup, that can do automatic bi-directional charging
 
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Ozarker

Well-known member
1720709925783.jpeg
Bluette 200P!

Along with;

1720710140346.jpeg

Bluette EB 70,
You can use both, wiring determines which is primary power source, one can charge the other.

It runs my bar fridge good enough!
 
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ataco

New member
Could anyone recommend a rigid or flexible solar panel to pair with a Pecron 1500LFP power station? Kinda lost on where to start with all the options available. I would ultimately like to mount it to a camper roof and have it maintain the power station throughout the day while running a 40qt 12v fridge along with intermittently charging a few small 12v accessories with minimal draw. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

Dave in AZ

Well-known member
Could anyone recommend a rigid or flexible solar panel to pair with a Pecron 1500LFP power station? Kinda lost on where to start with all the options available. I would ultimately like to mount it to a camper roof and have it maintain the power station throughout the day while running a 40qt 12v fridge along with intermittently charging a few small 12v accessories with minimal draw. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Bougerv. 200, 300, 400 or 200cigs panels. 2 of them in series for each type.
 

Marine359

Member
You have a nice powerstation. It will accept a lot of solar input, so you have many options. First thing to consider is budget. Glass monocrystalline panels are the cheapest option, but their weight can make them undesirable for overlanding. They’re plain too heavy (35# or more) for pop-ups or roof tents. And they’re difficult to mount compared to other options. On the other end of the spectrum are CIGS panels from BougeRv. Only one good brand to choose from. Others have done poorly. I had them on my camper and they were far better than any other kind of panel. Plus they are incredibly lightweight, and mount in seconds with their double side tape (included and already on). They are not monocrystalline construction, are virtually indestructible and do not heat up in the sun. They perform many times better than monocrystalline panels in low light (morning and evening) partially obstructed light/shade, and cloud cover. Mine actually produced 20-25% of rated output in the rain. Downside is they are darned expensive. Three times as much as glass mono panels per watt. The compromise panel for low weight and reasonable cost are the new generation fiberglass panels. Older ones weren’t so great, but the new ones by Renogy and BougeRV are as good or better than glass, and they’re a lot more rugged than old ones. Price is about 30-50% higher than glass. Can be mounted directly on roof with 3M. However, I would never do that because they do build up heat,which can cause premature failure. I just purchased and tested two BougeRV 200w Arch fiberglass panels to mount on the Tune M1 that will be installed on my truck in a couple of weeks. I like them. Not cheap, but very lightweight and easy to mount with an underlayment of corrugated plastic or some other form of heat dissipation material. 400w is ideal for extended off-grid with a good mid-size powerstation like yours.
 

Dave in AZ

Well-known member
You have a nice powerstation. It will accept a lot of solar input, so you have many options. First thing to consider is budget. Glass monocrystalline panels are the cheapest option, but their weight can make them undesirable for overlanding. They’re plain too heavy (35# or more) for pop-ups or roof tents. And they’re difficult to mount compared to other options. On the other end of the spectrum are CIGS panels from BougeRv. Only one good brand to choose from. Others have done poorly. I had them on my camper and they were far better than any other kind of panel. Plus they are incredibly lightweight, and mount in seconds with their double side tape (included and already on). They are not monocrystalline construction, are virtually indestructible and do not heat up in the sun. They perform many times better than monocrystalline panels in low light (morning and evening) partially obstructed light/shade, and cloud cover. Mine actually produced 20-25% of rated output in the rain. Downside is they are darned expensive. Three times as much as glass mono panels per watt. The compromise panel for low weight and reasonable cost are the new generation fiberglass panels. Older ones weren’t so great, but the new ones by Renogy and BougeRV are as good or better than glass, and they’re a lot more rugged than old ones. Price is about 30-50% higher than glass. Can be mounted directly on roof with 3M. However, I would never do that because they do build up heat,which can cause premature failure. I just purchased and tested two BougeRV 200w Arch fiberglass panels to mount on the Tune M1 that will be installed on my truck in a couple of weeks. I like them. Not cheap, but very lightweight and easy to mount with an underlayment of corrugated plastic or some other form of heat dissipation material. 400w is ideal for extended off-grid with a good mid-size powerstation like yours.
Can you tell me a link to get that corrugated plastic, to mount the arch fiberglass? I'd like to do that also, so I can dismount them and use as portable too. I like your design, and I can't afford the weight of normal panels... we can chat elsewhere if you want.
 

Marine359

Member
Can you tell me a link to get that corrugated plastic, to mount the arch fiberglass? I'd like to do that also, so I can dismount them and use as portable too. I like your design, and I can't afford the weight of normal panels... we can chat elsewhere if you want.
You can buy corrugated plastic at HD and Lowes. We can chat on FB Tune group. Haven't built the mount yet, cuz I’m building out my truck. But I can share the design concept with you. I’ve done part of it, but don’t want to use all of my 2020 until I get the M1 installed.
 

ataco

New member
Thank you for the replies! Great starting point. Have there been issues with sticking either the CIGS or 3M tape to a textured surface? Whichever panel I end up going with will be set on to an Alu-Cab canopy camper which has a diamond plate type texture. Also, is adhesive reversible (ie could it be taken off and used elsewhere)?
 

Marine359

Member
Thank you for the replies! Great starting point. Have there been issues with sticking either the CIGS or 3M tape to a textured surface? Whichever panel I end up going with will be set on to an Alu-Cab canopy camper which has a diamond plate type texture. Also, is adhesive reversible (ie could it be taken off and used elsewhere)?
CIGS panels with double sided 3M tape cannot be removed. BougeRv also sells a model of CIGS with grommets instead of sticky back. You could fashion a mounting system that secures grommeted panels to your roof that is removable. I don’t know how well 3M VHB tape adheres to metal. You’ll have to research that. Several well known YouTubers have used VHB to affix their panels, including Hobotech and RV with Tito. Check out their channels before for more info on using VHB With panels. It works very well on rubber and fiberglass. My CIGS panels were on for almost 2 years when I sold my travel trailer. on Inspection before sale, there was not an iota of evidence of the panel lifting in any area. But one should inspect every six months IMO. if there is any sign of edges lifting, simply tape down around the edges with eternabond tape. Of course any roof panel mounting system you employ (except glue down CIGS) should include a safety wire that tethers mount/panel to something secure on your roof as a backup.
 

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