Solar and Batteries

Solar wattage and batteries are completely independent. Solar Panels collect energy (sunlight) convert it into electricity to be used/stored.

Batteries store energy chemically and deliver it as electricity. Lead acid batteries (flooded/AGM) have a particular chemistry and their charging profiles taper (you can’t put in as much electricity at the end as you did in the beginning, when the batteries were in a discharged state). As the flooded/AGM batteries get closer to being fully charged (the term float is applicable) the voltage that they can be charged at decreases.

Lithium batteries, have a completely different chemistry from lead acid and can accept a relatively robust charge up until the point they are fully charged. The charging profiles of Lithium’s generally, don’t taper (you CAN put in almost as much electricity at the end as you did in the beginning, when the batteries were in a discharged state). As the Lithium’s get closer to being fully charged the voltage remains relatively constant.

A pair of 6V 260A lead acid Golf Cart batteries will have about 130 amp hours usable, a pair of 100A lithium batteries will have about 160 amp hours usable.

For more storage, you add batteries. Lead Acid are heavy, lithium’s are lighter and smaller. Lead Acids work well below zero, lithium’s do not, as their BMS (Battery Management System) prevents them from charging when they 32° or less. The BMS either prevents charging until the batteries are warmer than 32° or the batteries reach the charging start temperature programmed into the BMS Software.  Additionally, the BMS may turn on heaters to warm the lithium batteries, if so equipped. Warming the lithium batteries will allow charging to take place, but discharges the batteries. The BMS will turn Lithium batteries off at a pre determined discharge level. The BMS may require the Lithium batteries be re-started with an energy source if discharged to a low enough level. Lithium batteries that have turned themselves off appear not to exist to a charging system, and cannot be charged until turned back on.  The method of turning lithium batteries on is manufacture and BMS dependant.

To install lithium batteries in pre-2020 View Navions, there are changes to the electrical system that should be undertaken.  Post 2020 View Navions are manufactured to accept them, and only minor electrical settings need be made.

When installing solar panels/additional solar panels, and choosing which batteries to store the resulting energy, a determination of your daily electrical consumption in Amp Hours should be determined before you begin to spend money.

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