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2.2 kWh Solar for truck living [ France ]. May need help for some choices
Hi everyone, first thanks, for your awesome knowledge community you made, i lurk this forum since a while and i learn a lot from your experience. I apologize in advance for my english.

General project:

I'm a nurse in south of France, and whith this job you can instantly work everywhere at anytime, so why not live on the road in a truck ? I bought an old Iveco, amenaged it, and i will be on the road in one month.

Electrical need:

Laptop, 30w of led, 4G Router, trimix fridge, and time to time short use of powertool ( saw, drill... ).
Roughtly 1.2kWh/Day. The main power consumption is the fridge who can be powered by gaz if there is no sun, and will not be needed in 4-5 month of winter.

Actual setup:

I've mounted two 300w solar pannel on the roof coupled with an Victron MPPT 100/30 actually connected on a shitty 12v40Ah lead acid car battery and a 600w noname non pure sinwave inverter.

Pack Build:

I've 300 18650 above 2Ah from salvage already tested ( and more to come if i need to upgrade my capacity )

First idea was a 3S100P to stick to the 12v system since i've already buy the 12v led and a lot of appliances are easily available in 12v. Problem, i can't find a smart bms with atleast PC communications at an affordable price.

So let switch to 24v and make a  8S40P. I will use standard 4*5 plastic cell holder and solder them with fuses wire.
I don't develop much this part, i will start the construction tomorow, and there is answers to all my questions in lots of anothers topics.

BMS dilem:

Originaly i wanted a 3 or 4S design, and chose this chinese BMS, who the 14S version was reviewed here.

Unfortunaltely, the vendor said: "dear friend : 4S is limited to change the parameters by Buyer because of its low voltage , if the voltage set to small, the Mosfet can not be drived , please know it kindly."

So thats why i decided to switch to a 24v system and 8s version ( here )
To be able to edit the settings myself ( lower cell voltage to save cycle etc ).

If you have any better BMS choice to advise me ( 4s or 8s with com function and editable settings ).

One question: on this 8S BMS, the description says that the charge/discharge port is the same. What does it mean praticaly ? Can it charge the battery and provide power to a load at the same time ?

Inverter & DC-DC converter:

For the day to day use, i choose the Victron Phoenix 24V/230 500 VA for it's wide input range ( 18,4v - 34,0v ), but now i need a 24-12v dc converter to supply my light system and maybe other ponctual 12v appliance, i'v already a cheap buck/boost chinese converter up to 300w max ( i will not rise upon 200w for safety ). Maybe i will update it later with a Victron orion 24-12 25A for more reliability ( and peace of mind ) and keep the chinese buck/boost only for ponctual use.

Question: do i need a isolated DC converter to suplying led or a laptop directly in dc or a cheap buck/boost can do the work ?


I will made a strong metal case for the battery with inifugate materials inside.
For the electrical safety ( fuses and breakers at different level ) i want a proper electrical pannel but i can't say much now, i need to lurk more before asking question. ( If you have any general documents on it, i will be glad ).

Thanks for reading, see you soon.
Sounds like a good project, my suggestion would be to add a lot more more capacity if your living on the road so that you try and avoid having to charge from the vehicle (vehicle electric may be close to 1eur / kWh after losses of the engine and alternator). Add as much solar as you can, even a fold out solar canopy or stand a few panels against the truck (tied to prevent the wind from blowing them over).

I have lived (briefly) in an shipping container a few times and 1kWh per day does not go very far at all. In winter the food was ok inside the container as I had no heating at the time, lol. The solar panels were initially laid flat on the container roof but the sun is so low in winter the output was minimal so now lay 4 of them flat on a hill resting on two wooden sticks.

If you can get enough solar then you end up using the electric more for cooking and anything else that would use fuel, which then saves on the odd occasion that you find you need to do a trip just to fill up with fuel. But the higher loading for cooking may mean you need a bigger battery pack.

Buck converters - check the daygreen models as they seem to be ok. Rest of the small board buck modules I would not run above 50% and have tended to use more bucks to reduce the load per buck.
If you can't quantify how much they cost, it's a deal, I'll buy 5 of them for 3 lumps of rocking horse ......

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