Oliver | Luxury Fiberglass Travel Trailers, Campers & RVs › Forums › OLIVER CAMPERS › Mechanical & Technical Tips › Blue Sky Solar Equipment
- May 23, 2016 at 7:12 am #34389
I have begun a deep dive into the 2016 Oliver Elite II Owner’s Manual. More specifically I am beginning my efforts on the two Blue Sky products documented on pages OTT_455 through OTT_482. The two products, Blue Sky IPNPRO Remote and the Blue Sky Solar Boost 2512i(X)-HV Charge Controller are well documented in the material provided. I also found value in reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions on their web site in the link below:
I was pleased to see OTT has included the “X” version of the Charge Controller! Yippy! The following information from the manuals capture the essence of my joy.
All batteries self-discharge at some rate which varies greatly based on battery type and temperature. The Self Discharge Rate entered should be the battery manufacturer’s 25°C value. In systems that cycle regularly, self-discharge is typically a small contributor to total discharge compared to load current and an accurate Self Discharge Rate value is not as important. In systems where load current is low, self-discharge may be a large contributor to total discharge and an accurate Self Discharge Rate is much more important. The Self Discharge Rate will be automatically corrected for temperature if the accompanying charge controller includes a battery temperature sensor. (Page OTT_465) (See also Table 2 on Page OTT_465 and locate the batteries you have selected.)
The charge voltage required by batteries changes with battery temperature. Temperature compensation of charge voltage enhances battery performance and life, and decreases maintenance. Automatic temperature compensation can be provided using the optional battery temperature sensor. (Page OTT_476)
Additional features provided in the Solar Boost 2512iX-HV version include automatic equalization, battery temperature sensor input, full IPN network compatibility, and an auxiliary
I do have two questions for owners who have the solar option.
1. Could you please look inside the cabinet where the Blue Sky Solar Boost 2512i(X)-HV is stored and confirm we have the “X” version?
2. Have you had any reason to use the two “Trouble Shooting Guides” on pages OTT_486 through OTT_469 and the one on pages OTT_481 through OTT_482? The preferred answer is No!
Everything I read indicates a top shelf section on the part of OTT. I guess it is true that once you become an Ollie owner, you are “In it to win it”! Hey, I guess that is our motto!
BuzzyMay 23, 2016 at 3:31 pm #34407
Just finished my deep dive into the blue sky! Hey that sounds exciting! Actually, it was boring but I needed to compete the work prior to delivery day. For those owners who already have the Blue Sky components, you might take a look at the attachment. You may already know the answers to my question. If so, please feel free to post here. Unless no knowledge surfaces on this topic, I will bring the attached document with me to Tennessee and seek clarification. Now a really need a Rebel IPA!
BuzzyMay 24, 2016 at 7:34 am #34417
First off, it is important to note how a detailed knowledge of solar systems is way over my pay grade. This discussion is simply an attempt to begin understanding the concepts. That way when I attend my delivery day training I may at least appear to be smarter than I look. I can only hope!
(Let’s take a moment to look at the documentation provided pertaining to our Blue Sky components. Although the documentation in our 2016 Owner’s Manual was extracted from the web site around 6/17/2015, we have the latest and greatest documentation. That conclusion was reached after a careful review of the Table of Contents in both our 2016 Owner’s Manual and the manual posted on the Blue Sky web site as of 5/24/2016. Also, none of the issued technical documents affect our work.)
It might be helpful to mention a few basic cautionary notes within the documentation. Most of these are common sense, but failure to follow the guidance may affect the warranty.
1. The front panel of the charge controller serves as a heatsink for power control devices. It is normal for the front panel to be quite warm to the touch when operating at high power. Therefore, it might not be wise to stuff Aunt Mildred’s favorite comforter in the cabinet on top of the charge controller.
2. Although the charge controller has some limited transient voltage lightning protection. It would be wise to always use some kind of surge protection when hooked into shore power. Ouch!
3. It is important to note how the IPN–ProRemote is not watertight. Therefore, hosing it down in an effort to perform a thorough spring cleaning is discouraged.
It might be useful to begin building an understanding of equalization. I only say that because it appears the charge controller likes to do good work. If you plan to dry camp only occasionally and really prefer to hook into shore power, or if you plan to store your Ollie away in a dark garage all winter, you might at least ask the smart people (not me) if there will be any risk to the components.
1 user thanked author for this post.May 24, 2016 at 9:59 am #34428
Buzzy I can’t answer or address all of your concerns here, but will add that we have stored our Oliver outside but under cover all winter in MT without any issues what so ever. Batteries were fully charged before going into storage in late Oct and only lost a couple tenths of charge after several months of freezing temps. IOW’s I don’t feel these is anything to be concerned with.
What I do know about equalization, and it isn’t much, is the Blu Sky will NOT completely or fully equalize the batteries. How important is this? Based upon over a years experience I’m inclined to think it is not that big of a deal at all others may disagree. But if you want to periodically and completely equalize your battery pack run a generator charge directly to the battery pack but with a voltage regulator set to the proper output for a period of time, test your batteries using a hydrometer. There really is no way of sensibly getting water into the compartment where the Pro Remote resides, nothing to worry about there.
1 user thanked author for this post.May 24, 2016 at 10:04 am #34429
I had a problem with my controller last month. It simply stopped working. Blue Sky had me ship it to them and they found a bad resistor which they replaced.
With regards to battery equalization, it can’t be done with 320 WATTS of solar according to Blue Sky. I have some portable panels I may deploy to increase the AMPS but so far my batteries are within norms using the Specific Gravity tester I bought at Auto Zone. That’s after 18 months in use. 4 T105s.
If anyone is able to perform an equalization please post your method here.
Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31
2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)
2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel
1 user thanked author for this post.June 3, 2016 at 8:34 pm #34729
Do the solar panels on the Oliver have a tilt function? Seems to make a big difference:June 4, 2016 at 6:42 am #34731
The Ollie solar panels do have a tilt feature, but we never felt it was necessary to use it. You would have to have some way to get up there, and we have no plans to carry a ladder, and swinging down from a overhanging tree branch is not going to happen.
We were parked out in Glacier last summer and didn’t get sun until mid morning, and were always at full power by mid afternoon. I suppose when dealing with the lower winter sun, it would be worth it to tilt the panels.
Stan and Carol
2014 Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi
2014 Legacy Elite II Standard Hull 63June 4, 2016 at 9:00 am #34732
We’ve found with our portable ones that in winter especially the angle makes a huge difference. The difference grows exponentially the further from mid day you get. December at big bend last year I think we were getting barely 4 amps out of our little goal zero panels in mid morning. That went to 16 or so when I tilted them up.
Another thing I want to talk to Olliver about is whether they wire their panels in series or parallel. A lot of manufacturers wire in series to get the amps up, but as you see in the video, a little shade can then knock out a chunk of power out of your whole system.
Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford RaptorJune 4, 2016 at 9:10 am #34734
Use a 20W portable solar panel on a old camera tripod once a week as a trickle charger through the 7 pin 12V+ & – pins to keep the batteries up.
Solar question. wondering if it would be worthwhile using a portable folding 100W suitcase solar panel connected to the trailer 7 pin connector when camping away from shore power? The 20W panel is just enough to charge two 27 size batteries if nothing else 12V is used during charging.
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