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Old 05-15-2019, 07:34 PM   #31
cc_windsurfer
 
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Default Re: Adding a House Battery

Lithium batteries can be great and can be quite cost effective

...but if you don't have appropriate charging you will find it very limiting over extended use. Remember over time Pin must be greater than Pout - the battery is simply a buffer to allow time shifting your power usage. This is true with any battery technology

Reading what was said above, the GZ unit is being used to power high demand things like pressure cookers via an inverter. This means likely using most of the capacity daily. I also read about charging at 5 or 10 amps while driving. this means > 20 hours or > 10 hours a day driving (that won't work for me since my wife tells me I get grumpy if I drive that much). Augmenting with a single 50W solar helps, but likely not enough. I still see this implementation as a short-term solution - good for a few days, but with extended use you end up with a perpetually dead battery.

Don't want to badmouth GZ, to me it looks like they designed this system to be an easy solution intended for people who go camping a couple of weekends a year -This may be perfect for your use case, or it may not.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:51 PM   #32
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Default Re: Adding a House Battery

Yes designed to take for a weekend, power fan, lights and screen gadgets, then recharge overnight on mains.

No way electric cooking for any length of time
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:52 PM   #33
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Default Re: Adding a House Battery

I agree with the above statements about electric cooking unless you've got a lot of solar and you cook for short periods during the day. It was only a test to see if we could make rice in the Instant Pot and the GZ cooked it perfectly and went from 100% to 80% which I thought was impressive. I have no vested interest in GZ but feel there is a lot of misinformation out there. I do want to give you updates on some of the complaints about the GZ as they have come up with solutions, although you have to buy extra equipment.

I use the GZ lithium 1000 full time in my van with 200W solar on the roof. It runs an ARB 50 or Dometic 40 full time at nearly 100% charge. It gets down to 70-80% overnight. It powers occasional lights, TV/DVD player, fans, water pump, and charges phones, laptops etc. I can use it sparingly for an electric blanket. I bought a second so I can have backup power for a freezer or extra fans in high heat. Yes it is true they put out less than 12V so that is why it is necessary to use the 12V regulator cable for the fridge due to low voltage disconnects built into the fridge. Initially GZ lithiums could not run refrigerators on DC and a lot of people complained thus the bad reviews. Of course a GZ can run a fridge on AC but you lose 15% efficiency that way. This has been a known issue and that's why they made the cable. I know that should not be needed in the first place but it works great for refrigerators and I run it 24/7. Every other 12v appliance I use runs fine. I'm sure they did that to conserve battery life which means your other 12v appliances will run longer on a slightly lower voltage.

Slow charging was also an initial complaint of the GZ. Initially the only way to charge was the stock AC unit which took 1-2 days. Now they have multiple fast charging options. Remember that lithium charges faster and more efficiently than lead acid, especially the last 20%. Lithium does not need float charges like lead acid. The GZ LINK can pull directly from the alternator at 25-50 amps. The fast AC charger charges at 25 amps. A simple 12V charger with 5 or 10 amp select is useful when working together with solar (they can accept multiple charging inputs at the same time). I intend to use that cable to charge 1 GZ from the other (essentially creating a 200AH dual lithium battery system) but it's on back order. You can add on a folding solar panel to any of the charging inputs anytime. They created a MPPT charge controller which can plug in directly to the GZ for 15% higher efficiency. Of course GZ makes you pay you extra for these things but at least it seems high quality and you can choose what you need. I have only the 12V regulator cable and the MPPT charge controller.

I hope that clarifies some of the issues brought up on the GZs. I think the initial fridge problems gave them a bad reputation. It took me a while to realize they are actually pretty good little units.

https://www.goalzero.com/shop/yeti-a...RoCxz4QAvD_BwE

Last edited by speedsurfer; 05-16-2019 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:24 AM   #34
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Default Re: Adding a House Battery

Still waiting for a supply link to a self-service internal battery replacement
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:46 PM   #35
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Default Re: Adding a House Battery

There is no replacement. When it dies it dies. The point I was trying to make is that the GZ lithium 1000 with 98AH at 799 with all the bells and whistles is still cheaper than the Battleborn 100AH at 949 for just the battery. Also, they can be used full time in a van if you know what you are doing contrary to what some people are posting.

To be fair there are a few negative about the GZ. I don't like the 8mm ports, or the way they put Anderson charging ports in a vertical manner. Their cables and accessories are overpriced. It's harder to run wiring with their outputs although it can be done with add on cables and an Anderson fuse block. The GZ warranty is only 1 year and the Battleborn is 8 years. Although Costco often takes back anything. For someone just running a fridge the GZ and a solar panel is fine.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:14 PM   #36
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Default Re: Adding a House Battery

I just wanted to close the loop on this thread and thank everyone for their help. I ended up with a solution similar to what speedsurfer found successful - Goal Zero 1000 as the battery storage and 200W of solar on the roof. Just a reminder, I'm not living in the van, we tent camp and primarily wanted the battery to run the refrigerator (Dometic CFX 65) and recharge small electronics. You'd want a different setup if you have high-power needs or boondock in places where losing power would be a disaster. I've had the refrigerator running for a few days and the battery is charged up to 100% most mornings by 9 AM, even when parked under a tree. I bought the car charging plug also for the Goal Zero, I'll report later how much it was needed, but my calcs show 200W as a little oversized for our needs - especially in the long summer days. We head out in a few days for an 8 week camping trip test.

Key components:
1) Goal Zero 1000 with optional Goal Zero MPPT controller
2) 2 Renogy monocrystalline 100W panels (compact)
3) Impact3D rack towers and 80/20 cross bars (thanks also to Hein and Kim for advice along the way). Also used their solar panel mounting tabs to connect the panels to the cross-bars.
4) 52" roof rails made from 80/20 15-series t-track. With the factory 2nd A/C, this is about all the room you have on the roof to mount anything and let me use 4 of the factory roof holes to get a secure mount to the van. It required dropping the last three inside headliner panels and all the inside center A/C vent trim. That was the PITA part of the project. I didn't have easy access to a drill press to countersink holes in the 80/20 rail so used 80/20 t-nutz to connect the Impact3D towers to the rails. Used EPDM tape under the rails with Sikaflex around the bolts and holes.
5) Renogy two-into-one MC24 connectors to put the panels in parallel (required by the GZ MPPT)
6) I used the existing factory hole behind the 3rd brake light to run the wiring from the panels inside. A 1.5" rubber gasket, 10' of 10 gauge wire and 10' of corrugated wire wrap made a nice neat run.
7) Renogy dual wire gland with Sikaflex to attach it to the roof. There's a roof rib in that spot, but it was a straight-forward Dremel job to shave a half-round into the glad for a close fit.
8) Powerwerx Anderson Panel Mount mounted below the rear factory 12V plug. A short Anderson cable connects from there to the Goal Zero. I should have also put a quick-connect fitting behind the panel (to make it easier to remove the panel in the future), but that will have to wait until after the trip.

Here are some pictures. I did a bit of finish work after this (little more Sikaflex, end caps on 1575, etc)








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