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5 Tips to Get Your System Operating Optimally

12 Volt Systems are an investment - make sure they are running optimally!

12 Volt Systems allow you to travel off grid and enjoy time doing the things you love - they are, essentially, an investment in you and your family.

Making little changes can improve the efficiency of your system

Doing this right costs time and money. The last thing you want is to have your system falling down because of inexpensive tweaks that can make a big difference.

AllSpark 100ah 12V 175/320A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark 100ah 12V 175/320A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark 100ah 12V 175/320A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark 100ah 12V 175/320A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark 100ah 12V 175/320A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark 100ah 12V 175/320A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living

AllSpark 100ah 12V 175/320A Lithium Battery

$1,259.00
AllSpark 12V 150ah 175/320A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark 12V 150ah 175/320A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark 12V 150ah 175/320A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark 12V 150ah 175/320A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark 12V 150ah 175/320A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark 12V 150ah 175/320A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living

AllSpark 12V 150ah 175/320A Lithium Battery

$1,859.00
AllSpark Slimline 12V 100ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark Slimline 12V 100ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark Slimline 12V 100ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark Slimline 12V 100ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark Slimline 12V 100ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark Slimline 12V 100ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark Slimline 12V 100ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark Slimline 12V 100ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living

AllSpark Slimline 12V 100ah 200/500A Lithium Battery

$1,389.00
AllSpark Slimline 12V 150ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark Slimline 12V 150ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark Slimline 12V 150ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark Slimline 12V 150ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark Slimline 12V 150ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark Slimline 12V 150ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark Slimline 12V 150ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living
AllSpark Slimline 12V 150ah 200/500A Lithium Battery - Offroad Living

AllSpark Slimline 12V 150ah 200/500A Lithium Battery

$1,969.00

1. Cable size matters - excess voltage drop from under-size cables kills system efficiency. You can check out the cable size you need for DCDC chargers over here, or this table by Blue Seas will help size any other cables in your system.

2. Solar charge controllers - MPPT instead of PWM. Any panel over 16V should use MPPT otherwise loose large percentages of its output. 

PWM does not convert the amps/volts it receives from the solar panels like a MPPT does. It simply cuts down the excess voltage from the panel to the 12-14.6V required for charging the battery. You can loose 20-30% or even more with higher voltage panels simply by the use of a PWM controller.

3. Battery monitor - track power usage/wastage and charger input – without it you cannot avoid waste and monitor charge performance. 

Do you know how much power you consume per day? How much power you produce on a sunny day, a cloudy day? Knowledge is power (pardon the pun) and a battery monitor will help you track your power, both in and out of the battery.

4. Circuit protection - it's cheap insurance against melted cables and potential fire events, just don’t use cheap, budget brand circuit protection as these can actually become the cause rather than the protection. 

Good quality circuit protection won't break the bank, but a cheap option (potentially) won't do anything other than melt or not blow at all.

5. Good ventilation - 12v devices that produce or consume power create heat. Good ventilation allows heat to escape and improves efficiency. The hotter devices get, the more power they consume. 

Despite the photos you may see strewn on social media and various ads, laying your solar blanket across a hot car windscreen or bonnet is the worst place you can place it when the car is hot. Heat reduces solar cell efficiency and therefore output. Similarly, attaching flexible solar panels directly to a metal surface also results in heat transfer and a reduction in solar cell efficiency. They need an insulated air gap separation like corflute.

Then there is batteries. High heat environments will reduce the life span of any battery, AGM, Gel, Lithium etc. Ensure your battery is in a well ventillated area when possible, and use heat shields or air cell blankets when appropriate when fitting batteries in engine bay.

Bonus tip - clean your panels! You'll be amazed at how much dirt and dust builds up on fixed panels, a quick clean with a wet microfibre cloth is a cheap way to boost your solar harvest.

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