Camp Better with Solar by understanding how to operate and use the SolarFlex 600i-L
Keystone RV teams up with Future Solutions, sharing valuable information on the SolarFlex 600i-L System. Learn solar basics, how to operate the system and many other features that will help you conserve and understand energy usage for your next adventure.
1. Solar Basics: This is a 600i-L system on a fifth wheel. The entire system will be located in the front storage compartment, whereas a travel trailer will be located in the front pass-thru compartment. Everything hooks up the same just in different areas.
2. Steps to start your solar system three easy steps:
1. Turn on the battery disconnect for the RV, the system gives 12-volt power to the entire coach.
2. Turn inverter disconnect to on, provides 12-volt from batteries to the inverter
3. Turn inverter switch to on, now have AC power to 120V to wired outlets and A/C.
The system is operating and ready to use. RV has both 120v and DC power inside the RV.
3. Using Victron Connect App: Download the Victron Connect App on your mobile device. Locate your devices on the app and match up to the component list as detailed in the front of your RV. QR Code to set up Cerbo connection for Wi-Fi service. If you do not see the devices on the app, then your batteries are in protection mode or asleep, you will need to go through process of waking them up lithium batteries.
4. How can I monitor my energy usage? RV is now running completely off batteries. You will want to know the standard usage of your components. App shows percentage of current charge, hours remaining and current draw. Let’s start at the In-Command panel, run slide-outs while watching the usage when running slides out and watch the draw. Set A/C on and set to cool, this will show you the increase in amps and time remaining. Lithium batteries is comparable to a math equation, example of 1000 watts being equal to an hour. You will want to pay attention to your energy consumption, it is best to understand a high usage day before adventuring out to boondock for the first time and not drawing your lithium batteries out. Watch what happens to usage once RV is plugged into shore power. Inverter switches to charging instead of inverting. There is a short delay, allowing the inverter to qualify the power/energy coming in. Energy is now being used to charge batteries. Positive numbers means you are in a state of charge.
5. What are the components for the 600i-L?: The 600i-L comes with the standard package of 600 watts of solar including 2-300 watt solar panels, with an additional docking port for future expansion, one GC3 DragonFly Energy Battery-270 Amp Hours, a Victron 3000 Watt Multiplus Inverter, a Victron 50 Amp SmartSolar Charge Controller, a Victron Smart Shunt and a Battery Guardian.
6. Can I run my A/C with the 600i-L? No, solar doesn’t run anything, it charges the battery. It’s the inverter that runs the A/C and receptacles. Solar gets all the credit for green energy from the sun, but you need all the correct components: Inverter+Battery+Solar=Running A/C.
7. How can I get the most out of the sun? Cloud, sunshine, trees, and campgrounds all affect how much energy you get. Positioning of the panels helps optimize during peak hours of sunshine. Different areas have different times. Shaded areas will not collect as much as open sunny areas, same goes for regions in the states.
8. How do I maintain the 600i-L System? Panels- when the solar panel is cool, rinse with water and wipe dust and films off. DO NOT use heavy dish soaps or run cold water on a HOT panel.
9. Can I expand my Battery Bank? Yes, Keystone RVs are designed to hold 2 batteries for future expansion, an additional docking port for panel expansion and a spot for an additional amp charger. Visit your local dealer to discuss expansion options and pricing to upgrade to the next level.
10. What do I need to do with my solar when using Long Term Storage? Charge batteries up, shut inverter off, turn off inverter disconnect, turn off 12v disconnect battery. You are not disconnecting solar, it will be able to still charge and maintain the lithium battery.
11. Should I be concerned with my solar and lithium batteries when camping in colder weather? Lithium batteries have internal heat to keep working with colder temperatures and will continue to run, however, they will not charge when temps are below freezing. However, Lithium batteries are equipped with heating elements, turning on the battery heat features will then allow the batteries to be charged.
12. Can I do anything I want with this solar system: No, you have to be aware of the amount of power you are using and the amount of battery storage you have available. Energy consumption is very important.