48-12V Hybrid Upgrade with New Caravan

48-12V Hybrid Upgrade with New Caravan




This article is designed to give assurance to the reader that upgrading the power system in a new caravan can be done without distrubing the 12V or 240V system installed by the manufacturer. By way of example, an upgraded Avida Topaz is described here.   

If purchasing a new caravan, some manufacturers like Avida wont upgrade to Lithium. Other manufacturers are new to Lithium and offer large assembled systems in 12V.

Rule of thumb: if your current is greater than 100A, you are in the wrong voltage!

The 48-12V Hybrid, stored electrical energy from both solar system AND vehicle charging in 48V batteries.

48V Batteries are more efficient, lighter and 35% lower cost than the equivalent 12V. The cabling is smaller as the current flow is 1/4 the size. Typically, the biggest cable size we use is 25mm2

This is the same concept as storing LPG is compressed gas bottles at a much higher pressure, bleeding down through a regulator to the lower pressure used by appliances.

The system creates the electrical power at 48V from the solar panels and vehicle DC to DC charger and store at 48V.

The system then bleeds this power through a 48-12V regulator to the caravan’s 12V battery. This keeps the 12V battery fully charged. The Caravan 12V battery, battery charger is not disturbed. The exception is if it has solar input, we remove those solar input cables and redirect to the Smart Solar that charges at 48V in the new batteries.

The 48V Lithium Batteries are:

  • 21kgs in weight
  • Slimline style of 480 x 360 x 90mm Deep
  • Have dual positive and negative terminals for charging and parallel conections
  • Use a high efficiency Amphenol waterproof connector
  • Can be switched “on/off” with a soft switch on the battery (possible because the current flow is much lower than 12V and is done digitally)
  • Have a 5 year Warranty in Mobile or Marine installation
  • Are Clean Energy Council approved in Australia.
  • Can be expanded up to 12 batteries in parallel.
  • Are warranty for a minimum of 6,000 cycles at 80% depth of discharge
  • Canbus connection for optimum charging

We are talking about very high end, high quality smart batteries.

Safiery has written the software interface for the canbus built into these batteries to be controlled by the Victron canbus system. There is NO user intervention with this software, it is plug and play.

The Victron system includes a 3000VA Inverter/ Charger that:

  • Produces 2600W continuously and 5,200W peak
  • Is tested and proven to operate a 3,500W (thermal) Air-conditioner PLUS Induction Cooktop Plus Espresso coffee maching at same time. See our Video of this here.
  • Has a power assist feature that lets the user operate all of the above with only a 1kVA generator (Honda EU10i) and takes the additional power on start up from the batteries. The air-con uses less than 1kVA in normal operation.
  • Will charge the 48V batteries with 1.7kW of power when plugged into 240V or a 2kVa generator, 1kVa if on a Honda EU10i.
  • Has “auto-cutover” from 240V generator of site power to the inverter is less than 25ms, so even sensitive computers dont see the switchover. Unlike other popular brands, this cutover cn be done at full load. (note of caution, one popular brand may experience a phase error switching at high load and insists on turning off air-conditioners when switching, this is not the case with this Victron Inverter.)
  • Is approved by the Clean Energy Council
  • Has a 5 year full warranty (no pro-rata confusion)

The Solar recommended for this system is to be as close as possible to 1,000W for replenishment power.

  • Victron Glass panels are highly efficient and 1,050W can be comfortably installed on an Avida Topaz roof. This allows for space for satellite system in rear.
  • The dometic glass solar panel supplied by Avida is removed. (it is only 150W but the size is identical to the 175W Victron and this is then placed in the solar panel holder that originally took the Dometic panel. (The dometic panel could be used but is a poorer solar output)
  • The new Victron panels are fitted with Safiery triple layer polycarbonate attached under each panel. This Triple layer Polycarbonate is routed in a proprietary way to bond to the caravan rook using Sika adhesives.
  • The is NO new penetration of the roof with screws or rivets or fasteners of any kind.
  • The Safiery triple layer polycarbonate is R3 rated and significantly reduces the heat load into the caravan from the roof. It also cools each panel more efficiently as the black colour absorbs heat from the back of the glass panels and distributes the heat out through the triple layer.

The Victron Smart Solar controller shows:

  • Solar performance for last 30 days on your smartphone
  • Is an ultrafast MPPT solar controller
  • Accepts up to 100V in series waring from the Victron solar panels for additional charging early morning and late afternoon which is not possible on conventional 12V systems with the combo vehcile DC to DC and solar devices. (they have an upper voltage limit that is low)

The Simarine gorilla glass display show:

  • The State of charge of the 48V battery and the 12V battery
  • The water tank levels
  • The LPG tank levels
  • Temperatures

The electrical energy flow and performace is displayed on smartphone:

  • Without need for the Internet
  • If connected to the internet  (through dedicated modem or your phones hotspot) then your sustem can be supported and upgraded remotely by us.

Installation time for the power system and solar system is far less than conventionional 12V systems and nothing is removed.

The Installed Price for this System into the Avida is Around $12,000 including the 2 x LPG tank sensors and special tank interface for Safiery to BMPro tank senders (plug and Play interface).

Spec is:

  1. Victron 3000W Inverter /Charger
  2. Victron 1160W Smart Solar Controller
  3. Victron 360W Hybrid Controller to 12V
  4. 3 x 2.4kWh Lithium Batteries (600Ah at 12V equivalent)
  5. Parallel battery cable connectors
  6. Victron Venus
  7. Lithium Battery Interface Canbus with Safiery software to Victron System for BMS control.
  8. Simarine gorilla glass Display
  9. Simarine Shunt
  10. Simarine Voltage Interface
  11. Safiery tank interface from BMPro Tank senders to Simarine system
  12. Safiery LPG tank level senders (magnetic)
  13. Safiery temp sensor
  14. Victron 6 x 175W Solar panels

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