What is everyone's favorite solar, battery, controller combo these days?

I'm getting to the point where I am going to be ordering my electrical components for my ambulance build. My last build (a ram promaster) I went almost all renogy with 2x 100W panels, a rover 40amp controller, a 20amp DC to DC charger and 2 cheap 6v golf cart batteries.

I switched to the ambulance to be a little more capable off road to spend more time off grid. So, I figured I would take advantage of the larger roof space and get 400-600 watts on the roof. I was also tired of the off gassing and the water in the old flooded golf cart batteries so i think I am going to go with something more maintenance free and around 400AH capacity.

I started poking around the renogy site and see they now have a hybrid gel battery for $50 more than the AGM, but I can't find much external info or opinions on it.

I'm sure there are other great items out there besides renogy but don't know where to start. So show me what you guys are running, and why. Also, specifics help, not just "Here's my rig with 400w"
 

ExpoMike

Well-known member
Go LifePO4 and you will never go back. Sure, more money upfront but usable capacity is about 40% more and longevity is about 3 to 5 times better. Also half the weight on average for a given capacity. The only downside I have heard from all the forums I am involved with is the cost. Just make sure whatever charge controller you go with has a lithium profile (most newer stuff is including this along with flooded/AGM profiles).
 
Go LifePO4 and you will never go back. Sure, more money upfront but usable capacity is about 40% more and longevity is about 3 to 5 times better. Also half the weight on average for a given capacity. The only downside I have heard from all the forums I am involved with is the cost. Just make sure whatever charge controller you go with has a lithium profile (most newer stuff is including this along with flooded/AGM profiles).
Yeah my only concern outside the cost with LifePO4 is they seem more fragile (and the expense to replace amplifies this). Like don't you have to worry about them freezing and such? As far as longevity, that makes sense, but I don't know if I will keep this rig longer than a couple/few years. So it's hard to square $900 for 100AH battery on LifePO4 vs $900 in a hybrid gel batteries for 400AH
 

ExpoMike

Well-known member
Not so much more fragile per say, if you get quality ones that have built in BMS with temp control. Battle Born are top notch but reflect the price. I actually built my own pack out of ThunderSky 100ah cells with a BMS that has temp protection. I'll have two 100ah packs for a total of 200ah which would be equivalent to 400ah for AGM/gel batteries. Looking at deals, they would be around the same price you are talking about. I admit I was hooked up with the cells and got them for free so I only have about $300 total invested.

As for the solar/DC-DC charge controller I am looking at, this one seems to fit the bill and those who have used it, seem to be very happy with it. https://www.donrowe.com/KISAE-DMT1250-Abso-50A-DC-DC-Battery-Charger-p/dmt1250.htm

Here is a pic of the pack I built.

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