New solar install.... - Page 9 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-18-2011, 01:51 PM   #113
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Appreciate all this information. On your Glomex RA 140, as you screwed it in from the top, is the only bite for the screws the exterior shell? Or did also mount something on the inside of the trailer like a piece of wood for the screw to bite into? Thanks.
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:47 PM   #114
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Norm,
Did you remove the polish where you mounted? Your roof looks so shiny, I'm wondering if the wax/polish has any effects on the adhesiveness of the tape?
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:34 PM   #115
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Screws and Glomex

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Originally Posted by Ken C View Post
Appreciate all this information. On your Glomex RA 140, as you screwed it in from the top, is the only bite for the screws the exterior shell? Or did also mount something on the inside of the trailer like a piece of wood for the screw to bite into? Thanks.
Initially I was simply going to fill it with Lexal and weigh it down until it dried but in the end I filled it with Lexal and drilled three holes into the shell and added the stainless screws. I suspect the Lexal is holding it all together. I also incased the wires in spiral wrap and Lexaled it down in the center of the spiral wrap. No wood on the inside.
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:40 PM   #116
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Norm,
Did you remove the polish where you mounted? Your roof looks so shiny, I'm wondering if the wax/polish has any effects on the adhesiveness of the tape?
Jim,

After the fact I worried about the Red Max 3 but couldn't get the panel up to do any thing about it. As a result I carry the rest of the tape with me.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:19 AM   #117
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I initially installed the PWM Solar Controller that I already owned and recently replaced it with a MPPT Solar Controller. From a far they both seem to do the job. The MPPT Controller was $25 or so.

I did notice that the MPPT Controller, while charging the battery, caused the LED lamps to brighten and dim as it pulsed the current. Really not too much of an issue because we're unlikely to be running the lights during the time that the controller's operational.

As well I received the watt meter to compare the operation of the two controllers. I choose a clear day and put the watt meter in the controller's output to the battery. I was looking to see if the current increased to the battery with the MPPT Solar controller. Maximum battery current was about 1.8 amps with the MPPT Controller and 1.3 amps with the PWM Controller. This was a rather significant difference.
My guess is the flicker of the lights is from the method of MPPT operation they chose for the controller.

From Wikipedia:

" Constant voltage method Main article: Constant voltage method
This method makes use of the fact that the ratio of maximum power point voltage to the open circuit voltage is often close to a constant value, with 0.76 being a common estimate. One problem with this method arises from the fact that it requires momentarily setting the PV array current to 0 to measure the array's open circuit voltage. The array's operating voltage is then set to (for example) 76% of this measured value. But during the time the array is disconnected, the available energy is wasted. It has also been found that while 76% of the open circuit voltage is often a very good approximation, it does not always coincide with the maximum power point.[5] Thus this method may not give as much efficiency as others, especially if conditions are highly variable or the physical behavior of the cell deviates from expectations. Its main advantage is that it is relatively simple to implement and thus usually less expensive."


Does the watt meter track amp-hrs? It would be interesting to see which controller has a better solar harvest. Boy, I'd sure have to eat some crow if the $25 controller does indeed work reliably in true MPPT mode!


Bruce
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:49 PM   #118
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We used Scotch Exterior High Bond Tape on all four edges of each panel. Neither temperature nor weather seemed to have any effect on the tape so far though we haven't seem particularly warm temperatures beyond the self generated temperatures of the panels.
Norm....thanks for all the info on your Solar install. I'm close to ordering one of those 80W flexible solar panels. Being new to all this.....I haven't quite figured out if you place the Scotch Brand tape under the edge of the panel [therefore it's double sided tape] or over the edge of the panel onto the roof surface, making it adhesive on one side only.
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:13 PM   #119
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Amp Hpurs

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Originally Posted by bdosborn View Post
My guess is the flicker of the lights is from the method of MPPT operation they chose for the controller.

From Wikipedia:

" Constant voltage method Main article: Constant voltage method
This method makes use of the fact that the ratio of maximum power point voltage to the open circuit voltage is often close to a constant value, with 0.76 being a common estimate. One problem with this method arises from the fact that it requires momentarily setting the PV array current to 0 to measure the array's open circuit voltage. The array's operating voltage is then set to (for example) 76% of this measured value. But during the time the array is disconnected, the available energy is wasted. It has also been found that while 76% of the open circuit voltage is often a very good approximation, it does not always coincide with the maximum power point.[5] Thus this method may not give as much efficiency as others, especially if conditions are highly variable or the physical behavior of the cell deviates from expectations. Its main advantage is that it is relatively simple to implement and thus usually less expensive."


Does the watt meter track amp-hrs? It would be interesting to see which controller has a better solar harvest. Boy, I'd sure have to eat some crow if the $25 controller does indeed work reliably in true MPPT mode!


Bruce
Our watt meter does track amp hours. Unfortunately it came shortly bfore we left NE however when I get to FL I will get some time and repeat the experiment measuring amp hours and post the resukts.
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:16 PM   #120
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Double sided tape

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Norm....thanks for all the info on your Solar install. I'm close to ordering one of those 80W flexible solar panels. Being new to all this.....I haven't quite figured out if you place the Scotch Brand tape under the edge of the panel [therefore it's double sided tape] or over the edge of the panel onto the roof surface, making it adhesive on one side only.

The tape is double sided. I put a piece of blue painters tape on the roof to define where I wanted the edge of the panwl. I then put the panel upside down and put tape on four edges.

I then lined it up with the blue tape and layed it down so one edge lined up with the tape.

I actually bought two 40 watt panels instead of one 80 watt panel.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:26 PM   #121
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I have the GoPower 95 Watt system installed with a pair of 6V Interstate GC2-XHD-UTL (232 AH) batteries in my Escape 17B.

So far I've only had the system get down to 85% running lights (LED), pump, the furnace (during 45 nights set @ 62), laptop, and cell modem / WiFi Ranger router over 4 days in the shade. In the sun it is back up to 100% by early morning.
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:36 PM   #122
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500 Miles

Over 500 miles on the Scotch tape holding the Solar panels down. Though a few other things have shaken loose and require tightening, the panels are solidly attached to the roof.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:44 PM   #123
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Other information

Some more info about our solar panels. I have not run our Converter since I installed the solar panels. So far the panels have been able to keep the batteries fully charged.

The other night as a test we left all the trailers lights on for 8 hours. This amounted to a load of 8 LEDs and one incandescent bulbs, a total of 3.6 amps, equivalent to 28 ampere hours on our Group 24 battery. This reduced the battery voltage to about 12.4 volts indicating that the battery had 70% of it's charge remaining.

Of the 3.6 amp test current, the incandescent bulb represented more than half the current. We do intend to replace the incandescent with an appropriate LED when we get the chance.
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:16 PM   #124
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High Bond Strength Tape

We're approaching 1300 miles on the taped to the roof solar panels. They look as good as the day I attached them.
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Old 11-23-2011, 04:06 PM   #125
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Appreciate the feedback, You did a great job installing everything.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:46 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by bdosborn View Post
My guess is the flicker of the lights is from the method of MPPT operation they chose for the controller.

From Wikipedia:

" Constant voltage method Main article: Constant voltage method
This method makes use of the fact that the ratio of maximum power point voltage to the open circuit voltage is often close to a constant value, with 0.76 being a common estimate. One problem with this method arises from the fact that it requires momentarily setting the PV array current to 0 to measure the array's open circuit voltage. The array's operating voltage is then set to (for example) 76% of this measured value. But during the time the array is disconnected, the available energy is wasted. It has also been found that while 76% of the open circuit voltage is often a very good approximation, it does not always coincide with the maximum power point.[5] Thus this method may not give as much efficiency as others, especially if conditions are highly variable or the physical behavior of the cell deviates from expectations. Its main advantage is that it is relatively simple to implement and thus usually less expensive."


Does the watt meter track amp-hrs? It would be interesting to see which controller has a better solar harvest. Boy, I'd sure have to eat some crow if the $25 controller does indeed work reliably in true MPPT mode!


Bruce
Bruce,
I appreciate your input. It may very well be that the lower cost MPPTs are using a different algorythm to control the panels. It may also be that accepting the small loss in efficiency overcomes the cost/benefit problem you described with more advanced MPPTs. "MPPT light", most of the flavor, half the calories

Another point of information: I contacted Solar South, the makers of Norm's panels. Mostly I was asking why the photos of the panels did not match the dimensions listed. Mark Belcher confirmed that the dimensions are correct, not the photo. He went on to say that he could build any size panel I need to a specific dimension or wattage rating. I didn't ask, but I would imagine he can place the output where you want it as well. That is something you never think about till you are routing wires. The lead time is just 2 weeks, and he will quote a price once he has the specs. He said every panel is function tested prior to shipping. His response by email was quick, complete, and friendly. He included additional contact info should I need it. All the manufacturing is in Hong Kong I believe, but Mark is in the US. The email gave me confidence to do business with them.

David
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