Newbie looking for Solar advice - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-04-2012, 02:56 PM   #15
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STECA Steca PR 1010, PR 1515, PR 2020, PR 3030
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:08 PM   #16
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All true but controller size and price are not much different. A 10 amp controller will be sufficient for a one battery system and they are cheap. 30 amp gives you room to grow your system should you ever decide to do so. The advantage of connecting to the load terminal of the controller is monitoring. I would rather know what is happening in my system and the idiot lights of tiny controllers are not capable of telling me.

The bottom line is you have to figure out the best fit for your needs. No substitute for research.

Understand battery charging requirements. A group 27 battery should never be charged with more than about 9 amps. Charging at a higher rate could damage the battery.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:10 PM   #17
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I do understand charging requirements. You are right you should not exceed 9 amps of input when charging a single battery. BUT that does not mean you cannot use a charge controller with a larger capacity. Exceeding 9 amps of charging current would require another battery. I plan to use 150 watts of panel with a 9 amp max. output.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:07 PM   #18
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"Solar panel size for a single battery system need only be 50-100 watts. Solar charge controller size should be between 10-30 amps. "


OK what is a good panel brand to get ?
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:26 PM   #19
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I do not think brand is the most important. There are many good brands. Panel type and efficiency will determine its size and relative cost. Shipping costs can be a factor. Determine the size of panel you need and look for a deal that suits you. I have secondhand panels both made by oil companies Shell and BP LOL!
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:39 PM   #20
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I'm going to disagree with your charge controller size. I use a 6 amp controller and it does the job just fine. .
I also only have a small simple 6 amp controller and it has worked well for me for 5 years. I have a 12 volt plug in battery monitor in the trailer that I can check to see if things are happening as they should but to be honest I normally just plug the panel in and forget it - the controller has a simple light that comes on when the battery is fully charged - if I check the battery monitor in the trailer sure enough it is...... no need for anything else. :-)
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:54 PM   #21
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I think the small simple controllers have their place. If you are going to setup your panels at ground level they make a lot of sense. If you need a rock bottom low cost setup, they fit the bill. A lot has changed price wise and feature wise with controllers in the last 5 years!
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:21 PM   #22
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I'm going to disagree with your charge controller size. I use a 6 amp controller and it does the job just fine. The charge controller needs to be no bigger than the maximum charge current. In my case that 4 amps. The smallest charge controller I could find is 6 amps.
You don't need to use the "Load" function on the charge controller. Just connect the battery the controller and solar panel. That is all.
I'm glad to see there are others who, like me don't see the need to over build, over complicate and over spend on a simple solar array.
John
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:17 PM   #23
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I bought one of CEA Solar systems in January right after they had a discount after Quartzite. It is a 120 watt system for $600. I had looked into building my own system from components - panel, controller, wiring, etc. It would have been cheaper than the system I bought. They even shipped for free. The system had everything including a padded aluminum case. All I had to do was connect the wiring to the battery. I am very pleased with my purchase and highly recommend.
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