Playing with Solar - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-07-2014, 05:19 PM   #29
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Name: Francois
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tape and other stuff...

that tape looks quite interesting (looked up on 3M site)....and sort of intriguing when I think of it....my question would be how does it come off ??? at some point if you didn't want it there anymore...if it sticks SOooo good...how do you remove it??? it's sort of a "why ask why" question...

I just checked the rooftop panel with a meter...(no direct sunlight today, high overcast, and the sun is real low in the sky)....the panel output wires gave me 20.15 volts....after the contoller I got 13.85...

and I'm still not concerned about the wire size from the fridge to the batts....if they were sized to operate the fridge on DC they should be adequate....IIRC the fridge eats 4.4Amps running on DC.....the maximum output I can hope for from this panel is 2.3....(according to the specs)

unless I got some of those numbers wrong it should work fine...I think

did those number I got out of the panel/controller make any sense ???

cheers, All

PS on the "plus" side it looks like the weather is finally going to break up around here next week and we might get a week + with no high winds and rain...sun even....might just get that last trip of the year in after all
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:22 AM   #30
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:53 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Franswa View Post

I just checked the rooftop panel with a meter...(no direct sunlight today, high overcast, and the sun is real low in the sky)....the panel output wires gave me 20.15 volts....after the contoller I got 13.85...

and I'm still not concerned about the wire size from the fridge to the batts....if they were sized to operate the fridge on DC they should be adequate
It would take days to fully charge your batteries at 13.85 volts. You need to be seeing at least 14.7 volts AT the batteries. It really doesn't matter how much is coming out of the charge controller, it's how much is getting to the batteries. You've got to be concerned about that wire size going TO the batteries.
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:42 PM   #32
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wire size....

I checked the wire size (fridge to batts) with a wire stripper and it is at least 10 gauge (could even be 8)

it's clear and bright here today.....panel output has climbed to 21.7 volts... the controller output is still 13.85....(that's telling me something, I think)

the sun being low in the sky right now (weak) I'm guessing that in the middle of the summer, in full sun, the panel voltage will be higher still....but I'm betting the output of the controller will be the same 13.85...on the controller itself is says "cut-out 14.2 Volts" (from the literature it is sized to accept/run TWO of the panels I am using)

It would take days to fully charge your batteries at 13.85 volts.

I'm kinda surprised to hear that as during this summer ONE panel sitting in the sun ("pefectly") for 2-3 hours was able to raise the condition of the battery bank by 0.2 volts...(12.6= full charge, 12.2= 50% discharged...or thereabouts as I understand it)

You need to be seeing at least 14.7 volts AT the batteries.

I doubt I will EVER see that...even my coach charger (three stage) cuts out at 14.1....

It really doesn't matter how much is coming out of the charge controller, it's how much is getting to the batteries. You've got to be concerned about that wire size going TO the batteries.


I've got a roll of 6 gauge wire left over from another project but I'm not convinced it's needed...I could set the panel up...check the controller output then hook the contoller up to the wire at the fridge end....disconnect the batteries and get a volt reading at that end of the wires...to see if the is a voltage drop...but that seems like a lot of work right now...maybe in the spring

Praraphrasing....
"Anybody can design a bridge that will never fall down...the art/science of engineering is designing a bridge that looks like it might fall down... but never does"

cheers, All
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Old 11-13-2014, 03:07 PM   #33
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I wish I could take credit for having learned all I know about Solar from having experimented and read and tried this and that, but I can't. I have read tons and sifted a lot of BS. I have read many peoples "opinions" and I do trust one source. He may not know it all, but he's got me convinced that he knows more than most folks. He's DONE all the trial and error stuff.

The following is from his blog. You should take a week or two and read it (his blog). Really, it might take that long. I've read it several times (it took that many to begin to understand it) and I've tweaked my system like he recommends and darn if it doesn't work just like he said it would. As with most advice, one may take it or leave it, but for what it's worth, here's his:

VOLTAGE: For the sake of simplicity, I am only going to talk about the requirements of standard flooded wet cell lead acid batteries, which is what most of us use. The major points apply to all types of batteries, but the actual numbers will vary. It is very important for you to research the charging requirements of your batteries if you are using any other type and make sure that your charging system provides what they need, or you could end up damaging them by over charging or never getting them fully charged, which will also damage them. Battery manufacturer’s specifications say that a standard 12 volt wet cell battery needs to be charged to between 14.4 to 14.8V and then held there for some time before it will be fully charged. The Trojan Battery company says 14.8V daily charge (at 77 degrees F) and Interstate will tell you over 15V. Trojan’s 2010 Users Guide has a new chart that shows you should actually vary the voltage depending on the amps you supply for charging and even higher voltages are recommended. Of course they recommend temperature regulation. So all of those out there who are telling you 14.8V is too high do not know what they are talking about. How long it takes to get the charge in depends on how far it was discharged. Trojan says to keep charging until a hydrometer test shows that the battery is charged and not one charger available today can do this. The best chargers can do a reasonable guess at state of charge by providing constant voltage and watching the amps taper as the battery fills to tell them when the battery is full. However, they rely on whatever the designer or programmer gives them for guidelines and are only as good as that data. Many do no work worth a hoot. A fully charged battery can be maintained at a full state by applying a 13.2 – 13.6 volts “float” charge. All of the talk about how many amps a charger puts out means nothing. It is the volts (pressure) that you need to push the amps (volume) into a battery. VOLTS, VOLTS, VOLTS!! Also, the amps pushed into a battery at a higher voltage contain more power than those at a lower voltage. Remember, volts times amps equals watts, so amps pushed at 10% higher volts give you 10% more watts. Therefore, the power stored in the upper range of a battery’s charge is greater, so it is very important to get a full charge. Low voltage DC is not easy to get through wire without losing power due to voltage drop or resistance. It is huge problem in an RV. Use big wires and short wiring runs to get around this. It is good practice to use one or even two sizes bigger wire than recommended to limit voltage drop. This charge voltage has to actually reach the battery, not just the output terminals on a charger. If you cannot get your batteries up to 14.4 volts (14.8 is better & faster) with whatever charging system you have and then keep them there while pushing amps in for more than an hour or two, your batteries will never be full.

JUST WHAT IS A FULL BATTERY?? The general consensus on this issue is not correct and this is the primary reason that most RV electrical systems do not work very well. The batteries in my rig show 12.8 volts after the sun goes down and will usually show 12.5-12.7 after watching TV & running lights all evening. I typically see 12.5-12.6 on the meter if I manage to get up before the sun rises, but the truth is that I had to look at it as I wrote this because we never look at the voltage, using the percent of charge on our meter instead. These same batteries used to work like everybody else’s before I figured this out, so this is fact, not opinion. My charger works so well because it is set to get the batteries up to 14.8 volts (temperature compensated) and hold them there until charged and since it is solar, it runs all day. We often see well over 15V on cold days; that is what it takes to charge a cold battery. It is so important to get your batteries full because a 95% charged battery has 10% less usable power in it than a 100% charged one, since you are trying to keep it in the top 50% of its operating range (5% of full = 10% of 50%.)

HandyBob's Blog « Making off grid RV electrical systems work
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Old 11-13-2014, 03:46 PM   #34
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thanks for the link...

sounds very interesting indeed....will read up!!
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:34 PM   #35
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14.4 to14.8

So,,, where do you get a charge controller that will charge a battery at the voltages you suggest are necessary. I agree that these higher voltages are needed, but small 5 or 10 amp charge controllers seem to put out those voltages only occasionally.
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:03 PM   #36
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So,,, where do you get a charge controller that will charge a battery at the voltages you suggest are necessary. I agree that these higher voltages are needed, but small 5 or 10 amp charge controllers seem to put out those voltages only occasionally.
The controller that I have is the Blue Sky Solar Boost 2512iX-HV MPPT.

http://www.blueskyenergyinc.com/uplo...X-HV_rev_b.pdf

I don’t know if or claim it is the best, merely that is was included in a kit I purchased to have installed in our Oliver that we recently had built. Handy Bob does not necessarily approve of MPPT controllers thinking they are not really worth the money. He’s probably correct although there is not a tremendous amount of difference in price.

This controller is completely configurable, so you can set the output to whatever voltage you want (up to about 80 volts). There are about 5 pages of parameters that you can adjust. All that said you have to have an additional piece of equipment to do all this. A remote meter is also needed. I have the Blue Sky IPN PRO Remote Meter. This also serves as the in-cabin readout so you can easily see how your batteries are doing.

Blue Sky Energy Inc. | IPN-ProRemote

Here again, I’m not endorsing this product, it’s just what came with my kit. And, Handy Bob says the Trimetric battery monitoring system is his choice.

His blog is “interesting” but a lot of it is really hard to comprehend in one reading (at least it was to me.)
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Old 11-14-2014, 08:50 AM   #37
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Outlaw.....I owe you one......

I can't thank you enough for posting that link...and you're right, it is going to take a LONG time, if EVER, to take it all in.....man, my brain is suffering an acute case of overload at this point....good thing it's winter and I have lots of time to dig into this....small chunks at a time....

this was very timely for me as I was just about to start spending money on control/charge/meter systems for next summer....thanks again

I am forwarding the link to some RV friends I have had discussions with on the subject....and two of them are ELECTRICIANS !!! can't wait to hear what they have to say

picture below is the electrical version of "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink"

Regards, F
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Old 11-14-2014, 09:05 AM   #38
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Isn't that the truth. Seems like you ought to be able to just "absorb" that electricity by parking close by.
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:48 AM   #39
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Isn't that the truth. Seems like you ought to be able to just "absorb" that electricity by parking close by.
There was actually a case of a farmer putting up a grid a fencing to pick up the current from high power lines running along or through his property. Ran the barn lights and maybe some heaters as I recall.

Power company took the farmer to court and lost, judge decided that the current being collected was being broadcast so it was not stealing. Not sure if that has since been overturned. It was a pretty long time ago.

Roger
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Old 11-14-2014, 03:24 PM   #40
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There was actually a case of a farmer putting up a grid a fencing to pick up the current from high power lines running along or through his property. Ran the barn lights and maybe some heaters as I recall.

Power company took the farmer to court and lost, judge decided that the current being collected was being broadcast so it was not stealing. Not sure if that has since been overturned. It was a pretty long time ago.

Roger
That's strange you should mention that story, Roger. I was actually remembering it as I wrote about "absorbing" the electricity. As I remember, he designed some kind of copper coils on tall towers on either side of the companys right of way and just captured what was being "lost". The courts did uphold that he was not stealing.
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Old 11-14-2014, 04:21 PM   #41
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That's strange you should mention that story, Roger. I was actually remembering it as I wrote about "absorbing" the electricity. As I remember, he designed some kind of copper coils on tall towers on either side of the companys right of way and just captured what was being "lost". The courts did uphold that he was not stealing.
Could well have been copper coils, my memory was of some sort of wire on poles. Was thinking it was wire livestock fence but it was a long time back and some days I'm doing good to remember where I parked the car. I would think copper coils would work better.

You know the real icing on the cake would be if the shadow from the towers fell on your solar panel and interfered with charging the camper battery.
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Old 11-14-2014, 04:52 PM   #42
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I would think copper coils would work better.
.
You'd be correct. Put a conductor in a varying
magnetic field and you will "induce" a voltage across that conductor. Coiling the wire increases the length of the conductor and the voltage. What the farmer made was a transformer. A Mr. Faraday figured it out in the 1800's. Raz

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fara...w_of_induction
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