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Solar panel mounting
#21
Really, that's an awesome illustration of just what solar can do.
Just amazing stuff, ain't it?
Sometimes dweller in 237k miles '07 Grand C-van w/ a solar powered fridge and not much else
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  • S Cello (10-11-2018)
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#22
Yes and unless I misread it and SW’s above it, tilting really isn’t all that needed provided you have enough paneling... now if you are in a fixed location for a long time then it may well be worth the climbing up and down, but if you are mobile a lot, probably doubtful...

The other thing is to have enough battery capacity so that your panels can keep charging as much as possible - therein the problem, it’s difficult to determine the proper amount of amp hour capacity as you don’t want to “waste” possible solar power production yet you also want to get your battery bank as close to full as you can. 

If you are “full” (however that’s determined) before noon, possibly add more battery storage. Just don’t mix old and new batteries... guess you’d want to split solar panels up in that case, one set charging one bank, the other charging the new batteries?  It’s always something...  Huh

I’m finally able to play with some older glass ones, however the variance of power production with changing cloud cover conditions is a bit frustrating... as well as a less efficient PWM controller.  Undecided
They say when you get older two things happen, one is you lose your memory and the other, I forget.

Organized people are simply too lazy to search for stuff.
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#23
New panels are mounted. Now, I need it to stop raining so I can get a good idea of what production I can get. Last winter, the panels produced enough to bring my batteries back to full each day. I had only a day or two of cloud cover, but still enough so that I didn’t drain batteries past 70% or so.

I could probably support more batteries, but I have no room for more. 400amp batteries seems to be plenty for me, only issue is that sometimes I want to run the AC for a couple hours...I need those panels to be putting out the max they can while I do that.



1989 Honeywell motorhome
Ford E350 chassis.  460 engine
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#24
"wastig solar' by having more wattage than needed simply means the batteries will last longer.

Anyone who tries to only have the bateries full in late afternoon via solar instead of by noon or very early afternoon, is going to kill their lead acid batteries prematurely.

When in absorption mode, one can use the extra eletricity wisely, or not, just keep the batteries at absorption voltage until they are full.

How much wattage to amp hour capacity can be a philosophical debate.

I once carried 345Ah of capacit yand 130watts of solar, Now I have 198 watts and 90Ah of total batteryy capacity and this is plenty for me, for now.

i can still carry 345Ah. I'd rather have 345 watts
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#25
If you can force feed your battery(ies) and keep them close to 100% SOC thats great. If you have a load you can safely power off your charger while it is producing thats good as well. Its usually better to practice energy conservation than ramping up capacity. All sound info. I just see the need for additional capacity for those poor solar days, we’ve been having a lot of that in the SE recently. 

The balancing act is the issue. The oft repeated 1:1 ratio seems “weak” for keeping batteries topped up, I’d think 1.5 watts to 1 amp/hour would be the preferred lower end, and 2:1 would be closer to optimal, especially in less than ideal conditions. 

If you drive more than stay stationary, your alternator can produce way more usuable bulk amperage than a solar panel can in an hour, be nice to have someplace to put that “bulk”, like a second battery.
Then let your panel(s) try to bring the bank up to full.  

I’m driving 30-35 minutes one-way daily (x5) with most of it being highway speeds to a temp job, if I had a van I’d sure want to harness that alternator amperage if I could.
They say when you get older two things happen, one is you lose your memory and the other, I forget.

Organized people are simply too lazy to search for stuff.
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