My off-grid solar system. Comments and Feedback welcome

Discussion in 'Boondocking' started by EdZilla, Jul 9, 2018.

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  1. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    Corrosion, batteries produce fumes while charging.
     
  2. EdZilla

    EdZilla Member

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    The batteries aren’t anywhere near the fuse panel or any of the connections depicted, so the connections won’t be exposed to any fumes. That said, I realize that the battery terminals themselves need to be cleaned regularly.
     
  3. EdZilla

    EdZilla Member

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    The batteries aren’t anywhere near the fuse panel or any of the connections depicted, so the connections won’t be exposed to any fumes. That said, I realize that the battery terminals themselves need to be cleaned regularly.
     
  4. EdZilla

    EdZilla Member

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    The batteries aren’t anywhere near the fuse panel or any of the connections depicted, so the connections won’t be exposed to any fumes. That said, I realize that the battery terminals themselves need to be cleaned regularly.
     
  5. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    About how many amps per day are you adding to the battery from one 100w panel laying flat on the roof? Any daytime sun condition would be great.

    We have been using 2 batteries 31g, don't have inverters, have led lights. I have portable 80W panels. I like the idea of a perm. With the 2 batteries we get about 100 hours of furnace with nights in the low 20's and days in the low 40's and stat set to 68. Furnace runs 50% of the time for about 10 hrs at night plus about about 30% during the daytime. So the portables we dont bring for long weekends, but would be nice to have panel on the roof adding a little back to the batteries during the day. If I can pick up 20 amps a day from the solar, I could go a week plus.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  6. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    I was referring to the connections to the power points, meter, and breaker/switch in the lid of the battery box
     
  7. EdZilla

    EdZilla Member

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    I honestly don’t know, because on I the few times I’ve gone off grid for a few days it ranthe furnace fan well enough that I didn’t take notes or measurements.

    Also, I’m not sure how I’d get those numbers.

    How do you come up with your numbers?

    The grape solar charge controller logs some of that info so I’ll see if I can figure out how to make use of it on my next camping trip.
     
  8. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    I bought a small inexpensive inline monitor that has current: panel voltage, current amps, and tracks total output watts and amps produced since it was last powered on. So each day I unplug it and replug it in. The monitor is " GT Power RC 130A power Analyzer" It was about $15. I put it inline with the panels and batteries.

    Some inexpensive solar controllers keep track of the current amps, voltage and total watts or amps produced since it was last powered on. But my budget cheap controller does not.

    I know if my 2-40W panels (80w) are dead on to the sun, which for me in the winter is 40 some degrees, it produces about 5.7 amps. But have it 15-20 degrees off and i'm about 4 amps. Just wondering how the panels do laying flat?? If they produce 50% of capability that would be workable for me. 100w panel producing a little over 3 amps on a sunny day would give me 15+ amps a day.
     
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  9. MyName

    MyName Active Member

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    @tenttrailer is this the GT Power RC 130A power Analyzer? I have folding panels and my controller is attached to the back of my panels on the roof. l want to geek out in my energy production. Coludi hook this up at the battery?
    Oh sorry for the post hijack.
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    What gauge are your 12V inverter supply wires. At max continuous load, it will draw 60A. Your wires and fuses should be spec'd for at least 60A continuous.
     
  11. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Yes that is the one. That is what I have; the fold up 2-40 watt panels (portable suitcase). Yes I install the monitor between the panels output and the battery. I have some connectors on all the wires so I can disconnect the monitor and wire the panels directly to the battery.
     
  12. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    My new Battery bank is going to have two groups of two 6VDC GC2 batteries in series giving me some expected 430AH @ 12VDC.

    I want to add a couple of 100WATT Panels on the roof of my OFF-ROAD POPUP trailer on one end on each side of the Fantastic fan install...

    Might look something like this google photo...
    [​IMG]
    google image...

    Then I would also like to put another 120WATT Panel across the end of my POPUP trailer roof between the AC install and the rear of the roof...

    maybe something like this?
    [​IMG]
    Google image

    I really haven't though about how much these panels are going to weigh and it may all be way too much weight for my 12VDC motor roof raise setup since I already have the heavy AC mounted on the roof...

    My charging plan would be to use my 2KW Generator each morning to run 14.4VDC for the Battery Banks to get past the initial high wattage demand of over 50AMPS DC Current being pulled from my 60A Progressive Dynamics smart charger. This happens during the first hour of the charging effort. Once this tappers back then I would like to just let the solar panels fill my battery banks the rst of the high sun day until around 4-5PM in the afternoon.

    I think I have read the 100WATT Panels should produce a good 5-6AMPS DC Current when in high sun so this should be enough to get my two GC2 batteries from the 50% to 90% charge state after having the generator do the initial high current charge..

    My battery box is also being equipped with two small 10WATT solar panels mounted on the battery box slide off lid for a good trickle charge effect all the time when in high sun...

    If the weight of these panels are going to be an issue I am will to to just remove the roof mounted AC unit as we never use it anyway when camping off grid as it draws to much power to operate... I would rather have the solar panels on the roof haha..

    I was looking at one the POWERWERX Power monitors to watch how much power I would be building up to charge my banks...
    [​IMG]

    Roy Ken
     
  13. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to be a naysayer here, but your wiring scares the snot out of me. It looks at a casual glance to be a fire waiting for an excuse to happen.

    [​IMG]

    I am wagging at this since I can't read the wire jacket, but there is no way that wire is anything larger than 12ga. Which is RADICALLY undersized for the load you are putting on it.

    Your inverter is rated at a max draw of 1200w please see the following information.
    Using the Watts to amps calculator and inputting 1200 peak watts, and 12v DC power you get a 100 amp peak load.
    Finding an ampacity chart that goes to 100 amps for DC is a bit tough, but HERE it is... Per the charts, you should be connecting using at least 2 ga wire to make your battery to inverter connection. 1/0 battery cables are inexpensive and commonly available. To get the length you need you will need bulk cable and crimp on lug ends that can be crimped with a bench vise easily, or better yet, get your local auto parts house to set up the size you need exactly so they are a neat fit. and quite inexpensive. Especially compared to the risks of great loss.

    The safety factor gained is huge.

    Your panel install looks great, and I am really loving the battery boxes. Like others have said, I am concerned for the longevity of the components due to the corrosive offgassing by the lead acid batteries. I understand they are less expensive than AGM batteries, but the cost differential compared to reliability and the cost of corrosion damage that LA batteries incur, the TCO of AGM batteries come right in line with LA (Lead Acid).
     
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