Charging question

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by knokinonabit, May 30, 2013.

  1. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    My MH has a factory fitted solar panel system with a readout of what is happening on the control panel. For instance, it tells me if it is charging the vehicle or leisure batteries.
    One of the readouts shows Solar Amps on a scale of 0 to 10 and the other shows Battery Amps on a rising scale of 0 to 20 and a falling scale of 0 to -20.

    My question is, should the scales fluctuate all the time ?

    I understand that on a day like today, which is total cloud cover and raining, that it will not show much of anything, but even on the bright sunny days that we have just had it is never constant for more than a couple of seconds.
    The MH is on ehu at all times when at home and hasn't been off ehu for more than a couple of days when we have been away.

    Simple numpty terms please :Blush: :BigGrin:
     
  2. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    You will find that with a fully charged battery it will go on and off charge from the solar just to keep it topped up. It won't work properly if you are on ehu, and may in fact shut down altogether.
     
  3. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    Thanks Reallyretired.

    That's the answer that I was hoping to hear :thumb:

    If we get a decent day I will take it off ehu and run some things (lights, tv etc) and see what happens.
     
  4. voyagerstan

    voyagerstan Read Only Funster

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    as retired said when it flickers it is doing a float charge . you should not need to have it on ehu all the time even on dull rainy days if not useing much power you will be getting a charge:Cool: stan
     
  5. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    Thank you Stan.

    It is actually sitting outside the house with nothing running, so tomorrow I will switch off the ehu and let it do it's own thing. Might save a few bob on the household leccy bill.
    Leaving it on ehu is a habit I picked up with the last MH that didn't have a solar panel.
     
  6. Stewart J

    Stewart J Funster

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    Been away on a C & CC rally for 8 days now with no ehu after the last 3 miserable dull overcast days leisure batteries are starting to struggle (2 x 110ah) we are down to 11.5v as I write so will need to run engine for a while tomorrow methinks. Our van has a 100w factory fitted solar panel

    Have been running heating on and off for a few days along with radio during day and TV 6hours + every night.

    Anther good reason to invest in a small suitcase generator for peace of mind methinks:thumb:
     
  7. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    I have the same set up as you (Auto-trail) and a suitcase gennie. The only time the gennie has been used on the MH is when SWMBO uses her hair drier as we don't have an invertor. The only time the gennie has been used to charge anything is my brother-in-laws caravan cos he is to tight to buy a new battery.
    Going by your experience we should be ok anyway.
    Thanks for replying.
     
  8. voyagerstan

    voyagerstan Read Only Funster

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    hi stewert i dont think enough solar 220ah batery you would probably need another 100 watt solar to keep you going all year round in uk:secret:
     
  9. Stewart J

    Stewart J Funster

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    In fairness to AT the solar set up is more than fit for purpose this is the longest rally without ehu we've attended and were here for 3 more nights dare say with more frugal use of power others could last longer but having our 15 month old grand-daughter with us were not prepared to make sacrifices so its a damn good system test and its performed better than expected. :thumb:
     
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  10. Stewart J

    Stewart J Funster

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    Update TV and most of the lights have been off for 30 mins now and voltage has recovered to11.8vdc and display is amber not the dreaded red:Eeek:

    I did check readings against a Fluke meter earlier this evening and they were within 0.05 of a volt:thumb:

    The vehicle battery is unaffected as expected and is currently reading 12.5vdc ( a low reading here would be seriously worrying):Smile:
     
  11. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    Just been out and checked and the panel seems to be working ok.
    The only things "live" at the moment are the tracker and the alarm, plus all the bits and bobs like clocks etc.
    The vehicle battery was showing 13.5v and the leisure batteries (2x 110ah) were showing as being selected for charge and were at 13v. The available capacity of the leisure batteries was showing as 100% amp hours.
    This is on a very dull, drizzly day here, so I am well happy that I now know a bit more about how stuff works. :thumb:
    I don't expect it to work anywhere near as well in the depths of winters dark days and long nights, but it will be interesting to find out.

    Thanks to all who replied and pointed me in the right direction. :BigGrin:
     
  12. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    Update

    The reason for the update is to let people know the end result as a lot of posters don't.

    The MH has not been on EHU since my last post, and we have been using it. The solar panel seems to be coping ok and the batteries are keeping their charge, so I am well chuffed.

    Thanks to everyone who replied. :thumb:
     
  13. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    Remember if you take a reading at the batteries while the solar is in opperation the reading will reflect the solar output not the battery condition
     
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  14. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    Thanks for the info, but as the system selects the batteries to charge "on demand", ie leisure or vehicle, I check the one that is not charging. It displays on the panel which it is charging, very helpful for an electrical numpty like me. :BigGrin:
     
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