Couple of questions regarding solar

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by geo glasgow, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. geo glasgow

    geo glasgow Read Only Funster

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    Hi just fixed to m/home roof 150watt solar panel.
    2x batteries
    solar controler 10amp

    question is do i still use the 240volt charger that has always been fitted?
    also i haven't checked yet but when my engine runs should i have a feed back to
    solar batteries for charge,
    if i attach my 1200w inverter should i fit to solar batteries or main engine battery and nuse only when engine runs as it has a separate on of switch for when its not in use.
    Im good hands on at most things in life can tackle anything put to me wiring to me is second nature but there isnt anything out there to assist me in what
    pattern this all wires up what comes first and will each item feed back to each other possible damage? thanks for any info im sure this is the same scenario
    all your m/homes are wired up in,,
     
  2. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Yes you still use your mains charger, the solar regulator will read the voltage produced and throttle back.
    Inverter will be fine connected to your leisure batteries as long as you don't over discharge them and undermine the rest of your hab requirements.
     
  3. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Hi Geo

    I am guessing that you have connected the solar to the liesure batteries and not put two more specifically for solar, yes the engine alternator should charge the liesure batteries when you are travelling.

    Martin
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    your 10amp controller isnt big enough....it will be working flat out in bright sunshine.

    150watt panel theoretically produces 12.5amps....probably nearer to 10 or 11amps in really good overhead sun, so to give the controller a fighting chance of survival it should ideally be at least 15amps.
     
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  5. cmcardle75

    cmcardle75 Read Only Funster

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    Your chargers will basically all work together and just charge quicker if the battery is flat, and all turn off when it is fully charged.

    Your solar controller is too small for your panel and should be replaced by a minimum 20A controller.

    Your inverter should be connected to your leisure batteries, not your starter battery. The leisure battery will have greater capacity and won't prevent the engine starting if discharged.

    I don't know what you mean by feedback. However, you likely have some sort of charger between your engine battery (which receives the current from your alternator) and your leisure batteries This will be either a split charge relay, which provides quite poor charging capability, or a B2B charger which provides very good charging. You likely have the former, as you'd probably have remembered fitting the latter, which would be very expensive.
     
  6. geo glasgow

    geo glasgow Read Only Funster

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    i haven't cabled up yet will do this week strange but solar panel stated 10amp so i purchase 10 amp solar controller for duel batteries .
    im sending solar charger controller back will i be better going for a higher amp so in the future i can ad an extra panel if required and will it all still work if i get 20AMP OR 30 AMP? what should i get for future proof? what do you guys use and recommend also maybe a second panel i have room for a second 150watt,, if the jobs worth doing and im going to do it correct first time,
    i have a days paid work in this if anyone is interested in assisting me who has good knowledge .. Glasgow area.....
     
  7. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Geo

    If you haven't already sized and bought the cable this will prove invaluable for calculating.

    Use this calculator to size cable..

    http://www.solar-wind.co.uk/cable-sizing-DC-cables.html

    An example..

    A 10 amp load, with a cable run of 5mts and an acceptable loss of 4% requires 6 mm2 cable

    but the same load with the same cable run with an acceptable loss of only 1% requires 25 mm2 cable ..
     
  8. geo glasgow

    geo glasgow Read Only Funster

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    OK today i upgraded to from 10A to 20A 12/24V Duo Battery Solar Panel Charge Controller Regulator Dual Battery PWM with control panel. also was able to take back unopened 1000w sine wave invertor and then buy online a , Sunshine Power Inverter 2000W - 12V Pure Sine Wave . iv read a bit over night and getting an idea of how the maths go with this im assuming that if i want to ad a second solar panel 150w would i need to go for 30A charger controller?
    i think 150w solar is cool for now,,, no cables done as yet ,will get cable for the weekend, fingers crossed ,, i picked up a good deal on a inverted 2k generator fits in the back outside its quiet apprx 50db-60db wee bit louder on load maybe come in handy on long off grid week away as long as theres no neighbors close by,,,:thumb:

     
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    hi Geo, you dont say how big your 2 new batteries are.

    Your 2kw inverter will draw 166amp/hr if used at full potential so..........

    If you have a pair of 110ah batteries and use the inverters full power output the batteries will last around 40 minutes.
    Batteries should never be discharged below 50% or they can be internally damaged so in real terms you would have 110amps of usable power.

    A pair of 85ah would last around 30 minutes.

    150w panel is a good size and with careful inverter use should keep you topped up....300w is obviously far better if you use a lot of 12v power but would need a minimum 30amp controller.

    Inverters usually shut down when the battery voltage drops to around 10.5v.....this voltage is ok as its a loaded voltage and once the inverter is shut down the battery voltage will generally rise back to more than 12v but then will need charging one way or another.
     
  10. manda3000gt

    manda3000gt Funster

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    Make sure you get thick enough cables don't waste those precious amps to voltage loss, goggle '12v voltage loss table' to input your expected length of cable runs + expected amp output of your panel and it will tell you the gauge of cable you need, aim for no greater than 3% loss, mount your charge controller as close to batteries as poss :thumb:
     
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  11. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    as said
     
  12. geo glasgow

    geo glasgow Read Only Funster

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    really appreciate all the help now i jhave went for what seems to be top gear,
    MPPT 30A Solar Panel Regulator Charge Controller 12V/24V large looking kit,+ MT-5 Remote Meter LCD bought it tonight delivery end of week,, and i am returning the two batteries unopened in the morning there 100ah im assuming are a littel on the light side weigh a ton but light on holding the the juice if thats correct, so what is the very best batteries on the market,,,,
    and finally bought a second 150w panel then thats me done and dusted,
    between the solar the satellite and tvs and satellite boxs im completed i think,, a couple of extra sockets to go in got them and oh yes the 1000w inverter was returned today money back no probs and as i stated now upgraded to 2k pure sine inverter so if there's anything iv forgotten or you think il need before the wiring and the correct gauge of wire will be adhered to
    :thumb:

    one last question i see batteries from 100ah to 220ah some are gel or Agm or acid again whats the best to buy thanks,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  13. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    I hope you've considered how much it all weighs?
     
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  14. geo glasgow

    geo glasgow Read Only Funster

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    by the looks of things half the weight of yours,,:Smile:
     
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  15. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    There is room for confusion here, is that 10A in or 10A out of the controller.

    The panel will be something like 16V so that 150W is under 10A but a good controller can convert that 10A in to 12A out at 13V (approx).

    Anyway, 10A has no margin so with a 20A you have plenty to play with in the future.
     
  16. manda3000gt

    manda3000gt Funster

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    If you have no access problems then go for wet acid, no other advantage to gel etc if you have good access & can check levels regularly, wet acids can usually be charged at a higher rate, I would go for 6v traction batteries eg Trojan's (which can be charged @ 14.8v), buy the biggest ah your wallet & location will allow :thumb:
     
  17. geo glasgow

    geo glasgow Read Only Funster

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    no not 10or 20 now i have a 30 amp
    MPPT Tracer 3215RN 30A Solar Charge Controller + MT5 Remote Meter Display with 2x 150w panels all i require is two of the best batteries ,,homework time,,
     
  18. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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  19. geo glasgow

    geo glasgow Read Only Funster

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