More help re Alden Phenix auto tracking solar panel

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Richard Birkett, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. Richard Birkett

    Richard Birkett Funster

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    does anyone know if this panel charges whilst folded down? I can't tell because the control panel is off when the solar panel is down & if I turn the control panel on, to see how many amps I'm receiving, the solar panel deploys.
    thanks in anticipation.
    Richard
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Easily solved with a voltmeter across the leisure battery.
     
  3. Richard Birkett

    Richard Birkett Funster

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    Im sorry but I'm a complete idiot where electricity is concerned! What exactly would I do with the volt meter?
     
  4. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    This time of year it will use more power deploying than it produces
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    First find you leisure battery - not always easy - measure the voltage.....

    12....12.5 Volts it's off charger
    13.6V charging nicely.
    14.5V max you will see.

    Buy one of these and you should get the reading from a leisure side 12V socket.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Car-LED-C...arts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item5b01380581
     
  6. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    It would be a very fool hardy design if it did not continue to charge when laid flat. I believe the controller switch simply turns on the tracking. Fine in Summer but I imagine in winter it would draw as much power is it will make. I would leave it flat but make sure it is clean.
     
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  7. Richard Birkett

    Richard Birkett Funster

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    Thank you Brian for such a clear explanation.
    I know where the batteries are and I will check them.
    Should not the main Carthago panel be showing me this information?
    Regarding the tester, we don't have any 12v sockets, they are all 240v from the inverter (or mains when on EHU).
    As an aside, why 13.6 when charging? Would this be irrespective of the amount of amps being generated?
    Thanks again
     
  8. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    How old is the van and do you have the name of the person that had it installed?

    As I said in your original post, we probably supplied it even if we didn't install it.

    It acts just like any normal 100 watt flat panel when parked. It takes very little power to track, but, there is very little sun this time of the year lol

    The display is a guide only and not representitive of the amps produced. On the hideaway controller there is a port which allows a specific ammeter to be plugged in if you want to know exactly what the system is doing.

    The on board ammeter will just tell you of course the net gain/discharge not what the panel is producing.

    There is also an optional anemometer available which when fitted will automatical retract the Phenix when it gets too windy. Of course as you know the Phenix will automatically park itself at dusk
     
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  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    It's the chemical reactions going on in the lead+sulphuric acid soup. 13.6v is the "proper" constant charge voltage. Off charge it then drops to 12.5v as the fully charged voltage and by 12v it's flat.
     
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  10. Richard Birkett

    Richard Birkett Funster

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    Eddie, It's 8 years old & I don't know the name of the original owner. Do you know how much the anemometer is? As I would be interested in having that fitted. There are a few other bits of kit I'm thinking of upgrading/adding to, such as adding a sky box to the Oyster digital satellite, potentially replacing the batteries which appear not to be holding a charge, identifying the garage alarm (strikeback T) etc
     
  11. Richard Birkett

    Richard Birkett Funster

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    Thank you Brian, now I understand.
     
  12. Richard Birkett

    Richard Birkett Funster

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    Thank you Andy. I'll get my ladder out.
     
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  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Prices have changed in 8 years, although a tracker will give significant gains over a flat panel now they are down in price a couple of flat panels is a much simpler solution if there is room. Just an idle thought if it does go expensively wrong. KISS.

    The real oddball tracker for me is the solar mounted on the back of a sat dish, so in daytime you choose, charge batteries or watch TV.
     
  14. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    But you have to also take into consideration weight and space.

    We have 3 x 130 watt panels on our Motorhome, and ALDEN Phenix's on our exhibition unit ( the one people see at shows) and on my Sons Winnebago

    My 3 x 130 watt panels produce a lot more power during the day, but the Phenix produces a good rate ALL through the day as it is perpendicular to the sun from early in the morning till the sun sets
     
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  15. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    If you email me eddie@vanbitz.com the registration number I'll look for you in the system and see exactly what you have.
     
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