Multiple Solar Systems

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Nigel&Debbie, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. Nigel&Debbie

    Nigel&Debbie Read Only Funster

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    My van has an 80w factory fitted system which charges batteries via a regulator (max 100w) and then through a Sargent EC500 control system. This system automatically switches the solar charge between leisure and vehicle batteries as and when needed.

    I have another 80w panel, which I wish to fit to vehicle as well. I have spoken to Sargent, who state that I cannot simply add this panel to existing system due to the 100w limit of the regulator. I cannot upgrade the regulator (which is a separate unit at rear of EC500 panel as the actual panel has the same limit).

    Sargent advise to install totally separate stand alone system, connected direct to leisure batteries, via a separate regulator.

    Q1 - If I do this, will the factory fitted system still work? My thoughts are that due to the new system charging leisure batteries direct, the EC500 will sense that these batteries are fully charged all the time and only ever charge the vehicle battery. Are my thoughts correct?

    Q2 - Do I install an on/off switch to the new system, and if so where i.e. before regulator or after it?

    Q3 - Am I right to put a 20 amp inline fuse 6 " from positive terminal of battery?

    Thanks in advance for your help and advice

    Nigel
     
  2. duane0001

    duane0001 Read Only Funster

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    I thought you meant

    This
     

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  3. Nigel&Debbie

    Nigel&Debbie Read Only Funster

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    Give a new meaning to the term "Funsters" :RollEyes:
     
  4. Phill D

    Phill D

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    cant see an 80 watt solar developing much more than 5 - 6 watts so i dont see a problem. but are you sure its a 100 watt regulator that seems very high?

    i have an 80 watt panel and a Schaudt 22 watt regulator which will easily take another 2 x 80 watt panels if i wished. ( IMHO ).

    but, there are guys on here who have done it and got the T shirt.
     
  5. duane0001

    duane0001 Read Only Funster

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    My solar system (pictured in my last post) puts out millions of megawatts of power :thumb:
    I just need to find out how to harness all that power :Doh:
     
  6. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    I don't know if this is going to help but the 100W solar panel limit for the Sargent EC500 P.S.U. is not quite correct.

    Although Sargent do state 100W limit (I've just contradicted myself LOL) this figure was based on a limit to ensure the power going into the regulator from the solar panel does not exceed 9 Amps.

    This is the figure you need to know when selecting a suitable solar panel (I have this confirmed by Sargent). So, when looking at the output from the solar panel, providing it does not exceed 9 Amps it will be suitable for the Sargent EC 500 P.S.U.

    I am about to fit a 125 W Solar panel to my motorhome and Sargent have confirmed it's compatible with their system. In addition, it's unlikely a solar panel will ever achieve it's maximum stated output unless your in the middle of the desert ? Unlikely to be achieved in the northern hemisphere.

    Cheers,
    Philip
     
  7. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    Before you spend lots of time and money fitting another solar panel it would be worth making sure that your existing panel is woring effectively. Autotrail have a habit of fitting the solar panel next to the Status aeriel, this castss a shadow on the panel in almost all situations which renders the panel almost useless. If you have satellite TV then the easiest solution is to remove the Status aeriel and blank off the hole through the roof, no more shadow and your panel will perform much better.

    D.
     
  8. Nigel&Debbie

    Nigel&Debbie Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for above. How do you calculate the max amps?

    Will I be OK with a new 10 amp regulator that can take up to 200w of solar panel - like this one:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10A-Solar...20995322940?pt=UK_Gadgets&hash=item1c2be21c3c

    Thanks in advance

    Nigel
     
  9. Nigel&Debbie

    Nigel&Debbie Read Only Funster

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    Have to agree with you Dave, but would like to keep status tv aerial as a back up to Sat TV. Have looked at moving autotrail panel, but unlikely to achieve shadow free location as I have a sat dome in middle of roof.

    I already have another 80w of solar panel from my tugging days (2 x 40w), together with a separate regulator. Hence by fitting on opposite side to auto trail panel, I will at least achieve 1 shadow free panel.

    Just had a look at regulator fitted at rear of Sargent panel, and it states:

    Model C1210
    Solar Charge Controller
    12v10A

    The make appears to be CARSPA i.e. http://carspa.en.made-in-china.com/...nction-CD12-24-10-CD12-24-12-CD12-24-15-.html

    taking into account that the 160w of panels will be lying flat - thus unlikely to ever achieve max efficiency, will I be OK with a new 10A regulator that can take a total of at least 160W as per previous post
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  10. Phill D

    Phill D

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    if you were in the Sahara 160w would be around a total of 12 - 13 watts so in normal EU mode somewhat less.
     
  11. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    Nigel,
    You need to get hold of the specification for the Solar Panel. It should tell you what the optimum operating current is, or maximum output. (ignore the short circut figure).
    This is the panel I have purchased and if you scroll down the page you will see the panel specification).

    http://trad4u.eu/webshop/18-zonnepa...aneel-daglichtpaneel-100w.html?language=en_US

    I'm not sure how to calculate Amp output from two solar panels and I'm sure there are more knowledgeable people on here who will help you with that.

    Also, remember, you are unlikely to obtain the maximum output specified unless in perfect conditions.

    Regards,
    Philip
     
  12. Phill D

    Phill D

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    solar output is calculatedas


    solar wattage / solar operating voltage = output current

    i.e. 80w / 12v = 6.66 amps

    remember this is absolute calculated current and extremely unlikely to be achieved but is a guide.

    in many cases the voltage is higher than 12v so output current would be lower, not taking into account angle of the panel to the sun, time of day and any shadowing
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  13. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Phil, you keep confusing watts with amps mate
     
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  14. Phill D

    Phill D

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    sorry :Blush::Doh: i said i was mechanical:Doh:
     
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  15. Phill D

    Phill D

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    i meant amps, banged my head yesterday still having an effect:Blush:
     
  16. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    agreed...average solar panel output is 17v until it gets to the regulator then its regulated down to 12v (nominal) so the amperage goes up as the volts drop.
     
  17. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

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    I've a 100w panel and it was giving 5-6 amps this week in northern France (Horfleur and Carnac). It's still April and the panel is flat on the roof.

    :Smile:
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  18. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    sounds about right.

    theoretically a 100w panel will produce 8.3amps....but it never will.

    it doesnt need warm sun...just bright sun.
     
  19. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

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    I know, I posted this because it was being suggested that PV panels don't give much in the UK and Europe when I was in the Northern Hemisphere getting 70 watts for free in April when the sun isn't high in the sky.

    But as you're here can you explain...

    A solar panel out of the factory produces 17 (ish) volts. We route this via the solar regulator to get a more suitable voltage to charge and maintain a battery.

    Where are the losses in the system? Volt drop on cables, the connections, the PV panel, the regulator or all of the above?
     
  20. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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