New solar panel - results

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by zaskar, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. zaskar

    zaskar Funster

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    OK, so furher to this thread..................
    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/solar-power/38046-any-good-2.html
    I've now got the panel strapped on the roof where it will stay for about a week whilst I check results BEFORE I start drilling holes in my pride & joy to fix it permanently!:Wink:

    Here in Cheshire this morning, it's a reasonably bright day with cloudy sunshine and 20 degrees.

    My panel is a 185watt 24 volt feeding through a regulator (not MPPT) to two 110 amp (12v) batteries.

    Sun behind cloud, I'm getting about 1 amp.
    Full sun at 10:30am - 11:00am when it peeked through gaps in the cloud, I got a best of 5.2 amps.

    Now, I must admit to being slightly disapointed with this given the size of the panel...............or am I expecting too much ?

    Ta:Smile:
     
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  2. Loujess

    Loujess Read Only Funster

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    Perhaps, but I'm not an expert. With our 90w solar panel, the most we've ever got, in bright sunshine, was 4.2A. :BigGrin:

    Ivy
     
  3. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    As the panel is not fixed yet & just as an experiment try angling it towards the sun and see what difference it makes.

    Brian
     
  4. freelanderuk

    freelanderuk Read Only Funster

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    i have been getting 5.3 with a mppt reg on my 100 watt panel in similar weather conditions, but it also depends on how low your battery's are
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Everyone expects too much. If the panel is flat and our sun is at 50(ish) degrees and SIN(50) = 0.75 you've lost a quarter before you start.

    5.2 * 13 = 68W. Add that quarter back, 90W.

    I don't know the standard "sun" they use but you can bet it's "cracking the flags" sun. Not Cheshire sun.

    What voltage on the battery when it hit 5.2A ?

    You bought it so it looks like you reckon it's tough enough.
     
  6. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Seems ok to me... 10.30 sun is not at its highest... I have 4 85/90 watt panels and am in Portugal where the sun is more vertical and rarely get above 15 amps for long... the read out on my controller(Steca) isn't very accurate either and shows lower readings than my multi-meter.

    What I did when I found I didn't always have enough power was to buy another panel when one came up at the right price... (would like two more)

    JJ :Cool:
     
  7. Hayleylulu

    Hayleylulu

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    When i go to smudger i will get 2 of is bus he wont miss them:Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
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  8. zaskar

    zaskar Funster

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    At max amps, voltage was reading about 13.3 volts.
    The regulator I've got has an LED screen which scrolls every 5 seconds showing charge rate, battery voltage and load (as in a seperate load run directly off the regulator). I dont have any direct loads wired up. My intension is to buy a 600 watt inverter and carry on pulling everything through the batteries.

    Toughness isn't too bad at all Brian, I was quite surprised. It has a 35mm square ally box frame which is pretty stiff. Even so, if / when I decide to permanently fit the panel, I'll add a couple of centre supports with foam pads...........just in case.:thumb:
    Based on the reaction I've got from you guys so far, it would seem that the panel is probably working up to expectations so thats good enough for me. I was just worried about spending all that money on a "pup".
    I think the only way to improve things might be to dip my short arms in my deep pockets again and get an MPPT.:Doh: :Rofl1:
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  9. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Two 85 watt panels, Reg reading, fluctuating between 5.5 and 5.9 into
    4 x 110Amh batts @ 13.8 Volts, clear sun little to no cloud
    Standard 20 amp reg
    Currently looking at MPPT regulators and the benifits
    Geo
     
  10. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I have hit 14.5 Amps with my 3 x 80 watts. I get about 10 amps at 10-11am when the batteries are on 75%.

    If your batteries are almost full then it will be a lot lower than the max possible.

    I got a shock when I first connected mine in full sun and was only getting 6 amps. Then the fridge switched on (pulls 5 amps) and 6 amps were still going into the battery :BigGrin:

    The MPPT charger is worth getting IMHO.

    Karl
     
  11. Reaynger

    Reaynger Read Only Funster

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    I'm no expert but I hope to be one in two weeks when I get a solar array fitted to my house roof :) , but I think the ampereage is not just a function of the power rating of the panel, voltage and level of sunlight but also the sine of the angle of the sun in the sky.
     
  12. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    I think you might find a better controller will produce a big difference. My MPPT controller will give a max of 5amps from a single 85w panel in ideal conditions, so I would expect you could get 10a+ from a 185w one.
     
  13. smudger

    smudger Funster

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    so thats why my wheelchair isent charging...yoooo sniffiling little shit...wait till i get hold of yoooooo :Doh:
     
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  14. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Why Solar ?

    Compare 1kw of solar power with a 1kw genny .. pros and cons

    Solar

    Cons
    * Expensive ..
    * Unreliable, only works in daylight hours.
    * Heavy
    * Little use in UK winter.

    Pros
    * Running cost zero
    * Silent
    * Free fuel (when available)
    * 25 yr life span
    * Unless damaged won't break down.
    * Low maintenance

    Genny

    Pros
    * Cheaper
    * Very reliable
    * Lighter
    * Running costs dependent on use and load
    * All year round use

    Cons
    * Relatively noisy
    * Requires fuel
    * Requires maintenance
    * Can break down

    I've never had solar panels, simply because I've never needed them and that's not because we always use sites..

    When full time we used many free aires without leccy where I used my Honda genny to recharge ..

    On many other aires we had EHU either very cheap or free.... so I could never see a need or justify the expensive outlay for a solar array that would match my genny output.

    In the UK nearly all sites have EHU so neither is really needed..

    I'm not against solar but don't see it as the power panacea some advocate

    However, if you are an off site camper and need to keep a low profile .. solar is the answer.. no argument.

    Just my opinion, I know some may disagree ..
     
  15. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    An excellent and well thought out post Jim...

    The only thing I am not sure about is the claim that the panels are "heavy"...

    I never thought about the weight but they didn't seem very heavy when we were fiitting my (4) panels...

    How heavy are they? I had a quick look on Google but didn't find a weight...


    JJ :Cool:
     
  16. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    thanks JJ..

    weight of panels here .. http://www.energyenv.co.uk/SolarModulesMain.asp

    doing some rough calcs about 10kg per 100 watt

    for the same wattage, one large panel is lighter than several small ones
     
  17. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    you obviously have been looking at old style panels Jim the modern ones are super light and don't use glass. On the 80W upwards panels anyway.
     
  18. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    fair comment.. and for some not an issue..

    I'm aware of flexible panels for marine use but are they not mega expansive ?

    got any links ?
     
  19. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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  20. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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