Solar Panel Charging Batteries In Storage

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Peter A Forbes, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. Peter A Forbes

    Peter A Forbes Funster

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    I had to go up to the farm the other day to get something out of the trailer, and as it hasn't been out since June, for our 3-week European trip. I had a look at the solar controllers while I was there.

    It was a very dull day with light rain at about 3.30pm, so not much to stir the panels, but the battery sets were both sitting at 13.30V with nothing connected, all the lighting etc was disconnected after I pulled the fuses.

    Later I had a look in the Mercedes to see what it was doing. 4.30 pm and very dull, the two battery sets were at 13.20V, both showing identical figures.

    Looks like they are doing their job and the controllers are working well.

    110ah + 55ah sealed batteries in the trailer, 2 sets of 2 80W panels and two Maximum Solar 20A MPPT controllers.

    225AH + 225AH AGM batteries in the Mercedes, 2 sets of 2 100W panels and two more Maximum Solar MPPT controllers.

    The two installations are 3+ years apart in age terms.

    Peter
     
  2. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    All fine, plenty of solar.

    Whats the logic behind having two controllers in each case. As your maximum output from the panels is not likely to be much over 20A even in midday sun I would have thought a single 30A controller would do the job more simply and possibly cheaper.

    Another question if you don't mind. What do you use the trailer for?
     
  3. Peter A Forbes

    Peter A Forbes Funster

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    We split the trailer side as we had a winch on one set of batteries and the hab stuff on the other.

    Seemed to me that giving us a bit of redundancy wouldn't be a bad thing, although it has all been pretty reliable.

    The trailer is what we take our show engine to rallies and shows in, and we live in it while at the shows.

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    We go to Nuenen in Holland every year, then down to France for our holidays.

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    We upped the solar panel sizes on the Mercedes, and fortuitously we were gifted four 225AH 6V AGM batteries, so the split system was used again, and as the vehicle electrics are 24V we have a separate charger for those as well.

    The Mercedes conversion is coming along, hope to be using it next year.

    Peter
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
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  4. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    That trailer looks like it would be fun to reverse ;)
     
  5. Peter A Forbes

    Peter A Forbes Funster

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    Not too bad with a front towbar:



    Bit more involved using the standard rear towbar.

    Peter
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    What braking system do you have on the trailer....over-run (cant see a sliding hitch), hydraulic, electric ?
     
  7. Peter A Forbes

    Peter A Forbes Funster

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    Overrun brakes, all three axles are braked.

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    Cables not connected in that shot.

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    Cables nearest the camera are the front axle, single cable runs to the rear axles and equaliser mechanism.

    Can't make that build any more, overrun brakes are banned from drawbar turntable trailers unless they are power brakes.

    Peter
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
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