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Thread: Solar workout for Christmas

  1. #21
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    Jan 2011
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    Northern Idaho
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    Perfect excuse to run 12V lights instead of an inverter on 120V lights. That power draw would drop even further.

  2. #22
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    May 2011
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    Central Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daelith View Post
    Perfect excuse to run 12V lights instead of an inverter on 120V lights. That power draw would drop even further.
    This is the primary reason why all of my backup lights are 12 or 5 volt. I have both LED and florescent DC lights. Just yesterday I finished making a wire harness that can be quickly laid out to provide 12v DC to each room in my house, and thus easier to run 12v fans or lights of need be. Of course, if you are planning on running lights at night in a grid down situation, you need to make sure no one outside the house can see any of that light.
    Last edited by 91CavGT; 12-22-2016 at 05:37 PM.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  3. #23
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    May 2011
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    Central Texas
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    Alright. I ran the small inverter on the lights for an hour and a half. The inverter was still cold! I took a volt reading while the lights were still on and it was at 12.42 volts. 2 minutes after the inverter was turned off, voltage had increased to 12.72 volts. From this and the last voltage reading my guess is the battery bank has a real capacity of only about 100 amp/hr despite it's 200 amp/hr rating. I'm January or February I'm upgrading my battery bank to new to me batteries with a 300 amp/hr capacity.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  4. #24
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    May 2011
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    Central Texas
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    Thank you Tdale for the great deal on a larger panel for my setup. I have been waiting on a good sunny day to get a good reading on how much power the new panel is producing, but the weather has not cooperated. So I took a reading today and am very pleased. Even with high altitude cloud cover and a panel mounted vertically (not aimed at the sun but still facing south) I am seeing a little over 7 amps of current. I have pictures but the battery in my lap top died so I'll have to put them up later.

    Once again, thank you Tdale!
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  5. #25
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    May 2011
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    Central Texas
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    So now until I can get some new batteries I have 2 separate solar systems running. One of them is the big 245 watt panel hooked up to an elcheapo mppt charge controller and what is effectively 100 amp/hr of battery capacity. The other solar setup is the 50 watt panel hooked up to a sunforce 30 amp pwm charge controller and a single, old 50 amp/hr battery.

    The old 50 amp/hr battery is an agm battery made in the year 2000. Yes, it is 16 years old! It too has a diminished capacity but is still in decent shape. This goes to show how long agm batteries can last of they are taken care of.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Texas
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    4,197

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    Quote Originally Posted by 91CavGT View Post
    Thank you Tdale for the great deal on a larger panel for my setup. I have been waiting on a good sunny day to get a good reading on how much power the new panel is producing, but the weather has not cooperated. So I took a reading today and am very pleased. Even with high altitude cloud cover and a panel mounted vertically (not aimed at the sun but still facing south) I am seeing a little over 7 amps of current. I have pictures but the battery in my lap top died so I'll have to put them up later.

    Once again, thank you Tdale!
    You're very welcome....It was nice putting a face to a name.
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    TN mainly, on the road alot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camouflaged View Post
    You might think I'm silly but I also covered my camera lense on all my devises with red tape.
    Attachment 1009
    Gwen is an evil b!tch, they can listen without your tech.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Central Texas
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    Here is a pic of the charge controller with the new panel hooked up.




    And this is why I am happy with the power output so far.




    I installed the new panel in place of where the old panel was. Then I installed the old panel above the new one. The panels are both facing south but are mounted vertically so they are not aimed right. But, when I close my garage door, you can not see that I have them.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  9. #29
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    May 2011
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    Central Texas
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    I took down all of the lights today so this test is now wrapped up. In the past, I had assumed (incorrectly) that my power useage is dictated by the size of my battery bank. While this is partially right, now I realize that I need to base my power consumption off of not only the battery bank size but more importantly how much power I can put back in it in one day. During the winter time, it truely is hit or miss as to how much sun you might get. During the summer though here in Texas, the amount of sun you get each day is not a variable, unless a hurricane comes through.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  10. #30
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    Jan 2010
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    Mountains & Lakes of the extreme NorthEast
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    Try winter sun in New England, you have to oversize so much.... assuming you can get outside to clear the panels from the snow.

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