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Thread: Solar workout for Christmas

  1. #11
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    I checked the voltage again this morning after the battery bank has had time to stabilize. It is at 12.63 volts so that's not too bad.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  2. #12
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    Alright. After turning on the charge controller at 9:30 am this morning, I can say that now at 12:30 pm the batteries are now recharged.

    I still need to take a reading and see how much current the power inverter is pulling. I know it has an idle current draw of a little over an amp. Since all of the lights are LED, their draw is very small.

    I actually aimed the solar panel towards the sun to see, real world, the actual power output that this 50 watt panel can give me. In the label, the panel is rated to produce 2.87 amps of current at 21 volts. After aiming the panel and going through the charge controller, I saw a peak of 3.4 amps at 13.8 volts!

    I'm happy with the results, but since the next few days are going to be cloudy, I'm going to limit the Christmas lights to only be on for about 30 minutes to an hour so the batteries will have enough daylight to get recharged. Next week on one of the clear days, I'll see about running the lights for 3 hours and see how long the setup takes to recharge.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  3. #13
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    Alright, here are the pictures.


    My house with the Christmas lights. I'll probably be putting up more lights next week.



    This is the super cheap, $30, MPPT charge controller. It has a lot of downfalls and is not very efficient, but it works. It is putting out 3.28 amps when I took this pic.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 91CavGT View Post
    Alright, here are the pictures.


    My house with the Christmas lights. I'll probably be putting up more lights next week.



    This is the super cheap, $30, MPPT charge controller. It has a lot of downfalls and is not very efficient, but it works. It is putting out 3.28 amps when I took this pic.
    Actually that's pretty good if you're using a 50 watt panel, with a PWM you'd only be putting out 2.7 Amps give or take (look at the back of your panel and look at the "Imp" rating, that's it's rated output in Amps with PWM

    I've seen a video on making the specific Charge Controller you have a little more responsive, but you're getting great results right now, so I probably wouldn't mess with it.



    I was looking at one for charging the Jackery Power Pro https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...-energy-soluti (When i get it) with solar when I go camping

    What do you not like about the charge controller?
    Last edited by Tdale; 12-02-2016 at 10:43 AM.
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tdale View Post

    What do you not like about the charge controller?

    You have to turn it on if you want it to charge. It uses power from the solar panel to actually work, and it does not automatically turn on when it sees power. That is my biggest gripe. So if it is a little cloudy out, you can have the controller turned on and working. But, if thick clouds pass over, it turns off and will not automatically turn back on.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  6. #16
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    My next step is to get 3 more of these 50 watt panels giving me 100 watts @ 24 volts, and then replace the battery bank with 3 C&D Dynasty 100 amp/hr batteries.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 91CavGT View Post
    My next step is to get 3 more of these 50 watt panels giving me 100 watts @ 24 volts, and then replace the battery bank with 3 C&D Dynasty 100 amp/hr batteries.
    PM sent about solar panels
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  8. #18
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    I finally got a chance to take an amp reading. The power inverter pulls 8 amps when first turned on to run the lights. I'm fairly certain once the power inverter heats up amperage draw drops a little. I've got an old 300 watt power inverter that I want to connect and see if it is more efficient at all.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  9. #19
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    Alright. I got around to pulling out the old Sima 300 watt power inverter. This thing is old. We are talking near 20 years old, but it still runs good so I keep it as a backup to my backup.

    So I wired it up right quick and put my meter on it. With powering the exact same set of lights, power consumption was at 5.85 amps! This is slightly more than 2 amps less than my big power inverter. 2 amps might not sound like much, but that is a 25% difference in power consumption and all I did was match the power inverter to the power demand.


    This is a very good example of why just buying the biggest power inverter you can buy might be a very bad idea. I'm my case, I'm keeping my huge power inverter, but am going to go ahead and wire up my small inverter and use it for 95% of the time in order to not waste as much power from my small system.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  10. #20
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    Good info, thanks for keeping us in the know!
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