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Old 04-29-2015, 06:59 AM   #29
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Blackhat...That is a nice clean install... very impressive.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:12 AM   #30
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Quote:
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...
The inverter, bats and exhaust fan for batts fumes, are in three seperated compartments.
...
So you have flooded lead acid batts located inside, in a sealed compartment with a fan ventilator?

Hmmm, wish I could do that and get the batts off the tongue, but there's no good location close to the outside. May have to do AGM batts instead, when/if the $$$ become avail.
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Old 04-29-2015, 04:54 PM   #31
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Franknj. The 4 batts are divided between the two "stock batteries" under the front hood of the Aviator and 2 under the front dinette inside, since the two areas are back-to-back only separated by a bulkhead. The longest cable between the batteries is only 2 ft. and are 4/0 cables. The inverter is on the other side of a partition to separate the bats and the inverter.
Beside where the controller is mounted, is a system monitor panel that I built out of Lexan. The panel has the inverter on/off switch, battery voltage, battery box temp, inverter temp, controller temp, battery compartment vent fan switch and on/off switch for the entire panel. There are two circuit breakers mounted on the sides of the monitor panel. One for solar input and one for controller to batteries, both 63amp breakers.
Don't have any better pix than the ones I posted. Sorry.
AMGs are too expensive for me and the 4" muffin fan mounted on the bulkhead, vents to the outside. You don't want bat gas in the same area as the inverter.
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:51 PM   #32
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I'm 600 watts solar through a MPPT controller to 500 amp hrs of batteries and a 5,000-watt inverter and an auto transfer switch. I never turn the converter on. Never need to when plugged into shore power or generator as the solar panels keep the batts up nicely.
When I first put the system together, I accidently forgot and left the converter's breaker on. As soon as the transfer switch engaged on the inverter, it kicked out the converter's breaker. Haven't turned it back on since.
I don't turn off the solar system at all. You don't need to when plugged into shore or gen, but you do need to turn off the converter if using an inverter.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:37 AM   #33
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I'm 600 watts solar through a MPPT controller to 500 amp hrs of batteries and a 5,000-watt inverter and an auto transfer switch.
...
Nice! Just bought another panel that will boost my wattage to 700W, and literally use up the last bit of space on the roof available.

But I'm still limited by only 220Ah of golf-carts. And unless I spend the $$ on AGMs (no place inside to put flooded lead acid with an exhaust), I'll have to spend even more $$ on a new truck because of the tongue weight. Especially if I go all the way to 500Ah like you. That would be nice!

Sort of delaying the decision 'cause a new truck might be possible in a year or two.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:53 AM   #34
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GoGreenWave et al;

I do not want to hijack

I noticed you said you had a 30 amp Renolgy controller. I posted a question regarding the Renolgy Starter kit on another thread but there doesn't seem to be any takers.. Perhaps you could answer or offer insight.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f56/renol...it-244309.html

tnks
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:55 AM   #35
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Waiter, I too was looking at the Renogy starter kit to keep my batteries charged while in storage since my storage place has no power available. My problem is that I put a cover over the MH so the panel would be on top of the cover and not attached to the roof. . .but enough of my problems. The positive ground is odd for us Americans, maybe more common overseas. If figured that I would just run wires for both positive and negative to eliminate the common positive problem but I hadn't planned on using the load terminals of the charge controller. My thoughts were to leave the inverter connected directly to the battery and the use the existing 12 volt connections that are already on the battery. The down side to this is that I wouldn't be able to use the controller's load monitor (if the Renogy even has one).

But in the end it will be a moot point for me because after studying and especially after reading Handy Bob's blog, I've decided to still use the Renogy panel but to use the MorningStar SunSaver Charge Controller for several reasons (price not being one of the reasons)! The Renogy controller says it is a PWM type controller (Pulse Width Modulation) but has absolutely no literature talking about it. I believe that the "Pulse" charging is extremely important to battery longevity because of the desulfinating effect of it. "They" say to be careful because not all controllers labeled PWM are true PWM. Also, The Sun Saver has charging provisions for two battery banks which will eliminate the need for a device similar to the Trik-L-Start to charge the engine battery and still keep it isolated. Also, the SunSaver (and all MorningStar products) have an equalization mode. The Renogy has had complaints about the wire terminals stripping out. The SunSaver has a remote meter that can be purchased on Amazon the uses A telephone wire to hook it up. It comes with a 30 foot wire. Both controllers are temperature compensated.

The Renogy kit comes with a 20foot 12ga PV cable with MC-4 connectors on it. For 100W, this is sufficient but to add another panel it would be marginal. The criteria is a 3% voltage drop. You can find voltage drop calculators on the internet but they sell 20' 10ga wire with MC-4 connectors on Amazon. A 14' run of 10ga is good for up to 300W.

A Renogy 100W panel, the SunSaver charger, remote monitor, 10ga wire, misc hardware and fuses will run $408.00+tax on Amazon.
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Old 05-08-2015, 05:00 PM   #36
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When figuring out the amp hrs of your bats, remember that a 6 volt bat of 115 amp hrs is only 115 amp hrs at "6 volts", not 12 volts. When you combine two 6volt bats of 115amp hours, that is a total of 115 amp hrs at "12 volts".
Four 6 volt, 115 amp hr bats equal 230 total amp hrs.
Also, your solar system is only as good as the solar controller you choose. Make it a good choice [MPPT]. IMHO and experience.
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:57 PM   #37
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The debate over PWM vs MPPT goes on.....
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:56 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhat6mike View Post
When figuring out the amp hrs of your bats, remember that a 6 volt bat of 115 amp hrs is only 115 amp hrs at "6 volts", not 12 volts. When you combine two 6volt bats of 115amp hours, that is a total of 115 amp hrs at "12 volts".
Four 6 volt, 115 amp hr bats equal 230 total amp hrs.
...
This is true. But many (most?) 6V batteries are "golf-carts" or GC2, and typically have 190-230Ah of capacity. Not sure what's with those low Ah "Advance" batteries talked about earlier.

Anyway, with the Trojan T-105 at 225Ah or the US Battery 2200XC2 at 232Ah, you would only need two of them to get 12V at 225Ah or 232Ah. Saves on cables between batteries anyway.
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Old 05-09-2015, 05:32 PM   #39
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Blackhat6mike;

It apperes that I have the same MPPT controller as the one in your picture.

The one I have, is a 40 amp controller and the documentation states it is rated for 480 watts, max, used with a 12 volt system.

Is yours a 40 amp model or, are you using a 24 volt system and inverter?

I am also curious why you would use 65 amp breakers on the panel side your system.

In a series setup, you would only need about 15 amp breaker on the panel side.

If in a parallel arrangement, you should protect the wiring from each panel, from the other 5 backfeeding, if it dead shorts. The breaker size would be based on the gauge of the individual, panel wires.

In either case, 600 watts of panels, as current producers, are not capable of ever producing enough amps, to blow a 65 amp breaker.
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:28 PM   #40
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Blackhat6mike;

It apperes that I have the same MPPT controller as the one in your picture.

The one I have, is a 40 amp controller and the documentation states it is rated for 480 watts, max, used with a 12 volt system.

Is yours a 40 amp model or, are you using a 24 volt system and inverter?

I am also curious why you would use 65 amp breakers on the panel side your system.

In a series setup, you would only need about 15 amp breaker on the panel side.

If in a parallel arrangement, you should protect the wiring from each panel, from the other 5 backfeeding, if it dead shorts. The breaker size would be based on the gauge of the individual, panel wires.

In either case, 600 watts of panels, as current producers, are not capable of ever producing enough amps, to blow a 65 amp breaker.
Curious, does yours say you should never exceed 480W for your 40A controller with 12V batts? Mine is a 30A controller and it says that while it would waste less energy at 480W (and below) it would do no harm to go above. And I am. Up to 700W in a few days if all goes well. The formula it uses for calculating that 480W is 30Ax12V/0.9, where the 0.9 is assumed system efficiency (90%). I guess yours does not include the 0.9.

The reason I am exceeding this recommendation is because I'm more concerned about collecting solar on low-light days in fall/winter/spring and in shady locations. Wasting energy on bright sunny days in the summer is not a problem. Even our current 400W array handles that just fine.

If in the future our loads increase, and I need to harvest more energy on bright sunny days, I'll either have to get a higher rated controller or switch to a 24V battery bank. But then, not sure how we'll deal with the grey days with the higher loads. Hopefully not with a generator.

Also the mppt controller (Rogue MPT-3048) recommends a 30A breaker on input and 40A on output.
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:51 AM   #41
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brulaz,

Yes, the documentation, states 480 watts, @ 12 volts, on the Renogy MPPT 40, controller.

On your point about circuit breakers, they recommend a 30 amp breaker on the input side, because the panels are wired using 10 gauge wires. 30 amps is the max load that a 10 gauge wire can safely handle, before getting too hot.

Once you add more panels, above 30 amps, there then comes the potential, to overload a shorted panels wire, from the other panels output.

The output breaker should be sized above the output amps, of the controller, but not above the capacity of the heavier wire ( 8 or 6 gauge ), carrying the power to the battery.

Circuit breakers are used to protect the wiring, in case of a component failure, overload or short circuit.

With 700 watts of solar, you will probably blow the 30 amp breaker.

It also seems a waste to me, to have solar output, during peak sun, not used. I feel you would be better served, installing a larger or second controller to harvest that energy.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:13 AM   #42
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Quote:
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With 700 watts of solar, you will probably blow the 30 amp breaker.

It also seems a waste to me, to have solar output, during peak sun, not used. I feel you would be better served, installing a larger or second controller to harvest that energy.
3 panels in parallel, total Isc = 8.74+5.45+5.45 = 19.64A
So 30A breaker should be ok.

And yes it is a waste during peak sun, but, like I said, we currently don't need it. What I need is more Ah on cloudy days and shady sites, and that's what I'll have with this new panel.

If our loads increase, we'll cross that bridge when it comes.
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