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Old 06-29-2018, 05:19 PM   #1
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Solar planner advice in reverse! 1575 watts

Pretty new here, new to solar and read all over the place. You guys are great. Anyhow, I wasn't looking for solar panels but just happened on some, 5 BIG ones to be exact for $.21 per watt. Now have to figure out how and where to put them.

I have the real estate and weight on my Voltage 3990 is no issue. I'm a DIY kinda guy so love to tinker.

Current setup is a single LifeBlue lithium however, it is the new one 200ah and same discharge. Built in 5500 Onan for when AC is needed, battery low, bad weather ect. I have 70+ gallons of fuel storage available.

Initially the plan was to build out in phases and add another same battery by years end to give me 320 max usable amp hours.

I had already ordered a full Magnum 12 volt setup with 3k hybrid inverter MSH3012M, BMK, AGS, ARC50, 400 amp T fuse and expect it to be here by the Tuesday for installation in the next week or 2. (Any volunteers around DFW not busy) No hurry, I need to install everything first and then order cabling which I will build.

We live in this thing full-time and plan on retirement at end of year and rolling out across this great country. Never boondocked as of yet. Wifey wants to operate as if connected as close to possible, of course minus air conditioning or with generator if needed.

(FYI the sat pic is of the panels installed on the Embassy Suites, these were left overs heading to trash can. Voltage test average was about 42v @ 6pm) Yeah, I got lucky for sure.

Couple questions to start-see pics for specs
1. How the heck am I going to mount these @ 54lbs a piece? Don't plan on climbing so no tilt for me.
2. Thinking parallel just because I don't want to worry too much about where to park or shade, ideas? Planning Magnum PT-100 for a smooth setup.
3. If parallel less than 25 feet from combiner box to controller #6 awg still ok? Won't need to plan for growth I don't think lol.

Take it easy on me I'm still a virgin solar adapter and even new to RVing. We have been living in this for over a year now and I have maintained, fixed it and made a ton of mods so far so I'm ready for this next launch. I do know this coach inside and out at least.

Ready, set, go.
Thanks to all of you in advance
Chris



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Old 06-30-2018, 07:39 AM   #2
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5 panels parallel @ 8.5-9a looks more like #4 awg.

You most likely will want a second battery, 1 200ah is pretty lite for fulltime boondocking if you want live like you're plugged in without having run the genny for the extended poor solar days.

This is what I have which is basically what you'll be building.

500ah 12v lithium batteries (GBS), 8 CTI 160 watt panels_ 2 in series, 4 sets parallel to combiner box (1,280w), Magnum PT100 controller, Magnum 3012 hybrid inverter, ME-ARC 50 with 7" display, sub panel added so everything in the 5th wheel except the water heater is running through the inverter.

We fulltime and on our 580th day of continuous boondocking in this period of time the eu2000i generator has been used 8 times for 2 hrs each time to put 200ah back into the batteries (hold over till the next day when solar is better) all these times was after the 3rd day of poor/ no solar. We'll average 150ah, that's using microwave, watch tv/ dvd, coffee pot, charge laptop/ tablet/ phones, cell booster...day to day living without worrying about can I use an appliance. If you have to use the air con genny will take care of it.

Question though... can those batteries pull high amp draws for a longer period of time?
Here are some readings with misc items being used and at different levels of battery soc & other misc info.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LIe...w?usp=drivesdk
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Old 06-30-2018, 09:48 AM   #3
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One more thing with the PT100 controller with 12v is a P04 code.

Look at this thread...

PT-100 Power Status Code P04 - relisted as I think I deleted the orig.post while editing it €” northernarizona-windandsun

Something to be aware of.
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Old 06-30-2018, 10:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itinerant1 View Post
5 panels parallel @ 8.5-9a looks more like #4 awg.

You most likely will want a second battery, 1 200ah is pretty lite for fulltime boondocking if you want live like you're plugged in without having run the genny for the extended poor solar days.

This is what I have which is basically what you'll be building.

500ah 12v lithium batteries (GBS), 8 CTI 160 watt panels_ 2 in series, 4 sets parallel to combiner box (1,280w), Magnum PT100 controller, Magnum 3012 hybrid inverter, ME-ARC 50 with 7" display, sub panel added so everything in the 5th wheel except the water heater is running through the inverter.

We fulltime and on our 580th day of continuous boondocking in this period of time the eu2000i generator has been used 8 times for 2 hrs each time to put 200ah back into the batteries (hold over till the next day when solar is better) all these times was after the 3rd day of poor/ no solar. We'll average 150ah, that's using microwave, watch tv/ dvd, coffee pot, charge laptop/ tablet/ phones, cell booster...day to day living without worrying about can I use an appliance. If you have to use the air con genny will take care of it.

Question though... can those batteries pull high amp draws for a longer period of time?
Here are some readings with misc items being used and at different levels of battery soc & other misc info.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LIe...w?usp=drivesdk
Thanks. Hopes this answers your question
My battery:
Model LB12200-HC Specifications
Size: 19.0" x 6.6" x 9.5" Tall
Weight: 56.6 Pounds; Shipping Weight 60 Pounds
Charge Current: 120A recommended; 150A @ 75 F

Discharge Current: 150A continuous, 200A for 30 Minutes, 300A for 3 seconds

Chris




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Old 06-30-2018, 10:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itinerant1 View Post
One more thing with the PT100 controller with 12v is a P04 code.

Look at this thread...

PT-100 Power Status Code P04 - relisted as I think I deleted the orig.post while editing it — northernarizona-windandsun

Something to be aware of.
So, does that suggest I should with in series for the PT-100 and these 5 panels to prevent the P04 error code? Or was this one of the first versions and has this been fixed?

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Old 06-30-2018, 11:29 AM   #6
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I would wire 2 panel series with 2 stings parallel. Which means you have an extra panel or try to get 1 more panel for 3 strings.

Supposedly the new PT100 manuals have been corrected to show proper voltage installation to correct this.

I get the p04 with my setup on occasion but hasn't really effected the charging performance. It's not like the charging stops it just limits the power for a period of time which for me is 1,125w +/- or max 80a +/- . Unlike lead batteries needing every once of voltage/ current to get them back 100% our lithiums can get charged on less or work at psoc with no harm.
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Old 07-01-2018, 06:04 AM   #7
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No chance of getting and extra panel so might just have to stay with 2 sets in series and 1 parallel. I would have to struggle to find a place for it anyways. I went to get only 4 that I had pre-measured for, but the guy saw an extra and just threw it in with the deal!

Now to figure how to install these beasts.

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Old 07-01-2018, 10:56 AM   #8
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It appears like you have some room up there and just have to pay attention to the a/c units they look tall and probably throw a long shadow, tv antenna looks like its far away from shadowing.




My roof was pretty open for panels but still have to contend with a shadow (red line) from the a/c unit (low profile) depending on orientation of 5th wheel. The shadow can be on 2 of the panels of 2 different parallel sets (green line showing parallel sections). If you look at an individual panel it has 4 linear section themselves the shadow only falls in the closest section so I'll lose a small amount of possible production from them but it doesn't entirely kill those panels.

Now the tv antenna (blue line) I pay a little more attention only because of the long/ wide shadow that can cover the 4 sections of a panel and can kill the entire possible production of that parallel set.

With that said this is all seasonal as to paying attention to shadowing plus time day and longitude/ latitude. I'll explain as for my system (every system is different).
Late fall to early spring we'll try to have the nose facing more easterly if possible (480w of panels) and the door side facing south that way as the sun rises there is no shadows what so ever on any panel except maybe the back one from the antenna which isn't a big deal unless multiple days of poor weather. Another thing is scenery/ privacy over rules perfect direction a good reason to over solar if possible.

Late spring to late fall park any direction even in partial shade (free cooling).

With enough solar and the lithium batteries you won't be stressing about being 100% full or needing every ounce of power. If you didn't see this thread there was a discussion about SoC (state of charge) for your particular brand of battery and being accurate I would think you won't have a problem with solar being more wattage/ voltage. Starting on page 5 post #69 hclarkx has your brand of battery and had issue, I think he figured it out by the end of the thread. Maybe he'll see this thread and give an update or make a suggestion for you to ponder.

Click> 4 x 6V vs. 2 x Lithium

Solar production recorded.
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:52 AM   #9
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I will be running my 4 panels down the driver's side and then the 5th across the coach behind the antenna. I expect the antenna to make a little dent in harvest for the time being but the plan is to upgrade the antenna so that won't be a deterrent. I can't wait to see how you manage your stats on my ARC-50 and will attempt to monitor closely as well.

Still can't believe how tha PT-100 is throwing an error and hasn't been fixed. I may reconsider as I would prefer going full parallel to prevent loss with shadowing, have to think about that further.

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Old 07-02-2018, 10:11 AM   #10
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Put in strings of two. The mppt controller works better with the higher voltage.

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Old 07-02-2018, 11:02 AM   #11
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Putting 4 panels in series/ parallel configuration should not trigger a P04 code. My panels are 18.60v (vmp), 22.50 (voc) x2 as wired in series would be 37v (vmp), 45 (voc). Just 1 of your panels is roughly equal to 2 of mine so in series your would be in higher voltage range required to eliminate the P04 code.
If I added 1 more panel so they would be in a 3 series 3 parallel configuration I could eliminate the P04 because it would raise the vmp to 55v which Magnum now states It should be 48-50V not 24 V (pg17, Table 2-1). Other than getting power limited at times I have seen no ill effects and have plaenty of power.

It's very possible that if you wire all parallel you will get P04 code.
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Old 07-02-2018, 01:25 PM   #12
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Interesting, I did the on-line Magnum PV Array Calculator and it still says MAX VOC ? Too Low in both configurations. I tried 2X2.5 and 1X5 based on panel label.

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Old 07-02-2018, 03:25 PM   #13
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Look at this thread again. The OP is using similar panels like yours and he put them in parallel.

Link----> PT-100 Power Status Code P04 - relisted as I think I deleted the orig.post while editing it €” northernarizona-windandsun

Now look at post #19 (email reply from Magnum) & #20 after talking with them on the phone for the solution.
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:45 PM   #14
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Look at this thread again. The OP is using similar panels like yours and he put them in parallel.

Link----> PT-100 Power Status Code P04 - relisted as I think I deleted the orig.post while editing it — northernarizona-windandsun

Now look at post #19 (email reply from Magnum) & #20 after talking with them on the phone for the solution.
I have seen that post several times just worried, not wanting to spend a ton of money and have to redo it. So to clarify, @Itinetant1 should I only use 4 panels then or can you connect 2x2 and then a single to combiner box then down to controller? Sorry about all the stupid questions, I am so new to this it ain't funny. I can't afford to do this solar more than once and still plan to retire at the end of the year!

Also, the post you had earlier for hclark the link was bad for me, I couldn't find that one anywhere. This one: http://www.irv2.com/forums/f28...-6v...um-371400.html

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