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Old 06-10-2015, 07:40 AM   #29
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The solar industry is now changing to higher voltage panels to minimize the expensive, heavy gauge wire runs.
A 48 volt panel will cut the amps, in 1/4, for the same watt output. With long runs of cable to many panels, the savings, can equal the extra cost, of a MPPT controller. It is also, so much easier, to run small cables

Since solar needs clear sky anyway, running panels in series, also reduces the wire size needed.

The only heavy wire needed in a series setup is the short run from controller to batteries.

I actually run 3, 36 volt, 225 watt panels in series, thru a 12 gauge wire to my MPPT controller.

It is only 10 ft run on my boat, but been running 5 years now with no problems. We lived aboard, for 4 years, off grid cruising or on a mooring.
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Old 06-10-2015, 04:25 PM   #30
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This won't be so much of an issue once we leave Texas. We don't mind heat, we just hate humidity.

Once we get into the mountains or closer to the West coast, A/C will rarely, if ever, be needed.

Probably the heater...
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Old 06-11-2015, 01:24 PM   #31
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We run toasters, toaster ovens, hair driers, microwave, TV, DVD, vacuum, furnace on cold nights, water pump, air up boat and charge 4 to 6 Apple devices every day - 40 amps. Our 3 160 watt panels provide 27 amps at 17.7 volts. Increasing voltage was an option I could have chosen but the panels were over 200 watts each and increased size, just enough to cause a problem on our 28'er. I was one of the first to use 4,800v 500 hp electric motors in the oil field greatly reducing wire size and cost etc. Remember you have to take your batteries to your manufacturers spec voltage for along enough period to reach float. For Trojans thats 14.8v but with our low humidity I use 14.6 to avoid to much battery water evaporation.

At altitude u get a lot more UV so solar works great. Also higher wattage give you more oomph on cloudy days for better recharge. We get 300 days of sun each year out here and 2-3 cloudy days in a row is a rarity. 4 days we revolt.

Our humidity is normally less than 20% during the summer so 100 at single digit humidity is pretty bearable. Probably why California has 37,000,000 residents.

For those who can use a physically larger panel then 36v are an excellent way to go.
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:13 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest Grump View Post
We run toasters, toaster ovens, hair driers, microwave, TV, DVD, vacuum, furnace on cold nights, water pump, air up boat and charge 4 to 6 Apple devices every day - 40 amps. Our 3 160 watt panels provide 27 amps at 17.7 volts. Increasing voltage was an option I could have chosen but the panels were over 200 watts each and increased size, just enough to cause a problem on our 28'er. I was one of the first to use 4,800v 500 hp electric motors in the oil field greatly reducing wire size and cost etc. Remember you have to take your batteries to your manufacturers spec voltage for along enough period to reach float. For Trojans thats 14.8v but with our low humidity I use 14.6 to avoid to much battery water evaporation.

At altitude u get a lot more UV so solar works great. Also higher wattage give you more oomph on cloudy days for better recharge. We get 300 days of sun each year out here and 2-3 cloudy days in a row is a rarity. 4 days we revolt.

Our humidity is normally less than 20% during the summer so 100 at single digit humidity is pretty bearable. Probably why California has 37,000,000 residents.

For those who can use a physically larger panel then 36v are an excellent way to go.
Great post with good technical detail. Thanks.
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