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Old 11-12-2010, 08:38 PM   #99
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I guess I'm the guy that trusts that electricity works in our home and now our RV. I'm not hung up on whether the power was generated at 48 volts by a nuclear reactor. Too many details.

Gotta take Bob's side here....I'm not interested in the ongoing debate about what's more important: amps, watts, volts. Sorry guys my eyes cross with those debates so I don't read them.

What I do know is that by chatting with Bob on the telephone he helped me successfully install a system that works.

Keys to success: Properly sized wires, morningstar controller within 6 feet of batterries and battery monitor. Pretty simple solution.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:21 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by RocketDork View Post
I'm confused by this post...am I alone?

Why come here, join, put in the first paragraph that you don't have time for this, take the time to speak your mind and leave?
I believe he explained why he didn't have time for this so that you wouldn't expect him to stick around and answer questions.

If you search on RVNetwork.com you'll find he made 70 posts from Nov. 2006 to Sept. of 2008. Sounds like he might have been on iRV2 in the past as well. People respond differently to frustration.

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Originally Posted by RocketDork View Post
Here's the thing that I see. I'm trying to understand why what Bob does changes things so much...he insists that it does.

He tells me over and over to distrust the dealer, and trust him. Why should I do that? His claims aren't verifiable by me, nor does he take the time to explain the science behind them.
It's all on his blog, which he provided a link to.
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:25 PM   #101
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As of this time and date my "Solar That Really Works" has been viewed by 5100 plus people. That is many more views than most other subjects. This tells me that there are many folks that want to know right from wrong concerning a solar system. Handy Bob's web site teaches them that. I know it taught me. I followed the instructions and am a lot happier with my system than most folks are with systems installed by experts. My original system was installed by New Horizons who was instructed by AM Solar how to do it. I have no good to say about this expert and only praise for Handy Bob. For those who want to analyze a subject to death, have at it. For those who want a solar system that works, learn how from Handy Bob' web site.
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:42 PM   #102
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Bob has a few good points, but you have to read through the rants to find them. The one thing he did from reading through the pages of rants is look at the different charge chemistry of various batteries and fix the chargers to suit (something I didn't ever catch but don't need getting yelled at to realize). After that it's common sense.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:17 PM   #103
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I believe he explained why he didn't have time for this so that you wouldn't expect him to stick around and answer questions.
My point was, why even take the time to respond? he doesn't have the time and
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Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
It's all on his blog, which he provided a link to.
Ok, I've been chastised. My excuse for trying to understand is too much of the "take my word for it", "its worked for me" kind of attitude that I encounter when it comes to alternate energy. If it works for you, great, but there -must- be science behind it...I wanna understand the science, I guess I'm alone in that desire.

I'll just keep the things I discover to myself now...
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:18 PM   #104
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Bob has a few good points, but you have to read through the rants to find them. The one thing he did from reading through the pages of rants is look at the different charge chemistry of various batteries and fix the chargers to suit (something I didn't ever catch but don't need getting yelled at to realize). After that it's common sense.
I've read several other responses to Bob that are similar to what you just said. Obvioiusly he is rather opinionated, and I guess a bit 'ranty' at times. But it all seemed to make sense to me in context. And Bob's solar page was the first one I ran across that broke it down for me in a way that gave me a bit of hope that I might actually be able to do two things: 1 - afford a solar system; 2 - use that system for extended boondocking. All other solar system information I found on the internet talks about high-priced installed systems that still require regular generator recharging.

But if what he says is just 'common sense' then why don't all of the solar dealers sell common-sense systems?
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:29 PM   #105
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Ok, I've been chastised. My excuse for trying to understand is too much of the "take my word for it", "its worked for me" kind of attitude that I encounter when it comes to alternate energy. If it works for you, great, but there -must- be science behind it...I wanna understand the science, I guess I'm alone in that desire.

I'll just keep the things I discover to myself now...
I agree that there is a lot of that when it comes to alternate energy, but this is solar, not cold fusion or perpetual motion....

Most other solar guys will tell you that Bob's main points about charging voltage, equipment choices, wire gauge, controller placement, etc. is something that everyone knows about. Unfortunately it seems that 95% of all systems installed don't match up. It isn't some new scientific theory, just things like using the battery manufacturer's charging recommendations instead of the controller manufacturer's preset settings.
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:36 PM   #106
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I agree that there is a lot of that when it comes to alternate energy, but this is solar, not cold fusion or perpetual motion...
This confuses me. Is solar somehow insulated from the outlandish claims made in your two examples? Or is it that solar is so common sense that it needs no science?
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:52 AM   #107
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Back to the intitial intent of this post.

Question....I have 4-6volt GC batteries. Checked the wiring and they are wired in series as pairs and then in parallel. They are interstate 2200 batteries with labels on them for having 220 AH.

I'm in the process of setting up my Trimetric 2020 measurements and the instructions are asking me about the battery voltage and amp hours.

What voltage should I set the meter at (asking for full level) and does this mean I have 440 AH of battery life? By the way I have 2-200 watt panels on the roof.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:58 AM   #108
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This confuses me. Is solar somehow insulated from the outlandish claims made in your two examples? Or is it that solar is so common sense that it needs no science?
I'm editing my initial response because I think I figured out what you were asking...

You seem to be implying that Bob has somehow made outlandish claims that violate some scientific principle. As I mentioned in a previous post, his claims (which, again, are on his web site) are simply the result of his own testing. Most of the other solar 'experts' on other forums (RVNetwork.com for example) agree with him regarding shadow, wire gauge, etc. His concerns are the same concerns many have after paying a lot of money for a solar install only to have it under-perform their expectations. He has figured out how to maximize his own solar setup, and he owns no generator and never uses shore power. That's it. No scientific laws were violated.

I'm not sure why this irks anyone, or confuses anyone...
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:40 AM   #109
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You're going to need to clarify that for me. What 'outlandish claims' are you referring to? I don't recall making any.....or are you referring to something from Bob's pages?
No, neither, just a general statement about the industry...
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:53 AM   #110
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I'm editing my initial response because I think I figured out what you were asking...

You seem to be implying that Bob has somehow made outlandish claims that violate some scientific principle.

I'm not sure why this irks anyone, or confuses anyone...
No, I'm not saying that Bob does anything that violates science. I'm just trying to find the science behind what he does successfully. I believe there are a couple things that he's got "wrong", but really they are just a compromise based on the system constraints. It seems to me that I've been slapped on the hand for sharing the science I've found and being told, hey, it works, that's enough...but that's not true for me. I want, I need to understand the science. It's basic to my personality...I am unable to contain my curiosity.

I have no plans to stop the research I'm doing, nor do I have plans to stop being curious...I do however have plans to stop sharing that information -here-. Its no real "skin off my nose", I just thought that I was on a forum that encouraged the exchange of ideas, and sharing the results. It's clear to me now that the level of detail that -I- like to take things to, is different than what you guys want to hear. I'm OK with that, it happens to me all the time. I am still open to talking about it, just send me a PM and we can chat there.

I'll step away from the thread and follow it by lurking now...But before I go, I do have to say that guys like Bob confuse me, they say "don't trust them, but DO trust me...". Just saying this is what I've done, and I don't have any problems doesn't make it the right way to do it, it's just one way of doing it. Taking his ideas, exploring the science behind them and understanding what makes things work allows me to design a system that will work for -me-, because at the end of the day, I don't care if Bob has power to make coffee or watch TV, I care if -I- have the power to make coffee or watch TV.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:09 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by SpursMVP View Post
Back to the intitial intent of this post.

I'm in the process of setting up my Trimetric 2020 measurements and the instructions are asking me about the battery voltage and amp hours.

What voltage should I set the meter at (asking for full level) and does this mean I have 440 AH of battery life? By the way I have 2-200 watt panels on the roof.
I'm not completely familiar with the TriMetric, but I took a quick look at the install manual.

It seems to me that you want to set your battery full volts level to the full charge voltage value of your charger, without knowing that value, its hard to tell you an exact number. You'd want to set the amp hours to 440...
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:33 PM   #112
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I'm not completely familiar with the TriMetric, but I took a quick look at the install manual.

It seems to me that you want to set your battery full volts level to the full charge voltage value of your charger, without knowing that value, its hard to tell you an exact number. You'd want to set the amp hours to 440...
You do want to set the amp hours to 440, the volts to between 14.3 and 14.8. Here are the instructions from the Trimetric manual. Probably you would want to set to 14.6 if you follow Handy Bobs suggestion of 14.8 volts for the controller.

Choosing “charged setpoint volts”:. For a 12 V lead acid battery system, the voltage setpoint will usually be between
14.3 and 14.8 volts. Double these numbers for 24V systems. The main rule for setting the "charged" voltage and current
setpoints in the TriMetric is to follow the lead of the charging system you have, so that the TriMetric "charged" lamp
comes on just before the charging system decides that the batteries are charged and stops charging your batteries. This is
particularly simple with PWM solar controllers such as the Trace C-40, which charges up to a certain voltage (such as
14.4) and then limit the voltage to that value by gradually reducing the charging current. With this type you should set
the TriMetric voltage setpoint to just below the charger's voltage setpoint. If you have two or more chargers, such as solar
and generator, both chargers would normally be set to charge to approximately the same voltage, and the TriMetric
should be set with the voltage low enough for either one to reach when the batteries approach full charge.
If you have an older "on/off" relay type charge controller that charges to 14.7 volts, and then stops charging, set the
TriMetric for slightly below this voltage, say 14.6 or 14.5 volts
Choosing the “charged setpoint amps”: If you have generator or other charger that has high charging current capability it
becomes important to also set the “charged setpoint amps” in the TriMetric . This is because a high current charging
source can force the battery voltage to rise and meet the “charged voltage” setpoint even though the batteries are not yet
well charged. With such a charger, once the voltage reaches its maximum“bulk voltage” the charging current (amps) will
start out high, then gradually reduce as the batteries become more charged. Proper adjustment of the “current setpoint”
will insure that the TriMetric will not consider the batteries “charged” until the charging current goes below the setpoint
amps. The lower you set this value, the more “charged” the battery must be before the TriMetric will declare the battery
to be “charged”. To set this value you must know the amp -hour capacity of your battery system. A reasonable value for
the “current setpoint” setting would be C50 to C20 where C=battery system capacity in amp -hours. For example if
your battery set has a capacity =700 amp hours, then amps setting=14-35 or so. Some experts recommend a setting as low
as C90 for the battery to be really charged—however it may require extra charging hours to reach this lower value.
After you enter the current setpoint the TriMetric will require that both the voltage setpoint be exceeded, and the current
(amps) value be less than the current setpoint (for a continuous 20 seconds) before the TriMetric will indicate that the
batteries are “charged”.
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